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

The New Year has begun with severe concerns about inflation alongside the rapid spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant. Sharply higher energy prices, resource scarcity and supply chain disruptions are influencing the cost of basic goods and services alike, reducing consumer purchasing power. Markets therefore expect a turbulent year ahead, with the potential for unorthodox measures being adopted in an attempt to restrain inflation without crippling growth. However, the mismatch between demand and supply is not just affecting industry and logistics. Labour markets are seeing a large disparity in unemployment and unfilled jobs, including in Luxembourg, which is beginning to experience the shortage of truck drivers that has already affected neighbouring countries.

The Cluster for Logistics wishes all subscribers and members a Happy New Year and invites you to save the dates for its activities in 2022:

Top Stories

Truck driver shortages affecting Luxembourg logistics companies: industry group

Luxembourg is beginning to experience the shortage of truck drivers that has affected neighbouring countries, according to Antoine Ries of the Association of Luxembourg Transport Companies. He says changes to the social security system that came into effect last year have made the grand duchy less attractive to drivers from Belgium, France and Germany, which make up around two-thirds of the total for Luxembourg haulage companies. Drivers must now pay social security contributions in their country of residence if they spend more than a quarter of their working time there, and Ries says that discussions with the Social Security Ministry to reach agreements with neighbouring countries have not been successful.

Best source: Wort (in German)
See also: Wort (in French)
See also: Luxembourg Times
André Hansen named Luxembourg’s maritime affairs commissioner from April

The Luxembourg government has approved the appointment of André Hansen as commissioner for maritime affairs, succeeding Robert Biwer, who will retire at the end of April. Hansen, 41, is currently deputy head of the directorate-general for foreign trade and investment promotion in the Economy Ministry.

Best source: Luxembourg Chronicle
See also: Wort (in German, subscription required)
European Commission unveils new freight proposals

The European Commission has adopted a set of proposals to modernise the EU’s transport system and reduce emissions that include specific plans for the freight sector. The Commission is calling for more transhipment terminals, improved handling capacity at terminals, reduced waiting times at rail border crossings, longer trains to transfer more freight onto cleaner transport modes, and the option for lorries to be transported by rail networks. It also wants to create European Transport Corridors integrating rail, road and waterways.

Best source: Rail Journal
Digital Logistics & Innovation
Deutsche Post DHL sells EV maker StreetScooter

Deutsche Post DHL Group has sold its light commercial electric vehicle manufacturer StreetScooter to Luxembourg-based holding company Odin Automotive. The deal gives Odin the rights to StreetScooter’s intellectual property, production lines and subsidiaries in Switzerland and Japan. StreetScooter will continue to supply vehicle parts and batteries for Deutsche Post DHL’s planned last-mile fleet expansion from 17,000 to 21,500 electric vehicles. Odin has the backing of several institutional and private global investment companies, along with a Chinese OEM.

Best source: Post & Parcel
Cargolux signs up to new cargo management system

Cargolux has signed a long-term agreement with IBS Software to replace its cargo management system with the latter’s iCargo solution. Cargolux says the deployment of iCargo will provide it with enhanced data sharing, enabling it to improve coordination with partners.

Best source: Stat Times
CHAMP agrees Cargospot extension with Japan Airlines

Japan Airlines has extended its Cargospot cargo management system agreement with CHAMP Cargosystems for a further five years. JAL has been using Cargospot since 2014 to develop a fully digitalised cargo business platform, along with an API-based solution that allows customers to compare and book from multiple air-to-air and ground transportation options.

Best source: Stat Times
Green Logistics
ArcelorMittal extends CFL transport agreement

ArcelorMittal has signed a new contract with CFL cargo for the transport of raw materials and products from the steelmaker’s production sites in Luxembourg and elsewhere in Europe. As part of the agreement, which aims to ensure as much cargo as possible is transported by rail in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, CFL cargo will use an adapted wagon fleet to carry long steel products.

Best source: Rail Freight
Lenovo opts for sustainable flights with Lufthansa, DB Schenker

Electronics manufacturer Lenovo has begun shipping freight from Shanghai to Frankfurt on carbon-neutral flights operated by Lufthansa Cargo and DB Schenker. The China-Germany service, which is powered by sustainable aviation fuel, launched in April last year.

Best source: Stat Times
Maersk to acquire four methanol-powered container ships

Maersk has exercised an option with Hyundai Heavy Industries to buy four methanol-fuelled boxships, adding to the eight it commissioned from the company last year. Maersk says the 12 ships will save 1.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, equivalent to 4.5% of its fleet emissions.

Best source: Lloyd’s List (subscription required)
Engie, Equinor examine hydrogen prospects at North Sea Port

Energy giants Engie and Equinor have launched a study into the feasibility of producing low-carbon hydrogen from natural gas at North Sea Port in Ghent. The research forms part of Belgium’s H2BE project, which aims to produce hydrogen using autothermal reforming technology in combination with carbon capture and storage. Any carbon dioxide captured by the process would be transported in liquid form for storage at a location beneath the North Sea.

