Friday, August 24, 2018

Bits and Pieces of the Freight and Logistics News You May Have Missed

Some of the Items Which Came Up This Week Including a Maritime Tragedy
Shipping News Feature
UK – Starting the week's round up of bits and pieces of news from the freight and logistics sector is what the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) describes as a 'stellar' line up for its forthcoming National Forklift Safety Convention, the 15th such event, which takes place on Wednesday 3rd October at the Heart of England Events and Conference Centre, Coventry.

The only event of its kind in Europe, the programme sets out a compelling day of real-life case studies, motivational speakers and peer-to-peer networking. With three extraordinary guest speakers scheduled, this year’s event offers a unique opportunity to get closer to those helping shape safety culture today in and around the warehouse.

WORLDWIDE – TIM Consult, the international business logistics consultancy, is to merge with the Transporeon Group. The new, combined group will offer customers a worldwide cloud-platform for intelligent transport logistics and multi-modal freight procurement solutions, both combined with real time insight into transport market dynamics.

TIM Consult was founded in Germany in 1995 and provides business logistics consultancy, market intelligence and procurement services on a global basis, across all transport modes and industry verticals. Transporeon connects a global network of over 1,000 shippers and trading companies, over 65,000 carriers (logistics and transport providers, third party logistics providers, carriers and brokers) and over 100,000 users in over 100 countries in 24 languages.

EUROPE – Budapest-based international long-haul transportation and logistics company Waberer’s, which runs a fleet of more than 4,300 truck-trailers, renewed its contract agreement with fuel supplier IDS signed in Spring 2018 and has now successfully completed the initial test period concerning IDS’s contactless payment system.

Besides supplying diesel to thousands of Waberer’s trucks daily at its European filling station network, IDS also provides the automatic, secure and contactless payment service for truck drivers supported by iAccount, an easy-to-use card management platform. Fuel payment cards are equipped with RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips with an opportunity of quick payment without stopping to pay at a cashier. Waberer’s says results of the first year have confirmed expectations that the innovation can significantly contribute to the effectiveness of daily operations and timely deliveries.

New Zealand – Rhenus Logistics has continued its expansion in the Australasian region. Opening on August 20 Rhenus Logistics NZ is situated in Auckland and will provide an in-depth customs consultancy service plus international and domestic 4PL and 5PL solutions for businesses in the region.

FINLAND – Wärtsilä is building the Smart Technology Hub, a new centre of research, product development and production, in Vaskiluoto, Vaasa. As of 2020, all of Wärtsilä's functions and personnel in central Vaasa will transfer to the new hub, along with the logistics and maintenance workshop operations from Runsor.

As a part of the project, Wärtsilä will invest €83 million in modern testing and production technology for the hub. The total investment in the Smart Technology Hub will be in the region of €200 million, consisting of office and factory buildings, logistics and infrastructure, and the new centre, the latest tangible step in Wärtsilä's Smart Marine and Smart Energy visions, will open its doors in Vaskiluoto in 2020.

HONG KONG – WORLDWIDE – Supply chain software management group Gravity is partnering with Microsoft solutions and henceforth the company’s wares will be made available on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, enabling their rapid deployment to potential customers. The partnership will also see Gravity and Microsoft join forces on marketing, industry and thought-leadership events, as well as co-sell Gravity’s SaaS solutions to companies in the retail, manufacturing and logistics sectors.

GERMANY – Heavy lift expert Combi Lift has announced it will be in future a more rounded logistics business for challenging transport works, particularly door-to-door and multimodal concepts, from the factory to the building side. The new dedicated Combi Lift team headed by Heiko Felderhoff and Holger Hinrichs consists of more than 20 experienced logisticians, naval architects and engineers.

THAILAND – The horrific sinking of the MV Phoenix off Coral Island on July 5 which resulted in the deaths of 47 Chinese tourists including 13 children has gone largely unreported in the Western press. The 29 metre long tour boat, sailing from Phuket in inclement weather would legally be subject to international standards of crew safety training, competence and safety equipment requirements as mandated by the IMO.

In July 2017 the Galileo Maritime Academy, an MCA accredited professional seafarer training centre in Phuket, proposed Thailand adopt a modified version of the MGN 280 training standards as developed and implemented over the last ten years by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) for small vessels in commercial use for sport, tourism, work boats and pilot boats. This proposal was presented to the Thai Marine Department which is a division of the Ministry of Transport.

The Thai authorities say there is to be a Marine Surveillance and Assistance Centre set up in the next 12 months and, in the meantime 100 investigators are being drafted in to study the causes of this, Thailand’s worst maritime disaster for many years.

Photo: The wreck of the Phoenix still lying in 45 metres of water 6 weeks after the tragedy. Bodies have been seen within the hull and strops fitted ready to raise her within the next few days.