The Escola at the 2019 SIL Exhibition

This year the Escola Europea Intermodal Transport will once again participate in the International Logistics Exhibition (SIL Barcelona), the annual logistics fair held in Barcelona. This year the fair will take place from the 26th to the 28th of June in the Montjuïc Exhibition Centre of the Barcelona’s Exhibition Centre in Plaza España.

This year, the Escola will participate quite actively, by not only attending  the Exhibition itself, but also by contributing to the ALACAT Congress and to the MedaLogistics Summit.

Within the general framework of the fair, Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola, will present the institution’s new educational offer in the SIL Agora, by providing a brief explanation of the topics that the Escola currently covers in its courses, on the 26th of June at 13:30h.

That same day, members of the Escola will organise a dynamic and interactive game of FunTraders in the stand of the Port of Barcelona; a game of international trade will make it possible for the participants to discover the dynamis of the sector from a fun point of view. The game will take place on the 26th of July at 16:00h.

On the second day of the Fair, Eduard Rodés, the Director of the Escola, will serve as a moderator during the round-table discussion on “People First: Qualified Human Capital, Towards a Competitive & Resource Efficient Transport System”, with the aim of reinforcing the idea that human capital is necessary for an efficient and effective development of the logistics and port sectors. The round table will take place on the 27th of June at 12:00h.

During this same event, Raquel Nunes, responsible for training and promotion at the Escola, will present the SailNet programme dedicated to young shipping agents, to promote the exchange of knowledge and experience among members of the sector. This presentation will take place in the framework of EBSOMED, on the 27th of June at 16:00h.

Meanwhile, Marta Miquel will moderate a round-table discussion at the ALACAT Congress, which will bring together several international actors. The table called “Training in logistics in a 4.0 world” will be held on the 27th of June at 12:30h.

To finish the three days of the fair, Eduard Rodés will participate as a speaker in the delivery of training diplomas to students who have completed the advanced degree in Logistics and Transport in Catalonia this year.

Throughout the three days of the fair, the Escola will be present at the stand of the Port of Barcelona, located at D406. Come and visit us!

The Escola Europea trains professionals in port-railway operations

After the successes obtained in the past editions of the SURCO series, the Escola has once again held the SURCO Operations I course for Spanish professionals, which offers introductory training in matters of rail-port and intermodal railway logistics.

The course took place from the 10th to the 12th of June in Barcelona. Designed for professionals from freight transport companies, freight forwarders and import and export companies, the course offers an analysis of the different elements necessary to carry out efficient intermodal transport solutions (rail and sea). This month companies such as Inditex, Repsol, Inovyn, the ports of Huelva and Bilbao, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, Marcotran and Ocidenave sent participants to partake in the training.

During the three days, the course participants had the opportunity to see the infrastructures and equipment used in the rail-port connections and to have contact with operators that currently manage these types of operations. The theoretical classes covered maritime-rail transport and logistics, railway services necessary for the transport of goods and railway terminals in ports. The training also offered a detailed analysis of the current situation of Spanish ports in terms of infrastructures, characteristics of the railway networks and service areas.

To complement the theoretical classes, the course offered practical visits to the Port of Barcelona (Hutchison BEST semi-automatic container terminal, AUTOTERMINAL vehicle terminal and ICL solid bulk terminal); a visit to the CAN TUNIS complex, and in particular to the sorting terminal and logistic operator LOGISTAINER; and a visit to ADIF’s integrated traffic control centre.

SURCO Operations I was carried out with the collaboration of the Port of Barcelona, Puertos del Estado, Adif, Autoterminal, FGC Ferrocarrils, ICL, the Hutchison BEST terminal, Transportes Portuarios, Go Transport and Transportes Tomàs.

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).

