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

As China begins the Year of the Metal Ox, representing hard work and strict responsibility, Europe is struggling to strike a balance between loosening Covid-19 restrictions and lowering infection rates. Analysts see ‘K-shaped’ economic development marked by uneven progress between but also within individual economic sectors. Logistics is in relatively good shape, reflected in high transport demand, which due to a worldwide shortage of containers has boosted prices across the industry.

Sustainable logistics will again head the Cluster for Logistics agenda this year, notably through the Lean & Green Initiative 2021, with workshop sessions from March to help companies draw up action plans to reduce logistics-related carbon emissions by more than 20%. We are also launching a bi-weekly podcast covering supply chain and logistics management news and issues, highlighting the transformation of logistics chains and efficiency gains.

Top Stories

Cluster for Logistics launches bi-weekly podcast

The Cluster for Logistics has launched its new podcast ‘Logistics Conversations’ for a local and international audience keen to learn more about the people behind the scenes of the logistics industry. Discover inspiring decision-makers and learn about their projects and passions on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud and our website.

UECC calls for European support for cross-border workers and logistics services

The Union of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry (UECC) is urging national governments and the European Commission to ensure fluid and reliable flows of goods and workers across European borders amid concern over the impact of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The association of 60 chambers of commerce and industry in six countries has published a resolution outlining five practical measures to ensure cross-border traffic flows and to provide legal security for cross-border commuters, transporters and logistics firms providing essential services during the pandemic.

Best source: Cluster for Logistics (in German)
Luxembourg joins call to boost use of sustainable aviation fuel

Luxembourg has joined seven other EU member states in calling on the European Commission to introduce the mandatory blending of sustainable fuel with kerosene to reduce aviation sector emissions. The move comes before publication of the findings of Brussels’ ReFuelEU initiative, which aims to boost supply and demand for sustainable fuels that currently account for just 0.05% of EU consumption.

Best source: Euractiv
Digital Logistics
duisport buys into rail tech firm

duisport has taken a stake in German rail technology company CargoBeamer, which has developed custom railway cars for the transport of craneable and non-craneable semi-trailers. CargoBeamer's fully automatic solution enables the loading and unloading of a 36-wagon cargo train in under 20 minutes.

Best source: Port Technology
Port of Antwerp installs smart bollards

The Port of Antwerp has deployed smart bollards to boost safety at quay walls by monitoring the tension on bolt connections. The first batch of five bollards, equipped by Belgian technology firm Zensor, has been installed at the North Sea Terminal, with more deployments in the pipeline.

Best source: Container Management
Port of Rotterdam joins Building Information Management platform

The Port of Rotterdam has joined the Dutch BIM Basis Infra initiative that enables the exchange of data on maritime infrastructure using a common terminology and format. The port says the move, which draws on Building Information Management and is part of an ongoing digitalisation strategy, will help to provide information management about assets such as quay walls and bollards.

Best source: Port Technology
Bolloré takes stake in French digital logistics start-up

Bolloré Logistics has acquired a major stake in French digital freight-forwarding start-up Ovrsea for an undisclosed amount. Ovrsea operates an online platform offering quotes and booking, along with real time monitoring and analytics for client shipments.

Best source: DVZ (in German, subscription required)
Green Logistics
Join the 2021 Lean & Green initiative

The Cluster for Logistics Luxembourg, in collaboration with the Ministry of Mobility and Public Works and DART Consulting, launched the Lean & Green program for 2021 with a virtual information event on January 19th. In an effort to further promote sustainable logistics, the Cluster for Logistics Luxembourg will organise virtual workshop sessions from March 2nd where companies can participate in the Lean & Green initiative by developing an action plan to reduce their logistics-related CO2 emissions by more than 20%. Join the new edition of the program and contribute to reducing CO2 emissions from logistics and transportation activities.

Best source: Cluster for Logistics
Port of Rotterdam considers green hydrogen facility

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is partnering with energy provider Uniper to investigate the opportunity for large-scale production of green hydrogen in the Maasvlakte area of the port. The two partners are aiming to build a 100MW hydrogen plant by 2025, with the option to expand to 500MW. The feasibility study will be completed by mid-2021.

Best source: Riviera
Airbus heads up hydrogen initiative for Paris airports

Airbus is leading a consortium that aims to expand the use of hydrogen at Paris airports. The grouping, which includes Air France-KLM, is calling for expressions of interest from parties that can help turn the airports into hydrogen hubs and eventually usher in hydrogen-powered aircraft.

Best source: Breaking Travel News
Hapag Lloyd completes $417m green finance agreement

Hapag Lloyd has concluded its first green finance deal with the completion of a sustainability-linked, $417m syndicated loan to finance half of the six 23,500 TEU container ships which the company ordered at the end of 2020. Hapag Lloyd says the new vessels’ high-pressure, dual-fuel engines are able to reduce CO2 emissions by between 15% and 25%, thereby meeting the requirements of the Loan Market Association’s green loan principles.

Best source: Maritime Executive
Perishables & Pharma

Air cargo sector gets new Covid-19 recommendations

The International Air Cargo Association and Pharma.Aero have released a second set of recommended practices for the transport and handling of Covid-19 vaccines. TIACA and Pharma.Aero are encouraging the adoption of a local air cargo community approach in implementing the latest requirements.

Best source: International Airport Review
WFS rolls out French pharma solution

Worldwide Flight Services has launched a new road service for pharmaceutical cargo from the French provinces to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport. On a weekly schedule, trucks with 2°C to 8°C temperature capabilities will leave Bordeaux, Mulhouse, Lyon and Strasbourg for the company’s hub at Paris CDG. Services from Lyon also offer a 15°C to 25°C option.

Best source: STAT Trade Times
Work begins on B Medical Systems plant extension at Hosingen

Luxembourg-based B Medical Systems has begun construction of an extension to its refrigeration systems manufacturing plant at Hosingen in response to a substantial increase in demand for its products arising from the need to store Covid-19 vaccines at ultra-low temperatures. The company, which manufactures ultra-low freezers, vaccine refrigerators, freezers and transport boxes, says the expansion project involves several Luxembourg construction companies, and the facility is expected to be operational by July, creating 150 jobs.

Best source: Wort (in German)
See also: Luxembourg Chronicle
PGIM, Alderan cooperate on French logistics investments

PGIM Real Estate and Alderan have formed a strategic partnership for acquiring and managing logistics assets in urban France, with PGIM taking a 90% stake in Alderan’s OPPCI Organa III fund. PGIM says some of the portfolio's assets have re-development potential and that it plans to selectively acquire assets from existing platforms, as well as launch new developments.

Best source: Property Funds World
Edmond de Rothschild fund makes first German logistics move

The Edmond de Rothschild Euro Industrial Real Estate Fund has made its first acquisition in Germany and is expecting to seal further deals in the market over the next six months. The German asset, located in Worms in Rhineland-Palatinate, provides 9,500 square metres of storage and production space and is let to a single tenant. Edmond de Rothschild is looking to enlarge the fund from its current €110m to at least €250m.

Best source: Property Magazine EU
Garbe picks up German new-build logistics properties

Garbe Industrial Real Estate has acquired a portfolio of four new-build logistics assets in Germany for two institutional clients at an undisclosed cost. The properties, with a combined lettable area of more than 110,000 square metres, are located in Regensburg, Beselich and Flieden, with three of the four already completed.

Best source: Investment & Pensions Europe Real Assets
Regulation & Procedures

Rail freight organisation urges more countries to lower track fees

The European Rail Freight Association is calling on more EU member states to lower track access charges to support the rail freight sector. Luxembourg, Austria, France, Germany and the Netherlands have already halted or reduced fees, and the association is arguing that cutting charges would make rail freight more competitive and stimulate economic growth after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Best source: Rail Journal
Air cargo down more than 10% in 2020

Global air cargo demand fell 10.6% last year from 2019, with another difficult year in prospect due to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to IATA. However, load factors increased 7.7% year-on-year due to a lack of capacity, which increased yields and revenues.

