Shipping

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FMC to investigate carriers’ runaway rates success

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-17 Thu 09:12
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Following up on last week’s efforts by the Chinese Ministry of Transport to curb runaway spot rates, United States authorities have threatened to take carriers to court if they discover evidence of collusion in the container shipping industry’s highly profitable response to the global pandemic.

The US government’s Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) called a private meeting yesterday (16 September) to discuss what it described as “market trends in trade lanes serving the US and actions taken by both individual carriers and global alliances in response to Covid-19 and related impacts to the shipping industry”.

Spot rates between Asia and the US peaked last week at US$3,711/FEU on the west coast and US$4,496/FEU to the east coast, according to Freightos’ FBX01 Daily and FBX03 Daily Indexes.

The resulting surge in carrier profitability and a miserable peak season for shippers dealing with soaring transportation costs have surprised all leading analysts.

P&O Ferrymasters to enable smarter flows of trade with first 'track and trace' system for containers in Europe

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-16 Wed 08:51
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P&O Ferrymasters announced the launch of an advanced track and trace service for its container customers, making it the first major logistics business in Europe to introduce the technology. The service will allow customers to receive real-time updates on the precise location of their goods as they are…

Transpacific bull run halted by Chinese Government

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-16 Wed 08:41
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The Chinese government has put the brakes on runaway spot rates between the US and Asia preventing box rates on the Transpacific trade lane surging through the US$5,000/FEU threshold.

According to the latest figures from Freightos Baltic Index, the unprecedented bull run that has boosted the bottom line of the world’s leading carriers since the end of June, has finally been halted by China’s Ministry of Transport, The pressure exerted by the MOT, principally on Chinese carriers, COSCO and OOCL, to drop general rate increases (GRI)s planned for yesterday, but ultimately axed, was also being felt by their non-Chinese rivals.

An 11 September meeting between the MOT and shipping lines appears to have brought about, at least a temporary halt in the spot rate feeding frenzy with COSCO/OOCL’s non-Chinese counterparts falling into line, dropping their proposed increases rather than risk incurring the ire of Chinese authorities.

Dennis Zhou of Zest Shipping Media, who broke the news of MOT’s intervention at the end of last week, said in a post on LinkedIn yesterday that “Maersk had reduced its proposed rate adjustment from US$500 to US$200” with an updated USWC rate of US$3,900/FEU and US$4,700 to the US east coast, both US$300 below previous quotes.

A spokesman for Maersk told Container News, 'Our pricing continues to follow the principle of being market-relevant, transparent and fair.'

Maersk and CP ink Canada facility deal

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-15 Tue 11:14
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Canadian Pacific Railway Limited and Maersk have reached an agreement to build and operate a world-class transload and distribution facility in Vancouver.

The CP transload facility will be an expansion of CP’s existing Vancouver Intermodal Facility and will benefit from turnkey rail infrastructure.

The new facility is designed to apply Maersk’s global integrator of container logistics strategy and will offer customers access to a multi-commodity transload facility that will rely on the substantial use of rail instead of truck in the Vancouver market, as CP will shuttle containers to and from the ocean terminals via rail.

Maersk’s ambition to establish a sustainable supply chain aligns with CP’s initiatives to fight climate change, according to the companies. This compelling combination will provide an effective and efficient long-term intermodal solution for customers, said the joint announcement.

“CP’s unique landholdings in Vancouver enable us to bring to market a first-of-its-kind transload facility that creates tremendous opportunity for sustainable growth,” commented CP’s president and CEO, Keith Creel.

Avocadon't smuggle $6.6 million of drugs in produce

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-15 Tue 08:21
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility intercepted a load of hard narcotics consisting of alleged methamphetamine and heroin that was concealed within a commercial shipment of produce arriving from Mexico. The estimated street value of the seizure is $6.67 million.

“Significant narcotics interdiction enforcement actions like these have direct and immediate impact on the smuggling organizations who operate in our area,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, port of Hidalgo/Pharr/ Anzalduas. “CBP Field Operations maintains a robust enforcement posture while continuing to facilitate and process legitimate trade and travel, which is a delicate balance.”

