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The Suez Canal Crisis: Some Lasting Ripples Aren’t Making Headlines


The Suez Canal Crisis: Some Lasting Ripples Aren’t Making Headlines

It came down to physics: a sandstorm, shipping containers stacked too high (believe it or not, they acted like a sail), and a ship too big to spin around.

At the time of this article’s publication, it’s still unclear whether human error by the Ever Given’s captain is also partially responsible for the global shipping crisis caused by the 20,000 TEU container ship’s weeklong “vacation” in the Suez Canal.

Also at the time of publication, the crisis — which ended more than two weeks ago — continues to result in global shipping delays averaging five to six weeks.

I see two main areas where the ripples of the disaster will continue the strongest:

Increased pricing, decreased supply: The carriers are taking advantage of the situation and North American shippers are suffering as their equipment is being sent out empty to regions where the carrier can take a financial position and move those containers at greater profits.

In 2019, shipping industry profits came in at about a dismal -$12 billion. In 2020, they managed to flip it to +$14 billion — that’s not a trend they’re going to let go of easily.

Compounding obstacles: Shippers were stretched even before the Ever Given headed down the canal that fateful day, so adding capacity isn’t a viable solution. The previous problems hampering shippers are now exacerbated.

-The global shortage of shipping containers continues to cause a ripple effect of its own.

-Travel restrictions stemming from the pandemic continue to result in reduced air cargo opportunities.

-The above factors and more continue to overwhelm trucking companies, who face employee shortages and rising expenses.

North American recovery is also hampered by a lack of awareness on the global stage. Many companies headquartered abroad don’t understand the hurdles American vendors continue to face — for example, the price gouging. The United States is one of the only countries where the  government doesn’t oversee or own lines of transportation — in most others, it controls or owns at least cargo shipping and airlines — so vendors and logistics companies are dealing with rate hikes. On the other hand, those countries are also at risk of delays caused due to slow-acting governments entrenched in bureaucracy.

CTOs should be concentrating on finding other viable ways for customers to move freight. Plan for a delay of 5-7 weeks compared to your usual shipping estimates, for the foreseeable future. Air freight — despite the delays caused by the pandemic-crippled air travel industry — is probably your best bet for now. You might have to get your CPO and/or client to make some tough decisions based on how eager they are to get their product to market.

Your next priorities are forecasting and having your product line in order. Take note from restaurants and doctor’s offices and build healthy amounts of downtime and lead time into your shipments. At this point in the recovery stage, a strong enough hiccup can still cause a significant backtrack to the progress.

Even though everything is “fixed,” we’re not going back to normal in the near future. In our industry, the pendulum normally has a five-year swing for the upper hand between shippers and vendors. When it comes back down in our favor, it won’t be anywhere near the levels we enjoyed the last time it was our turn.


As Chief Transportation Officer, Carmen Gerace oversees all aspects of global transportation for BDP International, including the implementation of new transport solutions and product offerings while also developing future transport strategy. Throughout his 25+ career in the industry, he has held varying managerial and executive positions at BDP. Carmen is based in Philadelphia, PA, and can be reached at 


View from the US Gulf: Veteran Surveyor Details the Pitfalls of the Vessel Draught Survey

In this article, Chris Zeringue, Owner, MTS Marine Technical Surveyors, and a longtime worker on US Gulf waters, explains the pitfalls in Vessel Draught Surveys, and how prevailing water conditions and accessibility differences can result in ‘guesstimations’ rather than precise answers. He looks back on a long career on the water and explains where his passion for cargo surveying started.

The key to accuracy in a vessel draught survey may very well be found in a hole in the ship. I boarded my first vessel at the age of 17 in 1975. I was hired out of the local shape-up yard for the night shift aboard a bulker loaded with imported sugar. My job was to shovel sugar out of the vessel hold ribs(trimmer) so that the bulldozer/tractor could push the cargo to the crane bucket. My neighbour was the lead superintendent on the job and his son and I would ride to the shape-up yard with him and put our names on the list to try to get hired for a day or night. If there were not enough Union Hands for the job, they would then call out the names of the non-union hands (aka rabbits). On the days/nights that we did not make the cut, we would hitchhike or walk home, meaning we would have to cross the Mississippi River Bridge by foot at times. My other job during school was working nights and weekends for a mooring company.

