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Industry News

The latest news from BIFA
  1. Rather regrettably certain events are cyclical, and increased violence towards truck drivers at this time of year seems to becoming a regrettable annual occurrence. Increasing violence against truck drivers in mainland Europe causes doubts in all users of the various main routes and inevitably leads to increased concerns, changes in routes and disruption.

    On Friday 21st July, a driver heading to the UK was attacked about a mile from Calais after leaving the cabin to check his vehicle having seen a group of people attempting to enter it.

    An alert issued by Kuehne + Nagel (K+N) said the driver was struck over the head with a brick before the group hijacked his lorry. The driver was hospitalised with what K+N described as a “severe” head injury. Police later stopped the hijacked lorry some 8km from the hijack site.

    Industry liaison and intelligence officer at the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NavCIS) Andrew Round said the hijackers were believed to number between 20 and 30 men. Mr Round said: “If the levels of violence seen over the last six to eight weeks persist, I’d like to see the military brought back in”. 

    “It is just not fair on the drivers; something has to be done between the UK and French governments above and beyond what they are already doing.”

    In June, a Polish van driver died in the early hours of the morning on one of the main approach roads to Calais after colliding with three trucks that had been forced to stop at a makeshift barrier set up by migrants.

    BIFA’s main concern is that drivers carrying out their legitimate business should be allowed to do so without fear or hindrance. It is essential that Governments on both side of the Channel review the situation and take the necessary steps to ensure that trade continues to flow. 

    Source: BIFA thanks The Loadster and NAVCIS for the information contained within this report

  2. Mark Bromley

    Osborn becomes Immediate Vice-Chairman for a two-year term. Alongside him is John Stubbings, Group Director and Company Secretary of the Woodland group who was elected Vice-Chairman by the board.

    Sir Peter Bottomley, MP, remains as BIFA president.

    Bromley has been associated with BIFA for many years, working for BIFA Member Allways International Freight Forwarding. He was previously Chairman of BIFA’s Surface Policy Group.

    BIFA Director General Robert Keen comments: “In welcoming Mark and John into their new positions, I wish to express my appreciation for the contribution made by Fred Osborn over the past few years and pleasure that Sir Peter has agreed to continue in office.”

    “You can see where Mark’s expertise in freight forwarding is, since he represents BIFA at CLECAT as Chairman of the Road Institute, as well as attending meetings of the FIATA Working Group Road. Mark’s expertise alongside John’s wide ranging experience in helping to run a successful freight forwarding company will ensure that BIFA and its members will benefit greatly from these new appointments.”

  3. The UK government has launched a new scheme to streamline export finance for UK small and medium-sized (SME) exporters that for the first time will include exporters’ freight forwarding and logistics providers in a bid to boost UK exports after Brexit.

    The Department for International Trade said that under the scheme, UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK’s export credit agency, would help many more businesses, “both exporters and supply chain SMEs”, access financial support through their banks.

    Secretary of State for the Department for International Trade Liam Fox said UKEF would partner with five of the UK’s biggest banks “to deliver government-backed financial support to exporters more quickly and efficiently”.

    Partnering with Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS/NatWest and Santander, UKEF would “also be able to extend its support to supply chain companies of UK exporters, significantly increasing the number of businesses able to access UKEF-backed trade finance”.

    As a result, smaller companies that support big UK exporters will be able to secure government-backed financing to deliver products and services and benefit from their clients’ international business, the department added

    Fox commented: “Providing easily accessible finance, backed by UKEF’s guarantee, will lift a common barrier to exporting. Providing that finance to suppliers as well as exporters means spreading the benefits of global trade, supporting more jobs and growth for companies large and small.”

    Jeff Longhurst, head of commercial at banking trade association UK Finance, commented: “The industry is committed to making it easier for UK exporters to access finance, and UK Finance has worked closely with lenders and UKEF to make this process simpler. With nearly 70% of international SMEs planning to grow in the next 12 months, today’s announcement is a boost for both SMEs and the wider economy, helping support businesses across the country.

    “Through this new model, banks will be able to provide export-related trade finance, for example working capital loans and bonds required by overseas buyers, to support their SME customers directly, and with UKEF’s guarantee in place should it be needed. At the same time, UKEF will make trade finance support directly available to direct suppliers supporting UK exporters, in a major enhancement to its existing offer. This will allow thousands of companies in manufacturers’ and service providers’ supply chains to access contract bonds and working capital loans with the government’s guarantee.”

    He said all of this was being delivered to banks through a new and secure digital platform, to help ensure the quickest response times and most efficient customer experience.

    John Mahon, head of Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Delegated authority will make accessing UKEF guarantees simpler for many businesses and will help companies we work with grow more quickly. Both exporters and companies involved in international trade through supply chains will benefit, and we look forward to further collaborating with UKEF and our colleagues across the industry to find more new and innovative ways to help UK businesses take full advantage of export opportunities.”

