Shipping Search - Archive

March 2016

image: Maersk drone express freight delivery cookies ship at sea logistics

After Pouring Scorn on Ridiculous Claims for UAVs Finally Niche Markets Emerge

WORLDWIDE – After a couple of years aiming barbs at those who claimed drones would be the express freight delivery man’s dream (a patently ridiculous claim) we note that after our previous story, which established there is in fact a place for the unmanned flying machines, further niche sectors are beginning to appear to aid in logistics related matters, even if some, like the delivery of a box of cookies to a ship at sea, might seem a little bizarre at first.

image: Brazil express freight TNT FedEx UPS parcel merger

More Good News for TNT and FedEx as Competitor UPS Sees Appeal Fail

BRAZIL – EUROPE – Brazilian antitrust authority Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Econômica (Cade) has rejected the third party appeal of its unconditional approval of the proposed €4.4 billion acquisition of the Dutch parcel carrier TNT Express by express freight group and US rival, FedEx Corporation. As predicted, UPS had been the previously unnamed third party appellant, calling for a more in-depth analysis of the effects the merger would have on the small packages market.

image: UK France migrants Calais Dunkirk freight forwarders road haulage crisis conference security hauliers vehicles RHA port

Time to Complete Government Survey Before Major Crisis Conference

UK – FRANCE – We recently published details of the government consultation regarding the review of penalties to be imposed on drivers and their employers when found to have illegal migrants aboard their vehicles. The consultation is open until 18 April and focuses on the type of steps hauliers should take to secure their vehicles most effectively and stakeholders, including road haulage contractors and freight forwarding companies, are urged to put their views forward before the expiration date.

image: TAIWAN Japan freight logistics shipping appointments Lloyd’s List

Staff Changes in the World of Global Logistics

WORLDWIDE – We start this week's round up of staff changes in the shipping and freight world with the sad news that Tom Leander, former Editor and Asia Editor-in-Chief at Lloyd's List, has died at the age of 61. New Yorker Leander joined Lloyd's from the Economist Group in 2009, initially working in the London office before moving to Hong Kong to lead the Asia team.

image: UK Dubai Thames London Gateway deep water container port half a billion pounds

Investors in River Thames Side Development Look to the Future of Box Traffic

UK – DUBAI – Confidence remains that the country's latest deep water container port, London Gateway, will prove a long term success as the news comes of a 30 year term debt investment in the River Thames side facility. The money, a total of over half a billion pounds, will service the outstanding loan on the DP World project and provide funding for the third berth which will expand the port's throughput capability.

image: Austria Lauterach freight forwarding logistics Gebrüder Weiss Médecins Sans Frontières

Annual Donation Will Help Save Lives

AUSTRIA – For Lauterach based freight forwarding and logistics specialist Gebrüder Weiss (GW) it seems charity really does begin at home as the agency expands its support for the Austrian section of the medical emergency aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). GW has opted to award the charity an annual stipend of €20,000 for the next three years to aid MSF in its assistance worldwide when natural disasters, armed conflicts and epidemics spread misery amongst a local populace and often lead to refugee camps requiring the urgent installation of medical facilities.

image: UK France Spain intermodal freight rail service VIIA Britanica SNCF Calais migrants Dover P&O ferries

Spain, France and the UK Joined by New Service VIIA Britanica

UK – FRANCE – SPAIN – Last year the Port of Calais installed a new €7 million intermodal rail terminal specifically designed to transfer freight units from freight trains onto cross-Channel ferries. Now P&O Ferries has reached agreement with the French rail operator VIIA, a subsidiary of SNCF, to provide transport across the English Channel for unaccompanied freight arriving on a new train service between the Franco-Spanish border and Calais, named VIIA Britanica.

image: UK Allseas Global RoRo freight container service heavy project cargo

Tilbury is Allocated Port as Cargo Demand Builds Up

UK – MIDDLE EAST – Hot on the heels of the news that Iranian vessels are once more calling at European ports comes a new RoRo and container service linking the Thames side port of Tilbury with the Middle East. The service, operated by the National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), offers shippers a completely new option for shipping heavy roll-on/roll-off, project and containerised cargoes between the UK, Northern Europe and the Gulf region. It began in November with calls including Bremerhaven, Antwerp and Bilbao and now, with UK-based freight building strongly, Tilbury is confirmed as part of the monthly schedule.

image: Hyster Netherlands forklift truck tonnes 20 foot freight container

Moving Freight Containers is One Thing - Moving Something to Handle Them Something Else

NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – Q) What do you do when you need to lift a forklift truck weighing 58 tonnes with a crane that can only handle 50 tonnes safely? A) Call Hyster Big Trucks to create a bespoke solution. When this problem arose the Hyster® Special Projects Engineering Department adapted a 40 tonne lift capacity Hyster forklift to meet the challenges of what was a tough stevedoring application. Chris van der Werdt, Commercial Manager for Hyster Big Trucks explains:

image: IRAN IRISL container ship sanctions lifted Europe Port of Antwerp Hamburg

Antwerp Welcomes Back an Old Friend

IRAN – EUROPE – A container ship owned by Iranian shipping frim Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), has made her first two stops at ports in Europe, for the first time since economic sanctions were lifted. The 2,478 TEU carrier Azargoun last week moored at the Antwerp Gateway terminal in the Deurganck dock having left the Port of Hamburg the previous week. IRISL is reopening its regular liner service European Container Line (ECL) between Northern Europe and ports in the Persian Gulf following its closure in mid-2010 on account of sanctions. The new service will be operating with 2,500-TEU containerships, calling at Genoa, Istanbul, Port Said and Bandar Abbas, in addition to Hamburg and Antwerp.

image: Panama Canal container ships TEU Atlantic Pacific Ocean

Gateway Between Atlantic and Pacific Oceans Almost Complete

PANAMA – The project to create a new lane of traffic along the Panama Canal through the construction of a new set of locks, doubling the waterway’s capacity is proceeding apace. The expansion will allow container ships up to around 13,000 to 14,000 TEU to pass through the waterway as against the previous 5,000 TEU limit. With the entrances now deepened by dredging at both Atlantic and Pacific ends an inauguration ceremony will be held on Sunday, June 26, 2016.

image: Wales rail freight group Enterprise and Business Committee report infrastructure

RFG Welcomes Recommendations from Enterprise and Business Committee

WALES – For a country without a single kilometre of electrified rail track, a rarity anywhere in Western Europe, the report just issued by the Welsh National Assembly’s Enterprise and Business Committee has a special relevance. The report is a rallying cry to stakeholders to ensure all voices are heard at a time when infrastructure improvement funds are likely to resemble hens’ teeth. The report calls for an ‘absolute assurance’ from central government that electrification of the South Wales Mainline will continue as a single project, without a break, all the way to Swansea whilst the North and South Wales main lines, including relief lines, should be upgraded to the largest loading gauge for freight containers (W12) as early as possible.

image: Russia Luxembourg air freight cargo carriers heavy lift project forwarding

Low Fuel Costs Help Boost Earnings

LUXEMBOURG – RUSSIA – It would seem that the European air freight market is proving positive for some of its major players with Cargolux, which claims the title of Europe’s largest cargo only air carrier, reporting that, in this its 45th anniversary year and against a background of low yields, continued overcapacity and declining volumes, it has realised a net profit after tax of $49 million whilst achieving record levels of tonnage and block hours. Meanwhile Volga Dnepr subsidiary AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) is also seemingly on the up.

image: UK Maritime container road haulage London Gateway Felixstowe port vessels logistics multimodal

New Thames Side Site for Felixstowe Headquartered Haulier

UK – Felixstowe based multimodal logistics firm, Maritime Transport has opened the first transport depot at DP World’s London Gateway port purely dedicated to container road haulage. Situated on London’s doorstep and boasting six deep-water berths, London Gateway’s capability to deal with the world’s largest container vessels means that it is undoubtedly developing into a major player in the UK container industry, and as such Maritime Transport said that the decision to open a facility there was an easy one to make, with Maritime Transport's Managing Director – Container Transport, Simon Smart commenting:

image: IATA European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition anti-competitive freight airline parts service

IATA Signs Up to European Commission Investigation

WORLDWIDE – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that it has become a complainant in an anti-competitive investigation being conducted by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition into alleged abuses of dominant positions by manufacturers of aviation equipment. Last year the Director General sent questionnaires to several industry stakeholders, including IATA member freight and passenger airlines, requesting information to validate claims of abuses of dominant positions by original equipment makers (OEMs) with respect to their control of aftermarket repairs, including parts and services.

image: Australia air freight cartel antitrust commission consumer Federal Court cargo carriers

Just When You Thought You Were Out - They Dragged You Back In.....*

AUSTRALIA – The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has won an appeal against a decision made by the Australian Federal Court to dismiss the case against Air New Zealand and PT Garuda Indonesia, over allegations that the two cargo carriers colluded with other airlines to fix fuel and security surcharges on air shipments around the world. The two carriers remain the only two companies not to settle with the antitrust regulator in a case that has seen the ACCC collect around A$98.5 million in fines from several air freight carriers involved in a cartel conspiracy.

image: Liebherr Germany Russia Caspian Sea luffing ram crane

Luffing Rig Will Work in Russian Waters

GERMANY – RUSSIA – Austrian headquartered Liebherr reports that its Russian based subsidiary, Liebherr-Russland, has recently signed a new contract for the delivery of a Liebherr RL 1500-30 EX Litronic offshore crane to Lukoil-Nizhnevolzhskneft to service that company’s needs in starting an operation on a satellite platform at the Yury Korchagin oil and gas condensate field in the Russian part of the Caspian Sea by the end of 2016.

