Ports

Robert Palaima, a Globally Respected Leader in the Philadelphia Port Community, Announces Retirement

Robert PalaimaJune 7, 2021 - Truly a man for all seasons, Robert Palaima is retiring after 31 years with Delaware River Stevedores (DRS). In a career that spanned 44 years, Palaima has been successful as a manager, supply chain expert, negotiator, diplomat, non-profit leader, port spokesman and other roles. He led DRS’s marine terminal operations in Philadelphia, Camden, and Wilmington.

Among his many accomplishments, Palaima was a key player in growing important commodities for the Port, including forest products, steel, project cargoes, autos and containers. He helped bring generational change to PhilaPort’s Tioga Marine Terminal (TMT) with the advent of a long-term contract for eucalyptus wood-pulp from Brazil.

“Bob is respected by shippers and supply chain professionals all over the world. He has been a great stevedore and marine terminal operator, and an ally in promoting the Port. It’s been a real pleasure working with Bob, who was always passionate about the Philadelphia region and our ports,” stated PhilaPort’s CEO Jeff Theobald.

As President of DRS, he engineered a major reorganization in 1992 and led the company through the ever-changing complexities of international trade and significant changes in the TMT’s cargo mix. He also worked in cooperation with PhilaPort to bring about successful infrastructure improvements at TMT.

“I’m humbled to have worked with a true leader, a true friend of labor like Bob,” said Boise Butler, President of International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1291. “He worked hard to bring more cargo – and more jobs – to Philadelphia. You could always trust Bob, at the Port and in his work for the community.”

His work in all three states sharing the Delaware River gave him a regional perspective, one he used to build cooperation among the entire port community. He has used this collaborative approach to the benefit of many civic and maritime organizations:  Palaima serves on the Board of Governors of the Philadelphia Maritime Society, the Board of Managers of the Seamen’s Church Institute, and the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Marine Trade Association. He served on Liberty Mutual’s PA Advisory Board as well as on the Board of Governors of the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay and has helped raise scholarship funds for the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

He took a particular interest in the relationship between Philadelphia and Chile and is a long-time president of the Chilean and American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Philadelphia. With his work at DRS he developed business connections between the two regions, while his work with the Chamber built human connections.

Miriam Borja-Fisher of Western Fumigation has worked with Palaima for over 20 years, through her work as a fumigator and as a leader in the non-profit trade associations that facilitate the work and networking of the port community. She said, “Always the gentleman and peacemaker, Bob has played such a major role in many of the industries that call PhilaPort home. I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with him.”

A native of Chicago, Palaima attended Colgate University as a War Memorial Scholar, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He pursued postgraduate work at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University where he was an Edward R. Murrow Fellow. He subsequently worked for the Illinois Department of Business and Economic Development before joining Philadelphia-based Lavino Shipping Company in 1980.

As he transitions to an advisory role at DRS, the company’s Vice President Andrew Sentyz will succeed him. Palaima will remain active on the Chilean American Chamber’s Board of Directors and with other community organizations.

Sentyz stated, “Bob has provided so many of us at DRS the opportunity to realize our full potential by challenging and encouraging us to find the best possible version of ourselves. I can think of no one who embodies what it means to be a leader more than Bob, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from him over the years.”

Palaima will continue to reside in Horsham, PA, where he looks forward to spending more time with his wife, Wendy.

SOURCE: Port of Philadelphia

 

containers

Certified Pick Up in Port of Antwerp Enters Next Phase

May 21, 2021 - The new digital process for releasing containers at the Port of Antwerp, known as Certified Pick up (CPu), is entering its next phase. Instead of using PIN codes, containers will be picked up based on identity from July. The process, which ensures safe, transparent and efficient handling, applies to all import containers unloaded from seagoing vessels.

Registration required by 1 June

The second phase of the digital Certified Pick up process will commence on 1 July. From then on, the terminals at the Port of Antwerp will gradually switch to a new way of handling containers, based on identity instead of PIN codes. The MPET and PSA terminals are the first to use the system, which verifies identity through an Alfapass and a finger scan. Because all the shipping companies have to grant a right of release to their customers for this, it is requested that these companies register for the CPu process via the NxtPort website no later than 1 June 2021.

More secure, transparent and efficient

CPu came into force on 1 January 2021 and ensures that the container release process is safer, more transparent and more efficient. CPu is a neutral, central data platform that connects all the stakeholders involved in the container import process. Through dialogue with the Port Authority, it has been agreed that the implementation of CPu should be phased in. In the initial phase, CPu introduced transparency on the container status in the form of a series of ‘green lights’, aimed at increasing operational efficiency for every player in the chain.

“This next phase in the CPu process is an important next step in building a virtually secure port,” said Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of the Port of Antwerp. “This new way of working guarantees a rapid and optimised release process for incoming containers, which will then leave the port by rail, inland navigation or truck. The fact this has been achieved in collaboration with the various partners in the port chain is further evidence of the strength and resilience of Antwerp's port community.”

SOURCE: Port of Antwerp
 

UPM’s deep-water pulp terminal in the Port of Montevideo

UPM’s Deep-Water Pulp Terminal Project in the Port of Montevideo Hits Halfway Mark

Construction of UPM’s deep-water pulp terminal in the Port of Montevideo is halfway to completion and is on schedule. We look at the work involved in one of Uruguay’s largest-ever infrastructure investments and how it will boost the country’s economy.

May 17, 2021 - The Port of Montevideo in the Uruguayan capital is the site of UPM’s deep-water pulp terminal, which has been under construction since August 2019. The USD 280 million investment will become a terminal with the capacity to handle around 2 million tonnes of pulp shipped to global markets by approximately 100 vessels annually.

The pulp terminal and development of the port play a fundamental role in the logistics of the UPM Paso de los Toros pulp mill, currently under construction in central Uruguay. The mill, scheduled to start up in the second half of 2022, will have a direct railway connection to the port terminal.

Operations in the pulp terminal will significantly increase exports from the port of Montevideo. In addition, the entry of a new railway line to the port will allow the growth of commercial activity for other areas.

As one of the major ports on the East Coast of South America, it plays a key role in the country’s economy and is a vital gateway to the landlocked countries of Paraguay and Bolivia, as well as parts of Brazil and Argentina.

The new terminal is scheduled to be completed in 2022. Photo: UPM

Making steady progress

“The pulp terminal construction project will be completed for commissioning on time and on budget in the first half of next year,” says Jorge Kliche, the Uruguay-born Technical Manager of the port works.

While the coronavirus situation has been a challenge, Kliche notes that work has not stopped except for a week-long government-mandated nationwide shutdown. He emphasises that there has never before been a job of this scale or one running on such a tight schedule in the country.

As well as the dredging of a new dock, UPM is overseeing the construction of a six-hectare warehouse for stockpiling goods and direct port access for the railway that connects to the pulp mill being built inland at Paso de los Toros.

“We have 500 workers and about 20 supervisors, one of whom worked with me 15 years ago on the Fray Bentos pulp mill. In a way, that was much more challenging because it was the first time my generation worked with so many people. We didn’t know how to organise, put safety first or make a schedule,” he recalls, adding that the synergy on the current project is great.

From safety and scheduling to the environment, Kliche says that UPM has been extremely meticulous in all areas. “There was an in-depth environmental study regarding the impact of what we dredged and backfilled, as well as a survey into the operation itself. The levels that UPM demands are substantially higher than we normally see in Uruguay,” he states.

The Uruguayan capital is a crucial logistical hub in South America. Photo: UPM

Hinge between South America and the world

Once the project is completed in 2022, the Port of Montevideo will be once again reconnected to the railway, further cementing Montevideo’s position as a key South American hub on the Atlantic coast and in the River Plate area.

“Analysis of container moves shows Uruguay is already a hub, with 50% of containers not originating from within the country. In a year, Montevideo moves about 800,000 TEUs (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) and Buenos Aires maybe 1.8 TEUs. While that is over twice the difference, consider that Argentina’s population is 13 times bigger,” says Fernando Puntigliano, who was head of the National Port Administration (ANP) between 2005 and 2009 and is currently a professor of Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the School of Business of the Universidad Católica del Uruguay.

“I used to insist to the authorities that ports are just part of the logistics chain. You must have land and water accessibility, the latter of which is two-sided in Uruguay: sea-going vessels and the waterway to the hinterland. The ports are a hinge between the hinterland and the foreland, as well as a hinge between the region and the world,” he says.

Puntigliano notes that some ports are wholly dedicated to transhipment, but it is not a role he envisions for Montevideo. “There must be a balance between import/export and other hub cargo, because transhipping is very volatile. To have Uruguay as only a transhipment country is risky,” he warns.

A diverse port helps everybody

Port activity has been slowly expanding over the years, with the main growth being seen in container movement. However, Guillermo Mera, a freelance logistics adviser, notes that transit cargo is often reliant on political decisions and neighbouring countries, so any project that means the port isn’t dependent on third parties transhipping cargo is more than welcome.

“The overall consensus here is that a diversified port will bring economic wealth, which in turn offers well-being for everyone. In addition, specialised terminals don't tend to bother anybody else, but the arrival of more actors does increase pressure to improve the draught and port services,” explains Mera, who has over 30 years of experience working with logistics and port activities.

While the industrial and railroad elements of UPM’s project have received most attention, Mera believes that the port terminal development deserves far more consideration. He has been impressed by how quickly and smoothly construction has progressed at what was once a “forgotten little rundown corner.”

Alongside the state-funded railway development, the Uruguayan government has been inspired to invest in an elevated highway around the port. It will not only improve both access to the port and capital once complete, but Mera adds that the initiative also opens up the possibility of backland development.

“The project is significant. It will have an impact in the port and an impact on the city of Montevideo. With the railway coming in as well, it will open new logistic opportunities for everyone. The main point of this project is industrial development. If there is no industry, then there’s nothing at all,” concludes Mera.

