Shipping Search - Archive

June 2011

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Sponsors Event for Next Two Years

UK - Proving it delivers much more than logistics solutions, the Essex-based Woodland Group has become corporate sponsor of the national disability sports charity, the Panathlon Challenge. The brainchild of fellow Essex resident Ashley Iceton, the Panathlon Challenge is now in its 10th year of delivering sporting opportunities and “mini-Paralympic” type competitions for disabled youngsters.

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Joint Commitment to Twenty Percent CO2 Reduction

FRANCE / GERMANY - Helicopter manufacturer Eurocopter and global logistics operator SDV have announced their joint commitment to reducing the amount of CO2 emissions produced by their logistics operations with regard to the transportation of helicopters, the flows of industrial and raw materials and spare parts shipments. Both companies have committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 20% over the next three years under their Save Program.

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New Vessels Coming Online from Next Month

JAPAN / SOUTH AMERICA – Following on from their announcement earlier this week that they were ordering two new 8,600 TEU container ships, shipping line Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has released details on the deployment of new container vessels that it is about to bring into service.

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Innovative Haulage Program Has No Visible Down Side

US – Mark Silva is a commercial freight driver for Wal-Mart who is known to hundreds of kids growing up thousands of miles from his normal route. For some years Mark has been part of a program running in the US which many other countries could benefit from if adopted. Mark is a ‘Trucker Buddy’ and is involved in a scheme which not only enhances the image of those involved in the haulage industry but really helps to educate American children from Kindergarten up to eighth grade.

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image: US chile shipping container onions perishable freight pallet CHEP

CHEP Renew Contract with Major Producer

US – Hatch, New Mexico, which styles itself the chile capital of the world (chilli to many of us Europeans) doesn’t only produce a variety of the hot little favourites which grace the annual festival there. At harvest time the eyes of incautious drivers smart as they pass through the tiny village but Hatch is also home to Shiloh Produce Inc., a leading supplier of the milder yellow, red and white onions which are grown locally, and which has just extended its agreement to freight the perishable produce on pallets supplied by CHEP, which provides container and pallet pooling solutions for shipping the vegetables from the processing facilities to supermarkets, wholesale clubs and distributors across North America.

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Plan is Workable But Not Ideal Says FIATA

WORLDWIDE – We wrote earlier this month about the concerns of British freight forwarders regarding the ever higher deposits to be required under the International Air Transport Association (IATA) owned Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS) and explained then the devastating effect this was having on honest brokers such as members of the British International Freight Association (BIFA). The International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) became involved early in the dispute and after their initial efforts to overturn the situation a FIATA/IATA working group was formed with the remit to prepare a proposal to be submitted to the European Air Cargo Programme Joint Council (EACP- JC).

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MOL Assist in Introduction of an Environmentally Friendly System

JAPAN – WORLDWIDE – Anyone who has read some of the horror stories we have written regarding the devastating effects of alien species invading an environment after being flushed from the ballast water tanks of a bulk tanker or freight vessel will be pleased to know another of the major shipping lines and container carriers has received approval for a new treatment system designed to combat the problem.

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ITF Boss Waxes Lyrical to the Teamsters in an Animated Speech

US – The International Brotherhood of Teamsters 28th convention was addressed today by Australian Padraig (Paddy) Crumlin, the President of the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) which represents over four and a half million workers in the freight, shipping and logistics sectors. Mr Crumlin made a typically impassioned speech which reflected the current views of many in the Trades union movement.

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FTA Join Fight Against Cost of Red Tape and Fuel

UK – News from the Freight Transport Association this week centres on the ever rising costs for the typical British haulage outfit. The government sensibly asked the FTA to represent the logistics sector as part of its drive to reduce bureaucracy, the ‘Red Tape Challenge’, and Theo de Pencier, the association’s CEO, saw the invitation as a golden opportunity to put forward the transport industry’s views on how to cut red tape, and save time and money.

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image: China Wen Jiabao UK freight forwarding global supply chain Asia logistics SME

Sail to the East for Shipping Trade (but Watch for Clouds Over China)

UK – CHINA – One of the young guns of the British freight forwarding industry makes some valid points this week regarding the future of trade with Asia, particularly China, and is unreservedly optimistic. Nicole Howarth, managing director of Telford based Global Freight, 2010 Shropshire Small Business of the Year, believes vast opportunities await small and medium sized enterprises (SME’s) prepared to be bold and investigate possible opportunities. Global have insinuated themselves into the cross trade supply chain recently and provide logistics services for imported Chinese goods which they then redistribute for UK based customers to countries like Japan, the USA, Finland and elsewhere in Europe.

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Maersk Confirmation Reinforces Optimism for Box Market

DENMARK – SOUTH KOREA – WORLDWIDE – Following on from previous stories it seems this is the season for announcing fleet expansion for the container shipping sector as Maersk confirm the order for a further ten ‘Triple E’ 18,000 TEU freight vessels for delivery as scheduled between 2014 and 2015. Details of the preliminary thirty vessel order, the largest ever for ship builders Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME), was given in our February article and Maersk have a deadline of December to confirm their option for the final ten vessels.

