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Wärtsilä simulator upgrade will enhance Le Havre pilot operations



Wärtsilä simulator upgrade will enhance Le Havre pilot operations. Image: Wartsila
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The technology group Wärtsilä will supply a complete navigational simulator upgrade for the Le Havre pilot station in France. The intention is to provide the pilot station with a totally new simulator specifically adapted to the requirements of the pilots’ operations. The order with Wärtsilä was placed in February 2020.

The new unique visualisation system to be supplied is based on 14 DP projectors, comprising seven main circular and seven ground projection systems. It features a panoramic 350-degree screen. The station’s existing Wärtsilä simulator was installed in 2004, and the new upgrade is required to address current and anticipated requirements.

“We have worked with Wärtsilä for a number of years already, and we are familiar with their experience and expertise in simulation technology. The new system will be of great benefit to us in training the pilots, and will complement the practical training they acquire at sea,” says Pavel Pereira, President of the pilot Station.

“Le Havre is a busy port and safety is a prime consideration. For this reason we have been contracted to deliver a totally new, state-of-the-art navigational simulator that will enhance and ease pilot operations,” says Eric Letrou, Area Sales Manager, Wärtsilä Voyage.

The simulator enables users to study the reaction of a vessel in operational situations. It assists trainees in perfecting manoeuvres under challenging sea and weather conditions, and in emergency situations, taking into account currents and winds as well as pitch and bank effects. Furthermore, it will enable the validation of future port planning. Wärtsilä’s navigational simulators are in full compliance with international standards and regulations.

The Le Havre pilot station has existed since the 16th century. 47 pilots currently operate from the station, 24 hours a day, all year round, and in practically all weather conditions. The station serves the port of Le Havre, the Antifer oil terminal, and the port of Fécamp.

Wärtsilä Voyage radically transforms how vessels perform their voyage by leveraging the latest digital technologies, to deliver a step-change in safety, efficiency, reliability and emissions.

Container Terminal

Tropical Shipping implements Octopi by Navis at its St. Thomas location 




Tropical Shipping implements Octopi by Navis at its St. Thomas location. Image: Navis
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Octopi, part of  Navis and Cargotec Corporation, the provider of operational technologies and services that unlock greater performance and efficiency for leading organizations throughout the global shipping industry, announced it has successfully gone live at Tropical Shipping’s St. Thomas site.

Due to the successful implementation, Tropical Shipping is now evaluating options to implement Octopi’s cloud-based TOS across their portfolio of terminals throughout the Caribbean.

Located in the Virgin Islands, Tropical St. Thomas enables direct access to ports in the US, Canada and the Virgin Islands and operates at 97,000 TEU annually. To combat operational challenges they were experiencing, Tropical St. Thomas implemented Octopi’s nimble TOS SaaS, to modernize its terminal and give its stakeholders visibility and access to real-time information across its operations, without having to make any additional investments in IT support.

Due to restrictions in place from COVID-19, the go-live was successfully completed via remote assistance and because of Octopi’s cloud-based platform with built in KPI dashboard, the project team was able to get live updates and be trained quickly on the TOS, despite not being able to be present on-site.

“To give St. Thomas the tools it needed to modernize, we decided to invest in a TOS that would be flexible for a terminal of that size while still offering the functionality of an enterprise-level system for enhanced operations,” said Mark Chapman, Vice President of Business Operations at Tropical Shipping. “With the recent pandemic, there’s no way we could have deployed a new TOS at this location without Octopi’s user-friendly and convenient platform to guide and connect our employees at nearly every level. By upgrading our operating system we are now prepared for the future and the next wave of increased volume at our terminal.”

The implementation of Octopi at Tropical St. Thomas has positively impacted customer service and has made employees more efficient to better perform critical tasks. Gate and vessel operations are now more productive and the “equipment control” team has saved an average of 6-8 hours a week with Octopi due to less repetitive communication and data verification, in addition to the introduction of EDI.

“Visibility and access to on-site information and operations is crucial to streamlining workflow and increasing performance and accuracy at terminals. Tropical St. Thomas is a great example of putting Octopi’s system into action in a time when it is especially critical for transparency among teams,” said Martin Bardi, VP Global Sales, Octopi. “We are proud to offer our customers a solution that can be deployed from anywhere and immediately be implemented to help them navigate their business and provide full visibility to all stakeholders involved.”

