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GOTHENBURG RoRoPort of Gothenburg has increased its container volume, there have been no cancelled direct calls, and none are planned.

Figures published by the port authorities reveal that container volumes at the 10 largest ports in Europe fell by an average of five per cent during the first quarter compared with last year. In contrast, container volumes at the Port of Gothenburg increased by eight per cent during the same period.

“The European trend is striking although at the same time we are particularly proud that thanks to our consistently high level of customer service and a flexible and developed product offering we have emerged unscathed,” said Dennis Olesen, chief executive of the container terminal operator APM Terminals Gothenburg.

According to Elvir Dzanic, Port of Gothenburg chief executive, the open approach adopted by Sweden to the world, and the fact that Swedish industry has continued to export during the Covid-19 pandemic, are further factors that make the Port of Gothenburg the exception in the European port statistics table.

“We offer a wide range of services, a highly efficient rail infrastructure, and the capacity to remain sustainable even more testing times. Freight flows from all over the country are being concentrated increasingly on Gothenburg as companies reassess their logistics concepts," he said.

No direct calls cancelled in Gothenburg

Large numbers of calls by ocean-going vessels have been cancelled at European ports during the first quarter, disrupting freight flows. In Gothenburg, no direct calls have been cancelled – services to and from Asia using the world’s largest vessels have continued, week in, week out.

“Weekly services between Gothenburg and Asia have proved to be the most important lifeline for Swedish imports and exports. Ensuring traffic continues without disruption is vital. And we also see more goods able to become rail born and move through Gothenburg, which is reassuring as it brings continuity to Swedish trade with the world,” said Dennis Olesen.

Despite the difficulty of predicting when the Covid-19 pandemic might end, Elvir Dzanic is upbeat about the future, both for the port in general and for container traffic in particular.

“As we were among the first to react to the Covid-19 pandemic, with quick, decisive measures early on, we were able to assure access to this major freight hub, allowing us to stay focused on the road ahead. Together with the other companies at the port we are working ceaselessly to satisfy the needs of the market through a series of key initiatives, including deepening of the fairway, enhancing transshipment potential, and expanding the port’s rail concept, which is already one of the most successful in the world,” said Elvir Dzanic.

Qatar freighter unloading copyWorldwide Flight Services’ (WFS) cargo handling team in Paris has been working tirelessly to rapidly process shipments of personal protective equipment (PPE) delivered by customer Qatar Airways Cargo for hospitals across France treating patients with Covid-19.

WFS has been the airline’s cargo handling partner at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport since 2000, providing warehouse handling and ramp handling for Qatar Airways Cargo services as well as trucking.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, Qatar Airways Cargo has been one of the main airlines carrying supplies of medical equipment to France, including surgical gloves, face masks, aprons and medical kits. So far, WFS has handled 12 Boeing 777X freighter flights operated by the airline, including charters organised by two of France’s leading freight forwarding companies, Bolloré Logistics and Geodis. Most flights have originated in China and Vietnam.

Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways said, “Paris is one of our biggest cargo stations in Europe and, in these very challenging times, we have been able to deliver millions of items of personal protective equipment and medical supplies to help the coronavirus recovery programme in France. Our ability to do this quickly and efficiently has been possible thanks to the support of the WFS team in Paris, who have been highly efficient in handling both the inbound shipments as well as the general cargo we have carried for our customers on the outbound flights. We value this partnership.”

Laurent Bernard, Managing Director Cargo France at WFS, commented: “One of the most positive aspects of the coronavirus response is the way the entire air cargo industry is pulling together and playing such a vital role in transporting and delivering PPE supplies to help medical professionals across the globe. We are very proud of the role we are playing in France, working alongside major customers like Qatar Airways Cargo, to help make a positive difference. The airline’s words of encouragement mean a great deal to our team in Paris.”

ACS AntonovAir Charter Service claims that its offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong have proved invaluable in helping to arrange the hundreds of flights the company has booked to carry more than 20,000 tonnes of personal protective equipment around the world to over 60 different countries.

Justin Lancaster, ACS’s Group Commercial Director, commented: “We have been booking aircraft carrying protective equipment around the world since the first week of February, initially flying into China and other parts of Asia but, due the spread of the virus, we have now flown aid to all parts of the globe – more than 60 countries.
“Whilst the cargoes have been a variety of personal protective equipment, 20,000 tonnes would be equivalent to almost five billion face masks!

“We’ve used all types of aircraft including the huge Antonov AN-225, AN-124s, Boeing B747s and Boeing B777s. Due to passenger aircraft not flying on their usual routes at the moment, we have been able to source carriers willing to fill them up with cargo packed securely onto the seats and in the belly hold space.

“Every one of our 27 offices has been involved in this incredible effort, and having our Asian offices in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong, where almost all of the cargo is now originating, has ensured smooth operations at the airports and enabled us to be up to speed with the latest airport situations and requirements. Being able to deal with local agents, local shippers and local airports all in the local language and with local currency has meant our charters have run as smoothly as is possible through airports dealing with unprecedented pressure and demand.

“Much of our regular work disappeared overnight, but a re-footing of the business means that these charters are going someway to replacing some of the charters we would usually be doing, as well as some project charters that have had to be cancelled.

“Now is one of those times where our industry really can make a difference and we feel like we are truly playing our part in helping the world fight this pandemic.”

Wilhelmsen CrewWilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) is crowdfunding to support Mission to Seafarers (MtS), one of the largest maritime charities serving merchant crews around the world in addressing the hardships faced by the affected seafarers.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruption on crew change operations. The fall out effect of this has impacted approximately 150,000 seafarers onboard unable to be signed off and another 150,000 seafarers onshore unable to sign on. This disruption has impacted the affected seafarers’ welfare. For those onboard, the mental distress and anxiety to get home can be overwhelming. For those onshore, the pressure to generate income for their love ones can become overbearing.

Funds raised by employees, supporters, friends, and the wider industry will be used by MtS to further amplify their existing programs that have been helping numerous seafarers in this difficult period. Their existing program includes provision of mental health support and food aid for the affected seafarers and families globally.

DHL myportalDHL Global Forwarding, Deutsche Post DHL Group's air and ocean freight specialist, has launched myDHLi, the only fully integrated online platform for freight forwarding customers.

myDHLi's highly intuitive user interface makes it easy to use and ensures that customers have all relevant information at hand. Reflecting already well established social media functions like follow and share, relevant information can be easily accessed across organizations and trading partners. Completely transparent management of freight rates, offers, transport modes, carbon emissions, and all other relevant shipment data is readily available with just a few clicks and can be displayed in detailed analyses and reports. One of the most unique aspects is the benefit of full visibility and control over all shipping and transport modes, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

"Despite accelerating digitalization and super-fast connectivity customers have a need for reduced complexity. And that is exactly what our tool does," says Tim Scharwath, CEO DHL Global Forwarding, Freight. "We have created a one-stop customer portal that is tailored to the needs of our customers. By combining services like online quotation and booking with shipment tracking, document accessibility, and data analyses we are creating not only 360-degrees visibility, but also have laid the foundation for customers to manage their logistics - anytime and anywhere. We strongly believe that digitalization bears the potential to ease and improve the daily business of shippers and freight forwarders simultaneously. This is even truer during unpredictable and challenging times such as those we are currently facing with COVID-19, and which might now act as an accelerator for digitizing the industry. That is what digitalization means to us and why we made it a cornerstone of our strategy 2025."

The platform merges existing online services like myDHLi Quote + Book and myDHLi Analytics with new services and features, and incorporates them into one innovative platform. Services like a very efficient search capability enhance the user experience. On top, developed completely in-house, the new tracking service uses end-to-end information to make shipments across air and ocean visible nearly in real-time. This gives users complete control - from pick-up to final delivery. The service also offers raw data Excel extracts. Another new feature is myDHLi Documents, which offers quick and easy access to downloadable shipment documents. All documents - quotes, commercial invoice, packing list, house bill, invoice, proof of delivery, etc. - are stored in one place. The designers adapted a mobile-first approach for seamless use on all devices. Built-in popular social media features like follow and share functions simplify communication along the supply chain by enabling customers to exchange information with colleagues, customers and suppliers. Furthermore, data can be easily analyzed and exported or directly integrated to own systems, based on a suite of APIs.

myDHLi features a modular build-up. Users can individualize their portal by selecting the specific services they want. Thanks to the single sign-on registration process, all services are available from the beginning. No additional registration or sign-in processes are needed. myDHLi is free of charge for all DHL Global Forwarding customers.

The launch begins with a pilot phase including selected customers from five continents (North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa). myDHLi is being rolled out in waves to ensure a smooth region-by-region transition. Interested customers can register for onboarding to myDHLi. Regular updates based on customer feedback will be shared. The previous customer portal, DHLi, will be available until the myDHLi roll-out is complete.

DHL Global Forwarding, Freight is continuously working on new services to offer its customers a state-of-the-art experience - all in line with Deutsche Post DHL Group's Strategy 2025 goal of "Delivering Excellence in a Digital World."

APMT Buenos AiresAPM Terminals Buenos Aires has commissioned a new cold-store chamber. The chamber can maintain constant temperatures as low as -35°C, making suitable to handle a variety of cargos including fruit, frozen produce and meat which require strict temperature control throughout the supply chain.

“With the current COVID-19 pandemic, our cooling chamber may have arrived at a vital moment, given that cargo often have to be stored at specific temperatures to maintain their quality,” said Marcelo Siminet, Head of Operations in APM Terminals Buenos Aires.

The chamber is located within the customers bonded area of the terminal, reducing the need for additional transport costs, inconvenience, risk and paperwork associated with off-terminal facilities. It is fully approved by SENASA, the Argentinian government ministry responsible for executing national policies on animal and plant health and quality, and food safety.

The 60 cubic meter chamber, measuring 11.84m long, 1.96m wide and 2.55 high, can store up to 11 standard pallets or 14 Euro pallets simultaneously. The innovative chamber is operated by a specially trained team, who understand the importance of maintaining quality from origin to destination. In addition to storage the chamber can be used to maintain constant temperatures during the stuffing process.

Lufthansa CabinLufthansa Cargo is now offering 14 weekly cargo flights from and to Shenzhen (SZX).

Due to the corona crisis, airfreight capacities are still in high demand. Lufthansa Cargo is now offering up to fourteen additional cargo flights a week from Shenzhen to Frankfurt. The first aircraft, an Airbus A330-300 from Lufthansa, took off from Shenzhen today, Monday, on schedule. Around three million respiratory masks and other medical protective equipment are on board, which will be flown to Frankfurt on behalf of the logistics company Fiege.

"As a reliable partner, Lufthansa Cargo has played an important role in the stable supply chain from Asia to Germany in recent weeks. The new cargo flights from Shenzhen ensure that we can make this supply chain even more flexible, so that urgently needed goods arrive quickly in Germany", says Michael Völlnagel, CEO Fiege International Freight Forwarding.

"For Shenzhen Airport and the International Cargo Center Shenzhen, the launch of the Lufthansa connection is a further step in the internationalization of Shenzhen Bao'an Airport. We are very pleased to be able to participate in supplying Germany with urgently needed medical goods such as masks. It was an energetic effort on the part of everyone involved, especially the airport, to launch this new connection in just fourteen days," said Achim Plücker, Managing Director International Cargo Center Shenzhen.

"Lufthansa Cargo is doing its utmost to strengthen security of supplies by air and maintain supply chains. We are continuing to expand our services to ensure the fast transport of large quantities of urgently needed goods," explains Dorothea von Boxberg, Chief Commercial Officer Lufthansa Cargo.

Currently, all 17 Lufthansa Cargo freighters are in continuous operation, for example to fly medical supplies all over the world. From and to mainland China alone, 16 flights a week are currently operated with Boeing 777F wide-body freighters with a standard load capacity of around 103 tonnes. With the newly opened route to Shenzhen, a total of up to 49 additional weekly flights with Lufthansa passenger aircraft for the transportation of goods are offered in China. Since the cabin space of these aircraft can also be loaded with cargo, the average cargo capacity in practice is about 30 tonnes each. Parts of the cabin equipment were removed from ten A330-300s to accommodate a larger cargo volume.

Port of LAThe Port of Los Angeles and Logistics Victory Los Angeles (LoVLA) have received a donation of more than 11,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) from Harbor Freight Tools, a long-time customer at the Port of Los Angeles.

The equipment will be distributed by LoVLA to various health and medical facilities throughout the City in the fight against COVID-19.

