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Port Houston sets new record for containers

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Port Houston sets new record for containers. Image: Port Houston
Port Houston sets new record for containers. Image: Port Houston
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Port Houston surpassed 2020’s numbers again this month. This August Port Houston recorded its highest month ever for total TEUs at 320,086, an increase of 29% compared to last August. It also was its highest monthly loaded import TEUs on record, at 159,791 TEUs.

Year-to-date, Port Houston has surpassed the 2M TEU mark, with 2,225,500 TEUs compared to 1,911,176 TEUs in 2020, a 16% increase. New importers to the Houston area that have realigned their gateway strategy and distribution center networks, combined with increased
consumer spending and retailers building up inventory to meet that demand is driving the record levels of TEUs.

This six-month streak of double-digit growth is particularly notable given the ongoing challenges in the supply chain. With holiday season shopping on the horizon, containerized cargo is expected to remain strong through what is shaping up to be an extended peak season through Barbours Cut and Bayport Container Terminals.

“At Port Houston we embrace our position as a centrally located port serving a large region of consumers. Providing efficient and predictable cargo movement through our port during an unprecedented surge in global imports continues to be a top priority for us,” said Roger Guenther, Executive Director at Port Houston. “We expect elevated levels in the supply chain to continue well into 2022 and will continue to explore opportunities including accelerating an already aggressive capital investment strategy for our terminals to stay in front of the demand.”

One major project that is underway is the Houston Ship Channel Expansion – Project 11, where the nation’s busiest channel will be widened and deepened under an accelerated timeline. On August 19 Port Houston and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers celebrated the signing of their joint project partnership agreement, a major milestone for the transformative project. The $1.1 billion project could be complete as soon as 2026, allowing for larger, neopanamax-sized container vessels to call Houston.

“Our port serves as the anchor for our Texas region,” said Guenther. “It is a critical step to provide a wider, deeper channel that maintains two-way vessel traffic to more safely and efficiently deliver everyday goods and petrochemical products to and from the region.”

Port Houston continues to meet with cargo owners, ocean carriers, trucking companies, stevedores, chassis providers, and ILA representatives to explore creative solutions to meet the collective and regional challenges to effectively serve the strong increase in volumes to the region. Port Houston continues to drive the conversation forward to address the challenges happening at most U.S. Ports.

General cargo at Port Houston was also up in August at 6% year-to-date compared to 2020 YTD, and up 22% for the month compared to August 2020. Steel imports jumped 159% in August compared to the same month last year, a positive sign of the strengthened energy sector.
Bagged goods saw a 7% decrease, while auto imports increased 173% this August compared to the same month last year.

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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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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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