Eight of the leading maritime nations are coming together to form a new network to encourage the development of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS). Called MASSPorts, the network will address the challenges of making ports ready for autonomous shipping.
Representing the flag, coastal and port authorities from China, Denmark, Finland, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Republic of Korea, and Singapore, the network met virtually to outline the objects of the initiative. They were also joined by representatives from the International Maritime Organization (IMO), International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA), as well as International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH).
“Autonomous navigation is an important part of our plans to be a future-ready port. We see MASS having the potential to enhance navigational safety and increase productivity,” said Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Similar views were expressed by the representatives from China who also pointed to the integration of shipping into the global supply chain.
Believing that vessels and ports must be equipped with infrastructure that has common terminology, form, and standards for seamless operation, the network outlined goals that are designed to address the challenges and achieve alignment of standards for the trials and operation of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) in ports.
They will seek to develop detailed guidelines and conditions for MASS trials in ports, including agreeing on the conditions for MASS trials and working within the IMO’s interim guidelines for MASS trials.
“We are aware of the fact that conventional shipping will remain a reality in our port but we are also convinced that smart ships and even autonomous ships will be visiting Rotterdam as well. Smart ships need smart ports. Innovative co-operation between ports, the industry and shipping is key,” said René de Vries, State Harbourmaster of Port of Rotterdam Authority.
Recognizing that the international transit of vessels involves calls at different ports where vessels interact with many stakeholders and systems, the network also set a basic objective of establishing common terminology, forms and standards of communication, ship reporting and data exchange to enhance inter-operability of systems across different ports.
Additionally, the network will work to facilitate port-to-port MASS trials. The representatives agreed that the trials should emulate the international nature of shipping with the objective of validating the proposed guidelines and conditions for MASS trials, and the inter-operability of port-based systems. This will allow the network to identify and address additional challenges to operating MASS at various ports.
“Autonomous technologies are without doubt part of the maritime future and we need to pave the way for the safe and efficient use of these new systems. Cooperation is key to this, and I welcome the MASSPorts Network as a forum for the important international collaboration in this area,” commented Andreas Nordseth, Director-General of the Danish Maritime Authority. His colleagues from Finland agreed explaining that they believed that the experiences and lessons learned through the network would help to support practical advocacy work as the technology advances.
The network also hopes to benefit from the experience being developed by the participating countries. For example, Japan noted that it has accelerated the development of autonomous technology seeking to reduce the workloads on seafarers and the risks of accidents as well as improve the efficiency of shipping operations. At present, through R&D and trials, Japan is focusing on three types of autonomous technologies: autonomous navigation/collision avoidance, remote control navigation, and automated berthing.
Similarly, the Norwegian Maritime Authority and the Norwegian Coastal Administration which are participating in the network have together played a key role in the establishment of three test areas for autonomous solutions in Norwegian waters and the establishment of the Norwegian Forum for Autonomous Ships. The Norwegian Maritime Authority also highlighted its efforts as the first administration to deliver clear guidelines on accepting autonomous ships in national, commercial operations.
The Republic of Korea has committed to investing approximately $130 million between 2020 and 2025 to develop autonomous navigation systems for MASS and applying it to actual vessels. In addition, Korea has been working to establish a smart marine logistics infrastructure and services such as smart ports and hyper-connected maritime communication in line with the development and commercialization of MASS.
