Friday, December 9, 2016

What's Happened This Week in the Global Freight and Logistics Industry Supply Chain

A Collection of Developments from Ocean Containers to Materials Handling
Shipping News Feature
GERMANY – This week’s snippets of some of the smaller announcements in the freight and logistics supply chain opens with the news that out of gauge specialist Hansa Heavy Lift has been awarded the ISO 50001 Energy Management Certification for best practice in energy management by society body DNV GL. Dirk Lange, Key Account Manager at DNV GL – Maritime said:

“Hansa Heavy Lift has made a strong commitment to energy efficiency and promoting sustainable energy management within their organisation, demonstrating that it is committed to sustainable operations.”

CANADA – Dampskibsselskabet Norden A/S has entered into a 9-year contract for the transportation of wood pellets with Canada’s largest manufacturer of wood pellets, Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. According to the contract, Norden will transport a total of 3.5 million tonnes of wood pellets from 2018 onwards from Vancouver and Prince Rupert in Western Canada to Europe.

The wood pellet contract with Pinnacle follows a number of other contracts for the transportation of wood pellets which Norden has made. In the past 6 years the company has entered into contracts with volumes amounting to approximately 30 million tonnes and Norden has thus achieved a position as a leading carrier of wood pellets.

The market for wood pellets is growing as especially European power plants switch to biomass as an alternative to coal. In 2015, global demand was 13 million tonnes, and the British analysis company Hawkins Wright expects this figure to reach 27 million tonnes in 2020. Michael Boetius, Norden’s head of the Industrial Bulk in Dry Cargo division, said:

“The contract with Pinnacle provides us with an opportunity to achieve two things: First, the contract ensures that our vessels return with cargo from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean – a route where traditionally there is less cargo to transport. Secondly, the contract cements our already strong position in the biomass market, in which we have built up considerable experience and expertise.”

POLAND – US – Global NVOCC (non-vessel operating common carrier) CaroTrans, has announced its first direct, weekly LCL service between Poland and New York. The transit time from Gdynia to New York is 22 days, and the first sailing will be 12 December. CaroTrans is partnering with Euroconsol in Poland to offer this direct connection. Greg Howard, CEO of CaroTrans said:

"Expansion of our direct LCL European service network will continue. Our aim is to provide our customers with the most efficient, timely and secure LCL services in the market. Flexible and reliable ocean transportation services are critical to the integrity of today's global supply chains.”

"Our market is happily expecting this new direct service from Gdynia to USA as an alternative to Hamburg. We found CaroTrans, with its reputation in the USA, an excellent partner for us to develop this direct LCL service out of Poland. Weekly sailings to New York are just the first step in our relationship. Future plans involve similar service offerings to Chicago and Atlanta," said Maciej Mazurkiewicz, president and managing director of Euroconsol.

UK – Goldstar Transport, part of the Turners (Soham) Ltd group, is investing £1.2 million in new handling equipment from Cooper Handling. Goldstar has already spent £1 million re-developing its logistics centre at Woolpit in Suffolk into a state-of-the-art facility. Chris Barnes, General Manager at Cooper Handling explained:

"The new handling fleet has been purposely specified to meet Goldstar's current needs and future requirements. The fleet of forklift trucks has been future proofed with additional front end hydraulics for dedicated commodity attachments such as paper reels, clamps and steel hooks, widening its operational use."

The contract will also see Cooper's providing long-term maintenance support at the Woolpit facility. Derek Daly, General Manager - Fleet at Goldstar Transport, said:

"We've been impressed by the way Cooper listened and came up with the right material handing solutions and maintenance package for us. This will help us to remain competitive whilst continuing to deliver exceptional service levels for our customers."

UK – Agathos Management LLP, a Private Equity Company that invests in UK based SME's, has taken a majority shareholding in shipping container provider, Cargostore Worldwide Trading Limited, which operates a fleet of ISO and DNV 2.7-1 container equipment available via subsidiaries and partners throughout Europe, North America, South Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East. William de Laszlo, Managing Partner at Agathos commented:

"Agathos is excited about working with the management team to help realise their strategic vision for the future. We are backing a strong management team and our investment is to continue to build and grow the business."

UK – Berkshire-based Walker Logistics has been awarded the contract to manage the UK supply chain for a new sporting and lifestyle brand, which has been developed by the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA).

The brand, Hurlingham Polo 1875, has been launched on line by HPA’s licensing partner and includes a range of ‘on field’ apparel and accessories. Additional sporting and lifestyle products will be developed for delivery in spring 2017 as the HPA seeks to build the brand globally.

Walker Logistics’ Charlie Walker will manage the account. He commented:

“As a keen polo player myself the potential of the Hurlingham Polo Association brand is obvious. The HPA has 140 years of history and heritage behind it and the Hurlingham name is renowned as truly British, so it is very exciting to be working with HPA and Kings of Games Ltd to develop what is expected to become a leading global business.”

UK – GB Railfreight (GBRf) has made the first of several rounds of donations to its charity partners, totalling £110,000. The British Heart Foundation (BHF), Woking Homes and The Ripple Project have each received donations that will impact communities up and down the country. The next interim donation will be made in mid-2017.

GBRf hosts regular fundraising events including bake sales, dress down days, football and netball tournaments. In September, the company took part in the BHF’s ‘Bag it. Beat it’ campaign where a large section of GBRf staff donated a bag of clothes to sell in BHF charity shops. GBRf also ran a 15-year anniversary charity train tour, taking passengers across the country in Class 87s, 50s, 20s and ‘Evening Star’ locomotives, which raised over £125,000. John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said:

“Every year, I am very proud of the effort our staff and their families put into fundraising for our partner charities. The work these charities do is very close to my heart and many of those in the GBRf community, and I look forward to seeing more creative ways we can fundraise to build on these achievements”.

ABU DHABI – DHL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight division of Deutsche Post DHL Group, and the Mubadala Development Company, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development group, have initiated a strategic partnership for the next five years. DHL will support Mubadala Aerospace to improve their supply chain and customer support logistics on a global level. Claudio Scandella, DHL CEO Middle East & Africa said:

"With this new strategic partnership we as DHL can demonstrate our expertise as an innovative lead logistics partner. Our solution enables the end-to-end management of Mubadala's supply chain, creating visibility across all assets in scope.”

This strategic partnership is designed to bring optimised logistics, speed of change and cost reduction to all assets and customers of Mubadala across the globe in a multi modal manner. Approximately 66% of the cargo volume transported in the course of Mubadala's partnership with DHL will be air freight.

DUBAI – Stena Bulk, via Stena Weco and Golden Stena Weco, is opening a new office in Dubai and will move in this month. The official inauguration will take place in January next year. The company already has a presence in the market in the region but wants to get closer to its customers in order to continue to develop the transportation of chemicals and petroleum products. Erik Hanell, President and CEO of Stena Bulk and CEO of Stena Weco said:

“Generally speaking, Dubai is an important meeting place for the oil industry as well as being situated strategically close to Iran, which is now beginning to open up to increased trade. Stena’s tanker business already has a presence in the area with contacts in the neighbouring region. The office will make even closer contacts possible with customers, partners and suppliers. In addition, many shipping companies are already active in the area.”