Friday, May 25, 2018

A Look at Some Freight Forwarding, Shipping and Other Logistics News You May Have Missed

From Prosecutions to Wage Negotiations - Something for Everyone This Week
Shipping News Feature
UK – We begin this week's round up of some of the less obvious news stories in freight and logistics on the banks of the River Thames, or more precisely at London's newest deep water port, DP World's London Gateway, where Solent Stevedores formally opened its new empty container depot this week. The stevedoring company's five-acre off-dock yard is situated on Berth 7, outside the terminal's ISPS perimeter and adjacent to the port's main gate, and will offer a broad range of next-generation empty container handling and storage services. Fiona Robson, Managing Director, Solent Stevedores said:

“Located on London’s doorstep, with first-class road, rail and sea transport links, the new London Gateway site means we can offer our users an enhanced service that enables them to significantly streamline their operations. Our focus is always on providing a high quality, competitive offering to our customers, so this move made perfect sense for our business. The launch of the site follows expansion of our successful service offerings at Port of Southampton, Port of St Helier, Port of Immingham and Silvertown, London. With London Gateway growing fast, we anticipate the site becoming increasing central to our customers’ future plans.”

UK – WORLDWIDE – The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and Nautilus International, the maritime professionals’ trade union, are set to tell the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that the time has come for a significant rise in the global minimum wage for seafarers - the only internationally-agreed pay floor applied to an entire industry.

At the next ILO Meeting to discuss wages in Geneva on June 20-21, Nautilus International general secretary Mark Dickinson will lead the seafarers’ delegation on behalf of the ITF at talks within the Joint Maritime Commission, an ILO standing body that has brought together ship owners and seafarer representatives since 1920. The Commission is responsible for setting the global minimum wage for seafarers, currently the equivalent of approximately $614 per month.

The ITF says Seafarers commonly work over 90 hours a week, and are away from home for up to eight months at a time and Mr Dickinson said he will be making a fundamentally moral case given the dizzyingly long hours, in dangerous conditions, working in an industry of vital global importance.

UK – This year’s CV show, a highlight in the commercial vehicle sectors year, certainly proved to be a bigger success than ever. Boosted by the introduction of a range of new models the NEC in Birmingham witnessed over 20,000 visitors for a show in which over 450 exhibitors demonstrated their wares.

From truck, van and trailer manufacturers to fork lift trucks, insurers, tyre companies, telematics, training providers and fuels and lubricants suppliers, the CV Show had something for everyone involved in the road transport sector with the Workshop and Cool Zones popular features, targeted at those working in the van and truck maintenance industries or temperature-controlled distribution. The debates and lectures on best practice attracted good crowds and dates for next year’s event CV 2019, April 30 to May 2, have already been announced.

Next year the focus will be on innovation and emerging technology for which the CV Sector is regarded as a critical test-bed for the entire automotive industry and interested parties can stay abreast of developments in the run-up to the 2019 show at www.cvshow.com.

UK – The Kent based road haulage and general logistics Swain Group has retained its top level ranking under the Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) having stepped up to the Gold mark in 2015. This benchmark in compliance requires vehicle operators to ensure their vehicles are kitted out with forward and rear facing cameras, vehicle turning 'audible-alert' boxes, advanced driver training and fully auditable processes, both in terms of driving and office procedures.

Although FORS itself is still primarily seen as a London centric requirement, as this is rolled-out across other Metropolitan areas such as Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol, Swain Managing Director, Matthew Deer says the group will be prepared. The company believes that the move to winning, and then retaining FORS Gold status, has been fundamental in reducing its accident rate to historically low levels through the cultural change it has adopted and passed across to all employees, particularly drivers and now Swain is now taking on a new challenge, working on a project to reduce its noise emissions.

DENMARK – The Danish Defence Acquisition and Logistics Organization (DALO) has announced the purchase of a major upgrade of BMT’s SARIS, the search and rescue planning tool that helps save lives, plan searches and minimise danger at sea. The upgrade will consist of a deployment of 20 licenses primarily to Denmark but also including Greenland and the Faroe Islands. A large part of the upgrade will include capacity for ongoing in-house training, with initial training being delivered by BMT.

