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.
Piracy increased on the world’s seas in 2018, with a marked rise in attacks against ships and crews around West Africa, the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest annual piracy report reveals. The document was issued jointly in London and Kuala Lumpur on 16 January.
Worldwide, the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) recorded 201 incidents of maritime piracy and armed robbery in 2018, up from 180 in 2017.
The Gulf of Guinea remains increasingly dangerous for seafarers. Reports of attacks in waters between the Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo more than doubled in 2018, accounting for all six hijackings worldwide, 13 of the 18 ships fired upon, 130 of the 141 hostages taken globally, and 78 of 83 seafarers kidnapped for ransom.
The region saw a significant new spike in violence in the last quarter of 2018. Vessels have been boarded by pirates well outside territorial waters, with crew kidnapped and taken into Nigeria where they are held for ransom.
On 16 January the Danish Ministry of Industry, Business and Financial Affairs launched a new sectoral strategy for the shipping industry. This strategy is a part of the Danish government’s national strategy for cyber and information security.
The strategy contains a number of initiatives aimed at strengthening IT security and preventing cyber threats in the maritime sector.
The objective of the strategy is to ensure that safety in Danish waters and on board Danish ships is not compromised by cyber attacks.
The responsibility for cyber and information security in the maritime sector lies with the Danish Maritime Authority. The new strategy covers navigational safety in Danish waters and safety on board Danish ships, including systems and software for operation, propulsion and navigation of the ship.