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TRS BIFATRS has launched a brand new Skills Bootcamp in collaboration with the British International Freight Association (BIFA) to support employers in the sector.

This bootcamp provides an introduction to the importing and exporting of products, suited to those already involved in freight forwarding or those wishing to step into the sector. Subsidised by the West Midlands Combined Authority, the discounted training course is for individuals living or working within the combined authority’s catchment area.

Kevin Birch, Managing Director at TRS, enthuses, "We are very excited about the launch of our International Freight Forwarding Skills Bootcamp. Thanks to funding from the West Midlands Combined Authority, we can offer an essential industry skills course at a greatly reduced rate. We are very proud to be running this programme in conjunction with BIFA, which will be delivering some of the essential modules."

BIFA, central to this collaboration, is the leading trade association for UK companies engaged in international freight transport. Its deep-seated expertise in the sector makes it the ideal organisation for partnering with to address employers’ skills needs.

Spread over five weeks, the 60-hour online course is delivered with the flexibility to ensure minimal impact on work commitments. The curriculum comprises technical workshops and employment skills, including Freight Forwarding Essentials, Customs Essentials, and Dangerous & Hazardous Goods, along with Customer Service Standards, Complaint Handling Processes, and Business Relationship Techniques.

With the first course scheduled to commence in April, TRS is now actively recruiting for this programme, highlighting a significant moment for businesses to upskill the capabilities of their teams affordably. SMEs can access this training for just £200 plus VAT, while larger employers with over 250 employees can enrol their staff for £600 plus VAT.

In an era where industry demands are rigorous and evolving, the introduction of the Skills Bootcamp in international freight forwarding is a timely solution. It offers businesses an avenue for workforce development, equipping employees with industry knowledge and skills at a fraction of the usual cost.

Carl Hobbis, BIFA member services director, adds, “BIFA has numerous initiatives aimed at encouraging staff training and recruitment among its members. This Skills Bootcamp is a useful addition to those initiatives.”

DSV Executive board In line with its long-term succession planning, DSV has made changes to the Executive Board and the Group Executive Committee.

These appointments will strengthen the company's change capacity and support its commercial approach, while ensuring continuity across all operations.

Following the recent announcement of changes to the Executive Board, DSV can confirm that, effective 1 February 2024, current Group COO and Vice CEO Jens H. Lund will assume the position of Group CEO of DSV A/S, and Jens Bjørn Andersen steps down after more than 15 years in charge of the DSV Group.

Brian Ejsing is appointed new Group COO of DSV A/S and will join the Executive Board. Brian started his career at DSV as a freight forwarder in 1986 and has held senior managerial roles in several countries and in both our Road and Solutions divisions. Brian has been CEO, DSV Solutions, and part of the Group Executive Committee since 2012. Over the years, Brian has been instrumental in developing and growing the Solutions division and has played an important role in the integration of acquired companies.

Thomas Plenborg, Chairman of the Board of Directors of DSV A/S: "Following a seamless and swift handover process, the time is right to pass on the responsibility to Jens Lund. Jens Bjørn Andersen has delivered incredible results and significant value for our shareholders since 2008, and on behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to take the opportunity to, once again, thank Jens Bjørn for his contribution over the years. I also welcome Jens Lund as our new Group CEO. Jens has an innovative mindset and deep knowledge of our industry, and I am confident that Jens and the team around him will drive DSV's continued journey."

Effective 1 February 2024, the DSV Executive Board consists of Group CEO Jens H. Lund, Group COO Brian Ejsing and Group CFO Michael Ebbe.

In addition to the changes to the Executive Board, the following appointments have been made to the Group Executive Committee.

With effect from 1 February 2024, Albert-Derk Bruin is appointed new CEO, DSV Solutions. Albert-Derk previously held the position of Executive Vice President, Business Strategy, Excellence and Change Management in the Solutions division. Albert-Derk joined DSV in 2010 and has been part of the division's Executive Management Team since 2019.

Effective 1 February 2024, Morten Landry is appointed new Group CCO. Morten has been part of the DSV group for more than 20 years and previously held the position of Managing Director, Air & Sea United Kingdom and Ireland.

As a consequence, Rene Falch Olesen will step down after more than 40 years with DSV. Rene has been CCO and part of the Group Executive Committee since 2009.

