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Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Photo courtesy  Valenciaport

Key Container Freight Index Hits Milestone

The Valencia Containerized Freight Index (VCFI) exceeds 2,000 points with a growth in April of 17.39%The Valencia Containerized Freight Index (VCFI) continues its upward trend, reaching 2,314.89 points in April, an increase of 17.39% over the previous month. In a global context marked by the generalized growth of freight rates, the VCFI links its ninth consecutive month of growth and exceeds two thousand points for the first time in its history since the index began in January 2018.

Photo courtesy RUSCON Group

Russian Transport, Logistics Group Opens Dutch Hub

The RUSCON Group, a Russian container cargo transhipment and railway transportation service provider, has expanded its presence in Europe with the opening of new subsidiary in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The new Dutch company, Smartcontainer B.V. offers customized logistics services and solutions to help European shippers optimize supply chain operations and to improve the quality and speed transportation of the containers transit between Europe and Russian and the Eurasian market.“Our new company of Smartcontainer B.V.

Vessel safety will benefit with technology enhancing the bridge lookout. Image credit ABB

Maritime Digitalizaton: The Electronic Lookout

Evidence mounts that vessel safety will benefit with technology enhancing the bridge lookout.Maritime safety regulations have – and for valid reasons – traditionally been strict and have often developed in ways that could hold up innovation. Almost two decades after the remedy of ‘goal-based’ standards and ‘technical equivalence’ arrived at the IMO, rules based on risk assessment and functionality continue to face an uphill battle to redefine a safety culture based on ‘dos and don’ts’.

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Drifting Apart? European Firms Battle to Reach UK Clients

Post-Brexit trade rules mean prosecco supplier Serena Wines 1881 must store bottles destined for Britain on costlier, fumigated pallets in their own corner of its warehouse in the northeast Italian town of Conegliano.The new shipment requirement is one example of the extra cost and complexity that firms across continental Europe face serving British customers since Jan. 1, adding to disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic to drive UK-EU trade volumes lower.“These first months have been hectic, hellish for everyone,” said export manager Nicola Piovesana.

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BIMCO: U.S. Economic Stimulus Have Worked Magic for Container Shipping

North American import of containerized goods from the Far East soared to a noteworthy high of 1.62m TEU during February 2021, a 100% increase from the low point of the same month last year. Fueled by US stimulus, volumes moving on the trans-pacific trade lane to consumers and businesses in North America thereby defied all obstacles during a month usually characterized by slow activity.In particular, the US economic stimulus packages have worked magic for the container shipping industry…

(Photo: Suez Canal Authority)

Ever Given Fiasco Illustrates Importance of the Shipping Container

Take a look around you.Perhaps you’re snacking on a banana, sipping some coffee or sitting in front of your computer and taking a break from work to read this article. Most likely, those goods—as well as your smartphone, refrigerator and virtually every other object in your home—were once loaded onto a large container in another country and traveled thousands of miles via ships crossing the ocean before ultimately arriving at your doorstep.Today, an estimated 90% of the world’s goods are transported by sea…

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Future Prospects of Shipping COVID-19 Vaccines by Sea

The lucrative prospect of transporting COVID-19 vaccines by sea has intensified the spotlight on the maritime industry’s cold supply chain and its ability to carry high-value pharmaceuticals.At present, speed to market is critical to stemming the spread of the pandemic, so the vaccines are being shipped by air to international destinations. Delivering them by sea is a longer-term strategy; certainly, the present urgency would have to calm considerably before enough confidence could be built to support delivery times in weeks…

(Photo: Port of Rotterdam)

Global Supply Lines Struggle to Clear Container Backlog After Suez Chaos

A backlog of container ships carrying consumer goods has grown in some key strategic ports after a near week-long blockage in the Suez Canal, adding to ongoing disruptions to global trade, industry sources say.Dozens of container ships were stuck when the 400-metre-long (430-yard) Ever Given ran aground in the canal on March 23, with specialist rescue teams taking almost a week to free the vessel.The suspension of sailings through the waterway left shipping companies - including container lines - with millions of dollars in extra costs…

Jones Capital Acquires Rockport Terminals

Jones Capital said it has acquired Rockport Terminals, one of the largest private intermodal terminals on the Texas Gulf Coast.Rockport Terminals is located within 28 miles of the fast growing Port of Corpus Christi, but outside of the Port's tariff zone. With more than 250 acres of industrial land, Rockport Terminals boasts access to the Intracoastal Waterway, nearby railways and many major highways. Today, the terminal specializes in bulk liquids storage, bulk and break bulk…

(Photo: Jeremy Polston / Georgia Ports Authority)

Port of Savannah Expanding Amid Swift Cargo Growth

The Georgia Ports Authority Board on Monday approved capital improvement projects that will increase the Port of Savannah’s container capacity by 20% amid unprecedented cargo growth.“Right now, we are moving container volumes that we did not expect to see for another four years,” said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. “Our employees are working very hard to ensure we continue to provide our customers with world-class service. Additionally, we are expediting capacity projects…

Photo courtesy Hamburger Lloyd

Hamburger Lloyd Sells Two Ships to Hapag-Lloyd

Hamburger Lloyd is selling the two widebeam containerships, RHL Constantia (IMO-No. 9495765) and RHL Calliditas (IMO-No. 9495777), to Hapag-Lloyd AG. Hamburger Lloyd will remain responsible for the technical management and crewing of the two freighters. With the purchase of the Constantia and the Calliditas, Hapag-Lloyd AG is expanding its fleet to a total of 17 units in the 4000-6000 TEU ship segment. The RHL Calliditas has already been deployed as a charter vessel for Hapag-Lloyd in the Swahili Express / Gulf India Africa service since 2019.

