Friday, January 17, 2020

Some Smaller Stories from Shipping and Logistics this Week You Might Want to Know About

(...but probably didn't yet read)
Shipping News Feature

UK – The first visit to a port in 2020 by the Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP was to take a look at the upgrading under way at the Port of Felixstowe to its RoRo facilities which will give access to larger roll on roll off ships and increase efficiency in handling traffic. The works, which are due to be completed before the end of the Brexit transition period, include the lengthening of the ports No.3 RoRo berth and the replacement of the current hydraulic ramp at No.4 RoRo berth with a larger floating linkspan.

UK – FRANCE – Le Shuttle Freight carried 121,939 trucks in December 2019, a decrease of 7% compared to December 2018. Since the beginning of the year, almost 1.6 million trucks have crossed with Le Shuttle Freight, a decrease of 6% compared to 2018, after having been impacted during the year by the French Customs officers’ strike, the uncertainties linked to Brexit and the decline in the automobile market.

UK – The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) says that after many years of lobbying and government engagement, the freight sector is finally being recognised for its importance to local and national economies. With freight carriage likely to increase by 50% in the next decades the SMMT says it will be working with the Department for Transport to develop a Future of Freight Strategy to support the sector, to continue to be a world leader to 2050 and beyond. The need is to start preparing for the longer term now by addressing challenges including skills, evolving business models, congestion and the shift to zero carbon transport.

UK – GB Railfreight has confirmed it will lease 32 Ecofret2 triple-platform wagons from VTG Rail UK Ltd meaning it will be able to increase the TEU count per train. The first 16 wagons will be delivered in late 2020 and the remaining 16 in early 2021. All wagons will be built in the UK at W H Davis’s Shirebrook site in the East Midlands.

NETHERLANDS – Marine casualty management consultancy Solis Marine has introduced a global Fire and Chemicals emergency response operation. The new division will be led by global expert Sander Loef who will be based out of a new strategically located office opening in the Netherlands. Solis Marine will now offer on-site attendance or remote advice round the clock to clients for the investigation of fire and chemical incidents involving all vessel types, cargo fire or spills in port, offshore or at sea.

Solis Marine also specialises in salvage cases, acting on behalf of insurers, insured interests and salvors. Work undertaken will now include the constant monitoring and control of operations and potential and existing hazardous situations involving combustible, polluting and chemical spills. In addition, Solis Marine will provide risk assurance to help clients navigate complex law and jurisdiction regards fire safety by assessing compliance and evaluating risk.

INDIA – FRANCE – WORLDWIDE – Automotive multimodal logistics specialist GEFCO has opted to use Indian headquartered digital service provider Infosys to support its digital transformation over the next five years.

As a technology partner of GEFCO, Infosys is tasked with transforming the group’s next-generation business application management services to help GEFCO evolve into a ‘Digital Native’ organisation. This will enable new supply chain capabilities to extract and process information in real-time with the objective of creating new sustainable sources of competitive advantage and continuously improve value for GEFCO customers.

US – Two transportation providers, Dupré Logistics and the HOYER group have entered into a joint venture agreement to create HOYER Bulk, LLC to be headquartered in Houston and holding 51 and 49% of stock respectively. Both companies are family owned and operated and say the move will enhance or extend existing business operations by investing in resources, assets, and technologies to meet and exceed customer expectations.

HOYER specialises in international movements whilst Dupré’s expertise lies more in domestic operations and both agree that the partnership will enable them to offer an improved first and last mile logistics scenario in North America.

US – It seems some in the US are waking up to the need for shipping to be included in the push to decarbonise illustrated by the comments of Sean Patrick Maloney, Chair of the US House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, speaking at a hearing on that very subject this week. He said:

”The maritime community has risen to meet the challenge, although I must stress, the US can and should do much, much more. [Decarbonisation] is a necessity and an opportunity, the time for change is now and the US should be in the vanguard. For ships to serve their planned lifetime and to meet the 2050 emissions reduction goal, vessels coming online after 2030 will need to be either zero emission or very low emission vessels to assure they can operate for their expected commercial life.

”We should ensure we have the capability to design, build, and operate those vessels in the United States. Investing in innovative new technologies and clean maritime commerce is just one more opportunity to bring the American maritime industry into the 21st century, and one we can’t afford to miss.”

GERMANY – Amazon has ordered 40 WORK Box electric vans from Aachen based StreetScooter, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post DHL. The new vehicles will be deployed at the Amazon distribution centre in Munich to service last mile delivery customers and the facility will also have 60 charging stations installed.

SWEDEN – The container terminal at the new Stockholm Norvik Port will open in May and will be run by Hutchison Ports which has announced the arrival this week of two new super-post-Panamax cranes from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC). Each crane stands just over 80 metres high in their lowest position, they can span 22 container units wide and lift 65 tonnes and the port will be able to handle the largest vessels using the Baltic Sea.

Photo: Nusrat Ghani MP (right) pictured with Therese Coffey, Local MP and Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director Hutchison Ports and Roy Kempston, RoRo Tug Driver.