Friday, January 22, 2021

The Weekly Round Up of Some Industry Items You May Have Missed

Snippets from the News Around the Globe
Shipping News Feature

UK – This week's round up starts in London as, whilst the organisers of many freight and logistics related events are bemoaning the fact that, for them at least, 2021 will be a write off, those who put on London International Shipping Week (LISW) are more hopeful their plans will not be subject to change, particularly as vaccines roll out. The organisers of LISW21 are still seeking sponsors, with details HERE.

UK – Casella, a manufacturer of smart monitoring technology, has developed a solution to simplify social distancing in the workplace with the launch of the Orbi-Trace smart tag, a flexible social distancing option that provides simple proximity alerts all the way up to full effective contact tracing. The body-worn Orbi-Trace smart tag is simple to operate, with a stop/start input and single LED power alert. It gives the wearer fully configurable vibration and audible alerts whenever a 2 metre safe distance is breached, and can operate indoors and out, with a battery life of up to seven days.

The Ultra-wideband (UWB) connectivity is accurate in detecting distances down to 10 centimetres and connectivity will not cause interference with WIFI or other RF technologies. When combined with the wall-mounted anchor unit and proprietary, free to use Infection Insights software, the Orbi-Trace can be used to generate connection graphs and risk and contact assessments, should an employee test positive for Covid-19.

Adding additional anchor units to the system expands this to full real-time contract tracking, giving users access to heat-maps of areas where social-distancing may be consistently challenging and a full contract tracing history, and the Orbi-Trace system is also fully GDPR compliant.

CHINA – It is hard getting accurate information out of the country with regard to Covid restrictions but this week we learnt Beijing Capital Airport has had its risk status increased, no drivers from Hebei province are allowed to enter Beijing, regardless of negative tests, with most highway routes into the capital closed to such.

Beijing bound drivers report 10-15 hour delays as they queue for tests and results. Many, in order to avoid a long quarantine at home, have headed home for testing to prepare for the Spring Festival on 12 February, which is increasing freight carriage prices as capacity reduces.

CHINA – Kerry Logistics has opened a logistics centre in the Cangzhou Lingang Economic and Technological Development Zone in Hebei province. The facility is aimed at capturing the market potential in chemical logistics. The logistics centre was opened and commenced operation on 8 January in the name of Kerry IMS Chemical Logistics.

Located adjacent to the Tianjin Nangang Industrial Zone, the logistics centre has a total area of 320,000 square feet, comprising Class A and Class B warehousing, as well as office facilities, and has the capacity to handle 400,000 tonnes of Class A and Class B chemicals per year. It is equipped with smart monitoring and management systems and will store 38 types of dangerous goods, including flammable liquids and solids, oxidisers and corrosive substances.

ITALY – AqualisBraemar LOC has opened its first office in Italy, building on LOC’s established relationships with Italian clients in both energy and maritime industries. The office provides clients with local engineering and consultancy, loss prevention and loss management services, and well as access to the 900 marine specialists employed within the Group.

The Genoa office staff are also particularly experienced in renewable energy projects and are ready to assist with the growing offshore wind market in Italy and the Mediterranean. The facility provides opportunities for other group companies, Longitude, specialising in vessel and EPCI engineering, Innosea, specialising in marine renewable systems design, OWC, specialising in offshore wind project management and AqualisBraemar Yacht Services.

FRANCE – WORLDWIDE – Legal group Watson Farley & Williams has advised creditors on the shipping-related aspects of the debt restructuring of French ship owner Bourbon Maritime. The restructuring, put to French banks, ICBC Leasing and Standard Chartered Bank, was said to be ‘extremely complex and challenging involving innovative strategies which have not been previously adopted in the maritime sector’.

The restructure has taken three years and has resulted in decreasing Bourbon’s overall debt of circa €2.7bn to circa €1.065bn and the conversion of €228m debt into redeemable bonds for shares, plus new money financing of €150 million. The restructuring also faced challenges due to the eclectic composition of Bourbon’s creditors, which extended beyond the main creditors, and ultimately included French, Chinese, British, Singaporean, Norwegian and other international banks and leasing companies and financiers.

DENMARK – CHINA – US – Maersk, has confirmed that the 366 metre, 13,100 TEU Essen lost up to 750 containers sometime on the 16 January whilst in heavy seas in the north Pacific. She was en route from Xiamen, China to Los Angeles, California on Maersk’s TP6 Asia/US West Coast service. A detailed cargo assessment is being undertaken and there were no reported casualties.

US – The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has strongly supported the nomination of Pete Buttigieg as Transportation Secretary, writing a letter to confirm this to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said, as the mayor of a city sitting at the crossroads of America, Mr. Buttigieg has had an up-close and personal look at how infrastructure problems are impacting Americans, and how important it is to solve them.

As a known supporter of the Jones Act and the US shipbuilding and repair industry Mr Buttigieg’s nomination was also fully supported by the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA)

WORLDWIDE – CakeBoxx Technologies, has announced availability of its ‘Global Vaccine Distribution Container’ through a partnership with Qingdao CIMC Special Reefer Co., Ltd (QCSC). The ISO 20ft standard form, factor special reefer container uses a Thermo King Deep Freezer unit and is designed for the ultra-low internal temperatures down to -70°C required for the transportation and storage of various medical vaccines. Notably this includes some of the high-profile vaccines developed to combat the Covid-19 coronavirus which are currently in heavy demand.

Photo: Social distancing equipment from Casella.