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Hammond unveils lorry charging plans


12


Transport Under Secretary Stephen Hammond unveiled some details of the Government’s planned truck road charging scheme on 22 October. Intended to level the playing field between UK- based and foreign hauliers, he said it would remove the inequality of British trucks paying to use many roads abroad, but there being no such levy in the UK on foreign hauliers. Both foreign and UK-registered


HGVs of 12 tonnes and over will pay the levy but for British operators it will be offset by offsetting reductions in Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) payments. The necessary changes to the VED regime will be included in the 2014 Finance Bill. The levy will be time-based and


will vary according to the vehicle type, weight and number of axles. It will be a maximum of £1,000 per year or £10 per day for the largest vehicles. Foreign-registered vehicles will


be able to pay the levy either daily, weekly, monthly or annually.


administered


The scheme will be by


the It should also be noted that Driver


and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) or the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland and a private company will be contracted by the Department for Transport to administer the payment scheme for foreign- registered HGVs. The contractor will be required to maintain an electronic database of foreign- registered HGVs for which a levy has been paid and UK enforcement agencies will have access to it. The scheme will be enforced


by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) in Great Britain and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland. The British International


Freight Association (BIFA) said that while it was mindful that many of


its members use


overseas-based truckers, the modest figures involved should have no significant impact.


“fuel price volatility has a much greater negative impact on the sector than a modest and clearly- defined levy,” BIFA added. The Freight Transport


Association broadly welcomed the plan. Managing director of policy and communications James Hookham, said concerns that extra costs and burdens would not be allowed to fall on UK operators appeared to have been addressed. However, the precise reductions in VED will not be known until the Budget Statement in 2014 where they will be included as part of the Finance Bill. However, FTA will be


investigating further how charging will work in Northern Ireland across the land border with the Republic of Ireland and, while detailed arrangements have been announced for draw-bar combinations, FTA would work with members to understand their practicality.


Issue 6 2012 Don’t get hit


by knock-offs, warns BIFA


The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is warning its members to tighten up their controls on possible counterfeit goods, as they could be liable for their destruction under new legislation currently being considered by the European Commission. BIFA director general, Peter


Quantrill said that while the association has already opposed Commission proposals to make the carrier (which would include consolidators) responsible for the costs of disposing of counterfeit goods that infringe intellectual property rights, it remains a grey and area and freight carriers need to be vigilant. “Whilst freight forwarders, acting


as an intermediary, must act in good faith when accepting consignments for shipment, they must also exercise reasonable diligence,” he pointed out. According to recent Commission


statistics, customs services detained almost 115 million fake items in 2011, up on 2010’s figure of 103 million, with almost three- quarters of them from China.


Scots freight industry is a curate’s egg, says new report


There has been a sharp increase in the amount of containerised traffic passing through Scottish ports, partly because of the boom in whisky exports, according to a new report on the logistics industry there. However, there are concerns over the future of the country’s international ro ro links, it adds. The report was authored by


Professor Alan McKinnon of Kuhne University, Hamburg and Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh and published by the Freight Transport Association at its


Scottish Supply Chain Conference in Glasgow on 27 September in conjunction with leading law firm DWF-Biggart Baillie. It also found a substantial growth of roll-on roll-off traffic using Scottish ports, but this was mainly on the Northern Irish routes. Of more concern was the fact that volumes of ro-ro traffic on the Rosyth-Zeebrugge route have fallen well below their peak and are below the levels required for long term viability, the report stated. It found, too, that air freight handled by


tonnage Scottish


airports has dropped sharply, mainly as a result of the off-shoring of the electronics industry. At the same time, the composition and geographical distribution of Scotland’s air freight has radically altered, with the proportion of mail rising from 35% to 57% and Edinburgh capturing a larger share of the remaining air freight traffic than Prestwick and Glasgow combined. There are also still serious imbalances in freight traffic flows to and from Scotland


across all transport modes, which undoubtedly inhibits the development


of direct freight


services to and from the country. Scotland attracted only around


3% of the new UK floorspace in distribution centres of over 10,000 square metres between 1995 and 2011, although the recent decision by Amazon to locate its largest European distribution centre in Scotland suggests that the country could do more


to exploit its


locational advantages as a base for distribution operations.


///NEWS NEWS ROUNDUP AIRFREIGHT & EXPRESS


FedEx Express has expanded its Priority Alert and Priority Alert Plus services in over 70 international markets, including the UK. FedEx Priority Alert is aimed at customers in the financial, aerospace, electronics, manufacturing and healthcare industries, where timing and visibility is of the essence. Customers also receive 24/7 support from a dedicated team of global service analysts who provide an extra level of proactive monitoring and notification. FedEx Priority Alert Plus goes one step further in providing added services to preserve shipments, including including dry ice replenishment, gel pack reconditioning and access to cold storage and is aimed especially at the healthcare industry.


An Australian court has fined Emirates $10 million for alleged price fixing of fuel and other surcharges. The Middle East carrier reached a settlement with the Federal Court in Sydney, becoming the tenth airline to do so. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is also due to start proceedings against Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways for allegedly fixing fuel and other surcharges.


Kuehne + Nagel has entered into an agreement to settle a US lawsuit over alleged anti-competitive practices in relation to freight surcharges. The Swiss-based forwarder will pay US$28 million, and in addition, assign proceeds it itself receives from a pending class action against airlines.


US all-cargo airline Southern Air and its parent company, Southern Air Holdings filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, together with its parent company, Southern Air Holdings on 28 September. It followed losses of almost $160 million. The carrier operates a fleet of 747-200, -400 and 777 cargo planes, some of them on charter to operators such as DHL.


Manchester Airports Group and Australian investment company Industry Funds Management (IFM) are to make an official bid to buy Stansted airport. IFM would also take a 35% stake in local authority- owned MAG if the Stansted bid is successful.


Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won the contract to provide cargo handling for British Airways World Cargo (BAWC) at London’s Gatwick Airport. About half the airline’s cargo team at Gatwick transfer to WFS from 1 December. The remaining members of the BAWC staff at Gatwick will be offered positions by the airline at London Heathrow. In support of the agreement, WFS has acquired a second warehouse facility at Gatwick that will be dedicated to BAWC.


United Airlines is to start a five-times-weekly summer 757-200 service between Shannon and its Chicago hub from 6 June to 26 August 2013, subject to government approval. There will also be an additional 767-300 flight between London Heathrow and Houston, departing London at 13.05 and Houston at 20.30.


Etihad Cargo has launched a new service for valuable cargo such as precious metals and stones, jewellery, legal tender. Safeguard is initially being rolled out at 23 certified cargo locations across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and North America.


International Freight Forwarders • FCL/LCL - EU + Worldwide Services • Warehousing


• Road/Sea/Air/Breakbulk/Projects • Paperfree Trading • AEO Certified • Customs Brokers & EU Customs Compliance Specialists


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