Port Digitalisation

Three Considerations for Smart Port Collaboration

Ports that want to become ‘smart’ need to use technologies that automatically adapt to changing situations.

However, for that to happen, there has to be a change in attitude when it comes to collaboration, which is dependent on key players — who may be in competition with one another — agreeing on methods of creating more visibility throughout the supply chain.

Here are three arguments from authors of technical papers in the Edition 78 of the Port Technology Journal that show how and why the attitude to such practices may be changing.

1# Digital Tools for Next Generation Workers: Adam Yaron, CEO, FAST Applications

The next generation of people entering the profession have the expertise to use the latest online platforms and tools, which focus on process and managing costs and look to automate and streamline processes, build intermodal relationships, improve customer satisfaction, and maximize opportunities for cost savings.

A digital freight forwarder must offer a range of digital services to the 21st-century customers.

The next step is to create a social supply chain management where strong alliances can be created by networking and sharing data with freight partners online (agents, customers, suppliers, carriers, etc.), which in turn creates a stronger bond and connection to compete as a group.

2# Port Community Connectivity: Chris Collins, Chief Operating Officer, Containerchain

Major port centres including Antwerp, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Long Beach, Rotterdam, Singapore and others, plus shipping line and global terminal operators looking to get more embedded in the supply chain ‘beyond the gate’, are embarking on digital initiatives to capture, harvest, pool and share more data in more collaborative, real-time ways, with maritime and landside logistics stakeholders.

Singapore has recently provided two significant examples of this strategic direction under its National Trade Platform – with plans to connect over 10,000 of its existing registered users to a single independent Transport Integrated Platform (TRIP) that has already connected a large majority of the landside containerized supply chain, and in doing so, delivered significant operational and economic benefits to its stakeholders.

Balancing out platform competition and collaboration, international and localized solutions, closed and open offerings and free market choice against regulatory oversight is a very difficult challenge, but not one that can be avoided if we all want to reap the benefits of digital collaboration.

3# Working as One: Derek Kober, VP Marketing, Navis

The first step to tackle the fundamental lack of visibility in the industry and achieve joint success among key stakeholders is the broader sharing of critical shipment information across the supply chain.

In Navis’ report, surveyed executives echoed this sentiment, reporting the following:

• Agree on the need for stakeholders to operate with a common set of data (97% important; 85% very important)

• Believe the adoption of new technologies is crucial to enabling real-time collaboration (98% important; over 50% very important)

• Believe they will see substantial improvement in operational performance once real-time collaboration is achieved (one-third predict gains over 75%; over half expect gains of at least 50%)

Both voice and data communications are vital to the future of smart port operations.

Automation, collaboration and safety at ports and terminals are all dependent on digital, connected systems that allow mission-critical practices.

Source: Port Technology

ESPO calls for more ambition on the harmonisation of data – European Maritime Single Window

ESPO welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment (COM2018 278 final). For European ports though, reducing the administrative burden in maritime transport and facilitating trade is a top priority. ESPO wants more ambition on the harmonisation of data definitions and data sets, while maintaining the existing reporting systems. This would further reduce the administrative burden and would facilitate trade. This is the guiding principle of ESPO’s position paper in response to the Commission’s proposal for a Regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment which was published on 17 May.

For European ports, the first priority should be to simplify administrative procedures by ensuring that the same data sets can be reported to each competent authority in the same way. In this context, ESPO welcomes the establishment of a harmonised data set. However, there is still work to be conducted to define the data set in detail – both data elements and data definitions. At the same time, ESPO agrees with the proposal to allow Member States to introduce or amend data requirements as in some cases ports might need to ask additional data to respond to exceptional circumstances. In that respect, this flexibility should also be extended to individual competent authorities.

ESPO in particular welcomes that the proposal builds upon the existing National Single Windows, while also allowing the reporting to be carried out through the Port Community Systems (PCS). The proposal rightly acknowledges the well functioning of PCS’s and the investments already made. European ports highlight that any solution should be technology neutral and should focus on data harmonisation.

Furthermore, a governance mechanism for the National Single Window should be established giving it the competence to store and redistribute data to the respective authorities. Otherwise, the proposal would not result in trade facilitation and simplification, but would just shift the burden from the ship side to the competent authorities.

Finally, ESPO considers the “reporting once principle” a valid means to achieve the objectives of the proposal, provided that it covers the re-use of data that do not change between subsequent port calls and takes into consideration the limited amount of data to be reused between authorities at a given port call.

