Posts to appear on the #DidYouKnow section of the website

Temperature controlled logistics: Spotlight on pharmaceuticals

Professionals operating in the field of temperature controlled logistics need to take into account the condition of the products across all stages of the supply chain – beginning with storage and product preservation, through the transport of the cargo that is sensitive to changes in temperatures or varying atmospheric conditions, up until delivery to the customer. This broad spectrum of products includes pharmaceuticals, which need to be handled under particularly strict conditions as any changes may affect chemical stability or alter their properties, and cause serious health-related consequences to the end-consumers as a result. To ensure that these changes do not occur, pharmaceutical companies have to be able to prove that their products are transported through a stringently temperature controlled supply chain. It is vital that all parties involved, from the producer, conveyor to end customer are assured and can prove the integrity of the cargo.

The responsibilities in the temperature controlled supply chain vary among each of the parties. While the carrier needs to be responsible for preserving the transport conditions indicated for each type of medicine, the producer needs to ensure that the carrier is aware of the acceptable margins of error for temperature changes, what are the risks that may be acceptable, and what actions should be avoided to preserve the integrity of the product, etc.

Companies operating in the pharmaceutical cold chain should be kept up to date with the latest market regulations and standard rules. Due to the complexity of transporting these types of cargo, this task can be challenging. In the EU, the Directive 2001/83/EC is the foremost legal document guiding the production, distribution and use of medicinal products. In addition, other organisations regulate and establish new procedures, including theWorld Health Organization, Parenteral Drug Association, International Air Transport Association, Pharmacopeia, among others.

Though it is important to recognise that different medicines and different transport methods have their own characteristics of preparation and transport, there are general considerations that must be taken into account regardless of the pharmaceuticals being transported. This includes questions such as whether the storage facilities at the destination similar to those of the origin. Refrigerated vehicles or passive cooling systems will have to be considered to ensure the drugs not be compromised en-route. Minimising the amount of time the pharmaceuticals spend at ambient temperatures is critical, especially in warmer climates. The load needs to be securely stowed inside the transport units to ensure uniform air circulation and temperature distribution. Frequently, the use of temperature and humidity measuring devices is recommended.

Air freight temperature controlled logistics

Air cargo transport is the most popular method of transport for cargo with high levels of temperature control. Air transport is advantageous when it comes to speed issues, overcoming geographical obstacles or lack of infrastructure for other means of transport. The main weakness of this type of transport? It is extremely expensive, both in financial costs and in terms of the  environmental footprint.

Sea freight temperature controlled logistics

Around 20% of pharmaceutical payloads are moved via ocean freight. Sea freight temperature controlled logistics is substantially cheaper when compared to air freight shipping. It also offers a more controlled environment in comparison to air transport. There are fewer control points and disruptions, as sea freight cargo will not be touched until it reaches its final destination. With new technologies in the maritime sector, the transport units allow tracking and monitoring in real time (a big plus for the clients!). There are few load movements, which limits the potential breaks in the cold chain and potential exposure of the products to ambient temperatures. The main weakness? It is considerably slower than air transport.

In general, there is an enormous mindset that this type of products due to their characteristics and specificities must be transported by air.

The main question thus is: Air or sea freight transport? Sea freight, done well, is an excellent mode in the right circumstances, though the same is true of airfreight. It is understandable that emergencies will always require medicines to be transported rapidly from point of origin to destination, but with tighter regulations on the temperature control and cold logistics chain in the pharmaceutical industry ensured by the maritime authorities, the gap between air and sea freight is closing in.

Intrigued? Check out our upcoming course on Temperature Controlled Supply Chains.

Written by:

  • Raquel Nunes – Co-Founder of YoungShip Portugal

Innovative cruises for the modern day passengers

This year the Escola Europea will for the first time hold a course dedicated to Cruises and Port operations – a course aimed at helping industry professionals understand the characteristics, specialities and implications linked to such an important section of the transport sector. Previously the Escola has held cruise-related course in collaboration with Medcruise in the years 2007, 2010 and 2012, which were open to Medcruise port staff and members. This new course extends the cruise and passenger knowledge further to the wider public.

Cruise shipping originated in the United States, and was initially a leisure activity predominantly linked to the upper classes of the social spectrum. Today, however, with lower costs, coupons and different packages offered by cruise companies, all members of society around the globe can use the cruise industry to spend their holidays, whilst visiting a number of different port cities in the cruise’s route. Cruise shipping is now popular not only in the United States and around the Caribbean Sea, but also in Europe (North Sea and the Western Mediterranean in particular), Asia and the Oceanic isles. It is “defined as a mixture of maritime transport, travel and tourism services, facilitating the leisure activity of passengers paying for an itinerary and, potentially, other services on board, and includes at least one night on board on a seagoing vessel having a capacity of at least 100 passengers” (Pallis, A.). The companies operating in this industry need to take into consideration a number of characteristics specifically linked to tourism – as cruises are important vessels that facilitate it. “On-board amenities, itineraries, ports of call, and shore excursions” are but a few of the things a cruise liner needs to consider when planning a regular route. Additionally, to respond to a growing number of passengers and vessels, the industry has had to continuously evolve to “embrace innovation to develop new destinations, new ship designs, new and diverse on-board amenities, facilities and services, plus wide-ranging shore side activities” (Pallis, A.). It has also become common for cruise lines to differentiate themselves from their competition by creating themed cruises and by offering flexible packages to appeal to all demographic target groups at their disposal.

How are cruise liners and cruise ships related to the transport sector, one might wonder? Although predominantly seasonal, cruises are responsible for the transport of vast numbers of tourists, therewith contributing to the economic prosperity of the inland areas of the ports of call. The graph below (taken from Cruise Market Watch) shows that in the past 30 years the number of cruise passengers globally has experienced continual growth – leading to the need for new innovative cruise designs, and the evolution of Smart Ports and Smart Cities that can both process the larger amount of human capital as well as ensure seamless and pleasant experience for those arriving and departing.

Smart (Cruise) Ports

With tourism being one vital factor in economic development of regions, it is important for the ports that welcome cruises to serve not only the passengers, but also to ensure that the vessels get the most ecological, efficient and safe transit that they can get. Cruise ships are getting larger and larger to accommodate the larger number of passengers, and cruise ports need to make sure that they have a sufficient number of deep-water berths, or in the absence thereof to be able to offer attractive logistics solutions to accommodate the passenger requirements and their experiences (such as tendering in some smaller ports). This continuous on to the sizes of the terminals servicing the cruises, the transit connections to and from the cities connected to the ports, luggage transfers, food provisions, among other things.  “Traffic, parking and human resources are issues that are scalable, but multiple ships can easily break down the infrastructure of a facility. In ports of call, the transport and dispersal of tours is another challenge” (Jordan 2019).

