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TradeLens

Maersk and IBM have introduced their global blockchain solution TradeLens, with 94 organizations already participating. The companies announced their joint venture in January this year after collaborating on the concept since 2016.

Early adopters include more than 20 port and terminal operators across the globe, including PSA Singapore, International Container Terminal Services Inc, Patrick Terminals, Modern Terminals in Hong Kong, Port of Halifax, Port of Rotterdam, Port of Bilbao, PortConnect, PortBase and terminal operators Holt Logistics at the Port of Philadelphia. They join the global APM Terminals’ network in piloting the solution at over 230 marine gateways worldwide.

Pacific International Lines has joined Maersk Line and Hamburg Süd as global container carriers participating. Customs authorities in the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Australia and Peru are participating, along with customs brokers Ransa and Güler & Dinamik.

Participation among beneficial cargo owners has grown to include Torre Blanca / Camposol and Umit Bisiklet. Freight forwarders, transportation and logistics companies including Agility, CEVA Logistics, DAMCO, Kotahi, PLH Trucking Company, Ancotrans and WorldWide Alliance.

TradeLens uses IBM Blockchain technology built on open standards to establish a single shared view of a transaction without compromising details, privacy or confidentiality. Shippers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators, inland transportation and customs authorities can interact via real-time access to shipping data ad shipping documents, including IoT and sensor data ranging from temperature control to container weight.

Using blockchain smart contracts, TradeLens enables digital collaboration across the multiple parties involved in international trade. The trade document module, released under a beta program and called ClearWay, enables importers/exporters, customs brokers, trusted third parties such as Customs, other government agencies, and NGOs to collaborate in cross-organizational business processes and information exchanges, all backed by a secure, non-repudiable audit trail.

During a 12-month trial, Maersk and IBM worked with dozens of partners to identify opportunities to prevent delays caused by documentation errors and information delays. One example demonstrated how TradeLens can reduce the transit time of a shipment of packaging materials to a production line in the U.S. by 40 percent, avoiding thousands of dollars in cost.

Through better visibility and more efficient means of communicating, some supply chain participants estimate they could reduce the steps taken to answer basic operational questions such as “where is my container” from 10 steps and five people to, with TradeLens, one step and one person.

More than 154 million shipping events have been captured on the platform, including data such as arrival times of vessels and container “gate-in,” and documents such as customs releases, commercial invoices and bills of lading. This data is growing at a rate of close to one million events per day.

TradeLens is expected to be fully commercially available by the end of this year.

Source: Maritime Executive, original article published 2018-08-09

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International trading involves many participants all around the globe. These participants may not necessarily have the needed trust of all parties, especially at the initial stages, when newcomers join the trade. Blockchain can provide the needed trust to capture key transaction activities as immutable records, as well as storing and sharing encrypted legal and financial documents.

Visibility of transaction records and documents are tightly controlled by blockchain, permitting sharing only among entrusted and allowed parties. In this demo, IBM demonstrates how blockchain may support such an application.

The blockchain solution being built by the two companies is expected to be made available to the ocean shipping industry later this year, according to a joint statement from International Business Machines Corp and the container unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk. It would help manage and track the paper trail of tens of millions of shipping containers globally by digitizing the supply chain process from end to end.

This will enhance transparency and make the sharing of information among trading partners more secure.

When adopted at scale, the solution based on the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger platform has the potential to save the industry billions of dollars, the companies said.

“Working closely with Maersk for years, we’ve long understood the challenges facing the supply chain and logistics industry and quickly recognized the opportunity for blockchain to provide massive savings when used broadly across the ocean shipping industry ecosystem,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, industry platforms, at IBM.

IBM and Maersk intend to work with a network of shippers, freight forwarders, ocean carriers, ports and customs authorities to build the new global trade digitization product, the companies said.

The product is also designed to help reduce or eliminate fraud and errors and minimize the time products spend in the transit and shipping process.

For instance, Maersk found that in 2014, just a simple shipment of refrigerated goods from East Africa to Europe can go through nearly 30 people and organizations, including more than 200 different communications among them.

The new blockchain solution would enable the real-time exchange of original supply chain transactions and documents through a digital infrastructure that connects the participants within the network, according to IBM and Maersk. Source: Reuters

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News 24 reports that the Competition Commission on Wednesday conducted a search and seizure operation at the premises of six cargo shipping companies operating in the Western Cape and KwaZulu Natal (KZN) on suspicion of collusion and rate fixing, the body said in a statement.

“The Commission has reasonable grounds to suspect that Hamburg Sud South Africa, Maersk South Africa, Safmarine, Mediterranean Shipping Company, Pacific International Line South Africa and CMA CGM Shipping Agencies South Africa have engaged in collusive practices,” the Commission said.

The companies’ practices aimed to among other things fix the incremental rates for the shipment of cargo from Asia to South Africa, which was in contravention of the Competition Act.

According to the Commission, the search and seizure operation is conducted as part of an ongoing investigation which was initiated by the Commission based on information from a member of the public.

The companies under investigation transport cargo for import and export purposes across the globe, including South Africa. They use large metal containers as packaging crates and in-transit warehouses to store and transport general cargo such as frozen foods, garments and footwear.

The customers of these companies are mainly clearing and freight forward agents.

“South Africa is a strategic hub for the trade of goods in and out of the Southern African region. Any cartel by shipping liners in this region results in inflated prices for cargo transportation,” said Tembinkosi Bonakele, commissioner of the Competition Commission.

“Cartels of this nature increase the costs of trading in the region and render the region uncompetitive in the world markets. Such cartels have the effect of significantly derailing the economic growth of the region.”

Reuters reported that Maersk and MSC confirmed the raids and said they were cooperating with authorities. The other companies did not respond to Reuters’ requests for immediate comment.

“The fact that the SACC carries out such inspections does not mean that a company has engaged in anti-competitive behaviour,” Maersk said.

EU antitrust regulators in July accepted an offer from Maersk and 13 competitors to change their pricing practices in order to stave off possible fines. Source: News24

APM Terminals 2The Maersk-owned company APM Terminals has revealed it is investing about 14 billion kroner (US$2 billion dollars) into a new port in Bagadry, Nigeria, in what will be its biggest ever investment. The port will become the second-largest port in Africa – only surpassed by Port Said in Egypt – and is a clear signal that the Danish shipping giant’s terminal operator sees the African continent as a long-term hotbed for economic growth.

“We are currently purchasing property from the state and will start construction later this year. The port is scheduled to be completed in 2019,” David Skov, the managing director for APM Terminals in Nigeria, told Børsen business newspaper.

“Globally, it will be APM Terminal’s largest ever investment and marks a strategic shift to multi ports. It means we will supplement our own experience in container ports with the establishment of a free zone, an oil port and a bulk port, so in other words a complete port.”

APMT recently acted on its decision to invest $1.5 billion on the Port of Tema in Ghana, Africa, with the establishment of a Greenfield port outside of the existing facility and upgrades to the adjacent road network.

Worlds Largest Container ship 2Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. in Ulsan, South Korea has just named the new title-holder for the world’s largest container ship; a 19,000 TEU giant for China Shipping Container Lines (CSCL) named CSCL Globe. CSCL Globe measures 400.0 m in length, 58.6 m in width and 30.5 m in-depth, and will be deployed on the Asia-Europe trade loop after being handed over to the owner later this month. The ship was ordered by CSCL back in May 2013 along with four other 19,000 TEU capacity ships for a total cost of $700 million.

The series was originally planned to carry 18,400 TEUs, but were later updated by 600 TEU. For comparison, Maersk’s Triple-E’s have a TEU capacity of 18,000 and measure 400 meters long by 59 meters wide. Maersk Line has ordered a total of 20 of the ships from Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, also in South Korea, to be delivered by 2016.

