Friday, April 9, 2021

The Weekly Round-Up of Those Stories You Probably Missed

Some Small, but Perfectly Formed, Logistics Items
Shipping News Feature

WORLDWIDE – Following our recent story regarding the continued presence of asbestos in merchant vessels, we were contacted by Mesothelioma.com, a body dedicated to providing the latest medical information on the horrible disease and educating on the dangers of asbestos exposure, plus helping those who are affected and advising on legal matters.

The organisation has published an article on the dangers to shipyard workers with estimates putting the number of staff affected globally to be at least two and a half million. This means the work historically has been amongst the most hazardous in terms of exposure to asbestos, and it would seem, despite the regulations now in force, that an unacceptable level of risk still persists.

SWITZERLAND – WORLDWIDE – Following the declaration of General Average after the containership Ever Given blocked the Suez Canal which we covered earlier this week, the comments from Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) have been reiterated by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA).

The Swiss based organisation has again pointed out the importance of having a marine insurance policy as uninsured shippers of cargo on the stranded ship may well lose their goods if they fail to pay a deposit or cash bond to the ship’s owners or their representatives. At the very least they are likely to see the cargo detained for some considerable time.

One particularly worrying note is that, since our original report, we have heard whispers that numerous shipments aboard the Evergreen vessel might have had no such insurance marine cover to cover the cost of deposit or bond, the importers bearing the cost of freight and insurance considering it an unnecessary expense.

UK – The Pall-Ex Group has raised over £10,000 for Combat Stress, the veterans’ mental health charity, during its March in March challenge. The team, made up of Pall-Ex Group staff and members, completed the annual challenge which tasks participants to march, run or walk a minimum of 10 miles during March. The money raised by the Group will support the charity in supporting veterans with complex mental health problems.

These can include anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, and overall the 19 team members raised over £5,000 during the month and the Group then matched this figure from the Pall-Ex Group Penny-a-Pallet fund, which is generated from a penny being donated for every pallet moved throughout the year.

UK – GB Railfreight (GBRf) has commenced a new twelve-year contract with Celsa Steel UK, the largest manufacturer of steel reinforcement in the UK and one of the largest producers of other long steel products. The pair have a decade long existing relationship and GBRf will provide internal shunting services including a supply of remote-control shunt locomotives, train crews and ancillary services. There will also be a dedicated team of crews operating shunt movements on a permanent basis to ensure the smooth-running of the service.

As part of the contract, all internal rail movements will be undertaken by GBRf, including the transportation of inbound scrap metal for steel production, hot billets for processing into finished goods, and outbound movements of finished products. Furthermore, GBRf will assist Celsa with managing the internal track and wagon maintenance assessments that are vital in keeping the service operational.

UK – Intermodal operator Maritime Transport is celebrating the first anniversary of its Strategic Rail Freight Interchange at East Midlands Gateway (EMG). Located within SEGRO’s 700-acre development adjacent to East Midlands Airport, the 17-acre open-access terminal, and capable of handling up to sixteen 775 metre-long freight trains daily with storage capacity for over 4,000 TEU. EMG is the first to connect to the Castle Donington freight line, providing direct access to the UK’s network of rail freight interchanges and all major UK Ports.

In a year where online demand has risen due to lockdowns and restrictions closing many non-essential shops, Maritime now sees an average 10,000 containers move through EMG each month, supported by more than 100 vehicles operating every 24 hours to keep consumer goods flowing across the UK and the rest of the world. EMG operates six daily services including three to the Port of Felixstowe hauled by DB Cargo UK and Freightliner, one to DP World London Gateway operated by DB Cargo UK, and two services to the ports of Southampton and Liverpool hauled by GB Railfreight.

UK – The RMT union has written to Natalie Elphicke, Tory MP for Dover and Deal, seeking an urgent meeting on the threat to local seafarer jobs and the local economy from Irish Ferries plans to operate passenger ferry services between Dover and Calais from June. In the letter RMT General Secretary Mick Cash says: ‎

"Irish Ferries currently operate between Rosslare-Pembroke, Dublin-Holyhead and Dublin-Cherbourg. This company has an appalling safety record and its vessels are crewed almost entirely with eastern European seafarers. The basic hourly rate of pay for an Ordinary Seaman on the Cypriot-registered MV Ulysses was €5.51 in November 2018.

"In the midst of the pandemic, P&O Ferries made hundreds of seafarers in Dover redundant, something which the town is still reeling from. The last thing local seafarers need is the arrival in Dover of an aggressive, anti-trade union ferry operator like Irish Ferries that will undercut P&O Ferries and DFDS putting more key workers’ jobs under pressure in post-Brexit Dover.”

IRELAND – SEKO Logistics and Peli BioThermal are extending their two-year pharmaceutical distribution partnership with the opening a new 30,000 square foot facility in Dublin. Peli BioThermal, offers a range of temperature-controlled, thermally protected packaging and service solutions to the global life sciences industry. SEKO is responsible for servicing, refurbishing, repairing and conditioning shippments from Peli BioThermal’s Crēdo™ on Demand rental programme to ensure delicate biological life science materials arrive intact and effective, protected from exterior environments.

WORLDWIDE – CEVA Logistics announced on World Health Day, a new sub-brand CEVA FORPATIENTS offering healthcare and pharmaceutical companies end-to-end logistics solutions. As part of the suite of solutions, the company is also introducing a new temperature-sensitive logistics product that will begin service in the second quarter of 2021.

The new suite of healthcare logistics now encompasses temperature-sensitive solutions, pharma and biopharma, medical devices, consumer health, hospital and home care, as well as diagnostic and laboratory services. With the support of its parent company, the CMA CGM Group, CEVA has committed to operating a network of more than 40 airfreight stations by the end of 2021 to not only service major healthcare gateways in regional markets, but also to supply more than 1,450 healthcare trade lanes globally. Some of the stations will also offer other services, such as contract logistics support.

SAUDI ARABIA – BAHRAIN – GAC Bahrain tells us From Saturday 10 April onwards, Bahrain Customs will no longer issue Exit Notes for shipments carried across the border with Saudi Arabia by trucks that are 20 or more years old (i.e. manufactured in or before 2001). This is in line with a new rule advised in Saudi Customs Circular No.184-42-081199 stating that trucks 20+ years old may not enter Saudi Arabia after the effective date.

FINLAND – The technology group Wärtsilä is cooperating with the Finnish Border Guard in the testing of Bio LNG as fuel for a Coastguard patrol vessel. The aim is to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, thereby lessening the impact on global warming. The 96 metre long vessel, the Turva is fitted with Wärtsilä dual-fuel engines and has been supported with a Wärtsilä maintenance agreement since its launch in 2014.

The Bio LNG fuel is supplied by Gasum, a Finnish state-owned biogas refiner and after close evaluation of the Bio LNG fuel specifications provided by Gasum, Wärtsilä is confident that it represents a viable fuel choice for the multi-fuel capability of the Wärtsilä engines. The pair say Bio LNG is a 100% renewable fuel that can reduce CO2 emissions over its life cycle by up to 90% compared to conventional fuel. It emits no particulate matter (PM), and close to zero nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulphur oxides (SOx).

Photo: The Turva seen here being fuelled with Bio LNG for the testing programme. ©Finnish Border Guard.