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

The end of the year is traditionally a time not only to look back but also to look forward. After a demanding 2021, the logistics sector is preparing for a volatile market in 2022. While some companies expect the strong economic climate to continue, this could be affected by capacity constraints and further disruptions. Luxembourg’s STATEC notes that the national economy continues to show resilience and is expected to grow by 7% in 2021 and by 3.5% in 2022. Like many analysts, the statistics institute sees inflation as temporary, driven by supply chain disruptions and transport bottlenecks as well as high fuel demand. However, companies and governments will need to relay a clearly communicated vision while staying agile to react to disruptions. Accelerated digitalisation will play an important role, and while artificial intelligence, data and sensors can support logistics firms’ operations, careful supply chain planning will be essential in determining whether a company succeeds or falls behind in the year ahead.

The Cluster for Logistics wishes all subscribers and members happy holidays, and invites you to save the dates for our activities in 2022:

Top Stories

Luxembourg signs zero-emissions MoU

Luxembourg is one of 15 signatory countries to have signed a global memorandum of understanding for a zero-emissions medium- and heavy-duty vehicle initiative that sets an interim goal of 30% zero-emission new vehicle sales by 2030, and a 100% zero-emission target for 2040. The project has been developed by the CALSTART grouping of vehicle manufacturers, government agencies, energy suppliers and other transport sector actors, together with the Dutch government.

Best source: Green Car Congress
Cargolux weighs up switch to Airbus

Cargolux is considering replacing its Boeing fleet with Airbus A350 aircraft going forward. The company says it is currently testing different planes to replace its ageing Boeing 747-400Fs, although it has yet to make a final decision.

Best source: (in German)
DB Schenker places large e-truck order with Volta

DB Schenker has placed an order for close to 1,500 electric trucks with Swedish manufacturer Volta Trucks. DB Schenker plans to deploy the first prototype Volta Zero 16t trucks in commercial distribution operations in the spring and summer of next year. The rollout will commence at 10 locations in five countries.

Best source: Freightcomms
Digital Logistics & Innovation
Caribbean Airlines Cargo goes with CHAMP Cargospot services

Caribbean Airlines Cargo has signed up to CHAMP Cargosystems’ suite of application programming interfaces for use with CHAMP’s revamped Cargospot Portal e-booking engine. The portal provides customers with features such as booking, pricing, master/house airway bills, status updates, and tracking.

Best source: Ajot
Deutsche Bahn cancels locomotive hybrid conversion project

Deutsche Bahn has shelved its programme to convert 300 of its 1970s diesel locomotives to a new hybrid diesel-battery configuration. The company says that while the Helms initiative, which began in 2015, has demonstrated the technical feasibility of the conversions, recent advances in fuels such as biodiesel have made these alternatives propositions far more economical.

Best source: International Railway Journal
Green Logistics
Daimler Truck, TotalEnergies to develop hydrogen trucks and infrastructure

Daimler Truck and TotalEnergies have signed a partnership agreement to create ecosystems to support heavy-duty trucks running on hydrogen. The initiative includes the development of hydrogen sourcing and logistics, hydrogen refuelling stations, and hydrogen-based trucks. Daimler Truck is looking to supply hydrogen fuel-cell trucks to customers in Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France by 2025, while TotalEnergies aims to operate 150 stations in those four markets, plus Germany, by 2030.

Best source: Autoevolution
Brussels Airport kickstarts green aviation programme

Brussels Airport has launched its Stargate greener aviation project after receiving a €24.8m grant under the European Commission’s European green deal programme. Along with a group of 21 partners, including airlines and other airports, Brussels Airport will work on around 30 projects ranging from the development of a biofuel blending installation to the use of electric vehicles for ground handling.

Best source: Aircargo News
Perishables & Pharma

RTR acquires 100 Thermo King refrigerated units

Refrigerated Trailer Rentals Holland has upgraded its refrigerated trailer fleet with 100 Advancer A-Series units from transport temperature control firm Thermo King, along with 24/7 real-time monitoring and remote diagnosis services. Dutch-based RTR, which offers short- and long-term trailer rental to its customers in the Benelux, Germany and the UK, opted for the A-Series to improve fuel and operational efficiency and to reduce its carbon footprint.

Best source: Global Cold Chain News
Ivanhoé Cambridge kicks off €400m last-mile logistics strategy

Ivanhoé Cambridge has launched a €400m last-mile logistics platform for northern Europe with the acquisition of seven Dutch assets for €70m in partnership with URBZ Capital. The two companies are looking to develop a portfolio of facilities in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium and the Nordic countries.

Best source: CRE Herald
Nuveen picks up raft of French last-mile facilities

Nuveen Real Estate is acquiring more than 20 French last-mile logistics assets for €167m. The company has acquired three portfolios of 17 facilities for €135m and has agreed to purchase a further four in 2022 for €32m. The total gross area of all properties is around 100,000 square metres.

