Shipping Search - Archive

November 2013

image: Freight Logistics Road Haulage Container Shipping Environment IT Supply Chain

...There's an Award Out There for Everyone at This Time of the Year

WORLDWIDE – ‘tis the season to be Jolly, well as far as slaps on the back are concerned and awards all around this month as companies throughout the world of freight and shipping claim their pre-Christmas accolades from various events. Top spot goes to Unipart Logistics which picked up trio of acknowledgements including the Automotive Division’s success at the European Supply Chain Excellence Awards on November 6 when collecting both Automotive, Aerospace & Defence Award and the Overall Winner prize, followed a week later by the ‘Aftermarket Parts Logistics’ trophy at the Automotive Supply Chain Global Awards on November 12.

image: Typhoon Haiyan freight logistics container shipping Philippines South Africa

More News of Help Freely Given by Those Working in the Logistics Sector

JAPAN – FRANCE – SOUTH AFRICA – PHILIPPINES – Much assistance is still being offered by those in the freight and logistics fields following the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan but elsewhere the steady support for good causes which the industry so often provides continues undiminished with news of a leading container shipping line’s continued benevolence being rewarded this week after two years help with an education project in the Republic of South Africa.

image: UK France European Commission rail freight RoRo ferry channel tunnel logistics track access MyFerryLink Competition Arbitration Tribunal SeaFrance

New Technology Lengthens Life of Rail Infrastructure Whilst Decision on Cross Channel Service Hangs in the Balance

UK – FRANCE – EUROPE – This is a particularly interesting time for Eurotunnel which has just held an ‘Innovation Day’ to demonstrate new technological advances designed to lower maintenance costs and improve safety. Meanwhile the company holds its collective breath as the decision of the UK’s Competition Arbitration Tribunal decides the fate of its RoRo cross channel ferry service which rose from the ashes of the SeaFrance debacle.

image: Russia China Europe antitrust container shipping lines freight forwarding rate collusion corruption

Accusations of Corruption Pervade the Industry as Authorities Attack Once Again

RUSSIA – CHINA – EUROPE – Any regular reader will know the alarming quantity of corruption cases, both numerically and financially, which have swept the shipping and forwarding industry in the past few years. Now Russia’s antitrust authority, the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), has initiated formal cartel activity proceedings against fourteen major container shipping lines, following an investigation earlier this year reminiscent of the raids the European Competition Commission carried out over two years ago. These EU investigations have also been hitting the headlines as they are believed to be behind the recent action taken by Brussels in its ocean freight rate price signalling probe.

image: P3 freight transport Federal Maritime Commission Global Shippers alliance container shipping lines CMA CGM Maersk MSC

Transatlantic Interests Want to Know if Federal Antitrust Authorities are Satisfied

US – EUROPE – ASIA – Whilst other freight publications have speculated that the P3 agreement will be ratified by the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) by next week, citing a lack of objections to the alliance being drawn up by the world’s three largest container shipping lines, we hear of at least one influential group who certainly have raised objections to the proposals, on both sides of the Atlantic. The proposed P3 Global Alliance, between Maersk Line, CMA CGM and Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), will be studied hard by antitrust authorities in Europe and the US, as well as freight interests, and, as outlined in a previous story, the FMC has stated that it will pronounce on the deal on December 8, unless it decides to seek an injunction or simply refuses to ratify the agreement whilst it looks more closely at the terms and possible repercussions.

image: UK Mercedes Benz van guide road haulage freight

Mercedes Dealer Explains Individual Body Styles and Abilities

UK – Whilst not strictly a freight story the ‘infographic’ recently produced by S&B Commercials, a Mercedes Benz outlet, caught our eye and may prove of interest to some novice road haulage operators, particularly if they are about to stray outside their comfort zone where the choice of a used vehicle is concerned. The guide shows the five different types of van available for carrying light to medium goods together with the maximum number of staff each can carry, dependent on body type.

image: UK IMO shipping Exceptional Bravery at Sea Awards Randy Haba Daniel J Todd US coastguard China

International Maritime Organization Thanks the Truly Brave for Personal Sacrifices

UK – CHINA – US – WORLDWIDE – On Monday evening the massed ranks of delegates at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) headquarters in London to celebrate the achievements of the true heroes of the shipping world with the presentation of this year’s IMO Awards for Exceptional Bravery at Sea which went to both Aviation Survival Technician Second Class Randy J Haba and Aviation Survival Technician Third Class Daniel J Todd of the United States Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, and posthumously to Mr Jinguo Yang, nominated by the Government of China, and who sacrificed his own life whilst trying to rescue a person in distress on the ferry upon which he worked after a collision with a cargo ship.

image: Ireland shipping container Tasmania RoRo ferries freight Bobbie the Bear Bridestow Lavender Estate New Zealand Aratere KiwiRail

The Woes and Successes of the World's Ferry Services Continue

NEW ZEALAND – AUSTRALIA – IRELAND – FRANCE – Freight ferry stories continue to come in this month and, as we have said often before, virtually nothing is as contentious as when interisland Ro/Ro services go awry, as the current situation in the Southern hemisphere demonstrates. The recent breakdown of the Cook Strait vessel Aratere which plies between the North and South Islands of New Zealand has generated a fierce debate over the future of the service with container shipping cited as a panacea for many of the current difficulties endured by exporters and importers alike.

image: Robinson US Switzerland Basel manager Ildiko Gergely 3PL freight forwarding logistics network European

Swiss Office Uses Multi Lingual Staff to Develop Sales

SWITZERLAND – US – As one of the largest 3PL’s in the world, Minnesota headquartered freight forwarding group C H Robinson has had an established presence in Europe for the past two decades, and with its latest announcement, the logistics outfit demonstrates that there is still more territory for it to gain a foothold in, despite a pan European network which now incorporates over 1,000 staff spread throughout fifty two offices.

image: Novus UK supply chain logistics fashion beauty free shipping Signs Up As Sponsor for Novus BSc Scheme

UK – When you are one of the country’s largest independent online fashion and beauty retailers, and you offer free shipping to over 190 countries worldwide, then supply chain logistics is bound to come pretty high on your list of priorities. To reinforce their place in a very competitive market, and to proof against problems when facing transporting goods all around the globe in an ever changing and challenging market, has recently signed up to be a sponsor for the new 4-year Novus Logistics and Supply Chain BSc degree course, which offers successful graduates a guaranteed job.


