Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Some Smaller News Items from the Logistics, Road Haulage and Multimodal Freight Sectors

What's Happening Around the World - Starting for a Change with Taxis
Shipping News Feature

UK – US – We start this round up going slightly ‘off piste’ by moving a little away from the delights of multimodal freight and writing for once about the passenger transport sector. Nothing perhaps illustrates the official position of local authorities in the UK to their cousins in the US on public transport than the current proposed and passed changes in legislation covering taxi drivers. Both London and New York have recognised, established cab personas, London has the familiar black cab whilst the Big Apple has its equally recognisable yellow cars. Both also have a plethora of other services mini cabs, Uber etc.

Now, whilst London is considering compulsory language testing to ensure all licensed drivers have a good command of English, in April the New York city council and Mayor Bill de Blasio signed off changes to the legislation eliminating the requirement that taxi drivers take an English proficiency exam.

Pressure from Uber seems to have prompted the change with many yellow cab drives leaving to join the rival company, leading to the current situation where now drivers can take an exam in a variety of languages with no proficiency in English whatsoever being perfectly acceptable. Whereas many London drivers hail from the EU and have at least a basic grounding in English, the New Yorkers tend to speak either Spanish or one of the Indian subcontinental languages such as Bengali and Urdu.

CHINA – One other place considering a change from English is in Shanghai where a poll is being conducted amongst local residents by the Shanghai Road Administration Bureau (SRAB) to decide whether to remove English translations from local traffic signs. The Chinese characters accompanying the English are in Pinyin and removing the English would free up more space to enlarge the Chinese characters. Signs in tourist areas would remain dual language however.

UAE – Freight industry group Aramex has recently announced its partnership with NewBridge Pharmaceuticals, also headquartered in Dubai, to provide a range of logistics services in the Middle East, Africa, Canada and the UK. NewBridge is a regional specialty company providing a one-stop-solution to pharmaceutical, biological, genomic and other innovative healthcare companies.

Through the partnership, Aramex is managing the logistics of transporting patient samples across any clinics and hospitals from the Middle East to the US for advanced clinical testing. Aramex is also providing temperature controlled storage and transportation of medication for NewBridge from various distribution hubs in the UK and Canada to healthcare facilities in the Middle East and Africa.

NORWAY – Ratings agency S&P Global Ratings (S&P), has reiterated its ‘A with stable outlook’ rating for the Norwegian Hull Club in its latest report. The ratings agency pronounced Norwegian Hull Club’s operating performance as both stable and strong, whilst citing the Club’s ‘extremely strong capital adequacy’ as underpinning the strength of the rating. Diversification, as recently outlined by Chief Executive Officer Hans Christian Seim being key to profitable growth, was also picked out as worthy of merit, alongside high-end quality of service.

US – Trelleborg’s marine systems operation will be exhibiting at “Prevention First: An Onshore and Offshore Pollution Prevention Symposium & Technology Exhibition” in Long Beach, California on the 27 and 28 September 2016. The Prevention First exhibition is organized by the California State Lands Commission (CSLC), which sets the requirements for marine jetties throughout California.

Representatives from Trelleborg will be on hand to discuss the company’s portfolio of docking, mooring and fender system solutions, as well as its new offering for customers in North America. This comprises extended warranties on all of its fender systems in North America, financially backed by warranty bonds for up to five years, assuring quality and performance.

UK – The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is sponsoring the Institute of Road Transport Engineers (IRTE) Conference next month for the third year running, celebrating the ongoing partnership between the two organisations. The FTA is the exclusive provider of IRTE Workshop Accreditation audits and a market leader in delivery of irtec Inspection Technician courses. The FTA is also piloting a new course for workshop engineering managers aimed at developing the careers of high-level technicians, workshop supervisors and fleet engineering managers. The conference takes place on 28 September at Eastwood Hall, Nottingham. Full details are available here.

EUROPE – The twenty-eighth edition of the Transport Market Monitor (TMM) by Transporeon and Capgemini Consulting which assesses European transport and haulage dynamics reveals that transport prices increased by 5.3% in Q2 2016 compared to Q1 2016. These and more facts can be seen here.