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Flanders, the northern region of Belgium, has announced Gateway²Britain, an innovative digital application that will bring visibility and transparency for trading with Flanders into one place. It is being delivered by a partnership between Port of Antwerp-Bruges, VLAIO, Flanders Investment & Trade and Deloitte. Their aim is to make trade between Flanders and Britain as frictionless as possible.
Traders are likely to be able to validate an initial version of Gateway²Britain by the end of this year. The application will allow traders to fill out just one dataset online, which is then automatically shared with all the relevant supply chain & logistics partners.
The UK is a significant trading partner for Flanders. Full-year trade figures for 2022 revealed that the total value of exports from the UK to Flanders amounted to 33.77 billion EUR. Imports into the UK from Flanders totaled 27.95 billion EUR, making the UK Flanders’ 4th highest export market. Flanders is in 16th position as a world goods exporter.
Research carried out among more thana thousand UK traders for Flanders Investment & Trade in May 20231 found that nearly 74% of UK companies agree2 that they had been forced to consider alternative markets due to the bureaucracy involved in trading with the EU post Brexit. Almost half of the respondents (48%) said they would trade more if the process was simplified and just over two in five (42%) had seen trade decrease with the EU since Brexit. The research was carried out for Flanders Investment & Trade by Censuswide.
Flanders is already a popular route into the EU for British companies due to its proximity to both the UK and Europe’s major business centres. A market of 400 million consumers is within 6 hours of the region, or 60% of Europe’s purchasing power. The world-leading seaports of Antwerp-Bruges, Ghent and Ostend are all in Flanders and the region has three international airports and sophisticated transport hubs, and over 650 European distribution centers.
Around 90% of British goods that are imported into Flanders are further processed and re-exported afterwards. Gateway²Britain will make Flanders an even more attractive route into the EU. No other EU country has yet been able to introduce a similar, comprehensive data-driven system to ease the friction created by Brexit.
The concept behind the new application will be further explained at Multimodal.
British companies who need help with trading with Flanders should contact Flanders Investment & Trade.
Minister-President of the Government of Flanders Jan Jambon currently visiting the UK commented: “Britain is an important trading partner for Flanders. We know from our research that British companies have been looking at alternative markets due to the bureaucracy involved post Brexit. Gateway²Britain signals the end of that bureaucracy. It makes life simple again, whilst meeting all the demands of the new rules.”
Dirk Verlee, Trade and Investment Counsellor at Flanders Investment & Trade, based at the Belgian Embassy in London, explained the significance of Gateway²Britain for consumers; “Flanders is a key route in and out of the EU for British traders. This means that if Gateway²Britain solves the challenges of Brexit in Flanders, supply issues that have affected the UK should also be solved.”
Annick De Ridder, Vice-Mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the board of directors of Port of Antwerp-Bruges: “Port of Antwerp-Bruges has a long tradition of facilitating the supply chain and is fully committed to digitalization. The building blocks are in place to make our world port the ideal candidate to realize the vision behind Gateway2Britain. And that for the widest possible range of stakeholders. As a major export port to the UK, we also see this as an important opportunity for our own competitiveness, Flemish logistics and, by extension, a reinforcement of the economic engine we are for Flanders.”
The Port of Valencia begins electrification of its docks
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A new step in the decarbonisation of the Port of Valencia and its firm commitment to be an emission neutral site by 2030. The Port Authority of Valencia (APV) has put out to tender the drafting and execution of the works for the electrical connection to ships for the Transversal Costa-MSC quay. This is the first electrification or Onshore Power Supply (OPS) project to be carried out by Valenciaport in the Valencian precinct.
The APV is thus initiating the procedure for the award of the contract for the drafting and execution of the project for the installation of electrical connections for ships and the maintenance of the same at the Transversal de Costa quay. To this end, Valenciaport has jointly launched the drafting of the construction project, the execution of its works and the maintenance of the installations in the same procedure for an amount of 12,468,626.8 euros (VAT included).
Onshore Power Supply (OPS) electrification infrastructures have been consolidated as a very useful tool for the decarbonisation of ports, as this system avoids the use of auxiliary engines of ships when they are docked in the enclosures. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions – due to the use of electricity that eliminates the consumption of fossil fuels used in these auxiliary engines – and stops the emission of particles and polluting gases.
This OPS initiative in the Port of Valencia will be carried out in parallel with the works on the new electrical substation – a second substation is also planned – which was put out to tender last month with a base budget of around 11 million euros and a completion period of 24 months. This infrastructure will be responsible for supplying green energy to the first OPS electrification project of the Transversal de Costa-MSC quay.
In this regard, Joan Calabuig, president of Valenciaport, stressed that “these are just two examples of real projects in the execution phase that confirm the firm commitment that Valenciaport is making to achieve the goal of being a zero-emissions port by 2030, twenty years ahead of the European Green Pact. It is a commitment to sustainability and to the society of our environment that is supported by initiatives such as the electrification of the docks, the use of hydrogen in port operations, the installation of photovoltaic plants or the commitment to intermodality with the railway. We are committed to sustainable growth that reinforces our position as a port of reference in the Mediterranean”.
