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Role of the Harbour Master

The Role of the Harbour Master

Ports can be busy places and, by the very nature of their business activities, may be hazardous places to work. The Harbour Master has a key role to play ensuring that people living and working in or close to the port, the port’s staff, customers or visitors to the port environment can go about their business safely. Harbour Masters must be familiar with all relevant safety, environmental and health laws at the international, national and local level.

Port Marine Operations

The safety of navigation for any vessel utilising the port and its approaches is the Harbour Master's primary concern. Harbour Masters regulate the manner in which vessels conduct their navigation in port. Most regulatory requirements are clearly set out in the form of port by-laws, general directions, Pilotage Directions etc and these clearly define what the “rules of the road” are in terms of safe navigation.

Ship Arrival

From initial information provided by the ship on draft, length overall and displacement, the Harbour Master will allocate a suitable berth and apply any restrictions he may feel necessary for the safe passage of that particular vessel in his port. Vessels arriving at a port will normally contact the port control or VTS station to receive instructions on the plan for their arrival and stay in the port. This exchange usually involves confirmation of the time the pilot will board and the berth to which the vessel is proceeding.

Harbour Masters normally designate a safe pilot-boarding area where the vessel boards her pilot who then subsequently communicates with the port authority shipping control office or VTS whilst proceeding towards the intended berth. If the vessel is exempt from pilotage, in compliance with port regulations, then clear instructions on the manner of entry and navigation will be given and the vessel will be asked to register and confirm its passage plan. The passage plan is the detailed and recorded confirmation of what the ship intends to do at every stage of its passage from the pilot station to finally arriving alongside. Any subsequent movement of the vessel, a berth shift, for example, will also be subject to passage planning.

The Harbour Master has a duty to inform vessels about any hazards or problems that may affect safe navigation, for example:

  • Any obstructions in channels or alongside berths
  • Limitations of tugs
  • Weather restrictions in the harbour or at berths
  • Any failure of any aids to navigation such as lights or buoys

Vessel Types

Ports handle a huge variety of ship types ranging from supertankers, through cruise and cargo ships, large container vessels, bulk carriers, warships, Ro-Ro vessels and ferries right down to smaller but no less important vessels such as fishing vessels and pleasure craft. Different types of vessel require different port facilities to enable then to be handled efficiently and safely. Part of the Harbour Master's role is to be fully conversant with the types of vessel that represent the port's main business and to have a thorough knowledge of their requirements whilst they are in port.

Ship's Stay in Port

The role of the Harbour Master in terminal and cargo operations will vary according to the governance of the port. The Harbour Master's advice is regularly sought during a ship’s stay by companies, organisations or government officials associated with such activities as fuel bunkering, tank cleaning and the delivery of stores, water and crew.

The Harbour Master has a role to play in determining the berthing of ships and the control of the front quay or ship-shore interface. This includes the removal or segregation of dangerous goods for a determined period on the terminal, the measures to be taken by stevedores and dockworkers to prevent safety or environmental irregularities and the accessibility to the ship-shore interface by unauthorised persons.

The success or otherwise of a ship's stay in a port will be measured by how the Master, crew and ultimately the operator/owner consider the port has met their operational requirements. Port operations must be carefully planned well in advance of the vessel's arrival alongside. There are many planning considerations for the Harbour Master but amongst the main ones are: a suitable and safe berth; provision of pilotage and tugs; confirmation of mooring resources such as linemen, line boats, mooring teams etc; liaison with stevedores on the ETA/ETD of the vessel to enable them to plan their resources for loading/discharge effectively; key loading/discharge plant and equipment availability and reliability; security requirements and liaison with statutory authorities where necessary. Another key element is a good relationship with the ship's agent who will have first-hand knowledge of the ship's requirements.

The Harbour Master’s expertise is also essential for the management of any incidents and in the timely implementation of response and emergency plans.


Port Management

In addition to the technical and statutory responsibilities of the role, today’s harbour master is increasingly involved in the day-to-day management of port operations. Increased involvement and greater responsibility for the commercial business of a port is a growing area of activity for many harbour masters.

Strategic Planning Process

If they are to remain competitive, ports must move with the times in response to global shifts in maritime trade. Strategic-level business plans must be developed. Harbour Masters may contribute to the development of a long-term master plan for the port.

Other Authorities in the Port

The Harbour Master may co-operate with a number of authorities including representatives of port state control, customs, veterinary agencies, health agencies, environmental agencies, local government and utilities.

Local Community

Ports, as with all businesses, are expected to engage with their stakeholders in an open, honest and transparent manner. Working in the port environment inevitably brings the Harbour Master into contact with the wider community. Although Harbour Masters may exercise jurisdiction over the water frontage or waterway of their port – a decision that may be determined by statute or regulation – they are also expected to consider the requirements or concerns of the community on the use of the port’s navigable area and its impact on the community.

