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Fuel a more sustainable future

Luka Koper record 2022The Luka Koper Group registered an excellent performance in the first nine months of 2022, with the strong results mainly reflecting increased cargo throughput, higher volumes of services provided and higher warehousing income.

During the period, the Group’s operating expenses also increased by 16% due to the general increase in prices of materials and services, higher operating volumes, and the related higher consumption of energy products. However, this did not affect the Group’s EBIT which amounted to EUR 66.2 million in the period January-September, up by EUR 42.8 million or 183% compared to the same period last year. EBITDA amounted to EUR 89.5 million in the period under review, up by 96% compared to the previous year’s figure.

The Luka Koper Group recorded growth in all commodity groups. In the first nine months, the Liquid Cargo Terminal handled 3.4 million tonnes of goods, 43% more than in the same period last year. All liquid cargo segments recorded an increase, especially in the handling of petroleum products, with a return to a gradual increase in the handling of jet fuel.

A 31% increase was recorded at the General Cargo Terminal, where just over 1 million tonnes of goods were handled in the first nine months. The increase was mainly in steel products and rubber, with a slight decrease in timber exports, which have been increasingly handled in containers in recent years.

With 567.089 vehicles handled, the Car & RO-RO Terminal achieved a 20% growth. The increase in handling services is mainly in exports to markets in the Middle and Far East, while imports are showing a significant increase in the number of electric vehicles, especially from China. Dry bulk cargoes increased by around 5%, mainly due to road salt, aluminium ore and coal. The Container Terminal achieved growth of 3% with 780,739 TEUs, despite all the challenges, notably the constraints on the rail infrastructure.

The company Luka Koper d.d. was also active in the area of investments. Namely, EUR 36.8 million were invested by the end of September 2022. During this period, the construction of Berth 7D for the Container Terminal was completed, the construction of storage areas continued, two Super Post-Panamax cranes were acquired and the purchase of three e-RTG cranes. In addition, two more investments were completed, namely the construction of a general cargo warehouse and a new liquid cargo tank.

Despite the difficult environment, the Luka Koper Group is performing well this year and is recording growth in turnover in all commodity groups compared to 2021. Total maritime throughput is expected to reach a record 22.9 million tonnes by the end of the year, up 10% on 2021 and in line with the 2022 target. The Group will also record higher throughput in both strategic commodity groups – containers and cars – despite irregular ship arrivals, occasional interruptions in supply chains and the general unpredictability of the global market.

“Based on the results achieved this year and the outlook for the rest of the year 2022, we expect to register net sales revenue of 302.9 million euros, a new record for the Group, which will exceed 2021 net sales revenue by 74.4 million euros (33%). EBIT will reach 70.7 million euros, which is 125% or 39.3 million euros more than in 2021 and a good one per cent more than planned. The Group’s net profit will also be 33.1 million euros higher, at a record 64.9 million euros,” said Boštjan Napast, CEO of Luka Koper, in his estimate of the Group’s performance until the end of 2022. As he pointed out, the increase in warehousing income in 2022 was mainly due to the current uncertain situation, which has had an impact on the longer storage time of goods. At the same time, he predicted that the situation would gradually stabilise, with a slowdown in the growth of the above-stated revenues by the end of the year.

The harsh economic conditions are projected to continue also in 2023. The current war in Ukraine has completely destabilised the world economy, leading to a severe energy crisis in Europe and a general economic downturn. Economic growth in Slovenia is expected to slow to 1.4% next year, mainly due to energy risks, lower foreign demand, and lower domestic consumption. Despite of the challenging environment, the Luka Koper Group remains optimistic. “Despite the difficult economic situation, we plan to achieve 23.3 million tonnes of maritime throughput in 2023, which is a 2 percent increase compared to the estimate for 2022. We plan to grow in all commodity groups, except liquid cargo,” Napast said of next year’s performance. The Container Terminal is expected to handle 1,089,000 TEUs, up 5 percent on 2022 estimates, while the Car Terminal is also planning to handle 760,000 vehicles, up a good 1 percent.

While the Group will achieve higher net sales revenue in 2023 due to higher handling volumes, additional services and price increases, total net sales revenue will be EUR 290 million or 4% lower than in 2022 due to the normalisation of the situation and lower warehousing revenues. The Group’s projected EBIT and net profit will also be lower compared to the 2022 estimate, mainly due to lower projected warehousing revenues, increased expenses due to inflation and general cost increases. Nevertheless, key operating categories (EBIT, EBITDA) are expected to be higher in 2023 than in 2021.

