Friday, October 26, 2018

Some of the Freight and Logistics Headlines You May Have Missed

Supply Chain Stories Out This Week
Shipping News Feature
UK – We start the week's catch up of items you may have missed in the world of logistics with the news that, working in partnership with GB Railfreight, road building specialist Hanson will run three trains a week from its quarry in Shap, Cumbria down to its newly restored railway siding at Ashton-in-Makerfield. The company has invested £250,000 to ensure rail freight can be run into the depot after a decade long break and reduce its dependence on road haulage services.

The work will ensure that hundreds of lorry journeys are taken off the roads each year by carrying 200,000 tonnes of material using one of GB Railfreight’s recently purchased class 60 locomotives. The material will be used by the company’s asphalt and concrete plants as well as supplying the construction market in the north west of England. In addition to refurbishing the rail track serving the site, money is being spent on upgrading the depot including the installation of a new weighbridge and office facilities.

UK – Heathrow based CargoLogicAir (CLA), the UK’s only maindeck freight airline, is marking another year of growth with the delivery of its fourth Boeing 747 freighter. The latest 747-400ERF joins the airline’s fleet on an operating lease and will initially be used to meet customer demand on CLA’s US routes. The delivery also keeps CLA on track with its five-year growth strategy, which is based on the airline operating a fleet of five freighters by 2020.

CLA’s growing route network connects customers in the UK with prime export markets in Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Additional aircraft capacity will also enable customers to benefit further from connections into the international network of CLA’s strategic partner, AirBridgeCargo Airlines, extending its reach to more markets in Europe, Russia, the Americas and Asia Pacific regions.

UK – Investment manager Downing LLP, is to sink £7 million in UK-based Anker Shipping Ltd., formed last year and registered at the same address as Downing, to support the acquisition of a container vessel alongside partners HS Schiffahrt and Nordic Hamburg. This is the fund manager’s second investment in the shipping industry, following its £5 million investment in UK-based Garthcliff Shipping Ltd in order to acquire a container vessel, earlier this year.

The £7 million investment has been used to acquire a feeder container vessel. Built in 2008, the 1,350 TEU Saturn has very recently completed her Special Survey and is now on charter in the Caribbean. HS Schiffahrt will be responsible for technical management of the vessel while Nordic Hamburg (which has shares in Anker) is advising on commercial operations, including the recently secured charter.

SWITZERLAND – After it was revealed that DSV was the mystery bidder which offered CHF27.75 per share to stockholders of Ceva Logistics recently, it has now been revealed that a further increased bid of CHF30 was made by the Danish group. Whilst the Ceva board mulled it over DSV, during which French container line CMA CGM increased its own shareholding, DSV decided to retract the non-binding offer. Latest developments in our main news items today.

US – WORLDWIDE – American Airlines Cargo continues to exceed its operational performance records achieved in the past seven decades. Earlier this year, the team had a record-setting second quarter, moving nearly 158 thousand tonnes of freight, up 10% from 2017, plus a record June performance. New routes, strategic capacity planning and exceptional team work from within the organisation apparently led to the best September performance numbers ever recorded in the airline’s history.

The record setting month comes after the addition of a new, high-visibility product called Critical PPS. The new service option was designed for shipments that need a higher level of visibility with proactive monitoring and notifications from the carrier’s dedicated Customer Experience team, access to a priority track and trace desk, the highest trace priority and a 100% (of line haul) service guarantee.

AUSTRALIA – WORLDWIDE – Another new industry association has officially launched with the aim of supporting small to medium size freight forwarders around the globe. The New Generation Logistics Network (NGLN) seeks to bring together professional business leaders and organisations who have a common focus on sustainable growth, quality and success.

NGLN CEO is Mark Boggis who started in the industry in 1979 with Federal Express moving in 2001 to the PSL group where he stayed for 17 years. Claiming that many of the largest global freight and logistics companies are saddled with high operating costs and which in turn is reflected in customer pricing, NGLN is looking to facilitate members in providing creative and credible alternatives to the largest industry leaders.

GERMANY – The Rhenus Group, has opened two new air and ocean offices in Hanover and Dortmund and has plans for more German sites. The new facilities will reach the urban regions of Hanover, Braunschweig, Göttingen, Wolfsburg and Rhine-Ruhr and provide a range of international transport services, while also handling guidance for import and export regulations. Rhenus customers are also able to make use of combined services in the air and sea freight sectors.

With a population of 3.8 million, the Hanover, Braunschweig, Göttingen and Wolfsburg urban regions are vital for the services and manufacturing industries. The Rhine-Ruhr urban region has a population of over 10 million and is the base for both large and medium-sized corporations. The primary company focus in Germany are the routes to America and Asia. Key gateway locations are Hilden and Frankfurt, which will support the two new office sites.

US – FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company, today announced it is providing $2.5 million to create scholarships dedicated to easing the financial burden of rising education costs on the next generation of aviation professionals. FedEx Express created the FedEx Purple Runway Aviation Scholarship programme and is collaborating with six universities and technical schools from around the country.

The grants will go toward dedicated aviation scholarships at the University of Memphis, Delta State University, University of North Dakota, Indiana State University, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and Arkansas State University Mid-South which provide valuable education and training for aspiring pilots, aircraft maintenance technicians and other aviation professionals.

FINLAND – The Finnish shipping company ESL Shipping Ltd., part of Aspo Plc., and Hamburg based gas supplier Nauticor GmbH, a 100% subsidiary of The Linde Group, have signed a long-term contract for the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in the port of Oxelösund. The contract contains the provision of the environmental-friendly fuel for the handy size bulk carriers Haaga and Viikki.

Photo: Work under way at the Ashton-in-Makerfield site rejuvenated by Hanson.