image: US appointments in transport logistics

Notable Personnel Changes in the Sector

US – Transport appointments start this week with the news XPO Logistics has announced two appointments to its Board of Directors, effective immediately. Gena Ashe has joined the board as an Independent Director, and will serve as Chair of the Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee. Ashe's appointment expands the board to nine Directors, seven of whom are Independent Directors. Michael Jesselson, who has served on the company's board since 2011, has been appointed to the newly created role of Lead Independent Director.

image: UK France DFDS ferry freight Dunkirk port ferries Channel Tunnel Dundee Forth RoPax

Whilst Two Old Ships Return to Duty After Turmoil

UK – FRANCE – With a constant stream of news regarding migrants, dangers and delays to freight drivers and ferries etc. it is nice to have some positive news from either side of the Channel as investment in ports and infrastructure continues. In France a comparatively trouble free year saw the new Channel Terminal in the Port of Dunkirk become operational this week whilst much further north last month Forth Ports announced the largest investment in the history of the Port of Dundee.

image: UK Pentalver Lion sculpture project freight forwarding cargo London Gateway deep water port open top 40 foot container

Lion Shipment a Roaring Success

SOUTH AFRICA – UK – Pentalver must be roaring with delight having managed the transportation and handling of another special project freight forwarding cargo. The lion sculpture (pictured), which is 8 metres long and 4.3 metres tall and weighs almost 3 tonnes, came from South Africa in a 40 foot open top container, and arrived into the Thames deep water port of London Gateway on board the Safmarine Highveld on 11 March.

image: UK road haulage supply chain logistics drivers gender gap returnloads LGV HGV

(Not Enough May Unfortunately be the Answer)

UK – LGV or HGV, it seems everybody in the road haulage industry believes we have a shortage of goods vehicle drivers which is likely to become worse in the next few years unless new talent is recruited into the industry. So what has caused this situation? Supply chain and logistics generally are often not even on the radar of the young as a possible career path and certainly the gender gap for professional drivers is a perennial, if artificially perceived, hurdle. This month a survey carried out by of those currently working in the industry has produced some results which may prove surprising to some.

image: UK Shanghai Cosco YangMing container freight alliances cargo

Complaints of Slow Transits and Variable Performance Continue

UK – WORLDWIDE – All may not be as well as expected as concerns the bevy of container line shipping alliances which proved so popular last year when the four ‘super alliances’ emerged after much negotiating. The sudden urge to cooperate with competitors arose from a desire to maximise use of the new breed of ultra large box vessels and to rationalise each company’s individual policy and investment. Now it seems services from one carrier to another can vary alarmingly as freight gets held up by one company, yet arrives much faster via another line, despite identical departure details.

image: Somali pirate kingpin hijacking dredging vessel captured ship Pompei Mohamed Abdi Hassan

But What of the Forgotten 40+ Souls Still Held After 4 Years?

BELGIUM – SOMALIA – Somali pirate kingpin Mohamed Abdi Hassan has been sentenced by a Belgian court to 20 years in prison for the hijacking of the Pompei, a 1,850 dwt Belgian subsea rock installation vessel (designed to protect pipelines etc.), captured by pirates in April 2009 and the first ship from that country to be taken off the Somali coast. The hijacking of the Pompei was in part responsible for the extension of activities by the EU Operation Atalanta anti pirate force.

image: Trinity House Wildgoose events treasure hunt seafarers champions bonding UK River Thames Tower Hill

Corporate Bookers Can Compete in a New Bonding Event

UK – Anyone booking a corporate event with Trinity House can now take advantage of an unusual addition to the sumptuous surroundings of what is one of the most historic of London locations. The elegant working home of the General Lighthouse Authority, an organisation which together with its predecessors has guided seafarers safely for generations, stands opposite the Tower of London on Tower Hill, and has now teamed up with the creative group at Wildgoose to offer corporate bookers a maritime-themed team-building ‘Trinity House City Explorer' treasure hunt package.

image: UK Budget road haulage freight transport warehousing fuel duty frozen

Fuel Duty Remains Frozen Despite Pleas for Reduction

UK – The Budget always proves to be an interesting time with vested interests from the various industries across the UK urging Chancellor Osborne to favour their sector. The transport industry is of course no exception having for years called upon the government to take action to help UK logistics which continues to face several issues. Fuel duty remains at the top of the agenda for many trade associations and the news that it has been frozen for the sixth consecutive year has been welcomed by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), the Road Haulage Association (RHA), and the UK Warehousing Association (UKWA), as a means of easing pressure on UK supply chains, but each of the industry bodies felt that more could be done to stimulate growth in the nation's economy.

