Single window for ship data exchange to become mandatory under FAL treaty amendments

IMO’s Facilitation Committee has adopted amendments to the Facilitation (FAL) Convention which will make the single window for data exchange mandatory in ports around the world.

The amendments to the annex of the Convention will make it mandatory for public authorities to establish, maintain and use single window (SW) systems for the electronic exchange of information required on arrival, stay and departure of ships in ports.

In addition, public authorities will have to combine or coordinate the electronic transmission of the data to ensure that information is submitted or provided only once and re-used to the maximum extent possible.

The amendments adopted at the session are expected to enter into force on 1 January 2024.

The Facilitation Convention was adopted in 1965 and contains standards and recommended practices and rules for simplifying formalities, documentary requirements and procedures on ships’ arrival, stay and departure.

The committee also approved related guidelines on authentication, integrity and confidentiality of information exchanges via maritime single windows and related services, which are aligned with the IMO Compendium and revised guidelines for setting up a maritime single window.

The updated annex to the FAL Convention includes provisions derived from lessons learned during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Contracting Governments and their relevant public authorities are required to allow ships and ports to remain fully operational during a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC), in order to maintain complete functionality of global supply chains to the greatest extent possible.

The Committee approved the addition of new cyber risk guidance from IAPH to IMO’s Guidelines on maritime cyber risk management.

The ‘IAPH Cybersecurity Guidelines for Ports and Port Facilities’ are intended for use by port management and urge operators to consider cyber risks in the context of their own operations and develop a cyber risk management strategy that includes technical training for staff.

Port of Barcelona outlines its Innovation Plan

The Port of Barcelona has launched its latest Innovation Plan, placing emphasis on economic and social growth.

The plan was recently unveiled by Damià Calvet, President of the Port of Barcelona, and Emma Cobos, Director of Innovation and Business Strategy.

According to the port, innovation means turning new ideas into value for the port community, its customers, and society at large.

The new Innovation Plan, which develops the proposals specified in the port’s Fourth Strategic Plan, establishes its own innovation model based on the smart port concept and therefore considers that innovation must be sustainable, open, collaborative, demand-driven, aligned with the port’s strategy, and have a string technological base.

The scheme defines three main objectives: strengthening the Port of Barcelona’s role as a driver of economic growth and recovery; driving innovation and digitisation of the logistics ecosystem; and fostering synergies with the city in this area.

The plan is structured around four lines of action:

  • Developing nimble and cross-cutting management tools involving the port community of Barcelona;
  • Forging alliances with the innovative environment of Barcelona;
  • Stimulating sectoral innovation;
  • Disseminating the port’s innovative activity.
© Port of Barcelona

Calvet went on to explain that the Port of Barcelona “has always been at the forefront of the Spanish port system and also of the Mediterranean and European ports when it comes to proposing, designing and putting into service innovative solutions.”

According to the President, Barcelona “is today one of Europe’s tech capitals, highlighting its commitment to developing mobility and energy model solutions that facilitate the transition to a sustainable city model that takes particular care of people and the environment.”

Consequently, the Innovation Plan proposes “a new model of participation, which must be collaborative and open, and which requires the active involvement of Barcelona Port Community and the innovative ecosystem of the city.

“We have set ourselves the goal that all of this powerful technological and innovative ecosystem that is being developed in Barcelona will look out to sea.”

Cobos continued by stressing the importance of having “a structure that is more nimble than the Port Authority, able to promote new initiatives quickly and efficiently”.

For this reason, the Innovation Plan provides for “the creation of the BCN Port Innovation Foundation, which will facilitate the management of innovative initiatives and the acceleration of technological, environmental and energy transition projects that must facilitate the transformation of Barcelona and its Port”.

BCN Port Innovation is a private foundation with a prominent participation of companies from the Port Logistics Community as partners and the Port of Barcelona together with two technology companies, Ackcent and Aggity as founding patrons, which Cobos says will provide a dynamic and external vision to the port maritime sector.

The organisation will be the meeting and debate forum in which port companies will discuss the increasing challenges being generated by international transport and logistics.

The Director of Innovation and Business Strategy added: “There can be no open innovation without alliances and collaboration.”