    Since UKEF’s trade finance products were launched in 2011, nearly 300 companies have benefited from nearly £500 million in support for several billion pounds worth of overseas contracts. This development follows a partnership agreement between the Department for International Trade and the five banks signed in July 2016.

    UKEF is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations. It exists to ensure that “no viable UK export should fail for want of finance or insurance from the private market”. It provides finance and insurance to help exporters win, fulfill and ensure they get paid for export contracts.

    Sectors in which UKEF has supported exports include: manufacturing, construction, oil and gas, mining and metals, petrochemicals, telecommunications, and transport.

    Source: Lloyds Loading List

  4. Shippers and forwarders have highlighted their concerns and expressed mixed feelings on the growing practice among ocean freight carriers to charge customers no-show fees or late-cancellation penalties, claiming carriers must also compensate cargo owners when lines fail to deliver services as promised.

    Representatives from the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and freight forwarding bodies Clecat and Fiata accept in principle the idea that no-show fees are fair – and may benefit the ocean freight sector as a whole – but only if customers are also compensated where their cargo is ‘rolled over’ by lines.

    However, both associations also linked the recent implementation of no-show and late-cancellation fees by shipping lines, including Maersk, CMA CGM, and Hapag-Lloyd, to Europe-Asia capacity shortages experienced by customers in April and May in particular. They questioned whether the implementation of late-cancellation fees was appropriate under what they regard as those exceptional circumstances that were caused, at least in part, by the lines themselves.

    Fabien Becquelin, Maritime Transport Council policy manager at the European Shippers’ Council (ESC) and director of international transport at France’s AUTF, told Lloyd’s Loading List: “We have seen several announcements of implementation of this kind surcharges that were already existing in the market under the name of ‘dead freight’. As every time in the maritime industry, when a player starts a ‘new’ practice, it is always followed by several other carriers.”

    In terms of whether it was acceptable or fair, he responded: “The practice of charging shippers for no-show could be acceptable under one condition: it must be balanced. We could accept to pay for no-show fees if there is a real commitment of carriers to transport the goods from the contracted point of departure to the contracted arrival location at the correct date.

    “I mean that if there is no-show fee, there must be a ‘blank sailing penalty’ or ‘roll-over fee’ on the side of the carrier. Only under these conditions, no-show fee can be swallowed by shippers.”

    He said more and more shippers were aware of the industrial and commercial characteristics and realities of the container transport business. “In this respect, they could understand that it may cause problems not to show up with your containers,” he added.

    “But on the other hand, carriers must understand that the shippers are also bound with other parties in the supply chain and if the sailing is skipped then, someone at the other side of the voyage is injured.”

    Those cancellations by carriers had significant and often costly implications for shippers. “If they want to avoid stock failure or customers’ claims, the shippers have to go on the spot market – or even change the mode of transport – with higher cost. This is not acceptable any more.”

    Speaking on behalf of both Clecat and Fiata, Clecat director general Nicolette van der Jagt told Lloyd’s Loading List: “Forwarders and shippers have suffered heavy delays in shipping goods to Asia over the last three months, with waits of several weeks for goods to be loaded, as well as blank sailings, uncertainty over which goods will eventually be loaded, and a need to find alternative carriage options at short notice. Capacity shortages led carriers to stop taking bookings and shippers had to wait up to eight weeks to load cargo.”

    Although that capacity situation had normalised since then, van der Jagt said there are various explanations for the causes of that crisis. Forwarding representatives see it as a mix of the impact of the alliance schedule reshuffle and normal seasonal effects – the usual capacity shortage of about six weeks after Chinese New Year for European exports, because the voyage cancellations from Asia to Europe during Chinese new year impact Europe exports for the back haul.

    “The re-arrangement of the alliance amplified this effect this year, because more service anomalies than normal and growth in Europe was stronger than anticipated by most carriers, and demand very quickly created a big backlog,” van der Jagt noted.

    “Carriers also started to ‘prioritize customers’, deciding what they load, leading to a lot of chaos.” She said spot rates increased significantly in line with these developments, sometimes in dramatic proportions, claiming that carriers also “misused” this situation to “overcompensate” themselves with excessive rate levels.

    “As a reaction to this situation, many shippers and forwarders started booking longer ahead just to ensure bookings,” van der Jagt explained. “As a consequence, some failed to deliver and bookings were cancelled. So, due to the situation, cancellations seem to have increased, but it was a reaction to this exceptional situation.”

    She continued: “In Clecat’s view, cancellation fees should not be raised as a consequence of the recent situation, simply due to the fact that it was exceptional and should hopefully not re-occur. We are now witnessing more and more carriers raising no-show fees and support the argument from ESC that the same should be valid for the shipping lines in case of rolled containers.”

