Friday, January 15, 2021

A Selection of Freight and Logistics Related Stories You May Have Missed This Week

Some Relevant Items That Never Made the Headlines
Shipping News Feature

UK – The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has granted the British Standards Institution (BSI) approval for UKCA product marking. This new marking is required for placing relevant regulated products on the market in England, Scotland and Wales from 1 January 2021. BSI will also continue to be a Notified Body for the Northern Ireland market.

The UKCA mark replaces CE marking in Great Britain (GB) countries, although CE marking will continue to be recognised for products being placed on the GB market that have been certified by an EU notified body until the end of December 2021. Several organisations have already achieved the UKCA mark with BSI. The organisations certified by BSI can be viewed here in the BSI Verifeye directory.

UK – Witherbys, the Scottish based maritime publisher, has put cyber security, flexible access and increased data at the heart of its new ereader software, Witherby Connect. The new software will enable mariners anywhere in the world to continue to reference a library of publications, with the hybrid software delivering more flexibility and security for those working at sea.

Witherby Connect was created following the success of the company’s previous ereaders in providing a comprehensive marine library, with the additional benefit of flexibility to use on and offline. When initially connected to the internet, whether in port or at sea, the browser caches all the licensed publications that are selected, meaning that once the information is 'cached', the user does not have to be connected to the internet to view their chosen publications.

SPAIN – WORLDWIDE – The Globalia Logistics Network has partnered with freight consolidator SHIPCO to enable its agents to access the LCL rates in over thirty countries right from the FreightViewer platform. The network says incorporation of this feature in its member-exclusive TMS FreightViewer is in line with the network’s dedication towards the development of a digital strategy.

The theory is that the ability to access the freight rates from external providers, along with all the valuable data furnished by carriers, allows the members to automate a considerable chunk of their day-to-day paperwork and allow member companies to merge the expertise of reputable forwarding companies with all the opportunities afforded by a pioneering digital tool.

US – U-Freight North America, the US subsidiary of the U-Freight Group, has added a consolidation centre for ocean freight shipments at its freight hub in Chicago, joining its other main ocean freight hub in Los Angeles.

The company says that the move will enable it to better serve customers on the US East and West coasts, as well as the markets in the Mid West. U-Ocean is the ocean freight arm of the global freight forwarder offering scheduled weekly ocean freight export and import consolidation services in numerous trades.

US – Louisville, Kentucky based conveyor manufacturer Lauyans & Co. has been acquired by W M Kelley a 100% employee owned Indiana headquartered engineering outfit, specialising in the design and manufacture of materials handling equipment. Lauyans & Company team members joining the 50 year established W. M. Kelley family will share in its employee ownership and continue to operate out of its current facility.

NORWAY – The Nor-Shipping exhibition and activity programme, planned for June 2021, has again fallen victim to the Covid-19 pandemic and been put back now to 10-13 January 2022. Faced with the possibility of a scaled down, socially distanced exhibition it was felt essential to retain the elements of ‘personality and impact’.

Nor-Shipping 2019 was the most successful event week in the initiative’s over 50 year history. It saw more than 50,000 participants (a 34% increase over 2017), gathering from over 85 nations, at the main exhibition halls in Lillestrøm and across venues throughout nearby Oslo. However, under the current circumstances, the planned 2021 programme could not have delivered the same industry impact, experience and value.

CHINA – FRANCE – CEVA Logistics has launched an express train service from Jinhua (China) to Dourges (France) to provide additional freight capacity for shippers amid what it terms ‘unprecedented demand’ for transport and logistics services.

The service connects a string of ‘Belt and Road’ countries such as Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, and Germany with a journey of over 11,000 kilometres. Having Dourges as the transit point, the destination delivery outreach will cover Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy as well as France.

WORLDWIDE – Global shipping software solutions provider, Softship, has launched an innovative, web-based Port Cost Calculator for carriers to maintain up-to-the-minute, fully accurate records and full visibility of expenses at all stages of each individual port call. A vessel’s expected port activities are pre-loaded into the Softship Port Cost Calculator from the original port call templates and unforeseen or real-time adjustments can be taken direct from vessel reports.

Based on this, the Calculator will present a list of all expected charges and costs. These are then automatically applied to the overall voyage result giving the carrier full visibility over the financial performance of each voyage. The Calculator integrates seamlessly with existing IT systems and data is exchanged by standard JSON or XML files. Vendor invoices are automatically reconciled and approved for payment which reduces staff time and errors.

Photo: A sight so many in the logistics, and many others, long for. The bustle of a busy exhibition and conference such as this previous Nor-Shipping event.