Friday, October 18, 2019

Smaller Items in the Maritime and Logistics Professions Published in the Past Seven Days

The Weekly Round Up of Things You Missed but Maybe Want to Know
Shipping News Feature

UK – Work has started on the development of the Europa Worldwide Group's new 66,425 m2 logistics facility situated at the Midlands Logistics Park in Corby, Northamptonshire. The freight centre will become Europa's largest facility in the UK and will double the company's warehouse portfolio.

The construction of the new terminal will be aimed in part at the eCommerce market and, at £60 million, represents the biggest investment by the company since MD Andrew Baxter took the reins in 2013.

UK – Freight operators are being sought by FreightShare Lab (FSL) a new collaborative research project focused on tackling the transport inefficiencies associated with empty and partially laden truck-running. UK Government statistics, just released indicate that over 30% of all truck journeys are made when trucks are empty (i.e. without a load being carried).

By fully optimising the link between freight and vehicles on the road, research indicates some serious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from road freight could be possible. Initial trials from the FreightShareLab platform indicate fuel economy improvements could be as much as 15%. If you’d like to hear more about the project and how you could get involved then sign up on the website link or contact the team at info@freightsharelab.com

UK – SLOVAKIA – Following a ten-year partnership DHL Supply Chain and Jaguar Land Rover have renewed their contract with an extended brief to manage the in-bound supply chain for the company's new manufacturing site in Nitra, Slovakia. In the next phase of the partnership DHL will support the car maker toward the successful production of vehicles as the industry moves toward electrification.

The supply chain and sequencing process is becoming increasingly complex as customisation becomes a key differentiator for Jaguar Land Rover. DHL says investment in digitalisation and data analysis are being implemented to enable intelligent planning and management decisions to manage future operations.

UK – The addition of 12 new electric vehicles to its fleet at the Port of Southampton means that similarly powered vehicles now comprise over half of those on site. 28 zero emission vehicles now operate in the port, the latest batch replacing older diesel powered cars and vans used to transport staff around the site.

The electric vehicle replacement scheme is one of the priorities set out in last year’s ABP’s air quality strategy, Cleaner Air for Southampton. There are now over 70 charging points on site and the company has committed to run only electric or hybrid vehicles by the end of 2020 where such alternatives to diesel are available. Currently, not all port-use vehicles have zero emission replacements and ABP is working with a manufacturer to develop viable alternatives.

UK – e-commerce, mail and pallet specialist The Delivery Group is moving its North-West operation to a larger £12 million service centre in Warrington as the company prepares for unprecedented volumes. The site follows last month’s opening of an £8 million site in Bristol, and a new site in Maidstone which began operations in March after the firm acquired OnePost earlier in the year.

The latest facility located at J8 M62 on Warrington’s Mountpark business park, covers 137,865 square feet and will host circa 200 employees. The Delivery Group has also made a £1.5 million investment in new sortation machinery as it positions to handle volumes of over 1 billion items per year across its 8 sites. Following its drive for better environmental credentials and the adoption of an electric vehicle delivery fleet, lighting at the new site will be part powered through solar panels.

INDIA – New York headquartered school bus routing and logistics outfit Transfinder Corporation will open its second international office on 2 January 2020. The Transfinder India Innovation Center is destined for Hyderabad, the second largest city in the Indian state of Telangana and the company says it is seeking suitable staff.

The decision to open Transfinder India comes four years after the opening of the original Shanghai office, a facility which has grown from 4 employees in 2015 to 27 today. In that time expansion has meant moving the office three times and now has room to accommodate up to 40 staff having grown by 30% in this year alone.

US – The Port of Oakland, an anomaly for the West Coast, and indeed for most US ports in that it normally has a balanced import/export ratio meaning fewer empty containers than is usual return to Asia, reports loaded box throughput up 3.1% for the first nine months of 2019 as against last year.

Loaded imports are up 3.5% and loaded export containers are up 2.7% compared to the same January-September period in 2018. Oakland’s grand total container volume is up 1.3% due to those lower volumes of empty containers being repositioned as ocean carriers move less empty containers after last year’s surge of loaded imports.

US – Dupré Logistics Strategic Capacity Solutions is moving its Fayetteville, Arkansas facility to 4740 North Castlewood Lane, a brand new 3,000 square foot building. The company will celebrate the new location's Grand Opening, including a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house, at 16:00 hours on October 22.

The business group has a total of 10 branches, including Fort Smith, Arkansas. It began operating in Fayetteville in December 2017 with four employees. Due to a substantial increase in its customer base, the branch’s team has since grown to 13 members with plans to hire more on the horizon. In Northwest Arkansas, the Dupré branch handles freight transportation for large-scale companies and is one of the company’s top three branches.

MARSHALL ISLANDS – EUROPE – At the European Union (EU) Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting in Brussels this month it was announced that the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) has been removed from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. ECOFIN's decision is the culmination of multiple months of constructive dialogue between the RMI and representatives from the EU Code of Conduct Group and European Commission. RMI Minister of Finance, Brenson S. Wase, said:

"The Marshall Islands was aware in July that the amendments to the RMI Economic Substance Regulations had been positively met by the EU. The amended Regulations have been recognised, through this removal, as fulfilling the RMI's commitments with respect to the EU's tax policies.”

FRANCE – WORLDWIDE – Bureau Veritas Solutions Marine & Offshore has released Veristar Equipment, the latest in its series of digital tools and applications intended to help make the business of classification and certification more efficient. A comprehensive range of ship equipment requires certification by Bureau Veritas to ensure that relevant safety and classification requirements are met.

This new platform aims to be a user friendly route to certification for those equipment manufacturers. Veristar Equipment enables them to request and manage online their demands for equipment surveys, monitor the progress of the status of the certification process, as well as receive automatic and detailed calendar updates.

SOUTH AFRICA – A speech by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula at the two day African Ports & Rail Evolution conference this week pointed out the constraints of serious operational and infrastructure inefficiencies which he said must be overcome to contribute more towards full integration of the region locally and internationally, despite the South African National Ports Regulator having made significant progress in the area of tariff redress.

Mbalula said operational delays, congestion and inefficiencies in the cross-border transport system required the rapid establishment of a regional regulatory authority to enforce agreed harmonised standards. He continued saying while challenges in the rail sector were being addressed, there was an urgent need to mobilise regional resources to modernise the country's ports to improve turnaround times and address inefficiencies.

GERMANY – JCB Germany is now operating from a brand new facility on a 12 acre site in Cologne following one of the biggest investments in JCB’s history. The new HQ includes offices for 75 employees and a training centre for use by customers and JCB Germany’s network of dealers which employ a further 2,000 people.

The new headquarters for one of the group’s most important European businesses represents an investment worth around £50 million and was officially opened by JCB Chairman Lord Bamford who unveiled a plaque to mark the opening during a conference at the new HQ attended by JCB’s largest 50 dealers from around the world.

Photo: The Jaguar iPace the first electric car from the company which plans more production of such vehicles from its new plant in Slovakia.