DidYouKnow posts related to Port Operations courses

Container ship in Port

The road towards sustainable port operations

This month, in anticipation of our annual summer school on port operations, we thought we would tackle the topic of sustainable ports, with a break down of practical measures being taken by ports to reach net-zero emissions in the next three decades.

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Written by: Lidia Slawinska, Consultant

In recent years, smart and sustainable have become interchangeable when talking about the future of transport. With the goal of working towards a more connected, intelligent and sustainable world, port authorities and port operators across the globe have been actively working in line with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals which work to improve financial and social inclusion, support humanitarian efforts, facilitate access to education and to health services, and to combat climate change. All partners have agreed that this is necessary to help build a sustainable world for future generations – and actors involved in transport operations have a particularly large part to play.

The IMO has predicted in recent years that maritime transport will continue to increase over the next decades, culminating with a rate 250% higher in 2050 than what we see today. Knowing that maritime transport already contributes nearly 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, it is evident that the industry needs to change to ensure that the increased rate does not counterbalance any global sustainability efforts.

Ports play a key role in the development and maintenance of efficient and supply chains, and therefore they will also play a key role in their redesigns to make them sustainable in the effort to achieve net zero emissions of shipping operations by 2050. One way that ports have started to do that is to invest in electrification.

Ports as energy hubs

Container operations at the Port of Rotterdam

Container operations at the Port of Rotterdam

The concept of having ports used as energy hubs for the shipping world is an enticing one. Imagining that the infrastructure could serve as a sustainable operation, with electrified terminals, reach stackers, loading cranes, etc., and then knowing that the onshore power supply points could also help maintain low emissions of vessels in port and at sea is very appealing. Digitalisation will be the enabler of this process of bringing electricity closer to the different intermodal transport modes through ports – through electrification processes – and will open doors to new innovative solutions, alternative business strategies and intelligent controls. Connected carries, cargo and people will make sure that transport transactions are transparent, traceable, and trustworthy. Ports can serve as the energy hubs that make all of this possible.

Electrification

Electrification is already spreading through the shipping world. It can be done to ships to make sure that they consume fewer fossil fuels and therefore lower their carbon footprint. Other forms of transport, as well as the supporting infrastructure provided by ports, if electrified, can substantially help increase the sustainability of maritime operations. As an added bonus, electrified ports also emit lower noise pollution, therewith improving their relationships with the neighbouring cities.

Electrification is also inextricably linked to sustainability. As more and more carriers invest in either fully electric or hybrid motors, ports are expected to offer onshore power supply stations, which in turn puts more demand on the creation of relevant infrastructures. As a result, those ports that invest in the innovative infrastructures transform into important nodes with substantial power needs which would need to be taken from a nearby electricity grids. This is because visiting ships, regardless of the duration of their stays in the port, will want to recharge their batteries to make sure that they have enough energy for subsequent transport legs all the while getting energy to support their stays in the ports themselves. As a result, ports will become large electricity consumers, ready to cater for both large and alternating load requirements – all of which will depend on the stability of the electricity supply.

One example of a European port that has successfully incorporated electrification efforts is that of the Port of Tyne in the Northeast of England. Its electrification projects, among other initiatives that helped it win the UK Clean Maritime Operator Award in 2020, have contributed to the cutting of the port’s fossil fuel consumption by 260,000 litres, reducing energy use by 2.3 million kWh and eliminating more than 1,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

New technologies moving ports closer to full electrification

Alongside onshore power supply points, there are other technological developments that are helping ports on the path towards full electrification. One such development was recently announced by Hyster Europe, during the TOC Global Showcase. Having spent years working on zero-emission container handling solutions, Hyster’s catalogue of port equipment that utilises lithium-ion batteries and other fuel cell technologies got more extensive. Having partnered up with Capacity Trucks, Hyster is now working on the creation of electric, hydrogen and automation ready terminal tractors. The most interesting part of these developments is the use of hydrogen fuel cells – something that the company has been investing in and working on since 2017.

The Ports of Auckland Ltd is another example of bringing ports closer to the innovative and sustainable solutions of tomorrow. With an impressive goal of reaching zero emissions by 2040, the port operator has incorporated a wide range of solutions including automated straddle carriers and expanding the terminal’s overall annual capacity. Alongside this, the port has invested in fully electric tugboats, built by Damen Shipyards and powered by Echandia’s E-LTO batteries, which can sustain more than 70 tonnes of bollard pull.

Etug at the Ports of Auckland

Credit: Damen Shipyards

More efficient port management

Apart from investing in new technologies to reach their sustainability goals, ports also need to optimise their port processes and operating procedures to improve turnaround time, decrease time spent idling in ports, and therewith improving the overall maritime transport operation. Digitalisation is key in this – as ensuring smooth and reliable digital connectivity between all transport operators can only help make the planning and follow-throughs of any processes more efficient.

5G is already being tested to try to increase the speed of data exchanges between different transport parties, with the Internet of Things, AI, and digital twins set to help increase the overall reliability of port operations, and therewith contribute towards efficient port management models.

