APS Technology Group has announced that Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) is implementing its Automated Gate System optical character recognition (OCR) solution at two marine container terminals at the ports of Manzanillo and Veracruz in Mexico.

The solution provided by APS will automate the container identification process at the exit gates of the two terminals with the collection of high-resolution images, in a bid to increase throughput and enable remote equipment inspections.

This marks the first time that APS has entered the Mexican container terminal market. Its Gate OCR solution will be integrated with Hutchison's proprietary host system to enable automatic gate processing functions without human interaction, a joint company statement said.

"We regularly look for and evaluate the latest technologies for our terminal. We selected the APS Gate OCR system as the better solution to help increase our productivity as well as to increase overall safety and security during gate operations," said Alejandro Plascencia, CIO, HPH Americas and Caribbean.

HPH's Internacional de Contenedores Asociados de Veracruz (ICAVE) is located at the Port of Veracruz and handles 80 per cent of Veracruz's container throughput and 19 per cent of all containers handled in Mexico.

Terminal Internacional de Manzanillo (TIMSA) on the west coast of Mexico handles 18 per cent of containerised cargo in the port of Manzanillo.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HAMBURG's Rickmers-Linie, heavy lift and project liner services operator, is expanding into inland China, to be closer to industrial factories that supply nearby end-user building sites, said Rickmers-Linie chief China representative Wolfgang Harms.

"We have appointed additional liaison offices in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, Chongqing and Chengdu, the capital of Szechuan province. These three inland liaison offices will be managed for the time being out Shanghai by general manager Zhao Jin Hai. We are also strengthening our presence in the south Guangdong province with a liaison office in Shenzhen, which will be managed by Sylvia Mak in Hong Kong," he said.

Rickmers-Linie has already had for some years an inland representation in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang, bordering on Kazakhstan. This office is managed from the Beijing office by Julie Zhu.

Rickmers-Linie is a specialist in global transport of breakbulk, heavy lift and project cargo by sea. The company belongs to Rickmer Groups, which offers diversified activities in the segments of maritime assets, services and logistics.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CEVA Logistics has signed a five-year contract with Nasser Bin Abdullatif Alserkal, one of the biggest importers and distributors of major tyre brands.

CEVA will be responsible for the management of all Alserkal's outbound logistics and tyre distribution across the region, which will be managed from an 8,000-square-metre facility at CEVA's number four site located in the Jebel Ali Free Zone.

Ahmad Alserkal, managing director of Nasser Bin Abdullatif Alserkal, Bridgestone tyres division, said: "Our strategic aim is to centralise all our logistics functions, so we benefit from streamlined activities, improved operational efficiency and can focus on our core business of tyre trading, as well as building strong relationships with our customers."

John Gould, CEVA's managing director, Middle East, said: "This partnership demonstrates our ability to provide comprehensive and integrated logistics services for the tyre industry," he said.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

CEVA has signed a three year contract with Italy's Hankook Tire, a global tyre manufacturer to manage, store and distribute from its hub in Somaglia, near Lodi, Italy,

Using its 6,000 square metre facility, CEVA will distribute car, light truck and truck tires across northern Italy and manage a shuttle service to Hankook Tire's main warehouse in Rome which serves the central and southern regions.

CEVA will handle 500,000 pieces across 400 product lines each year, using two incoming and several outgoing vehicles each day to reach dealers and retailers in the north of the country as well as Hankook's site in Rome, reports the UK's Transport Intelligence. CEVA will also manage reverse logistics for Hankook Tire, guaranteeing the highest efficiency and punctuality in the collection of returns.

Said CEVA's southern European chief Fabio Cecchettin: "We are well aware of the challenges that characterise this market and have developed cutting-edge solutions to manage storage, distribution and reverse logistics activities in an impeccable and fast way, which is essential in this sector."

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

LUFTHANSA Cargo is adding new flights to its summer schedule, including the commencement of the service to Chongqing.

Starting March 25, Chongqing will be served with four weekly flights operated by the carrier's MD-11 freighters.

Due to the network expansion of Lufthansa's passenger services, the cargo carrier is also serving for the first time Shenyang in northeastern China and Qingdao in Shandong province.

In addition, the summer schedule increases the frequency of flights to Detroit to twice-weekly connections. Services to the US automotive capital commenced initially in January with a weekly flight.

For South America, the cargo carrier is offering twice-weekly MD-11 flights ex Frankfurt to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay.

Back in the summer timetable is Kolkata (Calcutta), India, with once-weekly direct flights from Frankfurt. Flights were operated to the Indian metropolis last summer, but were discontinued in recent months, a statement from the carrier said.

"We have selectively extended our route network and brought new and attractive growth markets into the timetable," said Lufthansa board member product and sales Andreas Otto. "We are expanding our presence in China, the world's biggest air freight market, and now laying on freighter connections to a total of six Chinese destinations."

Lufthansa Cargo operates 9,000 flights a week in the summer flight schedules, to serve a total of 51 destinations, including 25 destinations in Asia and eight in North America.

All freighter flights out of Germany will be based in Frankfurt. The flights to North America and Asia, which were relocated to Cologne/Bonn temporarily in the winter timetable, will also depart from Frankfurt. The cargo carrier offers flights to a total of 303 destinations in 99 countries.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

ALL Nippon Airways (ANA), Cathay Pacific and Singapore Airlines (SIA) will increase passenger fuel surcharges in April, according to a statement from the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department.

