Posts to appear on the #DidYouKnow section of the website

Blue Innovation – Container 42

Following a nice and (hopefully for all of you) relaxing summer, we have begun thinking again about innovation it the Blue Economy and any novelties that would be worth highlighting. For this issue of the Odiseo we have decided to revisit the container (following our article on the SmartBox), and decided to explore Container 42.

Digitisation and technology continue to make headlines with increasing frequency in a classic sector that seeks to optimize its performance, no longer focusing on gigantism but thinking about improved processes and relying on new technological proposals.

The newest challenge is to mesh data and processes together to obtain more efficient operations, sustainability and better services.

Under the initial joint venture of IBM, Cisco, Esri, Axians and the Port of Rotterdam, today there are 18 companies (see the full list at https://weare42.io/partners/) that have joined to create Container 42, a research and technologically innovative project that seeks to increase the safety, sustainability and efficiency of container movement. Under the premise of knowing what a cargo container experiences during intermodal journeys, Container 42 is a hyperintelligent tool that registers everything and is adapted with sensor technology that transmits, in real time, information pertaining to vibrations, pitch, noise, air pollution, humidity, internal and external temperature, internal movement of the cargo and the exact global position of the container. In addition, the container has been equipped with solar panels on its top cover to measure the amount of energy that can be produced, as well as with 42 cameras that record the movements of and surrounding the unit.

Source: https://weare42.io/data/

The premise is that all this data is to be collected, and will yield positive results to make sure that the different actors involved in the operation of the container can measure parameters, optimize processes, improve the quality of services and be more efficient with the environment.

Currently the plan is for Container 42 to do a 2 years long intermodal journey in order to do carry out accurate analyses within the routine of a regular container. The official launching was at Rotterdam on May 24, 2019, and it has left to Munich for the International Transport Logistic exhibition to begin the journey right after the event.

This system installed on the Container has the potential to outperform the authorities along its journeys, as it is programmed to set off alarms when the parameters of the container are changed or its doors are opened. It also helps to optimize logistic chains by constantly updating data, which would allow to diminish (or eliminate completely) uncertain predictions or to visually verify the cargo in real time.

With such thorough tracking and control, it leaves those involved with the container and the cargo with nearly absolute certainty and security. Moreover, beyond the container’s contribution to the logistics chain and the possibility of linking its operations with blockchain, in the event that any incident with the unit is recorded, thanks to a precision of information, it would be much easier to troubleshoot incidents and be aware of all of the risks or breakdowns. On the other hand, the container could also be part of an integral customs self-management system, as with all of the information digitalised, the cargo data can be transferred for faster customs management, and eliminate inspections of containers that are digitally guaranteed not to be opened.

Source: https://shippingandfreightresource.com/container-42-smartest-container-on-the-planet/

The first step in this initiative has been taken. Knowing what happens to a container during its voyage will soon cease to be an uncertainty (although some shipping companies already have limited monitoring and security services among others for the cargo they transport). However, it must be recognized that digitising each unit will take time due to the investment and motivation that the carriers would need to take the necessary steps to implement the technology. Even so, in a world where we know exactly the position of our food delivery biker, how strange is it that we do not know precisely the condition and position of goods valued in thousands of dollars?

Written by:

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

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)

Blue Innovation – Autonomous shipping – the maritime industry of the future?

Blue Innovation – Autonomous shipping – the maritime industry of the future?

One of the more controversial topics in shipping is the emergence of autonomous vessels. The feasibility of these new arrivals to the maritime field is today still quite controversial among the majority of industry experts. Nevertheless, what is certain is that, despite the uncertainty and the many sceptics, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) does not disregard these new technological alternative initiatives and continues the debate and establish a methodology for conducting trials and develop a road map to consider the projects and investments of several leading companies of the sector.

The legal framework

The viability of applying these technologies is subject to legal limitations of the sector. Since 2018 the IMO has taken the first steps to address the issue of autonomous vessels, taking into account the interests of the industry in MASS (Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships). Initially the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) approved a framework for a regulatory scope exercise, in which a work plan and preliminary steps of autonomy have been established to create a methodology that can regulate the insertion of the operability of this activity.