Effective 1 May 2024, Carsten Trolle, CEO, DSV Air & Sea, has decided to step down after more than 39 years with DSV and 9 years in charge of the Air & Sea division. Carsten will continue in a central role and support the Group with strategic projects.

Frank Sobotka is appointed new CEO, DSV Air & Sea. Frank joined DSV 14 years ago and currently holds the position of Managing Director, Air & Sea Germany, and Executive Vice President for Central Eastern and Southern Europe. Frank has held senior managerial roles in several countries over the years and has been part of the division's regional management team since 2018. Frank has 34 years of experience in the logistics industry.

As the above changes take effect, the Group Executive Committee will consist of the Executive Board; CEO, DSV Air & Sea, Frank Sobotka; CEO, DSV Road, Søren Schmidt; CEO, DSV Solutions, Albert-Derk Bruin; Group CCO Morten Landry and Group CIO Jesper Riis.

Jens H. Lund, Group CEO of DSV A/S: "I would like to sincerely thank Carsten Trolle, who has been instrumental in the development of the Air & Sea division over the years, through large integrations and challenging markets. I am happy that Carsten will stay on board to support us after he steps down as CEO for the division. I also sincerely thank Rene, his significant contribution to DSV during the past many years has played an important part in the development of our commercial organisation and commercial support systems.

I welcome Brian Ejsing as Group COO and a strong addition to our Executive Board. Brian has an outstanding track record in DSV and will now take over the responsibility for the continued optimisation of our processes and global network. At the same time, I would also like to congratulate Frank, Albert-Derk and Morten on their new responsibilities. I look forward to our cooperation and to continuing the growth and development of our company.

In addition to these changes, the divisional management teams will be expanded with a COO position. Each division will have a CEO, COO and CCO to further strengthen our change capacity and commercial approach. This is in line with our long-term succession planning and a product of the strong talent pool we have across the DSV organisation."

RZD Agroexpress Russian Railways Holding, CER Cargo Holding (Hungary) and Rail Cargo Group (Austria) signed documents on the establishment of a joint venture in the field of railway transportation.

Budapest (Hungary), Laszlo Horvath, the Chairman of the Board of CER Cargo Holding SE (Hungary), Clemens Först, CEO of Rail Cargo Group (Austria) and Dmitry Murev, CEO of Russian Railways Logistics (an affiliated company of JSC "Russian Railways», Russia) signed documents on the establishment of a triad venture in the field of rail freight transportation.

The event was attended by Vladimir Tokarev, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation, Sergey Pavlov, First Deputy Director General of JSC "Russian Railways», Mihaly Varga, Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, Minister of Finance, and Laszlo Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology of Hungary.

In the context of a sustainable growth in trade between China and Europe, the establishment of such an enterprise will create a competitive and reliable transit rail freight service for customers from China, the CIS countries and the EU.

The established joint venture will provide the freight forwarder-coordinator services for logistics in cargo transportation from the Chinese provinces through Russia and Hungary to the countries of Southern Europe, the Balkan countries and in the opposite direction.

The work of the Russian Railways holding on the creation of the joint venture with Hungarian and Austrian partners is undertaken with the support of the Ministry of Transport of Russia and is one of the elements of the foreign business strategy of the Russian Railways holding.

port of antwerp bruges climate neutrality With the help of an ambitious climate plan, Port of Antwerp-Bruges is aiming for climate neutrality by 2050.

Hydrogen plays an important role in this transition. As such, the port aims to be a leader in the local and international hydrogen economy. In collaboration with Imtech, Remeha and Solencopower, a pilot project has been launched at one of the port's buildings with a boiler running entirely on green hydrogen to demonstrate the feasibility of this climate-neutral technology. It is the first time such a boiler has been used in Belgium for a workshop of this size.

One of the workshops of the NOC (Nautical Operational Cluster) – the operational nerve centre of Port of Antwerp Bruges – will be heated via a hydrogen boiler running on 100% green hydrogen, making it climate-neutral. The use of this type of boiler for such a building is a first in Belgium. The Schildershal workshop ('Painters' Hall), is 1430 m³ in size and is used, among other things, for painting infrastructure such as components of locks. The project, conceived in late 2019, is a collaboration between Imtech (contractor), Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Tractebel (design team), Remeha (boiler manufacturer) and Solencopower (manufacturer).