    Despite the more-normal capacity situation now in the market, she continues to be concerned by “the unreliable feeder connections and services with very different vessel sizes” at certain ports, claiming the lack of predictability these cause usually leads to cargo being ‘rolled’, either at origin or at transhipment points.

    She said there have been huge problems recently in Antwerp and Rotterdam with regard to barge services, where terminals were apparently not capable of providing a reliable barge service because of last-minute decisions to appoint the terminals for the new alliances. “In addition to substantial delays, the cargo interest is forced to even pay for extra charges that they are not responsible for.”

    Clecat believes that better forecasting and proper planning by all ocean freight stakeholders involved is a solution to these problems, something that improvements in technology can facilitate. “With digitalisation, block chain etc., this should become more professional,” she noted.

    These views were echoed by Jens Roemer, chairman of Fiata’s Sea Freight Working Group and also a regional managing director for freight forwarder A. Hartrodt. “Fiata fully supports the comments made,” he said, adding: “Unfortunately, problems related to container shipping lines, higher peaks due to the size of their vessels, and the aligning of the alliances continue to put serious strains on the supply chains.

    “Various terminals in Europe are not able to cope with the peaks, leading to delays in the terminals,” Roemer continued. “The cargo interest does not only face a delay, but is expected to pay for additional charges that are caused by a delay (that is) beyond their control. These are challenging times, to say the least.”

    Becquilin agreed that the introduction of the new late-cancellation fees was related to the exceptional capacity shortages to Asia that European shippers had faced in recent months.

    “In my opinion, the two are indeed closely linked. The problem is that during the ‘capacity crunch’ out of Europe, shippers were invited by carriers and forwarders to overbook just to be sure to have some room inside ships. On the one hand we have some people inviting to overbook and in the other hands people invoicing for no-show – sometimes the same people.

    “For ESC, the overbooking practice should be stopped, from both side of the table, as quick as possible because it is only destabilising the market and prolonging the scarcity of space.”

    Becquilin said discussions about this kind of balanced approach could be helpful to all concerned if applied to a variety of contractual and operational arrangements within ocean freight transport. He said this was something that ESC had been proposing for around two years now – “since the start of the new alliances’ real development. But carriers are still living in their bubble and take action for their competitiveness – which is good, but without having any consideration for their customers, which is very bad.”

    He continued: “As there is less and less competition inside the maritime market with bigger and bigger alliances, and as there is no competition outside the market with no real alternative that can cover the needs of shippers (in terms of volume available, for example), shippers and carriers are bound to work hand in hand to make maritime transport great again.”

    Source: Lloyds Loading List

  5.  Euro Shuttle Stats - June 2017

    In June 2017 Le Shuttle Freight transported 141,384 trucks, a traffic stable compared to June 2016, due to an unfavourable calendar effect with the Whitsun weekend being in June this year whilst last year it was in May. Since the start of the year, truck traffic has fallen slightly by 1%, due to the difficult weather conditions in southern Europe at the beginning of the year.

    Passenger Shuttle traffic, which with 231,111 vehicles transported decreased by 7% compared to June 2016, was penalised by an unfavourable comparison with 2016 due to the UEFA Euro of Football France in June 2016. Passenger Shuttle traffic has decreased slightly since 1 January with 1,165,801 vehicles transported.

    Groupe Eurotunnel SE’s half-year consolidated results will be published on Tuesday 25 July 2017 before market opening.

    The traffic figures for the month of July will be published on Friday 11 August 2017 before market opening.

    Source: Groupe Eurotunnel

  6. The price represents a 31% premium on Friday’s closing price of HKD 60 and values OOIL at around HKD 49.2billion (USD 6.3bn).

    On the completion of the deal, Cosco will hold 90.1% while SIPG will hold the remaining 9.9% stake in OOIL. The joint buyers said they will keep the OOIL branding, retain its listed status and maintain the companies’ global headquarters in Hong Kong along with all management. Employees will retain the existing compensation and benefits, nor will any lose jobs as a result of the transaction for at least 24 months after the offer close.

    Drewry’s view on the proposed takeover


    What are Cosco and SIPG buying?

    OIL and its container unit OOIL have a good track record for above-average profits in a challenging market and a reputation for being a very well-run company, earning the moniker “The Perfect Bride” by Drewry Maritime Financial Research. Retaining the management team, processes and systems is a wise move and could be of enormous value to Cosco, in our opinion.

    From a hardware perspective, OOCL has an owned-fleet of 66 containerships aggregating approximately 440,000 teu. It is a young and modern fleet with an average age of 7.1 years and average nominal capacity of 6,600 teu. It is introducing its first 21,000 teu vessel with five more to deliver and options for another six which it could easily exercise.

    Based on existing fleet and orderbooks the combined Cosco-OOCL entity would become the world’s third largest container carrier, overtaking its partner in the Ocean Alliance, CMA CGM (see table).

