Jatta Lehtonen

Shipping is one of the most important facilitators in global logistics chains, the resilience of which is not immune to the different risks and their concretization. Technology, and the testing of technology, enable us however to prepare for these risks, and the ISTLAB occupies a central position both in development work and in testing.

In Finland pilotage services are provided by Finnpilot Pilotage Oy, a special assignment company owned by the State of Finland. The company is also responsible for pilots’ training. The Ministry of Transport and Communications has begun preparing a comprehensive reform of Pilotage Act, and pilotage training is one of the targets for development.

In the ISTLAB project, the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute (FGI) analyses the accuracy and repeatability of satellite positioning and identifies which application of the geoid model to use in the height system and sea level data with satellite positioning. This information is used in shipping in many different ways.

Wärtsilä Navi-Port facilitates the communication of accurate arrival times between ports and ships, enabling just-in-time arrivals. According to the analysis of the Global Industry Alliance, the five largest Finnish ports serve about 15 thousand cargo port calls annually. It is estimated that with the installation of Wärtsilä Navi-Port, a reduction in CO2 emissions for these ports could be around 473,000 tons a year.

Development work is ongoing in the ISTLAB project on how to utilise bathymetric models designed for navigation. The underwater models enable us to obtain more detailed data on the seabed than previously known, for the benefit of pilotage and on-board navigation systems.
In the ISTLAB project, the bathymetric model of the Rauma fairway area is incorporated with local conditions and accurate positioning, as well as with the other intelligent fairway infra. According to Traficom’s Stefan Engström, projects like ISTLAB play a central role in the development of shipping today.

Technology is ringing in the changes for pilots’ work, and remote pilotage is one significant future innovation. Olli Taipale, chief pilot, is one of the first professionals to carry out tests in the ISTLAB laboratory: his objective – to ascertain how to transform remote pilotage from pie-in-the-sky dream to part of the day-to-day work in the shipping industry.

A wave model application is being developed in the ISTLAB project, with the aim of forecasting wave conditions of the Rauma fairway for shipping and pilotage purposes. To be able to evaluate the accuracy of the coastal wave model application, we need to have measurements. These have now been made within the ISTLAB project.

Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd is a Finnish state-owned special assignment company, which has the exclusive statutory right to carry out pilotage activities in Finland. In 2019 Finnpilot Pilotage Ltd carried out 25 123 pilotage activities, amounting to 471 298 nautical miles.

Maritime is developing in a smarter direction. There will be many uncharted waters along the way, and in order to sail through them a broad network of cooperation and vision will be needed.

The best way to describe ISTLAB’s contribution to shaping more efficient future navigation for shipping is through a scenario on port arrivals. Read more about Wärtsilä’s vision and step into the future of navigation.

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