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 World Health Organization’s decision to name seafarers as one of the groups of transportation workers that should be prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination in instances of limited supplies. This was reported on 22 July.
Updated guidance for Stage II of its vaccine roadmap from the WHO’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization (SAGE) states: ‘Seafarers and air crews who work on vessels that carry goods and no passengers, with special attention to seafarers who are stranded at sea and prevented from crossing international borders for crew change due to travel restrictions.’
IMO Secretary General Lim commented: ‘I am glad to see that the WHO recognises the importance of vaccinating seafarers on cargo ships.
‘These individuals are responsible for transporting over 80% of all goods around the world, including food, medicine and vaccine supplies – and have continued to do so despite extremely challenging circumstances. Seafarers will play a key role in the global recovery, and barriers to international travel and crew change must be removed.’
On 28 September 2019, a cargo tank containing styrene monomer on board the Cayman Islands registered chemical tanker Stolt Groenland ruptured causing an explosion and fire. The tanker was moored alongside a general cargo berth in Ulsan, Republic of Korea and the Singapore registered chemical tanker Bow Dalian was moored outboard. Ignition of the styrene monomer vapour resulted in a fireball, which reached the road bridge above. Both vessels were damaged, and two crew suffered minor injuries. Fifteen emergency responders were injured during the fire-fighting, which lasted for over six hours.
Rupture of the styrene monomer tank resulted from a runaway polymerisation that was initiated by elevated temperatures caused by heat transfer from other chemical cargoes. Elevated temperatures caused the inhibitor, added to prevent the chemical’s polymerisation during the voyage, to deplete more rapidly than expected. Although the styrene monomer had not been stowed directly adjacent to heated cargo, the potential for heat transfer through intermediate tanks was not fully appreciated or assessed.