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Tag Archives: ports

TRELLEBORG BREAKS LARGEST FENDER ORDER RECORD

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems.

It’s safe to say there are exciting times ahead for us here at Trelleborg after the phenomenal news that we secured the $24.5 million (€19.5million) contract to supply the largest marine fender solution project in history for a state-of-the-art new port project (NPP) in Qatar.

Which, valued at $7.1billion (€5.8billion), is currently the world’s largest Greenfield port-development project.

After working closely on the deal for over five years, we are delighted to have the opportunity to apply our unique solutions to bring efficiencies to such a prestigious, large scale project. It goes without saying that securing the biggest ever order for fender solutions in both quantity and value is a massive coup and proves once again that we are an industry leader. Each and every individual whose hard work contributed to the contracts fruition deserves significant congratulations.

Being awarded such large scale contract wins and breaking records in the process, Trelleborg are raising the bar and setting the standard for this type of project, which needed in-depth engineering and application know-how to provide full service solutions. I fully expect these types of contract to become more prevalent in the coming years due to the increase in vessel sizes and traffic coming through major ports, and we’re delighted to have proved we can deal with the additional demands they bring.

I would personally like to extend my congratulations to Paul Welling and his team, whose efforts have been nothing short of exceptional and have proved instrumental in the award of what is a monumental contract win. I know I won’t be alone in saying; I thoroughly look forward to seeing what the future holds for Trelleborg.

INCREASING PORT SAFETY HIGH ON THE AGENDA WITH NEW BOLLARD GUIDE

By Simon Wilson, Managing Director of Docking and Mooring, Trelleborg Marine Systems.


We’ve long stressed the importance of best practice, tailor-made solutions in providing specialist berthing and mooring systems.

It’s important that bespoke, integrated solutions are put in place to enable whole life cost savings and more importantly, ensure safe operations in demanding marine environments.

But, how do you specify a system that optimizes price and value for your particular solution?

Our new bollard guide, written for port operators, and contractors aims to help with just that. The new guide features all the latest comprehensive bollard data, factors to consider in the design process and specification and installation information.

The guide also underlines why different types of bollard are required for different applications and the significance of the differing performance characteristics.

Bollards are safety critical items and as such, product quality is paramount.  The importance of demanding the highest standards of certification is highlighted, with tips on what to look for in a quality documentation package.

To download your free copy of the Bollard Guide, visit http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/.

BESPOKE SOLUTIONS WIN US A NEW DEEP SEA CONTAINER PORT CONTRACT

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems.

We’ve long considered the need for bespoke solutions and tailored systems to be a key success factor in an efficient and safe port environment. Indeed, we saw further evidence of this when we at Trelleborg won the contract to supply 86 super cone fender systems, 59 mooring bollards with a 200 tonne capacity, and 41 safety ladders for a deep sea container port that handles the largest container ships in the world.

Our solution was chosen after we worked with the port to carry out an in-depth analysis of vessel data and berthing speeds.

Our high-performance Super Cone fenders will be specifically designed for this port to accommodate berthing angles up to 10°, bow flare angles up to 15° and for the latest generation of container vessels with a displacement of 225,000 tons.

The first of the fenders for the container terminal is scheduled for delivery early this year, with the contract scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.

I’ll leave you with some words from one of our area sales managers, Andy Cope, who worked on this project: “We have future-proofed the terminal through the positioning of the fender system.  Therefore, as and when container ship sizes increase, a greater number of fenders will be engaged, absorbing greater levels of impact energy.”

“We have specified the highest quality materials in the design of the fenders, including specialist rubber compounds which have been formulated at our state-of-the-art Singapore facility.  Our in-house capabilities mean that we are able to develop bespoke, yet cost-effective solutions to meet individual project requirements.”

BREEDING A CULTURE OF LOOKING AT LONG TERM COSTS

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems


Encouragingly, over half of the 260 port decision makers polled in our recent Barometer Report believe that maintenance budgets will increase over the coming year.  Additionally, 90% of owners, operators and contractors cited maintenance as a critical or important factor for consideration in the upgrade of port operations. This is especially good news considering that over a quarter of respondents attributed a decrease in the levels of port-side maintenance to budget pressures.

