The Port of Halifax commissioned the MSRC to conduct a manoeuvring risk analysis for Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV)

29 April 2022

The Port of Halifax has been receiving Neo-Panamax container vessels (366 m long) and it is very likely that container vessels of such length will become regular visitors. There is also the possibility that longer ships up to 400 metres long—Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV)—will also start visiting Halifax. With their superstructure design, Neo-Panamax ships and ULCV, pose a unique set of manoeuvring considerations compared to their post-Panamax predecessors. This is due to the significantly higher windage area, displacement, and a hull shape that does not lend itself well to tug pushing operations near the ships’ extremities.

The Port of Halifax commissioned the Maritime Simulation and Resource Centre (MSRC) to conduct a manoeuvring risk analysis to ensure that large container vessels are handled in a safe and efficient manner. The MSRC examined the following:

  • Requirements to expand or modify tug assist procedures.
  • Requirements to expand or modify the type of tug equipment
    • for the new types of ships.
    • for all harbour traffic.

Tests included the use of tugs to assist with ship steering and positional control during transits and during berthing operations. Consideration was given to tug requirements for all harbour traffic to ensure that the Port of Halifax has suitable tug equipment to handle the movements of all ships. The simulation session also allowed the Port of Halifax authority, the pilots, and the tug masters to assess the new installations and the size of the ships.