port of felixstowe

Felixstowe productivity improving after implementation of new operating system

The Port of Felixstowe has stated that vessel and rail loading performance remain below target but no new issues have emerged as it works on resolving slow loading and delays caused by problems with its terminal operating system (TOS).

Issues first surfaced last month when the port introduced the TOS but it confirmed in the week beginning Monday 2 July that overall quayside volume was 66,000 teus and productivity was 80% of pre go-live levels. Felixstowe added that nearly 5,000 containers were loaded to rail and over 21,000 road hauliers serviced, while average haulier turnaround times have stabilised at 46 minutes.

Confirming there has been no additional issues since its last report on 5 July and stressing its continued work to improve productivity, the port stated: “Vessel and rail loading performance remain below the targets we need to achieve. We are working to reduce further the number of rail misses and we recognise that performance in all areas is not good enough.”

Improvement initiatives

It said several initiatives have been implemented to improve yard operations and productivity, which are expected to improve vessel, rail and road loading cycles and times.

A new area for empty storage will be opened behind berths eight and nine on 14 July. The new yard will provide capacity for an additional 4,200 teus of empty storage and is designed to facilitate quicker loading of empties to outbound vessels.

“We are continuing to work closely with our shipping line customers to minimise disruption,” the port stated.

Source: Port Strategy

arctic shipping

The environment and Arctic Shipping

Mariners have known about short cuts to the Pacific via the Arctic for a long time. The Northern Sea Route (NSR), north of Siberia, was discovered 300 years ago, and the Northwest Passage (NWP) has been on the map for more than a century.

Although these routes are much shorter than the traditional trading routes from Europe and the eastern US to the Pacific, until recently they were only navigable by specialised ships. They have not been considered commercially viable until now.

The world is warming, and over the last several decades climate change has begun to significantly change the game for vessel navigation. Alarmingly, global warming is not evenly distributed over the globe. In the Arctic, warming is at a much higher level than the global average. Svalbard, Norway, for example, is experiencing a temperature increase that is 6°C higher than the global average.

Climate change, retreating summer ice and the prospect of shorter journey times and 40% lower fuel costs has led Russia, European governments and some industries to expect a major ice-free shipping lane to open above Russia, allowing regular, year-long trade between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans within a few years.

However, low bunker fuel prices, a short sailing season and continuing treacherous ice conditions in the Arctic even in summer months means it could be 2040 at the earliest before it is commercially viable for ordinary merchant ships to pass through

In September 1980, Arctic ice covered some 8 mill. km2. In 2012, Arctic ice cover dropped to less than half that area — 3.4M km2 — the lowest ever recorded. The reduction in Arctic ice cover is relatively linear (see image below, click for larger version), and the trend means the NSR and the NWR are now navigable for part of the year, every year.

Peaking with 71 transits in 2013, the Northern Sea Route to the north of Russia has been more popular for commercial transits than its counterpart in the Americas, but NSR transits declined after 2013 and were down to 25 in 2017. Nevertheless, due to the drop in Arctic sea ice and enormous amounts of oil, natural gas and various metal ores, the Siberian coast has seen a significant increase in shipping activities.

Decreasing ice coverage in the Arctic would open a larger window for transits. A report published in the journal Nature Climate Change in June 2018 predicts that, even if we manage to keep temperature change within the parameters of the 2°C temperature increase as embedded in the Paris Agreement, we will experience a completely ice-free Arctic during the Northern hemisphere’s summer months within this century.

Russia has tried to open up the Arctic to international traffic by offering icebreaker service and better port facilities. But cargo in transit along the northern sea route dropped from 1.3m tonnes in 2013 to 300,000 tonnes in 2014. Last year only 100,000 tonnes was transported between Asia and Europe on the route. However, there was a big rise in the number of vessels going to and from Russian Arctic ports.

So how would an ice-free Arctic summer impact shipping?

As of now, vessels cut off 40% of the distance travelled between Rotterdam and Yokohama by using the Northern Sea Route. An ice-free Arctic would likely mean 50% or more in miles saved over traditional routes.

