Friday, December 3, 2021

Your Weekly Lucky (or Unlucky) Dip of Global Logistics News

Update Starts with a Gruesome Tale of Suspected Murder
Shipping News Feature

MAURITIUS – A gruesome tale to start this week's run down of news you may have missed as a maritime charity stepped in to hold a prayer service and provide pastoral support to the Filipino crew of a 56,000 dwt Bangladesh flagged bulk carrier after the master was apparently stabbed to death by the ships cook who was taken into custody at Port Louis.

Stella Maris port chaplain Fr. Jacques Henri-David went on board the Meghna Liberty on Saturday 27th November after the incident in the Indian Ocean. Allegedly, after an apparent ongoing dispute between the two men and following the cook’s confession, the ship’s officers were able to break down the door to the captain’s cabin. They found him lying in a pool of blood and attempted to revive him, but it was too late.

US – DENMARK – GERMANY – Hellmann Worldwide Logistics has entered a contract logistics partnership with Vestas, a manufacturer, installer, and service provider of wind turbines. Hellmann will manage Vestas brand new 130,000 square foot spare part distribution centre in Houston managing the time-critical supply of spare parts and components for the Aarhus headquartered wind power specialist's existing and new wind farms across the US and Canada.

US – Hydrogen gas will always have one major problem, as anyone who has seen the Hindenburg conflagration will know. So the news that Wisconsin headquartered Exponential Power has launched a new gas detector that ups the game and meets rigorous US Department of Defense (DoD) requirements will be welcomed my many.

Traditional detectors are designed to measure the amount of hydrogen gas in the air and provide warnings when gas levels reach 25% and 50% of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) concentration. The LEL for hydrogen is just a 4% concentration in the air. The new SBS-H2 system detects hydrogen at 12.5% and 25% percent of the LEL, a significant additional safety margin that is critical for military applications but would also be relevant for many transport modes as the fuel becomes more widely used.

FRANCE – The second of five ships in the E-Flexer class ordered by Stena RoRo for long term charter by Brittany Ferries was delivered on November 30. This is the sixth of the type of RoPax vessels of twelve ordered from the Chinese shipyard CMI Jinling (Weihai). The ship Salamanca has been built with LNG dual fuel engines, and is the first ship in the E-Flexer series with gas capability engines.

The vessel has been customised to suit Brittany’s operations with an interior designed by Richard Nilsson at Figura Architects. The design of the public spaces and the colour scheme etc. are designed individually for all the Brittany Ferries vessels in the class.

JAPAN – K Line has been running a trial with marine biofuel supplied by BP on its car carrier Polaris Highway as part of the company’s ‘Environmental Vision 2050 -Blue Seas for the Future’ which aims to cut 50% of its 2008 CO2 emissions by 2050.

K Line says the fuel used, delivered in early November at the Port of Vlissingen, was trialled after leaving the European Emission Control Area and was produced from renewable organic resources, not foodstuffs or feed crops, as well as a proportion of used cooking oils.

UK – Another customer has discovered the advantages of operating a narrow aisle racking systems as LWC Drinks Ltd, which claims to be the UK’s largest independent drinks wholesaler, has introduced a fleet of space-saving Flexi Truck articulated forklifts across its nationwide estate of distribution depots.

These include the company’s recently opened new 173,000 square foot bonded distribution centre in Chadderton, Oldham located just 10 miles from Manchester city centre, and 1.5 miles from junctions 20 and 21 of the M60. The facility is twice the size of LWC’s previous local facility at nearby Openshaw and represents an investment of £12.5 million for the company.

UK – FedEx Express has introduced a fleet of thirteen e-cargo bikes to work alongside its vehicle pick-up and delivery fleet in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Cambridge. The company sees the bikes as a way to instantly impact the carbon emission problem and has already introduced e-cargo bikes to its permanent operations in London, where they have replaced diesel vehicles for serving emissions restricted zones. The three new locations are all cities with a strong cycling culture making them an obvious choice for similar treatment.

WORLDWIDE – The Omicron variant of Covid has of course made headlines all week but it is the response of governments which concerns IATA boss Willie Walsh who leant heavily on a WTO statement that blanket travel bans would not prevent the spread, and impose an additional heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.

Happy days for some vested interests however, with ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks M.I.L.T. predicting the variant will mean another principally online Christmas for many, with last year’s £35.62 billion revenue at least matched in 2021.

NETHERLANDS – Following the purchase of the agency activities of the Royal Burger Group and Jardine, investment group First Dutch has now acquired the S5 Agency World (S5) shares of Marmedsa Noatum Maritime and Kanoo Shipping, becoming the sole shareholder of the port agency group and enabling it to continue its strategic expansion in the global shipping industry. The buyers say that, since its founding in 2004, S5 has grown steadily into an organisation operating from a global network of offices that covers all major ports around the world.

GUINEA – Hull cleaning outfit HullWiper Ltd and Agemar Guinea (Agemar Agency & Logistics) have signed a lease agreement to meet the growing demand for safe, eco-friendly hull cleaning solutions for vessels calling in Guinea. Agemar is the latest addition to HullWiper’s growing family of partners around the world operating under their leasing programme introduced in 2017. The partnership supports the Guinean government’s goal to bring environmentally friendly solutions and operations into Guinean waters and to shipping in general.

SPAIN – The port management says the use of hydrogen in the Port of Valencia to reduce the environmental impact of machinery operations in a terminal that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, will make Valenciaport the first port in Europe to incorporate this energy in this activity. The project that has been recognised by the European Commission which has selected it as a strategic initiative for the decarbonisation of maritime transport,

The Port of Valencia will install a green hydrogen supply station at the beginning of 2022. The station will be mobile and will provide the necessary fuel, in the appropriate conditions and quantities to guarantee the continuous working cycles of the equipment forming part of the H2Ports project. The first of this equipment will be the prototype of the Reach Stacker which will be powered by this energy and which will be tested at the MSC Terminal Valencia. The second piece of equipment to be serviced by the hydrogen plant will be a 4×4 tractor unit equipped with a fuel cell stack for testing in loading/unloading operations at Valencia Terminal Europa of the Grimaldi Group.

ROMANIA – ROM Cargo has appointed Air One Aviation as its exclusive Global Sales & Services partner. This follows the awarding of the airline’s Air Operators’ Certificate by Romania’s civil aviation authority to begin international Boeing 747-400 freighter services. Air One Aviation expects ROM Cargo’s 747F fleet, available for full charter services and capable of carrying a payload of up to 112 tonnes, to meet immediate demand for Asia-Europe cargo capacity.

The new contract means Air One Aviation is now marketing its biggest-ever fleet of Boeing 747-400SF freighters globally as well as a Boeing 737-400SF for regional cargo services. In the past 18 months, Air One Aviation says it has generated over 270,000 tonnes of airfreight for more than 2,400 full freighter flights to more than 50 countries, achieving its most successful year yet.

Photo: e-cargo bikes are becoming an ever more popular alternative for urban last mile delivery services.