Shipping Lines face huge pressure to manage costs and meet the demanding requirements of the sulphur cap taking effect in 2020 and halving CO2 emissions by 2050. 
As has been demonstrated in previous times of oil crisis, speed reduction can have a substantial impact on both fuel use and emissions. Unfortunately, speed reduction unless balanced within the system causes delays, while alternative fuels and changing ship design add to costs. 
Whatever final solutions emerge for shipping lines it is clear that activity in ports and container terminals will play a major part to improved turn-around times and enable ships to meet fuel conservation timetables. 
With that in mind, it is very encouraging to see that some terminals are taking the initiative and getting ahead of the game. 
The team at APM Terminals Gothenburg should receive considerable credit for working tirelessly to ensure that vessels arriving late still leave the port on time to be able to maintain optimal speed and to help protect the planet. 
APM observed that many of the vessels arriving at the port of Gothenburg arrived later than agreed time windows. In order to arrive on time to the next port, vessels would need to increase their speed and thus fuel consumption. A simple rule of thumb is that vessels that need to run 10% faster to recover lost time increase fuel consumption and thus emissions by 20%, according to a report by CE Delft. 
In order to avoid this and minimize environmental impact the team took steps to ensure that the vessels arriving late, still departed within the appointed time. The latest survey they say, showed that 22% of vessels arrived later than agreed, but despite this 96% of the vessels leave the port within the stipulated time, or even earlier. 
It is clear that where possible all container terminals should strive for a similar result and equipment providers will rise to the challenge. 
BLOK Container Systems for example, has a number of products that offer busy container terminals the opportunity for increased crane and quayside productivity to reduce the, all important, turnaround times. 
Specifically, BLOK Spreader adaptors that double the productivity of single spreaders handling empties two at a time (or with the introduction of BLOK Cert four at a time). BLOK Rigs which automate and speed up SAT twistlock fitting and removal for both empty and laden containers. Finally, special wide BLOK Trailers which carry two laden or four empty containers with one vehicle to clear the quayside of containers faster and more efficiently than either single trailers or straddle carriers. 
These and other initiatives will give terminals the tools they need to meet the quicker turnaround challenge helping shipping lines save fuel and emissions and giving themselves a competitive advantage in the process. 
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