Logistics News Briefing
May 2023
Top Stories
Digital Logistics & Innovation
Green Logistics
Perishables & Pharma
Regulation & Procedures
Express & eCommerce
Maritime & Waterways

Following the cancellation due to Covid-19 in 2021, the logistics community was eager to meet again at the leading European logistics trade fair in Munich from May 9 to 12. For the 75,000 visitors, the bi-annual transport logistic trade fair is a highlight, bringing together existing partners and potential new customers. The recurring theme of this year’s fair was sustainability and resilience, and Federal Minister for Transport and Digital Infrastructure Volker Wissing spoke highly of the proceedings: “What you see here shows once again that the transport and logistics industry is right up there, when it comes to innovation, progress and modern technologies. Climate goals aren’t just nice words, but the industry takes them very seriously, as can be seen at every booth.”

After a year of good financial results for many logistics companies, maritime and airfreight volume trends are heading downward, with the second quarter set to provide a better overview of the effects from the 2022 multi-crisis.

Top Stories

The community meets again at Transport Logistic 2023 

The Cluster for Logistics and many Luxembourg companies headed to Munich in mid-May for Europe’s biggest logistics trade fair – held for the first time since 2019. The Cluster once again organised the Luxembourg Logistics Night, with 150 guests as well as 24 DT Logistics apprentices and teachers, all invited for a day to benefit from an overview of the many companies at the trade fair.

Best source: Cluster For Logistics
Cargolux posts 22% profit hike for 2022 after strong first half

Cargolux has reported a post-tax profit of $1.6bn for last year, up 21.9% on 2021. Revenues rose 14.7% year on year. The company says the result was boosted by a strong first half of 2021, which saw high revenues per tonne-kilometre and large volumes. Cargolux ended the year with a fleet of 30 aircraft comprising 16 Boeing 747-400 and 14 Boeing 747-8 freighters.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
See also: Cargolux
EU edges closer to sustainable and synthetic aviation fuel quotas

The European Council and the European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on the ReFuelEU aviation initiative which aims to decarbonise the aviation sector. Under the latest joint proposal, suppliers must ensure that all fuel used at European Union airports contains at least 2% sustainable aviation fuel beginning in 2025 and, from 2030, including a sub-quota of at least 1.2% synthetic fuel. Both quotas will increase progressively to 70% and 35%, respectively through to 2050. The proposal still requires full parliamentary and EU Council of Ministers approval.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
See also: European Council
Digital Logistics & Innovation
Auchan Luxembourg to add Skypod robots at Dudelange warehouse

French company Exotec's autonomous robots will soon be used to prepare orders placed at Auchan Luxembourg, with 37 Skypod robots currently being installed in the retailer's Dudelange warehouse, serving three picking stations and navigating among 15,000 storage bins to ensure 876 lines of order preparation per hour. It is the first time the Skypod technology has been installed in Luxembourg. Auchan says the investment will not impact its current workforce of 1,200 employees.

Best source: Paperjam (in French)
Deutsche Bahn completes initial digital automatic couplers testing

Deutsche Bahn has completed the first practical digital freight train trial with several prototypes of digital automatic couplers. The technologies automate an otherwise manual process, making it faster and safer. The German ministry for digital affairs and transport has already invested around €13m in the test and is planning to inject a further €7m in an additional phase.

Best source: RailFreight (subscription required)
Ports of Rotterdam and Mannheim partner on Dutch-German green transport project

The Port of Rotterdam has partnered with the Port of Mannheim to develop a zero-emissions transport corridor for freight transport by road, water, and rail. The two ports will look to facilitate the transport of alternative renewable energy carriers along the Rhine corridor between Rotterdam and Mannheim.

Best source: Port Technology (subscription required)
Breeze unveils automated all-risk cargo insurance

UK-based digital insurance firm Breeze has partnered with logistics software firm Ceedbox and freight forwarder Cardinal Global Logistics to develop an instant all-risk cargo insurance product. The new offering provides automated and constantly optimised quote generation, policy binding and claims processing.

