Ports

Forest Products See Increase via Port of Savannah; Wood Pulp, Paper, Paperboard Lead Commodity Group

Containerboard

June 3, 2020 (Georgia Ports Authority) - While many cargo categories have seen struggles related to COVID-19, certain forest products are seeing strong demand at the start of 2020.

Among the Port of Savannah's top five forest product exports - wood pulp, paper and paperboard, logs and lumber, veneers and plywood, and boards - the Port of Savannah handled 118,783 twenty-foot equivalent container units, an increase of 2.6 percent or 3,000 TEUs, in the first three months of the year (the latest period for which containerized commodity data is available).

Wood pulp, paper and paperboard drove most of the growth, with wood pulp volumes increasing by 16.3 percent (7,714 TEUs) January through March compared to 2019, for a total of 55,083 TEUs. Similarly, paper and paperboard grew from 42,809 to 49,732 TEUs during the first three months of the year, an increase of 16.2 percent, or 6,923 TEUs.

"The paperboard and containerboard are used for packaging of products you see on your store shelves and for making much-needed boxes that are in high demand due to the growth of e-commerce, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," said Plastic Express President and CEO Ray Hufnagel. The company, best known for packaging and transporting resins and other plastic goods, moves other commodities through its subsidiary, PX Services, to global destinations via the Port of Savannah.

"The wood pulp we receive is a high purity cellulose specialty product that is used in pharmaceuticals, among many other products," Hufnagel said.

April numbers for GPA commodities are not yet available. Anecdotally, however, port customers have noted continued strong demand for commodities such as paper and paperboard.

"Domestic paper sales are up due to the COVID 19 rush," said David Porter, regional sales manager at GPA. "Georgia-Pacific is looking to be up 15 percent for the fiscal year and Graphic Packaging up 10.5 percent. Driving this growth is the demand for more food-grade boxes. As more people stay home, the demand for these types of products has increased."

Logs and Lumber

Logs and lumber saw an initial decline compared to 2019, however orders are rising significantly as trade deals have reopened the market into China.

"Demand is skyrocketing, and many of the log providers are scrambling to meet demand," Porter said. "We have multiple companies looking at the Appalachian Regional Port and another working with GLOVIS in West Georgia to match-back empty containers from KIA. Some log exporters are seeing growth of 200 percent to 300 percent."

Plastic Express Recently Opened Building 1

Savannah's forest products volumes may also be positively impacted by the entry of Plastic Express into the local market handling these commodities. The company's recently opened Building 1 is now receiving railcars of paper and wood pulp. Container stuffing operations for forest products began in February.

"Since those initial carloads, we have seen growth through our facility and in just a few months are up to around 700 twenty-foot equivalent container units with a lot more growth in the pipeline," Hufnagel said. "The challenges with COVID-19 have impacted businesses and consumers alike, however the need for paper to be used for packaging products and wood pulp for pharmaceuticals, toiletries, and diapers are still very much in demand."

Plastic Express began its initial operations in Savannah last year with 1.1 million square feet of space and 265 rail car spots, with nearly half of that available to non-resin commodities. The company has now started construction on Building 2 in Savannah, adding another 1.2 million square feet of space and 235 rail car spots, again with roughly half of the new capacity available to forest products.

Georgia mills provide the largest share of paper products arriving at the Savannah warehouse, with the remainder coming from Florida and South Carolina. The company is also competing for forest products business out of Alabama, Arkansas and North Carolina.

Hufnagel said access to Class I railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern via shortline carrier Georgia Central extends the company's reach to customers across the U.S. Southeast. Key destinations for the paper and pulp shipments include South America, Asia, India and North Africa.

"Good news for the forestry industry not only benefits the Georgia Ports Authority, but the state economy as a whole," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "The industry spans the state of Georgia, from landowners and pulpwood growers, to major mills and the thousands of people they employ."

As one of the state's largest public employers, the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) directly employs almost 1,300 trained logistics professionals. The GPA, however, is responsible for generating far more employment throughout the state. GPA operations, together with private sector, port-related operations, account for more than 440,000 jobs statewide, $106 billion dollars in revenue, and income exceeding $25 billion annually. For further information visit: gaports.com.

SOURCE: Georgia Ports Authority

 

Verbrugge Terminals

Verbrugge Terminals Starts New Scheduled Service between Sweden and North Sea Port

May 29, 2020 - North Sea Port recently announced that a new weekly service between Sweden and Terneuzen will dock at Verbrugge Terminals in Terneuzen every Saturday. The ro-ro ships transport paper, trailers, containers and project cargo.

Rolls of Paper

The cargo consists of rolls of paper for magazines, newspapers and other printed matter. These rolls are unloaded at Terneuzen every Saturday and delivered to the various printers, with Verbrugge's transport company Verbrugge Internationale Wegtransporten playing an important role.

The Verbrugge terminal in Terneuzen has been a hub for paper and cardboard for decades. Verbrugge also has the technology to cut rolls of paper to size, label them and repackage them.

Two Ro-Ro Vessels

The scheduled service will be operated by two ro-ro vessels that will alternately call at the Verbrugge terminal in Terneuzen. The return cargo to Sweden (Braviken & Södertalje) will consist of all kinds of goods, such as trailers, containers and project cargo.

North Sea Port noted that the scheduled service further strengthens the link between Terneuzen and Sweden.

Wagenborg has been operating weekly sailings carrying ro-ro cargo from Terneuzen to Sodertalje and Pitea for some time, North Sea Port added.

Boost for North Sea Port

This new scheduled service reinforces Verbrugge Terminals’ presence at North Sea Port and gives it a springboard to further develop its activities there. It means North Sea Port will see its share of the markets for paper and cardboard, ro-ro, containers and project cargo increase.

North Sea Port is the 60-kilometre-long cross-border port area that stretches from Vlissingen on the North Sea coast in the Netherlands, some 32 kilometres inland to Ghent in Belgium. A versatile, multimodal port, North Sea Port provides a wide range of transport options, with a strong emphasis on inland shipping. To learn more visit: www.northseaport.com

SOURCE: North Sea Port

 

Port of Antwerp

Port of Antwerp to Implement ‘Certified Pick up’ in November for Release of Containers

May 29, 2020 - Container handling in the port of Antwerp is a complex process involving many players. Releasing containers is a vulnerable and time-consuming process which carries the risk of misuse and mistakes. In order to guarantee security and improve the operational efficiency and transparency, Port of Antwerp has introduced a new procedure — Certified Pick up. All players involved in container handling will have to join this procedure.

The container release process has been made more secure and streamlined by sharing real-time information on a unique central data platform. The system will regulate the release of containers based on coded identification and authorisation information. This development will contribute towards a more secure, effective and resilient supply chain.

For the design and operation of the application, Port of Antwerp has teamed up with its subsidiary NxtPort — a port community platform has already developed a series of digital applications for the Antwerp port community. Based on its knowledge of the Antwerp port sector NxtPort will contribute its know-how to expanding the digital infrastructure of the port.

Obligatory Use

Certified Pick up will become obligatory for all supply chain partners involved in the container release process as of November 2020 or January 2021 at the latest. All containers leaving an Antwerp port terminal by truck, rail or barge (including transhipment containers and empty shipper-owned containers) fall under this obligation, with the legal framework being included in the Port Police Regulations.

Port of Antwerp has opted for a phased approach in order to ensure the stable expansion of the system.

Connection with Certified Pick up

Connecting to Certified Pick up will yield advantages of efficiency for operators in the logistics chain. These include improvements in security, simplification of administrative processes and shorter transit times for containers in Port of Antwerp.

In the next few months Port of Antwerp will take the necessary steps to implement Certified Pick up and together with NxtPort it will organise information sessions tailored to the various partners involved in the logistics chain.

Interested?

Consult Port of Antwerp's web page where you will find detailed information on Certified Pick up.

About Port of Antwerp

The Port of Antwerp is Europe's second-largest port with more than 300 line services to over 800 destinations. The Port annually handles around 238 million tonnes of international maritime freight. For further information, visit: www.portofantwerp.com

SOURCE: Port of Antwerp

 

Port of Savannah rail project

Georgia Ports Authority Commissions First Nine Mason Mega Rail Tracks

May 28, 2020 - Georgia Ports Authority's Mason Mega Rail project, in the works for more than four years and designed to expand service to the Southeast and Midwestern U.S., has passed a major milestone. GPA has put into operation the first nine of 18 new working tracks, with its first two rail-mounted gantry cranes to be commissioned in June.

"At the Port of Savannah, we are working to improve the efficiency of the American supply chain and move goods to market even faster," said GPA Executive Director Griff Lynch. "These efforts are strengthening our logistics network at a time when the nation needs it most."

Lynch said the project would not have been possible without a generous grant from the U.S. Maritime Administration.