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Glasgow and Memphis Get New Roads

SCOTLAND / TENNESSEE – Two new road developments - one about to open, the other just breaking ground – look to alleviate the problems of traffic congestion for the cities of Glasgow, Scotland and Memphis in Tennessee, which will help road freight operators with shipping transportation.

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'Major Reluctance to Invest' Whilst Politicians Prevaricate

UK – Representative’s of the PD Ports Group used the opportunity of a ministerial visit today to highlight delays in Government policies over renewable energy. The Port of Hartlepool today hosted a visit by Charles Hendry, Minister of State for the Department of Energy and Climate Change and David Robinson, Chief Executive of the PD Ports Group was cutting in his comments regarding the proposed Renewables Obligation Certificates (ROC’s).

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MOL Latest to Confirm New Purchases

JAPAN – NETHERLANDS - WORLDWIDE – After our report earlier this month that Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) intended to purchase ten new 14,000 TEU container ships from Hyundai Samho Heavy Industries in South Korea, Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) have today confirmed they will be chartering five of the vessels from NOL for an initial three year period. The five chartered ships will be delivered in 2013 –2014 and will carry freight along with the other five operated by APL (NOL's own subsidiary) on Asia-Europe routes.

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Schenkers Now Have Multilingual Tracking and a New Spirit

GERMANY – UK – DB Schenker Logistics has launched an app to make tracking on the move more convenient. Customers can now track their freight consignments using their BlackBerry smartphones using the DB Schenker Tracking App which is available as a free download on the BlackBerry App World and is available in German, English, Chinese, Finnish, Dutch, Polish, Spanish and Czech.

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Who is Working Where and for Whom This Month

Appointments Worldwide UAE -Move One Logistics, the relocation, fine art and general freight forwarders have appointed Curt Sharp as Director of Entertainment Services. Sharp has 35 years in logistics experience, 29 of them with DHL managing their supply chain network throughout Asia, Africa and Europe. Entertainment Services represents an expansion of the group’s project forwarding activities.

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Delegation Visit Schiphol Airport

THE NETHERLANDS / RUSSIA - Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s Cargo Department recently hosted a two-day visit by a Russian delegation with the aim of exploring the implementation of e-Freight for air cargo between Amsterdam and Russia. Amongst the visitors were representatives of Russian airport authorities, Russian Customs and border control officials, and Aeroflot and AirBridge Cargo Airlines.

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German Group says it will answer Allegations of Unfair Employment Practices

WORLDWIDE – Acting on our story earlier today a Deutsche Post DHL spokesman has issued a statement in response to accusations from major labour organisations that the freight and logistics giant has treated workers badly and intends to hold protests at the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup which the group is sponsoring.

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OSCAR Campaign Wants to Raise Five Hundred Thousand Pounds

UK /WORLDWIDE – The world famous children’s hospital Great Ormond Street has launched a new appeal for donations from the international shipping and logistics industry. The OSCAR (Ocean and Shipping Community Advancing Children's Health and Research) campaign aims to raise significant funds towards areas of urgent need at the specialist hospital and its research partner, the UCL Institute of Child Health.

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Catalogue of Allegations Against World Cup Sponsors

WORLDWIDE – After being accused of numerous cases of unfair treatment by present and former employees today two global unions say they will be launching a further campaign against Deutsche Post/DHL the specialist freight and logistics group when the company sponsors the forthcoming Women’s Football World Cup which is taking place in Germany from 26th June to 17th July.

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UK Minister Shows Commitment to Hauliers

UK – US - Mike Penning, the roads minister, has confirmed the UK Governments plans to permit dedicated truck stops on Britain’s major motorways. The decision has been warmly welcomed by freight representatives such as the Road Haulage Association (RHA) whose views we published over a year ago, with RHA infrastructure manager Chrys Rampley commenting today:

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Do You Know a Slippery Joe Who Excels?

AUSTRALIA – The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is calling for the nation’s freight and logistics operators to nominate the best of those unsung heroes – the men and women who work behind the scenes in the trucking industry’s workshops.

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Reuse Site Makes for Financial and Environmental Savings

USA – A new website has gone online that should help American shippers cut freight and logistics costs as well as helping them boost their ‘green’ credentials. Usedcontainersandpallets.com is the brain child of container manufacturer Flexcon Containers, who report that after being asked daily by clients if they know anyone who wishes to buy used containers and pallets they have decided to solve the problem with a dedicated website.

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Etihad and Cargolux Display Latest Aircraft

USA / ABU DHABI / LUXEMBOURG – Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has been displaying two of their newest additions to its air freighter offerings with a fresh delivery of a B777 to Etihad Crystal Cargo and the displaying of a new 747-8F model at launch customers Cargolux’s Luxembourg head quarters.

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CILT and RFG Demystify Rail Freight

UK – The Rail Freight Group (RFG) and the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) have hailed the completion of their new joint course , “Demystifying rail freight: become an informed user of rail freight services”, a great success.

