Friday, August 14, 2020

Some of the Smaller Items of Freight and Logistics News from the Week Just Gone

A Small, but Perfectly Formed, Round Up
Shipping News Feature

UK – JAPAN – It seems that the latest tactic to try and show Britain managed to extract a better deal than the EU in current talks with Japan on trade might well have backfired. Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade Liz Truss is a woman who often attracts more criticism than plaudits and she was accused of walking away from negotiations this week over tariffs on cheese.

In 2014 Truss said the fact the UK imported foreign cheese and failed to export more was a ‘disgrace’ in what was described widely as ‘a poor conference speech’. Whilst the UK exported £18 million of blue cheese last year, it seems talks were suspended when Truss insisted on a duty free pass for Stilton (just £102,000 sold to Japan in 2019). Japan is keen to see a free trade deal between itself the UK, but it also values EU trade which is some seven times larger than that with Britain.

UK – After the terrible tragedy in Lebanon which killed and injured so many in the Port of Beirut, the fire in the East Sussex Port of Newhaven which followed shortly afterwards, later turned out to be a comparatively trifling matter. A blaze on the morning of August 8 led to an explosion which needed 12 fire engines and 60 firefighters to bring it under control.

The fire, reportedly in a fish factory unit in Beach Road, led to huge columns of black smoke billowing upward but, despite the intensity of the blaze which destroyed much of the building, there were no reported casualties and port operations were not interrupted.

UK – Concerned that the pandemic has distracted many businesses in the capital the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has launched an EU Exit Hub with information and guidance on staff employment, trading in goods and services (with EU and non-EU countries), business travel, and regulation changes.

The intention is to ensure even businesses which do not trade with or do business in the EU can ensure their supply chains, workforce, services and contracts will not be affected by the changing regulations. The Exit Hub can be downloaded HERE.

UK – XPO Logistics has renewed its partnership with Asda Stores Ltd. to provide reverse logistics and asset management services. The new, three-year contract extends XPO’s relationship with the British supermarket chain to more than two decades. XPO will continue to manage the logistics for Asda’s product trays through a network of nine sites. The returned assets are washed, inspected and reused for product distribution, or may be sold or recycled.

XPO is an integral partner in Asda’s zero-waste strategy, ensuring eco-friendly recycling of all card, plastic and food waste. Proprietary XPO technology, developed in conjunction with Asda, will be used to manage a pool of over eight million assets and oversee 250 supplier accounts in a collaboration which begun in 2002.

UK – AUSTRALIA – WORLDWIDE – International shipping software specialist SmartFreight has partnered with Segmentify, which helps clients improve conversion rates by utilising advanced machine learning technology to engage with shoppers individually. The result is an online offering of single point access to over 650 different carriers across the world, including the UK’s top providers such as Royal Mail and DPD to retailers.

The pair say the resultant fully integrated parcel delivery solution for e-commerce platforms, such as Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce, brands will also be reinforced via tracking email and portals, along with better reporting and financial controls through invoice reconciliation synchronising sales, payments and warehouse operations. As SmartFreight looks for expansion, Segmentify’s customers will be offered a carrier choice of the quickest, cheapest or greenest route.

UAE – CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, the first overseas greenfield project of COSCO Shipping Ports Limited (CSP), has announced the start of a direct, weekly service to several ports across Europe and the Indian Subcontinent. Operating from Abu Dhabi Ports’ flagship deep-water Khalifa Port, where the terminal was established as part of a 35-year agreement with CSP, the new direct service will be served by a fleet of eight vessels on rotation, ranging in capacity between 10,000 to 13,000 TEU.

Direct exports from Abu Dhabi to the ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg, London, Antwerp, and Le Havre, will consist primarily of polymers while returning vessels will carry a mix of general and project cargo imports. The ports of Karachi, Nhava Sheva, and Mundra are also set to benefit from the new service.

IVORY COAST – CDCI, a major retailer in the country, has leased warehouse space from logistics group Agility for its new nationwide warehousing and distribution centre. Situated on the Agility Logistics Park (ALP) in Abidjan CDCI, which operates supermarkets in Cote D’Ivoire, will use the facility as a central distribution centre to hold stock and distribute a wide range of food and non-food consumer products to support its retail operations across the country.

US – WORLDWIDE – CakeBoxx Technologies has been featured on episode 58 of The Digital Supply Chain Podcast. The twice-weekly podcast is hosted by SAP Innovation Evangelist Tom Raftery, and focuses on discussing thought leadership, best practices, and the latest innovations in delivering a sustainable supply chain.

SVP Michael J. Stolarczyk joined Tom on the podcast last week to look the world of supply chain security and explore how CakeBoxx rack and lid containers are reducing risk and increasing safety and security for customers including Boeing, Google and Lockheed Martin. Podcast available HERE.

CANADA – The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) has taken delivery of HMCS Harry DeWolf, its first full-electric power and propulsion ice class patrol vessel with combat package. The vessel’s sea trials saw attendance from engineers of GE Power Conversion which designed and provided the high-voltage electric power system and electric propulsion drive trains for the ship.

Such Arctic Offshore Patrol craft demand specialist capability for operations in multi-year ice and for the full-electric propulsion system, GE leveraged its proven technologies, building on recent experience in providing power and propulsion solutions for naval ice class vessels for South Africa and Chile, as well as other commercial vessels.

Photo: Liz Truss giving her much criticised speech at the Conservative party conference in 2014.