Alongside the discussion of the feasibility of these operations, which can be very extensive, in this blog of Blue Innovation we want to comment on the technological advances that are currently under way and consider the initiatives of different companies that are beginning to develop these technologies.

Technological framework

When thinking about autonomous shipping operations, companies and governments alike need to take in account various considerations before implementing the technologies. Land based control centres, satellites capable of tracking the positions and progress of these vessels, sensor systems, collision prevention technologies, security concerns and environmental protections are only some that would need to be addressed before maritime autonomy becomes viable. It would also be unwise not to take into consideration the “twin” of MASS – autonomous mooring systems which require sensors and automated systems not only for vessel operations but also for shorter operations in the ports of call.

What follows is a brief summary of some of the leading projects currently in development that aim to tackle these and other issues, and thus pave the way towards shipping of the future:

  • 2016: the creation of One Sea, a global conglomerate of maritime partners that joined together to lead research co-creation of high-profile ecosystems with a primary aim to create an operating autonomous maritime ecosystem by 2025. Partners as Wärtsilä, ABB, Inmarsat, Ericson, Monohakobi T.I., Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), Shipbroakers Finland and others are working together to combine top research to “create an environment suitable for autonomous ships by 2025”.

https://www.oneseaecosystem.net/about/

 

  • May 2017: Yara company joined DNV, Shipyards Vard and Kongsberg to build MV Yara Birkeland, an 80 mts, 120 TEUs and max 10kns vessel that aims to cover a logistic need of the Yara Group and seeks to eliminate 40,000 annual truck trips by road by substituting them with maritime routes of this new vessel. In addition to being autonomous, the vessel also follows a zero-emission plan with azimuthal electric engines and a closed ballast system, equipped with sensor technology, control algorithms, communication data and connectivity that will be interlinked with the operations of its automated terminal. The idea is to start manned operations in 2020 and then, with the help of Kongsberg’s technology, gradually move to an unmanned vessel by 2022. An automated mooring system is under development by the MacGregor group and, to provide additional support to terminal operations, the Kalmar group is working on the incorporation of Automated Crane Technology (AutoRMG) that will complement the integration of zero-emission operations during the vessel’s operations in port.

https://www.yara.com/knowledge-grows/game-changer-for-the-environment/

 

 

Source: http://hugin.info/134793/R/2210941/860932.jpg

 

  • January 2018: Rolls-Royce opened the first Research & Development Centre for Autonomous Vessels. This materialized the digitization of the maritime sector with a focus on autonomous navigation and the use of artificial intelligence for the operations of unmanned ships.

https://www.rolls-royce.com/media/press-releases/2018/25-01-2018-rr-opens-autonomous-ship-research-and-development-centre-in-finland.aspx

 

  • April 2018: Wilhelmsen and Kongsberg joined forces to create the first company dedicated to the development of autonomous ship operations. The company Massterly seeks to establish infrastructures and design support services for the operations of autonomous vessels and lead the land-based control centres that will make monitoring of the operations of the vessels at sea and in ports possible. Massterly was created in Norway to support the Yara project and has Kongsberg’s experience in the technology sector and Wilhelmsen’s experience in maritime services and logistics behind it.

https://www.wilhelmsen.com/media-news-and-events/press-releases/2018/wilhelmsen-and-kongsberg-establish-worlds-first-autonomous-shipping-company/

 

  • August 2018: DNV published a Paper focused on Remote-Controlled and Autonomous Vessels in which it summarised the current situation, the operational changes in terms of navigation and other functions, regulations and motivations for implementation, and the ethical and social implications of such technologies.

https://www.dnvgl.com/maritime/publications/remote-controlled-autonomous-ships-paper-download.html

 

