Tag: ports

Will blockchain lead to a new maritime revolution?

blockchain

Introduction

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

JUNE 2017 BUSINESS RESILIENCE PLAN IN THE MARITIME SECTOR

Resilience planPlans de continuité des activités

Introduction

This article is not a pedagogical guide or a scientific method for carrying out Business Resilience Plans (BRP). Rather, its objective is to highlight elements specific to the maritime sector.

Readers interested in acquiring further knowledge may refer to several excellent documents. (ex. Community Resilience Planning Guide )

This article is divided into two parts. The first provides a definition of a BRP. The second, focuses on a BRP in the maritime sector.

 

Part 1: Business Resilience Plan in General

1.1 What is a Business Resilience Plan (BRP)

A BRP’s goal is to ensure resumption and continuity of an organization’s activities following an event that disrupts its normal operation. It must allow an organization to meet legislative, regulatory or contractual obligations as well as economic requirements (risks of losing market share, survival of the company, image, etc.) following a particular event. Building BRP also includes identifying potential threats to an organization and applying a framework to ensure the organization’s resilience.

This type of plan has become, over time, an industrial standard rather than an exception. Increasing criminal and terrorist acts, transportation of dangerous products, risks of accidents damaging environment and health are among the causes. Most large and medium sized companies currently have some plan developed, to respond to a major situation. Many of them would face closures if their services were interrupted for any period without such a plan.

A BRP can forsee compliance control measures and an higher frequency of controls. Howerver, its main purpose is not to predict the nature of such measures to be implemented in order to prevent them. The is rather identified as a prevention plan, generally subject to a set of standards or regulations.

It should be noted that losses due to natural or man-made disasters are becoming increasingly important in 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

JUNE 2016, OVERVIEW OF THE CANADIAN MARITIME ENVIRONMENT

By 2015, a lower demand for natural resources has had a considerable impact on the volume of cargo handled at Canadian port authorities.  There is a slowdown in activities in almost all port sites. However, this decrease has been more pronounced for 2016.

To understand the differences and determine cause of the declines, we will present an analysis of the activities of three Canadian port authorities; those of Vancouver, Montreal and Quebec City. In this regard, a composite indices measuring the Canadian port activity have been developed. These indices are based on trends in the international trade of  over 50 products shipped to  Canada (see annex to this article) and reflect the handling of volumes of industry trends. They can be used for comparisons, forecasts and calculations of optimization under constraints. Graphics that accompany the text illustrate both indices obtained from the actual data in the annual reports of the port authorities, and forecasts of the indices that have been developed.

ANALYSIS OF PORT SITUATIONS

The port of Vancouver

Vancouver-indexThe port of metro Vancouver is the largest port in Canada and one a major exporter of coal, minerals and wood products. In 2011, handled products, (including containerized products) grew from 122 million metric tons (mt) to 138 mt. It is the third most important port in North America, after South Louisiana (242 mt) and Houston (216 mt). The port of Vancouver metro ranks higher than the port of New York (120 mt). 80% of handled volumes are exported compared to 20% for imports.

Other major shipments from the port of Vancouver are (10.8 mt) wheat, cereals including canola (6 mt), large quantities of sulphur (2.6 mt), potash (8.7 mt), coal (35 mt), crude oil (1.96 mt) and forest (23 mt) products.

The decline that is indicated by the index, between … Lire la suite

MAY 2016, FUNDING FOR THE QUÉBEC MARITIME STRATEGY: ISSUES AND PERSPECTIVES

By Gilles Couture

The St. Lawrence River is the shortest waterway between Europe and the centre of North America. The transport system St. Lawrence-Great Lakes therefore constitutes a lever important for economic activity and industrial of the American continent. It is with this in mind that the main objective of the Québec maritime strategy is to give a new impetus to shipping on the St. Lawrence River by investing in port infrastructure; energizing Quebec shipyards; developing intermodal transport and maritime tourism; as well as investing in the research and development of marine technology in order to ensure the sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture industry.

This strategy will generate private investment over 4 billion dollars of which more than 2 billion dollars only in the logistic pole of the Montérégie-Ouest. Total public investment from the various levels of Governments in infrastructure would reach $ 4 billion. The first round of funding from the Quebec Government has a budget of $ 300 million to support private by 2020 investment projects while $ 200 million will support the Quebec port and intermodal infrastructure projects. In total, the Government of Quebec’s contribution is estimated 1 billion $ for the infrastructure funding other than those related to the logistic pole of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.

Industrial-port areas

Through its maritime strategy, the current Government intends to create sixteen areas industrial-port ZIP to improve linkages between modes of transport and integration into international trade. To implement the ZIP the Government intends to enter, by the month of June, 2016, 16 agreements to create local committees where municipalities, port authorities and relevant ministries will be represented. Their mandate will be to ensure regional consultation, develop a plan of development of the port authority, annually update this plan, collaborate with stakeholders responsible for the attraction of investments, and ensure the … Lire la suite