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International Chamber of Shipping sets out plans for global carbon levy to expedite industry decarbonisation

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International Chamber of Shipping sets out plans for global carbon levy to expedite industry decarbonisation. Image: Pexels
International Chamber of Shipping sets out plans for global carbon levy to expedite industry decarbonisation. Image: Pexels
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The global trade association for ship operators, the International Chamber of Shipping, has put forward a comprehensive proposal for a global levy on carbon emissions from ships, in what would be a first for any industrial sector.

ICS, which represents the world’s national shipowner associations and more than 80% of the merchant fleet, presented a submission to the UN on Friday, calling for an internationally accepted market-based measure to accelerate the uptake and deployment of zero-carbon fuels.

According to papers handed to the International Maritime Organisation, the UN’s regulatory body on shipping, the levy would be based on mandatory contributions by ships trading globally, exceeding 5,000 gross tonnage, for each tonne of CO2 emitted. The money would go into an ‘IMO Climate Fund’ which, as well as closing the price gap between zero-carbon and conventional fuels, would be used to deploy the bunkering infrastructure required in ports throughout the world to supply fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia, ensuring consistency in the industry’s green transition for both developed and developing economies.

Shipping is responsible for approximately 2% of global carbon emissions and the IMO has recognised the need for urgent action to decarbonise. The industry is desperate to see zero-carbon ships brought to the water by shipyards by 2030. However, at current rates of production, zero-carbon fuels are not commercially available at the scale needed for the global fleet. The carbon levy is intended to expedite the creation of a market that makes zero emission shipping viable.

The Fund would calculate the climate contributions to be made by ships, collect the contributions, and give evidence they have been made. ICS hopes that it would also support new bunkering infrastructure, so that new fuels, when developed, can be made available globally and from as many ports as possible. To minimise any burden on UN Member States and ensure the rapid establishment of the carbon levy, the framework proposed by industry would utilise the mechanism already proposed by governments for a separate USD 5 billion R&D Fund to accelerate the development of zero-carbon technologies, which the UN IMO is scheduled to approve at a critical meeting in November immediately following COP 26.

Guy Platten, secretary general of ICS, commented: “What shipping needs is a truly global market-based measure like this that will reduce the price gap between zero-carbon fuels and conventional fuels. The rapid development of such a mechanism is now a vital necessity if governments are to match actions with rhetoric and demonstrate continued leadership for the decarbonisation of shipping. There’s no question that improvements in technology can enable the transition to zero-emission shipping. However, huge leaps must still be taken if we’re to achieve the readiness levels needed for deployment at scale. This includes building the necessary infrastructure to support such as transition. We need to be able to put zero emission ships in the water by 2030 without challenging price and safety issues. If the IMO lends it’s backing to our proposal, then we may yet be able to change this and deploy technologies economically and equitably.”

ICS believes that a mandatory global levy based MBM is strongly preferable over any unilateral, regional application of MBMs to international shipping, such as that proposed by the European Commission which wishes to extend the EU Emissions Trading System to international shipping. A piecemeal approach to MBMs, (the EU ETS will only apply to about 7.5% of global shipping emissions), will ultimately fail to reduce global emissions from international shipping to the extent required by the Paris Agreement, whilst significantly complicating the conduct of maritime trade.

The levy based MBM, which is co-sponsored by the trade association for bulk carrier operators, INTERCARGO, comes in addition to an industry and government proposed $5bn R&D fund. The R&D fund, of a mandatory $2 levy per tonne on marine fuel, would be used entirely to fund the research and development of alternative zero-carbon fuels and propulsion systems. ICS has called for this fund to be approved at an upcoming pivotal meeting of the IMO in November this year.

Platten concluded: “The World Bank and numerous studies have concluded that the most appropriate global MBM for reducing carbon emissions from shipping is a levy-based system. Adopting our proposal for a levy-based system, will avoid the volatility that exists under emissions trading systems, such as the EU ETS – which in the case of shipping, seem to be more about generating revenue for governments from non-EU shipping, than helping shipping to decarbonise. A levy based system can give the industry price certainty, and more stability for making investment decisions in zero –carbon ships and developing emissions saving technology.”

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Maritime

APM Terminals and ZPMC enter into strategic alliance

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APM Terminals and ZPMC enter into strategic alliance. Image: APM Terminals
APM Terminals and ZPMC enter into strategic alliance. Image: APM Terminals
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A memorandum of understanding between the companies will change equipment purchasing from a purely transactional process to a more strategic collaboration with strong focus on automation.

With automation being one of the key components of APM Terminals’ strategy of “Safer, Better, Bigger”, it is critical for the company to have access to adequate, state-of-the-art automated equipment for its diverse terminal portfolio. However, the common industry practice of transactional customer-supplier relationships has proven less effective in complex automation deployments that require a more integrated approach between APM Terminals and the supplier.