  • In December 2018: Finferries and Rolls-Royce publicly exposed the operational tests of the 53.8m Falco ro-ro ferry, which is adapted with sensors interconnected with artificial intelligence that contain anti-collision technologies and an autodocking system which is monitored from a ground control centre 50km from the city of Turku.

https://www.finferries.fi/en/news/press-releases/finferries-falco-worlds-first-fully-autonomous-ferry.html

 

Source: https://www.vesselfinder.com/news/14008-Rolls-Royce-and-Finferries-demonstrate-worlds-first-Fully-Autonomous-Ferry

  • December 2018: That same month, Samskip led an initiative called “Seashuttle” of an autonomous Short Sea Shipping vessel, propelled with hydrogen through the use of electrolysis, with the goal of creating more sustainable shipping alternatives. The operations route aims to cover the regular line between Poland and Norway and is supplied in maritime technologies by Kongsberg Maritime; by Hyon in the implementation of hydrogen technologies; and by Massterly in terms of operational MASS.

http://www.samskipmultimodal.com/news/press-release-1

 

The difficult steps in establishing legal precedents and frameworks to ensure the safe and efficient operations of MASS still lie ahead of us. Similarly, cyber security is still a broad field that requires detailed and extensive investigations before safe passage at sea for MASS vessels are possible. The road ahead is long and arduous, but the companies that have joined these projects have taken the first steps towards developing the technologies that will make suitable adaptations possible and thus make unmanned vessels a reality.

 

Written by:

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

Useful Links

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.

#DidYouKnow – What training do we need to work with NVOCC’s?

Consumption models are evolving towards systems of more customised attention to the final consumer. This has consequently fuelled a change in manufacturing and distribution models. More and more products of very different sizes are exported with very short delivery times and sent directly into the hands of the final customer. It is the evolution from a large shipping model to a new one maintaining a constant flow of medium or small shipments. Simultaneously, the modes of transportation have steered towards gigantism. Ships, trains, trucks and airplanes are becoming larger and larger in search of greater efficiency and lower environmental impact. Loading units, however, have remained the same.

Groupage offers a very good solution for such shipments that result from purchases made through e-commerce, bringing us closer to what we call the Physical Internet. It offers a new environment with the capacity to manage relatively small load units that rely on intermodal transport, which in turn rely on large modes of transport: large ships, trains and mega-trucks.

This technique that optimizes transportation not only generates multiple benefits for the loaders, but also gives great advantages in terms of the concern for the environment.

Customer demands are constantly changing. It is also necessary to keep up with any legislative changes, new transport options and technological inventions. New skills must be developed in the fields of information technology, environmental transport and collaboration. The consolidator works door-to-door. As such he or she needs to be able to manage operations between different countries, with different operators and through the use of various sophisticated technological tools.

The flexibility of an NVOCC makes it attractive to small to medium-sized enterprises, but big companies that manage large volumes of freight across their supply chains also need flexible options.

The consolidation centres are the ones who can best face the challenges posed by this evolution. There is a long way to go ahead of us, and it begins with the training of the operators and companies that will choose groupage as an alternative to their transport systems.

Moreover, more and more companies are looking for opportunities to establish cooperation agreements for the supply and distribution of goods. Many companies share vehicles to improve occupancy, reduce fuel consumption, reduce emissions, improve vehicle utilisation and reduce costs. Operators include these initiatives as part of their environmental and business strategies. Groupage has proven to have clear environmental advantages, when compared with each operator using their own vehicles to deliver small, often uneconomical consignments. Today alliances in transport are becoming more and more frequent.

Most companies see groupage as a possible risk to their cargo. Loss, theft, lack of information or control of the cargo are the main concerns when thinking about combining your shipment with that of other companies. It is true that not all cargoes are susceptible to groupage, but that is why there are specialists that analyse and organise these services to maintain control of all transport and consolidation, therewith minimizing the risks that may occur.

