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Rotterdam red sea The recent disruptions at the Red Sea entrance are anticipated to exert additional strain on the container terminals in January 2024.

However, the overall impact on the port of Rotterdam's throughput is projected to be minimal. The Port of Rotterdam Authority foresees a decrease of approximately 1.25 million tonnes in the 2023 throughput figures, primarily due to the delays around the year-end transition. This anticipated decline is expected to positively influence the results for 2024.

In recent weeks, numerous sea-going vessels, predominantly container ships from the Middle East and South East Asia, have been rerouted to pass the Cape of Good Hope. Consequently, container ships are experiencing an extended voyage duration of eight to twelve days. Bulk carriers, which typically maintain an average speed of 24 kilometres per hour compared to the usual 33 kilometres per hour, are facing delays of eleven to eighteen days. The shipping distance between Singapore and Rotterdam through the Suez Canal is 8,288 nautical miles (15,349 km), while the route via the Cape of Good Hope spans 11,755 nautical miles (21,770 km).

The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s projections indicate a reduction of approximately 1.25 million tonnes in throughput volume for December due to these disruptions. For context: the total throughput volume at the port of Rotterdam in 2022 amounted to 467 million tonnes.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority estimates that container throughput during the final fortnight of December will witness a decline of about 65,000 TEU, equating to roughly 0.65 million tonnes. The potential impact on liquid bulk transhipment, including oil, oil products, and palm oil, is assessed by the Port of Rotterdam Authority to be a maximum of 0.5 million tonnes. Although around 2.4 million tonnes of Rotterdam’s liquid bulk typically transit through the Suez Canal each month, not all bulk carriers have opted for rerouting. Approximately 0.5 million tonnes of dry bulk, including commodities such as coal and iron ore, are transported through the Suez Canal to Rotterdam monthly. The Port of Rotterdam Authority anticipates a maximum impact of approximately 0.1 million tonnes on this category of cargo.

APM responsible second life At APM Terminals, we aim to maximise the lifecycle of our assets, support a circular economy, and contribute to environmentally sustainable practices.

A good example of this is the initiative taken when decommissioning 1,000-tonne cranes at the heart of our operations in a terminal.

gt-01In commissioning new, state-of-the-art cranes to modernise our facilities and better meet the needs of our customers today and tomorrow, we go out of our way to ensure the decommissioned equipment is handled in as respectful a way as possible. These cranes have served us well, and while they may have served their purpose with us, we want others to benefit from the contribution they can still make to lifting world trade.

Such is the case at Pier 400 in Los Angeles where eight 18-year-old RTG’s (rubber-tyred gantry cranes) have been moved to APM Terminals Elizabeth, New York and another seven to an external operator in South Africa. Similarly, three STS (ship to shore) cranes will leave Pier 400 bound for a customer in Vietnam, having been bought back for resell by Chinese manufacturer ZPMC. Another such case will happen in our terminal in Salalah, Oman soon. The instances of such transactions are increasing, triggered by new crane arrivals, the ending of concessions, automation, and decarbonisation upgrades.

In other words, our efforts to “Lift the Standard of Responsibility” and maximise efficiency come into play at every stage of an asset’s life. One aspect of addressing the need to reuse, refurbish and extend the life of mega-sized terminal equipment was borne from an idea hatched at APM Terminals seven years ago. It was an idea that sprang from the imagination of a colleague who unapologetically confesses to being ‘obsessed’ with the circular economy.

Prior to 2016, there was no central platform by which terminals could acquire used assets. It was the norm for the industry that managers typically used their own networks and contacts to explore the potential of purchasing equipment from those who no longer needed them. Finding equipment was often relationship driven, or down to sporadic luck. But that was before ‘waste obsessed’ Guantong “GT” Liu came on board at asset management.