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Blue Pallets for Eagle Eye

USA – Arizona-based Eagle Eye Produce, a top grower and shipper of potatoes, onions, watermelons and vegetables has signed a new multi-year contract with CHEP, whose famous blue pallets will now be used for Eagle Eyes logistics and transporting its Famous Idaho brand potatoes, of which almost 300,000 tonnes are shipped every year.

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Problem of Product Damage Removed for Brewery

UK – Following on from their selection by Bargain Booze last year, Jayline Products report that another drinks company has selected them to supply load cushions for their forklift truck fleet. Birmingham-based Aston Manor Brewery – who produce and distribute their own range of ciders for the UK and global markets, as well as contracts for handling and bottling products for several major supermarkets and other brewers - has chosen Jayline cushions for use at their Devon bottling and canning site to minimise the disruption caused to their supply chain by damaged bottles and cans.

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Fierce Arguments Over Regulation

USA – A two-day hearing launched yesterday by the Surface Transportation Board, the federal agency that regulates the American rail freight industry, has become a battleground for disgruntled customers and senior executives from the rail industry. The U.S. Departments of Transportation, Justice and Agriculture have also filed comments with the hearing concerning their worries about how the lack of competition in the rail freight sector is impacting on U.S. exports.

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Detroit Students Can Save Fifty Percent

DETROIT / USA – The number of amalgamations and company closures due to the recession has meant that the US road freight market now faces a problem with under capacity as the recovery flares demand for truck drivers across the States. Now Con-way Truckload - the full-truckload carrier and subsidiary of logistics giant Con-way Inc. - has announced a new partnership with Detroit-based U.S. Truck Driver Training School Inc. (USTDTS) to provide subsidised tuition and training for candidates seeking to earn their commercial driver's license (CDL) and land a job as a professional truck driver with Con-way Truckload.

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Initiative to Cut Cycling Deaths

UK – The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has launched its latest initiative to combat the numbers of fatalities and injuries caused to cyclists by heavy freight trucks every year in London. The Cycling Code - which has been developed alongside the London Cycle Campaign, the Metropolitan Police, the Institute of Advanced Motorists and Transport for London (TfL) - is composed of a host of measures and advise that cyclists, drivers, businesses and local authorities can take which the FTA believes can substantially cut the number of incidents.

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On Site Crew Accommodation May be Preferable for both Staff and Management

WORLDWIDE – One of the major drawbacks for the crews who service the offshore sector has always been the cramped and inadequate living accommodation often provided for staff who have to remain on site – sometimes for months at a time. The latest trend has been for wind farms to transfer personnel but helicopters are expensive and boats prohibitively slow, often with trips exceeding four hours.

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BIFA Terms of Trading are Justified and Legal

UK – The TT Club, ever a source of common sense applicable to shipping industry matters, make a point this week about terms and conditions of trading which may well be relevant to many of our readers. We make no apologies for publishing their comments in full. The TT Club has frequently advised companies, particularly in the freight forwarding and logistics sectors of the industry, to ensure that standard trading conditions are adequately incorporated into trading relationships and the value of this was recently exemplified when the English Courts made clear that two provisions in the UK freight forwarding association (BIFA) conditions can be regarded as reasonable and commercial.

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The Energy Market Demands Services at All Levels

US – WORLDWIDE – Many of the worlds shipping groups, whose reputations and business empires have been built on a base of freight movements whether it be general cargo, bulk logistics or ocean containers, have recently been turning more and more to the expanding energy sector as illustrated by our January story about the most expensive ship ever built for the Maersk group.

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Past Year Shows no Desire to Expand

US - Started in 2nd Quarter of 2008, the Transport Capital Partners’ (TCP) quarterly Business Expectation Survey acts as an indicator of the state of the American freight trucking market by canvassing industry executives across the country. The company’s most recent study, for the second quarter of this year, found the carriers’ responses have essentially remained unchanged for the last four quarters on capacity plans. The carriers were generally reserved about increasing haulage capacity via acquisition or truck purchases, and the survey attempts to highlight the reasons.

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IAPH Looks at Standard Benchmark Requirements

WORLDWIDE – At last months 27th World Ports Conference in Busan, Korea the results of a study commissioned by the International Association of Ports & Harbors (IAPH), the Tokyo based association which includes 230 ports in 90 countries among its members, into Port Community Systems (PCS) were released. A PCS is the system employed by a port to manage a standardised logistics procedure appertaining to the movement and documentation of general freight and shipping containers from first booking through to end of contract.

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European Space Freighter Takes Out the Trash

EARTH ATMOSPHERE – Yesterday a ship named the Johannes Kepler was scuttled, an unusual act for any vessel, but this time, far from sinking in some watery pit, the vessel, one of the Automated Transfer Vehicles (ATV) designed to ship freight off planet, was deliberately burnt up in the Earth’s atmosphere after completing one of the most exotic haulage operations yet undertaken. The ATV nearly met an unplanned end two hours after starting her journey however when she had to dodge space debris passing within a mere fifty metres.

