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January 2016

image: Portugal Iberian Peninsula intermodal rail freight container shipping MSC CP Carga

Iberian Peninsula Expansion Deal Sealed

PORTUGAL – MSC Rail, a subsidiary of the world’s second largest container shipping line Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), has acquired a 95% stake in Portuguese state-owned rail freight operator CP Carga, which the company hopes will open new possibilities for intermodal business expansion in Iberia and beyond. The remaining 5% of CP Carga is being offered to employees working for the rail operator. Giuseppe Prudente, Chief Logistics Officer at MSC, said:

image: UK Allseas global logistics project freight forwarding road haulage operator forwarder shipping

Early Notice, Avoid Busy Periods and Speak to a Professional are the Key Factors

UK – WORLDWIDE – Sometimes it is wise to note that all one’s readers might not be as well versed in the world of shipping as others. For someone coming to the early stages of an import or export movement, from a single item to a vast heavy lift or project cargo consignment, the whole process can be a daunting prospect. Last month freight forwarding group, Allseas Global Logistics Chief Operating Officer, Terry Churchill, via an in house interview, chose to offer an insight into various things to consider when undertaking a shipment, the key points of which we have included here.

image: UK DP World London Gateway container freight deep water port Tilbury

Maersk Vessels Calling More Often at Thames Port in Future

SOUTH AMERICA – UK – EUROPE – Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping line in terms of capacity, has switched the UK call of its Samba service from Tilbury to DP World’s neighbouring London Gateway Port. The first call on the service will be made by the Maersk Lanco on Monday, March 21, and meantime the unscheduled call of one of the world’s biggest box ships gives another boost to the growing deep water freight facility. Brian Godsafe, Managing Director, Maersk Line UK and Ireland, said:

image: Seaman Guard Ohio merchant shipping pirates India prestige oil spill Captain Mangouras

Union Money Available for Appeal

INDIA – The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is to pay the legal support costs for the 35 crewmembers of the Seaman Guard Ohio who, earlier this month were jailed for five years over allegations that they entered Indian territorial waters with unauthorised weapons and ammunition whilst they were clearly on armed patrol, targeting pirates preying on merchant shipping. The men are to now begin proceedings to formally appeal the decision, a process which given events so far could be rather lengthy.

image: Volvo trucks Mack Renault commercial vehicle freight road haulage community UD favourite

Volvo Group Makes Structural Changes to Commercial Vehicle Division

SWEDEN – WORLDWIDE – Volvo is to change the structure of the Group’s truck organisation and create four separate units: Volvo Trucks, UD Trucks, Renault Trucks and Mack Trucks, each with profit and loss responsibility for their respective business. According to Volvo the change is to instil clearer commercial accountability and will also require changes to the Group Executive Board. Volvo manufactures some of the brands which include the most loyal of customers amongst the road haulage and freight transport community.

image: UK Africa freight logistics Transaid charity on your bike cycle rides

See the World, Get Fit and Do Something Really Worthwhile

UK – AFRICA – International transport development charity Transaid, is once again challenging members of the freight and logistics industry to swap truck, buses and trains with bicycles, to get fit for 2016 and help Transaid improve the lives of people in Africa, by signing up to one of its two cycle rides. Transaid’s CEO Gary Forster said:

image: Taiwan UK US container shipping supply chain logistics cargo carrier Mohammed Sharaf Chang Yung-fa

Death of a Freight and Wider Industry Giant Heads This Weeks Announcements

TAIWAN – This week’s round-up of staff changes and appointments in the world of freight and logistics begins with the sad news that Chang Yung-fa, founder of the Evergreen Group, has died at the age of 88. Chang started what is now one of the world’s largest shipping companies in 1968 with a second-hand cargo carrier. He rapidly grew the business and expanded its offerings further to encompass operations in energy development, air transport, hotels and resort services.

