Tag Archive: cargo logistics


This time last year European Abnormal Freight Ltd (EAF) was asked in April 2011 to help move the 117 tonne, 4 metre square granite Tsunami Memorial from France to London. As freight forwarding projects go it was the biggest transportation of a single piece of stone in the UK or France since the building of Stonehenge and the tale of how the giant piece came to arrive at the Natural History Museums gardens is worth telling.

Transports Courcelle in France were granted the haulage contract whilst EAF was appointed the UK Transport Project Manager whose management role was to provide full route planning with owner Marc Wodehouse taking personal control. The UK Highways Agency had stipulated that, once the convoy arrived by ferry from Cherbourg into Poole, it would have to utilise a coastal barge from Poole to London. EAF successfully lobbied all the relevant parties and obtained a special permission “BE16 Dispensation” to transport the load entirely by road. This alone saved the project more than £60k in barge and extra crane costs.

The project was mainly funded by a £500,000 grant from the Department for Sport, Media & Culture and the unveiling of the memorial was scheduled for the 5th July opening by HRH Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.EAF successfully addressed ground strengthening and weight issues with London Underground and re-scheduling of long term works on Cromwell Road by British Gas. Apart from Prince Charles’s diary there was an extensive summer and autumn programme of “trial” road closures, by the London Olympic committee which could affect the delivery programme.

The load had to arrive on the weekend of the 28th June 2011 and failure to meet this deadline would put the project back to May 2013. Three weeks before the ceremony, serious loading issues in Castres, France had delayed the scheduled start date from the 4th to the 15th of June. The Transit time in France alone was 11 days and to exacerbate the situation there was now a public holiday in the middle of the revised schedule. Courcelle also confirmed that the new timescale meant it was impossible to meet the arrival date in the UK of the 28th June because French Law forbids “Convoi Exceptionnel” transport taking place over on weekends.

With the exception of humanitarian loads, the French government have never given dispensation to drive abnormal loads on weekends. As far as all parties were concerned, the project was on the verge of collapse. EAF stepped in and over five very challenging days corresponded with the Department for Sport, Media & Culture, the French Embassy in London, five prefectures, the British Embassy in Paris and, ultimately, the French Ministry of Culture & Media.

At 4pm on the afternoon of the 14th June (one hour before close of play), as a result of a telephone conversation with the Minister of Culture & Media for France, Monsieur Frédéric Mitterrand, and his direct intervention, EAF obtained the first ever dispensation for a “Super Heavy” Load to travel on French roads on a weekend, thus maintaining the original schedule.

Mike Holland, Chairman of the Tsunami Memorial Project, commented:

“EAF’s Marc Wodehouse was absolutely key to the successful delivery of the Memorial, he became part of us rather than just an external supplier. Whenever we faltered he found a solution, failure was never an option and Marc’s positive attitude became the standard we came to demand from everyone. I am deeply grateful and indebted to Marc for his enthusiasm, total dedication and great humour no matter how difficult the challenge. We would not have succeeded without him.”

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US – CHINA – Following our story last month concerning the rebranding of YRC Worldwide, the trucking and logistics group, which incorporates subsidiary YRC Freight, has, as predicted, continued its disposal of assets with the sale of the groups interest in Shanghai Jiayu Logistics Co., Ltd. to its 35-percent joint venture partner. YRC bought its 65% stake in the company in 2008 after a period stretching back several years when it had grown enormously through an acquisition policy started when the Yellow Corporation bought out the Roadway Corporation in a billion dollar deal to form the Yellow Roadway Corporation.

YRC paid $47.7 million when they purchased their share of Shanghai Jiayu Logistics, principally a less than truckload road haulage outfit, but never took up the option they had to buy the balance of shares in 2010 at the $14 million agreed. The deal was described at the time by then Chairman, President and CEO of YRC Worldwide, Bill Zollars, as, “The next step in building a comprehensive portfolio of logistics services for our customers in China.”

As there has been no word from YRC we must assume their investment in JHJ International Transport, which covers all of mainland China having offices throughout the country, remains intact. The sale of Jiayu is subject to Chinese regulatory approval and expected to close in the second quarter of 2012. The terms of the deal were not disclosed. James Welch, chief executive officer of YRC Worldwide, commented:

“This is another important step in the continuing process to sharpen our focus on North American less-than-truckload (LTL) shipping. Our emphasis on core LTL services has resulted in significant increases in on-time service and our customers are responding very favourably. This transaction allows us to further simplify our portfolio and streamline our operations as we concentrate on regaining the North American LTL market leader position.”

Bali shipping line news After the recent news that CMA CGM and MSC will be working more closely together to maximise efficiency of freight services the two giant container shipping lines have confirmed adjustments to their schedules whilst MaerskHamburg SüdCSAV and CSCL have also seen Winter season restructuring.

In an effort to balance supply and demand during the forthcoming traditional period of weaker demand, Hamburg Süd and Maersk Line on the one hand and CMA-CGM, CSAV and CSCL on the other, have reached an agreement to adjust their services between Asia, South Africa and the East Coast of South America as from this month until next May.

