The ever-increasing amount of cargo transported globally by sea has driven a swathe of ports and carriers to commit to significant investment in expansion.
Ports in the United States including JAXPORT and New York-New Jersey continue to see eye-watering growth of container throughput, making the business case an easy one for investment in accommodation of the cargo boom.
Billions for infrastructure
The Turkish government has broken ground on the ‘Kanal Istanbul’, a $15 billion project designed to transform the country into a global logistics power.
The canal is scheduled to take six years to complete and will relieve shipping pressure on the Bosphorus Strait.
Approximately 43,000 vessels pass through the Bosphorus strait every year and by 2050 traffic is expected to increase to 78,000.
In Philadelphia, US, PhilaPort has been selected by the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) to receive a $49 million grant from the 2021 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) programme.
In a statement, the Port said the grant funds will be used to provide gap funding for the development of a $130 million new multi-use berth at Southport.
PhilaPort Chairman Jerry Sweeney commented, “The Southport Berth Development project is a key component to PhilaPort’s continued growth and is vital to the region’s economic recovery.”
Build, build, build
Major carriers have led the way this week on ordering container vessels to slake cargo demand.
Seaspan Corporation has entered into an agreement with a major shipyard for six 15,000 TEU modern newbuild container ships.
Hapag-Lloyd has ordered six ultra-large container vessels (ULCV) of 23,500 TEU capacity each, building on a previous order for six vessels it made at the end of 2020.
Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp has held a virtual naming ceremony for the YM Continuity, its new 2,800 container vessel.
Sustainable vessels continuing to grow
Along with the swathe of investments made for new vessels and port capacity, carriers are continuing to develop green-powered vessels as maritime looks to keep carbon emissions down.
CMA CGM has inaugurated its ninth 23,000 TEU liquified natural gas (LNG) powered container ship and completed a launching process that began in September 2020 in response to challenges in the logistics chain.
By 2024, the carrier said 44 of its vessels will be powered by LNG, which it described as one of the first steps towards achieving its target to become carbon neutral by 2050.
The feeder vessel will be fitted with dual engine technology, enabling operations powered by low-carbon fuel sources.
Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands, Maersk, commented, “This groundbreaking container vessel shows that scalable solutions to properly solve shipping’s emissions challenge are available already today.
“From 2023 it will give us valuable experience in operating the container vessels of the future while offering a truly carbon neutral product for our many customers who look to us for help to decarbonise their supply chains.”