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Will Continue Growth Strategy in the Americas and US

GERMANY / USA – Following on from reports in the Financial Times Deutschland earlier today that Deutsche Bahn was planning to close down its DB Schenker Logistics operation in the United States the freight giant has confirmed that it is fully committed to maintaining its American operations for the foreseeable future.

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UPS Flies Despite Southern Hemisphere Being Encircled by Fumes

SOUTH AMERICA / AUSTRALIA / – The eruption of Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano may have disrupted air passenger services across the Southern hemisphere, with the resultant ash cloud continuing what is now its second circumnavigation of the globe, but air freight throughout the region has experienced only minor difficulties according to UPS.

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US Treasury Sanctions for 13 Businesses and Individuals

USA / IRAN / UAE/ CHINA / UK / SINGAPORE – After last months imposition of sanctions on companies accused of colluding with Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) the US Treasury has announced ten more companies and three individuals that are to have measures taken against them for allegedly assisting the Iranian company’s operations.

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Organisations Illustrate the Hardships for Crewmen

WORLDWIDE- No matter what else happens in the world of logistics one constant has always been the hardship often endured by the crews of every nationality who man the ships which carry our freight to all corners of the earth. All too often seafarers have had to depend on the charity of others such as the King George’s Fund for Sailors, which has been helping seafarers since 1917 and is now rebranded as Seafarers UK, and the shipping industry’s latest initiative, the SOS SaveOurSeafarers campaign, designed to force Governments to act against the increase in depredation by pirates.

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Ferry Company Sells Groupage Arm

UK – Red Funnel Ferries, the 'Original Isle of Wight ferry operator', have sold their freight distribution division - Red Funnel Distribution Ltd. – to Cowes-based Steve Porter Transport Group (SPTG). The deal will see SPTG take over all of Red Funnel’s contract distribution, full loads, groupage and palletised services as well as the contract to be the Isle of Wight agent for BOC Gases.

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Report in German FT Raises Questions

USA / GERMANY – German freight and logistics giant Deutsche Bahn has been reported by the Financial Times Deutschland (FTD) to be considering closing down its US logistics subsidiary DB Schenker Logistics.

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Face Maze of Export Regulations in Battle for Foreign Markets

UK — As smaller UK fashion brands attempt to rebuild momentum in foreign export markets, global shipping experts DHL Express say that new growing businesses will face an uphill struggle in getting products to market unless they properly understand the restrictions they’ll face in moving samples and products around the world – especially when selling outside of the European Union.

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image: US Defense freight truck driverless vehicle National Transportation Safety Board DARPA

Schemes to Negate Human Error Proceed Apace

WORLDWIDE – The dream of a car or truck which happily transports passengers and freight without the assistance of a man or woman at the wheel has been around as long as the internal combustion engine. Many will have heard the tale of the purchaser of a new RV who upon seeing ‘Cruise Control’ on the dashboard engaged it whilst on the freeway and retired to the kitchen to make a coffee with the easily imagined consequences.

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Developments in the Struggle against Somali Piracy

SOMALIA – The struggle against the problem of piracy around the Horn of Africa and the Indian Ocean has experienced mixed fortunes this week with news of sentencing of foreign ransom couriers by a court in Mogadishu and a spat between navies that are supposed to be cooperating in protecting the sea lanes in the region from depredations.

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image: Anglesey lifeboat RoRo ocean freight ferry shipping container truck merchant ship BMW Volvo telematic

Innovations Save Lives - But Can Also Endanger Them

WORLDWIDE – The past twenty years have seen an ever accelerating race to use developing technologies for a myriad of purposes never previously envisaged. Merchant ships use digital maps, truck drivers rely more and more on GPS and so on. Now however is appears that an incident involving cargo on a RoRo freight ferry in the Irish Sea has caused an incident which could have had serious consequences.

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New Damco Addition Will Work on all Major Mobile Platforms

WORLDWIDE – Damco, the freight forwarding and logistics arm of ocean shipping giant A P Moller Maersk, has announced this week that it has released an app which will function on all the major mobile platforms (iPhone/iPad, Android and Blackberry). Damco customers will be able to access a fast and simple way to get an overview on the status of the logistic services being delivered to them. Damco claims it is the first logistic provider in the business to offer such a facility which works on all of the big three industry providers services.

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Expects Service to be Back to Normal Next Week

UK – UPS has issued the following statement regarding the ban by the UK government on some of the company’s air freight screening facilities which occurred earlier today:

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Part of World Cocoa Foundation Initiative

GHANA - Young Ghanaian students with ambitions to join the agricultural industry will now benefit from the World Cocoa Foundation’s (WCF) Agricultural Logistics Skill Development Programme at the KNUST School of Business with help from shipping line Safmarine and cocoa producers ADM Cocoa.

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Vast Improvement on Previous Handling Equipment

UK - Following a review of the materials handling operation at its Leicester distribution centre, healthcare supplies specialist Bunzl has replaced its existing fleet of order pickers with three Jungheinrich EKX 513 Kombis. The new trucks are equipped with state-of-the-art Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology that will enable Bunzl’s warehouse management system to automatically guide them to the right location in the aisles at all times, thereby maximising operational efficiency.

