What We're Reading: BDP Trendwatch Week 42

Cargo's pandemic heroics cannot prevent budget cuts at struggling airports

Air cargo is having a year in the limelight: the segment has kept planes flying and airport operations going, but its temporarily elevated status does not guarantee funding for freight-related projects, or even a louder voice in airport boardrooms.

Meanwhile, Frankfurt Airport is addressing trucking congestion with a second parking area in its Cargo City South.

At the end of last month, construction began on a 14,500 sq metre lot that will create parking space for 61 trucks, almost doubling the cargo area’s parking capacity to a total of 135 trucks. The project, expected to be completed late next year, is estimated to cost in the single-digit million euro range.

Source: The Loadstar


The world’s largest LNG-Powered Containership makes maiden call in Singapore

Today, Singapore welcomed the maiden arrival of the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE, the world’s largest containership to be fully-powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) at the CMA CGM-PSA Lion Terminal.

A first journey on the largest sea route in the world at the heart of exchanges between Asia and Europe.

The CMA CGM Group, a world leader in shipping and logistics, had just received the 23,000-TEU newbuild in China where the ultra-large containership started her maiden voyage on CMA CGM’s French Asia Line 1 service that plies Asia-Europe. This line provides a weekly service comprising 13 calls over the course of 84 days. Following her port stop in Singapore, the CMA CGM JACQUES SAADE will depart for North Europe, and Mediterranean with more than 21,000 TEUs comprising household goods, electronics, machinery and personal protective equipment, a record-breaking voyage in a single journey between Singapore and Europe.

Source: AJOT


More post-Brexit logistics confusion as new customs IT systems are 'refined'

Chaos continues to encircle post-Brexit customs procedures after UK minister Michael Gove faced questions on IT system release dates.

Mr Gove told the Future Relationship with the EU parliamentary select committee he “hoped” the Goods Vehicle Movement Service (GVMS) be ready by 4 December and the smart freight system “December 2020”, noting that both systems were being “refined”.

When asked how this differed from being tested, he simply stated that refinement and testing were “part of the same process”.

Source: The Loadstar


CMA CGM regains online systems control after two weeks

CMA CGM Group has confirmed it has restored all the applications and main functionalities of its e-commerce websites, such as bookings, tracking, route finder, Myprices, and invoices.

"All communications to and from the CMA CGM Group are secure, including emails, transmitted files and electronic data interchanges. All our agencies as well as our back-office are now fully operational," the shipping company said in a statement.

The French shipping group's sites are live again with CMA CGM having fully regained control of its online systems after initially being hit by the cyber attack on 28 September.

Source: Container News


A COVID-19 lull for global trade policy

Like a sailing ship caught in the doldrums, the international trade policy world seems stagnant and listless. Is there any fresh wind to be detected? Can we create some movement?

In this coronavirus–dominated environment, nothing much is happening. The trend in global trade itself is not easy to judge. There are signs that cargo volumes are back up. But volumes globally are still down on the same period last year – exports more than imports, which suggests that economies are suffering a lack of demand. And services, particularly travel and hospitality, are way down.

Source: The Maritime Executive, The Lowy Interpreter


Felixstowe revamps VBS to stop 'haulier abuse' and ease congestion

The port of Felixstowe is tightening up the criteria for using its vehicle booking system (VBS) at its two container terminals, which, it alleged, had been abused by some hauliers.

The UK’s biggest container port said the design of its heavily criticised VBS, which allows slots to be secured without a container associated with the booking, “had encouraged some hauliers to secure as many bookings as they could, irrespective of their actual need”.

Source: The Loadstar


China bolsters its dominance of global trade

China is cementing its status as the world’s dominant trading nation, confounding warnings that a once in a century pandemic combined with simmering tensions with the U.S. would derail that status.

Surging global demand for everything from hazmat suits to work-from-home technology has allowed China, which contained the virus months ago, to capture record market share of global exports by quickly reopening its factories while the rest of the world grappled with lockdowns. It’s a striking reversal from the first two months of the year when China’s exports contracted by 17.1%.

Source: AJOT, Bloomberg


Cargo will be struggling for recognition again in latest Schiphol restructure

Less than three years ago the airport reorganised its structure, merging cargo into its aviation and marketing department. Today it confirmed today it is integrating  cargo activities into Airport Operations – along with all airline business.

Several business areas and departments are being merged this month, resulting in nearly 25% of the management roles lost, including that of cargo boss and aviation and marketing chief Maaike van der Windt.

Source: The Loadstar


H1 2020 top cargo airports: Hong Kong heads the list despite demand drop

Hong Kong maintained its place as the world’s busiest cargo hub in a difficult first half of the year that saw demand decline across the world’s top 10 freight hubs.

The half-year figures recently released by Airports Council International (ACI) demonstrated the impact that the ground of passenger services as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak has had on cargo hubs.

Source: Air Cargo News


Despite peace talks at Port Botany, container congestion remains critical

Box congestion at Sydney’s port Botany remains “critical”, with the continuing surplus of empty containers costing transport operators millions in extra logistics.

While industrial action is currently on hold pending negotiations between the country’s three major stevedores and the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA), the bottleneck created last month could take months to clear.

Source: The Loadstar