    Cosco itself has a large orderbook, including newbuilds inherited from last year’s merger with China Shipping Container Lines. As such, it will have little requirement to order any more new ships in an already over-supplied market.

    OOIL/OOCL has interests in four terminals: 100% owned facilities in Long Beach in the US and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and minority stakes (20%) in two Chinese terminals (Tianjin and Ningbo).

    What are the synergies like?

    Operationally, fitting OOCL into the bigger company should not be too difficult as both OOCL and Cosco already belong to the Ocean Alliance (alongside CMA CGM and Evergreen) that operates mainly in the East-West container trades. OOCL is not a major player in the North-South tradelanes that fall outside of the scope of the carrier group.

    The biggest impact will be felt in Intra-Asia, where both carriers already have a large presence, while the footprint in the Asia to Middle East trade will also rise significantly.

    From a marketing perspective the acquisition of OOCL will enable Cosco to broaden its customer base, having previously being perceived, rightly or wrongly, as China-centric. OOCL’s reputation and history with global shippers will provide Cosco with an inroad to a wider selection of big Western shippers with volume.

    As far as terminal ownership is concerned, in Ningbo, Cosco is also a shareholder in the same terminal as OOCL so this is a simple consolidation. In Tianjin, Cosco already has stakes in two terminals, neither of which are the same as the terminal in which OOCL has a stake, and so some ownership consolidation may take place here. This may involve Cosco taking an interest at the port authority level of ownership, as it has done in, for example, Qingdao.

    OOCL’s Long Beach operation is undergoing a very large re-development that will see the existing one-berth Long Beach Container Terminal at Pier F closed and the three-berth Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project (MHRP) replace it. Phase I of MHRP went live in April 2016 and has since been in full operation; Phase II is expected to be operational at the end of 2017.

    Cosco already has two terminals in LA/LB so this will be a third and by 2020 these three terminals will account for nearly 30% of the capacity of LA/LB. So while the capacity in LA/LB remains physically fragmented, the ownership is at least consolidating.

    In Kaohsiung, Cosco has a stake in one terminal (along with China Merchants, Yang Ming, NYK and Ports America). The OOCL terminal is a different one.

    Cosco Shipping Ports (CSP) is reportedly acquiring a 15% stake in SIPG from Shanghai Tongsheng Investment and this would make CSP the third largest shareholder in SIPG. This is further evidence of the agglomeration of the Chinese state-owned enterprises involved in the port sector. SIPG’s involvement in the OOCL deal is therefore not a left-field move but very much further evidence of the consolidation and intertwining of Chinese-owned port sector activity.

    Is the deal good value?

    Earlier reports suggested the valuation of the deal would be closer to USD 4 billion, which would be similar to what CMA CGM paid for NOL/APL. That always seemed undervalued considering OOIL’s better financial performance and reputation, plus the improving market outlook. However, at USD 6.3bn the price does seem a bit steep. According to Drewry Maritime Financial Research, OOIL’s book value stood at USD 4.5bn based on FY16 numbers, meaning OOIL was able to extract a sizeable premium.

    Regulatory: any likely obstacles?

    The simple answer is that we don’t know, but recent container M&A such as Maersk Line’s recent takeover of Hamburg Süd and the proposed ONE merger of Japanese carriers have all encountered minor issues so the possibility of some conditions being applied by non-Chinese authorities cannot be entirely discounted.

    Impact on customers?

    Shippers are getting used to consolidation in the container industry. That doesn’t mean they have to like it. Even though OOIL/OOCL will remain as a separate brand it is questionable just how independent they will be from one another. Effectively, shippers will be losing yet another carrier from the pool that increasingly resembles more of a puddle.

    After all of the latest M&A deals have been concluded and the existing newbuilding have been delivered by 2021 the top seven ocean carriers will control approximately three-quarters of the world’s containership fleet. Back in 2005 the same bracket of carriers held a share of around 37%.

    Drewry research shows that the number of vessel operators on the two biggest deep-sea trades, Transpacific and Asia-North Europe has reduced significantly over the past two years. As of June 2017 there were only nine different carriers (eight if you discount OOCL) deploying ships in Asia-North Europe, compared to 16 in January 2015. In the Transpacific the number has reduced from 21 to 16 (15 without OOCL) over the same period.

    The accelerating trend towards oligopolisation in container shipping will reduce shippers’ options and raise freight rates. It is the unfortunate price to be paid for years of non-compensatory freight rates that have driven carriers to seek safety in numbers, either through bigger alliances and/or M&A.

    Who’s next?

    The sale of OOIL/OOCL means there aren’t many other takeover candidates left on the shelf. Such is the scale of the carriers within the top 7 that any merger within that group would find it difficult to pass regulatory approval. There could still be some minor regional acquisitions but the big wave of container M&A looks to have been concluded with this deal.