The more I worked, the more I liked the waterfront. While shovelling cargo in the bottom of ship holds, my neighbour (the superintendent) would throw an apple or orange down to me to eat. Looking up one day there was a man standing next to him just observing. When I went up out of the hold for a meal break, I asked my neighbour, Papa Deck, “who was the guy with you?” His answer was, “he is a surveyor, and his job is to verify cargo quantity and quality.” I knew from that moment that I would someday trade my shovel position to be a Surveyor.

In 1978, I was hired at my first Surveying (training) position. Now fast forward 42 years and I am one of the owners of a survey company specializing in Ag and Fertilizer products at Marine Technical. Surveyors. I have travelled the world surveying and monitoring customers’ cargoes and solving customer issues.

The one thing that has always bothered me when it came to the accuracy of cargo accountability on bulkers was how to account for water conditions. On bulk cargo carriers, cargo accountability is determined by way of a Vessel Draught Survey, based on water displacement. Many factors go into the calculations and equations, but the one factor stated to be the most important (reference: The Naval Arch, Draught Surveys) yet least controllable, because of water conditions and accessibility, is the reading of the draught marks. The draught marks are stencilled at six positions on the vessel’s hull (forward/bow port and starboard, midship port and starboard, aft/stern port, and starboard).

These number stencils (usually in metres) are normally 10cm tall with 10cm space between each number. The numbers are usually in equal numerical stencils (2, 4, 6, 8 then the next metre number). As the water touches the bottom of the number 4 (using 4 as an example), the reading is 40cm, the middle of the 4 would be 45cm and the top would 50cm. Between 50 (top of the 4) and 60 (bottom of the 6), the surveyor has to make a visual judgment call. As in all surveys, the reading of the draught marks visually are judgmental calls. So, add in high swells, waves, chop, ice, obstruction, non-accessible points, and now you have guesstimations.

On bulk vessels of Handy and Panamax size, the vessel’s average in TPC (tonnes per centimetre) is approximately 50–65. So, this means that the distance in Draught from the bottom of the Draught Mark stencilled number to the top (10-cm) represents up to 650 tons.

Even in a light chop, there are 600–700 tonnes of possible error, noted in the photo at the bottom of p48. One could only imagine the judgment in 0.5 to 1m swells.

Or trying to read these in the dark of night, from a crew boat from a distance, or in heavy current. Because of anchors, buoys, and swift water, what we can see in the photo is as close as the launch boat can safely get.

And while one is riding around the vessel obtaining draughts, the remainder of the survey (ballast, voids, fuel, etc.) is out of the surveyor’s reach or control.

I once sent the photo at the top of p48 to a customer and said, “tell me where the water is and I’ll tell you what your tonnage

The Vessel Draught Survey consists of two parts, open and close, or light and heavy. The difference in water displaced between the two equals the quantity of cargo loaded (with adjustments made for ballast, bunkers, etc.). No matter the condition of the water which the vessel is sitting in, the show must go on. Time is always an issue with a vessel, and time is money. The draughts must be read, and from that, the calculations are made and the BOL (Bill of Lading) and Mates Receipt are set. Buyers and sellers trade on this number.

Many draught marks on the bow, stern, and offshore side are not accessible. I asked each of these guys in the first photo in this article (p47), what they had (without them saying out loud) and there was a large variance between each of their findings, and this was in calm water.

Try reading that draught from many metres away, looking down on it. The photograph below shows the vantage point for the guys in the first photo in this article.

Or try getting an accurate mid-ship draught, one of the most important readings of the survey, from the vantage point in swells (see photo, below).

