Jurong Port Singapore explores cargo drone delivery

The Port of Jurong in Singapore will investigate the feasibility of ship-to-shore cargo drone deliveries in cooperation with UK-based start-up Skyports Ltd.

The partnership will draw on Skyports’ experience in building take-off and landing infrastructure for cargo drone deliveries to explore how drone delivery technology can be integrated into the existing logistics and cargo operations of Jurong Port.

Skyports will work with regulators and private and public entities to develop a legal framework to deploy the service and expand its ongoing work in Singapore’s maritime sector.

“Drone delivery will bring about faster delivery times, higher labour productivity and reduced emissions,” said Ng Yi Han, Director of Innovation, Technology and Talent Development at the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

The Director praised the deal as an “important milestone” to commercialise maritime ship-to-shore drone deliveries.

“Tremendous progress has been made in the arena of maritime drone delivery services over the past year, and infrastructure development is the next critical step to truly realising the vast opportunities afforded by large-scale drone delivery services,” said Yun-Yuan Tay, Head of Asia Pacific at Skyports.

Tay added that drones will run complementary to boats deliveries and will be more cost effective and faster.

In 2020, Singapore hosted the first commercial beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone delivery, with F-Drones flying cargo for 2.7 kilometres in just seven minutes.

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

Côte d’Ivoire Terminal receives first port equipment

Côte d’Ivoire Terminal has taken delivery of six electric fleet gantry cranes and 14 electric terminal tractors.

Following the delivery of six electric gantry cranes starting this summer, the terminal is on track to be operational in November 2022.

The 30-metre-high fleet gantry cranes arrived on a semi-submersible vessel specially designed to carry gantry cranes. They will be used for the loading, unloading and storage of containers in the container yard.

Supplied by ZPMC, the new gantries are equipped with the latest technologies, including a state-of-the-art control system, and a new-generation power supply system that significantly reduces CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

The 14 tractors to arrive at the terminal in April were the first of 36 APM 75T HE 100 per cent electric tractors, 24 Powerpacks and 6 charging stations supplied by GAUSSIN.

Commenting on the zero-emission credentials of the new terminal, Koen De Backker, Managing Director of Côte d’Ivoire Terminal said: “On completion, all 6 gantry cranes, 13 fleet gantries and 36 tractors will be fully electric. This is part of the eco-responsible approach implemented for this project.”

The new Côte d’Ivoire Terminal will be the second container terminal at the Port of Abidjan, built and operated by a Bolloré Ports and APM Terminals (APMT) consortium.

The second terminal at the Port of Abidjan will increase capacity in the port by 1.5 million TEU per year.

With an area of 37.5 hectares, this new container terminal will be equipped to accommodate vessels with draughts of up to 16 metres along its 1,100 metres of quays.

APMT will welcome a new leadership team in the summer with the retirement of its current CEO.

Port of Hamburg revises container outlook due to Russia – Ukraine war

Port of Hamburg 29-10-2021

The Port of Hamburg has predicted a pessimistic outlook for 2022 due to the Russia-Ukraine war, despite the recent growth in container throughput.

During the first quarter of this year, the Port of Hamburg has enjoyed an increase in container throughput by 1.8 per cent year-on-year, totalling 2.2 million TEU.

Seaborne cargo, however, was down 2.8 per cent compared to the same period in 2021.

According to the Port Authority, the port has recorded a rapid downturn in container traffic with Russian ports – down 29.3 per cent year-on-year in Q1 2022 – following the extension of EU sanctions and the ceasing of operations in the country by major shipping companies.

“The collapse in container traffic with Russian ports matched expectations,” said Axel Mattern, CEO of Hamburg Marketing.

“At the same time, we saw a steep increase in container services with Polish ports and those in the Baltic states.”

“Larger volumes in traffic with these countries contributed towards offsetting the reduction in the Russia trade.”

Railborne freight traffic again developed positively. At 700,000 TEU, 1.4 per cent more containers were transported in the first quarter than the year prior.

Looking at the global picture, China, US, and Singapore have ranked among the Port Hamburg’s top ten partner countries for container handling.

First-quarter container handling with China totalled 700,000 TEU, representing a gain of 6.2 per cent, whilst US volumes fell by 5.7 per cent.

The first months of the year have also brought a slight fall in the number of calls by vessels with containerised cargoes, although Megamax vessels have called the Port of Hamsburg much more frequently than in earlier years.

In estimating the trend in throughput for 2022, the Port of Hamburg’s marketing organisation has remained cautious – predicting figures considerably below the 9 million TEU anticipated prior to the war.

The Port of Hamburg’s container levels made a significant recovery in 2021 despite suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic the previous year.

War stunts container throughput in Russian ports

Cranes in Novorossiysk, Russia

Global sanctions on Russia have cumbered the nation’s container flow as major shipping lines have withdrawn from the country.

