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Edition 28

Edition 28 looks at biometric identification; battling congestion and increasing capacity in North American and European ports; and looks in-depth at the innovations being made in the complete range of crane components.

Papers in this edition:

Cementitious coatings to combat ALWC

Unheard of in the UK until around 15 years ago, the phenomenon of concentrated corrosion on marine sheet piles known as Accelerated Low Water Corrosion (ALWC) is posing port executives and facilities managers with unexpected engineering and financial challenges.

Choosing the right fence for different areas of a port environment

Whether you’re purchasing a general purpose fence or a high security system, investment in a new perimeter is of the highest importance. It is vital that you protect your investment with a methodical approach to design and planning and by carefully assessing the alternative fencing options available. As part of this selection process, due consideration must be given to the quality of materials and workmanship that you are paying for. A poorly manufactured fence might look good for a short period of time, but is likely to fail or deteriorate thereafter. In this article we look at some of the key considerations to bear in mind. A fence is often described as the first line of defence. However the level of protection offered will depend on a number of variables, including the size and layout of the area that needs protecting, the height required, the construction, material used and any other security extras which may need to be added on to the perimeter.

The costs of improvement: Harbour construction with minimum side-effects

Since the beginning of dawn, intelligent life has evolved along the waterways of the globe. Man eventually used his experience from nature’s harbours to create his own. In the beginning of this 3rd millennium, the ever extensive use of existing, man-made harbours has put forward the issue of special demands concerning the subject of harbour extension. Any professional harbour authority or owner, of course, constantly evaluates the requirements put on his Harbour. These range from a mere rise in numbers or tonnage, through decisions to expand existing activities, and furthermore, the needs to offer new services. Frequently, long term strategies lay the foundation for projects which are not quite in tune with the harbour of today.

The Marine Electronic Highway: A new concept for an old problem

Despite a long gestation, at the end of this year, if all goes well, the very first Marine Electronic Highway (MEH) trial will launch. It will cover the Singapore and Malacca Straits and heralds a new future for vessel traffic management in congested waters. It builds on experience gained in port and harbour management together with offshore schemes such as the Channel Navigation Information Service at Dover. It is a large project coming with an initial tab close to US$16 million adding crucial links to millions spent earlier on infrastructure. In maritime terms this is a project with a difference as it covers straits used for international navigation where freedom of navigation is enshrined in treaties such as UNCLOS (Law of the Sea Convention).

Open Cell™ Bulkhead: An economical port expansion solution

Port expansion necessitates ever-deeper water to meet the increasing vessel sizes dictated by economics. The industry has met this challenge by introducing new and better materials along with improved construction and fabrication methods.

Container crane driving simulator commissioned at Port of Göteborg

Port of Göteborg, operator of the leading container port in Scandinavia, is using a container crane simulator for crane operator education. The Port is also helping the provider of the simulator, ABB Crane Systems, to develop the simulator further. The crane simulator at Port of Göteborg is being used for training future Göteborg container crane operators, but that is not all. It is also being used to offer education and training to future container crane drivers in other Swedish ports. In addition, the education of instructors will be offered on an international level as well. The simulator at Göteborg is run by Port of Göteborg in partnership with the Swedish Academy of Harbour Logistics, a national education body for stevedoring and other port work.

Marconi and the need for standards

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of Guglielmo Marconi’s historic transmission of a radio signal from Poldhu in Cornwall England to a receiver at Signal Hill, St. John’s in Newfoundland, Canada, the Marconi company asked a team of its radio experts to duplicate the feat. These radio experts determined that it was not possible to duplicate the December 12, 1901 transmission using a replica of Marconi’s equipment. The extensive use of the radio spectrum today creates so much ‘noise’ that the signal would simply have been lost in the ‘clutter.’

Trends and challenges in RFID implementation

One of the key early market drivers for RFID adoption has been mandates from the likes of retailing giant Wal-Mart and the United States Department of Defense. Wal-Mart announced in 2003 that it would require its top 100 suppliers to become RFID compliant – by tagging at the case and pallet level – by January 1, 2005. Other major retailers soon followed Wal-Mart’s lead. The US Department of Defense required its 43,000 suppliers to put passive tags on cases, pallets and items costing $5,000 or more. An estimated 45 million items are covered by this mandate.

Interfacing process control and equipment control

As in any automated operation, the process control system or Terminal Operating System (TOS) is fundamental to both efficiency, and in an automatic terminal, its interaction with the equipment control system.

Fathoms’ clears the way for the world’s largest ocean liner

On June 19, the cruise liner Queen Mary II visited the Scottish Highlands, berthing at Invergordon on the Cromarty Firth. The week running up to the arrival of the QM2 was a time of excited anticipation by the townsfolk and fevered activity by the port authority. At 345m long, towering 60m above the waves and drawing 10m of water, the QM2 is the largest liner ever to sail the seas.