Once the vessel is loaded, no matter what water conditions it’s loaded in, the vessel is to carry and deliver the BOL quantity (created by the Vessel Draught Survey). The seller sold the amount, the buyer bought the amount, and the vessel is paid freight on the amount. In many cases, the parties trading paper have no idea how the numbers were derived.

I guess this is why so many vessels now have a standard clause in their documents stating that they cannot guarantee the accuracy of the agreed-upon tonnage listed (verbiage differs, but generally states). It is stated that in optimal conditions, Vessel Draught Surveys are subject to 0.5% variances.

Now, as the vessel arrives for delivery, it is the position of the vessel to make sure that the arrival vessel draught survey matches the departure draught survey within close tolerances. If the cargo is delivered into a warehouse and the warehouse is not emptied and zeroed out immediately after the delivery, a loss/gain of cargo can’t be attributed to a certain vessel. In many cases, the tonnage on the ‘paper trail’ is kept in close tolerances, regardless of the cargo aboard or delivered. In some cases, common cargo warehouses may take more than a year (and many vessel deliveries) to zero out all cargo. In a case where a vessel delivers to another vessel or onto barges, there is an instant check and balance, a shortage or overage is noticed immediately. On an overage, you will not hear a peep, but on a shortage you, as the receiver surveyor are looked at as if you are responsible for the shortage, just for being the messenger of bad news. In my opinion, shortages outweigh overages manyfold, due to the vessel wanting to err on the side of caution to not exceed destination arrival draught restriction requirements, or carry cargo which they will not get freight. In most cases, the source of the problem can be attributed to the conditions of the water surface at the load port, yet is hidden in a paper trail.

How could this issue be eliminated? And is there a more accurate way to read the draughts? Well, devices have been made (such as freeboard indicators) but are not practical in all water, wave, and current applications. Years ago I invented such a device, which worked very well, but it would have to be attached to the hull at
the draught marks, which is not practical and can’t always be achieved. As I would say, when it is needed (in heavy sea swells and fast current) it couldn’t be used, and when it could be used (in perfectly calm water conditions) it is not needed. The one thing that keeps echoing in my mind is a hole in the ship (aka ‘The Zounding Tube’, named after the one who keeps thinking of it).

Having a sounding tube in the mid-ship point of the vessel (on a new build), or one port and one starboard, mid-ship, on a retrofit, through an existing ballast tank, which would go from keel to deck. With this, trim and list would not affect the readings because of their central location. In a perfect world, three tubes (one forward, mid and aft) could be added, to adust for hog and sag. A chart could be applied so that an ullage/outage could be taken (from a fixed given point to the water within the tube/pipe) and converted to draught. This draught reading would not be affected by waves, swells, etc., due to hydraulic pressure and the fact that water is calm below the surface. Accuracy could be achieved. I have always asked myself if this is possible and would it work?

Technologies have changed dramatically over the last 45 years — but the extremely important issue of vessel draught surveys have been largely left behind. The safe carriage of cargo is the vessel’s first concern, and it should be, but tonnage accountability is also very important. When I started 45 years ago, the older guys were still hauling adding machines onboard vessels to do their calculations, then calculators, and now computers. Liquid and gas cargo vessels (for years) now use sonar, radar, and level gauges for cargo readings. Zounding tubes could be equipped with radar which could send accurate draughts back to the cargo control room, for continuous accurate tonnage monitoring. And of course, safety remains paramount. All this could be done on the deck of the vessel, rather than hanging off the sides or in a crew boat in traffic and current.

At this point, I would have to leave the idea with naval architects and Class Societies, vessel designers and builders, as I am not well versed in the stress and build-out of vessels. One would think that as a proof of concept, a simple temporary test could be performed using a PVC pipe on the outer hull at mid-ship to compare reading accuracy. I guess as one works a lifetime at his/her craft, they hope to leave it better than they found it and also hope to leave their mark, as did Plimsoll in 1876.

