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

Supply chains are under pressure, with the WTO having recently revised its forecasts for global growth in traded goods from 2.6% in April to just 1.2% for this year, and from 3% to 2.7% for 2020. Germany’s auto industry has been hit by weakness in the Chinese market, where growth is at its lowest for decades, and the air cargo sector has been in decline for 10 months, impacted by the US-China trade conflict. In this difficult economic situation, C4L president Carlo Thelen says the Chamber of Commerce and Cluster for Logistics aim to help companies navigate the potential pitfalls and consolidate the sector’s continuing growth, illustrated by an increase in dedicated warehousing of 280,000 square metres since 2013. Thelen stresses the need for increased digitalisation and skilled human resources for Luxembourg to strengthen its place among Europe’s logistics centres.

Top Stories


Luxembourg delegation conducts China logistics trade mission

Luxembourg's minister for mobility and public works and deputy prime minister, François Bausch, has been heading a mission to China to promote further co-operation in the logistics sector. The delegation was scheduled to visit Chendu’s Qingbaijiang Railway Freight Station, from where a train will depart for the Bettembourg-Dudelange Intermodal Terminal on a test journey. The planned China-Luxembourg commercial rail link is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

Best source: Wort (in German)
Luxembourg offers low-risk environment for supply chain: DHL Consulting

Luxembourg is better placed than its closest neighbours to offer a low-risk environment for the supply chain, according to an international ranking compiled by DHL Consulting. At the recent Cluster for Logistics conference on Change Management and Resilience in the Supply Chain, DHL Consulting's global head of technology, Daniel Küster, pointed out that supply chain risks range from natural disasters and political and social instability to structural problems impacting flows and production. The Cluster for Logistics has presented an overview of new technologies that are shaping the future of supply chains: Innovation Drivers for the Logistics Industry (access with password: c4l2019).

Best source: Cluster for Logistics (in French)
See also: Lëtzebuerger Journal (in German)
Shippers’ organisation unveils indexing tool for IMO 2020-compliant fuels

The European Shippers’ Council and Drewry have developed a simplified bunker adjustment factor indexing mechanism to support shippers’ switch to IMO 2020-compliant fuels at the start of next year. Drewry says the tool will help to improve transparency on higher fuel costs incurred by shipping lines and forwarders.

Best source: Lloyd's Loading List
Digital Logistics
IBM unveils blockchain-based logistics solution

IBM has launched the Sterling Supply Chain Suite solution, based on artificial intelligence, blockchain and internet of things technologies. The service enables distributors, manufacturers and retailers to integrate their own and suppliers’ data, and networks with a distributed ledger to track parts and products.

Best source: Computerworld
IAG Cargo deploys IoT tracking solution

IAG Cargo, the cargo-handling subsidiary of International Airlines Group, is offering a new freight tracking solution via Cargo Signal’s internet of things-based logistics platform. The product, available with three service levels, provides sensor-based shipment tracking and visibility through web and mobile applications.

Best source: American Shipper
Perishables & Pharma


Mercedes trials refrigerated electric van in Belgium

Mercedes-Benz Vans and German refrigerated vehicle specialist Kerster have developed the Polarfuchs, a fully electric last-mile delivery vehicle based on the Mercedes eVito. The van, whose cooling equipment is connected to the vehicle’s electrical system to minimise the need for additional batteries, was deployed last month in a four-week trial with Belgian fresh meals provider HelloFresh.

Best source: Vision Mobility (in German)
Brussels Airport tests perishables app

Brussels Airport has begun trialling a perishables management app on its its BRUcloud open data sharing platform. The app supports communications and documentation exchange relating to the perishables inspection process, and will also provide shipment status in real time.

Best source: Aircargo World
Blackstone launches €8bn logistics real estate business

Blackstone has launched an €8bn pan-European last-mile logistics real estate company, Mileway, to operate the approximately 1,000 assets owned by Blackstone-managed funds. The properties are located in urban centres across Europe, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, the Nordic countries, Spain and the UK.

Best source: Investment & Pensions Europe
Blackstone acquires €260m French logistics portfolio

Blackstone has acquired a €260m French logistics portfolio from Patrizia, which sold the assets on behalf of the TransEuropean Property Partnership VI fund. The portfolio comprises 10 properties totalling 362,721 square metres that are 100% leased to tenants including Kuehne & Nagel, Geodis, Rhenus and Amazon.

Best source: Property Funds World
Savills rolls out third European logistics fund

Savills Investment Management has launched European Logistics Fund 3, which will invest mainly in distribution centres and cross-docking properties. The fund, which has a minimum target investment volume of €600m, had received €122m in capital commitments from two German institutional investors at its first close.

Best source: Property Funds World
Regulation & Procedures


EU invests €117m in transport via Connecting Europe Facility

The EU is investing more than €117m in 39 transport projects, including improved cross-border rail links, port infrastructure upgrades and reduced freight train noise pollution. Among the projects is a €12.7m upgrade of the Bremen-Groeningen cross-border rail link. The initiative will be supported via the Connecting Europe Facility, a funding vehicle for infrastructure investment in transport, energy and digital services.

Best source: Global Railway Review
Brexit to transform European logistics: former World Economic Forum logistics head

The UK's departure from the EU is set to reshape the European logistics landscape, impacting goods manufacturing and storage distribution, says consultant Wolfgang Lehmacher, the former head of supply chain and transport industries at the World Economic Forum. After Brexit, the UK will no longer be able to function as a key EU entry and exit gateway as administrative burdens and potential delays hamper supply. He expects UK warehousing and distribution facilities to migrate to the EU, predominantly to the Benelux countries.

Best source: American Shipper
Express & eCommerce
Lineas connects Ghent port to European network

Lineas has launched a new freight rail service between its Antwerp hub and North Sea Port Ghent. The move links the port to Lineas’s European Green Xpress intermodal network linking 12 centres: Madrid, Barcelona and Tarragona (Spain), Hendaye (France), Schkopau (Germany), Lovosice (Czech Republic), Curtici (Romania), Malmö (Sweden), Milan (Italy), Wels and Vienna (Austria), and Basel (Switzerland).

Best source: RailFreight
ViaEurope opens Liège Airport facility

Dutch e-logistics and customs clearance firm ViaEurope has opened a hub at Liège Airport, its second facility after Schipol Airport. The company is deploying its proprietary e-Hub technology for customs clearance and parcel handling in Belgium.

Best source: Aircargo News
New China rail connection to Liège

The Chinese city of Yiwu and the Alibaba-backed Electronic World Trade Platform have launched a twice-weekly 82-container rail freight connection between Yiwu and Liège. Alibaba’s Cainiao Smart Logistics Network subsidiary last year selected Liège Airport as its European logistics hub.

Best source: RailFreight
Maritime & Waterways


Port of Rotterdam develops container tracking app

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has launched Boxinsider, a tracking app that enables shippers and freight forwarders to check the location of their containers at any time. The app relies on status information from container vessels, along with inland and deep-sea terminals, to keep track of containers and to forecast ship arrival and departure times.

Best source: Ship Technology
Rotterdam completes waterway deepening to expand access

The Port of Rotterdam and the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management have completed the deepening of the Nieuwe Waterweg and Botlek section of the port by 1.5 metres over a distance of 25 kilometres. The €70m project enables vessels with a depth of 15 metres to access the port.

Best source: World Maritime News
Cargill and Maersk test fuel-saving technologies

Agribusiness group Cargill is partnering with Maersk Tankers and logistics firm Mitsui to develop fuel-saving solutions to lower emissions in the shipping sector. Cargill will trial existing fuel-saving technologies in its ocean transportation fleet alongside tankers provided by Maersk, with Mitsui installing the equipment.

Best source: Edie
Hapag-Lloyd embraces AI for fleet scheduling

Hapag-Lloyd is deploying Portchain’s artificial intelligence-powered planning solution to support fleet scheduling. Portchain says its predictive algorithms can identify potential schedule issues to improve reliability and reduce fuel costs.

Best source: The Loadstar
Antwerp container traffic up more than 6% in first nine months

The Port of Antwerp has reported container throughput up 6.4% in the first nine months of this year, with all regions apart from Latin America showing growth. The port authority says world trade uncertainty has not yet impacted container traffic, and it continues to develop transport to hinterland areas by rail and waterway.

Best source: Container Management
Green Logistics
DHL Express tests StreetScooter in Luxembourg

DHL Express Luxembourg is testing StreetScooter, a zero-emission electric delivery vehicle launched in Luxembourg this summer by Cube 4T8, a subsidiary of the Losch Group. The StreetScooters, which have a range of 200 kilometres and a cargo capacity of 600 kilos, are being used for the delivery and collection of envelopes and packages in the centre of Luxembourg City.

Best source: L'Essentiel (in French)
StreetScooter unveils upgraded electric delivery vehicles

Deutsche Post DHL-backed StreetScooter has unveiled two upgraded electric delivery vehicles with larger payload capacities. The Work and Work L models can be recharged more rapidly, reaching an 80% charge in five hours.

Best source: Emobilitaet Online (in German)
Amazon expands last-mile fleet with 100,000 electric vans from Rivian

Amazon has ordered 100,000 electric delivery vans from Michigan-based start-up Rivian in a purchase likely to have significant repercussions throughout the logistics industry, according to analysts. The announcement, made as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the company's plans to counter climate change, could give Amazon a larger last-mile fleet than UPS by 2024. Amazon will take delivery of the first Rivian vans next year.

Best source: Trucks
Maersk to limit IMO 2020 fuel fees

Maersk Line says it will charge only the extra cost of compliance with the upcoming introduction of new IMO 2020 low-sulphur fuels. The company says it will modify bunker adjustment factors based on the price of low-sulphur fuels starting in January for long-term contracts. However, it will introduce an environmental fuel charge for spot business and contracts of less than three months’ duration.

Best source: American Shipper
XPO Logistics expands natural gas vehicle fleet

XPO Logistics has purchased 100 Stralis NP tractors, which use a combination of liquified and compressed natural gas, from Iveco for its French less-than-truckload network. The deal takes the number of natural gas vehicles in XPO’s fleet to 170, and the company says it is also trialling alternative fuels in various transportation segments in Europe.

Best source: Transport Engineer

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