In 2023, the Company will also continue the active investment cycle as defined in its strategic plan. “Key investment projects in 2023 will be related to increasing the capacity of the Container Terminal, building additional open storage areas for car handling, increasing the storage capacity for general cargo, building a new Truck Terminal and equipment procurement. In total, we are planning investments of 58.8 million euros, of which a quarter, 14.5 million euros, will be in the area of sustainable development,” the CEO added.

Atlas Air MIAAtlas Air Worldwide (Nasdaq: AAWW) (“Atlas” or the “Company”), a leading global provider of outsourced aircraft and aviation operating services, today announced that its shareholders voted to approve the Company’s pending acquisition by an investor group led by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, Inc. (“Apollo”, NYSE: APO), together with investment affiliates of J.F. Lehman & Company (“J.F. Lehman”) and Hill City Capital (“Hill City”) at its special meeting of shareholders held earlier today.

“We are pleased to receive overwhelming support from Atlas Air Worldwide shareholders, who recognize this transaction provides compelling value to them while giving us the opportunity to execute our strategic plan,” said John Dietrich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide. “This is another step forward to completing the transaction as we advance our leadership in airfreight and deliver high-quality services to our customers around the world.”

As announced previously, the transaction was unanimously approved by the Atlas Board of Directors, which recommended that Atlas shareholders approve the transaction. Approximately 99.3% of the votes cast were voted in favor of the adoption of the merger agreement, which represented approximately 80.9% of the outstanding shares of Company common stock. The final voting results will be set forth in a Form 8-K filed by Atlas with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company expects to complete the transaction in the first quarter of 2023, subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals. Upon closing, Atlas Air Worldwide will become a privately held company and shares of Atlas Air Worldwide common stock will no longer be listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

DP World the big project DP World today announced a team from Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) as the first winners of its Big Tech Project – an international competition challenging students from leading universities in the UAE and India to solve trade challenges across the globe through the power of the metaverse.

Dhanalaxmi Gaddam, a Masters Student in Machine Learning and Abbas Bamidele Abdulsalam, pursuing his M.Sc. in Computer Vision, described their winning solution as two ideas in one – using the metaverse, virtual and augmented reality technologies to enhance training and productivity at DP World’s ports and terminals around the world.

The first solution is a virtual training simulator for new employees to gain on-ground experience and training without having to physically visit the terminals. The team also developed a second solution using Google Glass to enhance efficiency and maintenance at ports and terminals by providing easy to access instructions for work done in real world operations. Together, the solutions will reduce the risk of accidents by facilitating virtual inductions and increase efficiency by streamlining operations.

Accepting the award Abdulsalam said: “It is very promising that companies like DP World are focused on using the metaverse for solutions to their challenges and our experience has given us a feel for what working with the company would be like. We would definitely want to work with the company in the future as they are committed to using technological solutions to solve a range of pressing issues the industry and the world faces today.”

Adding to her teammates comments, Gaddam said: “We never knew that we could create solutions for this industry. We have been exposed to practical things that we had not experienced before. And working with our mentor from DP World has been invaluable and given us an understanding of process and planning. Both of us would relish the opportunity to work in the industry and for DP World now that we know how valued our input and solutions would be at such a forward-thinking organisation.”

The finalists were invited to showcase their ideas in a ceremony held at DP World’s Pavilion at Expo City Dubai – living up to its promise of being a catalyst for changemakers and innovators. An expert panel of judges from DP World assessed the four shortlisted solutions, which have the potential to change the face of global trade in the future.

Alongside the MBZUAI team, there were also three strong solutions presented by two universities from India – two solutions from the International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore and one from the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. All four teams will now be offered exclusive two-month internships and mentoring with DP World, while the first winner also received a top-of-the-line MacBook and a $5,000 cash prize. The runners up, Team Kamikaze from IIIT Bangalore also received $3,000.

Sultan Al Hajji, Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations at MBZUAI, said: “We are thrilled to see two of our students developing such an innovative solution, which could have a positive impact for DP World and its customers, as well as the wider industry.

“At MBZUAI, we are dedicated to advancing AI as a global force for humanity. By building the AI future leaders and fostering an innovation ecosystem, we act as a strategic think tank for the public and private sectors. As such, we aim to develop future solutions that will impact the world and change the way we imagine things. The Big Tech Project is a tangible example of that work in practice, and we would like to thank DP World for hosting such a forward-thinking competition that gave our students a chance to develop real-life industry solutions.”

