Pronto is changing to PortXchange

Source : Port of Rotterdam

09 March 2020

You may have heard of Pronto, the name of the IT platform that aims to optimise port calls. Pronto has been used in Rotterdam since 2018 and various pilots have been conducted, with fantastic results. All deep-sea container terminals in Rotterdam are now connected to the platform and 75% of deep-sea carriers in Rotterdam use Pronto. PortXchange was also established last year with the aim of making the Pronto platform available to ports across the world. The first pilots are to be conducted soon in various ports outside Rotterdam.

The name Pronto originated from the International Taskforce Port Call Optimization, a taskforce in which the Port of Rotterdam Authority was actively involved for several years. The Pronto initiative arose from the Avanti project. Both projects combine existing standards and do not develop solutions for commercial purposes. Shipping is a global business. Chain efficiency starts with clear communication. All links in the chain need to speak the same language.

With the PortXchange development the need arose to make a clear distinction between PortXchange and the Taskforce. Both organisations are working hard to increase port call efficiency, but each has a different focus. That is why the name Pronto is being changed to PortXchange for both the platform and the application.

Royal Navy’s future robotic minehunter is spotted in Portsmouth


WITH its sleek grey hull slicing gracefully through the water, it looks like any other boat entering Portsmouth Harbour.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 12:24 pm

But this sophisticated vessel is part of a new fleet of ‘robo-boats’ being developed to prowl the seas of the globe in hunt of deadly explosives.

Known as the Apollo, the space-aged piece of seafaring kit is capable of navigating waterways and dodging other ships – without the need of a human pilot at the helm.

The boat, which is still in the development stage, is now being put through its paces in the latest bout of tests in the Solent by engineers from defence firm Thales.

Frst glance of the Royal Navys new Autonomuos Boat Apollo unmanned mine operation unit at Southsea. Picture: Mark Cox Copyright: Other 3rd Party

The vessel, which is slightly larger than navy’s fleet of high-speed Pacific 24 MKIV rigid inflatable boats, was revealed to the navy last year during a test phase in Devon.

Once deployed, Apollo’s state-of-the-art system can take charge and carry out missions to hunt out and destroy underwater bombs – without the need for human navigators and specialists.

John Hunnibell, a former Royal Navy mine warfare and clearance diving officer, has been involved in the trials of the new boat.

He said: ‘Thales Maritime Mine Countermeasures is the first of kind system of systems capable of detecting, classifying and disposing of mines and bombs at sea, without ever having a human operator anywhere within a naval minefield.

‘The vessel can be programmed to conduct these search and dispose missions completely autonomously, whilst avoiding navigational obstacles such as other vessels.’

So far, tests have seen Apollo working towards integrating a towed mine-hunting sonar.

It’s the latest in a series of unmanned, autonomous boats being tested for the navy.

Previous technology included the Atlas Elektronik UK’s £13m unmanned minesweeper.

The autonomous vessel could pull three coil auxiliary boats behind it, with each of the towed boats emitting magnet, electric and acoustic signals that can detonate a variety of mines, including some of the latest models.

Portsmouth is the home port to most of the Royal Navy’s fleet of minehunters, with eight vessels based here.

A Sunny Start of the Day

Today, the MV GOLDEN BRILLIANT, a 225 m long bulk carrier came in at sunrise, underway to EMO terminal, Mississippihaven in Port of Rotterdam. We were assisted by two tugboats, the BUGSIER 12 and MULTRATUG 3. It was cold and very windy, but the Philippino crew dit an outstanding job! The only way to say goodbye these days is the much acclaimed “ Corona Handshake” to master and crew.

Port of Rotterdam CEO sees slight recovery in China shipments

source: Business Financial Post

AMSTERDAM — The number of container ships traveling from China to the port of Rotterdam seems to have recovered slightly, as coronavirus measures that had significantly curbed traffic from China have been eased, the port’s CEO said on Monday.

“A few weeks ago we estimated that the number of ships leaving ports in China had dropped by about 20%,” the Chief Executive of Europe’s largest port, Allard Castelein, told Dutch radio broadcaster BNR.

“This seems to have recovered somewhat, but we also see that ships carry less cargo than before.”

Castelein added that it was still too early to assess the total implications of the coronavirus outbreak on international trade.

“It is very unclear how this situation will develop, we can only say it will have a significant impact.”

Last month the port said it expected the flow of goods from China to Rotterdam to decrease by about 2 million tonnes per month if the coronavirus outbreak continued to disrupt international trade.

Total throughput through the Dutch port already flatlined at 469 million tonnes last year as slowing international trade halted many shipments from Asia in the last months of 2019.

Rotterdam handled 159 million tonnes of goods carried in containers last year, with 45% of the shipments either coming from or going to Asia. (Reporting by Bart Meijer Editing by Peter Graff)

Cruise Lines international Association (CLIA) Statement on COVID-19

Source: CLIA

Press Release | March 08, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC (8 MAR 2020)—As part of the cruise industry’s continued commitment to the health and safety of guests and crew, as well as the residents of port cities and destinations around the world, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the leading voice of the global cruise industry, announced today the adoption of additional enhanced screening measures in response to COVID-19.

As a result of these changes, which are effective immediately, CLIA members are to:

  • Deny boarding to all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in South Korea, Iran, China, including Hong Kong and Macau, and any municipality in Italy subject to lockdown (quarantine) measures by the Italian Government, as designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within 14 days prior to embarkation. 
  • Conduct illness screening for all persons who have travelled from, visited or transited via airports in any destinations listed on the U.S. CDC “Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel” page within 14 days before embarkation. Illness screening includes symptom history checks for fever, cough and difficulty breathing in the 14 days before embarkation and taking of temperature. 
  • Conduct temperature screening, as soon as they are capable, at initial embarkation for all persons boarding. Any individual with a temperature detected at or above 100.4° F / 38° C is to receive secondary screening to include a medical assessment. 
  • Deny boarding to all persons who, within 14 days prior to embarkation, have had contact with, or helped care for, anyone suspected or diagnosed as having COVID-19, or who are currently subject to health monitoring for possible exposure to COVID-19. 
  • Conduct pre-boarding screening necessary to effectuate these prevention measures. Enhanced screening and initial medical support are to be provided, as needed, to any persons exhibiting symptoms of suspected COVID-19. 

In coordination with cruise lines, medical experts and regulators around the world, CLIA and its member lines will continue to closely monitor for new developments related to COVID-19 and will modify these policies as necessary with the utmost consideration for the health and safety of passengers and crew. With strict measures in place, as guided by national and international health authorities, CLIA and its member lines, in concert with pronouncements from the World Health Organization, do not believe restrictions on the movement of ships are justified.

“The adoption of these measures further demonstrates the cruise industry’s unique ability to respond quickly as circumstances evolve,” said Kelly Craighead, President and CEO of CLIA. “We remain in close contact with local governments around the world, and while we regret that these changes will result in the denial of boarding for some of our guests, travelers should know that their health and safety is the absolute priority for the industry.”

For additional information about the cruise industry’s response to COVID-19, please visit CLIA’s COVID-19 Media Kitor email

Singapore allows cruise ship turned away by Malaysia, Thailand over virus fears

Source: Reuters

SINGAPORE, March 9 (Reuters) – Singapore will allow cruise ship Costa Fortuna to dock in the city-state on Tuesday, authorities said, after it was turned away from ports in Malaysia and Thailand over coronavirus fears.

Costa Fortuna departed from Singapore, where it is home-ported, on March 3.

Italian cruise line Costa Crociere said there were no suspected virus cases among its guests, which includes Italians. Italy has the largest number of cases of the virus outside China with 7,375 infections.

The operator said the ship was not allowed to enter Penang port in Malaysia due to restrictions on Italian travellers and it was not allowed to stop in Thailand due to unspecified travel restrictions.

However, the ship, which was on the first leg of the trip, did make a first stop in Langkawi, Malaysia, last week, local media reported.

Costa Crociere said it would cancel a cruise due to depart on March 10 from Singapore.

All passengers entering Singapore would have to undergo temperature screening, while some may have to do a swab test for the virus, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and Singapore Tourism Board said in a joint statement.

Singapore’s cruise terminals remain open to scheduled cruise calls out of Singapore. Unscheduled calls have not been allowed since Feb. 24, the authorities said.

In recent weeks, journeys on other cruise ships have also been disrupted due to worries over the spread of the virus.

MS Westerdam, operated by Carnival Corp’s Holland America Line, was allowed to dock in Cambodia’s Sihanoukville in mid-February having been turned away at five other ports after it set sail from Hong Kong on Feb. 1.

Diamond Princess, another cruise ship owned by Carnival, had been quarantined off the coast of Japan in February and was for a time the largest concentration of coronavirus cases outside China. (Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan and John Geddie in Singapore; Editing by Kim Coghill and Michael Perry)

The Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project

Source: IBN News Room

In September 2020, one of the world’s first fully autonomous ships will cross the Atlantic with no human captain or onboard crew. The mission will not only commemorate the 400th anniversary of the original Mayflower voyage, but also advance technologies that could transform the shipping industry and help us to gather critical data about the ocean. The Mayflower Autonomous Ship is led by marine research organisation Promare, with IBM as technology partner.

Abu Dhabi Ports and Robert Allan to develop unmanned autonomous tugboats

Source: Robert Allan Ltd.

Source: Technical Review Middle East

Abu Dhabi Ports has collaborated with global commercial vessel designer and tugboat leader Robert Allan Ltd, to develop the world’s first fully-unmanned autonomous commercial marine tugs

Once developed, the tugs will join SAFEEN, Abu Dhabi Ports’ maritime service arm, which maintains an expanding fleet of world-class service vessels.

One of the primary advantages of the innovative design includes greater capability, as shifting the human element from on-board to on-shore, will allow such vessels to operate in far more adverse weather conditions. Furthermore, the technology will help increase efficiency and enhance operational safety.

Abu Dhabi Ports will work closely with one of Canada’s oldest privately-owned Naval Architectural and Marine Engineering firms on the research and development of remotely-controlled marine tugs that will be fully unmanned, and be able to operate within a wide spectrum of autonomy.

The two entities have recently signed an MoU to this effect at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) gathering in London.

Falah Mohammad Al Ahbabi, chairman of Abu Dhabi Ports, said, “This agreement marks a milestone in our digital transformation, and confirms our commitment to ensure the Emirate of Abu Dhabi strengthens its reputation as a leading centre for digital innovation regionally and globally.”

“Developing solutions and building strategic partnerships with industry experts will help achieve a paradigm shift in maritime operations worldwide and globally in line with the directives of the leadership.”

Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, Group CEO at Abu Dhabi Ports, added, “This agreement marks another qualitative addition to our digital armoury that will enhance performance efficiency, productivity, transparency, and safety, as well as reduce costs. Continuing our investment in technology and advanced infrastructure ensures the growth and sustainability of our business, and increases our contribution towards the diversification of Abu Dhabi’s knowledge-based economy.”

Mike Fitzpatrick, president and CEO of Robert Allan Ltd, noted, “Robert Allen Ltd has been working on solutions to the technical challenges of an unmanned tugboat for several years now, but we were somewhat stalled in progressing to a commercial construction without an opportunity like this with Abu Dhabi Ports