Image: CM Labs

Tech File: New Rubber Tyred Gantry Simulaton

CM Labs Simulations launched a simulator training solution for rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) operators, which it says is the only RTG training solution that provides exercises for working with overheight, open-top, breakbulk, and liquid containers, as well as standard 20-, 40-, and 45-foot containers. Via the system, trainees can lock onto containers with twistlocks, and can also manage chain lifts and an overheight frame. The simulation accurately represents twistlock behaviour and…

Source: BIMCO

BIMCO: Brazil Soy Exports Down 40% in February

Brazilian exports of soy beans disappointed in February, the first month of its export season. Exports reached just 2.9m tonnes, representing a 40.1% drop compared with the first month in the last season when exports totalled 4.8 million tonnes, according to analysis from BIMCO.The start to the 2021 season has thereby been the slowest since 2018, which was before tariffs were imposed on Chinese imports of U.S. soy beans, offering a boost to soy imports from Brazilian ones a boost.

Image: Siemens Gamesa

Siemens Gamesa Picks Cadeler to Transport and Install Giant 14MW Offshore Wind Turbines

Offshore wind installation company Cadeler said Wednesday it had won the largest contract in its history.Cadeler, previously known as Swire Blue Ocean, said that offshore wind turbine maker Siemens Gamesa had awarded Cadeler a contract of valued at around $90 million, with an additional $30 million in options, to transport and install giant SG 14-222 DD offshore wind turbines.The turbines are expected to be the largest wind turbines in the world at the time of installation and have an individual capacity of 14 MW.

(Photo: MDOT MPA)

Comment Period Open for Baltimore Tunnel Project

The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Port Administration (MDOT MPA) announced release of the federally approved Environmental Assessment for the project to reconstruct the CSX-owned, 126-year-old Howard Street Tunnel in Baltimore to allow for double-stacked intermodal container trains to and from the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore. Double stacking allows two shipping containers stacked on top of each other, and this project will increase container capacity…

Photo Courtesy Liebherr

Liebherr STS Container Crane for the Port of Alicante

Liebherr Container Cranes delivered a ship to shore (STS) container crane to Terminales Maritimas Del Sureste S.A (TMS) in the Port of Alicante, Spain.The crane has an outreach of 46.9 m, a span of 15.24 m, and a lift height of 36 m with a SWL of 50 tonnes under single lift spreader, and will form a key part of the port extension project operated by TMS under a concession provided by the Alicante Port Authority. Following the contract award in Q3 2019, the crane was designed and built in Ireland by Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd.

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Importers Battle Surging Cargo, Commodity Costs

As Home Depot heads into its busy spring project season—when shoppers build backyard decks and buy patio furniture—it is tangling with surging costs for goods and transportation, on top of tariffs that cost it and other U.S. importers billions of dollars.Across the United States, major retailers and makers of everything from Peloton spin bikes and La-Z-Boy recliners to Kia Sorrento SUVs are battling the same profit-squeezing pressures. They pass those costs along to home-bound consumers…

Photo: Hapag-Lloyd

'Every Ship That is Available is Sailing,' Says Hapag-Lloyd CEO

With historically high freight rates, fleet utilization and demand, there is no end in sight for the red-hot containership market.Container shipping giant Hapag-Lloyd CEO Rolf Habben Jansen candidly said “nobody saw this coming” as “we’ve seen a spending shift from services to goods”, with consumer spending for household products and goods soaring during the pandemic, as funds usually targeted to travel, eating out and events has been diverted to home improvements, medical supplied and fitness equipment…

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BIMCO Shipping Number of the Week: U.S. Soya Bean Exports via Containerships

In the first four months of the 2020/2021 U.S. marketing year for soya beans (which started on 1 September), 2.5m tonnes of soya beans were exported in containers, accounting for 6.3% of total exports, while 37.1m tonnes departed the U.S. in dry bulk ships.Despite the record high containerized soya bean exports, the share of total U.S. soya bean exports being sent in containers has fallen from previous years and is currently at its lowest level since the same period in 2017. The…

Liebherr STS crane rising above the fog. Photo courtesy Liebherr.

NTB Takes Delivery of Four Liebherr STS Container Cranes

NTB in Bremerhaven has taken delivery of four additional Liebherr ship to shore container cranes. It brings to ten the number of Liebherr STS at the port since the first STS was handed over in 2018.The cranes are identical to the previous supplied and are amongst the largest STS cranes in the world with an outreach of 73m, a span of 30.48m and a backreach of 25m. The cranes have a safe working load of 75 tons and are able to handle the world’s largest container vessels. Designed to work vessels with 25 containers across and up to 10 high on deck…

Photo courtesy Almaco

5 Tips to Streamline Work During Project Design & Prep

Anyone ever involved in a hectic modernization project can undoubtedly relate to the chaotic nature it can have. The quotation for a new project is rapid, and the project often starts with already delayed critical material order dates. Everybody is working long hours and doing many things at the same time. Many are waiting for something from someone else and the amount of work feels overwhelming. Luckily, there are ways to work around this to prevent a chaos and stress.Five ideas for making the work more efficient and less stressful: 1.

Image courtesy Konecranes

Tech Files: Breathing New Life into Old Port Cranes

Retrofits of new features into existing ports cranes can produce operational efficiency and safety gains not included on cranes delivered 15-20 years ago, including Ship-to-Shore (STS) Rubber Tyred Gantry (RTG) and Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) types. Here, Dmitry Lapin, Knowledge and Development Manager, Port Services, Konecranes, looks at retrofit options proven in applications internationally.Sooner or later, the owners of ports cargo handling equipment are going to face a number of technical and organizational questions about the future.

