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Vessel Traffic Services

VTS is recognised internationally as a navigational safety measure through the International Convention on the Safety of Life at Sea 74/78 (SOLAS). In particular, the provisions in SOLAS Chapter V (Safety of Navigation) Regulation 12 provides for Vessel Traffic Services and states, amongst other things, that:

  • “Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) contribute to safety of life at sea, safety and efficiency of navigation and protection of the marine environment, adjacent shore areas, work sites and offshore installations from possible adverse effects of maritime traffic.”, and
  • “Governments may establish VTS when, in their opinion, the volume of traffic or the degree of risk justifies such services.”

IMO Resolution A.1158(32) Guidelines for Vessel Traffic Services describes the purpose of VTS, the regulatory and legal framework for establishing and operating VTS, the roles and responsibilities of Contracting Governments, competent authorities, VTS providers and participating ships and the qualifications and training requirements for VTS personnel.

VTS achieves its purpose by monitoring ship traffic and interacting with ships to provide information or issue advice, warnings, and instructions:

  • On factors that may influence ship movements and assist onboard decision-making.  This may include, for example:
    • position, identity, intention, and movements of ships.
    • maritime safety information.
    • limitations of ships in the VTS area that may impose restrictions on the navigation of other ships (e.g. manoeuvrability), or any other potential hindrances.
  • To manage ship traffic to ensure the safety and efficiency of ship movements.  This may include, for example:
    • planning ship movements in advance.
    • organizing ships under way.
    • organizing space allocation.
  • To respond to developing unsafe situations. This may include, for example:
    • a ship unsure of its route or position.
    • a ship deviating from the route.
    • a ship at risk of grounding or collision.

IMO Resolution A.1158(32) also provides the basis for governments to establish the regulatory framework for participating ships, under national law, to:

  • provide reports or information required by VTS;
  • take into account the information provided, or advice and warnings issued, by VTS;
  • comply with the requirements and instructions given to the ship by VTS unless contradictory safety or marine environment protection reasons exist.

IALA is recognized as an important contributor to IMO's role and responsibilities relating to VTS and  publishes standards and associated recommendations, guidelines and model courses specifically related to the establishment and operation of VTS to contribute to achieving worldwide harmonization of VTS.  For further information on VTS refer to the IALA VTS Manual – https://www.iala-aism.org/product-category/publications/manuals/

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

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, celebrated at the 14th IHMA Congress in May.

The key theme of the 2024 event was The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority hosted the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center.

Steve Rushbrook never predicted he would become a Harbour Master, let alone in one of the southernmost ports in the world. His career pathway to becoming a Harbour Master for New Zealand’s Otago Regional Council shows what is possible for those with less conventional backgrounds.

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Four Points by Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria
OceanWise Charting Water Workshop

Brought to you by OceanWise and Brewzone Africa - Join the first Charting Water Workshop entitled “Harnessing Environmental Data for Hydrography" which is running on the 15th - 16th April 2024 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel Lagos, Nigeria.

Bringing hydrography professionals together from all over West Africa, this intimate 2-day workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure. We will also have a number of key real-world case studies and local experts in attendance to provide some best practice and recent hands-on experiences.

Full details of the developing programme and registration can be found here on our Eventbrite page

Registration is now open. Spaces are limited so please register now to secure your place.

What will it cover?
This workshop will provide you with practical knowledge, guidance and best practice. You will enjoy a mix of presentations, round table discussions and training. Our expert speakers will guide you through the latest developments, technologies and methodologies used in hydrography, helping you understand the importance of accurate marine environmental monitoring data to support marine operations and national infrastructure.

Who is it for and why should I attend?
This is for professionals with an interest in Hydrography based in, or working in, West Africa.
Ideal for individuals from a variety of industries including Ports, Harbours, Inland Waterways, Oil and Gas, Education, Navy, Maritime Authorities, Research and Development etc etc
It offers a friendly and interactive environment to expand your knowledge, network with fellow professionals and collaborate on real-world case studies.

Gain valuable insights from industry experts, share your experiences, and receive a certification of completion on day two

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QE2, Port Rashid, Dubai - Grand Foyer

Harbour Master & Towgae Conference

Hollywood Beach Marriott
Navtech Conference, Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Navtech Conference 2023

Attention deep water and ocean towing masters, pilots, fleet management administrators, regulators and navigation operations professionals!

Join us in Fort Lauderdale for the maritime industry’s premier annual navigation forum!

Navtech, 5th and 6th December 2023, Hollywood Beach Marriott, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

  • Learn about developments in navigational best practices, technology and regulation.

  • Engage with the regulatory and manufacturing sectors about your experiences, and your challenges.

  • Get access to the operations sector that actually uses navigation hardware and software.

