Tag Archives: supply chains

Europe could end reliance on China for battery production by 2027

Transport and Environment (T&E), “Europe’s leading clean transport campaign group”, has a plan. They believe Europe could be able to produce all the batteries it needs by 2027, without imports from China. It’s a laudable goal, and the idea is amazing since Europe is fast rushing to battery-powered electric vehicles, which consume lots of batteries.

The group imagines a European sovereignty fund to support domestic battery production, and streamlining of EU rules on state aid. Battery plants now take a long time to build, since there are considerable risks to their storage and manufacture.

According to the article, about half of Europe’s batteries are already sourced there. The EU is mandating electric vehicles by 2035, which sets up a big increase in demand for batteries.

The supply chains associated with electric vehicles are interesting and of crucial importance so that they will be accepted and effectively used. Batteries are a major element, and disruptions in the supply are not healthy for European manufacturers.

By Charlie Bartlett, technology editor 24/01/2023

Europe could end reliance on China for battery production by 2027 – The Loadstar

LR study calls for ‘end-to-end assurance of new fuel supply chain’

Shifting to greener fuels sounds easier than it is. The supply chains for common maritime fuels such as HSFO and marine gasoil are highly developed and complex. But for new fuels such as cooking oil, hydrogen, and ammonia, there aren’t any supply chains.

Even if we had excellent marine engines using these fuels, there would be no place to ‘gas up’. In many ways, it’s like the problem auto drivers have with electric cars; you need to know where you can fill up. The highly developed automotive fuel supply chain is one reason why electric cars are taking so long to catch on with the buying public.

Another issue, which plagues the electricity supply chain as well as the marine fuel one, is the ‘greenness’ of fuels. Some fuels burn green, producing less emissions, when they are propelling vehicles; but their means of production is not green at all.

For instance, hydrogen production takes a lot of electricity when it’s made by the usual method, by electrolyzing water. But how green is the energy source for the electricity? Did it come from a coal-fired plant, or from a solar or wind generation facility?

For maritime, we call this well-to-wake analysis of the greenness of fuels and their supply chains. Can we do effective well-to-wake analysis of marine fuel supply chains?

The article by Paul Bartlett below refers to a new report from Lloyd’s Register addressing this problem. The report is well worth getting for maritime pros. It’s going to be crucial to have a full understanding of the overall emissions benefits of all the possible marine fuels, if we are to build new greener ships and develop green trade lanes. A lot of work and money will be needed to set up effective maritime fuel supply chains and supplies.

Another interesting publication on this subject is a Bureau Veritas white paper on alternative fuels. I learned a lot by reading it.

Paul Bartlett | Jan 24, 2023

LR study calls for ‘end-to-end assurance of new fuel supply chain’

FMC ruling could be crucial in other ‘unfair D&D fee’ complaints

Shipper complaints about demurrage and detention (D&D) charges by carriers have been many, especially over the Coronavirus period, when many facilities were congested and supply lines were overloaded. One of the main complaints was the uncooperative attitude of port terminals and yards when asked to release cargo.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) held a hearing over one case involving Evergreen, a major container carrier, and trucker TCW Inc, in December. Evergreen was forbidden to make per diem charges on days when the motor carrier could not pick up the cargo.

The essence of the FMC argument is that you can’t charge D&D when it’s impossible to pick up the container. Frequently ports and yards may have reasons to deny a trucker from picking up, but if it doesn’t lead to congestion and is the yard or terminal problem, the carrier can’t charge D&D.

The latest case involves carrier Hapag-Lloyd and rail line CSX, versus a Wisconsin forwarder, ME Dey, and the trucker New Age Logistics. Hapag-Lloyd has already waived over $150,000 in charges, and the case is still ongoing. CSX rail may well cave in also.

The principle established by the FMC is important, and may prevent some D&D charging errors in freight bills. Carriers are going to need to be careful and monitor conditions at the facilities holding the containers.

This may go some way toward increasing communication among logistics ‘partners’. Now a carrier must keep informed about the conditions at the yard where the container is located. They will need to ask for information on a continuous basis, which they have a right to, because it is affecting their billing process. If the yard is closed for a holiday, or has the container under a big stack that cannot be moved fast, they will need to tell the carrier, so that the billing can be waived. This information exchange is a crucial part of the financial wing of the supply chain.

When there’s money involved, action often follows.

I think it’s great for the FMC to proactively insist on attention to the possibility of congestion. It will encourage yards to reduce it, and carriers to monitor it, and shippers to work to avoid it.

By Nick Savvides 03/01/2023

FMC ruling could be crucial in other ‘unfair D&D fee’ complaints – The Loadstar