Best source: Aircargo News (subscription required)
Green Logistics
HGK Shipping and Hydrogenious to build hydrogen-powered inland shipping vessel

German inland waterway shipping company HGK Shipping has joined forces with Hydrogenious LOHC Maritime and Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies to help make hydrogen widely available for inland transport. As part of the HyBarge project, the partners plan to develop and commission a demonstration ship powered by a fuel cell using hydrogen dissolved in a liquid carrier by 2028.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
CFL cargo and Bertani Trasporti launch new France-Poland rail connection

CFL cargo and Bertani Trasporti have launched a new rail connection between Gliwice Port in Poland and Marckolsheim in France. The train, which has a transport capacity of 19 wagons, will run two round trips per week on the 1,300km route, transferring the equivalent of more than 2,300 trucks from road to rail and saving around 10,200 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Best source: Global Railway Review
Renault opens low-carbon-vehicle learning platform

Renault Trucks has launched a Decarbonisation Academy e-learning service to support companies planning the transition to low-carbon-vehicle operation. The free platform provides a range of training courses and currently offers modules on alternative energies for road transport, e-trucks, lithium-ion batteries and case studies on decarbonising transport.

Best source: Cold Chain News (subscription required)
Perishables & Pharma

Lufthansa Cargo joins Pharma.Aero alliance

Lufthansa Cargo, Swiss WorldCargo and time:matters have become new members of the Pharma.Aero collaboration platform for medical technology and pharmaceutical firms, logistics companies and airport operators. Pharma.Aero aims to promote innovative solutions for the air transport of medical and healthcare goods. Lufthansa Cargo transports up to 1,400 tonnes of pharma items a week and its dedicated Frankfurt hub is Europe’s largest.

Best source: Freightweek
Hines picks up five facilities for European fund

Hines has acquired five logistics assets in the Netherlands, Spain and the UK for its Hines European Property Partners core-plus fund. The three Dutch facilities are located next to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, while the Spanish asset is close to Terminal 2 at Barcelona-El Prat, with the UK asset located in Warrington, northern England. In 2022, Hines completed €1.4bn in European logistics transactions and currently has 744,000 square metres of assets under construction in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK, increasing its assets under management and development to close to €3.2bn.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
Peakside acquires Frankfurt Airport assets

Peakside Capital Advisors has paid an indisclosed sum for three mixed-use logistics assets at Frankfurt Airport for its Peakside Real Estate Fund IV. Peakside plans to upgrade the facilities, which include a 20,000-square-metre parking deck at Frankfurt Airport’s CargoCity Süd air freight hub, to boost the logistics rental potential of the fund.

Best source: CRE Herald
Realterm purchases Dutch regional storage facilities

Realterm has acquired four industrial outdoor storage facilities in the Noord-Brabant and Limburg regions of the Netherlands for an undisclosed amount. The fully leased 74,352-square-metre portfolio comprises between eight and 15 drive-through maintenance bays at each property, depending on the location. The company says such facilities support transport movement and are a main focus of its strategy.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
Regulation & Procedures

European airports seek overhaul of EU slot rules

ACI Europe, the association representing European airports, has called on the European Union to modify its 30-year-old airport slot regulations to reflect the current competitive environment. The organisation argues that the rules were set by incumbent airlines and gave airports no say in capacity allocation and use. It asks for the slot rules to be updated to improve competition and connectivity.

Best source: Aviation24
Commercial operators handled majority of European rail freight for first time in 2022

Private sector companies had a 51% share of the European rail freight market in 2022, marking the first time non-state-owned operators have accounted for the majority of cargo activity by rail, according to the European Rail Freight Association. The private sector also comprises subsidiaries of national train operators acting as commercial entities. In 2010, incumbent operators accounted for a 75% market share.

Best source: RailFreight (subscription required)
European air cargo decline slowed in March: IATA

European carriers saw air cargo volumes decrease by 7.8% year on year in March, compared to a fall of 15.9% in the previous month, according to IATA, as airlines continue to be affected by the war in Ukraine. Global air cargo volumes declined by an annual 7.7% in March.

