Friday, June 2, 2017

Our Review of Some of the Freight and Logistics News This Week

Items You May Have Missed
Shipping News Feature
CHILE – This week's review of some of freight and logistics lesser read items from around the world starts with the welcome news that the strike by the National Association of Customs Officers of Chile (ANFACH) concluded its strike on Monday 29 May. All Chilean ports, airports and borders in the country have now returned to normal operations after an agreement was reached with the government. The five day strike has caused some initial delays in customs clearance including at the Port of Valparaiso, San Antonio and Santiago International airport all of which are now being cleared.

US – Thordon Bearings’ Jacksonville-based distributor Coppedge Marine has secured an order with Tropical Shipping for their award-winning COMPAC seawater lubricated propeller shaft bearing system, which eliminates a major source of oil pollution caused by commercial shipping. The COMPAC systems will be used on two 300 TEU environmentally-compliant box ships under construction in China. Ed Coppedge, Vice-President, Coppedge Marine, said:

“Tropical Shipping is a long-standing customer to whom we have supplied various Thordon equipment over the years. We have often discussed the benefits of seawater lubricated propeller shaft systems with the ship owner so are delighted that we can now add the COMPAC system to our scope of supply.”

Tropical Shipping’s new vessels will form part of a wider fleet expansion programme designed to improve service levels between West Palm Beach, FL., Halifax, Canada and the Bahamas and Caribbean.

MALAYSIA – GAC Malaysia has opened a new warehousing and distribution facility which more than doubles its previous capacity. The 4,000-pallet position ambient racked facility in Bukit Raja, Selangor, replaces the company’s previous facility in Shah Alam, which had a capacity of 1,500 pallet positions. GAC Malaysia’s Managing Director John Tansey said:

“Malaysia is one of the world’s largest trading nations, and logistics plays a crucial role in its trade and economic growth. As a gateway to ASEAN and the region, and with a well-developed transport infrastructure, the country is an attractive location for multinational companies to house their operations.”

ITALY – Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has sold its ground handling business in Italy to Inceptus SpA. WFS is no longer involved in ground handling activities in Italy but will continue to own and operate its growing cargo handling business in Milan. John Batten, EVP Cargo Europe Middle East & Asia and acting EVP Europe Ground Handling at WFS, said:

“We believe this development is in the best interests of all parties, and especially the ground handling customers and employees of WFS Ground Italy and ATA. Inceptus plans to continue the operations of both companies in all existing airports and for all existing customers. It has also convinced us of its intention to provide great service and grow its ground handling business in Italy with the help of the existing management team. We will provide all of the necessary support to ensure a seamless transition to the new owners.”

GREECE – Diana Shipping, a global shipping company specializing in the ownership of dry bulk vessels, announced that, through a separate wholly-owned subsidiary, it has taken delivery of the m/v Electra (formerly the Grain May), a 2013 built Post-Panamax dry bulk vessel of 87,150 dwt that the Company entered into an agreement to purchase in April 2017.

Including the newly delivered ship, Diana Shipping’s fleet currently consists of 51 dry bulk vessels; 4 Newcastlemax, 14 Capesize, 5 Post-Panamax, 5 Kamsarmax and 23 Panamax.

UK – AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) has reported a 17% increase in volume in Q1 2017 to 158,000 tonnes. ABC’s load factor also rose year-on-year to 70% for the first months of 2017. The company states that the arrival of the airline’s tenth new Boeing 747-8 Freighter in March, increasing its total 747 fleet to 17 aircraft, contributed to a 7% increase in frequencies network-wide. High demand for exports from Europe and routes to and from the US also pushed up demand. Sergey Lazarev, General Director of AirBridgeCargo, said:

“Our growth in the first quarter of 2017 is a combination of several factors. Firstly, we are enjoying general market improvement, but we are also seeing the benefits of our product development strategy. We will continue to stay in close contact with our customers to provide the network services and product solutions they require, and this will be supported by further growth of our fleet and more focus on carrying special cargoes.”

UK – Gray & Adams (Ireland) have won recognition for their contribution to the success of Northern Ireland’s economy. The Newtownabbey-based manufacturer of temperature-controlled and dry freight semi-trailers and rigid vehicle bodies was the only representative from the transport industry to make the finals of the first Made in Northern Ireland Awards.

Although the winner’s prize ultimately went to another manufacturer, Gray & Adams (Ireland) Managing Director Billy Dougan was delighted that his company’s successes had been recognised, saying:

“We have enjoyed significant growth over the years, and now supply premium quality transport equipment to many of the biggest names on Ireland’s roads. We were up against stiff competition for the Made in Northern Ireland Awards from businesses that operate across a wide variety of sectors. So just to have made the final shortlist represents a significant achievement, and one from which every member of the company team here in Newtownabbey can take great pride.”

ICELAND – GERMANY – Liebherr´s ship crane department is retrofitting a container vessel for the Icelandic shipping company Eimskip with two new cranes. Eimskip bought the 698 TEU container vessel Sophia in February and has contracted Liebherr maritime cranes to upgrade the vessel with two Liebherr CBW 2800 ship cranes for container handling.

The retrofit is planned for September 2017and once complete the vessel will be renamed and returned to service as quickly as possible. It will be deployed for the reefer container traffic between the North of Europe and North America.

Photo: Operations in the Port of Valparaiso are returning to normal following the strike.