June 15th, 2021

Why port and terminal owners must invest in energy-saving lighting solutions now

Have you ever tried to load a ship in the dark?

That is one of the first questions we pose to port and terminal owners and operators asking how important investing in lighting is. A fundamental yet often overlooked asset, lighting underpins the safety, security and continuation of operations. Taking this into consideration, and despite it being a significant annual expense, economically and environmentally adverse lighting solutions, such as high-pressure sodium, and metal halide, remain the predominant solutions in ports and terminals across the world.

The reason for this often being a lack of awareness by owners and operators of the significant and easily accessible efficiency gains that upgrading lighting solutions can incur.

However, the argument for investing in energy-saving lighting solutions is two-fold. Firstly, with lighting accounting for nearly 5% of global CO2 emissions, with a proportion of these existing within logistics operations, lighting must be factored into port and terminal decarbonisation strategies. While there is currently no set regulation for the energy efficiency of lighting, European environmental initiatives such as EcoPort, which comprises of 102 different members from 25 nations, highlight energy efficiency in the top three environmental concerns for ports in its 2019 and 2020 report.

Upgrading outdated lighting solutions to LED lighting can result in over a 70% reduction in energy consumption. Owners and operators can therefore massively increase the energy efficiency of their maritime hubs, and as a result generate fewer CO2 emissions, by re-evaluating one of their most important assets. Likewise, LED light bulbs last up to 20 times longer than standard forms of lighting, in turn, reducing waste.

A prime example of a port successfully including lighting in its decarbonisation strategy is the Port of Tyne. With an investment in LED lighting, alongside a suite of other proven energy-saving solutions targeted in it its clean energy plan. The investment in a range of energy saving technologies saw the port win two clean energy awards at the Maritime UK 2020 Awards. The port also cut its carbon emissions by 700 tonnes in 12 months, with LED lighting highlighted as fundamental in achieving this.

Secondly, significantly increasing energy efficiency significantly reduces cost. While the initial cost of traditional lighting solutions can be higher, and an initial deterrent for some owners and operators looking to invest, LED lighting is undoubtedly the most cost-effective solution. Its durability, and the energy efficiency savings it realises, meaning that the technology pays for itself over a very short period of time. .

Not only this, but as an enabler technology, LED lighting can pave the way for performance gains in other areas of port operations, such as safety, security, and operational performance. For example, LED lighting delivers greater visibility when compared to other lighting solutions, increasing light levels by up to and above 50%. This in turn can increase the performance of CCTV systems and safety of vessel loading equipment – capitalising on existing assets.

The answer as to why port and terminal owners must invest in energy-saving lighting solutions boils down to reducing OPEX, supercharging operations, and increasing energy efficiency. As the maritime industry, and wider society, seeks to reduce GHG emissions in line with the energy transition, every element within the supply chain must be scrutinized. And lighting is an incredibly fundamental element.

Mark Nailer, Maritime Manager EMEA - Midstream Lighting
Mark Nailer, EMEA Maritime Manager at Midstream Lighting

An experienced Sales and Marketing professional, Mark has an extensive maritime background, both in the UK and internationally, covering over 11 years.

Mark’s a strong networker, with a track record of building lasting relationships. His role here at Midstream is, with our in-house lighting design and engineering teams, to help prospects and customers achieve and maintain the perfect lighting solutions for their operations.

With a wide-ranging background in Network Partner Management, Mark is also responsible for helping all Midstream Partners across EMEA achieve their business goals.

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April 27th, 2021

The importance of strong maritime partnerships

We’ve asked Mark Nailer, our Maritime Manager for EMEA, to tell us all about what’s involved in being a Midstream partner, why building partnerships in the maritime world matters, how we support each other, and what we look for in a partner.

What being a maritime partner selling Midstream means

Firstly, a partner for us is not a company that just sells lots of our products in a market. To be a Midstream partner involves actually being ‘us’ in that market. That’s key. They need to share the same values as us, have the same philosophy when it comes to selling solutions and not simply products, and place quality plus customer satisfaction at the centre of all they do. Sometimes that will mean missing out on the ‘fast sell’ to ‘win bigger’ in the long term. That’s what we’re always prepared to do. We expect our partners to share that approach too.

As with any true, successful relationship trust has to be front and foremost also – and run both ways. Without that trust, the chances of your partnership enduring are probably pretty slim. It almost certainly won’t be as productive as it could be.

The importance of these partnerships

Within the Midstream Maritime team, Rory McBride, our US Maritime Manager based in the US, and I (in the UK) are responsible for all our maritime customers around the world. However, the maritime industry is very much driven by relationships. These relationships on the whole are made easier to form – even despite the introduction of new ‘tech’ such as Zoom – by being in the same location. So, to effectively cover the globe we need partners who can, for example, be onsite within a few hours and not days.