In this connection, there are plans to promote the Blue District, a forum for sectorial innovation located mainly in the Port Vell area, where such facilities are already set up.

The Port of Barcelona has also recently announced it is investing €110 million ($123 million) into its Nexigen project to decarbonise port activity and improve air quality.

A total of €90 million ($100 million) of the funds will go towards onshore power supply systems.

The remaining €20 million ($22 million) will be used to roll out the network that includes the Port Substation, the high-voltage connection to Red Eléctrica’s Ronda Litoral Substation, and the roll-out of the medium voltage network throughout the precinct.

Port of Tyne sets out net-zero transition roadmap

Clean Tyne – a UK’s Clean Maritime Demonstration consortium – has created the Digitalised and Decarbonised Port Transition Roadmap for the Port of Tyne and other UK ports to support net-zero transition.

The Port of Tyne will define a path to net-zero enabled by a real-time digital platform together with Siemens, Newcastle University, North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Connected Places Catapult.

The project aims to create a universal blueprint for decarbonisation that can be replicated in other port environments and industries.

As there are still many obstacles to achieving decarbonisation, the digital platform aims to become a reference point throughout the port’s net-zero transition by supporting the creation of business cases, scenario planning, and investment cases.

It will also allow the project consortium to assess the technical, environmental, and economic impact of the port in the future.

© North East LEP via YouTube

The Port of Tyne has released that the roadmap sets out a possible timeline for implementing changes to reach the 2050 goal and the project will be updated to reflect the evolving world and market accordingly.

The Port of Tyne announced the launch of the platform earlier in March.

Find out more on the newly-launched digital platform in PTI’s ‘Smart Digital Ports of the Future 2022’ edition of the Port Technology International Journal, as we welcomed a submission from Ian Blake – Head of Innovation and Technology, Port of Tyne 2050 Maritime Information Hub.

Aidrivers partners with PortxGroup to deliver autonomous mobility solutions

Aidrivers has signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PortxGroup, agreeing to collaborate on business opportunities around autonomous mobility solutions in the Australasia region.

Under the newly signed agreement, both parties are focusing their attention on the provision and delivery of AI-enabled autonomous mobility solutions, autonomation simulation, and digital twinning with V2X-enabled fleet operator for ground handling equipment in ports, warehouses, and intralogistics operations.

Based in Melbourne, PortxGroup provides container cranes, container spreaders, terminal tractors, cabins and parts, and offerings engineering solutions, maintenance and servicing for all types of cargo handling equipment.

According to Aidrivers, the expertise, skills, and technical knowledge of both companies complement each other perfectly.

“We are thrilled to have signed this agreement with PortxGroup and look forward to a very fruitful collaboration,” said Dr Rafiq Swash, CEO of Aidrivers.

“PortxGroup has broad experience in offering and delivering industrial equipment and automation solutions and has a substantial market network and in-depth knowledge in the industry.

“We are confident that through this cooperation, Aidrivers and PortxGroup are well placed to drive forward key AI-enabled autonomous mobility solutions and innovation in the operationally demanding industry of ports and logistics sector.”

Peter McLean, Founder and Chairperson of PortxGroup, added: “PortxGroup and Aidrivers represent a powerful partnership with the knowledge and expertise required to create real change in port operations.

“This is a significant milestone for PortxGroup in delivering cutting edge, safety focused, sustainable and effective solutions in ports and logistics sector.”

Last month, Aidrivers and CVS Ferrari agreed to a new strategic collaboration focusing on the development and refinement of advanced autonomous container handling solutions.

The cooperation will initially focus on autonomous hybrid and electric empty container handlers.

Top 10 Baltic Ports in 2022 so far

PTI is continuing its partnership with the Actia Forum to bring you the ‘Top 10 Baltic Ports in Q1 2022’.

Following on from last month’s ‘Top 10 Baltic Ports 2021’ article, we now shift our attention to the Baltic region’s most recent container handling results.

To compile this list, the Actia took each port’s Q1 2022 figures and ranked them accordingly.

