Hefring Marine and Loodswezen in Partnership to Navigate Dutch Seas

Hefring Marine and Loodswezen in Partnership to Navigate Dutch Seas
COO and Co-Founder Björn Jónsson visiting the Loodswezen Pilotage Station in IJmuiden, Netherlands. (Image credit: Hefring Marine)

Hefring Marine have announced a new partnership with Loodswezen, aiming to improve the safety and efficiency of the Dutch pilotage associations operations by installing the Intelligent Marine Assistance System (IMAS) on its latest pilot tenders.

Loodswezen, also known as the Dutch Pilots' Corporation, is responsible for ensuring the safe and efficient navigation of vessels through Dutch waters. This includes providing pilotage services for ships entering and leaving ports, navigating through rivers and canals, and ensuring safe passage in coastal areas.

Their pilots are highly trained professionals who board vessels to guide them through complex and busy waterways, offering their local expertise and knowledge to prevent accidents, optimize navigation, and enhance overall maritime safety. With more than 90,000 vessel trips made per year, safety and efficiency are at the forefront of companies core values, making their vessels the perfect contenders for IMAS technology that Hefring Marine has to offer.

The IMAS system aims to enhance safety, optimize fuel efficiency, and streamline operations. By collecting and analyzing real-time data, the software offers decision support, enabling vessel captains to navigate more efficiently. The IMAS technology, powered by artificial intelligence, tackles the most critical aspects of fleet operations of comfort and fuel consumption.

The real-time guidance advises on ship movements and wave impact, enhancing safety and comfort. It also offers fuel-saving recommendations, which help reduce CO2 emissions. Furthermore, IMAS provides tools for efficient fleet management, real-time monitoring, and data-driven decision-making. This optimizes fleet operations, prioritizing safety, compliance, and performance.

Karl Birgir Björnsson, CEO Hefring Marine commented: “The extensive testing leading to this collaboration marks a significant milestone for us at Hefring Marine. Nederlands Loodswezen's responsibility for pilotage in Dutch and Flemisch ports at the Scheldt underscores the importance of this partnership."

The collaboration stems from a Proof of Concept (PoC) project conducted between October 2023 and January 2024. Captains from the Amsterdam-IJmond region, along with experts from ship operations and Loodswezen’s IT department, tested the IMAS systems installed on the vessels 'Lynx' and 'Mira.' Most of the test runs were conducted with the 'Lynx,' operating from IJmuiden.

During these tests, Hefring Marine developers made several system modifications based on the test team's findings and suggestions. The most significant modification being the development of a third operating mode, 'comfort mode,' derived from the existing safety mode. After thorough evaluation, Loodswezen have now decided to further develop this project with Hefring Marine and formalize the cooperation.

Stefan van der Stap, Manager Operations of Loodswezen said: “This collaboration means we can increase safety and comfort in ship operations through innovative technology. IMAS also facilitates improved data collection and integration with our existing systems, increasing operational efficiency and prioritizing safety."

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