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MIAMI: May 07, 2019. Event organiser Messe München has confirmed Miami is the future home of the bi-annual Air Cargo Forum (ACF) on behalf of The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), which will continue to provide support with industry expertise.

MIA Convention Center“With the air cargo forum Miami, we are enriching our cluster of topics of international transport logistic and air cargo exhibitions – and our customers will receive more planning certainty and can leverage synergies in our global network,” said Board member Gerhard Gerritzen.

The Messe Munchen expo network includes airfreight events in Munich, Shanghai, Mumbai, Johannesburg, Istanbul and now also Miami.

“We have won an internationally leading trade fair partner with Messe München. Together with the content expertise of TIACA, we are creating a basis for strong development in the future for the air cargo forum Miami,” added Steven Polmans, TIACA vice chairman. “We especially see great potential in a multimodal expansion. Miami is the North American gateway to the whole world, and the ACF is a mandatory date for all those who want to benefit from this international connectivity.”

The next ACF will take place at the Miami Beach Convention Center from November 10 to 12, 2020.

Kerry cold chain jvHONG KONG: May 07, 2019. Kerry Logistics is looking to capitalise on China’s fast-growing niche-food market with the launch of its Kerry Cold Chain Solution (Kerry Cold Chain).

Kerry Cold Chain is a joint venture company formed with Shanghai Zhizhen Logistics Co Ltd (‘Zhizhen Logistics’) in which Kerry Logistics holds the majority interest. It provides comprehensive integrated cold chain logistics solutions from upstream to downstream.

Using self-owned cold chain facilities and partnering with local expertise, Kerry Cold Chain will handle a wide range of food products, from raw ingredients to dairy product additives.

Edwardo Erni, Managing Director - China and North Asia of Kerry Logistics, said, “The market for food-related cold chain logistics in mainland China is immense with enormous growth potential. There is also ample room for technological growth to reach international standards.

"Intending to fill a gap in the market, we welcome the collaboration with Zhizhen Logistics, which marks an important strategic step for Kerry Logistics to extend its footprint in the domestic cold chain logistics market, enhancing our service offerings and competitiveness.”

Kerry Cold Chain currently operates more than 1 million sq ft of ambient and cold chain facilities in China, including a temperature-controlled facility of over 50,000 sq ft in Shanghai featuring automated storage and retrieval systems.

Founded in 2008, Zhizhen Logistics serves the logistics needs of both domestic and international customers from locations across China including Beijing, Tianjin, Wuhan, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen. It commands a 90% market share for imported food essences in the Shanghai region.

With a wealth of experience in cold chain logistics, Kerry Logistics offers seamless F&B solutions with complete cold chain integrity to food chain stores and restaurants in Hong Kong as well as hypermarkets and frozen food retailers in Taiwan.

The Group also runs cold chain facilities of 70,000 sq ft in Oceania, serving supermarket chains, convenience stores, independent retailers, and food importers.

SEATTLE: May 01, 2019. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced an initial release in Northern Virginia of its Amazon Managed Blockchain (AMB) offering for customers to create and manage scalable blockchain networks.

The company claims customers who want multiple parties to execute transactions and maintain a cryptographically verifiable record of them without the need for a trusted, central authority, can now setup a blockchain network over multiple AWS accounts using open source frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum.

Amazon says its new AMB service is designed for customers in the finance, logistics, retail and energy sectors that need to execute contracts and share data with an immutable record of the transactions without each blockchain member providing hardware, install software, create and manage certificates for access control, and configure network settings.

Amazon blockchain“Customers want to use blockchain frameworks like Hyperledger Fabric and Ethereum to create blockchain networks so they can conduct business quickly, with an immutable record of transactions, but without the need for a centralized authority. However, they find these frameworks difficult to install, configure, and manage,” explained Rahul Pathak, AMB general manager. “Amazon Managed Blockchain takes care of provisioning nodes, setting up the network, managing certificates and security, and scaling the network. Customers can now get a functioning blockchain network set up quickly and easily, so they can focus on application development instead of keeping a blockchain network up and running.”

