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DUBAI: July 03, 2019. DP World has launched an initiative to encourage Indian entrepreneurs looking to share their ideas and businesses to markets in the Middle East with support from shipping lines and key ports in the region, including Jebel Ali Port.

The ‘India-UAE Bridge’ is supported by DP World UAE Region, Jafza and the Indian Business & Professional Council (IBPC) and aimed at investors through value propositions that include DP World’s assets in both countries.

DP World IBPCIndia is one of the UAE’s largest trade partners with bilateral trade growing at an annual rate of 11 percent and likely to exceed US$100 billion by 2020.

In 2018 DP World set up a US$3 billion investment fund with India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) to develop projects in sea and river ports, freight corridors, special economic zones, inland container terminals, and logistics infrastructure such as cold storage.

“The India-UAE Bridge is a win-win for both sides. India is now the fifth largest economy in the world and one of the fastest growing major economies. During the current year, India is expected to add almost US$ 200 billion to global economic growth,” commented India’s ambassador to the UAE Navdeep Suri. “I expect that the proposed Bridge could become a significant element in the India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.”

Nimish Makvana, president of the IBPC Executive Committee added: “As a facilitator, IBPC always strives to create platforms for two allies and friends to not only promote business relationships but to also exchange knowledge of best practices in terms of governance, technology, professional opportunities and such. This first-ever event is an excellent start to a partnership and IBPC is planning for multiple road shows in India to promote UAE-India trade along with DP World.”

Pictured: Navdeep Suri, India’s ambassador to the UAE flanked by Mohammed Al Muallem, CEO and Managing Director, DP World, UAE Region and Nimish Makvana, IBPC Executive Committee president.

DEN HAGUE: June 25, 2019. The Dutch coalition government wants to introduce a tax on passenger and cargo flights from January 01, 2021 to make aviation “greener and more sustainable”. A Bill currently under review by the House of Representatives could produce annual revenues of €200 million.

If passed into law, the tax for all-cargo aircraft from 2021 would depend on their noise levels. The noisiest planes would pay €3.85 per tonne and the quietest a rate of €1.925 per tonne. According to the proposal, the tax would be based on the overall weight of the aircraft, so cargo in the bellyhold of a passenger aircraft could also be subject to tax.

While it says it would prefer a European-wide tax on aviation, the Dutch government is making a unilateral move with a €7.0 tax per departing passenger with an exemption for transit passengers.

Schiphol AMS“Unlike travel by car, bus or train, international flights from the Netherlands are not in any way taxed by the Dutch government,” said state secretary for Finance Menno Snel. “This is a key reason for introducing a flight tax. It will also help close the price gap between plane tickets and, for example, train tickets. Many of our neighbours already have a flight tax, so it’s our priority to seek cooperation at European level.”

The proposal includes measures to prevent a potential negative impact on Schiphol’s role as a hub and on its international network of connections. The bill is part of efforts by the Dutch government to charge consumers and businesses for environmentally polluting behaviour.

In July 2008 it implemented an air passenger tax in a bid to make air transport pay for its CO2 emissions. The rate was €11.25 for departing passengers to European destinations and €45 for long-haul passengers. The tax was abolished in January 2010.

In response to the new proposal, IATA says its research shows that air passengers want governments to encourage the development of new technologies and sustainable aviation fuels to reduce aviation carbon emissions, rather than impose what it says are “ineffective environmental taxes”.

“Public opinion has a clear message to governments: work with aviation to encourage investment in clean fuels, and new hybrid and electric technology. This will help airlines cut emissions in half by 2050,” declared IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.

IATA says when it asked the question: “Do you trust governments to spend money from environment taxes specifically on environmental protection programmes?” the replies from various European countries were:

                            Trust                        Don't Trust
France                 16%                         81%
Germany              29%                        66%
Netherlands         40%                        53%
Spain                   24%                        73%
UK                       27%                        66%

“Sensible governments should take practical measures to help, not hinder investment through weakening the industry and trying to make flying a preserve of the rich,” claimed de Juniac – who was chairman and CEO of Air France-KLM between 2013-2016.

BIRMINGHAM: June 21, 2019. Logistics companies are reluctant to spend money on preparing for a no-deal Brexit if the UK government doesn’t tell them what to prepare for, according to panelists speaking at the Multimodal 2019 expo this week.