Upon delivery, CSCL Globe will take over the title of world’s largest container ship from MV Maersk Maersk McKinney Moller and her Triple-E sister vessels, first delivered in July 2013. Before that, the title of was held briefly by MV CMA CMG Marco, a 16,020 TEU capacity container ship delivered to CMA CGM Group in November 2012. Source: gCaptain.com

[Picture: Alastair Wiper / Wired]

[Picture: Alastair Wiper / Wired]

Shipping lines such as Maersk may no longer be operating the world’s largest vessels, as new 24,000 TEU ships are said to traverse the waters soon.

David Tozer, container segment manager at Lloyd’s Register, said: “12 years ago researchers were looking at Malaccamaxes, 18,000 TEU vessels named after the Malacca Strait. People thought that this was absolutely crazy. But since then things have developed to the extent that we’ll soon see ships of 24,000 TEU. The volumes are there, so it’s going to happen.”

China Shipping Container Lines are said to be looking into 24,000 TEU vessels in order to bolster its fleet, according to Shipping Watch.

To read Port Technology’s piece on mega-ships not being the only solution, click here

David Tozer said: “We’re experiencing among our customers that the biggest carriers in front are working seriously with the giant ships and are looking into the future. They need to understand what the future is going to look like, and they need to take control and become part of it.”

Tozer went on to discuss the challenges of these larger vessels, stating: “Our job is to help people. We’ve studied the structural topics and we’ve looked into which problems these giant ships bring. First of all, there’s an insurance and safety issue where the two things are tied together.”

To take a tour of Maersk’s biggest vessel, click here

In addition to safety issues, larger vessels will carry global challenges, especially for the draft of the Suez Canal.

A process is currently underway in Germany to dredge the Elbe to make room for the new ultra-large vessels that are already sailing the world’s seas. Source: Port Technology

'Gigi' by Askew One. [Image courtesy of Aquaculture NZ.]

‘Gigi’ by Askew One. [Image courtesy of Aquaculture NZ.]

Art project commissioned by Ports of Auckland and Maersk to shed light on shipping industry. A 40-foot container emblazoned with artwork by famous street artists began its journey round the world.

The Art Container began its voyage at the Port of Auckland, filled with New Zealand Greenshell mussels on board the Maersk Bratan, bound for Philadelphia.

Commissioned by shipping giants Maersk Line and the Ports of Auckland, The Art Container project plans to promote the importance of the shipping industry.

The container features designs by famous street artists’ Askew1 and Trust Me. One side of the container features a reworked version of Trust Me’s famous ‘Greetings from Aotearoa’, originally found in Ponsonby. Askew One has supplied an original piece, titled ‘Gigi’ that covers the other.

OP Columbia’s Andrew Selby said that they were proud to be part of the venture and supply the container for its first part of the voyage: “The Art Container is a great opportunity to raise awareness of container shipping and we’re delighted to start the container off on its global journey with an export shipment of Coromandel’s finest Greenshell mussels.”

According to Aquaculture NZ, the Port of Auckland came up with the idea after the BBC described container shipping as an “invisible industry which brings you 90 percent of everything”.

In an attempt to break into the public sphere, port of Auckland’s head of communication is turning to social networking site Twitter through the #ArtBoxNZ.

Whilst the container journeys the globe, people are encouraged to photograph the colourful container and share their respective images with Maersk Line and Ports of Auckland using the hashtag #ArtBoxNZ as well as #MaerskLine and #PortsofAuckland.

Given Maersk’s impressive 111,000 Twitter followers the project should be in good hands. You can also track the progress of the container by entering the container number: MNBU3380910 at the link here. Source: Port Technology

The container ship Svendborg Maersk was battered by hurricane winds as it crossed the northern stretch of the Bay of Biscay on February 14th. Battling 30-foot waves and working through winds of 60 knots the ship arrived only to find that a large chunk of her cargo had been swept overboard. The ship was originally heading from Rotterdam to Sri Lanka.

