Logistics News Briefing
April 2019
Top Stories
Digital Logistics
Perishables & Pharma
Regulation & Procedures
Express & eCommerce
Maritime & Waterways
Green Logistics

The Chinese New Year was not the only reason for weaker cargo volumes in the first three months of 2019 after three positive quarters in 2018, according to data provider WorldACD, suggesting year-on-year growth could fall short of the forecast 2%-3%. The never-ending Brexit story continues to bring Europe damaging economic uncertainty, although BlackRock multi-asset strategist Russ Koesterich argues that no recession is likely soon, while the fund group sees China as a stabilising factor in the global economy, amid expectations that the US and China will reach agreement to end their trade conflict. The sector’s cautious optimism is embodied by the creation of the world’s fourth largest forwarder through the strategic acquisition of Panalpina by DSV. Meanwhile, a first train has set off from Luxembourg to Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province, opening up new export connections between western Europe and China along what has been dubbed the new Silk Road.

Top Stories

First new Silk Road freight train leaves Luxembourg for China

The inaugural train in the international direct rail freight service linking Luxembourg with Chengdu in China left the Bettembourg-Dudelange Intermodal Terminal on April 4, and is scheduled to arrive in Chengdu, in Sichuan province, on April 19. The route will cross Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan on its way to the Chengdu Qingbaijiang international rail terminal. The first shipments on what has been dubbed the new Silk Road comprise 41 containers of food, medical equipment, electronics, tools, ceramics and consumer goods.

Best source: Wort (in French)
See also: Paperjam (in French)
Luxembourg ranked second globally and first in Europe among smaller cargo airports

Luxembourg Airport has been ranked second worldwide and first in Europe among airports handling annual air freight volumes of less than one million tonnes in the 2019 Air Cargo Excellence Awards. The annual award winners are selected through the Air Cargo Excellence Survey, a poll of more than 1,700 market participants to determine the top cargo carriers and airports around the world based on several performance factors. The total of 16 awards to stand-out air cargo airlines and airports are among the most prestigious in the industry.

Best source: Air Cargo World
Digital Logistics
Uber ready to roll out Uber Freight offering in Europe

Uber is set to launch the Uber Freight app-based service for shippers in Europe in the coming weeks, beginning in the Netherlands. The platform, which has been operating in the US for two years, provides access to a network of carriers and drivers, with shippers able to generate real-time quotes, tender loads and track shipments.

Best source: Actu Transport Logistique (in French)
See also: Uber
XPO Logistics unveils digital freight marketplace in Europe

XPO Logistics has rolled out its XPO Connect cloud-based digital freight marketplace in Europe following last year’s launch in the US. The machine learning-driven platform provides shippers with information such as fluctuations in capacity, spot rates and load postings by geography to enable them to purchase freight transport services more efficiently.

Best source: Lloyd’s Loading List
Perishables & Pharma

Cargolux to lease temperature-controlled containers

Cargolux has signed an agreement to lease Sonoco ThermoSafe’s PharmaPort 360 temperature-controlled bulk shipping containers. The smart containers include an integrated, FAA-approved telemetry system to enable real-time, cloud-based data on payload, ambient temperature and key mechanical components, synchronised with GPS locations.

Best source: The Loadstar
Cool Chain Association launches data-based perishable shipment trial

The Cool Chain Association has launched a data-sharing pilot scheme to monitor perishable shipments on trade lanes from Latin America to Europe, and from the US to the Middle East. The three-month initiative starts in April to produce data for analysis and ideas for collaborative workflows to improve the cool chain and reduce waste.

Best source: Aircargo News
Air France KLM looks to innovate in pharma transport

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has announced it is planning to work more closely on pharmaceutical logistics with temperature-controlled container maker SkyCell. The freight carrier says it is looking to introduce innovation into pharma transport technology to provide customers with safe and sustainable services.

