Fairway as a service – The smart way to aid navigation

Meritaito Ltd is the leading Finnish marine survey service and infrastructure management company. The company has decades of experience in a comprehensive range of services in maintenance of waterways, use and maintenance of canals, hydrographic surveying services, oil spill response, hydraulic engineering, waterways design and manufacturing of aids to navigation.

Already today modern SOLAS requirements have transformed the accuracy of onboard navigation and in the future at Meritaito we see that buoys and other aids to navigation will always have a place in a form or another.

Finland’s maritime strategy for 2014–2022 provides an overall view that serves Finland’s economy, business life and employment account of the new environmental norms. The strategy analyses the changes that have taken place in the past years and the future challenges. It also outlines a vision for 2030 and identifies measures that are required in meeting them. A key aim in the strategy is to ensure that Finland´s maritime transport and maritime industries can operate effectively and that the competitiveness of the national economy and environmental and safety issues are taken extensively into account.

A vision for 2030 is “A prosperous Finland – efficient sea routes”. While the vision towards 2030 has been published, the maritime domain has to recognize that pinpointed things in this vision – increasing environmental regulations, competitive efficient and reliable and safe transport chains, arranging efficient icebreaker services, safe and improved efficiency in pilotage, efficient port operations, improved competitiveness for ports, intelligent Inland waterway transport, intelligent logistics chains – are still issues that needs to be solved.

The fairway itself – especially in Finland – is in a core role when accessing or departing a port. This possibly intelligent fairway can reduce many of the points highlighted in the 2030 vision. But it really has to be intelligent.

We at Meritaito have analyzed this vision and validated the need from the fairway owners and users where as a reflection to this we created a project called InSea – Intelligent Sea. In the InSea – where the maritime cluster in the future can easily access cloud services provided from the fairway and it´s vicinity – we still need to face the challenge of a simple connection. The connectivity of the fairway and beyond, adds value for the transport chain. Today Ports and it´s players own lot of information that is an asset and plays a vital role when a vessel plans a port call.

For example imagine a vessel that enters the port 3 times per week and has a average turnaround of 26 hours (Nisomar, Uk ports). If this vessel can save 30 min on its way in and on its way out it means 3 hours per week which in itself means 156 hours saved approx. 6 days per year to be used to other port calls per year. A average port call costs 38 000 € (Nisomar, Uk ports).

We see that efficiency and connectivity can be achieved simply thru an intelligent, digitalized and efficient fairway that is equipped with proper connections like the superfast 5G.

The connectivity will play a central part in the InSea project and where 5G network microwaves transmits along the fairway it enhances the information flow between the ship and shore and vice versa.


Thomas Erlund

Senior Vice President

Meritaito Ltd