High speed shipping has specific needs regarding infrastructure and service, and therefore considerations about the impact on surrounding activities and the environment have to be dealt with before it is introduced.
For high-speed craft (acronym: HCS) to be competitive in the present situation and in the long run, the cannot be ragrded as a conventional vessel travelling at high speed, but should be considered a new transport system. It is important that all activities are coordinated in order to achieve shorter total time in the transport chain for passengers and cargo, and to attain high utilization of the vessel and efficiency in the logistic flow.
The TOHPIC project aimed at examining in detail the possibilities to optimise the High Speed Craft (HSC)/Port Interface with respect to efficiency, safety and environmental effects.
The focus was mainly on vessels for combined passenger and goods transport. Both catamaran and mono-hull HSC were studied. These two categories represent the highest yearly rate of change (16 % increase for catamarans between 1997 and 2000, 15 % for mono-hulls) regarding number of fast ships on duty.
The TOHPIC project focused on the following objectives:
- Reducing the turnaround time and the corresponding costs related to berthing/unberthing.
- Identifying necessary conditions to reduce possibility of accidents during berthing/unberthing operations in port terminals
- Propose interface structures and logistic control in order to enhance the loading and unloading operations.
- Proposing berth design to achieve safer approach and mooring or unmooring.
- Proposing tools and concepts in order to improve ship manoeuvrability in ports, essential for ensuring effectiveness.
- Proposing methodology for cost, safety and environmental analysis of HSC in ports.
TOHPIC also included
- the provision of guidelines to compel the Maritime Authorities to define limits for executing manoeuvres both inside the ports and during the final approach period (due to lack of knowledge concerning operative rules for the HSC/Port relationship).
- some additional investigations on wash waves in order to obtain a handbook for ports, ship operators and maritime authorities.
- calculations on ship interaction effects, model tests and calculation of manoeuvring characteristics and quay effects, all for HSC in shallow waters. Very little is now known about these issu
The real verification of TOHPIC results has been performed in three case studies where some completely different examples have been selected.The chosen ports for the case studies were:
- PortofDun Laoghaire, to verify the operational conditions of one of the few specialised HSC terminals inEurope
- PortofNice, which has strictly and precisely regulated the approach/departing operations of HSC
- PortofBarcelona, whose expansion trend foresees the construction of a dedicated HSC terminal
Existing regulations and procedures for HSC navigation near coastal and port areas have also been in focus for the project. Optimised rules and practice have been defined and the followingamendments to the IMO Conventions were proposed:
- Obligation of a specific signalling for high-speed vessels (a high-speed vessel is to be defined as a craft capable of an operational speed in excess of 35 knots, which is different from the definition of a high-speed craft in SOLAS Chapter X). (COLREG 23)
- Obligation to, on board a high-speed vessel, have a dedicated radar lookout by an officer who do not assume any other task on the bridge. (COLREG 5)
- Require the AIS information to be displayed on the radar screen, the carriage of ECDIS to be made mandatory and the turning rate of the radar antenna to be adapted to the speed of the ship. (HSC Code)
Detailed mathematical models of the ship dynamicshave been developed and implemented in a software simulator tool. The tool is a ship-manoeuvring simulator where different interfaces and port layouts are implemented. This is the main exploitable outcome of the TOHPIC project and the tool creates a vis
Results of the research were directed to shipping companies managing fast vessels and to ports.Ship operatorsbecame able to improve their operation on existing lines and analyse the conditions in a specific port before initiate new ones. Portsplanning to start HSC traffic or optimise existing traffic will get a tool for identification of possible solutions to eliminate bottlenecks and hindrances to efficient operations in port. In this way the port can maintain its overall economic competitiveness that may drive the HSC operators to select the port as the terminal for their traffic. In the case ofplanning new ports forHSC operations the TOHPIC results and tools are an instrument for designing the port. Technical and scientific objectives achieved were focused on safety, effectiveness and low environmental impact of HSC operations in port areas.
A handbook directed to decision makers and other interested parties in port, has been accomplished. When new fast shipping initiatives or further developments are considered, it can be used as a manual. The functionality and efficiency of the HSC operation is clearly depending on a numbers of critical parameters. The contents in the handbook are divided into following sections: market needs and business opportunities, localisation aspects, requirements for t