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Explosion at Falmouth Docks

Friday, June 17, 2011
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No One Hurt

UK – Falmouth Docks in Cornwall is reported to have experienced explosions caused by a large fire setting light to thirty and forty gas cylinders in what is being described as a “major incident” by fire fighters.

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New 747-8 Freighter to Show at Paris Air Show Will Fly on Eco fuel

USA / FRANCE – Following on from yesterdays report on Boeing’s predictions concerning the future of the air freighter fleet, the aircraft giant has confirmed that they will be displaying their newest model of their legendary freighter aircraft - the Boeing 747-8F - at the Paris Air Show from the 20th of June in its international debut. The aircraft will be on display for two days until the 22nd.

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Up By Nearly Fifty Percent from Last Year

WORLDWIDE – Volvo Groups truck operations (involving Volvo Trucks, Mack, Renault Trucks, UD Trucks and Eicher ) has reported that during May total deliveries amounted to 20,258 vehicles. This was an increase of 49 % compared with the year-earlier period of 13,577 vehicles delivered.

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BIFA Freight Awards Call For Entries

UK – Now marking its twenty-third year, the British International Freight Association (BIFA) is calling members of the British freight and logistics community to nominate those who they think are the best and brightest in the country’s freight forwarding industry for its annual Freight Services Awards.

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Project Increase in Traffic Over Next Twenty Years

WORLDWIDE – Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has issued projections on the next twenty years for the aircraft fleets of the world. In total, they believe that the world air freighter fleet will increase from 1,760 to 3,500 airplanes.

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Bibendum Switches to DHL Subsidiary

UK – Drinks logistics specialists Tradeteam, part of the DHL group, have won a major distribution deal with one of the UK’s leading wine wholesalers. The three-year contract will see Tradeteam become exclusive warehousing and distribution partner to Bibendum Wine Ltd, one of the UK's foremost wine companies.

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Ten on Order Already to be Expanded

SINGAPORE – Neptune Orient Lines (NOL) has announced that they have signed letters of intent for ten new container vessels with yards in South Korea to improve capacity on the shipping lines Asia- Europe and trans-Pacific services. The company has also requested the expansion of designs already on order.

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Intermodal Groups Airport Gets New Customer

UK – The Stobart Group’s move into airport operations raised eyebrows in some quarters of the freight community when it was announced in 2008 that they intended to buy Southend Airport – now christened London Southend - in the South-East of England.

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Lack of Capacity Could be Problem in Future

USA – In their annual ‘State of Logistics’ paper on the condition of the US freight market the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) report that businesses in the U.S. have had to pay substantially more to move their goods in 2010 and probably will again this year. Total logistics cost for American businesses went up over ten percent to $1.2 trillion, a figure that makes it 8.3% of the United States GDP.

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AMVER Awards at National Maritime Day Seminar

USA - Sixteen Crowley-managed vessels were recently honoured with U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) awards in recognition of their voluntary rescue services to people aboard vessels in distress in 2010. Crowley received the recognition from Congressman Frank LoBiondo, chairman of the House Subcommittee on the USCG and Maritime Transportation, and Admiral Robert Papp, commandant of the USCG, during a dinner in Washington, D.C.

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Agility Join Partners in Emergency Program

AFRICA – One of the factors in providing emergency relief aid is the distances involved in supplying essential supplies coupled with the fact that, at least in the case of Africa, the goods are usually sourced from another continent. Now Kuwaiti freight and logistics specialists Agility, have joined with two other agencies with the intention of supplying African produced goods to African emergencies.

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Judgement Follows Last Years American Ruling

NEW ZEALAND – The High Court in Auckland, New Zealand has ordered three international freight forwarding companies to pay penalties totalling NZ$5.2 million plus costs for breaches of the Commerce Act for colluding on ancillary air freight charges connected to security requirements and currency fluctuations.

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IATA Decision Threatened Honest Brokers

EUROPE – The global financial crisis produced a tightening up of procedures, not least in the world of shipping and a decision by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to implement a hitherto dormant policy regarding the financial assessment of freight forwarders caused concern for both the UK and Europe wide trade bodies which represent airfreight agents.

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Skiffs Sunk After Arms Sighted

SOMALIA – News has now been officially released giving details of an incident between suspected pirates and EU Navfor, the European force charged with escorting merchant vessels carrying humanitarian cargo belonging to the 'World Food Program' (WFP) and vessels of 'African Union Mission in Somalia' (AMISOM), and to protect vulnerable ships in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. On the morning of the 10th June, the German warship FGS Niedersachsen sighted a fishing dhow towing 2 skiffs considered to be a threat to freight traffic in the area.

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"Conspiracy or Cock Up?" They Ask

UK / FRANCE – Attempts by three French Members of the European Parliament (MEP’s) to gain exemption for rail services using the Tunnel from the requirements of the First Railway Package Recast, currently wending its way through the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, has provoked outrage from the UK’s Rail Freight Group (RFG) which represents the countries rail freight community.