Here’s an example of this power of ‘being there’ I like to use when talking to prospective partners. We’d submitted a tender to an African port but hadn’t had any feedback from it. Around the same time, we’d recently joined forces with a new partner in the same country and we mentioned this to them. As luck would have it, our principal contact there happened to live only 20 minutes from the port. He got in touch with the person leading the tender. A few conversations later, we’d discovered why we’d not heard anything back – which mainly due to not having a local presence. Not only that, we were allowed to address their concerns and submit a new tender.

This shows how much port and terminal companies value local support and representation. They know and trust that if there’s a Midstream partner in that country they’ll get the same level of service, care, and quality that they’d get from us. They’ll get it where it can matter the most too – at the port.

A lot of the big deals we’re making now have been unlocked by having a quality presence in a market that makes customers trust us more

That’s the power of the Partnership Programme. It’s about finding allies who already have, or can easily forge, those relationships. They can then add further value for their customers by introducing them to us and all we have to offer.

The role training and education has to play with partners

Training and education are absolutely essential to our Partner Programme, and we take it very seriously. So seriously in fact we make it a real commitment for partners to take on.

We don’t simply send them a half-hour ‘slide show’ and some brochures. Our initial training programme alone takes several days to complete.

We’re probably market-leaders in terms of the amount of time and resources we invest in upskilling and educating our partners. As I said, we don’t want them to go off and just blindly make easy sales. We want them to truly understand the lighting market. That’s why our training programme is so comprehensive and is followed up by post-training sessions and 1-to-1 support.

Over the course of our partner training we make sure they really understand:

  • Our entire range of products – their features and benefits.
  • The areas and environment these products work in – and why.
  • Who they’re selling to and what’s important to them – the key challenges they have and how our solutions solve them.
  • Why Midstream is about selling solutions and not just products – the Midstream Difference.

We’ve also produced, and continue to add to and update, a whole raft of educational and support materials for our partners. I’m not just talking about a quick PowerPoint deck. You have to give partners all the tools you can to go out and confidently create solutions that add real value. So, we provide our partners with:

  • Sales collateral – to help them sell.
  • Creative assets such as imagery and videos – to help them promote Midstream products.
  • Webinars – to share knowledge in their market.
  • Blogs – to build their profile.
  • Case Studies – to show the power of Midstream solutions.
  • Social collaboration opportunities – to back them up.
  • Event/tradeshow support and guidance – great places to begin new relationships.
  • Leads – if we get leads in their area, we work with them to turn those leads into business.

By giving this level of training and support we’re enabling partners to go out and have intelligent conversations with prospects. Because that’s what you need when you’re a solutions-based sales organization. They allow you to get a real understanding of the issues the client is experiencing and develop a perfect solution to meet them. Doing that not only turns these prospects into customers – it’ll turn them into advocates and ambassadors for the Midstream brand.

Why we’re not just a manufacturer. We do more. We support, we guide, we work together

We do manufacture our products. What we provide customers with though are solutions to their needs. The products we make are only one element in delivering those solutions. This is something we make very clear to our partners from the beginning. An example we use to demonstrate this is the care and attention we take when it comes to lighting simulations for a tender.

Some of our competitors will do a lighting simulation based on an empty container yard – which makes their tender look great and can win them the business. But In real life, where yards are never empty and have containers that block light stacked eight high, they’ll fail to deliver what they’ve promised. We do our lighting simulations and modelling based on a full yard with its containers in place and create a solution that truly delivers what’s needed. We call that the Midstream Difference. This helps partners understand the value proposition of Midstream – it’s not just the quality on the manufacturing side but also the design and thoroughness of our solutions that count.

We also encourage partners and give them the opportunity to share their real-life stories – why they won or lost against a competitor, etc. Our partners love to exchange these experiences as they can give insights on what they can and should be doing to grow their business. We also make sure to incorporate these true-life experiences in our training modules.

In addition to all the training and marketing materials, we provide partners with we actively support them when it comes to gaining new business. I’ve mentioned sharing leads, we’re happy to do more than that. For example, we’ll work with them on, and be at, pitch presentations too – either ‘virtually’ or in-person when international travel restrictions allow – if needed.

What we look for in a partner

A partner is one of your team. So, exactly like employing any member of it one of the key considerations you need to take into account is ‘fit’. As I’ve said, you must share the same values and approach to business and customers. There needs to be mutual respect and trust also.

Having a maritime background, client base, and market presence are obviously important. What’s also important is if they can offer us support and opportunities in more than just one port at a time and can help us service major accounts across their whole region.

Geographical location is understandably important too. For example, we already have a great partner that covers Saudi Arabia. To try to squeeze more business from that area by adding new partners there would be counterproductive and erode the trust we have with our current partner. To gain more business in Saudi Arabia our focus is, as it should be, on supporting our trusted partner there.