Source: Cruising.org (https://cruising.org/-/media/Images/CLIA%202018%20Passenger%20Numbers )

Smart ports need to take full advantage of innovative and “smart” solutions to help passengers maintain the “holiday” feeling whilst in transit, all the while ensuring that the innovative solutions implemented are cost-effective and durable. Check-in counters are becoming obsolete at terminals whilst security is taking the reins in passenger processing. Passengers can send their baggage off using ship-to-shore companies, therewith saving them both time and ensuring ease of embarkation.

Ecologically, port operations need to strive to be emission free whilst still effective to serve the colossal ships coming to call – both to provide any servicing or supply services that may be necessary or simply to re-fuel and re-stock the amenities available on-board.

Source: CLIA (https://cruising.org/news-and-research/-/media/CLIA/Research/CLIA-2019-State-of-the-Industry.pdf)

As cruises are seasonal, ports also need to be creative about the use of the terminal space during the off-season – some ports have begun using the space as event rental spaces, to help offset any potential losses when no cruise ships come to call.

The sector has been growing on all fronts in recent decades. Very recently, however, this growth has been centred in luxury and exploration cruise tourism, which calls for a different and more specialized offers that incorporate ports and atypical routes to attract the attention of passengers seeking to maintain their passions without having to commit to general and global packages. The list of the types of smaller vessels that accommodate such tourism in the shipyard is extensive. Moreover, in addition to such refocusing of the cruise industry, we will also see the incorporation and increased activity of small ports that will be capable of welcoming such new and innovative cruise vessels.

Many of these themes and topics will be covered in the Ports and Cruises course (https://escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/ports-and-passengers-2020/). The course, initially scheduled for the end of March 2020, has been postponed to take place in November 2020 (dates are provisional). If you are interested and would like to hear more about this course, contact us for more information.

 

Written by: 

  • Lidia Slawinska, Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport
  • Vanessa Bexiga, Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

 

Sources:

Jordan, A. 2019. New Designs help Ports Support Growing Cruise Industry – an Interview. Maritime Executive. [Accessed 18 February 2020] https://www.maritime-executive.com/features/new-designs-help-ports-support-growing-cruise-industry

Pallis, T. Cruise Shipping and Urban Development: State of the Art of the Industry and Cruise Ports.  International Transport Forum [ Accessed February 17 2020]

Naci Polat / Procedia – Technical Innovations in Cruise Tourism and Results of Sustainability. Social and Behavioral Sciences 195 ( 2015 )p. 438 – 445

 

Developing sustainable Intermodal Transport Networks: a challenge for logistics

As 2020 comes to an end, in this final issue of the Odiseo of 2019 I want to focus on networks and the elements that make them up. There are a few main protagonists: the people they serve and, in many cases, those who benefit from them.

The western Mediterranean is an area composed, in the South, of Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya. In the North the Sea houses the countries of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy and Malta. It is home to a total of about 290 million people. It has a young South, where 43% of the population is under 25 years old, compared to the 25% in the northern countries. In the North the situation is reversed, where 33% of the people are 55 years old or older. In the south, this number does not reach 15%. The North hosts about 190 million inhabitants facing close to a hundred million in the South.

The three networks that structure the development of our society

Why are we talking about networks? We live immersed in all kinds of networks, and often we are not very aware of them. Our society and economy are built around three major networks: energy, telecommunications and transport. In Europe, these first appeared in the Maastricht Treaty in 1992, and their function was primarily set to link all regions, contribute to the growth of the internal market and job creation, while simultaneously achieving environmental and sustainable development objectives.

These networks serve us efficiently on a daily basis. For transport to function smoothly, we need energy networks, comprising petrol stations, electricity charging points, natural gas supply points and, as well as the currently emerging, new, less polluting energy sources.

Telecommunications allow us to make digital payments by cards, financial transactions, give us access to the World Wide Web, e-commerce, e-mail, IoT and capture data for the use of intelligent transport management systems, among many others.

In transport services, we have two clear examples: the container, which is already widespread through the global network, and is generally accepted and not questioned by the industry members, and on the opposite side of the coin – the railways, which in today’s climate need to make progress to obtain better standardisation systems. This is particularly true in Spain.

Each network has to follow its own operating rules. For example, when we go to a gas station, we know what kind of fuel is there on offer. In the field of electronic communications, the Internet has taken control of the entire market. We have already mentioned the containers in which 20, 40 or 45 feet have become the norm. On the roads, more and more signalling systems and traffic rules are becoming unified. Finally, in road construction itself, international standards are used to classify the different categories.

Building a network

Networks facilitate progress. There are set architectural designs that have been developed to ensure such progress, and which almost always has positive consequences. A network is built with supporting infrastructures. In communication networks, we have service stations and, in some cases, gas pipelines for the transport of fuels or gas. In the field of transport, we have ports, logistics platforms, roads and road and rail infrastructures.

We can then turn to these infrastructures and provide services that support the network. It may involve the simultaneous incorporation of several networks that are necessary to be able to provide the services that the networks have as their main objectives. Finally, operational regulations and a form of governance needs to exist that will establish rules, standards, access and guidelines, among other things that would facilitates their use and growth.

Once an adequate operational structure is established, the network must develop to consolidate. This requires collaboration and information sharing. Best practices, training, and working with specialised groups are important for the take-off and growth of a network. Once a certain size is attained, the network will be able to contribute with more value before becoming a normality. For example, today, it would be very difficult and costly to replace the Internet or the widespread use of maritime containers.

With a consolidated network, new services, new functionalities, transaction optimizations, new challenges and new components emerge.

Transport Networks

Europe proposed a trans-European network in the same way as Ferrmed[1] proposed a rail network in the Mediterranean. Since then, networks of logistic towing of semi-trailers closely linked to short sea shipping have been proposed. These then help improve freight transport systems and reduce overall costs. When thinking of transport units, these would be our core networks for manufactured products, while for ro-ro transport, RO-RO vessels and ferries are heavily relied on.

The first element that emerges is the topology of the network. We start from the basic elements that make up networks: nodes and vectors, which in turn form different sets according to the product flows and the criteria with which they are constituted. Taking the airport model as a reference, a modern mode of transport that has evolved very quickly and efficiently, we can see that there are networks with point-to-point relationships that have evolved into networks with hub and spoke nodes that have allowed us to respond to the sizes of the aircrafts. And this, in turn, has evolved into hybrid systems. Thus it can be summed up that the network is configured according to the means of transport, structure and volume of traffic.

