Mol Launches Ammonia-Powered Carrier Project
MITSUI O.S.K. Lines has announced the launch of a joint project with Tsuneishi Shipbuilding and Mitsui E&S Shipbuilding to build an ammonia-powered liquefied gas carrier.
The vessel has initially been envisioned as a mid-size ammonia/LPG carrier equipped with a main engine that will run primarily on ammonia. MOL said the ship would be designed to achieve net zero carbon emissions while underway by using a portion of its ammonia cargo as fuel.
“This ship type is in the mainstream of ammonia carriers used for international maritime ammonia transportation,” MOL said in a statement. “Therefore, the vessel is able to call at major ammonia and LPG shipping and receiving ports around the world, meaning it can be used on a broad range of routes.”
The three companies are reportedly moving toward the joint development and design of the ship and plan to deliver and introduce the vessel around 2026.
What’s Driving the Continued Trucking Rate Increases?
TransEco recently released its Quarterly Indices review, painting a harsh picture on the cost drivers impacting road transport companies in Australia.
Over the year fuel prices have contributed significant cost increases in both linehaul and shorthaul operations as diesel prices rose by 38% over the year and 13% over the quarter on a post GST and diesel credit basis.
These increases have driven the three-year compounding average increases to nearly 7% per annum. On top of this, the Fair Work Commission’s national wage increase of 2.5% for low paid workers came into effect for Truck Drivers on 1 July 2021 and was applied in the September quarter, with the next increase will be announced at EOFY.
Driver Labour costs over the year have risen by 3.9% and 3.6 % for linehaul and shorthaul, driven in part by a host of enterprise agreements becoming active in the September and December quarters. Administrative costs over the year were around the 4.6% level.
This rise included two quarters of COVID-19 testing costs for the December and March quarters as many companies began testing with RAT kits as opposed, in some cases, to having PCR tests being done onsite.
Maintenance costs have also risen by 7.0% over the year for linehaul and by 7.4% for shorthaul operators.
These increases have continued to be impacted by shipping capacity issues leading to major spares taking far longer to get into Australia.
Manufacturing for major spare has also been hit by the continued pandemic workforce issues which has disrupted normal output levels. Many carriers have been forced to pass on the increased costs with the vast majority announcing revised tariffs from the beginning of the new financial year.
Melbourne Port Rail Transformation Project
Port of Melbourne’s Port Rail Transformation Project is progressing with the official naming of a new road supporting the movement of containers.
The broader rail project was set up to meet the demands of Port of Melbourne’s growth, reduce truck movements in Melbourne’s inner western suburbs and increase rail terminal capacity. The naming of the new road is the most recent milestone in the project. The name “Intermodal Way” reflects the integration of maritime, rail and road freight modes which converge at the port.
Following its planned completion in November this year, the new road is expected to facilitate uninterrupted connection for the movement of containers between Dock Link Road and the wider port area.
The Port Rail Transformation Project also involves the development and construction of a new rail terminal interfacing with the Swanson Dock East International Container Terminal.
The rail terminal will include two new sidings with the capacity to handle trains of up to 600 metres long. “We have invested over $125 million in the project, and it shows our commitment in meeting the growing demand for better rail freight solutions,” Port of Melbourne CEO Saul Cannon said.
“The project will see more containers moved by rail more efficiently, by-passing roads in inner Melbourne,” he said.
The new road is expected to facilitate the closure of a section of Coode Road between Dock Link Road and Phillips Road. Port of Melbourne advised that between July and November this year, there will be a temporary diversion connecting Dock Link Road and Coode Road to enable works to be carried out safely.