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

The impact of the war in Ukraine is the principal driver of current economic uncertainty, making forecasts near impossible, according to Carlo Thelen, director general of the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Cluster for Logistics, in a review of the Baromètre de l’Economie de l’année 2022. The European Commission predicts real GDP growth in both the EU and the euro area of 2.7% in 2022, down from 5.4% in 2021, while Statec expects Luxembourg’s growth to fall from 6.9% in 2021 to 1.4% in 2022. A pragmatic approach to the current deglobalisation trend will be necessary to tackle economic headwinds, says Thelen. Price increases affecting consumer goods and energy necessitate rapid measures: inflation is expected to average 6.1% in 2022 and peak at 6.9% in the current quarter, leading central banks to raise short-term interest rates. To protect their margins, retailers, shippers and transport companies are having to renegotiate delivery terms and prices.

To reduce costs and increase resilience, digitalisation is now a primary concern for logistics and supply chain companies. The Cluster for Logistics, in collaboration with the Luxembourg Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management, will highlight the importance of digital transformation to create value at its spring conference on June 13th.

Top Stories

Conference on ‘Digitalising logistics and supply chains to reinforce resilience’

The Cluster for Logistics and the Luxembourg Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management will host a conference at the Luxembourg Chamber of Commerce on June 13th focused on 'Digitalising logistics and supply chains to reinforce resilience'. The event will also celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Luxembourg Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

Best source: Cluster for Logistics
UECC calls for prioritisation of Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor

The Union of European Chambers of Commerce and Industry for Transport has published a resolution calling for the intensification and acceleration of the development of the Scandinavian-Mediterranean Corridor, the longest of Europe's nine TEN-T rail transport corridors connecting Nordic and Southern European economic centres. At its general assembly in Innsbruck, Austria, on May 13th, the UECC emphasised the importance of modernising and expanding transport infrastructure around the Brenner Base Tunnel through the Alps, which lies at the heart of the 4,858km-long transport corridor.

Best source: UECC (in German)
See also: ORF (in German)
Cargolux reports 68% profit increase to €1.23bn for 2021

Luxembourg air freight carrier Cargolux has posted a profit of €1.23bn for last year, up from €636m in 2020, with revenue up 40% to €4.15bn, due in part to the easing of Covid-19 pandemic restrictions. Chief financial officer Maxim Straus says the company raised its prices by nearly 26% last year while increasing loads. Cargolux benefited from higher demand for air freight due to trucking service shortages, maritime capacity constraints, and incidents such as the blocking of the Suez Canal. The carrier was able to complete 25,322 cycles in 2021, a 6.5% year-on-year increase.

Best source: Wort (in German)
See also: Luxembourg Times (subscription required)
See also: RTL Today
Digital Logistics & Innovation
Ostend-Bruges Airport to deploy Nallian’s cloud solution to coordinate operations

Ostend-Bruges Airport is equipping its freight hub with Nallian’s Cargo Cloud solution. The airport says its OST Cargo Cloud will enable the coordination of processes such as freight pick-up and drop-off, along with the inspection of perishable goods, while providing it with actionable insights into its cargo streams.

Best source: Aviation24
Hapag-Lloyd to fit out all containers with tracking devices

Hapag-Lloyd has announced that it is looking to equip its entire container fleet with real-time monitoring. The shipping company rolled out tracking devices on around 100,000 reefer units in 2019 and now plans to extend the Hapag-Lloyd Live offering to all of its dry containers. The company says the move will give customers real-time track-and-trace data for full container visibility.

Best source: The Loadstar (registration required)
Green Logistics
Port of Hamburg to test hydrogen-powered equipment

Hamburger Hafen & Logistik has created a cluster of equipment manufacturers and logistics companies to test hydrogen-powered equipment at the Port of Hamburg. The Clean Port & Logistics cluster will conduct simulations, develop training concepts and establish a test centre for equipment at the HHLA Container Terminal Tollerort in Hamburg.

Best source: Port Technology
New Rotterdam plant to produce methanol for road, marine and aviation sectors

Dutch green technology firm Gidara Energy is partnering with the Port of Rotterdam to develop a facility at the port for producing advanced methanol from non-recyclable waste. The initiative will produce around 90,000 tonnes of renewable methanol a year for use in road, marine and aviation transport.