Abdullah Al Hameli Head, Industrial Cities and Free Zone Cluster, Abu Dhabi Ports

Abu Dhabi Ports Halts Rent Increases for 2021

Abu Dhabi Ports today announced a freeze on rent escalation during 2021 for all businesses in its Industrial Cities and Free Zone cluster, in a move aimed at providing further relief to its customers in KIZAD and ZonesCorp and boosting the Abu Dhabi economy in these challenging times.The effective freeze on rent increase for the entire year is in line with Abu Dhabi Ports’ core philosophy of enabling businesses to remain competitive within their target markets, and follows several measures taken throughout 2020 to provide relief to customers.

© atmospheric/AdobeStock

Argentine Grain Inspector Strike Ends, Exports to Flow

The union representing Argentine port-side grain inspectors said on Thursday it had ended a month-long wage strike after reaching a contract deal with export companies that will allow international soy, corn and wheat shipments to return to normal.The deal was struck after a marathon negotiation session with Argentina's private ports chamber on Wednesday. The work stoppage by the union, known by its Spanish acronym Urgara, started on Dec. 9 and had hit operations in key ports throughout Argentina…

Stena Embla is the third new ship to be added to Irish Sea routes. Photo: Stena Line

New RoPax Ship Stena Embla Arrives in Belfast

Stena Embla, the third E-Flexer ferry to be commissioned for Stena Line’s Irish Sea routes in the last 12 months, recently arrived in Belfast. Touted by the owner as "three of the most modern ferries in the world," Stena Embla join her sister ship on the popular Belfast – Liverpool route later this month. Stena Embla has the capacity to carry 1,000 passengers, 120 cars and 3,100 lane metres of freight. This will provide a significant 20% increase in freight capacity for the route…

Giant container cranes are en route to Port of Oakland. Photo courtesy Port of Oakland

Mammoth Cranes enroute to Port of Oakland

A set of three towering new cranes are coming to the Port of Oakland to handle the ever larger ships calling the seaport, an investment by Stevedoring Services of America (SSA) for its marine terminal at Oakland (Oakland International Container Terminal - OICT). SSA ordered the cranes from Shanghai-based ZPMC, and they are expected to arrive at the end of this month.According to SSA, its new cranes would have a lift height of 174 feet above the dock, able to reach 225 feet across a ship’s deck. When the crane booms are in the raised position, they will rise more than 400 feet above the wharf.

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Strike Stymies more than 140 Grains Ships in Argentina

Loading of more than 140 agricultural export ships in Argentina has been stalled by a port-side oilseed workers' strike that started on Dec. 9, the head of the local chamber of soymeal manufacturers said on Monday, on the eve of talks on a new contract.The CIARA-CEC chamber of soy byproduct manufacturers will meet on Tuesday with the two main unions representing oilseed workers to try and hammer out a 2021 compensation package."We seek an agreement with the unions that allows the efficient…

© eyetronic / Adobe Stock

Global Cargo Logjam Deepens

Amazon seller Bernie Thompson shifted half of his production out of China to reduce his business risks and still found himself in the crosshairs of logistical chaos besetting the movement of goods around the globe.A surge in demand for furniture, exercise equipment and other goods for shoppers sheltering at home in a worsening COVID-19 pandemic has upended normal trade flows.That has stranded empty cargo containers in the wrong places, spawning bottlenecks that now stretch from factories to seaports.

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BIMCO’s Shipping Number of the Week: US imports Christmas Tree Lighting Sets Imports Up 3%

During the first 10 months of the year, the US has imported a total of 151.4 million sets of Christmas tree lights to decorate their homes this holiday season. Although that represents a 3% rise compared with the same period last year, the figure fails to match the record 189.9 million Christmas tree lighting sets that were imported during the first ten months of 2018.BIMCO has closely followed US imports of Christmas tree lights since tariffs were imposed on imports of these from China in September 2018…

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What Vaccine Distribution Planners Can Learn from Amazon and Walmart

The initial rollout of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has begun, and vaccines are shipping across the U.S. Demand for COVID-19 vaccines will outpace supply for the foreseeable future. Yet experts have warned that a substantial proportion of these highly perishable vaccines could go to waste if they are not being used before they expire.With such short supplies and high demand, worrying about waste may sound paradoxical, but is actually a predictable result of two well-known medical…

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Maersk Partners with Novo Nordisk on Cold Chain Logistics

Shipping giant A.P. Moller - Maersk announced Thursday it has signed a three-year cold chain logistics agreement with pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk that covers transportation including ocean services and inland logistics.The global agreement will enter effect from April 2021."Transporting pharmaceuticals on a global level is a demanding task with various complexities that require flexible and resilient supply chains as well as digital and eco-friendly solutions. This achievement showcases the rapid transformation of A.P.

