Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)
Maritime technology company Yara Marine Technologies, Artificial Intelligence application developers Molflow, and Chalmers University of Technology and social science specialists from Halmstad University and Gothenburg University have collaborated over 3 years to develop and trial an AI-based semi-autonomous voyage planning system. Initiated in August 2020, the Via Kaizen project explores how AI and machine learning can enable more energy-efficient voyage planning for ship operators.
Funded by the Swedish Transport Administration Trafikverket, the project utilized pre-existing tools, to enable a higher degree of digitalization and automation in vessel operations. These included Yara Marine’s propulsion optimization system FuelOpt and performance management and vessel data reporting tool Fleet Analytics, as well as Molflow’s vessel modelling system Slipstream. Existing work practices onboard and user needs were analyzed during the design process to ensure the technology facilitated processes and decisions with the greatest impact on energy efficiency.
The resulting system was trialed onboard two vessels, a PCTC car carrier operated by UECC and a Rederiet Stenersen product tanker. The wide-ranging results indicated successful energy efficiency optimization based on estimated time of arrival (ETA), with one of the two trial vessels opting to continue using the system.
Mikael Laurin, Head of Vessel Optimization at Yara Marine Technologies, said, “The Via Kaizen project speaks directly to where shipping is at the moment — where the intersections of digitalization, decarbonization and crewing determine our success in addressing climate change. The use of AI and machine learning to plan and predict energy-efficient voyages has significance for an industry looking to lower emissions while addressing rising fuel costs. Similarly, new technologies can streamline operations but require collaboration and buy-in from stakeholders across the board, necessitating crew familiarization and training, proactive design, and new corporate strategies. As a result, the insights and information gained from the project carry broader significance for our industry’s future.”
The Via Kaizen project demonstrated that incorporating machine-learning algorithms for improved predictive modelling of ship propulsion power can result in more accurate performance forecasting and optimization. It also evidenced the necessity of constructive collaboration between technology developers and users, as well as between ship operators and their customers.
Joakim Möller, CEO at Moflow, said, “The Via Kaizen project afforded an invaluable opportunity to explore and advance industry understandings of the role big data, data handling and model development can play in supporting lower emission strategies and maximized fuel efficiencies. Recent advances in vessel data tracking and analysis, weather information, and more can be used to gauge where operations have the potential to be streamlined. As the maritime industry seeks to utilize good data to inform decision-making, AI and machine learning can play a key role in processing and simplifying available data for clear, actionable outcomes.”
Throughout the trials, crew played a key role in determining the success of energy efficient voyages. This shows the necessity giving ship crews and management every opportunity to engage with, understand and embrace the value of AI-powered ship operation support technology in assisting daily operations onboard and ashore.
Martin Viktorelius of Halmstad University said, “Maritime’s ability to successfully decarbonize is dependent on its highly skilled workforce, and necessitates that we invest in creating seafarer support for digitalization and decarbonization. Clean technologies must prioritize intuitive, user-friendly interfaces and understand existing operations to maximize crew support and uptake of AI-powered solutions. The Via Kaizen project engaged with crew to explore and establish key parameters that crew indicated hindered their support of voyage efficiency.”
Simon Larsson from Gothenburg University said, “The Via Kaizen project documented potential challenges to implementing energy efficient voyages — notably, the impact of crew training and corporate processes that either facilitated or hindered the effective use of AI tools to improve efficiency. These findings are not specific to the project and have wider ramifications for an industry seeking advanced solutions to rapidly reduce emissions. While crew training will afford a much-needed bridge to build understanding and accelerate support for AI-powered voyage efficiency solutions among seafarers, it is just as important that we ensure effective channels of communication with management and corporate processes.”
Following the conclusion of this project, additional funding has been secured from the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova to further explore a selection of its findings. Yara Marine Technologies is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yara International.
The Port of Valencia begins electrification of its docks
Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)
A new step in the decarbonisation of the Port of Valencia and its firm commitment to be an emission neutral site by 2030. The Port Authority of Valencia (APV) has put out to tender the drafting and execution of the works for the electrical connection to ships for the Transversal Costa-MSC quay. This is the first electrification or Onshore Power Supply (OPS) project to be carried out by Valenciaport in the Valencian precinct.
The APV is thus initiating the procedure for the award of the contract for the drafting and execution of the project for the installation of electrical connections for ships and the maintenance of the same at the Transversal de Costa quay. To this end, Valenciaport has jointly launched the drafting of the construction project, the execution of its works and the maintenance of the installations in the same procedure for an amount of 12,468,626.8 euros (VAT included).
Onshore Power Supply (OPS) electrification infrastructures have been consolidated as a very useful tool for the decarbonisation of ports, as this system avoids the use of auxiliary engines of ships when they are docked in the enclosures. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions – due to the use of electricity that eliminates the consumption of fossil fuels used in these auxiliary engines – and stops the emission of particles and polluting gases.
This OPS initiative in the Port of Valencia will be carried out in parallel with the works on the new electrical substation – a second substation is also planned – which was put out to tender last month with a base budget of around 11 million euros and a completion period of 24 months. This infrastructure will be responsible for supplying green energy to the first OPS electrification project of the Transversal de Costa-MSC quay.
