Friday, December 10, 2021

This Week the Snippets Mix Covers Items from Drones and Thrusters to Freight Rates and Warehousing

Those Smaller Links from the Supply Chain You May have Missed
Shipping News Feature

CANADA – The first flight of an autonomous air vehicle from Edmonton International Airport has taken place with a Sparrow drone flying to a site in Leduc County, Canada, marking the first time this activity has been approved by NAV Canada, which governs Canada’s civil air navigation system. The intention is for operator Drone Delivery Canada (DDC) to undertake carriage of cargo for clients such as Ziing Final Mile and Apple Express.

As with all airports drone activity is a closely monitored and contentious undertaking and clearance for the flight required a new set of negotiated protocols to enable it to proceed. The battery-powered Sparrow is the smallest of the drones in the DDC fleet and has a range of up to 30 kilometres and can carry up to 4.5 kilogrammes.

US – The 5.9% general rate increases announced by FedEx and UPS for 2022 stirred shipping intelligence company Reveel into investigating just what the rise really means to shippers. It claims in fact that most companies will pay 12.86% more to ship via FedEx and 10.25% more to ship via UPS than they did last year, with furniture and home goods, auto parts, and sporting goods industries being hit particularly hard.

Reveel’s survey also claims any using FedEx's Ground Economy, formerly SmartPost, a shipping option aimed at small and medium-sized businesses, will see an average increase of 26% next year and that less than 3% of the shippers included in Reveel's analysis would sustain an increase at or below the published general rate increases. A rate guide is also available to download.

UK – The Cool Chain Association (CCA) has announced the Challenge Group as the latest temperature-sensitive supply chain specialist to become a member. Global air cargo group Challenge’s six companies include cargo airlines, handlers, and logistics services, and its subsidiary carrier CAL Cargo Airlines, formed in 1976, is a leading carrier of perishables on the Israel to Europe trade lane.

The group has a portfolio of temperature-controlled products covering perishables and pharmaceuticals and holds the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV) certification for its two airlines, CAL Cargo Airlines and Challenge Airlines, as well as for Challenge Handling in Liège, Belgium.

UK – Bournemouth based logistics company Shears Bros. (Transport) Ltd has opened a new 21,500 square foot transport hub on Bournemouth Airport’s Aviation Business Park, just a few hundred metres from the company’s existing premises. The warehouse will handle palletised freight for the Pall-Ex network, of which Shears is a wholly owned subsidiary. The existing unit on Aviation Business Park will evolve into a dedicated warehousing and fulfilment facility.

UK – FRANCE – Getlink tell us that In November 2021, Le Shuttle Freight transported 131,298 trucks, a decrease of 10% compared to 2020 due to an unfavourable comparison because of stockpiling in anticipation of Brexit during the same period in 2020. Since the 1st of January 2021, Le Shuttle Freight has transported more than 1.23 million trucks.

FRANCE – The local office of GAC reports that members of the Seamen’s Union CGT employed by tugboat company Boluda at Nantes – Montoir will stage a 24 hour strike from 0900 hours on 14 December. The union website does not give the reason for the dispute.

NORTHERN IRELAND – It seems the authorities in the province have finally caught up with the mainland when it comes to driving licence checks as the system is finally available online. The technology can now be used by holders of a Northern Ireland driving licence to provide evidence of driving entitlement leading to a comment from Road Haulage Association (RHA) Policy Manager for NI John Martin, to say:

”[This is] something we have been lobbying on for some time. The access can be undertaken by the driver themselves or via a third party (with the licence holders consent and share code). Operators should have a system in place to check driver licence validity on a regular basis and as a minimum every 6 months probably through viewing the actual drivers licence and retaining a copy on file.

“While this illustrates a basic system is in place, it is not fool proof and can be manipulated if a driver has been banned from driving and either has a duplicate driver’s licence or didn’t surrender their original licence. I would suggest, through agreement with each individual driver, operators introduce a process for checking driver licence records on-line with full records retained of the checks for audit purposes.”

To check one’s own licence click HERE. To check someone else’s it’s HERE.

GERMANY –UK – Logistics group Imperial has opened a new, multi-user facility in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, located 8 kilometres away from its existing site in Herten. The launch customer for the new facility will be a long-standing Imperial customer, agricultural machinery maker Lemken.

GERMANY – Investors now have the opportunity to speculate on the HGV market as Daimler Truck Holding AG launches on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, stock exchange symbol DTG, WKN number DTR0CK. Following the spin-off from Daimler AG the management says it is consistently and continuously focusing on improving profitability in order to lead the industry on the road to CO2 neutral transport.

The company says it expects its shares to be listed in the Regulated Market of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in the DAX index, which has been expanded to 40 members, at the next possible date, probably in the first quarter of 2022.

SOUTH KOREA – FINLAND – The technology group Wärtsilä will supply the seven thrusters required for a new Wind Turbine Installation Vessel (WTIV) being built at the Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine yard in South Korea for Eneti Inc, the fourth such vessel so kitted out in 2021. The next-generation vessel features a Gusto 16000X design and will have advanced lifting capabilities and high energy efficiency.

Wärtsilä’s proven retraction system combined with an energy efficient 8-degree tilt are key factors in the thrusters’ enablement of effective and reliable station-keeping performance. The tilt delivers up to 23% higher effective thrust than non-tilted thrusters, while reducing the power requirement and fuel consumption. The retractable thrusters have a combined electric steering and retraction system which saves space and weight, and which has fewer components for greater reliability.

Photo: The Sparrow drone from DDC in action.