The people who contribute to the SOF are invited to do so by either the Owner or Charterer. They are sent an email that contains a link to the SOF. This is a secure link that is personal to them and exists for one port. The link expires when the port call is complete. This provides a frictionless way for SOF contributors to access SOFeXchange without having to register for an account.

SOFeXchange is a system that allows for the collaborative creation and distribution of the statement of facts when a vessel visits a port. This is sometimes also known as a Time Sheet. Every bulk cargo vessel creates one of these for each port call. It can be created by the Master, the Agent, Inspector or a combination of these. It is used by the Charterer, Owner and various trading companies to create the laytime calculation.

The charterer, owner and any trading partners (the Principals) access SOFeXchange via the web front end. This lets them see the SOF. If they have elected to use the premium (paid for) access then they will be able to down load the SOF. Otherwise the free version allows them to view the SOF.

A principal, either a charterer or and owner, will create a voyage in SOFeXchange. They add ports to the voyage. They invite interested parties to contribute to the SOF. This always includes the master of the vessel, and can optionally include the agent and inspector.

In addition, trading partners, such as the consignor or receiver of the cargo, can be invited on a port by port basis. These people can have access to the full SOF but may not add or amend entries.

The people who contribute to create the SOF are able to work on it at the same time. As one enters an event it is instantly displayed to the the others. Hence, everyone has an up to date view of the SOF as it is created.

There is a password reset link on the login page. Use this to have a password reset link sent to your email address. This will invite you to create a new password for your account.
No. All account creation and management is performed by the account manager. We do not get involved.
We do understand that people move around this industry. When you leave one company you account should be disabled. Either you can do this, or the manager can. When you join your new company the manager there can invite you to use SOFeXchange.

The sort answer is anyone can. However the accounts are aimed at Charterers, Owners, Traders, Receivers and Consigners of cargo. In short, those people who will need to perform a laytime calculation to build a claim for demurrage or despatch.

However, it is possible for a Port Agent to also have an accout, especially if they wish to create the port calls themselves and do a bulk upload of the SOF events.

When you are invited to use SOFeXchange by the manager of the account your username will be created and you will receive a password reset email. This allows you to set the password. Thereafter you log in using your email address and this password.
Yes. Any manager of the account can nominate as any other users of the account as a manager. There is no limit to the number of managers.
The manager can disable that users account. The account is never deleted since it may be linked to ports, voyages and SOF downloads.
Accounts on SOFeXchange are free. Anyone can register for an account. The only caveat is that the first person in a company must sign the License Agreement when they sign up, as the sign up is for a company, not an individual. Once registered that person becomes the “manager” of the account. The Manager can add as many people in their company as they choose, and has the ability to grant them permissions to perform different activities.
We record the events in local time, so if daylight saving is in operation you simply use the wall clock time. When there is a day light saving time change, either forwards or back we will detect this and add an automated entry to inform users of this.
Our application works strictly on point in time events. So we note that the operation has stopped for some reason, “Rain Stop”. The period starts at that point , and continues until the operation resumes (“Resume Loading”).
The SOF providers (agents, master, etc.) will select events from a list of possible events. This list varies depending on the type of cargo (wet or dry), the operation (load or discharge), and the status of the port call. So you can’t select “Hatches Open” for a crude oil loading. You also can’t select “Hoses Connect” before “All Fast”
Inline with industry practice, we always record events in local time. We propose the current date and time on the event entry screen, but you can amend this.
Provided the port call has not been completed, you can amend any event in that has been entered. But changing the date and time may mean the event is reordered in the SOF. We trust you to know what you are doing.
Yes. We trust we are dealing with professionals and it is not our place to stop you doing this. But we would expect that you have a good reason for this!
If you have to enter an event that we have not covered please raise a support ticket and we will add the event. We do support a generic “Miscellaneous” event and suggest that you add some text to this to explain the event.
No. We expect that our clients already do laytime calculations and demurrage invoicing in their own systems. We do not wish to change your existing practices and we do not wish to compete with these systems.
You can download the SOF entries for import in to your system. You can request that we create a custom format for you that best suits your system. Please contact support for more information on this.
The correct answer is “sufficiently secure”. We are not dealing with personal information or trading data. The SOF is the data object we manage and this contains no more information than can be observed at the port. We do enforce password rules and will prevent you from using an insecure password. The application is protected by industry standard encryption between the user and the web server. The web server is firewalled from the application servers. The application servers are not directly accessible from the internet. The database server is again firewalled from the web servers and application servers and cannot be accessed from the internet.
No. We leave this to you to be sensible and change your password as and when needed.
We have not yet adopted single sign on. It’s on the road map but not implemented. Call support for more information.
Passwords must be at least 8 characters in length, include both upper and lower case letters, and must have either or both of a number and special character. There is no practical limit to password lengths.
Only the people and companies you have invited to participate in the voyage or port activity can see anything about your data. We will not share your information with anyone else.
Yes. There is a link on the home page to change passwords.
How long is a piece of string? It really depends on your systems and what interfaces they support. We will first assess the complexity of an integration and give you a quote for the work.
Yes it can. And port calls related to that voyage, and you can invite masters and agents. This permits zero effort use of the system from the voyage operators point of view.
Yes. However, this requires careful planning and testing on both sides. We do provide an API but access to this is available only on request. Please contact support.
This is possible but requires careful planning. Please contact support.
Yes. We do not have a complete list of all vessels from the start so we permit you to add vessels. A vessel must have a name, an IMO number, the type of cargo it carries, and the master email address.
We have master data for Countries, Ports, Commodities and Vessels. We can add add countries but for most purposes these remain static. We have a list of ports. Support can add to this quite easily. Vessels can be added and amended by users. We do not permit the deletion of any master data items.
Only the parties to your port calls and voyages will know anything about your business. We won’t share that with anyone else, and you are in control of who you invite to see and participate in this data.
We have a list of commodities, but it’s always possible for you to have a specific commodity we have not included. You can add a new commodity quite easily.
No. Master data can be marked inactive but it cannot be deleted. which will prevent it from being used in future. However we do not permit the deletion of any master data.
Only parties who are invited to edit the Statement of Facts can sign. They will see a button to sign when they open the SOF.
Yes, but these will be unsigned events.
Yes, provided no one has signed. Once one party has signed the Statement of Fact the signature is locked.
No. Signed events are locked.
Signatures are added once the SOF has been agreed. Anyone can issue a READY-TO-SIGN event. This will create requests for signatures to all parties who have been nominated to complete the statement of facts, such as the Master, the Agent etc. When this happens the events to this point will be locked and can no longer be changed or deleted. A digital signature will be added at this time.