The ARETÉ AURUM awarded posthumously to Doctor Aldo Grimaldi

On the 25th of May the ARETÉ AURUM award ceremony was held, awarded posthumously to Doctor Aldo Grimaldi. The ceremony took place at the headquarters of the Port Authority of Barcelona. The award was presented by Mercè Conesa, the President of both the Escola Europea and the Port of Barcelona, and was collected by Isabella Grimaldi, the daughter of Doctor Grimaldi. Participating in the ceremony were Eduard Rodés, director of the Escola, Valerio Esposito, GNV representative in Spain, and other members of the Grimaldi family.

The Executive Committee of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, held in Barcelona on the 4th of April, unanimously took the decision to grant the ARETÉ AURUM award posthumously to Aldo Grimaldi in appreciation for his decisive contribution to the successful development of short sea shipping and the motorways of the sea in the Trans-European Transport Network and, as a founding member on behalf of Grandi Navi Veloci, to the success of the Escola.

The Escola grants the ARETÉ AURUM to people whose attitude and actions have decisive contributions to the creation and growth of our institution. Joaquín Coello (2016), José Anselmo Laranjeira (2016) and Sixte Cambra (2018) have received this distinction in the past.

 

#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.

A box management ecosystem to solve the empty container dilemma

We need to re-oriente our thinking towards container management, argues Nicholas Press from CEC Systems.

Visibility is a high priority for shippers and carriers alike. Whether it is rate comparison, booking freight, tracking or monitoring a temperature-sensitive container, visibility is a necessity in today’s market. The growing number of technology providers providing visibility such as Traxens, Savi and EyeSeal and the evolution of interoperability of solutions improvements. The goal in much of these improvements is to provide shippers with more accurate, up-to-date location data and better analytics about where and why cargo bottlenecks occur.

While improving visibility is important, for the industry to achieve sustained improvements it needs to recognize that there are many inputs and relationships that surround the movement of containers which are integral to the successful movement of goods globally. There is a bigger picture that is often overlooked, however. That bigger picture is not solely focused on container transaction but rather, a container ecosystem that encompasses the entire lifecycle of containers and tracking devices – from research & development of hardware, the manufacturing process, ownership, maintenance, loading, booking, and tracking, final delivery, the repositioning and storage of the empty containers and, ultimately, the recycling of the containers.

If the industry is going to generate real efficiencies, there must be a move away from siloed management of containers towards a holistic approach.

Container management must be an ongoing evolution that brings four key areas of focus into an ecosystem. Effective management relies on more than just box optimization, it requires the physical, digital, analytics and services to be considered as equal parts of an overall solution. These four areas form a container ecosystem that when viewed and managed together, offer a comprehensive and integrated solution for the efficient use of containers.

Proper management of empty containers, for example, warrants extra attention as empty containers are one of the most significant areas of lost profit. The four areas (physical, digital, analytics, and services) interconnect and as you look to optimize and create new efficiencies in one area, you must also seek the advancement of the other three. Without a level of concurrent progress, the industry is potentially advancing without the strong foundation required to achieve real efficiencies. For example, as we at CEC Systems continue to evolve the collapsible container design, we will continue to develop and evolve the other areas in unison.

Begin with the physical

Let’s start with the design of the container. The global shipping and logistics industry is losing over $30bn annually on storing, handling and distributing empty containers but the general design of the box has not really evolved over the past 40 years. There is a good reason for this as there needs to be an international standard that allows freight to move across borders, but that doesn’t make it optimal in achieving long-term sustainability.

Instead of waiting for international standards to catch up with changing shipping needs, CEC Systems has developed COLLAPSECON – the world’s first semi-automated Collapsible-Economic-Container that enables four empty units to be collapsed and combined to form a single container, thus significantly reducing the cost of storing, handling and distributing empty containers. By utilising containers that collapse and combine, we are able to achieve a greater level of asset utilisation and availability across the global fleet. The result of this is a reduction in waste, bottlenecks, and congestion throughout the global network and a contribution towards a sustainable industry.

Although the container forms the physical part of the empty container issue it would be a mistake to focus only on this part as it does not take into account the other three container management areas. However, by re-orienting our thinking and making the container itself part of the container management ecosystem alongside tracking, analytics, and services, the combined effect is an improvement in operational efficiency and provisions a better return on investment and reduced environmental impact when compared to standard containers.

