New Articles

China Firm Obtains Solomon Islands Port bid, US Monitors Closely

solomon island

China Firm Obtains Solomon Islands Port bid, US Monitors Closely

The Solomon Islands has granted a multi-million-dollar contract to a China based company for a project, funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), to upgrade an international port in Honiara.

China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) obtained the contract after submitting the only proposal in a crowded tender, reported Reuters.

The port reconstruction contract is a component of a $170 million ADB-funded project to improve roads and wharves, with CCECC receiving the roads component in 2022.

Mike Qaqara, an official at the Solomons’ infrastructure development ministry, said: “This will be upgrading the old international port in Honiara and two domestic wharves in the provinces.”

According to Reuters, the Solomon Islands government released a statement announcing: “This will see the rehabilitation of the old Honiara international port and construction of the Honiara domestic port and two provincial ports.”

Reuters also reported that the US and its allies – including Australia, New Zealand and Japan – have held concerns over the potential of China establishing a naval base in the region, notably following the security pact Solomon Islands struck with Beijing last year.

READ: US raises concerns over Chinese ‘spy-cranes’ at ports

Samoa’s Prime Minister, Fiam Naomi Mata’afa, told reporters in Australia that “this is a commercial port, although I think the fears are that it might morph into something else… dual purpose.”

She was one of 10 Pacific island leaders who declined to sign a regional security and trade pact with China in June, reported Reuters.

According to Peter Connolly, an expert on China’s Pacific infrastructure projects at the Australian National University, wharves were crucial for the Solomon Islands’ economic growth but they may turn into “dual purpose” facilities that could grant China’s naval access to the area.

Qaqara, however, informed Reuters that the Solomon Islands and China have denied that their security pact would allow a naval base.

Yet, Connolly contested that “it is not about bases it is about access,” while referring to the security pact between Honiara and Beijing.

READ: CEO of Solomon Islands Port Authority joins IAPH board

Delegations from China and the US have been in Honiara this past week vying for influence in the strategically positioned Pacific Island country.

Reuters reported that the Vice Chairman of China’s International Development Cooperation Agency, Tang Wenghong, and Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Manasseh Sogavare, met and signed the Global Development Initiative.

Kurt Campbell, the Indo-Pacific coordinator for the US National Security Council, and Sogavare also engaged in a “strategic dialogue,” according to a statement from the US embassy in Honiara.

In November 2022, China accused the US saying it had “no right” to interfere in cautioning against an investment from COSCO Shipping Ports Limited (CSPL) in Hamburger Hafen Und Logistik’s (HHLA) Container Terminal Tollerort (CTT) at the Port of Hamburg.

lekki port

Lekki Port Officially Opened by Nigerian President

Lekki Port has had its official commissioning led by Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari.

This took place on 23 January.

The opening of a cutting-edge facility that will spur economic growth and enhance commerce in the area, marking a historic occasion for Nigeria’s maritime industry.

Lekki Port is expected to attract total revenues of $201 billion to the state and federal government through taxes, royalties and duties.

After construction works were completed late last year, the port will feature a variety of facilities including container terminals, roll-on/roll-off terminals, a dry bulk terminal, and liquid berths.

The port is the deepest sea port in Nigeria and is intended to, among other purposes, serve as a major hub for cargo and passenger traffic in West Africa.

Lekki Port was constructed by China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) which owns a 52.5 per cent stake in the port.

The project cost approximately $1.6 billion and is the first of its kind in Nigeria.

“We see the opportunity in Nigeria, and believe in its potential,” said Tang Qiaoliang, Chairman, China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC).

READ: Lekki Port receives second ship with handling equipment

Lekki Port is a joint venture enterprise owned by a group of investors led by the Lekki Port Investment Holdings Inc., The Lagos State Government, and the Federal Government.

The seaport is located approximately 65 kilometres to the east of Lagos City and spreads over 90 hectares of land bordered on the south by the Atlantic Ocean.

