• 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 February 20

18:13 Klaipėdos nafta carried out the 10th operation of reloading LNG from a gas carrier to ground storage tanks
17:52 VNIIR-Progress St. Petersburg supplies electrical equipment for Atomflot icebreaker
17:28 Documents on concession model for Taman dry cargo area project to be submitted to RF Govt in March 2019
17:04 Cammell Laird stages ‘float-off’ for new £10m ferry for Red Funnel
16:46 VTMS, AIS and Pilotage Service on the Northern Sea Route to remain under Rosmorport’s control
16:25 NOVATEK eyes arranging LNG bunkering in Sabetta
16:04 Maersk enhances Asia-Europe network to further improve schedule reliability
15:43 Decision made on transfer of FSUE Hydrographic Company to Rosatom Corporation
15:21 Euronav sells LR1 Genmar Сompatriot
14:54 SIA Extron Baltic receives award for rapid growth in the Port of Riga
14:30 NOVATEK announces consolidated IFRS results for year ended 31 December 2018
14:02 COSCO SHIPPING Lines and Bolloré Transport & Logistics sign a MoU to develop new synergies
13:39 ABP partners with Grimsby-based Maritime Academy
13:15 Toll unveils new Australian ship
12:48 Increasing numbers of cruise ships making their maiden calls to Southampton
12:22 Transport Week 2019 welcomes Kalmar among its sponsors
12:01 First diesel-electric Damen Shoalbuster 3514 DP2, IMO Tier 3 ordered by Herman Sr
11:50 20 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on February 19-20
11:33 DP World acquires leading European transportation and logistics provider P&O Ferries
11:09 Port of Oakland to get three new cranes
10:47 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.3% to $66.25, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.02% to $56.44
10:35 2nd Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging Congress kicks off in Moscow
10:18 Baltic Dry Index is down to 635 points
10:00 IMO Secretary-General urges all aboard for GHG reduction
09:34 Baltiysky Zavod completed shaping ice belt of nuclear-powered icebreaker Ural of Project 22220
09:25 Keppel delivers jackup rig to Grupo R on sale and leaseback deal
09:15 FESCO new vessel starts working on a regular service among the ports of China and Far East of Russia

2019 February 19

18:03 San Vicente Terminal Internacional receives two state-of-the-art cranes to enhance operations
17:50 Throughput of port Kavkaz in Jan’2019 fell by 8% Y-o-Y to 1.82 million tonnes
17:26 Moody´s upgrades Hapag-Lloyd credit rating to B1
17:03 Jan De Nul's PDC and Bangladesh PPA to pick engineer services provider for Payra dredging project
16:29 TMA Logistics, CTU and VCL join forces to establish Amsterdam-Utrecht-Rotterdam-Corridor
16:21 NIBULON shipbuilders finish constructing a series of POSS-115 Project tugs
16:03 MOL conducts underwater drone demonstration test for vessel bottom inspection
15:25 Wärtsilä’s propeller cap EnergoProFin listed in EcoAction Program
15:02 ICTSI's Matadi Gateway Terminal unlocks shipping system benefits
14:40 2nd conference on transportation of dangerous cargoes to address application of IMDG Code and ADR Agreement in Russia
14:02 Havyard to deliver ship design for further two cargo vessels for Royal Arctic Line
13:33 Ecochlor announces BWMS retrofit contract with Alaskan Tanker Company
13:02 GTT notified by Samsung Heavy Industries for the tank design of a new LNG carrier for Navigare
12:30 Gas4Sea partners and Equinor signed an LNG bunkering agreement
12:24 Social allocations of Multipurpose Reloading Complex grew by 22% YoY to RUB 3.8 million in 2018
12:01 Rail traffic at the Port of Gothenburg up to 398,000 TEUs in 2018
11:43 International best practices are introduced at ASCO to protect sailors health
11:41 Port of Hamburg sets record for seaport-hinterland rail traffic in 2018
11:39 IMO’s Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response meets this week
11:18 Concordia Damen celebrates naming of innovative Sendo Liner
11:15 ASCO hosted a training course for instructors
10:47 24 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on February 18-19
10:22 ABP bolsters business with paper company joining Port of Hull
09:58 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.42% to $66.22, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.38% to $56.19
09:40 BIMCO demands 4th IMO GHG Study based on realistic economic growth
09:19 Baltic Dry Index is up to 643 points

2019 February 18

18:06 Algoma announces the Algoma Conveyor is headed for Canada
17:36 Maersk Line announces rates from Mediterranean to West and Central Asia
17:06 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from ISC to North Europe and the Mediterranean
16:41 MAN Energy Solutions launches new TCT turbocharger series
16:26 VSC receives positive conclusion of state environmental expertise
16:02 Herbert-ABS releases HECSTAB Offshore
15:31 PPR 6 preview: IBIA working for sensible 2020 solutions at IMO meeting