image: UK Nicola Shaw CBE rail freight report HS1 RFG CBI efficient railway van

Industry Praise for Conclusions of HS1 Boss

UK – The just released Shaw Report (not to be confused with Sir Walter Shaw’s comments on the Palestinian riots of 1929) has gone down well with those interested in the business of running an efficient railway. Both the Rail Freight Group (RFG) and the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) have welcomed Nicola Shaw’s input as to the future of Network Rail.

image: Abu Dhabi freight forwarding agencies WCA Middle East

Abu Dhabi Event First in Middle East

ABU DHABI – WORLDWIDE – The WCA, which claims to be the largest network of independent freight forwarding agencies on the planet with over 6,000 offices in 186 countries, has reported record attendance at its Conference Week, the first ever held in the Middle East. The 2,585 members, representing 1,358 companies from over 100 countries, attended one-on-one meetings and networking events during the seven-day conference in Abu Dhabi. Dan March, WCA’s Chief Executive Officer observed:

image: Flettner cargo vessel shipping lines ocean going ship Energy Technologies Institute

Old Technology Reinvigorated

UK – WORLDWIDE – An exciting opportunity exists for someone in the maritime sector to invest in ‘new’ technology aiming to ‘reinvent the wheel’. The Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) is seeking partners for a new project which it hopes will deliver fuel savings of at least 10% for large shipping vessels, cargo or otherwise. This new Flettner Rotor Supply, Install and Commission Project will deliver a full scale demonstrator of Flettner Rotor technology on a large ocean going ship which the ETI intends to source for the demonstration phase. As can be seen from our picture this is not the first time a merchant vessel has been kitted out in this way.

image: West Africa Europe NileDutch Maersk Safmarine bulk cargo project freight container heavy lift multi purpose vessel

Routes Acquired by Rival Shipping Line

WEST AFRICA – EUROPE – Well known Maersk subsidiary Safmarine MPV, West Africa multi-purpose vessel (MPV) specialist, has divested itself of its Europe to West Africa services and operations which have been acquired by Rotterdam headquartered NileDutch. The MPV operations accommodate the full range of cargoes, including containers, breakbulk, neo-bulk, project modules and oil and gas-related cargoes. The multipurpose vessels of NileDutch are equipped with cranes capable of loading, carrying and offloading commodities in bulk, project cargo, heavy lift and containers to the most challenging destinations in West Africa.

image: IATA air freight iQ association C2K Cargo 2000 Emirates SkyCargo

IATA Linked Association Still Striving for Improvements as it Gains New Members

WORLDWIDE – Cargo 2000, otherwise known as C2K, has been set on establishing better standards in the air freight sector since 1997. The not for profit association consisting of members of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has always been self-funding and has undergone a rebranding exercise henceforth to be known as Cargo iQ.

image: US Amazon air freight global shippers forum cargo transport services Wilmington

Global Shippers' Forum Chief Speaks Out

US – WORLDWIDE – The open secret in the US that Amazon is creating its own air cargo network came out last week when the company confirmed it has leased 20 aircraft from Wilmington based air carrier Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to handle its freight requirements for the next 5 to 7 years. Wilmington, an airport where DHL closed a cargo hub in 2009 with a cost of 8,000 jobs, looks to be the first in a possible series of facilities to be used by Amazon which will deploy the new planes as and where required.

image: IATA Germany World Air Cargo Symposium in Berlin aviation policy

Reorganisation Will Boost Economic Competitiveness

GERMANY – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on the German government to focus on improving the competitiveness of the German air transport sector in the development of its national aviation policy. Speaking at the opening of the World Air Cargo Symposium in Berlin, Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said:

image: UK Court of Appeal road haulage freight truck Home Office Bolle government consultation

Guidelines Followed 'To The Letter' Yet New Government Consultation Seeks Fairness - Too Late for Some

UK – With the launch of a new government consultation stakeholders have the chance to express opinions on the current regulations regarding penalties for those with migrants found aboard their vehicles. This in a week in which at least one landmark case is being brought before the Court of Appeal, the outcome of which will be of extreme interest to all in the freight community, and indeed the public at large. The case (290142045) brought by a Dutch company, Bolle Transport BV, will review the situation for road haulage operators which have been fined by the UK government for allowing freight trucks to be used to carry illegal migrants, something which it says is wholly the responsibility of the driver and his or her employer.

image: FairFuel UK road haulage freight transport Chancellor Osborne Budget fuel duty cut freeze SNP

A Freeze Would be Nice - A Cut Would be Better - and Post Budget Finance Bill Looms

