Photo: The Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw, a 240-foot heavy icebreaker, breaks ice near Marine City, Mich., along the St. Clair River, Jan. 28, 2015. (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Daniel R. Michelson)
U.S. Coast Guard Sector Sault Sainte Marie has commenced icebreaking Operation Taconite in response to expanded ice growth in the commercial ports of western Lake Superior and the lower St. Marys River. Before ice impedes commercial navigation, icebreakers were assigned to each region.
The technology group Wärtsilä and Crowley Petroleum Services are continuing their co-operation by extending and expanding their maintenance agreement for 11 articulated tug barges (ATBs) owned and operated by US-based Crowley. An ATB has a hinged connection system that allows a powerful ocean-going tug to connect to a notch in the stern of the barge, which enables the tug to propel and maneuver the barge.
MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has recently signed two inspection service agreements with experienced dry bulk shipping operators, ESL Shipping and Wagenborg Shipping, to ensure that essential MacGregor equipment is in good working order and any issues are identified quickly to avoid unexpected downtime.
The first was a three-year service agreement, effective from 1 February, with Finland-based ESL. It will see MacGregor inspect the folding hatch covers and K-cranes fitted onboard a barge and a fleet of nine bulk carriers.
Collaboration removes need for costly custom interfaces, allowing wider access to valuable performance data and analytics. Danelec Marine, the manufacturer of Voyage Data Recorders (VDRs), ECDIS and ship-to-shore data solutions, has teamed up with global maritime software, services and data analysis provider NAPA to deliver a complete cloud-based Internet of Things (IoT) solution for ship performance analysis and optimization.
The first Wärtsilä SparkUp Challenge, an initiative by the technology group Wärtsilä to find innovative start-ups to develop ideas for the smart shipping value chain, has been won by KNL Networks and Portcall.com. The prize for the winners is a four-month collaboration and co-creation in the Wärtsilä Digital Acceleration Centre (DAC) beginning in March. In addition, they will receive a capital grant of 50,000 euros.