    Impact on industry: one step nearer to Liner Paradise

    Where there are losers, there are winners. Notwithstanding any potential roadblocks to future M&A, the consolidation that has already occurred, plus much brighter market prospects and the moratorium on new ships, offers carriers a golden opportunity for far greater profitability in the near future. With fewer carriers, that in time will become financially stronger; the pendulum is swinging back towards those that have grown to survive.

    Source: Drewry

  7. Truck Parking Europe is Europe's largest free platform for truck parking facilities. With over 550,000 downloads, over 26,000 parking areas and more than 600,000 parking spaces throughout Europe, the app is the number one choice to find the best truck parking space along a route. Now the platform is expanded by a reservation platform, which enables carriers and truckers to book safe parking facilities for their trucks in advance.

    The first pan-European reservation platform helps transport companies and truck drivers find and reserve secure parking spaces in time, both on the web and via app. This allows logistics companies to make life easier and more convenient for their drivers and to prevent risks. If a haulier has booked a parking space for a driver, he can inform him about this by sending a confirmation.

    Protected truck parking facilities can be booked through their own reservation platforms. Truck Parking Europe’s reservation platform can therefore be connected to any parking reservation system in Europe. In this case, Truck Parking Europe simply sends the reservation request to the car park operator. "By integrating a unique reservation feature in the app, professional drivers know exactly where a secure parking space is waiting for them on their route. We are the first with a European wide reservation platform, which is yet another step in our continuous development to support our driver community towards increased road safety", says PTV Truckparking director Niels de Zwaan.

    To reach even more carriers and truck drivers, the platform is also integrated into the PTV Map & Guide transport route planning software. This means that all users of PTV’s planning software can also reserve secure parking spaces for their drivers and routes throughout Europe.

    Source: PTV

  8. Plans for a “pioneering” 175,000 sqm (1.9 million sq ft) underground warehouse near Heathrow airport were approved last week, with the ambitious project potentially serving as a blueprint for other underground warehousing and logistics developments in high-value urban land areas.

    Hounslow Borough Council’s planning committee last Thursday unanimously approved the proposals submitted by the landowner, Formal Investments, to create the largest new recreational park in West London for more than 100 years on top of a 9m-high warehouse on 45 hectares (110 acres) of disused land. The site is less than 1.5 km from Heathrow Airport in London’s Hounslow area at Rectory Farm, Heston, alongside The Parkway (A312) and Bath Road (A4).

    Work is expected to begin in 2019, with the first area of the park opening in 2020 and the first underground warehouse space is expected to be available for businesses to use from 2022, during a 15-year period of extraction, construction and landscaping activity.

    The property agents working as part of the Rectory Farm team are Savills and CBRE.

    Samantha Smith, senior director at CBRE, said: “We are thrilled to be involved in such a massively pioneering project that will establish a new concept in the UK for a new resource for urban logistics. Whilst there is a lot of interest in multi-storey, multi-level warehousing development, Rectory Farm’s underground approach is exactly right for its location.

    “It will be the biggest such speculative development within the M25 and its technical and operational aspects are already proven at existing locations in other parts of the world.”

    Bridget Outtrim, director at Savills, said: “Rectory Farm offers a pioneering and innovative solution to the shortage of industrial space inside the M25. Its key feature is its unique combination of quantum of developable space and close proximity to West London’s growing population.”

    Nicholas King, director for landowner Formal Investments, said: “It is hugely exciting to know these ambitious and visionary plans, overwhelmingly supported by local residents, have taken a massive step towards going ahead. With increasing worldwide demand for warehousing space close to and within cities, we believe Rectory Farm’s creative solution of putting such infrastructure underground whilst enhancing the surface environment could inspire similar approaches elsewhere.

    “We have worked hard with Hounslow’s planners and councillors to get the proposals right, so that we can provide a local economic boost and give the people of Hounslow a tremendous legacy in the form of a new public park free for all to enjoy.”

    The Rectory Farm project has been devised by a team of world-class consultants – including architect Carmody Groarke, development expert DP9, landscape architect VOGT, engineer ARUP and the recently added property and construction consultancy Gleeds. The mineral extraction will take place “discreetly” beneath the park’s surface through an innovative ‘top-down’ construction method, with the process contained below ground in contrast to open cast mining.

    Kevin Carmody, of Carmody Groarke, said: “As our global cities become increasingly urbanised, pressure on sourcing and distributing resources will undoubtedly grow accordingly. At the same time, architects and designers, investors and politicians, have the duty to meet these huge challenges with very localised strategies, to positively improve places that directly affect people’s lives.”

    Tristan McDonnell, director of Arup, said: “As engineers our challenge was to find a way to minimise disruption and make the park available to the community as quickly as possible. Together with Carmody Groarke, we’ve achieved this by applying top-down construction methods, commonly used for high rise buildings with deep basements.

    “At Rectory Farm, a structural roof slab and foundations will be installed to allow excavation and construction to progress discretely below ground. This method means the community won’t have to wait long to enjoy the largest park created in West London for 100 years.”