Road Haulage Group Switches Pallet Alliance

Wednesday, November 27, 2013
image: UK road haulage pallet network Palletline Pallet-Track

Kent Based Company Changes Network After Nine Years

UK – Kent based road haulage firm Castledene Transport, has joined the Palletline network making the move from competitors Pallet-Track, where it had been a member for nine years. Castledene, which has been in business for more than three decades, will be responsible for the ME postcode (the Rochester area) on behalf of Palletline. John Amey, Managing Director of Castledene Transport, commented:

image: UK road haulage fleets ice snow Brake charity bad weather kit

Drivers Need to Ensure They Follow the Rules in Ice and Snow says Brake

UK – Although primarily aimed at car drivers, advice this week from road safety charity Brake is also of relevance to the road haulage industry, with the charity urging drivers to stay safe during the bad weather the UK is forecast to experience in the coming months. Brake has published an advice sheet calling on organisations to ensure their drivers follow the ABC of staying safe in bad weather conditions, by Avoiding driving at all if possible; Being prepared, planning journeys around bad weather and packing a bad weather kit; and Careful, cautious driving, slowing down and being extra vigilant for people and hazards.

image: LNG liquefied natural gas US Puerto Rico Container shipping fleet Ro/Ro Con/Ro barge ocean freight Jones Act Crowley logistics Halter marine

Latest Design Jones Act Specialist Carriers Replace Triple Deck Barges

US – Shipbuilder VT Halter Marine has secured a $350 million contract with the Crowley Maritime Corporation, specialists in the ocean freight and logistics fields, to build two liquefied natural gas (LNG) powered Container Roll-On/Roll-Off (ConRo) ships. Scheduled for delivery in second and fourth quarter 2017, the Commitment Class, Jones Act ships, will replace Crowley’s towed triple-deck barge fleet, which has served the route between the US mainland and Puerto Rico since the early 1970’s.

image: Miami port Peru US transhipment cargo freight forwarder Customs 9/11 grapes cold treated

Cold Treatment Scheme Commences Whilst Battle to Win Back Lost Cargo Commences

US – PERU – Back in July we told how a shift in attitude by the US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), in company with the US Department of Agriculture, would enable the Port of Miami to import fresh fruit from Peru which had been ‘cold treated’, which involves cooling the cargo prior to shipment to eliminate pests and disease. In the past, Peruvian products such as table grapes and blueberries, could only enter the US via certain north eastern ports, but now the new pilot scheme is under way and the first consignment of grapes is currently en route shipping in from South America and scheduled to arrive on the 1st December. Meanwhile freight forwarders and Customs officials are working together to make Miami a more viable transhipment hub once again.

image: Warrington Supply Chain Logistics computing design build service Flextronics UK

New Customer Care and Learning Centre for Computer Support Company

UK – Some branches of the supply chain require specialist support and Warrington based Flextronics Global Services deals specifically with hi-tech industries, mainly including branches of computing in which they not only ship products but design, build and service the finished articles. The company, which now operates in over thirty countries, has just officially unveiled a suite of new facilities to enhance its logistics services at its 90,000 square foot site in Appleton.

image: Russia international freight forwarding group F S Mackenzie FESCO air freight, container FCL LCL, break bulk outsize cargo rail warehousing trucking

Sixth Russian Outpost for F S Mackenzie

RUSSIA – Taking advantage of the huge potential that promises to be unleashed by Russia’s substantial capital investment programme in its Far East territories, international forwarding group F S Mackenzie has opened its sixth office in Russia, at Vladivostok. The new base will provide the Russian and UK member of the Famous Pacific Shipping Group global forwarding and NVOCC collective with a platform to develop import traffic from China, Japan, Korea, the US, Australia and New Zealand, via the city’s deep sea port and airport. Services will include airfreight, container FCL and LCL, break bulk, outsize and special cargo, rail freight, door-to-door deliveries, warehousing and trucking.

image: UK China Chinese translate bulk cargo shipping solid checklist freight agent Marintec 2013

Marintec 2013 Shanghai Event Will See Launch of Guide to Asian Sector

UK – CHINA – Nice to see that British firms understand the need to penetrate the Chinese market, particularly when the subject matter is of particular interest to the freight sector. The International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes (IMSBC) Code checklist, which was produced as a pocket guide by Lloyd’s Register, UK P&I Club, and Intercargo earlier this year to aid ships’ officers and agents who arrange cargoes for loading and shipping, has now been translated into Chinese. The Guide will be available to visitors at Marintec 2013, which claims to be the largest maritime trade show in Asia, and is being held in Shanghai between 3 - 6 December.

image: Northern Ireland UK road haulage operator licence revoked illegal fuel tachometer scam red diesel

More Carriers Feel the Pinch of Proper Regulation as Diesel and Tachometer Schemes Come to Light