The green hydrogen comes entirely from renewable energy: 70% from locally produced green energy from surplus solar panels and the remaining 30% from the grid through green power purchases. An electrolyser with an output of 30 kW uses this green power to split 134 litres of water per day into hydrogen (gas, which is stored in 8 bottles) that feeds the hydrogen boiler (with an output of 24 kW) to heat the Schildershal. In addition, 80% of the waste heat produced from the electrolyser will be recovered to provide additional heating for the workshop. The boiler consumes 10 kg of hydrogen during a harsh winter day, which is almost equivalent to two fully loaded hydrogen cars. The heating power is equal to the power required to heat 2 single-family homes.

Port of Antwerp-Bruges is aiming for climate neutrality by 2050 by means of an ambitious climate plan. Switching to green energy and raw materials for its own fleet and buildings is part of this. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions resulting from building heating by 92% by 2030. The Schildershal project is part of this and serves as a pilot project for testing the feasibility and knowledge of the technology to replace existing heating equipment currently powered with fossil fuels, or where a heat pump is not always easy to integrate or can provide the complete solution.

Hydrogen plays an important role in the transition to climate neutrality. As a world port, Port of Antwerp-Bruges aims to take a leading position in the local and international hydrogen economy by focusing on three pillars: local production and import, infrastructure for distribution, and consumption and transport to end users in the hinterland.

This project, which has received a grant from the Horizon 2020 EU funding program for research and innovation, is part of PIONEERS, an initiative that implements greening projects in ports.

Rob Smeets, Chief Operations Officer at Port of Antwerp-Bruges: "Thanks to the passionate commitment of our team and in collaboration with our partners, we were able to develop this new application. Through innovative projects such as these, we are working with industry to build the port of the future and give the hydrogen economy a major boost."

Annick De Ridder, President of the Board of Directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: "Local production, alongside imports, plays an important role in the hydrogen economy. This first is a fine example of how, as a world port and as an economic engine of Belgium, we are using our pioneering role and, through innovation, daring to pioneer and collaborate, taking some major steps forward in the energy transition."

Yves Vanpoucke - Business Development Director BNL: "To meet the 2050 climate goals, Remeha believes in multiple paths to sustainability. Not one all-important indoor climate solution, but solutions that have an impact now and are prepared for a CO2-neutral future. We see hydrogen gas and green gas as alternatives to natural gas and storage of sustainably generated energy. As part of the BDR Thermea Group, we have the knowledge, technology and influence to accelerate the energy transition. This pilot hydrogen project in the Antwerp port area is a good example of that."

Dirk Smet, Managing Director Building Technics North, Imtech: "We are delighted to be involved in this innovative pilot project. It is evidence of our competencies as a partner for the implementation of the energy transition."

Hugo Vandenborre, Founder and CEO, Solenco Power: "Contributing to a first-of-its-kind project is in Solenco Power's DNA, as a pioneer and leader in green hydrogen. Solenco Power is in the scale-up phase, and such a realization in the domestic market is important. This pilot project demonstrates that green hydrogen is not only important for reducing CO2 emissions in the mobility market but also in stationary applications like this."

DB record amounts DB Group (DB) invested more than ever before in creating a high-performance rail network and vehicle fleet in 2023, continuing to systematically implement its strategy for Strong Rail in Germany.

At some EUR 7.6 billion, net capital expenditures from Deutsche Bahn's own funds increased by over 16% year on year, setting a new record. As expected, additional infrastructure expenditures and substantial upfront expenses of more than EUR 1 billion pre-financed for the German government had a negative impact on DB's EBIT.DB Group closed the 2023 financial year with an adjusted EBIT of EUR -964 million (compared with EUR 1.225 billion in the previous year). DB expects a positive adjusted EBIT of over EUR 1 billion again in 2024.

Demand for rail passenger service continued to rise in 2023. DB also made significant progress in its services for passengers in 2023, for example with a larger and more modern vehicle fleet, additional connections and more digital service.

"In 2023, we made upfront expenditures and did more construction than ever before because we cannot delay overhauling and modernizing our infrastructure," said DB CEO Dr. Richard Lutz in Berlin. "But 2023 also marks a turning point: together with the German government, we launched the largest and most comprehensive capital expenditure program since the German Rail Reform in 1994. No more running our rail infrastructure into the ground – it's time to overhaul and modernize it from top to bottom. Thanks to the major increase in budgetary funding from the German government, we are able to make additional expenditures of roughly EUR 30 billion. We are continuing to press ahead with implementing our Strong Rail strategy. Achieving Germany's climate and transport policy objectives and shifting more traffic to environmentally friendly rail will simply not be possible without high-performance infrastructure."