UK – On the eve of this week’s budget freight interests have called on Chancellor Osborne to resist the temptation to raise the rate of duty on fuel as wholesale prices remain at a lower level. Stakeholders in the road haulage industry were joined by all Scottish SNP MPs in a call for the status quo. Earlier this week the Freight Transport Association (FTA) wrote a pre-Budget submission to Mr Osborne saying a reduction in fuel duty would make an important contribution towards protecting the UK economy.

image: Kazakhstan Austria Gebrüder Weiss freight forwarding road haulage cargo hub logistics

New Central Asian Locations Offer Expanded Road Haulage and Other Options

CENTRAL ASIA – AUSTRIA – One freight forwarding and logistics group which seems set on steady expansion is Austrian headquartered Gebrüder Weiss which has just acquired the two subsidiary branches of the Hamburg based German freight forwarder Brockmüller in Almaty, Kazakhstan. With the new location in southern Kazakhstan, the international transport company is closing a geographical gap between Europe and China and strengthening its own network in Central Asia with additional road haulage options from the two new cargo hubs.

image: BIFA UK shippers forwarding agents AEO SOLAS container weighing freight Union Customs Code Authorised Economic Operator UCC logistics exporting importing

Proven Economic Status is now Increasingly Important with UCC and SOLAS Changes

UK – British freight forwarders have a lot to do this year with most eyes focused on the changes to SOLAS regulations concerning mandatory container weighing which come in on July 1 and which we have detailed at some length in several previous articles*. The British International Freight Association (BIFA) however points out that with the Union Customs Code (UCC) being introduced across the European Union (EU) on 1 May there is something else the well prepared forwarding agency should be doing.

image: UK Grangemouth port container freight strike Unite union TEU

Tuesday Will See Shipside Activity Cease

UK – A strike has been called by the Unite trade union at Scotland’s busiest port, Grangemouth, and is due to commence at 00:01 hours on Tuesday 15 March. The action comes after a change to shift patterns at the port by owner Forth Ports. The stoppage will affect shipside operations with no freight activity at the container terminal for an initial period of two weeks according to sources at the union.

image: UK LCM container weighing SOLAS container export shippers port terminal

Manufacturer Provides Retrofit Systems to Ascertain Box Mass

UK – With the new SOLAS regulations due to come into force on the 1 July 2016 it is timely to explain how shippers who choose the option to weigh their own export containers, as opposed to having them weighed by a port or container terminal, can manage the trick. Obviously one could establish a correct gross weight by adding the tare weight of the empty container (presuming it is correct) to the combined mass of each individual pallet, carton etc. loaded but this may well not suit many shippers which have the equipment necessary to do it themselves as a unit load.

image: US air freight appointments transport departures

Appointments and Departures Throughout the Industry

US – United Continental Holdings, a major world power in air freight and passenger air transport, has announced that its President and Chief Executive Officer Oscar Munoz, plans to return to resume all of his duties and responsibilities on March 14. Munoz took up the role in September of last year but had a heart attack on October 15. He has already been participating actively in all major corporate decisions and meeting frequently with employees, shareholders, and other stakeholders during his recovery.

image: UK River Thames London Gateway Port of Tilbury export freight imports Tower Bridge Pool

Passenger Growth Helps Bring More Work to Ports and Terminals

UK – It is many years since London was the busiest port in the world with lighters so tightly moored one could cross the Pool of London adjacent to Tower Bridge simply by jumping from one to the next in order to reach the far bank of the Thames. In the days pre-containerisation all import freight travelled upriver to be transhipped, usually into the barges alongside or off at the quayside for collection by whatever means was available at the time. Meanwhile exports produced vast incomes until the trade withered and died or transferred elsewhere to other ports on the coast.

image: UK women in logistics awards nominations Transaid transport charity

WiL Event Supports Transport Charity

UK – The fifth annual Women in Logistics (WiL) Awards will be held on 17 June this year and the search is on for who have done most to promote the fairer sex. Logistics professionals can nominate themselves or their colleagues in three categories, while a fourth award will recognise the company doing the most to advance the cause of women in the industry.

image: Abu Dhabi UAE Dubai logistics facility Lloyds Register the Khalifa Industrial Zone Kizad ISO

Abu Dhabi Industrial Zone Wins Proof of Service Quality

UAE – Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) has awarded the Khalifa Industrial Zone (Kizad), the multibillion dollar development adjacent to Khalifa Port and west of Jebel Ali. Kizad has a strategic location between Abu Dhabi and Dubai with intermodal infrastructure to create a complete logistics facility. The ISO 9001:2015 certification demonstrates the zone’s ability to offer products and services of consistently good quality. Apart from authenticating the industrial zone’s efficient and streamlined business processes the qualification, the zone’s management says it also proves the organisation’s capability to satisfy its customers and provides a sound foundation for growth and sustained success. Basem Obaid, General Manager, India, MEA & South East Europe at Lloyds Register Quality Assurance (LRQA), said:

image: Europe Equidae horses freight transport operator live animals driver CPC

Stakeholders Rules Can Protect Transport Operators Authority and Driver CPC

EUROPE – In the world of European trade and politics one often finds some strange bedfellows, a case in point being the various stakeholders who have contributed to a publication of practical guidelines concerned with the fitness of animals for transport, specifically equidae, that is horses, ponies, donkeys and their hybrids. Shipping live animals is often a controversial subject, particularly when they may be bound for slaughter overseas but the new guidelines, welcomed by the European Commission, were set by a variety of both farming and animal welfare organisations.