image: UK Thames crossing freight road haulage tunnel

United Voice in Favour of a Suitable Tunnel

UK – Highways England has unveiled plans for a new multi-billion pound road link across the River Thames between Essex and Kent in the hope of relieving congestion at the existing Dartford Crossing. Though the removal of toll barriers and the introduction of electronic payments has recently improved traffic flow and journey times at the current crossing, it does not account for the need for increased capacity, which is predicted to rise 41% by 2041 as against the current 50 million crossings a year. News of the plans have been greatly welcomed by both the Road Haulage Association (RHA) and the Freight Transport Association (FTA).

image: UK Dreamflight Peter Lole logistics insurance marine project freight forwarding BIFA goods in transit

Name Change for Peter Lole Puts the Icing on the Cake

UK – The New Year has been a busy period for logistics specialist insurance brokers Peter Lole. The company, which offers the full suite of assurances from a portfolio which ranges from Marine and Goods in Transit through to personal cover, once again was a major sponsor of this month’s British International Freight Association (BIFA) Awards, celebrating that most exotic of categories, Project Freight Forwarding.

image: UK France P&O freight ferry road haulage RHA FTA transport ship vessel seizure Jungle camp Operation Stack M20 trucks stranded

Proposals to Move French Migrant Camps and UK Truck Rest Sites Continue

FRANCE – UK – Despite the migrant situation at the French coastal ports continuing to make headlines for all the wrong reasons it seems the French authorities are still incapable of dealing adequately with the situation. This week saw hundreds of refugees storm the Port of Calais from their temporary homes in the ‘Jungle’, the camp which has been so widely publicised of late. A large proportion, said to be around 50 in number, managed to board the P&O RoRo freight and passenger ferry Spirit of Britain and occupy the ship for a time, preventing her sailing. In a statement P&O said:

image: UK Spain Brittany ferries freight RoRo vessel ferry unaccompanied trailers Poole Bilbao

Ex Military Ship Will Serve on UK - Spanish Route

UK – SPAIN – Suiting a charter vessel to a particular task is never easy, particularly in the RoRo freight ferry sector, so it is easy to understand the delight of French based Brittany Ferries in securing the services of the Pelican, a pure RoRo craft with the capacity of around one hundred unaccompanied trailers and twelve drivers, to serve on the Poole and Bilbao route starting with almost immediate effect.

image: Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) intermodal transload multimodal freight railroad Freightliner North America

Warehouse and Transhipment Facilities Located at the Click of a Mouse

NORTH AMERICA – Genesee & Wyoming (G&W), which owns or leases 120 freight railroads around the globe, including since last year the UK’s Freightliner network, has improved its multimodal capabilities by installing an interactive facility on its website giving customers information regarding its intermodal and warehouse facilities located within 150 miles of the company’s 113 short line and regional freight railroads in North America.

image: UK India TVS Group Rico air freight forwarding road haulage Circle Express courier logistics same day

Established Operator Acquired by International Logistics Group

UK – Rico, a logistics provider and part of the Indian headquartered TVS Group, has taken a majority shareholding in Circle Express, a previously independent network offering a collection and delivery service specifically targeted at the UK air freight forwarding industry. Circle began life as a Heathrow based mini cab operation and expanded into its present form in 1982, growing influence as a dedicated express road haulage provider to the air cargo community with an operating presence at key UK airport sites.

image: Denmark US UTi freight logistics supply chain South Africa antitrust regulators

One Region Guarantees Supply Chain Jobs Cannot be Cut for Two Years

DENMARK – US – SOUTH AFRICA – Shareholders of US based global supply chain services and solutions provider, UTi Worldwide have approved the proposal of a $1.35 billion acquisition by international freight and logistics group, DSV, which we covered in October last year. This week also saw the takeover receive formal antitrust clearance in South Africa. With the deal officially expected to close on January 22nd, the newly merged company is predicted to have a more balanced geographical footprint for the pair than formerly with approximately 61% of revenue in Europe, Middle East and North Africa, 17% in Americas, 16% in Asia (APAC) and 6% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

image: Canadian Pacific intermodal rail freight Norfolk Southern Department of Justice merger CSX