Best source: Ajot
BNP Paribas real estate business raises €200m for eurozone fund

BNP Paribas Real Estate Investment Management has raised half of its €400m target for the Eurozone Logistics Fund. The fund, which was launched in the third quarter of 2017, invests in warehouses in logistics hubs located throughout the eurozone.

Best source: IPE Real Assets
AEW takes total European logistics fund commitments to €2.3bn

AEW has raised €750m from existing investors for its pan-European logistics strategy, taking total net equity for the Logistis fund to €2.3bn. AEW says it targets investment in assets ranging from large multimodal logistics parks to urban logistics platforms in leading European hubs as demand for well-located flexible space increases.

Best source: IPE Real Assets
Regulation & Procedures

IATA sets process modernisation and standards as air cargo priorities

The International Air Transport Association has outlined its priorities for the air cargo sector at the World Cargo Symposium in Singapore last month. CEO Alexandre de Juniac said that IATA recognises further modernisation of many processes is essential to meet future demand, while global air cargo industry standards remain far from ideal, and open trade appears increasingly under threat.

Best source: Cargoforwarder
European freight demand slips 1% in February: IATA

The International Air Transport Association has reported a 1.0% year-on-year decline in European freight demand in February measured in freight tonne kilometres, while capacity increased 4.0% over the period. The organisation says the decline is consistent with weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters in Germany, while trade tensions and Brexit uncertainty contributed to a weakening in demand. Worldwide demand was down by 4.7% year on year, while capacity grew by 2.7%.

Best source: International Air Transport Association
Supply Chain Day events scheduled for April 11

European Supply Chain Day 2019 takes place on April 11, with events planned at various host locations in multiple markets. Organised by Germany’s Bundesvereinigung Logistik, the international event sees industry, trade and the logistics services sector organisations offering insights into logistics and supply chain management activities, and informing people about career options.

Best source: Bundesvereinigung Logistik (in German)
Luxembourg can use digital strengths to take advantage of Brexit: Zeniti

While Brexit will prove a challenge for the logistics sector, Luxembourg will have a digital advantage over some its rivals in the sector, according to Malik Zeniti, head of the Cluster for Logistics. He points to the grand duchy’s adoption of the e-CMR protocol for the digitalisation of freight-related documentation, resulting in lower costs, time savings in information processing, simplified customs procedures and more rapid billing processes. Luxembourg Airport's adoption of e-CMR has strengthened its position in the European freight market, while the protocol could also support Eurohub South’s multimodal operations.

Best source: Paperjam (in French)
New OCEIT forms issued in Luxembourg

The government has issued new OCEIT forms for import and export procedures in the grand duchy. The move follows the passage of new legislation regarding import, export and transit controls, as well as the introduction of the latest Luxembourg regulations covering the import, export and transit of dual-use goods, defence-related products and diamonds.

Best source: Luxembourg Government (in French)
See also: Luxembourg Government (in French)
Express & eCommerce
Belgian court approves seizure of Jost vehicles

The indictment division of a Liège court has approved the seizure of 346 truck tractors belonging to Luxembourg-based transport company Jost Group. Since 2015, The firm has been the subject of an investigation by the federal prosecutor’s office examining alleged social security fraud offences, involving the employment in Belgium of Eastern European nationals under contracts in their country of origin. The original seizure order was suspended on March 20, pending the decision by the indictment division. However, Jost says it has agreed to pay a surety of €7m to prevent the immobilisation of 250 of its vehicles.

Best source: RTC Télé Liège (in French)
See also: Wort (in French)
Cargolux doubles Budapest service to six flights a week

Cargolux has doubled its service to Budapest to six weekly connections, adding an extra flight to its three times weekly route from Hong Kong via Budapest to Luxembourg and introducing two weekly connections from Zhengzhou. Budapest is emerging as one of central Europe’s major cargo gateways, after Cargolux became the first cargo carrier to offer flights into Budapest airport in 2002.