    The proposal comes as developers look at creative ways to fit warehousing into the crowded airport property market. Along with underground warehousing, developers have also used multi-storey warehouse developments in areas of particularly high-value land. Indeed, multi-storey air cargo handling developments at Heathrow airport include the X2 facility and British Airways World Cargo’s Ascentis building.

    Formal Investments said the large new public park will provide much needed recreational space linking local communities and will include full size grass and all-weather football pitches, hockey and cricket pitches, plus a variety of other facilities alongside fields and tree-lined paths for walking, running and cycling. Historically the ‘green belt’ land was agricultural but has not been farmed since 1996 due to years of antisocial behavior, fly tipping, trespass, vandalism and concerns over food safety.

    Source: Lloyds Loading List

  9. BIFA Director General, Robert Keen says: “Although the back-up system has been in existence for about a year, it is good to hear that it has now received formal Customs approval and is ready for use to prevent any meltdown in the event of a prolonged outage of HMRC’s computer systems.”

    CCS-UK Fallback is the new electronic back-up system revealed on June 29th by the CCS-UK air cargo electronic community that will allow authorised traders to continue processing Customs export declarations in the event of any significant system outage, and receive automatic fallback clearance to ship goods without delay. Import entries will also receive fallback clearance, avoiding the backlogging that would result from manual customs clearance.

    Keen continued: “In the last week, with the situation at Maersk, we have seen evidence of the problems that can occur when computer systems are disrupted.

    “Our older members will recall when the British airport computerised cargo clearance system, UKAS was scrapped in the mid 1980s after users at UK airports were thrown into chaos as the system proved totally incapable of handling the volume of customs entries.”

    “We will now be encouraging our members to work with the specialist IT systems providers that they use to undertake Customs entries to update their products to take advantage of this new feature, and make sure that all their staff are ready to use the new function should they need to.”

    Designed by BT for CCS-UK, the fallback system – once triggered – will function for up to 30 days; as soon as CHIEF returns to normal operation, CCS-UK Fallback will transmit all stored entries for processing in the normal way.

  10. At its meeting in Rome in June 2017, the Documentary Committee agreed that specialist provisions dealing with the mechanics of General Average should be modified to ensure consistency with user requirements and market arrangements.

    The BIMCO Average Bond Clause, last revised in 2007, aims to minimise the time taken to obtain security from individual cargo interests and their insurers and thus reduce delay in delivery of cargo following a General Average incident. An updated version is now available as the BIMCO Average Bond Clause 2017 for use in contracts of carriage where General Average is to be adjusted according to the York-Antwerp Rules 2016. Nevertheless, the York-Antwerp Rules 1994 are likely to continue in use for the time being. Accordingly, the 2007 version of the Clause has been maintained and must be used if the York-Antwerp Rules 1994 apply to an underlying contract of carriage.

    Under the BIMCO Standard General Average Absorption Clause, hull insurers pay the costs of General Average up to an agreed sum thus eliminating low value claims where the costs are often disproportionate to the eventual recovery. In contrast to owners’ contracts of carriage where different versions of the York-Antwerp Rules might apply, the Absorption Clause is for inclusion in marine insurance policies. As it therefore forms part of the contract between owners and insurers, it follows that it should give effect only to the latest version of the York-Antwerp Rules. The Clause, originally issued in 2002 and linked to YAR 1994, has therefore been updated to apply the York-Antwerp Rules 2016. The earlier version should no longer be used.

    Source: Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO)

  11. Ambitious plans for a 175,000 sqm (1.9 million sq ft) underground warehouse near Heathrow airport go before planners tomorrow and look set to get the go-ahead.

    Formal Investments has submitted a proposal to extract gravel from beneath the surface of around 45 hectares (110 acres) of disused land in London’s Hounslow area at Rectory Farm, Heston, alongside The Parkway (A312) and Bath Road (A4).

    The excavation will be filled with around 175,000 sqm of 9m-high warehouse floorspace, which will create around 2,500 new job opportunities, the developer said. A new public park – “the largest new park in West London for more than 100 years” – will be created at ground level on the site, which is less than 1.5 km from Heathrow Airport and close to junction 3 of the M4 motorway.

    The proposal comes as developers look at creative ways to fit warehousing into the crowded airport property market. Along with underground warehousing, developers are considering multi-storey warehouse developments, Lloyd’s Loading List sister publication SHD Logistics reports. Indeed, multi-storey air cargo handling developments at Heathrow airport include the X2 facility and British Airways World Cargo’s Ascentis building.

    The London Borough of Hounslow rejected similar proposals in 2015 because insufficient information had been provided to address some of the planning issues raised by the proposals. The intervening period has been used to ensure the current submission now addresses these issues in full, Formal Investments said.

