Overseas news:

What impact may have the Brexit on impact on freight and logistics?

Robert Keen, the director general of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), stated to the press that the freight forwarders will work closely with the British government to “try and ensure that the movement of the United Kingdom’s visible import and export trade does not become overburdened by over-complicated trade procedures”.

He added that there are significant areas of concern for the freight forwarders members of the British International Freight Association, especially on the physical infrastructure for the movement of goods, trade arrangements and Customs practices.

These aspects will be reviewed during the negotiations for Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Furthermore, representatives of the different ports of the United Kingdom, stressed on the need for trade facilitation and expressed their concern that customs requirements or checks at the border could easily lead to costly delays for freight forwarders.

A major change may impact the transportation of sea freight. Currently, freight on ro-ro ferries that serve exclusively European Union ports are not subject to the customs declaration requirements.

Moreover, the British ports would like the introduction of a new ‘Port Zones’ concept where defined areas of a port could be dedicated to boost the economic growth of a region thanks to streamlined planning arrangements and reduced restrictive conditions.

Posted by: Editor on Wednesday, 5th Apr 2017

Hanjin Shipping has gone bankrupt

The South Korean shipping company and the worlds seventh-largest container carrier in terms of capacity, Hanjin Shipping has gone bankrupt, provoking turmoil in the freight business throughout the world.

According to the Korea International Trade Association, about 10 of its vessels in China have been either seized or are expected to be by port authorities or other parties. Another Hanjin ship had already seized in Singapore earlier. Its creditors led by a South Korean state-run bank, stopped to support the sea carrier which had been losing money since several years.

The big question that shippers, importers or exporters, are asking themselves is whether the hundreds of containers transported by the South Korean company will reach be delivered?

The port terminal operators, railway and truck companies in different countries, are not interested to load the containers from Hanjin vessels, as there is no guarantee that they will be paid.

The company accounts for nearly 8% of the trans-Pacific trade volume and will certainly cause disruption to the supply chain of the United States, especially as other shipping lines have been side lining vessels in view of reducing the overcapacity that was affecting trade routes between Asia and the United States.

As a result, the maritime freight rates of a 40ft container from China to the United States, has increased by up to 50% on the following day of the bankruptcy.

Posted by: Editor on Monday, 5th Sep 2016

Port Reunion on the fast track of development

The Port of Reunion Island is trying to position itself as an alternative to Port Louis.

On the 26th April, it had taken delivery of its third ship to shore crane which can uplift cargo up to 65 tonnes and stack rows of containers over a maximum height of 56 meters on board vessels.

Two post panamax ship to shore cranes are already operational at the port of Reunion Island since January 2016.

These tools now enable the port of this neighbouring island to accommodate larger vessels having a capacity of up to 10 000 TEUs compared to a maximum of 5 000 TEUs in 2015. The CMA CGMs vessel named Tanya, 300 meters long and 48 metres wide, was the first 10 000 TEUs to cast its anchor in the harbor of Reunion Island at the end of last month.

During the period running from August 2014 to the beginning of year 2016, 80 million euros had been invested to build a longer quay of 640 meters, a deeper basin of 15.5 meters and in the gantry cranes.

Furthermore, CMA CGM is fuelling the growth of that port, contributing to the emergence of Port Reunion as a new regional transshipment hub and a potential competitor for Mauritius.

Not only the French shipping company has made Reunion Island its hub in the Indian Ocean but has also increased since the weekly frequency of its vessels calling at Port Reunion from 3 to 5.

While these changes are unfolding, the port of Reunion Island has upwardly reviewed its commercial objectives. It expects to attain a target of 100 000 TEUs handled by the end of 2016.

Posted by: Editor on Friday, 20th May 2016

FEPORT requests clarity on the implementation of SOLAS

FEPORT requests clarity on the implementation of SOLAS weighing rules

FEPORT, the Federation of European Private Ports Operators, has requested clarity on the implementation of SOLAS weighing rules at the level of the different countries.

FEPORT represents the interests of a variety of terminal operators and stevedoring companies performing operations and carrying out activities over 400 terminals in the ports of the European Union.

That federation complained that despite SOLAS container weighing rules will come into force in July 2016, there is still a lack of information and harmonization at national level regarding their implementation.

FEPORT has asked the authorities of the different countries of the Eurpean Union to develop guidelines that protect the efficiency of the logistics chain and do not create competitive distortions between Member States.

Mr. Jasper Nagtegaal, Chairman of the Customs and Logistics Committee of FEPORT, explained that from the 1st July 2016, all containers to be loaded on a vessel will need to be accompanied by a Verified Gross Mass (VGM). As of now, industry actors have released guidelines on the implementation of SOLAS requirement, but guidance from national authorities is still absent in many cases.

He added that a lack of national guidelines will ultimately lead to confusion in the implementation of SOLAS and will not only have an adverse impact on operations but may also lead to possible competitive distortion. FEPORT insists that the European Union member states must ensure that the guidelines do not restrict the supply chains and common standards on certification which are not overly restrictive are adopted.

According to the federation, terminal operators in Europe has the right to refuse unloading containers if the Verified Gross Mass (VGM) has not been received by the carrier.

The VGM and any other relevant information, shall always be communicated shipper-carrier-terminal operator, unless otherwise agreed. The shipper remains responsible for communicating via the standard chain of communication, stated FEPORT.

Last but not least, the shipping line and the terminal operator will not be held responsible for ensuring the accuracy of the VGM provided by the shipper.

Posted by: Editor on Thursday, 24th Mar 2016