Friday, July 16, 2021

Your Weekly Mix of Smaller Supply Chain and Logistics Updates

Things Good to Know but Not Big Enough to Make the Headlines
Shipping News Feature

UK – In an heroic effort logistics outfit GEFCO has confirmed that it has been able to raise over £100,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support as part of its 20th anniversary celebrations. The fundraising, which had an initial target of £40,000, comes as part of a 40-mile walk from its Prologis Park headquarters to Rothwell.

136 GEFCO employees, partners, along with their friends and family, set off on the 40-mile walk from Prologis Park on Saturday 10th July, with pit-stops at Brinklow Marina and Crick before arriving at Rothwell Town Cricket Club on Sunday.

UK – The expected surge of traffic levels as restrictions ease on 19 July has prompted Highways England to initiate the deployment of the moveable barrier system on the M20 in Kent, Operation Brock. The M20 will close at 8pm on Saturday night 17 July between junctions 7 and 9, with both carriageways set to reopen by 8am on Sunday 18 July with the contraflow active. Highways England says these times have been chosen to minimise disruption to road users.

This is a precautionary measure taken by the government and Kent Resilience Forum partners in anticipation of increased international travel by car drivers from Monday as a result of the lifting of restrictions. As with previous deployments, Operation Brock will keep the M20 open in both directions by using a contraflow road layout on the M20 London-bound carriageway between junctions 8 and 9 (from Maidstone to Ashford) and directing lorries heading for mainland Europe onto the coast bound carriageway, where they can be queued if necessary.

UK – According to home delivery outfit ParcelHero, the government has been engaged in ‘secret’ talks to obviate the problems associated with EU drivers being unable to work within the UK since Brexit. The company says closed door negotiations are proceeding following the backlash from UK operators to its proposals that drivers ‘work longer hours’.

UK – SUMATRA – Two nasty incidents this week involving ferries catching on fire. The Stena Line ferry Superfast VIII suffered a ‘small fire’ on Monday evening at around 21:00 hours BST making her half an hour late arriving in Belfast after sailing from Cairnryan. Coastguard and lifeboat teams were prompt to attend whilst the ship turned round for the Scottish coast, but turned again when the fire was extinguished.

The second incident, again on Monday July 12, saw 86 passengers evacuated from the Gunsa 8 after a more major fire broke out as she was transiting between Tanjung Kalian Port and Tanjung Api-api in South Sumatra. A video of the incident is available HERE. Also fire related, the MSC containership MSC Messina, which took fire on 25 June en route to Singapore from Sri Lanka, has reached her destination. One crew member sadly died in the incident.

MALYSIA – More maritime problems as a coming together between the 15,000 TEU box ship Zephyr Lumos and the 76,000 dwt Galapagos saw the Maltese flagged bulker come of worst with damage to her hull and a hatch cover on the starboard side. The container vessel, one of the Zodiac Maritime fleet, was reported as relatively undamaged after the collision in the Malacca Strait.

SPAIN – The country’s third largest airline, Air Europa, has signed cargo handling contract extensions with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) in Madrid and Barcelona. The new contracts now further extend Air Europa’s partnership with WFS in Spain to Q4 2022.

Air Europa operates Boeing 787 and 737-800 passenger aircraft with belly hold cargo capacity from the two Spanish airports to destinations in Europe and North and South America. The airline’s growing cargo volumes contributed 27,000 tonnes of throughput at WFS’ cargo terminal in Madrid in 2020 as well as hundreds of tonnes in the first five months of its contract in Barcelona.

SAUDI ARABIA – CHINA – 20% of the Red Sea Gateway Terminal (RSGT) at the Jeddah Islamic Port has been acquired by Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP). The terminal, with a reported throughput of over 5 million TEU is the largest in the port.

US – Another significant win for the Customs Border Protection Unit (CBP) and the Caribbean Corridor Strike Force (CCSF) when on July 10 the Coastguard cutter USCG Joseph Tezanos seized cocaine from a 24 foot speedboat off the coast of Puerto Rico despite the efforts of the criminals aboard to throw their contraband into the sea. Two men were arrested and the 502 kilogramme cargo valued at $15 million.

GERMANY – NAMIBIA – The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov Airlines owned AN-225 ‘Mriya’ has executed the movement of a mixture of masks, anti-viral gowns, medicines, and other personal protective equipment (PPE) from Liepzig-Halle airport, Germany to Windhoek, Namibia with one refuelling and rest stop in Accra, Ghana.

The mission was executed under the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) programme after the medical and humanitarian cargo, provided by German Military Medical Command, was instructed by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defence following receipt of a request from the Namibian Government.

The UK GEFCO Team show off their efforts for charity.