The latest news and developments on the implications of climate change for waterborne transport infrastructure. News is added by partners of the Think Climate Coallition. You can also let us know about the latest developments by emailing us, or by using #navclimate on twitter.



IMarEST is The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology; the international professional body and learned society for all marine professionals. IMarEST is the first Institute to bring together marine engineers, scientists and technologists into one international multi-disciplinary professional body.

IMarEST is the largest marine organisation of its kind with a worldwide membership based in over 120 countries, it is a registered charity and provides grades of membership for everyone, from those seeking to become Chartered or gain other Professional Recognition, to those just starting out in their careers or studying in education.

Find out more at

Monday, 18 February 2019 11:19

Electric Power for New Icelandic Ferry

A new article has been published in the Marine Engineers Messenger discussing a new ABB contract to supply integrated power and electric storage solutions to a new electric ferry for the Icelandic Road and Coastal Administration that will take 3,600 annual trips in the rough waters between Landeyjahöfn on the mainland and the Westman Island. 

You can read the full article here

The International Maritime Organization has released a new set of free-of-charge toolkits to assess and address emissions from ships and ports which have been developed under the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project with its strategic partners.

Details are discussed in an article in the Marine Professional, you can read the full article here.

Friday, 14 September 2018 16:06

Airbus orders automated kite for ro-ro vessel

The Marine Professional has published an article discussing a maritime technology startup's plans to tow one of their vessels with an automated kite. Vessel operators can launch and recover the kite – which unfolds, operates and refolds autonomously – using a single switch. Equipped with sensors, SeaWing is able to collect and analyse oceanic and meteorological data in real time. It then uses this information to optimize its performance.

Full article can be read here.

An article has been published in The Marine Professional discussing a study conducted by the consultancy UMAS for the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) on the future of LNG assets. 

The full article can be found here

New article in the Marine Professional discussing a new study released by Lloyd’s Register (LR) and University Maritime Advisory Services that aims to demonstrate the viability of zero-emission vessels (ZEVs) and identify how they will become a competitive option for decarbonization.

Read full article here

International Harbour Masters Association Press Release: Functional definitions of the Ship's Stay in Port

IHMA is delighted to have participated in recent progress on the development of functional definitions for port information describing the ship’s stay in port.

Accurate and reliable port information will enhance the safety, efficiency and sustainability of ports and shipping across the world and benefit local, national and international economies.

This initiative’s priority is to improve communications between ships and ports using clear and authoritative definitions for the various terms used in daily operations. The definitions have been sourced from existing standards within the shipping industry. Only when no applicable definition could be found was a new one introduced and published via the glossary of the UKHO’s Mariners Handbook (NP100). These include names given to areas within a port; terminology associated with restrictions that might be imposed by an authority on vessel operations related to vessel dimensions, external conditions, manoeuvring and berthing; event information associated with arrival and departure times; and nautical and vessel service times.

These definitions have been collated in an intermediate document and will be incorporated in the next version of the Mariners Handbook (NP100) to be published in August 2018. The Port of Rotterdam will begin using these definitions in 2017.

IHMA’s President, Captain Kevin Richardson said: “Harbour Masters recognise the huge value of agreeing and promulgating definitions that will make the ship’s stay in port safer and more efficient. We applaud the efforts of all organisations that have worked co-operatively on this important project which will have long-term value for ports around the world.”

Background Information

In 2006 in order to improve port efficiency and safety, IHMA embarked on the task of supporting Harbour Masters gather reliable port entry information and presenting it in a standardised form readily available to the mariner and other port users.

The maritime world has a history of providing nautical information in printed documents and the success of publications has been built on supplying handbooks, almanacs and charts of a consistent and reliable standard. Members of IHMA were encouraged to adopt standardised pro-formas for their nautical port information which could be hosted on the port website and updated as required, and a number of ports still use the IHMA port information guide pro-forma. Frequently it is the harbour master’s office that is tasked to update its port information guide.

This was certainly a step forward from the hard copy publications that might only be updated annually but despite the best of intentions, and with the proliferation of port websites providing information, it was apparent that no two port websites present their information in the same way. It was clear that a more uniform approach was required that took account of ‘master’ data: safe berth and safe berth information (depths, restrictions) for optimizing deadweights, speed and port passage planning, and ‘event data’ around berthing windows (cargo completion, pilot boarding time), for optimising speed, port stay, berth utilization, hinterland connection and port services.

Shipping lines, port and hydrographic offices identified the following needs:

  • The need for global, cross-industry functional definitions.
  • The need for global data definitions and formats to share data.
  • The need for an application that allows ports to manage their data using their local language and their own information database, but which also allows them to share data. 
  • The need to comply with SOLAS, align with Charter Party clauses, serve the business process of shipping, and also be acceptable to ports. 

The project was initiated by:

  • IHMA / European Harbour Masters’ Committee
  • United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO)
  • Lloyds Intelligence
  • The Port Call Optimization Taskforce (Shell, Maersk Line, MSC, CMA-CGM, and the ports of Algeciras, Busan, Gothenburg, Houston, Rotterdam, Singapore and Ningbo Zhoushan).

Using existing standards as much as possible to increase implementation speed and decrease implementation costs, the project initially worked on functional definitions concerning measurements and datums in ports. These were developed and included in a new chapter of the UKHO’s ADMIRALTY Mariner’s Handbook 11th edition (2016). During early 2017 there was consultation on a range of terminology including definitions associated with the names given to areas within a port; terminology associated with restrictions that might be imposed by an authority on vessel operations related to vessel dimensions, external conditions, manoeuvring and berthing; event information associated with arrival and departure times; and nautical and vessel service times. It is anticipated that the UKHO’s ADMIRALTY Mariner’s Handbook 12th edition due to be published in 2018 will include functional definitions related to the ship’s stay in port. The next step is to agree on data definitions and formats for data sharing.

In conclusion, as the ability to collect, store and analyse ever greater quantities of port information has increased, the relatively static port information guide available for reference or download from the port website has failed to meet the shipping industry’s expectations. A recurrent theme of a recent seminar attended by European Harbour Masters was the call for a global, neutral and trusted open communication platform optimising berth to berth sailing across the world, involving the coordination of operations and services at ports with information from all stakeholders. The widespread adoption of definitions associated with the ship’s stay in port will bring the ports industry a step closer to realising this ambition, and the UKHO and IHMA’s port information project and publication of functional definitions are making an important contribution.

For further information contact:
IHMA: Ben van Scherpenzeel,

New article published in the Marine Professional looking at a proposal submitted to IMO from the trade associations BIMCO, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)  regarding the reduction of CO2 emissions by the international shipping sector. 

Read the full article here

Monday, 09 January 2017 00:00

Zero emission passenger vessel announced

New article in the Marine Professional reporting the announcement of a zero emissions passenger vessel. The Fjords has confirmed that is building a sister ship to the diesel-electric plug-in hybrid Vision of the Fjords, launched in 2016. However, unlike its predecessor, the aptly named Future of the Fjords, will be all electric and completely emission free. 

Read the full article here

Interesting overview on the challenges of sea level rise associated with climate change on port infrastructure in Florida. 

See presentation video below.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017 09:17

ICS seeks IMO CO2 commitments

New article in the Marine Professional about chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson, calling on the International Maritime Organisation to set out what the industry needs to do to reduce CO2 emissions.

Read the full article here.

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