Accusations That Potential Mergers Were Deliberately Blocked by Operators

NORTH AMERICA – Canadian Pacific (CP) are still pushing for a major shake-up in the North American rail freight and intermodal market arguing that the industry as it currently stands needs a comprehensive upheaval in order to support continued growth in the region’s economy. According to CP, there have been ‘a number of major US railroads who have stated publicly that they are organising a collective campaign to block significant mergers’. Included of course is CP’s repeatedly rejected offer to buy competitor Norfolk Southern (NS). In response to these supposed actions, CP has submitted a letter to the US Department of Justice, asking it to review the recent behaviour from the other railroads.

image: UK British freight logistics awards Sally Boazman BIFA The Brewery London

BBC Radio 2 Personality Heads Up a Popular Event

UK – The 27th Annual British International Freight Association (BIFA) 2015 Awards this week proved to be more popular than ever, this year requiring two extra categories and considerably more seating to accommodate the throng of logistics industry representatives filling the dining room of The Brewery, in the heart of London. Reading the mood of an ever hungry crowd the usual fine repast was preceded by suitably brief introductions from Director General Robert Keen and President Sir Peter Bottomley MP.

image: US Port Oakland Harbor container freight cargo Maersk Cosco Hapag Lloyd Ports America Outer Harbor

End of the Line in March for California Cargo Facility

US – Port officials are confident they can to keep cargo moving efficiently after Ports America Outer Harbor container terminal announced this week it will close in March. The Port of Oakland said vessels will be rerouted to adjacent cargo terminals after the shutdown occurs. Port representatives assured shipping lines and cargo owners that planning is already underway to blunt the shutdown’s impact. Outer Harbor is one of five marine terminals leased to private operators by the Port of Oakland. More than 2,000 ships, most from Asia, berth at the terminals each year and more than 2 million containers move annually through the Port and this terminal handles freight for a wide range of shipping lines including Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, K Line, Cosco etc.

image: UK multimodal freight forwarding logistics awards FTA John Sergeant

Still Time to Put Forward Suggestions as to Who Excels in the Industry

UK – Time is running out fast for an individual or company deserving of an accolade in the annual celebration of the logistics industry which is the FTA Multimodal Awards. Recognising excellence in air, road, rail, maritime and freight forwarding services, nominations need to be in by 29 January 2016 to try for a place at the Awards presentations of the country’s largest cargo sector exhibition.

image: UK freight forwarding logistics e-learning Advisory training Woodland group Andy Dennis

Bespoke or Set Training Programmes Available at a Discount

UK – Training is right at the top of many freight and logistics associated businesses agendas these days with qualifications and accreditations giving a degree of security to customers and employers’ alike. With the phenomenal growth of the requirements of in work education Andy Dennis, a freight industry veteran with 30 years' experience, has undertaken to fill a gap in the niche market by launching Advisory Training, a comprehensive e-learning resource for the freight forwarding community.

image: UK London FORS road haulage operators Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme TNT

Twenty One Stakeholder Members Now Have Input

UK – The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS), which gives accreditation to those road haulage operators which work in London and achieve benchmark standards of performance quality has increased the number of representatives on its Governance and Standards Advisory Group (GSAG) to 21 with the inclusion of three more industry stakeholders, TNT, High Speed Two Limited and Highways England.

image: Luxembourg China Cargolux air freight cargo Zhengzhou Henan

Expansion at Zhengzhou in Joint Venture with Existing Chinese Partners

LUXEMBOURG – CHINA – Having seemingly got over its recent labour problems with the signing of new collective work agreements with its pilots, the Board of Directors of Cargolux, Europe’s largest freight only airline, has approved an investment of $77 million for ‘Cargolux China’, a new joint venture Chinese cargo airline to be based at a new hub in Zhengzhou. The Luxembourg based group will have a 35% stake in the new venture. The move comes at a significant time as the Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport is planning expansion which will include increased quantities of air cargo.

image: Rwandan container freight logistics TEU tonnes Kigali DP World terminal

African Transport Infrastructure Takes Another Step Forward

RWANDA – The country has been developing its transport infrastructure steadily since the horrific civil war and genocide in 1994 and now global marine terminal operator DP World has been granted a 25 year concession to develop and operate a new logistics centre in the capital Kigali. The government of Rwanda aims to enhance the country’s logistics industry to support the export of products for regional and international markets, goods principally emanating from the agricultural sector.

