Friday, August 4, 2017

The Friday Freight and Logistics News Round Up

Some of the Stories that Didn't Headline this Week
Shipping News Feature

UK – CCS-UK User Group, the body which manages, and commissions enhancements to, the CCS-UK community system, is working on a new module that will speed up deliveries to, and collections from, transit sheds at London Heathrow Airport. It follows the recent launch of CCS-UK Fallback, which provides an electronic safety net in the event of a major outage of the Customs computer.

The latest module, CCS-UK Advanced Info, will enable freight agents, and transport companies working on their behalf, to pre-alert handling agents of loads being delivered as well as submit Electronic Consignment Security Declarations (eCSD). Agents using the system will benefit from pre-allocated truck doors, cutting down or eradicating queuing. Handling agents meanwhile will receive cargo information direct into their systems, so eliminating re-keying, speeding up vehicle processing and enabling more efficient use of their resources.

CCS-UK Advanced Info is initially being launched for the London Heathrow community, but will eventually be rolled out to all airport communities in the UK. CCS-UK User Group Chairman Steve Parker said:

“As the community trade body for virtually all of the UK air cargo industry, we believe we are the natural source for community solutions that will speed up air cargo flows in the UK, so improving our air cargo industry’s efficiency and competitiveness.

“CCS-UK Advanced Info is a major step towards eliminating inefficiency and cost in the UK air cargo industry. It provides tangible benefits for everyone and, as with our recently-launched CCS-UK Fallback system, it is being provided completely free of charge to all our members.”

FRANCE – BLACK SEA – NORTH AFRICA – CMA CGM is launching the Black Sea Med Express service on August 21st, which connects the major countries around the Black Sea (Turkey, Romania and Ukraine) to Algeria and Morocco.

It is the first service of CMA CGM to offer a weekly connection between the main ports of the Black and Aegean seas with the North of Morocco (Tangier and Casablanca) and Algeria (Annaba) in order to develop the activity between The Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea with short lines.

GREECE – Diana Containerships Inc., a global shipping company specialising in the ownership of container ships, announced that it has received written notification from the Nasdaq Stock Market indicating that the Company is no longer in compliance with the continued listing requirement under Nasdaq Listing Rule 5450(b)(1)(C) because the market value of publicly held shares (“MVPHS”) was below $5,000,000 for 30 consecutive business days. Under Nasdaq rules, publicly held shares is defined as total shares outstanding, less any shares held directly or indirectly by officers, directors or any person who is the beneficial owner of more than 10% of the total shares outstanding of the Company.

Diana says that they intend to monitor its MVPHS during the prescribed grace period and is considering all options that will allow its common shares to remain listed on Nasdaq. During this time, the Company’s common shares will continue to be listed and trade on the Nasdaq Global Select Market. The Company’s business operations are not affected by the receipt of the notification.

UAE – Fitch Ratings has upgraded DP World’s Limited’s Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) to BBB+ from BBB and affirmed Short-Term IDR at F2. DP World state that this reflects the company’s solid performance and stable cash flow generation.

Fitch also notes the Group’s flexibility in its expansion plan to maintain leverage below the threshold of 4.5x, well diversified and resilient portfolio and pricing power due to its significant exposure to origin and destination traffic. Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO, DP World, said:

“We are delighted that Fitch has again upgraded our credit rating by one notch after both credit rating agencies used by DP World, Fitch and Moody’s, had already upgraded our rating last year. To receive consecutive upgrades in the current market conditions is a true recognition of the strength and resilience of our business alongside our long-term growth potential and continued progress to create the most productive, efficient and safe trade solutions globally. We remain committed to delivering growth through continued disciplined investments and managing leverage.”

HONG KONG – Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) – Hong Kong’s only independent cargo handler – has achieved a 16.6% increase in handled tonnage in the first half of 2017. The total of 860,242 tonnes represents growth in exports, imports, transhipments and mail/express. Hactl attributes the results to a number of factors, including continuing modal shift from sea to air, overflow from mainland Chinese airports, and the continuing strengthening of e-commerce traffic. Hactl Chief Executive, Mark Whitehead, said:

“Deliberate reductions in ocean capacity, continued slow-steaming and port congestion due to mounting use of mega vessels are all playing a part in the shift from ocean to air. The volumes involved will be of little concern to the ocean business, but are a significant bonus to the airfreight industry.”

AUSTRALIA – Liebherr Maritime is about to establish full service, spares and sales activities in Australia, New Zealand and the Oceania region. In a statement the company said:

“With 40 ship-to-shore cranes and straddle carriers from our Killarney sister company, 35 MHCs, and in excess of 10 offshore cranes in the Oceania region, it has now been decided to take the maritime business unit to the next level. Therefore, Liebherr will directly establish full service, spares and sales activities in the region. This will lead to better support for our customers using factory trained locally recruited engineers. It also means that new products can be introduced, such as our new Liebherr Reachstacker or new mobile harbour crane types and offshore cranes.”

US – Crowley Maritime Corp’s ocean class tugboats and 455-series high-deck strength barges recently played an integral role in the safe, successful tow and installation of Hess’ Stampede tension-leg platform (TLP) in the deep waters of the U.S. Gulf. The six Crowley vessels worked together alongside other third-party assets to deliver the oversized, overweight platform, tendons and other equipment from the Kiewit facility in Ingleside, Texas, to the site of the Stampede floating production facility, about 150 miles offshore in 3,400 feet of water.

“The tow-out and installation support work we provided was highly successful,” explained Crowley’s Mike Rampolla, general manager, offshore services. “This project was an excellent example of the types of projects Crowley’s offshore and heavylift personnel and assets are ideally suited for. We have several future jobs in the pipeline and look forward to bringing our full capabilities together to ensure successful outcomes for our energy customers.

WORLDWIDE – The shipping world needs to wake up and embrace the philosophy of smart shipping because it is already here and the downturn in the world economy is not going to last forever, according to Panos Kirnidis, CEO of the Palau International Ship Registry.

“The maritime industry knows that smart ships and smart technology is the way forward and yet there seems to be reluctance on the part of some owners to fully embrace the technology. When the world economy turns and the shipping world recovers, progress in technology will be one of the real driving forces. The time to embrace this technology is now. Smart ships are here and so are smart registries,” he said.

Photo: The Hess Stampede tension-leg platform (TLP) manoeuvring into position.