A general modernization of roughly 40 heavily used corridors in DB's rail network will be the key piece in upgrading rail infrastructure for more stability and quality. The lines will undergo a full modernization, which will equip them with extended platforms, upgraded permanent way, digital signaling technology and more. By 2030, Germany will have a high-performance network over 9,000 kilometers long. The project will begin this year with the roughly 70 kilometer Riedbahn line between Frankfurt and Mannheim. A test phase in January 2024 installed five times more building material than is typical for conventional construction projects.

DB and the German government increased gross capital expenditures in 2023 by about 12% year on year to a total of EUR 16.9 billion. More than 94% of this record capital expenditures went toward rail in Germany, primarily in the infrastructure. As expected, net financial debt was up as of December 31, 2023, in part due to capital expenditures on rail infrastructure and vehicles, and to DB's pre-financed expenditures for the German government. DB had a net loss for 2023 of some EUR 2.4 billion (compared with a net loss of EUR 227 million in the previous year). One of the negative factors here was the significant increase in interest paid, which was driven in part by higher borrowing for capital expenditures. The DB Group's results were also affected by the additional burdens of inflation-related cost increases, a sharp rise in personnel expenses and multiple strikes.

DB Group generated revenues totaling roughly EUR 45.2 billion in the 2023 financial year, down about 13% from 2022. The decline can largely be attributed to the industry-wide normalization of freight rates in international logistics, which, as expected, was also felt by DB Schenker. With an operating profit of EUR 1.1 billion, DB Schenker's adjusted EBIT was still more than twice as high as it was before the Covid pandemic.

In DB's core business, the Integrated Rail System, revenues rose 6.2% to about EUR 26.2 billion. DB Long-Distance increased its revenues in 2023 by 18.4% year on year to some EUR 5.9 billion. DB Regional, DB's business unit for regional and local transport, generated some EUR 9.7 billion in revenues, a year-on-year increase of 7.4%. It significantly increased its volume sold, for both rail and bus service, by over 9% to some 43.5 million passenger kilometers. The Germany-Ticket played a major role in this increase. DB Long-Distance surpassed pre-Covid levels for the first time in 2023, with some 45.5 million passenger kilometers (up 9.0%). At DB Cargo, revenues rose 6.4% to some EUR 5.6 billion in 2023.

About 1.8 billion passengers took DB's trains in 2023, 5.8% more than in the previous year. By taking the train instead of driving, they traveled the climate-friendly way: long-distance rail passengers alone reduced greenhouse gas emissions by some 7.5 million tons in 2023. In order to meet growing demand, DB continued to expand its services. On average, it put three new ICE trains into service each month. DB greatly expanded its long-distance connections at the timetable change in December. Many new service features were added to DB Navigator, Germany's most popular mobility app.

Train kilometers on the highly utilized track infrastructure in 2023 fell slightly year on year, by 1.3%, to about 1.12 billion train-path kilometers. High capacity utilization of the rail network, combined with a high level of construction, had a negative impact on punctuality in long-distance transport, which was at 64.0% (down from 65.2% in the previous year). The punctuality of DB Regional trains was 91.0% (compared with 91.8% in the previous year).

DB Group expects revenues to increase to about EUR 47 billion in 2024. It also expects to generate an operating profit, and decidedly so at over EUR 1 billion. Reimbursement of DB's pre-financed expenditures for maintenance in 2023 will be the main contributing factor. DB Group also expects positive effects from a further increase in demand for rail passenger service and from measures to boost efficiency.

"Our rail companies will need to return to profitability and to be able to finance their capital expenditures from their own cash flow," said Dr. Levin Holle, DB's Chief Financial Officer, at the annual results press conference." To achieve this, we must become significantly more efficient."

Gross capital expenditures by DB and the German government is set to increase further to about EUR 21 billion. DB Group intends to significantly increase net capital expenditures from its own funds again in 2024. Additionally, it expects to achieve a punctuality of about 70% for its long-distance services and some 93% for DB Regional rail services.

This forecast is subject to uncertainties, particularly since the legal and regulatory framework for higher payments from the German government still needs to be put in place.

Rhenus Seaway 7Rhenus Port Logistics in Rotterdam and Seaway7 are announcing the extension of their partnership with a new ten-year contract.

