Friday, January 21, 2022

Some Snippets of Supply Chain Industry News That May have Escaped Your Notice

What is Happening in the Nooks and Crannies of the Logistics Sector
Shipping News Feature

UK – As detailed in a story earlier this month the Public Consultation on a Freight & Logistics Strategy for the North of England is now live, and residents and businesses are invited to get involved and have their say before it closes at the end of January. The freight and logistics sector is vitally important for the North of England, with more than 33% of goods entering through the region’s ports and 25% of GB freight starting or ending in the North.

The draft strategy showcases the importance of the efficient movement of goods, particularly for economic recovery and growth, and sets out the urgent need to take action to decarbonise the freight and logistics sector. It covers multimodal potential and faces up to a number of challenges and constraints, such as a shortage of warehouse capacity (especially rail connected warehousing), lack of reliable and efficient east-west connectivity across the Pennines, plus a disproportionate reliance on ports in the South of England. Have your say HERE.

UK – Pentalver Transport has completed the Phase 3 expansion of its container terminal at Berth 7, DP World London Gateway. The project sees the Thames side operation grow from nine to 14 acres, increasing overall site capacity from 4,000 TEU to 7,400 TEU and provides additional storage for customers. The terminal now operates 24-hours per day, offering access to return and collect both empty and laden containers

Pentalver’s strategically located off-dock facilities at Felixstowe, Southampton and London Gateway, along with their inland hub at Cannock, offer diverse container services such as road haulage, container storage, container repairs, refrigeration services and cargo handling. Pentalver is also one of the UK’s leading container sales and bespoke container conversions providers.

UK – SOUTH KOREA – Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised MPC Capital together with partners, on an order for the construction of four state-of-the-art container vessels at South Korean shipyard Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction Group, known since last month after a rebrand as HJ Shipbuilding and Construction (HJSC). The 5,500 TEU vessels will have a new eco-friendly design allowing for a 40% reduction in fuel consumption compared to the existing fleet and are ready for conversion to carbon-neutral operations based on green methanol.

The vessels, which will be delivered beginning from the second quarter of 2023, represent HJSC’s first new order in seven years. Hamburg-based MPC is an asset and investment manager with a core focus on real estate, infrastructure and shipping. For over 25 years, it has identified and delivered real asset investment opportunities for investors, building strong relationships with international partners in attractive market segments.

FRANCE – UK – Figures released this week by Getlink, operators of the Channel Tunnel, show just how well freight has borne the burden of Covid compared to passenger traffic. Whilst Eurostar saw 35% of its revenue in 2021 fall away, the drop for Le Shuttle was less severe, 10% leaving a figure of €476.6 million. Europorte revenue was up 6% to €130.2 million and the ElecLink works in the Tunnel were completed and first tests successfully carried out. Yann Leriche, Group CEO, said:

"2021 was a year of contrasts. The Group’s consolidated revenue has obviously been impacted by the effects of the crisis and the travel restrictions which persisted throughout the year. However, our passenger market share has never been so high, and the appetite of customers to use our services has been proven each time border crossing restrictions have been eased.

"Our strengthening of Europorte’s performance and the achievement of ElecLink project milestones are further positive elements. By improving our agility and adapting our work organisation, the Group has been able to maintain its status as a leader across its markets.”

US – Containerised, loaded import cargo volume hit a new record at the Port of Oakland in 2021. The port this week reported that it handled the equivalent of 1.05 million 20-foot import containers in 2021. That was the most in Oakland’s 94-year history and 6% above 2020 totals. One number in the Port’s year-end cargo report underscored the dichotomy in supply chain impact. Oakland reported that 55% of its 2021 cargo loads were imports; only 45% were exports. Historically, Oakland’s business is split 50/50.

Record import volume was achieved despite supply chain misery that plagued ports worldwide. Late-arriving ships, cancelled voyages and weeks-long delays at some ports hampered freight movement. Oakland’s 2021 export volume declined 8% year-over-year because of the disruptions. The Port handled a total of 2.4 million twenty-foot containers in 2021.

US – Polar Air Cargo has expanded its cargo handling partnership with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in North America through a new long-term contract at Los Angeles International Airport. WFS is providing full warehouse handling services for the more than five million kilos of cargo carried each month by Polar’s all-Boeing freighter fleet ex-LAX. Polar is a joint venture of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings and DHL Express. WFS also manages handling for Atlas Air’s scheduled and ad-hoc freighter service from Los Angeles.

The latest agreement with Polar, covering one of the biggest stations in Polar’s US network, reflects WFS’ strong relationship with the airline. Polar has significantly grown its footprint at LAX through the addition of a second warehouse totalling more than 230,000 square feet. WFS already provides handling services to Polar Air Cargo at its hub in Cincinnati, as well as in Dallas/Fort Worth, Miami, New York JFK, Seattle and Toronto airports.

CHINA – JAPAN – COSCO Shipping has indicated it will coat its entire fleet of VLCCs with Nippon Paint Marine’s new antifouling system FASTAR® once initial applications have been evaluated. Firstly the hulls of the passenger ferry COSCO Star and the 56,000dwt bulk carrier Xin Liu Lin Hai will each be coated with the 'game-changing' antifouling at dry dockings scheduled later this year.

The ferry will be treated in February with a FASTAR® XI application, with the larger vessel due to receive a coating of FASTAR® I version in May. The ship owner selected the nano resin containing paint, introduced to the market early last year, to help its vessels meet the Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) requirements. The amendment to MARPOL Annex VI, which requires all vessels above 400 Gross Tonnes to measure their energy efficiency, enters into force in January 2023.

NETHERLANDS – GERMANY – DP World says its customers are set to benefit from a new premium barge service between the Upper Rhine region and Rotterdam World Gateway starting on 1 February 2022. The logistics group claims the strength of this new service is that by bundling containers in the hinterland, it becomes possible to call at only one terminal in Rotterdam in a fixed schedule to and from Rotterdam World Gateway.

This concept will improve service reliability as well reduce emissions per TEU due to the higher load factor of the barges, and the reduced port stay. Rob Harrison, Vice President for Inland & Logistics, at DP World Europe & Russia, said:

“I’m confident that our customers will quickly see the benefits of this exciting new service which will take our already strong barge network to the next level. This new service will give our customers even greater flexibility to transport goods in a sustainable, efficient, and reliable way.”

Photo: DP World is to run a new barge service between Germany and the Netherlands.