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France Emerged as the Largest Dried Grapes Producer in the EU

dried grapes

France Emerged as the Largest Dried Grapes Producer in the EU

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘EU – Dried Grapes – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends And Insights’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

The revenue of the dried grapes market in the European Union amounted to $1B in 2018, flattening at the previous year. This figure reflects the total revenues of producers and importers (excluding logistics costs, retail marketing costs, and retailers’ margins, which will be included in the final consumer price). The market value increased at an average annual rate of +1.3% from 2007 to 2018; the trend pattern remained consistent, with somewhat noticeable fluctuations being observed over the period under review.

Consumption By Country

The countries with the highest volumes of dried grapes consumption in 2018 were the UK (98K tonnes), Germany (68K tonnes) and France (56K tonnes), with a combined 55% share of total consumption. These countries were followed by the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Poland, Belgium, Greece, Romania, Hungary and the Czech Republic, which together accounted for a further 35%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of dried grapes consumption, amongst the main consuming countries, was attained by Greece, while dried grapes consumption for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the UK ($426M) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by France ($125M). It was followed by Italy.

The countries with the highest levels of dried grapes per capita consumption in 2018 were the Netherlands (2,466 kg per 1000 persons), the UK (1,470 kg per 1000 persons) and Belgium (1,080 kg per 1000 persons).

Production in the EU

In 2018, the amount of dried grapes produced in the European Union amounted to 84K tonnes, flattening at the previous year. In general, dried grapes production, however, continues to indicate a significant drop. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2011 when production volume increased by 16% y-o-y. In that year, dried grapes production attained its peak volume of 130K tonnes. From 2012 to 2018, dried grapes production growth failed to regain its momentum.

Production By Country

The countries with the highest volumes of dried grapes production in 2018 were France (31K tonnes), Greece (21K tonnes) and Hungary (5.3K tonnes), with a combined 69% share of total production. These countries were followed by Portugal, Slovakia, Romania and Spain, which together accounted for a further 19%.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of dried grapes production, amongst the main producing countries, was attained by Slovakia, while dried grapes production for the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the production figures.

Exports in the EU

The exports totaled 70K tonnes in 2018, approximately reflecting the previous year. In general, dried grapes exports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern. In value terms, dried grapes exports totaled $175M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Exports by Country

In 2018, Greece (18K tonnes), the Netherlands (13K tonnes), Germany (9.8K tonnes) and Belgium (9.2K tonnes) represented the major exporters of dried grapes exported in the European Union, generating 71% of total export. It was distantly followed by the UK (4,306 tonnes) and Latvia (3,768 tonnes), together creating an 11% share of total exports. Denmark (2,442 tonnes) followed a long way behind the leaders.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of exports, amongst the main exporting countries, was attained by Denmark, while exports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

In value terms, the largest dried grapes exporters in the European Union were Greece ($51M), the Netherlands ($31M) and Germany ($25M), with a combined 61% share of total exports. Belgium, the UK, Denmark and Latvia lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 23%.

Latvia experienced the highest growth rate of market size, among the main exporting countries over the period under review, while exports for the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Export Prices by Country

In 2018, the dried grapes export price in the European Union amounted to $2,495 per tonne, picking up by 11% against the previous year. Over the last eleven years, it increased at an average annual rate of +2.9%.

There were significant differences in the average prices amongst the major exporting countries. In 2018, the country with the highest price was Greece ($2,859 per tonne), while Latvia ($1,592 per tonne) was amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by Greece, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Imports in the EU

The volume imports stood at 391K tonnes in 2018, lowering by -3.4% against the previous year. In general, dried grapes imports continue to indicate a relatively flat trend pattern, in accordance with the overall dynamic of the market. In value terms, dried grapes imports amounted to $791M (IndexBox estimates) in 2018.

Imports by Country

The imports of the three major importers of dried grapes, namely the UK, Germany and the Netherlands, represented more than half of total import. France (26K tonnes) held a 6.8% share (based on tonnes) of total imports, which put it in second place, followed by Belgium (5.5%), Italy (5.5%) and Spain (4.7%).

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of imports, amongst the main importing countries, was attained by Spain, while imports for the other leaders experienced mixed trends in the imports figures.

In value terms, the largest dried grapes importing markets in the European Union were the UK ($199M), Germany ($163M) and the Netherlands ($109M), together comprising 60% of total imports. These countries were followed by France, Italy, Belgium and Spain, which together accounted for a further 21%.

Import Prices by Country

In 2018, the dried grapes import price in the European Union amounted to $2,021 per tonne, rising by 11% against the previous year. Over the last eleven-year period, it increased at an average annual rate of +2.7%. The most prominent rate of growth was recorded in 2008 when the import price increased by 27% against the previous year. The level of import price peaked at $2,503 per tonne in 2012; however, from 2013 to 2018, import prices remained at a lower figure.

Average prices varied somewhat amongst the major importing countries. In 2018, major importing countries recorded the following prices: in France ($2,204 per tonne) and Germany ($2,105 per tonne), while Spain ($1,615 per tonne) and Belgium ($1,776 per tonne) were amongst the lowest.

From 2007 to 2018, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was attained by the Netherlands, while the other leaders experienced more modest paces of growth.

Source: IndexBox AI Platform

shipping companies

Traits of Reliable Shipping Companies

More and more people are seeing the benefits of using shipping companies. When it comes to transporting items or moving your home to a new place, they are usually your best bet at using your time and money wisely. But, unfortunately, not every company is capable of or willing to provide you with proper shipping. In order to have a good shipping experience, you need to do your best to only work with reliable shipping companies. So, how is one supposed to filter out shipping companies and find the one that is reliable? Well, that is precisely what we’re going to go through.

How to Tell if a Shipping Company is Reliable

It is hard to overstate the importance of working with reliable shipping companies when dealing with shipping. An unreliable company will not only provide you with a sub-par shipping service but might also try to scam you. Therefore, you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by only working with companies that you are absolutely sure are reliable. So, with that in mind, here is what to look out for.

Ample Experience

The first trait you should look for in a shipping company is that they have ample experience. Now you can check for this online, but doing so properly can be a bit difficult. Even if a shipping company says that they’ve been in businesses for over 30 years, it doesn’t mean that all of their workers have that much experience. So, the best thing to do is to check for this trait during the interview. Sooner or later you will have to talk with a company representative. And during that time you should talk to them about their past experiences. The more tips and pointers they can give you, the more experience they probably have.

Excellent Customer Service

Speaking of company representatives, you also need to make sure that the company you are considering has top-notch customer service. Any reliable shipping company knows that good customer service is a must. After all, if they have a lot of experience with shipping, they’ve had to work with customers from all walks of life. And the only way to organize and deal with shipping properly with such a large variety of people is to have excellent customer service. Therefore, when trying to filter out reliable shipping companies, make sure to check their reviews for customer satisfaction.

Punctuality

Punctuality is another trait that reliable shipping companies possess. After all, having a decent shipping service means that you are able to deliver the shipped goods in the agreed time. Therefore, if the company representatives are not punctual, why should you expect their shipping crew to be? This, of course, is not always true as the company representative can be late due to numerous unforeseen circumstances. But, if they do not have a good reason for being late, know that the company probably has a loose policy on punctuality.

Multiple Shipping Options

Any serious shipping company usually has multiple shipping options. Now, if a company is small and focused on shipping locally, they might only use shipping trucks for their services. That’s ok, as not much else is needed for local shipments. But, if you are looking for a company that deals with long-distance shipping or even international shipping, you better find one that has multiple shipping options. Some routes can be quite difficult, especially if they have to be traversed in a limited time. This is why the capability of sending goods to another country by air or sea is a must for any large shipping company.

Looking for Reliable Shipping Companies

Knowing the traits of reliable shipping companies is useful. But, unfortunately, it won’t be enough to ensure that you find a competent shipping company to help you out. In order to find the best possible shippers to help you out, you need to use other methods to help you narrow your search. Now, finding reliable shippers is a large subject for which we would need an entire article to cover completely. Instead, what we’ll do is to give you an idea of how to use the traits we’ve outlined in your search. That way you will have a much better chance of finding movers that encompass all of them.

Online Reviews

When it comes to looking for reliable movers, online reviews will be your best friend. Sites like Google, Twitter, and even Facebook can be quite useful when it comes to online reviews, as they give clients complete freedom to post what they truly think. You can also read reviews from unbiased professionals in order to get a more educated oversight. Mind you, some companies still temper with their reviews. So, if you find a company that only has tremendously positive ones, be careful. An unsatisfied customer is bound to pop up even among the top-notch shippers. Therefore, try to find one that has an overwhelmingly positive review score, and that clearly doesn’t temper with customer reviews.

Using Free Estimates

Most shipping companies give free online estimates. This is something that you absolutely need to use, especially if it is your first time shipping. An online estimate should give you a rough idea of what your shipping should cost. Some companies might try to overcharge you for shipping. Especially if you don’t have much experience with it. So, the more estimates you have, the easier it will be to negotiate better shipping terms.

How Open are your Shippers

Most of the traits of reliable shipping companies we’ve listed can only be recognized if the company you are considering is open. A hard-working, well-functioning company will be more than happy to explain their shipping process to you and let you in on all the details. So, while talking to the company representative, try to figure out if they are trying to hide something. If they are, know that they are probably not to be trusted.

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Daniel Myers has been a freight service expert for years since working for companies such as easymovekw.com enabled him to understand the essence of this industry. He enjoys sharing his knowledge by doing freelance content writing and enjoys traveling around the globe whenever he has a chance.

SAL Heavy Lift

SAL Heavy Lift Represents First Shipping Company to Adopt Green Tech

Six SAL vessels were confirmed for permanent installation of the long-awaited FS MARINE+ hydrogen / methanol injection solution following the final validation stage, according to information released by SAL Heavy Lift earlier this month.

“We are proud to have SAL Heavy Lift GmbH as our customer, and help them to become the most innovative, efficient and sustainable shipping company within their field,” said Marc Sima, CEO of FUELSAVE GmbH. “With this system we are driving the clean fuel transition with a high impact solution.

