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North Sea Port and Port of Antwerp support digitisation of inland navigation with Flemish subsidies

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North Sea Port and Port of Antwerp support digitisation of inland navigation with Flemish subsidies. Image: North Sea Port
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The Flemish government, North Sea Port and Port of Antwerp want to encourage push barge operators to invest in push barge trackers. They are doing so by reimbursing part of the cost.

Push barge owners or companies can apply for a reimbursement of up to 50% of the purchase price, up to a maximum of €200 euros, if they can demonstrate that they have called at North Sea Port or the Port of Antwerp at least three times in the three years prior to making the application. The purchase and installation of the push barge tracker must also have taken place between 1 January 2019 and 31 December 2020.

Solar or battery powered GPS tracker

The inland shipping sector is a sustainable mode of transport for cargo. Thanks to AIS (Automatic Identification System), pusher boats and inland navigation vessels are easily traceable in the port and on waterways. However, push barges often do not have their own power supplies and therefore no AIS to locate them. Thanks to the introduction of battery or solar-powered GPS trackers, port authorities, owners, operators and shipping companies will in future always know where each push barge or push barge convoy is located.

Optimisation of lock planning for inland navigation

If North Sea Port and Port of Antwerp have digital data at their disposal, they can also share them. At the moment, the composition of the convoys as notified to the port authorities is not always up to date. As a result, you lose valuable time at the locks. The trackers only provide accurate information. This contributes to more reliable lock planning.

Transparency increases safety and efficiency

Moreover, as an operator or owner, you are aware of the location of the push barge at all times and do not have to request it manually each time. That saves time and manpower. The digital history is also important for compliance with rental contracts and can serve as evidence if you receive a claim from an insurance company.

The mandatory introduction of digital notification also means that various push barge operators will soon benefit from having trackers. Tracking also improves safety in the ports, because the port authorities always know which barge or convoy is where. This allows them to intervene more quickly in the event of problems.

The push barge trackers are not yet mandatory, but North Sea Port and the Port of Antwerp are nevertheless encouraging push barge operators to invest, particularly with a view to mandatory digitisation. The Flemish Government is therefore prepared to provide financial support.

Maritime

Port of Oakland imports up 1.9 percent in June

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Port of Oakland imports up 1.9 percent in June. Image: Flickr/ Thomas Hawk
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Port of Oakland loaded import volume grew 1.9 percent last month from June 2019, according to data released today. The gain was unexpected given that shipping lines canceled 10 percent of their scheduled Oakland visits due to the trade-related impact of coronavirus.

The Port attributed the uptick in imports to retailers accelerating shipments to the U.S. in light of:

  • Cargo-carrying capacity that dwindles each month as shipping lines continue  to cancel voyages; and
  • An anticipated rise in freight rates.

Oakland’s overall container volume – which includes imports, exports and empty containers – declined 2.3 percent in June from 2019 totals. The Port handled the equivalent of 199,011 twenty-foot containers in June 2020 compared to 203,730 a year ago. The Port said the cargo decrease resulted from a coronavirus pandemic that continues to dampen global trade.

According to the Port, June export volume declined 5.7 percent. The Port said that the weakening export performance was likely due to reduced consumer demand in foreign markets caused by COVID-19 disruptions. Additionally, China instituted new restrictions on wastepaper exports from the United States which further dampened export volumes. The return of empty containers to origins in Asia decreased 14.5 percent.

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Maritime

OneOcean streamlines its voyage solutions for greater transparency and efficiency

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OneOcean streamlines its voyage solutions for greater transparency and efficiency. Image: Pexels
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OneOcean, the global leader in digital compliance and navigation services, has unveiled its latest online voyage solutions for the shipping, cruise line, and superyacht industries. Currently unrivalled in the maritime industry, the restructured solutions have been developed to help fleet owners and managers solve multiple navigation and compliance issues whilst enabling their ship and shoreside teams to communicate much more effectively.

OneOcean’s software covers all aspects of voyage optimisation, drawing on the company’s diverse range of passage planning, compliance, safety and environmental products. The unique solutions can be tailored to customer requirements. The software collates, integrates and analyses marine data in real time, providing both onshore teams and onboard crew accurate and up to date information to help them make the best decisions.

