Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
In March 2019, BEST container terminal in the Port of Barcelona, received six new automated cranes (ASC) from the Finnish supplier Konecranes, thereby increasing its storage capacity from 24 to 27 automated blocks. Currently, these blocks are being assembled and tested and they are expected to be fully operational in June this year. This was reported by BEST on 6 May.
These electric rail-mounted cranes are complimentary to Hutchison Ports Group’s commitment to building an efficient and environmentally sustainable terminal in the Port of Barcelona. (See illustration here.)
Guillermo Belcastro, Hutchison Ports BEST CEO stated: ‘This investment will result in a significant increase in operational and storage capacity at the terminal and will contribute to our continuous improvement of service levels both in maritime and land operations.’
Currently, BEST has eleven Super Post-Panamax quay cranes that are able to operate the biggest vessels in the world, 48 ASCs, two rail terminal cranes (RMGs) and 30 Shuttle Carriers to operate the terminal which occupies 80 Ha and has a 1,500-metre berth with a depth of 16.5 metres.
Since its official inauguration in September 2012, BEST has continued to set new standards for ports in Southern Europe achieving a ship productivity rate of more than 200 movements per hour and a sustained average performance of more than 40 movements per hour and by crane, one of the highest in the world it is claimed.
Hutchison Ports BEST is the first semi-automated terminal developed by Hutchison Ports Group. In addition to being the most technologically advanced project in Spain, the facilities have one of the most modern gate systems in Europe and one of the largest railway terminals within a container terminal in the Mediterranean, with eight mixed gauge tracks (Iberian 1668mm and UIC 1435 mm), connecting BEST daily with different points of Spain and the South of France.
This terminal is capable of serving several mega-vessels simultaneously and has an eight-track railway facility, the biggest on-dock railway terminal of any port in the Mediterranean, connecting it to traffic coming from and destined for Southern Europe.
Hutchison Ports BEST is a member of Hutchison Ports, the port and related services division of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited (CK Hutchison). Hutchison Ports is the world’s leading port investor, developer and operator with a network of port operations in 51 ports spanning 26 countries throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australasia. Over the years, Hutchison Ports has expanded into other logistics and transportation-related businesses, including cruise ship terminals, airport operations, distribution centres, rail services and ship repair facilities.
More women are joining the maritime ranks in a variety of professions within the industry. To encourage this trend, IMO supported a training course aimed at female officials from maritime and port authorities. (See illustration here kindly provided by kind courtesy of IMO © along with valuable background material in a media briefing).
A total of 25 women from 17 developing countries took part in the two-week Women in Port Management course, hosted in Le Havre, France from 24 June to 5 July.
This course covered lectures on port management, port security, the marine environment, facilitation of maritime traffic, marketing, port logistics and other topics. Participants learnt about the necessary skills required to improve the management and operational efficiency of their ports.
Visits were organized to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, giving participants the chance to experience the day-to-day operations of a port, with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries.
The port management course was delivered through IMO’s Women in Maritime programme, supported by the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China and in partnership with the Port Institute for Education and Research (IPER) and the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO’s ongoing and increasing efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal No 5* to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The Council of the IMO (see illustration here kindly provided by IMO © ) condemned recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman at its meeting in London held from 15-19 July.
After debate, the IMO Council decided to condemn the attacks and expressed its concern over the grave danger to life and the serious risks to navigational safety and the environment to which such incidents may give rise. The Council also emphasised the need for flag States and ship owners and operators to review the maritime security plans for their ships and implement necessary measures to address the heighted security risk to ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman.
Addressing the IMO Council, Secretary-General Kitack Lim also emphasised his personal condemnation of the attacks, asserting that: ‘…threats to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business in any part of the world, are intolerable.’
On 12 May 2019, Saudi Arabian-flagged vessels Amjad and Al Marzoqah, the Norwegian-flagged vessel Andrea Victory and the Emirati-flagged vessel A. Michel, were attacked off the coast near Fujairah and suffered sabotage damage, and on 13 June 2019, the Marshall Islands flag Front Altair and Panama flag Kokuka Courageous were attacked, suffering hull damage and fire, while located in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz.