Friday, April 12, 2019

From Heavy Lift Air Freight to Wearable Technology, Road Haulage and LNG Fuel for Cargo Ships

Some of the Shipping and Logistics Items You May Have Missed This Week
Shipping News Feature
GERMANY – SINGAPORE – Heavy lift air cargo specialist AirBridgeCargo Airlines has transported a record breaking 40 tonne freight shipment when built up via its dedicated 'abcXL' offering. The 8 metre long single spare part weighing net 37.5 tonnes, was trucked from the Belgian plant of maritime construction company Jan De Nul Group to Frankfurt, as part of the transportation organised by freight forwarder Ziegler with final destination Singapore.

The abcXL team completed all the arrangements and gained the necessary confirmations for the transportation within a minimum timeframe of just 6 days from the initial customer request to the booking stage and the Boeing 747F’s unique swing-up cargo nose door capability was the perfect solution for the shipment, which was placed onto a high loader by a special 110 tonne capacity crane and pulled onto the aircraft’s main deck under strict supervision.

US – Technology group ProGlove officially launched its new, MARK 2 wearable hands-free scanner at the ProMat 2019 exhibition in Chicago this week. An MHI Innovation Award finalist the makers claim it is far more efficient and ergonomic than using a scan gun, and it has already helped out Audi, Bosch and IKEA. Smart, wearable device sales are projected to double worldwide by 2022, according to industry analyst CCS Insight.

The new MARK 2 can connect to a corporate network via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) or 868 MHz radio frequency. It enables the user to scan up to 5 feet away from a device and includes a battery that holds up to a 15-hour charge. In combination with tablets, smartphones and other portable devices, employees have the freedom to work without a station. Instant Worker Feedback from the MARK 2 provides information to employees, reporting errors or pointing out prioritized shipments.

US – Trucking group Schneider says its intermodal chassis pool continues to grow and the number of containers is growing with it. To support its drive to offer increased service levels the group added more than 4,200 intermodal containers to its fleet during 2018, a 24% increase and bring the total to 22,200.

Schneider says the continual upgrades of equipment leads to more reliability on the road with decreased breakdowns and a pool of consistently safe and legal equipment and the fact this is its own equipment negates the reliance on equipment pools.

WORLDWIDE - Every transfer of fuel from terminal to barge/road tanker and barge/road tanker to the receiving ship requires accurate measurement to determine the quantities transferred, usually by measuring the tanks before the start of the transfer and on completion. As the use of mass flow metering increasingly becomes the industry norm the author of a new book looks at the intricacies and challenges of fuel flow measurement.

He also reviews fuel sampling methods, fraudulent practices, and discusses the key role of the marine surveyor in bunker quantity surveys. The book, by Nigel Draffin ‘An Introduction to Fuel Measurement’ and published by Petrospot also provides a brief but informative introduction to the complexities of measuring liquefied natural gas (LNG) when used as a marine fuel and is available here for £45.00.

UK – NETHERLANDS – PORTUGAL – Dutch company WEC Lines, which actually began life in Spain, is beginning a new service connecting the Port of Liverpool with two major Portuguese ports. The new weekly service will begin thos month and connect Liverpool with Setubal and Leixoes, using the 882 TEU vessel MV Francop.

The direct calls to Liverpool will import a range of Iberian products and WEC becomes the fourth major line announcement for Liverpool in the last few months, following the commitment by Chinese shipping giant COSCO, and the 2M shipping alliance which confirmed at the end of 2018 that Liverpool will be a permanent call on its TA4 transatlantic service.

UK – Marine safety supplier Spinlock revealed two new products at the Ocean Business 19 show in Southampton this week and the Cowes based firm says both represent important advances for safety at sea. The new DURO+ lifejacket is based on the award-winning Deckvest 5D and has a range of features including adjustable chest belt system and a deck safety harness and is a product tested over 135 days in the iconic 2.5 million mile Volvo Ocean Race.

Meanwhile Glowspot® retro-reflection technology provides an extra thermoplastic layer which contains retro reflective particles in the hi-vis bladder fabric, hugely increasing its reflective properties. This drastically enhances the ability to locate and maintain visual contact on a casualty in the water at a greater distance either by day, or at night with a searchlight, potentially reducing the time the casualty is in the water.

UK – At the CV Show, 30th April – 2nd May, NEC Birmingham Descartes will launch its SmartDownload Telematics Hub, automatic remote downloading of tachograph data via installed telematics devices. Transport operators of all sizes will be able to automatically download driver card and vehicle unit tachograph data via their telematics devices, unlocking time savings and ensuring tachograph data is downloaded on a daily or weekly basis.

The cloud-based solution replaces traditional manual, time-consuming and disruptive download processes of tachograph data. VU data must be downloaded within 90 days, and driver card data is required within 28 days. Automatic remote download of tachograph data means that data can be downloaded to a schedule whilst the vehicle is in operation, saving time downloading data back in the depot. Downloading on a daily or weekly basis rather than the legal limits of 28 and 90 days means that issues such as unaccounted mileage can be dealt with before they become a big problem.

UK – GAC UK has opened its 20th branch at the historic Port of Montrose on the east coast of Scotland, just seven months after welcoming its 19th office at nearby Dundee. Established in 1493, the Port of Montrose is known as the ‘Gateway to the North Sea’ and is now a thriving support and service hub for the energy and shipping industries, as well as other shipping sectors including cruise.

More than £22 million has been invested in upgrading its infrastructure since 2010, with the latest reinforcing two of its berths at a cost of £7.2 million as part of Montrose Port Authority’s 25-year master plan supported by a £1.5 million Scottish Government grant. This latest addition to GAC UK’s network of bases serves the needs of shipping customers and the oil, gas and renewables sector throughout the UK and beyond.

Photo: The AirBridgeCargo Boeing 747 freighter literally swinging into action.