A press release from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently announced the implementation of new technology at two ports in Louisiana that will make it easy to monitor the environment around these spaces.
According to this source, the Port of Morgan City and Port Fourchon will be augmented by the Physical Oceanographic Real Time System, or PORTS, which will give mariners more data about ocean and wind conditions and in turn allow for safer activity. With these two ports using the system, the PORTS network now includes 25 different locations across the country.
A key part of this setup is how the different technology and facilities involved are all set up to to disseminate information in real time. Data collection platforms can observe important trends in ocean currents, among other factors, and make it easier to incorporate this information into port-based procedures.
In the statement, Rich Edwing of NOAA explained the real, usable impact of gathered data on shipping habits. Both ports are relatively new hubs for marine traffic in the area.
"Real-time knowledge of the currents, water levels, winds and density of the water can increase the amount of cargo moved through a port and harbor and enable mariners to safely use available channel depths," Edwing said. "Even one additional foot of draft can substantially increase the profit of a shipment."
The executive directors of each port praised the new system and said it would contribute to better management for incoming and outgoing ships. Chett Chiasson of Port Fourchon also said that PORTS could help in the event of an environmental disaster.
Knowing more about the surrounding environment may prompt port operators to make changes to their facilities and increase ship traffic. For ships transporting large amounts of materials through uncertain waters, marine cargo insurance ay help users recover financial losses when the environment contributes to ship and cargo risk.