Friday, March 22, 2019

A Quick Roam Around Some Freight, Logistics and Shipping Stories You May Have Missed

From the Sale of an Historic Boatyard, to Technology Updates, All in This Week's Snippets
Shipping News Feature
AUSTRALIA – Continuing from our previous story on the terrible weather witnessed in the Southern Hemisphere in the past few days, our round-up of general freight and logistics news begins this week with an update of the effects of two major tropical storms currently hitting shipping interests down under.

In Western Australia, the Port of Dampier is being cleared as Tropical Cyclone Veronica moves from category three up to five and all the adjacent coastal ports were put on high alert. Meanwhile Cyclone Trevor sweeps over Queensland causing the ports of Weipa and Gove to be subjected to condition red and closed, probably till next week, whilst the Port of Groote Eylandt has been evacuated. Meanwhile a serious injury to a worker at the Port Kembla Coal Terminal caused it to be shut yesterday, with a review today to consider reopening.

NEW ZEALAND – Maritime crane manufacturer Liebherr has despatched a classroom training simulator to Port Nelson due to arrive next month. The simulator is actually two in one allowing for training on more aspects of real port operations, with both a generic ship crane simulator and the LiSIM version of the LHM 550 mobile harbour crane, both utilising much of the same hardware.

Simulators are globally recognised as a highly effective training method offering numerous advantages. Due to the flexibility of the virtual environment, users can run through any load handling situation and simulate harsh environmental conditions when required with no danger to either cargo, crane and, most importantly, personnel.

US – The Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta, Georgia will be home next week (27-28 March) to Industrial Pack which claims to be the only event in North America for the industrial, transit, reusable, and protective packaging industry. The free to attend event will see 1500 visitors view the products of 150 exhibitors, network with key industry figures, find new manufacturers, source new products, and discuss the most talked about industry issues.

US – Sea Machines, which produces autonomous vessel control systems, has opened a new advanced technology centre in Boston. Located adjacent to the company’s headquarters and vessel testing sites in East Boston’s historic shipyard the facility is dedicated to accelerating product development and accommodating an expanding team. The SM Series products, SM300 and SM200, provide marine operators a new era of task-driven, computer-guided vessel control, bringing advanced autonomy within reach for both small and large-scale operations.

Sea Machines' SM product series can be installed aboard existing or new-build commercial vessels with claims that return on investment is typically seen within a year. The company is also currently developing advanced perception and navigation assistance technology for a range of vessel types, including container ships. The company is currently testing its perception and situational awareness technology aboard one of A.P. Moller-Maersk’s new-build ice-class container ships.

NETHERLANDS – The availability of GoodFuels Bio Fuel Oil, a direct ‘drop in’ replacement for heavy fuel oil, which the company launched in Autumn 2018, is to be extended through a partnership with VARO Energy subsidiary REINPLUS FIWADO Bunker, making the product available to deep sea vessels leaving from Rotterdam.

The new partnership will see VARO help scale the sourcing, production, blending and distribution of GoodFuels Bio Fuel Oil across the ARA region. In the meantime, GoodFuels will continue to focus on the sourcing of sustainable feedstock for the Bio Fuel Oil, and the sale, marketing and product development of new sustainable fuel solutions.

BELGIUM – Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has become the first handler to win the BRUcargo Award, presented annually by Brussels Airport Company to recognise and incentivise service excellence. The award, now in its 13th year, was presented at a special ceremony attended by senior executives from some 200 companies operating at the airport. WFS has provided cargo handling services at Brussels Airport for almost 27 years and manages over 140,000 tonnes annually for some 60 customers.

GREECE – The world’s fastest growing ship registry and the oldest short sea shipping association in Europe have joined forces to support the growing number of Greek vessels operating in the short-sea maritime sector. Palau International Ship Registry (PISR) and the Hellenic Shortsea Shipowners Association (HSSA) both operate from Piraeus in Greece and recently signed an agreement to strengthen the close ties between them to support HSSA’s member vessels operating short-sea shipping services.

This new agreement builds on the close relationship between the two maritime service providers and will offer HSSA members ship registration, documentation and seafarer registrations through PISR at special agreed rates and adding value services as part of the close co-operation.

UK – Less than a fifth (18%) of British companies are happy with their Third-Party Logistics suppliers (3PLs), according to the latest research from supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA which surveyed a selection of the UK’s best-known businesses and 3PLs with regards to customer satisfaction rates. The survey also asked how satisfied 3PLs think their clients are with their performance.

The results highlighted significant discrepancies between the satisfaction levels 3PL customers have with their Third-Party Logistics suppliers, and the perceived satisfaction rates of the 3PLs themselves. Businesses complained about a lack of proactivity from 3PLs, a lack of continuous improvement and a constant focus on cost instead of quality. 38% of 3PLs surveyed believe their customers are ‘very satisfied’ with their performance, which is more than twice their customers’ actual levels. However, 15% of 3PLs also conceded that their clients were very dissatisfied.

UK – Property consultancy JLL has been appointed to market the historic Appledore Shipyard site in Devon, which is now available following expiry of the existing lease. Appledore Shipyard dates back to 1855 and has built more than 350 vessels in its history, including military craft, bulk carriers, super yachts, ferries and oil industry support ships.

Bidna Yard and New Quay form the two parts of the available property covering around 28 acres. The main building includes an impressive 118 metres long covered, dry dock facility. The property is available on a new lease as a whole or in parts. For more details contact Tim Western of JLL on +44 (0)1392 429305.

UK – BRAZIL – Virgin Atlantic Cargo will be launching daily flights between London Heathrow and São Paulo, Brazil in 2020 utilising Boeing 787 aircraft thus offering freight customers multiple tonnes of capacity a day. The new route represents Virgin Atlantic’s first foray into South America and will give customers direct access into the continent’s largest import and export market.

São Paulo, the largest city in the Americas after New York for companies with multi-national offices, is Virgin Atlantic’s second global route announcement of 2019 following the airline’s confirmation it will begin daily Heathrow-Tel Aviv flights on 25th September this year, another prime cargo route for imports and exports.

Photo: One of the Liebherr maritime crane simulators, as sent to New Zealand this month, in use.