• 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 April 22

18:29 President Vladimir Putin to kick off loading of an LNG cargo to Coral Anthelia in Vysotsk, April 24
18:04 Bahri explores maritime opportunities in Africa at Logismed
16:57 Federation Council approves the crab fishing quotas bill
14:45 Newspaper of Sea Port of St. Petersburg receives Best Corporate Edition 2018 Award
14:27 MOL to install AR navigation system on 21 VLCCs
14:26 Spot market price for Russian M100 product ended week lower at an average of RUB 19,431 pmt
13:07 Nobel Bros Shipyard re-launches refurbished pusher OTA-953
13:01 Seadrill Partners LLC receives early termination notice for the West Capricorn contract
12:06 Rosmorport invites to submit proposals for LS marine fuel supply at Sakhalin based Port of Shakhtersk
12:00 BP and partners sanction $6 billion Azeri Central East development offshore Azerbaijan
11:10 Int’l Neva 2019 Expo to present the hall of small crafts building achievements
11:00 Saudi Aramco to acquire Shell’s share of the SASREF refining joint venture
10:26 Crude oil futures soar to $ 73,81 (Brent) and to $ 65,53 (WTI)
10:05 DEME Offshore announces Moray East wind farm Tier One suppliers
09:58 Eni, CDP, Fincantieri and Terna join forces to develop power plants on an industrial scale
08:25 Mitsubishi Shipbuilding holds christening ceremony for next-generation LNG carrier "Diamond Gas Sakura"

2019 April 21

15:38 WheelHouse names Ian Morris as Vice President of Operations
14:34 CMA CGM to implement FAK rates from West Med, Adriatic, Black Sea and East Med to Far East, Middle East Gulf and Red Sea
12:37 USCG offloads 970 pounds of cocaine and 550 pounds of marijuana
11:31 CMA CGM hikes rates on Asia to Kenya, Tanzania service
11:07 Kinder Morgan raises dividend by 25%, announces Q1 2019 results

2019 April 20

16:31 CMA CGM announces FAK rates for Asia - the Middle East Gulf trade
15:02 MOL pledges support for Mozambique in wake of devastating cyclone
14:42 USCG Cutter Waesche crew returns home after 95-day counter-narcotics patrol
13:27 CMA CGM announces FAK rates for Asia to Pakistan / India / Sri Lanka trade
13:12 Carnival Cruise Line, CFVI unveil revitalized Griffith Park in St. Thomas for local children
12:26 BC Ferries celebrates Earth Day with the return of the Spirit of Vancouver Island
11:04 Certification of Arkona offshore wind farm by DNV GL confirms safe and reliable power supply
10:49 Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation announces $103.2 million sale and leaseback transaction
10:38 Boskalis acquires EUR 75M dredging contracts in Indonesia

2019 April 19

18:07 Keppel posts net profit of S$203M in 1Q 2019
17:28 Passenger Port of Saint-Petersburg to complete Phase 1 of Berth No7 reconstruction in summer 2019
17:04 Saudi Aramco partners with the Saudi Contractors Authority fostering collaboration at ‘Future Projects Forum’
16:57 BAE Systems Jacksonville secures Navy's conntract mod for DDG 117
15:04 Hyundai LNG Shipping announces order for one VLGC at HHI
14:55 Marina for 100 yachts to be built in Feodosia by Firm “TES” LLC
14:10 C-Fenna successfully completes Fugro 1200 jackup towing operations
13:32 ESPO congratulates Port of Huelva for renewing EcoPorts’ environmental management standard
13:07 Spirit of Vancouver Island vessel returns to service after mid-life upgrade including conversion to natural gas
12:44 New High Bay Container Storage system launched as “BOXBAY”
12:10 ABS teams with industry leaders to improve container vessel safety
11:39 Port Arthur LNG receives FERC authorization for export project in Texas
11:08 Dual-fuel AET tankers conduct maiden LNG bunkering
10:43 Largest barge of Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company undergone overhaul
10:19 Brent Crude futures price is down 0.04% to $71.95, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.38% to $64
09:56 Bunker prices are sable at the port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:35 TransContainer’s transportation volumes in Q1’2019 increased by 7.7% Y-o-Y to 492,000 TEUs
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is up to 790 points
07:42 GTT receives an order from DSME for the tank design of a new LNG carrier

2019 April 18

18:36 South Stream Transport B.V. and Saipem announce the amicable settlement of mutual differences
18:06 Seaway 7 selected as partner to develop Hollandse Kust Zuid Offshore Wind Farm
17:36 WinGD reports strong first quarter 2019
17:11 Launching ceremony held for eighth shallow-draft barge of Project ROB20
17:05 SOFEC completes engineering, supply and delivery of mooring system
16:26 Port of Murmansk to welcome eight cruise liners in summer season of 2019
16:05 Cooperation agreement between Eimskip and Royal Arctic line approved by the Icelandic Competition Authority
15:44 Navios Acquisition announces $103.2 million sale and leaseback transaction for three MR2 product tankers and two LR1 product tankers
15:12 Nefteflot laid down two barges of Project RDB12 ordered by STLC
15:10 MOL to acquire strategic stake in six group companies, each owning a Very Large Ethane Carrier
14:40 Port of Rotterdam freight throughput grows by 5.1% in first quarter of 2019