In this regard, Joan Calabuig, president of Valenciaport, stressed that “these are just two examples of real projects in the execution phase that confirm the firm commitment that Valenciaport is making to achieve the goal of being a zero-emissions port by 2030, twenty years ahead of the European Green Pact. It is a commitment to sustainability and to the society of our environment that is supported by initiatives such as the electrification of the docks, the use of hydrogen in port operations, the installation of photovoltaic plants or the commitment to intermodality with the railway. We are committed to sustainable growth that reinforces our position as a port of reference in the Mediterranean”.
Project included in the Next Generation Funds
The joint contracting of the preparation of the project and the execution of the corresponding works in the same procedure is carried out in response to the fact that there are no references in Europe compatible with the ISO/IEC/IEEE 80005 standard and in Spain there is currently no previous experience of OPS projects in operation with the characteristics of the pilot project defined by the Port Authority of Valencia. The combination of the individual components required for this type of installation (transformers, protection cells, disconnectors, frequency converters, etc.) with infrastructures for supplying electricity to ships requires specific projects, with technically complex solutions that have to be designed specifically for each location. In addition, and given that the execution of the construction project is subsidised by the European Union’s Next Generation funds and the Spanish Government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the joint tender is the only way to meet the established deadlines, since if two separate contracts were launched, the one for the execution of the construction project could not be launched until the one for the drafting of the construction project had been awarded, which would mean that the work would be completed beyond the deadline for the execution of the works to meet the target set by Europe.
MOL joins GCMD as impact partner to accelerate decarbonisation
Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)
The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation GCMD and MOL announced the signing of a five-year Impact Partnership agreement. On the same day, both parties held a signing ceremony at the GCMD office in Singapore.
Decarbonisation in the maritime industry is a challenge that needs to be achieved through accelerating collaboration and increasing investment by shipping companies, their customers, ports, energy suppliers and public sector actors. As an Impact Partner of GCMD, MOL will utilise its expertise developed over their long history and make various contributions and collaborations through its participation in GCMD’s projects, including providing access to vessels, operating data and evaluation reports so that internal learnings can be shared publicly and used for future trials.
MOL is one of the world’s leaders in the maritime industry and has been leading worldwide discussions on achieving decarbonisation. The carbon budget concept imposes a ceiling to the cumulative amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) that can be emitted globally in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius by 2050. Intermediate targets to reduce emissions, in addition to a net-zero target, are necessary. While plans are in place to adopt low or zero emissions vessels in the future, it is important to deploy measures to reduce emissions now. Such measures include the use of low-carbon and transition fuels that are available today, and deploying energy savings devices onboard vessels. MOL will bring its extensive capabilities and experience to bear as it joins GCMD and existing partners to accelerate international shipping’s decarbonisation.
Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, said: “We are proud to have MOL, one of the leading shipowners in Japan, come onboard as an Impact Partner. We are excited to tap on MOL’s track record in developing technical energy efficiency measures to broaden our perspective as we scope an initiative to help increase industry adoption of measures that can increase fuel efficiency of ships.”
Toshiaki Tanaka, Representative Director, Executive Vice President Executive Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of MOL, said: “We are very pleased to be a partner of one of the most important global coalitions. We will make our biggest effort to contribute and accelerate progress towards the net zero future in maritime industry, together with GCMD and all its partners.”
About the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) was set up on 1 August 2021 as a non-profit organisation. Our strategic partners include the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BHP, BW Group, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Foundation Det Norske Veritas, Ocean Network Express, Seatrium, bp, Hapag-Lloyd and NYK. Beyond the strategic partners, GCMD has brought on board 15 partners that engage at the centre level, in addition to more than 80 partners that engage at the project level.
Strategically located in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub and second largest container port, GCMD aims to help the industry eliminate GHG emissions by shaping standards for future fuels, piloting low-carbon solutions in an end-to-end manner under real-world operations conditions, financing first-of-a-kind projects, and fostering collaboration across sectors.
Wan Hai Lines establishes its new office in India
Listen to the story (FreightComms AudioPost)
Aiming to further enhance service quality and gain a stronger foothold in the Indian sub-continent, Wan Hai Lines has established its India new office in Kolkata in July 2023. Contact details for the new office are as follows: WAN HAI LINES (INDIA) PVT. LTD 3rd Floor, Block C, Apeejay House, 15 Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700016 TEL: 91-33-4450 4500 According to the 2023 Foreign Trade Policy announced by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India’s export trade volume will reach 2 trillion US dollars in 2030.
Therefore, benefiting from government policy incentives and the shifting trend of the global supply chain, India’s status in global manufacturing and international trade is increasing, which is conducive to maintaining long-term high economic growth. And the proportion of global exports has increased significantly. In addition, the continuous economic stimulus policy will help revitalize the domestic economy, and domestic demand is expected to increase significantly. Therefore, Wan Hai is optimistic about India’s future import and export situation. And also through the establishment of a new office to improve the overall operating efficiency.
Wan Hai India Kolkata office held a grand opening reception in the evening of 27th July. During the banquet, there were many important customers & guests. The Kolkata Port Authority, Kolkata terminal operators, feeder operators and important local customers were invited to send representatives to attend the meeting to express their blessings to Wan Hai’s opening of the Kolkata market. At present, Wan Hai has six owned offices in India, namely Mumbai, Chennai, Mundra, and Vizag, Delhi and the sixth office Kolkata office. In addition to directly providing river port services, it will also simultaneously strengthen service links between India and neighboring countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan. It is expected to pursue customer first through continuous expansion in the future and sustainable business philosophy.