When looking at the port level in the Mediterranean region, there are clearly defined Hub ports, such as Algeciras and TangerMED. Ports that could be classified as hinterland or Gateways also exist. These include the likes of the Ports of Casablanca, Barcelona, Genoa or Civitavecchia.

Today, we have a network that is used to set priorities and let me say that I believe that it is above all a question of avoiding arbitrary decisions or decisions that can only be justified for reasons that have nothing to do with the efficiency of transport infrastructure and services.

A network seeks to develop a competitive and resource-efficient transport system, as indicated in the Commission’s 2011 White Paper on Transport. A network enables the internal market to function properly and strengthens economic, social and territorial cohesion. It facilitates the mobility of people and goods in a simple, safe and sustainable way. It facilitates accessibility and connectivity in all regions that contribute to economic development and competitiveness. And, instead of focusing only on the European region, it is interest to think about the Western Mediterranean per se and to have a good starting point with some of the important criteria for building the networks that are needed today.

TEN-T Network structure

The Trans-European Transport Network has a two-layers structure, comprising a core network and a comprehensive network covering all Member States.

It is a core network that exists without bottlenecks or discontinuities to facilitate interoperability between the different modes of transport.

It exists with urban nodes, logistics platforms, freight terminals, ports, rail terminals, airports, and with a maritime dimension with the motorways of the sea. The TEN-T is a network that uses innovative technological solutions, which have a vital role to play in transforming transport to make it accessible to all citizens and to create a safer, more sustainable, low-carbon and energy-efficient system.

The core network corridors cover the most important long-distance flows of the core network and aim, in particular, to improve cross-border links within the Union.

These corridors are multimodal and are open to the inclusion of all modes of transport. They shall cross at least two borders and, if possible, include at least three modes of transport, including the motorways of the sea, where appropriate.

In addition, special attention is paid to the measures necessary to ensure the safety of fuels through increased energy efficiency and promote the use of alternative energy sources and propulsion systems, in particular low-carbon or carbon-free; to reduce the exposure of urban areas to the negative effects of transit transport by rail and road; and to help the removal of administrative and technical barriers, in particular to the interoperability of the trans-European transport network and to competition.

WestMED corridors

When thinking about the Western Mediterranean, or the WestMED area, the corridors of particular interest to the Escola are:

  • The Baltic-Adriatic Corridor (Poland-Slovakia-Austria-Italy)
  • The Atlantic Corridor (Portugal-Spain-France)
  • The North Sea – Baltic Sea corridor (Finland – Estonia – Latvia – Lithuania – Poland – Germany – Netherlands – Belgium)
  • The North-Mediterranean Sea Corridor (Ireland-United Kingdom- -Bass-Netherlands-Belgium-Luxembourg-South France, because Brexit became Ireland-Belgium-Netherlands and France).
  • The Mediterranean corridor (Spain-France- North Italy-Slovenia-Croatia-Hungary)
  • Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor (Finland-Sweden-Denmark-Germany-Austria-Italy)

The corridor approach can be used as an instrument to coordinate different projects on a transnational basis and synchronise its development, thus maximising the benefits of the network. These projects should contribute to cohesion through better territorial cooperation. In order to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the corridors, each corridor is supported by a European coordinator.

Ports have come to play a fundamental role in structuring the network because they are the main modal exchange points. If we focus on the WestMed area which includes the Atlantic area, the Alboran Sea, the Balearic Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, we have 20  main ports in the network. In Portugal Porto, Aveiro, Lisboa and Sines; in Spain Seville, Algeciras, Cartagena, Valencia, Tarragona and Barcelona ; In France Perpignan and Marseille. In Italy, Genoa, La Spezia, Livorno, Civitavecchia – Rome, Naples, Gioia Tauro and Palermo; and in Malta Valetta.

Seaports Infrastructure on the Network

Seaports are the entry and exit points into the land infrastructure of the core network.

Equipment associated with maritime transport infrastructure may include equipment for traffic management and freight transport, for the reduction of negative effects, including negative environmental effects, and for the use of alternative fuels, as well as for dredging, maintenance and security of the port and port access.

Maritime transport infrastructure includes in particular: maritime space, sea lanes, sea ports, including infrastructure necessary for transport operations in the port area, port connections with other modes of the TEN-T network, docks, locks and quays, aids to navigation, port access and canals, jetties, motorways of the sea, related equipment and telematic applications, including electronic maritime services.

Motorways of the Sea

TEN-T policy also focuses on the development of the “Motorways of the Sea” (MoS), for which a European coordinator is responsible for leading the process of its harmonised implementation.

A European maritime space without barriers, which I hope will soon become a Mediterranean space without barriers, includes short sea shipping lanes, ports, associated marine infrastructure, equipment and facilities. It aims to simplify administrative procedures allowing the operation of short sea shipping services between at least two ports, including their hinterland connections.

MoS include seaports on the core network or between a port on the core network and a port in a third country. This means that today, the port of the third country cannot receive direct funding, but it can benefit from the funding received by the whole operation. It also includes port facilities, freight terminals, logistics platforms and freight platforms located outside the port area, but associated with port operations, information and communication technologies (ICT), security and safety, and administrative and customs procedures in at least one State.

Today, MoS operations also include activities aimed to improve environmental performances of the vessels, ports and hinterland operators, which includes shore-based electricity supply that helps ships reduce their emissions, airworthiness activities throughout the year (dredging), alternative re-fuelling facilities, the optimization of processes and procedures, the human element that would include training, and finally the ICT platforms and information systems, including traffic management systems and electronic reporting systems.

Shipping Lines

Shipping lines are the networks’ champions. Existing or new maritime services that form part of a door-to-door logistics chain, help group freight flows into viable, regular, frequent and high quality short sea shipping links.

The MoS network can replace a significant part of the expected increase in road transport.

The Lines are now an essential part of the network configuration. They are the real protagonists of the operations. Almost all of them private, and as such they bet their money.

The evolution of the sector will depend to a large extent on this. Infrastructures are indispensable, but they are far from sufficient. The services and quality offered will determine the future. Opportunities for improving exports depend to a large extent on traders and customs. We hope that together we can help them to develop properly.

 

 

 

Railway connections

The rail part is now one of the main elements of port development. In Barcelona the company VIIA offers rail motorway services. These are new and very powerful concepts. Trucks can now travel on the motorways of the sea to connect with the railways motorways that connect Northern and Central Europe with very short transit time and high-quality services. This represents a new way of understanding intermodality, which is currently undergoing spectacular development. Today, we have significant volumes in the transport of semi-trailers, cars, containers, and refrigerated containers, and in most parts of the continent the rail market in ports continues to grow. This, sadly is not the case in the Spanish rail freight transport market.

