For hundreds of years, tugs have been used to assist vessels to maneuver in ports. However, tugboats have inherent problems which have not been addressed up until now.
Tugboats use towropes during ship assist manoeuvrers inside harbours, which cause critical delays when the tug has to move from a push position to a pull position. Communication gaps with tugboat Masters and labor issues have plagued the towage industry for many years. High fuel consumptions and engine emissions from tugs have forced ports to enforce new regulations to control air pollution from tugs. Numerous incidents of crew injury due to handling of towropes have occurred.