image: UK Georgia freight forwarder F S Mackenzie NVOCC

Tbilisi is New Hub for Central Asian Operations

UK – GEORGIA – The F.S. Mackenzie Group (FSM) has opened a new office in Tbilisi, Georgia, to act as gateway for imports to the Caucasus region. It is the company’s seventeenth branch. FSM, is the UK and Russian member of the FPS Group network of independent freight forwarders and NVOCCs and has been active in the region for some years, having commenced road freight operations into the Caucasus in 2009.

image: Ireland RoRo ferry freight LoLo TEU container Irish Ferries shipping maritime barometer

2015 Results Show Signs of an Economy Recovering

IRELAND – UK – The Irish Continental Group (ICG), owner of Irish Ferries recently released full year figures for 2015 and they provide a good barometer for the islands shipping trade, combining as they do movements to and from both parts of the country. Overall the year showed good growth with a positive operational and financial performance in both divisions building upon the continued Irish economic recovery. In the Republic, ICG is the country’s leading maritime provider with Roll on Roll off (RoRo) and container Lift on Lift off (LoLo) freight, as well as passenger services, on routes between Ireland, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe.

image: UK Nautilus union North Sea Shipping British seafarers jobs

Compulsory Redundancy is Illegal says Nautilus

UK – The trade union for maritime professionals, Nautilus International, has reacted with shock and anger to a decision by North Sea shipping company Farstad to sack 45 UK officers and ratings and replace them with cheaper workers from Asia. The North Sea sector has suffered around 65,000 jobs losses since the oil price crashed last year and the announcement that these British seafarer jobs are being moved to foreign workers is called ‘a further blow to the sector’.

image: UK shipping alliance forum container freight

Box Groups Under Fire for Poor Services and Supply Chain Disruptions

UK – WORLDWIDE – 2015 might rightly be called the year of container shipping alliances with most of the big boys in the industry joining together or attempting to link commercially before being knocked back by the various regulatory authorities. Now the Global Shippers’ Forum (GSF) has spoken out complaining that service levels have deteriorated since the advent of four ‘super alliances’ by the top 20 lines. After the introduction of extra and ultra large box vessels the accusation is that shippers continue to experience poor quality services and disruption to their supply chains through the bunching of vessels, void sailings and delays.

image: UK Ireland P&O ferries freight accompanied trailers tachometer Liverpool Dublin

Investment in Development of Port Terminal Almost Complete

UK – IRELAND – Drivers of accompanied trailers using ferry services will always gravitate to the most comfortable facilities, both during a crossing and in the often long periods waiting for a vessel. Now P&O Ferries has improved things for freight drivers using its Liverpool – Dublin route with a major investment in a redesign of the layout at the English port.

image: Ireland freight distribution depot warehouse Spaciotempo

Modern Temporary Buildings Give an Alternative Option

IRELAND – Temporary buildings are a solution that many warehousemen have been grateful for, particularly in the past couple of decades as technology has improved. Whether it be as a wholesale warehouse or a freight distribution centre the semi-permanent buildings can prove an economical alternative to traditional buildings, structures that can be installed and removed almost instantly in line with demand, the only restrictions being ground space and access.

image: UK Forth Ports deep water multimodal freight Tilbury power station London Gateway

Thames Riverside Decommissioned Power Station Site Acquired

UK – Forth Ports has entered into an agreement to purchase 152 acres of land, including a further deep water jetty, close to the East of the Port of Tilbury in Essex. The land purchased is part of the former Tilbury Power Station owned by RWE which is currently being decommissioned. The port has taken ownership of part of the site, with the remainder to be handed over following the completion of the demolition process, and plans are in hand to invest at least £100 million in infrastructure and facilities on the land. It has not been revealed at this stage whether the new development will be for container or bulk freight but it is certain to contain multimodal elements. Port of London Authority (PLA) Chief Executive, Robin Mortimer, commented:

image: Europe antitrust cartel air freight forwarding logistics UTi Court

Slight Reduction for One Perpetrator Whilst Gardening Club Stays Buried

EUROPE – The General Court of the European Union has upheld the decision by the European Commission to impose fines on a number of companies for their participation in cartels in the international air freight forwarding sector, though the overall fine of €3.07 million imposed initially on UTi Worldwide, is reduced to €2.97 million. In March 2012, the Commission imposed fines totalling €169 million on a number of prominent companies by reason of their participation in antitrust activities, in periods between 2002 and 2007 regarding collusion in various agreements and concerted practices in the international air freight forwarding services market.