“We appreciate that the proposal acknowledges to a large extent and builds upon the current reporting environment in maritime transport. Across the sector there is a strong wish to simplify and reduce the administrative barriers. We can however not ignore the mandatory reporting obligations shipping, ports and other authorities need to comply with by national, European and international law. We believe that working on harmonised data standards is the only way forward to make the reporting more efficient. Common standards are far more important than harmonised systems. Technology is moving fast. We need a legislative framework that allows the use of already well functioning systems and the uptake of new technologies. A reporting environment should not undermine the ongoing digitalisation processes, and encourage the uptake of new solutions in a technology neutral way,” says ESPO’s Secretary General, Isabelle Ryckbost.

The proposal is currently being discussed in the Council and the European Parliament. MEP Deirdre Clune (Ireland/PPE) has been appointed as rapporteur in the Transport committee. ESPO looks forward to working with the Parliament’s rapporteurs and the shadow rapporteurs, the Austrian Presidency, the Council and the Commission in view of achieving a new and efficient legislative framework that would further reduce the administrative burden in maritime transport and facilitate trade.

Source: ESPO Press Release

More Ports becoming “LNG ready”

Developments in bunkering infrastructure are enabling more ports to call themselves ‘LNG ready’ allowing them to better cater for the increase in LNG fuelled ships.

Propelled by the advancement of LNG as a ship fuel and its role in helping the maritime industry move closer to zero-emissions shipping, ports including Hamburg and Busan have committed to introducing bunkering infrastructure and facilities on a long-term basis.

Green technology will be a major focus at the upcoming SMM exhibition, where “the Green Route will guide visitors to exhibition stands relevant for green technologies in all 13 exhibition halls,” said Claus Ulrich Selbach, business unit director – Maritime and Technology Fairs & Exhibitions at Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.

“Hall A5 will again be dedicated exclusively to green propulsion, and at the global maritime environmental congress (gmec) international experts will gather to share their views. This event should not leave any questions unanswered,” he added.

LNG technology

Technology solutions such as Becker Marine Systems’ LNG PowerPac, currently in use at the Port of Hamburg, demonstrate that LNG can be effectively used to supply electricity to ships at berth, aiding the progress of cold ironing, another green power solution tipped to significantly reduce emissions.

The environment in the context of sustainability will also be another key focus at the exhibition, with discussion set for many of the subject-specific conferences, as well as at the global maritime environmental congress (gmec) on 5 September.

Under the motto ‘Compliance – Control – Champions’, all panel discussions will revolve around current and future challenges resulting from tighter environmental regulations.

Source: Green Port

Blockchain Solution for Shipping has Ports, Container Lines, Forwarding Agents and Customs On Board

However Not All Are So Enthusiastic About Who Handles Their Data

DENMARK – US – WORLDWIDE – Having initially announced their collaboration on a blockchain technology project two year’s ago, partners in the arrangement AP Möller Maersk and IBM, have finally go round to christening it, TradeLens, and since formally launching the ‘joint collaboration’ as they call it, at the beginning of this year, it seems they have been busily signing up interested parties, from port operators to logistics agencies, customs authorities and even rival ocean container freight carriers.

So far ninety four different organisations have put their faith in the project which is being marketed as a neutral platform which, having been trialled up to this point, is intended to become commercially viable by the end of the year. To emphasise this is not a joint venture in the true sense of the term each of the two founding partners will retain the revenue from the operations which they sign up.

Whilst TradeLens is what is becoming the classic model for a blockchain project within the industry, and based on the well proven Linux open source operating system coupled with Linux developed Hyperledger technology, similarly open sourced, doubtless not everybody will be comfortable with the management strategy. Maersk and IBM say the system establishes a single view of a transaction en route whilst maintaining security enabling participants to establish the exact status of a consignment.

The information is as detailed as possible, with sensors checking and relaying geographical, temperature and mass information remotely whilst establishing customs status, document and data specifics etc. The delays inherent in current systems could be seen immediately by all interested parties and Maersk and IBM claim delays reduced on trial shipments amounted to up to 40% time savings, with consequent cost reductions.