Project included in the Next Generation Funds
The joint contracting of the preparation of the project and the execution of the corresponding works in the same procedure is carried out in response to the fact that there are no references in Europe compatible with the ISO/IEC/IEEE 80005 standard and in Spain there is currently no previous experience of OPS projects in operation with the characteristics of the pilot project defined by the Port Authority of Valencia. The combination of the individual components required for this type of installation (transformers, protection cells, disconnectors, frequency converters, etc.) with infrastructures for supplying electricity to ships requires specific projects, with technically complex solutions that have to be designed specifically for each location. In addition, and given that the execution of the construction project is subsidised by the European Union’s Next Generation funds and the Spanish Government’s Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, the joint tender is the only way to meet the established deadlines, since if two separate contracts were launched, the one for the execution of the construction project could not be launched until the one for the drafting of the construction project had been awarded, which would mean that the work would be completed beyond the deadline for the execution of the works to meet the target set by Europe.
MOL joins GCMD as impact partner to accelerate decarbonisation
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The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation GCMD and MOL announced the signing of a five-year Impact Partnership agreement. On the same day, both parties held a signing ceremony at the GCMD office in Singapore.
Decarbonisation in the maritime industry is a challenge that needs to be achieved through accelerating collaboration and increasing investment by shipping companies, their customers, ports, energy suppliers and public sector actors. As an Impact Partner of GCMD, MOL will utilise its expertise developed over their long history and make various contributions and collaborations through its participation in GCMD’s projects, including providing access to vessels, operating data and evaluation reports so that internal learnings can be shared publicly and used for future trials.
MOL is one of the world’s leaders in the maritime industry and has been leading worldwide discussions on achieving decarbonisation. The carbon budget concept imposes a ceiling to the cumulative amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) that can be emitted globally in order to limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius by 2050. Intermediate targets to reduce emissions, in addition to a net-zero target, are necessary. While plans are in place to adopt low or zero emissions vessels in the future, it is important to deploy measures to reduce emissions now. Such measures include the use of low-carbon and transition fuels that are available today, and deploying energy savings devices onboard vessels. MOL will bring its extensive capabilities and experience to bear as it joins GCMD and existing partners to accelerate international shipping’s decarbonisation.
Professor Lynn Loo, CEO of the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, said: “We are proud to have MOL, one of the leading shipowners in Japan, come onboard as an Impact Partner. We are excited to tap on MOL’s track record in developing technical energy efficiency measures to broaden our perspective as we scope an initiative to help increase industry adoption of measures that can increase fuel efficiency of ships.”
Toshiaki Tanaka, Representative Director, Executive Vice President Executive Officer, and Chief Operating Officer of MOL, said: “We are very pleased to be a partner of one of the most important global coalitions. We will make our biggest effort to contribute and accelerate progress towards the net zero future in maritime industry, together with GCMD and all its partners.”
About the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation
The Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) was set up on 1 August 2021 as a non-profit organisation. Our strategic partners include the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), BHP, BW Group, Eastern Pacific Shipping, Foundation Det Norske Veritas, Ocean Network Express, Seatrium, bp, Hapag-Lloyd and NYK. Beyond the strategic partners, GCMD has brought on board 15 partners that engage at the centre level, in addition to more than 80 partners that engage at the project level.
Strategically located in Singapore, the world’s largest bunkering hub and second largest container port, GCMD aims to help the industry eliminate GHG emissions by shaping standards for future fuels, piloting low-carbon solutions in an end-to-end manner under real-world operations conditions, financing first-of-a-kind projects, and fostering collaboration across sectors.
Wan Hai Lines establishes its new office in India
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Aiming to further enhance service quality and gain a stronger foothold in the Indian sub-continent, Wan Hai Lines has established its India new office in Kolkata in July 2023. Contact details for the new office are as follows: WAN HAI LINES (INDIA) PVT. LTD 3rd Floor, Block C, Apeejay House, 15 Park Street, Kolkata, West Bengal, 700016 TEL: 91-33-4450 4500 According to the 2023 Foreign Trade Policy announced by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, India’s export trade volume will reach 2 trillion US dollars in 2030.
Therefore, benefiting from government policy incentives and the shifting trend of the global supply chain, India’s status in global manufacturing and international trade is increasing, which is conducive to maintaining long-term high economic growth. And the proportion of global exports has increased significantly. In addition, the continuous economic stimulus policy will help revitalize the domestic economy, and domestic demand is expected to increase significantly. Therefore, Wan Hai is optimistic about India’s future import and export situation. And also through the establishment of a new office to improve the overall operating efficiency.
Wan Hai India Kolkata office held a grand opening reception in the evening of 27th July. During the banquet, there were many important customers & guests. The Kolkata Port Authority, Kolkata terminal operators, feeder operators and important local customers were invited to send representatives to attend the meeting to express their blessings to Wan Hai’s opening of the Kolkata market. At present, Wan Hai has six owned offices in India, namely Mumbai, Chennai, Mundra, and Vizag, Delhi and the sixth office Kolkata office. In addition to directly providing river port services, it will also simultaneously strengthen service links between India and neighboring countries, such as Nepal and Bhutan. It is expected to pursue customer first through continuous expansion in the future and sustainable business philosophy.