Building on a decade of successful collaboration, this long-term agreement reflects both companies' shared commitment to sustainability and continual improvement in their operations.

Both companies have pledged to advance the sustainability of their operations, incorporating initiatives such as the use of electric cranes and forklifts, along with launching a pilot project for shore power. The project falls within the wider aim of the Port of Rotterdam to roll out shore power in the entire port as an environmentally friendly and quiet method of powering ships.

Piet van Baalen, Offshore Resources Director of Seaway7: "The location of the Rhenus terminal so close to the North Sea is incomparable and provides Seaway7 with the needed flexibility. We are glad to renew and extend our long relationship for another ten years. Over the past decade, significant changes have occurred in our business, and in Rhenus, we find a partner that evolves with us, demonstrating a necessary mix of pragmatism and future orientation."

Peter van der Steen, Managing Director of Rhenus Port Logistics Netherlands, emphasized the importance of safety in their partnership, remarking, "With Seaway7 as a long-term partner, we have learned from the highest level of safety in the industry, which is paramount to securing long-lasting business. We look forward to what the next decade may bring." Rhenus and Seaway7 expressed their satisfaction and confidence in the continuation of their partnership.

 

FedEx Express Leipzig FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and the world's largest express transportation company, today announced the opening of a new logistics facility northwest of Leipzig.

The new facility in Kabelsketal, in the immediate vicinity of Leipzig/Halle Airport, is a response to the increased volume of consignments, particularly in the larger customers’ segment.

The site, which covers over 17,000 square metres, offers space for a warehouse of around 3,400 square metres and an office area of over 850 square metres. The site has six loading bays for lorries, 63 for vans and six for 7.5-tonne trucks. Twelve charging stations have been installed for the vans and six for employees' cars. The sorting capacity has doubled compared to the previous facility. A new loading and unloading concept has reduced traffic in the warehouse and thus the risk of accidents at work. A suburban railway connection close to the site ensures good connections to the cities of Leipzig and Halle.

"We are supporting our customers in the region with their growth ambitions," says Stefan Dries, Vice President Ground Operations Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Nordics for FedEx Express. "The site in Kabelsketal is well equipped for increasing shipment volumes in both freight and parcel."

The new building in Kabelsketal is the fourth location in Germany that FedEx Express has opened in the last eighteen months. Following the opening of the Nufringen station in early summer 2022 and the modernisation of the air gateway in Stuttgart in spring 2023, the company expanded and modernised the site in Karlsruhe at the end of January.

Logistics UK sort border Easter weekend marks the traditional start of the UK’s exodus to the EU, with coachloads of schoolchildren and carloads of families taking the opportunity to travel to Europe for skiing holidays and spring breaks.

But while for many, short traffic queues are anticipated as part of the travel experience, business group Logistics UK is warning that travel delays – and the knock on-effect these could have on imports of food from Europe moving forwards – could be significant, unless the UK government takes steps to clarify its post-Brexit border arrangements with the EU.

“For the past seven years, since the Brexit vote, the logistics industry has been urging government to clarify all the arrangements which will be needed to move goods smoothly across the UK’s border with the EU,” explains Nichola Mallon, Logistics UK’s Head of Trade. “Yet despite ongoing representations to the government’s departments involved in the new border arrangements, which will see more changes introduced at the end of next month, our members are still in the dark when it comes to critical information about how the new Border Target Operating Model is to work.

“We are one month away from the introduction of physical checks on EU imports and government has still not told our members – businesses which move all the food and other goods in the supply chain - what import charges it will apply on every consignment they bring across the border and how this Common User Charge will be administered. Concerns still remain within our industry about the capabilities and capacity at border control posts to efficiently process these perishable goods. These are business-critical issues which will impact the movement of goods across the UK’s borders and, potentially, into stores and homes nationwide.”

About 30% of all the food consumed in the UK comes from the EU, according to the British Retail Consortium, including almost half of the fresh vegetables and the majority of fresh fruit sold in this country. As Ms Mallon continues, crucial information still needs to be provided to logistics businesses moving goods from UK, to ensure that supplies do not run short and shelves are not left empty:

“Fresh produce cannot be left languishing in vehicles for long periods of time – we need to be able to move it effectively to our customers with as little delay as possible. Add in the challenge of negotiating traffic jams caused by holiday traffic, and the introduction of the new EU Entry/Exit System at the Short Straits planned for October, and the risks to supply chains and potential for product shortages in supermarkets becomes very real.