It is not only commercial vessels that make use of a port. Recreational fisherman, diving clubs, rowing clubs, tour boat operators, visiting yachtsmen and power boat drivers, marina operators and many more must all be consulted. Conflict may arise between those pursuing different activities. The harbour master has an important role in engaging with interest groups, resolving such issues and ensuring the safety of all harbour users.

Leisure Use of Ports

Leisure activities may take many forms, including recreational boating (both power and sail), swimming, diving and organised aquatic events. The Harbour Master can mitigate the risks associated with large aquatic events through the application of safety management principles and risk assessment. However, private and irregular use of the port for recreation is difficult to monitor and control. Many ports and harbours now use their websites and social media to promulgate safety information to port users. The zoning of activities to separate, for example, swimmers from personal watercraft may be introduced. Prohibiting access to some areas may be required and will require local regulation. The focus should be on community engagement and finding a harmonious method for the co-existence of recreational activities. 

Latest News & Events

At its 2019 AGM held in the Faroe Islands in week ending 15 June representatives of the world’s national shipowners’ associations reviewed the priorities of the global shipowners’ association, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

Sadly, the ICS Annual General Meeting was overshadowed by the attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the very serious threat this presents to the lives of seafarers and maritime trade.

Action on CO2 Reduction

ICS agreed a suite of actions in support of the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) strategy to decarbonise international shipping in line with the United Nations 1.5 degree climate change goal.

Speaking from the Faroe Islands, ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson (illustrated) said: ‘It is imperative that IMO Member States adopt a new global regulation to mandate further short term CO2 reduction measures at the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in 2020.  This should deliver further CO2 reductions by 2023 to help us meet the IMO target set for 2030.  We will work with a broad coalition of governments to produce a comprehensive proposal that can be submitted to IMO in September this year.’

Pan-European multimodal service provider Samskip have indicated experience gained up to 31 March 2019 find it fully prepared for a North Sea container traffic surge, as attitudes harden in the run up to October’s revised UK Brexit deadline. (An illustration of Samskip’s traffic is provided here with thanks ©)  

Europe’s largest multimodal transport group by freight volume reports that it expects UK exporters and importers to start switching away from trailers and towards containerisation, repeating a trend established in the run-up to the original deadline for Brexit of 31 March this year.

David Besseling, Samskip UK Trade Manager commented: ‘We saw a significant push in container volumes up to March 2019, especially into Hull, as decision-makers facing uncertainty opted for the reliability and proven procedures of container shipping. Concerns over supply chain security are fast re-emerging.’

Besseling reflected that stockpiling contributed to the earlier traffic surge, but added that the experience also confirmed robustness in new Hull-Ghent and Hull-Amsterdam links established by Samskip at the end of 2018. The services add to existing high-frequency connections between Rotterdam, Tilbury, Hull and Grangemouth.       

Role of Harbour Master/ Port Operations Professional
Security
Port Call Optimisation
Ship image
Vessel Traffic Services
Safety
dock image
Emergency Management
Environment

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Bonhill House, London, UK
Ports & Terminals Insurance Seminar

You are invited to attend the Lloyd's Maritime Academy Ports & Terminals Insurance Seminar between 11-12 June, London.  

This two day seminar offers a complete guide to assessing what claims a port is liable for and how to handle risks and insurance. The agenda has been specifically written for ports and terminals operators. All of the attendees will be able to claim CPD points and will leave with a thorough understanding of the insurance market through expert presentations from underwriters, solicitors and legal counsel.

20% Discount

All IHMA members will receive an exclusive 20% discount. To claim your discount please quote FKT3572IHMA when booking, or follow the links in the email, and the discount will automatically be applied. 

The agenda has been specifically tailored for the challenges and insurance considerations which port and terminal operators are facing today. Through interactive formats, case studies and Q&A sessions, our experts will guide you through the market, insurance processes and how to asses new risks such as cyber security, environmental regulations and extreme weather affects on ports. 

Key areas which will be covered include:

  • Understanding the insurance market
  • Cyber Security - How big is the risk?
  • Interactive Sessions: port disruption, harbourmaster negligence and infrastructural damage
  • Answering the big questions: What is good insurance? What evidence is needed? Who are the 3rd parties and what can they hold operators liable for?
  • What is the best approach for insuring your port post 2020?
Book in one of three easy ways:

Register online | Email: maritime@KNect365.com | +44(0)20 7017 5511

Please use VIP code FKT3572IHMA when registering to benefit from your 30% discount

Attendees will be able to claim CPD points>>

Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Copenhagen
Shipping 2030

There is a 20% discount available for IHMA members attending the Shipping2030 Europe conference, 20-21 March, Copenhagen.
The following information is provided by the conference organiser:
Co-located with
Green Ship Technology, Shipping2030 Europe (20 – 21 March 2019, Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Copenhagen) will bring together 300+ global maritime professionals from across the industry to discuss all things digital and how to achieve excellence with the use of new technologies,processes and strategies.
More information about the event:
http://bit.ly/Shipping2030-IHMA.

