Friday, January 19, 2018

The Weekly Round Up of Some Smaller Freight and Logistics Stories

A Smorgasbord of Global Events in the Past Seven Days
Shipping News Feature
JAPAN – The three container shipping lines merger to form new joint venture company, Ocean Network Express Pte. Ltd., (the ONE network) which we covered in July last year, has received official sanction after Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL) and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) announced that with this week's South African agreement, they have now received all necessary merger approvals from local competition authorities in all regions and countries where such approvals are required.

The cooperative move by the Japanese triumvirate is seen as a defensive manoeuvre, based on national interests, against the many previously announced container alliances which in turn are a strategy designed to offer a full portfolio of services by each participant whilst minimising costs. The collapse of Hanjin Shipping last year sent shivers through the box carrying community and, although K Line and NYK have largely avoided the rush toward ever larger vessels, only this sort of pressure is liable to have the three companies cooperate so readily.

JAPAN – As of April 1, 2018, Taiyo Nippon Kisen Co., Ltd. and K Line Ship Management Co., Ltd., both of which are K Line Group ship management subsidiaries, will change their names to K Line RoRo Bulk Ship Management Co., Ltd. and K Line Energy Ship Management Co., Ltd., respectively. Utilising the many years of extensive expertise of these two ship management companies in their respective fields, the entire K Line Group says it is committed to continuously provide even higher quality and more reliable and safer ocean transport services.

UK – Kent based freight forwarding and logistics agency Trans Global Projects Ltd (TGP) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month. Originally founded in January 1988 as a subsidiary of the multimodal Trans Global Group which was bought out in 2007 by Breezeline International Group Ltd, a co-investor since the start, TGP has been responsible for the handling of innumerable projects for the oil and gas, metal and mining, power generation and petrochemical industries, working in some of the most remote areas of the world.

In 2015, TGP acquired the international forwarder Natco AG, which is based in Ruemlang/Zuerich to extend its services throughout the European markets of Germany, France and Italy, in addition to Switzerland. TGP’s current service portfolio comprises activities such as project logistics and supply chain management, ship chartering, aviation logistics, consultancy and procurement, delivered through a network of 20 offices across the world.

GREECE – Diana Shipping a global shipping company specialising in the ownership of dry bulk vessels has, via a wholly owned subsidiary company, entered into a time charter contract with Uniper Global Commodities SE, Düsseldorf, for one of its Post-Panamax dry bulk vessels, the MV Phaidra. The gross charter rate is US$12,700 per day, minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for a period of minimum twelve (12) months to maximum fifteen (15) months.

The charter commenced on January 13, 2018. The Phaidra was previously chartered to Jera Trading Singapore Pte. Ltd. at a gross charter rate of US$7,750 per day, again minus a 5% commission paid to third parties, for the agreed period of the time charter. The Phaidra is a 87,146 dwt Post-Panamax dry bulk vessel built in 2013 and this contract is anticipated to generate approximately US$4.57 million of gross revenue for the minimum scheduled period of the time charter.

The company’s fleet currently consists of 50 dry bulk vessels (4 Newcastlemax, 14 Capesize, 5 Post-Panamax, 5 Kamsarmax and 22 Panamax). As of today, the combined carrying capacity of the Company’s fleet is approximately 5.8 million dwt with a weighted average age of 8.40 years. A table describing the current Diana Shipping Inc. fleet can be found on the Company’s website.

GERMANY – Container shipping line Hamburg Süd has once again been honoured by two independent organisations for its sustainability management. The Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) awarded an above-average grade, while EcoVadis bestowed its highest-possible “Gold” status rating. Dr. Arnt Vespermann, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hamburg Süd, commented:

“Sustainability is an indispensable component of the corporate philosophy of Hamburg Süd, and good assessments by independent experts spur us on even more. What’s more, our engagement is paying off in several ways: for the environment and Hamburg Süd, and, above all, for our customers. They can count on us to meet very high standards, thereby contributing to sustainably shaping their entire supply chain.”

