• 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 January 18

18:06 North Carolina Ports sets new record in 2018
17:47 Freight turnover of Neva-Metal (Saint-Petersburg) in 2018 climbed by 3% Y-o-Y to about 3.2 million tonnes
17:25 Okskaya Sudoverf obtains patent for state-of-the-art pontoons
17:06 Hamburg prepares for ‘Hard Brexit’
16:44 Throughput of port Primorsk in 2018 fell by 7% Y-o-Y to 53.48 million tonnes
16:23 GTT receives a new order from SHI to design the tanks of two LNG carriers on behalf of Gaslog
16:20 NOVATEK elects new Board of Directors
15:56 Throughput of port Vyborg in 2018 grew by 25% Y-o-Y to 1.93 million tonnes
15:33 Stena Line’s first new generation ferry ‘floats’ in China
15:21 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in 2018 fell by 1.7% Y-o-Y to 49.8 million tonnes
15:03 Panama Direct service CMA CGM to resume weekly rotations
14:47 Throughput of port Vysotsk in 2018 climbed by 7% Y-o-Y to 18.79 million tonnes
14:33 GranIHC appointed contractor for Equinor’s Peregrino Phase II Project
14:19 Port of Ust-Luga handled 98.72 million tonnes in 2018, down 4% Y-o-Y
14:03 Algoma Central Corporation increases its interest in ocean self-unloader Pool
13:50 18 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 17-18
13:35 Throughput of the Port of St. Petersburg in 2018 up 11% Y-o-Y to 59.32 million tonnes
13:18 CMA CGM unites its Containerships and MacAndrews brands
13:11 Vladimir Putin supports Government’s proposal on expanding Far East Ministry’s functions with Arctic issues
12:49 Throughput of port Kavkaz in 2018 grew by 11% Y-o-Y to 49.276 million tonnes
12:26 MV Werften purchases Neptun Ship Design
12:08 Sakaide shipyard holds naming ceremony for new LNG carrier jointly owned by NYK and JERA
11:38 PGNiG SA signs agreement for oil and gas exploration and production in UAE
11:14 Remote pilotage to be allowed in Finland
10:47 Free zone status is a crucial advantage for the future development of the Freeport of Riga
10:06 Ice restrictions at the port of Ust-Luga come into effect on January 31
09:42 Brent Crude futures price up 0.9% to $61.73, Light Sweet Crude – up 1.09% to $52.64
09:20 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,077 points

2019 January 17

18:13 PORT OF KIEL presents annual results 2018
17:51 Ice restrictions at the port of Primorsk come into effect on January 25
17:28 Global Ports sets up a common service call centre
17:09 EFIP welcomes and supports the European Parliament position on the Connecting Europe Facility for 2021-2027
17:05 North Sea Port monitoring the Brexit closely
16:44 ABP invests £700K to boost storage at Port of Ipswich
16:27 Global fuel market: still many uncertainties in both demand and supply
16:22 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from ISC to North Europe and the Mediterranean
16:05 OCEAN Alliance extends duration of OCEAN Alliance to ten years
15:42 COSCO SHIPPING Ports signs agreement with PSA to add two new berths at the terminal in Boao, Hainan
15:31 Liebherr supports the 6th International Forum of Dredging Companies as its Sponsor
15:02 Ocean Yield ASA agrees to acquire a modern Suezmax tanker for a consideration of USD 56.0 mln
14:02 SEACOR Marine enters agreement to acquire three additional platform supply vessels from affiliates of COSCO Shipping Group
13:49 Throughput of Chinese ports grew by 4.2% to 9.22 billion tonnes in 2018
13:32 Jensen Maritime provides design for Shaver Transportation’s new tugboat
13:14 OOCL rolls out third phase of Ocean Alliance product refinements
12:50 Baltic Ports Organization’s schedule for 2019 is set
12:38 Port of Los Angeles breaks all-time cargo record in 2018
12:26 Qatar accedes to load lines convention
12:01 Sunseeker International and Rolls-Royce to present first production yacht with MTU hybrid power in 2020
11:51 Bunker prices continue going down at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:38 Port of Zeebrugge handled 40.1 million tonnes in 2018
11:25 Nor-Shipping reveals stellar line-up for Ocean Leadership Conference
10:52 10 vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on January 16-17
10:28 NOVATEK’s hydrocarbon production totaled 548.4 million boe in 2018, up 6.9% Y-o-Y
10:03 Brent Crude futures price down 0.34% to $61.11, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.54% to $52.03
09:39 Tallink and Taltech to collaborate on developing smart ship solutions
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is down to 1,055 points

2019 January 16

18:36 Kongsberg Gruppen enters into an agreement with Rome AS to divest Kongsberg Evotec
18:06 Seaspan Corporation announces the closing of the second tranche of the $1 billion aggregate investment commitment by Fairfax
17:55 INEOS, Europe’s largest petrochemicals company, announces Antwerp as the location for its new ground breaking 3 billion Euro petrochemical investment
17:50 Throughput of Rostov-on-Don port in 2018 grew by 11.5% Y-o-Y to 24.1 million tonnes