Head of Global and European policy for Britain’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) Pauline Bastidon said many companies are reluctant to invest heavily without certainty the investments will be required. “This is probably the biggest challenge we have faced in a generation and the implications for logistics are huge.”

“FTA is urging the government to extend the easements granted pre-29th March; provide clear, end-to-end guidance to industry setting out the process and requirements on both sides of the borders; and to work with the industry to increase the attractiveness of transit and Customs facilitations,” explained Bastidon.

Brexit MM2019Tim Reardon, head of EU Exit for the Port of Dover added: “The technology is there as a tool but this is a cart and horse situation. Until we have defined what the process is that the technology needs to deliver, there isn’t much point in developing it.”

Eurotunnel’s Public Affairs director John Keefe noted that with so many players involved in the supply chain, there was an urgent need for the Tory government to “refocus” and give a clear and stable definition of what the Customs process would be. “All the energy is going into managing the negative consequences of ‘day one no deal’, very little energy is being put into avoiding those negative consequences,” he declared.

Speaking on the BBC today, Bank of England governor Marc Carney said only 40 percent of British exporters were prepared for a no-deal Brexit and as many as 150,000 UK companies did not have the paperwork in place to export to the EU.

Carney also dismissed a claim by Boris ‘Mr Blobby’ Johnson that tariffs would not have to be paid if the UK left the EU without a deal, because Britain could rely on Article 24 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT).

“Gatt 24 applies if you have an agreement, not if you’ve decided not to have an agreement or have been unable to come to an agreement,” Carney explained.

“Not having an agreement with the EU means that there are tariffs automatically because the Europeans have to apply the same rules to us as they apply to everyone else,” he told the BBC.

Mr Blobby is bidding to be Britain’s next unelected prime minister and leader of the current no-deal Brexit Conservative Party.

Pictured from left to right: Peter Ward, CEO of the UK Warehousing Association (moderator); Pauline Bastidon, head of Global and European policy, Freight Transport Association (FTA); Peter MacSwiney, chairman, ASM; Shahar Ayash, managing director UK and Europe, Tigers;Tim Reardon, head of EU Exit, The Port of Dover; John Keefe, Public Affairs director Eurotunnel; Luis Gabiola, director Commercial Operations and Logistics, Port of Bilbao Authority.

BRUSSELS/BUCHAREST: June 13, 2019. A total of 112 European air traffic management (ATM) projects are expected to deliver CO2 emission cuts of 552,000 tonnes by 2030, save airlines 12 million minutes of flying annually and cut costs by €484 million.

The projects are part of the Single European Sky Initiative (SES), launched by the European Commission (EC) in 2004 to modernise Europe’s inefficient air space with the catchy acronym SESAR, or Single European Sky ATM (Air Traffic Management) Research.

In 2007 SESAR was established as a public-private partnership to coordinate all EU R&D activities via 3,000 experts for a new ATM environment that currently employs 1.4 million people and contributes €110 billion annually to Europe’s GDP.

All projects are overseen by SESAR DM (Deployment Manager), set up by the EC to synchronise and coordinate their deployment across Europe and implemented by the SESAR Deployment Alliance (SDA).

SESAR Conference BucharestThe non-profit SDA was established under Belgian law and is composed of airlines, airports and air navigation service providers. The organisation coordinates the implementation of 300 ATM projects of which 74 have already been completed.

Speaking at a SESAR conference in Bucharest last week, SESAR DM general manager Nicolas Warinsko said his organisation had developed expertise and gained buy-in and trust since it was set up four years ago.

The event, organised in conjunction with the Romanian Air Traffic Services Administration and supported by the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, brought together over 150 stakeholders and included an interactive panel discussion on challenges and opportunities for SESAR DM.

During the debate Andreas Eichinger, Frankfurt Airport vice president Operational Planning noted that for an industry which is often slow to embrace change, “relatively speaking projects are being completed at almost lightning speed”.

“SESAR DM is at a turning point, but we have developed valuable assets, and kept industry involved, with the military having a voice for perhaps the first time,” added Warinsko.

With the EC deciding on the future of SESAR DM by the end of the year, some at the Bucharest conference were less than optimistic including Christine Berg, EC Head of Single European Sky Unit, DG MOVE.

“It is clear that ATM in Europe is at capacity, continuous growth is resulting in delays not seen before,” she said. “In 2018, European air traffic grew by 18 percent, but delays grew by 273 percent.

"Have we achieved our objectives since the launch of SES 14 years ago? I would say no,” she added.

Pictured: SESAR moderator and panelists from left to right: Julian Pryke, Founder & COO, Meantime Communications; Andreas Eichinger, Vice-President Operational Planning Frankfurt Airport; Tanja Grobotek, Director European Affairs CANSO; Isabelle Jagiello, Senior Project Manager Innovation and Networks Agency (INEA); Janusz Janiszewski, CEO Polish Air Navigation Service Provider (PANSA); Regina Klotz, Vice-President SESAR Deployment Deutsche Lufthansa; and Lieutentant Colonel Sven Rensmeyer, Project Officer SESAR European Defence Agency.

AMSTERDAM: March 28, 2019. The World Trade Organisation, an institution Donald Trump has threatened to leave, has ruled against Boeing and the US federal government in a long-running dispute with the EU over aircraft subsidies.

Rejecting all arguments by the Trump administration, the WTO Appellate Body says the US has failed to withdraw subsidies by federal, state and local authorities to Boeing and consequently allows the European Union to seek countermeasures on imports of US products.

A350 900 Evelop002“This is a clear victory for the EU and Airbus. It vindicates our position that Boeing, while pointing fingers at Airbus, has not taken any action to comply with its WTO obligations, contrary to Airbus and the EU,” declared the European aerospace manufacturer’s general counsel John Harrison. “With this damaging report, continuing to deny they receive massive illegal subsidies from the United States government is no longer an option.

“Stated differently, absent settlement, the US will pay - in perpetuity – billions in annual sanctions driven by every single flying Boeing programme while the EU would face, in the worst case, only minor issues,” he added.

Harrison said he hoped the WTO ruling would now prompt the US and Boeing to join with the EU and Airbus in establishing a fair future trade environment. The US manufacturer, engaged in software upgrades to its B737 MAX aircraft, has yet to issue a statement in response to the WTO ruling.

WTO dispute background.

Pictured: Evelop Airlines, part of the Madrid-based Barceló Group, has taken delivery of a new A350-900 XWB aircraft from Air Lease Corporation for its Caribbean services. A second aircraft is expected next year.

MUNICH/BRUSSELS: June 06, 2019. Belgium has officially introduced its BE-GATE Customs portal across its four main ports: Antwerp, Brussels, Liege and Zeebrugge “to significantly simplify the import and export of goods,” according to the government.

The free platform, designed for processing large amounts of data, is expected to improve Customs clearance in the cross-border flow of goods, particularly e-commerce.

BE Gate visit by Belgium CustomsBE-GATE can be used for free circulation, Customs warehousing and export by an official Customs agent with a registered office in Belgium and an approved Customs warehouse. In March this year DHL became the first company to be BE-GATE certified.

Steven Polmans, director Cargo & Logistics for Brussels Airport commented: "With our ongoing expansion and new warehouses under construction, we are ready for the growing business of e- commerce. BE-GATE will help us to be an even more attractive entry point for e-commerce thanks to its facilitation and transparency."

Explaining the rationale behind BE-GATE, Werner Rens, head of the Marketing Department at Belgium Customs and Excise said: “As partners we invest in platforms and procedures to optimize this network. That way we can meet the e-commerce players’ expectations about integrated gateways. Moreover, our sea and airports are centrally located in Europe. This optimal location and connectivity make Belgium a unique hotspot for omni channel logistics.”

Large last-mile e-commerce players including Cainiao Smart Logistics Network Limited or 4PX use Belgium as a gateway to Europe in addition to Decathlon, LEGO and Nespresso.

Luc Arnouts, director International Networks for the Port of Antwerp added: "Digitalisation is part of the DNA of Europe's second largest port. We expect BE-GATE to significantly simplify customs clearance and thus make Antwerp even more attractive as a location for e-commerce traffic."

Pictured left to right at the DHL certification: Des Pierce and Gerrit De Sterck, DHL Aviation; Kristian Vanderwaeren, Belgium Customs Administration; Belgium Finance minister Alexander De Croo; and Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist.

BEIRA, Mozambique: March 29, 2019. According to the US Agency for International Development (USAID), the official death toll in Mozambique from Cyclone Idai has now risen to 493 with a further 1,500 injured. More than 99,300 houses have been destroyed, damaged or flooded and 140,800 people are homeless.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) says almost three million people have been affected by Idai in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi with many of them in camps where there is little or no clear water and sanitation. In Malawi the government says 56 people have died, 557 injured and over 922,900 people have been displaced. The European Union reports 172 people are dead and 327 still missing in Zimbabwe.

Beira Mozambique floodingMeanwhile an EU Civil Protection team of 12 experts from Germany, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, and Slovenia is now in Mozambique operating between Maputo and Beira to facilitate incoming assistance.

Although flooding is beginning to recede west of Beira (pictured) the result is posing a new threat of water-borne disease as the area is now a large muddy swamp. On March 27 the government confirmed five cases of cholera as 900,000 doses of oral cholera vaccines are expected to arrive in Mozambique on April 01.

OCHA says Beira airport is fully operational but fuel shortages, low fuel refuelling capacity and the lack of loading and handling expertise continues. Deutsche Post DHL is one of the organisations that have responded with the deployment of its Disaster Response Team (DRT) headed by Chris Weeks, its director for Humanitarian Affairs, and including DHL volunteers from the UAE, Mozambique and South Africa.

“There isn’t much aid coming in right now,” Weeks explained, “but we expect that to change as the UN has allocated US$20 million to provide humanitarian help. One and a half weeks after the disaster conditions in this part of Mozambique remain critical. The rain hasn’t let up, the floodwater can’t drain away and the river continues to rise,” he added. “Right now, the airport in Beira is one of the few places in the city that is dry and has functioning infrastructure.”

The airport is currently receiving most of the incoming aid such as water, food, tents, fuel, medical supplies and technical equipment. Governments providing airlift capacity include the UK, Turkey and South Africa. And Airbus used an A330neo to fly 26 tonnes of aid to Maputo on March 27 on behalf of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

LONDON/MUNICH: May 24, 2019. Despite today's resignation of Theresa May as UK prime minister and her expected replacement by the uninspiring Boris Johnson, logistics industry executives seem “fairly at ease” about a future Brexit according to Messe München, organisers of the upcoming transport logistic expo from June 04-07.

Citing a recent survey of 2,680 trade fair participants, “38 percent of respondents said they were prepared for all eventualities, 50 percent are not directly affected and only 12 percent fear massive adverse effects from a hard Brexit,” said Stefan Rummel, Messe München managing director.

transport logistic munichRummel noted Dachser is one of many European companies that have been preparing for any eventuality: “Brexit is certainly not an everyday challenge. However, we have taken all the measures at our disposal to ensure that the transport of goods from and to the United Kingdom will continue as smoothly as possible. No matter what happens, goods must flow,” declared Steffen Weisse, the company’s head of Sales for European Logistics, North Central Europe.

According to Eurostat, approximately 8.8 percent of Dutch exports went to Britain in 2017. Brexit is expected to require an additional 10,500 ships to be inspected each year at the Port of Rotterdam that has spent €1.5 million on preparations including more Customs, veterinary and food control staff. The port company estimates that some 4,200 companies will be affected.

“All these preparations are necessary to mitigate as much as possible the negative consequences of Brexit. Yet, these preparations are only effective if everyone in the logistics chain cooperates,” declared External Affairs manager Mark van Dijk. “This is a prerequisite to smooth trade flows that we never cease to stress.”

Meanwhile Johnson, whose frequent mauvais mots have included “fuck business”, is unlikely to impress the European Commission in Brussels - where he was once sacked as a journalist for irresponsible reporting – if and when he makes the inevitable pilgrimage to re-negotiate Brexit.

PARIS: March 25, 2019. CMA CGM has ordered 10 15,000 TEU containerships, five powered by LNG and five fitted with hybrid scrubbers, for delivery from 2021 to replace current capacity on routes between Asia and the Mediterranean.

France and ChinaThe announcement was made during a state visit to France by China’s president Xi Jinping and follows news that Airbus has signed an agreement with China Aviation Supplies Holding Company for the purchase by Chinese airlines of 300 Airbus A320 and A350 aircraft.

With over 1,700 Airbus aircraft currently with Chinese operators, the manufacturer’s latest China market forecast suggests the country will need 7,400 new passenger and freighter aircraft in the next 20 years. Guillaume Faury, president of Airbus Commercial Aircraft and future Airbus CEO said: “Our expanding footprint in China demonstrate our lasting confidence in the Chinese market and our long-term commitment to China and our partners.”

