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14


Issue 2 2019 - Freight Business Journal


///HEAVY LIFT Chasing windmills


Fed up with waiting for a revival in the oil and gas sector, the heavyliſt and project freight industry is developing new sources of business, particularly ‘green energy’ such as off shore and onshore wind power. But it remains a highly competitive market – no one is making a fortune at the moment.


Rhenus: This is the year for heavy liſt ing After numerous


actionable data to improve service delivery. Increased digitalisation will not


false dawns


for the breakbulk and heavy lifting industry, Jacob Jensen, Rhenus Project Logistics branch manager, believes that 2019 may be the genuine turning point the industry has long awaited.


The breakbulk industry has long been reliant upon the wider global economy for its market success; when the global economy thrives, so does project logistics. As rates for containers and handy-bulk carriers have become more attractive, fewer non-specialist fi rms are competing for breakbulk and project logistics cargo - good news for specialists such as Rhenus Project Logistics. The last few years have seen


the breakbulk industry become increasingly digitalised, with many companies investing signifi cantly in this area. Increased adoption of Industry 4.0 (also known as the fourth industrial revolution or 4IR), and subsequent digital developments, have helped to streamline the project logistics sector, and off er a more personalised service to its customers. This concept is second nature for Rhenus, which is using


only make for a more personalised project logistics partnership but will further reduce costs for logistics customers by making processes slicker and more time-effi cient. Rhenus


Project Logistics, a


specialist division within the Rhenus Group combines the personalised service of a family-run business with the brand credibility of an internationally renowned company. Its main goal is to remove any worries from its clients when it comes to their shipping and logistics requirements. Rhenus Project Logistics UK


operates from facilities across the country, some of which are shared with Rhenus Logistics and Rhenus Lupprians. The company also has its own warehouse in Ashford, ideal for London Heathrow cargo fl ights. The shared offi ce space allows


for the use of X-ray screening machines and warehousing for Rhenus Project Logistics air freight and cargo handling.


DFDS swings into action


with Immingham crane Chris Lewis spoke to DFDS Seaways managing director Andrew Byrne


Q What eff ect will the crane have on operations at Immingham? A. This is the largest capacity crane at the port and in conjunction with DFDS’s existing dockside mobile harbour crane enables tandem crane liſt s to handle long cargo such as wind turbine blades and columns. The enhanced capabilities of


the new crane plus the availability of a second one also allows offl oading of larger project cargo away from the quayside whilst also


working the vessel. We have a well proven and mature operation at Immingham, planning to handle 787,000 units in 2019. We have a fantastic workforce and this crane enables us to focus more attention on attracting a wider range of oversize and project cargo to our facility. We have the mind-set that nothing is impossible and this new investment is a statement of that. The twin cranes also handle


containers and reefers of frozen seafood


to provide a faster


service, so that vessels have a quicker turnaround. That allows shipping lines to steam slower and reduce fuel burn, benefi tting them from a cost perspective and also benefi tting the environment. And it means we create more opportunities to use the capacity of the seven berths we have more intensely and attract additional services.


How are you planning for all options aſt er the end of March


Sharing offi ce spaces also


enables customer costs to be kept to a minimum despite unpredictable rises in rates. Examples of this would be rising bunker costs resulting from the new IMO limits for sulphur in fuel oil on ships which comes into play on 1 January 2020. In addition, it encourages the sharing of knowledge, to the further benefi t of Rhenus’ customers. Globally, Rhenus Project


Logistics operates from offi ces in 19 countries, handling large-scale projects across a plethora of sectors, such as plant and mechanical engineering, construction, oil and gas and wind power. The company is also currently working on the expansion of the rail network in Bangkok, supporting the project owner with on-time transport and logistics solutions.


Looking ahead


One major risk facing the industry today is the potential trade war and funding of large


MPP (material programming procedure) new-build programmes through equity funds, whose managers do not necessarily possess a deep understanding of how the breakbulk and heavy liſt ing industry works. If this is the case, it may lead to a relapse into a fl ooded market with a large number of new vessels – resulting in a crisis situation, similar to what we saw a decade ago. From the 1990s up until 2008,


the world economy was thriving, and ship owners were making signifi cant money through high freight rates and the ordering of new vessels. Unfortunately, what many of those involved in the heavy liſt ing and breakbulk sector didn’t account for was the time taken on average for the process to be complete, from the time the order goes through to when cargo is being carried to its destination - typically four to fi ve years. In the aſt ermath of the 2008 global fi nancial crisis, there were simply too many vessels


with too little cargo needing to be moved. This caused a trade war between project logistics companies and a signifi cant drop in freight rates. In order to avoid a similar


crisis situation and to minimise risk, Rhenus Project Logistics urges companies to keep in tune with external factors that aff ect demand and supply within the breakbulk and heavy liſt ing market. The end of 2017 saw the volume of oil and gas discoveries at its lowest since the 1950s, which meant that only 10% of demand was able to be met*. Grasping this enables project logistics businesses, such as Rhenus, to forecast and prepare for where the project freight forwarding market is heading. Looking ahead, there are huge


opportunities for project logistics businesses as demand is set to increase over the next few years. Now really is the time for all businesses with transport needs to consider closer collaboration with project logistics specialists.


and is this an opportunity for Immingham or a threat? The great advantage of this investment is that it gives us the fl exibility to handle a wide variety of goods effi ciently; from containers to break bulk to heavy liſt and project cargo. We know we are world class at what we do, but this investment allows us to grow by increasing focus on a wider cargo portfolio and speaking with customers who may not have considered DFDS as a specialist operator for their demanding cargo types in the past. That immediately puts us


on a fi rm footing in attracting cargo whatever the geopolitical landscape. I can say with reasonable confi dence that project cargo for instance, where we have a good pedigree in handling both


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