We’ve found that the size of a company isn’t necessarily a great indicator as to whether they’ll make a great partner. Big isn’t always the best. Mid to small-sized companies can often make better partners. Because if your business is important to them, they’ll focus more on it.

What really matters is finding credible partners to work with. Partners you can invest time and money in to give them the tools to truly represent you and your brand in their market. Partners who, ideally, have an existing client portfolio of companies you’d like to work with.

Want to know more?

If you’re interested in becoming a Midstream partner, we’d love to hear from you. Just click on the button below and leave us your details, and we’ll quickly get back to you for an initial chat.

Mark Nailer, Maritime Manager EMEA - Midstream Lighting

Mark Nailer, EMEA Maritime Manager at Midstream Lighting

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April 9th 2021

Guest blog: The transformative effect of making operational tweaks to unlock efficiencies, with Chris Clark

Improving operational performance to boost efficiency, safety and security is a continuous process for most ship and port operators. Chris Clark Senior VP at CakeBoxx Technologies, reflects on how making incremental changes to overlooked areas can have a big impact on efficiency, sustainability, and profitability.

The shipping industry is fiercely competitive. Shippers’ demands on ship operators are increasing as they look for partners who can boost the efficiency of their supply chains, whilst demonstrating sustainability credentials throughout each stage of their operations. In turn, ports are facing pressure to support these requirements as well as meet wider regulatory requirements. This drive has sparked a new era of innovation and some transformational changes are on the distant horizon. The shipping industry is notoriously slow to adapt to change and whilst we await the mainstream use of autonomous ships and AI, the impact from making operational ‘tweaks’ at a more practical level should not be underestimated.

Critical infrastructural elements, such as shipping containers and lighting, are a prime example. Invented in the 1950s, the basic design of a shipping container has seen little change since. This is despite the fact that containers play a fundamental and major role in enabling shipping’s global supply chains. You may be asking, what is the issue if it works?

The answer is cost

A traditional container takes around forty minutes to one hour to load, depending on cargo. When you consider that some of the world’s largest container ships carry thousands of containers, this time equates to huge expense. Similarly, the original design of a container, with doors that are easily opened, also makes the cargo vulnerable to theft. With over €85 million of cargo thefts reported in 46 countries in the first half of 2020, making access to cargo harder could enable considerable savings. Likewise, there is an associated high accident rate with loading cargo into containers, the financial repercussions and reputable damage of which, can be fatal.

CakeBoxx Technologies

At CakeBoxx Technologies, we recognised that there was room for improvement, and invaluable efficiency, safety and security gains to be made by re-assessing the existing design principles of a container.

Our redesigned containers have no doors, and instead consist of a ‘deck and lid’ design, often tailored to meet unique ship owner requirements. This design enables greater cargo security, structural integrity, and supply chain efficiency. For example, our containers significantly reduce the time to load a container to around ten minutes. In comparison to traditional containers, this means containers can be loaded at a rate of five an hour as opposed to one. This huge time saving increases supply chain velocity and reduces associated labour costs.

Likewise, our containers eliminate the necessity for doors, meaning they are both harder to break into
and easier to load – minimising the risk of injury from unsafe loading.

The complete access to cargo offered with the CakeBoxx Technologies design also enables loads to be safely and effectively secured for transit from all angles. With recent container losses at sea reported globally, the increased security is vital from a reputational, cost and safety standpoint.

However, despite the proven benefits and concrete long-term payback, ports and shipping lines are slow to change their habits and adopt available technologies. In fact, the catalyst for a change in mindset is frequently a major accident or incident.

Enlightening port operations

From conversations with Midstream Lighting, lighting in ports and terminals is also a case in point – the similarities with shipping containers another stark example of where accessible efficiencies are being missed. For example, despite good visibility being vital to enable safe, secure and efficient operations, dated metal halide, or HPS lighting, are still the prominent lighting solution.

According to Midstream, LED lighting solutions can improve light quality by over 50% and increase energy efficiency by up to 70%, whilst improving operational safety and efficiency. These technologies go hand in hand in collectively improving operations and contributing to the terminal of the future, today.

We can therefore see, the subtle and incremental changes to fundamental elements within the supply chain, and the knock-on effect these can have on the entire infrastructure, that are the most accessible, and effective, yet remain underutilised.

No time like the present

Developing a progressive shipping industry can be supported by revising existing fundamentals and taking a holistic view of long-term payback. More enlightened companies are recognising that the lowest priced asset isn’t necessarily the cheapest. However, there is still work to do in raising awareness of commonly overlooked operational areas that can be updated to boost performance. These don’t have to create major operational disruptions or completely change the way a company works. There are simple, practical and cost-effective changes that can enhance efficiency and customer relationships. So, unlike many aspects of the shipping industry, action can be taken now.