    A report from Hounslow borough planners said the “very special circumstances” of the new park meant they were not raising objections to the proposal, SHD Logistics reports, although the final decision lies with councillors.

    Formal Investments director Nicholas King said: “We are pleased to have worked so constructively with Hounslow’s planners and look forward to the planning committee considering our exciting proposal to create both economic growth and a high quality green public space free for all to enjoy.”

    Formal Investments said the plans had already been widely consulted on, including with the local MP and local Councillors, nearby residents, community groups and the wider Hounslow community, Transport for London and the Greater London Authority.

    A public consultation questionnaire generated 664 responses that were overwhelmingly positive, Formal Investments said.

    Source: Lloyds Loading List

  12. From August 2017, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will target lorry drivers and operators who try to cheat vehicle emissions, with roadside checks of HGV's which will include an emissions check in the hopes of targeting those who break the law and help to improve air quality. The UK government's approach to reducing nitrogen dioxide levels was heavily criticised by freight and logistics industry bodies in May, when the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs published a draft plan which included looking at ways to reduce emissions produced by vehicles, including those used commercially.

    The planned inclusion of emissions check in roadside inspections comes after the DVSA’s enforcement staff and its European counterparts apparently found evidence that some drivers and operators use emissions cheat devices to cut the cost of operating. These include:

    • Using devices designed to stop emissions control systems from working
    • Removing the diesel particulate filter or trap
    • Using cheap, fake emission reduction devices or diesel exhaust fluid
    • Using illegal engine modifications which result in excessive emissions
    • Removing or bypassing the exhaust gas recirculation valve

    The DVSA enforcement officers says that it will give the driver and operator 10 days to fix the emissions system if they find a vehicle with tampered emissions readings. If the emissions system isn’t fixed within 10 days, the DVSA will issue a fine and stop the vehicle being used on the road. DVSA enforcement staff can insist that a vehicle is taken off the road immediately if they find a driver or operator is repeatedly offending. DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said:

    “We are committed to taking dangerous vehicles off Britain’s roads and this new initiative to target emissions fraud is a key part of that. Anyone who flouts the law is putting other road users, and the quality of our air, at risk. We won’t hesitate to take these drivers, operators and vehicles off our roads.”

    The DVSA says that it will investigate all Great Britain operators cheating emissions and pass the findings to the Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain, who have the power to remove operator licences. DVSA will also continue to work with our counterpart agencies across Europe, and further afield, to make sure that all offences committed by non-Great Britain hauliers are dealt with locally. Transport Minister, Jesse Norman said:

    “I welcome this crackdown on rogue hauliers who cheat the system by installing bogus devices which lead to increased pollution. There has rightly been a huge public outcry against car manufacturers that have been cheating emissions standards, and the same rule should apply here too. We all need clean air in which to live and work. That’s why the government has committed more than £2 billion since 2011 to support greener transport.

    Source: Handy Shipping Guide

  13. The filings in ICS (ENS) are provided by carriers and the data the filings contain is on the level of Master Bill of Lading or Master Air Waybill. In order to implement the strategic objectives of the EU Strategy and Action Plan for Customs Risk Management, which was adopted mid-2014, the UCC and its Delegated and Implementing Acts introduced several new requirements not supported by the currently operational ICS system. Therefore, the Commission started working on designing and implementing ICS 2.0.

    In the past few months a project group consisting of Commission, Member States and Trade representatives (including CLECAT) has defined the different business processes which should support the new legislation. The business processes for ICS were discussed per transport mode in order to support as much as possible actual current logistical processes and industry data and message standards. This has led to a business case document supported by process descriptions and diagrams. Although a few Member States have not agreed fully on the business case, all parties involved have supported the work done and agreed to continue the further design and implementation of ICS 2.0. A system architecture for ICS 2 based on a Common Repository with an additional shared interface for trade (STI) and a central service for "e-Screening and Risk Management" to support Member States was endorsed.

    This means that the possibility of dual or multiple filing (no need to share commercial information with other trade parties) and the very important Shared Trader Interface are very likely to be implemented. Nonetheless, a final decision for development of ICS 2.0 and the shared trader interface will be taken in mid-2018. In the second half of this year the project group will continue to prepare the proposal for the transition strategy and the common functional and technical specifications.

    Although there is not yet a full agreement between the Commission and a few Member States and some other hurdles, like budgetary issues, are still to be overcome, CLECAT is pleased with the outcome of the ICS project group until this point and is confident that with the current direction ICS is going in, it will lead to the best possible solution for all parties involved.

    Source: CLECAT

  14. Improving the efficiency of road-freight transport is critical to reducing the growth in oil demand, carbon emissions and air pollution over the next decades, according to the International Energy Agency’s latest report, The Future of Trucks: Implications for energy and the environment.

