ESL Shipping has announced on 14th July 2021 that that company, together with steel producer SSAB and Port of Oxelösund in Sweden, commenced trials of a Virtual Arrival system in the Luleå-Oxelösund traffic.
The series of trials have been reported to be positive and resulted in reduction of in consumption and CO2-emissions.
Vessels are usually scheduled to meet certain arrival times at a port in order to start time counting whether the berth is actually free on arrival or not. If the assigned berth is not free, the vessel will drop anchor on arrival and tender notice from the roads. In other words, the vessel will sail the whole passage with normal speed even though it is known that there will be delays at berthing.
The concept of Virtual Arrival is to reduce a vessel’s speed to meet revised arrival time if it is known that the berth will not be free on arrival. Regardless of the actual arrival time, the vessel still retains its place in the line-up based on the arrival time in normal service speed. In addition to decreased environmental footprint, Virtual Arrival gives a port better tools for more reliable scheduling and line-up of vessels. Reduction of congestion in the port and anchorage area is also possible as the vessel is able to enter the port directly on arrival with the new system.
ESL Shipping’s Operations Director, Kirsi Ylärinne says:
“The aim is to extend the Virtual Arrival to other common trade lines after the summer. It is delightful to see that other customers have shown strong interest in the concept too.”
Credit: ESL Shipping