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Polish coastline - areas of responsibility of the Local Maritime Offices

Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) what do they do?

In 2021, IMO VTS (Vessel Traffic Services) Guidelines were reviewed and updated after considering various organizational, operational, and technological changes that had taken place since 1997 when the previous version was issued.

Governments around the globe have implemented VTS centers to communicate effectively with ships, quickly respond to developing situations and improve navigational safety.

The VTS centers located in three Polish cities: Gdynia, Szczecin, and Slupsk, are first to greet all vessels calling at Polish ports. The organizational structure of VTS also includes a rescue (SAR) component with command centers in Gdynia and Swinoujscie.[…]

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Ship at berth and the garbage collection truck

Waste disposal tariff change in Polish ports

Aiming to protect the marine environment from the negative effects of waste from ships European Parliament and the Council (EU) legislated in 2019 a directive 83/2019 obliging member states ports to improve port reception facilities for waste from ships.

As an alignment to above directive and respective local regulations that followed, Polish Ports introduced an amended system of fees for the reception and management of ship-generated waste, which are in force accordingly: 

Port of Gdansk – 1st of September 2023, 
Port of Gdynia – 1st October 2023, 
Port of Szczecin-Swinoujscie – 14th September 2023. […]

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Salinity map of the Baltic sea with colors

Why water salinity level in Polish ports is low?

One of the essential parameters when planning employment for a vessel is the salinity level of the water at the destination.

Salinity is usually measured in PSU (Practical Salinity Unit), which is a unit based on the conductivity properties of seawater. It is equivalent to a unit in thousand or g/kg. So 1 PSU = 1.001%.

Based on the history of the formation of the Baltic Sea, we know that this basin has been a lake several times (the last time about 7,000 years ago), and if it were to be cut off from the ocean today, it would become a freshwater lake again. The reason for this is the positive water balance of the Baltic Sea, resulting from the excess of freshwater inflow over evaporation. Numerous rivers and rainfalls provide a constant supply of fresh water. In total, about 250 rivers drain into the Baltic Sea.[…]

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Shore crane on the deck of the vessel

New shore crane in Gdansk

In October 2023, Port Gdański Eksploatacja S.A, the largest and most versatile transshipment operator in Polish seaports, received the third and the last of LHM 550 cranes. The first crane was delivered at the end of 2022, while the second crane has been in operation since June of this year.

The Liebherr LHM 550 is a versatile crane capable of handling various cargo types, including coal, grain, ores, scrap metal, and containerized goods, regardless of container size, thanks to its wide range of available grapples. This mobile equipment is placed on a chassis with 72 wheels, weighing over 400 tonnes. Depending on the extension of its arm, it can independently lift up to 100 tonnes. The new Liebherr crane’s grab has a capacity of 28 tonnes for coal, three times the capacity of older models.[…]

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Water level checking point

What is the meaning of „at mean water level …”?

Often, when we provide information on port restrictions, the question arises as to the meaning of the term „at mean water level 500”? I will answer this question briefly.
To begin with, let us distinguish between water level and water depth:

Water depth means the depth of the water between the surface and the seabed.

Water level refers to the height or elevation of water above or below a reference point.

It should be noted that water depth changes with changes in water level. Therefore, the water level serves as more practical information, assuming that the topography of the seabed in a given location remains stable over the longer term.[…]

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Shore crane on the deck of the vessel in Swinoujscie

New shore crane at OT Port in Swinoujscie

On 19th September 2023, the first of two Liebherr LHM550 cranes ordered arrived at Miners’ Quay in Swinoujscie OT Port  It is a versatile unit designed to handle a wide range of goods from bulk to general cargo, project cargo and containers. Thanks to modern technology, the cranes comply with current environmental standards and work faster and more efficiently.

The crane’s maximum lifting capacity is 124 tonnes. The LHM550 is the successor to the Liebherr LHM500 cranes previously in operation at OT Port Świnoujście. These older units have been relocated to the Metallurgists’ Quay, where they will support the second line transhipments.[…]

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