Thursday, 28 February 2019

PortGraphic: Top15 container ports in Europe in 2018

By Theo Notteboom
The cargo volume handled remains a key performance indicator for ports. While also other indicators related to logistics performance, sustainability, innovation and economic impact are gaining ground, it remains relevant to observe how cargo volumes have evolved over time. The table shows the top 15 container ports in the European Union in 2018 based on container throughput expressed in TEU. It also includes container growth figures compared to 2017 and pre-crisis year 2007.
What do the figures reveal?
Top 15: y-o-y increase in container traffic of 4.8% in 2018
Last year, the top 15 ports recorded a growth of 4.8%, almost the same as the 4.6% growth in 2017. In 2015 the top 15 ports saw a small traffic decline of 1.6% compared to 2014. In 2016 they recorded a modest growth of 2.1%. The year 2018 brought a double digit growth in Gdansk, Piraeus and Barcelona, while Mediterranean transhipment hub Gioia Tauro saw a 6% decline in box volumes. German ports Hamburg and Bremerhaven recorded a small traffic loss, while container throughput in Le Havre and Genoa stagnated. Both Rotterdam and Antwerp stay on the growth path of the past years with a healthy throughput increase of 5.7% and 6.2% respectively. Valencia, the largest container port in the Mediterranean, can present a similar growth figure.
Top 15: 26% increase in container traffic between 2007 and 2018
The top 15 ports combined saw a 26% increase in container traffic compared to pre-crisis year 2007. Only two of the 15 ports recorded container volumes in 2018 below the 2007 figures: transhipment hub Gioia Tauro and German mainport Hamburg (note that no 2018 figures are available yet for UK ports Felixstowe and Southampton). The performance of Hamburg – Europe’s third largest container port (-11.7% compared to 2007) – sharply deviates from the growth pattern observed in the two largest European ports which both managed to increase TEU volumes by some 35-36% in the period 2007-2018. The gap between Rotterdam and Antwerp now amounts to almost 3.5 million TEU, while Antwerp handles almost 2.5 million TEU more than Hamburg. Recent changes in the liner service schedules of alliances and the Elbe deepening and widening program should help the port of Hamburg to record a healthy growth in 2019. The top 3 ports in Europe handled more than 34 million TEU in 2018 (+4.1%) or 45% of the combined throughput of all top 15 ports.
Baltic port Gdansk enters top 15
Only few changes took place when it comes to the ports that made it to the top 15. Gdansk in Poland entered the top 15 thanks to impressive year-on-year growth figures of more than 23% in 2018 and 21.6% in 2017. It is the first time a Baltic port makes it to the EU top 15 (note that St-Petersburg handled 2.13 million TEU in 2018). With a throughput of 1.75 million TEU, Sines in Portugal is no longer in the top 15 despite a growth rate of 5% in 2018. Sines joined the top 15 only in 2016 filling the spot previously occupied by the Belgian coastal port of Zeebrugge (1.6 million TEU in 2018, +5.2%). In 2007, Constantza in the Black Sea still ranked no. 15 (1.41 million TEU) and Zeebrugge no. 11 (2.02 million TEU).
Fourth position challenged by Med ports
The top 4 remained unchanged in 2018 featuring only ports of the so-called Hamburg-Le Havre range. However, Valencia, Piraeus and Algeciras are closing in fast on Bremerhaven. It is likely that a south European port will enter the top 4 in 2019 or 2020 at the latest. Piraeus continues to climb the rankings by gaining two places to occupy the 6th position in 2018. Piraeus was not even in the top 15 in 2007. Barcelona is now the 9th biggest container port in Europe, while two years ago the port was still at the 13th position. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the Moroccan transhipment port of Tanger Med handled 3.47 million TEU in 2018. With new container terminal capacity becoming operational, Tanger Med continues to be a major competitor for European hubs in the region around the Straits of Gibraltar, such as Algeciras, Valencia and Sines.

