Friday, February 5, 2021

Some Snippets from the Supply Chain You May Have Missed This Week

A Few Pieces of Logistics News
Shipping News Feature

UK – Over 30 unemployed young people are set to join the Port of London Authority (PLA) in Gravesend and Forth Ports, including at Tilbury, for paid six-month traineeships this spring, as part of the Government’s £2.4 billion Kickstart work programme. Opportunities available, ranging from administration through to operations, will give 16 to 24-year olds a chance to gain important experience in a real working environment.

Kickstart applicants, who must have been on Universal Credit for six months, will be referred to the PLA and Forth Ports by Job Centre Plus. The Government pays the minimum wage for the roles offered, based on a maximum 25-hour week. With CVs already being received, interviews are expected to take place in February, and it is hoped the first successful candidates will be in place in March.

UK – WORLDWIDE – The UK P&I Club has released the latest video in its online ‘Ask an Expert’ series, featuring speakers from Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) discussing the increasing prevalence of fuel combustion since the introduction of low sulphur fuel requirements. Fuel combustion in an engine is a complex reaction, with unpredictability in composition of residual marine fuels making it even more difficult to forecast.

Since the implementation of the MARPOL requirements and the transition to very low sulphur fuel oils (VLSFOs), the industry has seen an upsurge in incidents resulting in cylinder liner damages of large two-stroke engines. The ‘Ask an Expert’ video series provides specialist analysis and insight on a range of specific topics from leading figures in the marine sector. Informative and concise in their 30-minute format, the videos are designed to give the audience a broad understanding of an issue in an optimised timeframe.

UK – The RMT Union, in dispute with ferry group Wightlink, said this week it was ‘disgusted’ after Wightlink CEO, Keith Greenfield describing the £6.5m pot as ‘numbers I don’t recognise from the scheme details I’ve seen, and it is unclear how Wightlink and other Solent operators can access this support’. On 15 January, the Treasury announced £6.5 million to keep ferry services running between the mainland and the Isle of Wight.

This is the second package of state funding for Wightlink and other lifeline operators during the pandemic. The union says it is appalled by the cavalier attitude of the company to consultation over their plans and the failure to take up financial support ‎that could have mitigated the current situation as it ‘tries to force through permanent contractual changes and pension cuts which staff have rejected’. Many services remain suspended due to the continued slump in passenger numbers.

NETHERLANDS – The Martin Bencher Group is opening an office in Enschede having always been active in logistics of all types in the country. Country Manager for Martin Bencher Netherlands BV is Mr. Michael Dahoe, who has a long history and performance within global project forwarding.

DENMARK – Headquartered in Norway, shipping solutions group StormGeo nevertheless has experience in Denmark having supported customers in offshore wind for many years. Now the Bergen based group has opened a new office in Copenhagen to supply its software and services suite, integrating voyage planning, route optimisation, route advisory and fleet performance management. Kim Sørensen, COO Shipping Division, StormGeo, said:

“The decision to expand into Denmark was a logical move in our growth strategy. We are experiencing a growing demand in Denmark for integrated shipping solutions such as StormGeo’s s-Suite and having local people with shipping expertise is a natural step forward.”

BELGIUM – AntwerpXL, the break bulk and heavy lift event, has been postponed from March 2021 to 7 – 9 December 2021 in a decision made in consultation with the community due the continuing circumstances surrounding the pandemic. The live event, which during its first edition attracted key visitors and exhibitors from across the industry’s biggest, best and most innovative players will be held at the Antwerp Expo in Antwerp, Belgium.

EUROPE – CHEP, the supply chain solutions company, has announced a new five-year contract with Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP) until April 2025 to supply pooled pallets across Western Europe. CHEP's business model, which is based on circular economy principles, consists of sharing and reusing packaging by manufacturers and retailers throughout the supply chain.

CCEP has been working with CHEP for a number of years. Every year, the use of CHEP pallets by CCEP prevents the felling of more than 10,800 trees and avoids the generation of approximately 1,340 tonnes of waste which is comparable to the waste generated by 2,700 European citizens in twelve months.

FRANCE – IRELAND – Brittany Ferries’ new ‘Brexit-bypass’ service for Irish hauliers heading to Brittany, France began this week. The first sailing was from Rosslare Harbour in County Wexford on the evening of 4 February transporting Irish lorries and their drivers to the Brittany town of St Malo.

The ferry links will be operated by Brittany Ferries’ 2009-built ship Armorique and the new service includes routes from Rosslare and Cork, to St Malo and Roscoff in Brittany. These are the only ferry routes from Ireland to Brittany and there will be three round trips each week, with departures from Cork on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and from Rosslare on Thursdays.

Photo: The size of the CCEP operation demands vast amounts of packaging, including pallets.