Shipping could save millions of tonne-miles and huge amounts of fuel if the predicted growth of the NSR’s navigable window holds true, an outcome that would be good for shipping’s global greenhouse gas emissions account.

Average Arctic temperatures are rising twice as fast as elsewhere in the world and the polar ice cap’s permanent cover is shrinking at a rate of around 10 percent per decade. By the end of this century, summers in the Arctic could be free of ice.

Black Carbon

One alarm raised by some green NGOs that is supported by many nations including some of the Arctic littoral states, is that shipping’s emissions of black carbon (BC) in the Arctic is speeding up the melting of Arctic ice — sea ice as well as glacial ice. Black carbon is basically soot emanating from incomplete engine combustion and is generally believed to be more related to the combustion of Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) than that of lighter distillates. It is also related to the condition of the engine as well as to the engine load.

Scientists have predicted negative consequences from the rapid melting of Arctic sea ice and the Arctic glaciers that will be felt globally. Melting will result in rising sea levels globally, threatening the existence of many island states. More open water means further absorption of the sun’s warmth and heating of the Arctic Ocean — an accelerating cycle. Many large cities will need to invest in expensive climate change mitigation enterprises, such as increasing the height and extent of dykes and barriers. Two obvious examples of the threat to low-lying cities are New Orleans, which was inundated during Hurricane Katrina and New York and New Jersey which faced huge storm surges from Hurricane Sandy. Rising sea levels and a likely increase in frequency and violence of hurricanes offers frightening scnarios for low-lying cities and countries.

Massive melting of Arctic ice might also, according to some scientists, force the Gulf Stream to take a more southerly course, which will result in a much colder northern Europe. So even as climate change produces an average increase in global temperatures, there are likely to be regions that will experience colder weather and climate.

Ban on Heavy Fuel Oil in the Arctic?

Last year Canada and other states proposed that IMO should commence work on mitigating the risks of use and carriage of HFO as fuel by ships in the Arctic. The European Parliament has broadly supported this move by adopting a resolution calling for a ban on the use of HFO in Arctic waters.

Prior to that, in October 2016, the IMO at MEPC 70 decided that from 1 January 2020, all ships operating outside Emission Control Areas (ECAs) must not burn fuel oil with a sulphur content above 0.5% (by mass). When that rule was adopted in 2008, it was believed that such future fuel oil would be distillate, either marine gas oil or marine diesel oil.

In connection with the 0.1% sulphur limit in ECAs in 2015, the world saw a number of new fuels that did not fall under the traditional definition of distillate fuel. It is expected that the 2020 global cap of 0.5% sulphur limit will see the introduction of many new fuels. Some of these are expected to be based on de-sulphurised HFO derived from sweet crude, others might be blends of HFO with low-sulphur products. It could even be new oil products that the world has not yet seen.

The Environment

The WWF state that the trend will increase pressure on a relatively pristine area, and that although the routes will not be open year round, companies are already investing billions of dollars in tankers capable of going through ice.

The WWF are:

  • Mapping data on Arctic species, ecosystems, cultures and industry that will help us make concrete policy recommendations pertaining to Arctic ship traffic.
  • Advocating for a strong Polar Code, currently under discussion in the International Maritime Organization, which will set legally binding environmental requirements for all ships in the Arctic.
  • Working to establish PSSAs (particularly sensitive sea areas) to protect vulnerable areas from shipping activities.

Their vision for Arctic shipping is:

  • Ships venturing into Arctic waters must be prepared for Arctic conditions, especially those carrying ecologically hazardous cargos.
  • Operational practices for ships operating in Arctic waters should include measures forbidding the discharge of ballast waters in Arctic areas to prevent the introduction of alien species.
  • These measures need to be backed up with monitoring and enforcement.

Conclusion

It will be decades before big cargo ships link China and northern Europe by taking a shortcut through the Arctic Ocean, and it will remain cheaper to send trade between Europe and the east via the Suez canal until then. The Arctic sea ice will be too thick and treacherous for many years, requiring expensive ice breakers and strengthened hulls.