“We are greatly appreciative to Harbor Freight for this generous donation, as PPE equipment continues to be urgently needed by frontline health care workers throughout the region,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka, who is also serving as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Chief Logistics Officer during the pandemic. “Harbor Freight is a great example of what the private sector can do to help during this pandemic.”

The Harbor Freight Tools donation includes 1,500 nitrile gloves, 500 N95 respirator masks, nearly 9,300 deluxe face shields, as well as 60 five-gallon spray bottles.

“We know how acute the need is for personal protective equipment, especially for the heroic healthcare workers on the front lines caring for COVID-19 patients,” said Eric Smidt, owner and founder of Harbor Freight Tools. “We’re grateful for their work and dedication and proud to partner with the Port of L.A. to deliver our PPE donations to hospitals in our hometown.”

Established in late March 2020 by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, LoVLA is a City of Los Angeles resource linking medical providers and workers in need of critical PPE supplies with suppliers of PPE equipment. Through supply chain optimization, City purchasing and donations, LoVLA has been able to facilitate the acquisition of millions of PPE units over the last six weeks for use by the region’s medical community.

Harbor Freight Tools was founded in Southern California in 1977, when 17-year-old Eric Smidt began transforming his father’s small sales business into a successful mail-order company. That first year, Smidt cut out the middlemen and sourced tools directly from the factories, realizing that if he could buy tools directly for less, he could pass the savings on to the customer. Today, Harbor Freight has over 1,000 stores across the country with over 20,000 employees. The company is still family-owned and remains true to its humble beginnings, while serving more than 40 million customers who depend on Harbor Freight’s quality and value to earn a living, repair their homes and cars and pursue their hobbies.

Port of Antwerp 1Total freight volume handled by Port of Antwerp fell in April due to the corona crisis, but rose by 0.4% overall during the first four months of this year compared with the same period last year.

The container volume rose in 2020, although other freight categories such as conventional breakbulk and ro/ro remain under pressure. The number of calls by seagoing ships was also down but a number of container ships also carried more volume on average.

Despite the impact of corona on global production and supply chains and a fall in demand as a result of the corona crisis, the port experienced slight growth in the total freight volume during the period January-April 2020 compared with the same period last year. The container volume in April was down compared with April 2019 but experienced growth of 6.1% in TEU during 2020 overall. The consequences of cancelled sailings will make themselves felt in the remainder of the second quarter. On the other hand there was a strong increase in empty boxes bound for China, which is a sign of recovery in production there.

In the case of breakbulk, with steel as the most important product, the consequences of the worldwide disruptions in trade have made themselves felt since 2019 and the shutdown of some industries due to the corona crisis has led to a sharp drop of 15.7% in April and 29.1% in 2020 overall. Due to the lack of production in the automotive industry there were no imports of new cars from Asia, and exports of European cars were similarly at a standstill. The second-hand car market was also almost completely absent as a result of the corona crisis. As a consequence the total ro/ro volume was down by 16.2% in the period January-April compared with the same period last year.

As for dry bulk there was little demand for coal due to the mild winter and the shutdown of the steel industry, and so also very little outgoing traffic to the hinterland. The fact that sufficient renewable energy (solar and wind) was available in Germany also contributed to the sharp drop in outgoing coal consignments. In the meantime other bulk categories remain under pressure and are declining in volume. In the liquid bulk sector the volume was down by 2.5% in 2020, mainly due to the lower demand for oil derivatives. The volume of chemical products experienced slight growth of 0.6% during the first four months of this year compared with the same period in 2019.

Port of Antwerp is a major international port whose activities reflect developments in the European and world economies. Despite a weaker month in April the port has been able to maintain its level of activity in terms of freight volume. The impact of lacklustre demand due to the corona crisis will make itself felt more strongly in the coming months. In the meantime, Port of Antwerp is doing everything necessary to ensure efficient functioning of the port.

Rotterdam DroneThe Port of Rotterdam has completed aerial delivery of a parts consignment by drone to Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit, the biggest vessel in the world

Pioneering Spirit is currently moored at Alexiahaven in preparation of upcoming offshore activities. This is actually the first drone delivery ever made in the Netherlands to a vessel. This pilot project, which was set up by Dutch Drone Delta, Allseas and the Port of Rotterdam Authority, is intended to determine whether and how drone deliveries could increase transport efficiency in the port of Rotterdam. The airspace over the port area will be safely managed under the slogan ‘Rotterdam, the safest port to fly’, allowing parties to take optimal advantage of new technologies to make the port safer, smarter and more efficient.

