Terminal Drones: Game-Changing or Hot Air?

Drone technology could be vitally important to the evolution of smart ports and terminals, but they also present a number of challenges in terms of safety and security.

This insight delves into their utility within the port and terminal sector, and questions how valid they are in such an arena.

According to EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc, “…drones are a key part of the future of aviation and will become part of our daily lives”, yet for some ports and terminals, drones are already a part of daily operations.

Drones in Ports and Terminals:

After testing their ability in filming site operations, monitoring traffic flows and observing unsafe behaviour, APM Terminals introduced the technology at its facilities in San Antonio, Texas and Santiago, Chile.

They are not the only ones to make this leap.

Today, drones are in operation across multiple ports, terminals and maritime facilities around the world; some have been put to use surveying Israel’s new Gulf Port in Haifa, while others have been tested at the Port of Singapore as a method of delivering small loads.

While the drones in the aforementioned ports have been used for surveying and observation, Abu Dhabi Ports’ drone devices have formed the basis of its surveillance and security measures at the Khalifa Port and KIZAD facilities, enabling the company to “instantly check even difficult to access locations from various perspectives, without putting any employees in danger.”

However, it should be noted that port operators are not the only maritime players testing and implementing drones for a variety of purposes.

Drones as Cargo Movers:

Wilhelmsen, a provider of smart shipping solutions, is currently developing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, and predicts that drone deliveries could reduce shore-to-ship costs by 90%.

According to Marius Johansen, Commercial Vice President at Wilhelmsen, the rapid of progress of drone technology is also driving the development of “key technological solutions such as ship localization and precision landing, payload release systems, and light and reliable 4G/LTE communication.”

Could the introduction of drones to the maritime sector therefore be considered a catalyst for change?

In April 2018, logistics provider GEODIS teamed up with DELTA DRONE to develop “a completely automated solution for inventory management using unmanned drones”, the very first of its kind.

The same quadcopter drones implemented by Abu Dhabi Ports were used again by these two companies, who were able to combine the surveillance capabilities of drones with geo-location technology, allowing the unmanned devices to navigate a warehouse and perform administrative tasks.

The development of drones is also being supported by massive companies like Allianz, which has encouraged shippers to use the technology more effectively for a range of monitoring purposes.

According to maritime surveyors, drones are able to assess vessel damage, undertake search and rescue operations and assess environmental pollution.

On the other hand, Allianz has also stressed “the importance of striking the correct balance between human interaction and technological enterprise to prevent standards falling.

Standards:

Key “standards” that need to be considered, when deciding how to implement drones within ports and terminals, are safety and security.

With these concerns in mind, could the emerging technology be a double-edged sword for the maritime sector?

The Port of Rotterdam has highlighted the “less sympathetic ends” to which drones could be used, including “reconnaissance for criminal activities” and “espionage”; as well as ensuring the security of ports, the technology also poses a potential threat.

It is for this reason that ports like Rotterdam have imposed strict rules and regulations on the use of drones, prohibiting private operators from flying over port areas without a special permit or permission.

Standardization was a key topic of discussion at this year’s Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies Conference.

For now, maritime authorities can establish restrictions to protect the integrity of their operations.

However, as drone technology continues to advance, will major players be able to maintain the same levels of security?

As with all technological developments across the industry, the future remains uncertain.

Nevertheless, there is cause for optimism.

Future Outlook:

In March 2018, design consultants PriestmanGoode revealed their vision for the future of drones, the technology’s capacity to innovate change and create revolutionary solutions set to extend beyond ports and terminals.

The Dragonfly delivery concept imagines a world in which cities and commercial centres can be relieved of congestion by drones, the devices passing between buildings as they proceed towards their destination.

While this kind of futuristic landscape might seem a lifetime away, the rapid progress of drone devices is ready to change the way global trade operates, including the operations of increasingly automated ports and terminals.

The challenge now, for those key maritime players, is keeping pace with technological developments, ensuring that safety measures are sophisticated and prepared for the risks presented by such a flexible technology.

Source: Port Technology

IMO adopts carriage ban on high-sulphur fuel

Ships without scrubbers will be unable to carry fuel with a sulphur content higher than 0.5% from March 2020 after the move was adopted by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) last week.

The move is seen as a key step in improving the enforceability of IMO’s global sulphur cap (to be implemented from 1 January 2020), meaning that ships will not be able to carry non-compliant fuel unless they have the means to comply with the sulphur limit. It is just one of several measures supporting the new sulphur regulations to have been agreed at the seventy-third sitting of MEPC.

The committee also approved guidance on ship implementation planning as part of a set of guidelines being developed by IMO to ensure consistent implementation. The g guidance includes sections on risk assessment and mitigation planning; fuel oil system modifications and tank cleaning; fuel oil capacity and segregation capability; procurement of compliant fuel; fuel oil changeover planning; and documentation and reporting.

Further guidance approved by MEPC includes best practice for fuel oil suppliers, which is intended to assist purchasers and users in assuring the quality of sulphur compliant fuel. The guidance pertains to aspects of the purchase up to the loading of the purchased fuel.

A proposal suggesting an ‘experience-building phase’ to allay concerns about the safety of low-sulphur fuels was defeated, despite receiving some strong support. However, MEPC invited proposals to the next sitting (in May next year) on how to enhance the implementation of regulation 18 if Marpol annex VI, which covers fuel oil quality and availability. The regulation requires parties to ‘take all reasonable steps’ to promote the availability of compliant fuel oils, as well as informing IMO of the availability of compliant fuel oils in its ports and terminals. Parties are also required to notify IMO when a ship has presented evidence of the non-availability of compliant fuel oil.

Ship owner association BIMCO declared itself ‘very satisfied’ with the developments. “The industry retains a fixed implementation date, which is important, while we at the same time address the safety concerns,” said Lars Robert Pedersen, deputy secretary general. He added that the association would work diligently to craft proposals that will enable the shipping industry to harvest experience to reduce the risk of safety issues associated with sulphur compliance.

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) welcomed progress at MEPC73 but noted that “numerous complex issues that need addressing urgently by IMO, both at the MEPC next May and by the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) in December”. A detailed paper has already been submitted to MSC calling on governments to better enforce fuel quality.

“In view of the enormity of this major change it’s likely there’ll be some teething problems immediately before and after 1 January 2020,” said Esben Poulsson, secretary general, ICS. “Many industry associations have raised legitimate concerns about fuel availability, safety and compatibility of new fuels – a particular problem for those in the tramp trades.

“But if shipowners can demonstrate in good faith that they’ve done everything possible to follow an implementation plan – in line with the template IMO has now adopted – we hope that common sense will prevail in the event that safe and compliant fuels are not immediately available everywhere.”

Source: Motorship.

MOST Iberia 2018 brings together Spanish, Portuguese and South American professionals

For a second year running, the Escola brought together professionals from Spanish and Portuguese transport enterprises during the MOST Iberia edition of its well-established courses in intermodal maritime transport.

Between the 20th and the 23rd of October, a group comprising 53 professionals from the logistics and port sectors of Spain, Portugal and South America descended onto Barcelona to improve their knowledge of intermodal logistics and the motorways of the sea, and to expand their professional networks. During 4 days on board of a Ro-Pax ferry of Grimaldi Lines linking Barcelona to Civitavecchia, the participants could share their experiences, idiosyncrasies, and knowledge coming from their respective countries.

From Spain the participants came from the Spanish Ports (Puertos del Estado), as well as including logistic operators, transport companies and large associations and corporations from the sector: Roehlig, Casintra, Acotral, JVC Shipping & Solutions, El Corte Inglés and ATEIA. The South American delegation consisted of 25 professionals coming from port communities from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Uruguay. Members of public entities such as the regional government of Madeira, the Institute of Mobility and Transport, port authorities of Sines, Algrave, Douro, Leixões and Viana do Castelo, alongside representatives of private companies (Navex and Intermodal Portugal) formed the Portuguese delegation. “Excellent lecturers, an experience that allowed us see transport logistics from different perspectives than the ones we’re used to. All of this while living and experiencing a Mediterranean maritime journey. Thank you for everything” expressed one participant.

