Logistics News Briefing
March 2020
Top Stories
Digital Logistics
Perishables & Pharma
Regulation & Procedures
Express & eCommerce
Maritime & Waterways
Green Logistics

While retail and industrial companies are struggling to assess the business outlook amid the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, logistics firms are seeking to avoid being left helpless by volatility in demand and transport capacity. Good cash management and a strong balance sheet are critical to responding effectively to the disruption seen in global supply chains since the Chinese New Year and recently European regional supply chains as well. To support digital supply chains, C4L ensured that its start-up matchmaking event could go ahead on March 12. The logistics sector is also facing the likelihood of a recession in the main economies in 2020. This will remain a tough year, but a good plan B and IT capabilities are the best assets on which to build for recovery.

Top Stories

Luxembourg Airport introduces cargo data-sharing IT platform

Luxembourg Airport is in the process of introducing a cargo community IT system to facilitate more efficient logistics planning and execution. This year will see the initial implementation phase, starting with a limited number of users focused on perishables and live animal shipments. This system is a key component of the Luxembourg Single Window for Logistics programme, a state-supported initiative to promote more effective collaboration and communication between logistics stakeholders. It aims to provide a neutral IT platform for the real-time capture and sharing of shipment processing data across the logistics industry.

Best source: Luxembourg Chronicle
See also: Air Cargo Eye
Cargolux celebrates 50th birthday

Cargolux celebrated its 50th anniversary on March 5, launching a dedicated website to mark the event. The company was founded by Luxair, Loftleiðir Icelandic and Salén Shipping Group, beginning operations with a single aircraft, a Canadair CL-44.

Best source: Paperjam (in French)
Matchmaking event highlights opportunities and business priorities

The Cluster for Logistics and its partners hosted the fourth matchmaking event for innovative international transport and mobility start-ups on March 12. The session was a good opportunity to identify new projects and to consider priority measures for strengthening the industry in times of economic uncertainty. Following the presentation of the start-ups' pitches and a Q&A session, the jury and audience voted on awards for the most innovative, scalable and profitable start-ups: Freightfinders took the jury's best start-up award and Pragma Mobility received the audience award.

Best source: Cluster for Logistics
Thomas Wimmer succeeds Blackburn as head of Germany’s BVL

Bundesvereinigung Logistik, the largest German logistics industry association, has appointed Thomas Wimmer as chairman, succeeding Robert Blackburn. As part of the reorganisation, BVL has restructured its board with Frank Dreeke of BLG Logistics Group joining as deputy chairman and Stefan Wolff of 4flow becoming accounting officer.

Best source: Bundesvereinigung Logistik (in German)
Digital Logistics
DB Cargo rolls out digital rail platform

DB Cargo has launched its new link2rail platform for all its digital services to improve order processing, the management of empty cars, tracking and tracing of shipments, and invoice data organisation. DB Cargo says link2rail also connects to its Wagon Intelligence system, which is based  on sensor-equipped cars.

Best source: Freightweek
Lufthansa Cargo links up with Fleet portal

Lufthansa Cargo is connecting its smart booking and tracking API with US-based cargo portal Fleet Logistics. The two companies say the tie-up will simplify Fleet users’ quoting and booking procedures, and will provide them with instant air freight rates along major trade lanes.

Best source: Aircargo News
Perishables & Pharma

Cool Chain Association, Cargo iQ partner on temperature-controlled tools

The Cool Chain Association has joined forces with Cargo iQ to launch a new initiative for temperature-controlled supply chains. The pilot programme of the Care Mapping Project will initially focus on pharma, with Cargo iQ developing planning and control tools and standards, while also evaluating shipment conditions.

Best source: AirCargo News
Luxembourg perishables expertise on display at Fruit Logistica

Luxembourg was present for the third time at the Fruit Logistica trade fair in Berlin on February 5-7, with a booth that showcased its know-how as well as products and services. Many attendees joined a booth party on February 6 featuring a round table under the title 'Perishables & Logistics 2025 - Luxembourg: Why not?'

Best source: Cluster for Logistics
Clarion Gramercy invests in three French warehouse assets

Clarion Gramercy is forward-funding two northern French warehouse developments - in Reau outside Paris, and in Brebières close to the Belgian border - for a total €122.5m. CG has also acquired a warehouse let on long leases from Amundi Real Estate for €11.5m near Dijon.

Best source: Property Funds World
Investec picks up €900m Ares stake in European portfolio

Investec Property Fund has acquired Ares Management Corporation Real Estate’s stake in the two companies’ pan-European logistics portfolio for more than €900m. The portfolio comprises 40 properties, totalling more than 1m square metres across 31 locations in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.

Best source: Eurobuild CEE
Global air cargo down 3.3% in January

Global air cargo volumes decreased 3.3% year-on-year in January, the 10th consecutive month of decline, according to IATA. While the association says the Covid-19 coronavirus severely disrupted global supply chains, it did not have a major impact on January’s numbers. However, CLIVE Data Services expects February volumes to be down 9%, largely as a result of the epidemic.