Add the digital

While the container itself as a physical item is the primary concern, we cannot proceed as an industry from shying away from the benefits digitalization brings. It is all very well and good that we seek to evolve the box itself, but we must in parallel be seeking to make containers as smart as possible.

As part of the ecosystem, the industry should be aiming to provide a new level of efficiency to tracking and optimizing container movements. If the industry desires real efficiencies, technology should allow a participant to monitor not only the container but the pallet, the box, the packet as well as have the ability to drill down to the level of detail to the individual product inside. Tracking should provide real-time and actionable information and through the use of blockchain, ensure the security and accuracy of data throughout the value chain. Trading partners, as well as service providers, will gain better visibility in their supply chains and understand their true costs of operation. This, in turn, can allow them to remove recurring issues from their network.

Achieving improved container management through the use of digital technologies and tracking may sound like a monumental challenge and very expensive, but in today’s digital age, the cost of technology continues to decline and many solutions exist to provide the level of visibility needed within the ecosystem parameters for improved container management.

Analysis and insights

A growing number of technologies such as sensors are not only tracking container location but also temperature, humidity levels and even the number of bumps along the route. In addition, sensors are sending information to improve the accuracy of data that may not have been caught or able to be managed through manual means.

However, big data is useless unless you can pull “actionable” data out of it. For an ecosystem to work a fundamental breakdown of data and information silos across the network is necessary. The knowledge and data provided by these devices and sensors need to be captured, securely stored in the blockchain and transformed into insights. It is not about generating more data, it is about generating knowledge and understanding to support better decision making.

Members of the ecosystem should be able to analyse their networks at both the macro and micro levels to create transparency, support continuous improvement, and create value for the stakeholders with their investments.

The result being, better analysis, actionable insights, accountability, and greater efficiencies. Not just for the operator or shipper, but for the industry as a whole.

Services to support the ecosystem

Adding to the physical, digital and analytics aspects, in terms of services, we can break this into three different components. There is the maintenance of existing assets, the continuous development of underlying technologies and the support services to enable functionality and operations. These services can include the management of containers, research & development, inspection, repair, requisite training and in the case of collapsible containers, collapsing as a service.

This is incredibly important to understand, as the ecosystem is about more than just a physical container and digital technologies. It’s about ensuring containers and other hardware such as tracking devices and underlying technologies are treated as assets, not commodities. If consideration is not provided then assets become useless before the end of their potential life span. Beyond lost revenue and poor service, the result is the need to build more units at additional financial and environmental costs.

We at CEC Systems envision these supporting services for the ecosystem that is similar to how aircraft are maintained… just far less complicated and life critical. As the fleet owner, we will look to develop our own maintenance services over time but we also will rely on partners in regions to ensure the ecosystem is maintained and users see the greatest benefit.

Not only do these services extend to a deeper level of customer service (satisfaction) but they also prolong the life and utilization of the hardware across the ecosystem, making them a more profitable investment for shippers and carriers alike.

How the ecosystem naturally begets sustainability

In the container management ecosystem, there needs to be greater attention paid not just to what happens when a container is built and used for the movement of goods, but throughout the containers entire life cycle. In particular, as we discussed it above, there needs to be a move away from market dumping/asset write off towards treating containers, other hardware, and software as important assets like ships and ports. In case of containers, for example, that means one needs to consider how containers are made, where materials are sourced from, what materials are used, what quality assurance processes are considered, how they are repaired, how they are used and in the end, how they are properly disposed of.

While they may not be able to be used on the seas, they can be modified for other purposes such as emergency accommodation to support disaster relief or short-term accommodation for those without a home (and in some cases, entire Apartment Communities built out of old containers). There are plenty of options for the faithful box but as part of the physical area of the container management ecosystem, we will end up with thousands of containers spread throughout the world. Where possible, recycling of these assets should be placed as a top priority.

