Friday, December 17, 2021

The Weekly Mash Up of All the Shipping and Logistics News You Might Have Missed

Some Informative Snippets in Short Form
Shipping News Feature

NORWAY – The rapidly rising rate of infections in the country have contributed to the decision to postpone the upcoming exhibition and event programme at the Nor-Shipping event scheduled to take place from 10 - 13 January. The event normally gathers up to 50,000 international decision makers in Oslo and Lillestrøm, Norway, with around 900 exhibiting companies.

The popular exhibition and activity programme encompasses the entire spectrum of ocean businesses, with a key focus on showcasing and enabling the innovations, ideas and partnerships. The management team is currently working with stakeholders to decide on the optimal way forward, with an announcement on the timing of the next Nor-Shipping expected shortly.

MADAGASCAR – International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI) and Société de Gestion du Port Autonome de Toamasina (SPAT) have signed a 15-year extension of the concession for the Madagascar International Container Terminal. The concession extension runs from 2025 through to 2040. ICTSI has held the concession since 2005 through its wholly owned subsidiary Madagascar International Container Terminal Services Limited (MICTSL).

The Port of Toamasina is the main maritime gateway for Madagascar and throughout its tenure MICTSL, working in conjunction with SPAT, says it has consistently added capacity and streamlined services in line with the needs of Madagascar’s diverse import and export community. Significantly, the concession extension complements the $639 million port expansion project now underway in Toamasina, with $411 million provided by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and $227 million by the Government of Madagascar.

UK – Echoes of our report last week regarding the grounding of the CMS CGM Libra in 2011 which blamed an out of date passage plan for an incident which cost millions of dollars. The report this week from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) on the grounding and flooding of the chemical tanker Key Bora on the Isle of Skye on 28 March 2020 has similar sounding causation.

The full report (downloadable HERE) on the striking of a boulder while entering the approaches to Kyleakin pier, Isle of Skye finds, once again, a faulty passage plan which did not show the obstruction was the cause. The accident saw the empty ballast tanks of the ship breached and flooded. The MAIB also found that the pier operator, aquaculture company Mowi, and the UK’s largest producer of farmed salmon, had significant weaknesses in its safety management procedures.

UK – Freeport East said it has moved a significant step closer to fulfilling its vision after its outline business case was formally approved by Government, with the three tax sites in Felixstowe, Harwich and at Gateway 14 near Stowmarket having been agreed and published on GOV.UK and Statutory Instruments to enshrine them in legislation.

The tax reliefs that will be available in the designated tax sites are; Stamp Duty Land Tax Relief, Enhanced Capital Allowances, Enhanced Structures and Buildings Allowance, National Insurance Contributions rate relief and business rates relief. In addition to the three tax sites, Freeport East will have customs sites at Felixstowe, Harwich, Gateway 14, Port One Logistics Park, Horsely Cross, Uniserve and PD Ports.

For more information on tax relief available in UK Freeport sites see our article last month.

UK – Facilities management solutions provider Bidvest Noonan has announced plans to create a new specialist business unit focusing on the transport sector on the back of an extensive client portfolio in this area. Operating nationwide across the UK, Bidvest Noonan estimates that it currently supports over 1.5 billion journeys annually. The services it provides to clients in the transport sector include security, cleaning, shunting, refuelling and sanitising.

UK – GEFCO SA has acquired a 100% share of XPAuto, a provider of fully integrated automotive services including fleet management, vehicle logistics and advanced vehicle care, for an undisclosed sum. Working with leading OEMs, resellers and corporate organisations, XPAuto manages the whole lifecycle of a demo fleet vehicle including booking, delivery, collection, repair and de-fleeting.

The acquisition will see GEFCO UK integrate XPAuto’s digital platforms, XPAssetSmart and XPAssetCare, into existing platforms as part of a plan to build an IT network between both companies. The advanced suite of fleet management tools enable smart scheduling and asset management capability alongside a range of customer facing applications. In the UK, XPAuto will continue to operate under its brand from its 8,000m2, 1,500 bay compound in Chipping Warden in the Midlands.

UK – Yusen Logistics, global provider of freight forwarding and supply chain solutions, has taken a 10-year lease from Onward Holdings Ltd for a refurbished warehouse at the sought-after Cross Green Industrial Estate in Leeds. The Japanese-owned logistics specialist, part of the Mitsubishi Group, is expanding in the UK to meet demand from the rapidly growing e-commerce sector.

UK – Swedish company Echandia, dealer in zero-emission energy solutions for heavy-duty maritime electrification, has opened a business development hub in Aberdeen to serve the UK market. The UK market for maritime electrification is growing with increased demand for maritime battery systems.

The global market for maritime electrification is entering an intense growth phase. A recent DNV report highlights a growth of batteries from 0.3% percent of current ships in operation, to 3.85% for ships in the order book 2021. This is driven by political ambitions to reduce shipping emissions to absolute zero by 2050, and the ambition that zero-emission vessels will enter commercial service already by 2025.

UK – US – RBC Signals, a Washington state based provider of satellite data communication products and solutions, has entered into an agreement with British group Inmarsat to use the mobile satellite company’s global network to connect its range of applications and solutions for enterprise customers. Where previous leasing agreements were based on static, pre-set network connectivity specifications, the new partnership will enable RBC Signals to adjust according to the changing connectivity needs of individual customers.

The multi-year leasing agreement pairs Inmarsat’s worldwide ELERA and Global Xpress satellite networks with RBC Signals’ range of new and existing data and Internet of Things (IoT) applications. RBC Signals says it will incorporate these latest evolutions of Inmarsat’s L-band and Ka-band networks into its applications and solutions, enabling new levels of flexibility and service customisation.

GREECE – UK – SUEZ – Signal Maritime, which manages two pools of 21 Aframax and16 MR tankers respectively, made what it calls a ‘bold decision’ when it increased the share of the fleet which has been trading west of Suez up to 70%. Based on detailed analysis of seasonality repositioning the ships from August to October enabled Signal Maritime Aframax Pool (SMAP) to achieve net time charter equivalence (TCE) of US$ 20.8K and 18.1K in November and December respectively. The year-to-date average TCE performance for SMAP had been $11.0K.

US – CakeBoxx Technologies, known for its innovative flat rack and one piece lid shipping containers which eliminate the use of doors, has been approved for ISO 9001:2015 certification. The company recently received confirmation of this achievement following the certification audit in November by QMS America.

WORLDWIDE – Maersk and Unilever have signed up to an international freight supply chain management partnership from 2022. The four-year agreement will see the development and management of Unilever’s International Control Tower Solution which consolidates the group’s global ocean and air transport.

The deal will be underpinned by Maersk’s digital supply chain platform NeoNav and the Danish group will be providing operational management of international ocean and air transport for a contract which covers more than 190 countries around the world.