Port of Geelong changes tack on statutory load limits

Specialist algorithm will allow bulk carriers to haul the maximum tonnage that real-time conditions allow

Port of Geelong changes tack on statutory load limits
OMC International's system calculates the exact maximum tonnage available to bulk carriers


 The Port of Geelong will adopt the Dynamic Under Keel Clearance (DUKC) system for assessing maximum loads that can be carried from its channel.

Where currently bulk carriers are subject to a single, strict and static weight limit for each departure, the DUKC algorithm considers a wider range of real-time factors to determine the maximum load on a case-by-case basis.

Current temperature, tides, wind, and cargo type are all included in the calculation.

Developer OMC International says a ship leaving Geelong at high tide on a hot day could safely carry a larger load and still be able to navigate the channel than at low tide in cooler weather.

Bulk carriers will be able to safely carry up to 3,000 tonnes of additional cargo on each trip out, the company predicts.

The system is already in place at several ports around the world, including in Brisbane and Melbourne.

A spokesperson for OMC says it is particularly suited to bulk ports because every spare piece of capacity can be utilised.

Geelong Port is the largest regional port in Victoria, and the sixth largest port in Australia. It specialises in bulk grain, woodchips, fertiliser, and crude oil movements.

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