Best source: Port Technology
Perishables & Pharma

Stef, Nagel finalise Langdon acquisition

Stef and the Nagel Group have completed the acquisition of UK cold chain specialist Langdon Group following competition authority approval. Langdon Group, a leading importer and exporter of fresh and frozen food products between the UK and continental Europe, handles around 2.7 million pallets a year for some 2,000 clients.

Best source: Fresh Plaza
Allianz, VGP partner on €2.8bn logistics property venture

Allianz Real Estate and Czech semi-industrial real estate developer VGP have formed a 50/50 joint venture to build a portfolio of logistics assets in Germany, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia. The partners are looking to create a gross asset value of €2.8bn for the venture within five years through the exclusive acquisition of assets developed by VGP. This is the fourth such tie-up between the two companies since 2016.

Best source: Handelsblatt (subscription required, in German)
Patrizia acquires €230m Dutch distribution hub

German property investment manager Patrizia has acquired a 233,000-square-metre distribution centre under construction in Rotterdam from Dutch logistics developer DHG for €230m. The new hub will comprise 10 warehouse units of up to 22,000 square metres, alongside mezzanine space, outside storage and offices.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
CBRE purchases Polish logistics portfolio

CBRE Investment Management has acquired the Nexus logistics portfolio in Poland from European Logistics Investment for an undisclosed sum of behalf of a client. The deal involves eight buildings in six warehouse complexes developed by Panattoni, covering a total of 211,803 square metres.

Best source: Eurobuild CEE
Generali Real Estate picks up Polish logistics park

Generali Real Estate has acquired the 33,600-square-metre, fully-leased 7R Park Krakow IX logistics park on behalf of the pan-European Generali Real Estate Logistics Fund for an undisclosed amount. The Polish deal was the second logistics transaction Generali Real Estate completed with 7R in 2021, following the acquisition of a warehouse complex in Gdansk.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
Regulation & Procedures

2022 set to be pivotal year for ESG reporting

This year is set to be the year when environmental, social and governance reporting starts to become widespread, driven by increasingly stringent regulations globally. Historically voluntary, ad-hoc and focused on communicating aspiration, ESG reporting is due to be a mandatory requirement in the EU following the adoption last year of the European Sustainability Reporting Standards, with the first set of standards to be enacted by way of delegated act by October, with 2023 being the first required reporting year. In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission is expected to publish a proposed climate change disclosure rule in the coming months, while the International Financial Reporting Standards Foundation is making progress on the creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board.

Best source: Corporate Compliance Insights
Express & eCommerce
24plus adds two German firms to European network

German general freight network operator 24plus has added two freight forwarders from the state of Baden-Württemberg to its platform, with Baden-based Fecht and Singen-based Maier coming onboard. The less-than-container-load network operated by 24plus comprises more than 60 partners across Europe.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Geodis to open second Dutch warehouse in three months

Geodis is building a new 9,000-square-metre warehouse in Venlo, just a few months after opening another Dutch hub in Almere. The Venlo facility is expected to become operational in the next few weeks and will be equipped with mobile autonomous robots, as in the 17,000-square-metre site at Almere.

Best source: Air Cargo Week
Transfracht, Container Terminal Osnabrück launch new German rail services

Container transport specialist TFG Transfracht and Container Terminal Osnabrück have begun offering six weekly direct rail services between Osnabrück and Hamburg. Export departures are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, while import departures are on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Instabox rolls out last-mile services in Germany

Swedish last-mile delivery company Instabox has launched in Germany with initial operations in the Berlin area, Hamburg and North Rhine-Westphalia. The start-up is already active in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, offering delivery services through its smart automated parcel lockers, or directly to the home for clients such as IKEA, Amazon and H&M.

Best source: Post & Parcel
Schiphol freight traffic up 15% in 2021

Schiphol Airport handled 1.7 million tonnes of cargo in 2021, up 15% on the previous year. There were 23,996 cargo-only flights at the airport, an increase of just 1% from 2020.

Best source: Aircargo News
Liège Airport reports 26% increase in cargo volumes

Liège Airport has reported a 26% year-on-year rise in cargo volumes, reaching a record 1.4 million tonnes for 2021. There were 38,393 cargo-aircraft movements last year, up 12% from 34,310 in 2020.

Best source: Aircargo News
Maritime & Waterways

Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven starts automation initiative

Eurogate Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven has launched a €150m automation project for its container handling operations. The terminal expects to offer the first automated berthing operations in 2024, enabling increased handling volumes at Germany's sole deep-water container terminal.

Best source: FreightComms
Hamburg port charges rise by 2%

The Hamburg Port Authority has increased port fees by an average of 2%. In addition, the authority has introduced a €300 discount for container ships of more than 360 metres in length. Fees at the Ports of Bremen have also risen by 2%.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Ports of Antwerp, Zeebrugge get merger approval

The Belgian Competition Authority has approved the proposed merger between the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge. The resulting Port of Antwerp-Bruges is Europe’s largest facility for vehicle transhipment, with a container volume of 157 million tonnes a year.

Best source: Bunkerspot (subscription required)

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