Chris Clark Senior VP at CakeBoxx Technologies

Chris Clark, Senior Vice President, CakeBoxx Technologies

March 11th 2021

Why using technologies to reduce shipping’s environmental impact should be normal, not novel.

Guest blog with James Sutcliffe, Midstream Advisor.

With the shipping industry contributing to around 3.5% of global pollution and environmental regulation set to tighten, all aspects of the industry’s eco-system must be assessed for sustainability improvements. James Sutcliffe, multi-maritime business owner and Midstream Lighting senior advisor, discusses the importance of ship and port owners taking a proactive, holistic approach to reducing their carbon footprint and the industry’s overall environmental impact.

The current level of innovation and technology available to the shipping industry is significant. Despite the wide range of technologies proven to increase operational efficiencies, reduce carbon output and subsequently minimise costs, the rate of uptake and implementation of available technologies by port and ship owners is comparatively slow. From my position in the maritime industry, leading the strategy behind pioneering technologies aimed at ‘cleaning the industry up’, I can empathise with the challenges associated with the onslaught of options available. The considerations of suitability, reliability, investment and returns, as well as mitigating potential downtime, can be overwhelming. However, by breaking this down into small areas of operational improvement, the cumulative effect can be game-changing – both for meeting environmental targets and improving profitability.

The concept of continuous improvement has been a common thread throughout my career in the maritime industry. Back in 1862, my family moved to Grimsby, England, to start a shipping agency and stevedoring business. Five generations later, in 1990, I moved to acquiring and redeveloping ports and terminals, deploying modern management techniques and transforming rundown unsafe places into cleaner, smarter, and more efficient hubs. The catalyst for this was port privatisation in the UK, and with the increasing reach of the EU, the need for modern terminals and port operations in emerging markets – like our DCT Gdansk project in Poland.

We evaluate every element of a port’s infrastructure to ensure that optimum capacity and operational efficiencies are achieved. With more sustainable solutions required to fulfil the International Maritime Organisations (IMO) impending environmental regulations, re-evaluating the ‘green marine’ aspects of ports, as well as most other industry sectors, is slowly accelerating. This means there is a greater onus on service and technology providers to guide companies through the process.

Alongside Port Evo, I therefore established Crystal Seas, clean oceans means cleaner ships and HydroPort. Crystal Seas aims at tackling the issue of pollution at sea by providing ship owners with marine friendly and non-polluting technologies to clean ship systems, reducing the need for shipyard maintenance and vessel downtime.

HydroPort is aimed at reducing the carbon emissions at ports by implementing a renewable energy power source. Our solution operates by capturing the incoming and outgoing tides running through a turbine(s) in a port or terminal’s foundations to power the entire infrastructure. The solution works to facilitate a completely ‘green’ port or terminal with zero emissions and power to spare for ship plug ins and local industry development.

While the Crystal Seas and HydroPort projects tackle different environmental issues, their overall aim is the same – reducing the environmental impact of the shipping industry through relatively new technologies. Although the technologies are set to be more cost-effective in the longer term, and protect ship and port owners from further responses to future regulations, they are still viewed as novel and ‘forward-thinking’ – I think this must change.

A forward-looking, pragmatic and holistic approach is vital to not only ensure every element in shipping’s supply chain is individually considered, but to support investment in complimentary new technologies.

Lighting in ports and terminals is a case in point. A fundamental asset, which enables safe, secure and efficient operations is often taken for granted. This is despite the fact that traditional lighting systems account for huge annual expense and once erected are often ignored.

As a senior advisor at Midstream Lighting, I understand the vital role of modern lighting in ports. In fact, at Port Evo, Midstream Lighting’s LED technology is an integral element for our projects and clients who often have dated metal halide, or HPS lighting installed. LED lighting is proven to improve light quality by over 50%, increase energy efficiency by up to 70%, and, with a longer operating life, it is the sustainable solution.

I believe that making changes in, for example, port lighting, vessel systems cleaning solutions and marine based renewable energy power sources should all be part of the constant reassessment of ports, terminals and shipping today. We invest vast sums in handling equipment but often forget the bigger picture, i.e. end to end green technologies from producer to buyer.

This is where technologies, such as LED lighting, are vital to start initiating small steps and assessing other technologies along the way for future investment. There is an incredible opportunity to enhance the environmental performance of the ports and shipping industry by looking at every link in the chain. By taking a systematic approach to change and viewing technology as an asset rather than a complication, we will start making real progress to reduce the environmental impact on our oceans and improve operational performance.

James Sutcliffe, Midstream Lighting senior advisor and Senior Director, Port Evo, CEO, Crystal Seas and Chairman, HydroPort

March 1st, 2021

Why we must invest in terminal automation today

Guest blog with Christopher Saavedra, Terminal design service manager at Kalmar.

