Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
It was reported from Perth, Western Australia on 18 November that Canadian software company Helm Operations (Victoria, BC https://www.helmoperations.com/ ) and Western Australian marine consultant Tiller Technical (Perth, WA, see: https://www.tillertechnical.com/) have signed a new partnership agreement to help vessel operators digitalize their operations.
As part of the partnership, Tiller Technical will use its industry expertise and local knowledge to help companies implement and use Helm CONNECT - Helm’s industry-leading harbor services and fleet management software - to modernize, digitalize, and streamline their operations.
Since launching in 2016, Helm CONNECT (see: https://www.helmoperations.com/helm-connect-overview/) has become the world’s fastest growing maritime software platform, now used by more than 220 companies and 4000 vessels worldwide to help manage fleet operations, including vessel maintenance, regulatory compliance, personnel management, and vessel scheduling and billing.
With Helm CONNECT already in use by many of Australia’s largest vessel operators, the partnership between Tiller Technical and Helm Operations will focus primarily on helping small and medium-sized operators take advantage of software to streamline their operations. It is reported that this service is much needed as Australian operators, like their counterparts around the world, look to move to paperless systems.
In the words of Tiller Technical Director, Drew Pirrit: ‘While Australia’s largest operators often have full teams dedicated to implementing new systems and improving operations, many smaller operators have traditionally lacked the resources to implement new technology to the same level.
‘After working closely with Helm for two years now, we’ve found that Helm CONNECT makes it possible for smaller operators to quickly and effectively implement software systems for maintenance, compliance, and complete harbor operations, bridging the gap to many larger operators.’
As an active marine engineer with over 15 years of engineering and technical management experience, Drew has worked extensively with mining and offshore support fleets in the Pilbara region, helping companies set up, manage, and support new operations by focusing on fleet reliability and supply chain management.
Built in part on that experience, Perth-based Tiller Technical has made its name in Australia as an engineering and operations support company offering safety system and maintenance plans for commercial vessels in line with Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) requirements. That experience was also a major draw for Helm as it looks to expand its operations to better support operators in Australia and New Zealand.
Nolan Barclay, CEO of Helm Operations commented: ‘Over the past two years, Tiller has been an essential partner for us in helping optimize the maintenance and compliance features of Helm CONNECT, especially from the point of implementation and crew adoption.
‘Working with Tiller, we’ve seen that it’s often the small and medium operators who can benefit the most from implementing electronic systems but making software systems work well for both management and crew is a challenge that often requires on-site training and support to achieve. This partnership will make it possible for us to better support operators in Australia and New Zealand and give them the close support they need to be successful moving to newer, more modern systems.’
This partnership agreement is just the start, said Pirrit, as Tiller looks to bring more technology to the industry in the year to come: ‘We see Helm CONNECT as a key platform for companies looking to optimize operations. It’s effective and powerful on its own but, through integrations with other new technology, it can also open doors for optimizing entire operations.
‘From integrating with telematics and onboard equipment to improve reliability, to digitalizing the entire harbour towage process from agent and order through billing, there is a tremendous opportunity to really drive innovation throughout the maritime sector here in Australia, as well as in New Zealand, and we’re excited to bring that to the table.’
A new report from the FAO shows that while most fish stocks remain overexploited, the number of stocks subject to overfishing has decreased for the first time in decades. This was announced from FAO HQ in Rome in mid-December. Readers are invited to see the full report here: http://www.fao.org/documents/card/en/c/cb2429en
After decades of increasing human pressures on the Mediterranean and Black Sea marine ecosystems and fisheries resources, the latest data suggest that a corner is finally being turned on overexploitation of the region's vital fish stocks.
According to a new report on the State of Mediterranean and Black Sea Fisheries (SoMFi 2020), released on 14 December, while 75% of fish stocks remain subject to overfishing, this percentage fell by more than 10% between 2014 and 2018. Exploitation ratios are down by a similar proportion. Taking into account newly assessed stocks, the number of fish stocks with high relative biomass has doubled since the last edition published in 2018.
Crew changes are once more becoming difficult as much of the world locks down again following the emergence of several new and more transmissible variants of Covid-19, crew specialist Danica has warned.
With travel corridors being closed and new travel restrictions imposed, airlines are once again cancelling or reducing flights which poses a problem for crew transiting to vessels. It is understood from Danica that ports too, if they have reopened, are imposing greater restrictions.
Henrik Jensen (pictured), Managing Director of Danica Crewing Services, has warned: ‘I believe we may be heading for a new crew change crisis every bit as bad as last spring. Over the past six months crew changes have been possible in many cases, although they have been costly and complex. However, now we are seeing a range of new restrictions and barriers to crew travel while also facing some serious issues in relation to crew health risk factors. I can foresee this impacting heavily on crew changes for the next few months.’
Danica specialises in crew deployment and has been assisting a range of ship operators in order to achieve crew changes over the past year. As a result, the company is fully aware of the latest rules and restrictions and well-placed to notice how they are impacting crewing.
Jensen explained: ‘In response to the rapid increase in infections around the world, governments are imposing new or additional measures including travel restrictions. Although these measures are understandable in the circumstances, based on scientific evidence, and intended to provide protection for their populations, they also cause operational and logistical problems for crew changes.