The Copenhagen Business School report concludes that “the Arctic navigation season is currently too short and ice conditions are too unpredictable for liner shipping to be feasible. Arctic liner shipping will only become a viable alternative to the contemporary shipping lanes if global warming continues to melt the ice cover along the North-west passage and the Northern sea route. It is highly unlikely that large-scale containerised cargo transports will appear in the near future. The question then arises: when, if ever, will the ice conditions allow for continuous and economically feasible container transport along the route?”

The greatest potential for the use of ice-reinforced container ships was found if the speed of global warming increased and the price of fuel is high. But even in this scenario, the cost per container was about 10% higher than going via the Suez canal route.

Source: mpropulsion.com / The Guardian / WWF

 

lng gas

The impact of shipping on the climate cannot be solved by gas

Europe has little to gain from trying to decarbonise the unwieldy shipping sector with liquefied natural gas (LNG), according to a new study that looks into how the EU could cut emissions over the next three decades.

Research by consultants UMAS revealed on Monday (25 June) that pouring billions of dollars into LNG-refuelling capacity for maritime and inland shipping would only yield emission reductions ranging from 6% to 10%.

The study highlighted how half a billion dollars has already been used by the EU to beef up infrastructure and that no notable greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) have been logged as a result.

Shipping accounted for about 3% of global emissions in 2012 and, on its current trajectory, will contribute between 6% and 14% by 2050 due to increased growth. Eighty percent of global trade is already transported by water.

EU commitments to the UN’s Paris Agreement mean the bloc is targeting 40% GHG reductions by 2030 and a net-zero emissions strategy for mid-century is likely to be released by the end of the year.

Brussels wants every part of the economy to do its fair share of decarbonising, meaning shipping will have to play its part and a recent agreement by the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) to target “at least 50%” cuts compared to 2008 by 2050 was a step towards that aim.

But the IMO commitment is non-binding and a final plan is not expected until 2023, causing uncertainty about where investment should be directed. If the IMO revises its ambition up to a net-zero strategy, LNG assets could end up stranded, according to the study.

NGO group Transport & Environment, which commissioned the report, said the EU should “instead back future-proof technologies that would deliver the much greater emissions reductions that will be needed, including port-side charging and liquid hydrogen infrastructure”.

UMAS’s modelling showed that under a ‘high gas’ scenario, where LNG prices are low and alternative fuels like hydrogen are unavailable, the EU would be hit with a $22bn bill up to 2050 and GHG reductions would only fall within a 6%-10% bracket.

While increased LNG uptake could help the sector hit the IMO’s 2020 cap on sulphur emissions, according to UMAS researcher Domagoj Baresic, the fuel’s use in “shipping’s transition to a low carbon future can only be transient”.

Other fuel options include biofuels, electrification and hydrogen. Battery-powered ocean-going freighters are currently not feasible due to cost and component weight, so smaller vessels are the limit, while biofuels face their own set of cost of standards-based challenges.

EU legislation dating from 2014 on alternative fuels lays out a number of options across various sectors but its insistence on LNG refuelling and bunkering facilities has now been called into question by T&E. The group urged the Commission to revise the “faulty” directive.

Although LNG is easy to transport, one of its main downsides is its high methane content, whose climate-affecting potential is significantly greater than that of carbon dioxide.

The study explained that the phenomenon of ‘methane slipping’, when unburnt LNG escapes through a ship’s exhaust into the atmosphere, could actually help wipe out any emission reduction gains over diesel depending on the scenario.

The issue of fugitive methane is a serious consideration for energy companies and pipeline owners, as it entails sometimes significant losses in both deliverable capacity and income.

Last week, a landmark study by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) claimed that methane leakage in the United States is 60% higher than previously estimated by the country’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

EDF chief scientist Steve Hamburg warned that if more than 2.7% of gas production leaks from the US network then the GHG impact is more significant than burning coal for power. The study drew on a decade of work to estimate that leakages totalled 2.3%.

Oil majors like Exxon and BP already intend to address the problem by rolling out advanced technology like infrared detection equipment. The International Energy Agency estimates that between 40% and 50% of current methane emissions could be cut at no net cost.

To view the full report please go here

Source: Euractiv.com

heathrow expansion

It is a YES for Heathrow Expansion

In a landmark vote yesterday, Parliament unambiguously (415-119) backed expanding Heathrow – ending decades of political debate on one of the UK’s most pressing infrastructure issues.