Says GT: “Unfortunately, in some cases, the decision was made to scrap equipment on the spot without fully exhausting all reuse possibilities. That’s primarily because visibility was lacking, even within companies such as APM Terminals. There was a demand/supply disconnect. Secondly, scrapping was favoured because moving an item can be extremely costly and risky. However, depending on the location, the scrap value can come in at a loss rather than a gain.”

Multiple factors added up to make the online portal the most effective and proactive solution – and when it became clear that customers would benefit, the wheels were quickly set in motion.

It was clear to GT that a standardised process was needed so that assets could be given a ‘new lease of life’ in another location or role. What had to happen was global real time visibility. It came in the shape of APM Terminals’ web portal for ‘Used Port Equipment Sales’.

Currently, the portal offers a used Empty Container Handler in Spain, a Ship to Shore (STS) crane in Oman, and a rubber tyred gantry crane (RTG) in Egypt, to name just three of around 150 assets for sale on the site right now. The website provides assets at an affordable price for specific, shorter-term projects.

“A steel structure lasts approximately 25-40 years,” says GT. “Normally we cannot expect machinery to last much beyond this point. But within that timeframe, a terminal might find it no longer needs a particular asset, even though it might still have 10 or more good years left to offer.”

Inevitably, however, there does come a time when responsible scrapping is the best solution. “When a scraping decision has been assessed – and we have set processes and procedures to determine such eventualities – we save as much as we can, and recover as many components, such as electrical drives, engines and gearboxes, as possible.”

If not resold, a scrapping scenario is at times preferable for GT rather than having a piece of equipment remaining idle for months, even years. On this subject, GT returns to his favourite topic – the avoidance of waste.

“Some items of equipment are for such specific use that their utilisation can be as low as 20%. And yet, as was previously the case, terminal managers were reluctant to sell, thinking the spare parts alone would be useful to keep.

“But we now have more efficient ways to proactively respond to unforeseen circumstances,” he says. “People in the industry can have more faith in equipment maintenance.” That sense of security has been reinforced by APM Terminals’ exclusive use of sister company Crane & Engineering Services (CES), which works closely with the global leader in crane manufacturing, ZMPC.

“Equipment is made to be used,” says GT, who wrote his INSEAD EMBA thesis on optimising resource allocation in the container terminal industry.

Asked for his thesis (and work experience) conclusions, and GT summarises: “We need better planning. Offering equipment for resale/relocation on short notice will often lead to sub-optimal results. It’s my aim to ensure that perfectly usable assets – which can cost millions to transport, even for dismantling – don’t see a scrap yard until they’ve come to the end of their workable lives.”

In the past few years, APM Terminals has transacted more than 60 deals through the portal for a total value of more than US$100 million. Not to mention the satisfaction of knowing

we’re lifting the standard of efficiency through the optimal use of perfectly fit-for-purpose equipment.

kuehne and nagel insettingThe new year starts with electrifying news as Kuehne+Nagel announces its Book & Claim insetting solution for electric vehicles.

This makes Kuehne+Nagel the first logistics service provider to launch this solution, which previously was limited to low-emission fuels. Implementing decarbonisation solutions and helping customers achieve their sustainability goals is a key component of Kuehne+Nagel’s Roadmap 2026 Living ESG cornerstone.

Developing Book & Claim insetting solutions for road freight was a strategic priority for Kuehne+Nagel. Last October, it launched an insetting solution for HVO—now followed by electric vehicles. The first-of-its-kind solution has been tested and validated in cooperation with leading external stakeholders.

Customers who use Kuehne+Nagel's road transport services can now ‘claim’ the carbon reductions of electric trucks when it is not possible to physically move their goods on these vehicles. Reasons for that could be insufficient charging infrastructure or a limited driving range and payload. The solution helps to bridge those challenges which today still limit the deployment of electric trucks.

“We see battery-Electric Vehicles (BEVs) as the future to reduce emissions in road freight. Carbon insetting supports the scale-up of low-emission solutions like BEVs and helps to reduce the premium that customers pay for these solutions, thereby supporting the decarbonisation of road transport,” says Hansjörg Rodi, Member of the Management Board at Kuehne+Nagel International AG, responsible for Road Logistics.

