Friday, December 7, 2018

A Very Quick Look at Some of the Freight and Logistics Stories You May Have Missed

Theoretical Lifeboats to Crashing Space Rocket Videos Make for an Interesting Round Up
Shipping News Feature
FINLAND – WORLDWIDE – This week's look at some of the stories you may have missed from the shipping, freight and logistic sectors begins with the news that technology group Wärtsilä has put a novel spin of awakening the world to the threat of climate change by designing a hypothetical lifeboat for use in flooded buildings.

The craft contains a bunch of the Finnish company’s smart technologies including autodocking, dynamic positioning and wireless charging. The autonomous lifeboat is powered by 100% renewables, like synthetic renewable fuels and solar energy and is designed to attract collaboration from start-ups and future partners in a bid to mitigate the impact of climate change. Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer at Wärtsilä, commented:

“This hypothetical lifeboat is a way for Wärtsilä to amplify the critical need to move climate change discourse to action. In fact, the concept is not as unimaginable as we first think. The boats would have been useful in the recent floods in Italy and Indonesia. We must act now, together. Or the unthinkable will happen and this lifeboat will have to be built for real.”

DUBAI – DENMARK – Global port operator DP World has announced the successful closing of the acquisition of 100% of the Unifeeder Group, a deal announced in August. Unifeeder operates the largest and most densely connected common user container feeder in Europe with a growing short sea network. DP World saw the acquisition as complementary to its own logistics activities in a deal which cost around €660 million.

US – In an unusual release from the Coast Guard this week all shipping was instructed to remain a minimum of two nautical miles away from a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket which landed in the water off the coast of Cape Canaveral, Florida. The Coast Guard Station Port Canaveral 45-foot Response Boat was deployed to keep a watching brief whilst SpaceX decided what they were to do to recover the rocket. No pollution was apparently released. A rather spectacular video of the ‘landing’ is available HERE.

US – UK – Boeing and ELG Carbon Fibre have announced a partnership to recycle excess aerospace-grade composite material, which will be used by other companies to make products such as electronic accessories and automotive equipment. The agreement, the first of its kind for the aerospace industry, covers excess carbon fibre from 11 Boeing airplane manufacturing sites and will reduce solid waste by more than 450 tonnes a year and follows a trial by the pair.

To prove the viability of the recycling method Boeing and ELG conducted a pilot project where they recycled excess material from Boeing's Composite Wing Center in Everett, Wash., where the massive wings for the 777X airplane are made. ELG put the excess materials through treatment in a furnace, which vaporizes the resin that holds the carbon fibre layers together and leaves behind clean material. Over the course of 18 months, the companies saved 680 tonnes of carbon fibre, which was cleaned and sold to companies in the electronics and ground transportation industries.

WORLDWIDE – Following our article this week regarding BIMCO’s announcement that it would release a new contractual clause for ship owners and charterers covering the risks of cyber-attack, the Council, together with a range of industry partners, has published its third, improved, edition of ‘Guidelines on Cyber Security Onboard Ships’.

The document expands on risk management and assessment with a new dedicated annex suggesting updates. The risk to Operational Technology is also investigated, as is malware attack together with some actual case histories of infiltration and disruption.

UK – Hoppecke Industrial Batteries has introduced a new series of fork lift truck battery chargers which the manufacturer claims provides modern logistics operations with a sustainable and flexible way of managing their energy needs. The trak | charger HF premium units offer reactive current compensation which means precise charging times with a significant reduction in energy consumption and consequent CO2 reduction.

Energy savings are around 14% for each charging cycle by comparison with conventional 50Hz chargers with adaptable charging processes across 24V to 80V and capacities between 64Ah and 1550Ah allow a huge range of industrial and commercial applications. Irrespective of the state of the battery, a quick charge capability ensures that 95% of a battery's original state of charge can be achieved within two and a half hours.

Photo: The Wärtsilä concept ‘Lifeboat for Buildings’ with (inset) how it might look ready for action.