This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Issue 6 2012


Holding on to what you’ve got

With European markets in turmoil, a static performance is actually a good one in the current climate – and that is what the Scandinavian markets have achieved this year. The question now is whether it will be quick thaw or a long hard winter.

TransAtlantic on the right lines

Swedish shipping operator TransAtlantic UK handled its first rail movement at its new Hull terminal in mid-September when DB Schenker rail moved a load of steel from Swedish manufacturer SSAB to a rail terminal in Wolverhampton for onward distribution to customers in the West Midlands. TransAtlantic has its own

railhead at its new terminal at Hull’s King George Dock, to which it moved early this year, explains UK managing director, Nick Green. It is expected to be the first of many such operations, he told FBJ. “DB Schenker offers a very flexible service ranging from full to part train loads.” The rail service is all part and

parcel of Transatlantic’s efforts to offer its customers a state-of-the- art, bespoke service. In times gone by, cargoes such as steel or timber were looked on as needing no special handling, but no longer says Nick Green: “Our new no. 6 shed at King George Dock is our flagship facility and has been designed for high-quality steel shipments, with full temperature and humidity control.” TransAtlantic made the move

out of Goole primarily because its ships were getting too big for the inland port and oſten had to be part-discharged before sailing up the river. In Hull, the line continues to offer its twice-weekly Transpal service for containers and breakbulk from Aarhus in south Sweden, Vasteras and Norrkoping

in the east and Oxelösund, principally for steel-maker SSAB’s traffic. It’s one of the few services to operate from Sweden’s eastern seaboard to the UK and as such has a distinct advantage, says Nick Green. Recently, the service was further

expanded to include weekly sailings between Szczecin, Poland and Hull opening up not only the UK/Poland market but also that between south Sweden to Szczecin. “Szczecin is an excellent

alternative for our customers to reach the Polish, German and the European markets combined with the connection to the UK”, said Klas Eskilsson, CCO at industrial shipping, TransAtlantic. Aſter a quiet summer, business

between Sweden and the UK seems to be picking up well, with demand for high quality Swedish steel and forest products holding up well, Green continued. Along with the UK terminal

move, TransAtlantic has also been through a reorganisation, preparing for a split-up of its two business areas; Industrial Shipping and Viking Supply Ships. Industrial Shipping encompasses the ro ro, container- and bulk divisions and has its main operations in the Baltic region and northern Europe while Viking Supply Ships operates in the offshore and ice-breaking industry. The fact that the UK service is part of a much larger shipping group means that further developments can soon be expected.

There has in fact already

been one such move. In 2011, TransAtlantic acquired the shortsea bulk shipping and logistics company Österströms and this has brought a new twice-weekly

Finnish service from Raahe (in the north of the country, not far from Oulu). This handles mainly steel and timber but return traffics are being sought. Return traffic from the UK back

to the Nordic region will always be an issue in a trade with a country of 70m consumers at one end and 10m plus lots of forests and steel producers at the other, but there is business available, says Nick

Green. One promising flow is RDF or refuse-derived fuel– essentially, cleaned, baled waste such as plastics and biodegradable which is now being burned in large amounts in Swedish power stations.

North Sea Ro Ro settles in

North Sea RoRo Line, the new freight service launched in January between Killingholme and Gothenburg has prolonged its charter agreement for its two ships until the end of 2013. It will, says managing director Dan Ericsson, show the newcomer’s commitment to the market. “We saw it as vital to extend the charter, to show our commitment and engagement,” he told FBJ. “It sends a strong message to the market place that North Sea RoRo’s performance is on track and we’re developing and progressing in line with our expectations.” Ericsson said that he was

satisfied with North Sea RoRo’s performance, but that the market was currently very tough. “We have of course been hit by the stagnating market, but we have been increasing the traffic on our vessels, which means that we are increasing our market share, and as long as volumes on our vessels are increasing, we are happy.” He added that DFDS, the new

line’s main competitor, had trimmed its prices and North Sea Ro Ro had responded with its

Ericsson: Tough market but perfomance is satisfactory

own reductions. “We are entering into tougher price competition – we don’t want to do this, but we have to react,” he said. Among the newcomer’s advantages are its low overheads, including a head office staff of only five people. The market is down by about

10%, so it may take longer to achieve full profitability than originally anticipated, but the shareholders are happy with the new line’s performance, he said. Unusually for the UK/Sweden

market, there is currently more volume going from the UK to Sweden than vice versa, though much of the return flow is low

value cargo like processed waste. But markets in both countries have been hit by the general fears surrounding the future of the Euro. North Sea RoRo runs two

modern 170-trailer capacity vessels three times per week between the two ports and carries trailers, liſt-units, mobile units, cars

added in Denmark or Norway, says Dan Ericsson. “We have been approached by other ports in Norway and Denmark, but for the moment we’re just making an evaluation.” If the decision was made to

and industrial

cargoes. There are also a few spaces for driver accompanied units. While volume growth is satisfactory, there is still plenty of space available on the vessels and indeed there is room in the schedules for more ports to be

add port calls, it would probably be by inserting the additional calls into the existing service to or from Sweden – there is enough leeway in the existing schedule to do this without affecting arrival and departure times significantly - rather than making extra out-and-back trips to and from Killingholme, said Dan Ericsson.

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36