It is thus essential to detect what training and information is needed for operators to be able to take advantage of groupage. Some of the subjects in which lack of training has been detected among freight forwarders, direct customers of NVOCCs, and shippers, range from the identification of the main operators and the services offered from a consolidation centre, the differences between types of groupage by mode of transport and the situational analyses to evaluate the use of groupage, to more complex scenarios such as customs procedures, packaging and labelling of goods, risks and groupage coverages or special treatments of specialised goods.

All of these topics are dealt with in depth in the specialised course on Groupage and Consolidation Centres offered for the third consecutive year by the Escola Europea. This year’s edition will take place from 17 to 19 June 2019 in Barcelona. The main objective is for people to be able to know all the casuistry, processes, documentation and legislation that applies to door-to-door groupage operations. This should familiarise the students in the use of groupage services and therefore a encourage their development. In the two previous editions, companies of different types have participated, including Mercadona, Rhenus Logistics, TransGlory, DB Shenker and Fundación Cares, among others.

The idea of offering a course with these characteristics arose from an analysis of the evolution of supply chains and from the need for professionals and students to have more specialized training, which is structured around a theoretical basis and which also allows for the most practical part of operations to be seen through visits to leading operators in the sector. Companies and entities active in groupage such as the Romeu Group, IFS, Globelink Uniexco, Ibercondor, TM2, ATEIA, PORTIC, the BEST terminal and the Port of Barcelona actively participate in the Escola’s course.

The final aim is to inform companies of the best practices for groupage and explain the operation of the whole system so that they can consider it as an option for transporting their goods and contribute to a more efficient and sustainable transport system.

Written by:

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

#DidYouKnow – LCL packaging and shipments

In this article for #DidYouKnow we consider the steps and precautions that need to be taken into account in consolidated shipments and groupage operations.

When sending an ocean freight LCL (Less than a Container Load) shipment the cargo needs to be carefully prepared. LCL shipments require container sharing, and therefore the shippers need to take extra caution to ensure the integrity of the merchandise handled.

Source: Fortune Global

The two most common causes for damages to LCL loads are the collapse of stowed materials caused by the shipper’s improper stowage of cargo inside the container, and insufficient individual packaging and contamination caused by the incompatibility of cargo within the same container.

This prompted us to draft this article to clarify the issue at hand: How should an LCL shipment be properly packaged and prepared? Certain aspects need to be considered when ensuring safe transportation of this type of cargo. Some of these include identifying whether the goods in the shipment are fragile, and how many boxes will eventually comprise the entire consignment. Once these questions are ascertained, the shipper can prepare the packaging and the proceed with the labeling of the goods.

In terms of the boxes and packaging, the general rule of thumb is to pack all the goods in boxes, and avoid the use of suitcases or bags. Ideally, special boxes designed for export should be used. Should the shipment contain delicate merchandise, the empty space inside the boxes should be filled with plastic packaging bubbles for added padding and protection. Finally, each box needs to be individually and securely sealed.

On the outside of the boxes clear labels need to be placed, containing the names of the shipper and the consignees, country of destination, name of the freight forwarder and the booking number. If the merchandise is fragile, the “Fragile” label should appear on the sides of the boxes. There are other types of labels that could be added to containers with delicate cargo. These include the orientation of the box to be handled, storage advice, chemical identifiers, etc. Whether or not the labels are placed on the boxes is up to the shipper and to the nature of the cargo.

The labels should also identify the total number of boxes within each shipment. The label should have a number that indicates each box position with respect to the total number of boxes: “Box 1 of 30”.

Finally, when preparing the boxes merchandise needs to be arranged evenly and uniformly. Shipping prices are calculated based on the cubic volume of the contents. Once cargo volume is calculated and the booking is placed with a freight forwarder, it is time to start thinking about palletising the goods. Unlike an FCL shipment where goods can travel loosely within a container, LCL containers are shared. Everything has to be perfectly and properly palletised. When measuring the volume of your shipment, one needs to always take into consideration the pallets used.

Once all of these steps have been taken, the shipment is ready to be sent on its way to its final destination in a safe and organised fashion.

Written by:

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