port terminal

Port terminals need to be more cost effective

Pressure is mounting on container ports to improve efficiency in terminal operations, as wholesale change in the shipping industry continues to increase competition and drive down revenue per box.

According to Mark Welles, Navis vice president and general manager Asia Pacific, terminal operators are “aggressively attacking their cost base and figuring out ways to use some of their tools to do more with less”.

This includes using automation to drive incremental changes that improve operational efficiency, whether waterside or at the terminal gate.

“Terminals are making the small or large changes they need to keep their businesses moving ahead against the challenges from consolidation on the carrier side,”

“Some terminals are handling more volume, but in some markets the revenue per teu is decreasing – or certainly not increasing the way it used to – so they’re having to manage their business in a different way.

“That efficiency drive has two parts: one is to be the better service provider [than regional port competitors]; but also to reduce your costs, which therefore either gives you more flexibility on the commercial side, or it means you’re a more profitable business,” he added.

Mr Welles was speaking after a visit to the Qingdao New Qianwan Container Terminal (QQCTN), which uses Navis N4, the port software specialist’s flagship terminal operating system (TOS).

“Full automation is working well for them and helping to set the stage for what’s possible in China and Asia, in terms of the success they’ve had,” he explained.

Navis has worked with ports to implement around 120 software “go-lives” at terminals around the world over the past two years. The port of Tianjin managed to install N4 at six terminals in less than 12 months, a feat Mr Welles described as “almost unheard of”.

The importance of a well-functioning TOS was brought into sharp focus by the IT failure experienced recently at Felixstowe. The botched installation of an in-house TOS led to prolonged operational interruptions and subsequent diverted vessel calls. The resulting supply chain disruption – which was at first contained to UK ports – has now spread to northern Europe.

It appears Hutchison, the Hong Kong port group that runs Felixstowe, was bucking a trend with the decision to develop its own TOS.

“It’s fair to say, from a macro-level, over the past five years we’ve seen more and more of the regional and global terminal groups partnering with an experienced solutions provider to ‘buy don’t build’,” said Mr Welles.

He claims ports generally prefer suppliers that provide turnkey solutions for the full spectrum of systems and equipment required for each aspect of terminal operations.

Source: The Loadstar

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

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 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.

container port Southampton

Southampton on the list of top container growth in 2016

During 2016 126 ports handled more than 1 million teu containers.

According to DynaLiners report entitled millionaires roundup, 82 ports had experienced growth in the year with 5 ports showing growth of 25% or more.

These ports were Chittagong, Bangladesh (26%), London (26%), Salalah, Oman (29%), Tangshan, China (27%) and Southampton (26%).

14 ports reached over 10m teu. These included Antwerp, Belgium; Busan, South Korea; Dubai, UAE; Hong Kong; Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Port Kelang, Malaysia; Rotterdam, Netherlands; Singapore and Tianjin, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Ningbo, Qingdao and Shanghai, China.

New entrants to the table included Itajai with 1,104,100 teu and growth of 12%, Izmit with 1,143,000 teu and growth of 16%, Port Qasim with 1,124,000 teu and growth of 16% and Qinzhou with 1,138,000 teu and growth of 24%.

No ports dropped out of the table but 43 saw negative growth on 2015, of which Freeport (Bahamas) recorded the largest decline of -14%. Lagos and Port Said each had a 12% decline, Santos had a 10% decline, Tanjung Pelepas had a 9% decline, Hai Phong had an 8% decline, Lianyungang had a 7% decline, Long Beach had a 6% decline and Kingston had a 5% decline.

The total teu handled by the ports was 589,350,800, with other ports not on the list accounting for 117,649,200.

China topped the list of teu growth by country in 2016, maintaining its position from 2015.

The Far East, North Europe and North America retained position one, two and three respectively from 2015, with the Far East seeing a 2% YoY growth, 3% for North Europe and 1% for North America.

Of the terminal operators included in the data, PSA remained in first place with 56,300,000 teu, growing 6%, Hutchinson Ports also maintained second place but with a 3% dip in growth, followed by APM Terminals also staying at number three with a 3% growth. DP World was fourth, keeping its rank but with zero growth, Cosco Shipping Ports also stayed at number five with a 4% growth.

The report took into account full and empty, loaded and discharged, including transhipment containers. It noted that “Chinese port statistics often include (large) unknown quantities of containerised river cargo. Without these, some of them might even not qualify for millionaire status.”

• Source: Port Strategy