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:
In the UK the results of a recent Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT; see: CILT Home (ciltuk.org.uk) ) survey investigating the preparedness of Institute members ahead of the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, reveals that a clear majority of members are concerned about the UK’s transition period coming to an end.
It is understood that the results show that 82% of CILT members who are involved in the movement of goods in and out of the EU are concerned (44% of them greatly concerned) about the transition period ending at the end of the year.
CILT stated that it is pleased to see 79% of respondents believe their organisation is at least moderately prepared for the end of the transition period. However, alarmingly, 31% of respondents told CILT they had made little or no progress with regards to EU exit preparations since the start of the year, although 77% of those questioned have made or are planning to make changes to their supply chain operations before 31 December.
Many respondents believe their organisation understands the key requirements for what needs to be done as a third-party country exporting or importing with the EU. However, members commented on feeling increasingly concerned over the lack of clarity that remains as the nation approaches the end of the transition period. Respondents also raised concerns about how imports from Northern Ireland will be handled.
As the UK Government launched the Freeports competitive bidding process towards the end of November DP World and Forth Ports advanced their bid for a Thames Freeport with London Gateway, the Port of Tilbury and Ford’s Dagenham engine plant at its heart.
Backed by the City Corporation of London, Essex Chamber of Commerce, London First, the Port of London Authority, the Thames Estuary Growth Board, Thurrock Council and the South East LEP, a Thames Freeport will, it is reported, drive innovation and transformational productivity gains by growing regional clusters in next generation logistics, automation, clean growth and advanced manufacturing. Vivid Economics is providing economic analysis in support of the bid, it is understood.
With a network of global and European shipping connections, excellent road, rail and river distribution networks, in addition to unrivalled first hand expertise in operating freeports, the Thurrock-based combined port and logistics cluster has the scale to grow the associated aerospace, automotive and many complex manufacturing and processing businesses along the Thames. This was the substance of a media release issued by Forth Ports and DP World.
The joint communiqué advised that a freeport will act as a job creation and high-quality development catalyst in an area of severe deprivation and economic need.
Both London Gateway and Tilbury ports have consented development land that is available for expansion now, with the aim to improve the opportunities for skilled jobs, bringing prosperity to the residents of Thurrock and beyond.
In the words of Alan Shaoul, DP World UK’s Chief Financial Officer: ‘Freeports will be an effective way of underpinning Britain’s economy post-Brexit and post-Covid by further enabling trade with the rest of the world and creating zones which will act as catalysts for commerce, creativity and prosperity.’