Friday, October 6, 2017

The Friday Logistics and Freight News Round Up

Some of the Stories That Have Not Been Covered This Week
Shipping News Feature
UK – GB Railfreight (GBRf) has won a 12-month contract with J Clubb Ltd, the British-based aggregates and concrete company. The contract will see GBRf move ash from Cottam Power Stations in Nottinghamshire to the HH Celcon brick works in Borough Green, near Sevenoaks in Kent. John Smith, Managing Director at GB Railfreight said:

“This contract win is great news not just for GBRf but for both J Clubb and HH Celcon as well. It is a vote of confidence in GBRf and its ability to deliver a quality service for clients, as well as our aim to ensure as much freight in the UK is moved by rail as possible. We are delighted to be working with J Clubb on this, and hope that a long-term partnership develops in the coming months.”

UK – Freight forwarder Espace Europe has transferred ownership of its business to its employees. An Employee Ownership Trust was created with all current employees qualifying as beneficiaries of the Trust and its annual distributable profits. Tony Shally, Espace’s Managing Director, commented:

“Employee ownership just seemed the right thing to do at this stage of Espace’s development. We are as good as the people we employ. We need to retain and attract the highest calibre of people. Establishing a Trust which distributes fairly the profits of the business to the people that make the business successful shows our employees how much we value them and clearly differentiates us from our competitors. When people now speak to any member of the Espace team, they are now speaking to a part owner of the business not just an employee.”

UK – The nomination deadline for the 2018 FDM everywoman in Technology Awards has been extended by another two weeks. Entrants can be at any stage of their career, including young students or apprentices passionate about the future of technology and high-flying senior women well established on the career ladder.

GERMANY – Freight airline AirBridgeCargo (ABC) is now to operate a service to Munich, linking the city via its hub in Moscow with 12 destinations in 6 Asian countries within a 48-hour cargo delivery time, including cargo handling. The service will be operated by one of ABC’s Boeing 747 freighters, with more than 100 tonnes of cargo capacity to accommodate export consignments.

“The decision to introduce an additional flight aims to capture increasing export traffic from Southern Germany, which continues to be a major industrial area in Europe and the surrounding areas as well. Segment-wise, we expect that customers from the automotive sector will particularly benefit from this service and appreciate the wider choice of flights we are ready to offer. So far in 2017, we have witnessed stable demand with more than 1,000 tons of automotive and different industrial consignments from and to Munich,” said Andrey Andreev, Vice-President Europe of AirBridgeCargo Airlines.

AirBridgeCargo currently covers 11 cargo destinations in Europe; Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Helsinki, Paris, Munich, London, Zaragoza, Basel, Milan, Leipzig and Oslo.

GREECE – Diana Containerships, a global shipping company specialising in the ownership of containerships, announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell up to seven of its containership vessels for an aggregate purchase price of up to US$104 million to an unaffiliated third party.

Net proceeds from the sale of the vessels will be used by Diana to repay outstanding debts and/or to finance additional vessel acquisitions. However, the Company has not identified any vessels for acquisition at this time. Anastasios Margaronis, President, said:

“We believe that the transaction reflects attractive sale terms for the vessels in the current market, which will further strengthen the Company’s balance sheet, decrease its fleet’s age profile and may allow the Company to pursue a strategy of selective acquisitions of additional modern container vessels.”

UKRAINE – An entrepreneur behind Odessa-based shipping company Varamar Group has launched ShipNEXT, an online freight market that will ‘read’ an emailed cargo request or ship position and automatically match cargos with ships using over 70 various databases. Alexander Varvarenko, Founder and CEO of ShipNEXT, said:

“ShipNEXT was born of the desire to change the outdated shipping practices and make life easier for traders, ship owners and other market participants. In it we have combined Artificial Intelligence and latest digital technology with our 17-year industry experience in shipping dry-bulk, steels and heavy and oversized cargo, and it took us over 1.5 years to develop.”

RUSSIA – Kuehne + Nagel Russia has introduced a new specialised low bed trailer service for the handling of aircraft engine shipments. The innovative roller bed trailer considerably simplifies the horizontal handling of engine shipments between freighter aircraft and hangar and thereby saves costs for the airline customers and is unique on the Russian market and prompted by specific demands of several customers.

The trailer enables Kuehne + Nagel to handle large aircraft engines, with a payload of up to 17 tons, without the need of a crane or engine mattresses. Perry Neumann, Managing Director of Kuehne + Nagel Russia and Belarus, explained:

“This technical development is both a testimony to the inventiveness of our logistics experts when it comes to further improve our service efficiency and a good example of a close cooperation with customers leading to new innovative solutions. Furthermore it’s enabling our customers to improve maintenance cycles and reducing costs.”

