Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Air Freight Cargo Capacity From China On The Up For Logistics Group

But it's Not THAT TNT Out Scooping Oil in the BP Gulf Oil Disaster
Shipping News Feature

CHINA – EUROPE - This week Dutch logistics specialists TNT have cited a near 50% year on year rise in shipments into Europe from China as the reason they are increasing cargo capacity on their oriental import routes. Henceforth the parcels and mail courier company will double service frequency to six cargo flights per week ex Shanghai and upping the Hong Kong route from three planes per week to five. An extra Boeing 747-400 ERF will join the rest of the fleet into the company’s Liege hub.

The 110-ton Boeing 747-400 ERF (Extended Range Freighter) offers a very competitive ton-mile cost and TNT started to operate these planes on their non-stop air service between China and Europe in February 2007, extending its air service offering by linking Hong Kong to Liege in September 2009. Besides international express services, TNT is developing its domestic Chinese operations, including a day-definite road service to 26 large cities.

TNT say they are having to cope with extra demand, especially from the high-tech and fashion industries and they quote Chinese General Administration of Customs statistics showing bilateral trade between China and the EU standing at $177 billion, an increase of 37.4 percent over last year, confirming the EU’s position as China’s number one trade partner.

Readers please note however that they should disregard other industry press reports telling of the Dutch giants foray into the world of oil disaster experts. The company which others refer to as TNT is in fact TMT Shipping, an acronym for ‘Today Makes Tomorrow’ and it is that company which has apparently been conducting, so far not particularly successful, trials of their innovative ‘A Whale’ vessel.

The very day the BP Deepwater Horizon rig exploded the Asian group, known as Taiwan Marine Transport in a former life, claim they ordered a $160 million freighter at which point they then requested Hyundai engineers to draw up plans to convert the ship into a top water skimmer. The ship was apparently then sent into Portugal for adaptation. The principle is for the water/oil mix to enter through vents into static tanks where the oil can settle on top and be drawn off. First reports suggest the vessel has had little success in the waters of the Gulf but trials are continuing.

This may perhaps all sound a little far fetched but ITN have issued a video of the beast in action. But ignore the press reports and relax, your parcels are not somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico in the middle of the oil slick.

Photo – TMT’s ‘A Whale’