We are seeking novel approaches to improve Port Operations safety, particularly in the on-loading and off-loading of unaccompanied freight for our Ferry and Roll-Off/Roll-On vessels. The ideal solution would work with a broad range of freight types, haulage companies, and vessel types.
The companies comprising the Swedish-based Stena Sphere represent one of the largest private shipping groups in the world. We are seeking solutions that can be applied to cargo and passenger ships that travel in all of the world’s oceans.
Currently, Tugmasters are operated by Stena staff to retrieve unaccompanied freight that are parked at the port for loading onto the ship. Tugmasters at the destination port are then used to retrieve the freight and park again at the destination port for later retrieval by the haulage company.
Typically, port turn-around time is limited and port traffic (pedestrian and vehicular) is high during these off-loading/on-loading operations. The challenge is to develop a warning system for our Tugmasters to alert drivers of nearby pedestrians or vehicles. The rear of the trailers is the most important safety issue for staff. We are aware of permanent systems that are used for dedicated tractors and trailers, but the suggested solution would need to be able to operate between our Stena Tugmasters and any haulage company’s trailer.
Key success Criteria
Technical Viability-- Solutions proposed must be based on sound scientific principles and have laboratory or pilot scale data that demonstrate efficacy.
Scale up Potential—Solutions proposed must have a clear pathway to be application on commercial ships within 1-2 years. Solutions already practiced in marine markets have higher value. The ideal partner would have expertise in system design, installation, and testing.
Costs—solutions with lower installation and maintenance costs have higher value.
Ownership—Solutions covered by patents have higher value. At a minimum, proposed solutions must not be prohibited by other patents in the field.
Stena is primarily interested in temporary, portable systems that can be quickly attached and removed from unaccompanied freight from any hauling company. These systems could be warning only, automatic breaking, or a combination of the two. Systems that provide warning to both the Tugmaster operator and pedestrian/vehicular traffic would be ideal.
Specific systems we are aware of include:
Infrared, Ultrasonic, Laser, and Radar detections systems with wired or wireless links between the tractors and trailers
FMCW microwave systems
Automotive pre-collision and night vision systems
Automotive self-parking and Omni view technologies
Any extension of these technologies to the marine industry would be of interest to Stena. While we are not aware of any such technology being in use, we would also be interested in any surveillance technology that could be adapted to continuously monitor all moving objects on board our ships that could be used to predict imminent danger to personnel or vehicles.
Items to be submitted
We are looking for concise, non-confidential proposals. The proposal should describe the technical approach and should ideally include information on the technological readiness of the proposal, any proof of concept data, reference to any peer reviewed publications, and potential route to commercialization.