10. The Port of Kaliningrad

As companies such as Maersk withdraw from Russia following its invasion of Ukraine, business across the country’s ports has suffered significantly.

The Port of Kaliningrad has seen a 26.39 per cent year-on-year fall in containers over the period of January to March 2022, moving just 72,816 TEU.

Shipping lines that previously stopped all bookings to Russia have said they will not return to the country until the conflict is resolved.

“We will not return until we think that Russia again plays a good and constructive role in the world,” said Maersk CEO Søren Skou in a press briefing.

9. Freeport of Riga

Next up in our list comes Latvia’s main trade gateway – the Freeport of Riga.

In Q1 2022, the port handled a total of 111,318 TEU, up 5.86 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.

In February, the Freeport of Riga Authority announced it is looking to invest €19.8 million ($22.4 million) over the course of this year in the development of port infrastructure.

The investment plan includes the clearing and dredging of its navigational waters, various improvements to its hydro-technical constructions, and the modernisation of several berths.

8. Port of Helsinki

Container volumes at the Port of Helsinki also declined in Q1 2022. The port is an important hub for containers in transit to and from Russia, therefore was severely impacted by major shipping lines suspending cargo bookings to the country.

Helsinki’s container throughput for the first three months of 2022 dropped by 10.27 per cent to 112,318 TEU.

7. Port of HaminaKotka

The Port of HaminaKotka suffered the same effects as the Port of Helsinki and saw its throughput for the quarter drop due to the impact of the Ukraine war.

A total of 140,300 TEU moved through the port’s facilities during the quarter, a year-on-year decrease of 15.64 per cent.

6. Port of Aarhus

The Port of Aarhus, Denmark’s largest deep-sea port, enters the next spot on our list.

Containers at the port grew by 3.26 per cent in Q1 2022 to 181,000 TEU.

In January, APM Terminals Aarhus announced it completed the installation of 180 reefer plugs at its facility.

The capacity is said to allow the container terminal to plan for additional reefer cargo.

5. The Port of Gothenburg

Russian trade via the Port of Gothenburg has traditionally been very small and so the port’s container handling results have not been majorly impacted by the events in Ukraine.

Over the first three months of 2022, Gothenburg processed 212,000 TEU, an increase of slightly above 4 per cent year-on-year. Over half of the volumes that passed through the port during the period were transported by rail.

Green Cargo has also recently launched a new freight shuttle between the Port of Gothenburg and Rosersberg, north of Stockholm.

Port of Gothenburg

4. Port of Klaipeda

The Port of Klaipeda saw the largest rise in container volumes across the Baltic region in Q1 2022, returning the port to pre-pandemic levels.

A total of 218,015 TEU moved through its facilities in the previous quarter, a 47.5 per cent increase year-on-year.

Port of Klaipeda

3. Port of Gdynia

Poland’s second-largest port – the Port of Gdynia – kicks off our top three.

Container volumes declined slightly by 0.73 per cent in Q1 2022. However, the port still managed to handle 237,712 TEU.

Port of Gdynia

2. Sea Port of St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is yet another Russian port that saw a considerable decline in volumes over the last quarter.

Caused by the sanctions imposed on the country, the port only processed 437,858 TEU, a 12.37 per cent decline compared to Q1 2021.

Earlier this year, Sea Port of Saint Petersburg JSC (SP SPb), one of the port’s stevedoring companies, announced it had invested RUB 27.3 million ($361,563) in implementing a new environmental programme.

Sea Port of St. Petersburg

1. Port of Gdańsk

Topping our list of ‘Top 10 Baltic Ports in Q1 2022’ is the Port of Gdańsk.

By moving 561,396 TEU, the port saw its container volumes rise by 9 per cent over the first quarter of the year.

This follows the news that DCT Gdańsk had handled a record number of containers in March 2022, processing a total of 206,645 TEU.

It is worth noting that whereas the world’s largest container carriers such as Maersk, MSC, CMA CGM have suspended cargo bookings to/from Russia in response to the Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the impressive result from Gdańsk may mean growth on other directions.

Following the deepening of its fairway and the modernisation of more than five kilometres of quays, the port outlined its investment plan for further infrastructure developments.