The RBTS from SCHEUERLE is easy to operate and also negotiates tight spaces with ease. Photo: Scheuerle

Moving Big Blades: RotorBladeTransport System from Scheuerle

“The length of rotor blade transports is always a challenge! Everything went very smoothly during the complete assignment”, said Peter Schwandner, Managing Director of P. Schwandner Logistik + Transport GmbH. He applied the RotorBladeTransportSystem (RBTS) from Scheuerle, a subsidiary of the Transporter Industry International Group (TII Group) owned by the Rettenmaier entrepreneurial family from Heilbronn, Germany.The complete vehicle combination measured 86 meters. The RBTS comfortably…

Source: BIMCO

BIMCO Number of the Week: Europe-bound Container spot rates Exceed $6,000

As spot container freight rates entered December, they also entered record-braking territory, climbing from $3,076 per FEU on the last day of November to $4,858 per FEU on first day of December. This was a milestone in its own way.Since then, all stars aligned for a continued climb that has seen spot rates break through the $6,000 per FEU mark on 15 December, now quoted at $6,102 per FEU (on December 16, 2020). (source: Xeneta).Massive BREXIT frontloading imports and so much moreThe…

Ships lined up at Port of Oakland docks (photo courtesy of Port of Oakland)

Port of Oakland: Imports Rise, Exports Fall in November

Full import containers at the Port of Oakland were up just under 1% in November 2020 compared to November of last year. Loaded export boxes at the Oakland seaport dipped 2.6% in November 2020 compared to the same month in 2019.Full import containers in November 2020 totaled 78,045 TEUs (one TEU is the equivalent of a 20-foot container). This figure was 0.9 percent higher than November 2019 loaded imports which totaled 77,367 TEUs.Although strong import demand continues in the U.S., November import cargo volume was not as high as anticipated at Oakland.

Image courtesy: The Port of Gdynia Authority S.A.

VIDEO: Port of Gdynia Construction Project Moving Forward

Treasury bonds are issued for the Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. (PGA) to secure funds for the Outer Port Gdynia construction project, funding to be invested in building the access infrastructure in the form of breakwaters.The Port of Gdynia Authority S.A. formally launched a procedure to select a private partner for the “Construction of the Outer Port in the Port of Gdynia” project. The deadline for submitting applications for admission to the qualification procedure is scheduled for January 15…

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Partners Developing Electric, Hydrogen and Automation-ready Terminal Tractors

Working to address growing demand for environmentally sustainable terminal tractor solutions in port, terminal and distribution center markets, Hyster-Yale Group and Capacity Trucks are joining forces to codevelop electric and hydrogen-powered terminal tractors with automation-ready capabilities. Having signed a memorandum of understanding, the partners say initial prototypes are targeted to be available in 2021 for market testing.The collaboration leverages each company’s product expertise in the global material handling solutions market…

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Top Maritime Trends of 2020: Captain Andrew Kinsey, Allianz, Examines Logistics Challenges

Captain Andrew Kinsey, Senior Marine Risk Consultant, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, recently discussed some of the trends that will shape 2021 for the maritime, ports and logistics world.MR TV: As we come to the end of 2020, talk now turns not simply to COVID-19 and a potential vaccine, but to the supply chain logistics and challenges that come with distributing those vaccines. How does the picture look from where you sit?Andrew Kinsey:  The picture looks complicated. It's a global demand. It's a global logistics problem.

(Photo: Duluth Seaway Port Authority)

Duluth Seaway Port Authority Acquires Duluth Lake Port dock

The Duluth Seaway Port Authority last week finalized acquisition of the Duluth Lake Port dock on Rice’s Point.Located immediately northwest of the Port Authority’s First Clure Terminal Expansion, but separated from it by the Azcon Metals recycling property, the 7.5-acre Duluth Lake Port dock and 3.5-acre slip date back to the 1880s, when Duluth Imperial Mill built the site’s initial flour mill and grain elevators. The facility was last used for grain in 2015. TN LLC purchased the site in 2017. The Port Authority acquired it from TN LLC in a $950,000 deal that closed Dec. 1, 2020.

© ibravery / Adobe Stock

Port NOLA Receives $1.2 Mln from EPA to Curb Emissions

Recently, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a cooperative agreement with the Port of New Orleans to fund diesel emissions-reduction programs. The agreement provides $1,240,247 to replace certain diesel-powered trucks at port facilities in Orleans, Jefferson and Saint Bernard Parishes. The funding is provided by the National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program, under the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA).“Modernizing our nation’s aging fleet of diesel…

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Innovez One to Digitize Singapore’s Last Mile Delivery of Launch Operations

New solution will increase efficiency in launch services, improve productivity, and accelerate automation and digitalization of manual, time-consuming pier operations.Port management software provider Innovez One is embarking on a collaboration to automate and digitize Singapore’s last-mile delivery of launch operations at its Marina South Pier (MCP) and West Coast Pier (WCP). This project is one of the 11 Joint Industry Projects recently awarded by the Maritime Port Authority and announced by Chee Hong Tat…

Source: Ocean Insights

Containershipping: Transshipment Ports see an Increase in October Cargo Rollovers

Strong demand for container shipping space on major trade lanes from Asia to Europe and North America saw cargo rollovers increase month-on-month in October as carriers struggled to keep ocean supply chains operating smoothly.Overall container rollover ratios at leading transshipment ports rose to 28.5% last month, up from 26.9% in September and 22.2% in October 2019, according to Ocean Insights.“This is supposed to be container shipping’s seasonal lull after the summer peak season…

MoorMaster is touted as an important step to enabling autonomous shipping. Photo Courtesy Cavotec

Cavotec, ASKO Power Forward on Autonomous, Zero-Emission Fleet

The future of shipping is here, and it will not surprise industry observers to see Norway in the pole position as autonomous vessels enter commercial operations. Norway has long been on the bleeding edge of shipping innovation. In 2015, the world’s first battery electric car ferry entered operation in Norway’s deepest and longest fjord, Sognefjord.The ferry, MV Ampere, resulted from a government initiative and was a catalyst for innovation in the industry. Now, Norway is expected to equip some 200 additional berths with zero emission technologies before 2025.

