World Maritime News

WMNF 2019/04/18


Box lines launch Digital Container Shipping Association for data standards

Four container lines have come together to formally launch the Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA). The association, which will be based in Amsterdam, has been established by Maersk, Hapag-Lloyd, Mediterranean Shipping Co and Ocean Network Express with aim to set up standards for the digitalization of container shipping. The broader idea behind the association is to allow other stakeholders, like shippers, third party logistics companies, ports and terminal operators to access data and software across all carriers, according to DCSA. The discussion starts with limited members. Eventually this will include input from trucking companies, ports, forwarders and especially Beneficiary Cargo Owners.

The DCSA will only work on standards and has no intention of developing or operating any digital platform of its own. Instead, it wants to focus on standards to overcome the lack of common foundation for technical interfaces, data and interoperability between competing systems for technologies such as block chain and the Internet of Things.

It is not clear why CMA CGM is no longer involved in DCSA after being included in the original announcement about its formation last year.

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Smart port solutions demand unilateral approach

Boston Consulting Group (BCG) says that ports fail to embrace the smart concept risk being overtaken by competitors who make the most of smart-port technologies.

Ports and terminals will be able to predict and forecast demand and the arrival-and-departure patterns of vessels. In addition, they will be able to schedule equipment maintenance, allocate equipment and staff and make real-time adjustments optimizing operations, while customs and import/export procedures can be streamlined. There is a great potential for improvement on the land side, beyond the gate, for truck movement. BCG in a recent report ‘To Get Smart, Ports Go Digital’ says it is not a case of ‘one-size fits all’, so identifying the individual needs of a specific port is vital. It highlights that with a wide variety of smart-port technologies to choose from, it is the key strategic issues that ports face that should determine the selection of process. Smart-port technologies can help manage the wear and tear and environmental impact of cargo-related traffic on city roads and infrastructure and meet increasingly stringent safety and security requirement, reports BCG.

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Cyber-security is only one of several threats facing shipping

Itai Sela, chief executive officer of Israel-based security company Naval Dome, warned that the shipping industry should be on red alert. “Someone, somewhere is targeting the maritime sector” he said. Shipping is totally unprepared. “The maritime industry still believes it is enough to have a Level 1 solution to protect against a Level 4 threat” he added.

A Level 4 attack is extremely sophisticated and intended to cause the greatest amount of disruption for either political, social, or financial gain. Sela referred to an incident in which the navigation equipment on board a fleet of 15 tankers was simultaneously hacked. He urged country such as Singapore to monitor all ships entering its waters to verify whether they are infected or clean. While decarbonization comes ahead of everything else for the sustainable lobby, Cyber-security rose to near the head of the maritime agenda in 2017 because certain businesses were hit hard by cyber security breaches. The industry moved swiftly to keep a lid on reporting cyber-attacks in 2018, although attack-watchers of common place events such as distributed denial of service attacks allege, there have been plenty of incidents since Maersk’s Not Petya event. It is precisely because cyber-security is now beneath decarbonization and economic downturn that shipping has failed to prepare adequately.

Leaders in this sector are bringing in specialist skills from outside the industry so they raise the level of familiarity and the level of protection.

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Digitalization will create greater uncertainty for shipping

The clear trends for the future that emerged from the shipping titans on the panel of the Sea Asia Global Forum that kicked off the Sea Asia 2019 conference in Singapore were that digitalization is finally having a significant impact on shipping and the near term looks better than the medium to long term. The digital age has finally hit shipping, declared AP Moller-Maersk chief operating officer Søren Toft. He said transparency would be brought to entirely new levels because of this and the industry needed to adapt to this new reality because it would be one of the key short and long-term trends.

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Carriers look to tap ‘booming’ Vietnam market

Container carrier partnerships in the eastbound trans-Pacific are responding to Vietnam’s growing export and importing markets by adding new direct links between the country and the US West Coast. As manufacturing wages in coastal China increase and reciprocal tariffs dampen US-China trade, production is migrating to Vietnam. US exports of manufacturing inputs, such as cotton for the production of apparel, offer backhaul potential for carriers.

One of the early movers into Vietnam, the footwear manufacturing industry began to expand in southern Vietnam early this decade. Since 2012, US footwear imports from Southeast Asia, primarily Vietnam, have increased more than 30%, while US footwear imports from Northeast Asia, primarily China, have grown about 13 %.

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Northwest Seaport Alliance approves development of new container terminal

The Northwest Seaport Alliance, comprising the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, has agreed to advance the Terminal 5 Modernization Program, in an effort to turn a currently disused space into a competitive container terminal.

The ports will spend USD 340 million for phase one of the redevelopment of Terminal 5, while Seattle Terminals – a joint venture of Stevedoring Services of America Terminals and Terminal International Ltd – will sign a 32 year lease to operate the terminal.

Port officials said that the deal, including future phase two commitment, represents approximately USD 500 million in private and public investment in the region’s economy.

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AP Moller-Maersk urged to work out differencies with Los Angeles dockworkers

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has urged AP Moller-Maersk to work constructive dialogue with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) in addressing the financial and social impacts of the proposed automation at Pier 400.

At Maersk annual general meeting, shareholders and board members were apprised of a recent study by Mckinsey & Co, which found that automated ports are “generally less productive than their conventional counter parts”. The McKinsey report also claims that “while operating expenses decline, so does productivity, and the returns on investment are currently lower than the industry norm.

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Los Angeles-Long Beach Battery, natural gas best fits for 2021 truck goals

The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach see battery-electric and natural gas -powered trucks as offering the greatest potential for reducing harmful diesel emissions in port drayage over the next few years. Harbor truckers in the largest US container gateway face the strictest pollution standards at any US port complex, making Southern California the leading laboratory for testing commercial, technical, and operational viability of emerging platforms for zero-emissions drayage trucks. The joint Los Angeles-Long Beach 2008 clean truck program, for example, has been studied by a number of US ports to meet local emissions requirements, although most ports, including New York-New Jersey, have adopted clean-truck programs that are less restrictive. The goal of the LA-LB 2006 Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), which has already reduced harmful diesel emissions from truck by 90 % since 2008, is to transition completely to zero-emissions cargo handling equipment, including drayage trucks by 2035. The ports monitor emissions from all pollution sources daily, and update nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxide, and diesel particulate matter levels annually.

In order to track progress toward zero-emissions from more than 20,000 drayage trucks, LA-LB produce near-term updates on the performance of available platforms, including battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell, advanced diesel, advanced natural gas and hybrid electric drayage trucks. According to a CAAP report released on April 3, one of the key findings is battery-electric trucks out-perform diesel trucks in terms of power, torque, and gradeability, but at present they are limited as to vehicle range, weight and recharging times. Trucks that run on natural gas, such as LNG and CNG (compressed natural gas) are the closest direct replacement for diesel trucks in terms of operational feasibility, the report says.

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