Wednesday October 26 , 2016
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With well over 100 years of experience in Worldwide Freight Forwarding and Logistics, we offer our customers a solution to handle all of their Import, Export, Crosstrade and Logistical requirements under the one umbrella.

Whether you are moving a pallet of cargo from London to Hong Kong, a shipment of 20’ and 40’ containers from New York to Manchester, or you need us to project manage the movement of a machine from Birmingham to Australia, then we can help.

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Industry News from BIFA

  • Regulators and air cargo leaders pledge closer global cooperation as ACF opens in paris

    Paris, France, Wednesday, 26th October 2016 Air cargo leaders and regulators from across the globe pledged to work more closely together to ensure a more efficient, safer air cargo supply chain on the opening day of TIACA’s Air Cargo Forum (ACF) in Paris, France today. 

    The air cargo community must work towards a paperless environment to ensure the industry maintains and develops its competitiveness, especially in expanding e-commerce markets. 

    The development of advanced screening technologies was also earmarked as essential to ensure a secure and efficient air cargo network, delegates at the Plenary session of the ACF heard. 

    Doug Brittin, Secretary General of TIACA, was joined this morning by Dr Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Sergio Mujica, Deputy Secretary General of the World Customs Organization (WCO), with all three organizations pledging to continue close cooperation in order to secure a bright future for the industry. 

    “We are living in a period of great transition for our industry, and collaboration among all members of the air cargo community has never been more important,” said Brittin. 

    “Together we can work towards a common goal to ensure that new legislation does not impact air cargo flows, as well as to find solutions to ongoing challenges such as cargo delays, restrictions on the transport of lithium batteries and the impact of Big Data on our industry.” 

    The Plenary session was the first of 15 practical workshops and panel discussions over the three-day event, which will look at issues including the Cargo Hub of the Future, New Manufacturing Trends such as 3D printing, and Disruptive Innovation, as well as masterclasses reporting on the latest security and Customs regulations. 

    During the Forum, ICAO and TIACA will release a Joint Communique outlining their continued plans to work together on a series of initiatives aimed at improving the industry. 

    This includes the development of a new technology platform to support Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information (PLACI) systems, as well as a new Cargo Service Quality Index for measuring cargo performance at the airport level.

    The collaborative effort further builds on previous agreements between ICAO and TIACA signed at the Association’s two previous ACFs in Seoul, South Korea, and Atlanta, USA.

    Hundreds of exhibitors from leading companies, including Heathrow Airport, Chapman Freeborn, Emirates SkyCargo, and Le Groupe La Poste, are set to welcome thousands of delegates over the next three days.

    To download this article as a PDF or Word document click here

  • Forwarders give cautious welcome to Heathrow expansion decision

    Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said: “Today’s news appears to be the beginning of the end of years of procrastination over the expansion of UK aviation capacity.

    “If that is the case, it is long overdue good news for our 1,500 member companies who have been dismayed over the ongoing delay on such a huge issue.

    “However, we understand that a public consultation will now be held on the effects of airport expansion before the government makes a final decision as part of a national policy statement on aviation, with MPs then voting on that decision in the winter of 2017-18.

    “If that is the case, uncertainties remain. Whilst the UK Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling has hinted at an expedited planning procedure, with no reopening of high level arguments, the inevitable legal challenges and the convoluted parliamentary and planning processes that are also likely lead me to doubt that any expansion will be completed by the time that UK aviation capacity is predicted to run out in 2025.

    “I hope I am proved wrong, but I won’t be booking a ticket for the opening ceremony just yet."

  • TAPA goes to the EU in Brussels to outline plans for a new secure parking programme to combat rising cargo crime

    Addressing LANDSEC, the Commission’s expert group on land transport security, TAPA outlined its plan to launch a robust secure parking programme in the first half of 2017.

    Data reported to TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) shows that over 86% of all recorded cargo crimes last year involved trucks. The Association captured intelligence on 807 cases of Theft from Vehicle alone in 2015, representing 53.3% of all crimes in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, as well as 205 incidents involving Theft of Vehicle, 145 Theft from Trailer crimes, 81 Truck Thefts and 61 cases of Theft of Trailer. The majority of the 60 Hijackings reported to TAPA last year also involved attacks on trucks and drivers.

    In 57.2% of all recorded cargo crimes in 2015, information provided by companies, law enforcement agencies and insurers stated the location of thefts to be ‘Unsecured Parking’, totalling 866 incidents. One of the causes of crime, TAPA says, is the lack of credible, measurable secure parking sites in the EMEA region, and particularly Europe, making it extremely difficult for companies to determine the security level of a parking site without a physical inspection.