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Service Cuts on Scotland's Only Direct Trailer Route to Europe Bode ill

SCOTLAND – BELGIUM – The news that DFDS Seaways had withdrawn the RoRo freight ferry Cimbria Seaways from the Rosyth – Zeebrugge route last month has sparked rumour and pessimism amongst local Sottish haulage companies. Our article on Christmas Eve last year held hope that an increase in freight capacity meant that there was confidence that the support for the route was appreciated.

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Third Year for Supply Chain Specialists

UK – Liverpool-based Bibby Distribution has reported a third consecutive record trading year following the release of its latest company figures. Profit before tax for 2010 was up by 21 percent to £7 million on a turnover of £230m. This compares to figures of £5.8m and £185m in 2009. The company states that they believe that this success has been achieved by: ”focusing on its core strengths and by aligning its strategy with customers' long-term aspirations”.

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New Transformer Flatrack Will Cut Down on Shipment Costs

UK – The world’s largest transporter of natural and depleted Uranium hexafluoride (Hex), the substance which is used to create fuel for nuclear reactors, have unveiled their latest solution to solve the problem of transporting the bulky loads required for their specialist field.

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Linked to Biggest French Seizure of Cocaine

UK – The boss of a Glaswegian-based haulage company was arrested last week after be connected to the biggest cocaine seizure ever made in France. Charles McAughey of Kirimar Plant / Kinetic Heavy Haulage was arrested on Tuesday by members of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA).

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Freight Tonnages Rise Last Quarter

UK – The UK’s rail infrastructure provider, Network Rail, has announced that they are to upgrade a second rail route out of Southampton docks to take larger, 9’6” high-cube freight containers so as to guarantee services to shipping service that use the port in the event of problems or maintenance on the main line.

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New Technology on the Way to Curb Persistent Speeders

EUROPE – ERTICO – ITS Europe, a Brussels based conglomeration of organisations all with vested interests in promoting Intelligent Transport Systems and Services throughout Europe and beyond, have announced a project this week with implications for many in the road freight and logistics fields. A new system designed to slow both private motorists and the drivers of vans and other small haulage vehicles is to be tested in the Netherlands.

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Think You've Got Problems?

AFGHANISTAN – Everyone who works in the freight industry has their fair share of stories and tales about the job. From incompetent forklift drivers, bombastic transport managers and obnoxious customs officials, we’ve all seen it all. But compared to Richard Tagg at Move One Logistics Kabul office, it’s not quite in the same league.

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Largest Indian Order Ever from a Single Fleet Operator

INDIA- Surat-based Siddhi Vinayak Logistics Ltd. (SVLL) has made the largest order for medium and heavy trucks by any single operator in India by purchasing 1,111 such vehicles from Tata Motors with all the vehicles to be delivered by March, 2012.

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Schmitz Cargobull and Mercedes Make Sales

UK – Two family run UK road freight operators have announced that despite tough conditions in the haulage industry they are continuing to expand their respective fleets and equipment assets with new purchases.

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Be Prepared is the Advice

AMERICAS / CARIBBEAN – The world’s leading provider of insurance and risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry, the TT Club, has issued a warning that they believe that this year’s hurricane season for the Southern USA, Central America and the Caribbean could be ‘above-average’.

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New Gadget Provides an Inexpensive Solution to Perennial Problem

UK – WORLDWIDE - All drivers are familiar with the tedium of filling up since the automatic fuel locks were removed for safety reasons. A driver used to be able to leave the pump operating unattended knowing it would automatically stop when the tank was full. Unfortunately the attempt for safety reasons to stop petrol spilling across the forecourt was extended to diesel pumps leaving freight truck drivers to either stand clutching the filler for up to 15 minutes, or wedging a tennis ball in the handle or a paper clip in the redundant mechanism. Now a device approved by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and available at their on line shop may prove a solution.

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Salford to be Inland Port Again - Literally

UK – Following on from last weeks report on the plan to build an ‘inland port’ at Doncaster, Peel Ports - Britain’s second largest port operator - has given details on its plans to revive Greater Manchester as a true port in its own right with their ambitious Port of Salford scheme, which will also see the return of the historic and iconic Manchester Ship Canal to its original purpose of ferrying freight.

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$900,000 Penalty for Greek Company

USA – Noka Shipping, a Greek-based shipping management company, has been fined $900,000 by a federal court in Corpus Christi for deliberately concealing pollution discharges from the ship directly into the sea and for failing to notify the U. S. Coast Guard of numerous safety hazards on board the vessel. The company was also sentenced to five years probation, which means that all ships owned or managed by Noka Shipping will be barred from entering U.S. ports and territorial waters for five years.

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Concern at Eurovignette Decision and Rising Fuel Costs

UK – The British Road Haulage Association (RHA) has issued warnings of its concerns for the future of the U.K.’s road freight industry after the recent decision by the European Union to allow member states to charge trucks for ‘external costs’ such as noise and emission pollution and congestion, as well as the stated intention of the British government to add over three pence per litre on diesel fuel duty at the start of next year.