The teaching staff comprised: Álvaro Rodríguez Dapena, Planning and Development Director of Spanish Ports (Puertos del Estado); Ana Arévalo, Commercial Manager of SSS at the Port of Barcelona; Antonio Vargas, Ex General Director and current Board Member of Grimaldi Logistics Spain; Eduardo Bandeira, Executive Director of Intermodal Portugal; Raquel Nunes, Promotion and Training Manager and Eduard Rodés, Director of the Escola Europea.

The course developed the concept of co-modality as a tool to improve transport management. The motorways of the sea were shows as fundamental elements of a sustainable logistics supply chain. The course participants have to resolve a case study that evaluates short sea shipping solutions, and applies calculations of direct and indirect costs to determine an optimal transport solution in terms of economic, social and environmental terms.

IMO Toolkits to Tackle Maritime Emissions

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has published a new set of toolkits for shippers and ports, to assess ways of reducing emissions across the maritime sector.

The Ship Emissions Toolkit and Port Emissions Toolkit have been developed under the Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project, the IMO working in collaboration with the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH).

Astrid Dispert, GloMEEP Technical Adviser, has stated that the new guides will help countries seeking to develop and strengthen regulatory frameworks related to the prevention of air pollution, as well as the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from ships.

Dispert said: “Both the ship and port emission toolkits provide practical guidance on assessing emissions so that a national emission reduction strategy for the maritime sector can be developed.

“The GloMEEP guides provide a wealth of information on assessment techniques and how to develop a national strategy, as well as links to further practical guidance.”

According to a statement, both toolkits have been developed through extensive testing and feedback, gathered from their practical use during national and regional training activities.

Both toolkits feature decision support tools for evaluating emissions reduction opportunities, including guidance for conducting a rapid assessment that generates both quantitative and qualitative information.

Dispert added: “Ports and shipping are intrinsically linked – as such, efforts to reduce maritime emissions need to extend beyond seagoing ships alone.

“IMO’s MARPOL Annex VI regulations on air pollution and energy efficiency are aimed at ships, but it is clear that for port emissions to be reduced, national authorities need to consider emissions from all sources, including cargo handling equipment, trucks – as well as domestic vessels.”

Source: Port Technology

A hugely successful fourth edition of the MOST Italy course in intermodal maritime logistics takes place in Italy

As in previous years, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport has concluded with great success another edition of the MOST (Motorways of the Sea Training) Italy course in intermodal logistics for Italian professionals. From 29 September to 2 October, 32 participants from Italy and Brazil attended this edition of the training.

The inauguration ceremony was held at the Port Authority of Civitavecchia, seat of the ADSP of the Centre-North Tyrrhenian Sea and founding member of the Escola. Its president Francesco Maria Di Majo, accompanied by the Director of Harbour Security of the Ministry of Infrastructures, Mauro Coletta, have given the welcome to the participants and briefly introduced the present and the near future of intermodality in the Mediterranean and the fundamental importance of training in order to exploit the whole potential of the motorways of the sea.

Following the first theoretical classes on land, the large group of participants, accompanied by the teachers of the course, all of whom were experts in short sea shipping (SSS), boarded the Grimaldi Lines Ro-Pax vessel CRUISE BARCELONA, en route to Barcelona, along one of the motorways of the sea studied in the course.

Once again the Escola Europea was able to count on the collaboration of RAM (Rete Autostrade Mediterranee) Logistica – Infrastrutture – Trasport and ALIS (Associazione Logistica dell’Intermodalità Sostenibile), as well as the support of the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transport, Confitarma and Assoporti  for the organisation of the training.