On Sep. 12, 2020, a tractor/trailer hauling a commercial shipment of avocados arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility and a CBP officer referred the conveyance for further inspection, which included the utilization of non-intrusive imaging equipment. The thorough secondary examination resulted in officers discovering suspected narcotics hidden within the trailer. Officers removed 48 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 326 pounds and one package of alleged heroin weighing 2.41 pounds.

CIG collaborate to promote safety and security in shipping

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-14 Mon 11:39
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In further evidence of how the maritime sector is working in unison to find solutions to long standing problems four industry associations and insurers TT Club are collaborating to produce simplified guidance for packing containers.

The Container Owners Association (COA), Global Shippers Forum (GSF), the International Cargo Handling Co-ordination Association, (ICHCA) International, insurers TT Club and the World Shipping Council representing vessel owners and operators, who together form the Cargo Integrity Group (CIG) announced on 14 September that that they have published a Quick Guide to Container Packing.

The group has been formed with a view to improving the safety, security and environmental performance of the logistics supply chain, through the promotion, awareness and wider use of the Code of Practice for Packing of Cargo Transport Units – the CTU Code, developed by the International Maritime Organization, with the International Labour Organization and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).

According to the CIG members the guidance on packing containers is a large and complex volume, the Quick Guide will allow shippers to identify cargo types and their packing requirements readily.

‘Container shipping reaches near pre-Covid levels’

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-09 Wed 08:06
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In recent months, container shipping has staged a sharp rebound, now nearing pre-pandemic levels. However, the outlook remains clouded in uncertainty. 'Here we are in September, and actually, we've almost recovered back to the levels we had in global container volumes compared with pre-Covid,' Jeremy…

Reducing claims through improved cold air flow within a reefer container

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-02 Wed 11:11
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In refrigerated containers the chilled air often short circuits, not keeping the fresh produce at the desired temperature. “Cold air is lazy, it takes the path of least resistance,” explains Barry Hugo, managing director at Dunlash South Africa and Refrigerated Air Flow Technologies (RAFT).  This challenge…

Monitor temperature and humidity for perishables with LogTag data recorders

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-02 Wed 11:09
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QA Supplies recommends the UHADO-16 and HASO- 8 humidity and temperature loggers for monitoring current humidity and temperature readings simultaneously. These unique products are ideal for recording and monitoring the environment within a barn, warehouse, cooler, refrigerated transportation, and more. LogTag’s…

Colruyt Group makes fruit and vegetable deliveries greener

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-02 Wed 11:09
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Since mid-August, green folding crates have replaced the blue crates in the freshmarts of Colruyt Group's food stores (Colruyt Lowest Prices, OKay, Bio-Planet and Spar Colruyt Group). Four folding crates take up as much room as one old crate saving the group transport and space. The transition from blue…

Monitor temperature and humidity for perishables with LogTag data recorders

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-31 Mon 08:59
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QA Supplies recommends the UHADO-16 and HASO- 8 humidity and temperature loggers for monitoring current humidity and temperature readings simultaneously. These unique products are ideal for recording and monitoring the environment within a barn, warehouse, cooler, refrigerated transportation, and more. LogTag’s…

Preventing high demurrage/detention fees in times of COVID-19

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-27 Thu 09:25
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Forwarders, shippers, and importers have long complained about unreasonable demurrage & detention charges. However, the issue has ballooned in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic is heavily distorting cargo flows. The combination of blanked sailings due to a lack of critical mass of cargo, and…

UK: Millions of pounds of cocaine found in vegetable shipments

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-26 Wed 11:03
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More than £4 million worth of cocaine was found on freight flights from Kingston, Jamaica. According to the Home Office, all drugs were confiscated by Border Force officials in a series of seizures in August. “Some 22kg of cocaine was seized on 11 August, estimated to be worth £1.8 million. A further…

Reefer shipping to outpace dry cargo trade despite container shortages

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-24 Mon 09:43
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Growth in seaborne perishable cargo slowed in 2019 but is forecast to better weather the COVID-19 induced economic storm than the dry cargo trade given the broader resilience of the food supply chain. Meanwhile, availability of refrigerated container equipment is forecast to tighten as buoyant trade and…

'Icepack use growing in the fruit and vegetable sector, especially for online sales'

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-24 Mon 09:41
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People often send, for example, broccoli from the Netherlands to Spain. Then they scoop a decent amount of ice over its crate. That's to keep the broccoli in optimal condition. That, however, has a drawback. Things become a mess on arrival. There are puddles of water under all the pallets. Hygiene is…