I do know that billions of dollars are traded based on Vessel Draught Surveys, which are subject to accuracy by the water which the vessel lays afloat.



Born in August of 1958, one of six children of a working class family, for Larry ‘Chris’ Zeringue, the old cliche of “born and raised on banks of the Mississippi River” could not be more true.

With his homes from birth to manhood being only yards from the river’s edge in the small town of Donaldsonville Louisiana — (all homesteads in a settlement called Smoke Bend).

The Mighty Mississippi became Chris’s playground as a child, passion as a young man and gateway to the world as an adult.

By the age of 17, Chris was working on the river — his passion and pride for his work were only outpaced by his energy levels and tireless efforts as a hard worker and businessman.

After many years of working on the river, in 1993 Zeringue founded and coowned Marine Technical Surveyors (with two other seasoned surveyors).

Zeringue worked day and night as a river rat and in suit and tie to see MTS to what it is today. MTS employs and has employed many great people, family and friends, over the past 28 years.

And like the waters of the river, and so many of its southbound vessels, Zeringue too would see his way across the world to many major ports.

Zeringue pursued that same passion on the behalf of his customers — representing their cargo and their reputations in numerous ports in countless countries.

The Zounding tube is only one of many ideas that Zeringue has arrived at in his efforts to better represent the most accurate accounts of cargo.

For Zeringue, it is not the recognition of an invention that bring his ideas to life — but rather the pride, passion and energy he takes and puts forth in the responsibility of accounting for another’s goods.


International Windship Association Shares Open Letter Urging Solutions for Climate Concerns

The undersigned,

We call on all maritime industry decision-makers and the entire shipping community to fully assess and utilize all available power solutions that deliver the necessary deep, swift cuts in carbon emissions over the next decade commensurate with responding to the climate emergency. To that end, readily available and proven wind propulsion solutions must be integrated at the very heart of decarbonization deliberations.

Direct wind propulsion provides abundant, free energy, immediately and uniquely suited to and accessible to shipping worldwide without the need for costly land-based infrastructure or logistics investment. Wind technology helps de-risk shipping from its dependency on bunker fuels. Emerging alternative fuels come with multiple challenges – cost, availability, density, and quality and wind propulsion decouples shipping somewhat from these huge uncertainties around whatever ‘flavor’ eco-fuel is adopted.

Whatever size or type of commercial vessel, wind-assist or primary wind propulsion systems quickly provide credible, practical, robust, scalable and economically viable solutions – a dozen large ocean going vessels will be in operation by the end of Q1, 2021, along with 20+ small sail cargo and small cruise vessels.

The potential exists for 20-30% of the global fleet’s energy requirement to be delivered by wind systems. By adopting wind
solutions as part of a hybrid propulsion approach, vessel owners and operators can substantially deliver on the initial level emission savings targets for 2030, thus providing a critical component and step for achieving the 2050 target. A UK Government commissioned study forecasts up to 45% penetration of wind technologies into the global fleet by 2050. A key EU-commissioned report on wind estimates up to 10,700 installations are possible by 2030, including roughly 50% of bulkers and 67% of tankers alone.

Wind propulsion reduces demand, cost and power storage requirements for the next generation of alternative fuels, which
further helps to accelerate and enable the take-up and cost efficiency of these alternative fuels.

Therefore, we call on all shipping industry decision-makers to:

1. Establish a Multi-Stakeholder International Working Group to evaluate and quantify wind propulsion’s potential contribution to decarbonizing the global fleet in the face of the climate emergency. Promote the potential from a hybrid approach to decarbonization with wind propulsion fully integrated together with operational and vessel optimization measures along with eco-fuels.

2. Launch a Comprehensive Strategic Review of shipping industry decarbonization efforts in the context of the climate emergency. Covering all criteria, designations and databases/resources being used, this review would incorporate wind propulsion into all calculations and include a full life cycle analysis of all alternative propulsion systems and fuels so that the industry can fully appreciate the merits of each proposed system. The review should quantify all externalities including infrastructure development and production costs of all alternative propulsion systems and fuels along with their direct and indirect climate impacts.