It is the biggest port in Nigeria, and one of the biggest in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“For us in NPA, this is a dream come true. Lekki Port is the deepest and most modern Sea Port in Nigeria. Economies-of-scale will set in, and the cost of doing business here will be lower than in other Ports,” said Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello Koko.

Koko also mentioned that a neighbouring country is already in discussions with Nigerian ports to use Lekki Port and the equally-new Dala Inland Dry Port as a gateway to that country.

Yilport Enters African Continent with Takoradi Port Takeover

Yilport Enters African Continent with Takoradi Port Takeover

Global ports and container terminals operator Yilport Holding will manage operations at Takoradi Port in Ghana from April 2023.

Senior representatives from Yilport and Takoradi Port signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in Istanbul on 11 January to officialise the takeover.

Under the terms of the MoU, Yilport and Ibis Tek – the port’s operating company – will establish a joint venture company, YILPORT Takoradi Port Management Company, with a 70-30 split respectively.

The project’s aim is to develop the existing container terminal in three phases to reach a capacity of 2.25 million TEU per year.

The port will be the 23rd marine terminal in Yilport’s portfolio, and its first terminal in Africa.

The company is expected to take over operations in the second quarter of 2023.

“Takoradi Port will be Yilport’s first step into the African continent, and it will be a gemstone in our vision to rank among the top 10 global container terminal operators by 2030,” said Robert Yuksel Yildirim, Chairman and CEO of Yilport Holding.

“Takoradi Port has a great potential to serve the African and Atlantic marine trade. We look forward to unlocking that strong potential and grow Takoradi and Ghana internationally.

“We will transfer Yilport’s experience and process excellence methodology to boost efficiency, productivity, while increasing Takoradi’s portfolio of customers.”

READ: Ghana begins construction of $200 million inland marine port

The joint venture company, under the vision and management of Yilport, will also develop multipurpose berths for liquid, bulk, and general cargo operations for about 20 million tons annual handling capacity.

In order to increase handling capacity and avoid traffic congestion, Yilport plans to build new access roads and gate facilities for the Takoradi Port.

The company is planning to invest over $700 million in three phases to build and operate a state-of-the-art port complex.

Yilport will expand the total length of the berths to 2.5 kilometres and deepen the draft between 14 and 16.5 metres.

This new deep-sea terminal will serve the West African corridor cargo in Ghana and Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

Yilport’s container terminals handled 3.4 million TEU in the first half of 2022, a massive 36 per cent growth on 2021 figures.

The 3,412,604 TEU handled globally is as a result of new services such as those in Turkey, where Yilport Gebze and Gemlik terminals welcomed new calls from MEDKON Lines, CMA CGM and Maersk.


Copper Worth Millions Stolen from Chilean Port

Chilean authorities are investigating the violent theft of several copper-filled shipping containers from the national firm Codelco.

Local prosecutor Juan Carlos Catalan said in a statement to Reuters that 10 armed men entered the San Antonio port early on Tuesday morning, attacked workers and stole 13 containers, 12 of which had copper.

“There was one guard and four workers that [the assailants] tied up and beat and left locked up,” Catalan said.

Workers alerted authorities after they freed themselves.

Investigations are still ongoing.

Suspects have not yet been detained.

READ: Supply chain congestion ramps up threat of cargo theft

Codelco said the copper was scheduled to be exported and was insured.

Local media reported that the copper plates were worth an estimated $4.4 million.

Mining companies in Chile have repeatedly complained about copper thefts by organized gangs.

Codelco is a Chilean state-owned copper mining company.

port 8fig freight

Cyber-Attack Threatens Release of Port of Lisbon Data

The Port of Lisbon suffered a cyber-attack on Christmas Day, raising concerns about the potential exposure of confidential information.  

LockBit, who claimed the attack, said its ransomware has taken down the port’s website and internal computer systems.

Meanwhile, they have reportedly stolen financial reports, audits, budgets, contracts, cargo information, ship logs, port documentation, among other vital port-related information, whilst already having published samples of the stolen data.

LockBit has threatened to publish all of the files that were seized during their computer attack should their ransom demands of $1.5 million be left unmet by 18 January.

