Port waterways, which are the routes for ships entering and leaving a port, have become one of the bottlenecks restricting port development. A common question for decisionmakers is whether to build a new waterway or expand an existing one-way waterway to a two-way traffic waterway. Due to the complexity and randomness of port systems, numerical methods sometimes fail to obtain solutions to waterway problems. Simulation technology has been generally applied in port waterway management because of the advantages of dealing with such complex systems. Considering the high cost of construction and dredging for waterways, decision-makers will be more confident in their decisions when the entire process of ships’ entering and leaving a port through waterway can be simulated. Our research team at Dalian University of Technology has developed a Port Waterway Simulation Model (PWSM) to simulate the whole process of ships transiting the waterway and handling at berth.
As a result of increasing pressure to improve supply chain predictability, uncertain containership berthing times in ports is one of the main challenges the industry is facing today. Innovative ways of providing visibility and transparency to port operations, along with the various initiatives from port authorities and other governmental entities, are accelerating the process towards new ways of doing things in the berth management field. So let’s start with who’s who in the berth management game. Although there are different models, we will focus on those ports with one or more container terminals, where the terminal is the entity dealing with the different ocean carriers to assign priorities and allocate the berth position on a day-to-day basis. This happens regardless of whether the port authority eventually controls the standard berthing windows or approves individual berth positions, which is more of a formality than an operational acting role. This scenario is also applicable to the port authority that owns and controls the terminal, but where the internal roles are somehow separate.
offer a unique view of our oceans, seas and coasts. Satellites, and their on-board sensors, on the one hand provide a routine, cost-effective, wide area surveillance covering all maritime zones. On the other hand they can hone in on precisely-targeted locations for monitoring specific operations to gather information, e.g. in response to emergencies. In the ports world, satellites can be used to gather in-detail geographic and bathymetric information during the in-planning phase of offshore construction. They might also be used by the port at regular intervals, for example, for monitoring port operation or in order to optimize ship navigation. Potentially, they can obtain a detailed and timely view of an area in order to identify hazards to marine traffic, like floating containers. Satellite-based services also have great potential to support the maritime and marine communities beyond ports.
The Sea Traffic Management Validati on (STM) project will contribute to a safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly mariti me sector by developing services based on informati on shared by mariti me stakeholders which is updated in real time. The STM concept is a shared informati on environment with the underlying rati onale that bett er overall decisions can be taken which will in turn result in increased effi ciency and improved safety. The STM led by the Swedish Mariti me Administration, has a total budget of approximately US$50.5 million, of which is 50% co-financed by the EU transport fund Connecti ng Europe Facility/Motorways of the Sea and covers the period 2015-2018. More than 50 partners from 13 countries are involved in the project. The project will demonstrate the STM concept by using it in two large-scale test beds: one in the Nordic and one in the Mediterranean Seas. The test beds encompass around 300 vessels, 13 ports and fi ve shore-based service centres.
PortMaps is the Port of Rotterdam’s GISbased system for sharing port-related information. The home page of this system displays itself as a map of Rotterdam and all port data can be accessed from here. We believe that a spatial approach like this – à la Google – is definitely the way forward.
Ports must continually invest in infrastructure and efficient equipment to remain competitive. The largest ports in particular have made substantial upgrades to serve mega-vessels, for example triple-e vessels carrying more than 18,000 TEUs. Port container terminals have been transformed into mega-terminals capable of handling more than 3.5 million TEUs per year.
Only 36% of ports and terminals claim to have seen increased pressure from shipping lines in terms of the importance placed on automation and digitisation. However, the survey results certainly suggest that shipping lines do value new technologies: half of the vessel stakeholders surveyed feel ports and terminals are immature in adopting Smart technologies.
Vessel sizes have increased exponentially due in part to the new Panama Canal. But even before it opened, the pressure was there for larger ships. In the 70s, we saw larger tankers, VLCCs and ULCCs appeared at our sea buoys.
Transas is a developer and supplier of a wide range of IT solutions for the marine industry. Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) are intended to provide enhanced safety of navigation and increase the efficiency of port operations. Modern VTS possess highly accurate and reliable information about all operations within the port and approaches to the port.
Global engineering group Cavotec recently completed a series of at sea demonstrations (ASDs) of the innovative US Navy Advanced Mooring System (AMS) for novel ship-to-ship mooring applications. Following successful Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) at Cavotec USA in North Carolina, and System Integration Testing (SIT) at project partner Oceaneering’s facility in Maryland, the ASDs were conducted at US Naval Base Coronado in California
Shipping, it goes without saying, is a critical industry within the rapidly evolving global economy and one that will be impacted hugely by the evolution of technology. Whilst the shipping industry is a notoriously conservative one, it is not immune to the advances of technology and we cannot avoid embracing it. If current industry players don’t, others will, and we could risk losing our relevance and be replaced. At the same time, shipping itself is already evolving in other ways
In September 2015, Frank Coles joined the maritime technology company Transas as its new CEO. Frank Coles started his career almost 40 years ago when he first went to sea as a merchant navy deck officer. After 12 years of sailing throughout the world, he left the sea and gained an LLM in Legal Aspects of Maritime Affairs and practiced maritine law for 5 years. In more recent years, his roles at Globe Wireless and Inmarsat have seen him at the forefront of the technology revolution in maritime