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Navisense rolls out AI-based tech to improve port towage efficiency

Maritime technology company Navisense and towage operator Svitzer have teamed up to make port towage services more efficient and sustainable.

The Porttracker system demonstrates how a combination of various data streams and knowledge of operating towing vessels can result in a cost effective and easy to use tool, primarily focused on reducing fuel consumption, cutting emissions, and improving the environmental performance of a shipping company.

Porttracker is jointly developed and to date deployed in 21 harbours in Australia and Europe.

The main advantage of Porttracker over other approaches, according to Carsten Bullemer, Navisense founder and CEO, is that it operates without any need for onboard installations or manual input. “Our system is designed to be deployed effortlessly in any port worldwide and calculates fuel consumption by combining positional, weather, tidal, and engine data. At the heart of our tool, a smart event-logging algorithm automatically detects and displays all operations. Based on this high frequent AIS stream, it instantly identifies behaviours of all vessels and registers events,” he explained.

“Traditionally, captains have had to log their job timestamps manually. Instead, our system now helps them to focus on doing what they do best - manoeuvring the tug.”

Importantly, instead of having to rely on ex-post statistics and numbers crunching, the Navisense technology tracks and analyses the operations of harbour tugs in real-time to facilitate proactive planning of the jobs. “Once set up, our system monitors all events in the area covered and produces fully automatic reports for each assisted movement,” said Mr Bullemer. “This generates immense market knowledge and provides support for fuel consumption and Co2 reporting.”

“At Svitzer, we are always looking at the best ways to integrate innovative technologies in both our strategy and our daily operation for the benefit of our people, our customers, and the environment where we operate. Navisense has created a tool that is cost effective and, with its remarkable user friendliness, easy to implement. With Porttracker, we are able to review all operations in our ports and identify areas of improvement specifically during the mob and demob phases of a towage job,” commented Evangelos Fragkoulis, Svitzer chief technical officer leading the Porttracker program.

“We have completed the installation of Porttracker at 21 ports. Right now, we are in ‘run mode’ and already recording significant reductions in fuel consumption across the board. This is the first step towards achieving full fuel efficiency and improving our environmental performance. Navisense has been a reliable partner on this journey, and we look forward to the future. There are additional ideas for improvement being developed that will make Porttracker even better!”

Encouraged by the results so far, Svitzer and Navisense are in discussions to roll-out the system elsewhere, further building Porttracker as an integrated data platform for tugboat operational needs.

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