3. Ensure a ‘level playing field’ is created and maintained for all power systems, removal of market and non-market barriers
as well as fair and balanced allocation of R&D finances and resources in the future.

4. Do more and go beyond the current narrow fuel-centric approach by adopting a fully integrated alternative propulsion approach to decarbonization pathways and policy. Doing so will create a proportionate, measured strategy that is absolutely essential to achieving the industry emissions targets. We believe that wind propulsion systems must be fully integrated within this strategy to help achieve decarbonization as quickly as possible and that this will be broadly welcomed by the shipping industry.


Port-Side Energy Debate: Propane vs. Electric

Ports and terminals across the country are looking for opportunities to streamline their operation, reduce their environmental impact, and increase efficiency, which leads to a common question: What alternative energy keeps ports productive while cutting emissions?

Both propane and electric solutions offer certain operational benefits. For example, electric equipment produces zero emissions during operation and offers reliable performance when handling lighter loads. Propane equipment, on the other hand, is popular for its nonstop power, resiliency, and versatility to handle loads of all sizes.

It’s important to consider which energy source can help you get the most out of your workday and your equipment. Propane-powered equipment can help ports maximize efficiency, while still allowing port crews to be proud stewards of the environment. And because propane is a primary energy source and electricity is a secondary energy source, it takes more energy to produce electricity, impacting its cleanliness, efficiency, and cost.

A transparent look at site-to-source emissions

As ports and terminals seeking reduced emissions and better air quality flee from traditional fuels, like gasoline and diesel, many have a tendency to adopt an electrify-everything mindset — but a low-emissions future doesn’t need to be an electric-only one.

Propane presents another alternative to traditional diesel-powered equipment — and with a more transparent emissions profile than electricity. Many material handling professionals I speak to are surprised to learn that propane is actually cleaner than electric when you take site-to-source emissions into account.

While it’s true electric-powered equipment and vehicles produce zero emissions during operation, it’s full emissions profile and impact is often overlooked, including emissions produced in the creation and transmission of electric batteries. Additionally, you have to consider the emissions produced at coal-fired plants where electricity is generated, as well as the emissions during transportation to the port. And because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers electric batteries a hazardous material, you can’t simply dispose of them without severely impacting the environment. Instead, they have specific handling and disposal regulations attached.

Propane, on the other hand, is an approved clean alternative fuel under the Clean Air Act of 1990 and, according to data from the Propane Education & Research Council, using propane produces 43 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than using an equivalent amount of electricity generated from the U.S. grid

Additionally, renewable propane is an emerging energy source that will be able to offer clean, low-emissions operations. Renewable propane is a byproduct of the renewable diesel and jet fuel production process, which converts plant and vegetable oils, waste greases, and animal fat into energy. Because it’s produced from renewable, raw materials, renewable propane is even cleaner than conventional propane — and far cleaner than other energy sources. And considering its chemical structure and physical properties are the same as traditional propane, renewable propane can be used for all the same applications.

Unmatched performance for maximum productivity

We all know that crews working port-side don’t have time to waste during the workday. According to IHS Markit’s Global Trade Atlas (GTA) Forecasting, North American seaports handled 2.34 billion metric tons of goods, valued at $2.53 trillion. In order to keep pace with the demanding workload and efficiently perform heavy-duty tasks, crews need powerful, versatile equipment.

Battery-powered forklifts and electric vehicles can be a compelling solution when handling lighter tasks, but performance in a port setting is really where propane sets itself apart. Propane offers the versatility to handle virtually every workload size and most notably, dominates the middle and top weight classes of forklifts with 90 percent of Class 4 and 5 forklifts being powered by propane. This means you can look to propane for a one-fuel solution, plus you won’t have to schedule downtime for recharging, like with electric.

