[ID] => 11573
[post_author] => 34
[post_date] => 2019-09-30 08:53:40
[post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-30 07:53:40
[post_content] => The Port of Antwerp is focusing on improving the sustainability of port operations, which involves moving away from road transport, reducing emissions from businesses operating in the port, and improving efficiencies in intra-port activities.
One aspect of this focus is the aim to reduce the volume of road transport by 4 per cent in favour of barge transport between now and 2030. The Container Barge Action Plan focuses on consolidation, digitisation and efficient scheduling, so as to streamline the transport of goods of all kinds and foster collaboration between shippers and their various logistics partners, including barge operators and container terminals.
Last year the Port of Antwerp established an initiative to increase efficiency in the use of barges for moving containers into and within the port. As part of the port’s focus on improving sustainability, it had determined that there was a lot of inefficient use of barges, which were moving well below capacity and taking up valuable berth space.
That initiative is now being taken forward, following a series of positive evaluations. The barge handling capacity within the port has been expanded by eliminating the shortage of dock labour and setting aside special berths for container barges. Specifically, the barge quay at DPWorld was handed over in June 2019, and an additional berth for barges will enter service in the course of 2019 at PSA Europa terminal, quay 869.
The project set up last year for the central planning and monitoring of barge movements was unanimously evaluated as positive, and will be further developed in a structured manner. Fixed time frames will be used for larger, regular movements, so as to give more stability. The MPET and DPWorld terminals for their part have promised to raise the minimum number of teams for barge handling. This means that at least eight teams at MPET and six at DPWorld will be available during weekdays.
Finally, the Barge Traffic System (BTS) is being expanded with the addition of a function that will inform barge operators proactively about how busy the terminals are, with automatic notification being given whenever demand exceeds supply.
FINESSE THE DEAL
Last year’s initial project has been amended somewhat this year; as from 1 September this year, the minimum call size has been reduced to 20 moves per shipping terminal and the subsidised hubs in the port (ATO and PSA 667) will no longer operate. On the other hand the consolidation hubs in the hinterland, where containers are gathered to maximise barge utilisation, will continue to operate at the current rate of subsidy.
In the area of digitisation, NxtPort has developed the ‘Next Mode of Transport’ and ‘Green Lights’ use-cases, which will shortly be given the go-ahead for testing. The main feature of these projects is that information will be shared at an earlier stage, enabling all parties to make gains in efficiency.
As the fifth and last component of the barge optimisation initiative, the period during which container barges can benefit from reduced laytime charges has been extended from 36 to 48 hours as of September 2018. In this way Port of Antwerp seeks to meet the demands of the barge industry.
The barge efficiency initiative sits as part of a broader portfolio of work to stimulate a modal shift, particularly away from road transport, as Antwerp in particular is suffering from the effects of road congestion. In April this year the Port of Antwerp held its seventh Mobility Event, where it presented a series of new initiatives. One element of that is the promotion of shortsea shipping for goods moving to or from other European countries, as far afield as Spain and Turkey. Furthermore, with the spectre of Brexit looming, shortsea transport offers a promising alternative to trucks travelling to and from the UK as it involves fewer customs formalities.
The Port of Antwerp has ambitions for rail too, and is aiming to double the proportion of goods carried by rail from 7 per cent to 15 per cent by 2030. Together with Railport and Infrabel, the Port is focusing on making more efficient and flexible use of the existing rail capacity in the port. This will be achieved thanks to among others the Rail Traffic System, a digital trial project for exchange of information between the rail players and the terminals.
“As a community builder we are working together with the port community to achieve an accessible port. We are working on various interesting transport alternatives both for goods and for people, in order to guarantee the accessibility of our port in a sustainable way," says port alderman Annick De Ridder.
GROWTH AT A PACE
Initiatives of this sort are vital if Antwerp is to continue to operate efficiently and effectively, given the continued increase in freight volumes through the port. Total freight volumes rose by 0.7 per cent in the first half of this year, with container volumes (in TEU terms) up 4.9 per cent. There was a drop in liquid bulk throughput of 6.4 per cent, concentrated in petroleum products, with the port saying that the slowdown in economic growth and large fluctuations in oil prices caused uncertainty among traders. Conversely, crude oil and chemical volumes were well up on the year earlier.
Commenting on the half-year figures, De Ridder says, “Antwerp is continuing on its growth trajectory despite the current international climate. We are particularly proud that once again we have been able to achieve record figures in important segments. These figures once more underline the need for additional container capacity. I am fully convinced that together with our port companies and other partners we will continue along this growth path."
That growth has implications for the port’s relationships with its neighbours and the Port of Antwerp has put in place a number of initiatives, two of which were recognised at the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH) World Ports Conference in China in June. One of these is an initiative to raise the level of safety in the port in collaboration with the Neighbourhood Information Network (NIN) Knowledge Base, the Safety department of the Interior Ministry and local police forces.
"Thanks to this port-wide network, information is passed on more quickly and efficiently regarding current matters of concern such as cyber-crime, thefts of copper, spying with drones and so on," explains Kathy Dua, Port of Antwerp’s safety and security consultant. "The police are able to intervene much more quickly and companies are able to protect themselves better. The network is used to pass on not only urgent messages but also preventive information. This information is provided by safety departments, the police, customs and other authorities and is drawn up in consultation with them. Here at Port of Antwerp we coordinate the network and keep the list of contact details up to date."
The Port of Antwerp is also participating in an initiative set up by the City of Antwerp, ‘Civitas Portis’, which in turn is part of the Civitas network of cities dedicated to cleaner, better transport. "This award is welcome recognition which positions Port of Antwerp as the driving force behind mobility solutions. The European collaboration project helps to draw international attention to initiatives such as the Water Bus, which can only be a good thing," says De Ridder.
[post_title] => Ports: Get out of the road
[post_status] => publish
[comment_status] => open
[ping_status] => open
[post_name] => ports-get-road
[post_modified] => 2019-09-27 08:59:30
[post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-27 07:59:30
[post_parent] => 0
[guid] => https://www.hcblive.com/?p=11573
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