Friday, March 29, 2019

A Quick Look at Some Freight and Logistics Stories You May Have Missed

Shipping and Transport News from Around the Globe This Week
Shipping News Feature
NETHERLANDS – The GoodShipping Program, which is dedicated to linking containerised ocean freight shipments to reduced emissions by way of sustainable marine bio-fuel oil, announced jointly with the Port of Rotterdam that on Saturday March 23 the CMA CGM box carrier White Shark was successfully refuelled with marine bio-fuel oil from GoodFuels in a venture supported by the French container shipping line and IKEA Transport & Logistics Services.

The test, which the proponents claim represents a major step for the decarbonisation of ocean freight, saw the companies work together in a first-of-its-kind partnership for the shipping industry. The 5,095 TEU container vessel, was refuelled with the bio-fuel oil on Saturday while calling at Rotterdam. Results from the trial are intended to give the maritime sector a demonstration into the scalability, sustainability and technical compliance of second-generation bio-fuel oil derived from forest residues and waste cooking oil products.

SWEDEN – WORLDWIDE – Stena Bulk, which controls a fleet of around 100 tankers, is to fit a batch of open loop, hybrid ready, exhaust scrubbers to 16 of its ships by January 2020 when the IMO sulphur cap becomes mandatory. The scrubbers, also having water cleaning technology, not only remove the sulphur but also particulate matter from the exhaust. At a cost of $55 million including equipment, installation and time out of service the payback time of investment is between18 and 30 months which the company says has already been secured by hedging the fuel spread.

SWEDEN – FRANCE – Staying in the Swedish transport group operations Stena RoRo, which owns and operates a range of RoRo freight and passenger ferries, has placed an order for a further new build in the so-called Stena E-Flexer RoPax class with the Chinese shipyard AVIC International. This is a continuation of the eight new builds already ordered and Stena RoRo has an option for another two ships.

The 215 metre long vessel which will operate on LNG, has 2,750 lane metres and can accommodate 1,000 passengers is fitted out with 340 cabins and has already been assigned for a long-term charter with Brittany Ferries. Delivery is set for autumn 2023.

SWEDEN – This month saw the newly built ferry MS VIsborg, which serves the island of Gotland from the Swedish mainland, refuelled with liquefied naturl gas whilst moored in the Port of Visby. The ferry was serviced by the Kairos and by using LNG, a wide range of emissions, especially sulphur, nitrogen and particle matters, as well as carbon dioxide, can be significantly reduced.

With a tank capacity of 7,500 m3 Kairos is the world’s largest LNG bunker supply vessel. Nauticor chartered the ship via the joint venture Blue LNG from the owner Babcock Schulte Energy, where Nauticor has a 90% share and Lithuanian energy infrastructure provider KN (Klaipedos Nafta) has a 10% share.

US – Rail Link, Inc., a subsidiary of rail freight giant Genesee & Wyoming, has entered into a contract to provide rail service at the Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport, Louisiana hauling inbound and outbound materials between the Port and its customers. Located on the Red River Waterway, the Port is home to an inland multi-modal transportation and distribution centre that links customers throughout Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas to domestic and international markets via the Mississippi River and Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.

G&W owns or leases 120 freight railroads and its subsidiaries also provide rail service at the Gulf Coast ports of Baton Rouge, Galveston and Corpus Christi, among more than 40 worldwide intermodal offerings at places as diverse as Felixstowe, London Gateway, Rotterdam, Savannah and Virginia International Gateway.

GERMANY – European road haulage outfit DHL Freight has deployed one of the very first liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered Iveco Stralis long-haul trucks capable of towing a mega trailer. During a year-long trial period the truck will operate as a daily shuttle between DHL's logistics centre and a BMW Group production plant in southern Germany.

The extended loading height and increased fuel efficiency mean the new generation of mega trailers are particularly important for the automotive industry, making the BMW Group the ideal partner for testing in Germany. Since last year's contract renewal with the car maker, DHL has been managing the automotive manufacturer's supply chain in seven additional areas, as well as all road transport between 17 countries.

HONG KONG – Raya Airways, the Malaysian freighter operator, has appointed Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) as its ground handler in Hong Kong. The airline operates 5 times weekly between Hong Kong and its home base of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, Subang, utilising a B767F. This provides capacity for contracted integrator traffic, supplemented with general cargo outbound, and perishables inbound.

Hactl is providing Raya Airways with a one-stop service including ramp handling, terminal handling and documentation. As the designated national cargo carrier of Malaysia, Raya Airways has access to all the bilateral traffic rights provided for by the Malaysian government. Raya Airways also offers ad hoc charters in addition to its scheduled flights, with a fleet comprising B767, B757 and B737 freighters.

CHINA – JAPAN – VIETNAM – AirBridgeCargo Airlines, which serves its 14 strong cargo gateway network through its Russian home hub, has strengthened its footprint in Asia by increasing frequencies to its online destinations following an average 5% annual growth in the region in the last five years as customers seek additional capacity and delivery solutions.

As of the end of March, the company’s schedule now includes six Shenzhen flights a week, eight Narita services and two Ho Chi Minh City flights. The company says the additional capacity will reinforce ABC’s position in these markets as well as facilitate import/export flows of the respective stations.

UK – The latest policy publication from the Department for Transport (DfT) has incensed the Freight Transport Association (FTA) which says the paper, 'Future of mobility: urban strategy', completely misinterprets urban delivery modes by ignoring the role of HGVs in the equation.

The FTA says that believing vans are the principal vehicle delivery type is misguided with most vans used by the services industries, not logistics companies. Also whereas one medium-sized lorry can carry as much as 10 vans, one van can carry as much as 10 e-cargo bikes. All these vehicle types are needed, but none can or should replace the other. The FTA says the document will mislead people about the realities of urban transport.

UK – The Delivery Group announced this week that they have acquired 100% of the share capital of ONEPOST, for an undisclosed sum, bringing together two players in the mail and ecommerce sectors. The enlarged group will have a combined annual turnover of £250 million, employ 500 staff across seven locations, and manage almost a billion items of mail and packages both in the UK and Internationally.

Warrington based The Delivery Group, originally registered in 2011 took off in 2015 and was subject to a management buy-out from Next Wave Partners LLP in June 2018 by Steve Stokes, James Wilkins and Paul Carvell. ONEPOST, the trading name for Bristol headquartered Postal Choices Ltd was established in 2005 by Managing Director Graham Cooper who was joined shortly after by Sales Director, Lesley Harris.

Photo: Port of Caddo-Bossier in Shreveport, Louisiana which this month saw Rail Link take over operations after a huge surge in barge and rail traffic meant the existing management would have had to greatly upscale their operations and a transfer of staff to the G&W subsidiary was viewed as a win-win for all concerned.