UK – Three Northern Ireland road haulage operators have had their licences revoked for the illegal use of fuel among other infringements, following an investigation by the Department of Environment's Transport Regulation Unit (TRU). Padraig Daly, who traded as PD Refrigerated, Dungannon, Co Tyrone; Kevin Peter Johnston, Johnston Tipper Services, Ballyronan, Co Londonderry; and Wadsworth James Bethel, of Banbridge, Co Down, have also been disqualified from holding or applying for an operator’s licence for between three and five years. Commenting on his decision, Donald Armstrong, Head of the Transport Regulation Unit, said:

image: Jebel Ali UAE Dubai DP World container shipping port terminal crane rail mounted gantry RMG Zhenhua Heavy Industries ZPMC

Another Big Order for Shanghai Firm

UAE – The first four of 50 Rail Mounted Gantry (RMG) cranes have arrived at DP World’s new container facility at the Jebel Ali Port, Container Terminal 3, with another four Ship To Shore (STS) quay cranes expected in the next three weeks, having already sailed from the yards of Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC) in China. The port, situated 30 or so kilometres southwest of the city of Dubai, is already ranked the busiest container shipping port outside Asia (by latest figures 9th overall with six of the others situated in China). Zhenhua seem to be a favoured supplier of DP World, the company recently supplied the first two tranches of cranes to London Gateway on the banks of the Thames.

image: Philippines freight logistics typhoon Haiyan FedEx DHL container shipping line

Once Again a Disaster Sees the Industry Show its True Colours

PHILIPPINES – As we pointed out in recent articles the freight and logistics community is always the quickest off the mark when it comes to responding to the great natural disasters of our time and in the wake of super typhoon Haiyan, and two weeks after the event the list of companies and organisations hurrying to donate and deliver aid gets ever longer, with many attending to the practicalities before releasing details of their activities. Container shipping operation K Line has donated around $50,000 via the Rayomar Outreach Foundation Inc. (ROFI), a charitable institution founded by Rayomar Group, K Line’s business partner in the Philippines, as well as to provide seafarers, their families, and students of maritime academies with financial support. So far this equates to about $200,000 in total.

image: UK freight transport association cyclist safety logistics road haulage logistics

Education not Proscription Seen as the Solution to Increasing Accident Levels

UK – The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has followed up the statement it released last week regarding the safety of cyclists, in the wake of the latest police crackdown on un-roadworthy lorries and a particularly horrific toll of accidents in the past few days, with a more comprehensive appraisal of the organisation’s methods and intentions to make the road haulage and logistics sectors safer in this regard, whilst unequivocally declaring that a ban on trucks within urban areas to be unrealistic and explaining why the schemes operating in other countries such as France and Ireland, would not be viable in UK commercial centres such as London. Christopher Snelling, FTA’s Head of Urban Logistics Policy commented:

image: Nigeria freight association container shipping logistics staff appointment Zuriel Elise Oyewole

Staff Changes for Logistics Associations and Individual Industry Leaders (and even a 10 year old Ambassador...)

WORLDWIDE – Several major changes this month to fields as diverse as container shipping to freight legislation, plus news of an airline employing a ten year old! Starting with news that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has announced that Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu of Nigeria has been elected as the new President of the ICAO Council. Aliu follows the departing Council President, Roberto Kobeh González of Mexico, who was elected in March 2006 after Dr. Assad Kotaite retired prematurely before the end of his term. Kobeh took up his functions in August 2006 and was re-elected for consecutive full terms of Office in 2007 and 2010.

image: Europe US container line box carrier freight antitrust cartel shipping P3 Maersk MSC CMA CGM Asia

It Seems Now That Notifications of Box Rate Increases Could Count as Collusion while P3 Awaits Decision on its Legality

EUROPE – US – ASIA – WORLDWIDE – In two hugely significant moves this week on opposite sides of the Atlantic we are seeing international regulators once again seeking signs of antitrust activity within the container shipping market. In a subject we have covered seemingly endlessly (type cartel into the News Search box) once again we witness antitrust bodies in the EU and America studying what the freight carriers view as perfectly normal commercial behaviour.

image: Envirotainer Cold Chain shipping container air freight specialist cargo Singapore Sweden

New Facility in Singapore the Latest Development for Swedish Based Envirotainer

SINGAPORE – SWEDEN – More cold chain logistics news this week as specialist air cargo container provider Envirotainer announces it has expanded its operation with the provision of repair and maintenance services at its Singapore service station. The Singapore facility is the second, after Atlanta, to open as a fully Envirotainer owned station, ensuring that the increasingly high demands of the life science market are met with the high quality standards required. Envirotainer already has a global service network with contracted suppliers at more than fifty airports to serve the needs of shipping operators in an increasingly specialised freight sector.

image: Rhys Davies UK road haulage freight forwarder logistics operator Caterpillar Volvo Komatsu excavators dozers palletised loads air cargo

Welsh Firm Has Grown - but Hardly Overnight

UK – WORLDWIDE – Since beginning as a local road haulage company in Wales over sixty years ago Rhys Davies slowly became known nationally as a reliable haulier for domestic freight throughout the UK. With the growth of palletised loads, the group has developed from that one base of twenty years ago to one which not only has a bunch of transport hubs strategically placed throughout Britain stretching from the South of England up into Scotland, but is now building a reputation as an international freight forwarder and logistics provider.

image: US Germany box carrier container shipping line reefer 20 foot EDGE Carrier Transicold Hamburg Süd Hapag-Lloyd

North German Box Carriers' in the News Again Buying and Borrowing

GERMANY – US – Refrigeration specialist Carrier Transicold will be looking forward to next November’s Intermodal Europe 2014 event in Rotterdam with some relish after their appearance at the Hamburg 2013 version, having announced the news that container shipping line Hamburg Süd has placed an order for 6,500 new reefer boxes equipped with Carrier Transicold’s PrimeLINE® refrigeration unit featuring the new energy efficiency-boosting EDGE technology option.

