Friday, June 28, 2019

A Range of Shipping and Logistics Stories from Across the World This Week

Catch Up on What You May Have MIssed
Shipping News Feature
UK – The weekly dip into some of the news you may have missed this week from the freight and logistics sector starts in Britain where, on a nostalgic note, the concrete pour of the first slab of the Tilbury2 RoRo terminal took place this week. In the 1960's some of us dodderers witnessed the same event when the docks, originally constructed in the 1880's, last had a major extension (Editors note: Don't go on about it, I remember it well).

When operational in Spring 2020, Tilbury2’s roll on/roll off facility will be the UK’s largest unaccompanied freight ferry port, together with the country’s biggest construction processing hub and the creation of a new significantly larger rail head which can accommodate the longest freight trains of 775 metres and will include import, export and storage options for a range of cargoes.

UK – The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has advised members not to use Doctors on Wheels for D4 medical reports. This is in support of the DVLA which will no longer accept any medical reports on lorry drivers from the company and follows the RHA receiving a number of complaints.

The subsequent investigation by Trading Standards and the DVLA apparently revealed that D4 medicals were not being completed properly and fit-to-drive notices were being submitted when the drivers were not healthy enough to pass DVLA scrutiny. Investigations are continuing and staff at Doctors on Wheels are being questioned. The company website was inoperable as this went to press.

UK – The row as to whether couriers employed by the multi-drop delivery carriers are employed or self-employed took another turn this week when the GMB union staged a demonstration over the suspension of a driver, allegedly for taking part in union activity at the Tipton distribution of DX. Ian Edwards, GMB Organiser, said:

“Couriers delivering for DX cannot be classed as anything other than employed when you look at the law. DX may not like giving workers the rights their legally entitled to, but they don’t get to pick and choose which laws they adhere to. And DX couriers, like everyone else, have a right to join a trade union for protection at work. For DX to dismiss someone for trying to exercise their legally rights is disgraceful.”

DX were in the news last month when the company lost the contract to deliver UK passports nationwide, something it had been doing for the previous fourteen years.

UK – Lloyd’s Maritime Academy has witnessed a 171% surge in delegates registering interest in its ‘Certificate in Tanker Chartering’ course which starts this September. The company has also recently witnessed a 50% increase in bookings for its ‘Certificate in Chartering course’. Delivered entirely via distance learning, the former course is split into six modules covering: the basics of tanker chartering; vessels and cargo; time and bareboat charters; voyage charters; tanker chartering operations and Charterparty formats.

The course will also have an increased focus on IMO 2020 and its associated impacts with exclusive material currently being developed for the new delegate intake at the end of September 2019. Online forums to network with other students will also be made available, as well as support from the Course Director throughout the duration of the programme. To register your interest in either of these courses email

GERMANY – UAE – Liebherr-MCCtec Rostock GmbH has signed a contract to deliver an RL 2650, the second biggest crane of its ram luffing series, to Navtech Marine Services based in the United Arabian Emirates. The crane will provide an extraordinary lifting capacity of 75 tonnes, which is exceptional for this size of system. Navtech has ordered the crane to equip a new build jack-up barge.

The offshore crane will be used for service tasks in the Persian Gulf. There Navtech takes over service tasks for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC). With the new crane it will lift heavy parts on existing oil platforms in the Gulf region and execute maintenance tasks.

GERMANY – JF Hillebrand, specialist logistics supplier to the beverage industry, has today acquired German transport operator 3W Logistik, enabling it to expand its European wine transport services. Both companies work within the wine, beer and spirit sectors, JF Hillebrand concentrating on containerised freight and 3W Logistik focused on intra-europe groupage services and road freight.

Tilo Raab, managing director of JF Hillebrand Germany, said the two companies services are very complementary to each other and serve the same customer base. Cees van Gent, CEO of the JF Hillebrand Group, said the acquisition confirms the group’s strong ambition to grow organically and extend its service portfolio with road services, both in Europe and the US.

CHILE – Chile-based ground handler UASL of the Ultramar Group is the launch customer for Hermes NG, a Cloud-hosted, fully modular, pay-as-you-go cargo management ecosystem. UASL will use Hermes NG’s Business Intelligence (BI) module for event reporting and analysis at Santiago Airport (SCL) to improve handling efficiency and boost handling times to meet Customs' service requirements.

UASL chose the BI module of Hermes NG after Hermes’ flagship cargo management system, Hermes 5 (H5), was completed in quarter four last year. Hermes NG is built on the technology behind H5, and its modules can be used as standalone applications or to expand the cargo management capability of H5. UASL will be the first company globally to adopt Hermes NG when the final testing phase wraps up at the end of this month.

