Friday, May 28, 2021

The Weekly Catch Up on Freight and Logistics Stories You Might Have Missed

A Quick Run Around the Globe to See What the Industry is Up To
Shipping News Feature

UK – WORLDWIDE – TR Lady Shipping Ltd, a portfolio company of Tufton Investment Management, has signed an agreement with specialist in wind assisted propulsion for commercial vessels, Anemoi Marine Technologies, to supply and fit the bulk carrier TR Lady with three large Rotor Sails and Anemoi's patented Rail Deployment System.

The Rail Deployment System allows the Rotor Sails to be moved across the deck to minimise impact on port operations. TR Lady is a CS Marine designed 82,000dwt Kamsarmax bulker, built in 2017 by Yangzijiang Shipbuilding Group, and managed by Tufton. This is yet another case of the Flettner technology receiving acceptance from a shipping group.

UK – Logistics specialist Rhenus UK is urging businesses to get their paperwork in order now if they made the most of the Government’s Delayed Declarations scheme in January of this year. The company has a dedicated Brexit webpage explaining how to avoid missing the rolling deadlines for customs clearance starting 25 June.

Following the end of the Brexit transition period, the UK Government introduced Delayed Declarations, giving businesses importing into the UK up to 175 days to complete their customs declarations. For anyone who took advantage of this measure on 1 January 2021, their first deadline is 25 June 2021 and it‘s fast approaching.

The Government has extended the scheme to defer declarations to 31 December 2021 on a rolling basis, however it is important that importers remain vigilant and ensure that their supplementary declarations are processed as each 175-day deadline approaches. Missing the deadline may lead to an HMRC fine and removal of the right to delay future declarations.

UK – RoadHow, the new app-based driver risk management system, has teamed up with Brake, the road safety charity to create a partnership dedicated to improving driver knowledge and reducing road risk with the goal of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities on the road. RoadHow is not only supporting Brake as a new corporate partner, but also fundraising with every new subscriber using the code BRAKE21.

The RoadHow app is now available to download via The App Store or the Google Play store and new members can use the code when registering to give 20% directly to Brake. Subscribers who choose to purchase access to the RoadHow Rewards platform will also generate £5 directly to Brake. This funding will support Brake’s campaign work for safer streets, the National Road Victim Service and the Global Fleet Champions initiative for at-work drivers.

WORLDWIDE – Commercial ship manager Signal Maritime is expanding its services and launching a new pool for MR product tankers. The move follows the success of its Aframax pool, which has been running since 2018 and which it claims is consistently delivering above market returns to its members.

The new MR pool will benefit from Signal Maritime’s experience of managing clean tankers as well as utilising its technology platform Signal Ocean. Building a critical mass of vessels whilst staying focused on outperforming the market and maintaining the highest level of quality service for pool partners are Signal Maritime’s main goals for the next two years.

DENMARK – Blue World Technologies, which promotes methanol as the fuel of the future, has received loan financing from the Danish Green Investment Fund that administrates green investments from the Danish Government. Methanol fuel cells function as a range-extender in an electric vehicle, where in a hybrid constellation with a smaller battery provides a driving range of up to 1,000 km. At the same time, long charging times are avoided, as liquid methanol is refuelled in only a few minutes in the same familiar way as we know it from gasoline and diesel.

Blue World Technologies and The Danish Green Investment Fund have recently signed an agreement on loan financing of 10 million DKK (equivalent to approx. € 1.34 million). The Danish Green Investment Fund’s purpose is to develop new technologies and companies that can contribute to promoting the green transition where the transportation sector is an important focus area for The Danish Green Investment Fund.

GULF OF GUINEA – Global maritime charity Stella Maris has signed up to the Gulf of Guinea Declaration on the Suppression of Piracy which we featured in a recent article. The Gulf of Guinea accounted for nearly half (43%) of all reported piracy incidents in the first three months of 2021, according to the ICC International Maritime Bureau. The region accounted for all 40 kidnapped crew incidents, as well as the sole crew fatality.

In 2020, Stella Maris chaplains supported seafarers in three piracy cases, providing pastoral care to the crew members affected by the attacks. In one case in Lagos, Nigeria, the charity’s chaplains boarded a ship following an attack at sea to meet with the crew members. The crew had been left extremely traumatised, and the support provided by Stella Maris helped allay their fears and anxieties.

INDIA – Express distribution company Gati, since becoming part of the Allcargo group last year, has been aiming to focus on asset-light, high-return on equity businesses. It has sold or closed down four non-core businesses over the last year, so as to focus entirely on the express distribution and e-commerce businesses and regain market leadership position.

Now the company has confirmed it is exiting Gati Kausar India Ltd, its cold chain solutions business. Gati will sell its approximately 70% per cent stake to existing minority shareholder Mandala Capital AG Limited, a leading private equity firm focused on investments across the food value chain. The company expects the transaction to close within the next 30 days.

ITALY – Having held events in France and Spain demonstrating its wares to over 600 potential customers Volta Trucks is bringing its fully electric Volta Zero HGV to Milan from 7 to 11 June. The arrival in Italy also follows the company’s recently announced Europe-first principles within its Road-to-Zero Emissions strategy, with Volta Trucks saying it is set to launch four full-electric commercial vehicles and thus increase its projected sales volumes to over 27,000 by 2025.

EUROPE – Container xChange, which hosts a platform for the leasing and trading of shipping containers, is warning European exporters of even more deterioration with regard to the availability of such units. Most pricing and availability indicators now suggest carriers are continuing to favour shipping empties back to Asia as fast as possible to maximise yields on front-haul services rather than wait for less lucrative backhaul loads.

The direct result is of course less empty boxes on sale and prices for used 20 foot containers across Europe rose 57% from $1348 to $2119 between January and April 2021, and at one point hit $2249. A comprehensive view of the market can be seen on the Container xChange site.

Photo: How the TR Lady will look with rotor sails fitted.