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Cape Horn – The Most Dangerous Passage in The World

in Maritime Knowledge by

Old sailor saying:

“Below the 40th parallel, there is no law. Below the 50th parallel, there is no God.”

Cape Horn, the southernmost headland of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago is located at 56 degrees south latitude, making a circumnavigation of Cape Horn particularly difficult. At Cape Horn, the Atlantic and Pacific oceans meet – and that’s what made the circumnavigation such a challenge. Extreme low-pressure systems swirl across the sea, creating the dreaded williwaw winds. These gusts come suddenly, frequently, and are unpredictable – and with bigger winds come bigger waves. To sail from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the only sea route was around Cape Horn. The Strait of Magellan was difficult to pass because of the wind and current conditions.

Hornos Island in FleetMon Explorer
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Phrases of Maritime Origin and Their Meaning

in Maritime Knowledge by

There are plenty of phrases we have integrated into our daily use of language so that we no longer even know where they actually come from and what meaning they originally had. We would like to introduce to you seven sayings of maritime origin and explain their meaning.

Sailing under a false flag

This refers to deceptive maneuvers or covert operations conducted by another third party to conceal identity. The action is thus actively attributed to an uninvolved third party for appearances. The actual actor is thereby acting “under a false flag.” In English, the much-publicized deceptive maneuver is also called “sailing under false colors,” while a courageous flagger is sailing with true colors.

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Exploring new opportunities for navigation in the Arctic seas via AIS data

in Updates, Research, Sponsoring, Partnering by

Guest article by Julia Sokolova, a researcher at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute in Saint Petersburg:

Nowadays, shipping companies working in the Russian Arctic, as well as the Russian Government, are actively discussing the possibility of expanding the navigation window in the Northern Sea Route (NSR). Several reasons contributed to this discussion.

Firstly, many studies show a stable tendency of ice cover decrease in the Arctic Ocean, intensified during the last decade. Secondly, modern shipbuilding allows designing vessels of high ice class. Last but not least, remote sensing data helps to reduce time costs for navigation in sea ice.

Since 2017, experimental voyages of LNG carriers through the NSR have been carried out during very early or very late dates. Comprehensive information about vessel movement, power engine work, along with reports on the ice conditions, allows assessing the efficiency of the chosen route and gives a more detailed picture of the ice situation along the entire NSR.

FleetMon kindly provided AIS data to the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI). The data helped our researchers to study the motion of LNG carriers Christophe de Margerie, Nikolay Yevgenov and Nikolay Zubov performing their late voyages during the polar winter in 2021.

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Israel: Transport costs and customs duty – is on you

in Updates by

The increase in customs value in Isreal, due to the increase in transport prices – the problem, and the way to the solution

Read an opinion piece by Advocate Omer Wagner from Isreal:

The author is employed in the indirect taxation department at PWC Israel, Kesselman&Kesselman, and is an attorney specializing in customs law, purchase tax, indirect taxation, import, export, regulation, trade levies, international trade;  What is said in the article reflects the opinion of the author only, and should not be considered as giving a legal opinion.


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Building a data pipeline to predict damage to ship’s cargo

in Research, Sponsoring by
The goal of the student thesis was to conceptualize a data pipeline combining AIS data with environmental data measured by sensors to track the route of cargo and the conditions it has been exposed to. 

We support students and researchers by offering access to the FleetMon API Suite and our extensive AIS Data Archive with historical vessel position and port call data. Read this guest article we received by Niklas Scherer, a master’s degree student of the University of Applied Sciences in Bingen, Germany.

The academic project investigates a correlation between specific weather conditions a vessel was exposed to and occurring cargo damage. AIS data and weather data were used to examine if certain weather conditions on maritime high-traffic lanes are likely to cause damage to freight in order to prevent damage by realistic forecasting.

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Kiel World Economic Institute Predicts Imports and Exports with Artificial Intelligence

in Updates, Research, Partnering, Trends by

Kiel, May 6th, 2021: On Thursday, the Institute for the World Economy presented a new, AI-based leading indicator for international trade based on real-time data from global container shipping. On the basis of up to 250,000 continuously collected data points from up to 200,000 position data and up to 50,000 additional data on inlets and outlets, supplied by FleetMon, the Kiel scientists offer continuous monitoring of imports and exports of the largest economies China, Europe, and the USA.

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After Ever Given Accident: Call for Escort Tugs as Standard Becomes Louder

in Updates, Trends by

The accident of the large container freighter “Ever Given” (IMO 9811000) on March 23, 2021 in the Suez Canal will keep the global shipping industry busy for years to come. Many questions remain unanswered: Could an accident like this have happened in northern Germany, for example on the Elbe at the gates of the port of Hamburg? Or: What should be done to quickly remove a blockage? Hans von Wecheln, maritime consultant from Husum, shared his ideas with THB (Täglicher Hafenbericht) and FleetMon. We publish the letter with the kind approval of the THB chief editor.

CMA CGM Jacques Saade escorted by tugs, Hamburg port, Nov 2020, photo credits: ship spotter NiTho
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Is the Shipping Sector on Track to Meet Climate Targets?

in Decarbonization, Research, Trends by

FleetMon supports ETH researchers to find the answer.

Fighting climate change demands action in all sectors. International shipping faces the challenge of long lifetimes of vessels compared to other modes of transportation. Decisions on energy carriers and propulsion technologies that are made now have a long-lasting impact on the emissions of the sector. 

A research group at the Institute of Energy Technology at ETH Zürich led by Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Boulouchos developed a fleet turnover model for the shipping sector to estimate its future CO2 emissions up to 2050. Thereby, the CO2 emissions of existing ships and those of new ships entering the fleet yield yearly emission figures. However, up until recently, a missing puzzle piece for such models has been how long existing ships will actually still be in service. Missing or prohibitively expensive data has prevented analyses on this topic.

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