The shipping giant initially reported that only 70 containers had been lost in the storms. However, last Wednesday this number skyrocketed to 517 – the largest recorded loss of containers overboard in a single incident. Countless more are supposed to have been damaged when six of the bays tilted over.

Maersk have suggested that almost 85 percent of the containers were empty, with the rest containing mostly dry goods and frozen meats. They also reinforced the fact that none of the containers were carrying harmful substances and that many had sunk in the turbulent seas.

Nevertheless, French authorities have been on the lookout for floating containers, which can be hugely problematic for other shipping vessels, alongside a huge environmental risk. According to New Zealand marine insurer Vero Marine, a 20-foot container can float for up to two months, whilst a 40-foot container may float up to three times longer.

Already, containers have been surfacing as far away as the coast of East Devon, United Kingdom. The 40-foot container washed up at Axmouth, near Seaton and is estimated to contain 14 tonnes of cigarettes. Police were immediately called in to cordon off the area and scare away any would-be smokers hoping to make a steal and sneak off with a portion of the 11 million cigarettes (refer to picture gallery).

As of yet, there has never been a requirement for shipping lines to report container loses to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO)or any other international body. In 2011, the World Shipping Council estimated that around 675 containers were lost at sea, whilst the Through Transport Club, which insures 15 of the top 20 container lines, has suggested that the number is closer to 2,000.

However, other sources suggest that this is nowhere near the true number, with some citing as many as 10,000 lost at sea each year. Analysts have suggested that one of the reasons such loses can occur are due to the lack of accuracy when weighing containers before transit. Some shippers have been found to understate the weight of containers in order to reduce shipping costs. Such misinformation can lead to uneven strain on a vessel as it transverses the seas.

One of the most notable incidents occurred in 2007 when the MSC Napoli ran aground off the English coast, breaking up and spilling 103 containers worth of toxic cargo, polluting five miles of the South Western coast. The UK marine accident investigation board ruled that the accident was due to cargo being loaded in such a way that it exceeded the baring weight of the hull girders, resulting in a structural failure across the ship. The report concluded that if such loses are to be prevented, it is essential that containers be weighed before embarkation. Source: Port Technology

triple-e-maersk-worlds-largest-shipA Financial Times article reported Maersk’s Triple E Class (18,000 TEU) to be 26 percent more cost efficient than the current E class (15,000 TEU). – Wright, R (2011), Financial Times. ‘Big Ships: Container lines reach for scale’. Recent research into supply chain costs indicates that this is not obvious for the entire supply chain – Streng, M. (2012). Slow steaming: an economic assessment of lowering sailing speeds on a supply chain level’, Master Thesis Urban, Port and Transport Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam.

The capital cost per TEU moved has increased even considering the increase in slot size of newer larger vessels. Due to the increase in transportation duration, the capital costs and insurance of goods transported have gone up. Further cost increase could be accounted for in the increase in time to market. Fast moving goods (such as consumer electronics) that need longer to get from the world’s production centres to the markets is also a cost. Shipping lines are demanding ever shorter port stays in order to make the economies of scale work. The bigger the ship, the greater the cost of hours lost in port, and an increased port stay is a diseconomy of scale.  Port Technology have published the following article which should be useful for shippers, freight forwarders, port planners in better understanding the economics of international shipping and logistics – Mega ships: positive asset or terminals’ worst nightmare?.

Triple E Class Specifications - (AP Moeller/MAERSK Group)

Triple E Class Specifications – (AP Moeller/MAERSK Group) [Click to Enlarge]

5_triple-eThe world’s largest cargo ship is leaving its shipyard this week to prepare for its July 15 maiden voyage, but much of its cargo space will be under-utilized as many ports don’t have the ability unload the 20-story-high container stacks the vessel can lug between Asia and Europe.

