01 December 2017

News Snippets from the Shipping, Freight Forwarding and Logistics Fields  

Supply Chain Items You May Have Missed This Week

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Shipping News Feature GERMANY – In this weeks round up of shipping and supply chain news, freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel has joined forces with specialist in complete e-Commerce solutions, 4SELLERS, in a bid to expand its services to medium-sized online retailers in the warehouse logistics sector. The pair say they can now offer a combination of IT solutions previously offered by 4SELLERS with the Kuehne + Nagel logistics services to provide customers with a complete package thereby creating beneficial shorter delivery routes and processing periods.

US – HONG KONG – INTTRA, an electronic transaction platform, software and information provider to the ocean shipping community has added the NVOCCC iCargo Alliance to its network. iCargo Alliance, itself a global network of NVOCCs with more than 30 partners, operating 170 offices in 89 countries provides multimodal LCL solutions to its customers. iCargo Alliance clients may now send their booking and shipping instructions through INTTRA's global network. Franky Van Doren, Managing Director, iCargo Alliance, said:

"Many of our global forwarders depend on INTTRA to connect directly to carriers for their FCL and LCL shipments. Joining INTTRA's network as a NVOCC makes great sense, enabling us to improve our competitive position in the market, while removing cost from our operations."

US – JAPAN – The unfortunate saga of the USS Fitzgerald continues following the tragic incident which saw seven of her sailors killed in a collision with the Philippine flagged ACX Crystal in June. The ship has been in a Yokosuka dry dock for repair since the incident and was moved to an adjacent pier before being towed out for loading aboard the heavy lift vessel Transshelf.

The plan was for the heavy lift ship to carry the warship to Mississippi where repairs and upgrades would be attended to by Huntington Ingalls Industries. When loading aboard the Transhelf however the hull of the USS Fitzgerald was damaged in two places by steel rails on the Transhelf meaning the Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer has been returned to Yokosuka for further repairs.

DENMARK – NETHERLANDS – The Copenhagen headquartered DFDS group has acquired Rotterdam based Alphatrans in a deal still subject to approval by German regulators. For the 150 year old shipping and logistics group this is another strategic purchase, Alphatrans specialises in flatbed trailers and operates a mixed fleet of over 720 of all types. Whilst the company has existing business around Western Europe, DFDS has recently extended its Baltic operations using precisely the same type of equipment. Plans are for the final absorption into the DFDS operation early in the New Year.

UK – PORTUGAL – GBA Services, which began life as a small packing company and has grown over 30 years into a time-critical delivery forwarder, has has taken the next step in expanding its European network, with the opening of a new operation in Portugal. GBA Logistics Portugal Lda is based in Lisbon, from where it will provide time-critical pan-European express van and truck services to customers across Europe - specialising in Portugal, Spain and France. The new operation will use GBA-owned vehicles, supplemented by those of its exclusive service partners.

GBA’s new Portuguese office is the latest addition to an expanding European network; it follows the launch of GBA’s German branch on 4th September, and joins GBA’s established operations in the UK, Austria and Poland. Founder and Managing Director, David Birkbeck, said Portugal was an important market, with a particular focus on the automotive sector which is one of the company’s speciality areas.

GBA’s office in Portugal is headed by Luis Monraia, whose past experience includes over twenty years in the management of hazardous goods transport and pan-European express transport operations. He is supported by a team of well-known international express specialists, who collectively speak four languages.

GERMANY – Freight Forwarding and logistics behemoth Deutsche Post DHL has hit its target for deploying 5,000 of its StreetScooters by the end of 2017. Conceived in 2012 with initial details released a year later the electric vehicles now carry letters and parcels to a wide range of domestic urban destinations, coping with more than 300 braking and starting operations every day for more than 300 days a year. They charge overnight and the fleet has now covered over 13.5 million kilometres with the 3,700 WORK and around 1,300 WORK L models deployed saving over 16,000 tonnes of CO2 annually and reducing both emission and noise pollution in the cities.

UK – 3PL group Great Bear has introduced a new fleet of Narrow Aisle Ltd’s Flexi HiMAX articulated forklift trucks at its major multi-user hub at Brackmills in Northampton. A total of six Flexi HiMAX models will operate around-the-clock at the facility while a seventh ‘sub-core’ truck has also been supplied on a Service Level Agreement low-hours contract to be used as a ‘stand-by’ truck to cover seasonal peaks in demand and to ensure Great Bear has the ability to operate at 100% fleet availability all-year round.

The Flexi HiMAX can operate in aisleways as narrow as 2000mm and its design allows pallet loads to be stacked up to 12 metres high at Great Bear’s Brackmills site. Pallet throughput cycles of 30 per hour are being achieved within the facility’s 70 metre long aisles, which the fork truck company says compares very favourably with either guided man-up or traditional reach type trucks. Great Bear’s battery charging bay was completely reconfigured incorporating Narrow Aisle’s Easi-Change system and now just 14 batteries are required to deliver optimal Flexi fleet efficiency 24/7.

HUNGARY – Budapest Airport has signed a cooperation agreement with STO Express from China, and EKOL, the European 3PL company which says it has a strong presence in Hungary. The agreement establishes a cargo transportation network to deliver e-commerce products arriving from China to European customers. STO Express will operate scheduled cargo flights to Budapest Airport, which the partners believe is likely to generate a significant increase not only in total cargo traffic, but also in the field of e-commerce, the main profile of the Chinese company.

STO Express’ first Boeing B747 cargo aircraft, filled primarily with e-commerce goods, arrived in the Hungarian capital in November, in the colours of Silkway Italia, initially as a charter flight. Cargo traffic at Budapest Airport has increased by 36% since December 2015. From January to October 2017, Budapest Airport handled a record of 103,800 tonnes of air cargo, up 14.5% on the same period last year. Budapest has a balanced market share with exports at 52%, and imports at 48%.

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