“Logistics operators need the support of government to ensure that the UK’s borders do not become a barrier to the movement of goods.”

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.

DHL Avanti DHL Supply Chain UK today announces the introduction of a new IoT temperature monitoring device to its Avanti West Coast onboard food service in a UK rail industry first.

By guaranteeing fresh food is kept at the optimum temperature, the new device will ensure food safety and enable DHL and Avanti West Coast to save a considerable amount of food each week from going to waste.

Easy to deploy and requiring zero infrastructure, each IoT device is mounted to an individual trolley where it provides a constant monitor for the trolley’s condition. Temperature readings are then accessed using a QR code scanner.

The user-friendly devices can issue immediate feedback and alerts to operators on the condition of a trolley, enabling a more accurate decision-making process on whether food should be disposed of. With over 500 trolleys supplying ambient and fresh food in DHL’s Avanti West Coast network daily, the introduction of IoT temperature monitoring eliminates time-consuming and error-prone paperwork.

All food temperature data captured by the IoT monitors is stored and can be easily accessed to evaluate patterns and performance, helping to continue improving the service.

The introduction of the new IoT devices marks a first for the UK’s rail industry. Following a successful trial, the smart monitors are being rolled out across DHL’s entire Avanti West Coast network as part of DHL’s ambition to continue improving the efficiency and sustainability of its operation.

Dan Peacock, Managing Director, DHL Supply Chain says, “The significant food waste savings achieved through the introduction of smart IoT devices into our Avanti West Coast operation shows the value of innovation and digital solutions. Nurturing and deploying new technology is part of our commitment to both our customers and the environment. I’m incredibly proud of the team for seeing the opportunity for positive change and making it happen.”

Philippa Creswell, Executive Director of Onboard at Avanti West Coast, said: “We’re committed to reducing our impact on the environment and tackling our food waste is just one area that will help achieve this. Partnering with DHL on this innovative temperature monitoring device is the latest initiative to make our catering operations more sustainable – enabling us to make more informed decisions about items that can be kept or wasted.

“The technology has transformed the way we work, and we’re excited to see how it will support safety, while reducing waste across the west coast.”

Georgia Port Authority Ocean Terminal The Georgia Ports Authority has approved contracts totaling $65.6 million for container yard work at the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal, a 200-acre facility just downriver from GPA’s main container port.

“We’re very pleased with the progress on improving Ocean Terminal’s container handling capability,” said GPA President and CEO Griff Lynch. “We’re on track to see greater container capacity by late 2027.”

On Tuesday, the board approved three project components, including earth compacting to prepare the site to hold container stacks, removal of a former bridge pier and preliminary utility installation behind the wharf structure.

The work will be funded through revenue bonds GPA issued in 2022.

Previously approved upgrades at Ocean Terminal include the purchase of eight ship-to-shore cranes, refurbishing the wharf structure, and construction of an overpass for direct access to US 17. When all work is complete, Ocean Terminal’s annual capacity will grow from 300,000 twenty-foot equivalent container units to more than 1.5 million TEUs.

“At Georgia Ports, we never stop investing in the future,” said GPA Board Chairman Kent Fountain. “As new and existing port users grow their trade through our terminals, we’re ready to take on additional cargo, providing the world-class service that our customers have come to expect.”

Lynch reported to the board that GPA anticipates a third straight month of growth in March.

“I’d like to thank our local partners in the International Longshoremen’s Association and Gateway Terminals, along with our GPA employees for their work moving cargo across our docks with efficient, reliable service,” he said. “With a positive showing in the calendar year to date, Savannah is building momentum toward a stronger second half of Fiscal Year 2024.”

In other business, Lynch reported on recent developments in infrastructure projects: The ports of Brunswick and Savannah will receive a total of $82.7 million in federal funding for maintenance dredging and harbor improvements in a six-bill budget package passed by Congress March 8, 2024.

Nearly $38 million will go to the Port of Brunswick, including $11.35 million for the Brunswick Harbor Improvements project and another $26.6 million to dredge the federal waterway to its full authorized depth.

Inner harbor dredging completed earlier this year brought that portion of the Brunswick channel to the authorized 36 feet. However, funds allotted in 2023 were insufficient to bring the outer harbor from approximately 37 feet all the way to its full authorized depth of 38 feet.

The new funding will cover the cost of dredging work in Brunswick’s inner harbor starting in late fall of 2024. Outer harbor dredging will begin in December 2024. These items will take several months to complete.

