Shipping at Hyperspeed


Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, the Chairman and CEO of DP World was elected last month to be the new Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop One, replacing Sir Richard Branson who had stepped down in October. The relationship between DP World and Hyperloop One goes back to 2016 when DP World first entered as an investor. At that time, the two companies signed an agreement to investigate the concept of hyperloop moving containers between Jebel Ali marine terminal and a new inland container terminal in Dubai. There is evidence that Hyperloop One is looking at building a system between Mumbai, India and Pune, approximately 150 kilometers inland. If the expected approval is obtained, next year could see the construction of an 11 kilometer test stretch. If all goes well, the potential for travel at 1,200 kilometers per hour between Mumbai and Pune would cut the time of the trip from 4 hours to less than one half hour.

A Hyperloop is a transportation system where a pod moves through a reduced pressure tube without having contact with a track of any kind, similar in concept to vacuum tubes used in banks to transport cash. Magnetic levitation is the preferred method of propulsion incorporated in the designs of both the Hyperloop One and the Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) systems. With regards to moving cargo, there may be technical considerations requiring transloading the cargo from ocean containers to the smaller pods at the Port/Hyperloop interface.

Other hyperloop systems are reportedly being developed as well. According to local information, Hamburg terminal operator HHLA has entered into an agreement with HTT to develop an inland transportation system with the technology with the anchor being the Hamburg facility. A statement by HTT says that the capacity of the system could be 4,100 containers a day, or approximately 1.5 million containers per year.

Digging Deeper


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has given the Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) an additional $46 million in funding for the Jacksonville Harbor deep draft navigation project. Originally authorized by the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014, the deepening by 47-foot improvement project, will enable mega-sized container vessels to enter the port.

Currently, the largest ships arriving at Jacksonville's port must travel lightly loaded, allowing enough of a shallow draft to navigate the current 40-foot channel depth. As a result, cargo volumes that could move through Jacksonville are being diverted to other ports with the capacity to handle deeper draft ships. The recent allocation comes in addition to the $50 million in federal funding directed to JAXPORT for the project over the past two fiscal years.

"JAXPORT recently became the largest port by container volume in the state of Florida. As a driver of regional economic activity and a strategically important national security infrastructure asset, we must continue to build upon this tremendous growth by enhancing the international competitiveness of JAXPORT," Congressman John Rutherford, representing Florida's 4th District, said.

In September, USACE awarded $210 million for the second stage of the project, awarding the contract to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company. The first stage of the project, which is already underway, involves approximately 3 miles from the entrance way inland. While the second base funding covers roughly 2.5 river miles of deepening, with the remainder of the funds provided in August 2019 to cover the additional 2.5 river miles.

Construction is expected to start in late December and the estimated construction time will be approximately five years.

JAXPORT's public seaport terminals achieved record growth in container volumes, recording double-digit growth during the fiscal year ending September 30, 2018. The port moved nearly 1.3 million containers, a 23 percent increase over 2017. The port authority said that Asian container trade continues to show significant growth, achieving 12 percent growth in the past year, with nearly 429,000 Asian containers moved. It was another record year with regard to the growth in general cargo volumes as nearly 10.5 million tons of cargo moved through JAXPORT last year, up 12 percent over 2017.

Technology in Port Operation


"We are already seeing extremely fast take up in technology use in other industries and our industry cannot be too far behind. Much of these will be driven by lower technological cost and exponential growth in technological developments whether it be battery technology, autonomous vessel technology, nanotechnology or Artificial Intelligence (AI)."

This statement came as part of an address during the opening ceremonies of the 44th ASEAN Ports Association meeting on November 27th in Singapore by Niam Chang Meng, Chairman of Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore.

"Technology is disrupting and transforming the way the port industry operates - we will see more port operations being automated and in the longer term, autonomous surface vessels; changes in the global operating environment with new regulatory requirements will also play a key role in determining our effectiveness. We must address these and other challenges if we want to be relevant and compete with the rest of the world," Meng continued.

