Maersk urges for tougher EU climate action
The container manufacturing unit of A.P. Moller Maersk Group is calling for greater clarification of a legal grey area, which allows reefer containers which contain dangerous gases in their insulation to operate in a grace period if the containers are not ‘placed on the market’ permanently.
“We urge the European Commission to ensure enforcement of existing EU legislation regarding insulation foam in reefer containers,” says Peter K. Nymand, CEO for Maersk Container Industry.
“This would benefit the environment, and it would help European innovation and environmental investments pay off,” Nymand adds.
Current EU legislation bans the ‘import’ or ‘placing on the market’ of reefer containers with significant potential to damage the climate and ozone layer. But thousands of such containers nevertheless circulate in Europe’s internal market on virtually the same market conditions as more environmentally friendly reefers.
In an effort to comply with EU legislation, MCI developed and patented Supotec, an environmentally friendly insulation foam, in 2002 which does not damage the ozone layer or cause significant climate change. The development is lauded by customers and the World Wildlife Foundation WWF for being an environmental step forward.
“This is environmental precaution. It is positive when enterprises, in this case Maersk Container Industry, move ahead of the legislation by developing products and production methods, which in turn make it possible for legislators to demand more from the rest of the industry,” says John Nordbo, head of the Conservation Department at WWF, Denmark.
In MCI’s opinion, EU regulation (EC) No 1005/2009 (formerly 2037/2000) was made with good intentions to prevent damage to the Earth’s climate and ozone layer. Yet in reality, thousands of old reefer containers operate in a legal grey zone in Europe because the EU Commission gives a grace period if the containers are not “placed on the market” permanently.
According to a statement released by MCI, industry competitors, who for the most part use HCFC141b-gas in their foam production, have so far not had to make the same environmental investment as MCI did with Supotec in 2002. ‘This neither benefits European innovation, nor the climate,’ claimed the manufacturer.
Each new reefer container from Maersk Container Industry prevents almost 27 tonnes of CO2 emissions compared with HCFC141b reefers. As of 1 January 2013, the total Supotec production had offset CO2 emissions equal to the amount that 441,000 Danish citizens emit in one year.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany