Logistics News Briefing
April 2021
Top Stories
Digital Logistics
Green Logistics
Perishables & Pharma
Regulation & Procedures
Express & eCommerce
Maritime & Waterways

The sudden blockage of the Suez Canal by one of the world’s largest container ships underscored not only the importance and fragility of the critical sea passage but also the vicissitudes of the logistics sector. While the obstruction was cleared in a week, the impact was massive: Lloyd’s List estimates that the stranded ship was holding up $9.6bn of trade each day, including around one million barrels of oil and 8% of global trade in liquefied natural gas.

Always seeking forward-looking solutions, the logistics sector is exploring alternative fuels such as hydrogen and sustainable aviation fuels, with support for testing and deployment now accelerating. The Cluster for Logistics is driving this debate in Luxembourg, and organised the ‘Clean Fuels in Transportation’ conference on March 25th together with energy minister Claude Turmes.

In the C4L Logistics Conversations podcast of the month, DB Schenker Luxembourg managing director Axel Quadt discusses his 20-year career in Luxembourg and presents the group’s infrastructure investments in the grand duchy.

Top Stories

Luxembourg to launch hydrogen refuelling trial

Energy minister Claude Turmes told the recent Cluster for Logistics clean fuels conference that Luxembourg is on track to develop a hydrogen refuelling station and run a limited pilot with trucks. Turmes also said it had yet to be determined whether hydrogen or electric was the most competitive refuelling solution for the market. However, he added that catenary charging of trucks via overhead cables was not a viable option.

Best source: Delano
See also: Cluster for Logistics
Container ports set to deal with Suez congestion

Up to 1.9 million TEU of cargo may be headed to the world’s container ports due to the supply chain congestion caused by last month’s Suez Canal blockage, according to data from supply chain visibility firm Project44. The incident has led to a cumulative delay of 1,072 days to shipping fleets, the company says.

Best source: The Loadstar
UK food and drink exports to Luxembourg plunged 91% in January

The value of food and drink exported from the UK to Luxembourg fell 91.1% year-on-year to around £100,000 in January, following the end of the Brexit transition period. The drop in exports to Luxembourg was the largest among EU member states, which recorded an average 75.5% decline. Conversely, exports from Luxembourg to the UK increased 86.7% to around £200,000 as UK authorities have yet to implement checks on imports. The UK Food and Drink Federation says anti-pandemic measures and stockpiling by retailers at the end of last year may have had some effect, but the collapse in exports is most likely due to the new non-tariff barriers faced by UK exporters.

Best source: Delano
See also: Food and Drink Federation
Digital Logistics
EDIfly allies with CargoFlash Infotech on encrypted messaging

Luxembourg-based EDIfly is partnering with Indian air freight management provider CargoFlash Infotech to deliver advanced encrypted messaging software to the aviation and logistics sectors. EDIfly technology offers web-based exchanges with ground handling, warehouse management, forwarding, logistics, and cargo community partners.

Best source: Stat Times
IATA rolls out digital connectivity solution

IATA has launched its Enhanced Partner Identification and Connectivity (EPIC) platform to connect freight partners. IATA says the subscription-based solution, currently in use with airlines, freight forwarders, customs authorities and third-party messaging providers, enables partners to more easily exchange critical information and messages.

Best source: Freightwaves
Siemens Mobility, VTG test brake monitoring solution for freight trains

Siemens Mobility and VTG Rail Europe are partnering on an automated brake monitoring trial for freight trains. The new technology aims to reduce time-consuming manual processes with the visualisation of incorrect settings, tightened hand brakes or other wagon problems.

Best source: Global Railway Review
Green Logistics
DB Schenker, Lufthansa Cargo launch carbon-neutral flights

DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo have unveiled a regular CO2-neutral freight service from Frankfurt to Shanghai Pudong. The new weekly flight rotations will save 20,250 tonnes of greenhouse gases during the Lufthansa Cargo summer flight schedule.

Best source: International Airport Review
Port of Rotterdam signs Chile hydrogen agreement

The Port of Rotterdam has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Chilean ministry of energy and mining for the port to act as a gateway for imports of Chilean hydrogen into European markets. The country is aiming to produce the cheapest green hydrogen in the world by 2030, and the Port of Rotterdam currently handles around 13% of the energy consumed in the EU.

Best source: Renewables Now
CMA CGM backs biomethane fuel for shipping

CMA CGM is investing in the production of 12,000 tonnes of biomethane, equivalent to the annual fuel consumption of two 1,400-TEU vessels. The company has launched a low-carbon shipping offer based on the biogas that it says can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than two-thirds when paired with its dual-fuel gas-power technology.

Best source: Bioenergy Insight
Perishables & Pharma

Bolloré enlarges Paris pharma hub

Bolloré Logistics is expanding its Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport pharma hub with an additional 800 square metres of warehousing for storing goods at 15ºC to 25ºC. The company says the expansion will better enable it to manage cross-docking operations and respond to all product category requirements, including vaccines and nuclear-medicine products.

Best source: Aircargo News
Brussels Airport opens new refrigerated warehouse

Brussels Airport has opened a new 50,000-square-metre refrigerated warehouse space, providing direct airside access to Kuehne+Nagel, Worldwide Flight Services and Expeditors. K+N will expand its activities for the handling of perishables, while Expeditors is developing its European healthcare logistics and has chosen the airport as its pharma gateway to connect Europe internationally.

