Thursday, May 7, 2020

Bits and Pieces of Logistics and Supply Chain News from Around the Globe

(and apparently there's some sort of virus going about)
Shipping News Feature

UK – FRANCE – Le Shuttle Freight carried almost 80,000 trucks in April 2020, which operator GetLink says was mainly due to the demand for food, pharmaceutical and e-commerce goods. With four departures an hour, and particularly the speed of transit meaning social distancing is considerably easier, the tunnel route under the Channel appears to be more resilient to this crisis than the alternative of ferries.

UK – In another news week plagued with the virus some good, which has doubtless in part come about due to the reduced traffic levels, is that the upgraded A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon stretch has opened to traffic eight months ahead of schedule. Anyone familiar with the road which links the east coast ports like Felixstowe with the Midlands and further afield will certainly be delighted.

Highways England got plaudits from such as the Freight Transport Association (FTA) whose Head of South of England and Urban Policy Natalie Chapman said it was a testament to that body’s determination to improve road infrastructure and connectivity in the heart of England.

IRELAND – The Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI) called this week for Commercial Vehicle Roadworthiness (CVRT) testing to recommence to support the road haulage industry and commercial vehicle road safety. An amendment, signed by the minister on 20 April extended test due dates by three months for commercial vehicles due a CVR test on or after March 28. FTA Ireland General Manager Aidan Flynn said:

“CVRT centres provide critical independent commercial vehicle roadworthiness functions and as such everything needs to be done to allow them open as soon as possible. Of course, the health and safety of all staff is sacrosanct, but if haulage, distribution and manufacturing facilities continue to operate safely and with restrictions in place, there is no reason why CVRT centres under the auspices of the Road Safety Authority should not be able to carry out their functions, even on a limited basis.”

NEW ZEALAND – AUSTRALIA – An Air Capacity Agreement has seen several major airlines sign up for the New Zealand government funded scheme with up to NZ$330 million available. The scheme mirrors the A$110 million International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) which is designed to partially offset the cost to airfreight shippers and forwarding companies.

The key markets targeted include China, Hong Kong, Japan and the UAE to assist the Aussie and Kiwi agricultural and fisheries sectors maintain supplies and the New Zealand scheme is applicable to fifty six weekly flights.

US – The Port of Long Beach, the second-busiest seaport for container traffic in the country, has signed up to SEA-LNG, the multi-sector industry coalition, created to accelerate the widespread adoption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. Long Beach is the third North American port to join the coalition and brings SEA-LNG’s count of port members to a total of seven among the top twenty global ports; strategically placed along major trade lanes traversing Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

US – Genco Shipping and Trading, the largest dry bulk shipowner headquartered in the country declared a net loss of $120.4 million for the first quarter of 2020, a basic and diluted loss per share of $2.87 resulting in a quarterly cash dividend of $0.02. This brings paid or declared cumulative dividends to $0.695 per share over the last three quarters.

The company says it has taken a variety of proactive measures to protect staff at sea and onshore against the virus and maintains a strong financial position with $149.5 million of cash, including $15.2 million of restricted cash, as of March 31. The full report can be seen here.

Photo: Le Shuttle Freight performed well in April despite the virus.