Photo: ManHin/AdobeStock

Bulk Cargo Logistics and Solving the Commodity Conundrum

The long-established processes and practices associated with bulk commodity shipping present distinct challenges. For cargo owners, they mean a lack of transparency – leading to significant inefficiency and waste. OceanSMART Managing Director Bryan Phillips explains how new technologies that digitize these methods are poised to change the entire industry.The movement of cargoes from source to destination involves so much more than a seller-buyer relationship: there are multiple…

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INTERMODAL: Baltic Exchange launches Air Freight Indices

The Baltic Exchange has today (16 November) launched weekly air freight indices. It has partnered with established Hong Kong based air cargo pricing publisher TAC Index and the new indices include six outbound indices and 13 individual destination baskets. These products will be branded as the Baltic Air Freight Index (BAI) - powered by TAC data. They will come under the governance of Baltic Exchange Information Services Limited (BEISL), with TAC Index acting as the Calculating Agent.Did You Know?

Sam Ruda, Director, Port NY/NJ. Image courtesy Port NY/NJ

Interview: Sam Ruda, Director, Port of NY/NJ

Ports are economic engines for the regions they serve, and the impact from business activities at the Port of New York/New Jersey runs as big as the area it serves: 46 million consumers in a four-hour radius. The port is an economic giant in and of itself, providing for nearly a half a million jobs, a cumulative $35 billion in personal income and a cumulative $98 billion in business income. Sam Ruda, Director, Port NY/NJ, discusses a record 2019, continued investment in infrastructure…

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Port of Little Rock Reports Best Month Since April

Grappling with slowed business levels caused by the ongoing pandemic, Arkansas' Port of Little Rock reports September was its best month since April of this year.Activity levels at the port's docks increased with 29 barges worked; 21 at the slackwater dock and eight at the river dock. More than 44,000 net tons of cargo was handled including the following commodities: aluminum ingots, sows, and tee bars; nepheline syenite, scrap, steel coils, wetcake and wire rod coils.Year-to-date the docks have worked 286 barges with 434,000 net tons loaded or unloaded to barge.

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Container Shortage Delays Shipments of Brazil's Record Coffee Crop

Coffee traders are struggling to ship cargos out of Brazilian ports because of a shortage of available containers or space in vessels to hold them, according to traders and analysts.Brazil's economy is suffering due to the coronavirus pandemic, causing a 40% slide in its currency, the real. That spurred a flood of exports of now-cheaper goods, but imports have dropped sharply, causing the imbalance in containers that has led to delays.That's a direct hit to Brazil, which with…

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South Africa a Hotspot for Cargo Crime -Report

South Africa ranks among the top countries in the world, and first on the African continent, for BSI’s forecasted losses due to cargo theft, according to a report from freight transport insurer TT Club and business improvement company BSI.Historically, there is an inverse relationship between crime and economic growth in South Africa. However, this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts of lockdowns and a decline in the economy, an additional layer was added to that relationship.The economic decline…

(Photo: Halifax Port Authority)

Saab PIMS to Streamline Halifax Port Operations

Saab said it has been awarded a contract from the Halifax Port Authority to supply a Port Management Information System (PMIS) to further streamline the Canadian East Coast port's operations by allowing port departments, 80 service providers, customers and other members of the port community to improve collaboration.The Port of Halifax is a full-service, deepwater port on the eastern seaboard of Canada and the only east coast Canadian port that can receive containerships carrying over 10,000 TEU.

In fiscal year 2021 (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021) the port will add 5,000 new chassis to the Hampton Roads Chassis Pool II fleet. (Photo: Port of Virginia)

Port of Virginia Cycling In New Chassis Fleet

The Port of Virginia’s continual investment in new equipment is helping to build one of the youngest chassis fleets in the U.S., with the average age of chassis in the port’s pool being 3.5 years old.Experts in the field estimate the average age of an intermodal chassis to be 15-years to 20-plus-years-old. But with a continual cycle of adding new units and retiring old ones, the port is ensuring a young, safe, road-worthy chassis fleet for the motor carriers servicing the port.In fiscal year 2020 (July 1…

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BIMCO Analyzes Stall in China Coal Imports

Although many of China’s major bulk imports, such as iron ore and crude oil, have seen strong growth so far this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, imports of coal have followed the opposite trajectory. Staggering high growth in January through April has been replaced with monthly coal import growth rates in May through August below the levels recorded in the same months of 2019.This year’s coal import volumes have seen the lowest growth rate in the past three years. In the first eight months of this year…

Photo provided by Venti-Pal Happo LLC

Renewable Energy to Power NYK’s Yokohama Daikoku C-3 Terminal

From October 1, electricity sourced from renewable energy will be used at Yokohama Daikoku C-3 Terminal, which began operations in August as the first finished-car logistics terminal in Japan operated by NYK, in the company’s effort to help the city of Yokohama to achieve the goals of its Zero Carbon Yokohama plan for realizing carbon neutrality.The renewable electricity will be generated at the Minehama Wind Power Plant and come from 100% renewable energy sources. The electricity will be provided by Minna-Denryoku Co.’s electricity traceability service…

Image: BIMCO

Container Shipping Rates Continue to Deliver 'Positive Surprises', BIMCO says

Trans-Pacific short vs long contract freight rate gap hits record $2,400 per FEUAs the year 2020 continues to deliver positive surprises for the container shipping sector, the gap between short and long term contract freight rates on the Trans-Pacific trade lane has never been wider, according to a recent market note from BIMCO, noting that conditions are right for carriers to achieve higher long term contract rates.On 17 September, for containers shipped from the Far East into the US west coast…

Abu Dhabi Ports launches Smart Container Initiative, eco-friendly mobile data centers housed in a safe and optimized environment.

