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Collaboration key to port’s future

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Collaboration key to port's future. Image: Port of Long Beach
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The Port of Long Beach navigated a trade dispute with China, new technology and evolving trade routes in 2019, culminating in its second-busiest year on record by moving more than 7.6 million twenty-foot equivalent units, Executive Director Mario Cordero announced Wednesday at the annual State of the Port address.

Cordero was introduced by Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal in front of an audience of more than 750 industry partners, community members and civic leaders gathered at the Long Beach Convention Center Grand Ballroom.

As a leader in environmental sustainability and community engagement, Lowenthal said the Port is poised to have a prosperous 2020 despite dramatic changes within the goods movement industry.

“Ours is the task of promoting trade so that this city, region, state and nation can thrive,” Lowenthal said. “It’s our responsibility to see that Port resources are used wisely to keep us competitive and a leader in goods movement.”

The Port wrapped up 2019, its second-busiest year on record, with 7,632,032 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) moved, a decrease of 5.7% from the record-setting pace logged in 2018. Imports slid 8.3% to 3,758,438 TEUs. Exports totaled 1,472,802 TEUs, down 3.3%, while empties decreased 2.8% to 2,400,792 TEUs.

Terminal operators and dockworkers moved 665,261 TEUs in December, a 10.3% decline compared to December 2018. Imports were down 13.4% to 323,231 TEUs. Export TEUs jumped 10.6% to 125,395 units, while empties dropped 15.1% to 216,635 TEUs.

Looking ahead into 2020, Cordero sounded an optimistic note of “better times ahead” and progress on trade war discussions, while also pointing out the challenges of lagging business investment and continued uncertainty in the industry.

“At the end of the day, we need to be ready for whatever may come,” Cordero said in his speech. “We need to compete, we need to innovate, we need to lead. And most of all, we need to collaborate.”

The best way to do that, Cordero said, is to distinguish Long Beach as the Port of Choice by working toward operational excellence with labor, shipping companies, ocean carriers, truckers and other industry partners.

Key projects launched over the past decade are nearing completion, including the replacement for the aging Gerald Desmond Bridge. The new cable-stayed span is scheduled to open to traffic later this year.

Additionally, construction is scheduled to wrap up in 2021 on the final phase of the Long Beach Container Terminal, creating the greenest, most technologically advanced terminal in North America. Over the next decade, the Port also plans to invest an additional $1 billion in rail improvements that will speed the flow of goods across the country while reducing local road traffic.

Cordero on Wednesday also unveiled a new logo for the Port, aimed at conveying a message of operational excellence, and a commitment to partnership with industry and the community.

And coming soon, the Port will launch a completely redesigned website, making it easier for businesses and the community to interact with the Port and find essential information. The new polb.com will be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate and search, featuring stunning imagery and new interactive features.

The Port of Long Beach’s 2019 TEU totals are available at this link. December 2019 detailed statistics are here.

Container Terminal

Konecranes wins order for 20 RTG cranes in Nigeria

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Konecranes wins order for 20 RTG cranes in Nigeria. Image: Wikimedia/ Media Club
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Konecranes has won an order for 20 RTG cranes from APMT’s West Africa Container Terminal in East Nigeria. The order was booked in two parts, the first in December 2019 and the second in January 2020. Delivery is scheduled for Q4 2020 – Q2 2021.

APMT’s West Africa Container Terminal (WACT) is located in Onne Port, part of the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone in Nigeria. It was one of the first container terminals to be built in Nigeria under public/private ownership. It offers excellent hinterland connections to the rest of Nigeria. The WACT is upgrading its container handling operation from reach stackers to RTGs to achieve greater stacking density, throughput and productivity.

The Konecranes RTGs on order are diesel-driven, 16-wheel machines stacking 1-over-5 high and 7 containers + truck lane wide. They are equipped with Active Load Control, Auto-steering and Auto-TOS reporting.

Mohammed A. Ahmed, Managing Director of APMT Nigeria said: “As testament to APMT’s long-term commitment to East Nigeria, we have signed a contract with Konecranes for the delivery of 20 RTGs to Onne Port. This is part of our earlier announced expansion of the existing terminal capacity, a USD 100 million investment, that started last year and that will be fully in place shortly. The expansion plan will deliver sufficient capacity to meet the envisaged growth in East Nigeria for the next 15 years.”

Ville Hoppu, Sales Manager, Konecranes Port Solutions, said: “We’re very pleased to have received this order from APMT, one of the world’s leading container terminal operators and a long-time user of our RTG cranes. We have many customers on the west coast of Africa and Onne will be in good company.”

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Maritime

MOL to start joint development for the digitalization of FSRU

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MOL to start joint development for the digitalization of FSRU. Image: MOL
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Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced that it has reached an agreement for joint development of technologies and solutions for the digitalization of Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) (Note 1), in partnership with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME; CEO: Sung-Geun Lee).

Through this collaboration, detailed operational data will be collected from FSRU and stored in a cloud-based data platform to develop applications for advanced remote operation monitoring and optimizing etc.. The project will enhance safe and efficient operation, which will further deepen cooperation between FSRU and shore-based facilities.

MOL works on this collaboration in cooperation with MOL’s “FOCUS” Project (Note 2) intended to enhance the collection and application of FSRU operation data.

(Note 1)
Floating Storage Regasification Unit. A floating facility for storing and regasifying LNG, which is then pressurized and piped ashore.

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Environment

A.P. Moller – Maersk links new $5.0bn revolving credit facility to its CO2 performance

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A.P. Moller - Maersk links new $5.0bn revolving credit facility to its CO2 performance. Image: Pixabay
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A.P. Moller – Maersk secures a new sustainability-linked revolving credit facility of $5.0bn through a syndicate of 26 selected banks. This is the first bank refinancing arranged by Maersk after its transformation from a diversified conglomerate to a global container logistics company.

The facility refinances the undrawn $5.1bn facility maturing in 2021 and has a tenor of five years which may be extended by up to two years. It will be part of the company’s liquidity reserve.

“We have received strong support from our global relationship banks. The facility was substantially oversubscribed, and we are pleased with the terms and conditions of the new facility. With the new facility we have extended the maturity profile of our finance commitments, while aligning with our sustainability ones,” highlights Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Fleet & Strategic Brands.

The credit margin under the facility will be adjusted based on Maersk’s progress to meet its target of reducing CO2 emissions per cargo moved by 60% by 2030, which is significantly more ambitious than the IMO target of 40% by 2030 (all 2008 baseline).

In 2018 Maersk announced its commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. The new finance facility affirms Maersk’s efforts to drive sustainability into its operations and supply chains.

“We are determined to reach our ultimate target of becoming fully carbon neutral by 2050, and this agreement serves as another enabler for us to deliver on that ambition. Given the lifespan of our fleet, we need to find new and sustainable solutions to propel our vessels within the next 10 years. To realize this ambitious commitment, we are partnering with researchers, regulators, technology developers, customers, energy providers – and now banks,” explains Henriette.

Banco Santander S.A., London Branch, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Designated Activity Company, Barclays Bank Plc, BNP Paribas, Citibank N.A. London, Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Danske Bank A/S, Deutsche Bank, Handelsbanken, HSBC France, MUFG, Nordea, SEB and Standard Chartered Bank, joined as mandated lead arrangers.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A., London branch, DNB Bank ASA, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Europe) S.A., Brussels branch, ING Bank, J.P. Morgan Securities Plc, Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Morgan Stanley Bank International Limited, Natwest Markets Plc, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Société Générale and the Standard Bank South Africa Limited, Isle of Man branch, joined as lead arrangers.

Crédit Agricole and SEB acted as Sustainability Coordinators. MUFG acted as Documentation Agent and BNP Paribas as Facility Agent.

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