Tanger Med Port Centre, Morocco
IHMA Congress 2024

Join us on a marine adventure in Morocco. The 14th International Harbour Master Congress will take place at Tanger Med Port Centre from 21-24 May 2024. This year’s theme is The Marine Adventure – Evolving and Adapting to Change in Today’s Ports. You are welcome to come along for three days of presentations, deliberations and discussions covering every step of the port call process. On the fourth day, you can enjoy a guided tour of the Port of Tranger Med. To learn more, or to register for the event, please visit the IHMA Congress Website.

 

INTRODUCING TANGER MED

Tanger Med is the 1st port in Africa and in the Mediterranean.

It’s a global logistics gateway located on the Strait of Gibraltar and connected to more than 180 ports worldwide with handling capacities of: 9 million containers, exports of 1 million new vehicles, transit of 7 million passengers and 700,000 trucks on an annual basis.

CARGOES HANDLED

CONTAINER TRAFFIC: SURPASSING TEH 8 MILLION MARK

In 2023, Tanger Med Port processed 8,617,410 TEUs*, marking a growth of 13.4% compared to 2022. This remarkable achievement, equivalent to 95% of the port's nominal capacity, was accomplished 4 years ahead of targets.

The outstanding performance is attributed to the successful operations of terminals TC1 and TC4, managed by Maersk-APM, and the continuous development of terminal TC3, operated by Tanger Alliance (A joint venture owned by Marsa Maroc with a 50% stake, in partnership with Eurogate holding 40% and Hapag Lloyd holding 10%). Additionally, 2023 witnessed record productivity levels, surpassing monthly peaks of 800,000 TEUs handled.

RO-RO TRAFFIC ON THE RISE
In 2023, 477,993 trucks were processed, representing a 4.1% increase from 2022. Industrial product traffic saw a significant surge of 14.3% compared to the previous year, offsetting a 7.7% decrease in agribusiness product traffic.

INCREASE IN NEW VEHICLE TRAFFIC
The two vehicle terminals in the port complex handled 578,446 vehicles in 2023, reflecting a 21% increase from 2022. This traffic primarily includes 341,758 vehicles for export, produced by Renault factories in Melloussa and SOMACA in Casablanca, along with 176,208 vehicles exported by the Stellantis plant in Kénitra.

RISE IN SOLID AND LIQUID BULK TRAFFIC
Liquid bulk traffic experienced a 6% growth compared to 2022, a total of 9,838,157 tons of handled hydrocarbons. Simultaneously, solid bulk traffic witnessed a 44% increase from the previous year, totalling 581,042 tons processed.

PASSENGER TRAFFIC: RETURN TO NORMAL
In 2023, Tanger Med Port Complex welcomed 2,700,747 passengers, marking a 30% growth from 2022. This traffic has returned to pre-COVID-19 crisis levels.

GLOBAL TONNAGE: SUBSTANTIAL GROWTH
Tanger Med Port Complex handled 122 million tons of goods in 2023, reflecting a 13.6% increase from 2022, with 21% in Import/Export. This recorded global traffic is highest at the Strait of Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean. This traffic also represents more than half of the total tonnage handled by all ports in Morocco.

MARITIME TRAFFIC ON THE RISE
In 2023, a total of 16,900 ships called at Tanger Med Port Complex, marking a 17% growth from 2022, including 1,113 mega-ships (over 290 meters), representing a 16% increase from the previous year.

These results underscore the relevance of the vision of His Majesty King Mohammed VI for this strategic project.
Tanger Med remains firmly focused on the future, ready to face new challenges and strengthen its position as a major logistics hub in Morocco and the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Crown Towers, Perth, Australia
AMPI

For 25 years AMPI has been recognised as the professional body for developing, setting and leading in the evolution of industry standards, safety management protocols and advising regulatory bodies on matters related to Marine Pilotage.

As a globally recognised organisation and partner of the International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA), we directly contribute to the work of the International Maritime Organisation. With over 260 active pilot members, we have the experience and know-how to develop widely recognised industry guidelines including initial and continual pilotage training standards. AMPI continues to influence the development of world-leading practice and in doing so brings a higher level of safety to the ports and regions where our members operate.

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Latest News & Events

IHMA Congress Award Winners 2024 IHMA announces 2024 Congress award winners

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners,… FIND OUT MORE

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Steve Rushbrook never predicted he would become a Harbour Master, let alone in one of the southernmost ports in the world. His career pathway to becoming a Harbour Master for New Zealand’s Otago… FIND OUT MORE

Latest News & Events

18 June 2024

The International Harbour Masters Association (IHMA) is pleased to announce this year’s award winners, celebrated at the 14th IHMA Congress in May.

The key theme of the 2024 event was The Marine Adventure – Evolving and adapting to change in today’s ports. Tanger Med Port Authority hosted the congress at the Tanger Med Port Center.

Steve Rushbrook never predicted he would become a Harbour Master, let alone in one of the southernmost ports in the world. His career pathway to becoming a Harbour Master for New Zealand’s Otago Regional Council shows what is possible for those with less conventional backgrounds.