Roger Roels, Chairman of Wandelaar Invest
Pilots are taken aboard and discharged while the main vessel is moving, therefore saving vessels roughly an hour.
Vessels that set course for Antwerp no longer need to be disabled and delayed in order to get a pilot on board. A mother ship and three tenders provide smooth passage to the ports on the Scheldt and the Flemish coastal ports. This makes for well-organised traffic and fewer collisions. The new pilotage concept also offers greater operational safety in challenging weather conditions. Result: better service and reduced waiting times.
Stable in all conditions
A SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull) is a vessel on two separate ‘torpedoes’. The hull is high above the water line. The vessel is therefore stable in all weather conditions.
Annually, 100,000 ships that are subject to compulsory pilotage enter the Scheldt estuary. 70% go to Antwerp. The SWATH remains operational until the waves are an average of 4 metres. Until recently, pilotage had to be halted 10% of the year, due to bad weather. In 2014, pilotage provided by SWATH operable vessels did not even halt for a full 12 hours.
High-tech measuring instruments and high-performance communication allow for meticulous planning. In Antwerp, everything is aligned: the waterside, the port and the landward side.