Pradeep Desai, DP World’s Chief Technology Officer, who was part of the judging panel said: “The metaverse is still in its infancy so it is hard to predict exactly how it might be utilised in our industry in future. But the ideas these inspiring students put forward have the potential to change the face of global trade. They came up with solutions and put together prototypes in less than eight weeks, which is very rare for these kinds of challenges. It’s an outstanding achievement and shows their resourcefulness, drive and ambition. These are all attributes we value at DP World. We were impressed by what we saw and are really looking forward to the students joining us for their internships.”

By digitising a traditionally analogue industry, DP World aims to make trade smarter, increase visibility and minimise disruption across the supply chain. Its tech hubs and the talent it recruits are crucial to the company’s commitment to digitisation.

DP World continues to expand its tech centres worldwide. Through integrating technology and solutions, DP World is working to streamline operating systems that drive warehousing, inland container depots, container freight stations, railway or ocean terminals to deliver a seamless logistics experience.

In future editions, the BIG TECH PROJECT will expand to invite studies from universities in new markets, encouraging students globally to join DP World in reimagining world trade by creating the smartest, most efficient and innovative solutions. It will be open to even more countries in the years to come.

“At DP World, we are focused on making trade flow seamlessly by deploying technological innovations and solutions. We believe that technology will make trade more resilient by infusing flexibility, resilience and transparency into the logistics ecosystem,” Desai added.

Cathay Pacific Cathay PharmaWe know that every shipment is critical, especially shipments of vital life-saving medicines, vaccines, plasma and other life science products.

That’s why we’re introducing our refreshed Cathay Pharma solution: an innovative new approach which applies the agility and expertise we’ve refined from the pandemic, as well as the advances in packaging, tracking and monitoring of recent years.

The result is a combination of reliability and expertise, born of our experienced and highly trained staff. We’ve added next-generation, multi-dimensional data-logging and tracking, and every stage of the shipment journey in Hong Kong is covered by IATA’s CEIV Pharma accreditation.

We have developed a dedicated team to monitor pharma shipments 24/7, and to take proactive steps to ensure that they leave our care in the best possible condition. Other developments in packaging technology mean that we offer both the widest temperature range – including the big four industry-standard temperature ranges – and the biggest choice of container options in Asia. Our Cathay Pacific Cargo Terminal in Hong Kong has just opened a new Pharma Handing Centre, offering computer-controlled temperature and humidity monitoring, truck docks with inflatable shelters and moveable charging ports.

We boast dedicated pharma coordinators who oversee shipments across our global network of destinations – a network that includes most of the major pharmaceutical research and manufacturing hubs.

With Cathay Pharma, we believe we now offer one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date handling solutions in the market – this is another concrete step towards our vision of becoming the world’s most customer-centric air cargo services provider.

We look forward to helping you discover all of the benefits of Cathay Pharma soon.

Maersk pratigya expressA.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk), the integrated logistics company, continues to design and implement logistics solutions that address the ever-evolving needs of its customers.

Building further on its strong commitment towards developing a robust rail network in India, Maersk flagged off yet another weekly, dedicated rail service, the ‘Pratigya Express’, from Sonipat Inland Container Depot (ICD) in NCR to APM Terminals Pipavav Port on the western coast of India in Gujarat.

"The NCR is abundant with retail and rice exporters who need a regular connection from their manufacturing facilities to the consumers in the western market. Through our dialogues with our customers, we realised that they faced two challenges - either they don’t have a fixed schedule for departure from Sonipat ICD, and once they get it, they do not necessarily make it to the right vessel connection at the port." Major Jyoti Joshi Mitter, Head of Rail, Maersk India.

She added, “Our ambition was to address both these problems with a single solution - we launched a dedicated weekly rail service that gives the exporters a fixed visibility on departure from the origin and then connects to a fixed vessel connection at the APM Terminals Pipavav Port.”

The ‘Pratigya Express’ will move cargo from Sonipat ICD to APM Terminals Pipavav Port with a transit time of two and half days. From there, the cargo will have the option to connect on services such as the Shaheen Express, which will be launched in the coming days or the MECL.