    Trucks are a major contributor to the growth in transport-fuel consumption, as well as rising carbon dioxide and air pollutant emissions. But the sector gets far less attention and policy focus than passenger vehicles. Only four countries have energy-efficiency standards for heavy trucks, compared with about 40 countries with passenger-vehicle standards.

    Yet the growth in oil demand from trucks has outpaced all other sectors – including passenger cars, aviation, industry and petrochemical  feedstocks – since 2000 and contributed 40% to global oil demand growth, a similar contribution as cars. Today, trucks account for almost a fifth of global oil demand, or around 17 million barrels per day, equivalent to the combined oil production of the United States and Canada. It also accounts for about half of global diesel use, a third of all transport-related carbon emissions and a fifth of NOx emissions, a key air pollutant.

    Trucks are a key enabler of global economic activity and play an essential role in delivering goods or commodities across every point of the economic value chain, from production to sale.

    But if no action is taken, oil demand from road freight is projected to grow by 5 million barrels per day by 2050, or around 40% of the projected increase in global oil demand in that period. This growth is expected to lead to a significant increase in carbon dioxide emissions of nearly 900 million tonnes through 2050, or about the same level of emissions growth as from coal use in the power and the entire industry sector combined.

    In an effort to address this rise in demand and emissions, the IEA describes a more sustainable policy pathway for truck transport that could reduce energy use in road freight by 50% and emissions by 75% by 2050.

    “For far too long there has been a lack of policy focus on truck fuel efficiency.  Given they are now the dominant driver of global oil demand, the issue can no longer be ignored if we are to meet our energy and environmental objectives” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director.  “Our study highlights the gains that are possible from tighter truck fuel efficiency standards and sets out other cost-effective steps to modernise freight transport.”

    Three areas of improvement

    The main drivers of oil demand from trucks today are the United States, the European Union and China, while India is emerging as a growing contributor. Economic growth, particularly in Asia, will continue to boost oil demand from trucking in the future.

    The IEA highlights three major areas of improvement. First, the trucking sector can improve logistics and systems operations in order to be more efficient. This includes near-term opportunities like using Global Positioning System to optimise truck routing, as well as real-time feedback devices that monitor the on-road fuel economy of trucks.

    Greater improvements on that front will require increased cooperation, as well as the exchange of data, information and assets across the entire supply chain. This can help increase the volume or weight of cargo hauled to improve the load on each trip, but also reduce the number of trips during which trucks are running empty, such as travel taken without any load at all after having delivered the goods.

    Second, the IEA report finds that energy-efficiency improvements for the existing fleet should include aerodynamic retrofits to reduce drag as well as low-rolling resistance tires. New trucks can use additional technologies that cut idling, use lightweight materials and take advantage of improvements to truck engines, transmissions and drivetrains. Achieving stronger cuts in fuel use, carbon dioxide and pollutant emissions requires the use of hybrids and zero emission trucks.

    Finally, using alternative fuels such as natural gas, biofuels, electricity and hydrogen can diversify fuel supply away from oil and also help reduce carbon emissions, especially if produced from low-carbon pathways.

    While some of the improvements necessary may be expensive or complex, many can be easily accomplished in the near-term by strong policy support, according to the report. Some of these opportunities include tightening fuel-economy standards, making better use of data and providing support for research and development into alternative fuels.

    Source: Intenational Energy Agency

  15. The HerGV campaign centres around a competition to encourage women to train as HGV drivers, and the M6toll are keen to demonstrate that a career in transport and driving is a flexible and rewarding choice. The campaign is spearheaded by ambassadors Rebecca Jackson, motoring journalist, TV presenter and Le Mans driver and Kara Rouse, a social media influencer and single mother who became a self-employed HGV driver to fit around her home commitments. Both ambassadors were at the launch event to explain to visitors the benefits of their career paths, and discuss the myths and challenges of working in a predominantly male orientated industry.

    James Hodson, director of motorway operations & facilities at M6toll said, “As it stands, the haulage industry is incredibly male dominated and we hope that our HerGV campaign will help to change that. We’ve received such positive feedback from everyone who has entered the competition and heard about the campaign. The whole team are looking forward to picking a deserving winner in October 2017!”

    Government statistics state that by 2022, the HGV industry needs to recruit 1.2 million more people.  According to a study by the RHA, partners in the HerGV campaign, only 1% of HGV drivers within the UK are women, and the 8% of women in other roles within the industry is a poor representation. The RHA, along with the M6toll and training providers Pertemps believe that recruiting more women could support their objective to improve the industry gender balance, and help to solve the industry’s skill shortage.

    Ladies who are interested in taking part in the HerGV campaign are encouraged to upload a video to the website for the chance to win a prize package worth up to £3,000, including HGV training provided by Pertemps and a work placement with a local haulage company courtesy of the RHA. The shortlisted finalists will be invited along to a family fun day in October 2017 at Drayton Manor Park, where the winner will be announced.

    Find more information about the HerGV campaign, visit