Therefore, APM Terminals is implementing a strategic alliancing framework, initiated with the signing of an Alliance Memorandum of Understanding with port equipment manufacturer ZPMC (Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company Limited). The focus of this memorandum is the joint development and deployment of a wide range of automated solutions, including automated container handling equipment.

Signed in October by APM Terminals CEO Morten Engelstoft and ZPMC Chairman and President Liu Chengyun in a virtual ceremony, the Memorandum of Understanding also includes an order for 18 Ship-to Shore (STS) Cranes and 9 Yard cranes across 6 terminals and the reservation of production slots for additional 25 STS cranes and 62 Yard cranes in the future.

“With this alliance, we are leveraging our 23 year-long relationship more effectively, in which APM Terminals demonstrates strong commitment towards ZPMC and in return receives prioritization of factory capacity, access to the best resources, active involvement in product development according to our needs and a commitment to maintain the relationship on long-term basis”, comments APM Terminals CEO Morten Engelstoft.

ZPMC’s automated equipment is already in operation in several of APM Terminals’ facilities, namely in Vado Ligure (Italy), Lazaro Cardenas (Mexico) and its latest automated terminal in Tangier, Morocco. Most recently, the company is also running a pilot with ZPMC’s Automated Straddle Carriers in its Aarhus (Denmark).

ZPMC Chairman and President, Mr Liu Chengyun highlighted the progress his company has already made in several domestic automation projects in China. “I hope these good experiences will now translate into even better results for APM Terminals, as we now embark on this strengthened collaboration based on innovation and co-development”, Mr Chengyun added.

As well as the automation focus of the Memorandum of Understanding, both parties expect the new framework to also spark closer collaboration in areas like safety, supply chain and decarbonisation.

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Maritime

Windpark Fryslan: world’s largest shallow water windfarm

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Windpark Fryslan: world’s largest shallow water windfarm. Image: Port of Amsterdam
Windpark Fryslan: world’s largest shallow water windfarm. Image: Port of Amsterdam
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Blades, towers, hubs: all kinds of wind turbine parts have recently been transported via the port of Amsterdam to the construction site of the Netherlands’ largest shallow water windfarm: Windpark Fryslan.

In October, the last turbine left the TMA Logistics terminal in the Amerikahaven. The windfarm – of 89 turbines in total – is now completely finished. Windpark Fryslân – which will supply about 380 MW of power to about 500,000 households – is the fifth large wind farm to be installed from this region.

IJmuiden region has made a major contribution to the realization of this largest wind farm on inland waterways. In this region, the facilities and knowledge are available to facilitate the logistics, assembly and production of components.

For example, in addition to the location of TMA Logistics, several locations are available in the ports of IJmuiden and Amsterdam to facilitate this. And with the arrival of the Energiehaven in IJmuiden in 2025, we can also facilitate the installation of the future offshore windfarms which are planned on the North Sea.

The Amsterdam port region is one of the world’s most important logistics hubs. With a freight throughput of 100 million tons per year, Amsterdam is one of the top five seaports in Western Europe. Its strategic and central location in Europe makes the port easily accessible and ensures excellent connections with all major European markets.

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A record at Port of Los Angeles as cargo volume exceeds 903,000 TEUs

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A record at Port of Los Angeles as cargo volume exceeds 903,000 TEUs. Image: Port of Los Angeles
A record at Port of Los Angeles as cargo volume exceeds 903,000 TEUs. Image: Port of Los Angeles
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The Port of Los Angeles processed 903,865 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units i.e., TEUs in September, the busiest September ever in the Port’s 114-year history. Year to date, overall cargo volume stands at 8,176,917 TEUs, an increase of 26% compared to 2020.

“Despite the global supply chain challenges, the Port of Los Angeles and its partners continue to deliver record amounts of cargo,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “This is made possible by the extraordinary effort of our longshore workers, truck drivers, terminal operators and so many others on the waterfront and in our region’s warehouses. I’m grateful to all of them.

“Of particular note is the great work by BNSF and Union Pacific, which have reduced the rail backlog in half in the last month and by two-thirds over the last two months,” Seroka added. “We’ve got more work to do but we’ve made significant progress due to the collaborative efforts with our Class 1 railroads.”

September 2021 loaded imports reached 468,059 TEUs, about the same amount compared to the previous year. Loaded exports dropped 42% to 75,714 TEUs compared to the same period last year. It was the lowest number of exports since 2002.

Empty containers climbed to 360,092 TEUs, a jump of 28% compared to last year due to the continued demand in Asia. In total, September’s 903,865 TEUs was 2.3% above last September’s previous record of 883,625 TEUs.

North America’s leading seaport by container volume and cargo value, the Port of Los Angeles facilitated $259 billion in trade during 2020. San Pedro Bay port complex operations and commerce facilitate one in nine jobs across the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura. The Port of Los Angeles has remained open with all terminals operational throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

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