For now, only Kuehne+Nagel’s owned BEVs are part of the Book & Claim offer to keep full control and transparency over the accuracy of the data that is used in the calculations. However, the team aims to expand the solution to BEVs operated by its partners so that it can support them in their fleet electrification journeys too. “Purchasing electric trucks can be a heavy financial burden, especially for smaller carriers. Including carriers in our solution requires further complex developments in the accounting methodology, but it would help them to finance their transition. This is our next priority,” concludes Rodi.

Rohlig Saudi Arabia Rohlig SUUS Logistics, a leading logistics operator in Central and Eastern Europe, has opened new route to Saudi Arabia.

This is the next step for the company in the development of sea freight. In the face of the crisis in the Red Sea, this alternative new route is the hope of preserving the continuity of the supply chain from Europe to the Middle East. Dry and reefer containers will sail from Gdańsk and Gdynia, Poland, and from Koper, Slovenia, while transit with transhipment at Diametta or Port Said will reach Saudi Arabia in 30 days from Poland and 20 days from Slovenia.

Atlas AirAtlas Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc., today announced Delaware State University (DSU) has joined its University Pathway Program for pilots.

Through this program, Atlas Air will recruit, hire and train qualified graduates of DSU to fill high-demand careers for the next generation of pilots.

Founded in 1891, DSU is one of the nation’s premier Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) with a rich history of cultivating top-tiered talent. The university’s aviation program is dedicated to setting the highest standards in aviation education and related training, aiming to nurture highly accomplished aviation professionals with a global perspective. This mission aligns seamlessly with Atlas Air’s commitment to growing a diverse and highly skilled talent pipeline.

“Deepening our relationships with HBCUs is an important component of our recruiting and talent strategy, enabling us to raise awareness of Atlas Air as an employer of choice for an increasingly diverse population of students for our highly competitive pilot careers,” said Patricia Goodwin-Peters, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Atlas Air Worldwide.

“I want to thank Atlas Air for pursuing this relationship with Delaware State University and specifically our Aviation Program. This partnership agreement allows Atlas Air to recruit DSU graduates as pilots flying cargo aircraft, at the beginning of their careers,” said Michael Hales, Director of Aviation Programs at Delaware State University. “This is an unprecedented level of partnership between a major cargo air carrier with this University.”

Bechtel PSUBechtel, a leading engineering, procurement, construction, and project management company, announced a partnership with Prince Sultan University (PSU) in Riyadh to create a new joint Early Career Program that will provide internships and vocational training to PSU students and graduates.

The program will help develop the next generation of Saudi engineers and construction professionals at a time when Saudi Arabia is building several giga-scale infrastructure projects in line with Vision 2030. 

“Bechtel’s partnership with PSU underpins our shared commitment to investing in the development of future engineers and construction professionals,” said Abdul-Rahman Al-Ghabban, Saudi Arabia Bechtel Company president, and Middle East region manager. “The success of this next generation is essential; together, this group will drive continued innovation and growth across the industry and our country.”

“Bechtel and PSU graduates will collaboratively participate in PSU-organized technical training programs,” said Dr. Abdulahakim Almajid, dean of the College of Engineering, Prince Sultan University. “In addition, PSU will provide Bechtel professionals with opportunities to guest lecture and lead programs at the university.”

The Early Career Program will be open to current and recently graduated students from PSU’s Construction Management and Civil and Environmental Engineering cohorts. Through the program, Bechtel will match students with relevant departments helping guide their continuing education in the industry. Graduates will gain experience across a range of skills, including project controls, engineering, construction, and fieldwork.

