Friday, September 17, 2021
Mr Thominet, who has worked at ECS Group for more than 25 years, was previously chief operating officer in 2011 and became chief executive in 2017.Mr Thominet commented: "Given the disruption and challenges the aviation industry has recently faced with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, there is an acute need for flexible, resource-efficient, expert business management solutions. This is precisely the kind of support that ECS Group strives to provide."Today, more than ever, the air cargo industry is at a crossroads, and our ambition as the leading worldwide GSSA, is to provide the optimum support to our customers in this changing environment."We are therefore committed to continuously improving and developing innovative, sustainable, high value-added solutions and services to best serve them."He added: "We will soon be publishing the results of our revised commercial direction with the launch of our Augmented GSA concept in the coming weeks."ECS Group represents more than 150 airlines and provides capacity support to around 10,000 freight forwarders. Last year, the GSSA transported a record 1.1 million tonnes of cargo, according to London's Air Cargo News.
"Customers will now be able to make cargo bookings direct on the platform for a majority of their cargo requirements after completing a short registration process," the carrier said in a statement.Emirates SkyCargo is rolling out the digital solution this month "in a phased manner" and by the end of the month, it said, the majority of its global customers will be able to make bookings through the platform, reports London's Air Cargo News.Nabil Sultan, Emirates' divisional senior vice president of cargo, commented: "At Emirates SkyCargo, we are always looking at ways to make every stage of the transportation process more efficient - from the time of booking the shipment to the delivery of the cargo to the consignee."Scott McCorquodale, chief automation officer of air cargo at WiseTech, parent company of CargoWise, added: "Adding to our growing number of airline-direct e-booking connections on the CargoWise platform, over time, all CargoWise users will have access to Emirates SkyCargo's flight schedules, rates, availability and real-time e-booking functions."Working together, this connection provides ease of access to timely data at the user's fingertips, translating to increased efficiencies and productivity, and importantly, informed decision making."
The airline and International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT) union have been in talks over merging Atlas Air and Southern Air pilots onto a single contract since the latter was acquired by Atlas in 2016.The agreement was eventually pushed through with the intervention of an arbitrator, reports London's Air Cargo News."The five-year JCBA is one of the last major steps in completing Atlas Air's merger with Southern Air, which it acquired in 2016," Atlas said.Atlas said that pilots at both airlines will receive higher pay and enhanced benefits as part of the overall package. Pay increases will be effective in October, with the remaining terms and conditions to be implemented in the coming months.John Dietrich, president and chief executive, Atlas Air Worldwide, said: "Our company has long prepared for this investment in our pilots and has factored these new terms and conditions into customer contract negotiations. We continue to see strong demand for our aircraft and services as we expand and extend customer agreements."
Forest ecologist Gary Lovett is working with Houston-based WPM-Dunnage Coalition to find ways to keep the insects out of WPM and prevent them from damaging US forest lands.Mr Lovett outlined a few crucial steps the government agencies involved with ISPM 15 inspection and enforcement can do.First, regulations should be clear and consistently enforced across ports. Secondly, the enforcement side is to help the private sector to look for these pests themselves.US Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and the US Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) need to make sure the countries that are trading partners are following the same rules that they are."It's very clear in the ISPM 15 regulations that countries are responsible for inspecting and auditing the facilities that treat the wood packaging material, and I think APHIS does a good job of that in the US, but it's clear that some of our trading partner countries are not doing that. Our government has to step up to take some action, either through the international treaty [the International Plant Protection Convention] or through direct action against those countries." said Mr Lovett.
The service began on September 2 from the Port of Manzanillo, Mexico, with one vessel deployed. In addition, it intends to add a second vessel to enable weekly calls before the end of the year."The bi-weekly service will complement our existing West Coast X-Press (WCX) service and expand our network by connecting the SSA terminal in Manzanillo to ports in Central America," the company said.The new service calls at Manzanillo (Mexico) (SSA), Acajutla, San Lorenzo, Manzanillo (Mex) (SSA). The line will complete the itinerary in two weeks with fortnightly sailings, using the 1,341 TEU vessel "Alioth".The 'MCX' service will complement X-Press' weekly 'WCX' service on the West Coast of Central America, operated in conjunction with Evergreen and Cosco Shipping, which is expected to remain as is.'WCX' service calls at Lazaro Cardenas, Manzanillo (Mex), Puerto Quetzal, Acajutla, Puerto Caldera, Balboa, Puerto Caldera, Corinto, San Lorenzo, Acajutla, Puerto Quetzal, Lazaro Cardenas, using four vessels of about 1,700 TEU. CMA CGM and Hapag-Lloyd participate through slots.
The TEU volumes are up 12 per cent year on year, while fiscal year to date, SC Ports handled 479,509 TEU, up 24 per cent from the same time a year ago.SC Ports handled 130,729 pier containers, which account for boxes of any size, in August. This is a 12 per cent increase from last year. SC Ports has handled 267,887 pier containers thus far in fiscal year 2022, up 24 per cent year over year.The US continues to see record import volumes as consumers spend more on retail goods than services during the pandemic. SC Ports handled 114,671 import containers in August, up 18 per cent year on year."SC Ports planned well for this growth by investing more than US$2 billion in port infrastructure in recent years to handle rising cargo volumes and retail imports," SC Ports president and CEO Jim Newsome said. "Phase One of Leatherman Terminal adds 700,000 TEU of capacity and an additional berth to the East Coast port market, and the three-berth Wando Welch Terminal works mega container ships every day."SC Ports saw a strong August for the vehicle segment with 26,044 vehicles rolling across the docks of Columbus Street Terminal. Inland port activity remained steady in August, with 11,902 rail lifts reported at Inland Port Greer and 2,635 rail moves handled at Inland Port Dillon."Shippers and retailers can rely on SC Ports' efficient operations, cargo capacity and berth availability to keep goods moving through the Southeast supply chain," Mr Newsome said. "The global supply chain is however under tremendous stress due to disruptions from the pandemic. The slowdown in cargo velocity that we are currently experiencing due to a number of supply chain constraints is concerning as we head into the peak season this fall."
This dynamic, also playing out on the trans-Pacific, is keeping spot rates at red-hot levels while heaping pressure on European manufacturers that are struggling to manage supply chain delays and meet regional demand, reports IHS Media.Statistics provided by container shipping visibility provider eeSea shows Asia-North Europe capacity growth in August 2021 increasing 29 per cent versus the capacity deployed in July and up 11 per cent versus June. August capacity was up 34 per cent year over year.Yet even with the addition of capacity, rates continued their sharp rise through August.The increase in rate levels this year far outstrips the growth in volume on the China-North Europe trade. While volume for August is not yet available from Container Trades Statistics (CTS), the July volume is up just 2.4 per cent compared with July 2019. Average rate levels in July of $6,745 per TEU were more than nine times higher than those in 2019.Capacity deployed on the Asia to North Europe and Mediterranean trade has risen 19.7 per cent in the last 12 months compared with the previous year to 5.25 million TEU, said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at shipping association BIMCO. But, he said, the additional capacity is being offset by the market disruption."Even with these extra ships, carriers are struggling to meet their scheduled departures, which leads to cancellations of sailings or port calls because the supply is not there rather than due to a lack in demand," Mr Sand wrote in a container shipping update."Adding capacity on already congested trade lanes does little to solve the fundamental problems," he added. "The limiting factor is not capacity onboard ships, but rather how many containers the ports and hinterland connections can manage, as well as storage space in temporary container yards and final destinations."Michael Braun, vice president of customer solutions for Xeneta, said that there was no real peak in demand on Asia-Europe, but there was so much capacity stuck in terminals and waiting outside ports."It's not that there are not enough ships to handle the demand; it is the congested supply chain that cannot handle the backlogs, and that is causing the disruption all around the globe," he said.Jeremy Nixon, CEO of Ocean Network Express, said in a recent interview: "Landside port and intermodal transport delays, plus additional customer container dwell times, have adversely combined to seriously and negatively impact global network capacity."Without these largely Covid induced industry root causes, there would be adequate capacity in the system to handle current demand."The supply-side disruption continues to make life difficult for European manufacturers, according to Chris Williamson, chief business economist at IHS Markit.Dominique von Orelli, vice president and global head of ocean freight at DHL Global Forwarding, said the impact of the disruption on Chinese orders was also being seen among the forwarder's customers. "The fact is that customers are reluctant to order due to the uncertainty, and order very early or not at all," he said.McKinsey and Co put a figure to the global capacity effectively being tied up by the disrupted container shipping markets, estimating in a recent market update that global container carrying capacity has dropped 11 per cent since September 2020 as a result of port congestion in Asia, Europe, and the US.
The three square-kilometre dry port, which is designed to ensure ease of access to global markets, will enable the future joint venture to capture the growing demand for logistic services for energy-related products in the Middle East and beyond while also serving the neighbouring industrial cities.Mohammed Y Al-Qahtani, chairman of SPARK, said: "We are so proud to give investors another reason to do business at SPARK. Hutchison Ports is a world class ports and terminal operator, and the step we take together today will give SPARK's investors ease of access to local and global markets."Group managing director of Hutchison Ports, Eric Ip, added: "Saudi Arabia is an important market and we are very excited to participate in this ambitious, game-changing mega project. As the world's leading port group, we will leverage our logistics expertise to create vaule and competitiveness for the tenants of SPARK."SPARK President and CEO, Saif Al Qahtani, said: "Our partnership with Hutchison Ports marks an important milestone in the ongoing development of SPARK. The dry port and logistics zone will be the key to unlocking the potential of our strategic location in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, a region which is known for its unmatched oil and gas resources."SPARK's first phase is divided into a number of clusters: logistics zone, industrial hub, business district, digital hub, and residential and commercial areas. The dedicated three square-kilometre dry port and logistics zone will include warehouses and storage facilities, a bonded area and on-site customs clearance.
"More than 400,000 TEU are just sitting there [off Southern California]," Lars Jensen, CEO of Vespucci Maritime, told the recent Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) Expo in Long Beach. "The way to solve this is to resolve the bottlenecks, and the solution is landside."Unprecedented import volumes for 14 consecutive months are causing the vessel bunching, while bottlenecks at warehouses and inland rail hubs are also contributing to port congestion, reports IHS Media.Mr Jensen said North America will not begin to experience relief from this "fantastic peak" until late in the first quarter of 2022 as production in Asia slows down when factories shut for the annual Lunar New Year celebrations."It will be at least six months before there is a glimmer of hope that things will be back to normal," he said.Chassis shortages are contributing to landside congestion not only in Southern California, but also in the Southeastern ports of Savannah and Charleston and at inland rail hubs such as Chicago, Memphis, and Kansas City.In the Southeast, the "street dwell" of chassis with containers sitting on them has more than doubled from 6 days recently to about 15 days, Mike Wilson, CEO of Consolidated Chassis Management, said.Congested warehouses in the Southeast, as well as truck capacity and chassis shortages in the region, are making it difficult to move imported containers from the ports to the warehouses, and from warehouses to retail stores, Mr Wilson said."It's about the surge of cargo and slow turn times and the depleted chassis supply," he said.Containers that move by rail to the inland hubs are also backing up because of congested ramps.
The deal to create the combined "Canadian Pacific Kansas City", to be headquartered in Calgary, comes after CN opted not to make any more counteroffers and withdraw from the roughly six-months-long bidding war.The merger will create the first direct railway linking Canada, the United States and Mexico, with a network spanning 20,000 miles and approximately $8.7 billion of annual revenue.The $300 per share cash-and-stock deal that Canadian Pacific clinched is higher than the $275 per share cash-and-stock deal that it had secured in March to buy Kansas City Southern. That deal was scrapped when Canadian National wooed Kansas City Southern in May with a $325 per share cash-and-stock offer.Kansas City Southern shares were little changed at $281.55 in Wednesday trading in New York.CN suffered a blow when the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) rejected a temporary "voting trust" structure last month that would have allowed Kansas City Southern shareholders to receive the deal's consideration without having to wait for full regulatory approval.Canadian Pacific has had its proposed voting trust cleared by the STB and so Kansas City Southern shareholders will receive the $300 per share in cash and stock even if the regulator shoots down the deal. The regulatory certainty this provided convinced Kansas City Southern's board to switch to a deal with Canadian Pacific, even though its offer was lower than Canadian National's.Canadian National had also faced pressure from some of its investors, including hedge fund TCI Management Ltd, to abandon its pursuit of Kansas City Southern.There are still potential pitfalls for Canadian Pacific. While no major Canadian Pacific shareholder has come out against the Kansas City Southern deal, as happened with Canadian National, Canadian Pacific still needs a majority of its investors to vote for the new agreement.It is also possible that the STB shoots down Canadian Pacific's deal for Kansas City Southern, even though it approved the voting trust for it. More likely, however, would be for the STB to require some concessions from Canadian Pacific, such as limited divestments or commitments on how much it charges customers, to clear the deal, people familiar with the matter said. It is possible that some of the concessions could erode Canadian Pacific's profitability.The STB did not immediately respond to a request for comment.If the STB rejects the deal, Canadian Pacific's voting trust would have to divest Kansas City Southern. Canadian National could then attempt to buy it, though the US railroad has also attracted acquisition interest in the past from private equity firms, according to media reports.