He also spoke to the way technology has reached a crucial turning point in that it has become a more powerful and integrative tool, particularly in the way that the expanded vessel sizes require faster handling and restructuring has increased competition between ports. To that last point he stated that the proper way to move forward is by embracing technology and using it with cooperation among ports.

Shipping in the Data Age


The sheer volume of data and connectivity offers a great deal of opportunity for the shipping industry and logistics companies. Many, however, are not taking full advantage of the technologies.

From efficiency and productivity to overall cost reductions, the technologies have vast potential, but it can also seem overwhelming on how to utilize it to the best benefit.

"Shipping companies are still buying charts and publications in the way they did before digital navigation. In other words, vessels are carrying large numbers of both paper and electronic navigational charts (ENC) and digital publications on board just in case they may need them. Buying just-in-case in this way involves wasting lots of money on large numbers of digital charts and publications that vessels never actually use," stated Hayley van Leeuwen, Head of Product, Global Navigation Solutions.

Despite charts and publications being easily accessed via permit keys that can be emailed to ships within 10 minutes and the widespread availability of pay as you sail (PAYS) services that provide always-on access to charts, many are leaving these saving of time and money on the table. If software is installed on board to help navigate more efficiently, it usually is not being fully exploited. And navigational product purchasing is still more often than not habitual, based on what has always been bought rather than what is actually needed. As is often the case with new technology, many of the benefits of technology are still theoretical and have not yet filtered down into operational level. With the increased advances, there is no doubt that things are going to get more integrated, more transparent and more efficient across all aspects of ship operations.


Did You Know...


Our IFT staff has the capabilities of assisting our customers in various languages such as English, Korean, Chinese (Mandarin), German, Finnish, Spanish, Polish and Russian. We pride ourselves in being able to help our customers in their own language along with knowing the cultural background of different countries.

New at IFT...

Drum Roll, Please


IFT is currently in the operation of transporting equipment used in the food processing industry from the US to India.

The machines, drum dryers, are used for drying highly viscous fluids and pastes. The drum is heated on the inside to remove moisture in the process of drying products for packaging.

Drum Roll, Please IFT is currently in the operation of transporting equipment used in the food processing industry from the US to India. The machines, drum dryers, are used for drying highly viscous fluids and pastes. The drum is heated on the inside to remove moisture in the process of drying products for packaging. Such a large machines require special handling in the shipping. The dryers stands approximately 7 feet tall and has a length of about 24 feet. The formidable units also weigh in at over 50,000 pounds each. They were loaded onto flat racks for the journey that will bring them from the northwestern US to their final destination in eastern India.

Drill Commands

Manila Bound

Last month IFT handled the shipping of a large drilling rig that made its way from the East Coast of the US to Indonesia.

The cargo began the trip in Florida, where it was picked up and loaded onto the trailer to be trucked overland to the port of Savannah in Georgia. The unit, a full 45 feet long and 14 feet high, and a hefty 82,000 pounds, was brought aboard the vessel in Savannah by use of a crane that placed it into the bay on ship onto flat racks. Once aboard, the cargo was lashed down for the sea voyage to Jakarta, Indonesia

The blasthole drill rig is primarily used in mining applications for metals, such as copper and gold. It has the capacity to rill a shaft up to 148 feet in depth.

The precious cargo made its way to its final destination and will be in use for a long time to come.

Joke of the Month

Utah Office Hosts Meetings and Christmas Party

Who's the Fool?

A proud and confident genius makes a bet with a fool.

The genius says, "Hey fool, every question I ask you that you don't know the answer, you have to give me $5. And if you ask me a question and I can't answer yours I will give you $5,000."

The fool says, "Okay."

The genius then asks, "How many continents are there in the world?"

The fool doesn't know and hands over the $5. The fool says, "Now me ask: what animal stands with two legs but sleeps with three?"

The genius tries and searches very hard for the answer but gives up and hands over the $5000. The genius says, "Dang it, I lost. By the way, what was the answer to your question?"

The fool hands over $5.

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