Both of these services will then be able to take the cargo to the Middle Eastern or European markets. Studies show that cargo moved on rail instead of road has advantages in terms of both cost-savings and time-savings. These two benefits eventually also contribute to reducing carbon footprint.
Maersk’s new ‘Pratigya Express’ service on the Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) will move 90 TEUs (twenty feet equivalent units of containers) every week. APM Terminals Pipavav Port also plays an important role by being the first port to be connected to the DFC and has excellent connectivity to the hinterland through its rail head and road infrastructure.

Port of Salalah Al MazyunahPort of Salalah, a major Arab Gulf regional gateway port and transhipment hub on the Arabian Sea, partnered with Maersk to launch a new multimodal transport solution to Al-Mazyunah free zone as part of their regional strategy.

Designed to facilitate inland services, the new offering extends beyond the Port and includes securing customs clearances and bonded trucking services to Salalah and Al-Mazyunah free zones hubs under carrier haulage. The new service reduces lead time and allows access to multiple markets. It also aims to support the growth of SMEs in Oman and Yemen and attract new investors which is also aligned with the Oman 2040 vision.

The Port of Salalah and Maersk have just completed the first trial shipment from China delivered to Mazyouna FZ. The subject shipment was loaded in the Chinese port of Ningbo and arrived in Mazyouna with a total transit time of 25 days. This makes Salalah the best choice for Yemen gateway, a major share of which otherwise was discharged in neighbouring ports and routed across the border through Oman. This new corridor will help Yemeni importers to save costs and transit time. Maersk has confirmed its commitment to creating the required capacity, connectivity, and contracts to scale this up, thereby also benefitting the local companies in Oman.

“We are excited to be expanding our inland service capabilities to help support customers beyond the Port as a part of our commercial efforts focused on growing our gateway volume, of which Yemen plays an important role. We are thankful to the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Information Technology, ROP customs and Asyad for their support in making this happen” said Keld M Christensen, CEO of Port of Salalah.

Port of Salalah acts as a facilitator in anchoring Salalah as a gateway to Yemen and the current initiative, in partnership with Maersk, ensures seamless cargo movement where the customer gets single window service till the final delivery location. This will not only ensure increased efficiency to the customer but also has the potential to eliminate unexpected costs, including line demurrage and port storage as an example.

Christopher Cook, Managing Director at Maersk UAE, Oman and Qatar, commented, “Our ambition is to serve our customers with end-to-end, integrated solutions which will simplify their supply chains. Our joint efforts with Port of Salalah aim to achieve this, and we look forward to unlocking new value for our customers across the Middle East and North Africa region.”

As one of the world's most efficient transhipment ports, the new offering is well-positioned to offer a range of customers a consolidated, digital, streamlined service. Salalah delivers world-class terminal capabilities, including containers and liquid and dry bulk handling.

The Port of Salalah currently serves large volumes of multiple commodities through Al-Mazyunah free zone.

khazaen port Maersk A.P. Moller – Maersk (Maersk) has added Khazaen Dry port (KDP), part of Asyad Group, to its extensive ‘Port of Call’ network offering business transportation, container terminal, and reefer container services to easily import and export goods.

Maersk is committed to designing and implementing services for its customers that offer integrated logistics solutions. KDP enjoys a strategic location closer to Maersk’s customers’ manufacturing hubs around Muscat and the gateway it opens to global markets. By adding KDP to the network of ports and offering land freight and value-added solutions to and from KDP, Maersk is implementing time-and cost-efficient solutions for its customers.

The long-term commercial agreement with Maersk falls in line with Asyad’s role to facilitate trade and support local merchants to do business efficiently at global standards. It further bolsters KDP’s global positioning as an import, re-export and transhipment centre as the country forges ahead to become one of the leading logistics hubs in the region. Underlining Asyad’s role as a market growth leader, this integration is yet another step in the Group’s carefully designed scheme to improve efficiencies and adopt higher standards across the logistics sector.

"At Maersk, our ambition is to connect and simplify our customers’ supply chains by providing them integrated logistics services across land, sea and air network. Our customers can swiftly move their goods worldwide through our network that spans over 130 countries on more than 730 of our vessels." Mads Skov-Hansen, Head of Ocean Customer Logistics, Maersk West & Central Asia.

He added, "Oman has been a key logistics destination for Maersk, especially when it comes to the accessibility to global markets. We have worked closely with Asyad Group over the years to foster our relationship to offer best-in-class integrated logistics solutions supporting Oman 2040 Growth Vision. We are happy now to add Khazaen Dry Port to our network and work even more closely with Asyad in the coming years to continue developing our logistics investments supporting Oman's growth ambitions."

