Skip to main content

Vessel Traffic Services

 

The IMO defines a Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) as a service implemented by a Competent Authority, designed to improve the safety and efficiency of vessel traffic and to protect the environment. The service should have the capability to interact with the traffic and to respond to traffic situations developing in the VTS area. The IALA VTS Manual states that “The realities of modern shipping, with larger and less manoeuvrable ships, traffic congestion in ports and waterways, hazardous cargoes and the potential for environmental damage, demanded that sophisticated measures be taken to reduce risks. Establishing Vessel Traffic Services was and still is a significant response to that demand”.

The IMO identifies three types of service that can be provided by a VTS:

  • Information Service (INS)
  • Traffic Organisation Service (TOS)
  • Navigational Assistance Service (NAS)

The title of each service in each case is largely self-explanatory. In its simplest form, a VTS may provide basic information on which the master of the vessel bases his own decisions without further intervention from ashore.  More usually, however, a VTS is also directly involved in the organisation and management of vessel traffic within its area of responsibility. As part of these services, the VTS should provide an oversight of the navigational safety of vessels and provide navigational assistance and advice if appropriate.

The VTS should be manned by personnel nationally certificated to the internationally recognised IALA V103 course standard. The types of service provided by a VTS will be promulgated in appropriate hydrographic publications.

IALA International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities

IALA is a non-profit, international technical association. Established in 1957, it brings together authorities concerned with marine aids to navigation, as well as manufactures and consultants from all parts of the world, and offers them the opportunity to compare their experiences and achievements. IALA’s aim is to harmonize aids to navigation worldwide and to ensure that the movements of vessels are safe, expeditious, cost-effective and harmless to the environment. VTS documentation and standards in the form of standards, recommendations, guidelines, brochures and the VTS Manual are available free of charge for download under the “Publications” tab on the IALA website.

Aids to Navigation (AtoN)

Aids to navigation can take the form of fixed or floating marks that may be lit or unlit, including lighthouses, leading lines, buoys and beacons. A vessel traffic service (VTS) can also be categorised as an AtoN, albeit a very sophisticated and relatively costly one. The mix of AtoN used in a port or waterway is determined by means of a risk assessment, which takes into account the local geography, traffic patterns, vessel size and manoeuvrability, local hydrographic conditions and weather patterns. IALA publications include guidance on maintenance and location of AtoN.

Latest News & Events

There is still time to complete the GLAs’ Differential GPS user survey

Survey responses can be provided until 31 December 2018. The survey can be completed online or may be posted.

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland are conducting a survey to gauge current and future user requirements for their Differential GPS service.

The 1st International Shipmasters’ Congress

ISC ’19

Future Skills Requirements for a Digitized Maritime Industry

The India Habitat Centre

New Delhi, India

25-27 September 2019

www.ifsma.org

ISC ’19 Invitation to submit abstracts

IFSMA, the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations, and CMMI, the Company of Master Mariners of India, cordially invite all members of the maritime / marine scientific and professional community to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations at ISC ’19, the International Shipmasters’ Congress 2019, which is scheduled to be held from 25 to 27 September 2019 at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India addressing the theme Future Skills Requirements for a Digitized Maritime Industry.

ISC ’19 is organized by the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA) in co-operation with the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) and enjoys the kind support of the Indian Ministry of Shipping, the Indian Maritime University, the HSB | City University of Applied Sciences and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.

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

Become a Member

Join the world’s premier professional body for harbour masters and receive up-to-date information on the industry and access to the members' area of the website.

Become a sponsor

Become a sponsor of the IHMA today and reap the benefits for your business:

  • Worldwide exposure
  • Prominence on the IHMA website
  • Instant access to your services and products for your existing and potential customers
  • Access to the key decision makers on marine operations in Ports – the Harbour Master
  • The opportunity to showcase your services and products at an international congress every two years

Be a part of the future of a vibrant, respected, professional and influential maritime organisation...IHMA

Download EHMC's Newsletter

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, ex vix insolens oportere accusamus, mea nulla aliquip virtute id, et commodo debitis voluptua mel. Vel ut doming scaevola, habemus gloriatur elaboraret ei pro.

Download archived

EHMC newsletter

Our Sponsors

Latest Events

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

Trinity House, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4DH
UK Ports for International Trade Launch Event

Dr Liam Fox MP, Secretary of State for International Trade, will give a keynote speech at the official launch of the UK Ports for International Trade campaign on Wednesday 17th October and an invitation has been extended to the maritime community. Readers who wish to attend are invited to inform the organisation by e-mail to: info@ukportsforinternaitonaltrade.com

UK Ports for International Trade is a new campaign led by businesses in the ports, maritime and logistics sectors - supported by the Department for International Trade. The campaign will be making a public case for the role international trade plays in driving growth and creating jobs in communities across Britain – and the integral role UK ports play in delivering that.

The campaign membership includes: Associated British Ports; the British Ports Association; UK Chamber of Shipping; UK Major Ports Group; PD Ports; Port of Dover; Belfast Harbour; Bristol Port; Forth Ports; Hutchison Ports; Maritime UK; Mersey Maritime; Milford Haven; P&O Ferries; Peel Ports; Port of London Authority; Port of Tyne; Rail Freight Group; Shoreham Port; UK Warehousing Association. 

Launch details:

Date: Wednesday 17th October

Time: 2:30 – 4pm

Venue: Trinity House, Tower Hill, London, EC3N 4DH 

We need to reimagine the UK’s coastal communities into a coastal powerhouse 

We have an unprecedented opportunity to transform our coastal communities 

UK ports ‘need to shout about the benefits of trade’ 
 

PORT OF GOTHENBURG

Thursday 27 - Friday 28 June 2019

How and with who will the ship of the future communicate?

This is the question that industry, ship owners and managers, ports, nautical service providers, university and research projects will seek to answer in this biennial EHMC seminar.  The day will include live demonstrations of industry products and a visit by boat within the Port of Gothenburg that will also take us around the harbour area.

The host: Port of Gothenburg

The Swedish shipping industry has recently been labelled a role model for the global shipping community because of the work being done to reduce emissions.  The Port of Gothenburg is not only Sweden's, but moreover Scandinavia's most important gateway for goods, cruise and passengers.  The hinterland includes three capital cities - Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm and almost 3o per cent of Swedish foreign trade passes through the port.

For further details please contact the EHMC Secretary, romers.ehmc@harbourmaster.org

Tanger Med

"Port Choice"

The 2017 seminar was a first in the history of our Committee, as it was held in the Moroccan port of Tanger Med. This was a consequence of the previous seminar in 2015, which was held in Marseille and where we reached out to our North African colleagues who are Harbour Masters, Port Captains and their deputies.

Tanger Med has built a leading hub port on the south shore of the Strait of Gibraltar. Beginning service in July 2007, the Tanger Med port is now operating amongst the world's leading ports.

 

Download includes
Programme en Francais Le program complèt du jeudi et vendredi 11 et 12 mai, séminaire EHMC, Tanger Med
Program in English - The full program for the Thursday and Friday 11 and 12 May 2017, EHMC seminar, Tanger Med

 

 

Marseille

On the occasion of the 2015 seminar in Marseille, we reached out to our North African colleagues who are Harbour Masters, Port Captains and their deputies. 

Le séminaire biennale de l’ EHMC est un événement sur deux jours qui permet aux Commandants des port Européens de se rencontrer pour se connaitre et échanger sur des sujets d'intérêt commun.

 

Download includes
Group picture
Press article  ’L’accueil des géants préoccupe les commandants de port’ le Marin, l’hebdomadaire de l’économie maritime  12 juin 2015
Press article  ’Le gigantisme cause commune des commandants de ports européens’ l’Antenne, les transports au quotidien   29 mai 2015
Presentation; Grand Port Maritime de Marseille -’Improve weather forecasts, more accurate navigation positioning, use of tugs, information to masters, improve experience’ AMAURY DE MAUPEOU, Harbour Master Port de Marseille et Marseille Fos
Presentation; The container ship market in 2015 ’Ultra-large box vessels: scaling effects in the container trade’ JAN TIEDEMANN, senior analyst liner shipping and ports, Alphaliner
Presentation; Le Port Tanger Med ’L’accueil dans le port des grands Porte-Conteneurs’ Cdt. KHALID SAMIR, Harbour Master Tanger Med Port Authority
Presentation; pilotage Marseille Fos “Piloter les plus grands navires dans le port en toute sécurité avec deux pilotes et la mise en œuvre du PPU” Capitaine NICOLAS PETIT, Pilot Station de Marseille Fos
Presentation; Bigger container vessels; more P&I claims? ’Replies from; the ship’s side, statistics, lessons learned & port installations’ JEAN-FRANCOIS REBORA, Director France P&I
Presentation; IHMA Congress 2016 ’Theme; Port expansion, challenges and opportunities’ PAUL O’REGAN, IHMA congress papers committee Port of Cork
Presentation; Weather forecasts ’Improving weather and wind forecasts in ports’ PAUL HUTCHINSON Vaisala
Presentation; Weather forecasts Text version; ’Improving weather and wind forecasts in ports’ PAUL HUTCHINSON Vaisala
Presentation; The Mariner’s Handbook ’What is the maximum draught that can fit into the port?’ SUSIE ALDER, Product Manager UK Hydrographic Office
Participants Registrations until 21-5-2015
Full program EHMC seminar, in English The full program of the seminar, 28 May, and the technical visit on 29 May
Programme complète du séminaire EHMC, en Francais Le programme complète du séminaire le 28 mai et de la visite du port et cocktail le 29 mai
The Port of Marseille, in English Presentation brochure Marseille Fos; ’Global Port & Multi-Activities’

 

 

This block is broken or missing. You may be missing content or you might need to enable the original module.

Download the IHMA Constitution

The IHMA constitution sets out the establishment of a region of the IHMA, the committee role and authority, its formation and management.

Latest News & Events

There is still time to complete the GLAs’ Differential GPS user survey

Survey responses can be provided until 31 December 2018. The survey can be completed online or may be posted.

The General Lighthouse Authorities of the UK and Ireland are conducting a survey to gauge current and future user requirements for their Differential GPS service.

The 1st International Shipmasters’ Congress

ISC ’19

Future Skills Requirements for a Digitized Maritime Industry

The India Habitat Centre

New Delhi, India

25-27 September 2019

www.ifsma.org

ISC ’19 Invitation to submit abstracts

IFSMA, the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations, and CMMI, the Company of Master Mariners of India, cordially invite all members of the maritime / marine scientific and professional community to submit abstracts for oral or poster presentations at ISC ’19, the International Shipmasters’ Congress 2019, which is scheduled to be held from 25 to 27 September 2019 at the Stein Auditorium, India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, India addressing the theme Future Skills Requirements for a Digitized Maritime Industry.

ISC ’19 is organized by the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA) in co-operation with the Company of Master Mariners of India (CMMI) and enjoys the kind support of the Indian Ministry of Shipping, the Indian Maritime University, the HSB | City University of Applied Sciences and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.