Maersk Line, the world’s largest liner shipping company, has added the Port of Hamburg to the port rotation of its Maersk AE-6 Service. The MATHILDE MAERSK berthed at Eurogate Container Terminal Hamburg (CTH) as the first vessel on this liner service to call in Hamburg on 24 March 2012.

Built in 2009, the MATHILDE MAERSK with her length of 367 metres and breadth of 43 metres, and slot capacity of around 9,700 TEU (20-ft standard containers) belongs to the generation of VLCS (Very Large Container Ships). Fully loaded, the vessel’s draught reaches 15 metres. The AE-6 Asia-Europe Service is operated in combination with the TP-6 Transpacific Service, with a total of 14 vessels with slot capacities of between 9,500 and 9,700 TEU.

From Hamburg the route for the voyage is initially towards Asia, then onwards to the US West Coast. In the rotation from Hamburg, calls are made at the following ports: Felixstowe, Le Havre, Suez Canal, Salalah, Tanjung Pelepas, Vung Tau, Nansha, Yantian, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Ningbo, Shanghai, Xiamen, Yantian, Tanjung Pelepas, Algeciras, Bremerhaven, and back to Hamburg.

Last year the Port of Hamburg’s total container throughput on the two trade routes East Asia and North America was able to achieve disproportionately strong growth. The services between Hamburg and the United States of America reported the steepest increase with 81.6 percent to 297,000 TEU assuring the USA of an advance from twelfth into sixth place among the Port of Hamburg’s leading foreign trade partners. Asia, with total transport volume of 5.2 million TEU (up by 8.8 percent), once again retained top position among trade routes served by the Port of Hamburg in 2011.

Source Hafen Hamburg Marketing e.V.

Harri Sailas, Chairman of the Board of Finnair and Mika Vehviläinen, CEO,  discussed the future of the company in the Annual General Meeting held today. Sailas described the powerful transformation in the aviation industry and briefly discussed the stir caused by the special remunerations granted to key personnel in 2009.

Sailas emphasised how crucial it is that the actual battle for Finnair's existence and future does not get buried under media debate. “The year 2011 showed that aviation industry has irrevocably changed and that Finnair has to solve its profitability issues without any delay if it wants to come out as a winner in this turmoil,” he said. “We started out behinds, and the shift in the industry has been dramatic.”

According to Sailas, Finnair’s financial position must be strong enough to allow the company to invest and participate in the development of the industry where necessary. “Finnair can’t afford to sit on the sidelines while the industry rapidly evolves. We need to change our cost structures,” he continued. “The positive thing in this industry is that air travel is continuing to grow, especially between Europe and Asia, which helps us in this transformation and gives us hope. We intend capitalize on this growth by doubling our Asian traffic and by improving the cost-efficiency of our European traffic.”

Sailas also commented on the company’s recent culture and management development projects. “The recent news coverage can easily bury the positive change going on in Finnair and its culture,” he said.

Sailas also noted that the Board supports management’s determined efforts to drive the change and the renewal of culture that was started two years ago, and aims at even more open communications and transparent co-operation with personnel. “Making Finnair successful requires taking bold steps forward. Our goal is to build a Finnair everybody can be proud of.”

“We intend to come out as winners”

According to Mika Vehviläinen, the recent discussion shows how deeply Finns care for Finnair: “The amount of attention and interest in us has shown how important Finnair and its blue and white wings are to Finns. We are extremely grateful for this emotional bond and the trust our customers have placed in us and we intend to keep working hard to maintain this relationship of trust.”

Vehviläinen also outlined the path to Finnair’s future: “We are clearly on the right path and our plan is progressing well, but we still face difficult decisions. Nevertheless, our objective is clear: We must restore Finnair’s profitability and vitality to allow it to continue to serve our customers, shareholders and personnel well into the future.”

“We have a set of clear objectives that we are striving towards,” Vehviläinen said. “We will be the most desired airline for flights between Europe and Asia, and the number one airline in the Nordic countries. We have an ambitious goal of making Helsinki the most important hub in Northern Europe, through which a significant proportion of traffic is routed. Feeder traffic for Asian routes provides opportunities for effective European connections for Finns.”

Vehviläinen said that in 2011 Finnair has been investing strongly in the development of customer service with excellent results. He thanked the staff for their continuous work for customer satisfaction: “We have been able to continuously improve our customer satisfaction in relation to our competitors and again fared well in the international Skytrax customer satisfaction survey. Our skilled, experienced and committed employees give us a durable advantage.”