"By integrating KDP within Maersk’s network, we are able to improve international market accessibility, facilitate trade and increase the flow of products and services to and from Oman at the touch of a button." Juma Al Maskari, Executive Director of KDP.

“We are home to more than 80 local and global companies with an annual capacity of 50,000 TEU. This integration with a powerful global network facilitates business and trade for the private sector, providing them with operational efficiencies and cost optimisation by simply leveraging Maersk’s global routes to best suit their supply chains,” he added.

Khazaen Dry Port is strategically located within easy reach of the booming economies in the region, with proximity to the Saudi-Omani border, UAE-Oman border, the Port of Sohar, the Port of Salalah, and the Port of Suwaiq. It is purposely designed and built over an area of 100,000 m2; KDP is a one-stop shop for custom clearance, inspection and handling and storage of containers, and cargo movement at Muscat’s doorstep.

Since starting its operations, KDP has leveraged its unique value proposition in Khazaen Economic City to attract major corporations and global players to invest in Oman. As the country’s first integrated in-land dry port, it connects the City and other economic areas in the Sultanate to seaports, airports and land borders through a network of roads designed to accommodate land transport and shipment.

APM death of EDI Fresh from industry-leading conference, the TOC, held in Peru last month, APM's Digital Portfolio Owner Data Products has been convincing attendees that it’s only a matter of time before Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) will be relegated to the past.

laura-bercan-apm-terminalsLaura Bercan, one of a panel of five industry experts leading the technology focus at TOC, presented on how API is set to revolutionise the maritime sector. APM Terminals is fully committed to the digital solution, and customers are already benefiting from API in over twenty locations, with more planned next year.

“By using API, we are able to provide customers with direct access to data so that they can track their goods, much as anyone with ‘track and trace’ does for a courier package, or as a passenger would when ordering an Uber,” says Ms Bercan.

APM Terminals currently offers API data feeds for Container Tracking, Truck Appointments, and Vessel Schedules, among other tools. This API offer is continuing to evolve, with ‘Push’ capabilities next on the list.

The push function will proactively notify customers of journey milestones. “That’s how proactive we want to be. We don’t want our customers to guess, or need to check the status or location of their containers. With push APIs they’ll ‘just know’,” she says. A proof of concept for push notifications is being developed by the end of this year with release planned early 2023 for APM Terminals’ API-enabled locations globally.

Convinced of the speed, transparency and operational cost effectiveness of APIs, TOC conference delegates asked Ms Bercan: “Will APIs be the death of Electronic Data Interchange?” Though clearly an API advocate, Ms Bercan does not believe the transition will be immediately fatal for EDI.

“EDI and APIs will have to work in tandem, in a transitional phase. That’s because many operators are not yet fully ready or willing to make the change,” she says. “However, I’d predict that within ten years, EDI will only be used as an emergency solution for those who have not fully adopted the new technology.”

Blame the ‘uncatchy’ acronym, the pervasive legacy of EDI, or misplaced priorities, but APIs still struggle to grab the imagination or commitment of all players in the sector. “API as a concept is not always top of mind within the industry,” says Ms Bercan, but she adds that this is changing. “Every operator wants greater transparency, improved efficiency, customer centricity and cheaper solutions,” she says.

Which begs the question as to why APIs are still not fully adopted across the board. “There are no industry standards as yet,” offers Ms Bercan. “The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA) is trying to set those standards and connect the parties. API makes all the sense in the world, but until we all agree on what format and how or what to share, EDIs will continue to be used.

“When we discuss the benefits and ease of adoption, there is an almost universal desire for APIs. A stumbling block seems to be that technological change can be a scary topic.”

The good news, particularly as we enter economically uncertain times globally, is that APIs are cost effective and easy to implement. Technological know-how is not required for either the user or the terminal.

“It is cheaper in that it only takes a couple of days for one person to connect with an API whereas with EDI that can take months. It is therefore also faster, and in terms of user experience, seamless.”

According to Ms Bercan, the TOC made it clear that two priorities are on everyone’s agenda for the year ahead: decarbonisation and digitalization. With Push notifications enhancing the already attractive charms of APIs, Ms Bercan predicts that 2023 will take the sector a step closer to fully integrated digital supply chains.

GE Aerospace Silk Way West Silk Way West Airlines has signed an order with GE Aerospace for a total of 16 GE9X and GE90 engines to power its new fleet of long-haul Boeing aircraft.

The new engines, the world’s most powerful models, will contribute to the Azerbaijani cargo airline's sustainability goals by reducing its fuel consumption.

