Friday, November 8, 2019

Some Small Items of Logistics News from Around the Globe

A Few Interesting Snippets You Might Have Missed
Shipping News Feature

SPAIN – UKRAINE – In a 5 day period at the end of October an AN-22 Antei of Antonov Airlines made two flights between Madrid and Baghdad ferrying carrying helicopters and spare parts for the Spanish Ministry of Defence. Principal was DSV Spain and coordination and supervision of the flights were undertaken by Cargoplanet Spain, the representative of Antonov Airlines for these kind of logistics operations in Spain.

Staff of Cargoplanet and DSV travelled with the cargo on board the AN-22 to and from Baghdad to assure a smooth operation in an aircraft which, due to the 4.4 metre height of the Antei’s cargo compartment, meant even the rotors could remain in situ, making for a faster turnaround. The AN-22 Antei, the largest turboprop air freighter in the world, can be operated from and to both paved, and unpaved runways, and with transports such as this one, the AN-22 can be more effective than the larger AN-124 Ruslan.

UK – MIDDLE EAST – After the UK government lowered its security risk level for ships travelling through the Strait of Hormuz the UK Chamber of Shipping made the following statement:

”We have regularly called for a de-escalation of tension in the Strait of Hormuz and we welcome the news that UK flagged ships will soon transit the area without close Royal Naval protection. The safety of crews and ships in international waters is imperative. We continue to urge all ships operating in the region to liaise with the relevant authorities to ensure their safety and to enable the free flow of goods across the world. Global trade relies on the safe passage of goods and without this consumers and businesses could suffer with increased costs.”

US – CHINA – According to BIMCO the accumulated growth rate for US inbound containers has almost been cut in half from 5.1% in 2018 to 2.6% in August of 2019. US retailers stockpiling prior to the anticipated import duty rise in January impacted the numbers. BIMCO doubts this will reoccur despite another 10% hike scheduled for 15 December due to uncertainty over a proposed trade deal.

The US government says a deal with China is agreed ‘in principle’ however other factors may come into play. As the main world economies slow the China Containerized Freight Index (CCFI), a freight rate index that tracks 10 Chinese ports, is down by 6% from January to October to an index level of 795 on 1 October 2019, leading to cancelled voyages aimed at boosting carrier profits. The global containership fleet is expected to grow 3.6% in 2019 whilst demand drops into 2020.

SOUTH AFRICA – The first of the nine 2,800 TEU capacity vessels on the new MIAX (Middle East-India-Africa Express) service docked in Durban this week with the arrival of the MV New Jersey Trader, a Hapag-Lloyd ship and part of the allied service with Ocean Network Express (ONE).

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and Transnet Ports Terminals (TPT) welcomed the Maltese flagged ship on the maiden voyage on a service which offers a rotation of Jebel Ali, Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Colombo, La Réunion, Durban, Cape Town, Tema, Lagos (Tincan and Apapa), Cape Town, Durban and Jebel Ali.

CANADA – WORLDWIDE – As the producers of water based systems to lubricate propeller shafts Ontario headquartered Thordon Bearings is making much of the recent report from DNV GL that concludes the recent surge in propeller shaft bearing failures is indeed related to the use of certain environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs).

Failures have been found to occur particularly when a vessel is manoeuvring hard at high speed, during mooring trials, or when operating with a partly submerged propeller. Synthetic EALs behave differently than mineral oils under different operating pressures and temperatures and Thordon say no ship operating a propeller shaft bearing lubricated by water, an EAL designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency, has been immobilised to date.

UK – Two and a half years ago the Mayor of London started working with two last mile logistics companies to study the practicalities of an all-electric fleet handling consignments in the city. UPS in Camden and the lesser known Gnewt, all of whose vehicles are electric, have been trialling LGV’s since.

TfL estimates say commercial vehicles represent 30% of London’s traffic, and therefore eliminating exhaust fumes in the sector would be a massive boost to the urban air quality. With the SMMT saying the number and range of electric light commercial vehicles available in the marketis likely to increase significantly during 2020, the results of the two trials, expected in two weeks, will make intereting reading.

Photo: The Antonov AN-22 Antei preparing for action.