09 March 2018

Container Ship Fire Latest Leads Round Up of This Week's Freight and Logistics News  

A Quick Look at Some Industry Items You May Have Missed

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Shipping News Feature DENMARK – INDIA – The fire aboard the Maersk Line container ship Maersk Honam has largely subsided and is under control thanks to Indian specialised firefighting vessels, and the survivors of the tragic occurrence are now safely disembarked in the cities of Cochin and Trivandrum in Southern India. They have all received professional medical treatment and are offered crisis counselling, and a majority have been transferred to a hotel. Of the crew members that remain hospitalised some are currently receiving intensive care.

Full details of the case as it unfolded were covered on our earlier stories and the search continues to locate the four crew members still missing after the incident on 6 March but hopes for their survival are rapidly fading. Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer for Maersk commented:

“We are relieved that a majority of our colleagues have been released from the hospital. We, however, remain deeply concerned about the health condition of our colleagues still in hospital and are grateful that they are in the capable hands of medical professionals. We are in regular contact with the hospitals and monitor the situation of all our colleagues.

“We are appreciative of the partnering assistance we’ve received from local Indian authorities and we must now let the salvage team do their work. It is still too early to determine the cause of the fire or the impact to the vessel or cargo. Obviously, finding the cause of the fire is very important to us and a full investigation will be conducted as soon as possible.

”The salvage operation is led by Smit Salvage and Ardent – two best-in-class companies within maritime salvage operations. Maersk Line is cooperating with the salvors and has sent two technical engineers to Salalah, Oman, to work closely with Smit and Ardent.”

US – Aeronet Worldwide, which also has a presence in United Kingdom, Netherlands, Canada, and Australia, confirms that its recently opened 19,000 square foot freight station in Newark, New Jersey (EWR) is now fully operational. Complementing the group's nearby New York (JFK) facility the new location will operate as an East Coast gateway and consolidation centre for road haulage operations as well as international ocean and air freight.

Warehousing facilities as well as specialised operations such as trade show and ‘white glove’ services will also be accommodated and development of the new premises, the 13th company owned location, follows on the heels of a facility expansion in Chicago (ORD), and precedes similar location expansions for the company’s Los Angeles (LAX) and Dallas Fort-Worth (DFW) stations.

GERMANY – The Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (BARIG e.V.) represents the interests of around 100 national and international airlines in scheduled, charter, low cost and air cargo business, and is demanding that the future Federal Government strengthens the industry in the country for the sake of the economy.

The lobby group says that the incoming coalition should abolish air traffic tax to enable the industry to thrive as it presents a massive burden to the entire aviation-related economy in Germany. In addition, the state must finance a significant part of its sovereign aviation security responsibility.

An increased efficiency regarding air security processes, need-oriented and feasible development of airport infrastructure as well as continuous warranty of competitive operating hours are further essential aspects to strengthen the aviation location Germany against the global competition, with BARIG Secretary General Michael Hoppe, saying:

“Air traffic is a major driver of economic growth with great importance for commerce, mobility and jobs. Strengthening air traffic at the same time also means strengthening the general economy. The recently negotiated coalition agreement offers chances of becoming active on a national level. For example, a considerable reduction of the disproportionally high fees, costs and tax burdens, which are currently further exercising their detrimental effects on the aviation industry, could finally be realised.

“Such measures are urgently required, bear the potential of creating long-lasting stability and sustainability in numerous areas, including business travel and the strongly exporting midsize companies. The new Federal Government must act resolutely to protect Germany from further losing ground in international air traffic competition. In this respect, the air traffic concept, developed by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure in the previous legislative period, acts as a foundation. The implementation of this concept and many further relevant topics are urgently needed now.

UK – Sterling Global Marine, surveyor of private and commercial vessels, has announced it has acquired marine surveying company, Geoff Waddington & Partners. The company specialises in all disciplines of marine surveying, including new build project management, coding and MCA compliance, draft and bunkers surveys and project cargo. Lee Warltier, Director of Sterling Global Marine, commented:

“Over the past three years we have worked on expanding the company and welcomed a number of surveyors to our team, each with specific areas of expertise. This has allowed us to diversify in the industry and keep a very high level of professionalism in all that we do. Geoff Waddington & Partners is a renowned marine surveying company with a strong reputation, particularly in the areas of yacht shipping and cargo surveys. We have a great deal of respect for Geoff Waddington and hope that he can also work with us on occasion in the future.”