Each Group is currently operating two weekly services in the trade. For the period from December 2011 through May 2012, the existing ASAS/NGX Sling 2 service will be merged with the existing ASAX/SEAS Sling 2 service. The current capacity deployed by the carriers in the ASAS/NGX Sling 1 service (Maersk and Hamburg Süd ) and ASAX/SEAS Sling 1 service (CMA CGM, CSAV, CSCL) will remain unchanged and independent. This means the ASAX/SEAS 1 which currently utilises eleven 6,500 TEU vessels will now have the same number of smaller ships each between 4,200 and 4,600 capacity. Starting vessel for this New Joint Service will be MV Cap Jackson – Shanghai – December 16th and the rotation is :

Shanghai – Ningbo – Nansha – Hong Kong – Chiwan – Tanjung Pelepas – Singapore – Durban – Rio de Janeiro – Santos – Paranagua – Itajai – Santos – Port Elizabeth – Durban – Singapore – Hong Kong – Shanghai

Meanwhile the CMA CGM and MSC agreement means that from April 2012 the Asia-North Europe services (French Asia Line or FAL routes) will vary as follows.

FAL 1: operated by CMA CGM with 11 vessels of 13,800 – 14,000 TEU. Port rotation: Ningbo, Shanghai, Nansha, Hong Kong, Chiwan, Yantian, Vung Tau, Southampton, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Le Havre, Malta, Korfakkan, Port Kelang, Singapore, Yantian, Ningbo.

FAL 2: this service remains unchanged.

FAL 3: operated by CMA CGM with 11 vessels of 11,400 TEU. Port Rotation: Xingang, Pusan, Qingdao, Shanghai, Xiamen, Singapore, Port Kelang, Tangiers, Le Havre, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Beirut, Jeddah, Port Kelang, Singapore, Xingang.

FAL 6: operated by MSC with 11 vessels of 14,000 TEU. Port Rotation: Dalian, Xingang, Kwang Yang, Pusan, Qingdao, Ningbo, Shanghai, Singapore, Port Kelang, Felixstowe, Zeebrugge, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Southampton, Valencia, Jebel Ali, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dalian.

FAL 7: operated by MSC with 11 vessels of 14,000 TEU. Port rotation: Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Chiwan, Yantian, Sines, Le Havre, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Felixstowe, Gioia Tauro, Singapore, Chiwan, Xiamen, Ningbo.

The existing agreement with Maersk Line on the Asia-Med trade will remain unchanged and final port coverage and transit times will be confirmed at a later stage as will any news regarding further rationalisation to the other FAL services.

Both MSC and CMA CGM have been at pains to stress that there new cooperation should not be viewed as any form of amalgamation with no staff being affected and no sharing of facilities. Such a move would undoubtedly set alarm bells ringing in the offices of anti trust authorities particularly those of the EU’s Competition Commissioner

Following our story earlier today commenting on the Q3 statistics of container shipping giant Maersk, the logistics arm of the Danish group, Damco, has now released its own independent third quarter figures. These reveal that year to date Damco’s ocean freight volumes increased 14% compared with the same period in 2010 and airfreight tonnage was up by 23% lifted through the acquisition of China based NTS.

Supply chain activity volumes fell back 3% and net revenue rose to $2,156 million, a 6% jump, whilst gross profits increased to $567.7 million up 8%. The year to date EBIT is static at $73.2 million. Rolf Habben-Jansen, Chief Executive Officer, Damco commented:

“The traditional annual peak season in Q3 was rather muted this year. Our result for the quarter is quite satisfactory given these difficult market conditions and the conscious investments we made in growth. We continue to invest in growth, focused on selected industry verticals and on the high growth markets.

“The response from our customers on this has been very positive as illustrated by the again significantly increased customer satisfaction which reached an all-time high in 2011 and by a large number of new business contracts being concluded. Despite the challenging market we remain very positive about our ability to deliver on our growth strategy in the years to come”

Amerika Serikat dan negara-negara Uni Eropa bakal memperketat masuknya kiriman paket-paket logistik dari seluruh dunia awal tahun depan. Namun regulator penerbangan RI menyatakan telah siap menembus ketatnya pemeriksaan cargo tersebut.

“Kita telah mengimplementasikan pemeriksaan ekspres melalui regulated agents (RA) untuk pengiriman cargo internasional. Karenanya, pengiriman asal Indonesia dinyatakan telah siap dikirim ke seluruh dunia,” kata Dirjen Perhubungan Udara Kementerian Perhubungan, Herry Bakti S Gumay di Jakarta, Jumat (11/11/2011).

Seperti diketahui,  keselamatan dan keamanan kargo menjadi salah satu isu penting di AS dan Eropa. Negara-negara itu bahkan akan memblacklist negara asal kargo yang tidak melalui prosedur keamanan yaitu diperiksa melalui X-ray satu per satu sehingga barang yang akan dikirim jelas telah aman.

Mengenai protes perusahaan jasa pengiriman yang meminta pelaksanaan RA ditunda sudah tidak beralasan, karena sebenarnya seluruh pihak telah siap. Maskapai penerbangan yang mengangkut, jelasnya, telah mendukung langkah tersebut.

“Perusahaan pengirimannya yang belum siap, tetapi itu tidak berpengaruh terhadap implementasi inspeksi barang tersebut,” tandasnya.

Pelaksanaan pemeriksaan barang logistik internasional telah dilakukan awal Oktober lalu dan hingga saat ini tidak mengalami kendala, sementara inspeksi kargo domestik telah dilakukan sebulan sebelumnya.

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