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The world’s largest container vessel “HMM ALGECIRAS” transits the Suez Canal”

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The world’s largest container vessel “HMM ALGECIRAS” transits the Suez Canal”. Image: Suez Canal Authority
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Admiral Osama Rabie, Chairman of the Suez Canal Authority witnessed the transit of HMM ALGECIRAS, the world’s largest container vessel, on its maiden voyage since its launching last April. It transited among the south convoy, via the New Suez Canal, heading from Yantian to Rotterdam.

That was during the Chairman’s inspection of traffic in the Canal. His Excellency followed-up the vessel’s transit from the New Marina, giving directives that all necessary measure be taken to ensure its safe transit, like: assigning a number of highly experienced SCA pilots, providing the required navigation aids, like: escort tug boats, and real-time monitoring of the transit from the Main Traffic Control Office, and various traffic control stations.

And as per protocol in the Suez Canal Authority on receiving mega vessels transiting for the first time, Admiral Rabie delegated SCA Distinguished Senior Pilot, Capt. Hisham Fawzy, and First Senior Pilot, Capt. Medhat El-Naggar, to board the vessel and welcome its crew as well as present the Shipmaster, Capt. Jon Kiun, with a commemorative gift.

Admiral Rabie emphasized that the New Suez Canal has further cemented the Suez Canal’s existing place as the lifeblood of world trade. It also increased its efficiency so it remains the best option by far to current and future generations of mega vessels, especially container vessels that gained great significance in the past years, in light of the competition between shipping lines to build the world’s largest vessels to benefit from economies of scale and minimize operation costs.

His Excellency elaborated further that the SCA keeps a keen eye on the rapidly developing maritime transport industry, and is even a few steps ahead by means of non-stop developmental projects in the waterway. Those projects don’t include the New Suez Canal alone, but extend to establishing new waiting areas to increase navigational safety in the waterway and best prepared in the face of emergencies, as well as enhance the quality of provided navigational services through developing traffic monitoring stations along the waterway, and upgrading the fleet of escort tugs and other auxiliary units that partake in the pilotage process in the Canal.

Adm. Rabie also stressed that the SCA is well aware of the challenges maritime transport is witnessing at the meantime as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is also taking all the necessary measures and preventative precautions to best handle the situation at hand, as well as actively communicating with clients and consulting on how to achieve mutual interest. The Authority is also adopting a number of pro-active measures in the form of a bundle of incentives and rebates for various types of transiting vessels.

The record-breaking vessel has a capacity of 23,964 TEUs and is among the fleet of HMM, the South Korean shipping line, and is the first of twelve vessels of the same class, design and size contracted to be built by DSME (Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering) and SHI (Samsung Heavy Industries).

For his part, Capt. Kiun, shipmaster of the HMM ALGECIRAS, praised the navigational safety measures adopted by the SCA were an important factor in the safe and smooth transit of the vessel despite its rather large, unprecedented dimensions, and greatly valued the role of the SCA pilots, their professionalism, expertise, cooperation and friendly spirit.

The ship stands at 400 m. in length. Her width is 61 m. and her draught is 16 m.

She is equipped with operating systems that comply with IMO regulations. The upgraded design of the structure is meant to be more power-efficient, and thus, minimize the carbon emissions, to which the expected result is cutting 15% off operation costs.

Container Shipping Lines

MSC further supports digitalisation of the shipping industry by joining the Smart Maritime Network

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MSC further supports digitalisation of the shipping industry by joining the Smart Maritime Network. Image: MSC
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MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has long recognised the importance of digitisation across the shipping industry, and has been one of the pioneers behind the industry’s digital transformation. We are continuously investing in and developing new technologies to enhance our business and adapt to our customers’ needs. In addition to our internal digital roadmap, we are also actively working to shape the future of the shipping industry at-large, by contributing to third-party working groups and participating in industry conferences.

While a variety of digital innovations and IoT technologies exist in the maritime industry, MSC believes that new technology solutions will only be fit for purpose if they can be operated across multiple carriers, service providers and geographies. Collaboration is essential in this regard, so we can establish the same technology standards throughout the industry. Now, as a part of the Smart Maritime Network, we can work closely with maritime technology developers, vessel owners and operators, engineering OEMs and other key stakeholders, to develop joint approaches that will benefit the entire industry.

“We are pleased to join and support Smart Maritime Network, a platform to further promote and accelerate digital transformation across the shipping and transport logistics sectors. Collaborating with other members to solve key industry challenges is of paramount importance to MSC and there is no doubt that this Network opens up new opportunities for these efforts to become a reality, shaping the future of our industry,” says André Simha, Chief Digital & Information Officer at MSC.