In addition to making it easy to set up and manage, AMB also provides simple APIs that allow customers to vote on memberships in their networks and to scale up or down more easily.

“Blockchain is far more than just Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It’s changing the way companies do business and giving us a new way to solve complex business problems,” said Andy Daudelin, AT&T Business vice president Alliances Business Development who’s company includes AMB in its blockchain suite.

“Transparency in supply chains is increasingly important to consumers, who want to know what is in their food and where it comes from,” added Armin Nehzat, Digital Technology manager, Nestlé Oceania. “With [AMB] we are able to set up our Hyperledger Fabric network and easily invite our partners to collaborate in our supply chain transparency efforts. Amazon Managed Blockchain will enable our customers to track their products on the blockchain from the farm all the way through to consumption.”

ANTWERP: May 02, 2019. Thousands of industry professionals will gather at the Antwerp Expo in the Port of Antwerp next week when AntwerpXL 2019, the inaugural event for the breakbulk, RoRo and heavy lift industries, opens its doors.

Over 100 companies, including Boeckmans, Wallenius Wilhelmsen (WW), Fast Lines Belgium and MSC Belgium, will use the event’s platform to showcase market-leading products and services, launch new technologies and make major announcements to a captive international audience.

Roll It CargoWW Solutions will highlight its global terminal network and handling capacities for breakbulk cargo, including storage, loading and discharge capabilities via rail, barge, RoRo and LoLo. The company will also highlight its deep-sea solutions for breakbulk and project cargo; a fleet of 120 vessels, all able to accommodate cargo stretching up to 6.5 metres tall and weighing up to 400 tonnes.

Both Central Oceans and Rollit Cargo (pictured) will show a range of services to facilitate the transport of oversized, complicated and project related cargoes. Atlas Shipping Services is also exhibiting at the event, along with its three business partners, United Cargo Management, Vision Log – Centaurea Group and Peter Rathmann & Co.

All four organisations will demonstrate how they handle projects, heavy lift shipments, breakbulk and full charters in different types of machineries. In addition, Caribbean Line & Soreidom will showcase its expertise in logistics and the transport of dry-bulk products, project cargo, heavy-lift and transports for exporters and industrial companies.

MSC Belgium will highlights its recent investment into project cargo and RoRo shipments. The company now owns two large ConRo vessels as part of its fleet. At AntwerpXL, it will discuss how these vessels, which are more environmentally friendly than others operating between Antwerp and West Africa, have a ramp capacity of 350 tonnes and a deck height of up to six metres.

AntwerpXL will also host a range of entirely service-led industry organisations, including a new legal flat monthly service from LMA Legal, whereby clients can obtain legal advice on any matter related to their daily breakbulk business.

Over 40 major names will deliver in-depth presentations, Q&A sessions and debates on the Main Deck Stage, covering innovation, digitisation and lessons from disruptors in the breakbulk, maritime and project cargo industry.

DAVOS, Switzerland: January 25, 2019. CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project, has published its latest ranking of companies recognised as pioneers for action on climate change, water and deforestation.

Last year CDP received 6,800 carbon emission reports from the world’s largest businesses and scored them from ‘A’ to ‘D-‘. Less than 150 were rated ‘A’ based on a range of metrics including transparency, target-setting, and awareness of risks and opportunities.

Only 127 got an 'A' grade for their action on climate change and only a very small number was from the transport/logistics sector. They included UPS (US), DP World (UAE), La Poste (France), Deutsche Bahn (Germany), Ferrovial (Spain), Grupo Logista (Spain), and Nippon Yusen Kaisha Line (Japan).

Grupo LogistaWhy collect the data? The companies that disclosed to CDP last year did so at the request of over 650 investors with assets of US$87 trillion and 115 major purchasing organisations with a combined spend of US$3.3 trillion.

Dexter Galvin, CDP global director of Corporates and Supply Chains commented: “As the recent report from the IPCC showed, the next decade is crucial in our shift to a sustainable economy, and we believe corporates are at the heart of this transition. By ranking companies, we aim not just to highlight leaders’ best practice, but also to inspire all businesses to aim higher and take more action.”

The global disclosure system enables companies, cities, states and regions measure and manage their environmental impacts to help investors and purchasers, representing over US$100 trillion, make decisions, reduce risk and identify opportunities.

“As a CDP Supply Chain member, the wealth of information provided by CDP disclosure is critical in helping us understand how our suppliers are performing, and where we can engage with them to reduce environmental impacts and costs,” commented L'Oréal Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer Alexandra Palt. “We particularly look to the CDP ‘A List’ and scoring process to help improve the environmental performance of our suppliers.”

Some of the other companies reporting in the transport sector last year and rated ‘B’ to ‘F’ (insufficient data submitted) included:

A-: CSX, Union Pacific, China Airlines. B: AFKLM, ANA, Cathay Pacific, Delta, Lufthansa, East Japan Railway, First Group (UK), Go-Ahead Group (UK), Grandrod (South Africa), Mitsui OSK, Nankai Electric, United Continental, Bollore Logistics, Aurizon Holdings (Australia), Transnet (South Africa), Amtrak (US), Pegasus Airlines (Turkey), and Kayseri Ulasim (Turkey).

C: AP Moller Maersk, Canadan Pacific, Air Canada, Southwest Airlines, SAS, Swire Pacific and the Alaska Air Group. D: Aeroflot, American Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Hub Group, JB Hunt Transport. F: Air China, COSCO, Air New Zealand, China Eastern, easyJet, XPO Logistics, China Southern, Evergreen, Ryanair, LATAM Airlines, Matson and Hapag-Lloyd.

CDP said the International Airlines Group (including Aer Lingus, British Airways and Iberia) score was “forthcoming”.

The full CDP analysis for 2018 including a comprehensive list of reporters can be accessed here:

SEATTLE: April 25, 2019. Amazon reports a 17 percent increase in net sales for Q1 2019 to US$59.7 billion; operating income rose from US$1.9 billion to US$4.4 billion; and net income grew from US$1.6 billion to US$3.6 billion year-on-year.

amazon wind farmsThe Q1 net sales total was split US$25.4 billion from services, primarily its Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure, and US$34.3 billion from product sales.

During the period under review the company announced ‘Shipment Zero’, a plan to make 50 percent of all shipments net zero by 2030. To track progress Amazon says it will share its company-wide carbon footprint as well as related goals and programmes later this year.

Acknowledging the long-term goal to power all AWS infrastructure with renewable energy, Amazon announced new wind farms in Ireland, Sweden and the US that will generate over 670,000 megawatt hours annually. The company claims over 50 percent of its AWS power came from renewable sources in 2018.

“AWS’s investment in renewable projects in Ireland illustrates their continued commitment to adding clean energy to the grid and it will make a positive contribution to Ireland’s renewable energy goals,” commented Leo Varadkar, An Taoiseach of Ireland. “As a significant employer in Ireland, it is very encouraging to see Amazon taking a lead on this issue. We look forward to continuing to work with Amazon as we strive to make Ireland a leader on renewable energy.”

Together with nine previous AWS-centric renewable energy projects, these facilities are expected to generate more than 2,700,000 MWh of power per annum – equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of over 262,000 US homes, the approximate size of Nashville, Tennessee.

By the end of Q1 2019, Amazon full- and part-time employee numbers rose 12 percent year-on-year to reach 630,600.

LONDON: January 22, 2019. Circularity Capital is leading a multi-million growth fund round in ZigZag, a SaaS platform that enables retailers to reduce the costs and associated waste of returns by improving and simplifying the process.

Global e-commerce return volumes are growing at 10-20 percent per annum, says the company. In the US market, 2.5 million tons of returned goods end up in landfill, the waste equivalent from five million Americans.

Circular awards davis 2019ZigZag grades returned products and can consolidate, refurbish, locally redistribute, recycle or even resell stock internationally.

The company says its system reduces parcel journeys by up to 65 percent by identifying opportunities for the repacking and redistribution of returned products within the country of delivery. This produces a measurable reduction in the wastage and carbon footprint associated with retail returns.

ZigZag also reduces the cost and transit time of returns and customer-related service enquiries by 40 percent.

Circularity Capital partner Ian Nolan has joined the ZigZag Board: “[It] has developed a powerful solution for retailers to addressing the growing challenge posed by e-commerce returns," he said. Our investment in ZigZag is highly aligned with Circularity’s focus on using the circular economy to identify opportunities to drive financial value creation in parallel with positive environmental and societal impact.”

Al Gerrie, CEO and founder of ZigZag commented: “Circularity Capital’s investment will play a key role in fueling our market growth. In addition to allowing us to reach more customers, the funding will allow us to further develop our product offering to deliver even more value for retailers. We placed significant emphasis on bringing on board an investor who brings more than just capital to the table – [its] specialist network and insight in the circular economy was a great fit for us in this regard.“

The investment in ZigZag is the third investment of Circularity Capital’s debut fund. It follows investments in Winnow, a business providing a solution to dramatically reduce food waste; and Grover, a company offering flexible “access over ownership” to technology products.

The fund targets equity investments in growth stage European businesses that are enabling the circular economy. Investors include AXA Investment Managers, BNP Paribas Fortis, Henkel and Philips.

CLERMONT-FERRAND, France: February 27, 2019. Carbios, a provider of bioindustrial solutions to replace PET-based (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic packaging, has successfully produced the first PET-bottles made with 100 percent Purified Terephthalic Acid (rPTA), through the enzymatic biorecycling of plastic waste.

PET is used to produce plastic packaging, textile fibers and nearly 500 billion units of plastic bottles each year. The market is expected to grow 4.8 percent annually to 2025.

Corbios biorecycled PETAbout eight million tonnes of plastic are thrown into the world’s oceans annually of which 236,000 tonnes are microplastics – pieces smaller than a fingernail. The overall volume is forecast to increase 10 times by 2020.

Carbios chief scientific officer Alain Marty commented: “We have successfully developed the first biological process with which all kinds of PET plastic waste can be broken down into its original components and reused to produce virgin plastic products for applications such as PET-bottles.

“This new step shows the strong potential of [our] enzymatic technology and provides a breakthrough solution to help solve society’s growing waste problem,” he continued.

The company says its breakthrough is a major milestone to engage the plastics supply and demand sectors in a responsible transition towards a circular economy by decoupling the production of new plastic bottles from petrochemical feedstock and making waste collection economically more viable.

“The plastics industry faces fundamental challenges related to sustainability. Our technology, based on a circular model, reuses resources rather than consuming them,” added Carbios CEO Jean-Claude Lumaret. “This new milestone takes us one step closer to bringing our technology to the market.

"With the construction of our demonstration plant to start later this year, we’re aiming to engage the whole plastics industry in a transition towards a circular economy and take a leadership role as a global license provider for the biorecycling of PET plastics and fibers.”

LONDON: January 08, 2019. After 17.4 million hits, 9.1 million pages views and over 1.6 million unique visits last year, these 15 freightweek stories were the most read:

Maersk NepalFedex and Delta respond to NRA Read more
Block train helps Maersk Line expands in Nepal Read more

Austria signs Bangladesh aviation agreement and plans Vienna expansion Read more
XPO Logistics to validate new UK grocery standards Read more
First UAE-built satellite nears launch date Read more
Blockchain technology to save a million lives a year Read more
Amazon expands at Cincinnati hub Read more
XPO takeover a bad idea Read more
Arizona plans bridge not wall with Mexico Read more

New trade portal for the Dominican Republic Read more
First of four B777s delivered to Ukraine International Airlines Read more
Low marks for Russian corporate transparency Read more
US$4.5 trillion circular economy goes mainstream Read more

U.S. imposes mandatory air cargo screening Read more
Air cargo: is it just about the technology? Read more

WEYBRIDGE, UK: February 27, 2019. For the fourth consecutive year CHEP Europe, part of the Brambles Group, has earned an EcoVadis Gold Recognition Level, the highest level available, for its sustainability achievements.

The award reflects the company’s efforts covering the Environment, Labour Practices, Fair Business Practices and Supply Chain and is the result of Brambles implementing the circular economy at a global scale, according to the company.

CHEP pallets“CHEP helps move more goods to more people, in more places than any other organisation on earth,” commented Brambles’ global head of Sustainability, Juan José Freijo. “Being socially responsible is at the heart of everything we do. As pioneers of the circular economy, our work has always eliminated waste throughout the supply chain. We recognise that sharing and reusing our finite resources is the right thing for society. Only last year our activities have reduced 1.4 megatons of waste and saved 1.7 million trees.”

EcoVadis operates the first collaborative network for managing sustainability performance of 35,000 suppliers across 150 business sectors and 150 countries. Its methodology is built on CSR standards including the Global Reporting Initiative, the UN Global Compact and the ISO 26000.

CHEP pallets, crates and containers are primarily used by the fast-moving consumer goods sector - including dry food, grocery, health and personal care - fresh produce, beverage, retail and general manufacturing industries. The company employs 11,000 people and manages 300 million pallets (pictured), crates and containers via a network of more than 750 service centres.

SAN DIEGO, CA: December 13, 2018. Shareholder rights law firm Johnson Fistel, with the assistance of former California deputy Attorney General and Special Prosecutor Tiffany Johnson, has announced it is investigating potential claims against XPO Logistics.

The move follows the publication today of a report by hedge fund Spruce Point Capital Management (Spruce Point) claiming XPO "is plagued by financial irregularities that conveniently cover its growing financial strain and inability to complete additional acquisitions despite repeated promises”.

Entitled 'Trucking Ridiculous; End of the Road', the Spruce Point analysis characterises XPO 's financials as ''unreliable and dubious'', adding it has uncovered ''concrete evidence to suggest dubious tax accounting, under-reporting of bad debts, phantom income through unaccountable M&A earn-out liabilities, and aggressive amortization assumptions: all designed to portray glowing 'Non-GAAP' results".

Spruce Point XPO LogisticsBy the end of today’s trading, XPO’s stock had dropped over 26 percent to finish at US$44.50.

Spruce Point said: “Given its unreliable and dubious financials, US$4.7 billion debt burden, inability to generate sustaining free cash flow, and dependency on external capital and asset sales, we have a worst-case terminal price target of zero.”

The company notes while XPO has completed 17 acquisitions since chairman Bradley Jacobs took control in 2011, at a capital cost of US$6.1 billion, it has generated only US$73 million of cumulative adjusted free cash flow.

“In our view, this is indicative of a failed business strategy yielding a paltry 1.2 percent return on invested capital. XPO is dependent on external capital, asset sales, and factoring receivables to survive and is covering up a working capital crunch that can been (sic) seen by bank overdrafts. As credit conditions tighten, cost of capital increases, and XPO’s business practices come under greater scrutiny (e.g. U.S. Senate), its share price could swiftly collapse in Enron-style fashion,” it declared.

In a response to Spruce Point, XPO told the financial newspaper Barron’s: “Today’s report from a short-selling firm is intentionally misleading with significant inaccuracies, and fails to reflect that XPO has delivered strong performance for its long-term shareholders.

“The facts demonstrate that the short seller’s claims, most of which have been previously floated and refuted, are baseless and an attempt to string together unrelated pieces of incorrect information to paint an inaccurate impression of the company. We will communicate directly with our investors regarding this short seller’s report,” the spokesman continued.

On December 04, 97 members of the US House of Representatives signed a letter urging the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to investigate several news reports of alleged mistreatment of XPO employees.

The company responded via its web site with a statement saying it was “deeply disturbed by recent media allegations” and was taking immediate action to investigate.

Three days later the Teamsters Union, which has expressed on-going support for XPO workers, called on Jacobs to “formally acknowledge his company’s failure to address ongoing issues at its Memphis, Tenn. distribution center that include pregnancy discrimination, worker intimidation, and harassment”.

The Spruce Point report is available here: XPO Logistics

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