• 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.




2018 December 18

18:21 Uniper SE and MOL enter into agreement on FSRU project in Germany, and one additional LNG transportation agreement
18:00 Throughput of Chinese ports grew by 4.3% to 8.47 billion tonnes in 11M’18
17:46 Rolls-Royce to deliver advanced ship technology to two more expedition cruise vessels for Mystic Cruises
17:43 Aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth enters LR class
17:27 SOL adds Finnish port of Pietarsaari/Jakobstad to the Zeebrugge route network
17:04 Finnpilot Pilotage BoD decided for no increase in the pilotage fees for 2019
16:42 GTT bags yet another tank design order for LNGC duo
16:38 PRA starts construction of new plastics recycling facility at the Port of Amsterdam
16:25 Arctia and Meritaito join forces to expand their range of services
16:09 Crowley integrates DFTS management into government solutions group to unify supply chain services
15:42 KN enhances its relations with American LNG giants
15:18 BW Group Limited purchased 137,000 shares
14:53 Icebreakers of FSUE Rosmorport assisted 680 ships in navigation season 2018-2019
14:28 Shell Oman and Port of Duqm ink agreement to develop fuel bunkering facilities
14:11 Golar LNG receives LNTP for an FLNG vessel for Greater Tortue / Ahmeyim Project P1, West Africa
13:47 WEG and Praxis sign MoU to support Damen Saab bid for the Brazilian Navy
13:41 Eni gets approval of the investment plan for Merakes Development Project in Indonesia
13:22 Sovcomflot closes USD 264 million long-term revolving credit facility
12:58 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:40 Antwerp, Belgium will host the 3rd European Environmental Ports Conference on 12-13 June 2019
12:19 Keppel receives limited notice to proceed for GIMI FLNG
11:57 3 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on December 17-18
11:35 Terna’s MONITA HVDC Project: Nexans reaches key milestone with successful completion of submarine power cable
11:10 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) down 5.4% to 17.96 million TEUs in Jan-Nov’18
10:46 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in 11M’18 down 1.8% Y-o-Y to 45.49 million tonnes
10:23 Maersk announces rate increase for Far East to North Europe trade
10:05 Brent Crude futures price down 1.53% to $58.72, Light Sweet Crude – down 1.61% to $49.39
09:47 Austal export opportunity supported by Australian Government financing
09:31 Rosatom drafted Rules for providing navigational and hydrographic support in NSR waters
09:14 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,406 points

2018 December 17

18:23 Sembcorp Marine retains its position as Asia’s top cruise ship repair and upgrade solutions provider with newbuilds projects delivered in 2018
18:02 USPA announced tenders for dredging in Mariupol and Berdiansk seaports
17:48 SITC holds naming and delivery ceremony for M/V SITC SENDAI
17:37 ONE to implement LSF surcharge in China and Taiwan
17:15 NCSP Group's consolidated cargo turnover for January-October totaled 116,946 thousand tons
16:41 Moody's reaffirms Panama Canal's A2 long-term rating with stable outlook
16:26 Port of Oakland shatters 11-year-old record for November imports
15:54 Yamal LNG will build one more natural gas liquefaction facility
15:27 Nor-Shipping and Nordic Innovation team up for “Sea Meets Land” funding initiative
15:17 PETRONAS releases Annual Activity Outlook report for 2019-2021
14:56 NOVATEK elects a new member to the Management Board
14:37 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 15,328 in RF spot market
14:13 Damen’s triple delivery for Murjan Al Sharq Marine Contracting
13:41 Pacific Fleet and Indian Navy warships practice inspection operation as part of Indra Navy 2018 Russian-Indian naval exercise
13:19 Queen Máxima christens Van Oord's TSHD Vox Amalia
12:58 9 icebreaker escort operations performed in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on December 16-17
12:36 Samsung Heavy Industries secures yet another contract for an LNGC
12:23 Saab secures shipping safety contract for Shangai container port
12:00 Composit supports the 6th Forum of Dredging Companies as its Sponsor
11:42 Milaha unveils large plans to upgrade its shipyard in Mesaieed
11:01 IBIA welcomes decision by IMO’s MSC to add new item to its agenda to address concerns about fuel safety
10:43 SENER to design passenger vessel for Tanzanian ferry operator
10:17 Brent Crude futures price down 0.02% to $60.27, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.21% to $51.58
09:58 Port of Singapore throughput in 11M’18 grew by 0.4% Y-o-Y to 575.44 million tonnes
09:40 Floating regasification plant “Marshal Vasilevsky” arrives in Kaliningrad
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,401 points

2018 December 16

16:09 Navios Acquisition completes acquisition of Navios Midstream
15:23 Thun Tankers names environmentally adapted tanker Thun Evolve
13:21 Traxens trials IoT network in port environment for first time, at MSC Terminal Valencia
12:32 Executives must watch both sea and air amid trade war tensions, warns Xeneta