I took the opportunity of being around for visiting some friends in good ol’ Rotterdam. Which, again, it’s a port city, packed with research subjects.

I wanted to interview two people – one related to the port authority, the other to a short-sea carrier with multimodal interests – but only the latter was available.

I got very good information about the basics of the business. Plus, I got also some cheese, sun & ice-cream.

tantlinger, the other part of the equation

Keith Tantlinger, 1919-2011

Malcolm McLean is many times quoted as the inventor of the container, without any credit given to Keith Tantlinger. But it was Tantlinger who fine-tuned McLean’s vision and engineered essential concepts that allowed the box to be used in a standardized way, kick-starting productivity boosts and universal usability of the container as the cornerstone of world trade and globalization.

Keith Tantlinger died today and there are many publications recalling his achievements and contributions. Here is Marine Insight’s one, which I’ve chosen for you.

IAME Conference 2011

The website of the IAME Conference 2011 in already on the air.  The conference will be hosted at UNECLAC Headquarters in Santiago de Chile, from October 25, 2011 to October 28, 2011.

The theme is “Shipping markets, port devolution and a changing geography of world maritime transport” and, despite the call for papers is already closed, registrations are still accepted.

I was at last year’s conference, right here in Portugal (in Carcavelos and Estoril), and it was an excellent event. This time I don’t believe I can make it, unfortunately.

maersk manifesto

As it was widely reported on the news, Maersk  released recently its The New Normal manifesto,  where emphasis is placed on reliability, automation and environmental awareness, the supposed keys to the future, according to the Danish company. There’s no doubt it will be on the radar for the coming times, and it will be interesting listening to the opinions of shippers and Maersk competitors.

Here is Eiving Kolding’s statement, Maersk Line CEO.

editorial prospectus

I’m a transportation professional pursuing a PhD in Transportation Systems at IST – Technical University of Lisbon and currently working for APS – Port of Sines Authority, Portugal.

In 2007, I was granted a three-month internship at UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, in Geneva, during which I should write my master’s thesis. In order to help me keeping track of time and sharing my days with friends & strangers, I decided to start a blog. Now that I’m beginning my PhD research, I thought about commiting the same mistake.

At this point, I’m still working on my research proposal and no definitive topic is set. Nevertheless, the thrust area will be ports and maritime transport, and the starting point is “Port Competition: Drivers and Boundaries of Integration for Shipping Lines and Terminal Operators”. Let’s see how this develops.

This blog is intended to serve as a diary of my research and day-to-day life during the forthcoming months. I’ll try to update it regularly and to post information about the progresses, doubts, and questions of my work. I will also post the nitty-gritty of living, working and looking at the Atlantic from the westernmost country of mainland Europe (and hopefully, from some other countries I’ll visit along the way). I don’t intend to lie.

My e-mail address is somewhere at the top-right corner of the blog and all messages are most welcome. Have fun.