Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Freight Forwarding and Logistics Related Group Developments Worldwide

News on Development and Acquisition for Global Players
Shipping News Feature

SINGAPORE – UAE – US – WORLDWIDE – News from freight forwarding and logistics related outfits this week include the ground breaking ceremony (see photo) for Kuehne + Nagel’s new build-to-suit (BTS) logistics centre in the west of Singapore. The multi-user facility is designed to have 55 loading bays and five floors dedicated to storage, with a total warehouse floor area of over 46,000 m3. Of this, 20,000 m3 will be used as a cold storage zone to manage temperature-sensitive goods for pharmaceutical and healthcare customers. The remaining space will cater predominately for aerospace, spare parts and hi-tech products, and a further 4,000 m3 will be allocated to offices.

Design features of the centre are to include not only automated robot technology to facilitate throughput of goods but standards which will ensure certification under the Green Mark Platinum and LEED Gold awards under ‘Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design’, an internationally-recognised green building certification system developed by the US Green Building Council. Kuehne + Nagel awarded the design-and-build contract to Boustead Projects Pte Ltd, a leading specialist in industrial real estate solutions. K+N Executive Vice Chairman, Karl Gernandt, commented:

“Singapore is an important logistics hub for global trade thanks to its world-class infrastructure and excellent connectivity. Our investment in this modern facility is one of the largest outside Europe and it reflects both the importance of Singapore as a business location and its significance for the Kuehne + Nagel network. It will house over 500 Kuehne + Nagel specialists and is designed to serve Kuehne + Nagel’s customers across multiple industry sectors.”

Singapore has proved a winning market for Agility Fairs & Events, the specialist arm of the global logistics player. The company has been selected to move and install the thousands of paintings, sculptures and other artworks as official freight forwarder and onsite logistics handler at the first-ever Singapore Art Fair, to be held November 27-30 at the Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Staying with Agility the company has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today with Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s national railway network, on an agreement that will enable Agility to use Etihad Rail’s services for distribution in the UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Etihad Rail has signed a rash of MoUs in recent months as we have detailed previously.

The AED 40 billion, 1,200 km Etihad Rail network will connect industrial areas as well as urban and peripheral communities throughout the country, facilitating trade and fostering economic growth. The network will form a vital part of the planned GCC railway network, linking the UAE to Saudi Arabia via Ghweifat in the west and Oman via Al Ain in the east. Etihad Rail works closely with GCC railways through the GCC Secretariat General with shared goals, aspirations, and business objectives to deliver the regional railway professionally, efficiently, and on schedule.

Construction of the project is under way with services between Habshan and Ruwais already operational on a trial basis since September 2013, with Shah-Habshan services expected to follow before the end of 2014. Acting CEO of Etihad Rail, Eng. Faris Saif Al Mazrouei, said:

“The enhanced connectivity that Etihad Rail will deliver will effectively bring businesses closer together, facilitating more efficient trade and extending geographic markets. Our MoU with Agility is another important step forward for the UAE’s rail project. Agility is recognised as a logistics leader and we are proud to work with such a major organisation to further develop the logistics industry.”

One of the companies supplying software solutions for those in the supply chain, Kewill, has just announced it has acquired the IBM® Sterling Transportation Management System (TMS), a SaaS-based multimodal transportation management system. The IBM Sterling TMS will be rebranded as Kewill Transport and will become part of the Kewill MOVE® multimodal transportation management platform, creating what the group describes as ‘the market leading multimodal TMS’.

The acquisition will extend the transportation management capabilities of the Kewill MOVE platform with the addition of a top-rated multimodal TMS that was ranked as a ‘Challenger’ by Gartner in its 2013 Magic Quadrant for Transportation Management Systemsreport. Bob Farrell, President and CEO at Kewill, commented:

“The acquisition of the IBM Sterling TMS enhances Kewill’s position in the multimodal transportation management space, and in particular in the North American marketplace, enabling us to extend the range of solutions we offer to shippers and retailers. We believe that strengthening our offering in this key market is vital to enhancing the value we deliver to our customers, partners, employees, and shareholders.”