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Bulugo digital platform to simplify marine fuels and lubricants procurement

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Bulugo digital platform to simplify marine fuels and lubricants procurement. Image: Bulugo
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A new online platform has been developed to help ship operators source marine fuels and lubricants in ports across the world.

Digital disruption is coming to the marine fuels and lubricants market with the launch of a new sourcing platform set to simplify business for both buyers and sellers. Bulugo’s easy-to-use, purpose-built platform – available at bulugo.com – provides fast and transparent pricing globally.

Bulugo enables ship operators to reduce the time and cost involved in sourcing fuel and lubricants by searching an online database of potential suppliers across several criteria – including fuel type, port, date of availability and compliance with IMO sulphur regulations. Fuel suppliers will benefit by tapping into a wider pool of customers, including those that would previously only have been accessible through expensive analogue legwork.

Bunker and lubricant trading is one of the few elements of shipping that remains relatively untouched by digitalisation. Opaque pricing, disparate parties and a high level of complexity mean that digital platforms – as with consumer comparison websites – can play an important role in making the market more transparent and less complicated.

The global sulphur cap is a perfect example of increasing cost and complexity. IMO 2020 compliance is upon us, with compliant VLSFO currently trading at a $300/t premium to HSFO at some ports.

On the lubricant side, there are more products than ever on the market, making matching the appropriate lubricant and fuel a more daunting task. Bulugo simplifies both elements. Buyers can filter products to find compliant fuel and purchase the appropriate lubricants at the same time.

According to Bulugo operations director Adrian Phillimore, the marine bunker industry will need to embrace digitalisation to overcome the challenges posed by IMO 2020 and shipping’s decarbonisation.

“Pressure to reduce operating costs whilst addressing climate change makes the bunker industry ripe for technological disruption,” he says. “Bulugo’s smart technology supported by our team’s experience in the marine industry will benefit all users of the platform.”

The Bulugo management team has significant experience having worked with oil majors, fuel traders and technology ventures. Adrian Phillimore has been involved in the oil industry for more than 30 years in a variety of senior sales, marketing and business development roles. Partnerships director Grant Norton has similarly spent over 25 years in leading sales and marketing positions in the global oil, gas and energy industries, most recently as head of sales and trading for former BP joint venture Vivergo Fuels.

The founding line up is completed by technical director Peter Rossi, a veteran of delivering large-scale digital platforms, and marketing director Zoe Rossi, who worked with Castrol’s Marine, Energy and Industrial businesses before specialising in brand, marketing and digital strategy.

Phillimore concludes: “The strength of our unique digital platform and our sector expertise means that customers can be assured of getting the best price available for their fuel – leaving them to face the future with optimism, whatever it holds.”

Environment

Stena Bulk performs a test running an MR tanker on 100% biofuel

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During the coming weeks Stena Bulk will perform a test running an MR tanker on 100% biofuel. The fuel is the MR1-100 bio-fuel oil, produced from used cooking oil and supplied by GoodFuels in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It has been bunkered onto the Stena Immortal and will be used to power the main engine in normal operations to test and prove the technical and operational feasibility.

“By doing this test we want to contribute to push the industry and pave way towards more sustainable shipping”, says Erik Hånell, President and CEO Stena Bulk. “We want to be able to offer our customers additional options with less environmental impact in the future and by conducting the trial in normal operations we want to show that being sustainable doesn´t have to interfere with core business”, he continues.

Biofuels are compatible with regular fuels but produced from biomass or biowaste instead of fossil oil. While there are many kinds of biofuel Stena Bulk is only using 2nd generation fuel, meaning they are based on waste and thereby do not compete with food production. In this case the fuel is made from used cooking oil.

The reduction of CO2 by using this particular biofuel is around 83%. In this trial we will reduce the emissions with 690 mt. These figures are from a life cycle perspective, i.e. including production and distribution of the fuel. Apart from contributing to a large reduction in greenhouse gas emissions the fuel also emits significantly lower levels of SOX than regular compliant fuels.

 

 

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Container Terminal

Port of La Spezia: a systemic offer of integrated storage and logistics solutions

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Port of La Spezia: a systemic offer of integrated storage and logistics solutions. Image: CONTSHIP ITALIA S.P.A
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Starting from 25th March 2020, the North Tyrrhenian port system is faced with the challenge of managing thousands of TEUs coming into Northern Italy that cannot be delivered to companies now running in “non-essential” business mode for at least two weeks.

It takes four weeks for ships from Asia to reach ports of the North Tyrrhenian Sea. Ports will now have to temporarily store a significant quantity of containers until the Government is able to relax its decree issued 22 March that closed all “non-essential” businesses due to the ongoing COVID-19 virus emergency.

To avoid heavy port storage costs and congestion risks within the terminal as well as transport activities, the port-community (Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea, Terminals of the Port of La Spezia, Association of Shippers of the Port of La Spezia, Customs Association of the Port of La Spezia and Maritime Agents and Consignees of the Port of La Spezia) together with Tarros Group and Contship Italia Group have rallied together to offer a number of solutions including the availability of 100,000  TEU storage capacity including local facilities within a radius of 15km from the port of La Spezia as well as the intermodal-hubs in Melzo (Milan), Dinazzano (Reggio Emilia) and Padua.

