NEWS\\\ Ceva offers rail-sea

service from China to Immingham

Ceva Logistics has launched a rail-sea service from Xi’an, central China, to Immingham with a port-to-port delivery time of 20 days. The pilot shipment of 25 containers leſt Xi’an by block train on 18 March for Kaliningrad, where the cargo was reloaded the same day

onto a vessel that arrived in

Immingham on 6 April. Further trials will follow

in May, with regular service starting by early June. CEVA’s aim for port-to-port delivery times is 18-20 days, with door- to-door delivery times not exceeding 25 days.

Woodland offers iPort rail option

Woodland Group has launched rail services between iPort, Doncaster and the

ports of Felixstowe

and Southampton with further services to London Gateway and Immingham to follow. The

forwarder expects to handle 140 container movements per month by May. Woodland Group opened a 195,000sq ſt fulfilment and distribution facility at iPort in March, next to the rail terminal.

Internet retailers and other

importers from the Far East are facing major supply chain disruption and increased costs because of the global shortage of shipping containers, says e-commerce fulfilment and specialist, Walker Logistics. The scarcity of containers has

pushed up shipping prices to near record highs: by the end of 2020, the cost of shipping goods from China to Northern Europe had quadrupled from levels at the start of the year. Head of marketing, Charlie

Walker, said: “The container crisis is increasing the pressure

on British retailers and manufacturers at a time when businesses are already having to contend with the impact of Brexit and the pandemic on their profitability. Many internet retailers are understood to be running out of stock of certain items while manufacturing firms have reported delays in production as a result of the difficulty of getting vital component parts from Asia.” He adds that there are reports

of British internet retailers burning large quantities of returned clothing originally sold to customers in mainland

Europe because it is more cost efficient to dispose of returned goods that way than it is to pay for them to be freighted back to the UK. The container shortage is

partly a result of the increase in demand for shipping during the

pandemic when online

shoppers spent more on home improvements, furniture and products for their new home offices. The huge volume of personal protective equipment and medical supplies passing through the world’s ports has also been a contributory factor along with the dramatic dip

Issue 4 2021 - Freight Business Journal


in container production at the height of the Covid pandemic due to absenteeism at Chinese factories. The problems have been

compounded by delays to ships at ports caused by Covid-related manpower issues among port staff and ship’s crew members. With blockages still building up in global trade lines, Charlie Walker

advises any business

that imports products from Asia to order their next consignment much earlier than they normally. “The pandemic has resulted in an unusually high demand for goods ordered online. With the logistical bottlenecks affecting imports of products or components from the Far East unlikely to ease until Covid vaccines have been rolled out across the world, UK businesses have to reassess their purchasing strategy,” he says.

Brexit prompts JD Sports to open Dublin DC

JD Sports is to open a 65,000 sq ſt warehouse near Dublin to handle its Irish business in the wake of Brexit. The retailer says that goods

imported from Asia now incur tariffs when they are distributed on from the UK to its stores across Europe. To deal with this it has already

opened a warehouse in Belgium but JDS says it needs a specific facility for Ireland. The

facility will become operational in the second half of

this year. It is also considering a bigger

facility elsewhere in the EU from which it would process all EU online orders.

Kent access measures stood down

Hauliers no longer need a Kent Access Permit (KAP) to travel between the UK and the EU via the Channel ports or tunnel after traffic management measures were stood down on 20 April. The M20 moveable barrier was also removed. The


Portsmouth International Port stevedore Portico said in late April

more than have 10,000teu of empty containers back to origin during the recent shipping crisis. Portico worked with some of the world’s biggest shipping lines,

that it had evacuated

including CMA CGM, Evergreen, Hapag Lloyd, Yang Ming and HMM, to return containers via Continental Europe to Asia. The port offers deep water access for sub-Panamax sized ships, next to a motorway making it an ideal hub for future feeder services, Portico adds.


Transport said that delays had been avoided while KAP was in force thanks to hauliers arriving at the border well prepared. It

said that compliance with the KAP obligation from industry has been consistently high, at more than 80% since the middle of January for non-GB hauliers. Hauliers will have continued

access to 46 information and advice sites across the UK, with the busiest sites remaining in place until at least August. DfT says the sites have helped to prepare more than 200,000

hauliers adjust to new border requirements

since first

opening in November 2020. Policy manager for the

South at Logistics UK Heidi Skinner, commented: “The government’s decision to abolish the KAP is a reflection of the hard work undertaken by logistics businesses to ensure operations are border ready before hauliers embark on travel to the Channel ports. The

Check an HGV service has been an effective tool in guiding businesses to the paperwork needed to cross the border. “Logistics

UK is

now urging government and industry to ensure the entire supply chain is ready for the introduction

of UK border controls

further EU- from 1

January 2022 to keep trade flowing freely in the months and years to come.”

Hutchison Ports has completed strengthening and dredging works to Berth 7 at its Felixstowe Trinity Terminal. Berth 7 – one of nine container berths - has been dredged from 15.0m to 16.5 metres and the berth box widened from 55m to 70m. The berth upgrade, together with a program to extend the outreach of ten quay cranes to 23 boxes wide on berths 6 and 7, are in response to the increasing size and depth of

the world’s largest container vessels. The 19,630teu Manila Maersk, operated on the 2M AE6/NEU3

service to Asia, was the first vessel to use the enlarged berth. With a departure draft of 15.6 metres, she was the deepest

ever to be berthed on Trinity Terminal. Port of Felixstowe chief executive, Chris Lewis, said: “ As the number of ultra-large container ships continues to grow we will continue to improve and upgrade our facilities to meet the needs of our customers. “Berths 8&9 are designed for a maximum depth of 18 metres and the next phase of development will see further increases to the depths at Berths 6, 8 and 9. The deeper berths are being complemented by dredging planned by Harwich Haven Authority to increase the depth of the approach channel to up to 16 metres.”

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