"Smart Container" Plan Aims to Cut Emissions 50%

Abu Dhabi Ports launched the "Smart Container" initiative, a prefabricated containerized data center runs a wide range of mission-critical applications, including port and terminal operation systems, visitor passes, and other digital customer services.Powered by renewable energy, the solar-paneled steel and aluminium smart container uses environmentally friendly technologies such as in-row cooling and efficient space allocation that will reduce Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)…

Khalifa Port’s major development of Khalifa Port Logistics, South Quay, and Abu Dhabi Terminal is on pace for completion.

Khalifa Port Expansion Stays on Track

Abu Dhabi Ports announced said that Khalifa Port’s expansion -- announced in late 2019 -- is on pace for completion, despite challenges presented in the face of COVID-19. To date:200 meters of quay wall and almost 175,000 sq m of land within Khalifa Port Logistics (KPL) have been handed over ahead of the project’s full phase one completion in Q1 2021.Progress has also been made on the first phase of Khalifa Port’s South Quay development that is slated for completion by Q4 2020.

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Eight Propane Forklift Safety Considerations Crews Need to Know

Material handling equipment, like forklifts, are vital to a port’s day-to-day operations. Forklifts enable employees to keep containers and other heavy materials on the move during their shift. But due to the nature of the equipment, forklifts introduce some workplace hazards that crews need to be aware of — and know how to avoid.The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) conducted a study analyzing forklift-related accidents, injuries, and fatalities and discovered the top six causes to be operator inattention…

Photo: Liebherr/SCT

Heavy Lift Tech: Salerno Container Terminal gets Low Consumption, High Comfort

The port of Salerno in southern Italy has been an important trading center since ancient times, and Italian port terminal operator Salerno Container Terminal SPA (SCT) has been a regular customer of Liebherr Port Equipment, today operating 11 Liebherr machines, including six Liebherr reachstackers. SCT has been active in the Port of Salerno since 1977 and in line with port terminal operators globally, SCT is continually pressed to run an efficient and environmentally clean operation…

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Chinese Buyers Snap up Indian Steel in Face of Trade Tensions

India's steel exports more than doubled between April and July to hit their highest level in at least six years, boosted by a surge of Chinese buying in defiance of tensions between Beijing and New Delhi.Traders said reduced prices had driven the purchases as Indian sellers sought to get rid of a surplus generated by the impact of COVID-19 on domestic demand and generate much-needed income.It was unclear whether the sales broke any trade rules, but the China Iron and Steel Association…

Maritime Risk Symposium 2020: Maritime Resilience in Black Swan Events

In 2007, scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb, who holds a doctorate from the University of Paris, wrote a bestselling book titled “Black Swan,” which proposed a theory involving unpredictable events with significant impact. Taleb believed that a black swan event was an outlier with significant impact and, once it occurs, is the source of deep reflection and rationalization. Since the book’s publication, a significant number of research efforts have been developed to consider possible black swan events that significantly impact the Maritime Transportation System (MTS) and the Maritime Global Commons.

Book Review: New Guidance on Bulk Carrier Ops

Bulk carriers are the workhorses of international maritime trade. Those responsible for operating them need to manage significant risks inherent to the dry bulk trade. Certain cargoes can deplete oxygen, catch fire, explode, corrode holds or simply deteriorate. At terminals, the Master may come under pressure to accept cargoes that are too hot or wet, which could endanger vessel and crew.The dry bulk sector has made huge efforts to improve safety, but “there is no room for complacency and more work is needed…

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Container Shipping & Perfecting on-time Performance

Recent reports show that on-time performance in the containership sector continues to deteriorate, causing tension between the carriers and retailers. In general, non-ocean carriers – trucks and trains – are achieving reliability rates well above 90% whereas containerships rarely beat a 70% on-time threshold. For retailers, the threat of having empty shelves is beginning to swing the balance from cheaper ocean transport to a need for reliable just-in-time deliveries supplied by…

Samskip Reinstates Amsterdam-Hull Service

Multimodal transport operator Samskip said it is reintroducing direct links between Amsterdam and Hull in response to recovering North Continent-UK unitized traffic, in a service renewal that reinforces containerized short sea options ahead of finalized Brexit trade negotiations.Starting from September 5, the three-times weekly service will depart from the TMA Terminal Amsterdam and connect into Associated British Ports’ terminal at Queen Elizabeth Dock, Hull, once more augmenting Samskip’s regular and separate Rotterdam-UK routing.The Amsterdam-Hull link was suspended in March…

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Project Cargo and Heavy Lifts in the COVID-19 Environment

The year 2020 has presented a litany of challenges to the safe movement of global project cargo. While heavy lifts and engineered cargo movements always present challenges from a rigging and execution standpoint, we have also faced exceptional challenges on other fronts. These have included cancelled vessel bookings, port facilities as well as prefabrication/modulization yard closures, lack of vessel and facility access as well as travel restrictions. At Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS)…

Laurance Langdon, General Manager for Modern Freight Company, and Hanshenrik Nielsen, Global Development Director for CargoGulf at the signing ceremony. (Photo: GAC)

CargoGulf Leases Boxes from MFC Cargo Container Concepts

Non-vessel operating common carrier (NVOCC) CargoGulf has signed an agreement with MFC Cargo Container Concepts, a division of Modern Freight Company, to lease their containers to support its continued expansion.Under the contract, CargoGulf will boost its number of containers by over 400 TEUs to facilitate the NVOCC’s growth in the Arabian Gulf and Indian Subcontinent markets.“Working with a large and strong container provider like MFC Cargo Container Concepts allows us to respond quickly to market demands due to their proximity to our largest market…

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Insurers Discuss Container Casualty Causes

Handling of steel boxes throughout the shipping, ports and logistics supply chain has historically grown exponentially, putting strains on a range of operational procedures and the physical hardware employed to handle the steel boxes, particularly onboard ships. A recent webinar organized by the Thomas Miller managed insurance mutuals, container freight specialist TT Club and protection & indemnity insurer, UK P&I Club, revealed the diverse range of factors important to safe container ship operations and the security of the container stacks they carry.