image: Arctic Sunrise hooligans GreenPeace Gazprom Prirazlomnaya oil rig

All 'Hooligans' Now Freed on Bail

RUSSIA – WORLDWIDE – With all the GreenPeace activists charged with ‘aggravated hooliganism’ after protesting against Gazprom's Prirazlomnaya oil platform now released on bail, some details of the equipment the crew of the Arctic Sunrise had available have come to light. Despite the Russian Coastguard reportedly jamming the GreenPeace vessel’s electronics when she was known to be approaching the rig, the environmental organisation, and the Netherlands Shipping Inspectorate, were both able to stay in touch with the ship up until the moment she was detained.

image: Atlas Air Boeing US cargo Dreamlifter air freight aircraft hub Wichita

747 Dreamlifter is Officially Too Big to Take Off

US – They say the Atlas Air Boeing 747 Dreamlifter is a modified 747-400 passenger airplane that can haul more cargo by volume than any airplane in the world, a useful tool in an industry where freight carrying capacity is money. Unfortunately the 9,200 foot runway which the giant plane needs to safely take off means its use is restricted to major air hubs, so when one touched down today at the Col. James Jabara Airport in the north east of Wichita, with its 6,101 foot landing strip, it posed some problems which might take some solving.

image: US Russia ocean container shipping freight LCL consolidator NVOCC logistics cargo tonnes St. Petersburg New York

Direct LCL Offering from NVOCC as Rail Freight Spin Off Celebrates Three Year Anniversary

US – RUSSIA – It is exactly three years since Russian Railways founded RZD Logistics since when the subsidiary operation’s rise has been pretty spectacular with over seven million tonnes of cargo transported. In the same week ocean freight container consolidator and NVOCC CaroTrans, has announced a direct, all-water LCL shipping service from New York to St. Petersburg.

image: Germany DHL Deutsche Post logistics supply chain freight group trade fair

German Based Company Targets World Domination

GERMANY – DHL Freight is not just a subsidiary of Deutsche Post but has its own subdivisions which serve different sections of the supply chain as is required of any large international player in the field. Good news this week for one such business unit of the parent group as DHL Trade Fairs & Events has not only been selected once again to provide for the logistics requirements for the Leipzig Trade Fair, but has in fact become the sole such partner for the entire event, with a five year contract reflecting the organisers' desire for a long-term partnership.

image: Philippines shipowners shipping lines unions aid Typhoon Haiyan air freight Filipino seafarers ITF

Good Practice Guide Published as Shipowners, Airlines and Others Rush to Assist with Practical Aid

PHILIPPINES – WORLDWIDE – A very useful Good Practice Guide has just been produced telling the best ways for shipping lines, crewing agencies and other related parties on how to support Filipino seafarers in the wake of the terrible toll inflicted on the archipelago by the passing of Typhoon Haiyan. The Guide, viewable HERE, has been produced by an industry group comprising shipowners, welfare organisations, and unions. Unions affiliated to the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) have been working tirelessly in an effort to replace local government services in the wake of the tragedy by distributing food, drink and other supplies whilst other freight interests are also helping out.

image: London road haulage Metropolitan Police freight lorry truck driver commercial vehicle

Metropolitan Police Safety Operation Prompts Industry Criticism of Road Haulage Outfits

UK – A recent blitz on London’s commercial vehicle drivers has persuaded the Freight Transport Association (FTA) to voice its concern after 15 fixed penalty notices totalling £2,300 were issued to lorry drivers in London when around seventy trucks were stopped this week by officers on Vauxhall Bridge Road, Whitechapel Road and Albert Embankment as revealed by MPS Traffic Command. The campaign by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) Traffic Command is part of a road safety operation and ongoing efforts to help make all road users safer.

image: Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Singapore logistics Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel conference

Singapore Event Will Focus on Risk and Preparedness

SINGAPORE – WORLDWIDE – 22 - 24 January 2014 will see many representatives from the logistics field gather at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel for a conference staged by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP). The event will tackle the challenging issues facing today’s logistics managers as they confront unforeseeable events and hazards. The conference will examine supply chain risk, discuss strategies to improve resilience, and prepare industry management professionals to deal more effectively with the unexpected. A line-up of many of the world’s leading expert supply chain and logistics practitioners from globally-recognised brands will share their experiences and solutions with delegates.

image: Ceva freight logistics customs road haulage Singapore Brazil warehouse ocean energy Avon Foundation

New Aerospace Facilities as Ceva Combines Beauty and Energy

SINGAPORE – BRAZIL – Plenty of news from supply chain and logistics group Ceva of late as the company introduces a new 1,200 square metre advanced aerospace storage area at its recently opened Logistics Centre the multi-user warehouse located at the Tampines LogisPark, Singapore, where the company began operating in August, whilst continuing to expand its operations in Brazil with several new contracts, including an ocean freight project with Brazil-based integrated oil and gas company Petrobras.

image: Princess Royal UK Mission to Seafarers logistics Christmas charity

Princess President to Attend Charity Celebrations for Christmas

UK – The annual Christmas service of the Mission to Seafarers will boast a Royal presence this year in the form of the charity’s President, the Princess Royal. The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols 2013, which will be held on Tuesday 10 December will see attendance by the great and the good of the shipping and logistics sectors plus a bevy of other loyal supporters with a performance by the Lloyd’s Choir, at the Mission’s international headquarters, St Michael Paternoster Royal in the City of London. The service is between 1830-1930 hours and followed by a reception at Skinners Hall.

image: Schneider National Canadian intermodal truckload rail freight logistics multimodal KCS

Schneider Hones Mexican and Canadian Services Whilst Railroad Partner Reorganises