Vehviläinen stated that Finnair will continue its determined work to achieve profitable growth. “We have decided to offer our customers the best connections to Europe and Asia, and we have decided to fly through the eye of the storm and come out as winners.”

Source Finnair Plc

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged governments and other stakeholders in Latin America to unite to give aviation the freedom to succeed by improving aviation safety, making badly needed investments in infrastructure and reducing the heavy tax burden on the industry. “The freedom to succeed depends on having the right conditions in place. Many of those conditions are beyond the control of the airlines—or at least require industry and government to work together with a common vision and purpose,” said IATA Director General and CEO Tony Tyler.

Tyler urged governments to use aviation as a catalyst for economic growth and development in the region. Aviation supports more than 4.6 million jobs and $107 billion in GDP in the Latin America/Caribbean region. But this could be much more. Americans travel an average of 1.8 times a year. Chile has the region’s highest propensity to travel. But it is still at 0.7 trips per year. “There is great potential to be achieved if we work closely with governments to secure our future,” said Tyler.

Tyler noted that IATA is strongly aligned with the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) to enable aviation to achieve its economic potential. “ALTA is a partner of IATA in this region and we are working in harmony to move aviation forward.”

Tyler identified three areas that are vital to enabling aviation to fulfill its economic potential in the region.

Safety: “The freedom to succeed begins with safety because without it success is not sustainable. Earlier this month, we announced our analysis of the industry’s 2011 safety performance. It was a stellar year—the best in history: 2.8 billion people flew safely on 38 million flights.” However, Tyler noted that the picture in the Latin America/Caribbean region was not as bright. “Although Latin American airlines achieved a 32% improvement in the Western-built jet hull loss rate compared to 2010, the 2011 performance was still 3.5 times worse than the global rate. LATAM traffic is 6% of the global total but it accounted for 27% of jet hull losses. If this does not improve, then the current rate of traffic growth means that in six years, carriers here will experience a major accident every eight weeks. Clearly that is not sustainable.”

“If Latin American aviation is to continue to deliver on its immense promise, safety must be addressed as a community working in partnership with government. And global standards must be at the heart of our joint efforts.” Tyler cited the success of the IATA Operational Safety Audit, which is a condition for membership in both IATA and ALTA, as a means of improving safety. “The accident rate for non-IOSA carriers in LatAm is five times worse than for those airlines that have met the standards. Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Panama recognize this and have incorporated IOSA into their safety oversight. Peru is expected to follow in 2014. I cannot understand why all Latin American governments don’t do the same. It can only help.”

Following on from IOSA is the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO). It is improving safety and helping reduce the $4 billion annual cost of ground damage. Eleven airports and four safety regulators in the region have given their formal support. Four airlines are part of the audit pool with others expected to join shortly.

Tyler noted the importance of information sharing to identify emerging safety trends and take actions to mitigate risks. “On this, IATA and ALTA are working hand-in-hand, with a landmark agreement enabling all ALTA members to contribute to and benefit from IATA’s Global Safety Information Center (GSIC).”

Security: “A decade after the tragic events of 9.11, we are much more secure but perhaps not equally wiser in the way that we accomplish passenger security. Does the security experience of long lines—which is a particular issue at several large hub airports in Latin America—plus unpacking, disrobing and often intrusive checks, need to be that way?” Tyler cited IATA’s Checkpoint of the Future that will differentiate screening using passenger information that is already being collected for immigration purposes. This will be combined with technology that allows passengers to walk through checkpoints without stopping, disrobing or unpacking.

Tyler cited the need to harmonize passenger data exchange within the region. “As with safety, security needs global standards. Many of the LATAM programs for passenger and cargo data require non-standardized data exchange methods that cannot be supported by airlines. And even if they could, the systems would be inefficient and not in harmony with the rest of the world. IATA is working to educate authorities on the need for change and providing alternatives.”

Infrastructure: Tyler said that aviation’s sustainability is also highly dependent on adequate airport and air traffic management infrastructure. “To be candid, I have big concerns about this region. Infrastructure clearly is deficient in many countries but I do not see a level of urgency among governments to fix it with holistic solutions. Bottlenecks created from neglect and underinvestment could choke future growth.”   

Tyler noted the recent airport privatizations in Brazil are intended to help that country fast track much needed investment in airport infrastructure ahead of the FIFA World Cup and Olympics events. However, the high prices paid by the new airport investors for the concessions are a matter of concern. “The investment must be recouped through efficiency improvements that enable traffic growth, not in higher charges to airlines,” said Tyler.

Tyler also cited the need to open more airspace that is currently restricted to military use and to reduce the heavy fees and user charges imposed on travel and tourism across the region. “At least $4 billion is collected from airlines and their customers. There is very little transparency on what happens to that money. But a best guess is that less than a third stays within the sector.”

“The future is bright for Latin American aviation. Now, governments in the region need to do their part by working with all stakeholders in the areas of safety, security, infrastructure and charges to ensure that the freedom to succeed is not an empty phrase. IATA is a willing and able partner in this effort,” Tyler said.

Source IATA

HONG KONG listed Cosco Pacific, the Cosco group's terminal operating, container making and leasing company, posted a year-on-year 7.6 per cent net profit increase to US$3.88 million in 2011 drawn on a 34.2 revenue increase to $599.15 million.

Profit from the terminal handling business increased 54 per cent to $184.89 million while container leasing brought in 20.9 per cent more profit year on year to $116.5 million, the company announced in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Profit from container manufacturing was up 30.4 per cent to $91.8 million in the same period.

In 2011, throughput at company terminals increased 15.1 per cent year on year reaching 50,695,897 TEU, the company said, adding that the group's acquisition of 10 per cent more equity interest in the Shenzhen Yantian Terminal the year before also increased profit growth.

"In addition, Piraeus Terminal in Greece and Guangzhou South China Oceangate Terminal, which returned to profitability in September 2010 and the first half of 2011 respectively, showed strong performance during the year, boosting the overall profit from the terminal business," said the company.

In container leasing, management and sale businesses, profits of US$116.5 million were recorded in 2011, a 20.9 per cent year-on-year increase. The container fleet stood at 1,777,792 TEU at the end of the year, an 8.9 per cent increase over 2010.

For its unit, China International Marine Containers (CIMC), after the rapid growth of sales in dry cargo containers and persistently high container prices in the first half of 2011, demand for containers slowed in the second half.

Cosco Pacific's profit attributable from CIMC was US$119.7 million, an increase of 30.4 per cent year on year.

"Revenue was primarily derived from the terminal business and container leasing, management and sale businesses. In 2011, total revenue from the terminal business rose 65.3 per cent, which was mainly attributable to the reclassification of Guangzhou South China Oceangate Terminal, resulting in an increase in total terminal revenue in 2011. Throughput of Guangzhou South China Oceangate Terminal was 3,914,348 TEU, recording revenues of $94,889,000 for the year. In addition, throughput of the Piraeus Terminal in Greece rose to 1,188,148 TEU (2010: 684,881 TEU) in 2011, contributing revenues of $101,420,000 (2010: US$83,303,000) to the group during the year," said the company statement.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MITSUI OSK Lines (MOL) is expanding its network coverage on the Asia-South Africa trade lane by joining a service operated by two other carriers on the route, and by adding a new port of call to one of its own services.

The Japanese shipping line said it will participate in the existing Asia and South Africa Service (ASA) operated by "K" Line (Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha) and PIL (Pacific International Lines), starting from April 8.

The ASA service links central and south China, Taiwan, south east Asia and South Africa on a 56-day rotation.

MOL said in a statement that by joining the ASA it will be able to offer a weekly service. It will provide one of the eight ships, the MOL Delight, deployed on the service.

The port rotation for the ASA is Shanghai, Ningbo, Keelung, Hong Kong, Shenzhen-Shekou, Singapore, Port Kelang, Durban, Cape Town, Port Kelang, Singapore, Hong Kong and back to Shanghai.

In a related development, MOL said it will expand the network coverage of its Mozambique Express service (MZX) by adding a fortnightly port of call in Nacala during May and June. Nacala is one of the largest ports in the north of Mozambique.

The revised port rotation for the MZX service is Tanjung Pelepas, Singapore, Port Louis, Durban, Maputo, Tamatave/Nacala (on an alternative weekly basis), returning to Tanjung Pelepas for a total rotation of 35 days.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GENEVA-based Mediterranean Shipping Company has received the final in a series of five ships ordered in October 2007 from Korean's Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) to be deployed on its Asia-Europe Silk Service (FAL 6) along with the MSC Aurora delivered a few weeks ago.

The 13,050-TEU MSC Vandya charter is backed by Hamburg-based shipowner Reederei Claus Peter Offen and is to replace 8,400- to 9,200-TEU ships on this service.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

STRIKE-BOUND Ports of Auckland (PoA) remains determined to lock out the 300 unionised dockers it thought it had fired, but faced with a court ruling that the men had not been legally terminated, the municipal port authority will now pay them until the scheduled April 6 lockout begins.

The Employment Court judge also ordered the PoA not to "encourage or entice" redundant dockers to seek employment with outside contractors, who have already hired more than 50 men to replace the "sacked" union workers.

PoA lawyers announced in the Employment Court that all dockers, who would have worked "guaranteed shifts" under the old contract, would be paid until the lockout of unionised workers begins.

PoA and Maritime Union of New Zealand return to court on Friday to determine the legality of the lockout.

Cracks have appeared in importers' supply chains with one major store announcing shortages. The Warehouse placed ads in local papers, apologising for running out of Lego Friends toys, but the shortage was attributed to "exceptional" sales of the item, and in most cases importers were meeting demand.

Yet the Importers Institute said more shortages would be inevitable if the disruption continued. The New Zealand Retailers Association said most of its members were unaffected by the strike, but distribution centres were running low.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

APM TERMINALS has announced it is bullish on high-growth East African markets and is planning investments in new terminal and inland services for the region, with its sights mainly set on Mombasa and Dar es Salaam.

To emphasise that East Africa is a new direction for expansion of the company's global port, terminal and inland services, APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's AP Moller group, held its annual Africa-Middle East Region's leadership meeting in Mombasa.

"There are great business and growth opportunities in East Africa and this is not new territory for APM Terminals," said Peder Sondergaard, CEO for the Africa-Middle East region, who noted that Logistics Container Centre Mombasa (LCCM), part of APM Terminals' inland services, has been in operation since 1997.

Mr Sondergaard and other senior officials including CEO Kim Fejfer recently visited Kenya and met with Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga and Trade Minister Amos Kimunya for talks, as well as meetings with local business and industry leaders in Mombasa and Nairobi Kenya's capital.

"We are very interested in participating in and contributing to the high-growth potential of the Ports of Mombasa and Dar es Salaam, and are eager for the opportunity to expand our global port and terminal network into East Africa," said Mr Sondergaard.

The company operates nine ports in eight West African countries, and has operations in both Morocco's Tanger-Med port and Egypt's Suez Canal container terminal, as well as an extensive inland network across the continent. However, it does not have any port operations on the continent's east coast.

The terminal operator said talks are underway with the Tanzanian Ministry of Transport and the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA) to operate at the Port of Dar es Salaam, which handled 475,000 TEU in 2011.

"We believe it would only benefit the port and the country to introduce a leading global port operator at Dar es Salaam, which would introduce healthy competition to the benefit of all port users," said APM Terminals' Africa-Middle East regional vice president for business development, Hans-Ole Madsen.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE APM Terminals' 2011 Sustainability Report gave APM Terminals, a unit of Denmark's AP Moller group, top marks for continued improvement in sustainability throughout the company's global port, terminal and inland services network.

APM Terminals exceeded the corporate objective of a 15 per cent decrease in carbon emissions by 2011, using a 2009 baseline for port facilities by achieving a reduction of 16.5 per cent per TEU.

APM Terminals increased its carbon emissions 2.1 per cent between 2009 and 2011 but that was because of continued expansion of company operations and the CO2 output of new cargo handling equipment, said the APM Terminals Sustainability report.

APM Terminals has established a target of a 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions per TEU by 2020 for all terminal operations, as measured against a 2010 baseline.

APM Terminals' 2011 Sustainability Report also said APM Terminals met the highest possible safety standards, reduction of the environmental impact of expanding global operations and positive contributions to the communities in which APM Terminals operate were major highlights in the APM Terminals Sustainability Report.

APM Terminals continued to be an industry leader in safety performance in 2011 in terms of reducing injuries, as the lost time injury frequency (LTIF) rate decreased by 21 per cent compared to the 2010 figure and is at its lowest level ever. LTIF is recognised globally as a key indicator for a company's safety performance. The APM Terminals goal for 2012 is a further 15 per cent reduction in the LTIF rate.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

DUBAI port operator DP World has announced it will repay a US$3 billion loan six months ahead of schedule.

DP World, a unit of heavily indebted Dubai World, said the repayments will be made between April 4 - 10, ahead of the October maturity of the loan.

The payment will reduce DP World's total debt to approximately $4.7 billion, citing a regulatory filing the company made to Nasdaq Dubai, reported Reuters, which added that this will leave its cash balance at $1.2 billion.

This follows an earlier announcement by DP World that it would cancel $2 billion of the existing revolving credit facility and replace it with a new $1 billion five-year revolving credit facility.

"While we have no immediate plans to access the new facility, it allows us to draw down and pre-pay cash as needed, providing timely and flexible access to cash as we continue to invest in our global portfolio to deliver profitable growth," said DP World CEO Mohammed Sharaf.

The $3 billion loan was arranged by Barclays, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland in 2007. The global ports operator handled a total of 54.7 million TEU in 2011, up from 49.6 million TEU in 2010.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ERSTWHILE rivals, MSC, CMA CGM and CSAV, have entered into a deal to provide a joint service between northern Europe and east coast South America, taking advantage of A Hamburg Sud, Alianca, Hapag-Lloyd decision to reorganise their activities in the trade lane.

"This new co-operation will allow CMA CGM to develop existing synergies with its new partners, to enhance its port coverage and to increase its service quality meeting customer requirements," said CMA CGM statement.

CMA CGM will provide three of the seven panamax ships with CSAV contributing three and MSC, one. They will rotate on a weekly loop through Le Havre, Rotterdam, Hamburg, Bremerhaven, Antwerp, Lisbon, Santos, Paranagua, Navegantes, Santos, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador and back to Le Havre.

CMA CGM has separately negotiated slot purchase arrangements with MSC and Hamburg Sud for cargo movements to and from ports River Plate ports including Buenos Aires. London's Containerisation International reports that the deal with Hamburg Sud will cover Tilbury and Hamburg ports as well.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

SHENYANG'S Taoxian International Airport and Lufthansa Airlines jointly held a press conference announcing the new flights from Frankfurt to the capital of northeastern Liaoning province, Xinhua reports.

The thrice weekly flights to the city of 8.1 million takes 10 hours to cover the 8,000-kilometre distance using A340, offering three flights per week. Frankfurt-bound flights take off Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from Shenyang at 0015 hrs, reaching Frankfurt at 0530 hrs local time. Passengers can transit to 170 cities across Europe via Frankfurt.

Deputy manager of Shenyang Taoxian International Airport Wang Tongtong said launch of the route means northeastern China passengers no longer have to transit via Shanghai, Beijing or Seoul to Europe.

Lufthansa also plans to inaugurate a cargo service from Shenyang to Frankfurt during the early half of this year.

Shenyang airport will also offer direct flights to the North America later this year, said the report.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

QANTAS Airways Ltd has launched a new service from Sydney to Santiago just as Australia and Chile put a free trade agreement in place.

Inaugural flight QF27 left Sydney Airport on March 26 at 11am and was scheduled to arrive in Santiago at 9:55am local time. Flying time to Santiago is 13 hours and 10 minutes.

The airline said in a statement that it is offering three return services a week on the Sydney-Santiago route on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays that are operated by a Boeing 747.

LAN Airlines is codesharing on the Qantas services while the Australian airline will continue to codeshare on LAN's daily services between Sydney and Santiago via Auckland. As fellow Oneworld members, the two carriers plan to continue to work together to promote flights between Australia, Chile and the broader South American region.

Group executive Qantas Airlines Commercial, Rob Gurney, said: "Flying to Santiago is part of Qantas' strategy to target global gateway cities. South America's fast-growing economies make it the perfect time to introduce this new, non-stop service to one of the region's major hubs.

"It is also pleasing to be expanding our long-standing relationship with Chile's national carrier, LAN. Together we will offer 10 services per week between Sydney and Santiago and access to LAN's extensive South American network."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

A TOLL being levied by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) to use the road leading to the cargo terminal at the Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSIA) has been met with resistance from cargo operators, who have slammed the toll as being "arbitrary and extortionate."

