South Korea seaport cargo sees growth in 2014 three quarters
The volume of cargo processed at South Korea's seaports rose slightly from a year earlier in the first nine months of the year on an increase in import-export cargo, the government has said.
In the nine months that ended 30 September, South Korean seaports handled approximately 1.04 billion tonnes of cargo, up 2.7 percent from the same period in 2013 according to the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
Import-export cargo gained 4 percent on-year during the nine months to some 868.38 million tonnes, according to the ministry.
South Korea's overall exports had risen 2.9 percent on-year to £264 billion in the cited period, with imports growing at a slightly faster rate of 3.6 percent to £246 billion, earlier figures from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy showed.
Domestic cargo on the other hand, dropped 3.6 percent on-year to 168.27 million tonnes.
Seaport cargo in terms of containers grew 4.3 percent on-year to 18.18 million twenty-foot-equivalent-units (TEUs), again reflecting a rise in import-export cargo that makes up the largest portion of container cargo.
The ministry said import-export cargo, in terms of container cargo, gained 3 percent on-year to nearly 10.7 million TEUs in the January-September period with the amount of transshipment cargo climbing 6.5 percent to some 7.35 million TEUs. Transshipment cargo refers to those processed here while en route to other final destinations, often to change means of transportation.
By port, container cargo processed at the country's largest seaport in Busan rose 3.9 percent on-year to a little over 13.7 million TEUs in the first nine months, making Busan the world's sixth-largest seaport, the ministry said.
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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