How Smart Start-Ups Are Changing Maritime

The role of smart start-ups in driving the development of the maritime sector should not be understated, especially with regard to intelligent applications powered by the Internet of Things (IoT).

As highlighted by a recent competition to form the world’s first digital shipping company, launched by IoT specialist Loginno, there is a demand for companies who can bring new solutions to the table.

The Start-Up Space

Of the multitude of start-ups vying for opportunities within the space of IoT and Big Data, many are part of projects designed to leverage their potential for industry-shifting innovation.

These initiatives are often supported by major companies, and in February 2019 satellite communications provider Inmarsat revealed its partnership with two start-up programmes focused on IoT and the optimization of data.

The need for “fresh perspectives”, as argued by Inmarsat’s Senior Director of Digital Incubation Ali Grey, can be served best by new businesses currently breaking into the sector and shaking its very foundation.

IoT is widely viewed as a key pivot for the industry and target for those wishing to instigate serious change; ABI Research has predicted that IoT applications will be able to track over 500 million different assets by 2023, highlighting its potential.

Solutions for Ports

If IoT is tipped to make waves across the global economy, what kind of impact is this movement likely to have on ports, and what role will be played by start-up organizations?

Maciej Kranz of Cisco Systems describes digitization, and especially IoT, as “powerful enablers that forward-thinking port operators are using in order to improve efficiencies”: the benefits of implementing IoT applications to support cargo-handling processes are various.

One of the areas in which IoT can be leveraged most usefully is the management of port traffic, as the data collected from ships, containers and other vehicles entering and exiting ports can produce a holistic overview of cargo movement that provides a transparent and visible basis for optimization.

IoT is also a technology which complements other advanced systems used by port and terminal operators, functioning alongside automated equipment and TOS systems to allow more effective communication between machines and humans, or even machines and other machines.

Although major companies will often be enlisted to oversee the implementation of advanced technologies, which have to be integrated into port operations without causing serious disruption, start-ups will play an important part in delivering new solutions.

Speaking about the position occupied by start-ups at Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies 2018, former Managing Director of Port XL Mare Straetmans emphasized the necessity for collaboration between corporations and emerging businesses.

The Future of IoT Innovation

While start-ups are important components of the rapidly growing IoT ecosystem, development is also being driven by academic bodies and government groups exploring its applications for a broad range of industries, including container shipping.

Autonomous shipping, which is quickly transforming from a futuristic fantasy into a reality, is a good example of the technical platform provided by IoT solutions.

A joint-venture involving the Finnish Geospatial Research Institute and Aalto Universityis seeking to deploy IoT-powered sensor technology as means of ensuring the safe navigation of autonomous vessels, an innovation which is already being trialled.

However, educational bodies and public institutions are also choosing to collaborate with start-ups on groundbreaking projects like this, with solution provider Fleetrange contributing to this initiative by developing techniques for autonomous navigation.

It is evident then that the insight provided by these young, energetic and, above all else, innovative companies, as well as their ability to cut through the noise of the industry, is fostering an environment that is adapting to evolving demands and becoming increasingly modern. It seems likely that success will follow.

Source: Port Technology

European ports welcome agreement on the European Maritime Single Window environment

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) welcomes the agreement reached on 7 February between the Parliament and the Council on the new regulation establishing a European Maritime Single Window environment (EMSWe). With the new framework, which will repeal the current Reporting Formalities Directive, important steps are made towards reducing administrative burden and increasing the attractiveness of maritime transport. It provides for the creation of a EMSWe dataset, harmonised National Single Windows and the application of the reporting-only-once principle.

We see the agreement as a real breakthrough on this very technical but important matter for the maritime and logistics sector. The outcome provides clear engagements towards administrative simplification and a more efficient supply chain. We are very happy that the new framework is recognizing the bottom-up efforts and investments already made and underway by European ports towards creating a one-stop shop for both the reporting formalities and all other services rendered to stakeholders in the logistics chain. The agreement is thus fully compliant with the ambitious digitalisation agenda of many European ports. We would like to thank and congratulate the Parliament – in particular, the rapporteur, Deirdre Clune and the shadow rapporteurs -, the Romanian Presidency and the Commission for their constructive approach in reaching an agreement”, says Isabelle Ryckbost, Secretary General of ESPO.

ESPO supports the following decisions:

  • Ensuring that the same data sets can be reported in the same way: For European ports, the first priority is to simplify administrative procedures by ensuring that the same data sets can be reported to each competent authority in the same way. ESPO therefore welcomes the emphasis in the new regulation on ensuring that the same data sets can be reported to each National Single Window in the same way by creating a EMSWe maximum dataset. The need to take into account the work carried out at international level is fully backed by ESPO.
  • Asking additional data remain possible in exceptional circumstances: ESPO is very pleased to see that the final text is giving the possibility to Member States to ask in the event of exceptional circumstances, for additional data, for a limited period of time, without having to ask the permission of the Commission.
  • Respect for the existing reporting systems: Moreover, European ports very much support the fact that the new regulation is building on the existing reporting systems, the National Single Windows and Port Community Systems (PCS). It is of paramount importance that ports and shipping lines who are currently working with a PCS as a one-stop-shop for both the reporting formalities and all other services rendered to stakeholders in the logistics chain will be able to continue to do so in the future.
  • Technological neutrality: ESPO is happy to see that technological neutrality is explicitly referred to as the basis for the European Maritime Single Window environment and agrees that the Commission should closely follow the latest technological developments, when providing updates to the reporting interface modules for the National Single Windows.
  • Providing the National Single Windows with a governance dimension: Finally, ESPO also welcomes the new provisions in the agreement on requiring Member States to designate a competent national authority for the National Single Windows with a clear legal mandate. This provides the National Single Window with a governance dimension, giving it the competence to store and redistribute data to the respective authorities.

The agreement reached must now be further formalised by the Council and the Parliament and is expected to apply as from 2025 (six years after the entry into force).

Source: European Sea Ports Organisation Press Release

The Escola consolidates TransLogMED and SailNet projects in Algeria

Between the 9th and 10th of February, the Escola Europea has consolidated the TransLogMED and SailNet projects in Algeria by signing agreements with various significant national institutions of the logistics sectors.

The Escola’s director, Eduard Rodés, met with the president of the national group of port services – Serport, Mr. Achour Djellol, to sign the collaborative document in the framework of the TransLogMED project. The project aims to promote the benefits of the Motorways of the Sea as tools for sustainable development and the creation of employment in the port logistics sectors in the Mediterranean region.

As part of the promotional visit, and to increase collaboration within the country, Mr Rodés visited Aouidette Djelloul, the president of the National Union of Freight Forwarders and Commissionaires of Algeria (Union Nationale des Transitaires et Commissionaires en douane agréés Algériens – UNTCA).

The Escola has already held various activities in Algeria in relation to this project. Futhermore in 2019 a MOST (Motorways of the Sea Training) course dedicated exclusively to Algerian operators will take place.

On the second day of the visit Eduard Rodés met with Abdallah Seriai, the president of the Professional Association of Algerian Maritime Agents (APAMA) and Aziz Mantrach, the president of Fonasba, the international federation of maritime agents, to formally incorporate Algeria in the SAILNET project, a programme nurturing education and international mobility established in seven countries (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Morocco, Tunisia, Argentina and now Algeria). The goal of this project is to establish a unique knowledge network through courses and exchange programmes for young professionals of the maritime and logistics sectors, therewith fostering potential future collaboration between companies in the participating countries.

As part of the event, a presentation on the position of the cosignatory agent as interpreted by international law took place, followed by an introduction to the new agreements between FONASBA and BIMCO (the International Maritime and Baltic Council).

Check out the website http://www.sailnetprogramme.com to find out more about the SAILNET Programme and the Escola’s website to learn all about TransLogMED: https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/projects/translogmed/

#DidYouKnow – Main terms in temperature controlled supply chains

For the first article of the #DidYouKnow series in 2019, a focus on temperature controlled supply chains was made. What are the main terms? What is refrigerated transport and why does it need specialized care? What kind of specialized equipment / procedures would be needed for a safe and efficient supply chain?

In this post we will explore some of the main aspects of this type of transport.

1.   Refrigerated Equipment – Sanitary and Condition Inspection

The equipment used to transport food items requires a higher level of inspection and maintenance than conventional aspects. Equipment needs to be clean, sealed and otherwise suitable for the transport of food items. Improper or incomplete cleaning and / or sanitisation practices allow contaminants to spread, and thus merchandise to perish. The responsibility to clean, sanitize and inspect equipment involved in the supply chain applies to all parties involved – shippers, carriers, loaders and receivers. Nevertheless, shippers continue to hold primary responsibility for the sanitary conditions of transport. Generally the different reefer equipment suppliers set the cleaning criteria for all to follow, though occasionally the clients can establish the minimum requirements of cleanliness according to their own quality standards and procedures.

Cleaning and Sanitation Procedures

Cleanliness prevents bacterial, chemical, and odor contamination of food products. Removing all loose debris and washing or sweeping the floors clean are necessary processes in this transport mode.

Certain food products, such as fatty or oily goods including butter and meats, are highly susceptible to strong odor contamination. Fresh fruit, such as apples and bananas, are also susceptible to odor absorption. It is thus better to separate the different food products to avoid cross-contamination. Moreover hauling extremely odorous products such as fish or cabbage require intensive cleaning procedures that will prevent odor contamination of other and future shipments.

