Asia Pacific remains top shipping loss region

Asia Pacific waters remain top shipping loss region, led by South China, Indochina, Indonesia and Philippines. According to the latest research by Allianz.
The Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty SE’s Safety & Shipping Review 2019 annual study analyses reported shipping losses over 100 gross tons (GT).
In 2018, 21 total losses of vessels were reported in Asia Pacific, down from 46 losses in the 12 months earlier, driven by a significant decline in activity in the global loss hotspot, South East Asia, and weather-related losses after quieter hurricane and typhoon seasons.
While this plummet in total losses is encouraging, the number of reported shipping incidents overall in Asia actually increased by 22 per cent in the past four years, according to analysis of data from 4,000 insured vessels by AGCS[1].
However, this is more due to the sheer volume of ships that pass through the region, rather than below-par safety standards.
“We do typically see more incidents of groundings and collisions in Asia than other locations around the world, but this generally reflects the higher levels of trade and where ship owners are trading,” Tom Taberner, Regional Head of Energy & Marine Asia Pacific at AGCS said.
“In many cases port infrastructure in Asia is new and there are many new or expanding ports in China, Korea, Japan and Malaysia etc. Newer infrastructure means fewer issues, better port operations and more up-to-date charts, which will address challenges,” Tom continued.

CMA CGM and MSC to join TradeLens blockchain platform

CMA CGM and MSC have announced they will join TradeLens, a blockchain-enabled digital shipping platform jointly developed by A.P. Moller – Maersk and IBM.
With CMA CGM, MSC, Maersk, and other carriers committed to the platform, data for nearly half of the world’s ocean container cargo will be available on TradeLens, says CMA CGM.
The addition of CMA CGM and MSC will provide a significant boost to the TradeLens vision of greater trust, transparency, and collaboration across supply chains to help promote global trade. The companies will promote TradeLens and create complementary services on top of the platform for their customers and partners.
“Digitisation is a cornerstone of the CMA CGM Group’s strategy to provide an end-to-end offer tailored to our customers’ needs. We believe that TradeLens, with its commitment to open standards and open governance, is a key platform to help usher in this digital transformation,” Rajesh Krishnamurthy, Executive Vice President, IT & Transformations, CMA CGM Group said.
“Digital collaboration is a key to the evolution of the container shipping industry. The TradeLens platform has enormous potential to spur the industry to digitize the supply chain and build collaboration around common standards,” André Simha, Chief Digital & Information Officer, MSC said.
TradeLens enables participants to connect, share information and collaborate across the shipping supply chain ecosystem. Members gain a comprehensive view of their data and can digitally collaborate as cargo moves around the world, helping create a transparent, secured, immutable record of transactions.
 

Hutchison wharfies strike over automation

Wharfies in Sydney and Brisbane walked off the job for 24 hours on Friday (05/04) to protest Hutchison Ports ongoing refusal to move away from outsourcing of jobs and overseas remote controlling of already semi-automated equipment.
“Outsourcing our jobs for greater profit and remote controlling to workers who may be paid $2 per hour will continue to be challenged by the workforce and their union,” Maritime Union of Australia assistant national secretary Warren Smith said.
“Wharfies’ work is wharfies’ work and we will resist every effort to give that work to others regardless of how much or little they are paid, we suspect little in this case.”
The union has had several instances and clear cases of harassment identified in its Brisbane operation, drawing scathing criticism from the Queensland Branch.
MUA QLD assistant branch secretary Paul Petersen said: “This is not a fight about wages, this is a fight for basic conditions, job security and not having our jobs outsourced overseas. It’s about automation and not being replaced by a robot and most importantly it’s about being able to work in a safe environment free from harassment.”
The situation in Sydney has seen the constant and vigilant action of the MUA Sydney Branch save lives in an environment where safety is not treated with the priority it should be by Hutchison Ports.
MUA Sydney branch secretary Paul McAleer said: “Hutchison’s notorious anti-union agenda around the world is attempting to sink the wages and conditions, job security, and health and safety of wharfies in Sydney and Brisbane.
“Their plan to be the budget airways of Australian stevedores seeks to undermine decades of work to create jobs with justice and dignity, all so they can return more profits to one of the richest men on earth.
“The MUA will fight this billionaire for as long as it takes to win an Enterprise Agreement that our members can be proud of.”
Mr Smith blamed Hutchison management for forcing the hand of workers.
“Hutchison has not picked up the phone once to try and schedule meetings despite us having tried to do so,” he said.
“They tell blatant anti-union lies to their workforce to foster division and discontent.
“It’s the same tactics we see from this company all around the world and we’re a wake up to it and will fight it.”