More than 2 tons of cocaine found in fruit shipments

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-18 Tue 10:04
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This weekend, customs officers at the port of Rotterdam discovered a total of 2,100 kilograms of cocaine hidden in two fruit shipments from Ecuador and Costa Rica. The drugs had a total street value of over 157 million euros, the Public Prosecution Service said. The first batch of 1,100 kilograms of…

Fresh Del Monte Produce adds six energy efficient container vessels

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-14 Fri 13:52
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Fresh Del Monte Produce continues to fulfill its commitment to create a positive impact on the environment with the addition of six new energy-efficient reefer container vessels to its fleet. The addition of the new vessels — named Del Monte Gold, Del Monte Rose, Del Monte Harvester, Del Monte Spirit, Del Monte Valiant and Del Monte Pride — marks a new chapter in environmental sustainability for the company.  

The first of the six vessels, the Del Monte Gold, embarked on the high seas in July, traveling from Hong Kong toward the Panama Canal. Like its siblings, the Del Monte Gold has a full cargo capacity of 1,276 Twenty Foot Equivalent Unit with 634 plugs for 40-foot high cube reefer containers. Given the perishable nature of fresh fruits and vegetables, the air-cooled containers will maintain the cargo at specified temperatures, traveling in reefer mode with multiple temperature variants from -25C to 40C.

Seven tons of marijuana crosses the lime

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-12 Wed 10:16
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection officers intercepted almost 15,000 pounds of marijuana in what was supposed to be a shipment of limes. The narcotics have an estimated street value of almost $60 million.

At the Otay Mesa cargo crossing, CBP officers sent a tractor-trailer to the dock for further inspection after discovering anomalies during a scan by X-ray imaging system.  CBP officers opened the boxes and found large, tape-wrapped packages inside the many boxes manifested as limes. Officers found 622 large, tape-wrapped packages inside the boxes, containing 14,880 pounds of marijuana.  The narcotics have an estimated street value of almost $60 million.

CBP officers also intercepted 668 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a cactus shipment. CBP officers searched inside the crates of cactus pads (which are often used in nopales, or prickly pear, dishes and drinks) and found packages, wrapped with green tape, hidden inside among the pads.

“International drug trafficking organizations will use whatever means they can think of to try and move their illicit shipments into the U.S.,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP in San Diego. “CBP officers dedicate their careers to protecting our country by securing the border.  For them, these unusual seizures are all in a day’s work.”

In total, officers found 590 packages. The narcotics have an estimated street value of over $1.5 million.

 

Colombia: Cocaine seized in banana shipment bound for Antwerp

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-12 Wed 09:37
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Anti-drug officials in Santa Maria, Colombia, have seized 1,100 kilograms of cocaine bound for Antwerp on Sunday. According to UN Container Control Program coordinator Bob Van den Berghe, the drugs were packed in cases of bananas. In 2020, port control units with the support of the UN program have…

Bad apples say $19M meth shipment is produce

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-12 Wed 09:35
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations officers at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility hit it out of the park again with the seizure of another huge load of alleged methamphetamine worth $19.8 million discovered in a commercial produce shipment arriving from Mexico.

“This is another significant strike our officers have made on the methamphetamine smuggling industry,” said Port Director Carlos Rodriguez, port of Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “Large seizures like this one underscore the severity of the drug threat and show that our officers remain fiercely dedicated to upholding our border security mission.”

On Aug. 7, a 29-year-old man, a Mexican citizen from Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility driving a tractor-trailer containing a commercial shipment of produce. A secondary inspection of the conveyance resulted in CBP officers discovering 521 packages of alleged methamphetamine weighing 992 pounds concealed within the floor of the trailer.

CBP OFO seized the narcotics, the tractor-trailer and arrested the driver. Agents with Homeland Security Investigations continue with the investigation.

Lisbon: 375 kilograms of cocaine hidden in banana container seized

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-11 Tue 09:37
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Portugal’s National Unit to Combat Narcotics Trafficking has stated that “in recent days, it has launched an operation to combat international drug trafficking, aiming at the seizure of a high quantity of cocaine”. It was within the scope of this operation, which had the support of the Tax and Customs…

$16 million broccoli shipment is mostly meth

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-06 Thu 11:56
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U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Office of Field Operations at the Pharr International Bridge cargo facility discovered $16.1 million worth of alleged methamphetamine within a commercial trailer hauling a shipment of fresh broccoli.