US – CANADA – MEXICO – Just occasionally a hint of the language associated with the romantic vision of the iron horse crossing the plains echoes once again even in the modern world of rail freight and a phrase in the latest press release from truckload, multimodal and logistics specialist Schneider National stands out to those less familiar with industry terms. Schneider have introduced a new ‘steel-wheel interchange’ in Jackson, Mississippi which, the company says, has markedly improved the intermodal delivery times on its cross border services between the US and neighbouring Canada and Mexico.

image: Germany logistics Russia customs clearance Rio Brazil freight forwarding Sochi Paralympics

All German Affair for Sochi and Rio Games

GERMANY – RUSSIA – BRAZIL – The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), which has worked with DB Schenker since the Athens Games in 2004, has once again appointed the German headquartered freight forwarding group to manage the logistics for the four year period across Sochi 2014 (February 7 to 23) and Rio de Janeiro 2016 (August 5 to 21) Paralympic Games as well as other key IPC events. The IPC was founded in 1989 and is based in Bonn and is charged with taking forward the work begun in 1944 by neurologist and neurosurgeon, Professor Ludwig Guttmann when he founded the spinal cord specialist unit at the UK’s Stoke Mandeville hospital. After founding the International Stoke-Mandeville games for people with injuries of the locomotor system, the events morphed into their present form from the Rome Games of 1960.

image: GAC freight logistics energy oil and gas US UAE Dubai shipping

New Office Adds to GAC's Growing Energy Support Network

US – UAE – Dubai headquartered freight and logistics group GAC has reinforced its shipping operations in the American offshore energy support field by opening another ships agency office in Galliano, Louisiana, in response to the increase of offshore oil & gas activity in the region. The company says the new location will enable it to better serve the needs of customers with vessels calling at the nearby ports of Fourchon, Morgan City and Amelia.

image: Road Rail Freight Forwarding Logistics European Parliament transport committee RFG 4th Railway Package

Concerns That Politicians Will Get it Wrong (or Serve National Interests) Regarding 4th Railway Package Prompts Action from the Industry

EUROPE – A heady mix of heavyweight names including freight forwarding and logistics representatives have written to the Members of the Transport and Tourism Committee of the European Parliament explaining, in no uncertain terms, their opinions on the Committee’s deliberations on the 4th Railway Package, which is to be put in front of the European Parliament and Council with six legislative reports being voted on later this month (November 26). The list of signatories to the open letter includes several private European rail interests, the Rail Freight Group (RFG) and even the International Road Transport Union (IRU), which might appear at first sight to be an unlikely bedfellow to the others.

image: MacAndrews CMA CGM container shipping box traffic TEU freight Medway Thames Gateway Thamesport London

Thames Region Sees Ongoing Competition for Box Traffic

UK – Maritime activity within the River Thames region has seen many changes over centuries but with the rise of containerisation and the decline of the London Docks the past few decades has seen a sharp downturn from the heydays of the past century. With the development of the deep water container port at London Gateway things are set to look up, but across the water, at the mouth of the River Medway, other developments are taking place which sees an historic established industry player still ringing the changes.

image: UK flag of convenience MIckey Mouse bulk freight carrier Donald Duckling Maritime & Coastguard Agency Tyne Port

The Sad Case of the Donald Duckling Exposes the Seamier Side of International Freight

UK – The latest case of a freight carrying vessel being held in port because of problems aboard highlights everything that is bad about Flags of Convenience. The Panamanian-registered bulk carrier Donald Duckling was detained by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency in Tyne Port this week after an inspection uncovered a long list of serious deficiencies and this is not the first time the sixteen year old ship has been on report and prevented from sailing.

image: Jean Claude van Damme Volvo truck Epic Split muscles from Brussels road haulage

The Muscles from Brussels Spreads 'Em for Swedish Manufacturer (includes Video's)

EUROPE – A little bit of Hollywood has come once again to Volvo Trucks with the latest instalment in a series of incredible stunts, this time to promote a new steering system the company hopes will improve any road haulage operators precision and stability in any driving condition. In a move that will make some ponder on why they can’t even stand upright with their eyes closed without falling over, the 53 year old ‘Muscles from Brussels’, Jean-Claude Van Damme performed one of his world-famous splits balanced between two Volvo FM trucks as they are driven in reverse.

image: Dubai Danzas DHL freight forwarding logistics shipping London Gateway DP World intermodal road haulage network

Dubai Sees Three Significant Developments as the UAE Continues to Press Claims as the Place to be

DUBAI – The Gulf state is the place to look to apparently at the moment as regards logistics development, with DP World’s London Gateway project taking its first tentative steps in Britain back home in the UAE Dubai World Central (DWC) is proceeding in its efforts to develop the first global ‘aerotropolis’, a hub for the world’s freight and passenger traffic, whilst elsewhere in the Dubai Airport Freezone (DAFZ) another new building is rising to accommodate another well-known player in the shipping and forwarding business.

image: UK freight forwarders Customs excise duty road haulage operator warehouse third party logistics HMRC

Excise Sanctions Applied Unfairly Says UKWA and it Seems Customs Authorities May Agree

UK – Subsequent to our article in May and following further representations from the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) has just announced an ‘internal review’ of the way sanctions are applied within duty law to companies operating in the excise goods supply chain. UKWA has argued that logistics service businesses, including freight forwarders, road haulage operators and others acting as third party warehouse keepers, risk incurring duty assessments and huge related penalties if they make a simple procedural error relating to ‘duty-suspended’ excise goods that they may store or distribute on behalf of their clients.

image: China container shipping corruption freight and logistics appointments COSCO