On Feb. 29, 2024, Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law the state’s midyear budget adjustment, in which the Georgia General Assembly allocated just over $6 million for the Brunswick Harbor Improvements project, complementing the $11.35 million in federal funding. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ recommended harbor improvement plan includes an expanded area for vessels to pass each other at St. Simons Sound, a bend widener, and expansion of the turning basin where ships are turned bow-downriver before docking at Colonel’s Island.

These improvements will be made over a span of about a year after the Corps of Engineers awards a contract for the work, expected in Calendar Year 2024.

The budget measures also devote $44.7 million to maintenance dredging conducted year-round in the Savannah Harbor.

Construction has started on a new, larger U.S. Customs inspection facility at the Port of Savannah, more than doubling the size of its current location.

The $44.5 million project will transition U.S. Customs operations from their current 130,000 square-foot location on Garden City Terminal to an adjacent 300,000 square-foot building. The new location will accommodate federal inspections by Customs and other federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Warehouse 83B will undergo a full renovation and modernization to provide office space and to support the inspection of dry and refrigerated containers. The project should be complete by January 2025.

The Georgia Ports Authority has been awarded a $15 million federal grant to help replace Berths 2 and 3 at East River Terminal at the Port of Brunswick. The purpose is to improve safety and capacity for exporting wood pellets and peanut pellets, which are used as renewable energy sources.

While conducting the initial design phase, GPA will execute a grant agreement with the federal Maritime Administration and start work on an environmental study required under the National Environmental Policy Act.

In addition to the federal money, Georgia Ports will provide another $15 million to cover the expected cost.

The current dock infrastructure is more than 50 years old.

Once construction is complete, terminal operator Logistec will be able to work multiple vessels simultaneously at berths 2 and 3, improving the speed and efficiency of vessel service.

Construction is anticipated to start in late 2025.

In Calendar Year 2023, East River Terminal handled more than 1 million tons of bulk products, including export commodities such as wood pellets, peanut pellets and animal feed, and imports of salt, perlite and other commodities.

IMO Fiji IMO will open its seventh Regional Presence Office, in Suva, Fiji, to serve countries and territories in the Pacific Islands region.

​IMO Secretary-General Mr. Arsenio Dominguez (left) and Minister for Public Works, Meteorological Services and Transport of Fiji, Hon. Ro Filipe Tuisawau.

IMO Secretary-General Mr. Arsenio Dominguez and the Minister for Public Works, Meteorological Services and Transport of the Republic of Fiji, Honourable Ro Filipe Tuisawau, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at the IMO Headquarters in London on 18 March, confirming the arrangement.

The Regional Presence Office will support the maritime needs and priorities of countries in the Pacific Islands region, aligning IMO actions with national and regional development policies, while providing advice on key maritime issues such as training, safety and security, legislation and marine environment. The Office will facilitate active field-level engagement in the delivery of IMO's technical cooperation framework.

On behalf of the Fijian Government, Honourable Tuisawau said: “The IMO Pacific Regional Presence Office provides an opportunity to address critical issues, including the challenge of providing an efficient inter-island shipping service, to ensure the safety of our Pacific people in inter-island shipping.

“As host of this regional office, Pacific Member States will be assisted in addressing global standards for ships, and compliance issues related to energy efficiency, safety equipment and maintenance of safety systems according to IMO standards.”

Pacific Island governments have highlighted the need for more opportunities in the sector, especially for young people, including certification for seafarers and wider employment prospects.

IMO Secretary-General Dominguez said: “I welcome this opportunity to enhance the global presence of the IMO as well as our ability to work in step with the Pacific region and Member States. In addition to Fiji as host country, I would like to thank the Governments of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands for their generous financial and in-kind support which has helped make this collaboration a reality.”

The new office in Suva will be IMO's seventh Regional Presence Office, to be headed by a Regional Coordinator. It will complement existing offices in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire for West and Central Africa (Francophone); Accra, Ghana for West and Central Africa (Anglophone); Nairobi, Kenya for Eastern and Southern Africa; Manila, the Philippines for East Asia; Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago for the Caribbean; and Alexandria, Egypt for the Middle East and North Africa.

There are 14 IMO Member States in the Pacific Islands region, including Australia and New Zealand. Twelve of them are small island developing States (SIDS), three of which are categorized as least developed countries (LDCs).

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