Friday, July 30, 2021

What Did You Miss This Week? Some of the Little Snippets That May Have Passed You By

Bits and Pieces of Logistics News From Around the Globe
Shipping News Feature

UK – On Wednesday (July 28) Transport for London (TfL) announced the opening of a consultation on the future of the Congestion Charge, based on proposals to reduce the hours of operation to 0700-1800 during the week, 1200-1800 at the weekend and the charge remaining at the higher £15 rate.

As usual Logistics UK was a fast responder with Head of Policy - South, Natalie Chapman commenting:

“[We] welcome the proposals to revert the operational hours of the Congestion Charge back to the original weekday timings in place before the Covid-19 pandemic. Logistics UK has long campaigned for flexibility surrounding delivery hours to encourage and enable businesses to carry out their deliveries at less congested times to reduce emissions, improve the safety of vulnerable road users and increase operational efficiency.

”Moving back to the original timings provides additional flexibility to retime deliveries and is supported by our members. However, Logistics UK opposes the proposal to retain the higher £15 charge and weekend charging, which simply amounts to an additional tax for logistics businesses who currently have little alternative but to use lorries and vans to keep London stocked with all the goods the population needs.”

UK – Details of work to deactivate the moveable concrete barrier on the M20 in Kent (Operation Brock), have been confirmed by Highways England. The barrier will be removed overnight this Saturday (July 31) and will see the M20 return to three full width lanes at the national speed limit in both directions.

The barrier was put in place on a 15-mile section of the M20 between junctions 8 ( Maidstone) and 9 (Ashford) on Saturday 17 July, as a precautionary measure in anticipation of increased international travel by car drivers from Monday as a result of the lifting of lockdown restrictions. Highways England has agreed with the Kent Resilience Forum and the Department for Transport it is the right time to deactivate the contraflow.

The work to remove the contraflow will be completed under a full closure of the M20 on the coast bound from junctions 7 to 9, and on the London bound from junctions 9 to 8 from 8pm on Saturday 31 July until 8am on Sunday 1 August. This work has been carefully planned over the weekend to reduce disruption. Once removed, the moveable barrier will sit along the M20 should the contraflow be re-activated for any future cross-channel disruption. Clearly signed diversion routes will be in place on the A20 to help road users reach their destination.

UK – Two new categories in sustainability and technology will recognise supply chain leaders for their commitment to excellence at the Multimodal 2021 Awards on October 19th at the VOX Birmingham, UK. Entries are open for the awards, which include eight voted for, three judged, and two nominated categories.

The awards, which take place take place on the first evening of the Multimodal 2021 Exhibition are now in their seventh edition and recognise excellence and best practice across the logistics industry. Nominations for the voted awards can be made online before the sixth of August 2021, with entries for the judged awards made by the third of September 2021.The winners will be announced at a gala dinner and ceremony at the VOX NEC Birmingham hosted by legendary footballer and England international Kevin Keegan.

UK – The bonded warehouse facilities operated by freight and logistics group Delamode Import Services helped win its latest customer, wholesale games distributor VR Distribution Ltd, known for some of the most iconic games currently in the market including; Cards Against Humanity, What Do you Meme?, Gigamic and Player Ten.

Delamode has become logistics partner for the company formed in 2018 and specialising in games for social occasions and parties, the fastest-growing category in the industry. Delamode Import Services will act for UK, ROI and Continental EU traffic using its bonded, AEO accredited and purpose-built facilities at Southampton container port.

UK – Toyota Material Handling UK has announced the opening of a dedicated automated handling technology demonstration centre. The 800 square metre facility, located at Toyota’s Midlands business centre on the Meridian Business Park, Leicester, will provide a permanent showcase for the Toyota Autopilot range of automated guided vehicles (AGVs) as well as the company’s semi-automated RadioShuttle technology for the storage and retrieval of palletised loads from high density racking systems.

CHINA – It seems there is some bad feeling after the country’s unofficial ban on Indian nationals crewing ocean vessels from docking at Chinese ports. All India Seafarer & General Workers Union officials are quoted as saying that around 20,000 seafarers in India face unemployment as the major ship owners search elsewhere for crew to avoid any inconvenience. The Indian government have denied there is a problem but critics say the rumour alone may damage chances of employment.

NIGERIA – Last Friday a Lagos Court sentenced 10 convicted pirates to 12 years in prison for the attack on the Chinese flagged FV Hailufeng ll.The men were found guilty of kidnapping 18 of the crew of the fishing vessel for ransom.

