Friday, November 2, 2018

From Giant Lock Gates to Urban Food Deliveries - Our Weekly Freight and Logistics Round Up

Some Industry Stories You May Have Missed (but Might Want to Read)
Shipping News Feature
NETHERLANDS – Our round up of freight and logistics this week starts with the importation of giant gates to the Port of Amsterdam for the sea lock currently being constructed at Ijmuiden, which, at 500 metres long, 70 metres wide and 18 metres deep, will be the largest in the world. The lock will allow access to increasingly bigger vessels and ensure they can access the ports and port businesses along the North Sea Canal in a safe and efficient way, irrespective of the tide.

Last week the huge gates which will control the flow of water left South Korea by ship on a voyage which should take up to 2 months, and our picture shows the heavy lift vessel Talisman carrying the three gates, two for operation and one spare, and each weighing 2,900 tonnes with some 13.5 metres of their 72 metre width hanging out either side of the 45 metre beam of the ship.

EUROPE – The acquisition of Containerships by French container shipping line CMA CGM was completed this week. The box line was keen to add Containerships Northern European and Baltic short sea services to its portfolio and commented that the takeover will strengthen the position of both parties in the logistics sector.

DENMARK – WORLDWIDE – Maersk has introduced what it describes as the first ever instant booking confirmation service which it says relieves customers of a possible two hour wait. The system shows sailing options with available vessel space, a list of depots with empty containers to choose from and a choice of relevant value added services. Maersk says booking in this way eliminates cancellations and bookings can be made via a dedicated app from mobile devices.

Previously around 10% of bookings were subsequently rejected or switched to an alternate sailing by the box line, costing Maersk dearly in terms of customer services follow up calls. The new service is available in beta for all modules of the Maersk Line, SeaLand and Safmarine brands. The functionality currently covers dry cargo shipments whilst refrigerated cargo, dangerous cargo (IMDG) and inland container yards are expected to be added during 2019.

DENMARK – The Copenhagen Shipping Summit will have Denmark's Minister for Industry, Business and Financial Affairs, Rasmus Jarlov as a key speaker as the event, being held 10th and 11th April 2019 at the Øksne Hall, when the Summit will address issues related to the 4 main topics of the event:, namely: The Future of Shipping; Maritime Recruitment Trends - Ashore and At Sea; Empowering Women in the Maritime Community; and Sustainable Shipping.

The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), will present a ‘Power Panel’, with experts who will discuss the new 2020 sulphur rules and present their forecast for the market. The Engineers' Association is planning a conference the first day, focusing on Sustainable Shipping and the MDC (Maritime Development Centre) will conduct an event focusing on HR & Management.

DENMARK – WORLDWIDE – At this week’s Vessel Performance Optimisation (VPO) Forum in Copenhagen the Vessel Technology Advice & Support consultancy (VTAS) a partnership of BMT and Black & Veatch formed as part of a £1.8m Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) project, announced plans to accelerate the deployment of viable fuel-efficient technologies in the shipping industry.

The ETI project is a £400 million industry and government funded research institute into low carbon energy system planning and technology aimed at helping the UK achieve energy and climate change targets is assisting the commercial shipping industry to understand and quantify the benefits from investing in fuel efficient technologies for existing and future marine vessels.

US – Currently, more than 61,000 US-flagged commercial vessels and some 8000 foreign flagged vessels require a Vessel General Permit to safeguard US waters against operational oil pollution from oil-to-sea interfaces. Now Thordon Bearings are advising those with newbuilds under construction to make sure they have the necessary documentation in place permitting operations in US waters prior to December 18.

The advice follows the October 10 announcement by the US Environmental Protection Agency that the 2013 Vessel General Permit, due to expire in December 2018, will now be administratively continued till at least March 2019, when an updated version, VGP 3.0, will be introduced. The EPA stipulates that all US-operating vessels must use an approved Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant in all oil-to-sea interfaces and has singled out water, (a speciality of Thordon) in particular, as the optimum stern tube lubrication solution for eliminating the discharge of oil to the marine environment.

US – Genesee & Wyoming (G&W) has reported Q3 figures set against those of 2017. Operating revenues increased 4.6% to $603.3 million from $576.9 million whilst reported operating income increased 16.4% to $127.8 million; Adjusted operating income increased 14.3% to $130.5 million. Reported diluted earnings per common share (EPS) increased 45.0% to $1.16 with 60.1 million weighted average shares outstanding, compared with reported diluted EPS in the third quarter of 2017 of $0.80 with 62.5 million weighted average shares outstanding; Adjusted diluted EPS increased 51.9% to $1.23.

G&W completed its previously authorised $300 million share repurchase plan as of October 19, 2018; G&W authorised a new $500 million share repurchase plan on October 25, 2018. North American financial results (approximately 80% of operating income) were uniformly positive led by 11.5% revenue growth, whilst Australian, UK and European regions fell slightly below expectations.

INDIA – Hindustan Infralog Private Limited (HIPL), a joint venture between DP World (65%) and the National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) (35%), has won the bid to develop and operate the Free Trade Warehousing Zone at India’s largest container gateway, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) for $78 million. HIPL is the vehicle intending to invest up to $3 billion in ports, logistics and related sectors across the country and has already taken a 90% stake in multimodal logistics company Continental Warehousing Corporation (Nhava Sheva) Ltd.

The deal comes with a long-term concession of 60 years and will be developed across 18 hectares at JNPT’s Special Economic Zone. JNPT is a key gateway hub handling approximately 5 million TEU’s per annum which equates to around 33% of India’s container traffic.

UK – WORLDWIDE – Maritime welfare charity Sailors’ Society’s 200th anniversary events continued with the annual ING wine-tasting evening, the sixth of its kind, which this year raised a glass to the charity’s landmark anniversary but also had a sombre note with news of the passing of much-loved Sailors’ Society staff member, Pastor Joseph Chacko, and his wife Leena, who tragically died in a road accident along with Meru Kaku, a driver at the Deendayal Seafarers’ Centre, earlier this year.

Joseph was Sailors’ Society’s regional superintendent for India. His vision was to see, during his lifetime, a seafarers’ centre in every port, and the charity has now launched a fund in his memory which initially aims to raise $130,000 towards Sailors’ Society’s work in India, where it is estimated that 70% of seafarers arriving in the country are unable to get shore passes and access local amenities. Funds raised will be used to build a seafarers’ centre in the port of Haldia in Joseph’s name, as well as other projects including a counselling centre, mobile medical unit and the ongoing provision of seven port chaplains.

UK – Following up on its ‘Feeding London 2030’ report in January last year, the United Kingdom Warehousing Association (UKWA) is holding a ‘Feeding Cities Summit’ on November 21 at The British Museum in London. The meeting will consider what is best practice in urban food service and local convenience grocery logistics, examine the challenge of meeting today’s technology-enabled consumer and deliver an insight into the current thinking of policy makers and planning experts.

Bookings can be made here, and delegates will receive refreshments and a buffet lunch as well as copies of the keynote presentations. In addition, delegates will receive a complimentary copy of that 2017 report. UKWA’s CEO, Peter Ward, commented:

“The Feeding Cities Summit is a chance for retailers, food producers and the wider logistics community to share knowledge and best practice experiences and, importantly, make their voices heard at a time when Government policy makers are listening. I urge stakeholders to attend and have their say.”

Photo: The giant gates for the sea lock at Ijmuiden set out on their 2 month voyage.