Smart Maritime Network was launched in 2019 with the goal of providing a platform to promote the benefits of enhanced integration, standardisation and data sharing among stakeholders within the maritime and transport logistics sectors. The Network creates a collaborative environment for key influencers in the space to inform and educate the industry on technological developments and innovations. It also provides wider opportunities for relationship building and knowledge sharing. The Smart Maritime Network discusses and decides upon all Network activity.

“Smart Maritime Network is delighted to welcome MSC as a new member,” says Rob O’Dwyer, Chief Network Officer at Smart Maritime Network. “As a company at the forefront of leading transformation and innovation, their role as both a user and driver of digital technologies will provide valuable insights and input to the discussions and ongoing projects.”

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Container Shipping Lines

ZIM unveils new digital services

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ZIM unveils new digital services. Image: Wikimedia/ Ian Kennedy
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During September 2019 ZIM officially announced of its revolutionary ‘Powered by Our Customers’ approach, an innovative concept, inviting customers to take an active part in designing and influencing ZIM’s Service Experience – For Customers, By Customers! Since than the concept has been put into practice throughout all ongoing developments of both existing and new digital services.

Today ZIM unveils two new services which were developed in response to the implications of the current COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Draft B/L for myZIM Personal Area users, provides ZIM’s customers with a new, simpler, faster way to approve or edit their draft B/L online throughout the documentation process.
  • News & Updates Push Notifications for ZIM’s Mobile Application users, enables customers to stay up-to-date, receiving all local operational and commercial news and updates published on ZIM’s website directly to their mobile application, in real time!

Both were designed and developed based on input provided by ZIM’s 600 “influencers”– ZIM customers taking an active part, making sure each function is finetuned according to their needs and recommendations.

ZIM President & CEO Eli Glickman: “When we say that being agile is one of our core values, we mean fast response to changing market needs to provide our customers the best and most up-to-date services.”

Assaf Tiran, ZIM’s Global Customer Service VP: “Our vision, ‘Innovative Shipping Dedicated to You’ drive our ongoing efforts to create a superb customer experience, and our ‘Powered by Our Customers’ working methodology is an integral part of this vision. These new digital services are only part of our planned roadmap, all aiming at Making It Easier for our customers to do business with us.”

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Container Shipping Lines

MSC introduces instant quote function for online cargo bookings

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MSC introduces instant quote function for online cargo bookings. Image: Pixabay
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MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has upgraded its e-business platform myMSC with the addition of a new online Instant Quote function. Customers wishing to use this tool will be able to quickly and easily get shipping rates for container bookings.

Currently, the majority of MSC’s bookings are carried out offline, and it can take some time to complete a booking. Using Instant Quote, customers can generate an online quote in seconds, with just a few simple clicks, 24/7 online.

They then have the option to instantly complete the booking with the generated quote on myMSC. Alternatively, they can save the quote or forward it to multiple contacts for booking at a later stage. The automated quote generation also reduces room for human error, further improving the efficiency of the process.

The Instant Quote function is currently only available for shipping trade routes from North America to Europe and from Asia to Europe, with plans for the addition of more trades over the course of 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend towards digitalisation within the industry and the importance of engaging customers through multiple platforms, including through e-business. As such, this upgrade of myMSC is a clear illustration of our continuing efforts to invest in digital business transformation with the aim to improve efficiency and transparency, and to give our customers more options,” said Andre Simha, Chief Digital & Information Officer at MSC.

The launch of Instant Quote is expected to significantly boost the number of MSC’s online bookings, and further unlock the value of myMSC as an e-business platform for customers.

Using Instant Quote

Customers will first need to login to myMSC at myMSC.com, or to sign up for an account if they do not have one yet. Upon login either through the desktop version or the myMSC iOS/Android app, customers can access the Instant Quote function.

By selecting the starting and ending points of the shipment and the equipment size, customers can see the options for shipping rates. Details such as the shipping window, estimated transit time, routing and the charges included in the quotation will be clearly displayed.

The tool can be used for bookings of standard-sized (20 and 40 feet) and High Cube (40 and 45 feet) dry containers. For locations where intermodal services are available, customers can opt for end-to-end rates from the origin to destination.

MSC has ensured a seamless integration of the Instant Quote function into myMSC, and a smooth overall user experience for customers. This new function adds on to the list of e-business tools available in myMSC, such as ability to do e-bookings, retrieval of documents such as booking confirmations and arrival notices, oversight of bookings via a dashboard, creation and submission of Shipping Instructions, submission of Verified Gross Mass (VGM), tracking of shipments and receiving of notifications.

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