Despite these threats, Portuguese newspaper, Publico, has stated that no operational activity has been compromised at the Port of Lisbon, which has more than 3,500 vessel calls annually handling over 13.4 million tons of cargo.

The port’s official website,, has been taken down and has remained inoperable since.

READ: Valenciaport to boost Portugal, France links with renewed rail focus

“All security protocols and response measures planned for this type of occurrence were quickly activated,” according to the statement cited by Publico.

“The Administration of the Port of Lisbon is working permanently and closely with all the competent authorities, in order to guarantee the security of the systems and respective data.”

Security analysts have reported that LockBit is among the most prolific and widespread ransomware gangs of 2022. Estimates indicate that over 1200 organizations worldwide have been hit by LockBit, accounting for a third of all cyberattack claims in 2022.

They have been connected to attacks ranging from European oil terminals in 2022 to a breach discovered by the California Department of Finance last month.

What is a Smart Port?

What is a Smart Port?

A Smart Port is a port that uses automation and innovative technologies including Artificial Intelligence (AI), Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and Blockchain to improve its performance.

Although the industry of ports and container shipping is often regarded as conservative and resistant to change, there are new technologies, systems and solutions emerging that will alter this perception in the coming years, leading the entire sector to a brighter, more connected future.

The need to evolve and become “smart” is even more paramount today with the changing demands of global trade: ships are getting biggergoods are moving faster; and geopolitical issues are creating new challenges for ports all around the world.

In Edition 106 of the PTI Journal we examined some of the the most important digital trends and developments across the industry.

The industry has already embraced many emerging technologies such as Digital Twinscargo flow optimization and visualization – giving customers end-to-end transparency of their cargo’s journey through the supply – and the emergence of 5G’s low latency and faster connectivity to improve port operations.


The digitalization of industrial processes is turning the way we produce goods and services upside-down as we look for higher efficiencies and better management of resources. This transformation is the so called Industry 4.0, and the Internet of Things (IoT) can be considered its cornerstone due to the clear need to capture information from all industrial assets.

Digital Twin technologies in use at the Port of Antwerp

The maritime sector is not an exception in this transformation and the change is starting to accelerate.

The Port of Esbjerg, for example, is leveraging a Digital Twin data visualization platform to identify, monitor, and analyse the emissions outputs of not just its own carbon consumption, but eventually all actors using the port’s facility. The digitalization and measuring of the port’s assets has allowed the port to make significant strides in reducing its carbon output within the port community.

But digitalization is still a largely untapped resource in ports: reports found in February 2021 that of the 4,900 ports around the world, a staggering 80% continue to rely on legacy and paper-based processes to manage maritime services.

Smart Digital Ports of the Future Conference

Smart Digital Ports of the Future Conference is the only annual international event on the market that brings together the largest number of global ports, terminals, and the entire supply chain to debate, share best practices, latest developments and to successfully propel the industry forward with digitalization.

Click here for all of the news, insight, and analysis from #SDP

Ports aiming to become smarter must complement their physical operations with digital processes, according to the Port of Rotterdam.

What is a Smart Port? – Joyce Bliek, Port of Rotterdam

In 2019 the Port of Rotterdam’s Director of Digital Business Solutions Joyce Bliek outlined what it means to be a digital port.

As technology develops, and the global supply chain becomes increasingly digital, there is a necessity for ports to become a “digital node” within that infrastructure.

In this respect, Bliek echoes the thoughts of Kalmar’s Director of Terminal Automation Jari Hämäläinen, who argues that the “exponential growth” of digital technology is placing pressure on the port sector to adapt. Those which fail to do so could be left behind.

The benefits of adopting a dual-approach that encompasses both the physical and the digital, as Bliek explains, are considerable, especially for the testing and optimization of physical infrastructure.

Building a quay wall for instance, without the support of digital twin technology and predictive analysis, could be very costly, whereas testing the structure’s functionality before it is constructed offers a much clearer insight as to what impact a major investment like this could have.