Digitization of transport operations

Finally, one of the elements that is of vital importance at this time is the digitization of transport operations. This technological aspect of the networks enables traffic management and information exchanges within and between modes of transport for multimodal transport operations and transport related value-added services, improves safety, environmental performance and simplifies administrative procedures.

The digital services should facilitate a seamless connection between the core network infrastructures and regional and local transport infrastructure. An important player is the Port Community System.  In Barcelona we have Portic and in Morocco we have PortNET. They will play a fundamental role in the digitization of operations in their respective areas.

The digitization of transport operations is linked to a topical subject in Europe (but one that is increasingly catching on in Morocco, Tunis and Algeria on the other side of the Mediterranean): one of the National Single Windows.  I believe that they represent an unique opportunity as customs can take advantage of all the information they receive. If a framework of trust between the public administration of all this countries is possible, then the increase in the speed of operations will be inevitable. I hope they can give us joy in the near future.

The money factor

And I’ll finish with the money. Everything that has been proposed must be funded. Europe has embarked on a path where it relies heavily on sophisticated financing models. These include PPP, participation with bonds, bank financing, subsidies, etc.

One of the sources that provides clarity on this subject in Europe is the information from the European Parliament, which is working on the “Multiannual Financial Framework – LEGISLATIVE TRAIN 11.2019” programme, set to cover the period between 2021 to 2027.

This programme will replace the CEF and aims to develop transport, energy and digital infrastructure within the framework of the trans-European networks. With very significant investment figures, since it is 42.3 billion euros, compared to 23.2 billion for the 2014-2020 period of the EFC. It sets out certain priorities that will have to be analysed: decarbonization, digitization, transition to clean energy and improve digital connectivity.

Conclusions

Finally, we circle back to the beginning, to the transport networks: Trans-European, Trans-Maghreb, Trans-African or international. They will all fight to compete and, in some cases, to cooperate and develop.

Today, we know that the China Belt and the Silk Road initiative could complete a logistics chain from Japan to Russia to Central and Northern Europe. This reconfigures the world again, with transit times of 19 days between Japan and Europe. We are live in exciting times.

I would like to leave you a message, summarizing what was said before:

Networks are a fundamental element for the development of advanced societies; A network is solid if it is easy to use.

Logistics is a networking factor which can help us improve the countries in which we live in.

Let’s do it!

Eduard Rodés

Director

Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport

 

[1] http://www.ferrmed.com/sites/default/files/2019-04/FERRMED%20GLOBAL%20STUDY%20BOOK.pdf

2020

If you work in shipping and after seeing this number the first thing that comes to your mind is EMISSIONS, then you are on the right track!

In the previous Blue Innovation post we talked about the OPS as the means to control emissions in ports. However, seafarers have a saying that says “A ship in port is safe; but that is not what ships are built for,” which reminds us that a ship spends most of its life time in navigation. Even though emissions in port directly influence the communities nearby, the emissions from ships affect the environment in general.

It is not a new development for the IMO to work towards environmental responsibility. Since 1997 it has officially had the MARPOL Convention. In terms of emissions, by 2005 chapter VI of the convention has entered into force which aimed to control SOx, NOx, and other particle emissions that affect the earth’s ozone layer. Each year there is more responsibility and pressure coming from the IMO, encompassing the complex discussion of measures in favour of the environment within the complex understanding of the great changes and challenges involved in the issue. The complexity is there as it is a decision that calls for the necessary initiatives and technologies to be able to improve (decrease) emissions, considering the responsibility implied by the potential incidents that would affect the means of transport that mobilises 80% of the world’s goods.

The IMO has been known to set emission guidelines for decades, however quite a bit of controversy has surrounded the 2020 expectations. For instance, currently the global limit of sulphur contents of ships’ fuel oil is 3.5% and with the entry into force of the new limitations on the 1st of January 2020, emissions will need to be reduced to 0.5% SOx. The ECA zones will not be affected with this limitation, as these emissions have already been limited in 2015 from 1.0% to 0.1%.

What do all these changes mean and how to they relate to our Blue Innovation section? In this issue many of the alternative solutions to the challenges set by the IMO 2020 regulation will be listed, which will then be provided with source links for anyone wishing to delve deeper into the subjects.

In a way, as a consequence of the global concerns and pressures to tackle climate change, technological developments are the ones that are going to be able to face all these changes with the smallest possible impact on the global economy. This signifies the need to not only change the fuel type used by commercial vessels, but the logistics of bunker supply, adaptation of machinery and installations and procedures that take a lot of time as well, especially when thinking about more than 95,000 merchant ships worldwide.

ALTERNATIVE FUELS

In order to meet the new IMO regulations, ships have several options, including fuel quality (low sulphur fuel oil) and alternative fuels (methanol, biofuels, LNG, H2, etc.), which require major adaptations to the engine systems.

M/V AIDA Nova on LNG bunker operation at the Port of Barcelona. Source: http://www.spanishports.es/texto-diario/mostrar/1401337/puerto-barcelona-recibe-primer-crucero-propulsado-gas-natural-licuado

 

HYBRID AND ELECTRIC PROPULSION SYSTEMS

On the other hand, some proposals include the use of hybrid systems combining of diesel-electric, gas-electric or even ones relying solely on electricity. The first are systems that combine the operation of a fuel for the generation of energy that is stored in batteries and used according to operational needs, thus distributing and optimizing emissions. It is also true that since 2015 fully electric ships have been a reality in the market, but due to their short autonomy, they have not spread out.

WIND SYSTEMS

Wind propulsion has also been a part of the proposals. It contemplates (depending on the type of vessels) the possibility of implementing systems that help propulsion through the use of wind force. Some examples of such systems are DynaRig, Flettner-Rotors and even research projects such as Wind & Solar Power for Sustainable Shipping or the Kite propulsion system. These systems are not intended to replace the engines but can compensate an operational process of slow steaming without resulting in significant changes in the journey.

Maersk Pelican with Rotor Sails, project done by Norsepower confirmed savings of 8.2 % fuel and associated CO2.
http://wind-ship.org/norsepower//

AFTER-TREATMENT EMISSION CONTROL

Alongside the previously mentioned alternatives, there are after-treatment emission control systems such as Integrating SOx and NOx Abatement, Selective Catalytic Reduction or scrubbers which, despite their investment, have come to be seen as viable options for shipping companies in which open (sea water) or closed (fresh water) systems function as filters to reduce PM by 80% and SOx by up to 98%.

Exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS) https://www.dnvgl.com/expert-story/maritime-impact/Scrubbers-at-a-glance.html

The availability of so many alternatives does not mean that following the IMO rules will be easy. Many of the proposed solutions require a lot of investment, result in large operating costs, require major changes in systems and equipment or massive supply capacities for fleets. Each shipping company will have to adapt according to their routes, facilities and structures, and choose a system that complies with emissions regulations.

All of this is accompanied by other alternative technologies that, while not necessarily reduce emissions, help in the performance of the ship and therewith improve its overall environmental footprint. The improvements could be new aerodynamics, low resistance paints, trim optimization, optimization of aerodynamics of propellers and rudders, optimized pumping in cooling systems, and even the use of big data to improve the sensors in equipment and prevent excessive consumption by optimizing the maintenance or the use of data to predict optimal routes according to environmental conditions.

There is no doubt that the Blue Economy will be affected by the 2020 regulations. The world’s waking up to the threats and dangers posed by climate change, and all of the world’s industries are adapting. The maritime world will perhaps be the one most affected by the new rules as, being responsible for 80% of all trade in an increasingly globalised society, it is one of the more significant polluters. As in any case though, challenges bring new and innovative solutions, and we are very excited to see what the industry will bring in the coming years to continue to innovate and protect our Blue Economy.

Written by:

  • Vanessa Bexiga – Operations Manager (Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport)

Useful links:

And Greta went to New York

Source: un.org

An ever-changing world

It is the time when autumn arrives at the northern hemisphere, and with it a new edition of our cherished Odiseo. The edition which will feature aspects of sustainability which arose spontaneously. When we reviewed the topics we wanted to deal with, we realised that almost all of them were facing the same direction.

It coincides with the timing of Greta Thunberg’s trip to New York, following an invitation from the United Nations to participate in a climate summit at the United Nations. On her arrival, a fleet of 17 UN boats (one for each of the Sustainable Development Goals) received her in New York waters to accompany her on the last leg of her journey.

Source: europa.eu

It seems incredible how this young Swede, at only 16 years of age, is succeeding in mobilising an enormous number of people among whom are many of the world’s most important politicians. For those of you who want to get to know her better, I recommend viewing her speech in the European Parliament last April. Her message touches the heart and moves to action.  She made an impassioned plea for the planet urging MEPs to “start panicking about climate change” rather than “waste time arguing about Brexit.”

The world’s great powerhouses are beginning to worry about much of what is happening. The United Nations is a frontrunner in particular, following its magnificent awareness campaign of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) published in 2000: halving extreme poverty rates, universal primary education, gender equality and empowerment of women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria, environmental sustainability and a global partnership for development, all by a 2015 deadline. Which, incredibly, was met!

Today we are presented with the Sustainable Development Goals, a plan to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. These address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, prosperity, peace and justice. The Goals are interlinked and, if we are not to leave anyone behind, it is important that we attain each Goal by 2030.

Some may consider it more of a marketing campaign than a Real Action Programme, but I sincerely believe that today we are what we know and what we need to be, so let us celebrate the use of marketing as a lever of change. I know that the world is better today than 15 years ago and even more so than 30 years ago. We must continue to set goals, even if they seem utopian, to keep us moving forward.  It is as Eduardo Galeano said: “Utopia is on the horizon. I walk two steps, she moves two steps away and the horizon runs ten steps further. So what is Utopia for? For that; it is good for walking.”

Today Utopia can simply stand for complying with the SDG’s. This includes everyone’s involvement, starting with each one at an individual level and moving through the projects we work on and the politicians and policies we vote on.

The implications for the port sector

Institutions such as the Port Authority of Barcelona are taking a new look at how to act in light of these objectives. In the port’s latest reports on Corporate Social Responsibility, and in other management reports, the SDG related to the activities carried out are highlighted. I can assure you that they are changing the way we look at the work to be done and that we are becoming increasingly more aware of the impact of our decisions and actions on the achievement of objectives. There is an important movement, which we will introduce in more detail later, that seeks to transform the ports into SMART PORTS. We will be able to see this better at the Smart City Expo Congress that will be held from 19 to 21 November in Barcelona and which for the first time will have a space dedicated to ports. The ports of Barcelona, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Los Angeles and Montreal will come together to lead a global movement for improvement in the port area.

The implication for operators

We can see that sustainability in the transport sector has become one of the fundamental elements on a daily basis. Companies highlight the social impact of their activities, both in terms of external costs and polluting emissions.

Grimaldi presents vessels that contaminate less during port stays, and has begun associating itself with the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020). CSA 2020 defines itself as a group of leading companies from the commercial shipping and cruise industries that have been leaders in emission control efforts and have made significant investments in research and analysis, funding and committing resources to comply with 2020 fuel requirements through the development and use of Exhaust Gas Cleaning Systems (EGCS).

Shipping companies, port terminals, and land transport operators (both rail and road) are changing the way they conduct their operations. It seems clear that the European Commission’s principle that the polluter pays and the user pays will eventually be imposed not only at a European but possibly at international level as well.

 

How can we implicate ourselves?

Aristotle considered that attaining the fullness of the expression of human capabilities is the meaning and end of every individual.

Therefore, let me raise this virtue, the SDGs, as a collective objective, as a new project. A project you can work on.

The eight objectives for human development in 2000 positioned people in the epicentre of development.  They focused on potential development, about increasing possibilities and enjoying the freedom to live life.

Human development is the acquisition of the capacity to participate effectively in the construction of a prosperous society in both a material and spiritual sense; it is an integral part of the individual attaining a deeper knowledge of himself – externally and (perhaps more so) internally, more intimately within him- or herself.

The objectives have to reorient the way in which we understand life and society.

I believe in a humanism in which the construction of collective solutions involves individual action. The construction of global solution passes through the construction of oneself, and the routine day-to-day work paves the way for the progress of humanity and a better world for all.

I would like to highlight a few of the objectives.

Quality education understood as a duty for life. Our education and that of those who at some point depend on us: children, employees, relatives. Let us value having been born into a society that has provided us with access to exceptional education.

 

 

 

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but the necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. A society, organization or person who does not understand that we all have the same rights and obligations is ill. If you have to hire, pay, distribute and organize the work always seek this equality.

 

 

Decent work and economic growth: I don’t like using the word growth when referring to the economy. In my opinion, the challenge is to create employment without growing. On the surface it may seem like a paradox, but it is a different way of looking at things.

To end let me go back to the classics. Firstly, the concept of virtue that Aristotle left in his books on ethics, dedicated to his son Nicomacheus:

“Since, then, the present inquiry does not aim at theoretical knowledge like the others (for we are inquiring not in order to know what arete, virtue, is, but in order to become good, since otherwise our inquiry would have been of no use), we must examine the nature of actions.” (Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II, 2).

