Wilson Sons will begin operations in the Port of Santarém in November with a new tugboat with azimuthal propulsion
This company already operates in 33 ports and terminals across Brazil. The Port of Santarém lies on the Amazon River system in the State of Pará and is an important hub for grain exports and fertiliser imports.
Santarém is part of the Northern Arc ports, where Wilson Sons already has considerable operations assisting ships in the ports of Trombetas, Vila do Conde and Belém with a fleet of six tugboats.
According to Wilson Sons executive director for the tugboat division, Marcio Castro, State of Pará ports are key to one of Brazil’s largest industries.
“The Northern Arc has great port logistics potential, especially after the conclusion of highway BR-163, which links the interior to the northern region of the country,” he said.
Data from Brazil’s National Waterways Transportation Agency demonstrates how these ports accounted for 31.4% of corn and soybeans exported in the first six months of 2020. This is an increase of more than 10% over the same period in 2019.
Wilson Sons will provide an agile azimuthal tug in Santarém to tow and manoeuvre ships into and out of docks in the port.
It operates a fleet of 80 tugs along almost the entire length of the Brazilian coast, representing the largest fleet in the country.
Wilson Sons has invested in digitalisation and connectivity on its tugs in the past few years to allow operations to be monitored remotely.
It operates a centre to monitor tugboat operations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This provides support to tug masters for safety and efficiency of their operations.
Wilson Sons also has a maritime training centre with a tugboat simulator capable of simulating different operational scenarios used to train its tug crews, managers and support teams.
Wilson Sons towage division regional manager Elisio Dourado explained the reasons for these investments during Riviera Maritime Media’s Smart tugs: the industry’s Tesla, or still on the test bed? webinar in September,
Mr Dourado will be presenting his thoughts on how smart technologies are transforming the towage industry during Riviera’s upcoming Smart Tug Operations Virtual Conference on 1 December 2020.
Wilson Sons is installing closed circuit television, network cabling and wifi on its fleet by the end of this year.
There will be around 480 cameras and local internet networks installed during this programme. Cameras enable real-time visualisation of tugboat operations and manoeuvring by managers and charterers.
It has also has invested in artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT) to enhance towage operations.
Mr Dourado said IoT and telemetry are used to improve maintenance and safety and reduce emissions from its fleet operations. “In our innovation journey, we have invested a lot in AI – it is a game-changer for the whole sector,” he said. “AI is used to optimise fleet operations. We can improve our activities through data and AI.”
Riviera’s Smart Tug Operations Virtual Conference will be held on 1 December 2020 - use this link to access further details and to register for this key industry event