GHANA – Kuehn + Nagel’s new branch office in Accra has officially opened its doors and will play a major part in a nationwide health program with a contract from Ghana’s Ministry of Health to deliver 150 40 feet containers of mosquito nets.

Kuehne + Nagel will ship the significant amount of mosquito nets from Denmark to Ghana, where they will be distributed to local health centres as part of a national campaign against malaria. Due to the geopolitical environment in the region, emergency and relief logistics is a major focus of Kuehne + Nagel Middle East and Africa. Jeffrey Peprah, Kuehne + Nagel Ghana National Manager, said:

“Kuehne + Nagel Ghana is delighted to assist the IDA Foundation in accomplishing this humanitarian aid project and we look forward to creating a meaningful partnership to support the progress of the region in the coming years.”

BELGIUM – GAC has expanded its operational footprint in Belgium by acquiring the port agency business of Ahlers Belgium. Ivo Verheyen, the GAC Group’s Vice President – Europe, said:

“The GAC family in Belgium, throughout Europe and around the world welcomes the Ahlers Belgium agency team aboard. With them, we look forward to expanding our services in and around the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region.

“For the last three years, GAC Belgium has specialised in agency and dry bulk services at all of the country’s ports. With our new colleagues, we are determined to continue to deliver the highest levels of service and local knowledge that our clients can rely on.”

BAHRAIN – GAC has also opened its new warehouse and office building in the Kingdom as part of its long-term strategic planning in response to anticipated growth of Bahrian's logistics sector. The 3,200 square metres, 3,019-pallet position ambient racked warehouse in Hidd, Bahrain Investment Wharf, replaces the company’s previous leased facility in Salmabad. GAC Bahrain’s Managing Director Pontus Fredriksson said:

“The logistics sector in Bahrain is performing well and it is set to grow further. The purpose-built warehouse, which can be expanded to accommodate future growth, will help meet this demand.”

US – St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL) has experienced a boom in cargo charter activity in 2017. For the year to date, the airport has witnessed a 30% increase in freight charters, compared with the same period in 2016. The average weight of cargo on flights has increased almost four-fold to 45,982 lbs (20,857 kgs). STL Cargo Development Director David Lancaster said:

“The recent growth in total charter tonnage, the regular appearance of larger aircraft and the heavier loads being carried all point to a growing recognition of the benefits of using St. Louis Lambert for cargo charters.

“With this upsurge in charter activity, the recent opening of our livestock handling centre, the imminent launch of new international services by WOW and the steady growth of non- stop domestic markets, the prospects for cargo through STL look better than at any time since the closure of TWA’s hub operations in 2002.”

US – International logistics network WCA has opened additional membership service centres in Dubai, New Delhi and the Ivory Coast. Plans call for a new facility in Shenzhen to open in early 2018. The new service centres join already-established regional WCA facilities in Bangkok, Miami, Mumbai, Shanghai, Istanbul, London, and Amsterdam. David Yokeum, WCA’s Founder and Chairman, commented:

“These new offices help round out WCA’s global reach and allow us to best service the complex needs of our members while promoting their global businesses in an increasingly competitive market. Every WCA regional office is directed by highly professional staff with many years’ experience in the cargo transportation industry.”

Alongside the opening of new offices in Dubai, New Delhi and the Ivory Coast, WCA also broadened its North American presence by expanding its regional office in South Florida.

WORLDWIDE – The TT Club Innovation in Safety Award was presented earlier this week to Ken Rohlmann who heads Hapag Lloyd’s Cargo Patrol Team. The initiative is an industry-leading attempt to reduce fraudulent cargo declarations that obscure the true identity of dangerous goods transported around the globe.

The TT Club Innovation in Safety Award is now in its second year and the winner was announced at ICHCA’s 65th Anniversary Conference in Las Palmas this week. The Award is aimed at identifying innovative developments that engender greater safety and efficiency in the intermodal supply chain. In accepting the award, Ken Rohlmann said:

“Hapag-Lloyd is delighted to receive this prestigious Innovation in Safety Award. I’d like to dedicate the award to my colleagues from the Hapag-Lloyd IT department, who built Cargo Patrol as an in-house solution, and of course to my Cargo Patrol Team, who tirelessly investigate all the potential misdeclarations day by day. This award will further motivate us in the work to keep our crews safe.”