Logistics News Briefing
April 2022
Top Stories
Digital Logistics & Innovation
Green Logistics
Perishables & Pharma
Regulation & Procedures
Express & eCommerce
Maritime & Waterways

A year after the upheaval caused by the Ever Given blocking traffic through the Suez Canal, the logistics sector is today facing more enduring risks to global supply chains as the war in Ukraine adds to trade and economic pressures. Energy and trade embargoes are fuelling the volatility of energy prices and price shocks, while airfreight disruption and further lockdowns in China are straining supply chains even further. Chinese ports are still open but factories have closed and transporters are struggling with labour shortages. The shutdown of Shanghai, with its crucial position in the international and domestic market, is negatively affecting global trade as well as the Chinese economy. The situation is one of several factors accelerating a rethink of globalisation amid recommendations companies should reduce their dependency on global trade flows and fossil fuels.

The Cluster for Logistics invites members to participate in its General Assembly on April 22nd, 2022 at the Chamber of Commerce – a welcome networking meeting with Cluster members in the wake of pandemic restrictions and online-only events. The annual gathering will also coincide with the publication of the Cluster for Logistics’ annual report.

Top Stories

Russia-Ukraine conflict magnifies global supply chain crisis

Russia's war against Ukraine is triggering a dramatic reshaping of supply chains around the world as firms reassess how and where they source and supply goods, industry experts say. Coming on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic and the US-China trade war, the conflict is accelerating the trend toward de-globalisation, even as continued disruption and pressure on global supply chains exacerbate imbalances between supply and demand, driving increased inflation and the threat of stagflation in major economies.

Best source: Forbes
Airfreight customers brace for higher rates and decreased capacity

Airfreight customers are facing higher rates as carriers pass on increased costs resulting from changes to Asia-Europe routes in order to avoid Russian and Ukrainian airspace, according to Glenn Hogben, CEO of The Air Charter Association. With airfreight carriers facing longer routes and more fuel burn, the situation is further squeezing capacity in a sector already operating at the limit due to high pharma demand and ocean freight congestion spillover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Best source: Air Cargo News
Lux-Airport invests in Norsk e-Fuel to meet EU sustainable fuel target

Lux-Airport has invested in Norwegian start-up Norsk e-Fuel, which specialises in sustainable aviation fuels, in order to help meet the EU target of 63% renewable fuel consumption by 2050. The airport says Cargolux could also become an investor in the Norwegian company, which plans to begin production at its first facility in Mosjøen in 2024. Sustainable aviation fuel is typically made from feedstocks including cooking oil, household waste, waste wood and algae.

Best source: Paperjam (in French)
See also: Wort (in German)
See also: RTL Today
See also: L'essentiel (in French)
Digital Logistics & Innovation
CHAMP supports Air Cargo Belgium innovation solution

CHAMP Cargosystems is powering Air Cargo Belgium’s new innovation platform for sharing information, ideas and best practices to foster innovation in the air cargo community. The initiative is the result of an MoU signed in September 2020 that made CHAMP the preferred partner for the testing and rollout of any new technologies.

Best source: Aircargo News (registration required)
Luxembourg’s Shipsta snags €9m in funding

Luxembourg-based digital logistics start-up Shipsta has raised over €8.9m in a funding round led by Dubai’s Tricap Investments and including Chris Kirchner, co-founder and head of shipping and logistics automation company Shipsta, whose solution provides full supply chain visibility, will use the cash to support its international expansion strategy.

Best source: EU Startups
Lufthansa Cargo rolls out automated air waybill numbers

Lufthansa Cargo is partnering with to optimise booking for the carrier’s freight forwarder clients through the automated assignment of air waybill numbers. Lufthansa Cargo is the first airline partner to deploy auto-assigned AWBs for bookings.

Best source: Aircargo News (registration required)
Global Shipping Business Network launches blockchain-based platform trial in Rotterdam

Hong Kong-based not-for-profit technology consortium Global Shipping Business Network is launching a European pilot of its Cargo Release blockchain-based logistics platform at the Port of Rotterdam. Participants include Hutchison Ports ECT Rotterdam, Cosco Shipping Lines, OOCL Logistics and Sumec. The platform aims to simplify data exchange and provide real-time updates, reducing release times for cargo.