image: CalMac Transport Scotland Serco freight ferry Clyde Hebrides passenger

Decision Awaited That Will Have a Profound Effect on Islanders

UK – After a sometimes vitriolic war of words between incumbent ferry operator CalMac and rival bidder Serco, today saw CalMac’s tender for continuation of its Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Services presented to Transport Scotland. The £1 billion contract discussions have engaged many local residents of the offshore islands which rely totally on the lifeline passenger and freight services provided.

image: US supply chain air freight cargo committee TIACA

Experienced Supply Chain Executive Heads New Venture

US – WORLDWIDE – The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has announced the creation of its new Shippers’ Advisory Committee to complement the organisation’s other committees and review all elements of the air freight supply chain in order to make improvements with the interests of the shipper in mind. With almost two decades of experience in the aviation sector, including senior management roles with Polar Air Cargo, Schreiner Aviation Group, and Asiana Airlines, Lars J.T. Droog, Manager of Supply Chain and General Affairs for the Tosoh Corporation will chair the new group.

image: DHL union criticism Deutsche Post attacks express freight Chile Colombia Germany Panama misogyny

Outpouring of Criticism as New Report Launched Amid Accusations of Slack Management

GERMANY – CHILE – COLOMBIA – PANAMA – Once again express freight giant DHL has come in for severe criticism for its employment practices outside of the home territory of its parent company Deutsche Post. The German headquartered group has repeatedly been attacked by unions worldwide and now a new report, described as independent but presumably commissioned by the unions concerned, has been released. The report is very specific and criticisms include campaigns to eliminate trade union membership, misogyny, broken promises by management regarding pay and time off, the list goes on.

image: US Coastguard exporters container freight weight SOLAS World Shipping Council shippers ports Admiral Thomas

Less Than 4 Months to Go and Coastguard Accused of Double Standards After Speech to Exporters

US – WORLDWIDE – The change in the SOLAS regulations which require shippers to declare an accurate weight for each container prior to shipment, a subject we have already covered at some length, have, up to now, received universal acceptance. We have often thought that the time it usually takes for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to implement what are normally very sensible amendments to their codes of procedure for the shipping of freight, was unnecessarily long. Given the complexity of the IMOs international make up this might be a little unfair but now a major row is brewing over the changes, first mooted in 2010 and coming into force in just a few months.

image: Canadian Pacific Norfolk Southern railroad US Canada rail freight Surface Transportation Board

Deal Faces Opposition as Railroad Fishes for Clarity

US – CANADA – Consolidating the North American rail freight market is still the number one priority for Canadian Pacific (CP), as after months of negotiation and carefully worded press releases and even a dedicated website, Canadian Pacific has directly appealed to the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) petitioning for a declaratory order seeking confirmation on the viability of the voting trust structure CP has suggested as part of its proposed merger with Norfolk Southern (NS). Hunter Harrison, CP's Chief Executive Officer said:

image: Switzerland UK US appointments supply chain freight logistics departures staff

Who is Heading Where in the Shipping and Supply Chain Sectors

SWITZERLAND – Panalpina’s Board of Directors has nominated Peter Ulber, currently CEO at the freight forwarding and logistics group, as its new Chairman, to succeed Dr Rudolf Hug, who has served the role since 2007 and does not stand for re-election due to age limitations as per company bylaws. Stefan Karlan, currently regional CEO for Asia Pacific, has been designated to succeed Ulber as the next CEO.

image: CMA CGM France Asia ultra large container ships freight vessels

CMA CGM Announce Officially the Route for the Great Explorers

FRANCE – US – ASIA – To nobody’s surprise the world’s third largest container shipping company, CMA CGM, has officially announced that it will be deploying its flagship fleet of 18,000 TEU Ultra Large vessels between Asia and the West coast of the US, beginning at the end of May. These ships are among the largest in the world and, being equipped with the latest environmental technology, the French shipping line says they will significantly reduce the company’s carbon footprint.

image: UK London Gateway deep water container port ocean borne freight Port authority

Port Authority Looks to Recruit More River Pilots

UK – The success of the new deep water port on the Thames at London Gateway seems to be having a knock on effect in another area of employment, qualified river pilots required to escort the incoming and outgoing giant container ships as the increasingly use the port. Not only have established routes such as MSC’s Australian service designated the DP World facility as the port of choice, but its sheltered position has caused more and more vessels to be diverted from elsewhere whenever storms persist. Just this week the ‘world’s greenest’ ultra-large container vessel, the 18,800 TEU UASC Al Nefud has been diverted from Felixstowe and due to arrive March 6.