Senior Heads Rolling Amidst Secrecy and Controversy

CHINA – Struggling state owned shipping conglomerate and container freight carrier COSCO, leads this week’s freight and logistics appointments with the news that Vice President of the COSCO Group and Executive Director of China COSCO Holdings Xu Minjie, has resigned with immediate effect following reports that he was under investigation. Local news cites sources as saying that he was under investigation on ‘suspicion of corruption’ with the company releasing a statement saying that Xu left his position due to ‘personal reasons’, making no mention of the investigation.

image: China Italy scanning logistics distribution centre conveyor belt central processor digital information

Automated Processes Ensure One of Asia's Largest Manufacturer's Hubs Operates Efficiently

CHINA – ITALY – European group Datalogic, which specialises in the automation of industrial processes and the capture and use of data to aid efficiency, has announced it is supplying equipment for one of the largest logistics centres in Asia, situated in Jiangsu Province and home to a major sports and apparel manufacturer’s distribution operation. Built in 2011 the centre operates as a giant central processor with the sorting and management of all the goods dependant on digital information acquisition and handling capability, which includes a 9 kilometre conveyor belt plus order picking machines, automated warehouse management systems etc.

image: Russia Baltic container port shipping infrastructure facilities

All Welcome as Array of Infrastructure and Other Topics Examined in Detail

RUSSIA – BALTIC STATES – With development and maintenance of container ports and shipping facilities important to regional economic success, investors and suppliers worldwide can see huge potential in expansion projects, especially in Russia and the Baltic states where well over $2 billion is to be invested into expanding and upgrading the regions ports. To focus on the future of the region’s port infrastructure, Russia will gather professionals from across the industry and host the Russia and Baltic Port Expansion Summit on 5-6 December at the Radisson Royal Hotel in St. Petersburg.

image: US Niagara UK Germany shipping container freight gantry crane mobile harbour Maid of the Mist

New Installation Not to Lift Freight but Ships Themselves

US – GERMANY – UK – The latest installation by crane manufacturer Liebherr is a little different to the usual run of gantry and mobile harbour cranes which service the container vessels and general freight ships around the world’s coasts. This time the unit has been specifically designed to list the ships themselves! When the new dry dock facility on the US side of the famous Niagara Falls in New York State needed equipping it turned to the company to come up with a suitable solution.

image: Ho Chi Minh Vietnam container shipping TEU box ships Evergreen Hanjin Korea China Singapore Malaysia

New Asian Service to Open This Month will Trail Across the Continent

ASIA – Two of the continents leading container shipping groups are to partner up with the inception of a new box service to be christened the New Ho Chi Minh Service (NHS). Evergreen Line is partnering with Hanjin to provide four 2,500 TEU vessels which will commence a port rotation linking Korea, China, Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia for the benefit of local shippers. Hanjin will supply three out of the four box ships.

image: Countryfile UK freight international shipping BIFA awards 25th Anniversary Julia Bradbury the Brewery Chiswell Street

BIFA Anniversary Looks Like Being Even More Special Than Usual

UK – The shortlist for this year’s British International Freight Association (BIFA) Freight Service Awards has been revealed and with the event marking 25 years of excellence in the shipping and forwarding community, this year’s luncheon will commemorate the awards history, truly making it one of the shipping industry’s biggest occasions in the year. Hosted this year by BBC Countryfile Presenter Julia Bradbury, the awards ceremony will take place on Thursday 16th January 2014 once again at the popular London venue, The Brewery in Chiswell Street, EC1.

image: Australia New Zealand RoRo ferry shipping freight passenger propeller Aratere

Trials and Tribulations of Owning a Ferry Company in the Southern Hemisphere

AUSTRALIA – NEW ZEALAND – Two ‘ferry stories’ from down under this week, firstly state owned Tasmanian RoRo freight and passenger ferry group TT Line, could be up for sale as part of a plan to encourage private investment in the Bass Strait, following recommendations from freight infrastructure consultants Juturna. In its report to the Australian government funded advisory board, the Freight and Logistics Coordination Team (FLCT), Juturna identified that the biggest single issue facing state freight efficiency, was the ‘perceived matter of high transhipment costs on the Bass Strait’.

image: Europe UK London Gateway deep water container shipping port freight logistics construction insurance TT Club Hillebrand MOL

From Construction to Insurance - London's Gateway Impacts the UK's Freight and Logistics Industry and Beyond

UK – With much pomp and ceremony last week we saw the official commencement of work at Europe’s newest deep water port with the first official arrival at DP World’s London Gateway, when the 4,500 TEU container ship, MOL Caledon, sailed up the Thames to offload a tranche of inward bound boxes. The arrival, actually not the very first ship which used the facilities after the emergency offload of the ZIM Rotterdam in September, was greeted by more than the importers of the goods bound from South Africa as the development continues to make work for thousands of construction workers, but also touches other interests peripheral to the supply chain.

image: Hapag Lloyd container shipping line freight rate slump profit Agility 3PL logistics

Box Line Boss Calls it 'Disappointing, Irrational and Incomprehensible' While 3PL Chief Talks of 'Steady Progress'

GERMANY – KUWAIT – WORLDWIDE – The subject of low container freight rates has again come under the spotlight with the news that shipping group Hapag-Lloyd AG released figures showing the company saw profits decline over 60% in the third quarter compared to a year earlier. Despite this the company says it is optimistic of making full year profits. Whilst the line’s container capacity grew and fuel price dropped, the dip in average freight rates per TEU from $1,647 to $1,476, over 10%, is what caused the damage according to Hapag-Lloyd.

image: UK Olympia London security container shipping supply chain general freight logistics

Transport Security Expo Held in London Attracts Over 100 Exhibitors to Deter Crime from Ports to Pirates