Best source: Splash 247
Green Logistics
Germany plans electric truck charging network for motorways

The German federal government has unveiled a new masterplan for electric vehicle charging infrastructure which envisages the development of a fast-charging network across the motorway system for heavy goods vehicles. The ministry of transport, the National Centre for Charging Infrastructure (BMDV) and Die Autobahn, which operates Germany's motorways, are aiming to develop a proposal for an initial, scalable charging network for HGVs by the end of this year, with a first call for tenders in 2023.

Best source: DVZ (subscription required, in German)
Port of Zeebrugge joins LNG alliance

The Port of Zeebrugge has joined the SEA-LNG multi-sector coalition, which promotes the use of LNG in marine transport. The port, which is home to the world's first purpose-built LNG bunkering vessel, says the tie-up will enable it to pursue its green energy hub strategy. SEA-LNG partners include the Port of Rotterdam, Wärtsilä, Shell LNG and TotalEnergies.

Best source: Port Technology
Almost two-thirds of 1Q shipbuilding dedicated to alternative fuels

A record 61% of global shipbuilding orders in the first-quarter were for alternatively fuelled vessels, up from 33% in the same period in 2022, according to Clarksons Research. By tonnage, 57% of new-build contracts were LNG-fuelled, 3.4% were methanol, 0.6% ethane, and 0.7% battery-hybrid. Clarksons forecasts that 5% of global merchant fleet capacity will be alternatively fuelled by the start of 2023.

Best source: Splash 247
Hamburg Airport claims carbon-neutral first

Hamburg Airport has become the first German airport to achieve carbon-neutral operations, in line with Airport Carbon Accreditation guidelines. Hamburg, which has reduced its annual CO₂ emissions by almost 80% since 2009, has almost converted all of its apron vehicle fleet to alternative powertrains and fuels while covering around 70% of its thermal energy needs with its own combined heat and power plant.

Best source: DVZ (subscription required, in German)
Perishables & Pharma

Sanctions cause reefer congestion at European ports

Refrigerated container shipments destined for Russia have been halted in transit due to sanctions and are filling up Northern European transhipment terminals and blocking capacity for perishable freight. According to one reefer manager at a leading freight forwarder, containers are piling up at the ports of Rotterdam, Hamburg and Bremerhaven, further worsening supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. Belgian shipper Remant/Foodcareplus reports having to rent parking spots near Hamburg and install power connections.

Best source: DVZ (subscription required, in German)
SkyCell unveils new box for high-value pharma

Switzerland-based SkyCell has launched its 1500X container for high-value pharmaceutical transport. The container has been designed for product shipments that need to be kept within 2°C-to-8°C, or 15°C-to-25°C temperature ranges and has an independent runtime of 270 hours at 20°C.

Best source: Aircargo News
Prologis bids €21bn for Blackstone European logistics portfolio

Prologis has made a huge bid of a little more than €21bn for Mileway, a portfolio of close to 2,000 European warehouse assets belonging to Blackstone. Prologis now has around four weeks to finalise the offer so that it satisfies the conditions established by the funds that own Mileway. Seven other prospective buyers have taken a look at the portfolio but so far only Prologis has submitted a non-binding bid.

Best source: Financial Times (subscription required)
GLP launches €1.2bn European warehouse platform

Singapore-based GLP has launched a new €1.2bn fund targeting warehousing across Europe. The company says its interest in the sector is being driven by the growth in online shopping across the region as well as viewing warehouse assets as a flight to safety during a time of war and high rates of inflation.

Best source: Financial Times (subscription required)
Tritax Eurobox acquires €76m speculative German asset

Tritax Eurobox is acquiring a 36,437-square-metre German speculative logistics asset from Dietz Seller for €76.4m. The asset, located between Cologne and Düsseldorf, will comprise three units offered for let to multiple tenants or a single lessee. The deal marks Tritax’s eleventh German purchase and brings its total invested in the market to more than €800m.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
Brookfield purchases €100m Dutch hubs

Brookfield has acquired two Dutch distribution properties for around €100m for its European logistics portfolio. The fully leased assets, located in Groningen, total an aggregate 93,000 square metres.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
Garbe starts €72m German logistics build

Garbe Industrial Real Estate has begun construction of an 82,000-square-metre logistics hub in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, north of Leipzig. The €72m site will comprise a large 48,000-square-metre unit scheduled for completion in February 2023 and pre-let to an e-commerce company, plus a smaller 34,000-square-metre building scheduled to be finished in the second quarter of next year.

