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.
In the first quarter of 2019 North Sea Port handled 17.8 million tons of maritime cargo transhipment, almost the same volume as the previous year. According to the port it remains on the same course.
The first quarter of 2019 was the third best quarter ever. With just under 200,000 tons less transhipment (-0.9%), the companies in North Sea Port have consolidated the growth which has been taking place over the past two years.
Bulk goods and containers
The rise in cargo transhipment via seagoing vessels is mainly related to dry bulk in which North Sea Port is the specialist. The increase can be seen in a strong construction market (sand, gravel and building materials) and in agribulk and animal feed. (See illustration here by courtesy of North Sea Port www.northseaport.com © )
Transhipment of containers has almost doubled as a result of attracting new services and the shift from transhipment of general cargo to transport in refrigerated containers, as is the case with bananas. Ro/ro and liquid bulk goods (petro-chemical products for example) have also fallen. Coal transhipment remains stable.
Inland traffic generated 14.5 million tons, a reduction of 300,000 tons (-2%). The total maritime and inland traffic for the first quarter thus amounted to 32.3 million tons.
North Sea Port offers many advantages for handling various types of cargo – its location on the open sea, accommodation of vessel draughts of up to 17 metres, congestion-free hinterland connections and specialised terminals.
With a central location in the logistical heart of Europe and a mix of transport links with activities and cargo in the European hinterland, North Sea Port is a true economic hub. The port is able to serve no fewer than 500 million consumers within a radius of 500 kilometres. With around 70.3 million tons of maritime cargo transhipped there annually, North Sea Port is among the top ten European ports.
North Sea Port is located along both banks of the Western Scheldt and is accessible to global shipping on the North Sea. The port area of Vlissingen and Borsele is a tidal harbour with direct access to the sea. Port areas of Terneuzen and Ghent are reached via the lock complex at Terneuzen, which lies at the head of the Ghent-Terneuzen canal. This straight and wide canal offers smooth and rapid nautical access to the harbour area of Ghent, at North Sea Port’s southern limit.
A new IMO video puts the spotlight on how an IMO/EU initiative is helping cut maritime emissions in the Solomon Islands as part of a global project to help tackle climate change.
The illustration published here shows the new solar-powered LED lights erected in the port of Honiara, Solomon Islands. Their operation helps the port meet IMO maritime security requirements.
These lights are also an ideal example of how a global project, through regional centres, can help individual countries’ ports and shipping sectors improve energy efficiency, cut emissions and clean up local air quality. This was the approach outlined in a media briefing issued by IMO on 15 May.
Data sharing is a prerequisite to enabling the successful implementation of Just-In-Time (JIT) operations – which can cut the time ships spend idling outside ports and help cut emissions as well as save on fuel costs. This was the message in a media briefing by IMO in the first week of May
Participants at a roundtable meeting of IMO’s Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) in London on 1 / 2 May, agreed that increased transparency of information through data sharing was imperative, while this should be achieved through standardized functional and data definitions.
IHMA Project Officer, Captain Ben van Scherpenzeel, (Port of Rotterdam) participated in this roundtable and is seen in the accompanying illustration at IMO HQ, fourth from right.
It was learnt that more frequent exchange of information would lead to better predictability of when a berth is available. Additionally, it was reported that the roundtable identified the need for a global, neutral, not-for profit data sharing platform, to allow frequent updates from terminals and vessel service providers on completion times.
At its meeting at IMO the roundtable also identified the potential benefits of regulating data sharing, while incentivising data quality.