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

Consumer demand and manufacturing indices are deteriorating acutely in Europe amid energy price turmoil, rampant inflation and the war in Ukraine. US and Asian economies are less affected, but price pressures and China’s pandemic lockdowns are posing challenges for internal markets, while a generalised decline in consumption and production is likely to further undermine demand in the logistics sector.

After a summer heatwave and record drought in Europe, the effects of climate change are coming to bear on the continent’s river transport network as barges on the Rhine and Danube reduced their loads, cutting capacity and forcing shippers to pay higher prices or seek alternatives by road or rail.

Green logistics projects are therefore being brought into sharper focus. In Luxembourg, the government is prioritising ‘green hydrogen’, unveiling the country’s first hydrogen fuelling station, funded by TotalEnergies, the Luxembourg government and the EU.

Top Stories

Luxembourg to open first hydrogen fuelling point

The government has announced that Luxembourg's first hydrogen power fuelling point, which is being installed at the Bettembourg multi-modal transport hub, will become operational around the end of this year. Its launch has been delayed due to difficulties with the supply of components. Although currently just two hydrogen-powered vehicles are registered in the grand duchy, transport minister François Bausch says the installation is a first step to promoting the clean energy technology.

Best source: Delano
See also: Wort (in German)
Deutsche Bahn set to sell DB Schenker as soon as next year

The German government and Deutsche Bahn have agreed to the sell off the rail operator's DB Schenker logistics business. Deutsche Bahn could dispose of the company as early as next year, with a direct sale or IPO both possible options. DB Schenker is expected to be valued somewhere between €12bn and €20bn.

Best source: Reuters (free registration)
Meet leaders that make it happen: the Supply Chain Untangled Podcast

The Cluster for Logistics and LuxUnplugged are cooperating on a new podcast project to highlight 'Supply Chain Leaders that make it happen'. Thierry Schoen and Adrien Loesch are hosts of the popular business podcast, which premieres with interviews featuring Philippe Hemard, supply chain expert, and Kevin Nash, SVP Global Integrated Logistics at Kuehne + Nagel.

Best source: Cluster for Logistics
Digital Logistics & Innovation
Amazon acquires Belgian warehouse tech firm

Amazon has acquired Belgian warehouse technology company Cloostermans for an undisclosed sum. Cloostermans manufactures mechatronics solutions that help move and stack heavy pallets or package products together for delivery. The firm’s 200 employees will join Amazon Global Robotics. Amazon last year launched its European Innovation Lab in Italy to develop new ergonomic technologies.

Best source: Freightwaves (subscription required)
Cotesa and Dronamics partner to build long-distance drone

German aviation composite fibre maker Cotesa is partnering with Bulgarian drone manufacturer Dronamics to develop a cargo drone able carry loads of up to 350kg as far as 2,500 kms. Dronamics, the first cargo drone company to obtain a European Union-wide operating licence, initially plans to launch the Black Swan drone in Europe.

Best source: SeeNews (subscription required)
Green Logistics
Kuehne + Nagel installs solar panels on Dutch trucks

Kuehne + Nagel has installed solar panels on the top of its delivery trucks in the Netherlands to reduce carbon emissions. The company says the photovoltaic panels cut annual fuel consumption by up to 1,200 litres per vehicle and lower CO2 emissions by 3.8 tonnes per truck.

Best source: Automotive Logistics
CLdN to operate RoRo newbuilds with Wärtsilä hybrid propulsion system

Luxembourg-based logistics provider CLdN and Finnish technology group Wärtsilä have jointly developed two new roll-on/roll-off ferries with hybrid propulsion systems, currently under construction at the Hyundai Mipo Dockyard in South Korea. The design features energy storage systems, two large PTO/PTI generators and electric motors, multi-drive converters and the Wärtsilä Energy Management System that controls and optimises hybrid operations, enabling the ships to operate with gas/diesel-mechanical or gas/diesel-electric propulsion. The ships are scheduled to be delivered by early 2025 and will operate on CLdN’s European network.

