Thursday, January 17, 2019

Freight and Passenger RoRo Ferry Group Partners Up to Make Vessel Loading Faster

Smart Car Decks Are the Objective of Scientific Collaboration
Shipping News Feature
ESTONIA – RoRo Ferry line Tallink Grupp and the Tallin University of Technology's (TalTech) Estonian Maritime Academy have announced a scientific collaboration with the aim of developing various innovative solutions for Tallink Grupp's vessels over the next two years. The group carries both passenger and freight traffic with Tallink Silja Cargo operating between Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Latvia.

According to the two-year €100,000 cooperation agreement, the focus of the collaboration will be on developing the so-called ‘Smart Car Deck’ solutions, which would be aligned with the Smart Port solutions already in use today. The hope is that the partnership will result in innovative technologies that would make the ships’ car decks and operations on the car decks more efficient.

The expected results of the Smart Car Deck project, among other things, are the increased efficiency of the operations of the ships’ holds, a decreased need for workforce for the loading and unloading of ships, enabling the workforce to be used for other specialist duties, and a reduction in the waiting time for embarking and disembarking the ships. Commenting on the need for new technologies and development, Paavo Nõgene, CEO of Tallink Grupp, said:

“The ports around the Baltic Sea have already developed or are currently developing several ‘Smart Port’ solutions for easier vehicle check-in, for directing traffic in ports, etc., all of which has enabled the ports to make the processes involving vehicles automated and thus more efficient. The Port of Tallinn with its solutions is no doubt one of the pioneers for these solutions in the region. Our ships are important partners and customers of the Baltic Sea ports and therefore it is only logical that alongside the smart ports we must also create smart ships.

“Our ambition is to be a partner for and a pioneer in developing smart solutions for the shipping industry both here in the Baltic Sea region as well as globally. Our goal initially is to extend the Smart Port solutions used by Baltic Sea ports to the car decks on our vessels and I am certain that we will successfully develop such solutions over the next few years in partnership with TalTech. “

The two-year cooperation agreement was signed on January 16 on board Tallink Grupp’s vessel Silja Europa. TalTech’s expertise from all of its different fields of research will be used during the cooperation to achieve the goals set for the project and the development work will receive a funding of €50,000 per year for the next two years. Jaak Aaviksoo, Rector of TalTech said:

“TalTech is pleased to help Tallink Grupp develop smart solutions, which will help reduce the waiting times before embarking the vessels and will make the more routine every-day work more automated.

“Our goal is to focus on three main topics during this development project. First, to automate the vehicle traffic flow. Second, make the utilisation of the hold more effective. Third, to guide the passenger with the vehicle to the right parking zone and guide passengers to the nearest exits.

“On the one hand, the Smart Car Deck is an extension of the Smart Port solutions and, on the other hand, it is a good example of how the results of scientific research achieved through the cooperation of TalTech and enterprises, can be applied in real life.”

Photo: The Baltic Princess which runs between Turku and Stockholm.