Integrated VTS for port, waterway, coastal and maritime security

services are needed to fulfil the continually increasing security standards. Barco Traffic Management focuses on integrating traffic management and rescue coordination services supporting a Common-Operational-Picture visualisation for ports, waterways, coastal and maritime security. The nature of maritime crisis management means that different agencies, like the coastguard, search and rescue, anti-terrorist units, emergency response services, security companies, ship owners and harbour organisations, are dispersed in virtual organisations.

Green Award sets the highest standards for safe and environmentally friendly shipping operations

By rewarding high safety and environmental standards in shipping, the Green Award makes above standard ship operation economically more attractive. The Green Award certification scheme is open to crude oil and product tankers and dry bulk carriers from 20,000 DWT and upwards. From 1994 onwards, certificate holders of a Green Award certified vessel have received a premium equal to 6% of the charged port fee from the Port of Rotterdam for each call. Shortly thereafter the Port of Sullom Voe followed this example. Today over 48 ports grant an incentive to Green Award certified vessels. These ports can be found in Belgium, South Africa, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Apart from port incentives, several maritime service providers, such as the Dutch Pilot organisation or European port reception facilities, are granting an incentive as well.

International initiatives on the safe handling of cargo

There are two United Nations Agencies dealing with cargo handling matters at an international level in relation to the transport of cargoes by sea: The International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO). The former, which was established in 1919, is concerned with issues of development and promotion of minimum international labour standards and is based in Geneva, whilst the latter, which was established in 1948, deals with all maritime matters, other than the employment of seamen and is based in London.

The emerging world of vessel tracking

For ages, the allure of going to sea, has been the ability to cast off all lines, escape all ties with civilisation and sail the oceans blue. Similarly, years ago aviators flew the skies free as a bird. Regrettably, those carefree days are behind us! The high stakes of an aviation or maritime incident, and the demand for greater efficiencies in our transportation systems, have led to the evolution of tracking technologies, which to date, have been slow in coming for the maritime community. The aviation community has had a comprehensive aircraft tracking and control system in place for years through the use of radars and aircraft transponders. The maritime community is now finally moving in the same direction through the use of new satellite and line of site VHF communication technologies that are providing worldwide vessel tracking.

Simulation arrives at the Port of Felixstowe

In December 2004, the Port of Felixstowe chose to work in partnership with Drilling Systems (UK) Ltd to develop a stateof- the-art crane simulator, to be used in training employees effectively and safely. To the casual observer, this may look an odd selection – Drilling Systems had never developed a dockside terminal simulator, and there were competing products already in the marketplace – so why did the Port of Felixstowe select Drilling Systems?

Alfapass: A project for facilitating identification and access of visitors of Port Facilities

The implementation of the International Ship and Port Facility (ISPS) Code as of July 1st 2004 has changed things greatly as far as access to port facilities is concerned. The ISPS Code is a ‘code of conduct’ between a number of parties involved in maritime transport with the aim to improve safety of such transport. An important party involved is the ‘Port Facility’ generally known as a ‘terminal’ of some kind.

Safe mooring and jetty management at oil/gas marine terminals

In oil and gas terminals the use of quick release hooks to moor vessels during cargo handling is recommended by the Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF), as they form the basis of a safe mooring system. In addition to the hooks, the instrumentation to monitor and control the speed of approach of a vessel during berthing (especially during contact with the jetty), the drift-off of the vessel whilst moored during cargo transfer, the tensions in the mooring lines, the status of each hook, and the meteorological and oceanographic conditions, can all be incorporated to provide a fully integrated safe mooring and monitoring system.

SP001 Standard for Inspection of Aboveground Storage Tanks

In 1973, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) first promulgated the Federal Clean Water Act as 40 CFR 112. The Clean Water Act requires that facilities covered under the USEPA’s SPCC regulations develop and submit a “Spill Prevention, Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) Plan” that is certified by a professional engineer. The purpose of this regulatio is to prevent the discharge of oil into the United States navigable waters. Because the SPCC Rule includes facilities which may discharge oil into groundwater or storm run-off which in turn may flow into navigable waters, nearly all facilities that store or use oil products are affected.

Offshore storage and transhipment

The development of existing port infrastructures have often been unable to keep pace with the need for increased shipment sizes, the necessity for faster and more efficient cargo handling operations, or with the growth in demand of raw materials worldwide. Port improvements are being implemented and a number of port projects, especially in China will be completed in the next two years. The Indian market, which is traditionally dominated by geared tonnage, is slowly gaining ground in the port infrastructure sector as well. What may happen is that ports at the receiving end may have been sized up to something which the sourcing port cannot satisfy with par efficiency or size, simply because the equivalent infrastructure is not there. The time is now ripe for shippers and receivers to look at modern floating systems as cost-effective alternatives to the construction of shore based facilities.


A wide range of digital geospatial technologies have long been used in the planning and management of ports, terminals and coastal zones. These technologies are becoming increasingly important as their capabilities increase, as their cost goes down, and as they become integrated via the World Wide Web. Their importance also increases with demands for safer, more efficient ports and terminals and for sustainable development along the world’s coasts. Interoperability among geospatial technologies and among different technology providers’ products has become a key requirement. In almost any geographic region, and especially in heavily populated regions, people working in different sectors, disciplines, agencies, jurisdictions, and professions have a need for efficient sharing and integration of diverse kinds of information about their region.

