- 01. Juni 2017
More efficiency, less growth – milestone in the maritime cooperationMore and more container vessels are coming into the Port of Hamburg. The most recent call of the MOL Triumph (20.170 standard containers) on May 15 proves that Hamburg is well prepared for the Ultra Large Container Vessel class. The handling of the vessels is a demanding job for all involved in the logistics chain. In the course of the International Transport Forums of the OECD in Leipzig (May 31 – June 2, 2017), top representatives from terminal operators, shipping companies, international organisations, port authorities as well as the logistics sector came together for the very first time to openly discuss how they could efficiently meet the challenges posed by large vessels together. One of the points under consideration is to optimise the logistics chain through the use of efficient digital technology in order to balance out the container vessels’ growth.
In the first quarter of 2017, 74 vessels with a capacity of more than 14.000 standard containers (TEU) docked at one of the terminals in the Port of Hamburg. This represents an increase of more than 60% compared to the previous year. By 2019, roughly 100 vessels with a capacity of more than 18.000 TEU will be en route in the global container service. Ultra Large Container Vessels will primarily dominate the regular service between Asia and Europe.
This development reflects the current trend that efficiency improvements should be implemented primarily through increasing vessel sizes. The open dialogue between the involved players in Leipzig made clear that future growth potentials are, however, to be found in the ports and outside of the ports in hinterland transport. Everybody strongly agreed that the course for the future can only be paved together. “Through closer cooperation, especially in terms of data exchange and the development of employees along the logistics chain, we will be able to be significantly more efficient during further transport to the recipient,” says Jens Meier, Hamburg Port Authority CEO. “For this reason, our common goal should be to use better networking between all partners to create a foundation for a faster door-to-door transport of goods.”
The parties involved want to focus on the joint development surrounding the optimisation of the maritime supply chain. It is expected that profits from the digitisation will become more and more apparent, while the industry’s dependency on fixed infrastructure, in particular the gigantism of large vessels, will decline.
“The Stakeholder-Forum marks a milestone in the global maritime logistics chain. The meeting was a first concrete step to create a global platform for the top representatives of all involved industries and organisations,” says Olaf Merk, Administrator Ports and Shipping at the International Transport Forum (ITF) of the OECD. “The founding of this platform is based on the understanding that higher efficiency in the maritime supply chain is particularly based on a better cooperation of the various players.”
„I am pleased that the port authorities were represented by the HPA during this first discussion,” says Kieran Ring, CEO Global Institute of Logistics. “Their participation at the round table shows the increasingly important role of the port authorities in the global maritime logistics supply chain; a role that has developed from a more passive renter to an active global partner in the minds of all involved – on a local as much as on a global level.”
Cooperation is further intensified
The cooperation sees itself as another step of the global partnership that is meant to complement the content of existing initiatives, i.e. chainPORT. This international partnership of port authorities, which aims to bring together port managements and their stakeholder, is already successfully developing strategies on how ports can work together intelligently on a digital and physical basis in a worldwide network. Participants of the round table in Leipzig were Simon Bennett (International Chamber of Shipping), Jan Hoffmann (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development), Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid (Federation of European Private Port Operators and Terminals), Olaf Merk (International Transport Forum), Chong Meng Tan (PSA), Chris Welsh (Global Shippers' Forum), Marco Sorgetti (FIATA), Kieran Ring (Global Institute of Logistics) as well as Jens Meier (HPA). The cooperation will be intensified further in the future.