The Nautical Terminal Coordination (NTC) is expanding its portfolio to include cruise ships. It will in future provide support for Costa and AIDA vessels when they call at the Port of Hamburg. When it arrives in Hamburg for the fi rst time on 27 February 2016, AIDAmar will be the fi rst cruise ship to call in Hamburg under the supervision of NTC, working in cooperation with Carnival Maritime’s fl eet operations centre.
Hamburg’s cruise ship business is booming, with 160 visits expected in 2016. Carnival Maritime has opted to use the services of NTC to ensure that its vessels enjoy plain sailing when arriving at and departing from the Port of Hamburg. Within the HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, NTC supports port operators, shipping companies and authorities in coordinating the ever-increasing number of calls of ultra-large vessels. Cruise ships belong in this category: AIDAprima, for example, has a width of 37.6 metres. This ship is scheduled to call at the Port of Hamburg once a week as of April. Carnival Maritime is the marine operations unit at the Costa Group (Costa, AIDA). The Costa and AIDA shipping companies will use the Port of Hamburg no less than 80 times this year.
Jörgen Strandberg, director of Carnival Maritime’s fl eet operations centre, has great expectations for this cooperation: “Just like every other port, Hamburg presents several nautical challenges for us to tackle. Nautical Terminal Coordination will help us make operations even smoother when guiding the cruise ships of our shipping companies Costa and AIDA into and out of the port. The concept behind this organisation is without parallel anywhere in the world. It was what won our confi dence: we also believe that we can perform our work with even greater reliability and safety if we pool all existing operative information. We benefi t from this, which in turn benefi ts our guests and all other stakeholders.”
Heinrich Goller, Managing Director of the HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, expressed his elation at the decision, saying, “Carnival Maritime is an important company, and we are delighted to have them on board as our fi rst partner from the cruise ship segment. This partnership represents a major boost for the entire industry: the more partners we have using our services, the better we can coordinate operations for mega-ship calls. This also goes for cruise ships. Although they might not pose the kinds of issues in terms of draught that we see with large container ships, their width can easily lead to problems when passing other mega-ships as they navigate the Elbe estuary. Our goal is to spot potential confl icts as early as possible and provide our partners with operational proposals so that these situations can be avoided in advance.”
With the processing up the estuary of ultra-large vessels’ in mind, NTC staff monitor the knock-on effects that can occur when other ships are arriving or departing. They do this for the entire duration of the ship’s approach in northern Europe and its handling operations in the Port of Hamburg. They identify potential confl ict situations at a very early stage and can reduce the impact on the entire port system. Working closely with the Hamburg Vessel Traffi c Service Centre, NTC’s duties include cross-terminal coordination of the preliminary planning, approach guidance and departure planning of mega-ships in the Port of Hamburg. NTC commenced three-shift operation in October 2015.
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Reliable ship arrivals, more efficient ship handling and port logistics, as well as reduced fuel consumption and emissions – these are the aims of a joint digitalisation project between HVCC Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center, the maritime technology company Wärtsilä and the cruise group Carnival.
The Port of Hamburg is not only the largest seaport in Germany – it is also the second-largest inland port. Around 10,000 inland waterway vessels call each year the handling facilities of the Elbe metropolis. The Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) is now developing a digital platform specifically for inland waterway vessels that will allow ship calls to be coordinated centrally in the future.
Hamburg Vessel Coordination Center (HVCC) and tug shipping company Kotug Smit Towage will in future work closely together at the Port of Hamburg in order to coordinate preliminary planning for ship calls and departures, and the associated tug services. This step will further optimise the efficiency and quality of ship handling in the Port of Hamburg.