Friday, May 18, 2018

Snippets of News from the Shipping, Road Freight and Logistics Supply Chain This Week

Some Items of News You may Have Missed
Shipping News Feature
FINLAND – Following the acquisition of Visedo Oy by the Danish Danfoss Group in November last year, the engineering team has been awarded this year's Finnish Engineering Award in recognition of the team's work to develop and implement Editron, an intelligent electric drivetrain system for heavy duty vehicles and capable of delivering maximum efficiency in trucks, plus off road vehicles and in marine applications, Danfoss Mobile Electrification having developed the first fully electric ferry in Finland and powered Ferry Happiness, Asia's first hybrid electric ferry.

Collecting the prize the Visedo team was presented with a certificate and prize money of €30,000 at an award ceremony in the Finlandia Hall, Helsinki. Kim Fausing, president and CEO at Danfoss said:

“Electrification is a fast-developing area and holds tremendous potential. Visedo is a great example of how we can focus on customer needs and at the same time strengthen our offering by providing a broader range of solutions."

SWITZERLAND – Ceva Logistics AG has revealed 1st quarter results for 2018 showing revenue up 5.4% year-on-year with an adjusted EBITDA of $66 million, up $12 million. The group has been raising money through a CHF 1.2 billion IPO on the Swiss stock market and says it expects to repay and refinance majority of its existing debt facilities in the coming months. Xavier Urbain, CEO, commented:

“I am pleased to report another good quarterly result. Q1 2018 has shown once more that CEVA is delivering on its transformation with continued growth and consistent EBITDA improvement. We’ve seen good momentum and had several new business wins. We have further improved productivity and reduced cost.

“The successful IPO opens a new chapter for Ceva. The deleveraged balance sheet and the strategic investment by CMA CGM will create important growth opportunities. I am confident that we can further improve margins and deliver significant earnings growth in the years to come, our target is to improve Adjusted EBITDA by $100 million in the medium-term.”

Full results are available HERE.

UK – The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) has allocated £1.76 million of Local Growth Fund investment towards a £3.5 million cost to support the construction of an access road to the UK’s first low and zero emission re-fuelling station at Tyseley Energy Park.

The new road, together with a crossing over the River Cole, will enable HGVs, buses, taxis and vans to access the new low and zero emission refuelling hub from the A45 Small Heath Highway in south east Birmingham. The development forms part of the city’s plans to address the reduction of emissions to improve air quality and create a low emission re-fuelling infrastructure.

UK – Forth Ports, which operates the Port of Grangemouth says the Scottish operation is well into its multi-million pound investment programme to strengthen its position as Scotland’s premier port. The programme includes container terminal surfacing upgrades, new terminal operating system, warehouse development and a ship to shore crane investment.

Resurfacing development is under construction which will further increase the capacity of the busy container terminal by around 1,000 TEUs to position the port ahead of the market. This investment of £2 million will be finished later this year in time for the peak volume period and will also cater for any additional demands that may be placed on container storage times as a result of changes to customs processes through Brexit.

Construction has also begun on a new 100,000 square foot warehouse development within the port estate which is due to be complete by December this year. Directly linked to the container terminal and with access to the rail siding, the warehouse will extend the Container Freight Station service offering. The new Liebherr multimillion pound ship to shore container crane is due in August and there is also further investment in a new IT Terminal operating system with the first phase of this to be implemented in June.

A second phase will take place in August which aims to build on the success of the Vehicle Booking Service introduced in April 2017 by automating the receipt and delivery process for containers in order to further ensure quick turnaround times of haulage vehicles at the port. The resurfacing work will ensure that the landside operation supports the investment in the crane and terminal operating system which will deliver faster terminal performance.

UK – The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has welcomed the news that it may well be the case that, post-Brexit, UK drivers and hauliers will no longer need an insurance ‘green card’ if they’re travelling in an EU member state. The Department for Transport confirmed this in a letter to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) on 17 May. Although still to be confirmed by the European Commission, if passed it will avoid a huge bureaucratic headache for hauliers, drivers and insurance companies by avoiding the use of green cards and checks at borders.

This comes after the DfT made the decision to remain within the Motor Insurance Free Circulation Zone. An introductory date has yet to be confirmed by the European Commission, but the proposal has been agreed by the Council of Bureaux. The Council has also confirmed it will be able to meet claims involving cross-border issues for UK drivers and hauliers. The European Commission now needs to set the time frame. RHA policy director, Duncan Buchanan said:

“We welcome the clarity the Government is giving on this issue. This is one of hundreds of technical and bureaucratic issues we hope will be resolved in coming months. Clear and simple rules will benefit UK and EU drivers and operators, and we hope negotiations will result in practical solutions the work for all people and businesses."

Photo: The Ferry Happiness has brought low emission, greener passenger maritime transport to Kaohsiung, Taiwan.