Cause for concern?

However, the importance placed on maintenance overall does not seem to be translating to the specification of berthing, docking and mooring equipment.  The report shows that when asked specifically about procurement of such products, only 4% of respondents believe maintenance to be the most important consideration – ranking it sixth on the list of priorities. In fact, its perceived importance in the purchase of docking and mooring products has declined by 5% compared to the 2010 Barometer Report.

This suggests that there’s work to be done across the market to breed a culture of looking at long term costs.  We are increasingly seeing a lack of focus on whole life costs and when you factor in the low prioritisation of maintenance, it’s sure to store up trouble ahead for ports.

Short term savings, long term implications

Despite good intentions, it seems that short-term cost savings are taking precedence when it comes to specifying berthing, docking and mooring equipment. There is clearly a gap to bridge between understanding the importance of maintenance, and the actions taken in practice.

Berthing, docking and mooring equipment is a vital component in the safety and efficiency of the port environment, so it’s essential that specifiers give these products the significance they deserve.

Speculate to accumulate

Moreover, by sourcing high quality, low maintenance products at the outset – rather than taking retrospective action only when something goes wrong – port owners, contractors and consultants can avoid unnecessary risks and costly downtime.  Certainly a focus on maintenance at the beginning of the project will naturally lead to whole life cost savings.

If you’re interested in gaining further insights into marine industry predictions for 2012 and beyond you can download the latest Barometer Report here www.takesthepressureoff.com/barometer2

We’d of course welcome any comments or feedback on the survey outcomes and your experiences of sourcing quality berthing, docking and mooring equipment.

BUY CHEAP, BUY TWICE: LOW COST SUPPLIER ISSUES EXTENDS FURTHER THAN PORT INFRASTRUCTURE

Guest contributor, Andy Hatton, owner of Global Anodes UK Ltd shares his story.


I have seen a fair bit of discussion raised by Trelleborg in the last few weeks about the issue of low cost suppliers and it’s a topic that really strikes a chord with me.  There are a lot of parallels I can draw between the issues that Trelleborg’s Barometer Report brought up and my experiences.

Years ago, when working for another company, we were frequently undercut on equipment by “low cost” replicas. However, when the equipment failed, ship owners or managers would still call us to put it right.

We would always go above and beyond to help a client, dispatching engineers for the cost of a flight and a hotel in the (naive) belief they would come to us for systems next time they were building new vessels.

In reality, they got so used to us running around doing our best to keep their substandard equipment running, that the next six ships in the series would be fitted out with the same cheap rubbish as before.

After about three years we had no choice but to start saying no, that we weren’t prepared to do this for nothing and if they wanted our engineers they’d have to start paying for the service.

Another drawback to our willingness to help was that in many cases the equipment we were called in to look at was of such poor design and quality it was not economically viable to attempt repair, if indeed it was repairable at all. It became a serious concern for some of our engineers, they started to feel we either looked incompetent or as if we were lying just to make a sale when all we could do was say; “Sorry… you need to rip out all the old system and replace it”.

Before this, we’d always maintained an excellent world wide service base out of profits from the spares and systems we sold. If a client called with a problem we could usually have an engineer on a plane and on his way to meet the ship within 12 hours (in one case in 45 minutes when I had to be in Turkey for a hand over that had to be concluded that day).

We’d started to lose the equipment business, and slashed our margins so much just to compete, that our service facility gradually disappeared; the profits were simply not there to maintain it.

Worst of all, we start getting calls saying things like: “We had your engineer on the other day and he didn’t know what he was doing.”  This often came as news to me, as I was in charge arranging all engineer attendances worldwide.

Further investigation revealed that the Chief Engineer or similar would ask purchasing to get him the “anodes guy”, and purchasing would either just book any Joe Bloggs who happened to live locally or go for the cheapest quote – usually resulting in unqualified people we had never even heard of going on board vessels with the Supers and Chiefs believing they were our engineers. Until it was too late.