Vicenç Molina, a friend and mentor and what today would be called an influencer, brought it closer to our daily reality:

“Let us start, therefore, with the practice: working practically.

With the values raised, with the commitment achieved.

With constructive impetus. Poetically, without surprises or shrieks because, at its root, poetry is construction.

So, we do not have to be cut off… Or naive, but natural, real, feasible, civic…”

It is a wonderful reflection that should help us face our citizenry with love to the things that, in the end, will be important.

Each of us should be part of this project. All of us have values that we can bring to the surface, something which we can achieve by struggling to build ourselves. With creativity, with dialogue and cooperation, with self-determination, with work and effort, with commitment to people, and with knowledge and wisdom.

Let us all be accomplices in this great challenge, and may the road ahead present us with luck and happiness throughout the coming Millenia. I hope you will enjoy the articles in this Odiseo as much as I have.

Regards

 

Eduard Rodés

Director

Escola Europea

#DidYouKnow – Onshore Power Supply

The time is now approaching when the shipping industry will undergo tremendous shifts and transformations. The maritime sector has started to leave behind its conservative style and began to implement some major changes; largely in terms of technological strategies. A sector that has historically shied away from succumbing to the appeal of new gadgets and systems has begun to embrace them in light of the technological challenges brought on by shifting consumer demands and expectations. It has become clear that not joining this new wave of change may leave the maritime alternatives out of the markets.

We live in a time where not only are we helped and pushed to innovate by technologies, but also motivated by conscientious societies that call for environmental awareness requiring all to be more involved with sustainable decisions and procedures.

It is against this backdrop that the sector responsible for transporting more than 80% of the world’s goods has a lot to contribute, and has recently witnessed more initiatives and willingness from its actors.

The maritime sector brings together many actors, each with their own requirements and specifications. Nevertheless, it is the ports that shoulder the responsibility to make smooth interaction between everyone not only possible but as a norm. This has resulted in the emergence of the Smart Ports.

This digital transformation in the ports is being implemented with initiatives to incorporate systems such as Blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Twins, AI, platforms for data management, 5G and technologies and processes that help the transformation of EcoPorts aligned with the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) reports where Air Quality and Energy Consumption are in recent years the priorities to be addressed.

Currently the IMO is trying to establish new limits for the control of emissions in the world’s fleets, which are aligned with its organizational policies as well as with the SDG 2030 UN agenda goals, more in deep with 11-13 goals for sustainability and climate action. In tandem the ports are looking for options to optimize monitoring and reduce their environmental impact, especially those with close geographical proximity to large cities.

As the ports are links of transport interconnections and areas of operation of vast amounts of equipment and machinery, their policies and the initiatives of their actors have an important impact on sustainability goals. Without a doubt the activities within the terminals have a profound effect, but it is the emissions of the ships that generate significant impacts.

Setting fixed limits on ship emissions is currently undergoing a strong debate in the IMO. Some ports are taking initiative on this issue by implementing OPS  Onshore Power Supply (also known as: Alternative Maritime Power (AMP), Cold Ironing, Shore Power, etc.), which reduce emissions from vessels during their stays in ports through the supply of onshore electric power avoiding or reducing the use of ship generators.

 

Source: http://articles.maritimepropulsion.com/article/Shore-to-Ship-Power-Supplies16652.aspx

This technology not only requires an important infrastructure investment, but above all it requires ensuring that the generation of this energy is clean so that the problem is really solved and not relocated. On the other hand, it requires the collaboration of all those involved, which in most cases includes the port authorities, liner service shipping lines (with frequent calls), the terminal operators, the local communities, suppliers of electricity and automation technology and environmental engineers, among others.

Currently there are more than 8 OPS technology suppliers and the systems handle different frequencies (North America at 60 Hz and Europe and most of Asia at 50 Hz). On the other hand, some ports can also vary between low or high voltage. It is the latter that is becoming increasingly frequent.

The voltage demands of vessels vary in relation to the type of vessel, length and operation as the use of energy differs greatly depending on the equipment or machinery that the vessel has to put into operation during its stay. The following gives a rough idea of how the consumptions are distributed:

http://wpci.iaphworldports.org/onshore-power-supply/implementation/equipment-and-solutions.html

This in turn requires the vessel to have a facility onboard to make the connection of the land cable. Today there is already a large number of shipping companies have incorporated these proposals on part of their fleets; in particular regular line services as the land connection proves to be significantly beneficial the larger the number of port calls.

In order to motivate the use of OPS, some ports have implemented the reduction of port fees for vessels using OPS System in order to motivate shipowners to incorporate them to their fleet of ships. For its part, the EU is establishing guidelines and directives that oblige member states to take the necessary measures to address the environmental problem. Added to this is the recent debate regarding the implementation of the Mediterranean area as a possible SECA area.

Source: https://sustainableworldports.org/project/iaph-onshore-power-supply/

Technology is changing the way societies function and taking in to account the environmental actions that currently need to be address. The Internet of Things is slowly building connections between the physical world and linking it to the digital real. We have already witnessed smartphones, smart cities, smart cars. Now it is the turn of the ports to digitise themselves and join the revolution. The Escola has partnered with the Smart City Expo World Congress, the leading international event for the smart city sector and a key meeting point for experts and leaders of the world’s most innovative cities, companies and research centres. This year’s Fair will take place in Barcelona between the 19-21st of November. Some of the world’s leading Smart Ports will be given the chance to showcase their digital transformations and innovations. It is an event not to be missed. For more information you can visit the event website: http://www.smartcityexpo.com

  1. Over 25,000 professional visitors are expected, with over 1,000 exhibitors, along with high level representatives from more than 700 cities and over 400 international speakers that will share their vision on how to build a more sustainable and livable urban future.

This year the event will focus on the five main tracks touching the most pressing issues facing cities: Digital Transformation, Urban Environment, Mobility, Governance & Finance and Inclusive & Sharing Cities.

Useful links :  

Intrigued? Check out the following YouTube video on OPS:

Written by:

  • Vanessa Bexiga, Operations Manager (Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport)

#DidYouKnow – Zero emission stays in ports

Smart cities to smart ports. The Escola Europea knows how important it is to include current innovations being piloted, tested and implemented within the transport sector to counter-act climate change in its courses. Our trademark MOST course takes place on board of the Grimaldi Lines vessels Cruise Roma or Cruise Barcelona (depending on the day the courses begin). These vessels have recently undergone tremendous alternations to become the first emission-free vessels in port in the Mediterranean. Antonio Vargas, one of the MOST course regular teachers, explains their importance and relevance to the current legal and political climate within the region:

Sustainability has been the subject of debate in recent years and the awareness of some shipowners on this subject has led them to adopt many measures that in some cases are required by law, but in others arise from the concern to combat pollution generated in ports and its impact on the cities they serve.