image: Belgium Antwerp container freight terminal compensation European Commission tonnage reduction

Retrospective Reduction of Tonnage Throughput Avoided Compensation Payments

BELGIUM – The European Commission (EC) has opened an in-depth inquiry into whether reductions in compensation payments granted by the Port of Antwerp to two container terminal operators gave them an undue advantage over competitors, in breach of EU state aid rules. It has been alleged that the port authority retroactively revised the minimum freight tonnage requirements in favour of the two terminal operators in question, PSA Antwerp and Antwerp Gateway, instead of collecting full compensation as normally required.

image: UK Briggs materials handling logistics Porsche Cayman Autosport International Rally for Heroes fork trucks Yale Hyster

Materials Handling Group Funds Rally for Heroes Sponsorship

UK – EUROPE – Materials handling specialist, Briggs Equipment, always a popular choice with those in the logistics sector with its Yale and Hyster ranges of fork trucks and equipment, is continuing its ongoing charity work by sponsoring a team in the 2016 Rally for Heroes. The deal was announced at the recent Autosport International event at Birmingham’s NEC and the impressive Briggs branded Porsche Cayman took centre stage. Rally for Heroes raises money for military charities and aims to give something back to members of the Armed Forces once they return from operations, including those who have previously served with the military.

image: UK John Good airfreight freight forwarding logistics shipping road haulage warehousing customs clearance

John Good Shipping Keeps Evolving Even After 180 Years

UK – One of the country’s longest established shipping, forwarding and logistics groups has proved it can still move with the times by introducing yet another facet to a company which already offers a wide portfolio of industry services. John Good Shipping, having expanded into its brand new headquarters adjacent to the Humber Bridge just a year ago, has branched out further into air freight with a new division based in Manchester.

image: Jungheinrich fork truck freight warehouse wholesale narrow aisle battery charge Kombi Stacker EKX 514-516

Battery Technology Allows Two Shift from One Charge

EUROPE – Materials handling group Jungheinrich has introduced what it claims is a totally new narrow aisle fork lift truck, a Kombi Stacker EKX 514-516 electric order picker and trilateral forklift. The truck is designed to handle two full shifts on just one battery charge, a real boost for any busy freight or wholesale warehouse. The truck eliminates the need for extra batteries on a two-shift operation and cuts down on requirements for charging stations and extra manpower.

image: UK government Iran trade sanctions lifted nuclear

UK Government Strives for Return to Normality

UK – IRAN – With the lifting of most of the sanctions on Iran following the nuclear agreement drawn up in July 2015 and ratified this month, many exporters, and indeed importers, will be keen to normalise trade relations with a country which, until very recently, was subject to extensive UN as well as EU, US and third country sanctions. Not everything in the garden is lovely however and restrictions remain in place with regard to human rights, nuclear proliferation and Iran’s support for terrorism.

image: Volga Dnepr air freight Bollore logistics Mars ExoMars

Bowie May be Gone but Search Continues to See 'Is There Life on Mars?'

EUROPE – RUSSIA – KAZAKHSTAN – Despite the world mourning the loss of a great musical talent the search for life on the red planet continues, and last month large project air freight specialist Volga-Dnepr Airlines cooperated with French owned group Bollore Logistics to carry essential equipment for the ExoMars space exploration programme that aims to discover any traces of life on Mars. Three flights departed from Turin in Italy in the run up to Christmas headed for Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome via Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on behalf of the consignor Thales Alenia Space Italia.

image: Close Brothers freight assets logistics transport policy

Antitrust and Cartel Activities Weigh Heavy on the Industry's Reputation

UK – WORLDWIDE – A recently released report from asset management group Close Brothers reveals that a sizeable number of small and medium sized companies (SMEs) within the transport sector lack an ethics policy as they feel it to be surplus to their requirements. With the continuing series of antitrust and cartel scandals afflicting many of the larger firms in the freight and logistics market this may well be a policy which should be given a little more thought.