As a final note, the worst case scenario I experienced. An “engineer” attended a vessel in Pusan; he turned out to be some guy from a domestic appliance repair shop (apparently a contact of a company we had traded with previously.) I had a very angry Superintendent screaming down the phone at me until I explained that his company had not even spoken to us about their problem or requested an engineer… never mind sent a purchase order for a service attendance. Apparently this so called “fake” engineer even had business cards with our company logo on them.

Global Anodes UK Ltd is an independent company that is owned and operated by engineers with a range of experience in marine, offshore and industrial applications.

Global Anodes offers trouble-shooting solutions to corrosion and bio-fouling problems.

 

CAPITALISING ON INDIA’S ENGINEERING & DESIGN EXCELLENCE

By Scott Smith, Regional Director (Asia Pacific), Trelleborg Marine Systems

Indian Centre of Excellence

Trelleborg Marine Systems' newly expanded Indian Centre of Excellence

India West – an online portal for the global Indian community – this week reported that the country’s population still dominates science and engineering with Indian-born US migrants making up the vast majority of graduates in these specialisms (43.1%).

Asia has long been held up for its engineering excellence – with China coming in a close second – so it’s no surprise that global enterprises committed to keeping at the forefront of technical excellence have invested in a strong presence in the region.

Trelleborg has benefitted from a dedicated design and engineering centre in India since 2009 – a resource that is heavily relied upon by the Marine Systems division and other product areas within the Trelleborg Engineered Systems group. Indeed, the centre has become so crucial to our competitive standing as a complete ‘cradle to grave’ supplier that we’ve recently moved to new premises to centralise and expand our unique engineering and design set-up.

While we boast some level of in-house expertise at our regional offices, the more detailed engineering design, modelling and analysis aspects are now sent to the new Indian Centre of Excellence in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, for further progression. Here the business is split into two areas.  The first is engineering and design support for Trelleborg’s worldwide offices – covering Australia, Singapore, China, Japan, India, Dubai, the USA and Europe – and the second focuses on regional sales into India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

We have very high expectations for the performance of the improved engineering and design centre as a market leading offering – not least because, while our competitors choose to outsource their engineering and manufacturing requirements and thereby relinquish some degree of control, having our capabilities centralised in this way means we can maintain watertight quality right through the supply chain. Moreover, it enables us to drive cost efficiencies, improve collaboration and encourage cross fertilisation of ideas across our global offices.

If you’re a port owner, contractor or consultant interested in seeing this unique facility for yourself we’d be happy to give you the guided tour – leave a comment and we’ll get back to you.

IT’S ALL DOWN TO TECHNICALITIES

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems

Salerno Contract Win

The panels for Salerno being prepared. The white marks are a quality control check for the thickness of the paint.

Customers quite rightly demand the ability to meet demanding specifications and tight delivery timescales. Indeed, it’s our capabilities to accommodate stringent design parameters and time pressures that enable me to proudly announce our new contract to supply Super Cone Fenders and Tee Head bollards to Salerno Port, Italy.

Working with RCM Costruzioni, our technical know-how was called upon to overcome restricted space for the cone fender due to a limited high capping beam. What’s more, we also needed to prove that we have the internal processes in place to deliver to exceptionally short lead times with 34 sets of SCN1300 Super Cone Fender Systems and 24 sets of Tee Head bollards 100t required by November. No mean feat!

Fresh from the findings of our latest Barometer report, which brought to the fore that the robust testing of rubber and steel is not routinely performed by all suppliers, I’d like to take this opportunity to point out that all fenders supplied by Trelleborg are fully compliant with PIANC Guidelines and have undergone both laboratory and full scale product testing. Given our industry reputation I’d hope that goes without saying and certainly for our client contact at RCM Construzioni, Mr. Elio Rainone, this played an important part in his decision to specify Trelleborg Marine Systems.

On that note I leave you with some kind words supplied by Mr. Rainone himself and look forward to sharing more company news with you soon…

“Due to Trelleborg’s strong reputation and technical qualification, they are already a preferred supplier for both the port authorities and us, the contractor.