ETHIOPIA – Move One has reported to us a internet outage following a reported coup in Amhara state. The outage is expected to be in effect until at least Saturday, June 29th although emails and social media appear to be working within the country. The company says all operations within Ethiopia are still ongoing, however it does anticipate some delays in customs clearance and airport processing due to the shut-down.

PACIFIC OCEAN – Swedish group Trelleborg has supplied The Ocean Cleanup with seven of its floating pneumatic fenders, normally used for energy absorption when ships meet at sea. However, in this application the fenders will be part of one of the solutions tested as giant floating buoys that are connected to create a wind area. This functions as a sail, which pulls The Ocean Cleanup’s advanced passive drifting boom system, System 001/B, forward to help retain plastic for longer periods of time in the harsh conditions in the Pacific Ocean and 1,000 miles from shore. Trelleborg delivered the fenders via its fender rental service in the Netherlands.

This month System 001/B will head back to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the largest accumulation zone of plastic in the world, located between Hawaii and California. System 001/B consists of a 150 metre floater that sits at the surface of the water and a tapered three metre deep skirt attached below. The floater provides buoyancy to the system and prevents plastic from flowing over it, while the skirt stops debris from escaping underneath. As the system moves through the water, the plastic collects within the boundaries of the U-shaped system. The concentrated plastic will be brought to shore for recycling and made into durable products. Revenue gained will help fund the clean-up expansion to the remaining four ocean gyres, the large systems of rotating currents.

SPAIN – This week DSV’s Road and Air & Sea offices in Madrid will move to a new location in San Fernando de Henares. This new facility has a total of 9,500 m2 space and is strategically located close to the main motorways. The building is Breeam certified and thus provides a sustainable environment; it is energy efficient with low water consumption and low CO2 emissions compared to conventional buildings.

The office space within the new building comprises 2,700 m2 and accommodates 120 employees. With the new premises, the company says it will be able to offer improved services to customers and partners with the increased capacity.

HONG KONG – Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) is the latest air cargo organisation to throw its weight behind ULD CARE’s new Unit Load Device (ULD) Code of Conduct. The 10-point Code of Conduct is a voluntary agreement promoting best practice in the handling of ULDs, and represents a gold standard benchmark for its operation on the ground and in flight. The Code’s primary aim is to reduce avoidable damage and loss of ULDs throughout the supply chain. A number of airlines, handlers, forwarders and ULD suppliers have already signed up to the code.

Hactl signed the Code of Conduct Agreement at IATA’s International Ground Handling Conference in Madrid; it is the first Hong Kong organisation to do so. Hactl is one of the largest handlers of ULDs in the world: in 2018 it processed 1.14 million units. Hactl operates within its own strict set of ULD handling procedures, and provides thorough staff training. It uses its COSAC-Plus system to manage its customers’ ULD inventory and provide real-time status information that includes photographic images of all equipment.

NETHERLANDS – UK – GERMANY – The European road transport arm of Imperial Logistics has renewed its contract with Dutch independent car manufacturer VDL Nedcar to operate trailers carrying automotive components between the company’s plant at Born (Netherlands) and southern England. The two have worked together since 2014 and now Imperial will handle round-trip movements between Born, where Imperial has a base, and southwest Germany, as well as increasing existing UK round-trips.

Services will be operated using dedicated tractors and trailers, supplemented (when required) with capacity on Imperial Logistics’ shared-user vehicles already operating to and from the UK. Imperial Logistics is adding 20 further vehicles to its fleet, and employing additional drivers and a transport coordinator. Up to 40 trucks and 115 trailers will be deployed on the contract at any one time. Movements will be coordinated through a central control tower using real time data direct from trailers. In the event of deviations from planned routes or schedules, the system will generate automatic alerts.

DENMARK – SWITZERLAND – The takeover of Panalpina by DSV A/S continues with news this week that published a public exchange offer for all publicly held registered shares of Panalpina Welttransport (Holding) AG, Basel, Switzerland, with a nominal value of CHF 0.10 each in May, DSV has now extended the main offer period by fifteen (15) trading days, from 26 June 2019 to 17 July 2019, 4.00 p.m. CEST.

This means the Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting, which was tentatively scheduled for 16 July 2019 will probably take place on 6 August 2019, in Basel.

Photo: First concrete pour for the Tilbury2 RoRo terminal.