Friday, February 22, 2019

The Week's Round-Up of Shipping Items Includes RoRo Ferry, Logistics and Freight Technology News

From Knife Crime to Satellites - Some Pieces You May Have Missed
Shipping News Feature
SWEDEN – JAPAN – This week's run down of freight and logistics items you may have missed starts with the news that Stena RoRo has purchased the RoPax ferry Yamato from the Japanese shipping company Hankyu Ferry. The vessel will be rebuilt at a shipyard in Europe and be fully adapted to European standards, after which it will be chartered out. This process will begin in spring 2020 and the ferry is estimated to be plying its trade by that summer. The 195 metre long ship was built in 2003 and has 2,350 lane metres. Per Westling, CEO Stena RoRo, said:

“On the European market, demand is greater than availability for this type of vessel, which is why we have turned to the Asian market, primarily Japan.”

WORLDWIDE – It seems knife crime is not just confined to city streets as incidents out at sea have also been depressingly frequent of late. In January three seafarers were injured in an altercation off Guyana and earlier this month a seafarer was stabbed on board a tanker, 300 nautical miles from the French island of Réunion. Now worse news arrives this week as Sailors’ Society’s CEO Stuart Rivers, explains:

“The tragic news, that two people were killed on board a vessel in the Indian Ocean and six people are missing, is the latest in a spate of stabbings at sea and our thoughts are with those affected. We are urging ship owners to embrace conflict resolution training to make sure needless tragedies like this don’t happen again.”

WORLDWIDE – Cloud based software provider Easyship says its customers are to benefit from a new global partnership with SEKO Logistics. The company’s 40,000+ retail and etail customers are gaining improved access to cross-border eCommerce solutions in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific and Australia with the ability to book deliveries directly through the new SEKO/Easyship platform. Along with providing a shipping gateway for every seller’s online store, Easyship’s all-in-one shipping tool calculates tax and duties for worldwide deliveries, provides rate comparisons, service analytics, pre-filled customs documentation for all countries, and a shipping management dashboard allowing sellers to view all transactions.

In addition, Easyship’s tool offers storage and pick-and-pack fulfilment services, shipping labels, the ability to arrange pick-ups and global tracking. For sellers, showing customers real-time shipping options and full cost visibility triples the likelihood of online purchase completion and significantly reduces shopping cart abandonment rates. Also, Easyship now provides merchants US domestic returns, and branded email and tracking, regardless of the final mile postal carrier.

ROMANIA – Gebrüder Weiss has extended its home delivery services to the country having already established the facility in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, as well as being the market leader in its native territory of Austria. ‘GW pro.line home’ sees online orders delivered and returns collected in a move aimed at large mail-order companies plus furniture, DIY and electronics stores. Viorel Leca, GW Country Manager, said:

“Online trading is booming in Romania. In 2018 alone, e-commerce grew by 30% compared to the previous year. As a full-service logistics provider, we naturally want to serve this rapidly growing B2C market in the best possible way. The introduction of GW pro.line home is a decisive step in this direction.”

INDIA – FRENCH GUIANA – Our picture shows the specialised container holding a GSAT-31 communications satellite recently flown from HAL Bengaluru Airport, India (VOBG) to Cayenne Félix Eboué Airport, French Guiana (CAY) by Antonov Airlines on behalf of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Flywell Aviation. The 18 tonne piece which measured 7.80 metres x 4.54 metres x 4.03 metres high completed the second in a series of three flights that Flywell Aviation has contracted Antonov Airlines to operate, on behalf of ISRO.

The first satellite in the series, the GSAT-11, was transported by Antonov Airlines on the same route in October 2018, and the final satellite is set to be delivered later this year. The GSAT-31 was launched earlier this month from the Guiana Space Centre, French Guiana on an Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle. Antonov and Flywell engineers used data-loggers to record g-forces, pressures, and temperatures so that ISRO could inspect the data post-flight and give a green light to launch the satellite.

NETHERLANDS – The Rotterdam Port Fund has acquired a stake in ExRobotics. With locations in Breda and Delft, the Netherlands, this firm is a pioneer in the development of robots that can be used in environments with a high explosion risk. Its modular robots enable the remote inspection of oil and gas facilities providing a safer, swifter and more efficient solution than relying on human inspectors. ExRobotics’ robots are ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 certified.

ExRobotics will be working on the further development of this technology in close collaboration with knowledge institutes in the Netherlands and abroad. The participation of the Rotterdam Port Fund creates new opportunities for the company to increase its production capacity and accelerate its international expansion, not only increasing the company’s financial resources but also giving it access to Rotterdam Port Fund’s network.

UK – The fourth London International Shipping Week, LISW19, will take place from 9-13 September 2019, bringing in an estimated 18,000 - 20,000 shipping and maritime decision makers from around the world to network in some of the most iconic venues in London. This year the event sports a streamlined experience for visitors with a new, interactive app and newly-revamped website.

The LISW19 app provides visitors with all the information needed to make the most of this year’s event, including features to help plan the day, register for events, network with other delegates, access the event guide and make online bookings. One can also book tickets to the high-powered one-day LISW19 Conference and stunning Gala Dinner, to be held on Thursday 12 September.

The LISW19 app is free-to-use and available via the Google Play Store and iOS App Store.

Photo: The GSAT-31 communications satellite loads onto an Antonov AN-124-100 with (inset) one of ExRobotics inspection robots.