Best source: Aviation Pros
Regulation & Procedures

EU set to suspend ghost flight regulations

The EU is preparing legislation that will temporarily enable airlines to retain their airport slots without needing to fly empty planes on so-called ghost flights, following pressure from the sector and from environmental groups. Airlines are normally required to operate four-fifths of scheduled services in order to keep their slots.

Best source: Euronews
Germany to suspend Sunday truck operation ban

Germany’s ban on trucks operating on Sundays is set to be lifted completely by the end of April in order to ease the supply of medicines and food to pharmacies and stores across the country amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Federal Transport Ministry has announced it is not planning to impose restrictions on rail transport, with the exception of routes to Italy.

Best source: Transport Online (in German)
Dutch trade group lobbies for longer trains

Dutch trade and logistics association Evofenedex has asked its government to co-ordinate with neighbouring countries to allow longer freight trains on the main European rail corridors. Last year, the Dutch government and infrastructure operator ProRail took steps to permit 740-metre-long trains on the national network, up from the previous maximum of 650 metres.

Best source: Railfreight
Express & eCommerce
Cargolux takes 747 fleet to 30 aircraft

Cargolux has acquired a 747-400F operated by CargoLogicAir to take its all-747 fleet to 30 aircraft. Cargolux currently has 14 747-8Fs and 16 747-400Fs.

Best source: Cargo Facts
Luxair posts 6.7% cargo decline for 2019

Luxair Group handled 893,090 tonnes of cargo in 2019, down 6.7% from 2018. The total also represented a decline from the 2017 figure of 939,796 tonnes.

Best source: Luxair
Luxembourg introduces free public transport

Luxembourg has become the first country in the world to offer free-of-charge public transport services. The government said the move was aimed at tackling road congestion and pollution, in addition to supporting low earners.

Best source: Reuters
Champ signs five-year Oman Air deal

Champ Cargosystems has secured a five-year contract with Oman Air Cargo for its suite of e-cargo solutions. Under the terms of the deal, the carrier will continue using Champ's Traxon cargoHUB and Traxon Global Customs products, and will also add two new solutions, Traxon Global Security and Traxon CDMP.

Best source: AirCargo News
French rail freight firms look to boost market share

French rail cargo companies have formed the 4F – Fret ferroviaire français du future – coalition to promote a rail recovery programme for France. The grouping says it wants government measures introduced that will see the doubling of rail’s freight market share by 2030.

Best source: L’antenne (in French)
Amazon to build new cargo facility at Leipzig/Halle Airport

Amazon is adding a cargo hall covering 20,000 square metres to its existing operations at Leipzig/Halle Airport. The airport says the project will improve operational processes on the site.

Best source: Aircargo News
XPO to integrate K+N UK logistics into European network

XPO Logistics has acquired Kuehne + Nagel’s UK contract logistics operations that include inbound and outbound distribution, reverse logistics management and inventory management. XPO will add the UK operations to its technology platform in order to optimise its pan-European network.

Best source: Logistics Management
Maritime & Waterways

Coronavirus to hit Port of Hamburg container volumes

The business impact of the Covid-19 coronavirus epidemic will hit the Port of Hamburg starting mid-March, according to Port of Hamburg Marketing, an association of public and private sector entities at the port. The organisation says it expects container volumes to drop sharply due to the pandemic.

Best source: Reuters
Haropa ports launch recovery plan

The Haropa ports of Paris, Le Havre and Rouen have announced new stimulus measures targeting container traffic, following losses incurred from industrial action in December and January. The package, which has the backing of mooring and tug operators, unions and other stakeholders, will see participants sharing the extra costs of import container storage costs, equivalent to 100,000 containers at €30 a day. Harp will contribute €18 per box.

Best source: The Loadstar
P&O doubles Port of Rotterdam capacity

P&O Ferries has doubled its Europoort rail capacity with the launch of a second line into its Port of Rotterdam terminal. The facility is now able to handle up to four trains of 36 trailers for eight services to and from European locations.

Best source: RailFreight
Rotterdam, DHG plan huge new warehouse complex

The Port of Rotterdam is partnering with logistics real estate developer DHG to develop a warehouse complex on the Distripark Maasvlakte West, in what will be the largest Dutch facility of its kind. The site will cover at least 210,000 square metres and is scheduled for completion by January 2022. Around half the space will be rented by Odin Warehousing, which focuses on the storage of sustainable products such as solar panels.

Best source: Port Technology
Green Logistics
Dutch government under pressure over planned air cargo levy

Dutch trade and logistics association Evofenedex is putting pressure on the government to abandon a proposed green air cargo tax which it claims could wreck air freight facilities in the Netherlands. The authorities are looking to impose a levy on the maximum take-off weight and raise around €200m a year. However, Evofenedex believes the tax will lead to many cargo flights being relocated outside the country.

Best source: The Loadstar
Deutsche Post/DHL looks to stop StreetScooter production

Deutsche Post/DHL says it plans to halt production of its StreetScooter electric local delivery van at the end of this year after failing to find a buyer for the business. However, Günther Schuh, one of the co-founders of StreetScooter, which Deutsche Post/DHL acquired in 2014, says he is interested in acquiring the company.

Best source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German)

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