The CDP collects and publishes the environmental data of companies and cities worldwide. In doing so, it pays particular attention to emissions management, and for which Hamburg Süd has been voluntarily reporting its CO2 emissions to the non-profit organisation for several years. With its ‘B’ grade, which it has now earned for the second time, Hamburg Süd stands two whole grades above the average not only in the Water Transportation industry group, but also within the CDP’s Supply Chain program and in the group of companies from the DACH region.

Likewise for the second time, the independent experts of EcoVadis, which issues CSR ratings of suppliers for global supply chains, awarded Hamburg Süd its ‘Gold’ status rating. In fact, the shipping company was even able to slightly improve within this top assessment. The rating is based on individual assessments in the categories Environment, Fair Business Practices, Labour Practices & Human Rights, and Sustainable Procurement. Within the Sea and Coastal Water Transportation industry sector, Hamburg Süd earned above-average marks in all four categories, scoring particularly well in the Environment category. Hamburg Süd also placed very high in the cross-industry comparison, numbering among the top 2% of all companies rated by EcoVadis.

US – WORLDWIDE – The Chevron Shipping Company (CSC) has further cemented its long-standing relationship with the GAC Group by awarding it a global three-year ship agency contract for both crude and LNG vessels. The new agreement secures GAC’s status as Chevron’s exclusive global agent in a partnership that spans more than 20 years, more than 15 of which have seen GAC as its sole global agent. Lars Heisselberg, GAC’s Advanced Supplier Relationship Sponsor for CSC and GAC’s Group Vice President – Americas, commented:

“This contract represents an important milestone for GAC as it solidifies our affiliation with CSC and allows us to further strengthen our service offerings and long-term relationship with them.”

Operations will be overseen by GAC Hub Agency offices in Dubai, Houston and Singapore with support from GAC’s network of offices and approved agents worldwide. GAC’s dedicated CSC Alliance Representative in Houston will continue to supervise and drive the relationship between the two companies.

GERMANY – BRAZIL – The Rhenus Group has increased its network of business sites in Brazil, with the acquisition of Pirâmide SeaAir Comércio Exterior. In addition to the company headquarters in the major city of São Paulo, Pirâmide SeaAir also has branches at Garulhos and Viracops airports, as well as at the port of Santos. Pirâmide SeaAir has been operating as a licenced customs clearance broker for more than 20 years and, during this time, has developed its own customs clearance software for precisely this purpose. As a result of the acquisition, Rhenus can now operate classic freight forwarding services, alongside offering greater efficiency in providing advice and completing clearance for both imports and exports.

The takeover will also see the Rhenus Group enjoy a strengthened presence in Central and South America, following its strong growth in Asia over the past few years. The Brazilian company will initially operate in the marketplace using the Rhenus-Piramide brand. The first shipments through Rhenus‘ European LCL gateway in Hilden started in January 2018. Jörn Schmersahl, CEO of Rhenus Air & Ocean Europe & Americas, observed:

“Customs clearance for imports is a major focus of operations in Brazil. It often determines whether or not goods are handled smoothly in conjunction with the public authorities. As a result of the customs clearance expertise available at Pirâmide SeaAir, we’ll be able to offer our customers special time and value added benefits.

“Brazil is a growth engine and generates about half the economic power in South America. We’re sure that Brazil will not only be important for exporting investment and consumer goods in future, but also become increasingly significant as a production site and regional centre.”

DENMARK – Unifeeder, which claims the largest intra-European integrated container feeder network, has added another port to its coverage. From February 2018, Unifeeder will be calling Vlissingen twice per week and connect the Dutch port with Oslo, Helsingborg and Helsinki. The new connections give customers located south of Rotterdam a reliable and cost-effective alternative to the busy port of Rotterdam. Unifeeder says its business model, combining feeder and short sea cargo, will suit customers in both segments, on want initially is a short sea operation.