The fertilizer company Yara is building an autonomous, emission-free containership. The ship will transport fertilizer from their production plant in Porsgrunn, Norway to their distribution points of Brevik and Larvik, Norway.
Take a look at the above video clip. Think the rest of the container-shipping world is ready?
The Port of Oakland is planning for the future by preparing for the mega ships and their inevitable calls on US West Coast ports. These behemoth ships require taller cranes in order to reach the top layers of containers on fully loaded ships. So, to be ready, the port has begun work on raising the height of four ship-to-shore cranes by 27 feet.
The process entails removing one crane at a time from service. The crane will be braced while the lower legs are cut, removed and replaced with extensions. The entire process is expected to take nine weeks per crane.
The United States’ agricultural and resin shipping communities have long been pushing to increase the 80,000lb maximum truck weight restriction. Across the country, 80,000lbs is the maximum weight allowed for the combination of truck, chassis, container and cargo as well as the combination of truck, trailer and cargo.
Resin is a huge commodity shipping out of Houston. In another case of “oneupmanship,” the governor of Texas just signed a bill to increase the maximum truck weights to 93,000lbs for truck-trailer combination with six axles and 100,000lbs for combinations with seven axles. The law goes into effect on January 1, 2018 and will apply to export and import containers traveling on set routes within 30 miles of the port complex.
Remember the Silk Road of ancient times? China is looking to recreate and modernize the overland trade route. One Belt, One Road is the what they are calling it, and the plan is to connect Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa via a vast network of roads, ports, railways and airports. There are even plans to include fiber optic lines and electrical grids. Quite an ambitious plan, but then the country’s development bank has reserved $890B for more than 900 infrastructure projects.