The SARIS technology is designed to help locate targets, whether it be people or objects, lost at sea. The tool is the product of over 20 years’ experience working with the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency and other well-renowned coastguard authorities around the world. SARIS utilities BMT's expertise in marine environmental software systems and is a sister application to its industry leading navigation and manoeuvring simulator, REMBRANDT.

RUSSIA – ARCTIC OCEAN – As with many Russian shipping interests the fluctuating accessibility of the Arctic regions by sea has proved tempting to Novatek, one of the largest independent natural gas producers in Russia. Now the energy giant is creating a transportation subsidiary called Maritime Arctic Transport LLC to manage and control transportation costs, build up the unique competencies of Arctic navigation and ensure centralised management of the Arctic fleet. Novatek’s Chairman of the Management Board Leonid Mikhelson commented:

“Novatek’s long-term development strategy envisages a significant growth in LNG production from the Company’s vast hydrocarbon resource base located on the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas in the Arctic zone of more than 55 million tonnes per annum by 2030. Therefore, establishing an efficient Northern Sea Route shipping model is one of our key priorities to realize our long-term strategy. Creating our own shipping company fully supports this goal and will optimise transport costs and ensure a well-balanced, centralised management structure to improve the competitiveness of Novatek’s Arctic projects.”

MALAYSIA – The second annual meeting of Globalia, an association of independent freight forwarders attracted 90 of its members from more than 50 countries earlier this month. The Dublin based operation saw a 60% increase in the attendance of new members giving an opportunity to network with their peers. One of the major events at this year’s Annual Meeting was the introduction of the FreightViewer software which enables the members to generate instant online door to door quotations for their clients and partners from more than 120 countries.

This freight rate management software is expected to facilitate the business activities of the members by reducing their quote processing time from days to just a few hours, and co-founders, Antonio Torres and Virginia Molpeceres professed themselves extremely happy with both the event and the fact that Globalia membership has now risen to 163 agencies.

FINLAND – Technology group Wärtsilä recently got the chance to test and demonstrate its Eniram Trim and Nacos Platinum systems on board the cruise ship Costa Atlantica belonging to Carnival’s Costa Crociere fleet. The testing enabled the crew to have better understanding of the ship’s trim, thereby enhancing both safety and efficiency. The Eniram Trim functionality allows immediate response to changing conditions and the maintaining of an optimum trim in real time, and alongside the Nacos Platinum control system for navigation, automation and dynamic positioning, substantial operator benefits can be accrued.

These include better operational visibility, fewer workstations, and improved customer support in the collection and subsequent analysing of data. The combining of the Eniram and Nacos technologies makes the system easier to use, and creates greater availability of the needed guidance information. This information is available on all the Nacos screens, thus providing greater visibility and awareness. Wärtsilä claims the overall result is improved efficiency and safer operation of the vessel.

US – Navy prosecutors have dropped the charge of negligent homicide against Commander Alfredo Sanchez, commanding officer of the USS John S. McCain when the ship collided with a tanker in August 2017. Sanchez was on the bridge when the collision, which killed 10 sailors, occurred. The watch on duty was found to have been negligent and was the primary cause of the accident. Sanchez still faces a charge of dereliction of duty and he will be court martialled May 25.

Regular readers will remember both this, and the other similar case in which the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with the ACX Crystal just two months previously, an incident which led to the death of 7 crew aboard the navy vessel. Lieutenant junior grade Sarah Coppock, the officer of the deck at the time, has already pled guilty to dereliction of duty and been docked three months’ pay, whilst Commander Bryce Benson still faces a charge of negligent homicide, two counts of dereliction of duty and two counts of hazarding a vessel.

Photo: DP World’s London Gateway deep water port on the River Thames Is the site for Solent Stevedores latest development.