Silk Way West Airlines recently announced the purchase of two Boeing 777-8F, which will be powered by GE9X engines, and will receive additional GE90 engines for five Boeing 777Fordered in April 2021. The order comprises five GE9X and eleven GE90 engines in total and further contributes to the modernization of the carrier’s cargo fleet.

The GE9X is the most powerful aircraft engine in history and the quietest model ever produced by GE. It will deliver a fuel consumption improvement of up to ten percent compared to the GE90-115B, and like all GE commercial engines, both the GE9X and GE90 are compatible with any approved sustainable aviation fuel. The new engines will therefore not only enhance Silk Way West Airlines' operational performance but also contribute to its strategy of increased cargo transport sustainability.

During the signing ceremony, Zaur Akhundov, President of Silk Way Group, highlighted the importance of the relationship with GE Aerospace, saying: "We are pleased to continue our longstanding successful cooperation with GE Aerospace. The signing of this agreement marks the strengthening of our relationship. Thanks to this, Silk Way West Airlines will move confidently into a sustainable future with a more efficient fleet that meets the highest emissions and noise standards. We believe this partnership expansion will help us meet our long-term strategy of sustainable growth as well as our environmental commitments, and will continue to improve services for our valued customers."

"The GE9X engine offers a combination of performance and fuel efficiency that is unmatched in its class," said Kathy Mackenzie, President and CEO, Commercial Engine Operations at GE Aerospace. "We are proud to expand our relationship with Silk Way West as they continue to modernize their fleet for cargo operations."

MEPSEAS project concludesThe conclusion of a successful five-year initiative to protect the marine environment in South-East Asia from the negative effects of ships and shipping has been marked at a high-level meeting (25-27 October) in Viet Nam with the adoption of a MEPSEAS-Halong Statement by the participating countries.

The Marine Environment Protection of the South-East Asian Seas (MEPSEAS) project has seen seven partner countries - Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam – make substantial progress in ratifying and implementing key IMO environmental treaties. During this process, countries implemented national legal and policy developments and benefitted from related capacity building in port and flag state inspections to support enforcement of the selected Conventions. The project also supported country-specific port biological baseline survey training, the Green Shipping-Green Port-Green Shipyards (GGG) initiative of the Philippines and the holding of a regional maritime technology conference, among other activities.

As the MEPSEAS project draws to a close, Mr. Jose Matheickal, Chief, Department of Projects and Partnerships of IMO, said MEPSEAS has been one of the most successful projects IMO has handled in terms of delivery and impact on marine conservation.

“Ratification and implementation of some important IMO Conventions prioritised under this project are really going to contribute to the marine protection of the region,” he said. “It was extremely pleasing to see the progress made and commitments delivered by the countries under the project. We started with a scenario where most countries have not even started the accession process and we are exiting the project when the countries have not only acceded to the Conventions, but also developed implementing legislations and practically demonstrated port state control in their ports. It was worth the journey,” Mr. Matheickal added.

The MEPSEAS project was phase II of a collaboration between IMO and Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) which worked in conjunction with the seven partner countries to implement the Convention on the Control of Harmful Anti-Fouling Systems in Ships (AFS), the Ballast Water Management Convention (BWM), the London Protocol and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from ships (MARPOL) (particularly Annex V regulations covering garbage from ships).

The aim of MEPSEAS was that, by the end of the project, countries would have acceded and implemented their chosen Convention and have in place long-term plans to ensure the protection of the South-East Asian Seas for years to come – aims which have been achieved.

At the conclusion of the MEPSEAS Third High Level Regional Meeting in Ha Long City, Viet Nam, all participant countries adopted the Ha Long Statement which commits them to continue to work in the spirit of MEPSEAS to ratify and implement more international Conventions related to the protection of the marine environment. 

Mr. Matheickal highlighted what he called a "ripple effect” from the project. The model used is deemed to have been a great success, particularly the structure of regional coordination and national consultation that was built through National Task Forces, and the contribution from strategic partners such as Singapore, the Tokyo-MoU Secretariat, ASEAN, Women in Maritime-Asia and Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA).

The project model has motivated other regions to implement similar projects such as the Caribbean region where a project (Caribbean Sustainable Maritime Transport Project – CaribSMART) is being designed by taking the lessons from the MEPSEAS project. “The “ripple effect” of MEPSEAS is more than we had originally anticipated,” said Mr Matheickal.