Sanitation Standards

Shippers are required to develop and implement procedures that specify their practices for the cleaning, sanitizing and inspecting of their equipment. Factors that need to be considered include:

  • How the vehicle/equipment is being used; and
  • The production stage of the food being transported (raw vs. finished product; open vs. closed package).

2.   Airflow

Proper airflow throughout the refrigerated box is critical in maintaining good quality products. Poor air distribution is one of the primary causes of product deterioration.

When loaded properly, there should be sufficient airflow to maintain cargo temperature throughout the entire cargo space. Physical obstructions or restrictions within the box can cause poor airflow and result in product ‘hot spots,’ contributing to the deterioration of the perishable products.

Stowage inside the reefer container

When consolidating a Reefer container it is important to consider the type of merchandise and packaging used. This helps decide the best consolidation pattern for the cargo based on air circulation requirements around or between the products in the load.

As a general rule, pre-refrigerated frozen cargo only requires airflow around the product, while refrigerated goods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, require airflow throughout the cargo. This is because refrigerated products generate heat from breathing, which must be eliminated to prevent the cargo from being damaged by temperature changes.

It is essential that when stowing a Reefer container the entire floor is covered up to the edge. This ensures a uniform circulation of air around the container. In cases where the cargo does not cover the entire floor, a filler or dunnage is used to cover empty areas. This is also used to cover central panels containing empty spaces between pallets within a consolidated shipment.

Correct stowage is extremely important to the carriage of containerized reefer cargo. It is important to know that this is frequently outside of the control of the carrier. Cargo is often received in a sealed container already pre-loaded with a specific cargo.

3.   Refrigerated transportation

Refrigerated transportation is a method for shipping freight that requires special, temperature controlled vehicles. The vehicles transporting the products being shipped have built-in refrigeration systems that keep products at desired temperatures throughout the transportation process.

The first rudimentary version of refrigerated transportation was born in the 1800s, when cargo transporters would place ice and salt below temperature-sensitive goods in train cars. Unsurprisingly, this process was not the most efficient and inevitably led to major losses in the value of goods.

In the twentieth century more efficient modes of refrigerated transportation were developed, and improvements in technology have given birth to what is now called the cold chain logistics.

Written by Raquel Nunes, Training Programmes & External Relations Manager, Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

 

Intrigued? What to know more?

Register today for the 2019 edition of the Escola’s Technical course on Temperature Controlled Supply Chains, which will take place between the 6th and 9th of May in Barcelona. Find out more here: https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/temperature-controlled-supply-chains

BACK TO EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

 

Barcelona Remains Europe’s Fastest Growing Port

The Port of Barcelona achieved record results in 2018 across all main traffic indicators, solidifying its position as a key facilitator of export activity.

During the financial year 2018, Barcelona handled 67.7 million tonnes of cargo, representing a 10% increase on the port’s total volume for 2017.

According to a statement, the record-breaking volumes were largely driven by a 15% year-on-year increase in container traffic, Barcelona moving 3.4 million TEU during 2018.

Read a Port Technology technical paper by Olaf Merk, International Transport Forum, to understand demand-driven port development.

This rise in container volume underlines Barcelona’s status as the fastest growing port in Europe, as it comes on top of a 32.5% increase already achieved during 2017.

The results also confirm an increase in intermodality, with the significant growth marked in rail transport helping to boost sustainability of the logistics chains passing through the Port of Barcelona.

China has consolidated its role as Barcelona’s main trading partner, with 25% of the containers passing through the port either beginning or ending their journey in the Far East.

“Motorways of the Sea”, regular lines connecting Barcelona with various destinations in Italy and North Africa, progressed in 2018 as well, diverting approximately 150,000 trucks from the road to the “maritime mode”, a more sustainable option.

In economic terms, the port achieved a net turnover of nearly US$198 million, up 4% from the previous year.

The Dawning of 5G

As the digitization of industry and the global economy continues, a necessity for reliable, faster and more secure networks to connect businesses and the global supply chain continues to grow.

It is no surprise then that major companies and service providers, such as IBM and Vodafone, are forming joint-venture initiatives to test and develop a 5G ecosystem which, according to President of Mobile Networks with Nokia, Tommi Uitto, can generate new potential for automated operations and artificial intelligence.

While the worldwide implications of 5G technology are myriad, with leading companies Nokia and China Mobile seeking to create a more open and interoperable form of architecture for high-speed networks, its application to the ports and terminals sector could be game-changing.

As Dr. Yvo Saanen, Founder of simulation specialists TBA Group explains above, there is a need to connect a port’s assets, machines and people to systems, thereby increasing the safety and efficiency of cargo-handling operations.

The ability of 5G to optimize operations and “transmit data safely within milliseconds” is already being trialled as part of the Wireless for Verticals (WIVE) research project, one of many initiatives demonstrating the technology’s value as a catalyst for improved performance.

Faster and Smarter Networks

It would be easy to focus on the speed of 5G alone, especially when the development of this technology is likely to produce much shorter network response times for a wide variety of industries, including the logistics and port sectors.

However, as the University of Surrey’s world-leading 5G Innovation Centre underlines, the next evolution of connectivity is more significant than catering to the individual needs of everyday consumers: 5G is as much about “machine-to-machine” as it is “people-to-people”.

The flexibility of 5G networks, to “evolve, adapt and grow” is vital to the progress and implementation of this next technological phase which will allow applications to perform the “bandwidth-heavy” tasks demanded in the future.

Other benefits of 5G, as explored by key industry players like Nokia, include its prediction capabilities, security and reliability, positioning the technology as a crucial foundation for the development of machine learning tools.

Marc Rouanne, the ex-President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, once stated that “AI and machine learning will enable a myriad of new service opportunities”, in addition to reducing end user costs and minimizing the consumption of energy.

Revolutionizing Ports

Like a whole host of other industries seeking to ride the wave of digitization, businesses in the maritime sector, such as service providers, are hoping to leverage 5G to their collective benefit.

Kalmar, a provider of lifting solutions, is already trialling 5G applications and building a “technology road map” that will make the next stage of connectivity part of the “industrial standard of the future”.

Forecasting the revolutionary potential of 5G, Kalmar’s Director of Automation Research Pekka Yli-Paunu has predicted that “advances in connectivity give us the opportunity to develop the next generation of remote control that may utilise not only video, but audio and haptics as well”.

In addition to this, major ports are conducting their own 5G trials, testing its capability to drive advancement in other areas and provide a bedrock for smarter, more efficient operations.

The Port of Hamburg has already hailed the success of their project, with intermediate results indicating that “5G enables new types of mobile applications for the Hamburg Port Authority’s business”.

Looking ahead, Hamburg has isolated “5G network slicing” as an area that will have a particular impact on operations, laying the “foundation for new IoT applications” and “business models” that will boost the competitiveness of the entire port industry.

Unlocking the Potential

The cooperation of key players from multiple industrial and technological fields is currently forming an access point to 5G for businesses in all sectors.

Nokia has emphasized their work with “a lot of partners in the ports and terminals space, such as Konecranes, to enable the development of a connected ecosystem,” with the company “well positioned to understand the applications and savings made possible by mission-critical wireless technologies”.

According to Nokia’s statistics, ports and harbours make up a significant proportion of its vertical enterprise customers, all of which are currently deploying private LTE networks for their operational campus needs.

In the case of ports like HaminaKotka (located in Finland) the focus of “operational needs” once again shifts to connectivity, correlating to the intelligent machine Dr. Yvo Saanen imagines in his assessment of 5G.

Based on the sound situational awareness of container handling, warehouse logistics, and port security which machine-to-machine and machine-to-person connectivity offers, operations can be improved across multiple areas, from safety and efficiency to environmental performance and cost-effectiveness.

The extent of 5G’s potential impact on ports and terminals is still uncertain, but as operators and service providers search for smarter solutions, and ways to leverage automated technologies, the key word for the future is connectivity.

Source: Port Technology

Portugal Launches Huge Maritime Smart Tech Plan

The Portuguese government has announced an initiative aimed at accelerating the creation of smart tech start-ups in the shipping and ports sectors, according to a statement.

Named ‘Bluetech Accelerator – Ports & Shipping 4.0’, the programme is being led by the Minister of the Sea of Portugal and is designed to make the country a world leader in smart technology innovation.

The government has said it has already established a coalition of stakeholders, including shipping groups Portline Group and ETE Group, the ports of Sines and Leixoes and digital and robotics companies Inmarsat and Tekever to identify and finance start-ups in the smart technology and shipping industry.

The chosen start-ups will be announced in the last quarter of 2019, and the government has said it expects other stakeholders in the maritime and port sector to join the initiative.

Speaking about the initiative, Portuguese Minister of the Sea, Ana Paula Vitorino, said: “The Portuguese port system must be seen as the front line of the implementation of the blue economy based on the operational, energy and environmental innovation of maritime industries, promoting the emergence of new companies.

A recent Port Technology technical paper looked at smart investment in the maritime sector.

“This objective will be possible through the creation of a network of Port Tech Clusters, platforms for accelerating the technological and business innovation of sustainable blue port-based businesses.

“From here will be created new companies that will constitute and reinforce the Port Tech Cluster 4.0, innovation network that will be installed in the national port system focused on the application of industry 4.0 to the maritime-port sector”.

The Port of Sines, a key participant in the scheme, signed an agreement last week with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company to develop a new, next-gen container terminal, a story PTI covered.

Source: Port Technology