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) industry is going through an exciting evolution, and the sector is primed for further growth. Drone development is in full swing and this technology can have a major impact on traffic and transport. New European regulations have cleared the way for new applications. Ultimately, this may even include autonomous unmanned freight and passenger transport. To this end, the next few years will be devoted to the phased preparation of airspace and drone technology. The recent delivery constitutes a major first step in this process, since it involved the delivery of an actual package following a long-distance flight by the UAV. While in this case, the delivery was still directly monitored by human observers, in the near future, it will be handled entirely beyond the pilot’s physical line of sight.

Port of the future

“Utilising new technologies allows us to make our port smarter, more streamlined, more efficient and safer. The current pilot project is a prime example: it makes a significant contribution to more efficient transport in general; and in due time, it will specifically help to reduce the pressure on our road network. We intend to safely structure our airspace under the slogan ‘Rotterdam, the safest port to fly’. The results of this pilot project can also serve as input for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management when it drafts the required legislation and regulations. This will enable Rotterdam’s port business community to take optimal advantage of these new developments,” says Port Authority adviser Ingrid Römers.

Options for drone deployment in the port area

Stephan van Vuren, one of the people behind the Dutch Drone Delta initiative: “The sky’s the limit when it comes to using drones in the port area. Incident prevention and control, for instance; or water pollution; firefighting; monitoring port operations or damage. Other examples include everything from systems and bridge inspections, construction and maintenance of infrastructure, and deliveries to ships and oil rigs, to the rapid medical transport of blood and human organs. And in the longer term, we may even be seeing heavy freight deliveries and passenger transport! This pilot project in the port of Rotterdam has allowed us to directly demonstrate the added value of drone technology in a complex environment.”

Offshore sector also presents opportunities for drone delivery

According to Allseas PR manager Jeroen Hagelstein, the offshore industry could also benefit from this new delivery option: “As a provider of technical services to the offshore industry, we are continuously pushing the existing technical boundaries. Pioneering Spirit is the example. With this pilot, we want to test whether drones could be an effective means to quickly and efficiently deliver materials to our vessels. Helicopter, for example, are not always available on every location. Drone delivery can be of added value when we are in urgent need of parts which we can’t repair ourselves – for example network switches or computer chips.”

UK Chamber of Shipping LogoThe UK Chamber of Shipping has unveiled its new five-year Strategic Plan, outlining the plans and priorities for the Chamber and confirms its position as the voice of the UK shipping industry which contributes nearly £20bn a year to our economy and supports over 180,000 jobs.

The new plan, which was launched at the Chamber's AGM in March, showcases the vision, mission and priorities the Chamber will focus on up to 2025. The full Strategic Plan can be read here.

The six strategic priorities are:

Build the influence, profile and representative voice of the UK Chamber of Shipping nationally and internationally
Promote improved shipping, fiscal, employment and environmental (in particular, decarbonisation) policy and regulation.
Develop and promote an improved cross industry safety culture to reduce accidents.
Ensure the Chamber maintains and enhances its value proposition to its membership. n Build and enhance the services provided by the MNTB.
Through a mixture of call income and alternative income streams run the finances of the Chamber on a stable basis
Commenting on the new Strategic Plan, Chief Executive Bob Sanguinetti said:

“To ensure the UK Chamber of Shipping is setting the agenda and leading from the front, we have today updated our five-year Strategic Plan. The refreshed document sets out a clear direction in which the Chamber wants to head, and makes sure we are working with our members and setting a strategic narrative to tackle new challenges and identify future opportunities.”

Our Mission:

The new mission is to deliver for our members trusted specialist expertise, lobbying and influence on shipping issues across national, European and international government and governmental bodies, in order to advance the competitive strength of the industry ensuring that the UK remains a leader in the global shipping business.

Values 2020-2025:

The Chamber’s nine core values are: We lead by example, we work together, supporting and valuing each other, we are committed to our members, we respect the individual, we invest in people, we establish the facts and provide insight, we are open and honest in our communication, we seek continuous improvement and above all, we act with integrity.

The Chamber also launched its updated Journal during the AGM looking back at the last twelve months and what issues the industry may face in 2020.

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