The ship, a $185-million, 1,300-foot long behemoth with a capacity of 18,000 containers, is a gamble for the vessel’s owner, Danish group A.P. Møller-Maersk A/S. Freight, which has been so battered by the recent global economic downturn that at one point it had hundreds of cargo ships sitting idle in Singapore. The ship is so big, it’s essentially leap-frogged over many ports’ ability to off-load it when it’s at full capacity.

“We will operate it as a smaller ship for the first few months while ports upgrade their cranes,” Lars Jensen, head of Maersk Line’s Asia-Europe operations, told Dow Jones Newswires.

The problem is that ports lack gantries — those giant square-shaped cranes that slide over loaded cargo ships and pick up or drop off loaded containers — that can accommodate a fully loaded Triple E. So before Maersk can utilize the ship’s full capacity at major ports, many of those ports have to invest in upgrading, a process that could take years.

Dow Jones says 16 ports on the ship’s route are certified to handle it, but “several” lack the adequate crane ability to handle it when it’s fully loaded. So for now, the ship will have to haul less, which eats into the company’s potential profit. It will embark on its first journey on July 15 from Busan, South Korea, to Europe, after a stop at Singapore. Source: Seanews.com and International Business Times

 

The following ship photos come courtesy via Shipspotting, where one of their faithful users caught Maersk’s first Triple-E and the world’s largest ship, the M/V Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, during her 7th day of sea trials. The photos offer a first glimpse of the Triple-E underway. Despite the iconic blue color scheme and company logo Maersk does not own her just yet. Until the sea trials are completed and the vessel has been accepted by Maersk, she is the property of the yard and is under the command of the yard’s Captain.

The enormous ship, due for launch on June 28, is the world’s biggest. A behemoth even in a world of behemoths, and the first sibling in a new fleet of 19 sisterships. The vessel will have the ability to carry 18,000 TEU containers and will weigh-in at 165,000 metric tons, the equivalent mass of all the gold ever mined.

Sheer size is her most distinguishing feature. At 400 meters, the M/V Maersk Mc-Kinney Møller, as she’ll be called, is significantly longer than any aircraft carrier or even the Titanic, and only slightly shorter than the Empire State Building is high. Standing on her bridge is like peering over the rim of the Grand Canyon. From her highest deck, shipyard workers resemble overgrown ants and officers needing to walk the bridge’s width, wing-to-wing, will wish they had packed roller skates. Sources: gCaptain.com and Shipspotting.com

Triple E - Picture courtesy: Mearsk

Triple E – Picture courtesy: Maersk

 

A TV channel is to broadcast a series of six programmes showing how the world’s largest vessels – Maersk Line’s 18,000teu Triple-E containerships were built.

Maersk has given the Discovery Channel access to every stage of the Triple-E build; from the design of the vessel’s unique hull to the construction of the enormous engines and propellers, from the environmental improvements and safety systems to the ship’s naming ceremony and maiden voyage on the Asia-Europe route.

The series will also focus on lives of some of the people involved, including the naval architect, the site team supervising the build and the captain as he prepares for the maiden voyage.

“The Triple-E is an exceptional ship, in terms of its size as well as its energy saving technology and design. We’re excited about these vessels and proud to have Discovery Channel as a partner for showing how it is built and the people and passion behind it,” says Morten Engelstoft, Chief Operating Officer, Maersk Line.

The World’s Largest Ship will air on Discovery Channel in November, but to save you waiting all that time, Maersk Line has made available a time lapse video of the building of the Triple-E, that consists of 50,000 photos taken over a three-month period. Click here to watch video clip!

Check out this superb article – click here – featured on BBC News Magazine‘s website –

What is blue, a quarter of a mile long, and taller than London’s Olympic stadium? The answer – this year’s new class of container ship, the Triple E. When it goes into service this June, it will be the largest vessel ploughing the sea. Each will contain as much steel as eight Eiffel Towers and have a capacity equivalent to 18,000 20-foot containers (TEU). If those containers were placed in Times Square in New York, they would rise above billboards, streetlights and some buildings. Or, to put it another way, they would fill more than 30 trains, each a mile long and stacked two containers high. Inside those containers, you could fit 36,000 cars or 863 million tins of baked beans.

