The Secret Language of Ships

Source: The Secret Language of Ships

Approaching the container ship in San Francisco Bay, the tugboat looks like a pit bull puppy chasing an eighteen-wheeler. When the vessels are an arm’s length apart, the ship’s mate throws down a line. Now leashed to the ship, the tug can push and pull it around the bay. Big ships can’t easily slow down or maneuver by themselves—they’re meant for going in a straight line.

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Lawsuit seeks breakup of Galveston Co. ship pilots ‘monopoly’

Source: Lawsuit seeks breakup of Galveston Co. ship pilots ‘monopoly’

Attorney Justin Renshaw stood before a judge and called the Galveston-Texas City Pilots a cartel, seeking to make as much money as possible and exclude other mariners from the esteemed and lucrative task of guiding vessels into the local ports.

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Unmanned ships, from fantasy to reality / ANALYSIS

Source: Unmanned ships, from fantasy to reality / ANALYSIS

Genoa – The design, construction and operation of autonomous ships is an ambitious step forward in shipping. Even if it will take some time to come true, it seems not so far away the time when traditional and autonomous ships will coexist. Digitalization and automation are bringing radical changes in the maritime sector, with significant impact on the business model and the role of the human element, bearing in mind continuous effort for improving safety and efficiency, facilitating maintenance and shore-based support.

Highly automated and increasingly software controlled ships, combined with the enhancement of maritime communication and connectivity, pave the way to smart ships at different levels of autonomy, from partially automated systems that assist the crew to fully autonomous systems that are able to undertake ships’ operations without any human intervention.

Whilst many research projects and prototypes are currently ongoing – several challenges are to be faced in order to develop a clear regulatory framework for such ships, dealing also with their co-existence with conventional manned ships. These aspects are under consideration in international regulatory fora.

In fact – following the submission of many Member States (i.e. Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea, UK and US) – the IMO Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in June 2017 agreed to start an exercise with the aim of identifying:

– IMO regulations that, as currently drafted, preclude unmanned operations;

– IMO regulations that would have no application for unmanned ships (as they purely relate to the human presence on board); and

– IMO regulations which do not preclude unmanned operations but need to be amended in order to ensure that they are carried out safely, securely and in an environmentally sound manner.

The target completion date for such scoping exercise is 2020 and further discussion is expected to take place at MSC 99 in May 2018.

IACS is committed to participate in the IMO work and – taking into account the inevitable involvement of IACS Members in future autonomous ships’ classification and statutory certification – decided to:

– review all IACS Resolutions currently in force to identify possible aspects that may hinder the development of fully autonomous cargo ships (i.e. self-navigating ships without human influence either by crew or remote control). The choice of cargo ships is given by the consideration that fully autonomous passenger ships are not likely to come reality in the near future;

– as a pilot project, select a few IACS Resolutions covering traditional classification areas (e.g. hull, machinery, survey) and make the necessary modifications for their application to fully autonomous cargo ships;

– commit not to introduce new hinders for fully autonomous cargo ships when new IACS Resolutions are drafted in the future.

RINA is actively participating in such a big revolution in shipping, aiming at contributing to the international regulatory work and debate and welcoming any comments and suggestions from ship designers, builders and operators.

Kotug takes control of Australian joint venture

Source: Kotug takes control of Australian joint venture

Kotug Australia and Teekay Shipping Australia Pty Ltd have concluded a deal to re-shape KT Maritime Services Australia Pty Ltd from a 50/50 joint venture to a full subsidiary of Kotug group.

After several years of working with Kotug to establish the business, Teekay has decided to exit KT Maritime to focus on its core Australian ship management, crewing and consultancy businesses.

By acquiring Teekay’s stake, Kotug aims to optimise its existing operations and to provide room for significant growth. Both companies will work together during a transition period to restructure the new company set-up.

The transaction has been unanimously approved by the boards of both parent companies and was executed in the first week of April 2018. The transition is scheduled to be finalised on 1 July 2018.

KT Maritime was incorporated in 2012 allowing its parent companies to combine expert industry know-how and operational best practice in the Australian towage market.

It provides all towage operations for Shell’s Prelude floating liquefied natural gas unit as well as towage assistance at ConocoPhillips’ Bayu Undan floating storage and offloading unit, for which it employs four specialised infield support vessels, all owned by the Kotug group.

Massterly aims to be the first full-service autonomous marine shipping company

Source: Massterly aims to be the first full-service autonomous marine shipping company

Logistics may not be the most exciting application of autonomous vehicles, but it’s definitely one of the most important. And the marine shipping industry — one of the oldest industries in the world, you can imagine — is ready for it. Or at least two major Norwegian shipping companies are: they’re building an autonomous shipping venture called Massterly from the ground up.

