Friday, May 21, 2021

From Astronauts to Mapping the Ocean Floor this Week's Snippets of News

Those Smaller Stories Linked to the Freight Transport Industry
Shipping News Feature

UK – Astronaut and former test pilot Major Tim Peake CMG will be the keynote speaker at the Logistics UK Future Logistics Conference at the Innovation & Technology in Transport Hub (ITT Hub) being held on 30 June and 1 July 2021 at the Farnborough International Exhibition & Conference Centre. He will kick off the event with a session challenging the way that logistics, public transport and technology operates, both now and in the future.

The free to attend event hosts an extensive exhibition featuring the latest developments in logistics and passenger transport, ITT Hub will also provide an outdoor vehicle display area and a unique series of ‘ride and drive’ experiences, to give attendees the chance to try the very latest in vehicle technology for themselves. Full details HERE.

UK – The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has urged ministers to add HGV drivers to the Home Office UK Shortage Occupation List to help fix the growing driver shortage. RHA Chief Executive, Richard Burnett told Grant Shapps that Government needed to do more to help the industry recruit new talent as the driver shortage exceeds 60,000.

Haulage firms struggle to get access to Apprenticeship Levy money to fund training, and the shutdown of vocational driving tests last year saw a loss of more than 30,000 test slots. New IR35 tax rules have seen some firms cancel deliveries as they can’t get agency drivers. In a letter to the Transport Secretary Burnett said the industry is facing a perfect storm and warned that a growing driver shortage will hit the supply chain and affect the Government’s plans to ‘build back better’ as hospitality opens up again.

UK – Solar panel technology has now moved on far enough for a manufacturer in County Antrim to produce a range flexible enough to stand the rigours of fitting to any commercial vehicle. The panels also apparently give good performance in low light meaning batteries can be trickle charged, refrigerators left on and tail lifts powered up.

Genie Insights says it has sold over 1,000 units into the UK and Irish commercial vehicle market and it has developed bespoke products based on the Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) technology which, unlike glass panels, are lightweight and offer the flexibility needed by a constantly moving HGV.

UK – NORWAY – WORLDWIDE – Newport Shipping, which services, repairs and constructs vessels of all classes and sizes at fifteen shipyards globally has appointed Norsepower as the exclusive wind propulsion provider within the online portal that Newport Shipping has created for ship owners who are planning retrofit projects.

Having just fitted its Rotor Sail system to another major vessel, the 325,000 dwt Sea Zhoushan, Norsepower will offer the Newport portal the ability to provide ‘bespoke technology solutions that have a low carbon focus’, with instant quotes for retrofit projects and real-time visibility of shipyard availability.

UK – WORLDWIDE – Two well-known brands, 55 year old load monitoring company Strainstall and the 170+ year pedigree of sister company James Fisher, are now combined under the James Fisher Strainstall banner. The group provides global services to provide solutions and equipment and asset monitoring for all manner of infrastructure including renewables, construction, bridges, highways and rail.

ASIA – The Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) held its 30th Annual General Meeting virtually on 18th May 2021. The focus of the meeting was clearly targeted at the continuing difficulties of crew changes during the pandemic. Chairman of ASA Seafarers’ Committee, Mr Han Chao urged all governments to implement the UN Resolution, thereby providing seafarers with access to Covid-19 vaccination at the earliest opportunity.

Chairman of ASA Ship Insurance and Liability Committee, Mr Richard Hext said it was intolerable that despite 200,000 seafarers still being stranded at sea some prominent ship charterers, including some who have publicly voiced support for seafarers, demanding the inclusion of ‘no-crew change’ clauses in their charter parties or voyage instructions.

MOROCCO – Tanger Alliance at the TC3 terminal in Tanger Med in Morocco has received the final two of eight Liebherr ship to shore container cranes. The final crane entered service in April 2021 and brings the operational capacity of the new terminal to over 1.5 million TEU per annum. The cranes, which are the first Liebherr STS at Tanger Med, were erected at a remote site in Cadiz, Spain before being shipped two at a time to Morocco.

The first cranes were commissioned in October 2020, with four more following in quick succession, allowing the terminal to open for business in January 2021 with six STS cranes. Manufacturer Liebherr Container Cranes in Ireland contracted with ALE Heavylift Madrid (later Mammoet) to assist with the assembly and transportation of the cranes. The cranes were ordered between March and November 2019, with this last part of the order now delivered on schedule.

WORLDWIDE – Seabed 2030 and Esri have entered a new formal agreement, which will see the two organisations work collaboratively towards the shared objective of assembling a global compilation of high-resolution bathymetric data, to assist in the sustainable use of the planet. Seabed 2030 is a collaborative project between The Nippon Foundation and GEBCO to inspire the complete mapping of the world's ocean by 2030, and to compile all bathymetric data into the freely available GEBCO Ocean Map.

GEBCO is a joint project of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), and is the only organisation with a mandate to map the entire ocean floor. All data collected and shared with the Seabed 2030 Project is included in the GEBCO global grid, the most complete bathymetric dataset of the world’s ocean floor, which is free and publicly available.

ISRAEL – INDIA – Antonov Airlines has transported 70 tonnes of oxygen concentrators from Tel Aviv, Israel to Delhi, India for its Indian general sales agent Flywell Aviation Pvt. Ltd., and supply chain Service(s) provider, Delhivery. The 2,500 concentrators were loaded on board an AN-124-100 aircraft with a payload of up to 150 tonnes and a refuelling stop made in Dubai en route.

The shipment was prompted by the highest levels of coronavirus cases in India to date resulting in a severe shortage of oxygen. Oxygen concentrators work by collecting and filtering the surrounding air to produce up to 95% pure oxygen, which can then be administered to patients by nasal cannulas or oxygen masks.

CHINA – SOUTH EAST ASIA – EAST AFRICA – The first vessel on the new Hapag Lloyd East Africa Service 3 (EAS3) will arrive shortly in Kenya and Tanzania. Seven 2,800 TEU vessels being deployed on the service which offers direct weekly sailings between China, South-East Asia, Kenya and Tanzania

The first westbound voyage of the EAS3 started in Shanghai on 29 April 2021 with an estimated arrival in Mombasa on 23 May 2021. Further vessel and schedule details will be announced as soon as possible. The port rotation will be as follows: Shanghai ▪ Ningbo ▪ Nansha ▪ Singapore ▪ Port Kelang ▪ Mombasa ▪ Dar Es Salaam ▪ Port Kelang ▪ Singapore ▪ Shanghai.

US – Lifting, rigging, and load securement hardware supplier Crosby Group has acquired, a designer and manufacturer of pioneering load binders for heavy duty load securement. Speedbinders’ solutions include Torque Drive load binders which use a portable power drill to secure loads, eliminating the need for repetitive, manual operations common with lever and ratchet binders.

Photo: Major Tim Peake CMG, courtesy of the European Space Agency.