image: Transaid Madagascar New Zealand freight logistics bicycle

Bicycle Project Brings Medical Access to Remote Areas

NEW ZEALAND – MADAGASCAR – UK – International development charity and favourite of many in the freight and logistics sector, Transaid, has revealed that it ended the year on a high by exceeding its Christmas Appeal goal, raising a tremendous £27,557 to help the charity in its efforts to provide life-saving transport solutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. Transaid are involved in several projects that help developing countries get the much needed access to healthcare solutions they require, with one such recent project being the shipping of 361 bicycles from New Zealand to Madagascar.

image: Israel ocean container freight logistics intermodal staff moves appointments departures

Who is Going Where in the Sector this Week

ISRAEL – Beginning this week’s news of appointments and departures in the freight and logistics sectors is the news of a long standing association drawing to a close with Haifa headquartered ocean container shipping line and intermodal operator ZIM Integrated Shipping Services announcing that CEO, Rafi Danieli, has tendered his resignation. Danieli will continue to serve as CEO of the company until a new CEO is appointed in order to help ensure a smooth transition. He will serve as an active advisor to the Company following the appointment of the new chief. Danieli's request to leave his position came after working in ZIM for 38 years, of which he served as CEO for seven years

image: US Turkish Ciner bulk freight ship magic pipe fine Prevent Pollution Act

Discharge of Waste Water by Stealth Costs Turkish Firm Dear

US – Turkish ship management company, Ciner, which manages a fleet of around 18 bulk carriers and tankers, plus two of the company’s senior crew members, have pleaded guilty in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, for violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS) on charges related to the illegal discharge of waste oil and falsifying evidence, yet another ‘magic pipe’ incident. In accordance with the terms of the plea agreement, Ciner was sentenced to pay a criminal penalty of $1.05 million, of which $150,000 will be in the form of an organisational community service payment to the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation and used to fund projects aimed at the restoration of marine and aquatic resources in the District of Maryland.

image: Poland antitrust rail freight cargo CTL logistics UOKiK  PKP Cargo

Competition Authority Stamps Down on Illicit Practices

POLAND – The Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) in Poland has found that the country’s largest rail freight operator, PKP Cargo, abused its dominant position which resulted in limited competition on the rail freight market. As a result, the antitrust authority fined the company zł14.2 million (€3.3 million), reduced partially because so much time had passed between the initiation of proceedings in 2006 and the conclusion of the case in 2015.

image: Trelleborg freight terminal cargo port automated systems management Swedish

Fifth Annual Report Indicates the Willingness of Sector to Update

WORLDWIDE – Manufacturing marine fenders might not always seem the most inspirational part of the freight and logistics sector but it always prompts manufacturer Trelleborg into studying trends and advances around the globe in the field of port management. True to form the Swedish headquartered firm, which actually involves itself in a wide variety of industries, has produced its fifth annual Barometer Report reviewing the impacting ports and cargo terminals around the globe.

image: UK road haulage freight transport driver Forth bridge hours EU European Commission DfT

Forth Crossing Closed to HGVs until at Least Mid February

UK – The Department for Transport (DfT) has gained approval from the European Commission to a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of EU drivers’ hours rules for drivers of goods vehicles weighing over 7.5 tonnes involved in the distribution of freight within scope of the Regulation whose journeys are delayed or extended due to the partial closure of the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland, news which has been welcomed by industry bodies, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and the Road Haulage Association (RHA).

image: Egypt greenest ultra large container ship freight vessel TEU UASC Suez Canal

Carbon Emissions Can be Reduced if TEU Capacity Maintained on Ultra Large Carriers

EGYPT – 2016 sees one of the world’s largest container shipping lines, the United Arab Shipping Company (UASC), celebrate 40 years since it was established by six Persian Gulf states and headquartered in Kuwait before transferring to Dubai. To mark the occasion the freight carrier plans several events and this week saw the first such celebration when the MV Al Zubara, called the ‘world’s greenest ultra-large container vessel’ by the company, passed through the new Suez Canal.

image: Caledonian MacBrayne Serco lifeline Clyde Hebrides freight ferry services

Things Not Running So Well for Lone Other Bidder

UK – There has still been no news of whether incumbent company Caledonian MacBrayne will retain the Clyde and Hebrides ferry services as the Scottish Parliament continues to mull over the competition bid from outsource specialists Serco. CalMac did itself no harm last month when it became the first ferry company to be awarded the Contact Centre Association’s (CCA) global accreditation for its customer services. Meanwhile news does come through that sole competitors Serco are not having the same sort of success at present.