Hapag-Lloyd touts new steel floor boxes as the future of containers


Hapag-Lloyd has created a new steel floor container, which it claims can carry heavier cargoes than existing wood-floored boxes.
“The steel floor container is the future. It was designed so that all types of cargo could continue to be transported in it . But it has one major advantage over wooden floors: Much larger loads can be loaded into it per running metre, which makes it particularly interesting for heavy goods like machines.”
Hapag-Lloyd statistics show a wooden floor teu can load 4.6 tonnes per metre, while a steel floor box can load 7.6 tonnes per metre. The difference is even greater with a feu box. While one with a wooden floor can withstand a load of three tonnes per metre, the steel floor one can withstand twice as much.
Another advantage of the new container, according to Hapag-Lloyd, is a much higher number of lashing rings, which makes securing loads easier and more efficient. Lashing rings in containers with steel floors have 2,000 kg pull load . By way of comparison, for standard containers, this figure is 1,000 kg for the rings on the floor and only 500 kg per lashing on the upper rails.
Another bonus with a metal floor, Hapag-Lloyd states is that the container can always be delivered clean and free of residues from the previous loading. Unlike wooden floors, steel does not absorb any odours or liquids resulting from possible leaks. The slightly wavy shape of the floor also prevents the cargo from sitting in any moisture if liquids have escaped or if condensation has formed.
The tare weight of steel floor containers is also about 150 kg lighter than those with traditional floors. This, in turn, means that the customer can load a higher load weight.

Port Of Felixstowe Pics By Robin Pridmore

   Photo credits to Robin Pridmore     

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Port Of Liverpool Getting Very Busy

Pic credits to Christopher Triggs

DP World sets out global alternative to stop Brexit rot

DP World London Gateway sits less than 30 miles east of central London. DP World. 
As part of the UK’s preparations for a chaotic no-deal Brexit, the government ran an exercise last month to assess the level of chaos if trade snarls at the UK’s main gateway for trucks from the European Union.
Operation Brock – which turned a disused airfield into a lorry park for a morning – was preparation for a scenario that could see 100,000 lorries routinely held on roads in southeast England as imports are met with new and more rigorous customs checks at the southern port of Dover.
Dismissing the exercise as the latest instalment of a scare campaign, pro-Brexit campaigners have instead pointed to an alternative vision with the UK at the centre of a ‘Global Britain’ trading network.
One of the country’s largest container ports, run by Dubai-based DP World, believes its modern facilities are already in place for a strategy that embraces that vision of broader trading horizons.
At DP World’s London Gateway, 86 per cent of traffic throughway comes from outside the EU and has connections to more than 110 ports in 60 countries.
The semi-automated deep-sea terminal already has an advanced customs checking system that could provide a model for Britain as it embarks on its uncertain journey outside of the world’s largest trading bloc.
“A lot of Brexit is about expanding trading routes to more countries - deep sea ports do that every day. DP World looks at the long-term,” said James Leeson, DP World’s head of commercial at its UK ports, citing the £1.5 billion pumped into the project by the Dubai-based company.
Amid concerns that goods will be piled up in trucks along the sides of roads in southern England, the company points to its own logistics park, the largest of its kind in Europe, that has spare capacity and is only 20 per cent full.
“You can envisage the government will need things like pharmaceuticals and baby food. We’ve got the capacity to soak up the demand. If there’s a demand we can do it at short notice,” said Mr Leeson.