This year, Bechtel celebrates 80 years working in Saudi Arabia. Bechtel has delivered over 300 projects in the region, including some of the most ambitious projects in the world. Current giga projects where Bechtel is applying its 125 years of global expertise include NEOM, Trojena, Jubail, Riyadh Metro, and New Murabba.

exxon Rotterdam ExxonMobil plans to build a pilot plant at the Botlek site in Rotterdam, using carbonate fuel cell technology.

These fuel cells have the ability to capture CO2 emissions from industrial sources before they are released into the atmosphere, while also making valuable by-products.

The technology produces low carbon power, heat, and hydrogen as by-products. The CO2 captured will be transported through Porthos and stored in depleted gas fields under the seabed of the North Sea.

The pilot plant aims to collect data on performance and usability of the carbonate fuel cell (CFC) technology, that was jointly developed with FuelCell Energy. The technology is modular, making it potentially ready for broadscale implementation.

This is the first time that carbonate fuel cell technology is being tested for CO2 capture in an industrial environment. This pilot aims to address possible technical issues that may occur in a commercial environment and better understand the costs of installing and operating a CFC plant for CO2 capture.

MIA record crowds Miami International Airport (MIA) has been serving a historic number of travelers since its winter travel season began, and more records may be broken as the New Year’s Day and Three Kings Day holidays quickly approach.

MIA set a new single-day record of 194,866 passengers on December 23, and six other days since December 16 have been among MIA’s 10 busiest ever, all of them surpassing 167,000 travelers. MIA has averaged 170,000 daily passengers since its winter travel period officially began on December 21, which is 11% higher than last year’s record season and far above the 162,000 per day average that the airport projected.

“These record-breaking numbers prove once again how important MIA is to our tourism industry and our local economy, where one out of every four jobs is directly or indirectly supported by our airport. I am also proud to see MIA continue to provide the high level of customer service that made it one of the best airports in North America this year, according to the J.D. Power 2023 Airport Satisfaction Study." Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.

MIA officials expect more peak days this weekend and next week, as travelers make their way to and from Miami-Dade County and destinations across the region for New Year’s Day and Three Kings Day celebrations. At 51.3 million passengers so far this year through December 26, MIA is poised to reach a new annual passenger record of 52 million travelers on December 31, which would be an increase of 2.5% over last year.

With those projections in mind, MIA travelers are encouraged to follow the airport’s winter travel tips.

Even with the record-breaking numbers, MIA’s parking garages have remained open, and spaces are still available. Out of the airport’s 616 elevators, escalators, and moving walkways, only 52 are currently out of service for repair or replacement, as part of the airport’s Modernization in Action (M.I.A.) Plan.

While the Concourse D Skytrain remains out of service, a courtesy trolley service is available from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at one of the 10 courtesy shuttle pick-up stations located throughout Concourse D. An airside shuttle bus is also available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., with stops at gates D10 and D55. Passengers who require wheelchair assistance should contact their airline in advance before their flight.

EUROGATE CTW The Damietta Alliance Container Terminal (DACT) has signed the final financing contract for its state-of-the-art container terminal in Damietta, Egypt.

The financing consortium comprises international development banks including European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (“EBRD”), the International Finance Corporation(“IFC”), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (“AIIB”), DEG and Proparco.

The signing event for the contract took place yesterday in the New Administrative Capital Cairo at the Ministry of Transport in presence of the Transport Minister of Egypt, the Minister of International Cooperation of Egypt, as well as the German Ambassador. Representatives from all lending institutions, DACT's management team, and consortium partners came together to mark this significant milestone in the project's development.

"We are particularly proud that this group of prominent development institutions, including EBRD, IFC, AIIB, DEG and Proparco is supporting the Damietta Alliance consortium with know-how, as well as a landmark financing package tailored to the necessities of the project," stated Tom Eckelmann, CEO of the EUROGATE Group.

“Our investment in the new terminal aims to open up new markets and boost economic growth in the region. The enhanced infrastructure will significantly improve our transshipment operations in the East Mediterranean market and at the same time provide better access to the local Egyptian trade”, said Rolf Habben Jansen, CEO of Hapag-Lloyd AG.