UK – WORLDWIDE – Last week we highlighted the high level speakers who will appear at the Transport Security Expo which is being held in London’s Olympia on the 13-14 November. The event is also useful to anyone in the supply chain as it showcases new ways for the freight and logistics community to deal with ever present as well as evolving threats to all with a vested interest in global or domestic shipping. Over 100 exhibitors of high-end technologies and services will showcase their latest solutions in the fight against terrorism, serious organised crime, human trafficking and drug smuggling.

image: Philippines MOL container shipping freight and logistics Typhoon Haiyen maritime

Japanese Have a Track Record of Assisting with so many Crews Emanating from the Philippines

PHILIPPINES – By now the whole world knows the terrible situation unfolding across the islands in the wake of Typhoon Haiyen and, in a region so closely linked with the maritime community, offers of help from stakeholders are already flooding in. One of the first to react has been Japanese container and general shipping group Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) which has expressed its heartfelt sympathy and volunteered a donation of US$30,000 as international governments also pledge to assist.

image: South Africa shipping freight forwarding Customs clearance containers logistics

Investors and Stakeholders Await Decisions On How Import Goods are Treated in Future

SOUTH AFRICA – When new drafts of two bills were presented in the Government Gazette just a few weeks ago the whole of the country’s shipping and freight forwarding community emitted a howl of anguish. The proposal, from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) would have seen adoption of the Customs Control and Customs Duty Bills aimed at replacing the current Customs and Excise Act and the logistics experts concerns centred on plans to remove inland port status, resulting in all incoming consignments within containers being held at their initial import point to await clearance.

image: UK rail freight forwarder road haulage longer lorry trailer trial

Decade Long UK Scheme Evolving Despite Some Opposition from Rail Groups Whilst EU Considers Reducing Load Sizes

UK – Following the Department for Transport’s (DfT) decision last year to trial longer semi-trailers for the next decade, a scheme we originally reported in 2011, we hear that only 750 of the allocation of 1,800 permitted vehicles has actually been taken up. Whilst we suspect that this is mainly due to a lack of enthusiasm for the 50% of such trailers which are only one metre longer (the other half were allowed an extra two metres) a recent decision to extend the trial has been greeted with enthusiasm by one of the freight forwarders which operates an independent road haulage fleet.

image: Germany UK US Deutsche Post DHL dual fuel HGV electric truck emission free freight and logistics

Latest Economy Vehicles Introduced Whilst Wait for Emission Free HGV's Continues

UK – US – GERMANY – Whilst the rest of the planet waits with bated breath for decent, affordable electric or hydrogen powered vehicles, both private and commercial, to finally arrive and break the near monopoly which hydrocarbon fuels have held for over a century, it is important for the largest in the logistics sector to be seen to be acting in the best interests of the planet right now. The lack of a reliable, emission free and affordable long haul road haulage truck has led Deutsche Post DHL to invest further in currently available hybrid and dual fuel technology.

image: China freight forwarding logistics air cargo express U-Freight Group UFL

Established Already in the Region, Both Believe Mutual Cooperation Will Extend Their Service Capabilities

CHINA – The U-Freight Group (UFL), which began life forty five years ago as a small, independent, Hong Kong based freight forwarding outfit has developed into a global operation with wholly owned subsidiaries stretching across seventeen countries. The heart of the operation however has always remained in China where it maintains dedicated cargo teams in twenty major cities. Now, however the company has signed up to a new partnership with China Air Express Co Ltd (CAE).

image: US freight shipping logistics staff news cancer trucking

Sad Demise of US Trucking Boss Leads the Way

US – We start this week’s shipping, logistics and other transport related staff movements with the sad news that long-time member of the Board of Directors at Old Dominion Freight Line, has died following a battle with cancer, at the age of 80. Congdon joined ODFL in 1951, and held numerous positions within the company, up to and including Senior Vice President and Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors. After serving in the US Army as a military policeman, Jack Congdon returned to join his mother and older brother, Earl Congdon Jr., to build the family business, Old Dominion Freight Line. Jack participated in growing the company through a number of geographic expansions and acquisitions with his extensive knowledge of equipment management and dedicated logistics whilst also founding Old Dominion Truck Leasing.

image: Asia Switzerland South America container shipping box reefer out of gauge MOL Hausmann Basel multimodal

New Base for MOL whilst Box Rates Rise Again (and one box obviously fell)

ASIA – SWITZERLAND – SOUTH AMERICA – Japanese multimodal transport group Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) will operate its own office in Basel, Switzerland as from the 1st January 2014. Although primarily recognised as a container shipping line MOL has worked up to now with Basel headquartered Hausmann Shipping, which company MOL says it will work closely together with during the transfer of operations to ensure a smooth transition.

image: RHA UK road haulage freight FORS TfL operators HGV

RHA Plans to Offer Standard Acceptable to Transport for London Scheme

UK – For some considerable time many freight outfits belonging to the Road Haulage Association (RHA) have taken advantage of the Association’s System and Procedure Compliance Audit, an ISO accredited scheme which is widely recognised by many companies as the leading compliance audit for HGV operating companies. Now the RHA is working with Transport for London (TfL) in an attempt to situate the RHA Standard as being FORS-equivalent for the purpose of satisfying the forthcoming contractual and other requirements which goods vehicle operators aim to achieve.

image: Russian Railways Logistics RZDL feldspar Finland ocean freight cargo shipping handling

Common Mineral Type Can Prove a Headache to Tranship

RUSSIA – FINLAND – Feldspar is rarely talked about yet as one of the most commonly found mineral types, present in around 60% of the earth’s crust and recently found on the planet Mars. It is also one of the most useful, included particularly in glassmaking and ceramic products. Unfortunately it can also prove to be, in certain forms, one of the toughest bulk cargoes to handle, so when the Sibelco subsidiary, Trading House Hercules, has a large quantity to ship as freight from Finland to Moscow, the company turned to Russian Railways Logistics (RZDL) for its intermodal requirements.

