Improving Navigation Safety for Line Tow Barges

16 Jun, 2020

Smart Port Challenge 2020 was officially launched on 4 June. To bring you deeper insights into each of the 17 innovation opportunities that are available this year, there are a series of roadshows happening every Thursday from 4pm to 5pm (Singapore time). Join our maritime corporates partners as they provide more clarity and answer your questions on their challenges.  

For our first roadshow on 11 June 2020, we had AVP Chee Weng Meng and Assistant Manager Syed Amrun from the Connectivity & Berth Planning Department of PSA Singapore share with us their perspectives on one of their 4 innovation opportunities – Improving Navigation Safety for Line Tow Barges.

As a background, they shared some insightful information on the use of barges – flat bottom pontoons – for transporting containers from neighbouring river ports to Singapore. Due to the narrow waterways, sharp bends and bridges, these barges are pulled by a tugboat due to the flexibility of adjusting the length of the towing line for smoother navigation. However, there are challenges that come with the use of these line tow barges. For example, night towing between 6pm to 7am is not allowed due to visibility, and the speed of line tow barges impedes the flow of marine traffic, particularly in the denser western sector of Singapore. The alternative of using a push barge has it own challenges of visibility and manoeuvrability, and hybrid push-pull solutions come at a significant cost.

As such, the team is currently looking for more innovative methods to improve visibility and enhance the navigation safety of line tow barges. 

Some of the features they are looking out for include:

  1. Feasibility – fulfilling the rules and regulations as well as navigation requirements of the port authorities. 
  2. Safety – ensuring visibility for both the tugboat operator and other vessels 
  3. Efficiency – Fast and smooth sailing

Join us for the next session (18 June) where we will be addressing:

Virtual Walkthrough for Vessels – ONE/SCS

Interactive & Engaging Training through Technology – Uniteam Marine

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