If ports and terminals are to meet the growing list of requirements needed for greener operations, the deployment of increasingly eco-efficient solutions and implementation of different levels of automation are necessary. Christopher Saavedra, Terminal Design Service Manager at Kalmar, shares his market insights, and why he thinks sustainable designs and automation will unlock the maritime hubs of the future.

In previous years, automation’s increase in both prevalence and perceived value has been hard to miss. Before I joined Kalmar in early 2019, I held many different positions leading port automation projects. While the industry focuses on the big automation projects, in Rotterdam, Germany or Australia, there are many other terminals that have seen big gains from process and equipment automation. For example, terminals that use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology to help automate delivery and drop off containers, have reported an increase of gate transactions, reduction in errors and truck turnaround times. Despite these clear improvements, the reality is that many of the comparable industries, such as warehousing, are at a much more advanced state of adoption of automation.

Although I have already seen a huge change in the prioritisation and industry advancement of automation, the maritime industry remains at risk of falling behind and failing to reap associated benefits, such as improved safety, better customer service and a reduction of errors.

Automation and COVID-19

Over the last decade, we have seen the integration of automation in ports and terminals grow slowly in comparison to other sectors. This is largely due to the shipping industry’s conservative nature, siloed operations, and the avoidance of up-front capital expenditures. Likewise, the amount of global greenfield projects has decreased, and automation deployment and investment is still in some cases viewed as complicated, risky and expensive.

From my position at Kalmar, I can see that while process and equipment automation is becoming more widely used, automation’s growth is being constrained by a disconnect between perception and reality.

Take process automation as an example. Those who have not invested in it frequently cite a number of reasons: “There’s shortage of in-house capability,” “Our data isn’t good enough,” or “The technology has difficulty handling exceptions.”

None of these challenges are insurmountable. In my experience, most of them require very little to fix. When COVID-secure working practises were introduced in early 2020 and remote operations became a necessity, it quickly became clear from the productivity statistics who had invested in process automation.

When the next supply chain shock comes – and there will be others – the agile decision-making and adaptability that automation enables will lead to far greater commercial resiliency. The next unforeseen circumstance is unlikely to be a global pandemic, but it doesn’t have to be to cause significant disruption. A failure to invest in preparedness for future disruptions will be measured in workplace accidents, inefficiencies, and lower credit ratings.

Total integration

At Kalmar, we understand that sustainability and cost-effectiveness are critical for ensuring uptake, evolving ports and terminals globally. To maximise the return on investment, we take a holistic approach to our design projects, which consist of three phases.

During the first phase we assess different design layout options and propose tailored solutions based upon customer requirements. In the second phase, we distinguish the business case for these solutions; taking into account the cost, safety, operational and environmental benefits. Moreover, in the final phase, which is a proof of concept via simulation, we create a 3D concept model and compare our design against the customer’s KPIs.

We consider a wide range of eco-efficient and automated solutions in our designs. Besides the handling equipment offering, other energy efficient technologies, such as Midstream Lighting’s LED lighting solutions, often play a key role. For example, the right lighting is critical to the smooth and safe running of a port. However, most ports are still using high-pressure sodium, metal halide, or other antiquated technologies that underperform their specifications within months of installation.

Midstream’s LED lighting not only has a typical payback period of less than two years, but it also increases energy efficiency, enables a safer working environment, and has a multiplier effect on the value of a port’s other infrastructure investments. The design of the lighting needs to be also considered in combination of the equipment type and automation mode selection and must be built into the business case.

The terminal of today

Looking to the future, I expect to see owners and operators increasingly investing in eco-efficient solutions and different levels of automation, using technologies such as LED lighting to illuminate the path to greener operations. Especially with end consumers set to increasingly favour a low CO2 footprint in the overseas shipping of their products.
The ideal ‘terminal of today’ is therefore one, which is eco-efficient, flexible, optimised in all areas and led by data driven decisions. Setting the standard for the maritime hubs of the future requires us to nail process automation now, and increase efficiencies throughout the entire supply chain.

Christopher Saavedra guest blog Midstream Lighting

Christopher Saavedra, Terminal Design Service Manager, Kalmar

Feb 3rd, 2021

Midstream Spotlight: Light up the night, turn down the heat

High-powered LEDs and high heat environments – a white paper from Midstream Lighting

When it comes to LED lighting, high heat can present problem after problem. Do you know what these can be? What effect can they have on your lighting systems? And more importantly, what can you do to prevent them?

High Heat White Paper from Midstream Lighting

In high heat environments, where the daytime temperature is around 45ᵒC and it’s above 35ᵒC at night, your LED lighting systems could suffer from such issues as:

  • Lumen depreciation–if you’re in a sector that’s strictly regulated, like the Aviation industry, you ignore this at your peril because it could make your system non-compliant.
  • Colour shift – a big problem when you need colour recognition to be consistent across a whole working area.
  • Total light engine failure – the worst scenario where the only solution is to replace the whole fixture.
  • Power supply ageing – which can lead to a lot of maintenance and the costs that go with it.