As a member of IHMA, you can receive an exclusive discount of 20% on the standard rate. To claim the offer, use VIP code FKT3545IHMA at checkout:

http://bit.ly/BookShipping2030-IHMA.

Agenda highlights:

  • Gain the latest updates from the cutting-edge innovators in practical case studies on: Autonomous shipping, digital twinning, connectivity and satcom solutions, IoT, cybersecurity and performance monitoring.
  • Maximise your strategic planning with insight from expert panels discussing: Digitalisation ROI and financing, fostering a culture of innovation, supply chain optimisation, new workforce demands.

Download the full agenda: http://bit.ly/AgendaShipping2030-IHMA
Key speakers for 2019 include:

  • K D Adamson, Futurist & CEO, Futurenautics
  • Peter Schrøder, CDO, Maersk Tankers
  • Inge André Sandvik, CDO, Wilhelmsen Group
  • Deanna MacDonald, CEO & Co-Founder, BLOC
  • Aron Sørensen, Head of Maritime Technology & Regulation, BIMCO
  • Tommy Olofsen, Chief Commercial Officer & Deputy CEO, OSM Maritime Group
  • Annika Elfström, Head of Digital Transformation Lab, Stena AB
  • Christopher Rex, Head of Innovation, Danish Ship Finance
  • Leif Arne Strømmen, Vice President Innovation, G2 Ocean

View all the confirmed speakers: http://bit.ly/Shipping2030Speakers-IHMA.

New this year: Sustainable Ports Summit

(22 March 2019, Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Copenhagen)
Discuss how ports are rising to the challenge in terms of the infrastructure and services provided, the proactive measures many ports are taking to limit harmful emissions, while protecting the marine
environment from potentially harmful discharges and bioinvasions.

Key topics include: bunkering for a multi-fuel future, ship to shore power supply, and local response to air quality concerns.

Keynote speaker announced: Patrick Verhoeven, World Port Sustainability Program Coordinator & Managing Director, International Association of Ports and Harbours

See the full summit agenda and up-to-date speaker line-up: http://bit.ly/AgendaSPS-IHMA.

Additional discounts:

  1. Group bookings: the third and subsequently registered delegates save 50% on the standard rate.
  2. Shippers and shipowners can attend for free as VIP guests.

To apply for your complimentary pass, please visit http://bit.ly/Shipping2030VIP-IHMA.

Register today at http://bit.ly/BookShipping2030-IHMA or contact us for additional information or assistance with booking your tickets.

E.: maritime@knect365.com

T.: +44 (0) 20 7017 5511

Hilton Canary Wharf Hotel in London

We are delighted to invite you to the inaugural Smart Ports Summit, taking place from 19 to 20 February 2019 at the Hilton Canary Wharf Hotel in London. This two-day summit will bring together key stakeholders from the entire supply chain to discuss how to integrate smarter operations across port and terminal activity, looking at all types of ports – from containers, tankers and dry cargo to passenger and crew facilities.
As a member of IHMA, you are entitled to an exclusive discount of 20% on the standard rate. To claim
your discount, use VIP code FKT3566IHMA at checkout.

Register here:
http://bit.ly/SmartPortsbook-IHMA

Learn more about the event: http://bit.ly/SmartPorts-IHMA

Highlights from the agenda:

  • The drivers behind change and the biggest challenges ahead to digitalise ports
  • How to determine business critical processes that require digital applications
  • Adopting AI and predictive analytics to improve information flow
  • Specific challenges around container terminals, passenger ship ports and tanker terminals
  • Working towards optimising the supply chain and potential integration strategies
  • The latest cyber security threats and how to mitigate these risks
  • What will the port of the future look like and how will it impact and benefit other stakeholders
  • And plenty more

Download the agenda: http://bit.ly/SmartPortsagenda-IHMA

Key speakers for 2019 include:

  • Anton Rhodes, Project Officer, IMO
  • Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive, British Ports Association
  • Sven Daniels, Director IT, Hamburg Port Consulting
  • Johan Gahstrom, Senior Marine Manager, Intertanko
  • Yoss Leclerc, Port Operations, Quebec Port Authority
  • Monica Swanson, Business Manager Digital Development, Port of Rotterdam

Meet all the speakers: http://bit.ly/SmartPortsSpeakers-IHMA

Additional discounts:

  1. Port authorities and terminal operators: 50% off the standard rate (paying only £799 + VAT)
  2. Shippers and shipowners can attend for free as VIP guests. For more information, please email Ellen at ellen.minshull@knect365.com.
The Grand Chancellor, Hobart
The 12th IHMA Congress, The Next Wave – Navigating Towards the Digital Future