“It can optimize the energy consumption and the environmental impact significantly irrespective of what fuel type you operate your vessel with. Thus, it is applicable with MDO, MGO, HFO, LSFO as well as LNG. We are looking forward together with SAL to take a lead in supporting the shipping industry in its efforts to become more environmentally sustainable.”

SAL and FUELSAVE GmbH were the forerunners behind the new emissions reduction technology alongside stakeholders EcoTune Marine, Classification Society DNV GL as RO for Antigua and Barbuda flag, Carl Baguhn, MAN Energy solutions, M.A.C. System Solutions, AVL, and the flag state administration of Germany.

The reduction and overall decrease in primary fuel consumption is the result of injecting hydrogen, oxygen, water, and methanol into specific air intake parts found in the main and auxiliary engines, according to SAL. This process is confirmed by the FS MARINE+ system and results in lower pollution and emissions.

Currently, the FS MARINE+ generator is reducing CO2 emissions by 10 percent, reducing SOx by 15 percent, and 40 percent less particle emissions.

“SAL has always been a frontrunner when it comes to innovation and we are dedicated to make shipping more efficient and cleaner by using technologies that creates a long-lasting effect,” added Sebastian Westphal, CTO of SAL Heavy Lift. “We have tested a prototype on a generator engine of our MV Annette over more than two years with very convincing results. The FS MARINE+ system not only achieved significant fuel savings, but also emission and air pollution reductions which was verified by 3rd parties both during field trials and in laboratory tests.”

Among the first vessels to be fitted with this system will be the MV Trina projected to occur during Q1 2020.

airfeight

Airfreight vs. Sea Freight – Which Works Better?

Airfreight vs. sea freight has become a burning dilemma for all those in need of this type of services. While both solutions come with a set of advantages and disadvantages, the final choice one makes will depend on a variety of factors. We are willing to share our knowledge and findings with you so that you can make the best possible decision regarding your shipment in the given circumstances. 

Airfreight vs sea freight – the costs can be a decisive factor

Undeniably, the amount of financial means necessary to afford airfreight services is considerably higher than that of sea freight. Moreover, the appearance of the largest cargo aircraft in the world announces great changes and improvements in this field. The Antonov An-225 could cause a further rise of the airfreight costs, but it will also guarantee higher quality. On the other hand, sea freight is much more affordable and, consequently, the number one choice of a vast majority of clients. Opting for sea freight provides clients with acceptable service but at a significantly lower price.

Time matters greatly!

Most often, clients want their shipment delivered as soon as possible, which can cause problems for those offering sea freight services. Not seldom do customs issues or hold-ups at ports cause serious delays. However, we must admit that a giant step forward is evident in this field. Firstly, high-quality, modern ships are much faster now than it was the case in the past. Secondly, there are some canal upgrades that can eliminate tedious and tiring delays on some routes. Finally, sea freight forwarders can guarantee delivery times, which is vital for business owners when it comes to organization.

The type of cargo affects the final choice on airfreight vs. sea freight dilemma

The type of cargo is one of the most important factors influencing the choice in the airfreight vs. sea fright dilemma. In this case, we must admit that sea fright seems like a much better solution since it has no limitations you have to be aware of. One of the crucial pros of the maritime shipping is that you can ship even the bulkiest and extremely heavy goods. Conversely, airfreight is limited in this discipline. Before you opt for this type of goods transportation, it is advisable to make sure that the type of your cargo is acceptable. In addition, there is a very long list of the items which are prohibited and those listed as hazardous materials. Depending on your final destination, the rules and laws may differ. Yet, getting sufficient information on the subject must still be the first step in the process.

Safety of your cargo is the top priority

Understandably, the safety of cargo is always the top priority. It is important to emphasize that air cargo has to be dealt with the utmost attention and in accordance with the regulations which are very strict and clear. All the crucial elements, including handling and securing your cargo as well as the proper storage, are defined by airport regulations. This is a great benefit and a guarantee that the safety of your goods will be at the maximal level. On the other hand, we cannot say that sea freight is a bad alternative either. In this case, the goods are transported in containers, but the human factor is crucial. Proper packing strategies are essential in order to decrease any chances of potential damage during transport. If this is not conducted appropriately, the chances are some of your goods might get seriously damaged or even cause further problems on the ship.

Do not forget about the accessibility of your goods

If we analyze the accessibility of your goods as one of the criteria, airfreight is a more favorable option by all means. The procedures are clear, cargo is in smaller volumes and there are no unnecessary waitings to receive your goods. Using sea freight for your cargo often results in additional costs due to heavy congestions in seaports. If your goods are not delivered at the arranged time, you are required to pay for detention and demurrage costs, which may be a heavy burden on your budget. However, we must not forget to mention an advantage sea freight offers comparing to airfreight. The accessibility to markets is much higher in case of sea freight. The reason is very simple. When unloaded from ships, containers can move further inland by using the services of intermodal shippers

Eco-friendly practices 

Finally, let us not forget about the environment when choosing between airfreight vs sea freight. Applying eco-friendly practices is becoming increasingly important, so it does not surprise this is one of the factors shippers base their decision on. According to this particular criterion, sea freight is a more reasonable option since it has a significantly better carbon footprint. Quite the opposite, airplanes are serious polluters and require special attention and measures to reduce their carbon footprint to minimal values.