To find out more about high—power LED lighting and high heat environments and to help you understand the issues you could face and how to avoid them you can download Midstream’s white paper for FREE here

December 18th, 2020

Why is shipping not talking about the terminal of today?

The technological evolution of the shipping industry is happening now. Global environmental targets are helping to drive up the value and prevalence of existing and emerging technologies, as well as unlocking operational efficiencies. Saving energy, increasing productivity and cutting costs, are being prioritised like never before.

One area where we see huge opportunity to harness automation is in ports and terminals, with the cost savings, increased productivity, safety benefits and sustainability gains of automation yet to be fully exploited by owners and operators. In fact, we are barely scratching the surface of what is possible.

In our recent webinar Terminal Automation: Past, present, and future innovation, in which we were joined by Timo Alho, VP, Terminal Design Services, Kalmar and Luis Canto, CTO, MMC Ports, it was agreed that it was not the lack of available technologies that was limiting uptake but industry reserve. Our panelists noted that significant operational automation is limited to only 10-15% of the 1,500+ container terminals around the world. This low uptake is a surprise and a missed opportunity. Yes, it requires investment, but there is a cost in failing to make the investments that are proven to deliver greater efficiencies and a significant reduction in costs in years to come.

This leads us to conclude that there needs to be a pivot in current conversation about the investment needs of the ports sector. The future-gazing concept of the ‘terminal of the future’ now seems overused and somewhat damaging to progress. With the decisions made by today’s port and terminal owners and operators key in building the maritime hubs of the future, we must instead be talking about the terminal of today. What investment decisions should owners and operators be taking now in order to unlock returns?

Why is shipping not talking about the terminal of today

LED lighting is one example of the proven technologies that have a vast multiplier effect on the value of other investments in infrastructure and technological improvements that are within reach for all ports and terminals. These will be key to enabling the ‘terminal of the future’.

Investment in improvements such as new cranes or automation will only be enabled to fulfill their true potential – and their full ROI – if ports also invest in upgrading their lighting infrastructure. This is an investment that pays dividends in improved productivity, safety and security, as well as significantly reduced energy consumption and lower energy bills – a focus that will gain further prominence over the next decade.

The growth curve for the adoption of technologies, such as LED lighting is steady rather than spectacular, with many holding off from investing in terminal automation and new technologies; perhaps because of the misconception that these are tomorrow’s solutions, rather than todays. Those that fall into this pattern of thinking are at risk of losing out on the benefits. Investment comes with a price tag, but so does inaction.

Whilst we understand that when prioritising investment opportunities in your terminal, it is easy to be attracted by a future-gazing approach, inadequate lighting is a significant limiting factor on performance today and one that must be acknowledged if we are to increase terminal automation beyond 15% worldwide.

As the global economy prepares for an era of post-COVID economic recovery, ports and terminal owners and operators should begin by focusing on the fundamentals; one of those fundamentals being long-lasting and highly efficient LED lighting. From Los Angeles to Aarhus, and from Venice to Belawan, investing in high-grade LED lighting can illuminate the pathway for many other aspects of port improvement and establish a future that enables fully integrated automation. The time to act is now.

Mark Nailer, Maritime Manager EMEA - Midstream Lighting

Mark Nailer, Maritime Manager EMEA, Midstream Lighting

Mark has an extensive maritime background, both in the UK and internationally, covering over 11 years. His role here at Midstream is, with our in-house lighting design and engineering teams, to help prospects and customers achieve and maintain the perfect lighting solutions for their operations.

His last position, before joining us, was at Hyster-Yale Group – a major worldwide container handler, lift truck, and general materials handling solutions manufacturer. Whilst he was there, he was appointed as their Industry Manager for Ports and Terminals. Before that, Mark worked at Kelvin Hughes, a maritime radar engineering company that provides solutions for private, commercial, and military markets. So, you can rest assured he knows what he’s talking about.

With a wide-ranging background in Network Partner Management, Mark is also responsible for helping all Midstream Partners across EMEA achieve their business goals.

Recent Maritime Blogs

October 8th, 2020

Port Efficiencies Webinar

We were pleased to join the APP for their first Virtual Workshop on the 8th of October 2020. With a theme of Port Efficiencies, our US Maritime Sales Manager, Rory McBride led attendees through the benefits derived from proper terminal lighting, notably, how ports are able to realize a significant return on investment as well as provide a more environmentally sustainable alternative to old lighting systems.

Recent Maritime Blogs

Sep 23rd, 2020

Introducing Mark Nailer – our new maritime man

In this latest ‘Meet the team’ we’d like to introduce you to Mark Nailer. The most recent member to join the Midstream crew, Mark will be responsible for all things maritime across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Could you tell us a little about your maritime background and experience in the industry?

My maritime experience goes back to when I first left university. I joined Kelvin Hughes, a maritime engineering company that manufactured radar equipment for private, commercial, and military vessels.

After a couple of years there I decided to go back to university and study for an MSc in Marketing.

Fast forward several years, and a few marketing and sales jobs in places like AXA PPP Healthcare, and I joined the Hyster Yale Group. At Hyster, I’ve spent the last five years working on reach stackers, empty container handlers, and forklift trucks used in port and terminals. During this time I became the Industry Manager for Ports and Terminals.

Mark Nailer, Maritime Manager EMEA - Midstream Lighting
What made you want to join us?

Midstream is a company that’s already achieved so much, in just ten years. It’s a dynamic and innovative team that’s totally focused on customers and solving their needs. I want to be part of the next chapter in the Midstream story and help shape the future of the business. The energy in the office is amazing too. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?

What will your new role at Midstream be? And what regions will you be looking after?

I’m going to be responsible for growing the business within ports and terminals in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It is a large area, but thanks to the partner network we’re developing, I’m confident we’ll be able to win and service customers from all parts of the region.

You’re used to working closely with partners, dealers, distributors. How do you plan to use this experience to help Midstream grow?

I’ve been working with dealers for over seven years now and I’ve picked up many tips along the way! One of the most important being that you need to build relationships through respect, honesty, trust, and shared success.

Partners need to be treated as true partners and not merchants. That’s key to creating teams who can work together and put the needs of customers first above anything else.

And you need to treat customers the way you’d like to be treated if you were them.

You’ve always been focused on driving operational efficiencies to the ports and terminals you worked with. Now with a focus on LED lighting how will this help efficiencies?

Reliability is everything for ports and terminals. Our customers need to have solutions they can trust. Having an operation that’s capable of working 24/7 is critical to their success.

Efficiency isn’t just measured by the boxes moved though. It’s also about the number of lights used to achieve the required levels and the amount of energy spent to do it. In both cases LED lighting is light years ahead of metal halide and high-pressure sodium systems. LED lighting requires much less maintenance too – another big plus point in its favour.

You’ve worked all over the world. What’s been the most memorable project you have worked on?

That’s a great question and for me it’s an easy one to answer, because I came up with it and championed it from the beginning to end.
In 2018 Hyster made history by being the first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) to sail up and down the Rhine on a barge laden with over £1m of materials handling equipment to showcase to ports along the river.

Over four weeks we sailed the barge from the Netherlands, through Germany, France, and down to Switzerland. And we stopped off in each country to do four massive live events, as well as a number of smaller, more personalised, stops along the way. If you can imagine the complexity of such a project and then double it, still you wouldn’t be there.

The whole event was a massive success. We smashed our return on investment targets. We won a number of very high-value new customers. We all came away with some wonderful memories. And I got to experience living on a barge for weeks. All in all – amazing.

How does Midstream differentiate itself from the competition?

Midstream is unique in the market. From design to delivery and installation, the whole process is handled in-house. This means our customers get the benefit of the team’s experience, innovation, and focus from start to finish. We’re not a ‘generalist’ company either. We work in our four sectors only – Maritime, Aviation, Sports, and Horticulture – so our research and development is centred on just these customers. And our solutions stand out head and shoulders above the competition because of that.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I love the idea of having spare time! My wife and I are very lucky to have two boys, aged seven and four. So, any time not working is spent with the boys bike riding, playing rugby, and football. I do love to read though, and my guilty pleasure is 20-30 minutes with a good book before bed.

And finally, for a little fun, tell us something about yourself we don’t already know?

I’ll tell you a couple.

Firstly, I’ve got a greenhouse where I grow all sorts of weird and wonderful chillies, ranging from the exotic to the just downright dangerous.

Secondly, when the stars align and I do get a few hours for myself, I love to go out to my local lake and do a little fly fishing. I’m still only learning, so whether I bring home that evening’s supper is still a bit hit and miss. But I love the peace and quiet that being on the water’s edge gives. I’d recommend it to anyone.

April 9th, 2020

Meet Rory McBride, Our Maritime Sales Manager Americas

To be the best, you have to employ the very best. That’s something we’ve held as true from our very first day. So, in this edition of ‘Meet the team’, we’d like to introduce you to another of our industry experts. A man whose knowledge of the ports and maritime business could be said to be deeper than the oceans: Rory McBride, Maritime Sales Manager Americas.

Tell us a little bit about your background Rory.

Before starting my career, I graduated with degrees in International Affairs and Economics with a minor in Chinese. This led to me being awarded a post-graduate scholarship to intensively study Mandarin at East China Normal University in Shanghai, China.
Shortly after finishing my scholarship, I joined ZPMC – a major company in the crane and heavy equipment industry. At ZPMC I was responsible for sales and project management in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East.

