Category "Trends"

Container ships: Who is the “biggest loser?”

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While international shipping is making intensive efforts to demonstrate its environmental awareness, for example by introducing cleaner propulsion systems, it is creating negative headlines elsewhere.

We encounter increasing reports on losses of large quantities of containers on the high seas as a result of severe storms and other extreme weather conditions. The World Shipping Council (WSC) recently released its 2020 update showing that, on average, 1,382 containers are lost at sea each year.

The most spectacular example is the 2019-built Japanese 14,000 TEU freighter “ONE Apus” (IMO 9806079), which lost over 1,800 containers on Nov 30 2020 in the middle of the Pacific being en route from China to the US west coast. Initially, media reports stated that over 1,900 boxes were swept overboard by a storm. Some 64 dangerous goods containers were lost as well, alongside 54 with fireworks, eight with batteries, and two with liquid ethanol. On Dec 8 2020 the ship has arrived in Kobe, where the big clean-up and safety check-up has started.

Top 5 container ships with most freight loss

The loss of large amounts of cargo due to difficult weather conditions occurs equally for all shipping companies. FleetMon.com has put together a Top 5 of the “biggest losers” of freight in the container shipping industry.

#1: Container ship ONE Apus

End of November 2020, container ship ONE Apus will go down in history with 1816 containers lost in the North Pacific west of Hawaii. 64 contained hazardous goods like fireworks, batteries, and liquid ethanol.

Image of ONE Apus by ship spotter linse51
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Brexit’s done – or is it?

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Boris Johnson’s winning election slogan, “Get Brexit done”, is now reality. But is Brexit really done? And how will it impact ports and supply chains?

Spot the famous White Cliffs of Dover in the distance? This was a sight at least 10,000 lorry drivers waited many days to see around Christmas 2020. They were stuck in massive queues on the motorway to Dover or forced to park at Manston Airport far from the port. Some ended up spending Christmas in their lorries before they could cross the Channel. What went wrong? Britain’s Health Minister, Matt Hancock, had issued a panicky statement on the new corona virus mutation (“We’ve lost control!”) and many countries closed their borders to road, rail and air travellers from Britain. France shut the Port of Calais and the Eurotunnel. Was the resultant chaos a foretaste of Brexit’s impact on ports and European supply chains?

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The data revolution in shipping

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Artificial intelligence in today’s world:

AI or Artificial Intelligence is a blanket term that refers to many computer systems having “intelligence” in some form or another; even if the program is highly overseen by humans. Nevertheless, “Narrow AI’s” (AI’s that do not have general autonomy), while far less interesting constitute far more of what the society today perceives as AI.

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Inland waterway transport systems

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Vessel traffic and cargo and tanker density with FleetMon Explorer for real-time vessel tracking, Mississippi River, New Orleans area

A key cog in the wheel of global supply chains

The huge barge chugs its way southwards towards the Gulf of Mexico. A passer-by on the banks of the Mississippi can hardly hear the boat’s engine: the other shoreline is scarcely visible, so wide is America’s second-longest river at 3,730 km. Its length is just one of the Mississippi’s many superlatives. As an inland waterway transport system (IWTS), its economic significance cannot be overstated.

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Drone Ships: A not so distant maritime future

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Credits: IBM

There’s no denying that advancements in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAS) technology are affecting every sphere of our lives, ranging from agriculture & filmmaking to security and communications down to logistics.

With growing worldwide interest in commercial, scientific, and military issues associated with both oceans and shallow waters, there has been a corresponding growth in demand for the development of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) with advanced guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) capabilities.

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A cost-benefit analysis of LNG in maritime shipping

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Cargo and tanker traffic in the area of Japan’s Futtsu LNG terminal via FleetMon Explorer

Paving the way for a greener future

To date, IMO is the only organization worldwide that has adopted energy efficiency measures that are legally binding across the world. IMO also regulates the emission standards for ships, which are more strict in areas designated as Emission Control Areas (ECAS). As the MARPOL Annex 6 regulations restricting air pollution, another of IMO’s measures, is progressively setting more exacting standards, the shipping industry is looking for alternatives; such as ships powered by distillate fuels, using scrubbers, alternate fuels such as LNG, Hydrogen, or ammonia, even nuclear powered or completely battery-powered ships are a possibility. However one of the most feasible possibilities in the short to mid future is LNG.

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Zero-emission ports: Towards “greener” pastures

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Port of Rotterdam with FleetMon Explorer

Climate change is shaping to be one of the most prominent threats so far in the 21th century. With the shipping industry being an inextricable part of global logistics, it contributes to about 18 percent of some air pollutants. The International Maritime Organization (IMO), with this in view has adopted regulations to reduce emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GHG). The directive in MARPOL annex 6 to reduce sulfur emissions to 0.5% is currently being enforced since 1st January 2020.

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10 years Fehmarnbelt tunnel: an overview

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Fehmarnbelt tunnel: a visionary yet controversial project

Happy 10th Anniversary, many would say. But this particular anniversary, which recalls the start of a visionary project, is somewhat different. In January 2010, a treaty was signed between the Kingdom of Denmark and the Federal Republic of Germany for the construction of a fixed link under the Fehmarnbelt, the 18 km Baltic strait running between the Danish island of Lolland and the German island of Fehmarn. Yet not everybody in Denmark or Germany feels like celebrating.

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