• 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 November 20

15:00 ESPO: TEN-T policy review must bring maritime links on equal footing with land links
14:09 RF Govt Transport Commission approved inclusion of 57 projects into comprehensive plan for upgrading and expanding core infrastructure
13:35 Ecosystem-based management and maritime spatial planning are furthered at HELCOM-VASAB meeting in St Petersburg
12:57 RS takes part in Transport of Russia 2019
12:02 The world’s largest wind turbine tested on Maasvlakte
11:44 WMU signs MoU with International Maritime Academy, Lebanon
11:23 Tariffs for LNG services provided by KN approved for 2020
11:02 Bureau Veritas certifies Ørsted's Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm
10:28 Hydraulic engineering structures of Volga-Don Canal underwent reconstruction
10:25 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Nov 20
10:05 Bunker prices are stable at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
10:02 Yang Ming to launch new Southeast Asia Services
09:46 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.11% to $60.84, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.04% to $55.37
09:41 Foreship launches Hamburg business to grow in Germany
09:29 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,304 points
09:14 CMA CGM reviewes Low Sulphur Surcharge for RoRo Med Lines

2019 November 19

18:03 Port of Piraeus throughput reaches 5 million TEU this year
17:50 BPO joins the “More EU budget for transport” coalition
17:22 Throughput of Russia’s seaports expected to grow by 3% to 850 million tonnes in 2019
17:03 Expro awarded contract extension with INPEX, offshore Australia
16:45 Gasum expands their maritime fuel supply by new Swedegas’ facility in the port of Gothenburg
16:24 IMO helps train future leaders in maritime policy
16:03 CSV Bourbon Oceanteam 101 extends charter contract with client for works in Angola
15:03 MSC appoints Soren Toft as CEO for container shipping & logistics
14:21 Shipment of half a billionth tonne of coal from Vostochny Port kicked off by Sergey Ivanov and Yevgeny Ditrikh
14:02 ICTSI proposal to develop Iloilo ports complete
13:23 Med Marine orders MAN 175D for Svitzer ice-breaking tugs
13:00 Havyard Ship Technology AS announces new general manager
12:38 Bunker prices are stable at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:02 ABP’s Port of Ipswich welcomes floating storytelling museum
11:44 Registration for the 16th International Transport Forum YugTrans 2020 is open
11:37 Port of Southampton investing in quayside to continue welcoming largest ships
10:59 Navigation season of 2019 closed in Baikal-Angara Basin of Russia’s IWW
10:31 EEC postponed consideration of amendments into Technical Regulation of the Customs Union in the part of sulphur content in bunker
10:05 Ports of Los Angeles and Copenhagen Malmö sign collaborative agreement on sustainability, environment
10:03 Multipurpose Reloading Complex spent over RUB 1 million under its social programme in 9M’19
09:40 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.14% to $62.35, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.21% to $57.02
09:25 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,338 points
09:22 MABUX: Bunker market this morning, Nov 19
09:08 Nexans secures a 5-year contract extension with Chantiers de l’Atlantique to supply cables and services
08:12 Shell Marine secures contract for Cosco Shipping Specialized Carriers

2019 November 18

18:30 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from North Europe to ISC
18:07 2020 Bulkers extends time charters for Bulk Santiago and Bulk Seoul
17:54 Rosmorport supports 3rd Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging Congress as its General Sponsor
17:35 Columbia Threadneedle Investments and Brittany Ferries reach agreement to acquire Condor Ferries from Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets
17:21 Moscow, Saint-Petersburg and Murmansk to host PORA discussion “Development of Water Transport Infrastructure in the Arctic” on Nov'26
17:05 ​Shearwater GeoServices awarded largest-ever 4D campaign in the Asia Pacific region by Woodside
16:35 HYUNDAI Merchant Marine joins “Getting to Zero Coalition”
16:20 Gazprom Neft reports 4.1-pct growth of bunker fuel production to 2.04 million tonnes in 9M’19
16:05 Essar Ports completes work on the Hazira-based Passenger Ferry Terminal
15:41 Epic Gas completes acquisition of 11,000 CBM Epic Sicily
15:37 Gazprom Neft increases net profit by 7% in 9M 2019
15:02 Port of Gdynia prepares to develop acquired land at Węgierskie Quay
14:39 Training for African women working in SAR operations held at Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Morocco
14:15 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean
13:36 Container Terminal Saint-Petersburg allocated RUB 10.4 million under its 9M’2019 social and environmental programmes
13:15 MacGregor secures complete piggy-back hatch cover order from Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding
12:53 Vympel Shipyard delivers Grachonok-class special purpose boat to Federal National Guard Troops Service
12:32 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 8,159 in RF spot market
12:09 Kim Heng signs MoU with subsea cable installer for offshore windfarm cable-laying projects in Taiwan