For cargo receivers, short-haul solutions will be available at Interporto di Santo Stefano Magra/La Spezia that include customs clearance, temporary storage, VAT storage and potentially a handling service for palletized loads, thanks to the local operators who have shared storage space and covered warehouses, as well as the customs officers who continue to work diligently at the Port of La Spezia.

Further similar solutions will be available in the intermodal centers operated by Contship Italia Group, the parent company that manages La Spezia Container Terminal.

Each week, three services from Asia call at the Port of La Spezia deploying containerships with a capacity of more than 14,000 TEUs, operated by 2M, THE Alliance and Ocean Alliance. Factory production in China is recovering, albeit slowly and are now shipping the back-log of orders which built up during the lock-down imposed in January and February, by the Chinese government.

Customers of the Port of La Spezia will, therefore, have a several integrated solutions available during this challenging time, with the possibility of providing regular suppliers more storage options and services in tune with current market needs.

The Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea welcomes this strong collaboration initiative to support the vital economic activities in northern and central Italy. These solutions will minimize the economic impact and avoid further sacrifices due to the slowdown in production and orders caused by the virus emergency. Many analysts currently estimate the pandemic could have a double-digit impact on many industrial supply-chains.

“The port of La Spezia once again demonstrates its unity with regard to the market” said Carla Roncallo, President of Port System Authority of the Eastern Ligurian Sea. “By putting itself into customers shoes and identifying short- and medium-term solutions that can minimize the financial impact and allow the port to maintain a level of operations. This arrangement also provides us the flexibility and agility to resume operations when there are signs of recovery, which we hope will come soon”.

Alessandro Laghezza, President of Sistema Porto and the Logistics Section of Confindustria La Spezia, affirmed the effort made to coordinate such a comprehensive and dynamic solution.  “It is encouraging to witness this historic moment where shippers in our territory and the management of the Contship Group rallied together in just 24 hours to assess every possible storage and transportation solution available in the short and medium-range, to support port customers who now face another big blow to their businesses due to the suspension of receiving and industrial activities”.

“Contship and its operating companies are able to step-up and respond to this call. We are committed to offering all our capabilities and operational resources to help wherever possible the customers and local operators of the port of La Spezia. They will be able to access our integrated intermodal solutions that we believe are the mark of the unique offering of Contship Italia Group” said Daniele Testi,  Contship Italia Group Director of Marketing and Communications.

 

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Maritime

Nokia completes phase one of Belgian Port of Zeebrugge digitalization with 5G-ready private wireless network

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Nokia completes phase one of Belgian Port of Zeebrugge digitalization with 5G-ready private wireless network. Image: Wikimedia/ Sebaso
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Nokia has announced that it has completed the first phase of Port of Zeebrugge’s 5G-ready, industrial-grade private wireless network deployment.

By deploying the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud platform, it will provide private wireless connectivity to more than 100 endpoints across the entire port operations. This will enable Zeebrugge to deliver a range of new and enhanced services that not only improve the port’s operational performance, but which also differentiate Zeebrugge as a leader in port transformation and digitalization.

Following successful deployment of the Nokia private wireless network, Zeebrugge will be able to track, analyze and manage connected devices across multiple port-based applications in real time. The end-to-end, high-performance 5G-ready network will accelerate port innovation and automation with deployment of IoT, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and drones.

Rick Goetinck, CEO, Port of Zeebrugge said: “Introduction of an advanced private wireless network will act as a beacon for our partners to develop and deliver new solutions right across the logistics value chain. Nokia, in close collaboration with local service provider Citymesh, has demonstrated outstanding 5G capabilities during platform deployment, making phase one a complete success.”

The network is now being used for connectivity with tugboats, air pollution detectors, security cameras and quay sensors. Its high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity will also be leveraged during the upcoming construction of a new sea lock and during building and maintenance of offshore wind farms. Phase one has established increased automation in Zeebrugge’s outer port area. Phase two, due for completion in mid-2020 will focus on the inner port.

Stephan Litjens, General Manager, Nokia Digital Automation said: “By deploying a Nokia 5G-ready digital automation platform with a private wireless network, the Port of Zeebrugge brings high-performance connectivity and digitalization to enhance safety, accelerate innovation, enable advanced applications and deliver new levels of logistics performance.”

Several external suppliers have also signed up to the network, which will be used by port-based companies for dispatching, connectivity with straddle carriers, track and trace systems and integrated communications.

Goetinck added: “The introduction of a 5G-ready platform at the port of Zeebrugge brings benefits to a wide range of stakeholders across local enterprises, ancillary shipping businesses and government. The Port of Zeebrugge is an ultra-modern logistics center that serves European and intercontinental markets, and our investment in hyper fast connectivity can only improve the competitive position of our port.”

Nokia has partnered closely with Citymesh to deliver the private wireless network, and it will continue to assist with end-to-end support and network commercialization.

Nokia Digital Automation Cloud
Nokia Digital Automation Cloud is an industrial-grade global digital automation service platform that provides a reliable, secure, and high-performance private wireless network, which is scalable according to needs.

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