image: MV Portland US Australia Alcoa freight vessel security guards seize flag of convenience ITF MUA

Australia Allows Actions by a US Firm Proscribed in its Own Country

AUSTRALIA – One can only imagine what would be the reaction if the action taken today by US headquartered aluminium industry giant Alcoa had happened in an American port. The stand-off between the crew of the bulk freight carrier MV Portland and management was ended in rude fashion today when the vessel was boarded by a thirty strong squad of security guards which seized control of the ship and ejected the five crew who had been occupying her.

image: IATA air freight volumes cargo tonnes

Cargo Volumes May be 'Bottoming Out'

WORLDWIDE – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data for global air freight markets that it says suggests that earlier declines are now ‘bottoming out’, consistent with trade volumes stabilising. Measured in Freight Tonnes Kilometres (FTK’s), air cargo volumes were down 1.2% in November 2015, compared to the year before, but total cargo volumes however, expanded compared to October 2015, and were higher than the low point in August. Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said:

image: UK P&O France RoRo freight ferries Calais migrants road haulage transport transients truckers

RoRo Firm Breaks Record Whilst Row Over Calais Transients Ferments

UK – FRANCE – Having announced its millionth freight unit passing through Tilbury in November, plus last week revealing an 11% year on year increase on the number of HGVs shipping on the company’s Hull – Rotterdam route since 2014, now P&O Ferries has revealed that, despite all the strife the French port has witnessed in the period, 2015 saw the RoRo company carry more freight between Dover and Calais than in any previous year in its modern history. Meanwhile comments from a charity spokesperson has added flames to the migrant crisis fire with road haulage and transport stakeholders annoyed both by the current situation and a proposed new camp for transients.

image: Kerry logistics freight forwarding Myanmar cargo rail transportation inland ports

Opportunity for Development of Rail Cargo Options and Inland Ports

MYANMAR – The Singapore subsidiary of Kerry Logistics, a leading power in the freight forwarding sector in Asia particularly, has been awarded the concession to operate inland ports in Yangon and Mandalay, two major commercial cities in Myanmar. The inland ports will serve as container and cargo terminals linked by railway to major routes in the country, and as hubs for the exporters, importers and domestic logistics service providers of cargoes in and out of Yangon and Thilawa Ports, as well as for cross-border cargoes from neighbouring countries such as China and Thailand. George Yeo, Chairman of Kerry Logistics, said:

image: Seaman Guard Ohio Advanfort anti pirate merchant shipping India

Five Year Sentences for Britons and Crewmates

INDIA – The tawdry tale of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio in which 35 members of the ships original crew were recently retried by a Tuticorin Court took yet another twist today when the men all received five year prison sentences from the Tamil Nadu authorities. The ship, an armed anti-pirate protection vessel dedicated to protect merchant shipping was arrested in October 2013 with a myriad versions of what actually happened, varying between her taking shelter from a typhoon to buying fuel illegally from local citizens.

image: Carrier Linde US cold supply Chain logistics shipping waste food sale reefer container Gist Linde Zim

Summit in Singapore Whilst Shipping Line Expands Operation and Supply Chain Outfit Up for Grabs

WORLDWIDE – Whilst parts of the Northern Hemisphere are undergoing some of the mildest of winter weather for many years, cold chain logistics are firmly in the forefront of many minds within the shipping industry around the world. As 2015 closed, Carrier, the commercial refrigeration specialist, held its second ‘World Cold Chain Summit to Reduce Food Waste’ moving from last year’s London venue to the warmer climes of Singapore. Meanwhile ZIM Integrated Shipping Services is to expand its reefer container fleet and Linde, which spreads its interests across various commercial sectors, has announced the upcoming sale of its temperature-controlled logistics unit Gist.

image: US FedEx TNT deal UPS DHL acquisition express freight European Commission parcel