NSW Ports report takes aim at Newcastle

‘When competition gets too close, release a report’ seems to be the tactic adopted by the current leaseholders/operators of Port Botany and Port Kembla, following a run of successes by the Port of Newcastle with the ACCC and in the media.
The report, by KPMG, on the “long-term container needs of NSW has confirmed Port Botany is the State’s key container port, and a new container terminal will not be needed until the mid-2040s”, they say.
The report claims the NSW Government’s container port strategy, which would see Port Kembla developed as the next container port in NSW to augment capacity at Port Botany, still stands as the most efficient and effective way of meeting the State’s container export and import demands.
The KPMG report, titled Quay conclusions: Finding the best choices for additional port capacity in NSW finds:

  • Premature port investments will result in higher costs for NSW businesses and families;
  • Port Kembla makes the most sense for containers, but only once Botany nears capacity; and,
  • Containers at the Port of Newcastle makes the least sense for NSW and would impose the highest overall costs and offer the lowest overall benefit.

NSW Ports CEO, Marika Calfas, said Port Botany will remain the first choice in container freight. “Port Botany is closer, better and cheaper for most container freight in NSW.
“Port Botany is less than half full, is directly connected to dedicated freight rail, road and intermodal infrastructure and is supported by modern warehousing and logistics facilities in Sydney’s west and south west.
“The KPMG modelling shows Port Kembla is the obvious next choice for the state’s next container port, once Port Botany nears capacity.
“It is less than half the distance to Sydney’s booming west and south west and has better existing and planned freight infrastructure connections than a container terminal at Newcastle.
“It’s the population and business needs of NSW that determine the most efficient container terminal locations.
“NSW container ports are most efficient when close to consumers and connected to the market by good rail, road and intermodal infrastructure.
“Sydney and the south west population is set to grow from 5 million now to 6.5 million by 2036. Port Botany then Port Kembla makes sense as the ports to service this growth and is the right decision for the people and businesses of NSW,” Ms Calfas said.
The report found that 80 per cent of containers are consumed within 40 km of Port Botany, with massive Commonwealth, state and port investments made over the past 10 years to develop a major freight and logistics sector in Sydney’s west and south west growth areas.
According to KPMG’s research, the current proposal for a container port in Newcastle had significant issues including being furthest away from the freight consumption and employment growth in western Sydney and the most expensive to develop, connect and use for containers.
Even with massive taxpayer investments in rail and road projects, a container port at Newcastle would introduce thousands of heavy vehicles onto Newcastle’s streets, the F3 motorway and across Sydney, the report found.
Or does it?
The report is also notable for what it doesn’t reveal, although it is hardly surprising considering NSW Ports paid over $5 billion to the NSW Government for the pleasure of operating the two ports.
A joint study by the state and federal governments into a rail freight bypass of Sydney was reported in February 2012 (page 37).  A container terminal at the Port of Newcastle would provide the container cargo to pay for the new line.
Long-time Port of Newcastle proponent Greg Cameron said: “The [KPMG] report says it was commissioned in August 2018. The purpose of the report is to justify government policy that sees Port Botany as the state’s only port for container ships.
“Port of Newcastle Investments has been making the point that a container terminal will be built if the infamous fee is removed. There is plenty of demand from northern NSW to support a Newcastle container terminal.”
Mr Cameron further said: “ ‘Determining an estimate of public expenditure required to overcome rail constraints between Sydney and Newcastle is difficult, given that transport agencies have not released their estimates,’ KPMG says. Presumably, the studies are confidential because they relate to the commercial viability of building a rail freight bypass of Sydney.
“A container terminal at the Port of Newcastle would provide the base load cargo for privately building and operating a rail freight line to serve all of NSW, not just Sydney.
“Port Botany is the state’s only port with the dedicated facilities required by container ships. Every container ship that visits NSW must use Port Botany. At present, container transportation requires one million truck trips a year at Port Botany. By 2040, the estimated number of container truck trips will be 5 million a year.
“The reason why 85 per cent of containers are delivered within 50 km of Port Botany is because trucking is the highest cost method of transporting containers. The lowest cost method of container transportation is by rail.
“A rail freight bypass line would enable a container terminal established at the Port of Newcastle to operate interchangeably with a container terminal established at Port Kembla. Every container would be railed.
“Intermodal terminals would be established along the rail freight bypass line to maximise logistics efficiency.
“Intermodal terminals established in regional areas would enable very long term planning of the state’s future economic development based on rail transportation of containerised goods,” Mr Cameron said.

