Friday, July 19, 2019

Shipping and Logistics Snippets Starts with Boys Messing About in Boats

Some of the Stories This Week You May Have Missed
Shipping News Feature
UK – As our photograph shows, this week's look back at logistics industry news shows that boys still like to mess around with toy boats, even if they are a fully working, scale model of a Suezmax oil tanker. The latest addition to the Solent University School of Maritime Science and Engineering's eleven strong fleet is the Respect, a 10.95-metre model used for training ship's officers and marine pilots when simulating passage through the Suez Canal.

This is the University’s second ship model designed and built by Gosport-based QinetiQ and follows the delivery of Eternity an Aframax 1:25 scale ship model last year and pictured on Solent’s purpose built 10-acre inland freshwater lake at Timsbury Lake near Romsey. These scaled vessels are part of Solent’s ongoing £43 million pound investment in maritime training provision at the University.

UK – Narrow Aisle, manufacturer of the Flexi range of articulated reach trucks, says its recent investment at its UK production facility means that delivery lead times for new Flexi trucks have been maintained at normal levels, this despite a burgeoning order book. MD John Maguire commented that Brexit fears has meant many companies are holding more stock than usual leading to something of a boom period for third party warehousing and food companies. He continued:

“As a result, sales of Flexi VNA reach trucks are at an all-time high, yet we have [generally] been able to build and deliver new trucks in under 8 weeks. Our ability to respond to the demand for new fully configured Flexi trucks quickly gives us a commercial advantage and we have won significant orders in the past months not only as a result of the quality and drivability of our Flexi products, but because, thanks to our improved production efficiency, we are able to satisfy customers’ urgent need for new trucks.”

UK – The release of plans to bring forward Greater Manchester’s Clean Air Zone by two years has the Freight Transport Association’s (FTA) Head of Policy for Northern England, Mags Simpson, immediately putting the case for van drivers who will be impacted by the change. She said:

“While the logistics sector is fully committed to reducing vehicle emissions wherever possible and acknowledges the role the industry must play in improving the air quality of our cities, allowing only 18 months in which Manchester’s van operators must become compliant is simply an additional tax on the area’s small businesses.

“The original proposals placed before government allowed time for vehicles to be replaced or upgraded but the new plan outlined today will force operators into acquiring costly new vehicles ahead of their standard replacement cycle or into a regime of punitive daily charges. It is essential that an air quality scheme for Greater Manchester is developed with the needs of businesses that serve the area in mind, not one which drives up operating costs for small businesses and unfairly penalises the hardworking individuals and businesses which keep Greater Manchester’s economy thriving.”

UK – With a 150-year pedigree Somerset based Relyon Beds turned to Bristol Forklifts to advise on a new fleet of materials handling equipment. The resultant order was for six new Mitsubishi forklift trucks and four ancillary machines specifically targeted at the manufacturer’s needs. For indoor-outdoor duties the three-tonne, FD30N GRENDiA diesel truck fitted with a rigid VersaCab panel cabin fitted the bill.

Along with the fork truck came three PBPL15 lithium-ion powered hand pallet trucks, whilst two PBP20VN flip-down platform powered pallet trucks were also supplied complete with 1600mm long forks to accommodate the customer’s longer loads, and a new pedestrian reach truck, an electric scissor lift, a foam clamp attachment and a bespoke weighing platform (2000x2500mm) for weighing bales of foam.

US – MonarchFx, a Tompkins International company, has signed up with the Alex Brands toy group to provide distribution logistics to the award winning brand which started outbound shipping via the freight group’s Dallas, Texas facility in June. Alex Brands is responsible for several market leading products including Alex, Poof, Slinky, Shrinky Dinks, Ideal, Backyard Safari, Zoob, and Scientific Explorer.

US – Global port agency business, WaterFront Maritime Services has opened a local agency office in Houston, Texas. The company says its Houston office has been established to help charterers, owners, and operators to manage their risk in this strategically important high-volume location. The new office is managed by newly appointed Director for North America Lars Westerberg, a port agency industry veteran who was formerly Regional Director Americas for Seven Seas and Managing Director of Wallem Americas. Prior to these roles, Westerberg also served as Regional Managing Director of Inchcape Shipping Services in North and Central America.

The team in WaterFront's Houston office will attend vessels directly from Corpus Christi to Lake Charles, including all terminals and all facilities. The Houston office will also serve as the regional hub for WaterFront in North, South and Central America including the Caribbean and is linked to WaterFront's existing regional hubs in Dubai and Kuala Lumpur to provide 24-hour coverage to its global client base.

RUSSIA – Established in April 2018 the Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA) has moved up to second place in a list of major asset free (3PL) transport and logistics companies. RZD Logistics, a joint service company (JSC) and in which UTLC formerly owned shares, ranks number one for the second year in a row. DHL Russia, FM Logistics and Eltrans LLC are also among the list of TOP-5 companies listed.

The rankings are prepared by INFOLine Logistic, most of the companies included in the TOP rating use a ‘mixed’ model combining the provision of services to customers using bought in transport and logistics services, as well as assets owned, financial leasing and leased.

DENMARK – SWITZERLAND – Just as DSV takeover target Panalpina released its first half figures for the year, EBIT CHF 52.1 million down 2.6 million on 2018, consolidated profit CHF 34 million, down 2.1 million for the same period, so DSV released the provisional notice of the interim result of its offer to Panalpina shareholders.

Based on preliminary figures, up to the expiration of the extended main offer period on 17 July 2019, a total of 20,965,054 Panalpina shares have been tendered into the offer, corresponding to 88.27% of all 23,750,000 Panalpina Shares listed at that time which the offer target. Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen, said:

“After it was announced that Panalpina and DSV would join forces, our competitors went more aggressively after our business in the second quarter, but we stood our ground. The decrease in gross profit was chiefly the result of lower margins in air freight and lower volumes from the automotive sector, which shifted into reverse gear. Nonetheless, group EBIT and profit almost reached last year’s levels. Given these circumstances, our stable half-year results are a respectable achievement.”

Photo: Solent University’s Dean of the School of Maritime Science and Engineering, Syamantak Bhattacharya at the helm of the Respect. Scale and full size comparable statistics are Breadth Overall - 1.95 metres (50 metres), Loaded Displacement - 11.5 tonnes (160,000 tonnes) and Design Speed - 3.5 knots (17.5 knots).