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Substantial Increase to Hire Fleet and Facilities

UK – Freight fleet hire specialists Ryder Europe have taken over Bradford-based rival Hill Hire, purchasing 100% of the equity in the company from previous owners Lloyds Banking Group for £154 million.

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ATA and OOIDA Combine on Call for Improved Standards

USA – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) and the Owner Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) have together called for the U.S. government to begin research so as to bring the crash survival standards as applied to automobiles onto heavy freight trucks.

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New Cooperation Agreement Signed

LUXEMBOURG / QATAR - Qatar Airways is to acquire a 35% stake in Europe’s largest air freight-only carrier, Luxembourg based Cargolux, for an undisclosed amount. The deal marks Qatar Airways plans - dubbed “the fastest growing airline in the world” - to expand its air freight service substantially, particularly between their Doha base and Europe.

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Receives Favourable Loan for Safety and Emissions Success

JAPAN – Shipping line Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) has become the first company in the ocean freight industry to win a “DBJ Environmental Ratings” from the Development Bank of Japan (DBJ). The company has received a loan from the DBJ for achieving the award’s highest possible rating.

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World Bank Money to Refurbish Infrastructure

PAPUA NEW GUINEA (PNG) - The World Bank has approved a US$43 million credit for the Papua New Guinea Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Project II (RMRP II), which looks to provide a boost for road haulage operators in the country.

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Dedola Logistics Run Competition for Communication Buffs

USA – To mark their 35th anniversary California-based Dedola Global Logistics (DGL)have announced that they are to hold a video contest on the 14th of June that will test competitors language skills, with a brand-new Apple iPad 2 up for grabs for the winner.

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Including Major Changes at the Top of UK Freight Associations this Month

WORLDWIDE – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) concluded their 67th AGM in Singapore with a slough of leadership changes, including a change of role for charismatic Director General and CEO Giovanni Bisignani. The news heads the announcement of shake ups across several important freight and logistics operations this month.

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Bad News for Shops Can Mean Good News for 3PL

UK – Much is made in the British press about how reduced spending on the U.K.’s high streets impacts upon the welfare of towns throughout the country, and such consumer spending is often assigned as an indicator of national economic health. This can, however, be disingenuous, masking changes to consumer spending and the subsidiary companies they generate and fuel.

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Settles in US - UK Case Still Ongoing

USA – In the ongoing saga that is the air freight price fixing scandal involving most of world’s major carriers, British Airways has become the latest operator to announce that they have offered to make a settlement to settle legal action taken by aggrieved American freight forwarders.

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New Rules Passed by European Parliament

EUROPE – Following on from our report today on the row brewing over the EU’s plans to charge the aviation industry for its carbon emissions comes the news that the European Parliament has voted overwhelmingly to change the laws on how much European haulage operators pay for travel on the continent’s road network.

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New Sections for This Years Addition

UK - The 16th edition of the Freight Transport Association’s guide for international road transport operators is now available. The annual guide includes information to help clarify the often confusing set of regulations faced by UK-based operators when they visit countries in the EU and beyond.

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Safmarine Adds to e-Business Tools

SOUTH AFRICA / WORLDWIDE – Shipping line Safmarine have created a new application software (app) that will allow customers with iPhone or iPad devices to access data on their consignments. "Customers can look up sailing schedules, track containers or consignments or find contact details for Safmarine offices using the ‘Nearby office’ functionality which uses the iPhone or iPad’s GPS locator to find the nearest Safmarine office. Being kept up to date with the latest Safmarine news in real-time is also one of the features offered,” said Safmarine's Global e-Business Manager, Benoît Lebrun.

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Airline Profits Already Hit by Disaster and Political Turmoil

EUROPE / WORLDWIDE – The war of words between the EU and much of the rest of the world, which has seen the dreaded term “trade war” bandied around, continues to rumble on as the European Union’s plans to implement emission trading for the aviation industry next year continue on schedule.

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More Experts Added to EPSRC Program

UK – Leading maritime design and engineering consultancy the BMT Group has announced that they are the latest industrial partner to join in the UK’s cutting edge research initiative designed to find ways to make shipping more environmentally sound by reducing the industry’s carbon emissions.

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Third Country to Benefit From GARD Program

BANGLADESH - Deutsche Post DHL has announced that it will conduct its "Get Airports Ready for Disaster" (GARD) training at Dhaka and Chittagong airports in Bangladesh in June, preparing both airports and personnel for a post-disaster logistics situation.

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Doncaster-by-Sea Not a Product of Global Warming

UK – A major new inland port development for the UK has received the green light after three major developers agreed the funding and development plan between them, according to the Financial Times.

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Hopes to Reduce Thousands of Deaths a Year

USA - Those who read the Handy Shipping Guide regularly will know that we often feature articles on the hazards that big freight vehicles, particularly articulated rigs, pose to cyclists and of the many efforts by legislators, manufacturers and operators to try and minimise these dangers.

