Friday, April 6, 2018

The Weekly Look at Freight and Logistics News Snippets Starts with Container Line Expansion

Some Smaller Articles You May Have Missed Since Easter
Shipping News Feature
CAMBODIA – This end of the week look at some smaller items of freight and logistics news you may have missed begins with the announcement that Taiwanese container shipping group Evergreen has established Evergreen Shipping Services (Cambodia) Company Limited in response to both customer demand for increased service in the country, and the potential for trade growth boosted by an average rise in GDP of 7% during the past several years.

After joining the economic confederation of states in Southeast Asia (ASEAN) in 1999, Cambodia’s open economy policy has attracted foreign investment, and has enabled the successful development of its manufacturing industry. This has resulted in significant growth in both import and export volumes.

Evergreen currently delivers cargoes to/from Cambodia by common feeder, via trans-shipment over the Vietnamese port of Cai Mep and Singapore, where long haul vessels connect into Evergreen’s global network across 115 countries. To further strengthen the development of local business, Evergreen will utilise two containerships of 1,618 TEU to launch a new weekly China-Vietnam-Thailand (CVT) service. The first sailing of the service will be from Shekou on April 25 and call at Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh, Sihanoukville, Laem Chabang, Haiphong and back to Shekou.

US – AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) will become the fifth world-class freighter operator to provide scheduled service at Columbus, Ohio’s Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK). The Russian company, joins the thriving network of premier logistics service providers at cargo-dedicated Rickenbacker. Cargolux, Cathay Pacific Cargo, Emirates SkyCargo and Etihad Cargo all currently operate freighters from the North American hub.

ABC will employ its fleet of Boeing 747 freighters that provide up to 139 tonnes of capacity for all types of imports and exports. ABC’s inaugural flight landed this week and weekly scheduled flights will continue on Thursdays', carrying freight inbound from the airline’s global hub in Moscow and returning to Moscow through Liege, Belgium. Sergey Lazarev, General Director for ABC, commented:

“With a view to continue expansion of our footprint in the USA, Columbus has been on the radar of our business interests for quite a while. Rickenbacker’s strengths, such as proximity to distribution centres of various companies, including the fashion and apparel industries; airport and ground handling infrastructure and facilities; and the existing network of partners in the Columbus Region, ensure we can provide our clients with reliable and efficient service.”

UK – Paul Carvell, Chairman of The Delivery Group, has been elected as Freeman of the City of London and Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Carmen. The honour has been bestowed in recognition of Carvell’s forty-plus years in the transport and logistics industry. The Worshipful Company of Carmen is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London, whose origins date back to 1517. The organisation is part of a City-wide fellowship of historic and modern guilds reflecting trades, crafts, industries and professions. The Carmen allow only 500 liverymen at any one time and the position is the highest honour granted by the Company. Carvell commented:

“I feel extremely honoured to have been recognised and elected to the position of Liveryman. Although the history of the Carmen dates back many centuries, the work that the Company does now is highly relevant and beneficial. Much of the focus is on charity and fundraising and we are also able to meet regularly with senior politicians and industry heads.”

CHINA – SOUTH KOREA – A sign of things to come, and one which in the future has potentially huge ramifications for the transport industry, was recently shipped to the ambitious Ulsan Techno Park (UTP) project in South Korea which aims to achieve 1MW of electricity generation using waste hydrogen. A containerised 200kW Fuel Cell system from Singapore headquartered Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies is part of the first stage of the ambitious project.

The UTP project will initially see the 200kW containerised solution installed, which emanated from Horizon’s new production facility in Rugao, China. The system is based on Horizon’s 30kW liquid-cooled Fuel Cell modules. The system will feed power into the local grid, operated by Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO). Korean cities are at the forefront of hydrogen cities around the world.

Hydrogen of course is predicted by many observers to eventually prove to be the ultimate ‘fuel of the future’, capable of literally being generated from water with little or no emissions to speak of. George Gu, Horizon CEO, explains, saying:

“The 200kW system recently sent to UTP in South Korea may be the first stationary generation application for our liquid-cooled PEM Fuel Cells, but we have already integrated them into buses and delivery trucks for a number of Chinese partners in the rapidly developing Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) market. We recently became the first supplier in China to provide the option of Government Certified 40kW modules for vehicle applications.”