SOURCE: UPM

 

SCA Ro-Ro

UK Paper Hub Secures SCA as a Major New Customer

May 19, 2021 - SCA, Europe’s largest private forest owner and producer of wood products, packaging paper, pulp and renewable energy, will return on a long-term deal to market leading UK Paper Hub* located at London’s major port, the Port of Tilbury. The 50-acre facility on the Thames will become SCA’s primary UK logistics hub for the import of packaging materials to supply their UK customers.

Sweden-based SCA — calling at terminals including Umea, Sundsvall, Helsingborg, Oxelösund, Malmo, Iggesund and Kiel — will see substantial volumes of packaging paper and other third-party cargoes regularly transported by their own Ro-Ro vessels from Sweden to the UK Paper Hubs’ dedicated berths.

UK Paper Hub will also assist SCA’s circular supply chain with the export of RDF (Refuse Derived Fuel), supporting circular economy and energy from waste solutions across Sweden.

Commenting on the new contract for Tilbury, Paul Dale, Asset and Site Director said: “This is exciting news for the UK Paper Hub as we secure another market leader in the paper, packaging and forest products market. We warmly welcome SCA back to Tilbury and look forward to working collaboratively to ensure a world class, flexible, end to end service for their UK customers.

“As the paper and forest product port for the future, we are focusing on making a real contribution to the environment and net zero targets by reducing all forms of waste within the paper and forest products supply chain. Through our location and connections, we offer unrivalled opportunities at our all-in-one facility,” Dale added.

Steve Harley, Managing Director for SCA UK Logistics, commented, “2022 will mark our return to the Port of Tilbury. The move renews a long-standing relationship between SCA and Forth Ports which spans half a century. Ensuring that the logistics chain is as efficient as possible is our utmost concern and our Tilbury operation will align our shipping, warehousing and distribution activities with our customers’ geographical spread and service requirements. We look forward to a productive cooperation with the Forth Ports team.”

* UK Paper Hub is the collective brand covering Tilbury’s handling, storage and distribution services for paper and related forest products (including graphical papers and newsprint, packaging paper and board, tissue and hygiene products, and pulp). The brand brings together the expertise and facilities of the paper handling terminals, previously known as Enterprise Distribution Centre (EDC) and London Paper Terminal (LPT), which the port owns and operates.

The UK Paper Hub can handle paper and forest products in any form, any quantity using any method of shipping or distribution, both short sea and deep sea. The Hub has access to a nationwide haulage network and connects the UK’s domestic industries with markets across the globe. Tilbury’s newest port, Tilbury2, opened in May 2020 and along with London Container Terminal, offers the Hub further connections and capacity for customers.

SOURCE: UK Paper Hub

 

Plaquemines Port

Plaquemines Port and APM Terminals Announce Future Port Collaboration

May 6, 2021 - Plaquemines Port and APM Terminals have announced an agreement to work together to discuss the future design of the Plaquemines Port Harbor and Terminal District (PPHTD), including the consideration of APM Terminals as the future terminal operator.

The facility is in the early stages of development as a deep water, multi-modal, state-of-the-art container terminal in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Located on the Mississippi river just 50 miles from the Gulf of Mexico the gateway port would cater to exporters and importers who could tap into the multimodal routing options from rail, truck and barge. The agreement represents a formal discussion phase whereby both parties will conduct multiple studies prior to making a final investment decision.

The proposed, environmentally friendly terminal, will be powered by a combination of LNG and electricity. It will encompass up to 1,000 acres and 8,200 feet of Mississippi River frontage. Special focus will be on utilizing modern infrastructure technology for withstanding storm surge and wind damage.

Phase One of construction is expected to last two years and will deliver the capability to handle 22,000-TEU class vessels with the ability to expand capacity if needed.

Wim Lagaay, CEO of APM Terminals North America said “The appeal of Plaquemines protected river port location and export/import market strength makes this a very unique supply chain offering for customers and our growth ambitions. We look forward to working with PPHTD, their partners and with state and local leaders to ensure the port is set up for long-term success.

PPHTD Executive Director Sandy Sanders said, “Partnering with APM Terminals to work together on this project is a huge win for the State of Louisiana. Along with our partners American Patriot Holdings and Louisiana 23 Development Company, Plaquemines Port has engineered a logistics business model to attract private investment dollars and new cargo to Louisiana.”

Louisiana 23 Development Company, LLC (Devco), led by Chris Fetters, serves as the exclusive private development partner for Plaquemines Port by providing financial solutions and funding alternatives to support port development such as rail, warehousing and utilities. American Patriot Holdings (APH), will provide marine transportation services to the Port’s inland partner network including St. Louis, Memphis, Joliet, Kansas City, Cairo, and Western Arkansas.

About Plaquemines Port

Plaquemines Port Harbor & Terminal District, political subdivision of the State of Louisiana, is the 13th largest tonnage port in the U.S. and encompasses the first 80 miles of the Mississippi River from the Gulf.

SOURCE: APM Terminals

 
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