New Just-In-Time Solution Tested on Cruise Ships

Credit: Wärtsilä

Published Feb 20, 2020 5:27 PM by The Maritime Executive

Wärtsilä, Carnival Maritime and HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) have tested a new solution for just-in-time sailing on two cruise ships.

The new functionality has been been incorporated into Wärtsilä's Navi-Port system. It enables the seamless exchange of data between ship and shore under real-life conditions, with the aim of eliminating avoidable excesses of speed and enabling optimal port arrival. Ships frequently sail faster than necessary in order not to miss valuable berthing slots, only to find themselves having to wait at anchor before the pilot station. The financial impact can be considerable, while the unnecessary burning of fuel at higher speeds increases emissions.

Wärtsilä Navi-Port is the first commercially available ship-to-port communication platform that has applied the port call message standard as defined by the Sea Traffic Management (STM) validation project. Wärtsilä has been one of the main contributors to the STM developments and trials, where more than 300 vessels have participated, 130 of which have used Wärtsilä navigation systems.

Wärtsilä Navi-Port is a middleware which will be hooked up to Wärtsilä’s Fleet Operations Solution (FOS) system. FOS is an online infrastructure designed to enable full ship-to-shore reporting and fleet performance management. It combines individual processes that are otherwise separated, to optimize voyage planning, weather routing and fuel consumption, taking into consideration charter party compliance, speed management, as well as the condition of the hull, propeller and engine.

Currently, port agents undertake a lot of the coordination required for berthing a ship, but connecting the port system with the vessel navigation system can automate correspondence and ease handling of all stakeholders involved in a ship’s safe and timely arrival to port, says Wärtsilä.

If port conditions are incompatible with the vessel’s planned time of arrival, the berth scheduler suggests a new Requested Time of Arrival (RTA). The RTA is shared with Wärtsilä FOS and then sent directly to the vessel’s navigation system, along with an optimized, automatically calculated sailing speed. If the RTA is accepted by the Captain, the ship’s speed is automatically adjusted to respond to the new arrival time.

The information can also be shared with the shipping company’s Fleet Operation Centre, so that shore-side personnel can be involved in the approval chain. The changed Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) is constantly communicated to the port. The ship then arrives to the berth at the allotted time.

“We are committed to making cruising more sustainable, and to setting an example in greener and safer operations,” says Michael Salzmann, Senior Nautical Superintendent, Carnival Maritime. “For this, we welcome the development of new and more efficient technologies, such as the Wärtsilä Navi-Port. We have tested the solution with two of our ships, the AidaSol and the AidaPerla. The ships’ onboard Wärtsilä NACOS Platinum navigation systems were connected directly to HVCC, which allowed continuous communications, resulting in JIT arrivals in Hamburg. Outstanding!”

HVCC is responsible for the operational coordination of vessel traffic into and out of the Port of Hamburg. Terminals, shipping companies and port service providers make use of its operational services for the arrival of large-sized-, feeder- and inland waterway vessels in the port, the rotation planning within the port and departure coordination after handling. “Ultimately, vessel approaches are even more efficient, resulting in reduced emissions,” says Gerald Hirt, Managing Director, HVCC.

Navi-Port has received approval in principle from Bureau Veritas Marine and Offshore for meeting the classification society’s cyber security requirements.