Off-The-Shelf Tailored Software


  • Flexible squat calculation

    November 2021

    With PROTIDE ports can optimize accessibility while constantly checking keel clearance safety. An important factor in dynamic keel clearance calculations is the ships sinkage and trim: squat. There is a wide range of research on the various parameters that effect squat.

    It is important to select the proper squat formula's and parameters for the different transits. It can also be necessary to model squat differently on different parts of a trajectory. In our latest work we added the option to configure the squat model and parameters for each part of each transit individually. Also the output is extended to give direct insight in the effect of the chosen model on sinkage, trim and the resulting under keel clearance.

    For the VTS-SCHELDT we incorporated a formula by Flanders Hydraulics Research specifically calibrated for bulk carriers traveling to and from North Sea Port, Flushing. PROTIDE, with this dynamic methodology, is used to model all transits via the Western Scheldt:

    The squat configuration and result retrieval can be done via the new API v2.1 shipped with PROTIDE v7.8.

  • Insight in transport flows

    September 2021

    BasGoed calculates the transport of goods to, from, via or passing the Netherlands. The model balances origins of production, attraction, trade and costs of transport via possible modes of transport. This produces a lot of data of flows between regions for different types of goods.

    To make sense of the output it is structured in a tidy format and geographically coupled to regions in GeoJson. We then developed a light weight web viewer to be able to aggregate, filter, group and compare production, attraction and flows geographically.

    The viewer is fully JavaScript based and uses OpenLayers and Chart.js.

  • Determine lock passages out of (big) AIS data

    January 2021

    Each inland vessel broadcasts information about its identity, characteristics, position, speed and course via the Automatic Information System (AIS) and transmits this within regular intervals. This data can be used to analyze the usage of the Dutch waterways and in particular to validate other (registration) models and forecasts.

    Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Waterways) provided anonymized AIS data from all the ships along the Dutch waterways for a period of 18 months. This data set is very extensive and therefore not straightforward to process. In total there are 100 to 1000 of AIS messages per second, which results in 1 billion messages each month.

    We have developed a tool which can process this data automatically with a configurable set-up where you can specifically zoom in on certain regions, ship types and dimensions, to read, store, process and visualize large sets of AIS data. During the processing the data can be mapped on an available routing network of waterways and locks. Routes and mappings can be exported in a GeoJson format to perform visual checks on the results.

    Combining the AIS data with this real life inland shipping network, results in valuable information about real life routes, passage times and traffic intensity of waterways. Also, in more detail, it is possible to zoom in on specific locks to calculate passages, waiting times or examine bottle necks.

    The 18 months of data has been processed and the results are presented to Rijkswaterstaat. The project shows how big data can be processed and provides useful information for decision makers. The tool itself will be published to be used by interested parties.

  • Flexible import of hydrometeo data

    December 2020

    Hydrometeo data (water level, currents, waves, etc.) is offered by many sources, and in as many formats. An approach to use such a wide range of formats in an operational application is to parse the externally available data, and process it to a shared internal format for further usage by the application. It is a challenge to provide both a user-friendly and flexible approach to configure the parsing and processing stages.

    MATROOS operated by Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Waterways) provides NetCDF files with model runs for expected water levels, currents, waves etc for up to hundreds of locations. We have built a parser to select timeseries for the required locations from these NetCDF files. The timeseries are stored by a generic processor writing timeseries to an internal storage format.

    We have made the parser flexible by allowing to configure locations, precision of location matching, NetCDF variable names, and the option to convert between reference planes for water level time series. The parser’s configuration is user-friendly by providing a form tailored to the properties of the parser, and allowing the configuration of a parser to be imported/exported as JSON between different environments. The latter allows preparation of a parser on a test/acceptance environment, and easy deployment at a production environment.

  • Effect Seine-Scheldt on inland shipping

    September 2020

    The TEN-T Seine-Scheldt project will allow larger inland vessels (up to 190x11.4 meters) to travel between France (Paris, Le Havre), the Benelux (Ghent, Antwerp, Rotterdam) and further on to Germany (Ruhr region, Hamburg). As part of the project a new canal (Seine Nord) is realized in the North of France, and existing Belgian waterways like the Leie are upgraded.

    We have modeled both Canal Seine Nord and the upgraded Belgian waterways in the inland shipping analysis tool BIVAS, and developed a methodology to study and isolate the effect on costs per ton transported freight. The methodology includes the expected shift to larger ships.

    The methodology could be applied as part of a more extensive study on the effect to the modal-split (rail, train, ship) due to new Seine-Scheldt connection. The methodology has been developed, tested and validated for this purpose commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat (Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Waterways).

