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:
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has welcomed the commitment of 12 countries to facilitate crew changes and achieve key worker designation for seafarers, following a virtual ministerial summit hosted by the UK Government on 9 July. This step represents significant progress to help resolve a growing crisis facing the maritime industry, and enable hundreds of thousands of stranded seafarers to go home or join ships.
In a joint statement, representatives from 12 countries expressed their deep concern about the current crisis and acknowledged that “the inability of ship operators worldwide to conduct ship’s crew changes is the single most pressing maritime operational challenge to the safe and efficient movement of global trade”.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and border closures imposed by Governments around the world have caused significant hurdles to crew changes and left hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded onboard ships, or unable to join ships. It is currently estimated that at least 200,000 seafarers worldwide are stranded on ships and require immediate repatriation, and a similar number urgently need to join ships to replace them. This has led to a growing humanitarian crisis, in addition to concerns that seafarer fatigue and mental health issues may lead to serious maritime accidents. There are also concerns about the continuity of the global supply chain.
French container carrier, CMA CGM has announced its intention of launching a new product called Round the Africa (RTA) service to add to and complement the current 31 CMA CGM services already operating to sub-Saharan Africa.
A bit of a misnomer, the service is unique in terms of providing a direct service from Asia to Senegal and Sierra Leone along with best transit times, as well as calls to other selected West African ports.
Dakar is reached weekly from Ningbo in 35 days, from Nansha in 32 days. Freetown (Sierra Leone) is reached in 35 days from Nansha. The service offer to Tema (Ghana) is improved with three weekly departures.
‘Our exporters from West Africa will benefit of excellent transit time and direct service to China. Shanghai is reached in 29 days from Abidjan, 31 days from Tema, 36 days from Freetown and 39 days from Dakar,’ says the line in a statement.
One is left to assume the Round Africa part comes from the ships returning to Asia via the Cape of Good Hope.
Round the Africa service rotation is as follows:
Shanghai – Ningbo – Nansha – Singapore – Malta – Tanger – Dakar – Freetown – Tema – Abidjan – Port Kelang – Shanghai