Airfreight 10 years behind the times


It is unbelievable that an industry vital to international trade remains so invisible to the general public.

This may be one of the reasons why the air cargo industry has been allowed to operate in a technological time-warp for so long, while other industry sectors seem to be light years ahead.

With the golden age of air cargo (10-plus years ago) now supplanted by uncertainty, volatility, encroaching modal shift and a plethora of belly capacity,

- August 2014
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US lead on lithium battery restriction

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued new standards to strengthen safety conditions for the shipment of lithium cells and batteries that will become mandatory within six months.

It said the changes, some of which focus specifically on shipments by air, were intended to “better ensure that lithium cells and batteries are able to withstand normal transport conditions and are packaged to reduce the possibility of damage that could lead to an unsafe situation”.

- August 2014
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Overweight Sea Containers

Shipping experts remain deeply divided on how to curb the menace of overweight shipping containers despite new proposals that make would make weighing containers mandatory.

Global Shippers Forum (GSF) secretary general Chris Welsh told delegates at last week’s TOC Container Supply Chain conference in London that the GSF was working on an accreditation scheme for container weighing for known shippers, which he likened to the authorised economic operator model. However, employee representative body the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) expressed doubts about the calculation method and said it was seeking further information.

- July 2014
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Maersk MSC CMA P3 alliance Not Approved.

CHINA’s Ministry of Commerce has declined to approve the P3 Network, in effect killing an alliance that would have reshaped the container-shipping landscape.

In a strongly worded statement on its website, MofCom said on Tuesday that it had decided after a seven-month antitrust review to “forbid Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM to concentrate” by setting up an operational network.

Separately, Maersk Line, one of the three would-be alliance members,

- June 2014
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Cathay stop flying to Manchester

The airline’s head of cargo James Woodrow said that there had been a shift in capacity from freighters to passenger bellies in the Asia to Europe market and that the Manchester freighters were no longer economically viable alongside Cathay’s other UK main-deck and belly-hold cargo capacity.

He stressed that the carrier was still operating twice-weekly freighters and multiple daily passenger frequencies to and from London’s Heathrow airport, although he acknowledged concerns about some customer losses in the six months prior to the new direct Manchester-Hong Kong flights.

- June 2014
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IMO approves container weighing verification requirement

The IMO has confirmed that the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) has approved draft amendments to Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) chapter VI to require mandatory verification of the gross mass of containers.

We understand that the draft amendments will be put forward for adoption to the next MSC session – MSC 94 – in November 2014 and, if approved, will enter into force in July 2016.

MSC also approved and issued related draft guidelines regarding the verified gross mass of a container carrying cargo,

- June 2014
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Maersk have to find containers at the bottom of the sea

France has given Maersk Line until the end of the summer to pinpoint the location of around 500 containers which tumbled overboard from the Svendborg Maersk in internaional waters off the Atlantic coast in February this year.

None of the crew was injured during the incident and damage to the ship was minor.

A total of 517 boxes fell into the sea during a storm in the Bay of Biscay. 13 of them,

- May 2014
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Shipping Line show down

Stage set for FE-North Europe showdown
When the ‘Daily Maersk’ offer was launched in October 2011, it was touted as
an unprecedented solution for Far East-Europe shippers, with daily sailings and
delivery time guarantees on that route. Although Maersk continues to maintain
the program three years after its launch, the impact of the ‘Daily Maersk’ has
not met the expectations envisaged by its proponents.
If it was one of the unstated goals of ‘Daily Maersk’ to outstrip competitors on
the FE-North Europe trade,

- April 2014
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April increases not likely to hold

Shipping consultants Drewry said the 1 April GRI is likely to have little effect in raising rates to sustainable levels.

“We anticipate freight rates on the Asia-Europe trade to remain highly volatile. Hence, the April GRI may lift rates in the short term but we expect these gains to erode thereafter,” Drewry’s director, research products, Martin Dixon, told Lloyd’s Loading

“Longer term, we expect rates to remain under pressure given that 2014 will see yet another year of excess capacity supply growth,

- March 2014
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P3 Merger cleared

The Federal Maritime Commission has granted regulatory approval for a huge vessel-sharing agreement between the world’s top three container lines, but with stricter monitoring than is usual for a standard alliance.

The Washington agency concluded that the proposed alliance between Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Co and CMA CGM would not be anti-competitive. The agreement becomes effective Monday.
The five commissioners voted four to one in support of the P3 Network, with only former chairman Richard Lidinsky dissenting.

- March 2014
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