    We have chosen for a general methodology, which could be fitted to other transporting questions regarding the effect of a network extension to costs (in terms of distance, travel time, €, ..). The key feature is that the developed methodology considers scaling up due to larger and possibly more efficient transporting options as well.

  • Manage cluster of applications

    August 2020

    Mission critical applications achieve high availability and performance by distribution of tasks over redundant processes run by various applications on multiple machines. For this the Charta Platform provides options to delegate responsibility of these tasks to certain processes. These can be deployed multiple times to create a cluster of cooperating instances. To manage this cluster the platform is now extended with the option to get insight in and manage the running applications and processes.

    All web applications that upgrade to the latest version are automatically extended with this functionality. The Cluster menu in the Website management portal shows two lists: Application and Processes. The former lists all registered installations with a heartbeat and the latter specifies all running processes per application. Here a service manager can review the setup, identify problems or bottlenecks and design or monitor a maintenance or scale up strategy.

  • CBS mapping of goods flows in freight modeling

    June 2020

    Using a new methodology, CBS (Statistics Netherlands) is able to combine data on international trade and transport in order to provide answers to questions about the production, consumption, origin, destination, transport modes and supply chains. The following article on provides more insight: CBS mapping goods flows.

    Commissioned by Rijkswaterstaat, we are integrating this methodology and data into a strategic goods transport model. The models use it to make more accurate forecasts of supply chains to improve decision making on investments in infrastructure.

    For integration in the freight model, the methodology should be accurate, consistent, reproducible and documented. This is achieved by review, testing and refactoring of the Python scripts.

  • 30 cm extra draft for outgoing vessels

    April 2020

    The Port of Rotterdam started a pilot on maximizing the draft for outgoing tankers. Before this pilot the operational maximum permitted draft for ships leaving port was 21.5 m. Charta Software performed a study to determine the possible maximum draft from three different berths. Without investments in the infrastructure but by using available data and advanced modeling, we showed that it is possible to increase draft by 30 cm up to 50 cm in respectively 99% to 98% of the time safely. Based on this study the Port of Rotterdam started a pilot to operationally test this: Start of Calandkanaal trial

    We imported two years of environmental data (water levels, currents and waves), the channel bathymetry and design to model the port and routes in PROTIDE. All outgoing tankers in this period where investigated on reported dimensions/draft and AIS-data. With this data we determined which channel segments are relevant and what speeds are possible in the given circumstances. For each high tide in the analysis a maximum draft calculation was made for an outgoing transit where the under keel clearance remained safe. In this calculation PROTIDE determines the static under keel clearance based on tides and available depth. The dynamic under keel clearance results from a squat calculation and calculated wave response. The study was finished with a sensitivity analysis on operational requirements, speed, salinity, channel shoaling and maximum draft to remain at berth.

    Europoort Kringen published a nice article (in Dutch) on this project in their June 2020 magazine: Europoort Kringen - Juni 2020 - p62-65.pdf


    November 2019

    PROTIDE 7 is the latest version of our webbased 24/7 tidal window calculation service for deep-draft ships calling port. Development of PROTIDE 7 was completed in November 2019, and the version will be brought live in January 2020 for use in Amsterdam (Netherlands), Rotterdam (Netherlands), Eemshaven (Netherlands), Emden (Germany) and Long Beach (USA).

    Key feature of PROTIDE 7 is a new API for maintaining ships, creating transits for port calls, and performing tidal window calculations. The API has been designed as JSON-based REST API following the Open Data (OData) protocol, being ratified and published as ISO/IEC standards 20802-1 and 20802-2.

    The new API offers and a solution for integrating PROTIDE as tidal window calculation service in port management and vessel traffic services (VTS).

  • Maritime & (inland) port monitor

    October 2019

    We are rounding up our developments for an online tool reporting on maritime, sea port and inland port economic indicators. In collaboration with EUR UPT and Ecorys.

    The tool consists of three different monitors: the Maritime monitor, the Port monitor and the Inland port monitor. For each of these monitors yearly reports on economic (direct and indirect) indicators are written bij EUR UPT and Ecorys. Specific data from these reports has been selected to be presented online.

  • Partnership freight transport

    March 2019

    In the start of 2019 we have joined the Dutch innovation partnership for freight transport with 9 other companies, each with their own expertise in this field.

    During the course of 2019 we have been working together with other members on various projects within this partnership, mainly in relation to the development of a new version of BasGoed; the strategic model used by the Dutch government to calculate future scenarios for freight transport by road, waterways and rail.

    Our main project was to extend the application with the possibility to add costs for specific origin-destination relations within the model. This will be used for calculating scenario's which e.g. implementing heavy goods vehicle charges on the road or adding rail charges for specific trajectories.

    Furthermore we have worked on the visualization of BasGoed results, setting up a GitLab environment with a high focus on continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD), and have had a consulting role in other projects.