Building blocks for a capacity boom

The Port of Vancouver is Canada’s largest and most diversified port, trading more than $43 billion in goods with more than 90 trading economies. Located on the west coast of North America, the Port of Vancouver is experiencing significant growth in overall trade volumes, particularly in its container sector. Increased container volumes on the west coast of North America are attributed to a significant demand for consumer goods and increased trade with Asia-Pacific. Market studies indicate that container traffic on the west coast of North America will double in the next ten years and triple in the next 20 years. At the Port of Vancouver, container throughput rose from 495,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) in 1995 to 1.7 million TEUs in 2004, representing an average annual growth rate of 14 per cent.

Safety is no accident at PD Teesport

North East based, PD Teesport, the UK’s 2nd largest port in terms of annual tonnage handled, has successfully completed the first stage of a massive health and safety training initiative. In fact, the training scheme was the largest of its kind in the North East region. The wide rang ing initiative involved more than 440 PD Teesport employees and was based at the port’s purpose built training facility.

Tipping point: The price of a cubic metre of sand

The race to the top to be the biggest, best, most efficient, high tech world port is on. From Rotterdam to Los Angeles/Long Beach to the Far East, world class ports are adding container terminals and berths, lengthening their quays, and deepening their access channels. This year, for instance, Shanghai will overtake Singapore as the largest port in the world, at least based on freight volume. In 2005 Shanghai’s freight volume will most likely surpass 450 million tonnes – just another confirmation of the growin importance of China as a manufacturing and trading nation. Shanghai, however, has a problem, not unlike the problem that threatened to limit the competitiveness of New York harbour: It has a shallow entrance. Currently the approach channel at the mouth of the Yangtze River is only 8.5 metres. The larger container ships need a channel of at least 12.5 metre deep.

Maritime security: Implementation of the ISPS Code

Building the defences against any threat to maritime security is essential in order to achieve safe, secure and efficient shipping on clean oceans, the prime objectives of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations regulatory body responsible for the safety and security of life at sea and environmental protection. Following the terrorist acts of 11 September 2001 in the United States, the Organization developed new international regulations for mar itime secur ity, which were adopted in December 2002 and entered into force on 1 July 2004.

Applications solicited for leading ports

All over the world, ports manage large and small operations that directly impact the environment, human health and safety of millions of citizens in the communities which they operate. Economic pressures of a competitive marketplace, increasing federal regulations and potential vulnerability to security breaches combine to create additional, multifaceted challenges for port operators and managers. But even as ports across the nation grapple with these hurdles, they remain conscious of lessening their environmental impacts and protecting their local communities. Due to their complex, multi-modal structure, ports are well-positioned as test beds of innovation.

Revolutionary new drive concept

Reductions in emissions, noise and operating costs are becoming increasingly more important in the ports and shipping industry. The nature of the business calls for high power demands, so potential savings are high as well. Rising oil prices and environmental concerns have triggered a huge demand for more economically sound and environmentally friendly container handling equipment. Siemens Cranes and APM Terminals have jointly developed a revolutionary Rubber Tired Gantry Cranes (RTG) drive system. This ECO-RTG® system is very energy-efficient and promises terminal operators large reductions in fuel consumption and hence reduction in emissions and operational costs.

Liquefied Gas transportation and terminals

Loss of confidence in the industry in one part of the world will undermine confidence elsewhere and threaten the reputation of the industry as a whole. These words open the SIGTTO Profile and are as pertinent today as they were 10 or even 26 years ago when the Society was formed. SIGTTO was established in 1979 as a non profit making company, registered in Bermuda and granted observer status at IMO in 1982. SIGTTO membership operates nearly 95% of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) tonnage and terminals and almost 60% of the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tonnage and terminals.

Lighting for security

Mr. Michael Schuler, Supervisory Special Agent for the FBI based in Washington, DC assigned to the Major Theft Unit gave some very disturbing figures pertaining to cargo theft worldwide at a recent American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS) Convention. He stated that cargo theft worldwide exceeds US$30-50 billion in losses annually. Mr. Schuler feels this number is greatly understated because many cargo crimes go unreported. The good news for ports and terminals may be that the vast majority of cargo losses occur outside of the seaport.

Beating congestion by building capacity

When the first super post-panamax vessels entered the world trade lanes in the late 90’s, a lot of speculation started on how this would eventually shape the industry. A new round of economies of scale improvements began. This generated a lot of discussion on what the ceiling in vessel size would be. From an engineering point of view, the propulsion was the main restriction, while economists raised the point that economies of scale gained in one part of the system would be offset by diseconomies in another part. Since early 2004, the latter has become more evident. Present terminal capacity in some parts of the world proved not to be sufficient to deal with the large volumes of cargo originating from Asia. Large scale investments in so called “greenfield” terminal projects were delayed due to extensive consultation processes dealing with environmental and social economic issues.

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