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Port of Rotterdam Authority decides to hold RFT for transport service along Container Exchange Route



Port of Rotterdam Authority decides to hold RFT for transport service along Container Exchange Route. Image: Port of Rotterdam
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The Port of Rotterdam Authority will be publishing a request for tenders among sector parties for the provision of a new transport service that enables container terminal operators at Maasvlakte to exchange containers via an dedicated road.

This dedicated road, commonly known as the Container Exchange Route (CER), was especially constructed for this purpose. The European tender announcement concerns both the supply of hybrid transport vehicles and the actual transport of the containers (Transport As A Service). In this hybrid format, the vehicle can run both completely autonomously and operated by a human driver.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority decided on this solution in view of the contribution hybrid autonomous transport can make to optimising efficiency of container exchanges between terminals, while simultaneously offering operators freedom of choice when it comes to timing on how containers are transported on their terminal. The Port of Rotterdam Authority intends to appoint its subsidiary PortShuttle as operator of the CER. In effect, this means that PortShuttle will be responsible for planning transport runs, administration and invoicing.

Hybrid setup for CER transport

The transport vehicles will operate completely autonomously between the different connected terminals on Maasvlakte. From the moment a vehicle leaves the CER proper and enters the terminal site, it can either continue its route steered by a human driver or on an autonomous basis. This is up to the individual operators, and may differ from company to company – depending among other things on how the terminal grounds and facilities are laid out.

Tender process

Following the publication of the request for tenders on the TenderNed website, sector parties are invited to contact the Port of Rotterdam Authority to indicate their interest and submit their tender for review. Provided one or more of the submitted proposals offer attractive terms, the Port Authority intends to select a winning bid from these tenders – with this selection being either provisional or final – in the first quarter of 2021.

CER planning

According to planning, construction on the CER will be rounded off in the first quarter of 2021. After a period of testing, the commercial operationalisation of the new road can start at the end of the fourth quarter of 2021.

Why did the port of Rotterdam decide to realise the CER?

With a recorded throughput of over 14.8 million TEU in 2019. Rotterdam ranks as Europe’s largest container port. In order to handle such massive volumes swiftly and efficiently, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has commissioned the realisation of a dedicated road connection for the terminals at Maasvlakte. The Container Exchange Route (CER) is an internal 17-km track
that can be used for the efficient transport of containers between different locations. The CER enables rail operators, inland shipping companies and feeder operators to optimise their terminal calls.

Once the CER has been taken into operation on a commercial basis – most likely in the fourth quarter of 2021 – the participating container terminals, empty depots, the National Inspectorate Terminal, distribution centres and other users will be able to use the vehicles that run along this route to exchange containers with other parties. This exchange will be both swifter and less expensive than existing arrangements and will significantly reduce congestion in the areas around the terminals.

Moreover, the CER can help to simplify administrative procedures – when it comes to customs paperwork, for example. This will improve the overall provision of container-related services in ‘container hub’ Rotterdam. The result? Greater flexibility, improved connectivity, reduced congestion risks, shorter port stays and lower costs.

In short: the Container Exchange Route can be expected to further improve the port of Rotterdam’s accessibility and competitive position. A smoothly functioning CER, combined with a more competitive transport rate, will raise efficiency in container handling, which in turn will result in higher throughput volumes for the port of Rotterdam – and more employment at the terminals.

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First contract for subsea innovation from Kongsberg 



First contract for subsea innovation from Kongsberg. Image: Kongsberg
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Kongsberg Maritime has signed its first contract for a state-of-the-art ROV launch & recovery system (LARS), specifically designed to handle remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) from unmanned vessels.

The contract has been signed with Ocean Infinity, who will install the system on their Armada fleet of cutting-edge robotic ships.

KONGSBERG’s LARS is an essential component in a system designed to ensure that no people are required at sea while carrying out subsea operations. This innovation enables the deployment of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) by teams based onshore.

The system uses a pure electric drive system, making it more environmentally sustainable and significantly reducing the need for maintenance. Launch & recovery will happen through the moon pool, with the release and capture of the ROV occurring beneath the sea surface. This eliminates the possibility of damage to the ROV from impact with the vessel hull. Another benefit is that launching and recovery can be carried out in higher sea states.


“The new LARS solution is developed in close collaboration with the Ocean Infinity team. It benefits from a unique combination of our advanced subsea technologies, reinforced with years of accumulated offshore expertise,”says Lisa Edvardsen Haugan, Executive Vice President, Deck Machinery & Motion Control, Kongsberg Maritime.

“We believe this will be a game changer,” she continues. “The safety of ROV operations will be dramatically increased through the use of this system. We expect to see more companies transition to using unmanned vessels to reduce operational costs and increase safety.”


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