The APL England lost at least 50 containers in heavy seas off the coast of Australia in May 2020. (Photo: Australian Maritime Safety Authority)

Container Losses in the Rolling Seas

Cargoes have come off ships at sea it seems like forever. Some years ago a ship suffered a casualty transiting the English Channel in a storm. Much of its cargo of lumber and other floating items washed ashore on the southwest English coast. Before the authorities could arrive, enterprising local residents gathered it up.Nowadays, the majority of non-bulk cargo is carried in containers. Container ships have gotten larger and are capable of carrying thousands and thousands of containers. The ships have greater length, greater breadth, and greater draft. They also have greater air draft.

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Port Agents Should Inform of Cost Increases to Avoid Payment Delays, Says ITIC

International Transport Intermediaries Club (ITIC) warns port agents to inform their regular principals of port fee and tariff increases, even if the details are in the public domain. This will avoid disputes as well as delayed reimbursement payments.A recent case involved a port agent who was owed $190,000 by their regular principal (the charterer and consignee of a cargo of timber) for storage costs and demurrage charges. The agent had been invoiced for these charges by the port and had then passed them on to their principal for reimbursement.

(Photo: DP World)

DP World Acquires Majority Stake in UNICO Logistics

Dubai-based DP World said it has agreed to acquire a 60% stake in South Korea's UNICO Logistics Co. Ltd. as the firm continues its expansion across the worldwide end-to-end logistics supply chain. The transaction, subject to regulatory clearances, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2020.Established in 2002 by H.J. Park and headquartered in South Korea, UNICO is one of the largest independent NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) in South Korea, with a global footprint of 25 subsidiaries in 20 countries.

(File photo: PhilaPort)

Pennsylvania Extends Cargo Growth Incentive Program

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced that the state's Intermodal Cargo Growth Incentive Program (PICGIP), which aims to increase cargo activity by incentivizing shippers to move cargo through Pennsylvania ports, will be extended through 2022. The program was previously slated to end in June 2020."Right now, Pennsylvania's ports are more vital than ever," Governor Wolf said. "Increasing shipping activity will help ensure that essential goods are delivered to stores in a timely manner…

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Lithium Ion Battery Fires: A Threat to Container Shipping

From 2015 to present an estimated 250 incidents related to electric hoverboard fires have been recorded according to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The same commission reports that 83,000 Toshiba laptop batteries were recalled in 2017 due to fire and safety concerns.In January 2017 a NYC garbage truck was the source of a neighborhood surprise when a Lithium ion battery exploded in the compactor of the truck. Luckily no one was injured.According to a study conducted by the National Fire Data Center branch of the U.S.

Nancy Verstraeten (Photo: MWG)

Maurice Ward Group Opens Antwerp Office

Freight-forwarding and logistics company Maurice Ward Group has opened a new office in Antwerp, Belgium.The office will be led by branch manager Nancy Verstraeten, who brings to the role more than 20 years of freight forwarding experience.“We see Belgium as the ideal hub for supporting the other Maurice Ward agencies in Europe and of course also the international agents. Belgium may be a small country but Antwerp has a strategic location in Europe at the intersection of major traffic and trade flows…

(Photo: Port of Rotterdam Authority)

Port of Rotterdam to Trial PIN-free Container Handling

This week, various parties in Rotterdam will be launching a new pilot project, in which containers are handled and released without a PIN code: a widely used verification method in this transport segment. The project revolves around a new application, Secure Container Release, which replaces the PIN code with a digital signal: a solution that is significantly less susceptible to fraud. It is not only intended to make container handling more efficient, but also safer. Participants in the three-month trial include CMA CGM…

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Maersk Acquires Customs Broker KGH

Maersk said on Monday it had agreed to buy Sweden-based customs broker KGH Customs Services for 2.6 billion Swedish crowns ($281 million), as the container shipping group seeks to expand its end-to-end logistics services.Maersk since 2016 has sold its oil and gas business and focussed on its container and logistics business for customers including Walmart and Nike.It handles about one in five containers shipped by sea worldwide and is seeking to speed up investments in in-land logistics services.Last year…

(Photo: Peel Ports)

CLdN Launches Spanish/UK RoRo Service

European short sea Ro-Ro specialist CLdN introduced a new call at the Port of Liverpool, opening a pure RoRo service in a triangle trade between Santander (ES), Liverpool (UK) and Dublin (IE).The new service will operate a weekly loop connecting Spain directly to the UK and Ireland. This will bring the total number of calls from Iberia to Liverpool to eight.Market uncertainty has presented a number of ongoing issues in the supply chain for business’s across the UK. Supply chains are having to develop new models of working in response to the demands placed on them.

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Canadian Grain Exports Flowing Fast

Canadian grain exporters are boosting sales in a slumping global economy, as demand for commodities like oil weakens and frees up railway space.Brisk crop movement in a country that relies heavily on rail is a bright spot during pandemic lockdowns, which have hammered most industries."We've had an almost unlimited supply of rail cars and power. We're shipping off the map," said John Heimbecker, chief executive of grain handler Parrish & Heimbecker.Canada exported a record 959,900 tonnes of wheat in the week ended May 10, although year-to-date volumes from Aug. 1 are behind.