In fact, the Philippines have seen such merit in having a national task force as the mechanism to deal with all IMO Conventions, they have decided to formalise theirs under a new name as a permanent fixture via presidential decree.

“It looks like other countries may follow suit. Such inter-ministry mechanisms are a great legacy of the project,” Mr. Matheickal said.

After the Ha Long High-Level Meeting, Mr. Jose Matheickal reflected on how IMO can harness the lessons from the MEPSEAS initiative: “How do we go forward? We ensure sustainability is integrated into project design and implementation by developing the local expertise - that contributes to sustainability beyond the project – developing the policies and legislations that will be there for ever, developing the inter-ministerial mechanisms that will be used for many countries in the future and by continuing the IMO support in sustaining the capacity building through our Integrated Technical Cooperation activities in the region.”

The MEPSEAS project culminated with the MEPSEAS Technology Conference in Singapore on 16-17 November held in collaboration with the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore. Two classification societies and IMO’s Head of Marine Biosafety, Theofanis Karayannis, were also in attendance.

The event’s theme was “Environmental solutions for sustainable shipping in South-East Asia” and focused on the latest technologies and solutions for ballast water management; antifouling systems and the introduction of new antifouling measures; and ship-waste management.

The conference was an opportunity to discuss the need for the development of improved ballast water technologies. There was also a chance for delegates to visit a shipyard in Singapore where they saw new ballast water technology in use. And the Philippines gave a presentation showcasing new technology being developed in their country.

The MEPSEAS project formally comes to an end on 31 December 2022. Originally planned as a four-year programme, NORAD extended its financial assistance for a year due to the impact of Covid-19.

The Third High Level Regional Meeting in Quang Ninh was an opportunity to take stock of the overall status of MEPSEAS, and of participating countries’ progress. It was also a chance for those attending – Heads of Maritime Administrations, National Focal Points, national and regional experts, and the IMO Project Coordination Unit – to reflect on the Project’s key achievements and milestones.

The MEPSEAS project promoted national legal and policy developments and related capacity building in port and flag state inspections to support enforcement of the selected Conventions. And it also supported specific port biological baseline survey training, the Green Shipping-Green Port-Green Shipyards (GGG) initiative of the Philippines and the holding of a regional maritime technology conference, among other activities.

It built on the phase I IMO-Norad foundation project which saw substantial progress by countries in implementing or acceding to IMO environmental treaties. Myanmar joined the initiative at the start of phase II. For countries which have acceded to the relevant treaties in the foundation project, the MEPSEAS project has allowed them to focus on effective implementation.

The MEPSEAS initiative used an intervention model structured using four main pillars: On the ground involvement. Each country had to commit in writing to deliver on the MEPSEAS aims. One important aspect was for them to appoint their own national consultants to work alongside international and regional consultants.

An easy-to-understand "traffic light” scorecard showing each participant country’s progress towards ratification. IMO support was provided in the form of performance-driven interventions. Help was given to progress through the milestone stages – but moving to the next milestone was only possible once the previous one had been achieved.

High-Level Regional Meetings were held every two years to take stock and share lessons learned.

Partnerships and use of strategic partners with substantial expertise and their own network to promote and support the goals of the project.

The seven countries were asked to choose their two highest priority IMO environmental Conventions on which they would focus.

One of the early milestones each participant country had to reach was the creation of a national taskforce. These brought together stakeholders in their countries such as Environment, Transport and Finance Ministries, and other interested parties. Most of the countries didn’t have such an inter-ministerial forum to deal with marine environmental issues and some required even a presidential degree to form a mechanism of that kind.

A MEPSEAS regional high-level platform was created, and regular regional high-level meetings were held which brought together the high-level policy makers to take stock and share lessons. The project was also included as a standing agenda of the meeting of the highest level regional maritime body – the ASEAN Maritime Transport Working Group. It regularly discussed the progress of the Project and provided guidance.

A technical expert group was formed with international and regional consultants, but most work was to be done by the national consultants in each country. This enabled the building of domestic expertise to ensure the methods and ethos of MEPSEAS would be sustainable beyond the life of the project.

The seven countries involved demonstrated a spectrum of capabilities, but cooperation between them was encouraged and experience and lessons learned were shared.

Strategic partners in the region, for example, Singapore and Tokyo MOU, worked alongside other strategic partners such as Partnerships in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The involvement of women in the project was a key aim and Women in Maritime’s Asia branch (WIMA Asia) was represented in all meetings.