Obviously with Maersk and subsidiaries Hamburg Süd and APM Terminals involved the amount of data which has been processed since trials began is huge. Over 150 million shipping activities have been recorded on the platform in the one year period and the partners now say this has grown to approaching one million events every day.The system has received praise from some of its earliest participants which include freight forwarders and logistics specialists Damco, Agility and Ceva. Xavier Urbain, CEO of Ceva Logistics commented recently:

“We see great potential in TradeLens because it provides real-time access to all parties involved in the supply chain. It’s a big step in building a global market standard for blockchain solutions.”

However not everyone who is a possible stakeholder is quite so enthusiastic at handing over all their confidential data to a potential rival, particularly in the light of the cyber attackswe have seen against major players, including Maersk, in the industry of late. Both CMA CGM and Hapag Lloyd have expressed reservations about TradeLens in its current form with Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen commenting:

”Technically the solution could be a good platform, but it will require a governance that makes it an industry platform and not just a platform for Maersk and IBM. And this is the weakness we’re currently seeing in many of these initiatives, as each individual project claims to offer an industry platform that they themselves control. This is self-contradictory, without a joint solution, we’re going to waste a lot of money, and that would benefit no one.”

Source: Handy Shipping Guide.

Barcelona, the gate to Europe and the Mediterranean

The Port of Barcelona will lead, from 9th until 17th November, a trade mission to Viet Nam. The delegation, integrated of companies importing and exporting, logistics and port will visit two major cities: the capital, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Min, which concentrates the largest commercial activity in the country.

Viet Nam was chosen by the port community of Barcelona for being considered as a strategic market, in addition for being the country that presents the greatest growth of Southeast Asia, and the second of all far East. It is seen by these companies as a stable country that is developing an ambitious reform plan to promote the internationalization of its economy.

Strategic location, productivity, quality and connectivity

Barcelona is presented to Vietnamese companies as the South Gate to access the European market and the platform of distribution for the Mediterranean and North Africa. It is the capital of Catalunya, the most dynamic region of Spain and one of the four industrial engines of Europe. Its economy, which presents a high degree of openness, represents 20% of the whole of the State, while exports exceeded 30% of the Spanish total.

El Port de Barcelona, which currently offers 5 regular maritime lines that connect it with 18 Vietnamese ports, offers a complete range of logistics solutions and reliable transport of importers and exporters highly competitive. It is of one of the ports with the highest productivity in Europe, technologically advanced and with an excellent quality of service. Likewise, has an excellent maritime connectivity, interoceanic lines of high capacity with America and Asia, and daily services of short sea shipping to Italy and North Africa. The Port – located just 160 kilometers from the French border- also has regular rail services to the Iberian Peninsula and Europe and offers customers complete logistic services prepared for serve any kind of merchandise and transport.

This commitment to quality and efficiency has led to position itself as the European port with a higher growth of traffic in the year 2017, with 61 million tons (+ 26%) and 3 million TEU (+ 32.3%). Traffic between the Port of Barcelona and Vietnamese ports also has had an excellent evolution: On year 2017, the container traffic of Catalan infrastructure with origin or destination in Viet Nam outpointed the 27,300 TEU, which is an increase of 19% over the previous year. With regard to the volume of tons, trade amounted last year to 362.412 tons, an increase of 18.5%. This positive trend is being maintained in early 2018 and, between January and June, container traffic between the Port of Barcelona and Viet Nam has increased 34%.

Catalan Viet Nam exports increased in 2017 for the third consecutive year to exceed 121 million euros, 27.3% more than the previous year. Coffee, machinery, textiles, food and furniture are among the main goods exchanged between Barcelona and Viet Nam.

Business mission of the Port of Barcelona: a model of success

Viet Nam welcomes the 20th mission business of the Port of Barcelona, which has been organized with the collaboration of the Generalitat de Catalunya, VOCI, Foment de Treball Nacional, PIMEC, Casa Asia, the Institute of foreign trade of Spain, the Embassy of Viet Nam in Spain and VISABA. In this edition, the Catalan delegation will be chaired by the Minister for territory and sustainability (Minister of infrastructures), Damià Calvet and the President of the Port of Barcelona, Mercè Conesa.

The missions aimed at strengthening business and institutional links between the port and logistics communities of Barcelona and of the receiving countries, generating new business opportunities and contributing to the internationalization of their economies.

In both cities Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, business meetings will be celebrated. In addition, a technical seminar of customs will be held in Ho Chi Minh, which has been particularly valued by participants in previous missions.