Final words on airfreight vs sea freight dilemma

The decisions and choices you make concerning airfreight vs sea freight dilemma will depend on miscellaneous factors. It is of key importance to weigh the pros and cons of each of these options and then make your decision final.  A serious effort is required to negotiate the best shipping terms and only then can you expect to ship your goods completely fuss-free.

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Susan Daniels is a passionate copywriter who loves exploring home improvement ideas and real estate market. Lately, she has gained considerable knowledge in the types of moving services and the qualities of respectable moving companies such as DA Moving NYC, for example. She enjoys giving advice on the best places to live and exciting places to visit. Traveling makes her happy as well as reading good books.

market

Despite the Name, the Refrigerated Container Market is Red Hot, Spurring Industry Moves

The global shipping containers market is poised to experience significant market valuation and robust growth through 2025, according to industry research published last year. Sorry about the temperature mix you are about to withstand, but the hottest segment of that market in that study was refrigerated containers, a.k.a. reefer.

Be they 20-foot, 40-foot or even higher cubes, “reefer containers are projected to be the fastest-growing segment in the product type category during the forecast period,” which was 2017-2025 for Persistence Market Research. (See https://www.persistencemarketresearch.com/market-research/shipping-containers-market.asp.)

The Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for the period is forecast by PMR to be 10.2 percent for the reefer segment, with the 20- and 40-foot sub segments expected to push the positive growth. It’s interesting to note that this factoid was part of a report that more prominently played up the predicted 8.6 percent CAGR for the dry container segment.

That said (or, more accurately, written), it is telling that PMR expects the overall container market to register a “robust” CAGR of 8.3 percent throughout the eight-year period, even with the forecast of a slowing global economy in 2020.

“The growth of the shipping containers at a global level is pushed by the growth in the economy, rising seaborne trade, increasing demand for highly efficient and superior capacity shipping containers, growth in sales of specialized shipping containers by department of defense and rising trend of increasing use of remote container management (RCM) solutions,” PMR finds.

There have been anecdotal indications of the reefer market’s continued growth. Universal Africa Lines (UAL), a conventional ocean transportation carrier that specializes in handling project cargo, breakbulk and containers, boasts a fleet of more than 4,000 containers including reefers, high cubes, open tops and flat racks with the ability to provide a multitude of shipping options including door-to-door service. Last summer, UAL announced its call at Port of Houston’s City Docks as part of its U.S. Gulf/Mexico to West Africa liner service.

Port of Houston was attractive to UAL due to the available dedicated laydown area for project cargoes and berth availability, both of which provided added flexibility to the carrier’s multipurpose fleet.

Cogoport, a leading digital freight logistics business in India, announced in July 2019 the launch of reefer cargo services to and from destinations around the globe. “We are meeting significant demand for reefer exports to North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and to those importing refrigerated cargoes–enabling SME [small-to-medium enterprise] shippers all over India to deliver better productivity, service and profitability when moving their perishable cargoes,” said Cogoport CEO and founder Purnendu Shekhar at the time.

India has experienced “rapid and sustained growth in refrigerated exports during the past decade with commodities like fish, vegetables, fruit and nuts, meat, pharmaceuticals and chemicals driving demand for reefer import and export services,” explained Shekhar’s company in a press release.

“We have had a great experience working with Cogoport, moving onions to different corners of the world–saving us time and budget,” says Ankit Begwani, CEO and founder of BegwaniGlobal. “Like many other SMEs, we are also seeing huge demand for shipping of perishable cargoes, not least for fruit and vegetable exports to Malaysia and Dubai. This requires high operational output, optimization of shipments and customer satisfaction for delivering goods on time. Every cent matters to every SME business, and Cogoport has demonstrated that it can help deliver that value with better rates, better margins and better visibility.”

The reefer demand is not going one way in India, where the rise of the middle class has created a greater desire for refrigerated imports, particularly from Germany, South Korea and Russia, according to the advisory from Cogoport, which is headquartered in Mumbai and has offices in Hong Kong and the Netherlands.

Perhaps the greatest indication of reefer’s rise comes in the form of technological advances that different industry players seem to announce almost daily.

Miramar, Florida-based Wireless Maritime Services (WMS), the largest wireless network operator at sea, and Globe Tracker, the fastest growing provider of global supply chain IoT visibility for cold-chain, announced their partnership in November to bring real-time reefer monitoring to Seaboard Marine, the largest marine cargo shipping line in Central, South America and the Caribbean.

Under the multi-year, multi-ship agreement, Seaboard Marine becomes the world’s first container ocean line to implement a truly portable, fully 24/7 monitored, 4G LTE based private cellular and integrated satellite communication network for containers on vessels. The innovation and expertise from WMS and Denmark-based Globe Tracker—whose North American headquarters are in Sarasota, Florida—results in “a novel vessel network that is seamless, interoperable, and provides end-to-end enhanced visibility and real-time connectivity, both in the cloud and on the vessel at sea,” according to the companies.