While the construction of the infrastructure is currently underway, the management team of DACT is already engaged in Damietta. The Go-Live of the terminal is scheduled for the beginning of 2025, with a final total operational capacity of 3.3 million TEU. The terminal will serve as Hapag-Lloyd's dedicated strategic transshipment hub in the East Mediterranean.

The Joint Venture, "Damietta Alliance Container Terminal S.A.E.," consists of three core shareholders: Hapag-Lloyd Damietta GmbH (39%), Eurogate Damietta GmbH (29.5%), and Contship Damietta Srl (29.5%). Additionally, Middle East Logistics & Consultants Group and Ship & C.R.E.W. Egypt S.A.E. each hold a 1% stake in the venture.

FedEx positive change FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, has concluded a series of clean-up initiatives in local communities.

The clean-up activities contributed to the removal of 200 kilograms of litter. It is part of our efforts to restore and protect the environment.

In total, 116 FedEx team members dedicated about 100 hours to collect litter from parks, roads, and riverbanks in various areas, such as Tokyo, Kanagawa, Saitama, Aichi, and Osaka.

In addition, through our collaboration with sustainability-related NGOs like Hands On Tokyo, a local non-profit dedicated to combating ocean pollution, FedEx collected 80 kilograms of debris along the Arakawa riverbank before it reached the ocean.

“At FedEx, we are committed to creating possibilities not only for local businesses, but also for our local communities. Our team members are passionate about making a positive change and contributing to societal needs,” said Kei Alan Kubota, managing director of FedEx Express Japan. “Sustainability is a common social concern, and I am proud to see our volunteers actively engage in efforts to making our communities more sustainable and creating a better place to live for future generations.”

Although Japan is perceived as a neat and clean country, littering has become a growing social problem. According to the Ministry of the Environment, over half of the surveyed municipalities reported the implementation of new regulations to address littering, and almost half incur fines or worse, getting a prison sentence[1]. Moreover, several other issues, such as the swelling influx of international tourists into Japan following the ease of COVID-19 restrictions and the escalating problem of plastic waste along the country’s coastline, have also contributed to the problem.

The clean-up initiative is part of the company’s culture where FedEx team members give back to their communities through service programs around the world, alongside its global community engagement initiative FedEx Cares. The company is currently running its Drive forward. Give back. campaign, the global call to action for team members to support communities through volunteering, purple totes collections, and new grants programs like the FedEx Founder’s Fund.

DSV RoadRHA estimates that NOx from HGVs has been slashed by around 70 percent since 2013.

The improvements can largely be attributed to the introduction of cleaner Euro VI trucks onto the UK’s roads in the last decade.

The Association in its NOx Emissions Assessment 2023 projects that NOx will have fallen by 80 percent in 2026.

Greater adoption of alternative fuel and battery-charged trucks in the years ahead could see event greater reductions.

Just 19 percent of UK NOx emissions came from road transport in 2021 – and less than 15 percent of that figure came from commercials vehicles.

Progress has come at significant cost to the sector however with Euro VI trucks more expensive than Euro V. The RHA estimates that the industry has spent £2.2bn on upgrading fleets in ten years with an asset value loss in non-Euro VI vehicles of £1.2bn.

The RHA urges lessons to be learned from clean air zone policies where vehicle life cycles and the needs of SMEs have largely been ignored.

Chris Ashley, RHA Policy Lead for Environment and Vehicles, said: “It's vital that policy makers understand there are other factors that must be dealt with. Most pressing is how we manage our road networks to minimise congestion where there’s high pollution.

“This requires a fundamental change of approach nationally and locally.”

The RHA launched a #NetZeroForum this year to support the industry on its decarbonisation journey. It brings together a cross-representation of the RHA membership by transport mode, size, sector and the four UK nations to drive the RHA’s long-term contribution to achieving #NetZero.

More on NOx emissions reductions here.

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