Friday, January 25, 2019

Logistics News You May Have Missed Starts with LPG as Ocean Freight

Shipping Industry Bits and Pieces This Week
Shipping News Feature
AUSTRALIA – JAPAN – The logistics update this week starts as ocean freight specialist K Line tells us it has transported and successfully discharged the first shipment of LPG from the giant Australian Ichthys LNG Project to Japan aboard its VLGC Grace River. It is slated that 70% of the 8.9 million tonnes of LNG emanating from the site will be supplied to Japanese customers. In addition to LNG, the Project will produce LPG (approx. 1.65 million tonnes per year) as well as approximately 100,000 barrels of condensate per day at peak.

The first shipment of LNG moved in October 2018 on K Line’s Pacific Breeze and the company’s Singapore subsidiary will transport condensate products in its fleet of Aframax tankers. The Ichthys Project has had a heavy level of Japanese involvement from inception, including exploration and production, building of liquefaction plants and receiving terminals, laying pipelines as well as the ocean freight element.

US – The devastating fire which crippled the container ship Maersk Honam last March, which took the lives of five seafarers, led Maersk Line to undertake a review of all processes relevant to the carriage of dangerous goods in containers. Now the largest box carrier in the world has introduced random sampling of hazardous cargoes with initial trials in the US.

Surveying outfit the National Cargo Bureau, acting for the container line, will select random boxes to examine in four locations, namely the Miami Pomtoc, Newark Berth 88, Houston Bayport and New Orleans Ceres Terminals. Anything amiss, either by way of mis-declaration or non- documentation will result in penalties for the shipper’s account.

US – Since 2016 the Woodland Group has assisted the Lift Life Foundation project deliver four state-of-the-art gym facilities with brand new equipment to underfunded high schools across the US. The latest project saw the Michele Clark High School receive a complete gym renovation, which was finally revealed to the students in late 2018 and the response of students to the new facilities can be witnessed here.

HUNGARY – Budapest Airport (BUD) reported record cargo levels for 2018, up 14.9% on the previous year’s standing record. Over 146,000 tonnes passed in and out as against 127,000+ tonnes in 2017. Now the work is ongoing on a new €32.6 million, 20,000 m2 dedicated freight centre called Cargo City, which will expand BUD’s total cargo handling capacity to 250,000 tonnes per year, as well as an additional 10,000 m2 forwarder building.

In addition, BUD is constructing a new cargo apron of 32,000 m2, in the proximity of Runway 2, where two Boeing B-747-8F freighters can be serviced simultaneously. With year-on-year growth in air cargo traffic, and with annual records consistently being broken, the airport has seen cargo volumes rise over 60% since 2015.

SWEDEN – The Port of Gothenburg is the largest port in the Nordic region with 30% of Swedish foreign trade passing through as well as half of all container traffic. In 2018, 753,000 containers (TEU) were handled at the port, a rise in volume of 17% against 2017 totals. Energy products, intra-European RoRo units and new cars all fell by 1%, albeit in relation to the high comparative figures for these three segments in 2017.

Some 23.4 million tonnes of energy products were handled but 2018 was the third year in succession in which energy volumes exceeded 23 million tonnes. Following volume growth for three consecutive years, intra-European RoRo figures have levelled out but still remain high. A total of 584,000 units were handled in 2018 whilst, after 2017 saw the highest number of cars throughput for a decade, the 1% drop still show the figures for automobles in 2018 remaining consistently high.

NORWAY – More often concerned with matters of freight it was the surge of interest in year-round Arctic cruises which has prompted GAC Norway to open its newest branch, at Tromsø. Sitting 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle, Tromsø is the largest urban area in Northern Norway and serves as a portal to the Arctic. It is a popular port of call for cruise vessels, including those specialising in winter tours to treat their passengers to spectacular views of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis).

GAC has seen a significant increase in activity at the port with last year about 50 vessels calling at the port through the services of a local partner. With that figure expected set to double in the coming 2-3 years, it was decided to establish GAC’s own presence at Tromsø. It’s not all passengers however, Tromsø is also growing in popularity as a base port for the oil & gas and offshore industries and the new office provides a direct link to the full range of shipping, logistics and cruise support services provided by GAC Norway.

UK – Berkshire-based logistics specialist, Walker Logistics Ltd, has been appointed to manage the UK supply chain of specialist footwear company, WearerTech which produces a range of shoes specifically designed to be worn by chefs and kitchen workers. Walker will be responsible for fulfilling orders to the growing number of catering companies and restaurants that make up WearerTech’s core client base. Stock will be held at Walker’s 230,000 square foot multi-user warehouse, which is located close to Junction 14 of the M4 motorway.

UK – Third party distribution and storage specialist RCS Logistics has been rebranded as Rhenus Corby, reflecting its acquisition by leading European forwarder Rhenus Logistics. The name-change completes the two-year acquisition process, which has seen the Northamptonshire-based business become a fully operational subsidiary of Rhenus UK. Since the acquisition was confirmed, Rhenus UK has expanded the Corby facility by a further 90,000 square feet growing it to 440,000 square feet in total, making it one of the largest in the Rhenus’ UK network.

UK – EUROPE – The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) tells us with air quality and CO2 emissions always high on industry’s agenda the next phase of the European Commission’s strategy to reduce CO2 emissions from commercial vehicles (using the VECTO tool) is set to begin. Already in force for the largest trucks, the next phase of VECTO - which stands for Vehicle Energy Consumption Calculation Tool - aims to include large vans (5 – 7.5 tonnes) and buses (M3).

Although there is no set date for commencement the SMMT opines 2022 is a likely candidate and says it is working with its European partners and through the trailer and body building association CLCCR in negotiations with the Commission to find a solution that satisfies the objective and is deliverable by vehicle manufacturers.

Photo: Ichthys LNG Project onshore facilities under construction.