Subscribe to RSS

Author Archives: admin


By Simon Wilson, managing director of Trelleborg Marine Systems’ Docking and Mooring Division.

Terminal Safety

How can you be sure that a hazardous cargo is not put at risk when moored at your dock? Facilities of LNG Terminals need to be of the highest safety standards otherwise ship and terminal can be at the mercy of tide, weather and current during critical gas discharge operations.

Swift reaction to dangerous conditions, with appropriate warning alerts and automated / remotely operated mooring systems, can mean the difference between catastrophe and a minor interruption in offloading.

Optimum safety with efficient performance is why advanced TMS mooring technology was fitted at the new Escobar LNG terminal, on the river Parana des las Palmas, 40 km /25 miles north of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The Trelleborg Quick Release Hook (QRH) systems on triple and quadruple capstans, installed as recommended by SIGTTO, OCIMF and the IMO, enable safe release of each mooring line without manual intervention, even when under tension.

The QRHs are supplemented are enhanced by the Trelleborg Electric Release system, allowing remote operation in an emergency or when a vessel is leaving the berth. Protected by a four-way redundancy system, operation can be from a control room – button or screen operated, on the quay side from an actuator box or via a manual release on the hook; a fail-safe prevents unauthorized remote release.

The Trelleborg SmartHook® load monitoring system integrates the safety of mooring conditions with individual line tensions in real time, providing onscreen control room warning, and a jetty-based high intensity light and siren. Load tension data also feeds into the jetty data bank, for essential safety and efficiency feedback. High technology mooring systems also help fulfill the requirements of marine insurance.

Topic discussions

Avoiding mooring risk
Quick release safety systems
Remote release mooring


BY Scott Smith, technical director, Trelleborg Marine Systems

understanding fender sourcing

The fender and mooring industry has been changing over the last few years, and this has affected the way ports and harbors authorities are served. Unless specifiers understand what has happened to the industry structure, they could be purchasing unsuitable fenders and systems which may invalidate their insurance.

Historically, the fender manufacturers designed and manufactured fenders almost exclusively themselves. They could acquire a precise understanding of a port’s requirements, environment and operating conditions, and then design fender and compound the rubber to meet the stresses it would be exposed to and the expected working life.

In particular, successful rubber compounding and manufacture of such large, composite rubber products requires expertise that is the outcome of years of experience. As well as design of the fender, ensuring that the accessories such as chains and fastening systems meet the load requirements and the marine conditions is another product of on-the-spot experience.

The structure of the fender supply industry has changed recently with an influx of new suppliers who essentially act as a sales desk. Although these are all focused on marketing the fenders, only a few have a design capacity; the result may be the sale of an off-the-shelf product which neither seller nor buyer knows whether it will meet the docking requirements.

These sales suppliers are reliant on third party OEMs, based in developing countries, for manufacture. These OEMS may have little experience of actual port operating requirements other than the bare minimum standards for rubber compounding.

There are also strong indications that, as the cost of raw rubber maintains its level, there is increasing use of inferior low cost bulk filler materials such as recycled and crumbed rubber, which can seriously reduce the fender performance and working life.

The manufacturer may not tell the seller about his methods and compounds testing, certification and approvals etc will not be conducted with the same rigor as if the process was entirely in-house. And is the seller able to offer effective warranties, or have the financial backing to honor them?

So the buyer should be aware that a seemingly budget price for a fender system could end up costing the port far more through fender failure, port and ship damage and loss of revenue as the port’s reputation suffers.


By Richard Hepworth, managing director of Trelleborg Marine Systems

why risk it

Do you dare to work out how much time you are spending on managing operational risk? A recent survey we undertook amongst port operators, contractors and consultants revealed that around a third of you are spending more than ever – or even the majority – of your time on this key issue.

Given that one in five surveyed admit an increase in disputes over the last 12 months, that’s hardly surprising. And the cause seems to lie in the safety of the port environment; nearly nine out of 10 polled believed a safer environment would directly contribute to reduced costs.

Consider that there is not only the monetary impact of dealing with port-side failure. The whole process of investigating, prosecuting, and resolving mistakes can be enormously time and cost hungry. If more operators put the money into preventive maintenance, they would spend so much less pursuing disputes through the courts.

We see many ports that need to schedule more regular maintenance checks on their equipment, particularly fenders, irrespective of the warranty periods. This is because many of the fenders we are called in to replace or maintain are under-engineered, or operate in conditions they aren’t designed for.

It can be poor specification or a failure to understand that low quality materials, poor installation and inadequate maintenance can combine to cause critical scenarios. By keeping complete control of the supply chain from design through to manufacturing and aftersales support we can help minimize risk and disputes.

Trelleborg’s Barometer Report, which details a wide range of findings from the industry survey, is available now as a free download from Takes the Pressure Off.

Topic discussions:

What is the real cost of poor safety?
Risk management should look at cost of cutting maintenance corners.
Poor quality materials and inadequate design result from specification failure.


By Richard Hepworth, managing director of Trelleborg Marine Systems

Ports primed for investment surge

It’s immensely pleasing, despite the global downturn, that port owners contractors and consultants are optimistic enough to predict that capital expenditure will rise or at least stay the same over the next 12 months.

At least that was the view of most (55%) decision makers we polled last year as part of a comprehensive market report on the ports, harbours and terminal sector. The Barometer Report, conducted with Port Strategy magazine, also revealed that operational expenditure will remain at current levels or increase with 60% backing this claim.

The apparent optimism is good for the market and good for the economies of the world, which need investment in the global ports to drive trading growth. But I must also sound a note of caution. While the short term outlook is much improved, our research also reveals that these decision makers don’t necessarily expect investment to return to the levels we enjoyed a few years ago. Almost two thirds think it could be less or, at best, static.

The risk of this is only too real. There is a fear that not enough investment will come through to offset the reduction in maintenance we’ve witnessed during the global recession. Ports, harbours and terminals need to embrace the ethos of making adequate investment now to ward off the future costs of downtime.

Trelleborg’s Barometer Report, which details a wide range of findings from the industry survey, is available now as a free download from Takes the Pressure Off.