Best source: Flight Global
Express & eCommerce
China-Luxembourg rail link in doubt

A planned China-Luxembourg commercial rail link between Chengdu and the Bettembourg-Dudelange Intermodal Terminal is under threat as the project's Chinese partners have yet to commit to full backing for the service, according to Luxembourg transport minister François Bausch. The first test train carrying automotive and electronic components and textiles arrived in the grand duchy in November 2019.

Best source: Delano
Cargolux among top Boeing 747 freighter operators

Cargolux is among the top three operators of Boeing 747 freighters globally, according to data analytics firm Spire. Research shows that at the end of last year Atlas Air was operating 44 Boeing 747 freighters, UPS 32 and Cargolux 26. In total, there were 304 B747Fs in operation by the end of 2020, up from 296 at the start of the year, while other four-engine aircraft were grounded due to a lack of passenger demand.

Best source: Air Cargo News
Luxembourg, Belgium seek European Commission funds for inter-city rail connection

The Luxembourg and Belgian governments are lobbying for the European Commission to provide funds for engineering maintenance of the Luxembourg-Brussels rail link. An estimated €300m is required to support civil engineering, electrical, track and signalling works along the 175-kilometre line.

Best source: Wort (in French)
Luxembourg Airport posts 6% rise in air freight for 2020

Luxembourg Airport handled 947,000 tonnes of cargo in 2020, up 6% on the previous year, according to Airports Council International. With the airport closed to passenger travel from March until the end of May, passenger traffic declined 68% year-on-year.

Best source: STAT Trade Times
LuxairCargo reports 6% traffic increase for 2020

LuxairCargo has reported a 6% rise in air freight volumes for 2020 compared to the previous year, with the company notching up a record month in November by handling 96,000 tonnes. LuxairCargo said traffic from Asia rose dramatically on the back of large shipments of pharmaceuticals and personal protection equipment.

Best source: Wort (in French)
Lufthansa Cargo starts building Frankfurt logistics hub

Lufthansa Cargo has begun development work on its Frankfurt Airport logistics centre. The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2028, includes installing a new high-rack storage system and new buildings, plus the modernisation of existing properties and warehousing.

Best source: Aircargo News
Amazon expands German distribution infrastructure

Amazon is extending its German network with several new distribution centres. The online retail giant is building two hubs in and around Halle, one in Schwerin, and another in Straubing-Sand Harbour close to Regensburg. Amazon will also open a new €130m distribution centre in Gera, south of Leipzig, later this year.

Best source: DVZ (in German, subscription required)
CMA CGM takes stake in air freight operator

CMA CGM has acquired a 30% stake in France’s Groupe Dubreuil Aéro in a move to strengthen its position in air freight. Dubreuil operates transport firm Hi Line Cargo, which is responsible for commercial freight operations on the group’s Air Caraïbes and French Bee airlines.

Best source: Air Cargo News
Maritime & Waterways

Rhine fleet gets emissions check

The German Federal Institute for Waterways and Hydraulic Engineering has begun measuring the air pollution emissions of the Rhine and inland fleet. The institute will use computer-aided modelling to help quantify emissions and to develop technical and operational mitigation measures.

Best source: DVZ (in German)
Port of Antwerp traffic down 3% last year

The Port of Antwerp handled 231m metric tonnes of cargo in 2020, a decline of 3.1% on the previous year, with breakbulk flows down 16.3%. However, container traffic increased 1.3% year-on-year.

Best source: Port Strategy
Port of Dunkirk volumes slump 14% in 2020

The Port of Dunkirk saw freight traffic fall by 14% last year compared with 2019, with breakbulk down 50% due to a drop in steel product exports. However, container volumes rose 2% and cross-Channel freight was up 4% year-on-year.

Best source: Container Management

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