Best source: Routes Online
Cathay Pacific Cargo adds Brussels-Hong Kong pharma capacity

Cathay Pacific Cargo is adding more capacity for pharma deliveries between Brussels Airport and Hong Kong. The extra cargo flights are slated to operate until June, although the schedule will be adapted according to market demand.

Best source: Stat Times
Ceva launches new healthcare logistics unit

Ceva Logistics has bundled all healthcare logistics services, including temperature-controlled pharma, hospital logistics, home care and medical devices transport, into its new Ceva ForPatients subsidiary. As part of the move, the company plans to develop a network of more than 40 temperature-controlled air freight stations worldwide by the end of 2021 for the storage and handling of pharma products.

Best source: DVZ (subscription required, in German)
Port of Antwerp posts 11% rise in reefer traffic in 2020

The Port of Antwerp handled 1 million TEU reefer containers last year, up 11% on the 2019 total. Both import and export growth were strong, due in part to rising global demand for healthy foodstuffs.

Best source: Fresh Fruit Portal
Tritax EuroBox picks up German properties for €291m

Tritax EuroBox has acquired two German logistics assets for €290.9m. The largest property is the 70,000-square-metre distribution centre of a German sportswear maker in Nuremberg, while the other is a 94,800-square-metre logistics asset near Giessen, leased to US furniture company Wayfair.

Best source: Morningstar
Union, Garbe acquire German assets for €35m

Union Investment and Garbe are acquiring two new-build German logistics properties for €35m for the UII Garbe Logistics Real Estate Fund. The assets include an Amazon distribution centre in Bielefeld and a DHL logistics centre in Gütersloh, with a combined area of 9,140 square metres.

Best source: Property Magazine
Barings purchases French redevelopment property for pan-European joint venture

Barings has purchased a logistics redevelopment asset close to Paris for an undisclosed amount on behalf of a pan-European logistics joint venture between a US insurance company and a Middle Eastern sovereign wealth fund. The 24,000-square-metre property, scheduled to complete in May, has been 51% let to a third-party logistics firm, with three remaining units up for lease.

Best source: Investment & Pensions Europe Real Assets (subscription required)
Regulation & Procedures

European Commission plans step-by-step aviation fuel blending

The European Commission is set to adopt a staggered approach to sustainable aviation fuel blending with kerosene as part of the EU’s ReFuelEU initiative. Percentages will be raised at five-year intervals, starting at 2% in 2025 and rising incrementally to 63% in 2050. The Commission is believed to be considering the imposition of penalties in case of non-compliance.

Best source: Euractiv
Express & eCommerce
Colis Privé launches in Luxembourg, Belgium

French parcel delivery company Colis Privé has rolled out services in Luxembourg and Belgium under the Parcel Privé banner. The company is running its fast-processing operations from a sorting hub close to Antwerp, delivering in the Grand Duchy and Belgium via subcontractors using fleets comprising 90% electric vehicles.

Best source: Wort (in French)
Nippon Express opens new Dutch hub

Nippon Express Nederland has opened a Dutch logistics centre in Nijmegen that serves as a hub for air and ocean freight for the company’s European customers. The new location gives Nippon Express more than 200,000 square metres of warehouse space across the Netherlands and the firm says it is looking to further boost logistics operations in the south of the country.

Best source: Aircargo News
See also: Yahoo Finance
DB Cargo, Kombiverkehr look to boost rail freight

DB Cargo and Kombiverkehr, an alliance of more than 230 freight forwarders, have signed an agreement to shift more European long-distance freight from road to rail. The two organisations have agreed a nine-point strategic plan that includes the construction of terminals that will form a new Metro-Net, along with the increased digitalisation of intermodal scheduling and billing.

Best source: DVZ (in German, subscription required)
CMA CGM Air Cargo launches US services

CMA CGM Air Cargo has rolled out two new regular US services from Liège to New York and Atlanta, doubling its North American capacity. CMA CGM’s specialist aviation unit launched in February with Liège Airport as its hub and Air Belgium operating flights.

Best source: DVZ (in German, subscription required)
Netherlands supports freight shift to rail, waterways

The Dutch government is offering €2.4m in grants to logistics companies shifting freight from road to rail or barge. The financial support will be made available to firms offering small or medium-sized transport and bundling cargo, with the authorities looking to remove at least 1,000 trucks per day from roads.

Best source: RailFreight
Maritime & Waterways

Port of Antwerp to upgrade Europa Terminal for large vessels

The Port of Antwerp is planning to deepen the quay wall of the Europa Terminal to enable it to handle large container vessels. To accommodate the largest container ships, the depth of the terminal will be extended from the current draught of 13.5 metres to 16 metres. The work will be carried out in three phases to allow much of the terminal to remain operational during construction.

Best source: Container Management
Suez Canal plans fleet expansion

The Suez Canal Authority has announced that it will upgrade its fleet and build additional waiting areas, among other measures, following the recent Ever Given grounding. The authority plans to boosts its salvage capabilities with the acquisition of larger tugboats, and to modernise its fleet of dredgers, tugboats and speedboats.

Best source: Port Technology
Collective employment agreement reached at HGK Shipping Lux

Inland shipping business HGK Shipping Lux has concluded a collective employment agreement with trade union LCGB that includes a 5.8% wage increase for the company's nautical employees. The three-year agreement, which will run until the end of March 2024, also simplifies the wage structure and introduces wage supplements for employees with professional experience and a wage allowance for patent extension. Fixed wage adjustments were also agreed should the agreement be automatically extended beyond 2024.

Best source: Luxembourg Chronicle

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