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Despite trade war, 2019 cargo volumes at Port of Los Angeles at near-records levels

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Despite trade war, 2019 cargo volumes at Port of Los Angeles at near-records levels. Image: Wikimedia/ Wknight94
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The Port of Los Angeles moved near-record cargo in 2019 with a total of 9,337,632 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), just short of the second-best year in its 113-year history. The milestone was announced by Port Executive Director Gene Seroka at the annual State of the Port event hosted by the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association.

“In the face of lagging exports due to international trade tensions and tariff uncertainties, the Port of Los Angeles has maintained strong momentum and kept cargo flowing,” Seroka said. “This feat was only possible because of the extensive cooperation and continued efficiency improvements by our terminal operators, supply chain partners and longshore workforce.”

Seroka outlined a number of Port initiatives that will take shape in 2020 and beyond.

“It’s time for the courage and long-range vision to imagine what this Port will look like in the years ahead and set a course in that direction,” Seroka said. “It’s going to take collaboration to keep cargo volumes strong and our Port community thriving in the midst of increasing competition, an uncertain trade environment and a world where technology is essential to success.”

Seroka announced the planned launch of the nation’s first Terminal Efficiency Incentive Program. In conjunction with a new Port of Los Angeles truck reservation system also planned for this year, the efficiency initiative would tie improvements in truck turn times to a Port incentive reward program.

“Depending on the percentage a terminal can reduce truck turn times, they will be monetarily rewarded on each container unit. The higher the percentage of reduction, the bigger the reward,” Seroka said. The program is expected to improve drayage efficiency and further reduce truck turn times.

In 2020 the Port will continue to explore locations for off-dock chassis yards. Yusen Terminals has developed a near dock chassis staging area, and the Port is currently in negotiations with Pacific Crane Maintenance Company to develop an off-dock chassis facility that complements APM Terminal’s Pier 400 operation. These efforts will help relieve terminal congestion and improve overall chassis use port-wide.

Seroka also announced the launch of the Port of Los Angeles Labor Collaborative, a new Port-driven workforce development initiative focused on identifying specific employment and training needs within the Port ecosystem. Separately, an initiative will kick off next week with distribution of a Port stakeholder survey to assess current and future training and technical needs.

Technology infrastructure also was a key theme of Seroka’s remarks as the Port works to accelerate digital transformation of the supply chain by creating a port community system to connect critical cargo data points. The Port continues to be recognized as one of the nation’s leading digital “Smart Ports” with its Port Optimizer™ online information portal continuing to gain ground. The system covers 95% of all the containerized cargo flowing through the Port.  Nine of the 10 leading carriers are feeding data into the Port Optimizer, and Wabtec, the Port’s digital partner in development of the Port Optimizer is now exploring end-to-end supply chain data integration with leading blockchain providers.

In the coming week, pending approval by the Los Angeles Board of Harbor Commissioners, the Port anticipates announcing the selection of its partner for the design and construction of a new Cyber Resilience Center. The Center will serve as a neighborhood “cyber-watch” system to protect data flowing through the port community.

Seroka reiterated 2020 as an important year for ongoing implementation of the Clean Air Action Plan, as well as the Port’s continued pursuit of zero-emission technology to further build on emission reductions achieved over the last decade. Currently the Port is testing 78 zero-emission drayage trucks and 74 zero-emission yard tractors, and working with Port partners to test eight new zero-emission top handlers in the coming year.  On tap for 2020 will be additional demonstration projects, including a new large-scale zero-emission drayage truck project testing a fleet of 50-100 zero-emission trucks.

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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