MPs from across political parties joined forces to support the Government’s Airports National Policy Statement. The vote clears the way for Heathrow to submit an application for development consent for the project – unlocking billions of pounds in growth and creating tens of thousands of new skilled jobs across the UK in the early years of Brexit.

  • MPs across political parties united to unequivocally back expanding Heathrow – ending decades of political debate;
  • Approval unlocks billions in growth, secures tens of thousands of new skilled jobs and will ensure Heathrow expands sustainably;
  • Heathrow will now prepare an application for development consent which will see construction begin in 2021;
  • Within the next 12 months alone, Heathrow will sign £150m in contracts with British businesses, creating 900 new jobs and 200 new apprenticeships.

Britain won’t have to wait long for the benefits of an expanded Heathrow. Over the next 12 months alone, the airport will sign £150 million worth of contracts with British businesses, creating 900 new jobs and 200 new apprenticeships. Heathrow will also announce the locations of the off-site logistics hubs that will allow businesses across the country to get involved with what will be one of Europe’s largest infrastructure projects.

What an expanded Heathrow could look like between 2030-2035?

Parliament’s historic vote is the culmination of a rigorous, evidence-based selection process – including review by the independent Airports Commission and the Government – which determined not only that expanding Heathrow offers the greatest benefit to all of the UK, but that it can be done sustainably.

Over the past six years, Heathrow has worked with local communities to design an expansion plan that treats local people fairly. In addition to the thousands of new jobs the project will create for local residents, Heathrow has also made binding commitments to deliver a £2.6bn compensation package to local residents, implement a 6.5 hour ban on scheduled night flights and a triple lock guarantee to meet air quality obligations.

Heathrow will also release detailed plans over the coming months to deliver a skills strategy so local residents can benefit from up to 40,000 new skilled airport jobs that an expanded Heathrow requires – an opportunity that has the potential to end youth unemployment in local boroughs.

The vote secures a £14bn private investment for the UK – the largest private project in Europe. It will transform the country’s only hub airport, stimulating growth and opportunities for communities the length and breadth of the UK.

With up to 40 new long-haul trading links, double the cargo capacity, more competition and choice for passengers and new domestic flights – an expanded Heathrow will make Britain the best connected country in the world and sends the strongest signal to date that Britain is open for business.

With a commitment to deliver an expanded Heathrow affordably with airport charges staying close to today’s levels – it is a huge prize for British business and Heathrow passengers.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said,“Parliament has ended 50 years of debate by deciding that Heathrow expansion will go ahead. This vote will see us deliver more jobs, create a lasting legacy of skills for future generations and guarantee expansion is delivered responsibly.”

“We are grateful that MPs have made the right choice for Britain and today we start work to create the best connected hub airport in the world.”

Over the coming days, the Secretary of State for Transport is expected to designate the final Airports National Policy Statement approved by Parliament. This will set the policy framework for Heathrow’s northwest runway development consent application.

Heathrow is currently preparing to hold a second public consultation on its plans before submitting a development consent order application to the Planning Inspectorate, kick-starting an approval process expected to take 18 months. In addition to Heathrow’s consultation, the development consent process will provide further opportunities for residents and stakeholders to influence Heathrow’s proposal.

If Heathrow is granted development consent, construction would begin in 2021 ahead of the new runway opening in 2026.

Source: Heathrowexpansion.com

international shipping centre

Shanghai plan to become an International Shipping Centre by 2020

Shanghai are working towards becoming an International Shipping Centre by 2020. To achieve the target and raise the city’s core competitiveness, the local government has drafted a three-year plan.

One goal of the three-year plan is to further consolidate Shanghai’s status as an international shipping hub. In the Chinese mainland, the Port of Shanghai boasts the largest number of container shipping routes, the highest frequency of route operations and the widest network coverage. In 2017, cargo throughput rose 6.9 percent from 2016 to 751 million tons at the Port of Shanghai, while container throughput increased 8.3 percent year-on-year to 40.23 million TEUs, ranking first in the world for the eighth consecutive year.