Under its ‘Improving access to the Port of Gdańsk – modernisation of fairways 2’ project, the Port of Gdańsk will extend four quays in the inner port area with a total length of 1,916 metres, including railway infrastructure.

Port of Gdańsk

Each port’s Q1 container handling figures from over the last four years have been summarised in the table below.

© Actia Forum

MSC Thailand adopts digital approach for deliveries

Mediterranean Shipping Company Thailand (MSC) has implemented the CODEX Electronic Delivery Order (e-DO) Service for the digitalisation of deliveries.

The product was developed by IT solution provider Kale Logistics Solutions and brought to Thailand by TIFFA EDI to support local users during the COVID-19 pandemic period and beyond.

The e-DO solution automatically updates information when a terminal releases cargo providing electronic goods release certificates and shipment status updates 24 hours a day.

The digital transfer of documents aims to reduce congestion at the counters, eliminate paper, and promote cost savings.

In addition, the reduction in manual processing increases security and minimises the possibility of error.

“It’s a huge milestone that MSC Thailand has decided to digitalise 100 per cent of our traditional DO to the e-DO service to facilitate ease of doing business for our customers in Thailand,” said Rungruedee Kurutuch, Deputy Managing Director at MSC Thailand.

“It’s not always easy to change traditional ways of working in the logistics supply chain and bring everyone from importers/brokers to carriers and terminals/depots from paper-based over to fully electronic goods release, but once everyone adapts to the new environment, we will all derive benefits from this change in long run.”

“We’ve already seen a 25 per cent increase in the number of Delivery Orders processed through the CODEX platform by MSC in Thailand,” added Vineet Malhotra, Director and Co-Founder at Kale Logistics Solutions.

“With e-DO penetration gaining ground with all MSC customers, we are confident that automation will speed up the process, reduce workload, improve overall compliance, and contribute to faster freight delivery.”

Earlier this month, MSC announced its electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) launched in cooperation with Wave BL reached close to a six-figure issuance mark globally.

Drones to monitor sulphur emissions in Baltic Sea

The German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) and the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) will conduct a large-scale drone measurement campaign at the end of the month.

Over a period of three months, drones will be deployed to measure the sulphur content in exhaust plumes from ships in the Baltic Sea to identify violations of the applicable limit values.

The drones are set to take off from the Bundeswehr base in Staberhuk, on the East coast of Fehmarn Island, and fly specifically to ships operating in the Fehmarnbelt and in the Kadetrinne/Kadetrenden.

After samples have been collected, the measurement results will be made available in real-time to responsible authorities in all European ports via THETIS-EU – the Port State Control information system operated by EMSA – to ensure sulphur content in the Baltic Sea Emission Control Area (SECA) does not exceed 0.10 per cent.

In addition to ship exhaust gas measurements, multispectral aerial imagery will be acquired to extract depth values for shallow waters.

Collected imagery will also provide three-dimensional mapping of the shore zone.

The drones will be operated by the Norwegian company Nordic Unmanned on behalf of EMSA, while the sensor technology and analysis capabilities for the emission measurements will be supplied by the Danish company Explicit ApS.

Most recent drones operations include the Port of Antwerp’s deployment to help clean up floating debris around the port area.

Last year, PTI delved into the use of drones as emerging technology aiding port operations across the globe.

MSC Wave BL electronic Bill of Lading reaches near six-figure issuance mark

An electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) launched by Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) and Wave BL last year has reached close to a six-figure issuance mark globally, MSC’s head of technology has said.

Andre Simha, Global Chief Digital & Information Officer at MSC and Chairman of The Supervisory Board at the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), called on quickened adoption of electronic bills of lading (eBLs) and standardisation of digital communication along the supply chain.

Speaking at a webinar on trade digitalisation held by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and World Economic Forum (WEF), Simha noted that ports and vessels are particularly prone to global risks: including ongoing COVID-19 lockdowns, natural disasters, and conflicts such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Simha placed an emphasis on standardisation – stakeholders utilising technologies and digital platforms that speak the same language – and eBLs to improve the reliability of shipping and port operations; enhance cargo visibility; and spread digital information throughout the supply chain to improve responses to challenges in logistics.

