Friday, December 13, 2019

In a Quiet News Week Comes a Host of Smaller Shipping and Logistics Items

Some Stories Which Didn't Make the Front Page
Shipping News Feature

COLOMBIA – Port operator Sociedad Puerto Industrial de Aguadulce (SPIA) set a new operational milestone last week at the Port of Buenaventura after servicing the 14,436-TEU, 366 metres long, MSC Faith, the largest ship ever to dock in the country. The call at Puerto Aguadulce, was part of Mediterranean Shipping Company's (MSC) weekly service between Asia and Latin America's west coast. SPIA is a container and bulk handling facility jointly developed by Philippine group ICTSI and PSA of Singapore.

Built in Korea in 2019, MSC Faith is one of the most modern and energy-efficient 14K+ TEU vessels added to MSC’s green fleet in 2019. Designed with environment and efficiency in mind the latest generation MSC vessels are powered by Tier III diesel engines for main propulsion and auxiliary power, and are 75% cleaner than the Tier II standard set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). Puerto Aguadulce was the vessel’s maiden call in South America at a port which gives access to the ‘Golden Triangle’ of the Colombian economy, comprised of the cities of Bogota, Medellin, and Cali.

CHINA – FINLAND – Technology group Wärtsilä has signed a strategic development agreement with Chinese state-owned shipbuilder CSSC Huangpu Wenchong Shipbuilding. The five year agreement is aimed at the joint development of a hybrid powered dredger, but could possibly extend to other hybrid vessels as well. The agreement was signed on December 3 at the Marintec conference and exhibition in Shanghai.

The purpose of the agreement is to build a cooperation framework and working mechanism for the research and development of hybrid power systems. Wärtsilä will support Huangpu Wenchong during the design and construction phases with technology innovations, system selection, performance calculations, and long-term services. The initial work will be based on a hopper dredger, a vessel that the shipyard already builds. Evaluations will be carried out to determine the most suitable hybrid solution for that class of dredgers.

SWEDEN – US – Volvo Group Venture Capital AB has invested in Autotech Ventures, an American venture capital fund focusing on start-ups in the ground transportation sector. Autotech Ventures is located in Silicon Valley managing over $200 million that focuses on the $3 trillion ground transportation sector.

The Volvo Group has been involved with connected, autonomous, electrified vehicles and related mobility services, technologies which have created shifts in the ground transportation industry. The Autotech Ventures team claims to combine deep knowledge and insights from the ground transport sector with vast experience from venture capital investing.

SWITZERLAND – WORLDWIDE – Huber+Suhner, electrical and optical connectivity provider, has launched its fire-resistant RADOX® Oil & Gas Flexible Lightweight (OFL) cable solution, aimed at the offshore industry. Featuring a lightweight and compact design, the new cables reduce weight and space by up to 60% when compared to other cables on the market. A small bend radius and thin wall, half the size of standard cables, reduces stripping time by 60%, making installation easier and quicker.

With the potential to save industrial and offshore facilities thousands of dollars in structural design by overcoming space and weight restrictions, the cable is highly fire-resistant and low smoke halogen free (LSFH), ideal in harsh outdoor environments and offshore industrial applications. Core cables do not melt or drip in the event of a short circuit, ultimately minimising emergency repairs and the potential for hazardous fume inhalation. The RADOX OFL cable is also oil, mud and hydraulic oil resistant according to the highest standard NEK606 Cat. a-d.

US – Logistics group Transportation Insight, has acquired Meridian Logistics LLC of Austin, Texas, trading as FreightPros, an established freight brokerage company founded in 2009 with deep expertise in the LTL (less than truckload) brokerage market.

The acquisition continues Transportation Insight’s core M&A strategy of buying well-positioned transportation and logistics businesses with a strong base of clients that have future growth opportunities. FreightPros will initially operate as a part of Transportation Insight within its holding company, Transportation Insight Holdings, and over time will be integrated with the Nolan Transportation Group (NTG) brokerage business unit.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) welcomed the agreement this week between the United States, Mexico and Canada that paves the way for USMCA trade deal ratification in Congress. A spokesman said USCMA will provide the certainty the trucking industry needs while ensuring the United States remains competitive on the world stage. Trucking supports nearly 90,000 Americans in trucking-related jobs and generates $12.62 billion in annual revenue.

FINLAND – The new Viking Line vessel Viking Glory, is currently under construction in China and scheduled to go into service in 2021, and the Climeon Heat Power System now being installed it is estimated will save around 4,000 tonnes of CO2 in conjunction with Climeon’s steam turbines, which use waste heat from gases produced during the combustion process.

The shipping line is the first ever to fit the steam turbines, and the systems are not only used to supply heat throughout the vessel but also to generate clean electricity. The steam turbines will be placed in service initially on Viking Glory but will be assessed for potential use on Viking Line’s six other vessels in the future.

UK – The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is adding its support to The Big Logistics Diversity Challenge 2020, encouraging its members to enter a team for the event, which will take place in June 2020. The Challenge is designed to promote the importance of equality, diversity and inclusion across the logistics industry and the business benefits attained when companies improve diversity by engaging teams in a series of fun physical, practical and mental team challenges.

UK – FRANCE – Getlink tells us that during November 2019, Le Shuttle Freight carried 130,952 trucks, a decrease of 13% compared to November 2018, which it accounts for as due both to the effect of stock piling in October in preparation for Brexit and to an ‘unfavourable calendar’. Since the beginning of the year, almost 1.5 million trucks have crossed with Le Shuttle Freight, a decrease of 6% compared to the same period in 2018.

Photo: The MSC Faith docked in Colombia.