Passage Planning

All shipping operations contain an element of risk. Twenty-first century shipping is a precise, safe and scientific industry in which accident statistics are very low compared to the tonnage of goods and people that are carried around the world. The management of risk is central to the operations of any pilotage activity.

Risk management today requires the identification of hazards and the fallibility of systems that may result in failure. It is about trying to predict potential disaster before it happens and putting controls in place to prevent or greatly reduce the probability of occurrence. Proper planning, that permits the intelligent anticipation of events is essential.

International Maritime Organisation resolutions A.859 and A.893 require voyage planning and the IMO Maritime Safety Committee states that voyage planning is essential for all ships engaged on international voyages. Voyage and passage planning includes:

Without planning, the time to process essential information may not be available at critical times when the navigators are occupied confirming landmarks, plotting position, avoiding traffic and carrying out other bridge duties such as communications. Under these circumstances, mistakes can be made and errors can go undetected. Standard operating procedures for the safe navigation of vessels into and out of ports are a well accepted form of communicating complex information to the participants involved.

The complex nature of ports including local navigation conditions, channels, weather, port operations, local regulations, other shipping movements etc. makes it almost impossible for masters to comply with these requirements without local knowledge.

As part of their risk management process, pilot service providers need to ensure that the masters of vessels arriving and departing from the ports they support have an understanding of a common and agreed passage plan.

The purpose of these plans is to ensure protection of the port, its installations, other port users, the ship, whether in transit, berthing or unberthing and the environment.

The Passage Planning solution from EcoMaritime facilitates the public demonstration and clarity of purpose of pilot service providers to their customers, suppliers, employees and the communities in which they operate. The solution achieves this through publishing the standard operating procedures and all aspects of passage planning on the Internet thereby facilitating communication and understanding with all interested parties.

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