The Gulf of Guinea is officially the worst spot for such crimes with the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre logging 22 incidents last year with 130 crew abducted, and this year accounting for 32% of all incidents globally with 50 kidnapped crew and the single crew fatality recorded by IMB during the first half of 2021.

KUWAIT – The International Register of Shipping (INTLREG) is expanding its extensive regional coverage in the Middle East by providing services now in Kuwait after being officially recognised as a classification society by the oil producing GCC country. This new approval re-enforces INTLREG’s position with approvals in two other GCC countries and survey/audit stations properly established to provide service to its clients.

INTLREG is authorised by 33 flags across the globe. It is supported by a network of 98 locations providing related classification and marine services. INTLREG says it is ideally placed to offer ship owners and operators in the Middle East classification, statutory and verification services designed to ensure their operations run smoothly and without compromise.

SPAIN – Another win for Worldwide Freight Services (WFS) which announced contract extensions with Air Europa in Spain earlier this month. Now, having initially appointed WFS in Barcelona in 2018, LATAM Airlines has now signed a new three-year agreement for WFS to handle cargo on board its Boeing 767 operations carrying import and export shipments through Barcelona annually.

SINGAPORE – QuickSTAT, a subsidiary of Kuehne+Nagel since 2018, has opened a new control tower and conditioning facility at the K+N logistics hub in Singapore. The investment is part of the group’s pharma and healthcare strategy to further expand its logistics capabilities to serve customers across Asia Pacific.

QuickSTAT claims expertise in managing global clinical trial logistics for all phases of the product lifecycle from research and drug development through to commercialisation. The company specialises in time and temperature shipping of clinical research samples, biologics, investigational drugs, clinical trial supplies and vaccines in order to help bring new drugs and medical protocols to market safely and quickly.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA – South International Container Terminal (SPICT) in Lae recently handled its first delivery of coffee bags following the recent opening of its coffee bulking facility. This initial shipment was 320 bags of green coffee beans from Monpi Coffee Exports Ltd headed for Melbourne, Australia.

Coffee production is one of PNG's major industries and provides income to more than three million people. SPICT's new coffee bulking facility offers a 2,000 square metre, fully equipped warehouse manned by a specialised team dedicated to coffee handling and storage operations. The warehouse is compliant with all the requirements set by Coffee Industry Corporation (CIC), which regulates the coffee industry.

FRANCE – Traffic in H1 at the Port of Marseille Fos increased by 13% compared with the first half of 2020, a return to growth compared with the pre-crisis level of 2019, particularly for containers (+2%), new vehicles (+18%), chemical bulk (+11%) and solid bulk (+11%). Only liquid bulk traffic is down compared with 2019 (-7%) despite an increase of +6% compared with 2020. Solid bulk traffic was up 32% as against last year (and 4% for 2019)

Over 10 MT of general cargo was handled in the port representing a strong increase of +19% compared with the same period in 2020. Container traffic is particularly vibrant with 755,000 TEU handled, an increase of +21% compared to 2020 and +2% compared to 2019. The trailer sector is also doing well with +31% compared with 2020 and +6% compared with 2019. The strongest growth can be seen in new vehicles traffic with an increase of +63% compared to 2020 and +18% compared to 2019.

HONG KONG – Virgin Atlantic Cargo has extended its contract with air cargo terminal operator Hactl for a further five years. Hactl is currently celebrating its 45th anniversary and says it is the only commercially-neutral air cargo terminal operator at Hong Kong International Airport. The company operates 3,500 Container Storage System positions, 10,000 Box Storage System positions and a comprehensive range of specialised cargo handling facilities to cater for all cargo types, including temperature-controlled products.

The contract news comes just as Virgin Atlantic Cargo has increased services to Hong Kong to 8 rotations per week in July. The additional services will add 400 tonnes of capacity for the month, on the airline's Boeing 787-9 aircraft serving Hong Kong as well as a number on onward destinations.

SAN MARINO – Having just become the smallest country in history to win an Olympic medal (population -34,000), the San Marino Ship Register has announced it will be accepting registrations of vessels of any size in private and commercial use, and has published the registry’s guidelines for registration, now available on the company’s website

The state operated Registry, one of the smallest flag states along with Tuvalu and Nauru, operates from its landlocked position inside the Italian borders and says it will offer attractive fee and tax regimes with no restrictions on nationalities.