Best source: Offshore Energy
CMA CGM launches $1.5bn energy transition initiative

CMA CGM has unveiled a Special Fund for Energies to support the company’s energy transition and reach its net-zero carbon target by 2050. The $1.5bn five-year programme will invest in projects to secure renewable energy supplies and explore innovative solutions in line with CMA CGM’s plan to reduce emissions. The fund will focus on the development and production of renewable fuels, along with the decarbonisation of port terminals, warehouses, and truck fleets.

Best source: Port Technology (subscription required)
SAL Heavy Lift and Jumbo place order for six sustainable heavy-lift ships

Harren & Partner-owned ship design company SAL Heavy Lift and Dutch offshore transport contractor Jumbo Shipping have placed an order with China’s Wuhu shipyard for six climate-neutral heavy-lift vessels. The two companies say that the ships, which boast an optimised hull form and a semi-electric hybrid propulsion system, will have superior fuel-consumption and emissions performance to any current heavy-lift ship. The first Orca vessels are scheduled for delivery in mid-2024.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Bolloré Logistics and Hapag-Lloyd partner on container biofuel

Bolloré Logistics is supplying Hapag-Lloyd with 100 TEU transported with biofuel on a weekly basis. The French company says the deal, which came into effect September 1, will reduce maritime CO2 emissions by some 1,500 tonnes by the year-end. Bolloré Logistics last month joined the Shippers’ Coalition for Low Carbon Maritime Transport, which aims to encourage the industrial use of alternative power sources.

Best source: Port Technology (subscription required)
See also: Project Cargo Journal
Lufthansa Cargo reduces plastic use with new wrap

Lufthansa Cargo is to start using a new type of packaging film that comprises 10% recycled plastic and is also thinner than current wraps, saving around 2kg of packaging on each flight. The German carrier currently uses around 500,000kg of film a year and says it is looking to increase the recycled content of its wrap to 30% by 2025.

Best source: Aircargo News (subscription required)
Perishables & Pharma

CIMC drops plans to purchase Maersk refrigerated container unit on regulatory concerns

China International Marine Containers has halted its planned acquisition of Maersk’s $1bn refrigerated container manufacturing business after learning that the US Department of Justice planned to block the deal. The US government believed the transaction would have led to a large majority of global refrigerated container supply falling under the control of entities linked to the Chinese government. Germany's competition authority was also considering blocking the acquisition.

Best source: Financial Times (subscription required)
DHL Supply Chain builds out Frankfurt pharma centre

DHL Supply Chain has added a 32,000-square-metre logistics centre to its Florstadt pharmaceutical and medical products hub close to Frankfurt. The multi-user site provides space to various clients and offers ambient, cooled and freezer areas, as well as on-demand clean rooms.

Best source: Air Cargo World (subscription required)
Thermo King launches upgraded truck refrigeration units in Europe

Thermo King is unveiling its new VX-series vehicle-powered refrigeration units at this month’s IAA Transportation 2022 trade fair in Hanover. The equipment, designed for vehicles of between 3.5 and 7.5 tonnes, is smaller and half the weight of its predecessor unit and is able to provide cooling capacity of up to 6.5kW.

Best source: Global Cold Chain News (subscription required)
DeA Capital and Europa Capital create €100m logistics fund

DeA Capital Real Estate France and Europa Capital have launched a €100m French logistics fund with an initial development portfolio of five assets. The two firms expect to complete construction of the aggregate 28,400 square metres of the Lille, Lyon, Chartres, Marseille and Nantes locations between the fourth quarter of 2022 and 2023.

Best source: CRE Herald
ABG Capital picks up €115m stake in German hub from Dietz

Germany’s ABG Capital has acquired a majority stake in the Kerpen Logistics Centre near Cologne from Dietz for around €115m. As part of the deal, Dietz will retain a minority holding in the venture. The Kerpen 59,400-square-metre hub was completed in May this year and is fully let on long-term leases.