The technical seminar of customs, which will count with the participation of representatives of entities linked to the port-logistics sector and of responsible for the customs services of both countries, will deal with those innovations that can improve the customs management in the Port of Barcelona – the figure of the economic authorized operator, the expansion of the functions customs related, telematization of document processes, etc.- and the specificities of the customs system of Viet Nam.

Subsequently, the participants will benefit from an agenda of bilateral contacts aimed at the development of new business.

Nineteen previous editions, which have visited countries of America, Asia and Africa, have been particularly valued by participants since they have generated significant growth in traffic and they have been the starting point for various Professional and Institutional collaborations that have been consolidated over the following years.

Custom contacts agendas

The Organization of the mission offers Vietnamese companies the possibility of preparing a personalized agenda of contacts, in accordance with their interests and objectives, to facilitate the detection of counterparts and business development. These agendas are being prepared by the ICEX – Office for economic and commercial of the Embassy of Spain in Viet Nam.

Source: Port de Barcelona News

Blockchain use for fuel supply traceability

Blockchain technology looks set to increase transparency and traceability in the marine fuel supply chain to create better compliance and stronger governance.

A new consortium will demonstrate the application of blockchain as a means of facilitating transparency as part of the maritime-focused Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL) initiative

“We are delighted to be involved with a consortium that could play an important role in realising the transformative potential of blockchain within shipping, beginning with a timely and relevant first use case in the bunker industry,” said Grant Hunter, head of contracts & clauses at BIMCO, one of the consortium partners.

“Blockchain “Smart Contracts” based on harmonised terms and conditions like the BIMCO Bunker Terms 2018 could be a stepping stone for the industry to achieve greater transparency and efficiency.”

Evaluation

The consortium will bring together Lloyd’s Register, Precious Shipping, Bostomar, BIMCO, International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA), and GoodFuels.

It will evaluate how blockchain technologies could help to provide an efficient, tamper-resistant and auditable chain of custody on quality and quantity recording activities, together with a reputation system of the compliance of fuels prior to purchase, benefitting both buyers and regulatory bodies.

Such characteristics help to provide greater confidence in the fuel being purchased, ultimately resulting in reduced safety risk and creating a more trustworthy framework for accurately monitoring emissions from shipping such as sulphur and carbon.

The project represents the initial stage of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation-funded MBL initiative, the first true industry collaboration for the creation of blockchain technology in the maritime space.

Source: The Motorship

blockchain

Blockchain potential in Transport and Logistics

Blockchain could become very useful in eliminating intermediaries in the supply chain and in improving collaboration with traffic authorities in the management of incidents and crises.

Blockchain can provide solutions today and in the near future in different areas, though in the case of transport it still has long way to go to become a useful technology.

This has been highlighted during the information day organised by the Center for Transport Studies in the Western Mediterranean, Cetmo, which seeks to deepen new practical applications in transport and logistics.

In the case of ports, this technology can make a big difference if the bill of lading is digitised, which would bring decentralisation, security and immutability and would significantly reduce the costs and risks in port operations.

In terms of electric vehicles, it can play a relevant role in both mobility and energy through smart contracts, which make management of last mile routes possible.

The application of this technology in the energy field is linked to the creation of solar communities that take advantage of the sun’s energy to complement their electricity consumption by creating community micro-networks. Taking advantage of this surplus energy to recharge electric vehicles, a really renewable source of energy for mobility would be created.

Open and decentralised mobility

In the transport sector, there are both small companies trying to gain market share and companies with a monopoly vocation. In this context, blockchain can contribute to the creation of an open, decentralised, multimodal and multi-provider mobility market.

Motorways, as well as roads in general, are undergoing a necessary process of digitisation that will help them address traffic growth, innovation in road technology and smart mobility.

Blockchain could be useful when eliminating intermediaries in the supply chain or for monitoring works, and to improve collaboration with traffic authorities in the management of incidents and crises. Finally, it will open the door to new payment systems that could be more accurate, applying discounts according to the weather or the state of the roads.

In the more immediate present, the processes have begun to have an impact in areas such as freight transport and logistics, thanks to the reduction of procedures, while in passenger transport, they do not cause prominent disruptions.

Source: Cadena de Suministro

MedCruise and CLIA sign a collaboration agreement

MedCruise and Cruise Lines International Association Europe (CLIA Europe) have signed a collaboration agreement in Brussels.