Acquisition of TNT by FedEx Wins European Commission Approval to Pass the Parcels

US – EUROPE – WORLDWIDE – As we reported in November, European Commission (EC) approval was one of the last hurdles to jump in the €4.4 billion acquisition of the Dutch parcel carrier TNT Express by express freight group and US rival, FedEx Corporation. After its investigation, the European Commission has concluded that the deal does not raise any competition concerns and the way would seem to be clear for the two to become one. This decision comes around two years after the EC blocked a takeover attempt of TNT Express by UPS over concerns of severe constraints in the European small parcel market. Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, commented:

image: US Polar Air cargo New York Court antitrust freight carriers Atlas worldwide shipping

And Then There Were Three...........

US – Polar Air Cargo and its parent company Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings have entered into a settlement agreement in yet another large, multi-district antitrust class action against air freight carriers, this one currently underway in New York. Subject to Court approval, the companies have agreed to pay $100 million to direct purchasers of air cargo shipping services, the second-largest payment from any settlement in the litigation, to settle allegations that they colluded with several competitors to fix inflated surcharges on air freight shipments to and from the US. Settlements have now reached over $1.1 billion with three defendants remaining.

image: Norway marine mutual insurance vessels autonomous ships

Review of Products and Development Promised

NORWAY – WORLDWIDE – The CEO of mutual marine insurance company, Norwegian Hull Club, which insures over 10,000 unique vessels and units globally, has written to the insurer’s members and clients to explain his plans to develop the business and offer new products. Faz Peermohamed, who officially took responsibility for the 15-year old marine insurer on 1 January, informed members that he intends to conduct a review of the club’s products and services with the aim of identifying opportunities for change and growth.

image: US UK staff appointments departures logistics freight forwarding and shipping

New Year Starts with a Host of Changes (and some Honours)

WORLDWIDE – Appointments and departures in shipping and freight forwarding for the New Year start with several management changes at logistics group GAC as Peter Österman moves to his native Sweden to take on the new role of Commercial Manager – Shipping for Denmark, Finland and Sweden combined. He is replaced as Managing Director of GAC Global Hub Services by Ronald Lichtenecker who relocates to Dubai for his new role. Lichtenecker was previously Managing Director of GAC Singapore and is now succeeded by Henrik Althen having served as Managing Director of GAC Kuwait. Althen is replaced by Filip Björklund, previously Group Business Controller.

image: US DHL antitrust class action freight forwarding parcel express forwarders Hellmann

Litany of Disastrous Costs Just Goes on and On

US – In the latest settlement in a long-running federal antitrust case regarding an international air freight forwarding price-fixing conspiracy, a New York court has given preliminary approval to a $53 million class settlement between global freight forwarding company DHL and a group of its customers, which, if given final approval, will bring the total of settlements in the case to over $350 million and will see DHL exit the litigation.

image: US Central America Caribbean StreamLines reefer container perishable cargo port rotation Florida freight box London terminal Seatrade

February Sees Change in Rotation and Fast Transit Times for Perishable Cargo

UK – EUROPE – CARIBBEAN – CENTRAL AMERICA – US – As from February 2016 a new freight container service will commence from the London Container Terminal (LCT) at Tilbury linking Northern Europe to and from the Caribbean, Central America and Florida. The weekly rotation is the ‘Blue Stream’ service from niche reefer box carrier StreamLines, part of the Seatrade group. StreamLines operates in the Caribbean, with a strong focus on perishable cargo, and has launched this new service as part of its development plan. Pablo Gonzalez from StreamLines said:

image: Australia Portland union seafarers Alcoa ITF Nautilus aluminium carrier bulk freight

Union Eyes on Flag of Convenience Plans

AUSTRALIA – The dispute over the MV Portland which we wrote of in November is still on-going, with the situation being closely watched by union groups both in Australia and around the world. The US owned corporation, Alcoa, has plans to scrap the aluminium carrier and dismiss the 40 strong crew of local seafarers and replace the bulk freight vessel with a ship sailing under a flag of convenience and manned by lower cost foreign labour, something prohibited in the US under the terms of the Jones Act.