The Express Industry Council of India (EICI), the Air Cargo Agents Association of India, the Indian Merchants' Chamber (shipping and aviation committee), the Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture, the Western India Shippers Association, the Manufacturers Association on Information Technology, the Association of Multimodal Transport Operators of India and the Bombay Custom House Agents' Association (BCHAA) are protesting against the toll.

Cargo operators have been up in arms with MIAL since the toll was introduced on every trip made to the airport's cargo terminal on February 9, reports India's Daily News & Analysis (DNA).

"There was no intimation of any kind. After our protests and repeated correspondence with the MIAL, it put out a note a fortnight later saying the toll was mandatory for all vehicles," Vijay Kumar, EICI's chief operating officer, was quoted as saying. "Around 700-800 vehicles ply on this road daily. In fact, most make several sorties. From a toll of INR50 (US$0.97) to INR200, depending on the vehicle, the MIAL makes more than INR1 million every day. And, it is not even a sovereign or constitutional body empowered to collect such a toll."

Mr Kumar was cited as saying that he has written to Aviation Minister Ajit Singh and Union Aviation Secretary Nasim Zaidi to seek their support in overturning the toll.

In response MIAL authorities said: "There was a toll of INR70 in place till about a-year-and-a-half ago for vehicles which arrived at the cargo terminal. This discontinued toll has been reinstated and that too at a lower rate than before," said an official, who added, "The Indira Gandhi International Airport at Delhi and Devanahalli at Bengaluru charge INR70 for every four hours."

According to Mr Kumar other airports charge a toll only for vehicles that use the cargo terminal to park and not for using the road leading to the air freight terminal.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

EUROCAREX, an alliance of French, Belgian and Dutch airports, ran its first test train to London's St Pancras Station after an overnight trip from Lyon via Paris's Charles de Gaulle hub to circumvent the rising number of night flight bans, reports Bloomberg.

High-speed mail and parcel services may become possible if the Anglo-French safety office allows trains that travel at 190 miles per hour (305kph). London to Charles de Gaulle airport would take little more than two hours, Carex says with Amsterdam's Schiphol airport accessible within three and a half hours and Frankfurt in five and a half.

Said Air France cargo delegate to Carex Olivier Rilhac: "You can't be very optimistic about night flights. We want to be a client, but we can't lose customers, so we must find a way with EuroCarex to devise a more competitive model."

Said Eurotunnel's GB Railfreight cargo chief John Smith: "There's huge potential. As time rolls on with the green agenda, problems at airports and the capacity that these trains can offer, the economics are going to begin to swing in its favour."

Each train would carry 120 tonnes of parcels, equal to seven 737 freighters. Rail will be competitive in both the next-day delivery express market and in three-day deliveries where cost is the chief priority, says a Brussels-based Carex statement.

The test run, arranged with Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF) and rail networks in Britain, seeks to establish value for end users. Potential customers include Air France-KLM, FedEx, UPS, Geodis and Worldwide Flight Services.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping NewsEuropean night flight bans drive air express to high speed Chunnel trains

EUROCAREX, an alliance of French, Belgian and Dutch airports, ran its first test train to London's St Pancras Station after an overnight trip from Lyon via Paris's Charles de Gaulle hub to circumvent the rising number of night flight bans, reports Bloomberg.

High-speed mail and parcel services may become possible if the Anglo-French safety office allows trains that travel at 190 miles per hour (305kph). London to Charles de Gaulle airport would take little more than two hours, Carex says with Amsterdam's Schiphol airport accessible within three and a half hours and Frankfurt in five and a half.

Said Air France cargo delegate to Carex Olivier Rilhac: "You can't be very optimistic about night flights. We want to be a client, but we can't lose customers, so we must find a way with EuroCarex to devise a more competitive model."

Said Eurotunnel's GB Railfreight cargo chief John Smith: "There's huge potential. As time rolls on with the green agenda, problems at airports and the capacity that these trains can offer, the economics are going to begin to swing in its favour."

Each train would carry 120 tonnes of parcels, equal to seven 737 freighters. Rail will be competitive in both the next-day delivery express market and in three-day deliveries where cost is the chief priority, says a Brussels-based Carex statement.

The test run, arranged with Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fer Francais (SNCF) and rail networks in Britain, seeks to establish value for end users. Potential customers include Air France-KLM, FedEx, UPS, Geodis and Worldwide Flight Services.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
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