Friday, September 25, 2020

The Weekly Look at Low Key Items from the World of Shipping and Logistics

Some Small, but Perfectly Formed, Snippets of Industry News
Shipping News Feature

UK – The Rail Freight Group (RFG) has called for full recognition of the rail freight sector in government's planned reforms for UK railways. The reaction came after the Department for Transport announced fundamental changes to the structure of passenger train contracting and operations, effectively bringing rail franchising to an end. The statement also mentioned that in future 'our railways are entirely focused on the passenger.' Maggie Simpson, RFG Director-General, said:

"Rail freight operators continue to operate in the private sector, as they have done for the past two decades. They, and their customers, expect their needs to be placed at the heart of the railway, alongside, and no less than, the needs of passengers. Rail freight is essential for decarbonising transport and supporting economic recovery. Network Rail and the Department for Transport must continue to support growth, deliver for our customers and ensure fair and equal access to the network for freight services."

UK – Staying with rail, having just obtained a major contract for the HS2 project, more good news for GB Railfreight (GBRf) which has renewed its contract for five years from January 2020 to 31 December 2025, for the transportation of aggregate materials on behalf of Tarmac. The contract will include the supply of hopper and box wagons from GBRf.

This is an extension to the current contract which covers the northern package of Tarmac’s rail operations, encompassing services mainly from Arcow and Swinden railheads in North Yorkshire to a variety of destinations including Leeds, Hull and two sites in Manchester. The pair say the new contract builds on the successful relationship that has been established since GBRf started services in the northern package over four years ago in January 2016.

THAILAND – Laem Chabang has a range of strategic multimodal capabilities alongside its proximity to the country’s major deep sea port, transit cargo terminal and the future Thailand third airport project at U-Tapao. These, and the connectivity to neighbouring countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar and Cambodia were the factors which made the city the ideal place for Ceva Logistics to open its new ocean station.

Russell Pang, Ceva Logistics’ Managing Director, Thailand & Emerging Markets said the new facility enables the freight group to take its ocean operations in the country to the next level, able to deliver more efficient solutions serving key industries for Thailand’s transformation into a value-based economy supported by innovation and technology.

EUROPE – Last week saw P&O Ferrymasters, a DP World subsidiary, launch a container track and trace service, claiming it as the first such system rolled out by a major logistics business in Europe. The system enables clients to receive real-time updates on the precise location of their goods as they are transported by rail, road and sea.

The technology is being introduced this month and is expected to be extended to more than half of the company’s 4,000-strong fleet of 45 foot containers by the end of the year, with the aim of completing the roll out by the end of 2021.

PHILIPPINES – This week the local branch of the Apostleship of the Seas-Stella Maris made a heartfelt appeal to the Gulf Navigation Holding company to renew the search for the 40 seafarers lost at sea from the maritime shipping disaster on 2 September when the Gulf Livestock 1 capsized in high seas during Typhoon Maysak after her engine failed.

The former containership was heading for China from New Zealand with a cargo of almost 6,000 cattle when she sank to the west of Amami Oshima island off the Japanese coast. Two crew were rescued and all the animals are believed to have perished. Further rescue attempts were initially hampered by another storm, Typhoon Haishen.

FRANCE – BIO UV Group, manufacturer of the UV-based BIO-SEA ballast water treatment system (BWTS), has extended its collaboration agreement with the shipbuilder and repairer PIRIOU Group to strengthen the services the companies offer to ship owners. The partnership agreement, which formalises a five-year relationship between the two companies, aims to support the BWTS installation and integration projects carried out at PIRIOU Group dry docks.

The shipbuilder has construction and repair yards in France, Nigeria, Vietnam, and Réunion Island. In addition to PIRIOU's commercial capacity, the two say there is also significant technical capacity to assist ship owners in their projects to integrate BIO-SEA ballast water treatment systems. This partnership agreement covers integration studies, installation of the on board system, commissioning, maintenance and supply of the system and its spare parts.

NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the Association’s 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM) will take place 24 November 2020 as a virtual event, hosted by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines from Amsterdam, the Netherlands. All member airlines, invited industry partners/stakeholders and media will be able to participate virtually. IATA also announced that the World Air Transport Summit (WATS) that accompanies the AGM has been cancelled for 2020.

SWEDEN – The Port of Trelleborg, the largest RoRo port in Scandinavia, has chosen Nowhere Networks as its strategic supplier for radio based fast internet to their shipping customers. Implementation will start shortly and before the end of this year all ferries from the Port of Trelleborg will have the opportunity to connect via radio link and receive up to 300 Mbit/s internet. Starting at the beginning of 2021, TT-Line will be the first shipping company to use high-speed internet via the joint collaboration.

AUSTRALIA – Victoria International Container Terminal (VICT) in Melbourne has successfully lowered its power consumption and carbon emissions through the installation of LED lighting upgrades on all five automated quay cranes. The upgrade reduced overall electricity usage by 971 megawatt hours and carbon emissions by 1,042 tonnes (88%), equal to annual savings of A$85,000.

Switching from 47, 1,000-watt high-pressure sodium lights to 14 strategically placed 400-watt LED lights further reduced light spill to the residential neighbourhood near the terminal and benefiting both VICT’s ongoing operational expense reduction program and the environment. Moreover, it persuaded the Essential Services Commission (ESC) that under the Victoria Energy Upgrades (VEU) program, quay cranes should be reclassified and considered for environmental and sustainability initiatives qualifying VICT to receive a rebate from the ESC amounting to A$200,715.53.

Photo: Recent BWTS installation projects undertaken by French yard PIRIOU include the 72 metre long Polar logistics vessel L’Astrolabe.