Start-up GBMS teamed up with JR Shipping and developed the GBMS SaaS Warning System. The software monitors the motion of containers on board and issues a warning if necessary to allow the crew to intervene. This significantly reduces the risk of containers being lost.

In February 2020, it was JR Shipping‘s container feeder OOCL Rauma that lost seven containers north of the Dutch Wadden Islands. In December 2022, the shipping company decided to install the GBMS software as a service (SaaS) Warning System on this vessel as well as the MV Ensemble after having been involved in its development.

Installation is to be completed soon. The rest of the JR Shipping container fleet is in line to retrieve the system over the year.

Also read: Ship loses seven containers north of Wadden Islands

Joint development

Michiel Gunsing and Joris Brouwer from GBMS managed to arouse the interest of JR Shipping during an international shipping fair a few years ago. There was only an idea back then. GBMS was looking for partners to convert the idea into a concrete product and to further develop and test it in a realistic environment.

JR Shipping saw the value of the emerging software system and linked GBMS to the crew of MV OOCL Rauma. On board and in close collaboration with the crew, the idea turned into the ‘fantastic system’, as Robert-Jean Dupuis, director ship management at JR Shipping calls it.

Also read: VIDEO: How to recognise and prevent excessive roll of container ships

How containers are monitored

The software monitors the motion of the containers and the effect of the forces exerted on them at sea. This is done based on data from the loading plan and the existing BAPLIE (bayplan/stowage plan occupied and empty locations) files.

If anything deviates from the norm, the system issues a warning, so that the crew can immediately see what is going on and intervene. This significantly reduces the risk of containers being lost. At sea, the GBMS Warning System provides real-time information. The system can also be deployed in advance, in the port. With the aim of optimising loading plans.

Also read: New DNV anti-roll app helps avoid container loss

Big impact on environment

Dupuis explains the importance of the development as follows: ‘In percentage terms, the number of containers lost during international shipping movements is negligible. But there are still 2000 per year and the impact on the environment is often dramatic. GBMS software drastically reduces the risk of such environmental disasters. In addition, optimising load plans contributes to more efficient fuel consumption. Given the need to make shipping more sustainable, this is also a major benefit.’

Picture: Sea trials with the system on board the OOCL Rauma (by GBMS).