Commenting on his company’s order, CMA CGM chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé noted: “Through this strategic partnership with the China State Shipbuilding Corporation, we once again opt for LNG propulsion and we reinforce our efforts to develop ever more efficient and environmentally-friendly vessels. We thereby reassert our leading role in the energy transition of the shipping industry.”

In November 2017 CMA CGM announced an order for nine 22,000-TEU container ships powered by LNG, becoming the first shipping company in the world to choose this energy source for vessels of this size.

Pictured: Both marine and aviation orders were made in the presence of French president Emmanuel Macron and China’s president Xi Jinping during the latter's trip to Europe from March 21-26 that also included Italy and Monaco.

LONDON: April 08, 2019. London has introduced the world’s toughest vehicle emission regulations with charges of £100 a day for trucks, buses and coaches and £12.50 a day for cars, vans and motorbikes that do not meet Euro 4 or Euro 6 emissions standards.

Polluting vehicles account for around 50 per cent of London’s harmful NOx air emissions. Air pollution is an economic cost to the capital of up to £3.7 billion a year and £20 billion to the UK as a whole.

London emissions mapThe new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will apply to Central London from today and Greater London from October 2021 (pictured) to help address London’s toxic air health crisis. The most recent data shows more than two million Londoners still live in areas that exceed legal limits for NO2 of which 400,000 are children under the age of 18.

King’s College London research suggests the new measures will bring London’s air quality into legal compliance in six years rather than 193.

“This is a landmark day for our city. Our toxic air is an invisible killer responsible for one of the biggest national health emergencies of our generation,” commented Mayor of London Sadiq Khan. “I simply refuse to be yet another politician who ignores it. The ULEZ is the centrepiece of our plans to clean up London’s air – the boldest plans of any city on the planet, and the eyes of the world are on us.

“This is also about social justice - people in the most deprived parts of London, who are least likely to own a car, suffer the worst effects of harmful air pollution. I will not stand by and watch children grow up with under-developed lungs in our city. The ULEZ is a vital step towards helping combat London’s illegal air,” he added.

The London Mayor recently launched a £48 million scheme for microbusinesses and charities, as well as people on low income who may struggle to pay ULEZ charges and want to scrap older, more polluting vehicles.

Bruce Bratley from recycling business First Mile commented: ”We’re committing to minimising our environmental footprint and have introduced a number of measures over the past three years to meet ULEZ emissions standards, including the use of cargo bikes and electric vehicles. We need to use a number of heavy goods vehicles for our collections, but we've significantly invested in our fleet to ensure that these are the greenest they can possibly be and are fully compliant with ULEZ."

PORT OF ROTTERDAM: March 14, 2019. Despite votes in the British Parliament this week against a no-deal Brexit, the Port of Rotterdam is anticipating truck congestion as a worse-case scenario at the end of this month. Together with other partners, it has created five new buffer parking sites for trucks to wait if their Customs documents have not been properly prepared for ferry crossings to the UK.

The aim of the coordinated action by the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the Municipality of Rotterdam, the Municipality of Vlaardingen and highways authority Rijkswaterstaat (Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management) is to minimise any extra delay resulting from additional Customs formalities at ferry and shortsea terminals and to ensure freight traffic to the UK runs as smoothly as possible.

Rotterdam truck park facilitiesAdditionally, more intensive passport checks and inspections by the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority could mean longer processing times at terminals.

Of the approximately 54 million tonnes of freight that is traded annually between the UK and the Netherlands, around 40 million tonnes passes through the port of Rotterdam, and in particular via ferry and shortsea crossings.

According to the Port of Rotterdam, as soon as Brexit is a fact, the Dutch seaports will form an outer border between the EU and the UK and “this will have major consequences, in particular for the processing of Customs papers and passport control”.

In a Brexit traffic flow simulation by the Port and Rotterdam ferry terminals, they are assuming some 400 trucks operators won’t have their paperwork in order so providing 700 additional trucks spaces at buffer parking sites is expected to be enough.

The buffer parking sites will only be accessible to truckers that have not entered their data into the Port of Rotterdam’s Portbase system and therefore don’t have access to the ferry terminals. The Port says using the facility “means cargo can pass quickly and without unnecessary delay through Customs to and from the UK, even after Brexit”.

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