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 current context, marked by the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, terminals are showing a considerable drop in overall port volumes. This is associated with a decline in economic activity, and with a large number of blank sailings due to shipping lines’ attempts to align capacity with existing demand.
However, the paradox is that despite the fact that calls and volume arriving at the Port of Barcelona's BEST terminal have decreased, moves per call have significantly increased. This was reported from the port on 29 June.
During week 23 (1-7 June), BEST terminal welcomed the largest vessel to call at the Port of Barcelona, MSC Sixin, with a capacity of almost 24,000 TEU.
Subsequently, similar ships from the 2M alliance (Maersk + MSC) have been arriving on a recurring basis on passage between the Far East and Europe, grouping together all the moves that a few weeks ago were made between different services of the same alliance and which were cancelled due to the exceptional situation currently experienced.
During May and June, BEST terminal saw how the number of moves per call had broken all existing records in the Port of Barcelona – starting with almost 8,000 moves in week 22, all move records broken to reach almost 8,500 moves in week 24.
This change in demand, with large cargo concentration peaks on large deep sea vessels and a smaller number of calls, directly impacts on the way terminals must approach the services they offer.
It was found that the way to put forward a valuable proposal to shipping lines with these types of calls, is to offer productivity per call that exceeds by far the average efficiency in container terminals. With this in mind, it is important to highlight the relevance of the important investments made by BEST, both in the number of cranes capable of operating these types of ship, and in the terminal operating system (TOS) at all levels.
This has made it possible to maintain, on a constant basis, productivity per crane between 35 and 45 moves per hour with a large number of equipment working simultaneously on the ships.
In these specific instances BEST has worked with up to seven cranes and on average more than five cranes operating constantly during each call, and with productivity levels above 35 moves per hour per crane (sometimes exceeding 42 moves per hour), far above the average for European terminals it is stated.
Productivity, frequently exceeding 200 moves per hour onboard the ship reduces call time at the port by several days, thus lowering the shipping lines’ port and operational costs.
Furthermore, time gained at BEST, enables shipping lines to cut steaming time to reach their next port of call, thus leading to significant fuel savings.
Finally, the terminal operates with equipment that, for the most part, does not use fossil fuels and applies energy regeneration technology, allowing BEST to reduce the environmental impact of traffic on its estate.
In short, BEST’s operational efficiency complements the Port of Barcelona's strategic position, generating a competitive difference based on three fundamental pillars: Closer, Faster & Greener.
Hutchison Ports BEST
This the first semi-automated terminal in the Hutchison Ports Group and the most technologically advanced port development project in Spain.
It is capable of serving many huge vessels simultaneously and has an eight-track rail facility, the biggest ondock railway terminal of any port in the Mediterranean, connecting it to traffic coming from and destined for Southern Europe.
Hutchison Ports BEST is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is a world leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 52 ports spanning 27 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia.
Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transport-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.
Early in June the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) announced the publication of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance, Fourth Edition
This Guidance has been produced by the ICS to help shipping companies and seafarers follow health advice provided by UN agencies and others in response to the coronavirus (Covid-19) disease, which has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), under the WHO International Health Regulations (IHR).
It is understood that this Guidance is for use on all types of ship and attempts to take into account the needs of both cargo and passenger ships. It is recognised that cargo ships are unlikely to have a fully trained doctor or nurse on board and that medical treatment on cargo ships will be provided by a crew member with training to Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) medical requirements.
This fourth edition replaces the ICS guidance published in September 2020 and should be read in conjunction with the three Covid-19 guidance documents published by ICS in 2021.
The G7 Summit will take place in Carbis Bay, North Cornwall, in England’s SW from 11 to 13 June.
Leaders of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the US will attend the Summit alongside the EU and European Commission Presidents.
Guest nations attend
On 12 June they will be joined by leaders from Australia, South Africa, Republic of Korea and the UN Secretary General. Leaders of international organisations and the Indian Prime Minister will also attend the Summit virtually from that day.
It is reported that Prime Minister Johnston will use Summit in Cornwall next week to ask world leaders to come together to end the coronavirus pandemic