New Articles

Vector Takes “Logistics with Purpose” to the Next Level

vector

Vector Takes “Logistics with Purpose” to the Next Level

Global commercial shipping provider, Vector Logistics, announced its first-ever effort towards environmental wellness for client utilization this week. Carbon offsets is the main focus of Vector’s environmental service, established through the company’s partnership with the nonprofit Carbonfund.org Foundation. Not only does this enable clients to increase contributions towards a sustainable supply chain, but it also supports positive long-term effects on the industry as a whole.

“At Vector, we believe that a few caring people can and will change the world. And the truth is, we only have one world to share,” says CEO, Enrique Alvarez. “We are compelled to make clean, sustainable shipping a reality. ”

Living up to its primary value of “logistics with a purpose,” Vector selected Carbonfund.org due to its leading position in efforts against climate change and support of a cleaner business climate. Information released today confirmed that the nonprofit’s projects are always validated through a third party and vetted against the highest standards.

The carbon offsets effort is one of several options Vector will add to its environmental solutions portfolio. The company confirmed that additional options are in the works for 2022 to further support client goals in reducing their overall environmental footprint.

“Doing the right thing is a must, and there’s no time to waste. Together, we can make a difference both now and for generations to come,” Alvarez added.

To learn more and stay up-to-date on the latest solutions offerings, please visit: vectorgl.com

propane

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 Propane.com/Ports.

____________________________________________________________

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

CCM CGM

CMA CGM TO DEDICATE SIX NEW LNG-POWERED VESSELS TO SERVICE U.S. CUSTOMERS

In our most recent edition of Dispatches, CMA CGM Group takes efforts in improving sustainable operations by designating a part of its shipping fleet to the U.S. market for use around the end of the year 2022.

Rodolphe Saadé, chairman and CEO of CMA CGM Group, announced in late February that he would dedicate six liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered containerships to the U.S. market as part of the global logistics company’s ongoing efforts to improve air quality and drive forward the energy transition of the shipping industry. Saadé made the announcement at the opening session of TPM,  which is the premier conference for the trans-Pacific and global container shipping and logistics community.

The first of these new vessels is scheduled to be delivered this October, and all ships will be fully operational by the end of 2022, according to CMA CGM. The six 15,000-TEU vessels will be deployed on CMA CGM’s Pearl River Express (PRX) line, which sails from China to the Port of Los Angeles. 

CMA CGM Group currently operates 12  of the LNG-powered containerships, a fleet that will grow to 32 containerships of various sizes by the year 2022, according to the logistics giant, which has an ambitious 2050 objective of carbon neutrality.

shipping containers

Pros and Cons of Re-using Shipping Containers

If you keep up to date with the latest worldwide architectural trends, you must know that a lot of fuss has been made over old shipping containers. These days, they aren’t just discarded after their expected life is over. Instead, people turn them into houses, storage units, coffee shops, restaurants – you name it. You have to admit how crafty this is for those who want to start a business amid a global crisis. However, it can’t be denied that there are both advantages and disadvantages of reusing shipping containers. I would like to cover the basic ones, in case you are pondering about giving an old shipping container a new life.

Save your time and money

Building a home from scratch (or any other structure that provides shelter) is not only an expensive project – it is also a time-consuming one. Anyone who has ever been in the situation to go through the entire construction process will be able to give you first-hand insight into all the difficulties ahead. The good thing is that most of those time and money-related problems can be solved by repurposing shipping containers.

Not only are they very affordable, but you can also build them incredibly quickly: you stick them together like Lego pieces. An added benefit is that you can easily move them to a new location. After all, that is their original purpose. This certainly comes in handy in the fast-paced world we live in – you never know where you might end up.

Shipping containers are durable

As you already know, shipping containers are built to sustain all the challenges of maritime shipping. The ocean can certainly be rough at times, leading manufacturers to build extremely durable units. Compared to cement units, shipping containers are lightweight since they have a steel structure. All of this leads to a much more resilient unit against earthquakes – a feature you surely want your home or business property to have.

Apart from being safe, one has to admit that a structure made by putting together a couple of shipping containers does look contemporary and unique. Talk about a great way to have a safe yet aesthetically-pleasing home at the same time.

Protect the environment by reusing shipping containers

It’s quite simple to see how you protect the environment by repurposing shipping containers. Did you know that you can save about 3500 kilograms of steel by reusing just one shipping container? Now imagine how much you save by using a couple of them. Moreover, by turning a plethora of shipping containers into a building, you can prevent the use of brick and cement for the new structure. Knowing that cement is one of the biggest sources of CO2, one of nature’s biggest enemies, gives you an additional reason to reuse old containers.

The temperature inside a container can be a problem

It’s impossible to talk about the biggest cons of reusing shipping containers without mentioning the difficulties of controlling the temperature inside. Since containers are made of steel, they can very easily absorb both heat and cold. So if you are thinking about starting a new business or building a home entirely out of shipping containers, you will need to invest in insulation. Otherwise, you could be facing incredibly low temperatures in the winter and extreme heat in the summer. And those are two extremes you definitely don’t need to experience.

The possibility of rust and corrosion

If you plan on repurposing old shipping containers, you need to be ready for the fact that they require a lot of maintenance. They are not corrosion or rust-proof and they do best in moderate climate conditions. If you live in a dry area with very little rainfall, you live in the perfect place to avoid the problems mentioned above. But if you don’t, we suggest you prepare for the fact that rust and corrosion might appear sooner rather than later.

Be aware of toxic exposure when repurposing

Many shipping containers will need to be exposed to multiple insecticides to meet the global import and export regulations and procedures. If you plan on residing or starting a business inside such containers, you might face toxic exposure. Since you don’t want to risk your health and that of others, I strongly suggest you remove the container’s wooden floor. Also, cover the inside surface with bare metal, which you should later cover with non-toxic paint.

Whether you decide that reusing shipping containers is the right move for you is your decision. I wanted to familiarize you with both the benefits and the disadvantages of doing so. If you don’t mind putting a bit of extra maintenance into the process, repurposing a container is a great idea. Otherwise, you might do better by going down the traditional route.

_________________________________________________________________

Julia Richards is the owner of a small business with a degree in finance and accounting. Apart from being a successful business owner with 15 years of experience, Julia also enjoys working as a freelance writer on a variety of different topics and a number of websites, including Zippy Shell of Greater Philadelphia. Her passion is helping young entrepreneurs surpass the challenges of the business market, as she has been doing for over a decade. Julia resides in Seattle with her husband, two kids, and a family dog.