In conclusion

Creating and supporting a container ecosystem creates a holistic approach to container shipping in a way that hasn’t been considered before. In terms of organizational health, the ability to collapse and store four containers in the space of one will go a long way towards saving companies money. By investing in the life cycle of these containers, fewer resources will be poured into making new ones which will also protect both the environment and the profit margin. The hardware and software that goes into managing containers will provide a new level of visibility throughout the supply chain increasing both agility and efficiency. The service offering created through this arrangement not only helps to support the container ecosystem but will also serve to deepen and, subsequently, strengthen the working relationships between collaborating partners.

By re-orienting our thinking towards a container management ecosystem consisting of the physical, tracking, analytics, and services, the combined effect will be a long-term improvement in operational efficiency, better return on investment and reduced environmental impact.

Source: Splash 247

Tempearture Controlled Supply Chains

The first edition of the Temperature Controlled Supply Chains Technical course ends with great success

In the second quarter of 2019 the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport began to implement the scheduled technical courses of the year. The courses, aimed at professionals active in the logistics- port sector, began with the first edition of the “Temperature Controlled Supply Chains” course, which took place between the 6th and the 9th of May.

The course covered concepts associated with cold supply chains. Encompassing details of the common practices in planning and execution of said supply chains, the course made it possible for the participants to discover each of the steps required in these transport operations. A special focus was given to intermodal processes as well. Course contents included the distribution of temperature-controlled products (warehousing, manoeuvring and transport) through distribution networks (suppliers, service providers and clients) in accordance with their specified temperature conditions. Visits to Mercabarna (the wholesale market of Barcelona), a container terminal, an importer/distributor storage facility, a container depot, and the Border Inspection Point accompanied the theory.

In this first edition, the Port of Barcelona, Mercabarna, Barcelona Container Depot Service, Caudete Logística, Grimaldi Lines, Maritime Terminal of Zaragoza, Maersk, Frimercat, Cultivar and Martico collaborated with the Escola in the development of contents and visits. The participants comprised a dozen professionals from the transport and logistics sectors, coming from companies such as: JCV Shipping & Solutions, Noatum Maritime, COSCO Shipping, Total Freight, Saice, Agility, Arola, Dallant and Solport.

Álvaro Sánchez, a Mediterraean Reefer Specialist and a presenter in the course, stated the following about the experience: “It is a young course that can meet the knowledge needs and concerns of all participants in the cold chain and create an awareness of good practices in the handling of cargo transported under controlled temperature conditions. The combination of theory and technical visits (terminal, Depot, warehouses …) makes it even more interesting. “

In the coming months the Escola Europea will carry out the remaining technical courses of the year including: training in rail-port intermodality SURCO Operations I, from the 10th to 12th of June; training in Groupage and Consolidation Centres, between the 17th and 19th of June; and the Summer School in Port Operations, with a focus on Vessels and Cargo, from the 1st to the 5th and 8th to 12th respectively.

Artificial Intelligence

Shipowners Still Not Ready to Give Up Control to Autonomous Vessels

Shipowners seem to be hesitant to relinquish control of their vessels in favor of autonomous solutions, as they trust their captains and crews more than smart technology.

In general, the shipping industry’s approach to new technologies has been described as “conservative“, especially when it comes to autonomous solutions that could theoretically replace the crew.

This has led to the slow adoption of solutions that are vital to reducing collisions, Yarden Gross, CEO of Orca AI revealed in an interview with World Maritime News.

In order to overcome the maritime industry’s fear of new technology adoption, the company has designed the Orca AI system to be “a tool that the crews can use, not to replace the crew.”

Established in 2018, Orca AI has the vision to reduce human-caused errors through intelligent autonomous vessels. The company was founded by Yarden Gross and Dor Raviv, who both have served in the navy and know the industry and its needs.

“We realized that despite the technological advances being adopted for other modes of transport, the shipping industry is lagging behind. This is due to a variety of factors, including that the maritime environment requires navigation and collision avoidance technology, which need to be specifically suited to the industry and that’s what we seek to provide,” Gross said.

