GE Transportation technology pilot project begins at Port of Long Beach
A pilot project between GE Transportation and the Port of Long Beach to enhance advance planning at the busiest port complex in North America is officially underway.
Over the next two months, stakeholders across the Port will use GE’s Port Optimizer software to access data that will allow them to move cargo containers more efficiently.
The companies say Port Optimizer enhances cargo flow as participating terminal operators and other stakeholders receive much improved advance notice of cargo arrival, coordinated with data on the availability of equipment, labour and other resources needed to move that cargo through the supply chain.
Three of the Port’s six container terminals are involved – Long Beach Container Terminal, Total Terminals International and International Transportation Service. The system debuted at the Port of Los Angeles last year.
“We welcome the opportunity to have this exciting technology demonstrated here in our Port,” said Port of Long Beach Executive Director Mario Cordero.
“We are always searching for new means toward improving operational efficiencies in the supply chain as it moves through this port complex. We look forward to observing Port Optimizer in action.”
Jen Schopfer, VP, General Manager of Transport Logistics for GE Transportation, said: “Not only will GE be piloting our product’s core capabilities around advanced visibility and planning, but we are also launching some Long Beach-centric functionality – marine terminal operator and landside transportation integrations for better planning and gate transactions, including MatchBack Systems for dual transactions, and advanced/predictive analytics addressing truck congestion using GeoStamp’s IOT platform.”
These capabilities serve many stakeholders across the port complex, including but not limited to marine terminal operators, ocean and motor carriers, railroads and beneficial cargo owners.
Suez Canal expansion plans greenlit by Egyptian president
The Suez Canal is to undergo a two-year expansion project, following the weeklong closure of the channel by the stranded Ever Given container ship in March.
Plans set forth to expand narrow sections of the Suez Canal have been greenlit by the Egyptian president to safeguard against future blockages.
Dredgers will widen and deepen the single-lane stretch close to the southern mouth of the canal, near where the 400m container ship got wedged earlier this year, while a second lane opened in 2015 will be extended to promote two-way traffic and alleviate the impact of bottlenecks.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi gave the order to “immediately start implementing the proposed development plan and put in place a timetable for completion as soon as possible”, according to reports. It is understood he expects the work to be fully completed within two years.
Ever Given negotiations rage on
The Ever Given left hundreds of ships stranded and disrupted an estimated $9.5bn in goods each day when it became wedged across a narrow passage of the trade route in March. After a week of dredging, towing and manoeuvring, it was eventually freed from the banks of the Suez Canal in the early hours of 29 March and set course of the Bitter Lakes holding area.
There the vessel, its crew and its cargo have remained ever since, while legal action between Egyptian authorities and the ship’s owners rages on, though SCA chairman and Managing Director, Admiral Osama Rabie, refutes allegations that crew have been detained.
“[There] is no truth in the allegations of detaining the ship crew, pointing to that the SCA does not mind the departure or recrew operations provided the presence of the sufficient number of sailors to secure the vessel and in the light of the presence of the ship captain as he stands as the juridical guardian of the ship and the cargo aboard,” Rabie said in a statement.
The SCA initially sought $916m in compensation to cover refloatation costs, including repairs where the channel was damaged to move the vessel, bonuses for the rescue crews who worked throughout the jam, and a package for “loss of reputation”.
Now the SCA and its chairman and Managing Director, Admiral Osama Rabie, have agreed to reduce the bill by a third. The authority has reportedly offered payment terms for the $600m to the Ever Given’s owner Shoei Kisen. Shoei Kisen has also declared a general average on the goods on board, with shippers liable to shoulder a significant outlay to get the 18,000-plus containers aboard to their final destination in the Nertherlands.