Friday, July 2, 2021

Bits and Pieces from Around the Transport Industry This Week

Some Logistics and Supply Chain Snippets
Shipping News Feature

UK – In a continued expansion of its rail services offering, Maritime Transport has opened a new rail freight service operated by long-standing partner, GB Railfreight (GBRf), connecting DP World London Gateway to Maritime’s intermodal freight terminal in Tamworth (BIFT). The new route will operate six days a week from Monday to Saturday with a total transport capacity of 87 TEU in each direction.

GBRf now operates eight intermodal services into Maritime’s rail terminals in Manchester, Wakefield, East Midlands Gateway, and BIFT, demonstrating both companies’ commitment to growth in the UK rail freight sector. Additionally, the partners say commencement of a new daily connection will result in a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions, saving over 4,000,000 road miles per year.

UK – Logistics UK wrote to Parliamentary Undersecretary of State Rachel Maclean MP earlier this month, objecting to Kent County Council (KCC) powers to clamp lorries parking for more than 45 minutes in certain laybys in the County. The call was answered when ministers decided to withdraw the plan from the KCC.

The lobby group said that it was vitally important for more designated parking areas to be created on the routes from the ports of the Dover Straits and called on the KCC to listen to the views of the logistics sector through its current consultation on laybys and ensure that further restrictions and enforcement are not imposed.

UK – With cyber-crime being the primary concern for all shipping interests news comes which may well be of interest to all sizeable logistics related businesses. Working together with Gloucestershire College, Edinburgh Napier University and the University of the West of England are to offer degree apprenticeships in cyber security recognised by the National Cyber Security Centre’s (NCSC) certified degree programme.

NSCS is part of GCHQ no less and, although several other universities offer degrees recognised by the NCSC, the two universities are the first to have their courses certified, giving extra legitimacy to students passing the course. In the past 7 years the NCSC have certified 49 courses offered by 34 institutions across the UK.

UK – FRANCE – P&O Ferries have confirmed that the Pride of Burgundy has returned to the Dover-Calais route after a year off. With capacity to carry 120 lorries, the 28,000 tonne vessel will return in freight-only mode, making two return journeys each day. P&O Says the addition of a fifth ship comes in response to growing demand from British and European customers and will expand options for those requiring transportation of goods between pivotal markets.

UK – WORLDWIDE – Michelin has launched the new X AGVEV, the first tyre specifically designed for automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) operating in ports and currently offered in one size: 18.00 R25. This is the first time a port tyre has been ‘EV’ marked, indicating that it contributes to reducing machine emissions, and increasing battery life on electric vehicles, due to its very low rolling resistance.

While AGVs are currently used in numerous ports in Asia, Europe and North America, previously there were no tyres on the market specifically designed for these vehicles. The tyre comes with a patch inside that allows for easy fixing of the Michelin TPMS sensor that monitors pressure and temperature in real time. This is designed to offer peace of mind for driverless vehicles where there is no operator to perform regular visual checks of the tyres.

GREECE – Pioneer Marine, Greek owned, but with shares listed in Norway, has apparently put its entire fleet up for sale according to reports. The fleet of 12 Handysize vessels with a total deadweight capacity of 435,000 dwt is registered in the Marshall Islands.

GERMANY – SOUTH KOREA – It seems the love affair with ever bigger containerships is far from over. With freight rates soaring and Hapag Lloyd recording an eye watering $1.45 billion profit for the first quarter of 2021, the company duly placed an order for six more giant box vessels, each 23,500 TEU, with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME),

Hapag CEO Rolf Habben Jansen said the persistent high demand meant it was time to maintain modernisation of the company fleet with the purchase of the dual fuel behemoths. Deliveries are anticipated to start in 2024.

GERMANY – WORLDWIDE – Mercedes-Benz Trucks has unveiled its heavy-duty short-radius distribution, battery-electric eActros. The first standard model of the eActros is planned to roll off the production line in Wörth am Rhein (Germany) from autumn 2021. The maximum battery capacity of 420 kWh2 enables ranges of up to 400 kilometres to be achieved and the truck has all the bells and whistles including camera systems, Active Brake Assist emergency braking system with pedestrian recognition, etc.

Low vibrations, zero emissions and a one hour charge time from 20% to 80% using a a regular 400A DC charging station make this an attractive proposition for urban logistics cycles. As for safety special crash elements with an aluminium profile protect the batteries in the event of a side-on crash, while sensors integrated in these can detect a crash scenario. In such a case, the HV battery would be automatically isolated from the rest of the vehicle, something the driver can also do manually at any time.