Reliability when you need it most

Port cities are historic, which often means they’re relying on much older energy grids. But because of their relentless workload, it’s important for port operations to be as independent and autonomous with their energy source as possible. Fortunately, propane is a dependable, resilient energy source that can be stored on-site so it’s always there when you need it.

To learn more about the benefits of port-side propane equipment, visit


Matt McDonald is the director of off-road business development for the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached at



When it comes to ocean transportation, some might automatically think of massive container vessels carrying loads upon loads of cargo with ease. Vessels such as the OOCL Hong Kong, COSCO Shipping Taurus or Madrid Maersk are on the list of the largest shipping vessels across the globe. Although these and other large-scale shipping vessels significantly contribute to the movement of goods in the supply chain, there are quite a few smaller vessels and ships that are just as important and continue contributing to the transportation of goods and fulfilling other purposes for those on the water.

Our goal is to give these smaller vessels credit where it is rightfully due, all while examining their position in the ocean transportation industry and where they are headed.


Known for being smaller in size and scale, the reefer ship serves a special purpose in transporting goods, specifically perishable goods including food and other items requiring specific cooling capabilities. The major differentiator among these ships is their unique design exclusively for transporting cold items. These ships are typically equipped with specific access points and pallets capable of holding reefer containers (usually twenty-foot TEUs). Port Technology has appropriately referred to these reefer containers as “large fridges carried by containerships.”

Among the types of cargo commonly found on one of these reefer ships, bananas are considered the most important over fruits, meats, and even blood and other expensive types of cargoes, according to Port Technology. Other items include pharmaceuticals, flowers and other perishable food varieties. Without the capabilities of these reefer ships to ensure proper temperatures are maintained during transport, many parts of the supply chain would suffer.

The reefer ship does have its competition, however. The previously mentioned “large fridges” are becoming savvier and offering more in terms of temperature variations during transport. Port Technology reports that in 2018, only eight total reefer transport specialist companies existed out of the original 20+ back in 2000. These upgraded reefer containers are cited as the main culprit of this.


Known for its unique “raft” appearance and functions, the barge vessel stands out by offering much more than what meets the eye. This special type of transport method requires some powering from another source, meaning it does not have its own engine to keep it moving. Although there are some self-powered barges in the modern market, the classic barge in known for relying on a tugboat to move from point A to point B successfully. The barge maintains its position for inland transportation through its environmentally friendly benefits such as reduced fuel usage while transporting more in fewer miles compared to trucks.

According to a report from the American Maritime Partnership, more than 750 million tons of cargo are moved by the famous tug-and-barge combination every year, in addition the $30 billion economic impact in America. The barge industry is not exempt from disruptions, however. Last year proved to be a difficult time for the industry due to extreme flooding and trade tensions, directly impacting the agricultural sector. The Waterways Journal reported that 19.8 million acres went without planting in 2019 due to flooding.

“While some freight rates have appreciated, we still face downward pressure in agricultural and coal markets that need significant improvements in demand before the barge industry can realize a true recovery from what we have seen in the last three to four years,” commented Mark Knoy, president and CEO of American Commercial Barge Line (ACBL) in the report.


Think of tugs (or tugboats) as a “part two” of the barge vessel. The tug holds its own in the maritime world, however, and is not solely confined to pulling the barge in its lifetime on the water. Whether it is an ocean, sea, rescue or harbor tug, these much smaller helpers on the water work alongside non-powered vessels or other watercraft, including some sizeable ships that needs assistance when in trouble.

These small-but-mighty supporters have a decent range of displacement anywhere from 300 to 1,000 tons, depending on which type (ocean, rescue, harbor). Large tugs are of great importance to global navies. One of the largest of these types of tugs is the Russian Navy’s Vsevolod Bobrov, which boasts a 9,700-ton displacement and the ability to break ice when needed.


