SOUTHERN Ports in Australia has signed off on an upgrade of its DUKC system for the Port of Bunbury.

Under keel clearance specialists OMC International have worked with the port of Bunbury since DUKC® Series 1 was installed in 1996. 

The decision by the port to upgrade to DUKC® Series 5 followed an evaluation process which included full scale validation of vessel motions.

The results of these measurements demonstrated the high degree of accuracy with which the system could predict the wave response of ships transiting the channel.


Bunbury can face severe conditions, so accurate forecasts and an understanding of their impact is said to be crucial.

Southern Ports chief executive Steve Lewis said it was important to make use of the latest technology.

“Upgrading to the DUKC® Series 5 system is part of the organisation’s strategy to adopt new and improved technologies,” Mr Lewis said.

Key features of DUKC® Series 5 include:

  • Cloud-based platform allowing secure access by port stakeholders via any web-enabled device to real-time met ocean and transit information.
  • Enhanced shore-based features including speed control, allowing the effect of changes of speed on underkeel clearance to be considered in the planning and operational stages.
  • Incorporation of long range met-ocean wave and water level forecasts
  • Introduction of transit monitoring to automatically track vessels using AIS data while simultaneously recalculating UKC advice using latest metocean and transit information.
  • Introduction of Chart Overlays giving pilots a two-dimensional view of UKC limitations.

OMC International executive director, Dr Terry O’Brien AM, said it was great to continue a long-term relationship with Bunbury.

“With a working relationship at Bunbury spanning more than 20 years, we are delighted to have been chosen to provide the port its UKC management solution,” Dr O’Brien said.

“With its proven track record of more than 170,000 transits, and backed by 24/7 support, DUKC® is the most trusted UKC management solution available, and the technology continues to evolve with the needs of our customers.”