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Port of LAThe Port of Los Angeles reported a 19.1 percent decline in volumes over the course of October, moving 770,189 Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units (TEUs) contrasting starkly with 2018’s record-breaking performance.

After 10 months of 2019, total volumes have increased 1.8% compared to last year, which was the busiest year ever at America’s top port.

“With 25% fewer ship calls, 12 consecutive months of declining exports and now decreasing imports, we’re beginning to feel the far-reaching effects of the U.S.-China trade war on American exporters and manufacturers,” said Port of Los Angeles Executive Director Gene Seroka. “We expect soft volumes in the months ahead and with the holiday season upon us, less cargo means fewer jobs for American workers. We need a negotiated settlement and the tariffs lifted.”

In October 2018, cargo owners were importing cargo at a record pace to get ahead of expected tariffs. This October, imports decreased 19.1% to 392,768 TEUs compared to the previous year. Exports declined 19.3% to 140,332 TEUs, the 12th consecutive monthly decline of exports. Empty containers also declined 19% to 237,088 TEUs. Combined, October volumes were 770,189 TEUs.

london train roadThe Road Haulage Association has called on political parties to put road freight at the heart of transport policy making ahead of the general election.

The Association in its election manifesto document has highlighted five key areas which must be addressed to keep the economy moving:

Transition to net zero
Skills shortage
Infrastructure investment – roads and lorry parking
Fuel duty
Brexit
RHA chief executive, Richard Burnett said he will continue working closely with government to tackle the industry’s major issues as it faces huge challenges to stay competitive.

The economy needs a modern, efficient road network to get goods from A to B as quickly as possible. He called on the new government to match that ambition with sufficient investment which also improves facilities for lorry drivers making those vital journeys.

On fuel duty which is still the highest in Europe, he said: “An essential user rebate of around 15 pence per litre to bring the UK into line with Germany would reduce operating costs and make British firms more attractive in the domestic and international markets.”

A new government must make pragmatic plans to achieve net zero carbon targets which meet the needs of people and businesses. He called for a review into the ‘ill-considered’ DEFRA Clean Air Zone Framework which sees hauliers hit with £100 daily charges for delivering into city centres.

Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy is key to attracting new people into the sector as it faces a driver shortage of 60,000. Approved apprenticeship standards don’t match the needs of haulage firms, nor do they cover the cost of training drivers.

On Brexit he reiterated the RHA’s long-standing call for a deal and transition period.

“Firms breathed a sigh of relief that a damaging ‘no-deal’ was averted last month but the uncertainty continues. The new government must do everything it can to get business ready for the UK’s departure.”

warehousing ap mollerUKWA says the extension of the Brexit deadline to the end of January 2021 will relieve some of the pressure on the UK logistics sector as the industry enters one of its busiest times of the year.

The Association’s CEO, Peter Ward, comments: “With retailers gearing up for Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Christmas, the previous date set for Britain’s EU departure – October 31st ­­– coincided with peak season for many UKWA members when at this time of year UK warehouse and distribution facilities are operating close to full capacity. With Brexit now coming after peak season, the extended deadline should allow our members to deliver Christmas without the added risk and impacts of a simultaneous day one no deal scenario.”

Ward also says the latest Brexit delay will have minimal effect, “those companies that prepared for Brexit did so in run up to March deadline. Data collected by UKWA in September showed little evidence of further stockpiling after April in preparation for October, and we expect little to change in this next period, especially with the threat of a cliff-edge fall-out significantly reduced”

UKWA has consistently highlighted that the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, whatever the outcome, and whatever the timing, is likely to drive a long term demand for additional warehousing Should the UK divert to WTO terms for its trade to and from the EU, some 200 million extra customs declarations will be required, with border checks on animal and plant imports. Such interruptions in the supply chain will naturally lead companies to hold more inventory in their supply chain and therefore more capacity will be required.

CN RailwayThe last known Centurion tank in Canada to be on the front lines during the Korean War arrived in British Columbia on Sunday, after a journey on CN’s network from Nova Scotia. The Centurion was loaded onto a rail car at the CN Yard in Dartmouth, NS on October 30 and arrived in Surrey, BC on Sunday morning. A.W. Liel, John Hunter Trucking Co., Total Transport & Rigging, Quiring Towing and Recovery, as well as Lumpy’s Lowbed Service all helped complete the coast-to-coast transfer.

Township of Langley Councillor Bob Long, and retired Major Ian Davidson Newby from the Western Museum of Armed Forces in Langley, reached out earlier this year to CN to help bring the tank to British Columbia. Through close collaboration between the Organization of Military Museums of Canada and the Cornwallis Military Museum Association, the Centurion tank was cleared for transfer. The tank had been on display at Cornwallis Park in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and would have served under the Commonwealth efforts in the Korean conflict, transferring to Canada in 1954.

“We are incredibly proud of our Canadian Armed Forces and want to contribute to remembering the sacrifice of our soldiers and veterans,” said Keith Reardon, senior vice-president, consumer product supply chain. “This collaborative effort on behalf of the Western Museum of Armed Forces will keep this piece of Canadian military history on display for generations to come. I want to thank all of our supply-chain partners for their participation in this historic transportation. As we mark our 100th anniversary, we are pleased to support this initiative that serves as a reminder of the role CN has played in moving goods, soldiers and the North American economy.”

Retired Major Ian Davidson Newby, who runs the Western Museum of Armed Forces in Aldergrove, was on hand to see the tank arrive in British Columbia.

“This Centurion tank is a cherished piece of Canadian military history, and I’m very thankful to CN and all the parties who helped bring it to our museum here in British Columbia,” said retired Major Newby. “Remembrance Day is about honouring those who served to help keep our country safe and secure, and this effort will ensure that we continue Canada’s strong tradition of being thankful for their sacrifice.”

After being lifted from the CN train, the tank will make its way to Langley to be on display during the Aldergrove Remembrance Day Ceremony on Monday. Langley regularly incorporates aspects of the Korean war into commemorations at Legions and during Remembrance Day events. The conflict saw more than 26,000 Canadians serve on land, at sea and in the air and cost 516 Canadians their lives.

CN is a true backbone of the economy transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America.

Palletways GroupLogistics firm Palletways Colchester announces four senior appointments to further develop the business in East Anglia and deliver a quality service to its customers.

Palletways Colchester is a dedicated regional depot for Palletways UK, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network. The depot provides pallet delivery and collection services for businesses in Colchester, Felixstowe, Ipswich, Braintree and the surrounding areas

All four appointments aim to strengthen the transition of the business to meet the needs of its customers and demonstrate high quality customer service. Steve Dowd is appointed as the depot’s General Manager whilst Ross Deacon joins as Operations Manager. Jackie Marks becomes the firm’s Sales Manager and Simon Colyer its Customer Service Manager.

Rob Gittins, Managing Director of Palletways UK, said: “These senior appointments demonstrate the importance we place on recruiting the best people in the industry, who understand the market and the challenges our customers face. They bring with them considerable knowledge of the logistics market and their industry experience is second to none.”

Steve, with the help of his new team of managers, successfully navigated the transition of the business to Palletways Colchester. He has considerable experience within the logistics and transport industry working at previous companies in the general manager role. Meanwhile Ross brings over 18 years’ experience in the sector and will look after its well-trained local team of drivers.

Jackie’s previous roles have been at Sales Manager or Key Account Manager level looking after high-profile customers including Argos, Tesco and John Lewis. She’ll be looking to build brand awareness and attract new customers. Simon has been promoted through the business and oversees the office team to ensure customers are delivered through the Palletways network as smoothly as possible.

Palletways Colchester handles single pallet shipments to large scale consignments within the IP, CO and CM postcode areas. The team manages and services all parts of the operation from its local collection and delivery operations, up to trunking its longer semi-trailers between Palletways Hubs and the depot.
The owned depot company is one of over 115 transport providers that are part of the Palletways UK network. They benefit from shared expertise and resources from within the group to deliver consignments of palletised freight to market faster and more cost effectively than ever before. The Palletways Group comprises 450+ depots and 20 hub operations, through which it provides collection and distribution services across 20 European countries, including the UK.

Riga During the first nine months of this year, cargo turnover between Riga and UK ports amounted to 2.5 million tonnes or more than 10 percent of the total cargo turnover at the port, thus, interest in everything related to Brexit is quite logical: timber exports make up two thirds of all shipments from Latvia to the UK, and news about Brexit is especially important to those port operators that offer handling and loading of timber consignments.

Kristaps Klauss, Executive Director of the Latvian Wood Industry Federation, claims that there is no reason to worry: “The UK will always have to import timber, as they process more than they are able to produce. For example, annually they use approximately 10 million cubic metres of coniferous sawnwood, but local producers are able to produce only 3 million cubic metres of this type of timber.”

Currently, uncertainty surrounding future scenarios and the potential chaos that may be created in the wake of Brexit raises the gravest concerns for port operators. As Brexit conditions are not yet clear to either party, bodies that are responsible for the monitoring and administration of cargo flows cannot adequately prepare. “Of course, possible chaos may result in some short-term losses. However, I think that Latvian companies have already made all the changes that were needed to duly prepare, as these changes have always been relevant to them. British partners who have always taken the benefits of the single market for granted should be more worried,” explains Kristaps Klauss.

In this context, Brexit may not only cause losses, but also even offer new opportunities for Latvian producers of timber and the respective logistics companies. “The ability to work in difficult conditions is one of our strengths,” underlines the Executive Director of the Latvian Wood Industry Federation. “We are more used to working in difficult conditions than our competitors. Our companies are inured, have learned to be dynamic, review risks continuously, diversify export markets and adjust to any changes. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that shortly after the Brexit vote Swedish exports of timber to the UK significantly decreased, while Latvian exports even increased,” continues Kristaps Klauss.

It should be noted that Latvia is a significant player on the global timber industry map. Latvia ranks 4th in terms of exports of wood pellets and birch plywood, and is one of the top ten global exporters of coniferous sawnwood. Exports to the UK make up 20% of all timber exports from Latvia. This share is even larger in the timber portfolio of the Freeport of Riga: more than 40% of forestry cargo leaving the Port of Riga is shipped to the UK.

Election Day slumpThe UK's pending general election may hit retailers hard, with the second Thursday - the day on which the election will be held - traditionally the busiest for gift sending.

Parcel comparison site ParcelHero says the date the Government has chosen for the General Election, the second Thursday in December, was the busiest gift sending day of the year in 2018 – and it predicts Christmas orders and deliveries will be hit-hard in what has already been a terrible year for many retailers.

David Jinks MILT, Head of Consumer Research at ParcelHero, reveals: ‘The second Thursday of December in 2018 was ParcelHero’s busiest of not only Christmas peak, but the entire year. Both parcel volumes and the amount senders spent reached their maximum as people sent gifts to friends and relatives in the UK and shipped international deliveries overseas. Last year the second Thursday fell on the 13th , this year it is the 12th: which is of course Election day.’

Explains David: ‘The Government couldn’t have chosen a worse day for retailers and shoppers sending parcels than the 12th. Customers using ParcelHero to send parcels through companies such as DHL, UPS and TNT reached their absolute peak on this day last year. Our invaluable Christmas parcel tool reveals the 12th is the optimum time for sending presents to places such as Australia and New Zealand; a couple of days later and any Customs issues could mean gifts fail to arrive in time for Christmas in a number of key destinations. And the Election will also discourage shoppers ordering items for home delivery on this key day, as they queue to vote instead.’

Concludes David: ‘Retailers already face unprecedented problems as Brexit has caused consumer confidence to plummet. Now politicians have introduced another hurdle with an unpredictable Election that’s unlikely to leave any of us feeling more financially secure on the 12th. Because of Brexit and General Election concerns, it seems one in five shoppers actually plan to spend less this Christmas than in 2018. An Election on what is effectively D-Day for courier deliveries won’t help one bit. The spirit of Christmas will have to blow very hard this December to restore consumer confidence and avoid a further crisis for retailers at their most important time of the year.’

Airbus A330 800October was a landmark month for Airbus in terms of new business, with orders logged for 415 new commercial jetliners.

Included in this order book was one of the company’s largest-ever transactions with a single airline operator, and overall bookings that significantly strengthened the extra-long-range A321XLR’s market positioning – while the 77 deliveries brought the total number of A320neo/A321neo jetliners delivered to customers/operators above the 1,000 mark.

Leading October orders was Indian carrier IndiGo’s for 300 additional A320neo Family aircraft, taking its overall order for the type to 730.

Other bookings in October for the increasingly-popular A321XLR included 30 for Malaysia’s AirAsia X, 20 for Hungarian-based Wizz Air, 12 for JetSMART of Chile, and two for an unidentified customer. Another unidentified customer ordered 13 A321XLRs in a transaction that also included 12 A330-900 highly efficient wide-bodies.

Completing the A320 Family orders during the month was China Airlines’ contract for 11 A321neos; seven A320neos for Taiwan’s Tigerair; and an agreement by the U.S. based lessor Aviation Capital Group for three A320neos. Overall, the A320neo Family reached a new milestone of over 7,000 orders from 113 customers with a backlog of more than 6,000.

New transactions were also booked in October for the latest member of Airbus’ single-aisle product line: the A220. France’s Réunion Island-based airline, Air Austral, signed a firm order for three A220s, becoming the first A220 customer in the Indian Ocean region; while Air Tanzania, the A220’s initial African-based operator, extended its fleet of A220-300s with two additional aircraft.

The 77 deliveries during the month were made to 45 customers and led by the A320 Family with 59 deliveries (56 NEOs and three CEOs). Since the A320neo Family entry into service in 2016, October marked Airbus’ 1,000th A320neo Family delivery, an aircraft which was received by IndiGo.

Among the other notable deliveries in October were the first A321neo for Taiwan’s STARLUX Airlines (through lessor GECAS).

Completing the October deliveries were four A220s, along with 14 Airbus wide-body aircraft: eight A350-900s and six A330s (four NEOs and two CEOs).

During the first 10 months of 2019, Airbus made 648 deliveries overall to 92 customers, compared with 584 aircraft over the same period of 2018 – equivalent to 64 more deliveries.

Taking the latest orders and deliveries into account, Airbus’ aircraft backlog as of 31 October stood at 7,471 aircraft including 6,107 A320 Family, 436 A220 Family, 593 A350 XWBs, 284 A330s and 51 A380s.

Air Canada 1Air Canada’s first Airbus A220 has been unveiled when it rolled out of the painting hangar at the A220 final assembly line in Mirabel.

In December, Air Canada will be the first Canadian airline to take delivery of this Canadian-designed and developed aircraft when it receives the first of its 45 A220s on order. The A220 features an innovative cabin design, as well as significantly lower emissions and a reduced noise footprint.

The A220-300 for Air Canada will provide passengers with superior comfort in a 137-seat dual-class cabin layout. Air Canada's brand new A220-300s will replace the flag carrier’s existing mainline fleet of smaller, older narrow-body aircraft and support the airline’s hub and network growth, creating one of the world's youngest and most fuel efficient fleets.

Now that the aircraft is decked out in Air Canada’s livery, it has moved to pre-flight activities in the A220 flight line hangar in Mirabel, before taking off for its first flight later this fall.

Currently, there are 94 A220 aircraft flying with six operators on regional and transcontinental routes in Asia, America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, proving the great versatility of Airbus’ latest family member. The A220 has an order book of 530 aircraft as of the end of October 2019.

Geodis AirDirectGEODIS has launched a full-cargo, weekly service from Hong Kong to Guadalajara, Mexico.

Operated by a chartered B747-400ERF and MD-11 F aircrafts , AirDirect Mexico represents a completely new, nonstop service in the market, providing GEODIS’ customers with a highly reliable solution and secured capacity, in addition to GEODIS’ other air cargo services, AirFast, AirFlex and AirSave.

Commenting on the new service, GEODIS’ Executive Vice President for Freight Forwarding, Eric Martin-Neuville says, “We have been encouraged by the initial bookings that we have received for our inaugural flight and expect these to rise to a threshold volume where a second, and eventually, a third flight per week, will be established.”

GEODIS’ own and direct flight service between Hong Kong and Mexico also represents one of many initiatives that are being introduced to the market as part of a regional, multimodal growth strategy. “AirDirect Mexico follows the recent launch of our Road Network service in South Asia, providing scheduled services with day-definite transit times to all major destinations in the region”, explains Onno Boots, GEODIS’ Regional President and CEO for Asia Pacific. “As part of this growth strategy, Hong Kong is GEODIS’ hub for China and Southeast Asia originated cargoes to Mexico, Latin America, USA and Europe.”

Robert M. Krautheim, Regional Head of Sales for Freight Forwarding in the Americas adds, “GEODIS consistency combined with access to premier wide-body aircraft cargo capacity means our clients will enjoy better lead times and a reliable supply chain for dangerous goods, lithium batteries, and general cargo.”

AirDirect Mexico is the newest example of how GEODIS continues to offer its customers a truly integrated, end-to-end supply chain solution with focus on day-definite and reliable transit times, complemented by the Road Network services in Asia and on-carriage solutions in Mexico, including daily scheduled intra-Mexican deliveries to all locations in the country. GEODIS continues to be a leader in innovation by finding new ways to serve customers globally. This new service will ensure just-in-time service and space commitment through an Own Controlled Network (OCN) allowing GEODIS’ customers to meet and exceed their consumers’ expectations.

Grimaldi Grimaldi Group has christened its new pure car & truck carrier Grande Torino in the port of Civitavecchia. The ceremony was conducted by anchorman Massimo Giletti with godmother of the ship being Cristina Chiabotto, Italian showgirl and TV host.

The local authorities, the top management of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles' (FCA) Supply Chain and of the Grimaldi Group as well as the entire port community of Civitavecchia took part in the event. Speakers at the ceremony were Francesco Maria di Majo, President of the Port Authority System of the Northern Central Tyrrhenian Sea, Vincenzo Leone, Civitavecchia Harbour Master, Mauro Coletta, General Director of the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, Ernesto Tedesco, Mayor of Civitavecchia, and Emanuele Grimaldi, Managing Director of the Grimaldi Group.

After the greetings, Monsignor Cono Firringa, parish priest of the Cathedral of Civitavecchia, proceeded to bless the ship. The ceremony ended with the cutting of the ribbon and the traditional breaking of the bottle by the godmother Cristina Chiabotto.

The event took place on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary from the start of the commercial relations between the Neapolitan Group and FCA, when the first car carrier with the “Grimaldi Lines” livery was named Warrington as a tribute to Fiat UK, whose headquarters were at that time in the homonymous city. The Warrington was employed on the route between Italy and the United Kingdom transporting Fiat cars for the British market.

“Today we welcome the new flagship of our Group for the transport of cars, which represents a further and significant step forward in the direction of an increasingly ecofriendly fleet, which guarantees a truly sustainable maritime transport: the Grande Torino is fitted with an electronically-controlled main engine, as well as with a hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system”, declared Emanuele Grimaldi. “The name of the ship makes reference to the city where Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has its headquarters, thus honoring the long and fruitful partnership that has bound us for half a century to one of the most important car manufacturers in the world”, concluded the Group’s Managing Director.

The Grande Torino is the first unit of a series of seven sister vessels ordered by the Neapolitan group to the Yangfan shipyard. It has a length of 199.90 meters, a beam of 36.45 meters, a gross tonnage of 65,255 tonnes and a service speed of 19 knots.

The ship, which flies the Italian flag, is one of the largest car carriers on the market: in fact, she can transport approximately 7,700 CEU (Car Equivalent Units) or, alternatively, 5,400 linear meters of rolling units and 2,737 CEU. With her four hoistable decks, the Grande Torino is an extremely flexible vessel, able to load any type of rolling freight such as trucks, tractors, busses, excavators, etc., up to 5.3 meters high.

From an environmental point of view, the Grande Torino is a highly performing ship. She is, in fact, fitted with an electronically-controlled (Man Energy Solutions) main engine, allowing her to meet the new regulations for the reduction of nitrogen oxide emissions (NOx), as well as with a hybrid exhaust gas cleaning system for the abatement of sulphur oxide emissions (SOx). Moreover, she is equipped with a ballast water treatment unit, which allows her to meet the most recent international regulations.

The Grande Torino will be employed on the weekly ro-ro service operated by the Grimaldi Group between the Mediterranean Sea and North America. She will serve the following ports: Gioia Tauro, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Savona (Italy), Valencia (Spain), Antwerp (Belgium), Halifax (Canada), Davisville, New York, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Houston (USA), Tuxpan and Veracruz (Mexico).

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