Friday, August 30, 2019

A Quick Look at Some Happenings Along the Global Supply Chain This Week

News on Freight and Logistics Stories at a Glance
Shipping News Feature
AUSTRIA – We start the weekly look at some of the shipping and general transport items you may have missed recently with the announcement that logistics outfit Gebrüder Weiss has taken over freight forwarder Koler, Kuhn & Merk Speditions Ges.m.b.H (KK+M), an established Tyrol based freight forwarding company with over five decades of history.

KK+M owner Dietmar Koler, would like to retire and has no successor and the deal signed this week, and applied retroactively to 1 January 2019, will see the company continue under its original name until the end of 2019 when it will rebrand as Gebrüder Weiss subsidiary Reutte. Gebrüder Weiss now has four locations in Tyrol employing a total of around 300 people, with plans for more expansion in the Reutte facilities.

US – Truckers and associated shipping groups working in the country's south eastern coastal areas should expect problems by Monday as Hurricane Dorian, which has already swept across the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico this week, is now forecast to be a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 130 mph by the time it makes its expected landfall on the Florida coast, according to the National Hurricane Center. Live updates for the storm’s condition can be seen HERE.

Hurricane Condition WHISKEY has been set in the Port of Fernandina and Jacksonville. All maritime interests are directed to complete preparations to implement the Port Heavy Weather Plan for Northeast and Eastern Central Florida. There are no safe havens identified within the ports of Jacksonville, Fernandina, and Canaveral for a vessel to safely survive tropical storm force winds, or storm surges so ships are advised to follow an evasion plan as bridges will be locked down 8 hours prior to the predicted arrival of the storm.

RUSSIA – Further to our story regarding the decision by container line CMA CGM to not allow its fleet to utilise the Northern Sea Route (NSR) for environmental reasons, Sovcomflot (SCF) has unsurprisingly no such intentions but has reported that its Aframax Korolev Prospect is set to become the first large-capacity crude oil tanker to travel the entire length of the route running purely on LNG fuel. The ship left the Port of Murmansk on August 26 on the 8 day voyage from Cape Zhelaniya to Cape Dezhnev.

While transiting from the Laptev Sea to the East Siberian Sea, the vessel will follow the deep-water route that lies north of the New Siberian Islands, first opened for commercial shipping in 2011 by SCF’s tanker Vladimir Tikhonov, another of the company’s fleet of six LNG-fuelled crude oil tankers, with five more under construction.

DENMARK – The Port of Esbjerg is expanding its crane capacity with the world's largest mobile harbour crane, the Liebherr LHM 800. The new machine has a total height of 48 metres and a boom length of 66 metres. The port already has the largest fleet of Liebherr mobile harbour cranes in Scandinavia and it is the development of offshore industry that requires new equipment with the ability to lift larger and heavier loads than the port's current cranes are capable of.

With a capacity of 308 tonnes the crane enables the port to perform tandem lift operations with an additional Liebherr mobile harbour crane, together lifting as much as 448 tonnes. Using the direct sea connection between Rostock and Ejsberg the new LHM 800 was shipped fully assembled by the heavy load carrier Rolldock Storm and the LHM 800 was able to drive off the vessel under its own power.

US – CHINA – The announcement that President Trump was upping import rates by 10% on a new list of goods manufactured in China brought a reaction whereby a reciprocal increase on potentially $75 billion in US exports meant further tit for tat reaction, the US adding another 5% on some goods.

Chinese goods will therefore be subject to the higher 15% rate of duty. The list of goods affected from the beginning of September can be seen here whilst those on which it will be levied from December 15th can be seen here. Importers should ensure Chinese goods are separated on their purchase invoices from other products, the commodity codes must appear on all documents and the manufacturing costs and FOB should really be shown as separate items.

HONDURAS – Operadora Portuaria Centroamericana (OPC), the Honduran subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services, Inc. (ICTSI), is working with the Honduran government and Puerto Cortés authorities to enhance the port’s competitiveness and better serve its customers in the four-nation CA-4, comprising Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. Critical road infrastructure should improve cargo movement in the region whilst the Honduran Customs Agency (Dirección Adjunta de Rentas Aduaneras – DARA) has streamlined its systems for early clearance and dispatch of cargo with Customs extending working hours to 19:00.

For its part, the Honduran Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock (SENASA) has implemented online processes for the application of certificates and phytosanitary permits and Empresa Nacional Portuaria (ENP), the Honduran port authority also enabled a truck entry facilitation zone next to the port’s immediate confines, mitigating truck traffic on public roads during the days when there is a large amount of cargo throughput.

WORLDWIDE – The latest XSI® Public Indices report from Oslo-based Xeneta indicates that, despite the best efforts of individual carriers to buoy long-term contracted ocean container freight rates, the market remains on a downward trajectory, with global rates falling by 0.3% through August. The ocean freight rate benchmarking and market analytics platform reports this continues a pattern of decline that, with the exception of an unexpected rates rise in May, has been on-going since summer 2018.

The company compiles its monthly figures from the latest crowd-sourced shipping data, covering over 160,000 port-to-port pairings, with over 110 million data points. As such it says it provides a unique real-time picture of ocean freight rate developments, in an otherwise unpredictable and dynamic marketplace.

Photo: The new LHM Mobile Harbour Crane from Liebherr rolls off the deck of the Rolldock Storm onto the quay at the Port of Ejsberg.