The globalization of maritime commerce is changing ports from traditional interfaces between land and sea to intermodal megaports which require deepwater docking, easy access for trucks and rail services, massive material handling equipment, and a complete logistics network based on computer and Internet technologies.
With containership volumes set to grow 6-8% by 2015, port terminals are facing pressures to improve productivity and efficiency, especially to accommodate Panamax and Post-Panamax containerships. Established ports like Rotterdam (Europe’s largest) have been undergoing expansion on reclaimed land, while completely new facilities are being built from scratch, like Shanghai’s Yangshan. In fact, there is a flurry of expansion and “Greenfield” projects in Russia, Brazil, India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, all of them multi-billion dollar projects.
Meanwhile, a number of other trends are shaping the industry. Significant investment is going into cruise terminals, especially in the Caribbean and even in the Far East to accommodate new tourist patterns. Also, oil-producing countries are investing heavily in energy terminals, like Ras Laffan in Qatar which processes and transships liquefied natural gas.
Sustainability is also an important driver of change. In California ships are now obliged by law to turn off engines to reduce CO2 through shore-to-ship power supply (“cold-ironing”), and cranes are being refitted with electrical motors instead of polluting diesel motors. Since 9/11, security is also an important issue, calling for new telecom-based systems for management, surveillance and control.
As a port authority, EPC contractor, distributor or crane OEM you are looking for ways to improve productivity. That means meeting the challenges of size, capacity and intermodality. It also means adjusting to new tourism, trade, and energy-processing opportunities, while dealing with the challenges of sustainability and security. All of these issues largely depend on your choice of cables and cable solutions.
What you expect from a cable manufacturer:
- Wide range of cables easily available close to megaproject development sites
- Off-the-shelf products where possible, customized solutions where necessary
- Ruggedness, flexibility and longevity in the busy port and marine environment
- Energy and telecom solutions that take into account intermodal terminal needs
- Exemplary stock management especially for maintenance and repair operations (MRO)
- Consolidation of orders, just-in-time delivery, and technical guarantees for specifications
- Security-enhancing cables for tracking, tagging, sensing, surveillance, and intelligent video
- Environmentally-safe cables to lower port pollution and improve energy efficiency
- Services to deal with accessories, installation, maintenance, repair and training.
To meet the loading, off-loading, and transport challenges of today’s intermodal megaports, Nexans has developed a broad range of cables and cable solutions for virtually every energy and telecommunications requirement. Our world presence, often backed up by local manufacturing capacity, means that we are located close to established ports and new megaprojects.
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