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

The Logistics Briefing is back after the summer break, and so are Cluster for Logistics activities. September and October will notably see the Resilience and Change Management Conference, a new Lean and Green workgroup, the third edition of the start-up match-making conference and the start of the ICT Workshop. Logistics companies face the prospect of a hard Brexit, a gloomier investor climate and possible recession, especially in Europe’s biggest exporter, Germany, while the UK is seeing a drop in new orders and a slump in business sentiment. Although investors are hedging risks, the bad news has not yet panicked stock markets. However, EU companies are preparing for the worst, like Ireland’s Port of Cork, which has doubled the size of its customs facilities to reduce processing times in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Top Stories

Take part in upcoming events with Cluster for Logistics

A number of conferences and workshops are being organised by the Cluster for Logistics and its members over the coming weeks, including activities focused on resilience and change management, digitalisation and start-up matchmaking sessions. View the details and register for our conferences or workshops in Luxembourg at Cluster for Logistics.

Shippers’ association calls on EU to back free trade

The European Shippers’ Council has submitted a position paper to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade demanding that it prioritise free trade agreements, as well as pushing for a greater EU role in reducing tension between trading partners. The council says the Commission should take a firm stance against the US, which is blocking the reappointment of judges for the World Trade Organization’s Appellate Body.

Best source: Logistics Manager
Cargolux says employment agreement contributes to social and economic sustainability

Freight airline Cargolux has agreed a new collective employment agreement with the LCGB and OGBL trade unions that includes a significant salary increase for the company’s 1,300-strong workforce. Ground staff will qualify for a wage increase of 6% above inflation at the end of the agreement's four-year contract period, while the salaries of pilots will increase by 4% in real terms. Cargolux says the agreement contributes to both social and economic sustainability, increasing job security while creating opportunities for additional employment.

Best source: RTL
See also: Le Quotidien (in French)
Digital Logistics
DB Schenker tests exoskeletons for employees at German facilities

DB Schenker is trialling exoskeletons worn by employees to provide electro-mechanical assistance at its logistics facilities in Arnstadt, Augsburg and Cologne. The company will test various exoskeleton models on different applications in a joint initiative with employee representatives and a university research institute.

Best source: Automotive Logistics
Kombiverkehr trials freight train tracking app

German intermodal operator Kombiverkehr has rolled out Zug-Monitor, an app enabling customers to track freight train locations. The app, which can provide clients with estimated time of pick-up data, is currently in trial for trains to and from five German and two northern Italian terminals.

Best source: RailFreight
CMA CGM rolls out fully electronic bills of lading

CMA CGM has made fully electronic bills of lading available across its eBusiness portals, though the company says it may not be possible to use them in some countries to replace traditional paper documentation. CMA CGM has also upgraded other features on the eBusiness platform, with Discover My Prices now including pricing information for different types of freight and country-level tariff data, while Instant Quote can be used for US trades and by customers without existing freight contracts for consolidated shipments.

Best source: SupplyChainDive
Perishables & Pharma

Logistics4Pharma looks to Asia for expansion

Logistics4Pharma is planning to broaden its international footprint, building on solid growth in its specialised biotech and pharma logistics operations, according to CEO Manuel Zollondz. The Luxembourg-headquartered firm, which currently has subsidiaries in Germany and the US, is now considering branching out into Asia. The company continues to target customers requiring temperature-controlled guaranteed handling of high-value pharmaceutical products, especially drugs and compounds in development or undergoing clinical trials.

Best source: Lëtzebuerger Journal (in German)
CSafe opens Dutch cold chain service centre

US pharma company CSafe Global has opened a service centre in Hoofddorp, close to Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands, to serve the Benelux countries. The facility will maintain the firm’s CSafe RKN and CSafe RAP active temperature-controlled containers.