Think of these tankers as the hazmat vessels of the maritime shipping world. Ranging from S1, S2 and S3 rankings of ships, the chemical tankers on the ocean vary in degrees of safety measures based on the types of chemicals onboard and their requirements outlined by the International Bulk Chemical Code (IBC). These tankers vary in size but are typically anywhere from 5,000 dwt all the way up to 50,000 dwt, although the larger tankers are not as frequently seen. These ships come equipped with individual deep well pumps, pipelines and other systems to ensure minimum risk of exposure and potential contamination.

Chemical tankers are a different breed of ships as they come with an increased set of risks from the liquids they transport. Among common risks, cargo compatibility, cargo spillage, toxicity and flammability all pose potential problems for those onboard and the environment. Compliance simply cannot be subpar in efforts when it comes to transporting chemicals and leading chemical carriers such as Odfjell Tankers, Fairfield Chemical Carriers, and B+H Shipping continue to make waves in the transport of chemicals and other related liquids across the globe.

These are just a few of the various types of watercraft supporting the global supply chain. Without these ships guiding the way, many of the things needed to keep domestic and global economies afloat would not be as easily accessible, transportable, or available. As containerships and other mega-vessels continue to challenge the ocean shipping landscape, it is important to consider the ways these smaller ocean vessels and ships can transform to better meet market demands while supporting sustainable operations. At this point in time, these smaller players in ocean shipping are here to stay.



Despite the political turmoil gripping Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Seaport Alliance (HKSPA) welcomed HMM GDANSK, the world’s largest container vessel, on its July 12 maiden call to Hong Kong at Kwai Tsing Container Terminal 7.

HMM GDANSK , which is one of the twelve 24,000-TEU class of mega vessels of HMM Co., Ltd., the vessel features a length of 1,312 feet, a width of nearly 201 feet and a maximum capacity of 23,964 TEU. Since June, the vessel has operated THE Alliance Far East Europe 3 service that connects major ports in China, Asia and Europe.

“We are excited to welcome the world’s biggest vessel on its maiden call at such challenging times,” said Leonard Fung, managing director of Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), upon the HMM GDANSK’s arrival.

“This is a momentous event for Hong Kong’s maritime industry and HIT, signifying a vote of confidence in our offering and allowing us to capture future opportunities.”

The vessel is billed as being equipped with the world’s most advanced DS4 (DSME Smart Ship Platform), ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information System), monitoring system and smart navigation system. In response to the new International Maritime Organization’s environmental regulations, HMM GDANSK has installed scrubbers to reduce its sulfur emissions.

vessels PIT

Vessels for Life: Here are the Ships that Make Our Lives more Livable

It’s amazing how interconnected we are as a world—from delivering goods along the supply chain to your local grocery store to the social distancing that has helped to control what we’ll unlovingly refer to as “The Outbreak.” As much as it can be sometimes difficult to be connected, it is this interconnectedness that also allows us to subsist in our day-to-day lives. Toilet paper, cars, and even oil are goods that we can access thanks to the Svengali-esque magic—or organization, rather—of the global supply chain. One could say that it, in fact, makes the world go ‘round.

So today, we’d like to introduce some of the power players in this arena, the unsung voices that help us to have access to different goods each and every day. And these unsung voices are ships, the carriers that are key to our worldwide supply chains.

What follows are five major carriers and eight individual vessels that play an important role in shipping vehicles, cargo containers for manufacturers and other goods and equipment of all sizes that make our lives more livable each day.

MSC Gülsün (MSC)

The MSC Gülsün is a ship in the fleet of the Mediterranean Shipping Co. (MSC), a world leader in container shipping. The MSC Gülsün is the largest container ship in the world, with a max capacity of more than 23,000 TEUs. (Try that on for size!) It has more than 2,000 refrigerated containers; a hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system; a dual-tower firefighting system; 35 cabins; and double-hull protection.

