• 2018 August 10 13:32

    Port of Antwerp introduces innovative autonomous sounding boat with unique technology

    A smart port thanks to innovative technology: that's what the port of Antwerp is fast becoming, the company announces in its press release. Now a new milestone has been reached with the introduction of a fully automatic sounding boat that employs unique technology. The vessel, named the Echodrone, is a prototype that is currently being developed to supplement the other operational sounding boat, the Echo. Both of these carry out measurements of the water depth everywhere in the port so as to guarantee safe passage for shipping. The cloud-based technology – a first – has been developed in partnership between the Port Authority and dotOcean and is only one of the many initiatives being taken by the Port Authority in the field of digital innovation.

    Innovation is a powerful response to today's fast-changing world and so is a main component of the future vision of Antwerp Port Authority. In collaboration with the port community the Port Authority is constantly working to develop new technologies and methods and to incorporate them in its operations. "As a world-class player we as a port aim to be a leader in developing innovative concepts," explains Piet Opstaele, Innovation Enablement Manager at Antwerp Port Authority. "In this way we are laying the foundations for the 'smart port' of the future in which digital technologies are used to make the land-based and water-based operations more flexible, responsive and efficient."

    One of the Port Authority's responsibilities is inspection and maintenance of the maritime infrastructure, including the beds of the docks. Regular measurements of the water depths at the berths and at all other points are carried out, both to ensure safe passage and mooring for ships and to plan the necessary maintenance dredging work. So far this has been done using the Echo sounding boat, but now an innovative autonomous sister boat has been developed in collaboration with dotOcean in order to help with the work. The new vessel, named the Echodrone, is smaller than the Echo and is fully autonomous, operating on its own without anyone on board. This makes it more nimble and flexible so that it can even operate in heavy shipping traffic where the Echo would be unable to go.

    Wim Defevere, Senior technical manager nautical access of the Antwerp Port Authority: ”The Echodrone is currently undergoing extensive trials. Once these have been completed it will be based in the Deurganck dock where it will be fully operational alongside the Echo to measure the water depth of the available berths at the busiest of the tidal quays for handling containers.”

    Unique technology for guiding and operating the Echodrone has been developed in collaboration with dotOcean, a maritime technology company based in Brugge, Belgium. "This technology is based on assembling detailed information in the cloud," explains dotOcean co-founder Koen Geirnaert. "Data from all sorts of devices throughout the port is made available over the internet and then selectively compiled and translated into useful information by algorithms in the cloud. The Echodrone is designed to navigate fully independently using this verified data, unlike the previous generation of automatic vessels that had to rely on their own onboard sensors. This makes the Echodrone one of the first of a completely new generation of robots."

    Piet Opstaele adds: "With the help of the Echodrone it will be possible in future to carry out other types of measurements, such as environmental surveys, inspecting quay walls and so on. This technology is a real breakthrough for us in our quest for smart solutions for the port of the future. It is also a good example of our role as an initiator and facilitator of innovative initiatives."     
           
    Members of the public will be able to see the Echodrone at work at the Supernova technology fair being held on Thursday 27/9, Friday 28/9, Saturday 29/9 and Sunday 30/9, from 10 a.m. to sunset every day in the Bonaparte Dock.




2019 August 17

14:24 Kinder Morgan announces additional projects to enhance capabilities at Houston Ship Channel Facilities
13:31 Damen Shipyards Cape Town joins Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association
12:28 CMA CGM announces rate restoration for Asia to West Africa trade
11:32 APL informs on voil sailing on Asia-Indian Subcontinent Service in August
10:58 Pre-commissioned USCG's Cutter Midgett makes second cocaine seizure within five days

