Friday, July 24, 2020

Bits of News from Around the Globe with a Transport Related Influence

Some Stuff You May Well Have Missed
Shipping News Feature

UK – With the Multimodal 2020 exhibition now cancelled until it appears as the 2021 edition, IMHX can truly claim to be the country's largest logistics and supply chain exhibition for this year at least. The biennial event is scheduled to run between the 14th and 16th September at the NEC, Birmingham.

UK – So the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has gone ahead with its plan to change its name to LogisticsUK (despite the fact there is already a foreign owned transport directory with the same title). CEO David Wells said the change was felt necessary as the organisation speaks for the entire sector, whereas the word freight does not really represent what its members in vans, construction, utilities, public sector, 3PLs and passenger transport actually do.

UK – P&O Ferrymasters has launched a specialist consultancy service for its logistics customers intended to help them choose the best options for their whole supply chain process. This includes data cleansing, analysis, modelling and mapping to visualise the customer’s current supply chain and create a clear baseline before assessing timing, availability, costs and environmental footprint, and ultimately hand picking the best solution and assisting with warehouse engineering.

UK – The Office of the Traffic Commissioners welcomed the government announcement last week to introduce announced a ban on older tyres being fitted on lorries, buses and coaches. The ban will make it illegal to fit tyres aged 10 years or older to the front wheels of lorries, buses and coaches, and all wheels of minibuses. The measures will also apply to re-treaded tyres, with the date of re-treading to be marked, making the age of the tyre clearly visible.

The Commissioners urged all operators to review their tyre management systems before the ban comes into force in the autumn, and said operators should also look out for further information on tyre marking and an update to the categorisation of defects (further guidance) in due course.The details can be seen HERE.

SINGAPORE – GERMANY – Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) and Hamburg-based asset and investment manager MPC Capital AG have agreed to combine their activities in the technical management of container ships. With this WSM has acquired a 50% stake in Ahrenkiel Steamship GmbH & Co KG, the technical container ship manager within the MPC Capital Group. Joint venture managing director is Dr Michael Silies, boss of Ahrenkiel Steamship since 2015, with Jan-Eric Panitzki in charge of operations.

In the future, the joint venture will operate under the brand Wilhelmsen Ahrenkiel Ship Management, and the company will continue to operate in Hamburg and Rhoon, while supported by Wilhelmsen’s global network. With around 100 employees, the new company will manage a fleet of currently 72 container ships with a focus on feeder container ships with a capacity of 1,000 to 3,000 standard containers (TEU).

SINGAPORE – GAC has now a a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Belgium-based logistics services provider Ahlers nv to acquire the container logistics business unit of its Singapore subsidiary. The deal will reinforce the Dubai headquartered group’s foothold in Asia’s highest rated logistics hub.

US – The Technical Solutions Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), America’s largest military shipbuilding company and a provider of professional services to partners in government and industry, has announced it has completed a strategic equity investment in Sea Machines Robotics, the Boston-based autonomous technology company that specialises in advanced software for unmanned surface vessels (USVs).

The two companies have significantly different profiles as HII has a history going back over a century whilst Sea Machines began operations only in 2015. The finance package is worth a published $15 million to a firm which provides autonomous active domain perception and navigation duties with the ability to control on the water operations under landside human management.

AUSTRIA – Gebrüder Weiss has broken ground on its new 70,000 m2 facility in the Styrian region at Kalsdorf near Graz. The €26 million logistics terminal will replace the current facility in Alte Poststraße which recently reached its capacity limits. Construction work on the new terminal already started in April however the planned ground-breaking ceremony had been postponed due to the corona crisis. The opening of the new branch is planned for next spring.

WORLDWIDE – The Digital Container Shipping Association (DCSA), which is devoted to digitising the industry has issued the summer edition of its quarterly newsletter which explains its efforts to standardise an electronic Bill of Lading (eBL) as the first step to digitalisation of documentation plus an overview of the highlights and standards it set out in Q2, and a look ahead. The Newsletter can be read HERE.

Photo: Sea Machines will be boosted by investment from the likes of Huntington Ingalls Industries.