Announcements and developments from the logistics, materials handling, maritime and aviation markets

£2.2 million investment
Associated British Ports (ABP) is improving its customer offering thanks to a £2.2 million investment in a new state-of-the-art warehouse at the Port of Ayr.

Work on the new 4000 sqm agribulk terminal began in 2018 to support South West Scotland’s growing agricultural sector. The new facility will be located on the west side of Griffin Dock at the port.

Commenting on the latest investment news, Andrew Harston, ABP Short Sea Ports Director, said: “As the UK’s leading company in our sector, we are committed to an extensive investment plan focusing on the Ports of Ayr and Troon and we would actively encourage Scottish businesses in need of first class port facilities in the West of Scotland to come and talk to us.”

The contract for building the warehouse has been awarded to a Scottish family-owned company, 3b construction, in line with ABP’s ‘buy local’ strategy, which aims to support local businesses.

Stuart Cresswell, ABP’s Port Manager at Ayr and Troon, said: “Following other recent investments in warehousing, cranes and a new pilot boat, the development of another major agribulk terminal in Ayr is a huge vote of confidence in both our Scottish Ports and our local workforce.”

Green Paris
The Seine may soon be the world’s greenest river and Paris boat operators are leading the way. The city has set ambitious goals to improve air quality and reduce the city’s carbon footprint in conjunction with the upcoming Olympic Games in 2024. Dubbed ‘Green Paris’ these goals will, in large part, be reached through transitioning to clean electric mobility.

In his position as President of Communauté Portuaire de Paris (CPP), Olivier Jamey launched a study to explore bringing the Green Paris movement to the River Seine. “We started the study to understand the regulations, equipment, infrastructure, technologies and costs which are necessary to refit the fleet of Paris to electric motors,” he said.

Torqeedo, the world leader in marine electric mobility, is one of the partners in the study and in the future electrification of the River Seine fleet. The study is supported by public subsidies from the national and regional governments.

“Torqeedo is honoured to participate in this visionary plan to create a clean, emission-free and tranquil River Seine,” said Dr. Christoph Ballin, CEO of Torqeedo. “The Paris fleet’s transition to high-tech electric drives will enhance the enjoyment of the fleet’s passengers and help to accomplish the goals of Green Paris.”

Space age transportation
CAL Cargo Airlines was proud of its participation in the ‘SpaceIL’ mission in early January 2019. CAL, the number one Israeli owned and operated air cargo company, transported the ‘SpaceIL’ lunar spacecraft to Florida via Boeing 747-400ERF.

Having over 40 years of experience in the air cargo industry, CAL was tasked with this project due to its unique ability to safely and expertly transport non-standard cargo. Its fleet of Boeing 747-400’s boast open nose door freighters to ease the loading of odd sized cargo. CAL’s experienced professionals were on-site for both the loading and unloading of the spacecraft, ensuring a smooth and safe delivery.

The lunar landing will culminate eight years of intensive collaboration between SpaceIL and IAI, and will make Israel the fourth country after the US, China and Russia to reach the moon. The spacecraft will be launched as a secondary payload on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, and its journey to the moon will last about two months, ending on its expected landing date. source:

Luxury in flight
Aeromexico, Mexico’s global airline, is upgrading comfort for its passenger while improving sustainability by partnering with ELeather – the pioneer of engineered leather. Under the new partnership, seats on Aeromexico’s aircraft will be reupholstered with ELeather’s luxurious, environmentally-friendly material.

Made from recycled leather, ELeather takes unused traditional leather trimmings diverted from landfill and reconstitutes it with a high-performance textile core to create engineered leather. The material not only provides customers with a more comfortable flying experience but is also five times more durable and 50 per cent lighter than normal leather – reducing fuel costs and carbon emissions on take-off.

Antonio Fernandez, SVP Onboard Product at Aeromexico said: “We’re focused on providing the best possible experience for all of our passengers. To achieve this, we pay careful attention to every detail to continually improve the comfort and care of our passengers. We approached ELeather for that very reason – to enhance the customer in-flight experience. Alongside this, our partnership with ELeather is helping us to achieve our sustainability goals.”

World premiere
Germany’s largest catamaran builder, TOPCAT, once again launched a world premiere at the ‘Boot Düsseldorf’ event in January 2019. The 17-foot-long (5.17 metre) K2X model is conceived as a sporty, fast and reliable allrounder. Not only can it be sailed in typical two-crew mode, but – thanks to its hull shape which offers a high degree of buoyancy – is equally capable with a family of four on board or for single-handed sailors.

Depending on the intended use, catamaran fans can choose between three sail configurations. The boatyard will also fit further extras upon request. These include keel shoes for an easy launching on rocky beaches and reinforced hulls for sailing schools. The two-piece mast option allows transportation on a roof rack and practical winter storage. With a width of 2.44 metres, the TOPCAT K2X can be trailered with an assembled platform.

This newcomer completes the now fully revamped model range in time for the 40th anniversary of the company.


Working together
SeaPlanner has been selected to support the operational phase of the Merkur Offshore Wind Farm, as part of the SeaRoc’s strategic partnership with the Dutch company Marine Coordination Services BV.

Marine Coordination Services BV will be in charge of conducting all operational marine co-ordination activities during the commissioning of the 396MW project and will utilise the capabilities of the SeaPlanner system to manage safety and efficiency of the work.

Commented Graham Howe, SeaRoc Group Sales Manager: “This contract goes to show the added value that our collaboration with companies such as MCS can bring to clients. With their experience and our software, we can provide the resources needed to manage a cost-efficient and safe project for the wind farm’s operation for years to come.”

The wind farm is being developed by Merkur Offshore GmbH, a joint venture of Partners Group, InfraRed Capital Partners, DEME Concessions and Coriolis.

Revolutionary power
British luxury yacht manufacturer Sunseeker International and Rolls-Royce have agreed to launch the first yacht fitted with an MTU series production hybrid propulsion system in 2020. The new hybrid propulsion system was presented at Boot Düsseldorf in January 2019.

Sean Robertson, Sales Director at Sunseeker International commented: “Sunseeker has always led the industry by innovating and being first to market so it is entirely appropriate that we are the first luxury performance yacht manufacturer to partner with MTU Hybrid Power which will revolutionise how all customers power their boats over the coming years.”

The new yacht will have an integrated MTU hybrid propulsion system, consisting of two 12-cylinder MTU Series 2000 diesel engines (each delivering around 1432 kW/1947 hp), on-board generators, electric propulsion modules, transmission system, batteries, control and monitoring systems and can be expanded on a modular basis.

The yacht will be provided with six different operating modes that are easy to operate, including the automated ‘smart hybrid’ and ‘charge hybrid’ modes, which enable all power sources to be used as required.