Best source: Aircargo News
K+N expands perishables network with Canadian acquisition

Kuehne + Nagel has acquired Canadian freight forwarder Worldwide Perishable Canada, a leading tuna exporter, to expand its perishables network. K+N says the move is part of a strategy of selected acquisitions to connect key production countries to major markets.

Best source: Global Cold Chain News
LaSalle property fund makes further Warsaw acquisition

LaSalle Investment Management’s Encore+ pan-European property fund has acquired a 43,000-square metre logistics property at Panattoni Park Warsaw West. LaSalle says the acquisition, which is 35 kilometres from both central Warsaw and the capital's Chopin Airport, increases the fund’s exposure to logistics facilities in the city.

Best source: Investment & Pensions Europe Real Assets
PGIM raises €300m for new European property fund

PGIM Real Estate has raised €304m for its open-ended European Core Diversified Property Fund, which was launched in July with five office and logistics assets in France and Germany. PGIM says Europe continues to provide investment opportunities, particularly in logistics and in low-vacancy office markets with near-term growth potential.

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

Port of Cork steps up preparations for no-deal Brexit

The Port of Cork, a key trade gateway for Ireland, is preparing for the growing likelihood that the UK will leave the EU without a withdrawal agreement or transition period on October 31. Harbourmaster and chief operations officer Paul O'Regan says the port will be somewhat insulated against the upheaval of a hard Brexit in the early stages, in contrast to Dublin and Rosslare, but it is preparing to expand capacity to handle overflow traffic from the two ports, having recently doubled the size of its customs building in Ringaskiddy. Cork is also planning to open a new container terminal by 2020.

Best source: Maritime Executive
Protests disrupt cargo operations at Hong Kong airport

Disruption to freight operations at Hong Kong International Airport resulting from political protests could have a far-reaching impact on the city's status as a logistics hub, according to the Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics. Between August 9 and 13, thousands of protesters staged a five-day occupation at the world’s busiest cargo airport, with some flight crew joining the strikes and leading to the cancellation of more than 500 flights. Ongoing disruption in the city has also had an impact on access to the airport and logistics operations.

Best source: Air Cargo News
See also: Asia Times
European drone services growth to be driven by healthcare and warehousing: study

The worldwide drone services market will grow at a compound annual rate of 32.5% up to 2027, according to Drone Services Market, a report from Transparency Market Research. The authors say the use of drone delivery in the healthcare and warehousing sectors will drive growth in Europe over the next eight years.

Best source: Logistics Manager
Express & eCommerce
Cargolux Italia launches Milan-Incheon route

Cargolux Italia has launched a service between Milan's Malpensa and Seoul’s Incheon International Airport, with two connections a week. Cargolux Italia CEO Fabrizio Cortese says the addition of Incheon means Cargolux Italia now covers the Italy's top five export destinations. The main cargoes on the route will include fashion items, machinery, luxury cars, pharmaceuticals and perishables.

Best source: Air Cargo Week
Cargolux leases additional B747 with purchase option

Cargolux has concluded a Japanese operating lease with call option for a Boeing 747-400ERF all-cargo aircraft, with an option to purchase the aircraft during or at the end of the lease period. The transaction, the airline's third such deal since January, is described by Cargolux as a refinancing mechanism to match liabilities with assets on its balance sheet.

Best source: Cargo Facts
Wallenborn trials electric tractors at Luxembourg Airport

Transport company Wallenborn has begun testing a fully electric terminal tractor at Luxembourg Airport, with charging provided by Luxair. The firm says it will trial various alternative models over the coming months as potential replacements for its existing diesel-powered vehicles.

Best source: Wallenborn
Multimodal facility planned for Ghent’s North Sea Port

Belgium-based Transuniverse Forwarding and Turkey’s Ekol Logistics are planning to construct a 40-hectare multimodal facility at the North Sea Port in Ghent. The site, comprising 20 hectares for a rail terminal and 10ha each for a cross-docking platform and a RoRo terminal, will act as a hub linking the Mediterranean region with eastern and north-western Europe.

Best source: RailFreight
Zalando at work on highly automated Dutch fulfilment centre

German e-retailer Zalando is building its first Dutch fulfilment centre near Rotterdam to serve customers in the Benelux countries, France, Spain and the UK. The €200m, 140,000-square-metre hub will be able to store 16 million items, and will have the highest level of automation of any facility in Zalando’s European network, which currently comprises nine centres.

Best source: Logistics Manager
Maritime & Waterways

German port cargo volume up 1.6% in 2018 but inland waterway traffic falls

German ports handled around 300 million tonnes of cargo in 2018, up 1.6% from the previous year, but inland waterway freight declined from 223 million to 198 million tonnes due to low water levels, according to Destatis. The federal statistics office also insists that the number of international maritime pirate attacks continued to decline last year, although the International Maritime Bureau reported 201 incidents in 2018, up from 180 the previous year.

Best source: Täglicher Hafenbericht (in German, subscription required)
Rotterdam markets Pronto shipping app worldwide

The Port of Rotterdam has established a subsidiary, PortXchange, to offer its Pronto shipping app to facilities around the world. The app enables better utilisation of capacity at terminals, as well as the planning and co-ordination of a range of vessel services. The platform can be used by shippers, agents, terminals, port authorities and other nautical service providers.

Best source: Dry Cargo International (registration required)
Maersk reports higher profit but warns on US-China trade conflict

AP Moller-Maersk has posted better-than-expected profits for the second quarter, despite concern about the impact of the US-China trade war. The company reported EBITDA of $1.36bn for the quarter, up from the previous year’s $1.16bn, while revenue increased by 0.6% to $9.62bn. However, Maersk has warned of considerable uncertainty regarding declining manufacturing growth and the possibility of higher US tariffs on Chinese goods.

Best source: Financial Times (registration required)
Hapag-Lloyd to penalise shippers over mis-declared cargoes

Hapag-Lloyd has told shippers it will charge $15,000 per container for any mis-declared hazardous cargoes starting in mid-September. The move follows a fire on the company’s Yantian Express vessel in January that caused millions of dollars' worth of damage.

Best source: Splash 247
Brexit boosts Zeebrugge cargo handling in first half

The Port of Zeebrugge handled 21.9 million tonnes of cargo in the first half, a 12.5% increase from the same period of 2018. RoRo traffic was up 50% to 8.4 million tonnes, due in part to anticipation of the UK’s exit from the EU, while southern Europe traffic increased substantially as a result of new services. Container volume fell 2.2% to 7.6 million tonnes, but was up by 9.5% year on year in June due to new deep sea and container feeder services.

Best source: Port of Zeebrugge
Green Logistics
CMA CGM eschews Arctic route to protect environment

CMA CGM has announced that it will not send container ships to Asia via the Arctic route. The company says none of its 500 vessels would sail along the Russian coast as the use of large container ships in the region could have serious consequences for its fragile environment.

Best source: Yahoo Finance
French shipper to operate hydrogen-powered vessel

ABB is developing a hydrogen fuel cell propulsion unit for a new-build push boat for France’s Compagnie Fluviale de Transport. The vessel, which is scheduled for delivery in 2021, will be powered by hydrogen from shore-based renewable sources, making the energy chain emission-free.

Best source: ShipInsight
CFL, Mars Logistics and DFDS expand Luxembourg-Trieste services

CFL multimodal, Mars Logistics and DFDS are strengthening their partnership, increasing the number of weekly round trips on the Bettembourg-Dudelange to Trieste route from from nine to 12 in the fourth quarter. Ferry connections from Trieste will serve the ports of Istanbul and Mersin in Turkey, while Luxembourg's multimodal hub will provide rail shuttles to Ghent and Zeebrugge, with ferry connections toward the UK and Scandinavia.

Best source: Luxembourg Chronicle

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