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The Guide wins Innovation of the Year Award

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Guide to Port Entry is one of the professional mariner’s bibles, providing detailed operational information on over 9,000 ports and terminals worldwide. With a 60%-70% market share, it is highly regarded across the entire commercial maritime sector. But its 7,000 page, 4 volume, hardcopy format and biennial publishing schedule has meant that many customers have struggled to access the latest information when needed. Online (findaport.com) and offline (FindaportCD) versions have helped, but the high cost of satellite broadband has restricted take-up of these options. Ships still prefer books and paper charts.
The inclusion of QRcodes on every port entry in the publication has allowed Shipping Guides Ltd to offer customers the option of simple and timely updates, delivered direct to their local smartphones using standard 3G technology, avoiding the dependency on expensive satellites.
The judges loved this use of a new technology in traditional print through scannable QR codes and database versioning, turning this offering into a very usable package. This entry was praised for creating a great mix which most importantly suits its users. The clever use of new technologies has given new commercial life to a best-selling print directory turning it into an innovative yet always reliable reference tool.

The QRCodes link to an 'Updates' app on our findaport.com platform, which 'knows' the data version used for the book, comparing it to the current version. If new data is available, a list of updates is shown and users can decide to purchase. Purchasing gives access to ALL updates for the port over the publication cycle for £5. The user receives a PDF of the current data by email, and this can also be downloaded from the smartphone-friendly site. Once a new print edition is published, the QRcodes in the current edition will redirect to a "Buy the new edition" page instead. QRCodes in the new edition will pick up the batten and run with it.
Subscribers have for many years requested updates to Guide to Port Entry in paper form, but it has never been economically viable to produce them. However, in utilising scannable QRcode technology throughout the publication, Guide to Port Entry has become a future-enabled, usable, not-to-mention useful directory.

I noticed that you have won an award from the PPA. Many congratulations for this. We have always regarded you as an innovator, and it is good to see this recognised in the industry.  (Technology Specialist)

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