For phase II of the initiative, it was decided that the project should have a formal name, and the MEPSEAS brand was born.

Creating an identity and bespoke branding for the project gave it higher impact. It has inspired a similarly branded scheme, Carib-SMART, and the preparatory phase of this project is also funded by Norway.

The objective of MEPSEAS was that over the period the initiative was running, the seven countries involved would hit several pre-determined milestones before they could move on to the next stage of the process.

The milestones included the setting up of a national taskforce, drafting national legislation and a policy strategy that would enable ratification to take place. Other objectives were to put in place experts to provide training and to draft legislation and port/flag state control procedures, and to pilot the launch of port state control inspections.

In order to track the progress of the seven participating countries transparently, a score card, or dashboard, was set up using a red/yellow/green “traffic light” system to signify whether they had not yet started towards a milestone, were in progress, or had completed the task.

When the project began, most countries had yet to ratify the IMO conventions. For many, getting to that point was a highly complex process involving various stages of consultation, legislation and finally parliamentary approvals.

The score cards below show countries' progress from the start of the IMO-NOrad Phase 1 intervention to the end of MEPSEAS phase 2.

Turkish Cargo cargoone cargo.one today announced a global partnership that brings Turkish Cargo, the Turkish national carrier’s cargo division, on board the leading marketplace for digital air cargo bookings.

Flying to more countries than any other cargo airline, the combination of Turkish Cargo’s capacities and cargo.one’s seamless digital booking experience now offers freight forwarders worldwide a valuable new proposition. With 40 bookable airlines on board, cargo.one has now secured close to 50% of global air cargo capacity for
instant booking on its platform.

Turkish Cargo is a major international operator, achieving exceptional growth across market segments, flight network and transported tonnage in recent years. In 2010, the carrier was ranked 33rd in the world, and has risen steadily to 14th in 2017, and now 5th globally in 2022. Investments in state-of-the-art SMARTIST, its Istanbul mega cargo hub, sustainability programmes and a comprehensive digitalization strategy has helped Turkish Cargo increase business volumes to 9.1 million tonne kilometers during 2021.

Within weeks, cargo.one customers worldwide can book capacities across Turkish Cargo’s extensive network of more than 340 destinations, 100 of direct cargo - including important centers of commerce in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. Already flying its fleet of 20 freighters to more international direct cargo destinations than any other airline, Turkish Cargo plans to increase this from 100 to 120 by 2025. Freight forwarders can now benefit from the best marketplace booking experience for Turkish Cargo capacities.

Adnan Karaismailoğlu, Senior Vice President of Cargo Business Development and Organization at Turkish Cargo comments, “Turkish Cargo’s partnership with cargo.one will be expanding our digital footprint and improve sales capabilities. We, as Turkish Cargo, are firmly on a trajectory towards our target to become one of the top three air cargo brands in the world in line with the strategic vision. We believe that cargo.one will support us to drive this growth and further raise the bar for our customers, with enhanced innovation standards for delivering the best new digital alternatives to empower success”.

Turkish Cargo is achieving its impressive growth by prioritizing customer value and leveraging digital transformation to enhance its reliability and customer service. The partnership with cargo.one reflects an ongoing development of its sales capabilities in line with recent investments in its product range, including the introduction of TK URGENT. As a digital leader, cargo.one will support the airline’s teams to further enhance the offer quality and customer experience for online bookings.

“Weare delighted that with Turkish Cargo, yet another major cargo airline trusts in cargo.one as a core component of its digital strategy”, says Moritz Claussen, Founder and Co-CEO of cargo.one.

“This is great news for every freight forwarder - no other platform offers more airlines for live booking than cargo.one, making it not just the most user-friendly, but also the most useful platform out there”, he adds.

cargo.one is expanding its available capacity at a rapid pace thanks to velocity on both sides of the marketplace. During 2022, it has launched many additional global airlines and airline groups, adding significantly to capacity across all three of the most important air cargo markets: Europe, North America and Asia.

Turkish Cargo is a strong example of an airline that is driving ambitiously towards the full potential of digital air cargo sales. cargo.one’s recent industry-wide Digital Sales Trajectory Report (conducted with BCG) found that participating airlines identified significant value creation from digital distribution - driven by a broader reach and incremental revenue, better revenue management, reduced cost of sale, and new digital-first products. cargo.one works with airlines such as Turkish Cargo to maximize on such elements
in order to deliver accelerated sales growth and sustainable competitive advantage.

CSAFE Global




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