Commenting on the launch of solutions, OneOcean’s CEO, Martin Taylor, said: “We have a rigorous research and development programme, which has enabled us to create enhanced voyage solutions that break down the barriers between ship and shore to deliver more connected, transparent and efficient results for our customers. The breadth of our products is now wider and more integrated so that onboard and onshore teams can truly work as extensions of each other. This aids operational efficiencies at a wider level, across multiple areas of the business. For the first time, the maritime industry has access to compliance and navigation services that are completely tailored to their needs.”

OneOcean’s Chief Strategy Officer, Nicholas Bourque, said: “Traditionally, each of our products served specific functions. We have really focused on broadening our approach by looking at the overlapping problems that affect many operational departments but are all part of the same workflow. Our latest solutions development has focused strongly on improving the connectivity of data allowing crews and teams to access identical information. This offers organisations greater transparency and efficiency.”

To coincide with the announcement of their new voyage solutions, OneOcean has launched a new website showcasing the solutions and highlighting the new direction that the company is taking as part of its recent merger.

Mapped into four core areas – Passage Planning, Compliance, Safety and Environmental – OneOcean’s redesigned website has a fresher look and a more fluid, user-friendly interface, which will enable new and existing customers to easily browse through the breadth of integrated solutions available via the company’s world leading OneOcean platform.

OneOcean solutions solve multiple issues and integrate with existing monitoring and management systems, supplying both onshore and onboard teams with the crucial real-time information they need, when they need it.

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Maritime

DNV GL launch support for new Dynamic Positioning system failure guideline enabling quicker and cost effective implementation

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DNV GL launch support for new Dynamic Positioning system failure guideline enabling quicker and cost effective implementation. Image: DNV GL
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OCIMF, a global voluntary association, providing expertise in the safe and environmentally responsible transport and handling of hydrocarbons, has released an information paper on assurance of dynamic positioning system failure mode and effects analysis. This seeks to improve the process of identifying all possible consequences and failures of DP systems. Entitled ‘Dynamic Positioning Failure Mode and Effects Analysis Assurance Framework, Risk-based Guidance’, it is a long-awaited resource for DP vessel owners.

In 2002 following a series of DP incidents in the UK sector of the North Sea, industry concerns were raised about the safety and reliability of DP vessels. Following a comprehensive review by the UK Health and Safety Executive, it was apparent that guidance was not being implemented or adhered to consistently across the supply chain. The paper aims to improve the assurance of DP FMEA quality by setting out how relevant information should be presented, in a prescribed format.

DNV GL’s Noble Denton marine services worked with a large group of industry stakeholders including, classification societies, vessel owners and DP industry bodies to develop the guidance.

Faisal Rashid, Technical Advisor at OCIMF, says ‘I would like to acknowledge all involved for your efforts, participation and leadership in delivering the OCIMF DP FMEA Assurance information paper. We treasure your contributions and time with us. It has been a solid team effort with positive collaboration across the industry. This information paper on the assurance requirements for FMEAs was a broad industry collaboration and will improve safety in the industry and serve as a means to align the spectrum of diverse stakeholders.’

Steven Cargill, Technical Authority for Dynamic Positioning, DNV GL – Oil & Gas said: “Unlike previous attempts to improve DP FMEA standards, the OCIMF information paper is not intended to provide guidance on the execution of DP system FMEAs. There is already a significant amount of guidance on this already available from recognized bodies. The difference is that the new guidelines seek to gain improvement by providing a detailed set of technical requirements on the presentation of key elements of the DP system for the purposes of vessel audit.”

OCIMF members choosing to implement the information paper will seek to gain compliance with its requirements whilst delivering DP vessel services.

It is anticipated that the task of preparing and submitting the document to OCIMF will not prove to be onerous for vessel owners who already have a DP system FMEA aligned with industry best practice. In some instances, external assistance may be required to meet the requirements and DNV GL can assist those having difficulty following the technical requirements. Using DNV GL’s DP experts will ensure vessel operators a quicker and therefore more cost efficient route to assurance and reduce their company’s risks.

Hari Vamadevan, Regional Manager, UK and West Africa, Oil & Gas says: “Supporting our customers in order to meet industry standards in a transparent and auditable manner is vital for all stakeholders. Having confidence in vessel station keeping capability and reliability during critical offshore operations, can significantly reduce risk.”

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