Best source: Renewables Now
DB Schenker and Naval Dynamics ally on electric autonomous feeder vessels

DB Schenker is partnering with Norwegian marine engineering company Naval Dynamics and furniture maker Ekornes in an initiative to develop fully electric autonomous feeder vessels to reduce emissions and improve logistical operations. The new container ship is intended for shorter distances and is slated to operate between Ekornes' port at Ikornnes to Ålesund, a freight route of 23 nautical miles.

Best source: Maritime Executive (subscription required)
Dutch inland waterway green energy service gets €50m in state funding

The Zero Emissions Services initiative co-founded by the Port of Rotterdam has received a €50m investment from the Dutch National Growth Fund. The inland waterway service operates exchangeable battery containers powered by renewable electricity, charging stations, and a payment platform for barge owners. The port says the funds will be used to develop battery containers, docking stations and electrified inland vessels.

Best source: Port Technology
UK to invest £200m in fleet of zero-emission heavy-duty trucks

The British government will provide £200m in funding over three years to support the deployment of zero-emission heavy goods vehicle technologies, aiming to create the world’s largest fleet of green HGVs. Under the scheme, initial competitions for battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell technology will be launched with the goal of improving air quality, creating more green jobs and reducing reliance on oil imports.

Best source: Energy Live News
Perishables & Pharma

Perishable goods at risk in Dover due to outbound congestion

UK carriers of perishable goods say products are deteriorating in quality and value as trucks wait in long queues at the port of Dover to cross over to continental Europe. The port is suffering from congestion due to problems with a critical IT system for customs checks as well as the suspension of P&O routes following the company’s dismissal without notice of around 800 employees in March.

Best source: BBC
More digital solutions needed for cool chain: Cool Chain Association board member

Coolchain stakeholders should increase their use of digital tools to improve performance, says Eric Mauroux, Cool Chain Association board member and CEO of FreshBizDev. He points to the virtual world as the perfect platform for testing various solutions based on real-life scenarios. Mauroux also calls for greater collaboration, especially on data sharing, to improve the shelf life of perishables.

Best source: The Loadstar (registration required)
Cromwell acquires industrial/logistics assets across four markets for €126m

Cromwell Property Group has acquired six fully-let light industrial and logistics assets in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the UK with an aggregate gross lettable area of 192,112 square metres for €126.1m.  Cromwell says it sees considerable upside in European light industrial/logistics, especially in similar assets with redevelopment and repositioning potential.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
CBRE purchases Leipzig-Halle Airport logistics facility

CBRE Investment Management has purchased a recently completed logistics park at Germany’s Leipzig-Halle Airport from Invesco Real Estate for an undisclosed amount. The 114,000-square-metre lot has 51,300 square metres of flexible storage space and is leased long-term to e-commerce retailer Relaxdays.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
AEW acquires German and Dutch assets

AEW has acquired three logistics facilities in Germany and the Netherlands in two separate transactions completed for undisclosed amounts. On behalf of its pan-European Logistis fund, AEW has purchased Würzburg Park East, a 78,000-square-metre development in Dettelbach, Germany, which is due for completion in early-2023. The second deal, for a German pension fund, comprises two fully-let assets of a combined 28,000 square metres in the Westpoort area of Amsterdam.

Best source: Property Magazine International (registration required)
Intervest grabs €78m Zeebrugge development

Intervest Offices & Warehouses has acquired a 73,000-square-metre logistics development in Zeebrugge from a Chinese consortium of developers for €78m. The site, located in the maritime logistics zone of Zeebrugge, will comprise a storage facility, container yard, central office building and parking for trailers, and is scheduled for completion in September this year.

Best source: Property EU (registration required)
Regulation & Procedures

EU to end cargo-in-the-cabin flights this summer

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency will stop cargo-in-the-cabin flights after July 31. The move to allow passenger cabins to be used for cargo transport followed the grounding of passenger aircraft at the onset of the pandemic amid high demand for freighter aircraft. The agency says the logistical challenges which arose in 2020 no longer exist to the same degree.

Best source: Aircargo News
EU looks to stop Russian oil transport along with vessel insurance cover

The European Union is looking to ban European vessels from transporting Russian oil products and to prevent insurers from providing maritime insurance for such shipments. The loss of insurance cover could make it difficult for non-EU vessels to load Russian cargo, severely hampering the country’s ability to transport oil.

