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.
OMC International (OMC) is a specialist company providing consulting services and operational systems to the international maritime industry.
OMC has developed award-winning e-Navigation technology to improve transit for large commercial ships in draft restricted entrance channels and waterways, the Dynamic Under-keel Clearance System. DUKC® determines and manages a ship’s Under Keel Clearance dynamically and in real-time, and is the only independently validated and widely operational real-time under keel clearance management technology.
DUKC® has assisted more than 120 port facilities, terminals, and waterways safely and efficiently conduct more than 160,000 deep draft transits. Utilising state of the art modelling, forecasting, and data assimilation techniques that have been proven against more than 550 full scale vessel measurements, DUKC® is the world’s most comprehensive and extensively validated UKC management system.
DUKC® is also used extensively for channel design and dredge optimisation. Integrated port planning, real-time operations, and dredge optimisation through DUKC® has allowed ports to realise dredging cost savings of up to 90%. Overall dredge volume requirements, and the associated environmental impacts, are also minimised. A recent example combining an operational DUKC® with DUKC® optimised channel design allowed a client to reduce their dredged area by 90,000m2, and the channel depth by 0.6m to 1.4m.
In addition to DUKC®, the services and systems provided by OMC to our clients include:
The bulk carrier Eaubonne (former name GH Storm Cat) is now (4 May) under quarantine in Durban harbour. On the same day that the South African government issued a statement saying that the ports were on high alert for the Indian variant of the Coronavirus (B.1.617) that has emerged in devastating numbers in India, it was learnt that a ship that arrived on Sunday night, 2 May, has been placed under quarantine after the discovery that a crew member had died en route. Another 14 crew have since been taken for testing for Covid-19.
‘All our ports of entry employ stringent containment procedures to minimise the importation of COVID-19,’ said Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize in the statement issued on 4 May 2021.
The ship Eaubonne (IMO 9663104), sailed from the port of Kandla in India on 18 April on a 14-day voyage to Durban, where she arrived off port on 1 May, prior to entering port and berthing at Maydon Wharf 2 on 2 May at 2000.
During the voyage one of the crew members passed away and authorities in Durban were advised that he died of a heart attack.
The ship was carrying a cargo of 6,250 tons of rice to be discharged in Durban.
However, on 4 May dock workers and others working on the ship were told to stop all operations and that the vessel was under quarantine. Fourteen of the crew were taken for COVID-19 testing but the real worry is that a large number of dockworkers had already been exposed to the crew.
The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the adoption of the own-initiative (INI) report of TRAN-Committee Chair, Karima Delli*, on technical and operational measures for more efficient and cleaner maritime transport by the European Parliament. This was reported on 28 April.
It is understood that the report was adopted with 453 votes in favour, 92 against, and 154 abstentions.
The final text adopted in the European Parliament plenary contains many of the key strong points which are supported by ESPO: