Home' Ships and Shipping : October 2009 Contents October 2009 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
Focus on SCANDINAVIA
"Green" logistics solutions will remain a high priority for most
companies through the economic downturn and beyond,
delegates at a "Dryport" conference in Bruges were told earlier
in the year.
"Environmental discussion and environmental demands are
here to stay," said project manager Dirk Harmsen, representing
Region Västra Götaland, Sweden, the lead partner in the EU
Dryport Project. "In many ways, the recession is giving companies
'time to reflect' on their transport and logistics operations -- and
the feeling is that they are still looking for green solutions."
The 74.8 million Euro (US$6.85m) Dryport Project is examining
the critical role that dryports -- hinterland intermodal freight
transport hubs -- can play in maximising the capacity and
efficiency of sea ports, while also shifting traffic off the roads and
on to rail or inland waterway.
Partners in the project are looking at monitoring carbon dioxide
effects and the integration of dryports into the EU's Motorways of
the Sea concept.
Among those addressing the two-day Bruges conference was
Patrick Installé, managing director of Belgian green coffee and
cocoa merchant Efico, which is investing a total 730 million Euro
(US$42.8m) in a new dedicated European green coffee processing,
warehousing and distribution facility at the port of Zeebrugge --
one of the partners in Dryport.
The entire roof of Efico's new rail-linked centre in Zeebrugge will
be covered with photovoltaic modules, generating about 900,000kW
of eco-friendly energy per year. The company's "CO2-compensated
green coffee supply-chain" also includes plans for five wind turbines
to offset and compensate for carbon emissions from the transport of
its coffee from port of shipment in producing countries to place of
delivery at its client's roasting plant in Europe.
"The important message is that Efico chose Zeebrugge because
of its possibilities," said Mr Harmsen. "They wanted a port which
met their environmental criteria and thinking.
"Companies want to find low-carbon ways to handle cargo; this
confirms that we have to work on modal shift from roads to rail and
inland waterway, and we need to express that shift in clear figures."
The Bruges conference, jointly organised by the Port of
Zeebrugge and the West Flanders Chambers of Commerce,
included a "site assessment" seminar at which partners discussed
ways of identifying where a dryport site should be. One concern
was how anyone could be sure that a dryport developed now
would still be considered a "hub" in three, four or five years' time.
"Everybody tends to call a hub a 'main hub' in a region -- but
that can change," said Mr Harmsen. "Investors or infrastructure
planners need to know a bit more than one-year planning. They
want to make sure that any investment in waterway or railway is
an investment that lasts.
"It is always difficult to look into the future but there is a
tendency that gateways are there and traffic is probably going to
come to these gateways in the future -- and will expand when the
economy starts to get better again.
"Hinterland connections are vital in this profiling. In essence,
dryports, or inland hubs, are something you can steer towards and
work for. You can never be certain where transatlantic cargo will
land, for example, but you can make preconditions so it will work."
The Swedish model of the public sector in the hinterland of
Gothenburg port buying up a parcel of land and selling logistics
sites to the private sector was held up as a good example of public
entrepreneurship and public/private sector cooperation.
"Lecturers posed questions about who should do the investment
in order to create a dryport and how to create an open system that
doesn't favour one party over another," said Mr Harmsen. "Fairness
should take the lead in these processes."
Day two of the conference saw the 25 dryport delegates joined
by a similar number of visitors from the Belgian private sector.
"The reaction was very positive," said Barbara Geschier, project
coordinator, international trade, for the West Flanders Chambers
"The private sector companies that attended were particularly
interested in the Efico project -- they are looking for green
solutions, and that hasn't changed despite the downturn."
For further information contact:
Region Västra Götaland, Sweden.
Barbara Geischer, West Flanders Chamber of Commerce and Patrick Van
Cauwenberghe of the Port of Zeebrugge at the Dryport conference in Bruges
Photo by Gert Schouwstra
VingCard Marine now offers easy
upgrading of its electronic locks to be
operated by contact-less cards (RFID cards).
"We have seen a growing interest in
this technology," said Gerald McMillan,
Vice President of Sales at VingCard
Marine. "Our customers are becoming
increasingly more aware of security needs
and the available technologies, which is
the reason we are introducing an easy and
inexpensive kit for upgrading the
magnetic stripe VingCard Classic system,
used by most shipping companies."
VingCard Marine's RFID system employs
cutting-edge technology to offer a unique
contact-less design for user-friendly, intuitive
guest interaction and unsurpassed security.
The system uses VingCard's exclusive
anti-cloning technology for all guest and
crew cards, making it virtually impossible
for keycards to be cloned and used.
Upgrading to an RFID based card
system is efficient and cost-effective as
only the card reader is replaced. The
new RFID reader is simply attached to
the outside of the lock and the previous
slot for the magnetic stripe keycard is
covered by the new reader. It is important
to note that this operation in no way
changes or compromises the fire
classification of the door.
VingCard's RFID uses a secure
open-platform system compatible with the
three leading RFID ISO standards (ISO
1443A/MiFare, ISO 1443B and ISO 15693).
For further information contact:
VingCard Marine, Norway.
Contact-less upgrades available for Vingcard locks
Vingcard locks can be upgraded to contact-less,
anti-cloning card systems
Dryport partners highlight "green" priorities
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