Import containers: the costs just keep mounting

A reduction in empty container park capacity, larger numbers of containers being handled, and a high level of import empty container ‘re-directions’ by shipping lines, are causing significant additional empty container handling costs in Sydney.
CTAA director Neil Chambers said: “The empty container management situation in Sydney has been getting progressively worse over a number of months now.
“For many container transport operators, it has reached the stage where they cannot fully absorb the additional costs.
“A conservative estimate is that the additional costs being borne by transport operators in managing empty containers in Sydney are between $90 to $200 per container, depending on the level of delay and additional handling necessary.”
Staging of empty containers via transport yards: added costs
Gate capacity and available truck arrival slots are at a premium at some key Sydney empty container parks (ECP) given the numbers being directed to those facilities by shipping lines. This is amplified when the ECP do not operate regularly after hours or on weekends.
Therefore the vast majority of empty containers must be staged through transport yards to manage the task.
This results in additional costs:

  • Container lift-on / lift off – container staging.
  • Additional administration and yard planning.
  • Additional truck kilometres and one-way truck travel with reduced opportunities to backload.

In many instances, transport operators are unable to book sufficient truck arrival slots at designated ECP in a timely manner, leading to de-hire delays and significant risks that empty containers might attract container detention fees from shipping lines for late return.
Empty container re-directions with little notice
“A significant contributor to the higher costs of empty container management in Sydney are the number and frequency of empty container ‘re-directions’ that are ordered at the discretion of the shipping lines with little notice.” observed Neil Chambers.
Port Botany is Australia’s empty container ‘re-direction capital’, with over 30 re-direction notices current every day, equating to hundreds of re-directions per month. By contrast, this is more than double the number of re-directions in Melbourne.
“Empty containers destined for one ECP, or for direct wharf de-hire, are suddenly re-directed to another location, causing significant planning difficulties for transport operators who must adjust their fleet and job allocations at the last minute.
“These re-directions are occurring solely to suit the shipping lines that want the empty containers sent to a specific location for their next use, including to meet regional rail export empty demands or for international empty repatriation, rather than the shipping line being responsible for the costs of repositioning the empty at a later date.
“That’s all well and good, but the lack of sufficient notice penalises others in the container logistics chain through higher import empty container handling and transport costs. To make matters worse, the lack of sufficient operational notice of these re-directions means that trucks with a valid ECP arrival notification, based on the original de-hire location specified by the shipping line, are being turned away because a re-direction has been put in place last minute.”
“This results in futile truck trips, added truck kilometres travelled, more one-way under-utilisation of trucks, the need to constantly rearrange empty containers stacked in transport yards, and de-hire time delays.”
Mr Chambers noted: “The lack of sufficient notice of re-directions, and the practice of not honouring original legitimate truck bookings at ECP because a re-direction has been ordered, is unacceptable to container transport operators.
“We are calling on all shipping lines and their ECP providers to give at least 24 hours’ notice of any empty container re-directions as well as a clear end-date for the re-direction.”
The administration of these re-direction notices is made more difficult where shipping lines do not provide electronic data to their ECP providers and through the Containerchain notification system, meaning that fleet allocators must manage and monitor re-direction notices manually.
This can result in futile truck trips to the wrong ECP if emailed re-direction notices are missed.
Unrealistic container detention timeframes & claims
Despite the increased delays in managing import empty container de-hires effectively, there is no incentive for shipping lines to extend container detention-free time to importers.
Container detention time restrictions are more likely to be exceeded as a result of the current delays and inefficiencies in Sydney.
“Shipping lines would be making an absolute killing at present with container detention revenue, some of which will have been incurred because of the strict policies of the shipping lines themselves leading to a lack of de-hire flexibility, last minute de-hire re-directions, and little cooperation with shippers on the extension of detention-free time.
“That is particularly perverse,” Mr Chambers noted. “Many transport operators apply business rules with their importer / forwarder customers requiring adequate business-day notification that import containers are ready for empty de-hire.
“In addition, however, transport companies are increasingly unwilling to accept container detention claims liability passed to them by their customers when the delays in de-hire are outside of their control. This is a matter for negotiation between transport operators and their direct customers.
“Transport operators aren’t a direct party to the Bill of Lading contract between the importer and shipping line on empty container detention terms and conditions.”
“So, it’s not up to the transport company to seek relief from container detention fees. And nor should it be up to the transport company to pay any container detention bills post the event when the delays in de-hire were beyond their control or not realistic in the timeframes imposed.”
“In the current circumstances in Sydney, made worse also by the fumigation delays caused by the widespread measures to address the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) biosecurity threat, it is not unrealistic for import containers to be taking more than 15 to 20 days from the date of discharge to be able to be returned empty.”
“Container detention claims prior to that are equally unrealistic.” concluded Neil Chambers.
“It is even more imperative that when delays threaten a breach of the shipping lines’ imposed container detention policies, importers and forwarders – the customers of the shipping lines – should be proactive in:

  • Seeking an extension of the ‘free time’ from the shipping line for the return of the empty container; and/or
  • Requesting that the shipping line allow the container to be de-hired into an ECP or wharf facility with more flexible de-hire arrangements and longer opening hours.

“There are several ECP in Sydney that open longer hours. Importers, forwarders and their transport providers should be more proactive in convincing shipping lines that they will direct the empty de-hires there, instead of suffering delays in trying to de-hire to nominated facilities that are congested or have limited opening hours.”
CTAA Alliance companies are discussing the current delays and inefficiencies with the ECP in Sydney, shipping lines, NSW Ports, Transport for NSW and the NSW Government.

Maersk to introduce a virtual assistant named Captain Peter

Maersk is set to enhance its Remote Container Management (RCM) platform by a virtual assistant, named “Captain Peter”. The avatar will assist customers along the journey of their cargo.
Currently being tested by a group of select customers, technical improvements are being put in place to simplify the processes integrated into the Remote Container Management (RCM) platform.
In the first half of 2019, Maersk will release the new platform with a revamped design and new product features which will be enhanced by a virtual assistant named Captain Peter.
“Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app. There is still a lot of paper work and difficult processes in global trade. Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, Head of Global Reefer Management at Maersk said.
In the beginning, Captain Peter will follow some simple rules, sending up-to-date information via customers’ preferred channel, for example, SMS or e-mail, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey. Should any deviations be observed, or the shipment be delayed, Captain Peter will notify the customer.
Once the container has arrived at its destination, Captain Peter will also check on its state and send an update to the customer. In time, customers will receive information configured to their specific needs.
The RCM technology makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available to the customer. Should any issues be detected, the customer can alert his supplier or have the shipment checked by local surveyors, potentially saving the customer millions of dollars in lost cargo.
“With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen said.
Maersk launched RCM for customers in September 2017. It provides transparency on in-formation from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with machine to machine technology. Today, over 2,300 customers have signed up for the RCM solution, translating to more than 70% of Maersk’s reefer volume.

Shipping containers to sustain food production

The cooltainer installed by Agricool in Dubai. © Agricool.

Founded in 2015 in Paris, Agricool aims to create urban farms in recycled containers. With its innovative agricultural model, the young company wishes to produce fruit and vegetables without pesticides, picked and sold on the same day and prioritising short circuits. Several containers are currently being tested.
In Paris, Agricool grows strawberries by saving 90% of water and nutrients compared to classical agricultural methods and uses renewable energy only. These strawberries contain an average of 20% more sugar and 30% more vitamin C than retail store strawberries.
In 2018, shipping conglomerate the CMA CGM Group provided its first concrete support to Agricool by offering technical and logistical support for the delivery and installation of a ‘cooltainer’ in Dubai.
In December, Agricool completed a €25 million fundraising campaign to finance the industrialisation of its innovative project. On this occasion, CMA CGM acquired an equity stake in the company through its investment fund, CMA CGM Ventures.
In parallel, CMA CGM wants to support Agricool’s development by providing it with its industrial and logistics expertise. The group thus becomes the main supplier of containers and the primary logistics and supply partner of this young company.
Senior vice president of the container logistics department of the CMA CGM Group Joël Gentil said: “With this partnership, the CMA CGM Group confirms its commitment to support the development of start-ups that innovate in a relevant way. In line with our commitment to sustainable development, this solution allows us to recycle containers and give them a second life.”
 