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Recognition for CSX Support for Employees in Uniform

USA – Rail freight and multi-modal operator CSX Transportation has been honoured with the award of the Employer Support Freedom Award. Given to fifteen recipients this year, The Freedom Award is the Department of Defense’s (DoD) highest recognition given to employers for exceptional support of their employees serving in the U.S. National Guard and Reserves.

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Blast Freezing for Ultra-Low Temperature Storage

USA – Having acquired the Danish refrigerated transport equipment manufacturer Norfrig Equipment in February of this year Pennsylvania-based Klinge Corporation has announced they are expanding their range of refrigerated containers to include a model that features blast freezing.

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DHL in Hot Water with Employees Again

UK - Following on from previous stories of problems between management at DHL and their employees in the U.S. and elsewhere around the world, this week saw protests flair up which involves one of their major clients in the country, the Sainsbury’s supermarket chain.

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Proposed Acquisition Would Give Them Firm Footing

AUSTRALIA / CHINA – The Toll Group, one of the Asian region's leading provider of integrated logistics services, has announced its intention to break into the Chinese automotive supply chain market with the purchase of a 40% share in Tianjin Anda Logistics, one of that country’s largest third-party logistics service providers.

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Winners of ATA Awards Announced

AUSTRALIA - The Australian Trucking Association has honoured the country’s top truck driver and other leading industry figures at its 2011 National Trucking Industry Awards which took place at a ceremony in the Great Hall of Parliament House, Canberra, during the 2011 Australian Trucking Convention last week.

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Boat Specialists Support Wild Card

UK / CHINA / SPAIN / – Southampton-based boat transportation specialists, Peters & May, have been contracted to transport the China Team's new America's Cup Catamaran 45 from Auckland to Valencia for the first event of the 34th America's Cup.

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Project Specialist Organisation Continues to Grow

KOREA / PORTUGAL – The Global Project Logistics Network - a network for independent companies specializing in international and specialist project movements , particularly oversized, out-of-gauge and heavy lift cargo – has welcomed two new members into their fraternity.

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LaFarge Latest Recipient of Rail Transport Money

SCOTLAND - Following on from the successful campaign to protect the Freight Facilities Grant (FFG) in Scotland - as reported in February - the devolved government of the country has announced that it is awarding £130,000 (US$212,500) to Lafarge Cement UK to provide enhanced facilities at four locations, enabling it to distribute bagged cement from Dunbar to Uddingston, Inverness and Aberdeen by rail rather than road.

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$975 Million Loan for Eastern DFC

INDIA – Following problems with alleged corruption which we reported on last August the massive Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India Limited (DFCCIL) project, which aims to totally regenerate India’s rail freight sector, received a substantial boost on Tuesday with the news that the World Bank had committed to loaning US$975 million to help finance the construction of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor (EDFC) segment of the project.

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Disaster Prompts Action to Avoid Gridlock

US – Sometimes the best things happen in the face of adversity, wars lead to scientific breakthroughs and disasters to better systems for helping people trapped in difficult situations. Just such a scenario arose when Hurricane Rita struck the Gulf Coast in 2005 and hundreds of thousands hit the highway simultaneously to escape the turmoil. It was this that led Houston TranStar, the Greater Houston Transportation and Emergency Management Center, to develop a sophisticated system which could be used by freight truck drivers and ordinary motorists alike in order to minimise the chaos.

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Plan to Target Russian Automotive Industry Needs

RUSSIA – At a conference taking place in Sochi today representatives of DB Schenker Rail and TransContainer, a subsidiary of Russian Railways (RZD), have reaffirmed their intention to examine the feasibility of setting up a joint venture to provide logistics services in Russia.

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US Surface Trade with Canada and Mexico Tops $80 Billion for First Time

USA / MEXICO / CANADA – According to figures released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Transportation’ Bureau of Transportation Statistics trade between the United States, Canada and Mexico in March 2011 reached $80.8 billion, the highest monthly trade figure since the collection of data on surface transportation between the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) partners began in 1994.

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TT Club Illustrates Dangers to Carriers

UK – WORLDWIDE -The TT Club, which provides an extensive range of services to the freight transport and logistics industry, point out two items this month which both emanate from the murkier side of the international shipping trade. Both freight forwarders and land, sea and airfreight carriers are warned of the dangers of transporting counterfeit items and becoming enmeshed in bribery and corruption allegations.

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Proposals Cause Concern For UK Hauliers

UK/EUROPE – The UK’s Federation of Small Business (FSB) and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the East Midlands, Derek Clark, are combining their efforts to combat proposals by the EU to limit the height of new trucks and trailers to 4m (13 feet). The current UK limit is 4.9m (16 feet).

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Improves Connections with West Coast Ports

CALIFORNIA/USA – New Jersey-based NFI has acquired the Californian operations of The Gilbert Company, expanding it’s presence in the Riverside-San Bernardino region, the ‘Inland Empire’ area which is one of the most populace in the State

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