Since the implementation of the European regulation applicable to SECA (Sulphur Emission Control Zones) zones for the reduction of emissions from ships sailing in the English Channel, Baltic Sea and North Sea, and particularly from January 2015, shipowners were forced to replace the use of fossil fuels (HSFO or LSFO) by the Marine Diesel Oil (MDO) and alternatives with a maximum permissiveness of 0.5 percent sulphur contents. This resulted in three options:

  1. Opting for the first measure with the consequent 50 percent increase in the cost of fuel;
  2. Providing ships with scrubbers that allow them to clean the ship’s exhaust gases before leaving through one of the chimneys;
  3. Significantly increasing freight rates, if the market were to accept such increases, or, in the worst case scenarios, suspending maritime services (a situation that has occurred in some cases).

In practice option b) has been chosen by the majority of shipowners, both with open cycle scrubbers and closed cycle scrubbers.

A current and demonstrative example of this situation has been the case of the shipping company Finnlines, belonging to the GRIMALDI group that planned its strategy so that all of its fleet would be equipped with scrubbers before January 2015.

“Zero emissions in ports” was the slogan used by the Grimaldi group to demonstrate its environmental commitment. The company equipped the vessels Cruise Roma and Cruise Barcelona with lithium batteries that allow them to consume only electricity during their stays in port, avoiding the use of generators powered by MDO.

Following this policy, 12 RoRo ships are being built in the People’s Republic of China which, with a capacity for 500 semitrailers, in addition to lithium batteries, will be equipped with solar panels, silicone paints, propellers coupled to the rudder, alongside other technological innovations, including scrubbers. These give value to the Grimaldi Green 5th Generation programme, which is being developed by the GRIMALDI group and which will be operational between 2020 and 2022.

The Grimaldi group, through its adhesion to the “SAILS” Charter (Sustainable Actions for Innovative and Low Impact Shipping) has confirmed its commitment to contribute to the protection and improvement of the marine environment, an initiative launched last July (2019) by the French government, with the support of the French Navigation Association. It was the first Italian company to sign the charter.

The company’s green commitment also reaches the terminals, with the installation of solar panels and wind towers, as with the case of the Valencia Terminal Europe which has joined the European project H2PORTS (implementing fuel cells and Hydrogen Technologies in Ports).

As a member of the International Chamber of Shipping the Group agreed to pursue the Global Goal of halving its total CO2 emissions by 2050. Finally, as a founding member of the Clean Shipping Alliance, it has actively committed to provide support in the implementation of new standards emanating from the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) on sulphur emissions.

To know more about the legislation and the new initiatives regarding environment in transport, check out the latest edition of the MOST Iberia training programme. Sign up!

Written by

  • Antonio Vargas, Grimaldi Lines

#DidYouKnow – Rail transport and the development of the Iberian Peninsula as a Hub – Atlantic Corridor

Should Spain and Portugal jointly boost investment in infrastructure of rail transport? This is a question that is currently on the minds of the operators and actors active in the rail transport sector on the Iberian peninsula. To coincide with the European Union’s goals on sustainable development, the sector still has a long way to go to garner a portion of the market share currently occupied by maritime and road transport.

“The Portuguese and Spanish governments should increase their budgets for rail and port infrastructure” is the European Commission’s recommendation. Portuguese ports are considered as potential European import hubs because of their geographical location on the Atlantic coast. In this context, investment in port and rail infrastructure should be encouraged. The European rail system transports around 1.6 billion tonnes of goods each year. Rail transport is fundamental to the European Union’s strategy for a more sustainable transport sector, for economic and social cohesion and for connecting European countries within and between Member States.

Some of the main European modal corridors link Portugal and Spain, thus contributing to the improvement of connections between the centre of the EU and its peripheral regions, whilst strengthening the position of the Iberian Peninsula as a portal to Western Europe.

There are two main European corridors entering the Iberian Peninsula: the Atlantic Corridor and the Mediterranean Corridor. Looking at the Spanish rail network, we have the Atlantic corridor, which connects the French border of Irun/Hendaye with Portugal via Vitoria, Burgos and Valladolid, with a branch that goes south via Madrid, Lisbon and the port of Algeciras. The Mediterranean Corridor runs from the French border at Portbou/Cerbère to the port of Algeciras and Seville along the Mediterranean coast, through Barcelona and Valencia. In  Portugal, the Atlantic Corridor begins in Lisbon and the port of Sines, then moves eastwards through Spain (through Badajoz-Elvas). Another branch goes to Aveiro and Porto, and then moves eastwards to Spain through Vilar Formoso-Salamanca.

“The mission of the Atlantic Corridor principally covers the management of existing infrastructures, without additional investments, through centralized management of capacity allocation, traffic management and costumer relationship.” This project arose with the common objective of the governments of Portugal, Spain, France and Germany to increase the competitiveness and modal share of international rail freight transport and to jointly overcome technical and operational barriers. The Atlantic Corridor is integrated into the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and is connected to the Mediterranean Corridor and the North Sea-Mediterranean Corridor. The extension of the Atlantic Corridor to Germany will allow direct connections with two other corridors, namely the Rhine-Alps and the future Rhine-Danube.

With a total length of more than 6,200 km, the main heterogeneous technical characteristics in terms of infrastructure that need to be improved stand out: the presence of the European gauge (1435 mm) in France and Germany and the larger Iberian gauge (1668 mm) in Portugal and Spain; electrified sections with differing voltages; and different signaling systems. The aim of the Atlantic Corridor is to coordinate investment in order to homogenize the technical characteristics of the infrastructures throughout the participating countries in this project.

EU railways continue to grow. Rail markets are gradually opening up and safety levels remain high. This sector is increasingly demanding more innovation and responsiveness to customer needs. Rail transport’s fight to increase its modal share continues to center around interoperability and cross-border coordination issues. Corridors are essential elements of the Commission’s policy to boost rail freight transport. If the sector can convince haulers to opt for rail motorways to reduce costs, and exporters and importers to transport their freight to ports by rail, it is very likely to grow in the coming years and thus continue to align itself with the EU’s mission towards the sustainable development of transport on the continent.

Intrigued? The Escola will delve into these and other railway related subjects in great depth during the upcoming Port2Rail course, set to take place in October 2019. Check out the course programme here.