Money saved through digitalization can be used elsewhere to fund key maintenance and infrastructure projects, allowing the port to hone its focus on improving the efficiency of its operations.

Port of Felixstowe Becomes First in Europe to Launch Autonomous Trucks Into Ops

Port of Felixstowe Becomes First in Europe to Launch Autonomous Trucks Into Ops

Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe has introduced autonomous terminal tractor units (ATs) into mixed traffic container terminal operations.

The port is believed to be the first in Europe to introduce such equipment.

Manufacturer Westwell has supplied the first two battery-powered trucks to enter service at the UK’s largest container port – which is just exiting months of labour action after dockworkers struck a pay deal with Hutchison Ports.

READ: Hutchison Ports uses autonomous trucks in smart terminal transformation

“These new autonomous trucks represent a significant technological step forward for the Port of Felixstowe,” said Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer at the Port of Felixstowe.

“The tools underpinning port operations have evolved continuously, and we already have a range of very advanced systems and equipment in place, but this is the first time we will have wholly driverless vehicles.”

The ATs units have built-in safety features which are slated to ensure effective and safe operations at container terminals at the Port of Felixstowe.

The trucks use a digital map loaded to a fleet management system that controls the navigation around the port. The AT then combines that map with its on-board GPS navigation to track its real-time position.

READ: Visy TopView – A New Angle for Terminal Automation

“The ATs use LiDAR – a light sensing technology that creates a 3D map of an AT’s surroundings using a laser and receiver, which, when combined with its on-board 360-degree cameras, provide real-time, all-round ‘vision’,” said Project Director, and Hutchison Ports UK Chief Information Officer, Karen Poulter.

“This enables it to ‘see’ everything instantaneously in its vicinity to allow safe and accurate navigation.

“With the support of Extreme Precise Position (EPP) system, it can achieve positioning accuracy of 2 centimetres and a steering angle accuracy of 0.5 degrees.”

The trucks will be initially used to transport containers between Trinity and North Rail terminals at the port.

In September, PTI sat down with Kuo Ralph Ren, Senior Project Manager, Qolomo Autonomous Driving at Westwell.

Find out more in Part 1 of this In Conversation With series.


Port of Singapore to Install Major 5G Network

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a 5G mobile network at the Port of Singapore.

Full maritime 5G coverage will be deployed in major anchorages, fairways, terminals, and boarding grounds.

Delivery is scheduled to be delivered by mid-2025.

The announcement was made as part of the MPA’s 9th edition of the International Safety@Sea Week, launched by Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Finance.

A 5G network has the potential to unlock a full suite of maritime solutions leveraging complementary technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, big data, drones and autonomous vehicles, to improve safety, effectiveness and efficiencies in maritime operations.

Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said: “Digitalisation continues to shape and transform the maritime industry, acting as a key driver for global trends such as logistics and supply chain efficiency and decarbonisation.

“MPA is taking the lead to help build a robust digital maritime ecosystem for Maritime Singapore, with fast, secure and high capacity 5G connectivity as one of the cornerstones to support real-time data exchanges in the maritime domain.”

Elsewhere in the port, MPA’s incident response management and safety enforcement capabilities across the full spectrum of operations will be further strengthened through the development of the Integrated Port Operations C3 (Command, Control and Communications) system (IPOC system).

READ: Port of Tyne to install new 5G Private Network

The system is developed in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Agency (DSTA) and will enhance situational awareness and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of incident responses.

The IPOC system will be progressively phased in from 2023 to 2026 as MPA upgrades its systems.

The port will also further develop its online booking and clearance platform, digitalPORT@SG.

The second phase of the port will include the Active Anchorage Management System (AAMS).

The AAMS taps on various data sources to optimise allocation of limited anchorage space for vessels. It ensures that the vessel is anchored safely taking into consideration various conditions including the wind, tide, depth and proximity to hazards.

The AAMS is scheduled to be launched in in the third quarter of 2023.

Earlier this month the MPA announced that three more berths will come into operation at Singapore’s Tuas Port by the end of the 2022.

Verizon Business and the Port of Virginia announced their commitment launch private 5G network at one of Virginia’s main container terminals earlier this year.


