Friday, January 31, 2020

Round Up of Smaller Logistics and Shipping Stories Starts on a Noteworthy Charitable Effort

Industry Tales You May Have Missed
Shipping News Feature

UK – The weekly look at the less publicised happenings in shipping, transport and logistics begins with the news that GB Railfreight (GBRf) staff have raised an incredible £ 184,517 for Headway, the brain injury association, and Macmillan Cancer Support, in a fund raising effort between January 2018 and December 2019.

GBRf, the third largest of the country’s rail freight operators, has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds over the last decade for national and local charities, choosing a variety of good causes which change periodically. Macmillan cares for sufferers and looks at the social, emotional and practical impact cancer can have. Headway deals with the consequences for the 350,000 people or so who are admitted to hospital with an acquired brain injury.

UK – According to the Road Haulage Association (RHA), the Large Goods Vehicle (LGV) Driver Apprenticeship is set to change. This summer will see the scheme replaced with two alternatives. One will include category C+E licence while the other will be based on urban driving, only including a category C licence.

The split follows widespread criticism that the current standard is not fit for purpose as it only offers a category C licence, authorising the driver for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes, but limiting any trailer pulled to a maximum 750 kilogrammes, even though most operators need drivers with a category C+E licence which entitles them to pull any trailer of legal weight allowable.

RWANDA – DP World has opened the country's first fully fledged cold storage facility, currently 500 m2 but with plans to double the space by next year. The facility means local farmers can look to ship goods beyond the usual tea and coffee, and export a range of vegetables and fruits to the international market.

Interest in the new development has reportedly been keen with several local and multi-national companies signing up to use it including such as KFC. The unit expands the capabilities of the recently opened Kigali Logistics Platform which has an annual capacity of 50,000 TEUs and 19,000 m2 of bonded Warehousing capacity, making it one of the biggest logistics hubs in East Africa.

GREECE – Penalties for pollution from ships have been increased sharply to implement EU Directives 2005/35 and 2009/123. This coincides with an increase of the administrative fines for breaches of the General Marine Environment Protection Statute (Law 743/1977 as codified by PD 55/1998). Specifically, there have been major increases for fines in the event of oil pollution which came into effect on 31 December 2019.

’Everyday’ pollution considered not serious to the marine environment maximum penalties rise from €60,000 to €100,000. Serious incidents €1.2 million to €2 million, deliberate acts for benefit (presumably such as ‘magic pipe’ incidents) up €300,000 to €800,000 and continuing acts following a rehabilitation deadline €15,000 per day, almost double the previous penalty of €8,000.

UAE – As part of its ongoing expansion strategy, GAC Sharjah has opened a new office in the Hamriyah Free Zone to provide a range of integrated shipping, logistics and warehousing services. The new branch comes after the company celebrated its 50th anniversary last year and complements established operations at Sharjah’s airport and port, which also cover Ajman and Khorfakkan.

KAZAKHSTAN – In offshore energy news the LOC Group has announced it recently achieved 100,000 global Marine Warranty Surveyor (MWS) man hours incident free on the ongoing Tengizchevroil (TCO) project, located east of the Caspian Sea in Kazakhstan. Reaching this total number of hours, incident free, on a single MWS project is believed to be a first for the industry.

Since 2015 LOC has overseen TCO’s Future Growth and Wellhead Pressure Management Project and provided Marine and Engineering Consultancy services for marine transportation operations of project assets and heavy-lift cargo to Tengizchevroil LLP. The project involves ocean transport of large quantities of modular cargo from fabrication yards in Korea and Europe to transhipment bases in Finland and Bulgaria, from where the cargo is shipped through the Russian waterways to the Caspian Sea.

US – WORLDWIDE – Genco Shipping & Trading has completed the installing of scrubbers on Genco’s seventeen Capesize vessels to comply with the IMO sulphur cap. The work meant the busiest drydocking period in the company’s history and enabled it to capture the differentials between compliant and high sulphur fuel so far in the early stages of compliance, significantly de-risking its initial investment.

With no scheduled drydockings for the Capesize ships for the rest of 2020 the plan is to maximise their use while re-implementing Genco’s active chartering approach. The balance of the company fleet consisting of minor bulk vessels is already consuming ultra-low sulphur compliant fuel.