image: UK London Transport Security Expo freight technology

With Conference, Workshops and an Exhibition of Current Technology London Event is Worth a Visit

UK – WORLDWIDE – This month sees the 11th year of Transport Security Expo, an event comprising an extensive conference and workshop programme, supported by one of the largest dedicated technology exhibitions held internationally each year, and aimed specifically at security throughout the supply chain. The event, designed for the protection of both passengers and freight, is to be held on 13-14 November at London Olympia, and brings together the world's leading experts from government, military, law enforcement and security services to interact with the aviation, maritime and public transport industries, assess threat levels, and explore solutions.

image: UK export freight Yorkshire Leeds Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) ExploreExport 2013 Roadshow

Yorkshire Sees Day Two of Week Long UK Tour

UK – November 12 will see Chamber International host a special pre-event networking breakfast just a two minute walk from the Queens Hotel in Leeds, site of that days UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) ExploreExport 2013 Roadshow. The private event precedes by two hours the UKTI programme beginning of its Yorkshire & Humber region one day event designed to assist businesses in identifying international sales opportunities for products and services. Now in its sixth year, ExploreExport 2013 is part of the five day nationwide event Export Week being run by the UKTI.

image: UK intermodal rail freight cargo Railfreight alliance

Fledgling Body Will Give 'Stronger Voice' to the Industry

UK – Many shippers still view movement of cargo by rail in the country with a degree of scepticism despite sustained attempts to integrate more intermodal links and make the tracks accessible to a wider market. Five of the UK’s major rail freight companies and infrastructure operator Network Rail, announced last week the formation of the Rail Freight Alliance, which aims to deliver a sustainable and flourishing rail freight sector in the UK. Paul McMahon, Freight Director at Network Rail said:

image: dnata air freight cargo handling IT mobile computing

New Heathrow Facility Programmed to Eliminate Paperwork

UK – Starting up in 1959 in Dubai the dnata group has grown, mainly through acquisitions, to be the 4th largest combined air services providers for ground handling, cargo services, travel, and in-flight catering in the world. With the addition of the Plane Handling group in 2010, the company took on services, including freight ground operations, to sixty airlines in London and Manchester. At Heathrow the dnata City project includes a 20-acre cargo complex centred around five air freight warehouses, a transportation facility and yard for airside operations enclosed in a security-fenced area.

image: UK Frasier Niles cranes shipping heritage dockside landmarks

Cost of Maintenance Spell the End for Well Known Dockside Landmarks

UK – Our photograph shows the final demise of two dockside cranes, humorously christened Niles and Frasier, by a local wag, before they were cut up for scrap last month amidst some local protests. As part of the shipping heritage of Manchester, the two stood alongside Salford Quays, now remodelled and housing international interests of another type, such as the new BBC offices.

image: Northern Ireland haulage UK freight firm disqualified directors Convery

Two Brothers Banned for Near Maximum Periods following Litany of Offences

UK – When economic times become fraught, those owning assets within the road haulage industry always prove susceptible to temptation as they see their businesses losing money and, unfortunately, many try to continue at the very time they should be walking away. Two brothers from Northern Ireland who ran the family freight business which was founded twenty years ago, committed a litany of offences in an attempt to keep the firm afloat and this week paid the price for their deception.

image: South Africa UK US Boeing Lady Mary Heath pilot Tracey Curtis-Taylor

Historic Journey Re-enacted 85 Years on

SOUTH AFRICA – UK – US – Boeing is not a name one traditionally associates with biplanes yet it is the giant aircraft corporation which has stepped up to support an historic reconstruction of a flight being undertaken in one of its ‘previously enjoyed’ aircraft. On Friday November 2, pilot Tracey Curtis-Taylor took off on a 7,000-mile (11,000-kilometer) solo journey, in a reconditioned Boeing Stearman open-cockpit biplane, to retrace Lady Mary Heath’s historic 1928 flight between South Africa and the United Kingdom.

image: France freight shipping Ecotaxe road haulage

Never Slow to Vent Their Feelings Rural French Spill Blood in the Streets over Ecotaxe

FRANCE – Just last week in an article we suggested that a mounting challenge to the new road haulage ‘Ecotaxe’, full details of which we had previously covered, might come from the corridors of power in Europe or from dissatisfied freight and shipping interests. Instead it came first, as so often before, in the form of violent protests from the militant farmers and fishermen in the West of the country as thousands took to the streets in a bloody battle with police.

image: UK road haulage trucks freight handling logistics 3PL UKWA warehousing

Warehousing Body Survey Reveals Optimistic Projections

UK – The latest survey undertaken by the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA), the trade body representing the interests of some 700 UK-based third party logistics specialists, has come up with some interesting estimates for future growth. According to the findings of 3PL 2013, more than half (51%) of Britain’s third party logistics companies expect to invest more in equipment, people and premises in 2014 than they did in 2013. That would mean bigger road haulage fleets and increased storage and handling facilities.

image: Norway intermodal freight terminal cargo handling dockers boycott ITF

Norwegian Unions Request Cargo Vessels Divert Elsewhere

NORWAY – The country’s maritime unions today called for the crew of all vessels headed for Risavika, the intermodal terminal adjacent to Stavanger, one of Norway’s main energy centres, to boycott the harbour and divert their ships elsewhere. The request comes as shore staff began a boycott of the freight terminal following the reported refusal of management to sign up to the national Norwegian agreement covering dockworkers. The dispute has been backed by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) after it received news that the employer, Risavika Terminal AS, is said to be proposing to use seafarers to carry out cargo handling duties.

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