The MSC Gülsün also has an eye for sustainability, increasing the efficiency of the CO2 emitted by 48 percent. With a hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system (EGCS), this ship is also self-cleaning. The vessel can carry 8 million solar panels, more than 47,500 cars, 223 million bananas, nearly 3 million washing machines and 386 million pairs of shoes, MSC boasts.

The ship was built in South Korea at Samsung Heavy Industries. The MSC Gülsün is 400 meters long and 60 meters wide. Despite its size, its engineering reduces resistance from the wind, which leads to lower fuel consumption.

Venus Leader (NYK Line)

The Venus Leader is a vehicle carrier with the Nippon Yusen Kaisha (NYK) Line, a global shipping and logistics company. The roll-on/roll-off (ro-ro) division of NYK is the largest worldwide. Built in 2010, the Venus Leader sails under the Japanese flag. It carries up to 15,301 t DWT (tanker deadweight tonnage). Her draught is 7.1 meters. The Venus Leader has a length of 186.03 meters and is 28.2 meters wide.

The NYK line has a fleet of 118, which carries more than 3.4 million cars each year. In addition to cars, the NYK ro-ro division also carries agricultural machinery, plant equipment and specialty cargos such as boilers, transformers and yachts. The company has sustainability goals. For instance, by 2050, it aims to have a zero-emissions ship, the NYK Super Eco Ship.

M/V Liberty (ARC)

The M/V Topeka was re-flagged to American registry and re-named the M/V Liberty on Jan. 31, 2017, to be consistent with the practice of owner American Roll-on Roll-Off Carrier (ARC) to name its ships after American values. M/V Liberty is now among the most capable and militarily-useful vessels in the U.S.-flag commercial fleet, able to carry tracked vehicles, helicopters, trucks, and other military and high and heavy project cargoes. The vessel is 199.99 meters long with a beam of 32.26 meters, a stern opening of 15.2 meters wide and 5.4 meters high, and a stern ramp rated for cargo up to 237 metric tons.

Vessels in the ARC fleet are known for their ramp access and system optimization, which helps with quick reconfiguration that allows for maximum lift capacity. That explains why, besides military cargo, ARC ships carry commercial breakbulk as well as agricultural and construction equipment for developing countries. Considering itself one of one part of its partners’ supply chains, ARC also works with the warehousing capabilities of other countries.

Actuaria, ACX Crystal, ACX Diamond (ONE)

The top three vessels with Ocean Network Express (ONE), based on TEUs, are the Actuaria, ACX Crystal and ACX Diamond. Built in 2009, the Actuaria holds up to 6,589 TEUs and flies under the Portugal flag. Built in 2008, the ACX Crystal carries up to 2,858 TEUs and flies the Panama flag. And built in 2008, the ACX Diamond can handle 2,858 TEUs and flies the flag of Singapore. They are but three of 225 vessels in ONE fleet that travels to more than 120 countries and can handle a total of more than 1.5 million TEUs.

The sixth-largest carrier worldwide as of January 2020, ONE operates under four core values: “Lean & Agile” to be a new definition of what a new reality can be; “Teamwork” that builds new value; “Best Practice” through the collaboration of its partners; and “Challenge” that takes strengths to face challenges without being afraid to fail.

Magleby Maersk and Munich Maersk (Maersk)

Two of the biggest ships of Maersk—the Denmark-based logistics giant—are the Munich Maersk and the Magleby Maersk. The Munich Maersk, which has a TEUs capacity of 19,630, was built in 2017 and sails under Denmark’s flag. It has a draught of 7.1 meters with an overall length of 399 meters and a 58.6-meter width.

The Magleby Maersk, which can handle up to18,270 TEUs, is 398 meters long, 33 meters deep and 73 meters high. Built in the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering shipyard, the ship is engineered with two low-revolution and two long-stroke engines. Each packs 9,785 horsepower. According to Vessel Tracking, Maersk operates 538 container ships, which can ship more than 3 million TEUs.

In short, these are a handful of ships that are making waves in transportation and logistics, playing a major role in moving the goods that keep us going each day. Onward!