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Issue 5 2014 - Freight Business Journal


West Africa

route for London Gateway

DP World London Gateway now has a service to West Africa, with the start of a joint Hapag- Lloyd and MOL service, new to the UK on 22 July. The port rotation is Antwerp, Hamburg, DP World London Gateway, Algeciras, Dakar, Lagos Apapa, Tema, Abidjan, Algeciras and Antwerp. DP World London Gateway

port commercial manager, Tabare Dominguez, said: “The decision to bring the service to DP World London Gateway by existing customers Hapag Lloyd and MOL, demonstrates confidence in DP World London Gateway’s ability

to deliver a reliable efficient service

and their desire to grow their business at the port.” Hapag Lloyd already calls in

London Gateway as part of the G6 Alliance’s North America service while MOL is part of the SAECS consortium service to South Africa, London Gateway’s first customer. On 1 July, Parliamentary

Under-Secretary of State for Transport and Wimbledon MP Stephen Hammond MP paid a visit to the Essex port. He said: “DP World London Gateway is an important piece of national infrastructure connecting the UK to international markets, with deep-sea, rail and road connectivity.”

Devil is in the detail of new container weight rules, says ESC

The European Shippers Council says that a number of conditions need to be met before new container weighing rules can become reality. The new regulation obliging shippers to verify the weight of containers was recently approved by the International Maritime Organisation. European authorities and

member states must come up with a certified method for the “reconstruction” of the gross weight of goods – namely, the process whereby shippers can determine the total weight of a container’s contents by obtaining the weight of individual packages, rather than attempting to weight the entire contents en masse. The latter would not be practical at

many shippers’ premises. At the same time shippers claim

that weighing the container itself cannot be their responsibility but is clearly that of the ship-owner. The ESC is also calling for

the creation of a working group at European level led by the European Transport directorate, DG Move, to ensure that the measure does not harm

economic recovery or congest European ports. To do this, all stakeholders must

agree on an acceptable margin of error, to avoid port congestion but

without jeopardizing the

safety of personnel or ships. ESC warns that failure to come to an acceptable solution might harm sea transport and favour all-road solutions.

US container scanning kicked into the long grass again

The US Department of Homeland Security

has announced scheme to a

further two year delay for its troubled


screen all inbound containers. It appears that major technical and logistical problems remain and there are also concerns about the effect on the country’s international trade. According to a letter from

chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Thomas Carper, scanning

containers would have also hit cargo flows and hindered trade. Director General of the British

International Freight Association (BIFA),

Peter Quantrill, said

he was not surprised by the US climbdown. But while welcoming the announcement, he questioned whether it was the best way to protect the US in any case. He commented: “As BIFA has

said repeatedly, the Department of Homeland Security has consistently underestimated the

huge size of the task relative to the costs to the US and foreign governments.” There were also big question marks over whether existing screening technology could penetrate dense


or large quantities of cargo in shipping containers. He questioned whether the

scanning scheme was the best use of taxpayer resources to meet US security needs. “We have always said that

expanding screening with available technology would

slow commerce and drive up costs to consumers without bringing significant security benefits. Whilst the latest news of a two-year delay appears to be a healthy dose of common sense at the US Department of Homeland Security, BIFA still believes that the US Government ought to take an even bolder step and repeal the original legislation.” He suggested that it would be

better to focus on “real solutions” such as risk-based management systems.

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