The Top 5 ports in the United States 2022

PTI now ranks the busiest ports in the United States as part of its continued coverage of the top ports in the globe.

Following our ‘Top 10 Ports in China 2022’, we now turn our attention to North America.

The US has the largest economy in the world, and this has largely been fuelled by the operations of its ports. Still dealing with the remnants of COVID-19, America has continued experiencing tremendous surges in consumer demand which is clearly reflected by the corresponding container handling figures.

With the complete annual figures yet to be released, we have taken data from the first 10 months of the year to give us an indication of what the final yearly figures could look like.

5. Port of Houston

Beginning with our ranking for 2022, the Port of Houston has successfully surpassed last year’s Number 5 entry of the Northwest Seaport Alliance (NWSA) of Seattle and Tacoma, handling a grand total of 3,333,924 TEU from January to October.

Overall, this represents a container volume rise of almost 18 per cent compared to the same time in 2021, which handled 2,835,486 TEU.

As a result of significant increases in container handling, the Port of Houston Authority has started making preparations to expand capacity by transforming Bayport Container Terminal (BPT) into an extra container yard.

This involves converting a total area of 100 acres at BTP in Bayport East End not only to increase container volume, but to also enhance terminal efficiency and cut emissions.

In November the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority voted to introduce a sustained import dwell fee and an optional excessive import dwell fee to cope with record-breaking volumes. The changes were effective from 1 December 2022, however were put on hold later in the month.

4. The Port of Savannah

The Port of Savannah is once again on track to record its greatest annual TEU handling total after another extremely successful October period in 2022, handling 552,806 TEU.

Over the first 10 months of 2022, the port handled 4,986,489 TEU demonstrating a considerable year-on-year increase from 4,652,463 TEU handled at the same time in 2021.

Earlier this month the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) Board approved renovation and realignment of the docks at the Port of Savannah’s Ocean Terminal in a bid to expand container operation.

The GPA also placed an order for 12 Konecranes Rubber-Tyred Gantries for the Port of Savannah in an effort to assist the tremendous growth and increased productivity the port has experienced.

3. The Port of Long Beach

Aerial image of containers in the Port of Long Beach, California.

Although the Port of Long Beach has had an incredibly busy year, surpassing handling totals from the previous year and setting new records, it has nonetheless slid to third on the list.

READ: Port of Long Beach named best West Coast seaport

During the first 10 months of 2022, the Port of Long Beach handled 8,000,811 TEU, an increase of 1.5 per cent from the 7,884,565 TEU per cent handled during the same time in 2021.

Due to decreased consumer demand and a shift in imported commodities toward the Gulf and East coasts, cargo passing through the Port of Long Beach has eased up once more in October.

READ: Port of Long Beach unfolds electric trucks charging stations

In October, 658,428 TEU of cargo containers were handled by dockworkers and terminal operators, a 16.6 per cent decrease from October 2021. Exports fell 2 per cent to 119,763 TEU while imports fell 23.7 per cent to 293,924 TEU. 244,743 TEU fewer empty containers were carried through the port, a 13.4 per cent decrease.

The Port of Long Beach has joined the Alliance for Renewable Clean Hydrogen Energy Systems (ARCHES). Green hydrogen is a crucial fuel for the shipping industry’s future as we work toward the Port’s targets of zero-emissions trucking by 2035 and zero-emissions cargo-handling by 2030.

READ: Top 10 Ports in China 2022

2. The Port of New York and New Jersey


On our list of the busiest ports in the US, the Port of New York and New Jersey has now surpassed the Port of Long Beach due to a boom in container volume that has been triggered by a gradual shift away from the US West Coast ports.

Solidifying its status as the second busiest port in America, the year-to-date container volumes at the port have reached 8,157,584 TEU, an increase of 7.3 per cent from the 7,455,786 TEU handled in the same period in 2021.

READ: New York – New Jersey drives down empties

As the number of containers passing through the US West Coast ports continues to decline, the Port of New York and New Jersey continued to hold the top rank as the busiest in the nation for a third consecutive month.