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Current clients include parcel delivery giant UPS and its London hub, supermarket chain Lidl and multinational telecoms retailer Dixons Carphone.
It emerged this week that the government had pulled out of a £13.8 million contract, one of three that it signed with companies to operate ferry freight services in the event of a no-deal to address potential shortages. The contract with Seaborne was the most controversial as the company had no ships and had never run a ferry service.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling faced calls to resign over the debacle amid criticisms of the government failing to adequately prepare for the possibility of a no-deal Brexit when all of the UK’s trade agreements with the EU disappear overnight.
The government has struck a deal with the EU for a transition period to ensure international trade is kept moving but the deal has failed to secure parliamentary approval.
“What business likes uncertainty? Everyone knows a deal would make life easier – but we’ll keep working. We feel we are prepared whether it’s a deal or no deal given the resources and infrastructure,” said Mr Leeson.
“If you look at many of these goods, they are already coming in from outside the EU. Fundamentally speaking, what’s the problem?”
Opened in 2013 it has three berths capable of taking in 400-metre long, 60-metre wide long ships.
In 2018, the London Gateway dealt with 1.3 million 20-foot containers and has the capacity to deal with 2.4 million. Much of its recent trade has come from South America and connecting the eastern and western hemisphere.
When The National visited London Gateway this week two ships were at the port on the banks of the River Thames less than 30 miles east of London. The Panama-flagged 294-metre MSC Lisa, stacked high with containers heading for the southern tip of Italy was slowly moving from its berth. The port described the vessel as “one of our smaller ones”.
Business leaders and some MPs fear a hard Brexit, where the UK would crash out of the EU without a deal, would result in drastic shortages or bottlenecks at ports.

“We’ve already got the infrastructure and IT resources to handle business. We can do that for other trades if that’s required,” said Mr Leeson.
Much of the port is automated and lorries can pick up a container and leave the site within 35 to 40 minutes, he said.
“It drives out inefficiency. The yard is where a container falls down, not on the shipside. We eliminate the unnecessary moving of containers, which is a waste of time and costs money.”
His positive outlook contrasts with the apathy and frustration of locals in the nearest town of Stanford-le-Hope, two miles away.
Shops are shuttered and the High Street is quiet with few signs of a promised boom in international trade reaching the population of fewer than 30,000.
As politicians bicker in Westminster and Brussels refuses to budge on the stickier points of the government’s rejected deal, ordinary people look on with a sense of disconnection from the political process.
“Every time I think I understand it I don’t, so I’m really not sure,” said Angela Lawson, a 69-year-old, who voted to remain part of the European Union.
The Brexit divide is summed up in the friendship of Alan Turnidge a 71-year-old former gardener, and Sarah Roberts, 48.
Prime Minister Theresa May was doing her best but her negotiating position was handicapped by internal opposition, said Mr Turnidge, who supported remaining in the EU. “She’s got a lot of pressure because, of course both the Conservatives and [opposition] Labour are split right down their parties.”
Mrs Roberts, a hardcore Brexiteer, said: “We should definitely leave, I believe that we should have independence as a country because Brussels has controlled us for so many years.”
Despite the splits within Britain, Mr Leeson feels confident moving forward and believes the DP World brand is critical to this. “There’s quite a high degree of confidence - in uncertain times people look for stability,” he said.

Yard Crane Scheduler Powered by TBA

A new video from port automation specialists TBA has shown how yard crane scheduler software can improve productivity and operations in container terminals.

TBA looks to answer several key questions, what a Yard Crane Scheduler (YCS) is, what are its main benefits and where it has been implemented.

View TBA's automated solutions for ports and terminals in their PTI supplier directory

At RTG and RMG operated terminals, the yard cranes are a key driver of productivity, and quay cranes and terminal trucks depend on a steady flow of containers.

A recent Port Technology technical paper from TBA's Yvo Saanen listed the 10 pre-requisites for smart terminals 

The difficulty for many terminals is in managing the yard crane workflow, especially when there are dozens of cranes to maintain.
This lack of visibility creates a bottleneck, but TBA’s YCS helps terminals ensure they have the right number of yard cranes in the right place at the right time.
It can assist in identifying what other equipment is needed, preventing clashes and spotting potential safety risks.
As far as implementation goes, it can act as a support programme connected to the terminal operating system (TOS) and give feedback on the plans, where they can be manually changed.
It can also be fully integrated into the TOS where it can automatically set the optimal pattern and plan the RTGs activity.
TBA says the YCS can increase RTG productivity and efficiency by approximately 10%.