2019 August 16

18:16 Port of Vyborg volumes in Jan-Jul plummet 29% to 687,700 tons
18:06 Hapag-Lloyd announces rates from East Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean
17:36 Norwegian Encore leaves MEYER WERFT's building dock
17:06 Balltec secures North Sea decommissioning contract from Heerema Marine Contractors Nederland
16:35 Canada Infrastructure Bank signs MoU with the Port of Montreal on Contrecoeur port expansion project
16:05 Vår Energi AS awarded an EPCI contract to Rosenberg Worley AS
16:03 Low-sulphur marine fuel sales by Gazprom Neft in the first half of the year increased by 11% to 121,400 tonnes
15:48 Samsung Heavy to advance smart ship technology in cooperation with equipment producers
15:36 Throughout of oil port Primorsk in Jan-Jul 2019 increased 14% to 35.74 million tonnes
15:14 New mid-year record for container volumes through the Port of Vancouver
15:11 USCG repatriates 25 migrants to the Dominican Republic
14:27 Port of Vysotsk throughput in January-July rose 7% to 11.14 million tonnes
14:10 Austal signs A$126 mln contract to export two Cape Class Patrol Boats
13:14 Seven-month cargo volumes of Port of Ust-Luga increase 10% to 62 million tonnes (update)
13:05 NORDEN signs multiple long-term global contracts
12:05 APM Terminals Poti to implement uninterrupted 24/7 operations
11:39 Port of St. Petersburg seven-month volumes rise 2% to 35 million tonnes (update)
11:05 Steel cutting ceremony for the next AIDA LNG cruise ship at MEYER WERFT
10:48 Tekmar Energy selected for Formosa 1 Phase 2
10:44 Port of Hamburg seaborne cargo throughput up 4.1 percent to 69.4 million tons in H1 2019
09:55 Crude futures prices tend upward again: Brent Crude rises to $ 58,88, WTI – to $ 55,16
09:34 Baltic Dry Index leaps 97pts to 2047 points
09:27 Bunker prices show mixed movements at Port of St. Petersburg
08:41 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 16

2019 August 15

18:48 Seven-month box throughput of Ukraine’s seaports leaps 20% to 545.800 TEUs
18:05 Huntington Ingalls Industries announces leadership changes at shipyards
17:05 Scandlines installs Norsepower’s Rotor Sail solution on board hybrid ferry
16:43 Kinder Morgan announces additional projects to enhance capabilities at Houston Ship Channel facilities
16:35 Kalmar service expertise to enhance safety, performance and productivity at OPCSA’s Las Palmas terminal
16:33 Global Dredging Forum in London to address all current aspects of capital and maintenance dredging as expansion opportunity
16:05 Wilhelmsen Ship Management awarded two supramaxes from Stove Shipping AS
15:47 Neste introduces a new IMO2020-compliant low-sulphur marine fuel
15:43 Stena Bulk's CEO appeals directly to the Leaders of India, Russia, Latvia & the Philippines
14:33 Rotterdam Polymer Hub construction starts
14:20 A.P. Moller - Maersk reports strong improvements in earnings in Q2
14:01 Tuapse Sea Commercial Port JSC 1H net profit drops 3.3 times to RUB 1bn
13:52 Port of Oslo speaker to join Int'l Baltic Transport Forum, Sept. 11
13:05 RS supports PortNews сonference on icebreaking and service fleet, to be held prior to NEVA-2019 trade fair
13:02 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Africa
12:06 LUGAPORT terminal construction kicks off at Port of Ust-Luga
12:03 MOL transports fire engines to Paraguay
11:03 Jan De Nul bags 600MW Kriegers Flak contract
10:17 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
10:01 Crude futures prices continue to decline: Brent Crude – to $ 59,09, WTI – to $ 54,92
09:57 Latest frigate Admiral Kasatonov enters shipbuilder’s trials final phase
09:12 Baltic Dry Index leaps by 4.61% to hit 1950-pts mark
08:42 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Aug 15

2019 August 14

23:00 Sergey Mazokhin takes helm at Nordic Engineering JSC
18:09 Icebreaker Novorossiysk escorts Silver Explorer along the Northern Sea Route
18:05 OOCL revises Trans-Pacific service
17:23 Moscord to add Schneider Electric Marine Product Line
16:35 Wärtsilä turns to startups to help solve some of the biggest problems in the maritime industry
16:05 Round table on import substitution in Russian shipbuilding sector slated to be held on August 29 in St. Petersburg
16:04 HHLA H1 2019 performance report: growth with sustainable success
15:33 Wilhelmsen Ship Management awarded two supramaxes from Stove Shipping AS