Friday, June 29, 2018

A Look at Some Good, and Bad, Freight and Logistics Stories Around the World This Week

Some of the Global Shipping Trade News You May Have Missed
Shipping News Feature
AUSTRALIA – This week's breakdown of some items from the past seven days freight and logistics news starts with a follow up to the horrific recent stories concerning live animal transport, particularly those emanating from down under. The overwhelming evidence of casual, sadistic cruelty has finally resulted in the suspension of the export license of Emanuel Exports, the company whose behaviour first brought the situation under public scrutiny.

Emanuel are the largest single exporter of livestock in the country and with the other big player, Livestock Shipping Services, suspending shipments apparently as new federal regulations being considered by it as ‘too restricting’, it appears that currently the whole trade is more or less at a standstill. The live export of animals survives largely due to the requirement for halal slaughtered meat overseas, but recent cases have seen up to 2,500 animals in each shipment dying in the very worst conditions and a huge backlash from the public when the facts were revealed.

UK – The Road Haulage Association (RHA) says it is baffled as to why Midlands Expressway, operators of Birmingham’s M6 toll road, have decided to increase their charges by 20p-50p per HGV depending on the journey made. Charges for night-time journeys remain unchanged. The previous increases introduced in 2017 saw a continued freeze in the toll for HGVs. RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said:

“For many hauliers the M6 toll road has never been the route of choice, they simply can’t afford to use it. They must make every penny count and spending £11 on a one-way journey, let alone using it every day, is simply out of the question. Will an increase of 50p per truck making a daytime journey make that much difference to the toll road’s bank balance? Probably not. But for many small hauliers who have little choice but to pay the toll on a regular basis, it could deter them from using the road altogether.”

UK – Southampton-headquartered ship repairer and marine engineering services provider SMS has completed its first ever major high speed craft (HSC) refit in France after docking the HSC Condor Rapide in Cherbourg on the Port Normands Associe’s (PNA) ship lift. The company says the 3,000 tonne capacity, 90 metre long Rolls Royce syncrolift offers a more effective solution for operators in the Solent than the ship repair yards in the North East and South West. MD Chris Norman, said:

“The facility is perfect. We’re masters of our own destiny here in France and the proximity of the lift to the Solent region gives us a viable solution for not only Condor Ferries but also the likes of Brittany Ferries, Wightlink and Red Funnel, whilst our sister company the Wight Shipyard Co goes from strength-to-strength in the new build sector.”

UK – Having been selected earlier this month to trial the new electric Daimler FUSOP eCanter trucks in urban environments, Wincanton has announced it will also be trying out an LNG gas-powered Volvo FH LNG 460 as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to exploring alternative fuels. Data from the trial, collected through an in-cab telematics system, will be scrutinised by the Wincanton technical team and also fed back to Volvo as part of the ongoing development of the vehicle.

NORWAY – WORLDWIDE – Xeneta, a company which benchmarks freight rates and offers market intelligence, has introduced Xeneta Shipping Index (XSI™) that it says will allow shippers, freight forwarders and carriers to conduct freight rate negotiations to set rates without the problems of market fluctuations. The company says that using the system will allow partners who agree to use the Index to secure competitive rates over the long-term relieving them from frequent or periodic contract negotiations.

US – The Secretary of Defense, James N. Mattis, congratulated more than 1,600 young men and women who have graduated from the seven US maritime academies this year who are destined to fill the gap caused by retirements of older mariners, emphasising the importance of a strong merchant navy which moves almost a billion tonnes of domestic freight annually. He said:

”You're going to bind the muscles of American commerce and that's a simple reality because as small as our Merchant Marine may be today, it is absolutely essential. It's in every war plan that I review…you're going to be the fourth arm of defense. You're going to sustain our allies and fuel our ships and ferry our warriors. It's as simple as that, and we're going to need you as we see the storm clouds gather elsewhere as our diplomats are in a position where we have to buy time for them to solve problems.”

US – Last month Schneider, which operates a fleet of over 10,000 tractors, was awarded the National Safety Council’s Green Cross for Safety Excellence Award, becoming the first truckload carrier so honoured. This award recognizes the successes of the company’s collision mitigation initiatives and affirms the company emulates its core value of enhanced vehicle safety. Schneider says it encourages others, original equipment manufacturers, fleets and truck owners, to add collision mitigation technology on all new trucks, making highways safer for all motorists.

INDIA – Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has supplied a suite of products, including Quick Release Hook Units and Environmental Monitoring, SmartDock Docking Aid and Central Integrated Monitoring systems, to H-Energy’s Floating Storage Re-gasification Unit (FSRU) based LNG terminal at JSW Infrastructure’s Jaigarh Port in Ratnagiri District, Maharashtra.

Developed in accordance with industry leading engineering and safety standards and an annual capacity of 4 MMTPA, H-Energy’s LNG Terminal will offer storage, re-gasification, re-loading, fuel bunkering and truck loading facilities to cater to the growing energy demand of Indian industries. When operational in Q4 2018, the re-gasified LNG will be supplied to customers, through a 60 kilometre tie-in pipeline which will be connected to a national gas grid at Dabhol.

DENMARK – A new 50/50 joint venture between Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service saw the birth in April of Maersk Decom, a company designed to provide decommissioning solutions to global oil and gas operators. The company says, despite the recent uptick in oil price, decommissioning projects will still go ahead due to drivers such as infrastructure integrity, class approval and recertification, and limited export infrastructure.

In the North Sea alone the company says more than 400 fields are expected to cease production by 2026 and, with the management team in place, recruitment for the remaining positions within the company is currently ongoing as it receives growing interest from potential customers.

GERMANY – POLAND – CHINA – Kuehne + Nagel and the BMW Group have expanded their partnership with two new distribution centres in Germany and Poland and dealer distribution from the two main BMW regional distribution centres (RDCs) in China, all of them focus markets for the German premium class car manufacturer.

The long lasting partnership between the pair now sees 14 similar locations around the globe with a consolidated presence in China. The new facilities are the 70,000 m2 RDC in Kleinaitingen and an initial 30,900 m2 at the new warehouse in Slubice, with an option for another 10,700 m2 extension. Meanwhile the RDC dealer distribution by road and air from Beijing and Shanghai will provide daily spare parts deliveries to 340 dealers in North,Central and Eastern China.

PAKISTAN – After strike action at the Hutchison Ports operated South Asia Pakistan Terminals (SAPT) following the dismissal of a worker and a fight to introduce a union to the facility, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) tells us that the company has now officially recognised the SAPT Democratic Workers’ Union.

The ITF says Hutchison Ports Pakistan also agreed to restore the jobs of the union’s President, Marvia Muhammed, and another member who were dismissed in March, and agreed to enter into negotiations to improve conditions at the port for workers.

EUROPE – UAE – Freight forwarder Rhenus Project Logistics, has launched what it claims is the first groupage freight traffic for temperature-controlled goods to the UAE by sea. The regular bi-monthly service provides customers in Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Benelux countries with a new link to their target markets in Dubai.

The new consolidation service is primarily designed to be used for temperature sensitive products such as chocolate, baked goods or cheese. Maintaining a constant temperature is imperative for these items. Depending on customer requirements, the temperature of the 20 and 40 foot containers can be set anywhere between -25C and +25C.

The reefers will initially be loaded centrally at a refrigerated logistics warehouse in Breda in the Netherlands, not far from the port of Rotterdam. From here, the shipment begins a 19-day voyage at sea to the Arabian Gulf, where they will be received by Rhenus Logistics Gulf at the port of Jebel Ali, before being delivered to the end customer.

Photo: The ‘Ship of Death’, the infamous Awassi Express, the story of her voyage in which almost 2,500 sheep died in appalling conditions of heat exhaustion last year brought the state of the industry to public attention after a whistle-blower broadcast a video of how near 80,000 animals were crammed together.