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What is a Gangway?

A gangway is a narrow walkway or platform that provides safe access to a ship, truck, or train.

Gangways are typically used for two purposes: to allow passage or people and/or cargo to/from docks, moored marine vessels, or aircraft, or in the maintenance and loading/unloading of land-based trucks and trains. The models used for ships or boats are typically long so that they don’t slip off platforms or provide unsafe crossing for personnel walking on them and terms like “tower,” “truss,” or “telescoping” are added to better describe how and where the marine loading platforms are used. They can also be referred to as accommodation ladder and the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and other government agencies refer to these platforms as brows. The types of gangways used for loading/unloading trucks or railcars are typically shorter in length, and span gap from vehicle to a platform, giving workers and personnel access to load, unload or inspect the vehicle. They also may include additional safety or technical features to assist workers.

Aviation gangways, also called jet bridges, airstairs, or boarding ramps, are generally used to allow passengers to board and deplane aircraft, and come in mobile varieties, as well as tunnel-like versions that connect to terminals.

What is a berthing aid system, and what does it do?

Berthing is one of the maneuvers with the highest risk of accidents in a ship’s routine. While it is true that there are mechanisms, such as fenders, to prevent damages caused from collisions while berthing, when we speak of large-volume ships or ships with sensitive cargo, fenders may not be enough.

Every year, logistics companies and ports invest large amounts in the repair of ships and facilities as a result of direct blows against the dock. What is more, these accidents can cause spillage, with a huge environmental and economic cost. Over the past few years, this reality has led to great innovations in berthing aid systems.

A BAS (Berthing Aid System) is a real-time information system that provides for safe navigation and efficient transport. As its name would indicate, it helps while berthing, reducing human error. Thanks to the real-time data it provides pilots and land crew, the operation is improved.

Some noteworthy advantages of using a berthing aid system are:

Reduced operational costs and damages to the dock, fenders and ships.

Increased safety control and protection over surroundings.

Real-time monitoring, data register, reports, reproductions and records.

Smart analysis of the multiple variables involved in berthing.

This is an IT system with a network architecture of integrated equipment and communication interfaces. The BAS system may have one control station, or several, including portable devices to control the different modules.Berthing aid system functions

Listen, create and innovate

Rather than supply a separate meter skid to control the flow of the product into the tank, Loadtec employed a technique developed on a previous multi-position rail loading project in Saudi Arabia.

The metering and control components are all mounted on the loading arm standpost. This provides the customer with a neat solution which is shipped in two boxes to site and can be assembled in a few hours.

It further eliminates the need for site run spool pieces between the two packages and allows installation to take place in less than one day.

Loadtec also supplied a control system with batch controller which connected to the site PLC (programmable logic controller) providing assurance to the operators in the control room that all the loading conditions had been met before loading commences. Because the loading process would take a number of hours, the panel was designed to be fully automated but also readable by a security camera watched by a remote operator. The starting point was the platform, this included a large working area, double flight stairs to ground and a canopy over the working area.

This arrived at site from Loadtec’s UK facility in a semi-pre-assembled state. Site time involved bolting the sub-assemblies together and mounting on the foundations.

Next the folding stair, meter skid and top loading arm delivered from the Zip-Load factory in Italy.

These all arrived and were installed by the site team following the IKEA-type instructions provided. The final visit by a Loadtec Service commissioning engineer was to set up the system and ensure everything was working in line with theoperating philosophy.

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