Through this new agreement both organisations are vowed to jointly promote cruise ship traffic in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black and Red Seas, the Adriatic, and the shores of north of Africa and near Atlantic. In virtue of this important collaborative document, MedCruise and CLIA Europe will carry out specific coordinated actions to develop the sustainable growth of cruise sector in the different local areas and regional organisations, as well as with different bodies of the European Union and related companies in the cruise industry.

Airam Díaz Pastor, president of MedCruise, stated that cruise lines are of vital importance to MedCruise members, so cooperation between both parties was essential. “I want to value the relevance of this agreement we have signed today, since it will allow us to further strengthen the relationship between ports and cruise lines so that the sector continues to grow in our regions and bring wealth to local economies. In fact, in 2017 in our geographical area, 15.8% of the international fleet of cruise ships was concentrated,” he assured.

Kyriakos Anastassiadis, president of CLIA Europe, declared that “we are delighted to work jointly and closely with MedCruise since both associations represent different areas of expertise and a large number of members. In this way, the collaboration agreement will help both associations to continue making progress”.

Source: Veintepies

Nearly €245 million awarded to Horizon 2020 transport projects

INEA has signed grant agreements with 39 projects selected for funding under two Horizon 2020 calls – Mobility for Growth and Automated Road Transport respectively. They will receive a total of €243.8 million.

Most of the funding – some €200 million – will go to 36 projects selected under Mobility for Growth.

The remaining amount will go to three projects under Automated Road Transport.

The projects are expected to use research and innovation on equipment and systems for vehicles, aircraft and maritime vessels that will make them smarter, cleaner, safer, and more automated.

Projects will also focus on research on road users’ safety, sustainable mobility in urban areas and “smart electric mobility” in cities, improvement of the logistics systems’ performance, and resilience and optimisation of transport infrastructure.

They are expected to start their activities by 1 September 2018 at the latest.

Project examples:

Enabling safe multi-brand truck platooning for Europe

The main goal of the ENSEMBLE project is to pave the way for the adoption of multi-brand truck platooning in Europe to improve fuel economy, traffic safety and throughput. This will be demonstrated by driving six differently branded trucks (DAF, DAIMLER, IVECO, MAN, SCANIA, VOLVO) in one or more platoon(s) under real world traffic conditions across national borders.

The following objectives are defined: a) Achieve safe platooning for trucks of different brands, b) work towards the standardisation and achieve interoperable platooning, and c) real-life platooning showing a multi-brand platoon in real traffic conditions.

ENSEMBLE brings the key actors for deployment together which are all major truck OEMs (98% of the market) supported by other organisations, key stakeholder groups and relevant suppliers. The expected impact is on a Europe wide deployment of platooning with multi-brand vehicles in real, mixed traffic conditions.

The project pursues making transparent the economic, societal and environmental impact of decisions of platoon forming and dissolving. It also aims to modernise the transport system by finding an optimal balance between fuel consumption, emission level, travel times, and impact on highway traffic flow. This, in turn, will result in reduced impacts on climate change, air pollution, noise, health and accidents.

Project title: ENabling SafE Multi-Brand pLatooning for Europe (ENSEMBLE)

Duration: 36 months (01/06/2018 – 31/05/2021)

Budget: €26 million

EC funding:  €20 million

Project Coordinator: TNO

Hierarchical multifunctional composites for the aviation industry

The HARVEST project will develop structural composites (based on innovative thermoset 3R – repair, recycle and reprocess), autonomous electric integrated system for health monitoring and a wireless data transmission system. The innovative materials will be manufactured in purposefully developed pilot lines aiming to cut production time and costs.

The proposed technologies will be finally integrated in two aircraft demonstrators, testing elements with different temperatures and in quick heat dissipation conditions.

Project title: Hierarchical multifunctional composites with thermoelectrically powered autonomous structural health monitoring for the aviation industry (HARVEST)

Duration: 36 months (01/09/2018 – 31/08/2021)

Budget: €4 million

EC funding:  €4 million

Project Coordinator: 11 partners from 6 countries coordinated by University of Ioannina (Greece)

Charging infrastructure for electric vehicles

The GreenCharge project will empower cities and municipalities to make the transition to zero emissions and sustainable mobility. It will use innovative business models and technologies, and will provide guidelines for cost efficient and successful deployment and operation of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Inspired by ideas from the sharing economy, the business models will focus on enabling the mutualisation of excess capacity of private RES, private charging facilities and the batteries of parked electric vehicles. Pilots will be carried out in Barcelona, Bremen and Oslo to demonstrate and evaluate the proposed approach.