The port carried approximately 19 per cent more cargo in October 2022 than it did in pre-pandemic October 2019.

1. The Port of Los Angeles

Los Angeles, Ca, USA – June 21, 2015: San Pedro, California/USA June 2015. Container ship Agusta Kontor transporting cargo at The Port of Los Angeles with the Vincent Thomas Bridge in background

Securing its spot at the top of the list is the Port of Los Angeles.

Similar to the Ports of New York and New Jersey, consumer demand has pushed Los Angeles’ container handling figures to new highs. In the first 10 months of 2022, the Port of Los Angeles handled 8,542,944 TEU, a 6 per cent decrease from last year’s record pace when 9,079,561 TEU were processed.

READ: Hyster tests hydrogen container handler at Port of Los Angeles

When compared to October 2021, the Port of Los Angeles handled 678,429 TEU, a 25 per cent decline in cargo volume.

Port of Los Angeles Executive Director, Gene Seroka, cited that shippers awaiting the conclusion of labour contract negotiations have been largely responsible for cargo shifting away from the West Coast.

This explains why the Port of New York and New Jersey saw a considerable rise in cargo handling that ultimately helped it surpass the Port of Long Beach.

READ: Port of Los Angeles receives $20 million grant to boost freight movement

The two-year period of a containership backup has now come to an end due to decreased traffic in both Californian ports. Throughout the pandemic, with a peak of 109 on 9 January 2022, containerships lining up outside the major US West Coast ports was a common sight.

Currently, there are just a handful of vessels at anchor outside of the ports, as opposed to 81 containerships on 22 November 2021.


SC Ports Completes Inland Port Greer Rail Expansion

South Carolina Ports (SC Ports) has celebrated the rail expansion at Inland Port Greer to support the supply chains of port-dependent businesses in the Upstate.

SC Ports’ employees, elected leaders and community partners gathered on 18 November to mark the event.

“Nine years into operations, we are thrilled to be expanding the cargo capacity and rail capabilities at Inland Port Greer to better serve our customers’ supply chains,” said SC Ports President and CEO Barbara Melvin.

“We are proud to play a role in supporting Upstate companies’ success. The growth of Inland Port Greer has truly been on the fast track.”

The first phase of expansion involved building an additional rail processing track and two rail storage tracks within the terminal.

The addition of 8,000 feet of new rail will meet cargo demands through 2040 according to SC Ports.

The next phase of expansion will involve expanding the container yard by 15 acres to the east and the west to handle 50 per cent more cargo.

The expansion also involves doubling the size of the existing chassis yard capacity and building new facilities for heavy lift maintenance and terminal operations.

The full project is slated for completion in winter 2024.

READ: SC Ports advances expansion plan at Inland Port Greer

The more than $30 million expansion is funded by both SC Ports’ revenues and a portion of a $25 million BUILD (Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development) grant.

The grant was awarded to the S.C. Department of Transportation for its Upstate Express Corridor Program.

“The expansion of Inland Port Greer adds more space for containers and trains to meet the capacity needs of our customers,” said Ed Stehmeyer, SC Ports’ general manager of projects and design.

“The goal of the terminal expansion is to bolster the Upstate intermodal infrastructure supply chain and further develop the inland terminal to handle more cargo for our customers.”

READ: SC Ports receives $550 million in critical port infrastructure projects

Inland Port Greer opened in 2013 with BMW Manufacturing Co. as the launch customer.

In fiscal year 2022, the terminal handled more than 150,000 rail lifts — with 150,000 containers moved on or off Norfolk Southern trains.

Inland Port Greer extends the Port of Charleston’s reach 212 miles inland with Norfolk Southern’s daily, overnight rail service, enabling import/export flow between Charleston and the Upstate.

SC Ports handled a record number of containers in October, marking its third busiest month in port history.

The port authority reported 9 per cent container growth year-over-year as 256,879 TEU moved through Wando Welch Terminal, North Charleston Terminal, and Hugh K. Leatherman Terminal in October.