Friday, June 11, 2021

A Whole Bunch of Shipping and Logistics Information in a Nutshell

Some Stories Which May Have Escaped Your Attention This Week
Shipping News Feature

UK – FRANCE – With one hand the pandemic gives and the other it takes away. Whilst the traffic levels through the Channel Tunnel for passenger vehicles were up against the first lockdowns in spring 2020, reaching 45,841 in May, this was still unsurprisingly a huge slump against earlier years. Le Shuttle Freight however transported 112,772 trucks, an increase of 25% compared to May 2020.

UK – Quadient, the Automated Packaging Solutions specialist, will be highlighting its 'revolutionary' automated packaging machines at IntraLogisteX 2021, July 1-2 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. The company’s systems tailor make up to 1,100 bespoke packages per hour, for multiple or single items. With installations across Europe, the US and Canada, the CVP Automated Packaging Solutions create, fill, fold and label each parcel in one seamless process, reducing package volumes by up to 50%, cutting cardboard usage by 30% and eliminating the need for void fill.

UK – Entries are now being accepted for the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) Awards to be held in the prestigious Grosvenor Hotel, Park Lane, London on the evening of 5 November 2021 and featuring special guest stand-up comedian and television presenter Dara O’Briain.

There are ten categories of award open, ranging from Best Team and Trainer to Innovation and Best Lifting Operation, all of which can be seen at the registration page, with entries taking as little as ten minutes. Prior to the event the LEEA will be hosting a ‘Calendar of Content’ on 8 July, Global Lifting Awareness Day (GLAD), to promote the industry and anyone in the industry is invited to share their relevant content on the Calendar.

UK – Union RMT has raised safety concerns over the catamaran MV Pentalina which the Scottish Government is considering for charter on CalMac routes. Writing to the Chief Executive of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, RMT General Secretary, Mick Lynch said the vessel’s long layup could bode ill for safety.

He added alterations as reported makes the vessel inappropriate for CalMac routes and he would be very grateful for an urgent update from MCA surveyors on the structural integrity of the ship, when a survey was last conducted, what the results were and the details of any structural alterations to the Pentalina which have been reported to the MCA since 2015.

UK – SPAIN – Short sea container specialist W.E.C. Lines has opened a new call to Bilbao from London Thamesport, the second such new service in a week for the Hutchison Ports facility. W.E.C. Lines offers customs clearance, cross docking, canvas haulage, warehousing in its portfolio and Managing Director Roger Megann said cargo owners can see the benefit of converting freight from the traditional trailer option to the flexible and cost and carbon friendly modality of containers, especially after the congestion caused by Brexit to established short sea routes.

UK – IRELAND – The impetus to switch from accompanied trailer freight to alternative modes, prompted by Brexit also continued last week with short sea container feeder specialist Unifeeder launching a new service via Southampton to/from the ports of Cork, Belfast and Dublin.

The Irish Sea is new territory for the Danish headquartered line and the new service is a fixed weekly rotation leaving Southampton on Mondays and docking once more the following Saturday.

GERMANY – Ballast water equipment manufacturer ERMA FIRST has acquired German marine water specialist RWO GmbH. Founded in 1975 and headquartered in Bremen, RWO provides water and wastewater treatment systems for ships, ports and offshore installations. Over 16,000 ships have been equipped with RWO’s oil water separators. Since its launch in 2009, ERMA FIRST has installed its ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) on more than 2,500 ships.

US – With cyber protection uppermost in everybody’s minds at the moment the Northrop Grumman Corporation has been awarded a newly expanded role as systems integrator for C5ISR and control systems on the US Coast Guard Offshore Patrol Cutter (OPC), by Eastern Shipbuilding Group (ESG), the prime contractor for the OPC program.

Northrop Grumman is responsible for integrating all cyber hardened C5ISR systems, including command and control, communications, navigation and the shipboard computer networking systems. The company’s responsibilities for the OPC platform include the integrated bridge, navigation, command and control, computing network, data distribution, machinery control, and propulsion control systems, cyber/information assurance, testing and integration work.

RUSSIA – US – AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), part of the Volga-Dnepr Group, has signed a three-year contract to become the launch customer of Worldwide Flight Services’ (WFS) new cargo terminal at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (H-JAIA). Under the terms of the agreement, WFS will handle some 9,500 tonnes of cargo annually for AirBridgeCargo, carried on board approximately 100 Boeing 747-400ERF freighter flights.

WFS opened its 50,000 tonne capacity operation at H-JAIA on 15 May 2021 under a 20-year lease agreement with the airport authority for Atlanta’s new Cargo Building C, the first new cargo terminal to open at the airport since the 1980s.The contract extends ABC’s partnership with WFS in North America, with WFS already serving handling contracts with the Russian all-cargo airline in New York JFK, George Bush Intercontinental/Houston Airport (IAH), and Dallas/Fort Worth.

NORWAY – Not actually freight related but news comes that construction has commenced on the world’s first fully electric passenger fast ferry, Medstraum (literally ‘with electricity’ and ‘co-current‘ in Norwegian) at the Fjellstrand shipyard. Equipped to carry around 150 passengers, the catamaran vessel will be 31 metres long with a nine-metre beam. It will be equipped with two electric motors and a 1.5MWh capacity battery with charging power of more than 2MW.

This will be the world’s first fully electric and zero-emission fast ferry with a service speed of 23 knots, classed in accordance with the International Code of Safety for High-Speed Crafts (HSC Code) and is a product of the TrAM project, initiated by industry cluster organization NCE Maritime CleanTech and is being coordinated by Kolumbus, the independent mobility services arm of Rogaland County Council.

CROATIA – Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT), International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) Croatian subsidiary, has handled a cumulative throughput of two (2) million TEUs, something which is a high point of the company’s 10th anniversary. Achieved over the course of a decade since AGCT started operations at the Port of Rijeka in April 2011, the milestone highlights the company’s highly successful public-private partnership with Luka Rijeka, Rijeka Port Authority, and the Government of Croatia.

Photo: Artist’s rendition of USCGC ARGUS, the first vessel of the Heritage Class Fleet of Offshore Patrol Cutters. (Image courtesy Eastern Shipbuilding Group).