Project title: GREENCHARGE

Duration: 36 months (01/09/2018 – 31/08/2021)

Budget: approx. €5.7 million

EC funding:  €5 million

Project Coordinator: 16 partners from 6 countries coordinated by SINTEF AS (Norway)

Enabling the transferability of cycling innovations

The HANDSHAKE project supports the effective take up of the integrated cycling solutions successfully developed by Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Munich, Cycling Capitals and world-renowned cycling front runners, to 10 highly committed Future Cycling Capitals: Bordeaux Metropole, Bruges, Cadiz, Dublin, Helsinki, Krakow, Greater Manchester, Riga, Rome and Turin.

The project strategic objectives are: to inspire the creation or refinement of holistic cycling visions and concrete transfer approaches; to foster the adoption of a multidisciplinary planning culture to consolidate future cycling policies and investments; to allow cycling to become a key element of urban transport; to improve cycling modal share and safety; to leverage the potential of cycling as a critical congestion relief tool; to leverage cycling to improve public health; to foster economic growth.

HANDSHAKE expects to improve cycling attractiveness by +52% and competitiveness by 17%, shift ca. 60.000 people to cycling with +34% in frequency of cycling use, traffic levels lowered by 6,34%,and CO2 savings of -3.706.000 kg CO2/year.

Project title: Enabling the transferability of cycling innovations and assessment of its implications (HANDSHAKE)

Duration: 42 months (01/09/2018 – 28/02/2022)

Budget: approx. €5 million

EC funding:  €4.8 million

Project Coordinator: 19 partners from 12 countries coordinated by ISINNOVA (Italy)

How were the projects selected for EU funding?

The submitted proposals were evaluated by external experts drawn from the European Commission’s independent expert database. Grant agreements were signed with the successful applicants within eight months of the submission deadline.

How will the projects be managed?

The projects are each implemented by a consortium of European partners. INEA will monitor their progress throughout the entire project life-cycle.

Overall, €12.2 billion has been earmarked for transport and energy research in Horizon 2020, the main EU’s funding programme for the 2014-2020 period. €5.3 billion of this amount will be managed by INEA resulting in approximately 800 projects.

Source: INEA

IMO Begins Validating Autonomous Ship Operations

The International Maritime Organization (IMO), the global regulatory body for international shipping, has started exploring how autonomous ships could operate safely, securely and in an environmentally friendly way.

As part of its investigation the IMO, which has provided the term Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) to autonomous vessels, will look into how the ship operations may be addressed in IMO instruments.

The organization’s senior technical body, the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC), has endorsed a framework for a regulatory scoping exercise as work in progress.

Its framework includes preliminary definitions of MASS and degrees of autonomy, as well as a methodology for conducting the exercise and a plan of work.

For the purpose of the regulatory scoping exercise, MASS is defined as a ship which, to a varying degree, can operate independently of human interaction.

However, MASS could be operating at one or more degrees of autonomy for the duration of a single voyage.

IMO categories for autonomy:

  • Ship with automated processes and decision support: Seafarers are on board to operate and control shipboard systems and functions. Some operations may be automated.

  • Remotely controlled ship with seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location, but seafarers are on board.

  • Remotely controlled ship without seafarers on board: The ship is controlled and operated from another location. There are no seafarers on board.

  • Fully autonomous ship: The operating system of the ship is able to make decisions and determine actions by itself.

As a first step, the IMO’s scoping exercise will identify current provisions in an agreed list of IMO instruments and assess how they may or may not be applicable to ships with varying degrees of autonomy and whether they may preclude MASS operations.

As a second step, an analysis will be conducted to determine the most appropriate way of addressing MASS operations, taking into account, inter alia, the human element, technology and operational factors.

The MSC, which met for its 99th session on May 16-25, 2018, established a correspondence group on MASS to test the framework of the regulatory scoping exercise agreed at the session and, in particular, the methodology, and report back to its next session, MSC 100 on December 3-7, 2018.

Speaking at the opening of the MSC meeting, IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the importance of remaining flexible to accommodate new technologies, and so improve the efficiency of shipping — “while at the same time keeping in mind the role of the human element and the need to maintain safe navigation, further reducing the number of marine casualties and incidents”.

Source: Port Technology