The research of new solutions implemented within a plurality of Eu Tender seem looking to this direction. One of the most interesting projects funded is called Sea Traffic Management, has been tested at shore centers to speed sharing of route data between ship navigational systems and shore centers. Established with the aim of reduce the human-related incidents by 60%.
Over 300 ships, 13 ports and five shore centers in Northern Europe and on the Mediterranean Sea have been involved during testing.
One of the main tool utilized has been the Electronic Chart Display and Information System (ECDIS), a geographic dynamic information system used for nautical navigation that complies with International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations as an alternative to paper nautical charts.
ECDIS provides continuous position and navigational safety information. The system generates audible and/or visual alarms when the vessel is in proximity to navigational hazards.
Magnus Sundström (Project Manager, Swedish Maritime Administration) says: “The model where public authorities are the innovation driver for commercial solutions is unique and very beneficial since the long-term benefits and ideas are not jeopardized by quarterly profit goals.”
The majors STM’s objects are the follows:
The route optimization tools will be different in nature with the common purpose to provide more information for the navigator on board. The STM concept will provide the means to get the ships route optimized from different service providers. The service providers have different focus including best route regarding; the weather forecast, surface currents, fuel consumption, no-go areas regarding draft, areas with sensitive nature, conflicts with other ships routes etc.
Introducing route exchange ship-ship, will give the intentions of other ships. The route exchange will solely introduce a new tool which helps the OOW to plan ahead, foresee possible dangerous situations and reduce route detours due to traffic conditions.
Nothing in the current “navigational process” will be changed, the master is still responsible and COLREGs are always in force. The route exchange should be used to avoid close quarter situations.
To make sure that the ship does not arrive before the port is ready, the ship and the port Exchanges Estimates in order to find the first available time when all resources to handle the port call are available. This is made as early as possible to let the ship adjust the speed and possible save fuel. The ultimate goal is for all ships to arrive just-in-time, and thus remove the need for anchoring.
Port Call Synchronization
The key actors within a port call make their plans transparent to the others. Transparency automatically leads to efficiency in the whole process chain. By sharing towards the surrounding, the port actors increase predictability and create just-in-time processes; not only the arrivals and departures of ships, but just-in-time operations all through the port call and further on just-in-time integration with hinterland transportation leading to optimized turn-around processes. This leads to improved resource utilization for all involved port actors.
Port Call Optimization
Brian Simpson (Motorways of the Sea EU Coordinator) opinion related to STM: “The STM is in line with the top EU priorities for the maritime sector. Increased safety at sea and improved efficiency that will lead to more goods transported on the environmentally friendlier sea.”