Best source: Aviation24
Express & eCommerce
Railcoop halts French rail freight services

French private rail company Railcoop has halted the operation of its sole freight service between Aveyron and Haute-Garonne and is returning its leased rolling stock to Ermewa and DB Cargo. The firm, which says it cannot continue operating the service at a loss, has also put on hold the launch of a proposed Bordeaux-Lyon line as it needs to adjust its business strategy.

Best source: Les Echos (subscription required, in French)
Belgian HGV tolls to increase in July

New heavy goods vehicles tariffs are set to come into force on Belgian roads on July 1. The new charges per kilometre will depend on the location of the road, the Euro emission standard of the truck and the gross vehicle weight category (3.5 to 12 tonnes, 12 to 32 tonnes, and more than 32 tonnes).

Best source: Trans Info
FedEx Express reopens refurbished Dutch logistics facility

FedEx Express has opened its redeveloped Dutch international road hub in Duiven. The 24,000-square-metre facility is located on a 148,000-square-metre site and features new sorting technology able to process around 200,000 parcels a day. It now boasts additional dock doors and new gates for faster entry, with a 20% increase in the trailer parking area.

Best source: Parcel & Postal Technology International
Magma rolls out first weekly China routing from Liège

UK-based cargo handler Magma Aviation has launched a new service between Liège Airport and China’s Nanchang Changbei International Airport, which will operate three to four times per week. Magma’s first China routing gives it 29 dedicated weekly flights per week for clients in Europe, the US, Asia and Africa, and the company says it plans to add further Asia-Pacific capacity in 2023.

Best source: Aviation24
Maastricht Aachen Airport begins runway upgrade to support freight services

Maastricht Aachen Airport has started a €35.3m runway upgrade to extend its operational length to better serve air cargo services. The airport is the second-largest cargo hub in the Netherlands, is CEIV-pharma certified and specialises in handling flowers, dangerous goods and e-commerce.

Best source: Aircargo News (subscription required)
Air France KLM freight cargo volumes down 12% in first quarter

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has reported a first-quarter 11.8% year-on-year drop in freight traffic to 1.6bn revenue-tonne kms, with revenues down 26.1% to €672m. The carrier says demand for air cargo declined due to slower growth of global trade and the partial rebound of sea freight.

Best source: Aircargo News (subscription required)
Geis acquires 66% of Quehenberger Logistics

Geis Group is acquiring a 66% majority stake in Quehenberger Logistics, with the remaining 34% held by previous majority owner Christian Fürstaller. The logistics service providers complement each other in terms of geography and performance, with both companies active in related business areas but mostly in different countries. In addition to the core markets of Germany and Austria, the group of companies, with around 10,000 employees and a turnover of approximately €2bn, is consolidating its presence particularly in Central and South-Eastern Europe.

Best source: The Loadstar
Maritime & Waterways

PSA Breakbulk opens Port of Antwerp breakbulk terminal

PSA Breakbulk has launched the Port of Antwerp’s first one-stop-shop breakbulk terminal facility offering infrastructure and equipment plus space to load, unload, store and handle all types of project cargo with direct tide-free access to the sea and the hinterland. The terminal has a 550-metre quay length and a draught of 13 metres, with a yard area of 140,000 square metres.

Best source: Container News
Haropa Port and Hapag-Lloyd launch weekly Asia service

France’s Haropa Port has partnered with Hapag-Lloyd to launch a new weekly service, FE9, to Asia. The Wednesday stopover at the Terminal de France in Le Havre is operated by Générale de manutention portuaire and offers connections with Singapore, taking 23 days, and Qingdao in China (37 days).

Best source: Port Technology (subscription required)
Rotterdam container volume declined 11.6% in first quarter

Port of Rotterdam container volume fell by 11.6% to 3.2 million TEU in the first quarter. The port had already seen a 5.5% decline year on year in 2022 due in part to a drop in traffic from Russia. Overall, 111.7 million tonnes of freight passed through Rotterdam in the first three months of the year, down 1.5% on the first quarter of last year.

Best source: Port Technology (subscription required)

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