Friday, July 26, 2019

Our Weekly Round Up of Shipping, Logistics and Freight Matters You May Have Missed

Some General News Items from Around the Industry
Shipping News Feature
INDIA – Our weekly look at some items of freight and logistics news you may have missed starts with an alert for those shipping goods in or out of India's largest container port, Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNP) in Mumbai, which faces strike action due to commence on 5 August 2019. 

According to reports all employees will take industrial action after a repeated call for management to leave existing contracts in place and in response to a circular ‘Exclusion of House Rent Allowance for Calculation of Overtime’, a weighting allowance that comes with some of the jobs in the port.

NORWAY – Maritime classification society DNV GL has published a free, web-based application of the Ship Implementation Plan (SIP), the guidance parameters issued by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to assist vessel owners to ensure they comply with the mandatory the 2020 0.5% sulphur cap due in on 1 January next year.

The plan covers the impact of new fuels, modifications which may be needed, fuel switch over and procurement documents and reporting. An SIP is not mandatory but is an obvious move to ensure compliance. The SIP application is free of charge and available in the market place of Veracity, DNV GL's digital platform and industry ecosystem. More than 300 shipping companies are already using the SIP app with over 1,700 vessels registered and actively preparing their Ship Implementation Plans. A link to the app can be seen here.

NIGERIA – The first in a planned series of innovative portable communication ‘pods’ to enable visiting seafarers to contact family and friends at home was formally opened last week in the port of Tin Can Island, Lagos, by Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority. The specially adapted 20ft solar panelled container is designed to accommodate up to 15 seafarers at a time, giving them access to wi-fi, tablet consoles and connection sockets.

The pods have been developed by the ITF Seafarers’ Trust in response to concerns that changes in shipping operations are preventing many crewmembers from visiting traditional seafarers’ centres and getting access to the internet when visiting ports around the world. Given the notorious traffic problems in Lagos, the ITF Seafarers’ Trust anticipates that the pod will meet a pressing need to improve accessible services for seafarers.

US – GSC Logistics, a major Port of Oakland road freight hauler, is to acquire two more electric big rigs by October in a bid to discover if zero-emission tractors are a practical option to haul cargo containers over highways. The operator already uses such a tractor to move containers around the Port. GSC said it’s acquiring two 13-ton electric trucks with assistance from state grants. The rigs would both have twin 241-horse power battery-driven motors. Each truck would be able to travel 125 miles on a battery charge.

The new 13 tonne electric trucks would be heavier than GSC’s first model due to battery weight. GSC, which hauls the equivalent of 120,000 20-foot-containers annually through Oakland, began electric truck testing 18 months ago. Port of Oakland environmental scientists are following the trial closely as battery-powered tractors are expected to factor in Oakland’s stated quest for zero-emission cargo handling.

JAPAN – The Toyota Maru 10 which was owned and operated by Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) has been selected by the Japan Society of Naval Architects and Ocean Engineers (JASNAOE) as suitable for its ‘Ship Heritage’ status in recognition of it having been Japan's first Pure Car Carrier. Built by the Kobe Works of Kawasaki Heavy Industries and launched on July 9, 1970 the ship was the first in its class designed exclusively for the ocean transport of completed cars.

As an integral part of its concept and design, cargo damage was largely eliminated, and a dramatic improvement in service quality was realised by avoiding delays in schedule due to the waiting time for return cargo or weather. The ‘Ship Heritage’ project gives recognition to vessels and vessel-related items that have historical, academic and/or technical value, as well as promoting public recognition of their being viewed as symbols of cultural heritage to be passed along to future generations.

UK – As with so many businesses Elddis Transport is finding diversification is the secret to success. Despite the traditional Durham based road haulage company taking a hit last year from the ‘Beast from the East’ in early 2018, it cited a revaluation of its property portfolio and success in leasing out business units and offices as having a positive impact on its financial position.

Also, as with many similar outfits, Brexit has, so far, had a positive influence on profits as customers stockpiled for fear of shortages. Elddis reported turnover rose in 2018 to £27.4m from £26.9m in 2017 and pre-tax profit rose by 37.5% during the period to £658,338.

UK – Logistics group B&H Worldwide has been awarded a contract to manage warehousing, handling and inventory for specialist aerospace spare parts outsourcing company Aloia Aerospace. The Sao Paulo Brazilian headquartered company, with main operations in Miami, will use B&H Worldwide’s London Heathrow logistics facility and its integrated IT system FirstTrac to manage their inventory.

Establishing a European parts facility means Aloia Aerospace will be able to further extend its operations in the UK and Europe. The parts which B&H Worldwide will manage through its Heathrow Control Tower will include tooling, electronic parts and paint for a variety of aircraft types destined for national and regional carriers.

UK – Rushlift GSE, the specialist airport ground support equipment subsidiary of Doosan Industrial Vehicles UK, has provided Virgin Atlantic with an innovative Alfa Drop Box solution for facilitating the changing of aircraft tyres at London’s two busiest airports. The ground-level loading, fully demountable drop-box system allows the easy loading and unloading of aircraft tyres, such as those used on the Airbus A340, Boeing 747 and 787 Dreamliner, and provides the option to exchange or totally remove a box from its chassis for fast turnaround, making the boxes useful for storage as well as transport.

In a leasing agreement arranged through Rushlift GSE, three specially adapted front-wheel drive Fiat Ducato vehicles, along with three T-boxes and three flat-decks, were supplied to Virgin Atlantic for airside deployment at Heathrow and Gatwick airports. The versatile system, with its unique ‘U’ shaped chassis, allows a box to be gently lowered and left at a location while work is being carried out, freeing up the vehicle for other duties and helping to reduce the size of the fleet required. Virgin says the system reduces the physical burden on its engineers.

UK – WORLDWIDE – Global shipping law firm HFW has announced a development partnership with litigation analytics start-up Solomonic. Under the partnership, HFW lawyers will be able to access the Solomonic system, which uses detailed court data to enhance predictions, optimise case research and improve outcomes.

In return, Solomonic will be able to call on HFW's deep commercial litigation expertise to help develop its platform and data analysis, and to expand its system into new modules and jurisdictions. Independent court data published by The Lawyer revealed HFW to be the most active law firm for litigation in the English Commercial Court over a four-year period, from 2015 to 2018.

UK – This week saw the first Independent Container Line (ICL) vessel, the 2,546 TEU vessel Independent Spirit, arrive at DP World Southampton after the privately owned shipping line switched its UK call from Liverpool, where it has called for 20 years, for the foreseeable future. The weekly service will shift from a Thursday PM arrival and Friday AM departure.

The managing partners explained that increasingly adverse weather conditions in the North Atlantic has caused delays to its service each winter and assured their customers that this change will bring improved reliability to their own supply chains. In the US, ICL calls at Chester, Pennsylvania, Wilmington, North Carolina, and then onto Southampton, UK and Antwerp, Belgium with four ships on a 28 day rotation.

Photo: The Independent Spirit docks in Southampton.