Friday, September 14, 2018

Disastrous Week as Hurricanes and Earthquake Impact Freight and Logistics This Week

A Round-Up of Some of the Shipping Industry Stories Over the Past Seven Days
Shipping News Feature
JAPAN – As the hurricane season begins to bite at the US east coast ports, disaster leads our round up of freight and logistics news this week as ocean container carriers Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has announced it is providing financial assistance to the tune of 5 million yen in support of those affected by the recent earthquake which struck the port city of Tomakomai last week.

The Hokkaido Eastern Iburi earthquake which hit the Japanese province on September 6 left 44 dead and several hundred injured, also meant over 5 million people were without power leaving roads impassable and having a devastating effect on the regions farming and fishing industries.

UK – Agency Sector Management (ASM) UK Ltd. has launched a new data archiving app which it says will help freight forwarders stay compliant with the Customs declaration process, as well as saving them on time and costs, The new, web-based app is part of ASM’s freight management software Sequoia, and can be accessed remotely, making it easier for forwarders to store as well as to retrieve critical documentation. Users can search the archive using any of the key references, such as a job reference, an Air Waybill number, or a Declaration Unique Consignment Reference.

Users do not need access to the Sequoia application in order to retrieve archived data, meaning they can find information simply by using a web browser, from any location. The archive stores details of jobs, declarations, shipments, agent inventory records, consolidations, transit movements, sales invoices, collection and delivery notes, air waybills/bills of lading, manifests, and user added documents. The app is a bolt-on feature of the Sequoia Customs clearance software, which provides users a one-stop freight management system.

UK – The GMB Union has expressed concern that Brexit will cause labour shortages if there is no certainty over the status of current EU workers and a clear plan for meeting the UK’s labour shortfalls after Brexit. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show EU nationals make up more than 20% of the workforce in 18 industries, and more than 10% of the workforce in 65 industries.

A third of warehousing and storage workers are EU nationals, according to new figures produced by the ONS in response to a GMB Union request. GMB, which organises tens of thousands of workers in the sector, warned today that next-day-deliveries could become a thing of the past unless employers improve wages and conditions after Brexit. 7.6% of the country’s workforce are EU nationals.

UK – There was an incident on Wednesday September 12 involving a set of freight wagons from the Hams Hall facility which derailed at Whiteacre Junction whilst being pulled by GB Railfreight. Lifting equipment was employed to clear the track by the following day in anticipation of normal service being restored by Monday September 17. A GBRF Statement said:

”There were no injuries and GBRf staff were quickly on the scene to co-ordinate with Network Rail, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch, the supplier terminal authorities and our customers. Accident investigators are not holding any GB Railfreight vehicles.”

UK – Following this week’s announcement that the next London Shipping Week will be held between 9-13 September 2019, the theme is to be ‘International Trade in a Changing World’. Over 200 events held in some of London’s most historic and iconic venues are expected to attract around 20,000 visitors.

CHINA – EUROPE – POLAND – Claims by the rail operator PKP Cargo last month that the Małaszewicze-Brest border crossing between Poland and Belarus, the most popular route for freight trains on the New Silk Road, was no longer a bottleneck, have brought about shouts of derision from logistics companies which say delays can be between 4 and 6 days.

There is currently much work continuing in a bid to increase capacity at the crossing but even PKP, which currently services around 25 trains per week, but even PKP admits it will not be until 2022 when the target of quadrupling this total is hit. Seemingly the current delays are principally a shortage of equipment heading for Europe and works being undertaken on the infrastructure. PKP has just announced a tender for 936 platforms to support its expanding intermodal business which has doubled in the last lustrum.

UK – FRANCE – Inmarsat, London based provider of global mobile satellite communications services, has signed a contract with Exagone, owner and operator of the TERIA network, France’s leading provider of geo-positioning technology, to become its sole provider of satellite connectivity.

By integrating Inmarsat’s L-band constellation into the TERIA network, Exagone will be able to offer European businesses highly accurate asset tracking to within one centimetre, regardless of their location or the quality of the terrestrial connectivity services via its network of 200 French antennae.

EUROPE – In a week when a new school for shipping professionals opened in London, the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI) has launched its own on-line tutorial for intermediate level cargo underwriters who wish to deepen their knowledge and expertise in cargo insurance.

Eleven separate modules are designed to give an in depth insight into most of the situations which a maritime underwriter is likely to come across and the courses are open to all, not just IUMI members.

EUROPE – The European Commission proposed this week to do away with seasonal clock changes in Europe in 2019, giving Member States the freedom to decide once and for all whether they want to permanently apply summer- or wintertime. The EU believes it can coordinate any changes between neighbouring states, something others have expressed doubts about.

Under the Commission's proposal each Member State would notify by April 2019 whether it intends to apply permanent winter or summertime. The last mandatory change to summertime would take place on Sunday 31 March 2019. After this, the Member States wishing to permanently switch back to wintertime would still be able to make one last seasonal clock change on Sunday 27 October 2019. Following that date, seasonal clock changes would no longer be possible.

US – LATIN AMERICA – The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) is to work closely with the Mexican Association of Freight Forwarders (AMACARGA) in order to grow the Association’s presence in Latin America and support the air cargo community throughout the region. TIACA is keen to build its presence in Latin America as part of its increased focus on areas which are outside the major airfreight markets, aiming to support the growth of airfreight and unify global standards throughout the world.

As part of the partnership, the two organisations will cooperate on their signature events including TIACA’s Air Cargo Forums 2018 and 2020, as well as explore joint training and networking initiatives. The focus on Latin America will be emphasized at TIACA’s 2020 Air Cargo Forum, co-located with both Multimodal and Supply Chain Americas in Miami, USA.

US – News of another departure from Tesla’s executive team as Justin McAnear, Tesla’s vice president of worldwide finance and operations, is leaving the company saying he has been offered a position elsewhere. In the past weeks Tesla’s chief accounting officer, David Morton went after less than a month in post and former head of HR, Gabrielle Toledano and also the VP of communications departed on the same day.

Reports state that around thirty executives have left in the past 4 months as boss Elon Musk has been acting unpredictably. The latest departures are thought to link with Musk’s abandonment of plans to take the company down the private route.

GERMANY – Weserport GmbH, a freight handling joint venture between Rhenus Group and ArcelorMittal Bremen GmbH, has acquired a new Gottwald Model Six mobile crane, from Konecranes, to help handle break bulk cargo and project loads at its facility in Bremen, Germany. The crane replaces the previous gantry slewing crane and boasts specialist features including a higher load-bearing capacity and new drive system.

The load-bearing capacity of the Gottwald crane, 125 tonnes, is more than twice the amount of the previous gantry crane used at Weserport harbour. The motorised grab fitted has enabled it to be used for handling steel and break bulk cargo at Weserport, with the intention for it to be used to handle heavy goods and containers in the future.

FRANCE – WORLDWIDE – Forty years ago this week Jacques R. Saadé launched the first maritime line between Marseilles and Beirut, with only one ship and 4 employees. Since that time CMA CGM has evolved into the third largest container shipping line in the world. Today, headed by Rodolphe Saadé, the CMA CGM Group employs 34,000 people with a presence in more than 160 countries.

To celebrate the occasion of its anniversary the box carrier has included a special web page documenting the development of the company over the past four decades which you can see here.

Photo: The recent Japanese earthquake brought devastation and death to the southern Hokkaido region.