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September 14th, 2021
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Terminal automation is a full or partial substitution of terminal operations through automated equipment and processes. Depending on how automation is defined, it is already present in many terminals, at least in its simplest form using information technologies (ITs) to manage terminal assets and supplement human activity.  Automation processes often result in two major types of automated terminals. A fully automated terminal uses a computer–IT-led system to handle a container from dockside to the pickup area through remotely...
August 5th, 2021
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A stream of recent announcements suggests that a global market for storing and utilising carbon is emerging, comments Peter de Langen. Carbon can be captured from industrial processes like producing oil refi neries, ethanol production or turning gas or coal into chemicals (such capture is relatively cheap) and from power plants (for instance that use coal or biomass). In addition, carbon can be captured directly from the air, and subsequently stored – though this is much more costly. Institutions like the International Energy Agency...
July 1st, 2021
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by Mikael Lind, Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) and Chalmers University of Technology, Wolfgang Lehmacher, Anchor Group, Jan Hoffmann, UNCTAD, Lars Jensen, Vespucci Maritime, Theo Notteboom, Ghent University and Antwerp Maritime Academy, Torbjörn Rydbergh, Marine Benchmark, Peter Sand, BIMCO, Sandra Haraldson, RISE, Rachael White, Next Level Information & Cool Logistics, Hanane Becha, UN/CEFACT, Patrik Berglund, Xeneta Abstract Disruption and congestion are occurring across the global maritime...
May 28th, 2021
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Two reviews of Towards a Better Ports Industry, by PortEconomics co-director Peter de Langen The book Towards a Better Ports Industry, written by PortEconomics co-director Peter de Langen was published last year. Recently, two reviews of the book, which is aimed at students and industry professionals, were published in academic journals focused on maritime and port research.   Sheila Farrell from Imperial College London, wrote a review ((full article only accessible for subscribers, can be found: here), based on her lifelong...
May 25th, 2021
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Drug crime has been present in ports for centuries and is unlikely to ever go away, writes Peter de Langen. In some ports, like Rotterdam and Antwerp, much more attention has been given to drug crime recently. It is increasingly clear that workers in various activities, such as terminals, container depots and warehouses are vulnerable. Criminal groups actively try to get these workers to work for them. Given the huge ‘street value’ of drugs, the financial benefits for the workers are huge. Yet it does not stop there,...
April 28th, 2021
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Maritime freight flows are the result of past supply chain design choices - if companies design global supply chains this results in global freight flows, comments Peter de Langen. Supply chain design choices generally lead to investments (in assets, partnerships and the like) and thus cannot be changed overnight. Hence, the current maritime flows are the result of past supply chain design choices. When contemplating the future of maritime freight flows, the best clue is to look at current and future supply chain design choices. One...
April 26th, 2021
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The recent Suez Canal blockage prompts us to revisit access arrangements and practices for individual ships using capacity-constrained maritime infrastructures and passages. In a new article on "Resolving the ship backlog puzzle in the Suez Canal: predicting ship transits in capacity-constrained areas”, PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom, joins Mikael Lind, Wolfgang Lehmacher, Lars Jensen, Torbjorn Rydbergh, Rachael White, Hanane Becha, Luisa Antonia Rodriguez Ortega, and Peter Sand and verify the model of deriving queue numbers based...
April 9th, 2021
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On goes the wave of mergers of port development companies, this time between the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, writes The Analyst Peter de Langen. The merger has been long in the making, in contrast with some other cases, where the initiative came from the ports themselves (for instance the nearby Ghent and Zeeland Seaports merger into North Sea Port, and the merger of Copenhagen and Malmo Ports), this initiative has long been advocated by the Flemish government. The public owners of the port development companies, the cities of Bruges...
April 1st, 2021
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PortEconomics member Michaël Dooms moderated a webinar on port-city governance for the AIVP-Association Internationale Villes et Ports (International Association of Port-Cities), on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021. Increasing attention is needed for the Social License to Operate of port clusters, in particular in the context of economic and energy transition. As any port expansion or (re-) development project, the implementation of these strategies are in need of environmental and construction permits. Notwithstanding the sustainability impact...
February 23rd, 2021
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By Peter de Langen The French Haropa ports, Le Havre, Rouen and Paris are steadily implementing the full merger announced over two years ago; the final step should be ready June this year. As an important part of the integration, they recently published a strategic plan until 2025.  The plan is an interesting read and clearly reflects the changed landscape in the port industry. While in 2015, Le Havre had the ambition to grow container volumes with 50%, to around 4.8 million, this plan aims for a much more modest growth of 10%, to...
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