Thursday, September 15, 2016

Road Haulage, Freight and Shipping News in Brief (and the chance to Save £25)

Logistics Sector Snippets Today from Around the World
Shipping News Feature

UK – FRANCE – Despite all the ongoing problems with migrants in and around the Calais area, and a slight dip in its passenger traffic, the Channel Tunnel continues to see rising tonnages as road haulage trucks take to the ‘Pipe’. Eurotunnel reports that August 2016 saw record-breaking monthly Truck Shuttle freight traffic for the tenth consecutive month, compared to the corresponding period in previous years. Traffic saw a 24% increase compared to the month of August 2015, with 126,769 vehicles transported. For the period January-August 2016, there has been a 12% increase in traffic compared with the same period of 2015 with over a million units using the service.

CHINA – The IMOIIMAX tanker Stena Immortal was delivered this week by the Chinese shipyard Guangzhou Shipbuilding International (GSI) in southeast China. The vessel is jointly owned on a 50-50 basis by Stena Bulk and Indonesian Golden Agri Resources (GAR) and is the eighth of a total of 13 IMOIIMAX tankers ordered by Stena Bulk in 2012. She will be operated by Stena Weco and will sail in the company’s global logistics system, which currently employs about 60 vessels.

The remaining five vessels in the class will be delivered every third month with the last vessel scheduled for delivery in 2018. Three of the 13 IMOIIMAX tankers are wholly owned by Stena Bulk, six together with GAR, two by Stena Bulk’s sister company Concordia Maritime and two by Stena Weco. The design of the 50,000 tonne, 183 metre long vessels was developed by Stena Teknik together with the GSI and offer numerous advantages such as extra-large cargo availability, high safety standards and fuel consumption 10-20% lower than that of equivalent vessels when sailing at service speed.

NETHERLANDS – Supply chain management company Ceva Logistics has won a three year contract for the European distribution of spare parts for Vermeer, the family-owned, leading brand in agricultural and industrial equipment. The new European distribution center (EDC) will operate from Ceva's Roosendaal facility. Ceva will also provide integrated ocean services to Vermeer from its Pella, Iowa, US headquarters. This will enable Vermeer to support the new central warehouse at Roosendaal with additional parts which are made and stored in the US and which Ceva will then ship to Europe.

Operations went live this month following extensive Ceva trials, testing of all EDI interchanges, training and building interfaces with customer systems. As a result of using the new EDC, Vermeer dealers and customers should see their lead times on product orders reduced by 1-2 days, representing a considerable improvement in service for both.

NORTH AMERICA – The Great Lakes are vulnerable to pollution of any sort as we have pointed out over the years and the strict wash water discharge requirements of the US Vessel General Permit (VGP) demand strict control over pollution from sulphur and its associated products. NovaAlgoma Cement Carriers Limited has recently expanded its fleet with the mv Nacc Quebec a self-discharging bulker which is to be converted from an existing vessel in China and will begin her Great Lakes operations in 2017.

The regulations mean that the ship, which is to be fitted with an Alfa Laval PureSOx scrubber gas cleaning system, must operate this continuously in closed-loop mode. Nevertheless, a hybrid system has been selected for full operational flexibility, giving it the additional ability to sail in open-loop mode when allowed. Alfa Laval says scrubbers are an economical means of compliance with sulphur legislation on the Great Lakes with a scrubbing system that has proved popular in complying with the demands of the Emission Control Areas (ECAs).

US – UK – Pregis, the specialist packaging group based in Deerfield, Illinois, has acquired Easypack, headquartered in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, an English paper-based protective packaging company, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will enable Pregis to expand its North American product portfolio to include a complete line of paper void fill, cushioning and block/brace solutions. Pregis will continue to operate Easypack's three UK manufacturing facilities, as well as offices and distribution centres in France and Germany. Easypack employs approximately 70 people across Europe.

UK – The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) has issued figures of interest to the road haulage industry which show that August recorded the best light commercial vehicles sales in 11 years, with 15,385 new vehicles registered in the month, the best performance for over a decade. This brings the total of N1 category vehicles, those of 3,500 kilogrammes gross weight or less, to over four million on British roads.

The SMMT stresses the importance of the sector cannot be understated and claims that with commercial vehicles moving 3,000 tonnes of goods every minute, it shifts three times more than by water and rail combined. Those in the market for a new van can see many makes displayed at the forthcoming DriveVansA2Z event at Silverstone on 20 – 21 September 2016 and readers can save the £25 entrance fee by registering with this link.

Photo: The Stena Immortal is the latest in her class to be delivered.