"On behalf of the Authority, I would like to thank Admiral Mark Buzby at MARAD for his support of our vision for the Mega Rail terminal," Lynch said. "We are also grateful for the leadership of Gov. Brian Kemp, and to the Georgia Congressional delegation, particularly Sen. David Perdue, former Sen. Johnny Isakson and Congressman Buddy Carter for their unwavering support throughout the grant application process and implementation of this critical project."

He noted that throughout the COVID-19 crisis, dedicated GPA employees and contract workers have continued to press forward, with a daily average of more than 150 people working on the rail expansion, and more than 2.2 million staff hours expended in planning and construction since late 2015.

"Additionally, throughout all this work and the issues related to the coronavirus, GPA and our partners at the International Longshoremen's Association have continued to provide world-class service to our customers," Lynch said.

The project will include 18 working tracks for improved efficiency moving containers from trains to trucks.

"The Mason Mega Rail Terminal is an incredible example of the federal government and the port authority working together to keep America's commerce moving ahead," said GPA Board Chairman Will McKnight. "Even during this crisis, the disciplined effort involved has been a testament to the vital importance we all place on this nationally significant project."

The expansion will use an estimated $38 million of American-made steel, McKnight added. The project has so far installed 56,000 feet of new track, but will include a total of 129,000 feet when complete - or nearly 24.5 miles.

In a related development, a new overpass on State Road 25 is nearing completion. This new route will carry road traffic over eight tracks linking the current Chatham Yard on the south side of Garden City Terminal with the Mason Mega Rail site to the northwest. The overpass is expected to open in August.

The Mason Mega Rail Terminal will double the Port of Savannah's rail capacity to 2 million twenty-foot equivalent container units per year. The added capacity will allow GPA to take on new business in a broader service area, reaching well into the U.S. Midwest.

Lynch thanked Savannah's two Class I railroads, CSX and Norfolk Southern, for providing a competitive option for moving cargo to a Mid-American Arc of cities ranging from Memphis to Chicago. Garden City Terminal averages only 24 hours between vessel discharge and intermodal train departure. Rail transit from Savannah to Memphis provides cargo availability in just 56 hours.

Georgia's deepwater ports and inland barge terminals support more than 439,000 jobs throughout the state annually and contribute $25 billion in income, $106 billion in revenue and $2.9 billion in state and local taxes to Georgia's economy. The Port of Savannah handled 8.5 percent of U.S. containerized cargo volume and 10 percent of all U.S. containerized exports in FY2017. To learn more visit: gaports.com

 

Alabama State Port Authority Names John C. Driscoll as Director and CEO

John DriscollMay 18, 2020 - The Alabama State Port Authority recently named John C. Driscoll as Director and Chief Executive Officer for the Port Authority, effective June 1, 2020.

“Over the last several months, the Board and Jimmy Lyons worked through a nationwide search to identify a slate of qualified candidates,” said Bestor Ward, Chairman of the Alabama State Port Authority. “It was John’s qualifications that made him the natural choice. Our board looks forward to John joining the Port Authority team in June.”

Driscoll most recently served as Maritime Director at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, California. He had operational and marketing responsibility for one of the nation’s top 10 container seaports. Driscoll was credited with improving that port’s operating efficiency, financial performance and community relations.

Prior to working in Oakland, Driscoll served as vice president of export sales for CMA CGM (America) LLC.

Driscoll gained deep international maritime experience and contacts working with Sea-Land Service, Maersk Line and CMA CGM. He successfully developed business operations in the Caribbean, Central America, and South America.

“This is a gratifying opportunity and a career highlight," said Driscoll. "I've seen the caliber of people who work here and the contributions the Port of Mobile makes to Alabama, the local community, and global trade. There is so much to be proud of at Mobile. The responsibility in leading this port is fantastic, and we will work together to continue the progress made under Executive Director Lyons.”

The Port Authority’s current Director and CEO, James Lyons, noted, “I’ve observed over the years John’s incredible contributions to the industry. His abilities were affirmed through our extensive assessment of his body of work and my conversations with those who have worked with him. I am confident John will be an excellent fit for our seaport, our management team, and our employees, and I personally look forward to the transition.”

Lyons will assist Driscoll in the transition and serve as director emeritus until his retirement at the end of the year.

The Alabama State Port Authority owns and operates the State of Alabama’s deep-water port facilities at the Port of Mobile, currently the 11th largest U.S. Seaport by total trade. The Port Authority’s facilities alone handled over 26 million tons of cargo in 2019.

SOURCE: Alabama State Port Authority

 
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