Friday, June 8, 2018

Snippets This Week from the World of Shipping and Logistics around the Globe

A Brief Catch Up on Some Smaller Freight Related Items You May Have Missed
Shipping News Feature
NORTH AMERICA – It seems the eternal struggle for logistics companies, shippers etc. to balance capacity and demand still affects every aspect of the supply chain. Whilst the world of ocean freight tries to negate the problem with ever bigger container ship orders one year followed swiftly by shipping line alliances and slow steaming the next, in Canada it is road haulage transport which is giving pause for thought.

Montreal based C3 Solutions, an information technology company which specialises in yard management and dock scheduling solutions, has released a white paper, ‘Leveling up: Navigating the New Trucking Landscape’, that looks at the problems of an unbalanced market. According to figures quoted in the report US truckers are rejecting loads at an unprecedented rate, 10,000 a week from major retailers alone, with a consequent price hike across the board.

US – The Board of the Georgia Ports Authority (GPA) has approved the purchase of 10 additional Konecranes Rubber Tired Gantry (RTG) cranes. This will bring the fleet at Garden City Terminal, Port of Savannah, to 156 Konecranes RTGs. The Port of Savannah had a record April in which 356,700 twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEU) were moved, an increase of 7.1% over April of last year and claims to be the fastest growing container port in the US.

The new cranes will handle containers in three new container rows that will increase annual capacity at the Port of Savannah by 150,000 TEUs. The RTGs will work over stacks that are five containers high and six deep, with a truck lane running alongside the stacks. Capable of running on electricity with cable-reel readiness, the cranes will have a lifting capacity of 50 tonnes. The cranes will be delivered in two batches of five in the first and second quarters of 2019.

FRANCE – SINGAPORE – Ze Box, the ‘Start Up Digital Incubator’ formed by French container shipping line CMA CGM earlier this year, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with PSA unboxed, the venture capital arm of Singapore based port group, PSA International. The pair intend to collaborate on improving digital supply chain management solutions.

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from CMA CGM Group said the two will mentor start-up operations and the intention is to accelerate company digital strategy. Tan Chong Meng, Group Chief Executive Officer from PSA International added that the complementary strengths of the two companies will aid the production of solutions to technological disruptions and changing customer needs.

UK – Red Funnel, the Isle of Wight ferry operator has announced that its new £10 million freight ship will be called Red Kestrel. The name was announced at the keel laying ceremony at the Cammell Laird yard in Birkenhead. The British shipyard is scheduled to deliver this, the company’s first dedicated RoRo freight vessel in spring 2019.

In time honoured tradition and as a symbol of good luck coins, in this case an Isle of Wight silver sixpence dating from 1811 and a halfpenny from 1792, were placed under the keelblock. Both coins will eventually be recovered and presented to Red Kestrel when she enters service.

On 22-23 September Red Funnel will sponsor an Island wide coastal beach clean as an integral part of this year’s annual Isle of Wight Day celebrations. The Isle of Wight has 67 miles of coastline and whilst its beaches are amongst the cleanest along the south coast, the objective of the island wide beach clean is to encourage communities and visitors to help remove as much plastic and litter as possible over one weekend and enjoy some fresh sea air in the process.

UK – Staff are still being employed by Peel Ports in Liverpool and applicants are encouraged to apply here. The company has already recently taken on 25 people on a full time and permanent basis who will work at both the port’s new Liverpool2 container terminal as well as at Royal Seaforth Container Terminal. The new employees will be initially trained as a port operatives, with the expectation many will progress into specialised roles at the port including tug drivers and gantry crane operators.

UK – NETHERLANDS – UK based design, engineering and risk management consultancy BMT has announced the acquisition of OBEG Fire Investigators, one of the most recognised fire investigation groups, as from the beginning of this month. Founder of OBEG, Erik Overtoom, is also head of the Dutch chapter of the US IAAI (International Association of Arson Investigators), and head lecturer at the Dutch Fire Academy.

Following the acquisition by BMT, OBEG will continue to trade under its own name for a period of two years and offer its customers the usual services with Overtoom remaining the focal point for customers in the Netherlands.

EUROPE – Hitachi Europe, the Maidenhead based arm of the group, has partnered with Stena Line to implement artificial intelligence technology on ships to reduce fuel consumption costs and assist in the company’s efforts to minimise environmental impact. By leveraging cutting-edge AI technologies, Hitachi says it will be able to identify the key factors causing high fuel consumption and, critically, advise how to make operations more efficient. Rune Kleiberg, Head of digital strategy, Stena Line, said:

“With a structured approach and by taking continuous initiatives, the aim is for Stena Line to become a leader in sustainable shipping. We are pleased to have Hitachi on board to help us in our cognitive journey to improve fleet operation across ship and shore, providing new capabilities for safer and more sustainable ferry journeys, as well as helping improve operational efficiencies and overall vessel performance.”

SOUTH KOREA – No great surprises as, after despatching a Request for Proposal (RFP) to a range of shipbuilding companies on April 10, Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) has selected three fellow nationals to construct the twenty new containerships it is ordering in order to fulfil its ‘Capacity of 1 Million TEU’ strategy.

Largest yard in the world and stable mate Hyundai Heavy Industries will build eight 14,000 TEU vessels to be delivered in the second quarter of 2021. Twelve 23,000 TEU box boats are due for delivery in the second quarter of 2020, seven from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) and five from Samsung Heavy Industries.

US – CFI, the Missouri based full load carrier subsidiary of the giant TFI International trucking group, has upped its order this year for new Kenworth T680 over-the-road long-haul tractors from 500 to 600, all the trucks expected for delivery by December.

The additional new tractors represent the latest investment in a two-year modernisation programme, begun in 2017, that by the end of this year, will have replaced 65% of CFI’s North American power fleet with the new, high-performance, driver-preferred Kenworth tractors. CFI operates 1,897 company-owned power units and 7,365, 53-foot dry-van trailers, and employs about 350 owner-operators.

SWITZERLAND – WORLDWIDE – Having handled almost 10 million transactions last year alone via its system, Zebraxx, an application service provider of logistics solutions, is to extend its relationship with freight forwarding outfit Kuehne + Nagel by entering a strategic partnership to provide last mile shipment visibility for the company’s clients. The alliance aims to strengthen Kuehne + Nagel’s capacity to offer additional methods for collecting and sharing delivery information, such as real-time vehicle location, photographic evidence of the state of consignments and delivery confirmation, IoT validation or electronic proof-of-delivery (ePOD) – independent from backbone systems and carriers used.

Customers will be further integrated in the data exchange; enhanced functionalities on mobile devices, like alerts or ePOD via social messengers, will improve the seamless interaction along the supply chain. Working with KN Login, Kuehne + Nagel’s monitoring and visibility platform, customers will benefit from a standardised single source for all delivery information, which further enhances the customer proposition and supports wider geographic roll-out.

NIGERIA – Logistics outfit GAC informs us that, according to local reports, containers are trapped inside Lagos Port Complex Apapa as a result of the lockdown created by the introduction of a new policy on the return of containers to the port. Problems are reported to have started after Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) management took over control of traffic in and out of the port area from the Nigerian Navy. In protest, truck drivers serving the port downed tools on Tuesday and Wednesday (5 & 6 June). The resulting confusion in cargo operation at the port has led to a large backlog of containers which should have left the port. The NPA action was apparently limited only to the Lagos Port Complex Apapa, while business is continuing as usual at Tin Can Island Port.