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COVID-19 Slams Vehicle Carrier Market

COVID-19 has hit the vehicle carrier market hard. The world vehicle demand has dropped by c.35%. Consequently, shipping these vehicles has fallen considerably.The only order to take place earlier this year is one from NYK line for a large LCTC for $95 million.No deals have taken place since the beginning of the year, this is a figure we have not seen historically. A break of five months on the S&P side of things in the Vehicle carrier market. One of the main reasons for this low period and a fall in the values is the drop in rates for the 6…

American Steamship Company’s M/V American Courage upbound on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio with a load of taconite from the iron ranges on Lake Superior for ArcelorMittal Cleveland, one of the most productive integrated steel mills in the world. (Photo Credit: Thomas Rayburn)

Great Lakes Shipping Companies Navigate Market Challenges Ahead

For U.S.-flag shipping on the Great Lakes, 2019 was a good year. Total cargos were 90 million net tons, up 7.5% over 2018 and 4.6% over the five-year average. 49.7 million net tons of iron ore were shipped, up 8.5% over 2018 and 11.7% over the five year. Limestone was up 9.7% over 2018 and 10.2% over the five-year average. In 2010 and 2011, coal and limestone were each about 20 million net tons. Since then, coal has shown a steady decline as coal-fired power generating plants…

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Market in Focus: Containershipping

The only orders to be placed since the beginning of the year are from OOCL and Great Horse China for a combination of 7 ULCV’s ranging in size. This is a drop of 86% compared to this time last year and can only be due to the Covid-19 outbreak.As the global lockdown intensified through March, rates and values across all sizes fell. We have seen the larger 8,500 TEU tonnage earnings fall by c.40% since the start of the year which has bought values down a considerable amount. Container traffic out of the East picked up from the end of March as the situation in Asia…

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Indigenous Leaders Fear Amazon Soy Port Could be Conduit for COVID-19

As the coronavirus pandemic reaches deep into Brazil’s Amazon, a ceaseless stream of trucks carry soybeans and construction workers to an expanding port complex in the heart of the forest.Indigenous activists have opposed the Itaituba port in Pará state for nearly a decade, even before shipments began there in 2014.But now the pandemic and expansion works are fueling new fears about the port’s impact on traditional communities and the biodiversity riches of the Tapajós river.“There’s a flow of workers all the time. Nothing’s changed.

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Freight Planning… What About Offshore Wind…?

At the end of 2019 – December 27, to be exact – the US Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary – filed a request for information regarding the development of a National Freight Strategic Plan (NFSP), required by the multi-year federal transportation bill, passed in 2015, called the FAST Act – “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation.”By the close of the public comment period (Feb. 10) DOT had received 82 comments. Importantly, for the maritime industry, maritime businesses and trade groups…

(Image: OSK-ShipTech)

New Zealand's KiwiRail to Order RoPax Pair

New Zealand's state-owned KiwiRail has issued a request for proposal to find a preferred shipyard to build two new RoPax ferries for operator Interislander.The international tender follows a NZ$400 Million (US$256.1 million) contribution to the 2020 Budget that enables KiwiRail to procure two new modernized vessels for service between capitol Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island. When entering into operation in 2024 and 2025, the new ferries will replace the existing fleet of three ships…

Justin Weir (Photo: FIT)

Weir Named GM of Florida International Terminal

Florida International Terminal announced Justin Weir has been appointed as the port's new General Manager.Weir has over 20 years’ experience in the industry, including previous roles in New Jersey and Los Angeles, where he has been in charge of business performance, asset management, strategic operational planning, implementing new technologies, among other responsibilities. He has a degree in business administration from Brookdale Community College, Lincroft (New Jersey, U.S.)…

Photo: North Carolina Ports

NC Ports Tops Reefeer Cargo Record

The North Carolina State Ports Authority set a new record for refrigerated container volume. North Carolina Ports moved 1,459 refrigerated containers – 2,918 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) – through the Port of Wilmington during the month of April.NC Ports said it continues to experience a healthy flow of refrigerated cargoes to global markets despite the recent volatility due to the coronavirus pandemic. FY20 year-to-date (July-April) volumes are up 20 percent over FY19. Annual growth from FY14 to FY19 is up more than 225 percent.

Photo courtesy of Port of Houston

Tonnage Slips at Port Houston Amid Pandemic

Monthly cargo volumes at Port Houston declined in April as the coronavirus outbreak continued to impact commerce in the U.S. and across the world.Port Houston, the 6th largest container port in the U.S., handled a total of 221,540 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in April, down 12% from the 252,693 TEUs in April 2019. For the full year, however, Port Houston handled 994,627 TEUs through April, which is 5% more than the first four months of 2019.Total tonnage at Port Houston’s public facilities was down 10% in the month of April at 3,766,756 short tons, a decrease of 3% year-to-date.

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China Exports, Imports Set to Plummet

China’s exports and imports are expected to record double-digit declines in April after a tentative recovery in March as the coronavirus pandemic batters global demand and disrupts manufacturing supply chains, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.The pessimistic projections reinforce concerns that the collapse in global demand will restrain the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy as it gets back on its feet after weeks of paralysis due to the virus outbreak.Shipments out of China are likely to have fallen 15.7% in April from a year earlier…

 

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​New Shandong-Europe Express Links China and Hamburg

China is the Port of Hamburg’s most important trade partner. Hamburg serves as the gateway to Europe for Chinese goods. Along with handling ocean shipping, the port city is also an important railway hub for transports to and from China. The new Shandong-Europe Express train from Jinan arrived in Hamburg’s Billwerder Terminal for the first time. It carries valuable and time-sensitive cargo from China to Europe along the New Silk Road.On April 10, the “Shandong-Europe Express” set out from Jinan, the capital of Shandong Province, on its way to Hamburg.