At the same time, leveraging on the golden waterway along the Yangtze River, the Port of Shanghai is developing its waterway-waterway transport business and proceeding with its renovation project on high-grade inland waterways at a steady pace. Container lines connecting all ports along the Yangtze River are operated on a regular basis and breakthroughs have been made in the two-way navigation for large vessels along the deep-water passage at the mouth of the Yangtze River.

In 2017, waterway-waterway transport accounted for 46.7 percent of total container transfer. Among all, 10.58 million TEUs were handled along the Yangtze River, accounting for 56.4 percent of the total waterway-waterway transport and 26.3 percent of total throughput at the Port of Shanghai.

Another goal of the plan is to generally establish Shanghai’s status as an Asian gateway aviation hub. Shanghai has successfully built a “one city, two airports” system, the first of its kind in the country, whose scale and layout are compatible with their international counterparts.

The city’s two international airports, namely Pudong and Hongqiao, have a total of four terminals, six runways, 1.47 million square meters’ cargo area and an airport bonded zone, with a total designed capacity for 100 million passengers and 5.2 million tons of cargoes. Over 100 airlines have launched services to the city’s airports, which are now connected to 297 cities worldwide.

Transit centers of the three largest logistics companies are all under operation in the international cargo mail and courier service zones at the Pudong airport. In 2017, passenger throughput at Shanghai airports reached 112 million, ranking fourth around the globe. Cargo mail throughput at Pudong airport maintained its No.3 global ranking for the 10th consecutive year. Throughput of international passengers and cargo mail at Pudong airport accounted for one-third and half of the country’s total, respectively, making it the No.1 gateway in the Chinese mainland.

The third aim is to continuously improve Shanghai’s function of modern shipping services. A cluster of shipping service areas such as Waigaoqiao, Yangshan-Lingang, North Bund, Wusongkou, Hongqiao, and Pudong Airport, among which the shipping industry in Hongkou district ranks first in terms of its contribution to the district’s overall financial income, accounting for 19 percent of Hongkou’s public financial income.

A group of international and national shipping functional organizations have gathered in Shanghai. The world’s top 20 liner companies, the top four cruise companies, nine global shipping classification societies, and major State-owned and privately owned shipping companies have all set up headquarters or branches in Shanghai.

Shanghai Shipping Exchange has become the national container liner freight registration center and the China Ship Information Center. The container freight index has become a benchmark for the global container shipping market. The capability of maritime legal services has been continuously improved. The number of maritime arbitration cases in Shanghai accounts for 90 percent of the country’s total number of cases. Shanghai Maritime Court is striving to build an international maritime judicial center.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News / Global Times

Heathrow expansion

Heathrow expansion plans approved

The UK government has backed plans for the development of a new runway at Heathrow Airport.

The UK Cabinet’s economic sub-committee approved plans for a third runway at the London airport before the proposals were backed by the full cabinet.

The UK secretary of state for transport Chris Grayling said: “A successful, thriving aviation sector is critical to our ability as a nation to succeed, which is why we are developing a strategy to help it grow in a sustainable way.”

MPs of all parties will be asked to vote on the plans in the coming weeks.

The news was cautiously welcomed by freight forwarders.

Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said: “Hopefully, this news is the beginning of the end of years of procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity.

“If that is the case, it is long overdue good news for our 1,500 member companies who have been dismayed over the ongoing delay on such a huge issue.

“However, we understand that MPs will now be asked to vote on the issue in the coming weeks and, given the track record of parliament on this issue over the last 20 years, uncertainties remain.

“Whilst the UK Transport Secretary has previously hinted at an expedited planning procedure, with no reopening of high level arguments, the inevitable legal challenges and the convoluted planning processes that are also likely, lead me to wonder whether any expansion will be completed by the time that UK aviation capacity is predicted to run out in 2025.

“I hope I am proved wrong, but I won’t be booking a ticket for the opening ceremony just yet.”

Heathrow chief executive John Holland Kaye said: “Together with our supporters across the country, we urge all MPs to vote for expansion.

“Their votes will connect all of Britain to global trade, increase competition and choice for passengers and create tens of thousands of new skilled jobs for future generations. The world is waiting for Britain. It’s time to vote for Heathrow expansion.”

