Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Businesses boost North Sea Port to new record year with over 70 million tons of transshipped goods
For the second year in succession it was reported that North Sea Port had enjoyed a record year. This news was issued on 9 January. Our illustration here shows a very small example of the port’s real estate (www.northseaport.com ©)
Businesses in the port recorded transshipment of goods via seagoing vessel in the amount of 70.3 million tons: an increase of 5.5% over 2017. Growth took place in nearly all segments.
It is understood that in 2018, North Sea Port achieved the milestone of 70 million tons, compared to 66.6 million tons in the previous year. One year after its official opening as a fusion port, North Sea Port is maintaining its position as a true bulk port and specialist in general cargo.
Wet and dry bulk, general cargo and containers
Dry bulk accounts for nearly half of the goods transshipped by seagoing vessel at North Sea Port. This segment grew by 4.6% to 32.8 million tons. A strong construction market has resulted in more transshipment of sand, gravel and building materials. Transshipment of coal – mainly for the processing industry – showed a slight increase. Agricultural products are also on the rise.
Transshipment of wet bulk increased to 20.5 million tons (up 6.3%), largely thanks to strong growth in the chemical and petrochemical sector and the bio-diesel trade. Transshipment of conventional (general) cargo rose by 4.5% to a total of 11.8 million tons as a result of greater volumes in many different kinds of cargo. Demonstrating extremely strong growth, 61%, transshipment of containers via seagoing vessels totalled some 1.7 million tons. This is reportedly due to the attraction of new services and an increase in the number of refrigerated containers. It is reported that only RoRo trades saw a slight dip, decreasing by 3.4% to 3.5 million tons.
Inland shipping on the rise
Not only transshipment via seagoing vessel had a great year in 2018. Inland shipping enjoyed a record year of its own, here traffic increased by 2.5% to reach a total of 58 million tons.
With 70.3 million tons of goods transshipped via seagoing vessel and 58 million tons via inland shipping, North Sea Port achieved a total transshipment of 128.3 million tons in 2018 to which should be added 10 to 12 million tons transferred via pipeline.
Trans-Atlantic and European coastal shipping
North Sea Port focuses on European coastal shipping and the trans-Atlantic flow of goods. When maritime transshipment is divided by continent it is understood that Europe accounts for 61% of all activity. The shipping areas of South and North America represent 16% and 14% respectively. Africa receives 4%, Asia, 3% and, lastly, Oceania receives 2%. It is understood that this distribution is identical to that of 2017.
North Sea Port distributed 88 hectares of land for lease in 2018. The port comprises the 60 kilometres long cross-border area stretching from Vlissingen in The Netherlands to Ghent in Belgium.
Finally, it is reported that with the transshipment of goods growing in virtually all segments and another record year recorded, North Sea Port is entering 2019 with a cautiously optimistic attitude. While demand for commercial space in the port remains high as ever, the imminent Brexit and waning economic growth give reason for caution. In addition, and as expected, the growth of transshipment began to slow in mid-2018.
Emerging maritime challenges were at the forefront of discussions at the 11th ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Inter-Sessional Meeting (ISM) on Maritime Security held in Da Nang, Viet Nam, on 14-15 March. Participants had the opportunity to exchange views on regional maritime issues, review progress of their maritime security work plan, and discuss proposed activities over the coming year.
IMO took the opportunity to update ARF members on IMO’s work in Asia and told senior maritime officials of potential future technical cooperation projects in the region. IMO also talked about improving the implementation, among ASEAN members, of maritime security measures, including the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS).
It was reported by IMO on 13 March that a new set of publicly-available guidelines for monitoring plastics and microplastics in the oceans will help harmonize how scientists and others assess the scale of the marine plastic litter problem.
These guidelines* for the monitoring and assessment of plastic litter and microplastics in the ocean have been published by the Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), a body that advises the United Nations system on the scientific aspects of marine environmental protection.
Guidelines cover what to sample, how to sample it and how to record and assess plastics in the oceans and on the shoreline, including establishing baseline surveys. They include recommendations, advice and practical guidance, for establishing programmes to monitor and assess the distribution and abundance of plastic litter, also referred to as plastic debris, in the ocean.