According to the Association of Sea Trade Ports (ASOP), the container throughput in Russian ports during the first quarter of 2022 plunged by 5.4 per cent year-on-year, totalling 1.71 million TEU.

Exports have registered a decrease by 3.4 per cent to 720,700 TEU, while imports suffered a stronger blow and plummeted by 9.8 per cent to 691,000 TEU.

Road transit dropped by over a half from 59,600 TEU to 22,600 TEU.

The handling of empty containers rose by 23.2 per cent to 447,500 TEU. 

ASOP has reported that the Baltic Basin was the most impacted region with throughput falling by almost 30 per cent.

This quarterly decline comes after major shipping lines – including Maersk – halted operations in Russia and Belarus as the invasion of Ukraine has rolled on.

The effects of the Russia-Ukraine war have been felt globally as well, leading to fluctuations in container rates and bottlenecks across supply chains.

Last month, US President Joe Biden banned all Russian-affiliated vessels from accessing the country’s ports, following similar sanctions imposed by the European Commission.

President Biden announced further sanctions targeting Russia’s marine sector.

Port of Savannah records nearly half a million TEU in April

The Port of Savannah has handled a record 495,782 TEU in April as the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) is looking to expand berth and container yard capacity.

GPA’s containerised trade increased 6.2 per cent in April compared to the same month a year ago, marking the third busiest month ever at the port.

For the fiscal year to date, GPA has handled 4.75 million TEU, an improvement of 8 per cent year-on-year which the Port Authority has attributed to retailers replenishing depleted inventories and making early orders to ensure product availability.

The impressive results and ongoing success of the port have also been awarded to the wide range of expansion projects carried out by GPA – in particular at the Garden City Terminal.

Earlier this February, the Executive Director of GPA announced plans to expand the Port of Savannah’s capacity by 60 per cent, with the Garden City Terminal West project expected to add a total of 1 million TEU of annual capacity by 2024.

As reported by GPA, its Garden City Terminal currently handles nearly one out of every nine loaded containers crossing the nation’s docks.

“Our long-running program of infrastructure expansion, coupled with the Authority’s ability as an owner-operator to speed up the schedule of development, has allowed the Port of Savannah to adapt to heightened container volumes,” said GPA Board Chairman Joel Wooten.

Plans to expand the fleet are also underway as the Port Authority expects to bring online nine new electric rubber-tyred gantry (RTG) cranes by the spring of 2023 – bringing the Port of Savannah’s total RTG fleet to 207.

“On-terminal and inland capacity improvements enable cargo to flow across our docks without congestion.”

The Port of Savannah’s container volume grew nearly 18 per cent in February 2021, extending year-over-year increases to 19 consecutive months for GPA.

Savannah was recently ranked the top US container port by loaded export volume, handling 1.38 million TEU in 2021.

Cyber attacks on Costa Rica prompt action from carriers

Ransomware cyber attacks on Costa Rican institutions have activated emergency measures across the shipping industry, as imports and exports have been heavily affected.

Following a decree issued by the Customs Authority in Costa Rica pertaining to all carriers transporting dry import cargo to Caldera Port (Sociedad Portuaria Puerto Caldera, SPC), Danish shipping company Maersk has announced new procedures for customs clearance at the port.

Amongst other measures, Maersk wrote that dangerous cargo or IMO and refrigerated cargo must not leave the port zone to a Transitory Depot (TD) and will require pick-up directly from terminal.

In addition, Maersk will apply a transportation fee of $107 per container covering transportation costs from Caldera Port terminal to its authorised TDs.

Fees pertaining container storage import will also be applicable, covering manoeuvring and storage costs inside the terminal.

Several Costa Rican government agencies – including the Finance Ministry – have been severely impacted after the attack perpetrated by Russian cybercriminal gang Conti in mid-April.

New President, Rodrigo Chaves, declared a state of emergency on 8 May – a week after he was sworn in – and further reported on 16 May that the number of struck institutions has grown to 27.

The country’s tax collection system for importation and exportation has been taken down, spreading chaos across institutions as Conti warned it was working with people inside the Government.

Speaking at a news conference, Science and Technology Minister Carlos Henry Alvarado said the governments of Israel, US, and Spain have provided assistance to help protect Costa Rican computer systems and repair the damage.

A new report from maritime cyber security company CyberOwl recently disclosed that shipowners pay around $3.1 million on average per ransom attack.

On 22 June 2022, PTI will be holding its first ever Cybersecurity for Ports & Terminals Conference. Featuring discussions from industry leaders, the online event will provide the perfect stage for learning and knowledge sharing, to create a more cyber-resilient industry.

Registration for the event can be done here.

CMA CGM launches new Early Container Return Incentive Programme

The CMA CGM Group has implemented its new Early Container Return Incentive Programme at several of its terminals in the US to accelerate the return of empty containers and improve supply chain velocity.

