Tag: industry

Will blockchain lead to a new maritime revolution?



The name may seem odd, but it is currently the subject of several discussions in the logistics sector. The blockchain could revolutionize operation management in several areas, including transport and logistics. Given its growing popularity, many are talking about a new internet revolution.

Napster, and later LimeWire, pioneers of music file sharing services already use the technology. Bitcoin is another example. Because digital money is also based on peer-to-peer distribution, exchanges are made directly between individuals as it is the case for paper money.

There are many advantages for using blockchain technology and this is why several large transport projects are now in the experimental phase. The results of these tests will give us more precise information on this subject.

1-Main blockchain’s characteristics

While most computer systems are built as client-server systems, peer to peer directly distributes data to all users of a network without intermediate servers. The different components of the network interact, but without hierarchical structure, making the management of this network autonomous. It is the duplication of data to all members of the network that eliminates the need for centralized system.

The blocks

Blockchain is in fact an application of a peer-to-peer exchange system which integrates added value services. These transactional services are called “intelligent contracts”. They are directives for conditional execution of certain tasks and are incorporated in blocks of instructions.

The process

The process is as follows. After registering recent transactions, a new block is generated, new transactions are validated by consensus of network partners and then added to a long string of previously created blocks.

The ledger

All blocks are registered in ledger that is distributed in the network. Content is encrypted and accessible by members, but can not be edited or deleted. This guarantees the authenticity and security of the network and Lire la suite

November 2016 Transportation by barge as an alternative to intermodal transport

Use of transportation by barge

The systems of transportation by barge have long been used as an alternative to land transport. This mean of transportation is competitive to trains and trucks. In addition, it significantly allows the reduction of the environmental footprint of the transport of goods.

There are two major segments in the market, long and the short distance.

Long-distance is used in large rivers, such as Mississippi, Rhine, Danube and St Lawrence in transporting the goods from one end to the other of the continents.

This system is competitive to trains and trucks, but its performance depends greatly on the quality of the underlying infrastructure and the interconnection of the navigational channels. In return, barges offer the advantage to adapt to different types of products transported and allow more flexibility for the navigation on the various courses of water. They offer capacities ranging from 350 to 11 000 tonnes of deadweight and use proven technologies.

On short distances, this type of transport is growing and presents new opportunities.  Pilot projects have demonstrated this effectiveness, in particular, to reduce congestion in the areas of access to port sites of international trade.

Despite the high volume of activities and the economic benefits that flow from port activities, access to facilities remains constrained due to the movement of trucks and trains. The comings and the goings of land vehicles pose a problem by the noise, air and ground pollution, and by the loss of time related to the traffic congestion. In addition, the congestion of port activities reduces the effectiveness of the supply chain by increasing the time of distribution of the goods to the markets of destination.

To solve these problems and, as a counterweight to the costly alternatives that the investments represent in the construction, enlargement and the optimization … Lire la suite



Can governments contribute to the development of the shipbuilding industry without resorting to public procurement? In a North American context, can we gain market share on Asia, the dominant player in this field?

A report released by researchers at the National Defense University (Eisenhower school) in the spring of 2015 partially addresses these issues. [1] It concludes that they are competitiveness problems in the  U.S. industry against Asia. China, Japan and South Korea now occupy more than 80% of the market share of shipbuilding on the commercial segment contracts.

Analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), [2], highlights the importance of the national defense budget to compensate for the weaknesses of U.S. industry in the commercial segment.

Currently, this industry survives almost exclusively  on public procurement, notably with the military sector. It represented 38.1 billion $ in 2014, and is expected to grow annually by 3.9% per year until 2019, or 46 billion $. Barely 15% of revenues of the U.S. industry are related to the export.

One of the flagships of the report recommendations is that,  in order to ensure predictability of revenues of the industry, a strategy of public long-term purchases is necessary, as what presumably has been done in Canada. [3] However, an approach which uses public procurement for economic development purposes may have some shortcomings: it makes governments abdicate the implementation of structural measures for commercial market development; it distorts the objectives of a public policy of national defense in favor of strictly economic ones and, ultimately, undermines the efforts of the industry to increase its productivity, which would make it more competitive commercial international markets.

We must recognize that government contracts are important to ensure and maintain shipbuilding industry’s development. But dependence on collateral in the long term, as … Lire la suite


For several years public-private partnerships (PPP) have been used as an alternative to public financing of major infrastructure projects. They have been applied to several areas, notably health, transportation, technology, information and the environment. PPP are still very popular throughout the world, particularly in  developing countries.

PPP in the maritime sector are not as well documented as those in other sectors. However, several major port infrastructure projects were funded according to this embodiment. Their popularity can be explained in several ways. It is largely related to  movements of privatization and liberalization around the world. These movements began in the 1970s, until the 1990s and early 2000s. Parallel to this situation, the opening of the port authorities have given opportunities for private companies.

The level competition between port sites and large international carriers has created a need for more capacity of transport (Gigantism) and treatment of their goods. To satisfy these requirements, port authorities must increase their capacity so that  infrastructure projects in the maritime sector are more and more  intensive in capital.

However, this adaptation to new standards has become a critical source of competitiveness and this can be translated into economic gains, income and added value. The increase of investment needed to remain competitive.  There is therefore need to better  funding, while governments are not necessary willing to offer such funding.

So far, the private sector has shown itself able to assume these new mandates and generate the required financing. It has demonstrated that it could  meet the needs of the industry and is a valid solution to the problems of the public sector. The challenge remains to know if participation of private sector has become a necessity to ensure the competitiveness of the port sites.

What is a PPP?

A PPP is a contractual arrangement between public bodies … Lire la suite