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.
DFDS’s newest ro-ro vessel, Humbria Seaways, commissioned in February this year, berthed at North Sea Port in mid-September. Her first port visit here was to the Mercatordok terminal in Ghent which handles high volumes of transhipment cargo.
Between Gothenburg in Sweden and North Sea Port this service is one of the most important on the North Sea for DFDS. Conversely, DFDS is a top customer for North Sea Port. With five calls each week, the Danish shipping and logistics group is one of the port’s most frequent users. DFDS’s blue and white ships have been a familiar sight on the Western Scheldt, in the lock at Terneuzen, on the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal and at Mercatordok for many years.
DFDS was particularly busy this month at the Mercatordok terminal in Ghent. In the words of Alain De Brauwer, Route Operations Manager for DFDS Seaways in Belgium: ‘We always have a lot of cargo ready for shipment and we receive large volumes from Sweden. So when a bigger ship calls, it always comes in handy.’
Humbria Seaways was briefly available to ship some extra cargo. The ship had just come out of dry dock and made a quick crossing from Gothenburg to Ghent and back before switching to another one of the shipping company’s routes. As always, there was a tight schedule.
Humbria Seaways is one of the newest Mega Ro-Ros built for DFDS in China. Vessels in this class are 237 metres loa and 33 metres wide notable for their unusually large cargo capacity with up to 6,700 line metres of cargo.
Tailored to Ghent
In designing its new class of ships, DFDS took into account the possibility that the vessels might serve North Sea Port. The Ghent terminal also underwent various modifications in order to be able to receive such large vessels.
DFDS had for some time been using Hollandia Seaways, sister ship of the Humbria Seaways, on the route from Ghent to Gothenburg.
About North Sea Port
The purpose of North Sea Port is to manage, operate and develop the 60 kilometres long cross-border port area from the Dutch port of Vlissingen to Ghent in Flanders. Within this framework, it wants to strengthen the position of the port and industrial complex in the area, both in a national and in an international perspective. North Sea Port employs 250 staff.
More than 50 leaders from the financial, public and private sectors participated in the first Financing Sustainable Maritime Transport (FIN-SMART) Roundtable on 27 October. The high level virtual Roundtable (pictured here) was hosted by the IMO, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the World Bank Group. We are grateful for a valuable briefing on this topic.
The FIN-SMART Roundtable is a platform for regular dialogue among key maritime stakeholders on addressing the financial challenges related to the transition of shipping to a more sustainable and resilient future. The Roundtable aims to support accelerating financial flows – particularly in developing countries – for the decarbonisation of the maritime sector, in line with country priorities and the goals of the IMO Initial Strategy* on the reduction of GHG emissions from ships. Participants will also address the sector’s COVID-19 recovery needs.
Speaking at the opening of the meeting IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim highlighted the importance of maritime transport in the global economy as an engine of growth and a driver of social development. He called for strong support to accelerate finance for sustainable maritime transport, in particular in decarbonisation and sustainable recovery post COVID-19.
He said: These will be only possible with targeted investment and strategic partnerships, particularly addressing special needs of developing countries, LDCs and SIDS.’ (The full speech is to be found here: https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/SecretaryGeneral/Pages/FIN-SMART-roundtable-launch.aspx )
This statement was conveyed in an IMO Media briefing of 23 October
Draft new mandatory measures to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships have been agreed by an IMO working group. This marks a major step forward, building on current mandatory energy efficiency requirements to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions from shipping.
It is understood that the proposed amendments to the MARPOL convention would require ships to combine a technical and an operational approach to reduce their carbon intensity.
This is in line with the ambition of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy, which aims to reduce carbon intensity of international shipping by 40% by 2030, compared to 2008. The amendments were developed by the seventh session of the Intersessional Working Group on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships (ISWG-GHG 7), held as a remote meeting from 19-23 October 2020.
Submission to MEPC
The draft amendments will be forwarded to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 75), to be held in remote session from 16-20 November. The MEPC is the decision-making body. If approved, the draft amendments could then be put forward for adoption at the subsequent MEPC 76 session, to be held during 2021.
The ISWG-GHG 7 also discussed the next steps in assessing the possible impacts on States of the proposed combined measure. This group agreed the proposed terms of reference for assessing the possible impacts on States, paying particular attention to the needs of developing countries, in particular Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries (LDCs).