They add that Seaboard Marine also becomes the world’s first ocean line to implement full IoT visibility across their fleet of intermodal assets, including reefers, gensets, chassis and vessels—all on a single integrated easy to use platform.

“By IoT equipping our Controlled Atmosphere (CA) reefer fleet and other critical assets, we are well-positioned to provide more responsive cold chain services for our trade lanes, which facilitates complex processes such as USDA cold treatment,” noted Seaboard Marine Vice President Piero Buitano in the announcement.

“The vessel system also provides real-time alerts to crew technicians, so problems can be quickly detected and corrected, if necessary, thereby increasing temperature compliance,” added Frederick Urbina, Seaboard’s Refrigerated Services manager.

Noted Pramod Arora, WMS president and CEO, of Seaboard Marine: “They have been a valuable partner in pushing us to innovate first-to-market solutions that we are now deploying within their fleet. We look forward to continuing to partner with Seaboard Marine for future innovations.”

Globe Tracker had already started the partnering mojo in September, when it announced having teamed with Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey-based SeaCube Containers, a global leader in refrigerated shipping containers and gensets, to provide IoT-enabled gensets for Ocean Network Express (ONE), the sixth-largest shipping line in the world.

The cutting-edge GT technology provides cellular communication of operational parameters from gensets, including fuel level, battery voltage, events and alarms and even remote shut-off capability for certain genset brands.

“The growing demand for greater tracking, transparency, security, diagnostics and asset fleet management using smart technology will continue to be a key driver for leased solutions,” said Greg Tuthill, chief commercial officer at SeaCube, in the joint announcement. “By partnering with Globe Tracker, we will continue to enhance our leading-edge technology solutions and expand our commitment to the intermodal industry by providing smart asset technology leased products.”

John Harnett, senior director Marine and Intermodal at Globe Tracker, added he was pleased to be working with SeaCube “in providing this best-in-class genset solution to ONE. In genset telematics, we are the only provider integrated into the micro-controller of two out of the three leading brands in North America. This provides ONE with the most robust amount of data and assists in setting maintenance intervals, reducing maintenance costs, extending asset life, monitoring fuel consumption and having full operational visibility of their genset assets.”

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida-based Carrier Transicold, which is under the umbrella of Farmington, Connecticut’s United Technologies Corp., used the Nov. 5-7  Intermodal Europe 2019 in Hamburg, Germany, to unveil its new TripLINK digital tool that is designed to make shipping perishables simple, transparent and reliable worldwide.

The tool digitally connects customers to updates on their assets, including vital cargo health information. TripLINK software securely gathers and analyzes machine and cargo-health data that it wirelessly obtains from telematics hardware in the refrigerated container and the micro controller.

“Our aim in unveiling these new digital solutions is to bring to our customers convenience, visibility and actionable intelligence, ultimately to derive more savings for them,” said Kartik Kumar, vice president & general manager, Carrier Global Container Refrigeration. “At Carrier, the future is now. Through leveraging the latest cutting-edge technology, especially on the digital front, we provide our customers practical solutions they only once dreamed possible.”

Also part of a new suite of digital solutions is the Container eCommerce portal, which began supporting customers in Southeast Asia in mid-November. The portal put on view Carrier Transicold’s full catalog of refrigerated container unit parts and allowed orders to be placed easily.

Also on display in Germany was Carrier’s new Micro-Link 5 controller, which is billed as the industry’s first wireless connectivity enabled refrigerated container unit controller that is also equipped with advanced diagnostics, allowing service technicians to save time and money by reducing container moves and the need to restack units to retrieve critical data or conduct troubleshooting. And a new DataLINE Connect mobile app allows customers to work directly with a refrigerated unit equipped to receive data via a smartphone or tablet.

Staying in Europe, but traveling back the previous month to October 2019, CEVA Logistics opened a new integrated, end-to-end cold chain facility at DP World London Gateway in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, UK.

More than 50 customers, including representatives of French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM, attended the unveiling of The Chill Hub, which CEVA describes as a state-of-the-art facility with dedicated areas for handling pharmaceuticals, fresh and frozen produce, beverage products and flowers as well as other goods requiring temperature specific handling and storage.

The location is considered strategic because a deep-sea port is on the same site as the logistics park where The Chill Hub rests. London Gateway, which has links to more than 110 ports in 60 different countries, is considered the UK’s No. 1 reefer hub.

“With its excellent road and rail connections, our best in class warehouse management systems and direct port access, the Chill Hub is a powerful demonstration of the synergies between CEVA Logistics and CMA CGM,” said Nicolas Sartini, CEO of Baar, Switzerland-based CEVA Logistics, which has offices worldwide, including all over North America.

“This state-of-the-art facility will enable us to offer a unique value proposition to our shipper customers,” Sartini continued, “providing a faster delivery of goods through an energy-efficient building. We can also give full visibility and control of the entire inbound operation through The Chill Hub.”

CargoSmart Limited—which leverages technologies including artificial intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain, as well as a deep understanding of ocean shipping for its transportation and logistics clients—announced in November its new Connected Reefer Solution. The one-stop, AI and IoT-enabled reefer cargo management system for ocean carriers and shippers features end-to-end information transparency, including enhanced reefer container Pre-Trip Inspection (PTI) support, real-time container status monitoring updates, and predictive cargo arrival status.

“CargoSmart Connected Reefer Solution provides users with a one-stop, hassle-free solution that seamlessly integrates IoT-enabled containers with cloud-based monitoring software and APIs [application programming interfaces],” said Lionel Louie, CargoSmart’s chief commercial officer, in the announcement. “With the cutting-edge technologies and the vast volume of data collected, CargoSmart Connected Reefer Solution brings an unprecedented level of real-time cargo status visibility, empowers more accurate and responsive planning, and significantly drives down operation costs for carriers and shippers.”

Louie was not blowing smoke. CargoSmart reefer management was the winner of the Lloyd’s List 2019 “Excellence in Supply Chain Management” Asia Pacific and the 2019 TIBCO Trailblazer Visionary awards. And the solution received this praise from Li Dong, general manager of COSCO Shipping’s Equipment Management Center: “In addition to heightened visibility to reefer cargo status, COSCO Shipping replaced manual PTI with AI-enabled PTI, bringing significant enhancements in cost-efficiency savings as well as reefer management capabilities.”

ships

Big Ships that are Coming or Already Here Present New Challenges

The new year presents both opportunities and challenges for players within the supply chain to increase productivity through maximizing resources or get left behind as competitors take over. There are layers of factors for global shippers to consider in determining the best approach in remaining both competitive, efficient, and to be honest, relevant. Major factors in consideration include IMO 2020, traffic increases and vessel sizing.

Looking at some statistics reveals an interesting picture of exactly what’s going on and what shippers can prepare for based on last year’s trends. According to the 2019 North American Ports Outlook report by Cushman & Wakefield, the intermodal traffic rates saw an increase by 5.5 percent, while 90 percent of internationally shipped dry, non-bulk manufactured goods are containerized. Oh yeah, automobile imports are on the rise also.

Data make clear that big ships can not only create competitive advantages but also recreate what modern competition looks like. Cushman & Wakefield’s report shows that 79 percent of the international containership supply is dominated by the 2M Alliance (Maersk and MSC), the Ocean Alliance (CMA CGM, COSCO and Evergreen) and THE Alliance (ONE, Hapag Lloyd and Yang Ming). Not only do these alliances carry a massive amount of clout among competitors globally, but they also boast massive container vessels.

COSCO Shipping Universe, for example, sits right at 21,237 TEU capacity at 400 meters x 58.6 meters. This massive vessel holds the title as the largest cargo ship in China and the fourth largest in the world. Additionally, this vessel comes with an added bonus to further charge its performance through the support of ABB Turbocharges that enable the vessel to travel at 22 nautical miles per hour.

“The ABB turbochargers on COSCO Shipping Universe will support maximum performance and fuel efficiency, in addition to contributing to COSCO Shipping Lines pursuing green shipping practices for long-term success,” stated Oliver Riemenschneider, managing director, ABB Turbocharging in a press release announcing the vessel’s delivery in June of 2018. “We foresee the ABB turbochargers on the forthcoming mega container ships in the Universe series will contribute similar viable operational gains.”

As the vessels get bigger and better, industry players can rightfully anticipate this as a major trend to keep an eye out for in 2020. Although increasing ship sizes supporting more capacity with fewer miles in between is a win-win, shippers must consider how this impacts the ports and their size capabilities and most importantly, their access to such ports. The North American Ports Outlook report states that orders for new vessels are being placed exceeding 22,000 TEUs and that East Coast ports are beginning to see more large ships. Furthermore, the Neopanamax Locks confirmed that as of just recently, it can handle over 14,000 TEU ships, but not by much. That’s not going to cut it for the big ships predicted in the near future.

MSC Mediterranean Shipping Co. announced a successful Asia-to-Europe voyage for the MSC Gülsün ship. The 23,756 TEU vessel holds the title as the world’s largest container ship and adds a new level of quality with its advanced engineering focused on energy efficiency and reduced fuel consumption overall. The Gülsün is one of more than 10 ships to be added to MSC’s advanced fleet between 2019-2020, and it doesn’t stop there. The IMO-2020 ready vessel boasts a hybrid Exhaust Gas Cleaning System (UN IMO-approved, of course) paired with a low-Sulphur fuel and/or LNG adaptation option. Not only is this ship more than prepared for revolutionizing the approach to IMO standards, but it’s also making a big dent in operational efficiencies.

Evergreen also made news last year by confirming new vessels with up to 23,000 TEU capacity are being added to its fleet. Information released from numerous sources confirmed that five or more vessels with such TEU capacity were approved for order. These mega-ships will be built at South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard and China State Shipbuilding Corp.with a price tag of roughly $1.6 billion. The order was placed back in September and current service estimation sits between 12-18 months, according to various reports.

Go ahead and add Germany’s Hapag-Lloyd to the list of super vessels to come. The Wall Street Journal reported that up to six ships with TEU capacity well over 20,000 were confirmed. Hapag Lloyd already boasts six vessels within the A 18 class with more than 19,000 TEU capacity. Overall, Hapag Lloyd boasts a total fleet TEU capacity of 1.7 million… and counting.

Even with these new massive ships on the horizon, it is hard to compare to the OOCL Hong Kong, the first of six in the G-class with a whopping 21,413 TEU capacity. One such ship went down in history as the world’s first to ever break the 21,000 TEU-capacity marks. Within months of this announcement, the OOCL Scandinavia, the OOCL Germany and the OOCL United Kingdom–all with 21,4313 TEU capacity—were also announced and christened.

“While our industry seems to have the knack to ‘outdo’ one another in building larger containerships relatively quickly these days, this project is nonetheless an important moment for us,” stated OOCL Chairman C.C. Tung in the announcement. “Faced with increasing competition and un-ending pressure on costs, we need to take the bold step in operating larger size ships of quality and high efficiency in order to stay relevant and compete effectively as a major container shipping company.”

Tung concluded, after the OOCL Scandinavia reveal, “This achievement is about working to bring people and companies of different professions and nationalities together to reach new heights, innovate, solve complicated engineering problems, and along the way, why not break a world record, too.”

Although the OOCL Hong Kong has yet to be replaced, competitors are pushing the limits of capacity to break new records the shipping sector has yet to encounter. Maximizing the capacity limits the industry is currently used to paired with the IMO 2020 regulations and changes will undoubtedly filter the industry leaders. The real question remains: Who will set the bar even higher than what it is now and how will they do it?

holiday

UPS: “This Holiday Season, We’ve Prepared Like Never Before.”

Today marked the first day of the peak holiday season for 2019 and the beginning of increased holiday shipments and deliveries. UPS confirmed a 5 percent increase in package shipments from 2018 record is expected in addition to an estimated 32 million packages and documents per day during peak season, primarily stemming from UPS’s retailer and B2B-focused customers. This anticipated chaos doesn’t seem to be a problem for UPS, however.

“This holiday season, we’ve prepared like never before,” said UPS Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, David Abney. “UPS has invested billions in our facilities, our air fleet and our workforce.  We have the capacity for, and are committed to, serving the unique needs of all our customers. To our customers, I simply say: We’re ready, Let’s go! You can count on us to help you make the holiday season successful.”

UPS has prepared resources in the form of added space (five million square feet of highly automated facilities, to be precise), automated superhubs, 11 newly added aircraft (increasing payload by 2.5 million pounds), optimization technologies, and a robust employee network close to 100,000 seasonal workers.

“More than ever, the 2019 holiday season proves UPS puts customers’ needs first,” said UPS Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren. “That starts with eliminating residential peak season surcharges, and extends into a wide range of new services that complement our industry-leading portfolio of offerings.”

Additional service enhancements have also been added to further support the growing demand, including the fastest ground-service offerings to-date, commercial/residential weekend services for pickup and delivery for customers in the top metro areas, late-night pickups via UPS Extended Hours® to qualifying customers, and more.

“We have the right strategies in place to help our customers make the most of the holiday season, with extensive forecasting, expanded ground and air capacity, effective onboarding to bring an army of seasonal employees up to speed, and the products and services that help all our customers meet high expectations this time of year,” Abney said.  “We look forward to another successful peak season.”

Ports America

Ports America Announces New Leadership for 2020

Modern Terminals Hong Kong managing director and CEO Peter Levesque was confirmed this week as the newly appointed president for the largest North American marine terminal and stevedore, Ports America. Mr. Levesque will step into the role starting in February 2020 bringing decades of experience and a proven track record of success.

“I am thrilled to have Peter be part of our leadership team of the Ports America platform. Ports America remains focused on providing best-in-class service to many of the world’s leading shipping lines as well as the work we have completed in improving workflow solutions to beneficial cargo owners to drive dramatic growth for the company,” said Ports America CEO Mark Montgomery.

Mr. Levesque brings more than 30 years of experience in maritime business, with nine years of leadership with Modern Terminals and spearheading the Public Private Partnership (PPP) for the company.

“Having Peter Levesque join Mark Montgomery, Rick Surett and Jim Pelliccio as a core part of the management team is central to the strategic growth plan for Ports America,” said Dave Starling,  company board chairman.

“Peter’s strong leadership, experience and success in building superior organizations gives the board the utmost confidence that this team will drive the continued success of the company.”

IMO 2020

Happy New Year: IMO 2020 is Here

A new year is right around the corner, which means IMO 2020 is finally here. Effective January 1, 2020, Annex VI of MARPOL, which is the international treaty governing pollution on the high seas, will mandate a significant decrease in sulfur emissions from vessels—reducing the current permitted level of 35,000 ppm to 5,000 ppm. Compliance with this new standard will primarily be achieved through the burning of low-sulfur fuel, although compliance choices include other methods like the use of scrubbers and liquid natural gas (“LNG”) as fuel. Under this regime, the primary responsible party in the freight market will be the vessel owner or operator. 

It is estimated that 10-20 percent of vessels after January 1, 2020, simply will not comply with the new IMO 2020 sulfur standard. Furthermore, because there is no industry standard specification for bunker fuel, there is an increased risk of fuel quality issues that lead to suboptimal performance and engine damage, which may give rise to inadvertent non-compliance. As a result, the industry should expect significant enforcement efforts of this new standard. 