The programme started today [16 May] and will continue until 15 June at the Fenix Marine Services (FMS) terminal in the Port of Los Angeles and all CMA CGM return locations in Chicago, Dallas, Kansas City and Memphis.

CMA CGM has launched the new 60-day incentive programme to counteract the ongoing congestion crisis throughout North America’s supply chain.

According to the group, the programme will result in approximately 43,000 dry containers being put back into circulation within 4 days of pickup.

The incentives include a $300 credit per dry container returned to eligible locations during calendar days 1–4; calculation of incentive credits on a weekly basis with a credit memo issued every 14 days to each applicable importer of record; and utilisation of EDI transaction data to assess credit, thus no additional documentation required from customers.

“CMA CGM is committed to doing everything we can to increase the fluidity and velocity of America’s supply chain,” said Ed Aldridge, President of CMA CGM and APL North America.

“Our new program will result in an incentive credit for our importers, improve equipment availability for our exporters and expedite the flow of goods into and out of America’s heartland. It’s truly a win-win for everyone.”

Throughout the crisis, CMA CGM has already frozen spot rates and implemented other programmes to accelerate the flow of goods – resulting in a 73 per cent decrease of dwell of the group’s containers over nine days in South California.

Resulting from record demand and supply chain capacity challenges, CMA CGM is amongst the top performers of 2021.

Last year, the group saw its shipping revenue rise by 88.5 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching $45.3 billion.

APMT links Castellón and Israel with Admiral’s TMM service

Admiral Container Lines has added APMT Castellón and two Isreali ports to its TMM service connecting Turkey, Spain, Isreal, Egypt and Morrocco.

The calls began last March with the Admiral Sun vessel and will now provide a direct link between Castellón and Israel for import and export cargo, primarily for temperature-controlled goods.

The updated TMM service connects the ports of Gemlik, Gebze, Istanbul, Izmir, Piraeus, Sousse, Castellon, Valencia, Algiers, Mersin, Haifa, Ashod, Alexandria, Constanta and Casablanca every 10 days.

“The start of the new service from Admiral, and more specifically, from its agent in Spain, One Ocean Agency, is great news for Castellón,” said Jorge Sorribes, Operations Manager of APMT Castellón.

“It offers new horizons and new possibilities to the local market, both for the export of the province’s key products, such as tiles and their derivatives, and for the import of perishable goods that would otherwise have had to use other ports, resulting in additional costs for the end customer.”

APMT Gijón recently announced several improvements to benefit operational, energy, and safety capabilities at its facilities.

AD Ports sees fall in cargo volumes

AD Ports

AD Ports Group has witnessed a revenue growth of 15 per cent year-on-year to AED 1,047 million ($285 million) in Q1 2022 – while general cargo volumes dropped.

Adjusted EBITDA for the period increased by 34 per cent year-on-year to AED 524 million ($142.6 million) and net profit was up 41 per cent year-on-year to AED 306 million ($83 million).

Total assets and total equity reached AED 34.085 billion ($9.2 billion) and AED 17.770 billion ($4.8 billion), respectively, at the end of Q1 2022.

Consolidated capital expenditure during the period has reached AED 967 million ($263 million), with investments primarily in the expansion of the vessel fleet as well as enhancements to Khalifa Port South Quay, Khalifa Logistics Port, and new warehouses.

General cargo volumes decreased by 10 per cent year-on-year, while container volumes have enjoyed a 23 per cent lift – with Ro-Ro and cruise passenger volumes gradually recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We started 2022 with a strong performance that has delivered healthy returns for our stakeholders,” commented Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamsi, Managing Director and Group CEO, AD Ports Group.

“Our integrated business model, built upon a firm foundation of long-term contracts and enhanced service offerings, continues to drive growth. We are resolute in our commitment to contribute to the UAE’s economic development.”

AD Ports has listed the acquisition of Divetech Marine Engineering Services among noteworthy investments that contributed to the quarterly success of the company.

With the acquisition of the UAE-based topside-subsea solutions provider, the group aims to extend the range of services offered by its maritime cluster.

Earlier last month, AD Ports issued its 2021 Annual Report with the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), registering record numbers in net profit and earnings per share.

Yang Ming profits from higher freight rates

Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation (Yang Ming) has reported strong financial results for the first quarter of 2022, posting revenues of NTD 106.7 billion ($3.5 billion).

The sum accounts for an increase 71.32 per cent compared with NTD 62.28 billion ($2.1 billion) from the same period of previous year.

The company’s net profit totalled NTD 60.58 billion ($2 billion) after tax.

As released, the record results were driven by higher level of freight rates resulting from solid demand, persistent COVID-related port congestion and pre-Chinese New Year cargo rush.

Last month, Yang Ming took delivery of the 11,000 TEU YM Trophy vessel to provide efficient transport between Asia and the Pacific Southwest.