Thursday, April 18, 2019

Some Smaller Items of Global Freight and Logistics News

Snippets from Around the World This Week
Shipping News Feature
DENMARK – The 'bits and pieces' of freight and logistics items you might have missed this week start with the news that the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) has supplied a 'sniffer' drone which began operations last week, flying over an area north of The Great Belt, where many large tankers pass when going to and from the Baltic Sea. The drone is checking emissions from vessels in Danish waters to make sure they comply with the sulphur limit.

The drone flies into the ship's exhaust gas plume and registers the amount of sulphur in the fuel being burnt. The data is immediately transferred to Danish authorities which act upon any transgressors. With the mandatory sulphur cap coming into force next year such inspections are likely to be seen ever more regularly.

US – The Port of Oakland will add new direct service to Vietnam by late April. Pacific International Lines (PIL) will launch direct Vietnam links using vessels that can carry up to 11,900 20-foot containers. PIL’s new service is called AC5 and is in partnership with Cosco and Wan Hai. The loop for the New Vietnam-US West Coast service will be: Haiphong, Vietnam loop – Haiphong, Nansha, Hong Kong, Yantian, Long Beach, Oakland, Yantian, Haiphong (AC5).

In 2018, Vietnam was the Port of Oakland’s third largest import market and fifth largest export market. When measured by volume, American exports to Vietnam from Oakland have grown by 126% since 2015. Oakland imports from Vietnam have grown 29% since 2015. The new PIL service route between the Port of Oakland and Vietnam is in response to Vietnam’s expanding import and export markets.

CHINA – EUROPE – CEVA Logistics North Asia has launched a new Wednesday Xiamen block train service from China to Europe on 10th of April. The multimodal (Sea-Rail) transportation mode aims at the potential of trade and cooperation among the countries under the ‘Belt and Road Initiative.

Located in the southeast of mainland China, Xiamen is a hub city geographically favourably located for sea and rail transportation. Cooperating with Xiamen International Railway Service (XMIRS), CEVA Logistics started a block train to Duisburg, Germany.

NORTH WEST EUROPE – EAST AFRICA – MACS Maritime Carrier Shipping GmbH & Co, Hamburg and Universal Africa Lines Ltd (UAL), Limassol have announced a joint Multipurpose Service from the North West Continent to East Africa. The Service will accept Containers, Break Bulk, Project Cargo, Heavy Lifts and Neobulk Cargoes and will start with monthly sailings.

Ports of call on the continent will be Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg with additional ports served subject to inducement. In East Africa ports of call will be Nacala and Pemba subject to inducement. The first two sailings will be: MV Red Cedar ets Antwerp 25th April and MV Green Mountain ets Antwerp 23rd May.

UK – Hutchison Ports, Port of Felixstowe has taken delivery of its first remote-controlled Rubber Tyred Gantry cranes (RTGs). The four electric-powered cranes were built by ZPMC in Shanghai and are the first of eight similar machines to be delivered over the next few weeks. The port also has two remote controlled ship-to-shore gantry cranes currently undergoing manual testing before being deployed in full remote mode.

The new RTGs will serve Berths 8 and 9 where an additional 18,000 TEU of container storage has been created to meet growing demand at the east coast container port. The new cranes are fully electric-powered and capable of stacking containers 6-high to enable more efficient use to be made of the new yard area.

UK – Aberdeen Standard Investment’s AIPUT fund (Airport Industrial Property Unit Trust) has secured a £55 million revolving credit facility with its long-term financial partner, RBS International. The facility will provide flexible access to capital available to finance AIPUT’s industrial acquisitions and development projects at the London airports.

Strategic opportunities are expected to surface in the months ahead as a result of the uncertainty engendered by Brexit and the perceived political risk of continuing friction in global trade policy. AIPUT, a specialist airport real estate fund managed by Aberdeen Standard Investments, holds a diverse portfolio of air cargo and other airport-related property assets serving the London airports of Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted. The overall fund value currently stands at around £670 million.

UK – Mutual P&I insurer the Shipowners' Club which tends to deal in the smaller and specialist vessel sector, has reported resilient results for the year ending 31 December 2018. The Club has reported a combined ratio of 104.2%, which was slightly better than the budgeted 105%. Tonnage increased by 6.9% to 27.3m tonnes and insured vessel numbers increased by 3.5% to 34,094. There was a reduction in capital and free reserves of US$ 37.9m, taking net assets to US$ 303.8m. Full report available here.

UK – The Northern Lighthouse Board’s (NLB) 84 metre long multi-function Tender Pharos is set to play a significant role at London International Shipping Week (LISW) this September. She will be berthed alongside HMS Belfast in the Thames to provide a venue for seminars, meetings and receptions, including the hosting of a major careers event for Maritime UK. The work of Pharos and her crew was recently featured on the BBC’s Countryfile Winter Diaries.

Pharos’ usual home is Oban, Scotland and she works mainly in Scottish and Isle of Man waters. In addition to her primary role to respond to wrecks and new navigational dangers, the vessel supports the maintenance and refurbishment of NLB’s 200 plus lighthouses as well as conducting buoy operations. The vessel came into service in 2007. She is equipped with dynamic positioning, a 30 tonne crane, a hydrographic survey suite and is capable of supporting helicopter operations.