To say the global pandemic has changed our lives forever is an understatement. The maritime industry is now focusing on creating better, more sustainable shipping solutions for a sustainable planet. How do you think technology is driving this?
Sustainability, digital transformation, innovation, and entrepreneurship are identified as the major drivers of any industry. A crucial aspect is the creation of value in a sustainable way because it can have a direct association with the deceleration of climate change. By implementing intelligent technologies on top of such systems, it is possible to have a relevant influence on the quality of life on our planet.
Due to the current situation, we are now observing an increasing interest in automation across all sectors within logistics. Technologies like AI and machine learning provide more accurate information during the transportation planning process. IoT technology is being used to monitor shipments, cargo conditions, and yard management, allowing companies to make quick adjustments. The combination of smart technology, machine-to-machine communications, and IoT drives increased efficiency. Drones is another technology which is gaining popularity as a last mile delivery mode.
We at Kale Logistics Solutions (Kale) are adding momentum to this global sustainability drive and are taking every step possible to be a major influencer for the logistics world to go paperless, improve digital connectivity, and reduce carbon emissions. A recent study at Tuticorin VOC Port, Tamil Nadu, India, where the Kale’s Port Community System (PCS) is used, showed that a Port handling around one million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) can save enough carbon to plant the equivalent of up to 15,00 trees annually by adopting paperless operations.
Further, transporters could benefit by getting online vehicle tokens and slot booking for dropping/pick up of freight. Our PCS – CODEX provides truck appointment and slot and dock booking system, which enables the transporters to do pre-advice with a terminal for all cargo & container gate in / out. This along with reducing gate congestion can reduce the CO2 emissions from trucks on the port premises up to 75 percent through improved management of truck wait times by using a slot management system. The transporter is able to book the slot with Port/Terminal for gate in / out of Cargo or Container for stipulated date & time.
As a result, congestion has gone from bad to worse as most of the processes can be a little smarter and more robust so that the overall functioning is efficient.
The unprecedented demand surge is a common phenomenon across ports today, and containerships and ports are struggling to control the delays and longer hauls. Where does the container lines go from here?
As the economy recovers from the pandemic, the lockdowns led to the huge demand in customer buying, and maritime operators are in a titanic struggle to process record-breaking cargo volumes. The increase in demand was higher than expected that did not meet with sufficient capacity of shipping lines. The key reason for this chaos was surplus empty containers left in places where they were not required.
Port Call Optimization is the answer to the port congestion faced world over. Port Call Optimization is the next level of Port Community System even though it is an integral part of Port Community System. The sporadic use of technologies to ensure predictive capabilities, transparency, efficiency, and other aspects is widely seen in port call optimization.
It can serve as a freight and trade corridor between the two ports and improve communication between the two. For example, vessel declaration and other documentation procedures can be eventually completed prior to anchorage so that the vessel need not wait for hours and days.
Also, the shipper and the consignee are well informed about the movement with milestone tracking capabilities. Precisely, it brings in significant amount of transparency, efficiency, and reduction in operational delays, resulting in movement of shipment from the shipper to the consignee. As the Congestion overrides at all ports the prospects of inculcating Port Community System and Port Call Optimization is not far away.
Under the FAL Committee, IMO has developed standardized FAL documentation. How is the digitalization of FAL assisting the shipping industry?
International shipping requires a unified, global approach to facilitation in case it wants to thrive in this highly competitive landscape. An example to quote here would be that of the recent Ever Given incident in Suez Canal. As we all know, Ever Given is one of the largest container ships in the world. Recently, it ran aground diagonally in Suez Canal and remained in place for six days. As a result, it blocked other vessels from transiting one of the world’s most important waterways. Such events highlight the need for a deep understanding of supply chains, to understand ‘what can go wrong’ and have contingency plans for these scenarios.
This demand has remained in place for long and reiterates the importance of an international treaty called the FAL Convention. FAL Forms, standardised FAL documentation developed under the FAL Committee, helps the authorities and Governments along with all the stakeholders to get simplified operations. Since April 2019, it has been mandated by the FAL Convention for ships and ports to exchange FAL data electronically while encouraging the use of the so-called “single window” concept.
It allows all the agencies and authorities involved in the process to exchange data via a single point of contact. Most of the FAL-compliant ports are in Europe since the convention had been incorporated into EU legislation. Though it does not overshadow the fact that this legislation is mandatory as part of the country’s IMO membership. The Convention focuses more on how to prevent unnecessary delays in maritime traffic so that it helps to aid co-operation between Governments while securing the highest practicable degree of uniformity in formalities and other procedures.
It specifically helps you reduce the number of declarations that can be required by public authorities. It not only guarantees efficient transportation of international maritime logistics but also takes care of stakeholders, administrative authorities for logistics and shipment, and public establishments, making a viable display of information. There are also new regulations in line that will strengthen the seafarer’s security ensuring that there will be no discrimination as Single Window or Port Community System development, led by technology, enables FAL to be regulated on the lines of the electronic exchange which will encourage the Governments to exchange data at a single data repository.
Though, passenger side of the aviation industry has suffered during the pandemic times, the freight side has grown stronger. Mr. Khalid Al-Mahmood Senior Manager Cargo at Bahrain Airport Services in Al Busaytin, Muharraq shares his thoughts on the changing dynamics of the aviation industry.