“We want to help create an ecosystem that will lead us to autonomous ships while keeping in mind that we’re not quite there yet.”

He added that there are things that need to be done to improve safety now — providing collision avoidance technology that works for ships.

As informed, 3,000 marine collisions occur each year and more than 75% are due to errors in human judgment. According to Gross, this is alarming as current navigational tools require a significant reliance on human judgment, which leaves room for costly error.

“Our immediate goal was to create a solution that would help ships use AI safely navigate zero and extremely low visibility conditions and crowded waterways, where the majority of collisions take place. Our solution minimizes the opportunity for errors in judgment, thereby reducing the chances of collisions.”

Orca AI system

Specifically, the Orca AI system uses sensors already on board a vessel and adds separate ones as well, such as thermal and low-light cameras, and feeds the information into an AI-powered navigation system.

The system was designed to be easy to use and intuitive, given that the crew manning the bridge is occupied with a myriad of responsibilities, so the system enables them to make smarter navigation decisions more easily. There is no training required to operate the system and it doesn’t add extra work for the crew, Yarden said.

As visibility issues are common and a big contributing factor in naval collisions, Orca AI founders said they decided to tackle that issue right from the start with sensors designed for situations with poor visibility. Orca AI is currently operational and providing crews with crucial information in piloted installations on board vessels. Those pilots are continuing as the company develops new versions of the system.

Installation

Orca AI has been installed and piloted onboard several car carriers owned by Ray Carriers, the company’s first client and key investor.

Data from the voyages that have been taken since the system installation are still being analyzed, but so far everything is looking promising, Orca AI’s co-founder said.

The Orca AI system can be used on any vessel – size is not an issue, as the sensor payload is not very large or intrusive. However, the company is focusing on larger vessels first, as the challenges of collision avoidance and costs of collisions are most pronounced for this class of ships.

“Orca AI’s navigation system is fit for all types of vessels, using information from sensors already on board and supplementing them with cameras of their own in a relatively small payload. We are looking forward to working with different classes of ships, helping them safely navigate crowded waterways and avoid collisions in hard-to-see situations where their difficulty in rapidly adjusting course makes early detection of other ships a priority,” Gross told WMN.

When asked what are the prerequisites for the installation of the Orca AI solution, Gross pointed out that there are no impediments to installing the system on any ship type. The installation is said to be straightforward and the system is easy to integrate on the bridge, so the age of the ship has no impact on the process.

AI and the maritime industry

Several autonomous vessels projects are currently being developed around the world. As informed, Orca AI is in discussions with the large technology providers that are building the eco-system for the future of autonomous vessels. Gross noted that these companies understand that they cannot build everything by themselves, so they are seeking partners to collaborate with.

“An autonomous vessels are like a puzzle, there are many crucial pieces that all need to fit together, and we are trying to build the best technology in the world for one of the most important pieces of the puzzle,” according to Gross.

Artificial Intelligence, which has been the buzzword over the recent time, is becoming increasingly important for the maritime industry as well.

“AI is a tool for solving problems that have been hard to solve until now. For the maritime industry, it is enabling us to tackle issues such as detection of ships and other items on the water, and alerting and assisting the captain and the crew with the navigation of the ship,” Gross said, adding that AI is also helping solve many more problems in the industry such as logistics, predictive maintenance, internal operations, etc.

“I think that for certain use cases AI is already able to provide real value, and as the maritime industry continues to adopt AI solutions and develop them, we will see increased efficiency and safety, as well as seeing a reduction of costs across the board,” Gross concluded.

At the end of January 2019, Orca AI closed a funding round, raising USD 2.6 million. With the help of the new funds, the company plans to grow its engineering ranks and establish an office in Europe this year.

Orca AI’s key steps for moving forward will be to continue installation of the company’s system onboard more ships, which has so far proved to be a major success. Additional partnerships with other shipping companies are currently in the works and Orca AI is ramping up production to meet the growing demand.

Source: World Maritime News

#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)