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Monthly Archives: June 2015

EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF MEGA SHIPS

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)’s International Transport Forum recently released ‘The Impact of Mega Ships’, a new report investigating the impact of larger container ships on infrastructure, equipment and port traffic.

The report, which looks at the pros and cons of the current ‘mega’ container ships, put forward that 24,000 TEU vessels, which could be in service as soon as 2020, will have a major impact on main trade lines, potentially raising transport costs and hindering the competitiveness of ports overall.

We submitted information to the report with regards to the impact that ever increasing vessel sizes are having on port infrastructure, and in particular fenders and docking and mooring equipment such as bollards and hooks.

It’s a timely report. Our latest Barometer Report survey, the fifth that we have conducted, has found that ports are still struggling to keep up with the demands of increasing vessel sizes, especially in terms of onwards logistics.

This is another problem highlighted by the OECD report: although increasing vessel sizes have delivered cost savings in the past, these are decreasing with size, and size-related ‘fixes’ to port and hinterland infrastructure could be substantial.

A more complex challenge

Whilst mega ships bring these increased demands with them, one of the biggest challenges we see is actually designing berths to accommodate the large vessels of the future, whilst ensuring that they are still able to accommodate smaller vessels in the short term.

For our part, this requires fender design that can accommodate a wide range of operating parameters.  Designing a fender system that will perform successfully with kinds of vessel means the rubber compound must be fine-tuned to absorb the required energy, no matter the size of the ship. The properties of the rubber element must be hard enough to withstand the high loads from larger vessels, yet soft enough to accept the loads from smaller vessels.

Bigger ships doesn’t necessarily equal bigger fenders

The new generation of large container vessels uses several fenders at once, which limits the need for increased fender sizes; the extra amount of energy that needs to be absorbed is simply absorbed via more fenders. However, designing for multiple fender contact is still not straightforward for new mega vessels. The considerable bow flare of these ships, designed to accommodate as many containers as possible, mean that even a small berthing angle can lead to contact between the ship and the quay wall equipment.

Taking the pressure off

The rubber component of the fender system can be developed in other ways too, and can even reduce the impact on other port equipment in accommodating mega ships. For example, by designing fender systems with a smaller profile – but more efficient performance characteristics – ports can avoid the often costly process of extending or replacing cranes.

As we see it, ever growing vessel sizes certainly bring with them a whole host of new considerations for ports, not least upgrading infrastructure to allow them to berth. With onwards logistics considerations bringing about their own problems, there needs to be more collaboration and communication across the whole supply chain.

Working with and across suppliers, through an iterative process, from design, is critical to ensuring the port itself benefits from the increased throughput of increased vessel sizes, rather than being hamstrung by it.

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE FLNG WORLD CONGRESS 2015!

Alistair Traylen, Chief Systems Architect, Docking and Mooring Group

At the end of June, I’ll be speaking about developments in the ship-to-ship approach and berthing systems for FLNG at the FLNG World Congress in Singapore.

My presentation will form part of Stream D at the congress, covering ‘Flexible Technology Applications for Cost-Effective FLNG Operations’, and I’ll be discussing technologies, developments and the integration of the ship-to-ship approach and berthing systems, and how they are applicable in the FLNG market.

There are a number of complexities introduced to approach and berthing in ship-to-ship operations, and further arise in the LNG arena. As the FLNG market grows, docking and mooring technology and systems integration need to evolve rapidly to keep up with it.

In particular, I’ll talk about the complexities of banked mooring in terms of berthing and position monitoring, and how they affect the relative positioning requirements for FLNG ship-to-ship berthing. I will also outline considerations for specifying and evaluating ship-to-ship berthing systems.

I’ll leave you with some words from our President, Richard Hepworth, about why this rapidly evolving industry is so important to us, and I hope to see you at the congress!

“Trelleborg is a world leader in the design and manufacture of advanced systems for LNG applications, but we know that we need to continue to innovate to remain in this position.  One of the most valuable ways for us to inform about our developments is through peer-to-peer dialogue, which is just one of the reasons why we feel events like the FLNG World Congress are so important.”

For more information on Trelleborg’s marine systems operation, visit http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems

For more information about the FLNG World Congress, visit: http://www.flngworldcongress.com/

TRELLEBORG TO SHOWCASE NAVIGATION BUOYS AT SEAWORK 2015 INTERNATIONAL

Ashley Tasker, Global Business Development Manager for Marine Products at Trelleborg Marine Systems

I am delighted to reveal that we will showcase our innovative range of IALA compliant modular navigation buoys at Seawork 2015 International, the largest and fastest growing international commercial marine and workboat exhibition and conference held in a European working port environment (16th to 18th June).

Our unique, comprehensive range of navigation buoys provides a solution to fit all demanding requirements – in addition to our standard range, we are able to manufacture to specification where required. The modular system provides an easily transported option to cut down turnaround time and enable fast installation, as they can be shipped in sections and assembled on site.

Manufactured from impact resistant, colour-fast, UV stable materials and comprising of sectional hull pieces filled with marine grade, water-resistant foam, Trelleborg’s range of IALA compliant modular navigation buoys is built around a hot dipped galvanised steel core. Available as standard in diameters ranging from 1.25 to 3.6 meters, Trelleborg will also manufacture precisely to specification where required.

We will also be taking the opportunity to showcase our range of Foam / Elastomer constructed mooring buoys. Thanks to their low maintenance, self-fendering resilient foam bodies and their ease of handling and repair whilst offshore, these are rapidly replacing traditional steel mooring buoys.

Our booth will also feature our pneumatic and foam fenders. As an ideal ship protection medium for load sensitive structures such as LNG vessels and ocean platforms, our range of pneumatic fenders feature high energy absorption with low reaction force. While our foam fenders are super tough due to a unique manufacturing process and have high energy absorption for their reactive load.

If you’re heading to Seawork 2015 and want to find out more, come and see us at booth number A187.

Alternatively, visit: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/

LATEST BAROMETER SURVEY CALLS FOR MARINE INDUSTRY INSIGHTS

We’ve recently launched our latest Barometer Report survey, to gather views and opinions from across the industry on a range of issues from investment, to maintenance, to performance and downtime.

So if you’re a port owner, operator, contractor or consultant, we want to hear about your experiences.  By taking ten minutes to complete the survey,  you’ll enter a free draw to win an iPad.

Last year’s report revealed an anticipated boost in investment for facilities around the world, as well as an opportunity for ports to get ahead by investing strategically in smart technologies and supplier service, with a focus on improving long term product performance.

The findings from last years’ report also pointed to the need for more supplier involvement across the whole supply chain. This year, we’re keen to see if suppliers are closing the gap between the maintenance requirements of port owners and operators, and the support that they are able to provide.

And with increasing and varied demands on facilities, such as the anticipated rise in LNG bunkering and ever-growing vessel sizes, we’re particularly keen to see if infrastructure is keeping pace and if facilities have the support they need to evolve accordingly.

To take part in the survey and enter the prize draw to win an iPad, visit: http://ow.ly/NscWd