Friday, October 8, 2021

Some Little Links in the Supply Chain That You Might Have Missed This Week

Lesser News Stories from Around the Industry
Shipping News Feature

UK – 96% of UK logistics businesses are now reporting problems recruiting HGV drivers, according to the results from Logistics UK’s September 2021 Performance Tracker, released this week. However, the Performance Tracker also highlighted that skills shortages are growing across the entire logistics industry, not just affecting the availability of HGV drivers.

More than 13% of businesses are now reporting severe to very severe problems recruiting warehouse staff compared to September 2020, when zero respondents reported facing recruitment challenges of that scale. 24.5% of respondents also report severe or very severe problems recruiting van drivers; once again, zero respondents reported facing such severe difficulties in September 2020.

UK – Rosling King {RK}, the City of London-based law firm, has today announced a major expansion of its dispute resolution and litigation services through a merger with Lax & Co, which specialises in shipping and international trade disputes. The merger has taken effect this week and the combined practice will operate as RK.

RK is a long-standing City of London firm serving the needs of commercial clients operating predominantly in the finance, real estate, construction and private equity sectors. Founded in 2007, Lax & Co LLP provides legal advice on a wide range of shipping related issues, including charterparty and contract of carriage disputes, ship building disputes (in particular, cruise ships), ship sale and purchase, sale of goods, salvage and casualty matters.

RK now has nine partners in its Dispute Resolution Group. Lax & Co was set up by Mike Lax, the former head of shipping and international trade at Lawrence Graham, and Stuart Dench also formerly of Lawrence Graham. Robert Pollock-Hill is also joining RK as a partner whilst Catriona Lewis joins as a senior associate. The merged firm will operate from RK’s new offices in Ludgate Hill in the City of London.

IRELAND – Lufthansa has extended its cargo handling contract with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in Ireland. The airline was one of WFS’ launch customers in Ireland in 2005 and its operations are supported by the WFS stations in Dublin, Cork and Shannon. The airline currently operates four flights a day connecting Dublin and Frankfurt, as well as twice-daily Dublin-Munich services. WFS also provides handling services for Lufthansa’s trucking operations ex Ireland to Frankfurt, Manchester and London.

UAE – Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE National Rail Network, has announced signing a strategic partnership with Herrenknecht, specialist in tunnelling solutions, to develop new tunnel design and construction technologies. The agreement comes in line with Etihad Rail's commitment to foster a culture of innovation and adopt the best international practices in various fields.

Under this agreement, Etihad Rail will send young Emirati engineers to undergo training at the Herrenknecht Academy, at its headquarters in Germany, to exchange knowledge, acquire the necessary expertise, enhance their skills and capabilities and gain first-hand experience in the field of tunnelling. In addition, the two companies will cooperate to explore areas of optimising the design and construction of the UAE National Rail Network’s tunnels, and exchange technical information and standards to assess the feasibility of tunnelling projects and mechanised tunnelling technologies.

SWEDEN – SINGAPORE – Stena Power and LNG Solutions, a subsidiary of leading shipping conglomerate Stena AB, and Global Energy Storage (GES), a developer and operator of energy storage terminals based in Singapore, London and the UAE, have announced a strategic partnership to identify and advance LNG logistics and storage solutions.

Together the two companies bring the full range of LNG terminal and logistics expertise from floating storage and regasification units (FSRU) to onshore terminal and fixed jetty solutions. In addition, Stena owns three LNG carriers which it can deploy as Floating Storage Regasification Units (FSRUs) or floating storage, potentially together with innovative jetty-less and/or offshore power solutions that do not require onshore facilities.

AUSTRALIA – The row between tug operator Svitzer and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) continues as the union has notified the company that its members in Brisbane will stage a 12-hour work stoppage starting at 6:00pm on Sunday 10 October through to 6:00am on Monday 11 October. This is in addition to the current ban on overtime, including recalls from leave, in effect until Saturday 30 October. Svitzer says it will review schedules and crewing requirements in order to avoid or minimise the disruption.

FRANCE – DHL Express has opened its new international hub at Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport. DHL says it has invested €170 million into the new location, which is ten times larger than the previous site. It is DHL Express' largest investment in Europe in recent years and the biggest ever in France since its arrival in 1976. The facility is designed to strengthen DHL's foothold in France, having also invested €80 million in its French infrastructure over the last six years.

NORWAY – Just days after we reported conventional antifouling paint maker Jotun was heading down the robot route to mechanised hull cleaning, we hear that another chemical giant with a similar portfolio, AkzoNobel, was tying in with ECOsubsea, which produces its own sustainable robotic end-to-end biofouling solution.

The pair say the use of high-performance coatings, big data analytics and the ECOsubsea system allows owners to meet and exceed industry standards, providing customers a full sustainability solution in every step of the value chain

URUGUAY – Corporación Navios has used Liebherr cranes for 30 years and has just replaced a long duty cycle crane with a permanently installed harbour crane type FCC 300. The recently erected harbour crane will be used for dry bulk handling of barges in hoppers at the terminal in Nueva Palmira, Uruguay. The new total of three harbour cranes is expected to increase the terminal's handling rates and generate operating synergies, as the crane operators will work with the same type of crane on all operations.

The cranes are used to handle bulk cargo on the narrow pier. For terminals with little space but a high workload, the space-saving design of the Fixed Cargo Cranes series by Liebherr is hailed as the perfect solution. Between 600 and 700 tonnes of iron were handled per hour in the past 6 years. They were supported by a Liebherr HS 871 HD long duty cycle crane, which is now being replaced by a FCC 300, the third of its kind at the terminal. With over 100,000 operating hours, the long duty cycle crane is a symbol for the successful and reliable cooperation.

Photo: Liebherr cranes in action at the Corporación Navios terminal in Nueva Palmira, Uruguay.