“Massterly” isn’t just a pun on mass; “Maritime Autonomous Surface Ship” is the term Wilhelmson and Kongsberg coined to describe the self-captaining boats that will ply the seas of tomorrow.

These companies, with “a combined 360 years of experience” as their video put it, are trying to get the jump on the next phase of shipping, starting with creating the world’s first fully electric and autonomous container ship, the Yara Birkeland. It’s a modest vessel by shipping terms — 250 feet long and capable of carrying 120 containers according to the concept — but will be capable of loading, navigating and unloading without a crew

(One assumes there will be some people on board or nearby to intervene if anything goes wrong, of course. Why else would there be railings up front?)

Each has major radar and lidar units, visible light and IR cameras, satellite connectivity and so on.

Control centers will be on land, where the ships will be administered much like air traffic, and ships can be taken over for manual intervention if necessary.

At first there will be limited trials, naturally: the Yara Birkeland will stay within 12 nautical miles of the Norwegian coast, shuttling between Larvik, Brevik and Herøya. It’ll only be going 6 knots — so don’t expect it to make any overnight deliveries.

“As a world-leading maritime nation, Norway has taken a position at the forefront in developing autonomous ships,” said Wilhelmson group CEO Thomas Wilhelmson in a press release. “We take the next step on this journey by establishing infrastructure and services to design and operate vessels, as well as advanced logistics solutions associated with maritime autonomous operations. Massterly will reduce costs at all levels and be applicable to all companies that have a transport need.”

The Yara Birkeland is expected to be seaworthy by 2020, though Massterly should be operating as a company by the end of the year.

Crew of Argentine San Juan Submarine ‘Endured Hours of Agony’

Source: Crew of Argentine San Juan Submarine ‘Endured Hours of Agony’

The crew of Argentina‘s lost ARA San Juan submarine endured an excruciating two hours battling fires aboard the stricken vessel before it imploded at depth and sank, an official investigation has revealed.

On November 15 last year, fire broke out in the battery tank located in the San Juan’s bow. Water had entered through the sub’s snorkel, triggering what was swiftly to become a fatal incident.

Despite the influx of water, the vessel dove to a greater depth and attempted to continue the journey to its home naval base Mar del Plata, 400 kilometers south of the capital Buenos Aires.

Investigators told the Nacion newspaper that the fires most likely spread throughout the stricken submarine, forcing the crew to battle the blaze in ferocious weather conditions.

According to their report, the vessel eventually imploded – killing the 44 crew almost instantly and sinking into the depths.

The investigating commission was formed by Rear Admiral Adolfo Trama and Alejandro Kenny, along with Captain Jorge Bergallo, father of crew member Jorge Ignacio Bergallo.

The commission has also ruled out maintenance issues, rejecting claims the submarine was not seaworthy when it embarked on its ill-fated final voyage.

Commercial tugs can meet UK emergency towage needs

Commercial tugs can meet UK emergency towage needs Tug Technology and Business Full coverage

Source: Commercial tugs can meet UK emergency towage needs

Tug owners in the UK can provide the right response for ship emergencies when and where they are needed better than any government-backed emergency towage vessel (ETV). This was the reaction of the British Tugowners Association (BTA) in response to calls from maritime accident investigators for dedicated ETVs in key ports in the UK.

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Ocean Network Express (ONE) announces the commencement of container shipping businesses

Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd. (ONE) announced earlier today the commencement of container shipping businesses on Apr 1, 2018. O …

Source: Ocean Network Express (ONE) announces the commencement of container shipping businesses

ONE is the result of an integration of the container operations of three Japanese shipping carriers, namely, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha, Ltd (“K” Line), Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK). The company seeks to meet customers’ needs by providing high-quality, competitive container shipping services with the consolidation and enhancement of the three companies’ global network and service structures.

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Damen shipping multiple pontoons to Rotterdam

In week eleven, the SAL Heavy Lift vessel MV Lone loaded onboard a newly built batch of eleven Damen flat top Pontoons in Shanghai. …

Source: Damen shipping multiple pontoons to Rotterdam

In week eleven, the SAL Heavy Lift vessel MV Lone loaded onboard a newly built batch of eleven Damen flat top Pontoons in Shanghai. MV Lone is bringing the pontoons to the Netherlands. The majority of the pontoons will be available quickly to Damen’s clients from stock. Mr. Maximillian Karp, Senior Chartering Manager at SAL Heavy Lift said, “We are pleased to have found once again the opportunity to cooperate with Damen and tender our flag ship MV Lone for this transport.”

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