08 September 2017

The Weekly Freight and Logistics News Round Up  

Some Smaller Shipping Stories from Around the Globe

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Shipping News Feature UK – A commitment to driver comfort as well as operational efficiency prompted South Wales road haulage operator John Pearce Glynneath to invest in its first new Mercedes-Benz rigid for some 15 years. Managing Director of the family run outfit based near Swansea, Clive Davies, explained what led the company to fork out for the first Actros, saying:

“Driver Wayne Whetton has been with us for a number of years now, so we thought we’d get him something tidy to go up the road in. The Actros has a nice, comfortable cab which is spacious and well laid out, while it’s also a great flagship for our company.

“We have a long-established relationship with another manufacturer, and continue to buy its products too. It’s fair to say, though, that we’ve been very happy with the fuel-efficiency and performance of our Actros, while the drivers are also enjoying them.”

FRANCE – Ceva Logistics has won a major delivery contract with leading French-headquartered, multi-national retailer Carrefour. Centred initially on the Paris region, Ceva is now responsible for deliveries of soft drinks and dried products to almost 60 stores on a daily basis. Ceva's Managing Director France, Robert Plent, said:

"Key to the success is to understand the way Carrefour and the stores operate. We permanently adapt our processes in order to deliver the best value to the stores. They like the entrepreneurial spirit and a swift decision-making process and this means we can design solutions for them which can be effective immediately. This includes challenging each other with concepts and ideas which will improve their business for the long-term. It also opens the potential to introduce other value-added services in the future".

GERMANY – Time critical logistics operator GBA Services has launched its latest European operation, to cover the German market. GBA is already established in the UK, Poland and Austria. GBA Logistics Germany GmbH is based in Bremen, from where it will provide the full portfolio of GBA’s services – including time-critical, high-security and temperature-critical transport. Although chiefly focused on express road services, GBA’s German operation will also offer global multi-modal forwarding of exports and imports.

The new German operation marks an important further step in GBA’s post-Brexit strategy, as the UK-based business readies itself for a possible fragmentation of the single market, and potential restrictions and added regulation on future cross-border transport operations. Says GBA Services Managing Director, David Birkbeck:

“GBA remains entirely optimistic about the long-term impact of Brexit, in which there will be both challenges and opportunities. But we share the widespread uncertainty about the more immediate steps we must take to maintain and expand our business in a newly-configured Europe. So, while we hope for the continuation of the single market and its simplified trade procedures, we must plan for the possibility that some of the current flexibility may not carry through.

“Our strategy is therefore to look at each major European market in isolation, and to assume that we will require a physical presence in a number of European locations, to underpin our long-term expansion plans. This is what informed our decision to invest in our own German base, and there will be more such openings in due course.”

RUSSIA – US – Freight airline AirBridgeCargo (ABC) has achieved Envirotainer’s QEP accreditation at its global hub at Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport and in Dallas, one of its six online gateways in the US. Fedor Novikov, Director Pharma, Global at AirBridgeCargo, said:

“Gaining QEP accreditation is yet another sign of the commitment we are making to our pharmaceutical customers and further demonstrates our ability to protect the quality and integrity of temperature-sensitive pharma products. We have been heavily involved in pharma transportation since 2016 and our focus over the last 18 months has been to invest in developing the products and services our customers need. QEP accreditation is one of the benchmarks we and our customers recognise as being very important as we grow pharma volumes across our network.”

In November 2016, AirBridgeCargo also became the first airline in Russia and only the seventh carrier in the world to receive IATA CEIV Pharma certification, which addresses the need for more safety, security, compliance and efficiency through a globally consistent pharmaceutical product handling certification programme.

US — Dematic, a leading global supplier of integrated automated technology, software and services to optimise the supply chain, announced it has signed a global agreement with AutoStore. As a qualified system integrator, Dematic will design, configure, engineer, install and support AutoStore as a sub-system within an overall Dematic solution or as a standalone piece picking system throughout the globe. Jeff Moss, CEO, Dematic International, said:

“The Dematic suite of solutions is comprehensive; adding AutoStore to the mix enables users to obtain the ideal storage, buffering and piece picking solution. The ability to design and implement a wide variety of system configurations is critical to effectively accommodate the growing demands of omni-channel distribution in this age of acceleration.”

US – Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), one of the world’s largest cargo handler, saw total volumes across its near 60 cargo locations across the U.S. rise by more than 17% in the first seven months of 2017.

WFS, which handled over 1.8 million tonnes for customers in North America in 2016, won a further 37 new airline contracts in the opening seven months of this year as well as 10 contract renewals from existing customers. These agreements included contracts with Avianca Cargo in Miami, Atlas Air/Polar Air Cargo in Cincinnati, and AirBridgeCargo Airlines in Los Angeles as well as China Airlines in Chicago, LOT Polish in Newark and Los Angeles, and Swiss International Air Lines in San Diego. Ray Jetha, Senior Vice President, Sales & Business Development for WFS in North America, says said:

“The air cargo industry is experiencing an uptick and we feel that we are in a good position to accommodate this growth with our current operations. As predicted, we will see an increase in the eCommerce market and this will certainly put some pressure on regular air cargo shipments. We are ready to take on this challenge and have put the necessary infrastructure in place in order to minimize the impact and also take advantage of the opportunities we expect to be created.”

US – Eagle Bulk Shipping announced that it has taken delivery of the M/V Westport Eagle, the ninth and final Crown-63 Ultramax dry bulk vessel the Company acquired from Greenship Bulk Trust. Gary Vogel, Eagle Bulk's CEO, commented:

"The successful conclusion of the nine-vessel fleet acquisition from Greenship Bulk provides clear and unambiguous benefits for Eagle, chief among them a significantly expanded commercial footprint and a more modern and efficient fleet. These positive developments, in conjunction with the successful buildout of our active management model, should help ensure we generate both higher time charter equivalent (“TCE”) earnings and incremental shareholder value.”

With the addition of the M/V Westport Eagle, the Eagle Bulk fleet currently consists of 48 vessels on the water, comprised exclusively of Supramax/Ultramax vessels.

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