Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Freight and Logistics News Round Up

Bits and Pieces About the Industry That Never Made the Major Headlines
Shipping News Feature
SOUTH AFRICA – This week’s snippets of smaller freight and logistics stories begins with the news that the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has taken delivery of the fifth of its nine new tugs. The project is now 81% complete and still on track to deliver the ninth and final tug early in 2018, on time and within budget. Five tugs are under construction at any given time at the premises of contractor, Southern African Shipyards. Four are already delivered and at work in Port Elizabeth and Saldanha.

The new tug will serve at the Port of Richards Bay. She is Kwa-Zulu Natal’s first new tug among four planned for the province’s ports. Richards Bay is expecting another of these relatively small but powerful vessels used to guide visiting ships safely into port by pushing or towing them, while Durban will also receive two.

The nine tugs are being built over three and a half years, as part of a wider fleet replacement programme that also includes new dredging vessels and new marine aviation helicopters. The programme is aimed at improving operational efficiency in the ports.

FAROE ISLANDS – Faroese shipping line Smyril Line Cargo has announced that it will work with Globe Tracker to install tracking, monitoring and control devices that provide two way communications in its refrigeration units along with independent wireless sensors that continuously provide sensor data even when the reefers are not powered externally. This will provide 100% temperature and other sensor data at the cargo level for their customers.

"We have looked around for some time for the right product and partner for our reefer fleet. Globe Tracker's solution has really impressed us. We wanted a solution that is future proof and offers necessary flexibility," commented Halgir Dahl Olesen, Managing Director at Smyril Line Cargo.

CROATIA – Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) and METRO Cash & Carry, an international leader in wholesale trade, have signed a five-year contract for warehousing and distribution services starting in January 2017. Kuehne + Nagel will consolidate METRO’s assortment and specific goods flow to professional customers under one roof. The service package includes goods storage in different temperature controlled zones, quality control, pick-up from supplier, cross-docking, as well as providing value added services including preparation and consolidation of goods for METRO wholesale centres and customers.

˝We are very pleased to enter into a long-term partnership with METRO Cash & Carry in Croatia which underlines our expertise in providing industry-specific logistics solutions. Our innovative warehousing and distribution services will add value to the METRO Cash & Carry supply chain,” said Renata Čirjak, General Manager of Kuehne + Nagel in Croatia.

UK – The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said it is pleased that Greater Manchester’s new long-term transport framework has a strong focus on improving strategic road connectivity and keeping city centre traffic moving. The Greater Manchester Transport Strategy 2040 is the culmination of a public consultation which received almost 1,800 responses and plans to create ‘an integrated, sustainable and well-coordinated transport system’. It aims to improve the road infrastructure, capitalise on shipping, rail and road links at Port Salford and create a globally-connected city region. Malcolm Bingham, FTA’s Head of Policy for the North of England, said:

“The strategy makes reference to HGV operations during peak periods, which is a positive if it saves trucks sitting in traffic when there is no need. However, that means educating the freight industry’s customers about when and how to schedule deliveries, particularly in the emerging digital economy. It is good to see joined-up thinking in setting up a transport system for the area that looks to join up a Key Route Network with the strategic roads of the M6, M60 and the M62.”

NORTHERN IRELAND – Ferry operator Stena Line has announced a new build contract of four RoPax ferry vessels with a planned delivery schedule during 2019 and 2020. The contract also contains an option for another four vessels to be ordered. The four vessels are being built at the AVIC Shipyard in China and the plan is to locate the vessels on the Irish Sea, specifically on Stena Line’s routes to and from its expanding Belfast hub. Stena Line’s CEO Niclas Mårtensson observed:

“The routes to and from Belfast are strategically very important to Stena Line and during the last number of years we have made significant investments in ports and vessels to improve and develop our capacity offering a frequent high quality service for our customers to and from Belfast. Looking ahead, we intend to continue our ambitious development plan for our business in the region and the new vessels are a part of this strategic plan.

”During the last few years we have seen a steady growth in freight and passenger volumes and we believe this will continue. Last year was a record year for us when we for the first time carried over 500,000 freight units through Belfast Port. These new vessels will be the largest ferries ever to operate between Belfast and Great Britain

“The new RoPax vessels will be among the most fuel efficient in the world with approximately 25% lower CO2 emissions per cargo unit than current RoPax tonnage. Our aim is to lead the development of sustainability within the shipping industry and set a new industry standard when it comes to operational performance, emissions and cost competiveness. The vessels will run on traditional fuel, but are designed to the class notation ‘gas ready’ and are also prepared for scrubbers as well as catalytic converters, giving us flexibility for the future.”

Photo: TNPA’s new tug, Ukhozi, was launched and named at the Southern African Shipyards premises in Durban, South Africa.