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2


Issue 7 2020 - Freight Business Journal >> 1 g ove r nme n t to address the


many issues faced by the port’s users.” Keen said that BIFA members


complained that the port authority was “merely paying lip service” to any enquiries. Forwarders warned in mid-


September that operational problems at the port of Felixstowe had reached crisis point. The port had already been affected by the Covid crisis as the need to deep clean equipment aſter


shiſts restricted capacity and lengthened turnaround times. Now, however, the port appears to have hit capacity and slots in its vehicle booking system are no longer being issued. Keen said in mid-October that,


at the height of the problems, BIFA had received around 90 calls and emails from its members, although he understood that the situation had since improved somewhat. He added that the problems could be exacerbated by some users “hovering up slots” in the vehicle


Chris Lewis reboots his ports career


Former DP World UK chief executive Chris Lewis is re- entering the ports industry to join Felixstowe owner Hutchison Ports UK, almost exactly a year aſter


retiring from rivals DP World. Reporting to managing


director of Hutchison Ports Europe, Clemence Cheng, he joins the company at a critical time; operations at the port of Felixstowe have been badly affected by congestion and the Covid crisis.


booking system and then only releasing them when they were about to expire. Meanwhile, shipping lines are


refusing the restitution of empty containers back to the port. With inland warehouses unable to store empty containers at their facilities, containers might have to be restituted (returned) to other ports, such as London, Immingham, Liverpool or Teessport, they said. Ships were diverting from


Felixstowe and discharging instead at London Gateway or


Earlier, Hutchison Ports


appointed one-time Transport Secretary and current Conservative MP for Epsom and Ewell Chris Grayling as a part- time advisor, at around £100,000 a year for a seven-hour week. Under Whitehall rules, he will be limited to advising the Hong Kong-owned Felixstowe, Harwich and London Thamesport operator on its environmental


Southampton. Others were ‘cutting


and


running’ and discharging UK-bound containers on the Continent with, in some cases, containers not being returned until 7-14 days thereaſter. Southampton,


London


Gateway and Northern ports continue to operate with a normal service, albeit with some partial closures due to daily deep cleaning, resulting in some reduced collections and vehicle booking slots.


strategy and its engagement with local enterprise bodies, not on commercial or Brexit affairs. He will also not be allowed to advise on government tenders or lobby ministers. Mr Grayling’s three-year term


as Transport Secretary included the controversial award of contracts to ferry operators to run extra sailings to cope with post- Brexit freight backlogs.


News Roundup


Seaborne Freight, the ‘ferryless ferry company’ that won a £13.8million government contract in 2018 to run extra Channel crossings in the run-up to Brexit despite having no vessels, has appointed a voluntary liquidator and will go out of business, owing almost £2 million. Despite repeated announcements, the company, a subsidiary of Irish-based Arklow Shipping, failed to launch any services between Ramsgate and Ostend during 2018, as promised. It was one of three ferry operators contracted by the government to run extra ‘queue-busting’ freight services ahead of the original planned Brexit deadline. Seaborne has now lodged a resolution to wind up with Companies House and appointed Quantuma as liquidator.


P&O European Ferries pledged to maintain freight services on the Hull-Zeebrugge route, but it will axe the passenger service. Consultation has started over redundancies, which will be made from November and two vessels, Pride of Bruges and Pride of York are to be sold.


NVOCC Globelink Fallow has replaced its service to Tripoli Lebanon, with a service to Beirut. Following the explosion that devastated the city and port it operated a temporary service to Tripoli, about 80km away. The service will accept only non-hazardous cargo until further notice.


The ONE shipping consortium will implement a Low Sulphur Fuel surcharge of US$3 per teu all Korea export and import cargoes from 1 November. It follows the introduction of Emission Control Areas at the country’s ports by the South Korean government.


UK importers are facing a “tsunami” of container shipping issues at present, says Tony Cole, head of supply chain services at freight forwarder Davies Turner. He cited: “Schedule disruption;


ongoing delays in vessel


discharge and loading, which is leading to ships ‘cutting and running’ or diverting; prolonged turnaround times on the quay; shortages of dock labour and


Britannia to rule the waves from London Gateway


container haulage, as well as import containers missing planned connections to rail.” There are further delays in


third party port warehouses that unpack consolidated containers,


he added. Cole said the problems had


resulted in a surge of interest for Davies Turner’s direct LCL and FCL rail service from China to the UK.


Divert from Dover to


keep UK PLC in business, says ports group


The UK Major Ports Group (UKMPG) is calling for freight to be diverted away from the Dover- Calais and Eurotunnel routes to help the UK’s supply chain keep running aſter the end of the Brexit transition period at the end of the year.


In a report published on 9


October, it said that the UK port industry had enough capacity to cope with the effects of new border processes and controls aſter the end of Brexit transition, but only if freight flows diversified their UK entry point away from the English Channel. Ports outside this region could


Supply chain logistics and customs improvement consultancy Britannia Bureau has moved into an office at DP World London Gateway Logistics Centre. It follows rapid expansion for the Bureau, which has been busy with Brexit contingency


planning, and significant client wins. Currently managing one in 20 of


all UK Customs


declarations, Britannia Bureau will service over 100 clients from its new site, including Marks & Spencer, Lidl, Boden, ASOS.com and The White Company.


offer capacity equivalent to that of the English Channel Short Straits routes, said UKMPG. Customs checks and other


changes


affecting the Short Straight routes, along with restrictions on the ability of EU HGV drivers to operate in the UK, could mean a switch of between 22% and 60% of freight


volumes to other UK gateways, it added. It was important to diversify freight transport across multiple ports, it said. There could also be


environmental benefits from switching traffic to a wider network of ports, oſten closer to the end customer across the UK as it would replace higher-emission road miles with much lower emission sea miles. This broader spread of traffic flows would also support more port and logistics sector jobs across the UK. UKMPG chief executive Tim


Morris said: “There are ports all around our coast able and willing to bolster the UK’s trading capacity. Realising this additional resilience capacity will deliver crucial benefits to the UK in keeping trade flowing in the short and longer terms, as well as contributing important environmental improvements. We urge cargo


3 >>


Hapag-Lloyd has opened an office in Lagos, Nigeria. The German- owned line calls at the ports of Apapa and Tin Can Island in the city on its Middle East India Africa Express and the Mediterranean West Africa Express.


The Port of London Authority (PLA) has appointed Toril Eidesvik as non-executive director. She has worked as chief executive of reefer shipping company Green Reefers, general ship supply company Seven Seas and cargo handling equipment supplier TTS Group and replaces Annette Malm Justad, who stepped down from the PLA board aſter six years’ service.


Containerships is expanding its service between Poland and the UK with dedicated shuttle services between Gdynia and Teesport and Gdynia and Tilbury, in addition to existing services. Port calls in the UK are on Tuesday and in Poland on Saturday.


PD Ports has completed a £3.36 million refurbishment project on its Number 1 Ro-Ro linkspan at Teesport. The completed works, which began last spring, ensure that the berth complies with current legislation and modern design standards whilst increasing its lifespan. The port’s three ro ro berths handle nine sailings per week from Rotterdam and Zeebrugge, as well as a monthly call from Japan.


The Thames Estuary Growth Board is inviting businesses in east London, north Kent, south Essex, who practice sustainable growth, to nominate themselves for an exclusive ‘Estuary Visionary’ accreditation. As brand ambassadors, Visionaries will share good green practice with likeminded businesses, and will be integral to marketing the Estuary domestically and internationally. To apply, fill in the form at: https://thamesestuary.org.uk/thames-estuary- visionaries/


Hamburg-based heavyliſt shipping specialist SAL is to acquire a major stake in North America, South America and Caribbean break- bulk operator Intermarine and will create a new organisation in the Americas and for cross-Atlantic trade. Operating as an independent brand within the SAL Heavy Liſt Group, Intermarine will tie its Americas liner service to SAL’s global heavy liſt trade.


///NEWS Sea


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