“This is a substantial amount of hard narcotics that our officers have detected and seized from drug trafficking organizations attempting to smuggle these drugs across our border,” said Carlos Rodriguez, port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “By preventing this drug load from reaching the U.S., CBP advances its border security mission, protecting our citizens and communities.”

On Aug. 3, 2020, a 51-year-old male Mexican citizen arrived at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge cargo facility driving a tractor/trailer that contained a commercial shipment of fresh produce. A CBP officer referred the shipment for further inspection, which included a non-intrusive imaging system inspection that allowed the officers to discover packages of suspected narcotics concealed within the trailer. The inspection continued into the following day when ultimately officers removed 1,561 packages of alleged methamphetamine that weighed 804.69 pounds.

Consistently offering ready-to-eat fruits drives repeat purchases

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-24 Fri 09:40
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“Bananas wouldn’t be available on store shelves around the world if it wasn’t for the pre-conditioning and ripening process via ethylene application,” says Greg Akins, President and CEO of Catalytic Generators. “The same holds true for nearly all mature field-grown tomatoes purchased in grocery stores.”…

Singapore: Five importers fined for bringing in fruit and vegetables illegally

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-23 Thu 09:18
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In Singapore, five importers were fined a total of $28,000 for bringing in food products that did not conform to import permit requirements. This was made clear by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) in a statement on Wednesday. The agency said that its officers had detected 2,565 kg of undeclared and…

Waymo is designing a self-driving Ram delivery van with FCA

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-22 Wed 10:12
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Waymo and Fiat Chrysler Automotive are extending their four-year-old partnership to include commercial vans. On Wednesday, the companies announced a plan to jointly develop an autonomous delivery van based on FCA’s Ram ProMaster.

Waymo, the self-driving division of Google parent Alphabet, announced back in 2016 that FCA would be its first OEM (original equipment manufacturer) partner. Since then, the two companies have worked together to retrofit a fleet of hundreds of Chrysler Pacifica minivans with Waymo’s self-driving hardware and software. Now, the companies will work together on a new project — an autonomous delivery van — in the service of Waymo’s nascent delivery service, Waymo Via.

Moreover, FCA has chosen Waymo as its...

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What does the future hold for reefer shipping and the cold chain?

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-21 Tue 09:17
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Despite the impact of COVID-19 on the supply chain, the transportation of perishable goods is set to grow in 2020 as plant-based diets become popular, demand for high vitamin products increases and the Chinese meat market picks up. Considering this, refrigerated (reefer) shipping could become one of the…

Malaysia finds 1,800 tonnes of illegal toxic waste dumped at port

Submitted by Andrew Simard on 2020-Jul-20 Mon 09:09
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Malaysia has discovered 110 containers of illegally dumped toxic waste in what authorities are calling "the biggest finding of its kind" in the country's history, according to state media Bernama.

New planning tool simplifies regional truck navigation

Submitted by Andrew Simard on 2020-Jul-17 Fri 11:40
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Truck Route Planner to optimize travel patterns for Metro Vancouver truck operators.

TransLink and the Government of British Columbia are releasing the Truck Route Planner, an online tool to help commercial vehicle operators plan their trips. This tool is the first of its kind in Canada to plan truck routes with a holistic picture of the region’s commercial vehicle network.

World's most poisonous spider found in boxes of bananas sold in the UK

Submitted by Andrew Simard on 2020-Jul-17 Fri 08:23
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One of the world's most dangerous spiders has been found inside several boxes of bananas from Costa Rica that were for sale at a branch of the Tesco supermarket chain in Worcester, UK. The spiders were identified as of the Brazilian wandering spider species, which usually inhabits the tropics of South…

Frigga launches new temperature recorder T90

Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-16 Thu 08:38
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Last month, Frigga released their ultra low cost, disposable real-time temperature recorder that lasts up to 90 days. So far, this USB thermometer is being well received by customers. This month, Frigga continued to expand their wireless real-time product line and launched a new 3G real-time temperature…