Friday, August 21, 2020

Some of the Shipping and Logistics Announcements You Might Have Missed This Week

Tales Ranging From Container Service Amendments to Robots in the Warehouse
Shipping News Feature

US – CARIBBEAN – For those wishing to pack their yachts up and avoid the miseries of the pandemic, specialist heavy lift boat transporters Peters & May has announced it has spaces remaining in August and September on vessels going from/to Antigua, St Maarten, St Lucia, Tortola, St Thomas, going to/from Fort Lauderdale and Newport. The Southampton, UK headquartered outfit suggests interested parties contact their local office.

SWEDEN – GERMANY – At the very end of July CMA CGM launched a new container service, adding a new link between the Port of Gothenburg and Hamburg. The service will be operated under the name Scandinavian Shuttle Service, departing from Gothenburg every Friday, and arriving in Hamburg the following Sunday/Monday. Initially, the vessel Aries J, with a capacity of over 1,000 TEU, will be used.

SWEDEN – Staying with the Port of Gothenburg, container volumes, expressed as TEUs, at the port rose in January-June by 4% to 401,000. In contrast, other ports are reporting a downturn. The 10 largest container ports in Europe and the world reported a fall of 9% and 4% respectively during the same period.

Despite the pandemic, the Port of Gothenburg container terminal has been working at full capacity and with no cancelled calls by mainline vessels, which are responsible for the vital direct weekly services between Gothenburg and Asia. Feeder traffic frequency has also been maintained and with an increase in the size of the feeder vessels during the period.

Containerised goods to and from the port by rail continue to increase. Volumes during the first half of the year were up 2% from what were already record levels. The number of RoRo units fell by 13% to 252,000. The major downturn in April-May was followed by clear signs of recovery in June.

ITALY – Despite the ravages of Covid-19 Austrian group Identec Solutions managed to install its reefer monitoring and management solution, Reefer Runner, to APM Terminal’s Vado Ligure port facilities during the first quarter of 2020. The terminal is a leading Mediterranean fruit export point handling over 600.000 pallets, meaning a sophisticated automated reefer monitoring and management solution is needed.

Eight readers were installed in seven different areas of the terminal ensuring that all relevant reefer containers can be monitored and tracked. Reefer Runner’s plug and play interface links to Navis, the terminal’s current operating system, allowing access real-time data and reports via web-interface and, thanks to the optional modules ‘Energy Monitoring’, optimising energy consumption and increasing efficiency.

WORLDWIDE – Inchcape Shipping Services has started rolling out its plans to create tailored applications to service 2,500 international ports and 68 countries, using the OutSystems high-speed development platform. Inchcape, in business since 1847 and which has a global network of over 240 offices across 60 countries staffed by 2,900, says it is using the platform to create a reliable, easy-to-use digital experience for its employees and customers.

The idea is to streamline the 90,000 port visits every year made by its 2,000 customers which include owners and charterers in the oil, cruise, container and bulk commodity sectors, as well as naval, government and inter-governmental organisations. Despite the challenges associated with Covid-19, the rollout will reach 68 countries and 1,500 users by the end of 2021.

PAKISTAN – With the recent maiden call of the MV Thorsky Pakistan International Container Terminal (PICT) welcomed another new service, the FAR Shipping Gulf Service – 1 (FGS-1). The Thorsky, a 2,169 TEU vessel with 183 meters LOA, is deployed on the FGS-1 with a voyage plan routing from PICT Karachi to Mundra, Sohar, Jebel Ali, Dammam, Haad, and then to Khalifa. The operators say the newly launched service, operating between India, Pakistan and the Gulf Region, will be of large benefit for trade in the regions.

CHINA – GERMANY – Beijing headquartered Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) specialist Geek+ which says it has deployed 10,000 of its robots to international clients in the past five years, has joined in partnership with supply chain technology group Körber with a view to spreading the technology further.

Covid-19 is once again cited as a driver for the desire to effectively mitigate increasing supply chain complexities through the joint capabilities of AI, robotics, software and machine learning in the light of a multitude of challenges such as labour shortages, health risks, and unpredictable fluctuations in demand.

UK – Things might actually be looking up! After Covid-19 decimated the freight trade for Stena Line on its Belfast to Liverpool and Belfast to Heysham routes the company withdrew one ship from service. Now it tells us that increased demand has meant it is chartering a RoRo vessel to cope with the demand. The freight-only ship Seatruck Panorama is expected to start service on 2nd September and will make 10 sailings weekly between Belfast and Liverpool/Heysham.

This will mean an increase freight capacity of 28% and frequency will rise from 46 to 56 crossings weekly compared to the present schedule. During the summer months, Stena Line has seen an increase in freight demand and anticipates that extra capacity is required for the traditionally busy Autumn period as well as the expected increase in pre-Brexit trade activity.

UK – The nationally recognised Driver CPC Instructor qualification, launched in May by the National Register of LGV Instructors (NRI) offers new professional development opportunities. The new qualification enables organisations to give Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) the evidence required by the Scheme of Control issued in April 2020 that a Driver CPC instructor ‘has the appropriate qualifications, skills, knowledge’ to deliver the periodic training courses’.

On qualifying, instructors are issued with an NRI Driver CPC Instructor card and added to the online register on the NRI website. NRI worked in collaboration with DVSA and JAUPT to set out the standards of instructional ability required of a Driver CPC Instructor, in line with DVSA’s National Standards for LGV and PCV Driving. Since the launch, there has been a continuously high level of enquiries regarding the new examination.

The National Register of LGV Instructors is led by the road transport industry and is currently the only Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) endorsed instructor register developed by the industry for the industry. There are currently 560 instructors and assessors on the register. To apply to take the new Driver CPC Instructor qualification, or to find out more about joining the NRI register, call Dave Cox on 01952 520210 or email Employers can find details of NRI Registered Instructors and Assessors, and more information, by visiting

Photo: Peters & May specialise in the shipping of superyachts.