Friday, April 29, 2022

The Smaller Logistics Associated Stories of the Week

Some Tit Bits from Around the Industry
Shipping News Feature

UK – Package specialist ParcelHero says new government figures showing 15,005 transport and logistics companies failed in the first quarter of 2022 demonstrate the damage caused by Covid. The number is a 75% jump against the previous year. The company puts the situation down to the change in status post lockdown as less online trading results.

Many closures are amongst the plethora of SMEs employing an average of 2.1 staff. Online sales, the majority of which are home deliveries, now account for around 26% of the retail market, rather than the 37% they held at the peak of Covid restrictions last year. Meanwhile trade with the EU, especially for SME businesses and their logistics partners, has collapsed, mostly because of new red tape and complicated taxes and proof of origin regulations.

UK – VisionNav Robotic’s BrightEYE system is a camera recognition technology that facilitates the safe and efficient movement of driverless forklifts or AGVs around a store by identifying a driverless forklift truck’s precise location within a warehouse, distribution centre or factory building. It also recognises goods, pallets, pedestrians, other forklifts, building infrastructure and any stationery or moving objects that might represent a potential hazard.

Compatible with existing warehouse management technology it can be installed with a single click, performs in low light environments using infra-red guidance and issues a warning if autonomous trucks stray too close to humans in the facility.

UK – Shocking new figures which reveal that most of the UK suffers from air pollution above levels recommended by the World Health Organization show why it is imperative that action is taken immediately, the chief executive of a fuel technology company, greentech company SulNOx Group plc, which is helping to tackle the problem, said this week.

Analysis of Imperial College London data by the not for profit organisation Central Office of Public Interest (COPI), showed more than 97% of addresses exceed WHO limits for at least one of three key pollutants, along with harmful fine particulate matter, while 70% of addresses breach WHO limits for all three. The 10 areas with the highest proportion of polluted homes are Slough, London, Portsmouth, Salford, Leeds, Manchester, Stockport, Reading, Southampton and Oldham. COPI is now calling for a legal requirement for air pollution data to be disclosed to home buyers.

UK – ZAMBIA – Another triumph for transport charity Transaid recently as it announced its MAM@Scale results on World Malaria Day. In 2018 the charity saw its MAM pilot record a staggering 96% reduction in child mortality from malaria in Serenje, serving a population of 54,000 people. Since then, the programme has been scaled up with investment and drug procurement from the Zambian Ministry of Health, and has now reached ten districts and more than one million people.

Read the story of how the project is progressing HERE.

GERMANY – Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has initiated the establishment of a charitable organisation named Hellmann helps. The non-profit was designed to provide immediate help quickly and effectively, when and where it is urgently needed, as currently in Ukraine and other countries where refugees arrive. To support the initiative, the scheme is collecting internal and external monetary donations as well as donations in kind. By doing so, Hellmann helps was able to acquire more than 135.000 EUR within a very short time. The amount will be donated to those affected in the war region.

FRANCE – The combined northern ports known now as Haropa have marked several milestones of late. 2021 was a record year for the container sector which for the first time surpassed the symbolic figure of 3 million TEU. Meanwhile the Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy blades and nacelles production facility for offshore wind farms began at the end of March in Le Havre. The plant occupies 40 hectares in the port of Le Havre. It’s the largest French industrial project in renewable energies.

Other announcements included the fact that, for the first time in the history of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the 2024 opening ceremony will not be held in a stadium, but on the River Seine: 10,500 sports men and women will travel on a 6 kilometre route on 160 boats. On the occasion, the Seine will be made suitable for bathing as a part of the Games’ legacy. More can be seen in the Haropa online magazine.

EUROPE – The Upply - Ti IRU European road freight rates index for Europe hit an all-time high in Q1 2022 as rising cost pressures, supply and capacity disruptions, regulatory change and war in Ukraine created a potent mix of rate drivers. The Benchmark index rate rose by 4.3 points over the previous quarter, while it increased 7.5 points over the first quarter of 2021.

The effects of inflation on the supply side of the European road freight market, especially on diesel prices, have led to substantial increases in rates in Q1 2022. The war in Ukraine and the subsequent restriction of oil supplies from Russia into Europe has led to further upward pressure on prices.

In addition to fuel price increases and driver shortages in the context of the war in Ukraine, another significant change this first quarter is the entry into force of new EU Mobility Package rules in February. Impacts on costs and rates are still limited as 22 of 27 EU countries are late in implementing the new rules on the posting of foreign drivers, including collecting driver remuneration, and new market and profession access rules. The impact of these new rules on European rates will become clearer in subsequent quarters.

Photo: VisionNav Robotic’s BrightEYE system can monitor any type of autonomous fork truck or materials handling unit.