The 12th IHMA Congress, The Next Wave – Navigating Towards the Digital Future

The International Harbour Masters’ Association 2020 Congress in Hobart, Australia will address the theme ‘The Next Wave – Navigating Towards the Digital Future‘

The IHMA invites you to submit your ideas, case studies and technical research via the online ‘Call for Papers’ athttp://www.globalportoperations.com/call-for-papers Deadline – 15 March 2019

The biennial IHMA congress provides a unique forum in which formal Association meetings are combined with a conference, extensive networking program and an exhibition – displaying equipment, services and technical developments relevant to the ports and harbour sector and providing both local and international sponsors and exhibitors with a unique marketing platform.

The 2020 IHMA Congress is an unparalleled opportunity for maritime businesses to showcase their services and for port marine professionals from around the world to network, share their experiences and update their professional knowledge.

Apply for membership of IHMA today to benefit from the IHMA Congress Members’ Discount 
http://www.harbourmaster.org/ihma-join-online.php

See attachment for dates and venues
Maritime and Cyber crime threat and risk mitigation workshop

Free to Attend – each event closing with a networking reception

Agenda

CSO Alliance will host a maritime security awareness brief aimed at enhancing risk awareness to security officials within the global maritime industry.while also providing a collaboration platform to debate related issues. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about the CSO, Maritime Cyber and our new Port Alliances. Agenda items include:

Regional threat update for West Africa, Indian Ocean and Asia/Far East

•  Information on successful ship boarding locations with a focus on stowaway issues

•  Awareness of cyber threat vectors and how the Maritime Cyber and other Alliances can play into crime reporting and sharing

• Port Security concerns and risk management

Open Floor Panel Discussion

Leading speakers:

• Mark Sutcliffe Managing Director CSO Alliance

• Harry Harper Director Ports & Maritime Chenega International Consulting

• Dr. Chris Henny Senior Technical Maritime Advisor Intelligence, Airbus

The CSO Alliance and Maritime Cyber Alliances provide ‘Security through Community’ enabling the maritime security community to submit incident reports and other information as well as collaborate in a secure environment about risks faced by the maritime industry. This can assist in delivery of a cost effective, threat-informed, risk-based approach.

Please join as your feedback helps shape our existing Alliances and the new PFSO Alliance.

Please confirm your attendance by emailing rsvp@csoalliance.com

Tel + 44 (0) 1296 325700 www.csoalliance.com

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Latest News & Events

ICS International Chamber to push for rapid action on further CO2 reduction by international shipping

At its 2019 AGM held in the Faroe Islands in week ending 15 June representatives of the world’s national shipowners’ associations reviewed the… FIND OUT MORE

Samskip Samskip fine tunes multimodal network Post-Brexit hard choices

Pan-European multimodal service provider Samskip have indicated experience gained up to 31 March 2019 find it fully prepared for a North Sea container… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

At its 2019 AGM held in the Faroe Islands in week ending 15 June representatives of the world’s national shipowners’ associations reviewed the priorities of the global shipowners’ association, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).

Sadly, the ICS Annual General Meeting was overshadowed by the attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the very serious threat this presents to the lives of seafarers and maritime trade.

Action on CO2 Reduction

ICS agreed a suite of actions in support of the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) strategy to decarbonise international shipping in line with the United Nations 1.5 degree climate change goal.

Speaking from the Faroe Islands, ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson (illustrated) said: ‘It is imperative that IMO Member States adopt a new global regulation to mandate further short term CO2 reduction measures at the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in 2020.  This should deliver further CO2 reductions by 2023 to help us meet the IMO target set for 2030.  We will work with a broad coalition of governments to produce a comprehensive proposal that can be submitted to IMO in September this year.’

Pan-European multimodal service provider Samskip have indicated experience gained up to 31 March 2019 find it fully prepared for a North Sea container traffic surge, as attitudes harden in the run up to October’s revised UK Brexit deadline. (An illustration of Samskip’s traffic is provided here with thanks ©)  

Europe’s largest multimodal transport group by freight volume reports that it expects UK exporters and importers to start switching away from trailers and towards containerisation, repeating a trend established in the run-up to the original deadline for Brexit of 31 March this year.

David Besseling, Samskip UK Trade Manager commented: ‘We saw a significant push in container volumes up to March 2019, especially into Hull, as decision-makers facing uncertainty opted for the reliability and proven procedures of container shipping. Concerns over supply chain security are fast re-emerging.’

Besseling reflected that stockpiling contributed to the earlier traffic surge, but added that the experience also confirmed robustness in new Hull-Ghent and Hull-Amsterdam links established by Samskip at the end of 2018. The services add to existing high-frequency connections between Rotterdam, Tilbury, Hull and Grangemouth.