View inside an Agricool cooltainer. © Agricool.

 

Autonomous ships market worth $19.1 billion by 2030

According to a new market research report the autonomous ships market is estimated to be AUD 8.4 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach AUD 19.1 billion by 2023, with Asia Pacific showing the highest potential for implementation of autonomous ships.
The report finds that this market is driven by factors such as the increasing world trade by sea, increasing maritime navigation, increasing demand for automation systems for safety, and growing maritime tourism.
The fully autonomous segment to grow at a higher CAGR in the autonomous ships market, among all autonomy level during the forecast period
Based on autonomy, the fully autonomous segment is estimated to lead the autonomous ships market during the forecast period. The increasing demand for autonomous ships owing to rising human error-related accidents and increased operational expenditure is expected to drive the market for the full autonomy segment.
Increase in the demand for commercial vessels is expected to drive the line fit segment in the autonomous ships market
Based on end use, the line fit segment of the autonomous ships market is projected to have the highest CAGR in 2018, as a result of the increase in demand for automation systems from ship operators. As the demand for commercial ships is expected to increase in the future, the line fit segment is expected to grow.
Asia Pacific is estimated to lead the autonomous ships market in 2018. Asia Pacific has witnessed rapid economic development over the years, resulting in an increase in maritime trade. This rise in sea trade has subsequently led to an increasing demand for ships for the transportation of manufactured goods worldwide. Thus, the rising number of ships has increased the demand for autonomous ships in the Asia Pacific region.
The major players in the autonomous ships market include Wartsila (Finland), Kongsberg Gruppen (Norway), Northrop Grumman (US), Rolls-Royce (UK), General Electric (US), ABB (Switzerland), and Honeywell International (US), among others. Rolls-Royce and Kongsberg Gruppen are key market players engaged in contracts and acquisitions to increase the sale of automation systems and autonomous ships for different applications.
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Maersk sets net Zero Co2 emission target by 2050

Aimed at accelerating the transition to carbon neutral shipping, Maersk has announced its goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.
The company said that to achieve this goal, carbon neutral vessels must be commercially viable by 2030, and an acceleration in new innovations and adaption of new technology is required.
Climate is one of the most important issues in the world, and carrying around 80 per cent of global trade, the shipping industry is vital to finding solutions, said the company. Maersk’s relative CO2 emissions have been reduced by 46 per cent(baseline 2007), approx. 9 per cent more than the industry average.
As world trade and thereby shipping volumes will continue to grow, efficiency improvements on the current fossil based technology can only keep shipping emissions at current levels but not reduce them significantly or eliminate them, the company said.
“The only possible way to achieve the so-much-needed decarbonisation in our industry is by fully transforming to new carbon neutral fuels and supply chains,” Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer at A.P. Moller – Maersk said.
Maersk is putting its efforts towards solving problems specific to maritime transport, as it calls for different solutions than automotive, rail and aviation. The yet to come electric truck is expected to be able to carry max 2 TEU and is projected to run 800km per charging. In comparison, a container vessel carrying thousands of TEU sailing from Panama to Rotterdam makes around 8800km. With short battery durability and no charging points along the route, innovative developments are imperative.
Given the 20-25-year life time of a vessel, the company says it is now time to join forces and start developing the new type of vessels that will be crossing the seas in 2050.

World trade momentum weaker but growing, says DHL

According to the latest DHL Global Trade Barometer (GTB), global trade will continue to grow over the next three months.
With an overall index of 61 points, the GTB’s analysis of international air and containerised ocean trade flows indicates that the development of the previous quarters will continue: Indices for all seven countries that constitute the GTB index are above 50 points, which corresponds to a positive growth forecast according to the underlying methodology.
READ MORE: DHL to sell off Chinese supply chain business
The pace of growth, however, is further slowing in all index countries.
This deceleration will be particularly strong in Asia (except for China): Index values for India, Japan and South Korea have dropped by eight, six and five points respectively compared to the previous release of the GTB in September.
With an overall index of 75 points, India, however, continues to be the country with the strongest trade growth forecast.
“The DHL Global Trade Barometer clearly shows that the state of global trade remains solid. Both, air and ocean trade, continue to grow around the world. However, given the smoldering trade conflicts, especially between the US and China, and economists’ expectations that the global economy could cool down, it is not entirely surprising that trade momentum has weakened slightly”, Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight said.
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