However, it is not entirely certain that MPs could be relied on to vote in favour of the plan.

Boris Johnson, foreign secretary and member of parliament for Uxbridge, one of the regions that could be affected by an expanded Heathrow, said on one occasion that he would “lie down in front of the bulldozers” to prevent the new runway going ahead.

Many other prominent members of the Conservative Party are also against the plan, arguing that capacity at regional airports should be expanded instead of Heathrow.

Some Labour MPs are also opposed – despite the fact that a Labour Government had voted through an earlier version of the third runway scheme in 2009 – on environmental grounds, saying that it would breach air pollution and noise limits.

One possible solution for Prime Minister Theresa May is to allow Conservative MPs who oppose the plan to abstain, in the hope that there would be sufficient votes from other parties’ MPs to carry the plan through.

Bringing the long-running third runway saga to an end could be seen as a political coup for the minority Conservative government that has been grappling with the extremely thorny ‘Brexit’ issue over the last two years. It would also send a message that despite the UK’s exit from the European Union, the country is still open for business with the wider world.

There are also likely to be objections from local residents and environmental campaigners, who will argue that the plans will breach air pollution limits.

Grayling said it was a “historic moment”.

Announcing £2.6 billion in compensation for residents and noise abatement measures he said it would only proceed if air quality obligations were met.

“The time for action is now,” he told MPs, insisting the decision was being taken in the national interest and would benefit the whole of the UK – with 15% of new landing slots “facilitating” regional connectivity.

The scheme, he insisted, would be funded entirely privately and while the expansion was a “number of years away”, he believed it could be concluded by 2026.

The debate on expanding Heathrow has been going on for nearly 20 years.

The last Labour government backed the idea, and won a vote on it in 2009, but that plan was scrapped – and the idea of expansion put on hold for five years – by the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition formed after the 2010 election.

But the idea of expansion was resurrected and has been subsequently backed by the Conservatives. Ministers approved a draft national airports policy statement in October setting out the conditions for a new runway, Parliament has yet to give its approval for detailed planning to begin.

Heathrow is the largest UK port by value and has ambition is to become one of Europe’s best airports for cargo.

The UK economy benefits greatly from cargo, and Heathrow is the UK’s largest port by value for non-EU exports, transporting more than Felixstowe, Southampton and Liverpool.

They are also uniquely placed as a transatlantic and European gateway with 95% of the global economy potentially within reach of a direct flight from Heathrow. Nowhere is better placed to connect UK exporters to the world and help the UK achieve its target of doubling UK exports to £1 trillion by 2020.

Their strategy will lift freight volumes capacity to 3 million tonnes a year by 2040 through improved service and increased capacity from expansion. For cargo customers our aim is to become a trusted partner – timely, reliable and easy to do business with.

 

Source: Air Cargo News / BBC / Sky

port of felixstowe

Port of Felixstowe orders RTGs with automation and remote control technology

The order marks an important step for Hutchison Ports, which owns and operates the Port of Felixstowe in the UK, as it rolls out automation and remote control systems on STS cranes and RTGs at a growing number of terminals around the world. Last month Felixstowe received its first two remote controlled STS cranes (ZPMC).

The new RTGs will also be built by ZPMC, with Siemens drive, control and automation systems. Siemens is also supplying “simulation, virtual commissioning” and the Remote Control Operator Stations (RCOS), plus all engineering and on-site commissioning. Siemens confirmed to WorldCargo News that the cranes will be powered by a conductor rail. Felixstowe has converted some of its existing RTG fleet to eRTGs using Vahle conductor rails.

“Port of Felixstowe is currently extending their berths 8&9 and yard capacity. The ARTGs purchased will support the additional yard capacity required. Port of Felixstowe decided in order to reduce their ecological footprint to electrify the RTG-cranes and gradually introduce automation in the yard to improve safety and competitiveness. The new cranes will be taken in operation on the new blocks under development, which allows the terminal to continue its commercial operations as usual,” Siemens said in a statement.

