Friday, April 1, 2022

Your Weekly Mix of Smaller Supply Chain Stories

Some Stray Pages from the Logistics Catalogue
Shipping News Feature

UAE – Etihad Rail, the developer and operator of the UAE’s National Rail network, and Dubai Industrial City, one of the region's largest manufacturing and logistics hubs and a part of the TECOM Group, has announced development of a new freight terminal spread across 5.5 million square feet.

The terminal, which comes as a result of the collaboration between Etihad Rail and Dubai Industrial City is intended to help cement the UAE’s position as an international trade hub and boost Dubai’s global competitiveness in manufacturing, logistics, transport, trade, and investment. This comes in line with the UAE’s Railways Programme, which aims to facilitate trade by connecting the country’s industrial and manufacturing centres and opening new trade routes.

FINLAND – When shipping company Alfons Hakans needed to modernise the control system on the Artemis, one of the longest-serving ASD tugs in the company’s fleet, the Turku headquartered group turned to Rauma based neighbours Steerprop. Parts for the vessel’s azimuth stern drive were no longer available and, although it was still reliable, for safety reasons the company decided to look for reasonable solutions by way of a full-scale upgrade.

What it discovered made this an easy decision as the uprated system not only could be mostly built in the Steerprop works, minimising downtime, the improvements have added a further 10-15 years life to the tug. From the beginning of the installation to final approval from Alfons Hakans, installing the new control system took just nine days in total.

CHINA – Summoning a vision of turn of the century barges flooding the Pool of London wih cargo, the Shanghai International Port Group (SIPG) has recently revealed a new land-to-water service which will allow customers to drop their containers off at the Taicang Service Center, located on the western shore of the Yangtze River in Jiangsu, so that they may be transported by ship to the Port of Shanghai.

The waterborne service is intended to cut road traffic and upgrade reliability and efficiency of deliveries. It will service quays in the Waigaoqiao and Yangshan areas, as well as other connected ports on the riverside.

WORLDWIDE – In its third iteration of Mapping of Zero Emission Pilots and Demonstration Projects, the Getting to Zero Coalition highlights an increase in the number of projects, from the inaugural 66 to 106 and now 203. The Coalition is a partnership between the Global Maritime Form, the Friends of Ocean Action and the World Economic Forum.

Latest growth areas for the mainly publicly funded projects are more focus on hydrogen-derived fuels, more large vessels targeting ammonia and methanol, an increase in bunkering and infrastructure projects, and the emergence of fuel production in Oceania.

UK – Eddie Stobart Contract Logistics has upgraded the materials handling equipment at a site in Magna Park, Lutterworth, with the introduction of state-of-the-art Flexi Truck articulated very narrow aisle (VNA) forklift technology. The trucks, which can operate safely both inside and outside the warehouse will be deployed to service one of the company’s long-standing beverage industry accounts.

The trucks, which are built in the West Midlands by Narrow Aisle Ltd, have been supplied with a high-definition LCD CCTV system to ensure that the operator has a clear view of the load and the racking when retrieving and putting away pallets at height and operating to a lift height of 13.2 metres with lift height selectors and specially developed integrated tilting and side shifting fork carriage, mast deflection when tilting, all designed to eliminate pallet movement at all heights.

UK – Insurance brokers and financial services firm, Macbeth, has announced a complete brand integration with Peter Lole, traditionally a big supporter of logistics themed events, following its acquisition of the marine cargo and logistics specialists last April. The move supports Macbeth’s position as one of the fastest-growing independent chartered insurance brokers in the Thames Valley. The brand transition follows another year of significant expansion for the business which has pursued a strategy of consolidation in the ‘new normal’.

The business has seen growth of 34%, taking GWP to £32 million as it continues to develop its local and national client base. The acquisition provided a natural extension to Macbeth’s expertise in technology, recruitment, and life sciences. The completed integration will see Peter Lole’s marine and logistics clients benefit from Macbeth’s expanded capability in commercial and private client insurance, as well as its employee benefits and financial services offers. The firm will continue to invest in growing its marine and logistics market focus.

UK – The Competition and Markets Authority has blocked the Cargotec and Konecranes materials handling merger. Following an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, the CMA found that the merger would harm competition in the supply of a wide range of container handling equipment products. Within these markets, the CMA’s investigation found that Cargotec and Konecranes are competing closely for business in the UK, and that UK customers would have few remaining alternative suppliers after the merger.

UK – As healthcare logistics specialist Movianto, whose 120 strong fleet of temperature controlled vans played a pivotal role in the storage and delivery of Covid-19 vaccines during the pandemic, goes on to trial an all-electric Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van for daily deliveries of medical supplies from its Slough depot, it is following a growing trend.

Research shows more than 60% of small to medium-sized enterprise companies are actively considering switching to electric vehicles this year and SMMT figures show electric van uptake soared by 142.3% in 2021, though this equated to a relatively modest 12,759 zero emission vans and a total market share of 3.6%.

Photo: Image courtesy of the World Economic Forum.