Best source: CRE Herald
Garbe to build €48m logistics hub in eastern Germany

Garbe Industrial Real Estate is planning to build a €48m, 35,500-square-metre logistics centre near Jena in eastern Germany, with construction scheduled to start in December. The facility will be divided into 10,000-square-metre spaces, with 1,400 square metres of office space, plus 30 dock levellers and three ground-level gates.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
Panattoni sells off two Polish logistics parks

Panattoni has completed the sale of two logistics parks in Poland to an unnamed North American private equity firm for an undisclosed amount. The fully-leased 35,000-square-metre GLA warehouse in Panattoni Park Lublin City IV is close to Lublin, while the 30,500-square-metre GLA logistics warehouse at Panattoni Park Silesia West is located near to Katowice.

Best source: Europe Real Estate
Regulation & Procedures

Turkish Cargo ousts Cargolux as Europe’s biggest air freight carrier

Turkish Cargo has become Europe’s largest air freight company, racking up 9.2bn tonne-kilometres in 2021, according to IATA air transport data. The carrier ranked sixth in the world, up two places from the previous year, with traffic increasing by almost one third. Turkish Cargo pushed Cargolux into seventh spot globally, despite the Luxembourg carrier posting a 17% annual increase in tonne-kilometres.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Rail organisations seek EU support on rising energy costs

The Community of European Railway and Infrastructure Companies and the European Rail Freight Association have asked the European Commission to ensure that the planned shift to rail is not threatened by rising energy costs. According to the two organisations, traction electricity prices have already doubled on average this year, while some countries have seen a tenfold increase. The CER says rail should be identified as a strategic service and prioritised with affordable energy in the short term.

Best source: RailFreight (free registration)
SNCF Network ordered to improve access to freight operators

French regulator Autorité de Régulation des Transports has ordered SNCF Network to improve access conditions and quality of service offered to freight operators, resolving a dispute raised by SNCF unit Captrain France, Europorte France, Régiorail and T3M. The four companies had complained about train path allocation failures, in particular with relation to network maintenance. ART will introduce a penalty mechanism due to come into force in 2024.

Best source: Railway Gazette (free registration)
China-Europe freight train trips hit record in August: China State Railway

There were a record 1,585 China-Europe freight train services in August, up 18% year on year, according to the China State Railway Group. In the first eight months of the year, 10,575 trips transported just over 1m TEU of goods, an increase of 6% on the same period in 2021.

Best source: Xinhua
Express & eCommerce
Liège Airport pushes back against new operating conditions

Liège Airport is appealing the conditions of a new environmental permit, which it claims constrain its operations. The 20-year certification imposes a maximum limit of 50,000 annual movements for aircraft over 34 tonnes along with an obligation to reduce aircraft noise by 5% per year from 2024, as well as a noise quota on night flights. The airport says the restrictions would force it to curtail sharply its current activities.

Best source: Aircargo News (subscription required)
Lufthansa Cargo looks to develop European same-day network

Lufthansa Cargo will offer more capacity in Europe starting in October by using converted Airbus A321 freighters. The carrier says it will be able to offer shorter medium-haul transport times to select destinations and that it is looking to build a European same-day, e-commerce network.

Best source: Stat Times (free registration)
Schiphol cargo volume tumbles in first half

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport saw overall first-half freight volume fall by 13.8% year on year to 721,746 tonnes. Inbound cargo traffic declined 17.5%, with freight from other European hubs down almost 36%, while outbound traffic fell 9.7%. Volume has been hit by the war in Ukraine, supply chain issues and the global economic climate.

Best source: Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (subscription required, in German)
Maritime & Waterways

duisport and Antwerp-Bruges join forces on energy transition and infrastructure

Germany’s duisport and the Port of Antwerp-Bruges have signed a long-term partnership agreement for energy transition, rail and hinterland connections, and port infrastructure. A key part of the alliance will be the development of solutions for the import, storage and distribution of green hydrogen, with the two ports aiming become major hydrogen hubs for Europe.

Best source: Port Technology (subscription required)
Port of Hamburg container traffic edges up in first half

The Port of Hamburg's container throughput was up 0.9% year on year to 4.4 million TEU in the first half, making it the only northern range port to post an increase for the period. Antwerp-Bruges, Rotterdam and Bremen/Bremerhaven all saw container throughput decline, with an average fall for the northern range of 4.6% in the first six months.

Best source: PortNews

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