image: UK Liverpool tide levels bulk freight charter costs heights mooring ships cargo crude oil refined Sea Level Research Machine Learning Algorithms

Funding Received for Learning Algorithms Which Include Weather Conditions in Equation

UK – WORLDWIDE – Most seagoing folks, from fishermen to submariners, rely on some form of tide table to predict depths of water at any given time, but the experienced know that the general weather has a varying degree of influence on the lunar driven patterns which, up to now, could never be precisely predicted. These variations can have a dramatic, and expensive effect on those relying on exact depths to enable the passage and mooring of ships waiting to load or unload cargo, particularly bulk freight such as crude or refined oil products and the new breed of ever larger container vessels.

image: China RoRo automobile cargo freight rates antitrust collusion

Chinese Import and Export Automobile Traffic Targeted Illegally

CHINA – WORLDWIDE – Last week, China imposed fines totalling ¥407 million ($60 million+) on several international RoRo cargo carriers over allegations that they colluded together to fix freight rates on the shipment of automobiles to and from China. Following the year-long investigation by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), Japan’s NYK, MOL, K Line and Eastern Car Liner, Korea’s Eukor Car Carriers, Norway’s Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL), Chile’s CSAV and CCNI, all admitted to wrongdoing but NYK came out smelling of roses after being granted full immunity for having ‘fully cooperated with the investigation’.

image: UK Freightliner DB Schenker rail container ocean freight import deep water ports

ORR Accepts Guarantees Over Contract Carriage

UK – In June 2013 the Office of Rail and Road (ORR), the independent regulator charged with administering the economic and safety protocols which govern Britain’s rail and highway transport, received a complaint from DB Schenker Rail UK regarding the carriage of deep sea containers (DSC’s) by rail by Freightliner, its largest competitor in the field. The complaint alleged that the sector was uncompetitive because of the way Freightliner operated, holding sway over much of the ocean freight import traffic arriving at the UK’s deep water ports.

image: US Crowley maritime logistics shipping container genset chassis reefer cargo carrying equipment

Another 25 Million Dollar Spend Announced This Month

US – It seems the policy of the Crowley Maritime Corporation which saw the group invest heavily in 2015 is to continue into the New Year with the announcement that it will purchase a further $25.5 million of new cargo carrying equipment including containers, chassis and generator sets. This latest upgrade to the equipment fleet follows the company’s acquisition earlier this month of 400 new 40-foot, high-cube refrigerated (reefer) cargo containers for use by perishables customers in Central America and the Caribbean.

image: UK freight transport driver Traffic Commissioners operator licence logistics road haulage

Transport Manager and Company Responsibilities Clearly Defined

UK – The run up to Christmas is a busy time for just about everybody concerned with the logistics industry so it may well be that many road haulage operators, and freight transport drivers, will not have noticed the slew of revised statutory vehicle operator licensing documents which the Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain’s office released on 14 December 2015. These in fact are essential reading for all concerned with the sector.

image: UK freight transport association road haulage diesel fuel pump prices FairFuelUK

As Diesel Fuel Cost Falls Treasury Revenues Largely Unaffected

UK – Despite all the efforts by lobbying groups to hold or reduce the cost of fuel in the past two years the one factor that really counts has now created a new milestone for road haulage operators who have struggled to meet fuel costs, higher in the UK than elsewhere in Europe. The current price of Brent crude has fallen 35% in a year and is now trading at £26 per barrel resulting in diesel pump prices, inclusive of VAT, slumping to below £1 per litre for the first time since 2009.

image: Malaysia Penang freight forwarding logistics information technology IT Penang Kerry

City Bids for Supremacy as IT Services in the Region Develop

MALAYSIA – Kerry Logistics, headquartered in Hong Kong and a leading power in the freight forwarding sector in Asia particularly, has continued its expansion in the region with the opening of a new IT Development Centre in Penang, Malaysia today, to harness internet technology in support of its rapidly growing international operations. The centre is a first for the group and the special occasion was marked by an opening ceremony officiated by The Rt. Honourable Mr Lim Guan Eng, Chief Minister of Penang and The Honourable Dato’ Ng Wan Peng, COO of the Multimedia Development Corporation.

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