Trendwatch: PSA Singapore, PIL strengthen sustainability partnership; Shanghai nearing the 40 million TEU milestone once again; BOEM designates four wind energy areas in Gulf of Mexico

PSA Singapore, PIL strengthen sustainability partnership 

The collaboration between the two long-time partners includes the development of a set of low carbon emission routes for containers shipped by PIL via PSA. 

Beyond the MoU, both partners are also cooperating in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction levers such as the use of reclaimed refrigerant and the adoption of PSA’s OptEVoyage, a digital solution for vessels to arrive at the port just in time to achieve bunker savings and carbon emissions reduction. 

The two companies in their respective fields, with a common goal to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, will leverage each other’s expertise, resources and innovation to work towards developing low carbon pathways. 


Shanghai nearing the 40 million TEU milestone once again 

The Port of Shanghai, which recently issued the outline for a Green Shipping Corridor Implementation Plan together with the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, witnessed an increase in container volumes of 4.7 per cent YoY. Last month, the port moved an impressive 4 million TEU; over the course of the first nine months of this year, the port has successfully handled 36.1 million TEU, inching closer to its previous year’s record of 43 million TEU. 

The Port of Qingdao also recorded a strong performance witnessing a 12.1 per cent YoY increase, totalling 2.4 million TEU last month. 


BOEM designates four wind energy areas in Gulf of Mexico 

As part of the Biden-Harris administration’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy capacity by 2030, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) today announced it has finalized four new Wind Energy Areas (WEAs) in the Gulf of Mexico. Together, the WEAs could support offshore wind projects with the potential to produce enough clean, renewable energy to power more than three million homes. This announcement follows the first-ever Gulf of Mexico offshore wind lease sale earlier this year. 

“Creating an offshore wind industry in the Gulf of Mexico will take time and partnership. BOEM is pursuing another offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico due to continued industry interest and feedback from our partners and key stakeholders,” said BOEM Director Elizabeth Klein. “BOEM will continue to work with the Tribes, other government partners, coastal states, ocean users, and local communities as we advance our work in a manner that seeks to responsibly develop offshore areas while minimizing potential conflicts with other ocean uses and marine life in the Gulf of Mexico.” 


Saudi loosens airport regulation in $100 billion investment push 

Saudi Arabia plans to open its domestic aviation industry to more competition, part of an overhaul that the government estimates will drive a $100 billion investment in the sector by the end of the decade. 

Among the plans laid out by the General Authority of Civil Aviation, airports and ground-handling operations will be allowed to be privatized, and airports will also receive an incentive plan to raise their quality standards, according to a statement. License processes for ground handling and air cargo service providers will also be streamlined, according to the release.  

“The regulations create an open, dynamic and competitive market, setting a level playing field for global operators and investors in the Kingdom,” said GACA President Abdulaziz Al-Duailej. 


US demands are why mineral deal with EU failed, Dombrovskis says 

The US and European Union were unable to reach an agreement recently on critical minerals because the US made extra requests beyond those in a deal that Japan and Washington signed earlier this year, according to EU Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.  

The agreement with the US “would have been concluded by now” if it was based on the template of the Japan-US deal signed in March, Dombrovskis told reporters in Osaka on Saturday. The difficulty was that “the US is coming with more far-reaching requests vis-a-vis the EU than it did vis-a-vis Japan,” he said on the sidelines of the Group of Seven trade ministers meeting. 

The critical minerals agreement was one of two deals that didn’t get agreed last week ahead of the US-EU summit, along with an accord on steel and aluminum. The question of securing reliable access to critical minerals has rapidly risen in importance, especially with recent Chinese moves to control and restrict exports of gallium, germanium and graphite, all of which are used in high-tech goods such as semiconductors or batteries. 


Over 75% of companies consider using tech to improve product development 

Over three-fourths of manufacturing organizations (78%) said that they are considering using technology to efficiently develop products, according to a new study. 

In a report published by Fictiv October 31, entitled “2023 State of Manufacturing,” almost every participant (97%) said they believe artificial intelligence will impact their organization’s product development and manufacturing processes. Meanwhile, 85% of respondents plan on adopting or have already adopted AI technologies. 

Responders also raised concerns about workforce productivity with 62% of interviewees claiming they are training existing staffers to enhance their skills and productivity.