Siemens has been promoting the concept of using “digital twins” to simulate and test crane systems prior to delivery, to reduce commissioning time on site. This will be used at Felixstowe, plans to put the automated RTGs into operation in the first quarter of 2019, a very aggressive target.

“Using digital twins of the cranes enables various simulations, allowing for flexibility and providing us the ability to test our automation systems against a virtual crane and simulated environment and create all sorts of work-through scenarios,” said Rink Groenveld, Head of Siemens Cranes Projecthouse. “Implementation of automation modules allowing for collision prevention and automated stacking, integrated safety solutions and Remote Control will lead to safe, productive and consistent operations in the container terminal. These unique features helped Siemens to be chosen as the preferred electrical and automation partner for this important terminal.”

Source: World Cargo News 

air freight

Record Cargo performance for Heathrow in April

London-Heathrow airport cargo volumes enjoyed their 21st consecutive record month in April 2018, as trade growth at the UK’s largest port by value increased by 2.3% year on year to 141,215 tonnes compared to the same time last year.

The US (+4.1%), India (+7.1%) and China (+10.9%)  were among the fastest growing countries for cargo in April.

For the January to April 2018 period, Heathrow handled 557,950 tonnes, 3.8% increase, while in the running 12 months from May 2017 to April 2018, the hub handled just over 1.7m tonnes, an 8.8% rise.

Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We’re seeing more passengers and trade flow through Heathrow than ever before. A third runway is a tremendous opportunity to grab a greater share of this global growth for Britain and we’re counting on our politicians to seize it with a ‘yes’ vote on Heathrow expansion this summer.”

Source: Air Cargo News / Heathrow Media Centre

China flag

China to ban the recycling of international ships

China plans to stop allowing the recycling of international ships at its yards as of the beginning of 2019.

The decision comes on the back of China’s efforts to crack down on polluter and waste producing industries in the country, which have seen many yards denied their ship recycling licenses.

The Chinese-flagged ships will be allowed to continue to be dismantled at Chinese yards, however, the Government of China will no longer provide subsidies for the branch, as decided last year. Due to such a turn in policy, local owners are likely to look elsewhere to retire their ships, including India.

“In view of this, owners will have to succumb to the fact that, with the exception of Turkey, the H.K Convention approved recycling yards in Alang will have to be taken more seriously following the incredible improvements that have been made at these yards over many years and the fact that these yards now can only offer owners the only alternative at this current time for green recycling,” Clarksons Platou Shipbroking said.

Two years ago, industry leader Maersk committed to investing in Alang yards and boosting their operational standards to comply with the company’s requirements.

Chief Executive Officer of  A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S, Søren Skou, said recently that some yards in Alang, India, are performing at the same level or better than yards in China and Turkey, “which used to be the only options for economically viable and responsible ship recycling. “

Explaining its approach, Maersk said that the company helps the yards to upgrade their practices while contractually requiring full implementation of its standards controlled by on-site supervision throughout the process as well as quarterly audits by third parties.

Even though the situation is far from perfect, especially when it comes to health hazards at the shipbreaking yards in Alang, Maersk believes that helping the yards to improve their standards is an opportunity to change the industry for the better.

However, for a more sustainable progress to be made more shipowners need to become involved.

From a total of 206 ships, which were broken in the first quarter of 2018, 152 ships were sold to the beaches of South Asia for breaking, according to NGO Shipbreaking Platform.

Despite a considerable improvement made by some shipbreakers, a great majority of south Asian yards are notorious for their poor environmental and healthy and safety practices.

It is quite common for workers to suffer serious injuries or even get killed due to exposure to various types of risks ranging from falling objects to intoxication.

So far this year, 10 workers have lost their lives and 2 workers have been severely injured when breaking ships in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Another two workers were reported dead after an accident at a shipbreaking yard in Alang, India, data from NGO Shipbreaking Platform shows.

Source: World Maritime News

air pollution

Ports and Shipping need to curb air pollution

RealWire, an online media presence, has this week issued a press release related to using proven existing technology to curb UK Shipping and Port Industry air pollution.

According to RealWire, providing renewable electricity to ships whilst in port in the UK could reduce the equivalent of 1.2 million diesel cars worth of nitrogen oxides pollution and bring £402 million per year of health and environmental benefits.