UK – Yet another proposed Clean Air Zone for a British urban area has come under fire this week, this time the ancient city of Bath which plans to reduce pollution in the city centre. The Freight Transport association (FTA) has reservations about the proposals following publication of the local council’s consultation document on the scheme. The FTA once again recognises that work must be done to improve the state of the nation’s air quality, and welcomes that Bath is proposing a city centre zone, but notes that key local routes (the A4 and A36) are included, and so the impacts will be felt well beyond the city. FTA’s Head of UK Policy Christopher Snelling commented:

“When the proposed Zone comes into effect in 2020, many logistics operators, especially small and medium sized firms, will still have non-compliant vehicles and so will face charges of around £100 per day to get through Bath. The effects will be worse if vans are included, which is one of the options. There will only be four years’ worth of compliant vans in the fleet, so any small business that relies on second-hand vehicles in operate in or through Bath maybe priced out of business.”

US – WORLDWIDE – Seegrid, which produces connected self-driving vehicles for materials handling, has announced the expansion of its fleet management software, Seegrid Supervisor. With the addition of three new features, Queues, Barcode Scanner support, and Caution Tape, the company says it can increase overall material movement efficiency in its commitment to transition customers towards automated, data-driven environments.

Seegrid Supervisor currently directs self-driving vision guided vehicles (VGVs) controlling material flow, tracking vehicles in real time and facilitating a connected, smart factory environment for companies like Whirlpool, General Motors, and Jaguar Land Rover. The three new features work in different ways to improve throughput.

The Queues feature means when a VGV completes a job, Supervisor identifies the next available job and automatically despatches the vehicle to execute its next task, reducing the amount of travel without payloads, known as deadheading. Barcode scanners are now integrated with the system and a scan of each payload results in automatic despatch to the right destination.

Finally Supervisor’s new Caution Tape feature prevents VGVs from travelling down certain segments of the route network. When a VGV begins its route, Supervisor tells it to ignore any blocked segments. The VGVs intelligently work around the blocked area and continue on their routes.

UK – AUSTRALIA – UK based BMT has announced that the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, Australia’s national transport safety investigator, has purchased a licence for its industry leading navigation and manoeuvring simulator, Rembrandt. This follows on from other recent adopters including the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch and the Dutch Safety Board. Rembrandt is a scaleable, skilled system which can be used via a desktop, laptop or as a full mission-based simulator and comprises a database of hundreds of validated ship models that underpins the validity of one or more ships in a seaway.

Rembrandt continues to be widely used in many markets well beyond shipping, including high value, high risk sectors such as floating oil and gas infrastructure. Phil Thompson, Managing Director at BMT comments:

“We are seeing growing momentum and awareness within statutory bodies worldwide in the value of digital evidence generation. Key capabilities of Rembrandt include its ability to automatically read VDR and AIS to deliver a high-fidelity reconstruction. More recent developments include the ability to take full control at any time within the reconstruction replay to explore a range of alternative ‘what if’ scenarios, a key enabler for forensic analysis and reflective learning.”

US – Crowley Logistics opened its newly expanded Medley warehouse in Miami this week to provide more supply chain services to South Florida customers. The project, which began in November 2017, consolidates the company’s Medley and Doral facilities into the Medley warehouse (10205 NW 108th Ave.), after adding 60,000 square feet to the location.

Now at 180,000 square feet, the warehouse has double the previous number of receiving doors, and features over 5,000 pallet rack positions and 95 container parking spots along with an improved, single direction truck flow to prevent cross-traffic and increase safety. A section of the warehouse has been activated as a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ). This allows the facility to receive, store and process cargo without it being subject to formal US Customs entry procedures and payment of duties until the cargo enters the US and is made available for domestic use and consumption.

No duties, quota charges, state inventory tax, ad valorem or personal property taxes are assessed until the product is withdrawn from the FTZ. Additionally, cargo can now remain in Crowley’s FTZ facility for an unlimited amount of time, which is a significant change from the previous 14-day deadline associated with bonded cargo.

GERMANY – DB Cargo has wound up the joint venture launched with Swedish logistics company Green Cargo in 2008, following the buyback of Green Cargo's 49% stake in DB Cargo Scandinavia. The German freight giant is once again the sole owner of the Danish rail freight company.

The effort was intended to help both companies outmanoeuvre competitors on the Scandinavian market. After roughly ten years, the partnership is ending, and DB Cargo is now in a position to offer its own end-to-end rail service between Germany and Sweden via Denmark. Previously, most trains had to be transferred to Green Cargo in the Swedish port of Malmö. The change in tack apparently also suits DB Cargo's customers, as DB claims some have specifically requested an uninterrupted rail service from Germany to Sweden.