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OMC’s DUKC® management system is the proven solution for shippers wanting to maximise cargo tonnage because at ports where it is installed, it delivers significant draft increases per ship.

DUKC® gives shippers greater certainty of how much extra cargo large ships can safely carry through shallow waterways, river systems and port approach channels.

DUKC® allows the shipping of more cargo, more safely, more often because under very favourable conditions, it can allow large ships to safely sail up to 1m deeper – allowing them to carry more than 15,000 extra tonnes of iron ore or coal.

This world-leading technology has also allowed port users including BHP Billiton and FMG to potentially ship out $1.1 billion of extra iron ore revenue per year. DUKC® continues to deliver significant draft increases per ship at ports, which can mean more than $2 billion extra ore shipped each year.

This maximising of cargo on increasingly larger ships under DUKC® advice means that shippers can plan fewer sailings overall for the same tonnage, and save billions of dollars in shipping costs, including fuel costs of transporting bulk cargo and container goods around the world.

As BP Australia’s Marine Assurance Superintendent Hayden Latchford said in 2009: “Maximising the amount of cargo carried can bring huge economic benefits, as we minimise the number of ships we need to employ and minimise the dead freight.”

Ships continue getting larger, as illustrated in the graphic below, and therefore Melbourne-based OMC will continue to play a major role in the global maritime industry because many ports will need to deepen their access channels to accommodate the mega ships.

OMC’s UKC management technology is a cost-effective and greener solution because it reduces the amount of dredging required to bring in the bigger ships which need to go deeper to get into port. By making optimum use of high tides, DUKC® also delivers increased safe sailing drafts and wider tidal windows and therefore further reduces the dredging quantities needed for the desired draft.

As ports also grow in size, and cargo volumes ramp up, shipping regulators are under increasing pressure to use tides more efficiently. OMC continues to develop new products such as ship scheduling tool DUKC® Optimiser to help safely solve port capacity problems and reduce demurrage costs to shippers from ingoing or outgoing delays.

DUKC® Optimiser, an optional Series 5 product, automates an otherwise manual scheduling process. It models the sailing of multiple ships on a tide subject to constraints such as booking priorities, ship separation distances, UKC, tug and pilot availability, to safely maximise total tonnage on a particular tide.  It allows greater flexibility in the scheduling of different ships’ sizes and drafts and significantly reduces the work load of the schedulers.

In April 2014 at Port Hedland, under DUKC® advice, five ships sailed on the morning tide with a total 1,025,962 tonnes and six ships sailed on the evening tide with a total 1,002,143 tonnes – a record of more than 2 million tonnes of iron ore exported in 24 hours.

The economic benefits of DUKC® to the exporter can be enormous, given that every extra centimetre of draft (the depth below the waterline) that a large ship can be loaded to means an extra 150 tonnes of cargo.

OMC is still the only company to model ships dynamically in real-time to accurately calculate the UKC for shipping regulators and pilots. It ensures that a ship cannot sail unless it is safe to do so, and it also delivers huge cost savings and vital environmental protection.