    TAPA’s secure parking programme will be open to all parking owners. The Association says its aim is to identify secure parking places through certification, partnership and mutual recognition. It will recognise existing secure parking locations and encourage other parking site operators to update the security of their locations to attract new business. TAPA is building a new online tool for its Manufacturer and Logistics Service Provider members that will incorporate a route planner, a secure parking locator, site information and contact details, as well as an incident history overlay showing the locations of previous cargo crimes reported to TAPA on the routes companies are planning to use.

    The online tool will also provide an opportunity for feedback from TAPA members, drivers, parking owners and law enforcement agencies.

    In Phase 1, there will be three ways for parking site owners to join the new secure parking programme:

    • A self-certification entry level with TAPA conducting sample audits of these sites;
    • By signing an annual Partner Declaration to confirm the security requirements stated in the TAPA programme are in place;
    • Through mutual recognition by TAPA of parking place operators that have met the requirements of other organisations with TAPA pre-approved and accredited parking security schemes.

    Phase 2 will see the addition of a full certification programme with audits carried out by independent audit bodies with recertification every three years. Parking operators will also be required to carry out annual self audits under the certification scheme, which will have three levels.

    Jason Breakwell, Vice Chair of TAPA EMEA, said: “The challenges facing transport operators in our region cannot be ignored. We are taking action to help minimise losses from supply chains and to help improve driver safety following the growing number of reports of violent attacks over the past 2-3 years. We want to give our members access to a wider choice of secure parking locations, promote the secure sites that already exist, and encourage other parking owners to raise their security levels to gain new business.

    “Cargo crime is not going away. In fact, incident reports to TAPA’s IIS show significant year-on-year increases for each of the first nine months of 2016 and we expect this to be the worst year for recorded freight thefts in over five years in the EMEA region. This is also due to the fact that virtually all products are now at risk of theft from supply chains. The International Road Union (IRU) statistics show that in Europe, 75% of all goods by volume or 18 billion tonnes of products a year are delivered by trucks. That means there is tremendous growth potential for parking operators that respond to the call for greater security from their potential customers.”

  • Container shipping market has bottomed out

    Worse than expected second quarter financial results will be followed by a better second half-year. But Drewry still expects container carriers to record a collective operating loss of $5 billion this year. We forecast industry profitability to recover next year, thanks to improving freight rates and slightly higher cargo volumes, and so record a modest operating profit of $2.5 billion in 2017.

    However, this anticipated recovery needs to be put into perspective. While average freight rates are expected to improve next year, this will follow several years of negative returns and will still leave pricing well below the average for 2015. A key unknown remains carrier commercial behaviour which has proven unpredictable and counterintuitive. Hanjin’s demise may mark a watershed in this regard, but liner complacency on the risks of insolvency may challenge this notion.

    Fuel prices are also on the increase and carriers are extremely wary of costs. This may support higher freight rates via the bunker surcharge mechanism, but it also increases operational costs.

    The fact that the orderbook is at a virtual standstill is a major positive as is rapidly increased scrapping. But even so, the next two years will still be very challenging on the supply side with annual fleet growth of between 5% and 6% and many more ultra large container vessels (ULCVs) to be delivered.

    In reaction, the industry is rapidly consolidating by necessity rather than by design. Those carriers who can weather this prolonged storm have a chance of emerging the strongest in 2019/20.

    Drewry has highlighted for some time that carriers have not focused on revenue and with increasing debt this is a genuine issue for the industry in view of Hanjin’s failure. Drewry estimates that revenue for 2016 may reach $143 billion, but this compares to $218 billion back in 2012.

    Neil Dekker, Drewry’s director of container research, commented: “Hanjin’s failure is the culmination of several years of poor commercial decisions and mismanagement, not just by Hanjin, but the industry as a whole. But it did not necessarily signal a major tipping point for the industry. It was more a side-show as freight rates had crucially already turned a corner at the mid-year point. More consolidation is likely, but is not necessarily the route to the promised land. Senior company executives talk about synergy savings of hundreds of millions of dollars, but this means nothing when it is all too easily given away in weak contract negotiations and the desire to maintain precious market share. The answer lies with fully addressing the revenue side of the equation and thankfully there are signs that the spot market is being addressed to some degree. The acid test for 2017 will be how the lines approach BCO contract negotiations.”

    Source: Drewry