Written by:

  • Raquel Nunes, Training Programmes & External Relations Manager (Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport)

Port operations in a globalised society

In an era of a globalised supply chain, the role of the port has evolved from its traditional cargo handling and storage functions to being an integral part of the global supply chain. With the growing demand for integrated logistics services and the intensification of port competition, a port must collaborate and cooperate with its supply chain partners to provide value-added services to its customers and, by extension, to its entire regional area of influence.

Today, instead of companies competing with each other, the logistics chains engage in more active competition. Greater efficiency of their operations gives them advantages over their rivals and positions them higher above other companies in the market. In order to identify all the items that make up the most efficient logistics chains, it is necessary to analyse and combine systems, processes, people, teams and strategies in order to find the most profitable and efficient solutions for all parties involved. Economies with efficient logistic solutions can easily connect companies in their territories with national and international markets through reliable supply chains, while countries with inefficient logistics face high costs, both in terms of time and money, in international trade and global supply chains, leaving their companies at great disadvantages.

On an international level, the position of the economies in the logistics sector can be evaluated through the World Bank’s Logistic Performance Index – a tool comprising different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that reflect the perceptions of logistics of a country based on the efficiencies of processes of customs clearance, the quality of available commercial and transport infrastructures, the ease of arranging shipments at competitive prices, the quality of logistics services, the ability to track and trace shipments, and the frequency with which shipments arrive at the consignees on time. From this perspective, ports play an essential role, which can only be optimised when all actors and agents collaborate and interact efficiently. We are not only talking about the actions of port authorities; the direct and active participation of shipowners, exporters, importers, shippers, customs agencies, consignment agents, freight forwarders, stevedoring companies, land and multimodal carriers, port and terminal concessionaires, customs authorities, health services, among others is crucial.

Nowadays, the role of a port is not only limited to its port or technological infrastructures, but also to its role as a productive and efficient logistic platform thanks to the integration of all processes and the information capabilities of its actors. In this way, an efficient port becomes an engine for the economy.

This coordination is possible when all the agents of the port community, as well as the rest of the members of the logistics chain, are aware of the roles and responsibilities of each of their interlocutors. This allows the gear between all of them to be much more fluid and efficient. In this sense, the knowledge and training on “what happens in a port” help to generate synergies and process improvements among the participants of the operations, both maritime and terrestrial, and to pave the way for integration, presenting the client as a single entity: the port.

Specialised training in port operations will help increase the efficiency and safety of operations. Ensuring that all actors in the logistics chain are informed of and understand the working procedures will make it easier to find equilibrium between the different actors in order to provide better operation times and greatly reduce operational costs.

As such, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport has brought together the main actors that make up and partake in port operations to offer specialised training, with the goal of contributing to the improvement of the efficiency of ports and logistics operations on a national scale. This course is part of the Summer School of the Escola, which will take place from 1 to 12 July, and is divided into two scenarios of port operations: vessel operations and goods operations. During the two weeks, participants will be able to get to know all the actors involved in port operations in order to get a panoramic and integrated view of what happens during the passage of goods through a port.

You can find out more about the upcoming course by exploring the course programmes (https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/port-operations-for-vessels/

 and https://www.escolaeuropea.eu/calendar/summer-school-port-operations-for-goods/

) , or by writing to the Escola (info@escolaeuropea.eu).

#DidYouKnow – Short guide on packaging and security

In this article for #DidYouKnow we think about the packaging and security of consolidated shipments (groupage). The question we aim to answer is how the should the boxes be transported? Several factors are the key to ensure the safe arrival of the goods at their destinations. These include:

Packing: Packing must be made and manufactured “to measure” to avoid potential movements of the goods inside the wooden boxes.

Handling: It is very important to pay special attention to the markings on the boxes, which contain information for correct handling.

Storage: The conditions and duration of storage should be adequate to avoid any potential damage to the box, which could result in the damage of some (if not all) of the goods stored within.

Transport: The packaging must be conditioned for the type of transport used.

Alongside these factors, the actual transport of our goods needs to be considered when planning the packaging of our goods. This can be sub-divided into the different transport modes:

  • Maritime:If the packaging is going to travel by sea, its destination, the type of container in which it will travel and the main components of the merchandise need to be taken into consideration prior to the packaging.We must bear in mind that the merchandise will be subjected to high levels of humidity, condensation and salinity. Therefore, for this type of transport, and in particular when dealing with goods that comprise electrical components, it is wise to use VCI protections, which release a series of micro particles that adhere to the goods and help reduce the risk of oxidation. Though mitigating the risks, these protections can’t fully guarantee the avoidance of moisture.Another common protection used by industry professionals is the use of barrier protections. These include the placing of a cover of an aluminum complex applied to a vacuum next to desiccant salts. This creates a microclimate within the cover, which allows the cargo to withstand pressure changes and avoids oxidation or corrosion of the goods within.
  • Air:The packaging that travels by air is subject to sudden changes in temperatures, condensation and humidity. As such, the protections used within packaging mimic those used in maritime transport (see above).
  • RoadGenerally, ground transportation does not call for specific protection unless the goods themselves, the warehouses visiting on the route, or the places visited during the transport journey call for it. Therefore, the packaging of road transport goods needs to be considered on an individual basis.

In all of the three cases listed above, lashing of the packaging needs to be considered. Lashing the merchandise ensures that it is completely immobilised. The goal is to prevent possible damages to the goods caused by blows, rubbing, displacements or overturns during transport.

Lashing of goods

Lashing is a very important in ensuring that goods arrive in perfect conditions at their destinations. What is lashing? It refers to the immobilising and attaching of the merchandise to the container, ship or truck.

There are no restrictions – all types of cargo can be lashed, whether they will be transported by air, sea or land.

It is called for whenever there is some free space between the cargo and the container. Lashing is done by means of slings and tensioners or airbags; this further depends on the characteristics and needs of the merchandise.

Occasionally, wood reinforcements can be used to stabilise the load and make the lashing safer. For example, vehicle transport can require standard lashing that consists of a sling system or mixed lashing (which uses standard lashing with an added wooden ring around the wheels for greater protection).

Both packing and lashing are key for the correct transport of consolidated loads. If they are not done correctly, they can cause accidents and result in (potentially very pricy) damages in the transport of goods. The packaged goods need to travel in the best possible conditions for content protection and load security, ensuring that the products arrive in pristine states at their destinations.

If you want to know more about packaging in consolidated transport, check out our upcoming course on Groupage and Consolidation Centres scheduled for the 17-19 of June 2019.

Written by:

  • Beatriz Jiménez, Servicios Recipe TM2, S.A.