Best source: L'essentiel (in German)
See also: Cargolux
Dubai’s dnata unveils cargo centre at Brussels Airport

Dubai airport services provider dnata has opened an €8m, 14,000-square-metre cargo centre at Brussels Airport to boost its freight capacity in the Benelux countries. Dnata is already the airport’s third cargo handler, and offers a dedicated infrastructure for pharmaceutical shipments.

Best source: Gulf News
Champ joins business innovation group Luxembourg Open Innovation Club

Champ Cargosystems has joined the Luxembourg Open Innovation Club, a business co-innovation group that already counts Cargolux and Luxair among its members. The organisation says Champ’s membership will bring a level of air cargo knowledge and expertise that will be highly beneficial to the community.

Best source: Aircargo News
Cargolux to move beluga whales to Iceland sanctuary

Cargolux has become the official transport partner of the Sea Life Trust and Whale and Dolphin Conservation, helping to move two beluga whales from China to Iceland this spring. The company will use a branded Boeing 747-400ERF freighter featuring the two performing whales, Little Grey and Little White, to transport them, along with a care team, to the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales off the southern coast of Iceland.

Best source: Cargolux
See also: Global Times
Maritime & Waterways

Port of Rotterdam promotes inland container transport

The Port of Rotterdam is partnering with the Multimodal Coordination Foundation and Brabant Advice Centre to boost inland container transport and take the pressure off road networks. The partners are planning to scale up the exchange of vessel and container data between the port and the Brabant region’s inland shipping terminals to improve planning.

Best source: Port Technology
Zeebrugge launches data platform ahead of Brexit

The Port of Zeebrugge and the Association of Port of Zeebrugge Interests have launched the RX/SeaPort data-sharing platform to reduce the impact of Brexit on operations. RX/SeaPort provides data on booking and pre-announcement, customs declaration, guidelines and procedures for departure and arrival at the terminal, as well as information on ferry services.

Best source: Port of Zeebrugge
Rotterdam rolls out rail freight data app

The Port of Rotterdam has launched its OnTrack application to provide real-time rail freight insight. The app combines data from multiple stakeholders in the rail chain to display the movement of cargo via rail networks and its handling at rail terminals to ease the planning process.

Best source: Port Technology
Green Logistics
Speakers at eXplore conference tackle supply chain sustainability issues

The third annual eXplore conference hosted by the Luxembourg Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management last month hosted 120 delegates and featured various industry and academic speakers discussing supply chain sustainability. European Commission policy officer Antonino Barbera Mazzola unveiled proposals for reducing heavy-duty vehicle emissions, while Anne Lange, associate professor in logistics and supply chain management at the University of Luxembourg, discussed measuring supply chain resilience. Maersk Group’s Annette Stube reported on the company’s efforts to reach its zero-emissions target by 2050.

Best source: University of Luxembourg
DHL launches German LNG truck with BMW

DHL Freight is trialling a daily truck and mega-trailer shuttle powered by liquefied natural gas between its logistics centre and a BMW plant in southern Germany. The move follows a Belgian trial last year with four heavy-duty, long-haul trucks in partnership with a sportswear manufacturer. DHL Freight believes the combination of an LNG truck and mega-trailer is a promising sustainable solution for automotive logistics.

Best source: Post & Parcel
CMA CGM partners to test marine biofuel

CMA CGM, Ikea Transport & Logistics Services, the GoodShipping Program and the Port of Rotterdam have joined forces to test the use of sustainable marine biofuel oil. The sustainable oil, which has been developed by GoodFuels and is derived from forest residues and waste oil products, is expected to deliver up to a 90% reduction in well-to-propeller carbon emissions compared with fossil fuel equivalents, while also virtually eliminating sulphur oxide emissions without the need for engine modifications.

Best source: CMA CGM
JCB rolls out all-electric forklift

JCB has added an all-electric forklift truck model to its Teletruk range. The zero-emission JCB 30-19E, which can work an eight-hour shift on a single charge, operates both indoors and outdoors, and is equipped with a JCB LiveLink telematics system for real-time measurement of energy consumption.

Best source: Logistics Manager

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