Best source: Logistics Business
Regulation & Procedures

Cargolux loses appeal against €80m Commission fine for price-fixing

The EU General Court has rejected an appeal by Luxembourg air freight carrier Cargolux against a €79.9m fine for its involvement in anti-competitive practices. The European Commission imposed the penalty in 2010 and fined 10 other cargo airlines a total of €800m for operating a price-fixing cartel between December 1999 and February 2006. The court upheld a €183m fine for Air France, along with fines for KLM, Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa, but reduced the penalties for Japan Airlines, Air Canada, British Airways and Cathay Pacific.

Best source: Paperjam (in French)
See also: Wort (in German)
See also: Luxembourg Times
See also: L'essentiel (in French)
EU to ban Russian vessels and cut coal imports

The European Union will ban all Russian-operated vessels from its ports as well as cutting coal imports from Russia in a new round of sanctions. Russia accounts for around 45% of all EU coal consumption and imports of seaborne coal into the bloc totalled around 105m tonnes in 2021, according to shipbroker Simpson Spence Young.

Best source: Lloyd’s List (subscription required)
Belgian bill seeks to reduce parcel courier subcontracting

The Belgian government is currently holding a public consultation over a draft law which would force large providers of parcel delivery services to use employees rather than subcontractors to make deliveries. Under the proposed legislation, at least 20% of couriers would have to be employed from the beginning of next year, a minimum of 50% at the start of 2024, and at least 80% in the following year.  Petra De Sutter, the minister for post and public enterprise, says she wants to prevent the exploitation of couriers.

Best source: DVZ (subscription required, in German)
Express & eCommerce
Cargolux imposes war surcharge on Asian routes

Cargolux has imposed a €0.18-per-kilogramme war-risk surcharge on its Asia flights due to the military conflict in Ukraine. Aircraft on Asian routes are unable to fly over Russia and face longer flying times.

Best source: Wort (in French)
Contargo introduces war charge on container transport

German barge operator Contargo has imposed a €25 emergency surcharge per full or empty container due to the war in Ukraine. The company says the charge, which applies to all combinations of barge, rail and truck transport, is to cover the increase in prices of gasoil, diesel and electricity.

Best source: The Loadstar (registration required)
FedEx extends cross-border e-commerce service across Europe

FedEx has rolled out its International Connect Plus cross-border e-commerce shipping service in an additional 14 European markets, including Luxembourg. The offering was launched last year in 10 countries in the region, among them Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands.

Best source: Logistics Manager
DB Schenker launches new B2C service

DB Schenker is extending its groupage system freight network to include standardised B2C shipping across Europe with its new DB Schenkersystem home service. The offering has been designed for firms delivering to households, in particular for the shipment of home appliances and interior design products.

Best source: Post & Parcel
CMA CGM lines up Gefco acquisition

CMA CGM is looking to acquire French automotive and industrial logistics firm Gefco, which is currently 75%-owned by Russian Railways. However, the shipping company may face competition from French automotive logistics specialist CAT and road tanker operator Charles André. RR has been sanctioned due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and any deal would need to be concluded before April 12 as the US will be applying trade sanctions to the rail company’s subsidiaries, including Gefco.

Best source: The Loadstar (registration required)
Amazon expands European air freight operations

Amazon is building out its European air freight activities and is currently operating 18 daily Amazon Air flights in the region, up from just eight during the summer of 2021, according to the US-based Chaddick Institute. A majority of Amazon flights run through Cologne/Bonn and Paris Charles de Gaulle airports. ASL Aviation also operates a further 24 flights for the online retailer.

Best source: DVZ (subscription required, in German)
Maritime & Waterways

Rising shipping costs will impact consumer goods: Luxembourg Maritime Cluster head

Fabrice Maire, chairman of the Luxembourg's Maritime Cluster, says rising fuel prices are making shipping more expensive and the extra cost is being passed on to the consumer, noting that 90% of products consumed in Luxembourg are transported by sea. He also notes that disposal costs for waste containing oils and fats are also rising. The cost of maritime transport has increased fivefold on average worldwide since 2020, according to the Freightos Baltic Index.

Best source: Paperjam (in French)
Port of Rotterdam starts drone safety rules pilot

The Port of Rotterdam is launching a pilot programme to enable it to establish a set of regulations to ensure traffic safety for drones in very low-level airspace. The port says that, in the future, drones will be used alongside vessels, trains and trucks for the transport of freight and passengers at the location.

Best source: Port Technology

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