Peel Ports London Medway goes for growth with significant warehousing opportunity

Peel Ports London Medway has increased the capacity of its warehousing facilities at the Port of Sheerness through an extensive reconfiguration programme.
Responding to an upsurge in demand for warehousing across the country, Peel Ports is now able to offer 30,000m2 of additional flexible and scalable warehouse space at a port-centric location.
The facilities could support the import, export, storage and distribution of paper, plywood, metal plate, and other bulk products, as well as palletised FMCG products, enabling greater supply chain efficiencies and resilience.
Peel Ports has made considerable steps to offer a scalable option for businesses, where they can expand or reduce their warehouse space on demand, as well as having the option of short or long-term contracts, encouraging effective business growth.
Ideally located near London, the secure warehousing provides the perfect base to supply factories, production lines, construction projects and retailers, with rapid access to the London market via the M2 and M20.
Additionally, the port-centric location of Sheerness offers businesses an option for international distribution.
The Port of Sheerness has 11 metre of water depth with no tidal restrictions or lock system, allowing for unrestricted 24 hour berthing ensuring efficient vessel operations.
Andrew Hunter, Sales Manager at Peel Ports London Medway, said: “The Port of Sheerness is a key strategic location for Peel Ports and we are committed to both expanding the port’s core commodities, as well as creating further opportunities for our customers through diversification.
“The reconfigured  warehouse space has created a hub for storage and distribution of sensitive cargo and represents our dedication to helping businesses establish a base for growth. It provides importers and exporters quick and easy access to London.”
For more information click HERE.

Maiden voyage Ever Grade departs Felixstowe after sunset during her European tour 26th February 2019

The Ever Grade is one of the largest container ships afloat with a maximum capacity of 20,388TEU ranking her the 5th largest in the world. The Ever Grade handed over to Evergreen in January 2019 starts her maiden voyage in China before making her way west towards Europe. Her last port in Asia was Colombo in Sri Lanka before transiting the Suez Canal in a northbound convoy. First port of call in Europe was Rotterdam. Cargo complete in Rotterdam she sets sail for Felixstowe. Three Svitzer tugs assist her onto Felixstowe berth 9. After berthing, the cranes began to boom down and cargo operations commenced into Tuesday and still continues as the pilot boards for the departure. As the sun sets over Harwich, the pilot radios Harwich VTS with an update with cargo and when they expected they would require the tugs and mooring gang. A few road tugs with boxes on their trailers line up in the quay waiting to go onboard. Svitzer Kent was standing by near the aft as the Svitzer Sky leaves the pontoon towards the Ever Grade The two forward cranes boom up leaving just one on the aft still working cargo. Berthing Master on the quay gets the cranes in better positions along the berth away from the aft and bow. Finally that last crane booms up and moves in to a safe position. Kent makes fast centre lead aft and moves onto the port quarter to pin her onto the berth while they singled up as there was an offshore breeze. To help make it easier for the Sky to make fast, two of the offshore lines were slackened and bought back onboard. Sky moves under the bow to retrieve a heaving line so their two gear could be made fast on the bollard through the centre lead forward. Sky backs away with a slack line ready to work. Springs fore and aft were released and the Kent backs away ready to tow the Ever Grade off the berth. The pilot then gets the Kent aft to start increasing their power to edge her off the berth. Sky starts off at 50% before dropping a little while later so the aft could get into the strong flood tide. The pilot uses the bow thrusters to help swing the bow in to the channel. The lights of the port glisten on the water as the pilot begins to run the engine ahead. Sky gets in a position to let go from forward. Once released they peel off onto the Felixstowe side and repositions on the port quarter. Kent drops in astern and gets ready for the next obstacle, the Beach End turn. The pilot says to the Sky that they would be used as the primarily escort tug as the Ever Grade wasn't the best at picking up speed. Sky alongside begins to push up at a 45° angle at full power. A few moments later the Kent moves out onto the starboard side for a powered indirect. Slowly they round the Beach End and once they had safely navigated into the North Sea both tugs were stood down. They both lay in wait for their next work which was the OOCL Japan.

Published on 26 Feb 2019