The MSC eBL announced in April 2021 is now close to a six-figure number of issuances globally. But to advance e-documentation adoption further, Simha called on all stakeholders to be in lockstep.

“To make the move to eBL, all stakeholders need to be aligned. Banks and governments have to speed up efforts [on] the regulatory front towards acceptance and adoption of digital documentation, ensuring eDocs are part of international trade agreements.”

Earlier this year the DCSA jointly announced the Future of International Trade (FIT) Alliance, bringing together BIMCO, the DCSA, FIATA International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and SWIFT to cooperate on standards.

Simha noted that digital technology is a “critical and key initiative” to preventing bottlenecks in supply chains.

“Some 90 per cent of goods move on ships, [with] around 100,000 vessels moving around the world annually. It’s a huge and complex industry,” Simha said.

“It’s also paper-heavy, and in the end [the supply chain] is only as strong as its weakest link.”

“In 2019 the carriers took the initiative to create a neutral, non-profit association with open source standards, with the goal of boosting interoperability. In a newly integrated world, it makes no sense to develop new technologies without embracing new standards.”

In November 2021 the DCSA published its framework of standards for port call activities.

Aidrivers and CVS Ferrari team up to progress innovation in automated container handling

Aidrivers, the global specialist in AI-enabled autonomous solutions across industrial mobility, and CVS Ferrari, the producer of high-quality and innovative industrial heavy lifting equipment, have agreed to a new strategic collaboration which will focus on the development and refinement of advanced autonomous container handling solutions.

The two companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate as partners and collaborate on autonomous container handling
opportunities in this rapidly advancing sector. The cooperation will initially focus on autonomous hybrid and electric empty container handlers.

Aidrivers provides autonomous mobility solutions for industrial mobility automation which optimises clients’ business operations and enable the delivery of efficient and quality services.

CVS Ferrari operates with two factories located in Italy, manufacturing high capacity and container handling lift trucks, reach stackers, forklift trucks, both conventional thermic and hybrid or electric powered, along with a range of attachments, for intermodal handling and industrial applications.

“Aidrivers and CVS Ferrari will collaborate and bring together our complementary skills, resources and technical knowledge,” said Aidrivers founder and CEO Dr Rafiq Swash. “From Aidrivers’ side, we will bring our unique and innovative AI-enabled autonomous solutions for industrial automation. CVS Ferrari brings to the partnership a track record and reputation for extremely highly reliable and modern machines, built with the highest-quality components, using advanced design, remoted monitoring, diagnostic and maintenance technology.

“CVS Ferrari is also known to be an industry front runner in the pursual of equipment energy regeneration and recycling, in the
convincement that green and free recovered energy represents the future of reducing carbon footprint and environmental impact, whilst slashing total cost of ownership.”

Automation will be critical for successful inland and waterway ports in the future, said Dr Swash. “Aidrivers’ ability to retrofit existing vehicles and equipment will be key for those port operators looking to make the transformation, as well as collaborate with existing OEMs on new vehicles, at a pace that works for them. Automation delivers predictability, reliability and safety in terminal operations.”

Davide Bertozzi, director of Sales and Product Marketing of CVS Ferrari, said: “We are excited to collaborate with Aidrivers in the development of fully autonomous container handlers as they represent the new frontier of efficiency enhancements for logistic operations of any size. This market is expected to grow significantly in the upcoming years and CVS Ferrari along with Aidrivers are uniquely positioned to capture a large share of this surging demand.

“CVS Ferrari’s know-how, focus and product development roadmap represent the ideal platform to combine with Aidrivers advanced technologies and core competences, to give birth to a next generation of green and autonomous container handling solutions. Solutions that will transition the industry in a new era of sustainable, digital and intelligent logistic systems”.

CTAC 2022 – What our speakers had to say

CTAC returned for its sixth edition on 9 and 10 March 2022, marking a major comeback to live networking events following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Join us as we hear from representatives from APM Terminals, Drewry, IAPH, and TIC.

CTAC 2022 brought together some of the world’s leading container terminal operators into one room. To watch the full event on demand, click the link here.