Best source: Maritime Executive (subscription required)
Express & eCommerce
Air carriers appeal ruling on planned Schiphol fee rises

A grouping of 10 air carriers is appealing a decision by Dutch competition authority ACM to allow Schiphol Airport to increase its fees by as much as 37% over three years. The carriers had argued that Schiphol was looking to hike its charges to recoup losses incurred in 2020, but the ACM has concluded that the increase is not unreasonable. The carriers claim that the regulator’s decision fails to protect users against excessive charges by the monopolist airport.

Best source: The Loadstar (registration required)
Agency formed to lead building of €500m Westphalian multimodal hub

A development agency has been launched to oversee the planned €500m conversion of a marshalling yard in Hamm, Westphalia, into the Multi Hub Westfalen multimodal hub. Both DB Cargo and intermodal transport operator Kombiverkehr have stakes in the new agency. Funding applications for the project are still pending or yet to be approved, with construction not expected to start before 2025.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Lufthansa Cargo places order for 10 Boeing freighters

Lufthansa Cargo is adding three Boeing 777F and seven 777-8F freighters to its fleet, as well as extending the leases on two 777Fs for seven years through to 2031. The order is the company's biggest-ever investment and the aircraft will be phased in from July this year.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Frankfurt ranked world’s ninth-largest cargo airport in 2021

Frankfurt Airport was the ninth-largest airport in the world in terms of cargo volume in 2021, and the only European location to place in the top-10 ranking compiled by Airports Council International. Frankfurt handled 2.2m tonnes of freight last year, up 12% on the pre-Covid year of 2019. Hong Kong Airport was easily the largest air hub with close to 5.0m tonnes, ahead of Incheon in South Korea with 3.3m.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
CargoLogic Germany goes bankrupt

CargoLogic Germany has been declared bankrupt with an insolvency administrator having been appointed by a German district court. The air freight carrier is linked to the Russian Volga-Dnepr air holding group and was suspended from operating inside EU airspace in March due to sanctions. The Germany-based company has argued that it is not directly connected to Volga-Dnepr.

Best source: Aircargo News
Maersk plans withdrawal from Russia

Maersk has put a halt to all vessel operations in Russia and to service with Belarus due to the war in Ukraine. The company will close down its offices in Far East Russia, Novorossiysk and Kaliningrad over the course of the summer, with the Saint Petersburg and Moscow offices operating only until the end of the year.

Best source: Port Technology
Maritime & Waterways

Russia sanctions reduce Rotterdam freight volumes by 1.5% in first quarter

Cargo traffic at the Port of Rotterdam fell 1.5% year-on-year in the first quarter as trade was hit by sanctions imposed on Russia. The port says container volumes to Russia started to decline in March as most shipping companies stopped taking Russian bookings. In 2021, 30% of oil imports at the port were from Russia, while 25% of LNG imports and 20% of coal were also Russian.

Best source: Reuters (registration required)
Rotterdam and duisport to co-operate on digitalisation and sustainability

The Port of Rotterdam and Germany’s duisport have signed a letter of intent to strengthen their co-operation across digitalisation and energy transition initiatives. As part of the agreement, Rotterdam’s Rail Connected information exchange project will be linked to Duisburg’s Rail Freight Data Hub programme to facilitate data sharing and increase the sustainable exchange of containers between the two locations.

Best source: Port Technology
Antwerp and Zeebrugge combine as Port of Antwerp-Bruges

The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge have completed their merger to form the Port of Antwerp-Bruges. The two ports together handle 289m tonnes of freight per year and the new authority claims the combined entities constitute Europe’s largest export port, largest throughput port for vehicles, and leading chemical hub.

Best source: Maritime Executive (subscription required)
European Commission greenlights Hapag-Lloyd’s JadeWeserPort acquisitions

The European Commission has approved Hapag-Lloyd’s investments in JadeWeserPort Wilhelmshaven, which will see it acquire a 30% stake in Container Terminal Wilhelmshaven and a 50% stake in Rail Terminal Wilhelmshaven. Hapag-Lloyd, which announced the deal in September 2021, says the acquisitions will improve the competitiveness of its Far East operations as well as strengthen its north German ports.

Best source: Port Technology

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