During the four days of the course, the participants studied logistics and transport issues through theoretical lectures and practical workshops.

Andrea Campagna, from the Research Centre for Transport and Logistics of La Sapienza University in Rome, offered an in-depth analysis of transport costs, service times and other competitive factors to open the debate on the feasibility of a sustainable alternative to short sea shipping; Francesco Benevolo, director of RAM SpA, presented a wide overview of the motorways of the sea in Europe and explained the European Union’s environmental policy on transport, paying special attention to the fiscal incentives MAREBONUS and FERROBONUS, designed for intermodal transport; Nicolò Berghinz, representative of ALIS, presented some real cases of companies affiliated to the association that have successfully focused on intermodality to grow in the world of transport. The shipping companies and ports involved in the motorways of the sea between Spain and Italy explained the functioning of their infrastructures dedicated to short sea shipping: for the Port of Barcelona, Ana Arévalo, Commercial Manager specialized in SSS; for Grimaldi Lines, Commercial Manager Marcello Donnarumma; for GNV, Alessandro Feniello, Sales Freight Manager of GNV and for the ADSP of the Northern Central Tyrrhenian Sea, Giovanni Marinucci, Head of International Projects, who offered a presentation of the Port of Civitavecchia.

The contents of the course have been custom designed for the Italian professionals who attended the course, who came from different transport and logistics companies, four port system authorities and two higher technical institutes (ITS) in the Mobility area.

The aim of the training is to present participants with all the benefits to achieve by incorporating motorways of the sea as a key element in building efficient and sustainable supply chains. In addition to the theoretical lessons and workshops, the participants worked hard to solve a case study and were able to observe closely the infrastructure and equipment involved in intermodal operations. Finally, networking activities were organized to facilitate the development of networks of contacts between professionals and experts in the Italian sector who participated in the course.

The comments received from the participants were very positive. The level of satisfaction in this, as in the past, edition was very high: “I feel lucky to have been able to learn with and from professionals in the field, and with a spectacular organization”.

The Escola would like to thank all its founding members (Port de Barcelona, ADSP of the Northern Central Tyrrhenian Sea, Ports of Genoa, Grimaldi Lines and GNV) for their usual cooperation and generosity.

The dates for the fifth edition have already been set: from 5th to 8th of October 2019.

This year the Escola is also planning a course in intermodal maritime logistics for Spanish and Portuguese professionals, MOST Iberia, to be held from 20 to 23 October 2018.

European Parliament strengthens ‘polluter pays’ principle for ship waste management

The Transport Committee of the European Parliament adopted today the Meissner report on the Port Reception Facilities and gave a mandate to the Rapporteur to start negotiations with the Council to finalise the text of the new law.

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes in particular the proposal to strengthen the ‘polluter pays’ principle by discouraging the delivery of unreasonable quantities of garbage, including dangerous waste, for a fixed fee. This proposal will better protect marine environment by increasing the quantities of waste delivered at ports. It aims to make sure that ships deliver their garbage at every port call and don’t skip waste deliveries to save time. It finally avoids that ports have to pay the extra costs of delivering amounts of garbage that exceed the normal quantities generated between two ship calls.

“The Transport Committee of the European Parliament has clearly voted in favour of a policy that incentivises ships to deliver waste generated on board in the ports. It also encourages ships to limit the waste at the source by preventing ships to deliver unreasonable amounts of waste without paying for it. We believe that the text adopted strikes the right balance between efficiency and responsibility and strengthens the ‘polluter pays’ principle. We are very thankful to the Transport Committee for their very balanced position in what has been from the beginning a technical and complicated piece of legislation. We count on the rapporteur and the negotiating team of the Parliament to defend this outcome in the further negotiations with the Council,” says Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO’s Secretary General, on the outcome of the EP vote.