The Triple E will not be the largest ship ever built. That accolade goes to an “ultra-large crude carrier” (ULCC) built in the 1970s, but all supertankers more than 400m (440 yards) long were scrapped years ago, some after less than a decade of service. Only a couple of shorter ULCCs are still in use. But giant container ships are still being built in large numbers – and they are still growing.

It’s 25 years since the biggest became too wide for the Panama Canal. These first “post-Panamax” ships, carrying 4,300 TEU, had roughly quarter of the capacity of the current record holder – the 16,020 TEU Marco Polo, launched in November by CMA CGM.

In the shipping industry there is already talk of a class of ship that would run aground in the Suez canal, but would just pass through another bottleneck of international trade – the Strait of Malacca, between Malaysia and Indonesia. The “Malaccamax” would carry 30,000 containers.

There are currently 163 ships on the world’s seas with a capacity over 10,000 TEU – but 120 more are on order, including Maersk’s fleet of 20 Triple Es. Source: BBC News Magazine

South African logistics and shipping firm Grindrod has continued its expansion programme, with the purchase of Safmarine’s 51% stake in Ocean Africa Container Lines. Grinrdod gave no details of the price paid for Safmarine’s stake in Ocean Africa Container Lines (OACL), but Grindrod now fully owns the company, which operates a feeder service with four vessels between Durban and Angola, calling at several ports in between, including in Namibia and Angola.

OACL’s former COO, Mahmood Simjee, has now been appointed CEO. Grindrod hopes that OACL can continue to benefit from close ties with Safmarine and the latter’s parent company, Maersk. OACL could take advantage of Ngqura’s growing role as a transhipment port, particularly with Angolan ports. The shipping line previously operated between Durban and Mozambican ports and could again resume this role.

Röhlig-Grindrod, a joint venture between Grindrod Limited and Röhlig International, has also acquired Sturrock Group’s clearing and freight forwarding division in exchange for a 15% stake in Röhlig-Grindrod, leaving the founding partners with 42.5% equity each in the venture. The inclusion of black empowerment partners in Sturrock Group helps Röhlig-Grindrod to fulfil its empowerment requirements.

Hylton Gray, the CEO of Grindrod Logistics, said: “We are very pleased with the merger of the businesses and the introduction of the empowerment partners. Calulo, a partner in the Sturrock Group, already has a stake in Grindrod’s South African operations and has contributed significantly by way of existing relationships and experience in niche markets.” Source: worldcargonews.com

Logo of A.P. Moller – Maersk Group

Maersk Line has agreed to pay an out of court settlement of US$31.9 million to the US government to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims for inflated shipping costs incurred during the transport of containerised cargo to support US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The government claimed Maersk was allegedly billing in excess of the contractual rate to maintain the operation of refrigerated containers holding perishable cargo at a terminal in Karachi, Pakistan, and at US military bases in Afghanistan; billing excessive detention charges (or late fees) by failing to account for cargo transit times and a contractual grace period; billing for container delivery delays improperly attributed to the US government; billing for container GPS tracking and security services that were not provided, or only partially provided; and failing to credit the US government for rebates of container storage fees received by Maersk’s subcontractor at a Kuwaiti port.

Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice said: “Our men and women in uniform overseas deserve the highest level of support provided by fair and honest contractors. As the Justice Department’s continuing efforts to fight procurement fraud demonstrate, those who put profits over the welfare of members of our military will pay a hefty price.”

In 2009, APL was fined $26.3 million by the US Department of Justice, and Agility is still fighting a claim for overcharging in 2010.

Makes you wonder – did they declare the correct cargo information on their manifest? I guess it really does not matter since the cargo was destined for Afghanistan and Pakistan in any event. Don’t believe these countries require advance manifest reporting just yet.

Source: ifw-net.com