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July 9 2018

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July 9 2018 | The Journal of Commerce 17 International Maritime Rapid growth in container volumes can lead to increased terminal congestion. A rule of thumb in the marine terminal industry is that cargo-handling efficiency tends to erode when a terminal reaches 80 percent utilization. The expansion (CN) operates a direct service from Prince Rupert to Chicago. Speaking at the JOC Canada Trade Conference in Toronto, Brian Friesen, the port authority's director of trade, devel- opment, and communications, said the terminal could avoid some of the problems created in the last phase of the expansion, which contributed to the rail service issues of last year. The first 27 months of the 30-month expansion project went without a hitch, but the terminal ran into trouble when it had to remove some railway track to install new gantry cranes, Friesen said. "The railway track actually was reduced for a short amount of time before it could be increased," he said. But in the next phase, the terminal will install some new track and extend existing track, giving the terminal at least 18,000 feet of track — enough to meet capacity demand, he said. Prince Rupert, located about 500 miles north of Vancouver, increased its container volume last year by 28 percent compared to 2016, to 926,540 TEU. The torrid growth continued into this year, with volume growing 18.7 percent year over year in the first quarter to 174,987 TEU, according to PIERS. of Prince Rupert's container yard will be complemented by an expansion of on-dock rail capacity. This is crucial for a port whose traffic moves almost 100 percent by rail. CN, the only railroad to serve Prince Rupert, had rail service issues last winter not only because of the extreme cold and snow, but also because of insufficient crew and locomotives. Jean-Jacques Ruest, interim president and CEO, said CN is moving forward with investments in assets and infrastructure. "Together with our supply chain partners, this expansion, combined with CN's in- vestments in British Columbia and across its rail network, positions us to drive this unique trade gateway success story for- ward," he said at the JOC Canada event. The other ports in North America's Pacific Northwest gateway also are expand- ing their infrastructure and modernizing their terminals to accommodate growing container volumes. Vancouver will expand its Deltaport and Centerm terminals. Seattle and Tacoma are engaged in terminal mod- ernization and process improvements designed to enhance efficiency and increase cargo velocity. JOC email: twitter: @billmongelluzzo model to one in which it supplies forwarders and ocean carriers with white-labeled software designed to enhance the user interfaces they use to lure customers. The company said the move was long planned. "We felt that being a digital forwarder didn't make sense for us — Flexport has made it sort of an arms race," said Graham Parker, Kontainers founder and CEO. "Our best place is to serve the industry to accelerate their digital journey." Parker sought to leverage that arms race by aiming to provide com- panies with a way to compete with the slickness of Flexport's user inter- face. The company is working with four of the top 20 global ocean lines (including one of the top three) and four of the top 10 global forwarders. "Forwarders really need four things: technical product, custom- ers, knowledge, and a global net- work," Parker said. "Most forwarders have the final three and need help with the first." But the inverse of that is that digital forwarders often lack one or more of the first three elements, and thus emphasize further the technical piece. Direct online channels are crowding the market from all angles, with a growing number of the world's largest traditional forward- ers establishing their own digital forwarding presence. Among those to have set up more transactional online channels for BCOs are Damco (via its Twill platform) and Agility (via its Shipa Freight platform). Kuehne + Nagel also has been active in meeting the challenge of startup digital forwarders. In early March, the company added its Sea Explorer planning tool to its online quote and booking services, with the analytics being mined by the forwarder's data company, LogIndex. Another European heavyweight, Geodis, in March rolled out IRIS, an online pricing and booking model for global air and ocean shipments across the world. DB Schenker, meanwhile, posted a YouTube video in April explaining the Freight 4.0 e-forwarder concept it is developing, one that seems designed more to push its relation- ships into a digital environment rather than tacking on transactional volume to its core operations. The flipside of the growth of digital forwarders is the reduction in the number of agnostic freight mar- ketplace platforms. Among the more prominent providers remaining in that space are Freightos, Cargobase, and Simpliship, though many of the platforms on offer are curated rather than true open marketplaces avail- able to all sellers and buyers. JOC email: twitter: @LogTechEric "Our best place is to serve the industry to accelerate their digital journey." 9.5% 11.6% 10.8% 10.5% 12.7% 8.0% 8.5% 9.0% 9.5% 10.0% 10.5% 11.0% 11.5% 12.0% 12.5% 13.0% Q1 2014 Q1 2015 Q1 2016 Q1 2017 Q1 2018 Prince Rupert market share climbs Source: IHS Markit © 2018 IHS Port of Prince Rupert's market share among Vancouver, Prince Rupert, and the Northwest Seaport Allliance

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