By plugging into the power grid with 100 per cent renewable electricity and turning off their diesel engines, ships at berth in the UK would reduce emissions equivalent to 84,000 to 166,000 diesel buses – or 1.2 million diesel cars representative of the current UK fleet.

The pressure is mounting for the UK to align with EU air pollution emission targets, and ships at berth need to cut their fuel consumption and port authorities and terminal operators need to integrate shore power capabilities in a simpler and more efficient way.

Schneider Electric supports decarbonisation through its business efforts, this has led to a sponsored study into the emissions from idling ships at berth in UK ports that affects the quality of the air we breathe. Often neglected as source of air pollution, ships spewing toxic emissions near to coastal towns and cities puts people and the environment at risk.

While road transport pollution garners public prominence because it is so visible in our everyday lives, we should not underestimate the impact that portside emissions have on the environment and the cost of keeping society healthy. Offshore supply vessels, fishing boats, roll-on-roll-off, bulk carriers and passenger ferries contribute the most to the emissions from auxiliary engines at berth. The emissions from all vessels’ auxiliary engines at berth in UK ports in 2016 is estimated to be equivalent to nearly 2.6 per cent of the total transport sector emissions of nitrogen oxides in the UK. The best estimates of these emissions from auxiliary engines are 830,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide, 11,000 tonnes of nitrogen oxides (NOx), 270 tonnes in particulate matter and 520 tonnes of sulphur dioxide.

There were approximately 110,000 buses and coaches in the UK fleet in 2016 and the study has found that ships’ auxiliary engines at berth are equivalent to the nitrogen oxides and particulate matter emissions equivalent to 84,000 to 166,000 buses and coaches representative of those currently in the UK fleet, respectively.

Dirty air has been linked to asthma symptoms, heart disease and even lung cancer. It has been linked to dementia and is also known to increase the risk of children growing up with smaller lungs. Meanwhile, 59 per cent of the UK pollution – 40 million people – live in areas where diesel pollution threatens their health, according to Friends of the Earth. Global deaths linked to ambient air pollution are estimated to have increased by just under 20 per cent since 1990, while 95 per cent of the world’s population is now breathing toxic air, according to a recent study by the 

Health Effects Institute while the Royal College of Physicians has found that air pollution in the UK contributes to 40,000 deaths per year. The UK could bypass a major health hazard as well as avoid health and environmental impacts of up to £402 million per year through the elimination of nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide and particulates – using the introduction of shore connections at UK ports. If all the emissions from the auxiliary engines at berth from these vessels were reduced to zero by replacement with power from 100 per cent renewable electricity sources, the value in reducing emissions would be between £136 million and £483 million per year.

“The UK is one of the last global regions to introduce shore connections at its ports and it will take industry collaboration and innovation to bring forward the introduction of portside electricity in a quick and sustainable manner. There is now a global standard for shore connections and it is up to our ports now to catch up with the global norm and demonstrate that we truly believe in a cleaner, healthier future,” says Peter Selway, Marine Segment Marketing Manager at Schneider Electric.

While health conscious countries like the UK are employing proactive policies to help curb the dangerous impacts of air pollution and the ongoing efforts to alleviate roadside toxic fumes is indeed noble, the long-term impact of the shipping industry should not be ignored.

Globally, the partnership between the Port of Seattle and the shipping industry has seen annual CO2 emissions being cut by up to 29 per cent annually in the port, with financial savings of up to 26 per cent per port call. Meanwhile, shore connection capabilities have been mandatory for all ships at berth in California since 2010 and by 2020, at least 80 per cent of berths have to be equipped with shore connection technology.

The shipping industry itself has been receptive to plugging in at port and Schneider Electric’s technology has assisted La Meridionale to achieve a 95 per cent reduction in its berthside emissions. Danish ferry group Scandlines, meanwhile, has seen an overall energy saving of between 10-14 per cent in its equipped vessels.

“It is time now to adopt a new way of thinking and embrace, as an industry, the benefits that shore connections and portside electricity can bring quickly and cost-effectively. We are fortunate enough to have the technology at hand and we must put it to good use,” Selway concludes.