The port of Uddevalla has been designated a national interest by the Swedish Transport Administration. Therefore, we have an important task to take care of the ships that need a quay, both for shorter and longer periods. There can be many reasons why a vessel needs to be layed up, for example; fluctuations in the economy, change of ownership or repairs and upgrades. The shipping companies usually use this time of standstill wisely, as it is a good opportunity to do reparations, modernize various systems and perform other needed work on board. For Uddevalla this means that the vessels, who have us as a their temporary home port, creates jobs for our local companies.
Port of Uddevalla has been called at ever since the 1950s, by shipping companies in need of a safe place to lay up their vessels. The effects of Covid-19 have led to an increased number of vessels in need of quays for rest, instead of unloading or loading goods, this year. When the vessels are safely berthed at one of our quays, we immediately can help the shipping companies to reduce their costs. All systems that are unnecessary when the vessel is docked can be shut down, they can reduce the staff working on board and connect the vessel to shore power. They will also have a fixed cost for the quay rent which makes it easy to calculate their costs. When the vessels are laid up, the shipping companies usually uses this opportunity to do repairs, modernize various systems and carry out other work on board. This is of course also something we can help with, by supplying contacts to companies with expertise in the area needed.
When the shipping companies needs help to perform various work on board their vessel, we always advise them to choose local companies if possible. The vessels who use Port of Uddevalla as their home port at the moment, have contributed to creating jobs for a number of local companies during their time with us. We had a little chat with one of these companies, METS Technology. METS Technology is based in Uddevalla and is a rather new company, as they celebrated their 1st year in June. The company consists of 18 people and has a service-based offer on the engineering side.
-We assemble standard products into ready-made technically solutions, as we are a system integrator in electricity and automation. We always want to include and integrate sustainability in technology. Electrification and battery operation are segments that we all have seen on the roads, now we are seeing an increase in this also by sea. Says Johan Marcusson, Managing Director at Mets Technology.
They also work with electric propulsion, i.e. what drives the propeller. For METS Technology, it is a matter of replacing diesel engines with electric motors and batteries on the vessels. This has long been relevant for cars and is now starting to be more popular also by vessels.
Even before the shipping company choose Port of Uddevalla as a temporary home port for its vessels, METS Technology have had contact with them. But having the vessels in Uddevalla is an advantage to METS Technology, as it brings them closer to the customer. For METS this means that it is easier to take a turn on board and check out any issues, for example.
- Although we are used to always being well prepared, as it would normally mean a longer trip if you need to pick something up or do adjustments. The vessels we work on are usually placed all over Scandinavia, even though most of them have a fixed route that departs from Sweden, says Johan Marcusson.
The work that METS Technology has performed so far on board the vessels docked in the port of Uddevalla, has been in collaboration with another company called Marinfloc. It has consisted of automation, in connection with the installation of a modern system for wastewater management. They also did an upgrade of the vessels system for county water management. In the future, when it's time for the ships to leave Uddevalla, work may also be needed to modernize various systems and assist with start-up.
- If the vessels are to go on new routes or be sold to new owners, there is a possibility that new equipment will be requested. They also attempt to have a minimal number of systems running while the vessels are at quay for a longer period. All these systems can get errors when they have been stationary for a while, we can help with that.
Johan believes that, in order for the shipping companies to choose to hire local companies, it is important that there is a good network of companies in Uddevalla who keep in touch with each other:
- An active network with active contacts will make them aware of the competence that exists locally and actually use it. We need to work together with this, otherwise it will be easy for them to turn to companies they have previously had contact with in other ports.
To make Port of Uddevalla become even more attractive for the shipping companies, we can work to create a wow feeling, Johan says. Where everything is prepared and issues, that they have previously struggled with in other ports, is already solved. It is also important to continuously review how we can develop together, Johan Marcusson concludes.
Other companies that have worked on and around the laid up vessels in Uddevalla include: