Friday, September 11, 2020

The Week's Round Up of Freight and Logistics Snippets

The Bits You May Have Missed
Shipping News Feature

UK – FRANCE – With the continuing threat of infection it seems the Channel Tunnel is being favoured by many passengers and freight vehicles passing between the two countries. The Le Shuttle services give no possibility of anyone leaving their vehicles during the 35 minute crossing thereby eliminating the chances of passing on the virus.

With 110,327 trucks transported during August 2020, operator Getlink tells us Le Shuttle Freight has maintained its resilience in the current economic circumstances. Since the first of January 2020, almost 900,000 trucks have crossed the Channel via the route whilst Le Shuttle has carried almost 1,056,000 passenger vehicles in the same period, despite the restrictions.

UK – Traffic control assets across London will continue to be managed by UK technology and network services company, Telent, as Transport for London (TfL) has renewed their contract for another year. Under the agreement, which Telent has held since 2014, the company will continue to supply, install and maintain more than 3,000 traffic control assets for TfL, including traffic signals, Variable Message Signs (VMS) and Over-height Vehicle Detection (OVD) systems.

UK – In response to emergency legislation passed by government to allow for the allocation of a reported 29 potential sites for lorry parks across the UK, Chris Yarsley, Logistics UK’s Policy Manager for Road Infrastructure, commented:

“Logistics UK supports the development of suitable infrastructure to assist with border readiness, these sites are essential to keep disruption on the UK’s roads to a minimum post-transition period, and for keeping trade moving as smoothly as possible across borders. We have been urging the government to ensure that drivers will have access to facilities, such as toilets and showers, if they are to be held in place for some time and are therefore pleased to see that the Order includes a provision for welfare facilities.

“However, we urge the government to ensure that the sites are placed in appropriate locations, close to road networks and fully accessible for commercial vehicles. For example, they should be placed away from unsuitable roads and low bridges. Logistics UK is calling on the government to ensure that the sites are staffed with qualified officials who have the means and the authority to get a vehicle border ready if the driver does not have the full paperwork required.”

GERMANY – Just months after opening its latest multi-user warehouse, located in Werne, Germany, rapidly-growing business has led Imperial to expand the facility’s capacity by 30%, with the leasing of a further adjacent unit. The additional space brings the total under-cover storage area to almost 30,000 square metres.

The extra warehousing will be part-racked for pallets, while some of the new floor space will be left open for handling and storing of outsize goods. Truck door numbers are now up to 25 with a 7,000 square metre yard. The expansion of the facility has been necessitated by organic business growth within the facility’s two launch customers, but some 50% of the additional capacity created will be reserved for anticipated new clients.

GERMANY – Dachser’s Rheine logistics centre is creating more space for storage and value-added services. Construction is underway close to the company's site on a new distribution centre, which will go into operation in October 2020. The heart of the facility on Sandkampstrasse is a 20,800 m2 logistics terminal with 26 loading gates for trucks and up to 36,800 pallet spaces. Additionally, there is 1,200 m2 of office space.

The new distribution centre will be operated for customers in various sectors, including the manufacturing industry, healthcare, DIY, and the textile trade. In addition to warehousing, picking, and shipping goods, the employees will provide additional services such as display building, repackaging, special labelling, assembly work, and returns handling, depending on customer requirements.

CHINA –The composite index of the Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) has leapt from its lowest point on 24 April this year to the highest seen since September 2012 with a 54.4% jump. Rates from Shanghai to the US ports have risen alarmingly, as much as 143.4% to the west coast whilst east coast and European ports have seen spot rate rises of 60.6% and 36.7% respectively.

These shifts have of course much to do with the pandemic. Now, with the possibility of 500,000 TEU capacity between Asia and North America later this month as extra sailings are introduced, it is likely there will be a flattening out, followed by a fall in rates unless action is taken to cut services by the carriers.

UAE – Jebel Ali, the only port in the Arabian Gulf region connected to the arterial FE3 (Far East 3) loop with the ability to accommodate mega vessels, and so this week the DP World facility welcomed the first visit of the HMM Gdansk on the return leg of her maiden international voyage between the Far East and Europe.

The 400 metre, 24,000 TEU ship came directly from another of the Dubai group’s ports, London Gateway, en route to Singapore, her next call in a journey that began in Busan, South Korea on 29 June, with calls at Yantian, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp.

US – As part of wider expansion plans, maritime cyber security systems pioneer Naval Dome has established a significant presence in the Americas with the opening of a new product development and customer service centre in Boston, Massachusetts. The opening of the 12,000 square foot facility in Cambridge, a Boston suburb, coincides with the appointment of an expanded leadership team selected to drive forward the company’s ambitious growth strategy.

The Boston facility, led by Naval Dome’s newly appointed Head of North America Operations, Robert Rizika, will be manned 24/7 to provide global, single-point support to those rig, ship and port operators with assets protected by Naval Dome. The hub will also house an R&D centre to monitor emergent cyber threats and to develop core software and new solutions.

SPAIN – Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won two major contracts to handle AirBridgeCargo Airlines’ (ABC) and Air China Cargo’s new freighter operations at Madrid Airport. AirBridgeCargo has appointed WFS to provide ramp handling for its three Boeing 747F flights a week to Madrid, while Air China Cargo has chosen WFS for ramp and cargo handling services for the airline’s three B777 and B747 all-cargo flights per week to the Spanish capital.

WFS operates three cargo centres at Madrid Airport with over 10,500 m2 of surface space. These facilities include dedicated areas to handle all types of goods, from general cargo, courier and express shipments to temperature-sensitive perishables and pharmaceuticals, AVI and valuable products.

Photo: The HMM Gdansk called at Jebel Ali this week.