News Desk

MSC to expand at Port of Liverpool

Peel Ports, which owns the UK’s Port of Liverpool, has announced that Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC) is to expand its operations at the port. A new pendulum service is to be started between Turkey, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, the UK and Canada. It will use eight ships with a loading capacity for 5,500 teu and calls will be made in Liverpool twice a week.

Forth Ports Group has received planning consent for a new port on the River Thames – Tilbury2 – a new multimillion pound port terminal adjacent to the current 930 acre site in Thurrock, on the outskirts of Greater London.

The Port of Tyne is to receive a £60 million refinancing package from Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking to develop a number of major infrastructure projects. The five-year agreement comprises a £30 million revolving credit facility and a £30 million term loan.

OVERLAND Iraq’s imminent accession to the TIR Convention will provide ample opportunities to expand much needed secure trade, given the country’s strategic location in the Middle East, and the fact that its six neighbouring countries are all TIR contracting parties.

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The central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) starts on April 8 and Transport for London (TfL) is reminding drivers to check their vehicles online and get ready for the scheme, which will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week across the current Congestion Charge Zone.

ON THE OCEAN The container shipping sector is setting plans for the crucial busiest part of the year amid new concerns that undermine the industry’s hopes for a long-awaited sustained rebound. From rising fuel costs to capacity increasingly out of step with demand, vessel operators face new market and regulatory challenges to raising profitability over the next two years. As a result, shipping companies will try to pass on to cargo owners an estimated USD10 billion a year to cover the higher cost of cleaner-burning fuel. Supply and demand may be a bigger concern, with growth of global trade flows ebbing just as more megaships are due to hit the waters.

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According to shipping analyst Drewry, further low demand growth is expected this year on the key Asia-North Europe trade, forcing container lines to look to other trades for their big ships and to adopt a “creative approach to capacity management” if they wish to repeat the mild upwards spot rate trend of last year.

Organisations representing the main maritime logistics industry stakeholders (shipping lines, shippers, freight forwarders, terminal operators, labour, port authorities) as well as EU national maritime authorities, have called for the European Commission to repeal the Consortia Block Exemption Regulation unless a revised Ian Matheson, from Impress Communications, reviews some recent news that might impact on Members’ business

regulatory framework clarifying the current BER is adopted.

IN THE AIR Global airfreight got off to a weak start in 2019, with freight tonne kilometres falling 1.8% in January, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) reported. The decline was the worst performance in the last three years and comes as air cargo faces significant headwinds. Freight capacity measured in available freight tonne kilometres rose by 4% in January, the 11th month in a row that capacity growth has outstripped demand.

March saw the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) officially launch its Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) online tool following a successful pilot period in 2018 involving 179 freight forwarders and 18 cargo terminals. The programme aims at improving visibility and facilitating new air cargo standards.

In his opening address at the 13th World Cargo Symposium in Singapore last month, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, called on governments and the air cargo industry to focus on three priorities to accommodate the expanding demand for air cargo and to ensure that the economic and social benefits of aviation can be maximised. The three priorities are: accelerating the speed of process modernisation; implementing and enforcing global standards; and keeping borders open to trade.

IN BUSINESS A new report by the UK’s Transport Intelligence warns that the global e- commerce logistics market, which has undergone tremendous growth, appears to be showing a slowing rate of acceleration. Last year the market increased in size by 18.2%. The report ‘Global e-commerce Logistics 2019’ presents the picture of a market that is still expanding rapidly, albeit one in which competition, challenges and new entrants are raising questions over future development opportunities.

April 2019

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