After five successful years with ZPMC, I was recruited by the Liebherr Group, one of the world’s largest construction machine manufacturers. After spending two years training in Austria and Germany, I moved to their Miami office, where I was responsible for West Coast US crane sales.

Following ten happy years in crane sales, I decided I wanted to step into a role where I could have a great impact. Fortunately, Midstream Lighting was in an amazing position to provide this opportunity. Now at Midstream, I’m bringing my extensive experience in the port and maritime industry to continue my journey to bring operational expertise and technical efficiencies to the maritime sector.

Where are you based and what does your role cover?

I live in Orlando, FL, a wonderful place to be if you love the sun. And my role covers all terminal lighting sales and business development in the maritime industry across the Americas. I’m also taking advantage of my long relationships with crane manufacturers and I’m responsible for the development and sales of our crane lighting products too.

Why is lighting in maritime environments so important?

The importance of lighting in maritime environments can’t be overstated. As one of the few items specifically regulated by Health and Safety institutions, lighting represents a key pillar for all ports to operate safely and efficiently. Plus, as the technology becomes more affordable and energy costs continue to rise, LED lighting is now having a positive impact on the bottom line by reducing operation energy costs. It’s a truly exciting time to be in this industry.

What do you think the top three benefits of LED lighting for ports and marinas are?

First and foremost, safety is always the No.1 priority in ports. Visibility, light colour, and uniformity provide a safer working environment and reduce stoppages caused by accidents. Secondly, people are starting to fully comprehend the magnitude of energy savings that can be made by upgrading to LED technology compared to traditional incandescent lighting. One of our most recent projects has cut their energy costs by over $600,000 a year! This completely transforms OPEX budgets, turning a cost into earnings that can be used for much-needed CAPEX projects. Lastly, ports can have a negative impact on the local communities. Using LED lighting to reduce glare and light pollution can help minimise that impact and reinforce positive cooperation between a port and their community.

Same questions but for crane lighting?

LED crane lighting carry all the important benefits that terminal lighting provides. But with one important addition. The area directly under quayside cranes has the highest density of workers and the majority of accidents occur there. So, any step that can be taken to increase safety in this area has a tremendous impact on the port’s operations. Also, colour, lighting uniformity, and a dramatic reduction in glare have a profound effect in reducing eye strain and fatigue of the crane operators and ground staff. As the effect of exhaustion is similar to that of intoxication, the benefits of keeping workers fresh and awake are enormous.

What’s the most recent Midstream project you are working on? And what are the challenges you are overcoming and the solution you are providing?

Our most recent project, upgrading the terminal lighting with Fenix Marine Services at the Port of Los Angeles, has been an exciting challenge. Our customer wanted a complete turnkey solution that not only included the upgrade of their old system to LED, but also included a state-of-the-art control system. They also wanted us to obtain all necessary permits from the Port of Los Angeles engineering department, and manage their energy rebate application. During the project tender, our in-house Lighting Design team identified tremendous savings in an LED lighting system that provided a mix of our terminal lighting products, rather than a straight 1-for-1 replacement. This dramatically lowered the cost of the system, both in terms of installation of the system and lowering energy costs – that’ll continue for years to come!

How does Midstream differentiate itself in the world of lighting for maritime?

We are the only major LED manufacturer that specifically focuses on high-powered, industrial LEDs that are engineered for the maritime industry. Unlike other manufacturers that offer a ‘phonebook’ of products, ours are specifically designed only for the sectors we work in. That specialty promotes expertise and has been a critical component of our success over the years. After all, a ‘jack of all trades’ is a master of nothing.

How important is the environmental impact of lighting in the maritime world?

Very. Particularly in California, where we are beginning to see an increased focus on the environmental impact of ports. California has enacted the Clean Air Action Plan (CAAP), one of the first initiatives to eliminate emissions from all equipment at the port. I believe this is setting the new global standard of taking a broader, holistic look at the environmental impact of a port. Previously overlooked, lighting is now at the forefront as one of the most viable ways to immediately and dramatically reduce a port’s impact on the environment.

And for a bit of fun, tell us something about yourself that we don’t know?

I am a first-degree blackbelt in Tae Kwon Do, holding multiple state and national titles over the years. Now I am passing the tradition to my son, as my father passed it to me.

Rory McBride - Maritime Sales Manager Americas

Rory brings to Midstream a decade of experience earned in the maritime industry for companies all over the world. This has allowed him to get involved in key lighting projects for some of the largest ports worldwide. Having been exposed to countless types of operations, Rory’s background empowers him to meet all Midstream maritime clients exactly where they are and provide the deepest level of consultancy and precision problem-solving.

Speaking four languages, including Mandarin, Rory oversees the global development of all our maritime-related products. He also coordinates with local resources and partners to identify new opportunities, secure projects, and make sure they’re delivered on time, to brief and within budget.

Midstream Lighting