image: Nigeria Lagos Netherlands marine freight traffic piracy Niger Delta Ogoni Ijaw bulk Vitol

Waters Off Lagos Get a New Tenant

NIGERIA – NETHERLANDS – Operations in the waters off the Nigerian coast and throughout the maze of waters which make up the 27,000 square miles of the Niger Delta have long been hazardous with claims of robbery and piracy. The resident Ogoni and Ijaw people who inhabit the region have grievances, many well justified, against the international oil companies which stretch back thirty or so years and attacks on all types of vessels, from bulk oil and freight vessels to container ships still occur frequently.

image: Europe Deutsche Bahn rail freight Lord Tony Berkeley Schenker cargo

Ongoing Flaunting of EU Regulations Under Attack

EUROPE – As the UK prepares to vote in June on whether it wishes to leave the European Union there is news regarding rail freight which perhaps illustrates some of the divisions which exist between member countries when individual organisations seem to take a very different view on the regulations which they are supposed to conform to. Deutsche Bahn has rebranded its rail freight business, renaming DB Schenker Rail AG to DB Cargo AG, using the DB logo going forward but is still reaping a whirlwind of criticism over its alleged flaunting of the rules of operation.

image: Peru antitrust cartel container freight ocean cargo shipping agents surcharges

Once Again Major Groups Implicated in Scandal

PERU – The Peruvian antitrust authority, the National Institute for the Defence of Competition and Protection of Intellectual Property (Indecopi), has opened disciplinary proceedings against 17 international container freight carriers over allegations that the companies conspired to fix prices and commercial terms on shipments to and from Peru between, at least, 2009 and 2013. Indecopi collected evidence from minutes of meetings, communications, and electronic files during inspection visits which suggested that the companies involved established a platform to coordinate, via their shipping agents, inflated rates for freight and surcharges on cargo carried on the Peru-Asian routes.

image: Germany Heavy Lift Project Freight Forwarding Cargo Siemens Bertling Turkey

Another Successful Contract for German Groups

GERMANY – TURKEY – The name of Siemens is known world-wide as a manufacturer of all types of electrical and industrial products so when the company manufactured its largest ever gas turbine careful consideration had to be given to transporting it to the client’s premises. With a fleet of over 130 vessels, and a reputation for specialist heavy lift cargo movements, Siemens turned to Rickmers-Linie via German project freight forwarder Bertling for assistance.

image: India anti pirate crew Seaman Guard Ohio court case bail prison sentences

Multinational Crew Still Face an Uncertain Future

INDIA – For those supporting it, the situation of the Seaman Guard Ohio crew took a turn for the worse this week (see previous stories), after the Madras High Court Bench refused to suspend the five-year prison sentences imposed by the Thoothukudi Principal Sessions Court last month on the 35 crew members found guilty of illegally entering Indian territorial waters with unauthorised weapons and ammunition. The Court also refused the conditional bail granted by the lower court ahead of an appeal against their sentences, scheduled to be heard later this year on June 1. The men will remain in jail until the hearing.

image: UK CalMac freight ferry Hebrides Clyde services Serco RMT Adam Smith

As Race for Clyde and Hebrides Routes Hots Up Union Commissioned Arguments Revealed

UK – As the decision as who will run the vital RoRo freight and passenger ferry services between the Clyde and Hebridean Islands moves inexorably closer, a report was revealed today at the Scottish Parliament commissioned by the RMT union, illustrating how damaging a switch away from the incumbent company, CalMac, might prove for those who depend on what is a vital lifeline for the 45,000 or so inhabitants on the patchwork of islands.

image: US drone freight logistics railyard technology INet rail track carriers automation AEI

Railyards Provide a Perfect Testbed for Safety Aware Autonomous Aircraft

US – The sheer size of the logistics sector means that, no matter how niche a firm or product is, there will always be a market for well-produced and managed innovations. One company which has set itself up to work almost exclusively for rail freight facilitators is Texas based Industrial Networks (INet) which supplies railyard automation and data acquisition systems to rail track associated carriers across the US,and which now may have a use for oft maligned drone technology.

image: Calais migrant violence France Road haulage freight tear gas police RHA

Police Use Tear Gas as Jungle Camp Torn Down

FRANCE – UK – Actions by a number of activists are ramping up tensions and violence at the Calais migrant camp known as the ‘Jungle’ according to witness reports, whilst police used tear gas for the second day on protestors who were objecting to the temporary shelters on site being torn down. Despite the level of violence the Road Haulage Association (RHA) says it remains fully supportive of the pledge made by Xavier Bertrand, President of France’s Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, to clear the camp, in the light of the ongoing dangers to freight truck drivers.

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