“The solution provided by Trelleborg Marine Systems met the requirements of both parties: the port authorities wanted a reliable solution, with a long life cycle.  For us, an important factor was the necessity of an accessible dedicated project management team, and the assurance of high quality aftercare.”

EHMC VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS LACK OF INFORMATION ON BASIC MOORING PROCESSES

Comments on the European Harbour Masters’ Committee’s video:  ‘The Missing Link – Improving the mooring process’

By Simon Wilson, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems – Docking and Mooring

EHMC's Missing Link Video

The EHMC video’s extremely useful and full of practical reminders for port and vessel staff alike

You might have seen our recent retweets linking to the new video from the European Harbour Masters’ Committee (EHMC) about the mooring process.  As the MD of the docking and mooring division of Trelleborg, obviously, the issues raised in the video were of great interest to me personally.

The video, quite rightly, highlights the importance of a professional mooring operation, and the surprising fact that there is very little information available on mooring lines, winches and bollards, not to mention a lack of international regulations.

The video’s extremely useful and full of practical reminders for port and vessel staff alike.  From information on determining the minimum breaking load of your line, to reinforcing the importance of the basics: for example, the critical nature of good communications between the vessel and the port.  And a perhaps obvious, but nevertheless valuable tip: never stand in the bight of a rope!

It’s refreshing to see that the EHMC recognises the innovative nature of the industry we work in.  At Trelleborg, we’re always working to improve our product offering (although, we happen to think it’s already pretty good!) and constantly seeking innovation is essential to keeping our industry competitive and evolving.  That’s one of the reasons for this blog – to share ideas and knowledge across the industry.

It’s also quite timely for us that the EHMC has released the video now, as we’re working on a Bollard Guide at the moment, to follow on from last year’s Fender Guide.

As the video says, a professional mooring operation means fewer incidents, saves time and money, and cuts down emissions.  The importance of mooring can’t be overstated, and this video is well worth a watch.

INCREASING BUDGETS PAVE THE WAY FOR A MORE EFFICIENT 2012

By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems

Richard Hepworth Video - Barometer Report 2

The results of our recent Barometer report indicate an encouraging increase in the capital and operational expenditure of ports over the next 12 months. It’s believed that this will mostly go into improving efficiency and increasing the capacity of port terminals – good news for port operators, contractors, consultants and suppliers alike (not least for ourselves).

Where this investment will be allocated and how best efficiencies can be achieved is the immediate issue but looking further down the line, the industry needs to become much more focused on whole life costs rather than short term savings. Because beyond the budget sheet a far more worrying outcome is emerging as a commoditised marketplace makes way for lower cost, lesser quality suppliers.

Indeed, 2012 may be looking brighter as spend is on the ‘up’ but let’s not put a downer on the forecast by forging partnerships with lower-cost suppliers and traders that are actively misusing PIANC accreditation. Port downtime and efficiencies go hand-in-hand with product quality and if the latter suffers so does the industry as a whole.

Hear my views on what sits at the heart of the biggest issues currently facing port decision makers and join our movement for better regulation and enforcement of product standards @MarineInsights on Twitter.

HOW CAN THE INDUSTRY COUNTERACT UNSCHEDULED DOWNTIME?

By Scott Smith, Regional Director (Asia Pacific), Trelleborg Marine Systems

Scott Smith

One of the biggest issues in the market is keeping on top of downtime and maintenance – eight out of 10 ports suffer from unscheduled disruptions with almost half of these being ‘down’ for up to 10 per cent of the time. This was brought to our attention through a recent survey we conducted alongside Lloyds’ List with almost 400 port decision makers.

It revealed that budgets continue to be under pressure and maintenance appears to be suffering because of it. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Things are looking up as new technologies are being harnessed to help overcome issues with port safety and maintenance.

You can download our survey report in full from http://www.takesthepressureoff.com/barometer2 but if you’re short on time my colleagues and I have put together a series of short videos so you can digest the key findings in more bite-size chunks. Visit the Marine Insights YouTube channel or follow this link to watch at your leisure.