Friday, March 31, 2017

Friday Freight News Round Up - Smaller Logistics Stories from Around the World

This Week's Snippets Range from Space Rockets to Jobs in Australia
Shipping News Feature
RUSSIA – FRENCH GUIANA – In yet another major project freight move for the company Volga-Dnepr Airlines has delivered the third stage of a Soyuz-ST launch vehicle to Europe's Spaceport in Cayenne. Its transportation from Samara in Russia to French Guiana is in readiness for the vehicle to launch the American SES-15 satellite into orbit in early April for SES, one of the world’s leading satellite communications companies.

Volga-Dnepr’s Load Planning Centre produced a design of the special cradle to be used to lift the launch vehicle into the IL-76TD-90VD freighter and a step-by-step guide to the loading procedures implemented for its transportation. Sergey Lenivin, Key Account Manager at Volga-Dnepr said:

“For last 26 years Volga-Dnepr has earned a strong reputation with global satellite manufacturers for our knowledge and professionalism in moving very sensitive satellite technology. They have great confidence in our ability to protect the integrity of their shipments, which is achieved through a high level of cooperation by the Volga-Dnepr team and working closely with our customers. We were delighted that the Progress Space Rocket Centre expressed their gratitude to us for another secure and timely performance.”

UK – US – Virgin Atlantic Cargo has reported revenues of £174 million for 2016 as its freight volumes rose by 1.8%. Overall, the airline carried 218,000 tonnes of cargo across its international network to major cities in the United States, Dubai, Hong Kong and China, India, Nigeria and South Africa as well as to Cuba, Mexico and destinations in the Caribbean. This resulted in the year-end contribution target being overachieved by 2%. John Lloyd, Senior Vice President, Cargo at Virgin Atlantic, said:

“2016 was a challenging year for a whole variety of reasons. The impact of overcapacity on yields and the falling value of sterling were major factors and we also saw a reduction in revenues due to route changes driven by passenger demand. The second half of the year was much stronger, particularly for business from the UK, and it ended with a welcome pre-Christmas peak season which resulted in some improvement in average yield. We expect to see some more stability return to the market this year.”

Longer-term, the airline’s cargo business will receive a further boost from Virgin Atlantic’s order in 2016 for 12 Airbus A350-1000s, which have a list price value of $4.4bn, as part of an investment programme to replace its entire fleet in a decade. When deliveries commence in early 2019, the A350 will offer a significant improvement in lower deck cargo capacity of between 10% and 22% depending on configuration. 2016 also saw the airline take delivery of four more Boeing 787-9s.

UK – Scotland’s deepest container terminal expects to double its business in the next five years thanks to the opening of £400million ‘sister’ terminal at Liverpool. Owned by Peel Ports, Greenock Ocean Terminal has projected that it will handle 200,000 TEU annually by 2021, representing a 100% increase on current levels. Andrew Hemphill, Port Director, Peel Ports’ Clydeport explains:

“The opening of Liverpool2 has transformed the playing field for us, bringing deep-sea connections much closer to Scotland and we are now in a unique position thanks to our Irish Sea Hubs. Mega ocean container ships can now call directly into Liverpool, which acts as a feeder hub to us in Greenock, Ireland and Manchester, allowing closer import and export routes to market.”

Located on the Firth of Clyde, Greenock Ocean Terminal has been at the heart of Scotland’s shipping industry since 1876, with the container terminal officially opening in 1969. The 50 acre facility has evolved over time and recently invested £1.6million in straddle carriers to improve operations for its global customer base, with further investment planned.

UK – Following our recent item regarding Dachser’s investment throughout Europe the German logistics outfit has opened a new office in Bristol which will enable customers in the South West region direct access to the group’s entire European network.

Dachser Bristol now offers a daily road freight groupage service to destinations across Europe, via two key hub centres in Alsdorf and Dortmund producing savings of 24 hours transit time to the majority of countries, giving local shippers a valuable competitive advantage. The company says it is pledged to continue its current expansion programme throughout the UK and in Europe.

ROMANIA – Tibbett Logistics, the Romania-based transport and contract logistics specialist within The Keswick Enterprises Group, announced that this summer it will be making a substantial six-figure euro further investment in enhancing its open-access Bucharest International Rail Freight Terminal (BIRFT).

The development follows a 36% increase in freight volumes handled through the terminal in 2016. Tibbett Logistics projects further volume growth of up to 30% this year among established key clients – with a major German multinational retailer already adding substantial increases in container volumes in the first quarter. Tibbett Logistics’ CEO, David Goldsborough, said:

“The addition of the third Kalmar reach stacker at BIRFT and the extension of the terminal platform, both coming online this summer, are further signs of our commitment to the Romanian marketplace, and specifically the development of intermodal road-rail transport services. We continue to grow at an impressive rate year-on-year through the addition of new customers and from the growth in volumes of existing customers, confirmation of the reliability and efficiency of our services.”

AUSTRALIA – The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) is seeking to appoint a safety and productivity adviser to fill a vacancy in its government relations and policy team. The successful applicant will investigate and research safety and productivity opportunities for the trucking industry; provide other ATA staff with advice and information on safety and truck productivity issues; provide secretariat support for the ATA Council and council committees; represent the ATA at meetings with stakeholders and government bodies; provide support at ATA events and undertake team administration duties as directed.

To apply, please send an email to with a covering letter, your CV, the details of two referees and a statement addressing the following selection criteria:

  • an understanding of road safety, work health and safety and/or chain of responsibility
  • skills in policy analysis and development
  • personal initiative and the ability to manage work to complete tasks to meet tight deadlines
  • the ability to work cooperatively as a member of a small team
  • a commitment to ongoing professional development
  • tertiary or VET qualifications in a relevant discipline
  • A knowledge of the trucking industry and heavy vehicle road access issues would be highly desirable

A competitive salary package will be negotiated with the successful applicant, commensurate with qualifications and experience. Applications close on Thursday 13 April 2017.

Photo: Loading a rocket into an aircraft requires planning, skill and patience as Volga-Dnepr demonstrates here.