The UK Hydrographic Office will be withdrawing the remaining Port Approach Guides from its ADMIRALTY portfolio on 20 April 2023.
ADMIRALTY Port Approach Guides were launched in 2014 to help simplify a number of passage planning tasks and support Master Pilot Exchange (MPX). Used alongside mandatory navigational charts, whether paper or digital, Port Approach Guides helped save time for bridge teams by bringing together relevant information that was previously spread across the ADMIRALTY Maritime Data Solutions portfolio.
Each Port Approach Guide was tailored to a specific port and contained planning information including landmarks, pilotage, and port specific warnings. Displayed on one chart, this information helped users to simplify the planning of port entry and exit.
At its peak, our portfolio of Port Approach Guides grew to a global coverage of 284 charts, covering many of the world’s leading ports. In 2018 we also allowed Port Approach Guides to be printed by our Print On Demand (POD) service by ADMIRALTY Distributors.
However, demand for Port Approach Guides from users has been declining. In 2020 we decided to start the withdrawal of these charts by reducing the portfolio to 34 charts. With demand for those remaining charts also falling beyond the point that is viable to maintain, we are now withdrawing these remaining 34 charts, bringing the portfolio to a close.
Whilst Port Approach Guides served a valuable purpose when many commercial users were still relying on Standard Nautical Charts for primary navigation or in the process of switching to ECDIS, as this digital transition has progressed, the demand for them has fallen away.
ADMIRALTY Port Approach Guides have always been a non-regulatory product, meaning that their carriage was not required. As users have transitioned to digital charts and publications, the purpose of these guides as a single, convenient source of port approach information is now met through other digital products.
“Port Approach Guides were an innovative solution when launched in 2014. They addressed a clear need in the market for bridge teams to have a single source of information to support port approaches. Their popularity was reflected in the demand for Port Approach Guides over the first few years that they were available, with a growing number of ports added to the portfolio.”
Why are Port Approach Guides being withdrawn?
“Demand peaked a number of years ago and has since declined rapidly to the point where it is clear that they are no longer meeting a need among commercial shipping users, now that the same port approach information is readily available on the bridge via other means. We will complete this withdrawal of our remaining Port Approach Guides on 20 April 2023.
We are proud of the role they have played and will continue to bring the same spirit of innovation to our ADMIRALTY portfolio, anticipating and meeting the needs of our end users, but in a digital-first future for marine navigation. Our focus is on digital solutions that embrace the latest advances in data science and digital standards in order to support safe, compliant, and efficient navigation.”
Product Manager at UKHO