However, ESPO regrets that the Parliament decided to make rebates mandatory for green management of waste on board of ships. While encouraging ships to work on sustainable waste management, ports believe the decision to give rebates must be taken at port level. Rebates are generally applied to address the local environmental challenges. In some areas, waste pollution is a great environmental concern while in others it is air quality and emissions. Furthermore, mandatory rebates disregard the existence of different business and governance models in ports across Europe.

EU to invest nearly €700 million in sustainable and innovative transport

The European Commission has proposed to invest €695.1 million in 49 key projects to develop sustainable and innovative transport infrastructure in Europe across all transport modes. Selected projects will provide infrastructure enabling greater use of alternative fuels and electric cars, modernise Europe’s air traffic management, and further develop waterborne and rail transport.

EU Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “Our investment plan for Europe is delivering: today we are proposing to invest €700 million in 49 key transport projects through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). These projects are concentrated on the strategic sections of Europe’s transport network to ensure the highest EU added-value and impact. This will allow us to further accelerate our transition to low-emission mobility across Europe, and firmly deliver on the EU’s agenda for jobs and growth. We expect it to unlock a total of €2.4 billion of public and private co-financing.”

The largest part of the funding will be devoted to modernising European air traffic management (ATM – €290.3 million), developing innovative projects and new technologies for transport (€209.5 million), as well as upgrading the railway network, maritime connections, and ports and inland waterways (€103.6 million). In supporting the selected projects, the Commission is firmly delivering on the objectives outlined in its Clean Mobility package.

Over €250 million of CEF funding will be invested in 26 projects dedicated to developing new technologies in transport notably promoting alternative fuels, such as:

  • greening the maritime transport link between Swinoujscie port in Poland and Ystad port in Sweden;
  • deploying hydrogen public transport infrastructure in Denmark, the UK and Latvia;
  • building a network of bio-liquefied natural gas stations on roads connecting southern Spain and eastern Poland, via France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany;
  • developing zero-emission public transport services for Amsterdam airport, as well as electrifying urban and regional bus routes in Croatia, Italy, Slovenia and Slovakia.

The selected projects will also contribute to the establishment of a Single European Sky via modernising European air traffic management in 23 EU Member States and Serbia, the upgrading of the Ampsin-Neuville lock complex on the Middle Meuse river in Belgium, and the upgrading of the maritime ports of HaminaKotka and Leixões.

An additional €450 million is made available to finance alternative fuel infrastructure through the InnovFin Energy Demo Projects (EDP) and CEF Debt Instrument. They are managed by the European Investment Bank.

Background

All proposed projects were selected for funding via two competitive calls for proposals, open to projects in all EU Member States:

The 2017 CEF Transport Blending call launched on 8 February 2017, takes an innovative approach, making available an indicative budget of €1.35 billion of EU grants, to be combined with financing from the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the European Investment Bank (EIB), National Promotional Banks or private sector investors. Some 69 applications, requesting a total of €1 billion in co-funding, were received by the second deadline. Of these, 35 projects were selected, totalling €404,8 million. Previously, 39 projects had been selected for funding, totalling € 1 billion in CEF Blending funding.

The CEF Transport SESAR call launched on 6 October 2017 aims to modernise ATM in Europe and provide a high performing ATM infrastructure that will enable the safe, efficient and environmentally friendly operation and development of air transport. The CEF Transport SESAR call was open for project proposals on the deployment of new and mature technologies and practices that support harmonised ATM systems and standards in Europe. Some 33 applications requesting €406.9 million were received, out of which 14 projects were selected, totalling €290.3 million.

The EU’s financial contribution comes in the form of grants, with different co-financing rates depending on the project type. Under the CEF programme, €23.2 billion is available for grants from the EU’s 2014-2020 budget to co-fund TEN-T projects in EU Member States. Since 2014, the first CEF programming year, there have been four yearly waves of calls. In total, CEF has so far supported 641 projects with a total amount of €22.3 billion.

Next steps

Following EU Member States approval of the proposal, the Commission will adopt a formal decision in the coming weeks. The Commission’s Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will then sign the grants with the project beneficiaries by January 2019.

Source: DG-MOVE