September 2 - Höegh Autoliners is currently adding new pure car and truck carriers (PCTC) to its fleet, which are fitted with advanced information technology (IT) systems.

HLPFI reported in June 2016 that the fourth vessel in Höegh Autoliners' series of New Horizon class PCTCs was named Höegh Trapper during a ceremony at Xiamen Shipbuilding Industries in China. Höegh Trapper is the fourth in a series of six post-Panamax vessels under the New Horizon design that Höegh Autoliners will take delivery of within this year.

Information and communications technology is revolutionising shipping bringing with it a new era of cyber-enabled ships, explained Jan Rune Mørken, head of newbuilding at Höegh Autoliners: "One of the greatest features of the information technology we have applied on board the New Horizon vessels is that all systems on board are now connected and integrated. Our crew can control the majority of all technical installations on board by viewing only one data dashboard and we can connect with them at all times. This makes sailing safer and transportation more efficient."

Enhanced connectivity is being driven by the need for better business results, an increased need to comply with environmental and safety legislation and the opportunities brought by increased bandwidth availability.

"Already on older PCTCs there is a vast amount of data potentially available. The problem is not that we have too little data, but that it sits in several systems and can therefore not be used to its full potential," explained Mørken. "In comparison, on board the New Horizon vessels the data is integrated in to one system, making it much easier to read and combine in analysis and simulation work."

Safety on the new class of vessel has been enhanced with a fully integrated dashboard. The captain and his crew now have a greater situational awareness on the bridge, in the engine room and in other operational areas.

"This is a good support to our crew," said Mørken. "Not only are they made aware from the system as soon as something is not performing as it should and can detect potential errors at an early stage, but they can also enjoy instant support of experts from all around the world."

With an advanced vessel performance system installed, Höegh also has access to information that can help to minimise fuel consumption. The system tracks fuel consumption throughout the journey, analyses historical data and compares it to current conditions, to advise the ship's crew on ways of improving energy efficiency.

"Minimising our environmental footprint is something we work continuously with in Höegh Autoliners and with increasingly stringent emission regulations in many waters, the need for a good emission control system is high. The engine diagnostic and emission monitoring system helps us make energy smart decisions based on a vast number of parameters analysed," added Mørken.