Best source: Investment & Pensions Europe Real Assets (subscription required)
Macquarie acquires Polish last-mile assets

Macquarie Asset Management has acquired six Polish last-mile logistics assets from 7R for more than €63m on behalf of one of its managed accounts. The portfolio, acquired in stages over the course of one year, totals 80,000 square metres and comprises four recently-completed assets and two under construction. Macquarie’s Polish logistics footprint now amounts to around 480,000 square metres.

Best source: Property Funds World
Oxenwood purchases trio of German facilities

Oxenwood Real Estate has acquired three German logistics facilities in three separate transactions for more than €50m. The company is forward-funding the development of a speculative 12,000-square-metre last-mile centre in Neuss, and has picked up an 11,550-square-metre facility close to Munich Airport, as well as a 6,860-square-metre cold storage asset in Düsseldorf.

Best source: Property Funds World
European Logistics Investment, Panattoni start new Polish logistics hub build

European Logistics Investment and Panattoni have begun construction of a new logistics centre in Błonie, near Warsaw. The Park Warsaw West X project, which features nearly 49,000 square metres of warehouse space with 88 loading ramps and parking space for 14 trucks, is scheduled for completion in the second quarter of 2022.

Best source: Europa Property
Regulation & Procedures

European Commission publishes updated version of customs and trade classification

The European Commission has published the latest version of the Combined Nomenclature, which determines the rate of customs duty that applies to goods and how the goods are treated for statistical purposes. The new version, which will take effect on January 1, is available as Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/1832 in EU Official Journal L 385.

Best source: Single Window for Logistics
Grand duchy rail cargo down 18% in 2020

Luxembourg was one of six EU countries to experience a decline in rail freight transport in 2020, with the grand duchy posting a 17.7% decrease in volume, according to Eurostat. Rail freight traffic increased in five EU member countries, with Ireland experiencing the largest rise in volume at 29.7%.

Best source: Schengenvisainfonews
European Commission takes Germany to task over rail regulation implementation

The European Commission has referred the German government to the European Court of Justice for its failure to apply EU safety and interoperability regulations on its regional rail networks. Interoperability regulations require member states' rail infrastructure, rolling stock and signalling to be compatible with one another to facilitate cross-border train transport, while safety requirements include safe infrastructure and traffic management as well as good interaction between rail and infrastructure managers.

Best source: DVZ (in German, subscription required)
Express & eCommerce
Cargolux ranks among top 50 international carriers

Cargolux has entered the Transport Topics 2021 top 50 global freight carriers, taking 44th spot with freight revenue of almost $3.2bn. UPS topped the listing, taking over from FedEx, which slipped to second place ahead of China State Railway and Maersk, in third and fourth, respectively.

Best source: Transport Topics News
Luxembourg ranked eighth in EU for digital economy

Luxembourg has been ranked eighth in the European Commission’s latest Digital Economy and Society Index, which cites the level of the grand duchy’s digital public services for businesses and the presence of skilled individuals in the economy. The ranking also reflects the high general level of connectivity, for which Luxembourg ranked fourth among the 27 member states, and the country's above-average integration of digital technology.

Best source: Paperjam (in French)
See also: European Commission
DB Cargo sets up new Eurasia rail business

Germany’s DB Cargo has launched a DB Cargo Transasia subsidiary to develop rail freight services between China and Europe and make them an attractive alternative to sea and air transport. DB is looking to increase capacity on the Eurasian corridor from over 200,000 containers in 2020 to 500,000 by 2025.

Best source: Aircargo News
Swissterminal to launch Antwerp-Ottmarsheim service

Swissterminal is expanding its Schweizerzug rail offering with the launch of an intermodal connection between Antwerp and Ottmarsheim in north-eastern France, starting January 1. The new service will begin with three direct round trips per week, with the connection providing a weekly capacity of 540 TEU.

Best source: Lloyd’s Loading List
France to invest in rail cargo

The French government has announced plans to invest €1.35bn in the rail freight sector through to 2024. The state is looking to develop the maritime port rail network, increase train capacity, improve terminal connections and reduce train handling times.

Best source: L’Antenne (in French)
Maritime & Waterways

Port of Hamburg sets new container handling record

The Port of Hamburg handled a record 2.1 million TEU in rail-borne container transport in the first nine months of 2021, an increase of 8.3% on the same period in 2020. The port handled a total of 6.5 million TEU in the first three quarters, up 2.4% year-on-year.

Best source: Port Technology
Plug Power selects Port of Duisburg for European HQ

US hydrogen fuel cell maker Plug Power is building its European headquarters, including engineering labs as well as a monitoring, diagnostics and technical support centre, at the Port of Duisburg. The company chose the German port due to its direct maritime supply chain connections to Antwerp, Belgium and the Dutch port of Rotterdam.

Best source: Renewables Now
PROW Capital unveils €420m green maritime fund

Dutch sustainable investment management firm PROW Capital has launched a €420m green shipping fund providing debt finance for shipowners to invest in new vessels or retrofits to reduce emissions. To qualify for funding of between €15m and €50m, vessels need to outperform relevant emissions regulations.

Best source: Hellenic Shipping News

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