A massive fire broke out at the Port of Beirut on Thursday, incinerating a warehouse full of tires and oil within the port’s free zone. The same area was heavily damaged in the ammonium nitrate explosion that leveled the central port area and the adjacent waterfront on August 4. According to Lebanon’s civil defense agency, […]
Over the course of the past five days, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arranged a medical intervention for an injured aboard a freighter in the Indian Ocean. On Saturday evening, the Spliethoff tweendecker Dolfijngracht called for assistance while under way about 1,000 nauical miles off the coast of Western Australia. A crewmember had sustained serious […]
The naval forces of the US and Bahrain recently staged a joint force training exercise which showcased the interoperability between coalition warships operating I the Arabian Gulf. Coalition Task Force Sentinel executed combined exercise Sentinel Shield supporting Sentry and Sentinel patrols in the coalition’s area of operations. The guided-missile destroyer USS John Paul Jones and […]
DSV Belgium has solid experience in the transport of pharmaceutical products for different customers. With a pharma hub based at Brussels Airport a lot of experience and know-how has been built up over the years. Last weekend, the forwarder handled one hundred million mouth masks, an important milestone for its Belgian organisation that has put […]
The U-Freight Group (UFL), with its considerable involvement in eCommerce logistics, says that the latest statistics showing that global e-commerce sales hit $25.6 trillion in 2018 are a further vindication of its decision to enter this sector of the international freight market several years ago. The latest available estimates, up 8% from 2017, were recently […]
The UK government’s new post-Brexit tariff regime will result in both winners and losers. The new regime is set to replace the European Union’s Common External Tariff from the end of the Brexit Transition Period on December 31, 2020. The UK’s commitment to the ongoing Brexit process and ending the UK’s transition from EU membership […]
With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world. The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of […]
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has released a Marine Accident Brief about an accident that occurred on April 15, 2019, involving the towing vessel DeJeanne Maria which struck the end of a submerged dredge pipeline while pushing two spud barges to the Gulf of Mexico. The incident occurred on the Mississippi River in Pass […]
Astral Aviation has increased its intra-African network with cargo freighters during the pandemic. While there has been a reduction in capacity to, from, and within Africa, which has been caused by a stoppage of passenger flights and limited frequencies on freighter aircraft, Astral Aviation continues to operate cargo freighters from its Nairobi hub to 13 destinations […]
Best known as a leading passenger airport serving Germany’s most populated federal state North Rhine-Westphalia, Düsseldorf has become transformed into a vital distribution point, during the COVID 19 pandemic, for medical equipment and other life-saving goods, mostly from China. Gerton Hulsman, managing director of cargo operations, reports that the handling teams are working hard to […]
Operators can continue to use pilots and other crew members who have unable to comply with certain training, recent experience, testing, and checking requirements due to the COVID-19 outbreak in support of essential operations. Additionally, this Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) provides regulatory relief to certain persons and pilot schools unable to meet duration and […]
Global commercial aviation charter company Albion Aviation Group is reporting that it is seeing a considerable uptake in its professional cargo broker training courses from the current global pandemic crisis and surge in charter demand. “We have completed a number webinar courses for a whole of host of companies, looking to manage their own cargo […]
Emirates SkyCargo has expanded its weekly scheduled cargo flight operations to cover 75 destinations across six continents. Through its wider reach, Emirates SkyCargo is able to transport essential commodities and other urgently needed cargo more rapidly across the world, allowing exporters and importers across markets to benefit from direct access to widebody cargo capacity. Some […]
Callan Marine is serving as the prime contractor to the Texas Department of Transportation for a maintenance dredging project located at the Bolivar Ferry Terminal, in Galveston, Texas. Work began in May and is estimated to be complete in late July 2020. The project consists of the removal of 600,000 cubic yards of material and […]
Network Airline Management and TAAG Angola Airlines are pleased to announce the renewal of their long-term freighter aircraft contract by an additional 12 months, sealing an ongoing partnership for the foreseeable future. Operating a regular weekly scheduled service from Liege, Belgium, to the capital of Angola, Luanda, Network Airline Management provides a Boeing 747-400F aircraft […]
Qatar Airways Cargo transported 56 SkyCell containers with vaccines from one of the largest vaccine manufacturers worldwide on its scheduled freighter and belly-hold cargo flights for its customer, CEVA Logistics. The 54-tonne shipment consisting of pneumococcal and varicella vaccines were flown from Brussels to Mumbai via the carrier’s hub in Doha on two separate flights. […]