Concluding thoughts

It is not a secret that the maritime sector accounts for around 3 percent of the word’s total GHG emissions. As most the world’s transport relies on the maritime route (and the current trend shows the number increasing significantly in the next 3 decades), it is imperative for any actors involved in maritime operations to make sure that fossil fuels are eliminated (to the extent that it is possible) and substituted (or complemented by) renewable alternatives. As maritime transport does not exist without ports, bringing sustainability to them seems like a necessity to help greenify the sector. Electrification and digitalisation are two such steps that ports can take to work towards that goal – and therewith ensure a clean and green supply chain that supports our globalised world.

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Smart Cities

What does living in smart cities mean for privacy?

In the 2000s we are witnessing an exponential growth of the use of information technologies – smart cities or smart ports are becoming the norm. These are slowly pervading all aspects of modern life, including smart refrigerators, smart doorbells, smart plugs, smart bathrooms, etc. The revolution has also affected a larger societal section, with smart cities and smart ports also gaining traction in progress. We have already talked about certain smart technologies that affect port operations, such as Digital Twins, Drones and Smart Containers. Nevertheless, we haven’t yet asked the question: What does this spread of smart technologies mean for us as individuals?

This month, we have caught up with Brad Smith from Turn on VPN to talk about what these advancements mean for our privacy.

If you would like to know more about what VPNs are, check out the guide written by VPN Thrive.

Then, have a look at the article by Brad Smith, reproduced below: 

 

Written by: Brad Smith

Written by: Brad Smith

The idea behind a smart city is one where technology is extensively used to improve the quality of life of people living in an urban area and ease the provision of everyday services. This can mean sophisticated connectivity across the city, automated systems, highly available online resources and so much more.

However, this kind of setup also comes with a few challenges that aren’t normally so pronounced in a traditional city with privacy being the biggest one. How does living in a modern city affect people’s rights to privacy especially in places where privacy laws are not that strict?

Smart cities trends and their privacy implications

There are certainly many components that make a modern smart city in 2020, especially the ones that are built from the ground up. However, three of them do stand out in the way they affect your privacy as you go about your day to day life. Also, keep in mind that some of these technologies have been heavily deployed in traditional cities.

Increased citywide public surveillance and tracking

There is a lot of interest in using citywide public surveillance systems in smart cities across the world. These technologies have especially taken centerstage in the Middle East, China, and some European countries. Sophisticated public surveillance and tracking technologies are being deployed in smart cities to help the authorities in enforcement efforts and for other reasons.

However, such technologies, though useful in some places, do raise a lot of questions in the way they are deployed and how they are used especially with privacy and personal freedom in focus. Indeed, the debate around citywide surveillance has attracted some fair amount of controversy with some progressive governments even going as far as banning the use of these technologies in public.

Citywide connectivity and high-speed internet

The rolling out of 5G and other connectivity solutions in smart cities is integral to their development. A smart city without a stable, high-speed internet that is accessible to everyone is not a smart city. Today, even traditional cities that are trying to transition into modern cities have put a lot of resources into communication technologies such as 5G, public Wi-Fi, and other supporting infrastructure.

Government services moving to the cloud 

A smart city must have a big percentage of government services available via the internet. Indeed, most smart city projects today are geared towards moving entire government services to the cloud. This of course means an increase in data collection.

Increased popularity of smart ports

Another smart city trend is the invention of smart ports. A smart port is one that makes use of automation and innovative technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, and Big Data to improve performance. The industry of container shipping and ports has been slow on the uptake in embracing change. Still, new systems, solutions, and technologies are emerging that will change the face of shipping in the future, ensuring the sector is more connected than ever before.

The smart port aims to generate transparent and efficient services that add value to the clients. An intelligent port features automated management of all entries and exits at the terminals, monitoring, and managing queues. The smart port removes the need for paperwork during container deliveries and collections, as well as automatic lighting.

In port cities like Montreal, emerging technologies provide useful real-time data for lorries to help them plan their trips and avoid traffic congestions, and lower carbon emissions.

This real-time data and smart sensors go a long way in monitoring crucial infrastructure, enabling the port operators to schedule predictive maintenance and reduce the need for yearly inspections. The data from the sensors, such as pile head sensors in the quays, allows the ports to track the eventual tear and tear and track the impact of cargo yet to be unloaded.

Privacy concerns over today’s smart cities

All of the technologies being deployed in smart cities today require the collection of data on a large scale. This, as expected, raises a lot of questions in terms of privacy going forward for people living in these so-called smart cities. How do you ensure that your right to privacy isn’t lost when everything’s made to collect your data?

Ways to protect your privacy

One way to stay private is to use tools like a VPN or encrypted messaging software. One of the major functions of VPNs is to encrypt your data and online traffic. This is especially important when you want to stay anonymous while connecting to public networks. With a messaging app that offers end-to-end encryption, you can also keep your conversations private.

There is no doubt that living in a smart city is more convenient and sustainable than in a traditional one. As you enjoy all the benefits that come with the advanced connectivity in these urban dwellings, don’t forget the importance of staying private.

The Ship Agent

When we think about the arrival of a vessel to the port, the first thing we think about is the loading or discharging of the cargo. Even though this is not entirely incorrect, many ships have more specific requirements and needs upon arrival. This is where the role of the ship agent comes in, and this is what we chose to focus on in this post for our #DidYouKnow series.

Cold Ironing on a berthed vessel

#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)

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).