Geoff Waddington, former Managing Director and Chairman of the acquired company, which like Sterling is also situated in Hampshire, commented:

“Following my retirement from Geoff Waddington & Partners and having worked alongside Lee previously, we are confident that Sterling Global Marine is the perfect fit for our customers moving forward. I can say with certainty that their company will provide a high level of expertise and excellent service and we hope that that our present customers and colleagues in the marine industry continue to use the team in the future.”

US – CakeBoxx Technologies, the doorless container system which we have reviewed previously, will be hosting a ‘hands-on’ demonstration of the loading and unloading efficiencies and security advantages offered by CakeBoxx two piece container products at ITS ConGlobal Industries in Houston this March 22nd, with sessions in both the morning and afternoon.

CakeBoxx Technologies CEO Daine Eisold and Commercial Operations Director Scott Lyman will hosting the event and will be on hand to answer technical questions as well as any queries about CakeBoxx products.

UK – Belfast will, once again, host the Freight Transport Association's annual Transport Manager Northern Ireland Conference, sponsored by Iveco. The event, which takes place on Thursday 24 May at the Culloden Estate and Spa, gives fleet operators access to all the very latest information, guidance and best practice advice on legislation and enforcement changes.

Keynote speaker at this year's conference will be John McGrath, Deputy Secretary - Transport and Resources at the Department for Infrastructure, whose responsibilities include road safety and vehicle regulation, the development of transportation policy, and the delivery of strategic transport planning, policy and legislation.

Other subjects up for discussion range from preventing vehicle use in terrorist incidents, increased vehicle technologies, road side stops and city centre problems. Seamus Leheny, FTA's Policy Manager for Northern Ireland, said:

"We are delighted that John McGrath is able to join us at our Transport Manager Conference in May. He will provide a valuable insight into some of the key transport issues for the Northern Ireland administration in the upcoming year. I always look forward to the Transport Manager conference, it's a great opportunity to keep up-to-date with the most pressing industry issues and, of course, there's plenty of chance to network, speak to the experts and meet a few old friends."

MEXICO – Damco’s digital FCL port to door platform Twill, has added Mexico to its portfolio and is now operating in five import countries and four export countries. By partnering with Damco, Twill says it can utilise its existing footprint across the globe.

SOUTH KOREA – 1GSA, the recently-launched independent GSA network, has appointed Goodman GLS Co. Limited as its exclusive member for Korea. The Goodman GLS GSSA business was launched in 2014, as part of a well-established group with diverse freight-related interests. It currently represents Westjet, Cubana, and the Leisure Cargo portfolio of 14 airlines, providing its customers with access to destinations throughout Asia, Europe, Caribbean, Middle East and Africa.

The company offers a full portfolio of GSSA services to airlines, covering sales and marketing, reservations, revenue accounting, load planning, and handling supervision. It can also manage import operations where required, provide ground transportation including door-to-door and courier services, and assist airlines with their landing rights applications.

US – Paul Brashier, who has worked at ITS Logistics since 2015 and has spent almost 20 years working in the industry for companies such as Schneider National, Coors Brewing and Coca-Cola, has been named Volunteer of the Year for 2018 by the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business. As Director of Operations for ITS he is responsible for recruitment, onboarding and first-week training for the rapidly growing Freight Brokerage division.

In addition, Brashier leads the Intermodal team and is responsible for community liaisons with various business and industry groups. When he isn’t working, he spends time with his wife and family, travels, and volunteers for the Down Syndrome Network of Northern Nevada.

The ties between ITS Logistics and the University continue to grow as ITS has hired more than 30 Nevada grads over the last two years, as well as a handful of former Wolf Pack athletes. In addition, since 2002 ITS has been the official logistics and transportation provider for the University of Nevada, Reno Athletics department, including transporting all of the equipment for the Nevada Wolf Pack football team.

UK – Over 50 international industry trade associations, UK Government departments and the Devolved Administrations have so far either signed up or confirmed they will sign up as Supporting Organisations of London International Shipping Week 2019 (LISW19).The date for next year’s event has been announced as the week of September 9 to 13, 2019.

UK – Hong Kong based EmergeVest, the investment group which owns both NFT Distribution and Palletforce, has bought out road haulage outfit CM Downton, previously a privately owned family company, for £75 million. The Downton family members currently employed will continue in their roles as senior managers. EmergeVest now has a wide portfolio of logistics and associated supply chain software companies.

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