The IMO does not have a global enforcement body. Instead, IMO member states pass laws implementing the provisions of Annex VI, which are enforced by bodies analogous to the US Coast Guard and US Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”). In particular, port states can enforce compliance within their coastal waters while flag states may enforce the standard on vessels flagged in their countries. Both port states and flag states have the authority to arrest vessels, and issue fines, penalties and prison sentences. 

Historically, the United States has been a lead enforcer of MARPOL, and the industry should expect robust enforcement in the United States regardless of whether the non-compliance occurs in US or non-US waters. It is likely that US authorities will seek to enforce IMO 2020 through whether the vessel is maintaining true and accurate records, specifically its bunker delivery notes (“BDNs”) and fuel changeover logbook. Any listing of noncompliant fuel or false or inaccurate statements in those records could result in the US Coast Guard detaining the vessel and prosecuting the vessel owner, operator, bunker fuel supplier or other responsible party. Although the likelihood of direct non-compliance in US waters is low, even indirect non-compliance can still be enforced if the vessel’s records are false or inaccurate. 

Prior enforcement of IMO treaties—which includes multimillion-dollar fines and criminal penalties for captains and vessels—further demonstrates the likelihood of a robust US response to non-compliance. Similarly, whistleblower provisions will likely also bolster US enforcement of IMO 2020. Under US law, whistleblowers who report non-compliance can receive up to 50% of the monetary penalties levied against the owner, operator or vessel. With penalties in these cases exceeding tens of millions of dollars, the whistleblower provisions provide crew with a significant incentive to report non-compliance to US authorities. 

While direct liability of the owner and operator of the vessel is a primary concern, there are also varieties of implications non-compliance may have on other parties involved in the freight industry. For example, the detention of vessels and its owners or operators for non-compliance can also lead to delays in the shipment of goods and present significant obstacles and other logistical issues in getting a vessel released from US authorities. Moreover, the reputational harm that comes with non-compliance may also have a lasting effect on a shipper’s business. 

With IMO 2020 just around the corner, it is essential that all parties seek to implement robust compliance plans and due diligence of their counterparties—including charterparties, fellow shippers, vessel owners and operator and bunker fuel sale counterparties.

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David McCullough is a partner in the Energy & Infrastructure practice group at the New York office of Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP. Nicholas Hillman, with Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP in Washington DC, is not yet admitted to practice.

demand

Adapting Supply Chains for Increased Consumer Demand and Same Day Shipping

Same-day and next-day shipping options are increasing, and consumers are beginning to desire expedited shipping options with minimal delay. Through new technologies, space optimization, and supply chain auditing, there are various ways companies can adapt to this demand.

There used to be a tattered cartoon taped to every dry cleaner’s cash register. There’s a man laughing — holding his stomach, actually, as the joke is so funny — with a bold face caption that reads: “YOU WANT IT WHEN?!”

Faced with minimal competition, it was a time when companies held production and delivery control, with consumers at their mercy to indeed receive their press garments at a time of the dry cleaner’s choosing.

Those days are long gone. Armed with just a digital device, consumers have numerous options in finding suppliers who can provide things whenever they desire. As such, they expect — rather, demand —products and services on their terms.

As a result, companies must either adapt their supply chains to accommodate these expectations or find themselves with diminished market share. Below are key areas that companies must address to compete in today’s on-demand environment.

Take inventory of your inventory

As a first step, perform a comprehensive audit of your entire supply chain, even hiring a third-party specialist to develop the critical assessment. Such a deep-dive look will measure delivery accuracy, on-time performance, worker productivity and even call center effectiveness, all significant contributors to the overall efficiency of your suppliers and their impact on your supply chain.

Find a better mousetrap

Once the audit is complete, it’s time to take action, which may mean making fundamental changes to your supply chain. If you’re currently operating with a hub-and-spoke distribution model, for instance, the feedback may point to achieving greater efficiencies by adopting a decentralized distribution model (and vice versa). Especially when it comes to last-mile delivery, partnering with a third-party provider can also help, providing you with the fast turnaround that your customers expect without straining your existing operations.

Get your house in order

Any fundamental change to the supply chain must include enhancements to warehouses, adopting technological advances that deliver greater efficiencies. For some, this may mean incorporating a short-interval waving warehouse management system (WMS), which allows orders to be dispatched in clusters or waves. Other advances automate the sizing and selection of cartons, which makes packing more efficient while streamlining costs.

Taking things personnel-ly

Until supply chain logistics can all be outsourced to robots, bottom-line performance ultimately depends on the availability and performance of your employees. To those ends, leverage technology to minimize labor supply disruptions, especially during holiday seasons when demand peaks. (This is increasingly important as unemployment reaches record lows, further diminishing the labor pool.) Technology should also be used for scheduling and training, which delivers greater efficiencies and even job retention, as greater scheduling flexibility leads to increased employee satisfaction and loyalty.

Consumer demand for ever-shrinking delivery timelines makes ongoing supply chain refinements no longer optional, but mandatory. Your long-term success depends on it.

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Neil Wheeldon is vice president — solutions at BDP International in The Hague, Netherlands.