The new fuel surcharges will be HK$248 (US$31.93) for short-haul flights and HK$1,132 for long-haul flights.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

HANJIN Group's Navoi Project to develop Uzbekistan Navoi Airport into an international logistics hub in Central Asia has reached an important milestone with the opening of the residential HJ Navoi Complex.

Korean Air, a core subsidiary of Hanjin Group, held a ceremony to open the complex in an 18,188-square-metre site near Navoi International Airport, to support the development of the Navoi Free Industrial-Economic Zone (FIEZ). With the opening of the complex, the group expects it will be able to create a new logistics market as the logistics volume passing through FIEZ has been increasing. It will also assist the Uzbekistan government in attracting more foreign businesses.

Mr Chang Hoon Chi, president and COO of Korean Air said: "HJ Navoi Complex is the first chapter in Hanjin Group's efforts to develop an advanced logistics complex in the FIEZ area. This facility will not only provide a stable and pleasant residential environment for the regional workers in Navoi but will also contribute in attracting foreign businesses to the Navoi FIEZ area."

Navoi FIEZ is a 5-million-square-metre site created by local government legislation in 2008 and the Uzbekistan government is working to accelerate foreign investment in electricity, electronic, machinery, petro-chemistry and medicine. Companies from 17 countries, including South Korea, China, Oman, Singapore and India, are constructing facilities in the area.

Hanjin Group has been conducting a variety of projects to turn Navoi into a logistics hub for Central Asia since it first began operating cargo flights to Navoi in August 2008, a company statement said.

Since January 2009, the group has been managing Navoi International Airport in conjunction with the Uzbekistan government. In January 2010 Hanjin Transportation co-established the Eurasia Logistics Service with one of the local ground transport companies in Navoi and in August 2010. They built a new Navoi Cargo Terminal designed to handle 100,000 tonnes of cargo a year to strengthen the ground network of Central Asia.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE world's biggest container shipping company, Maersk Line, has stopped all cargo bookings from North Europe to Asia because it says it does not, and will not, have the eastbound slots needed until early May.

That's because, Maersk told shippers in its Weekly Highlight newsletter, of a "large number of consecutive vessel cancellations following Chinese New Year", leaving north European ports short of tonnage to move the cargo east. The Danish shipping giant then told customers to "make alternative arrangements for your cargo."

This has aroused suspicions of Ben Hackett of Hackett Associates, a shipping analyst who produces the Global Port Tracker, who said: "They are using it to bump the freight rates up. I think it is more an unwillingness to carry cargo at certain rates.

"Even if you take out five per cent or 10 per cent capacity, how do you end up with a lack of capacity?" said Mr Hackett, reported American Shipper. "Only about five per cent of capacity has been withdrawn. In theory they are running their Daily Maersk service, so it should not be a problem."

But Maersk said: "Very low westbound demand from Asia after the Chinese New Year prompted several carriers to cancel multiple westbound sailings and, in turn, eastbound sailings. Shippers are disappointed by the capacity shortage. This has reached an unprecedented level necessitating a booking stop to prevent escalation of the backlog."

Maersk also said a stronger eastbound demand has been noted in recent months and has continued to rise despite general rate increases for February, March and April.

Maersk also said terminal density at some north European ports had come close to yard capacity and if bookings were not stopped, congestion would build and cut productivity, further impeding clearance of the backlog.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

APM TERMINALS, the container port operator unit of Denmark's AP Moller group, is to open a container terminal at Port of Rotterdam's Maasvlakte II area and aims to double productivity when operational in November 2014, building begins in June 2012.

The first phase will be able to handle 2.7 million TEU annually through the use of quay cranes and place them on one of 36 lift-automated guided vehicles (Lift AGVs). The 15 metres long and three metres wide Lift AGVs are capable of carrying two containers per move at a speed of 22kph using onboard navigation system to then place them in one or two of the 128 storage racks.

The new lift AGVs built by German unit of Demag Crane, Gottwald Port Technology is powered by low-noise diesel-electric motors with feasibility studies in progress for full electric power.

The ability for AGVs to place in storage racks for the first time supports the terminal's productivity improvements of 25 to 50 per cent compared to conventional terminal designs, said the company's Maasvlakte II managing director Frank Tazelaar of equipment due for delivery first quarter 2013 for testing.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

MANZHOULI customs checkpoint, in north China's Inner Mongolia, is expecting to see trade volume reach 28.11 million tonnes by the end of the year, and increase of 5.7 per cent year on year, Xinhua reports.

During the first two months of this year, the checkpoint handled 4.16 million tonnes of imports and exports, up 24.1 per cent year on year.

In 2011, Manzhouli checkpoint recorded a throughput of 26.6 million tonnes. Foreign trade value increased 9.4 per cent to US$3.5 billion. It was named one of the top 10 timber import checkpoints in China last year and resumed import of coal. Its import of mineral powder, timber and export of mineral products and construction material all recorded robust growth of over 20 per cent.

Manzhouli is the largest overland checkpoint in China. It handles 70 per cent of the Sino-Russian trade cargo.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

KNOWN as rival ports, Kenya's Mombasa and Tanzania's Dar es Salaam say they are now working together to improve efficiency and serve the region better, reports Xinhua.

Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) managing director Gichiri Ndua and Tanzania Ports Authority port manager Cassian N'gamilo said the two ports are not competing but complementing each other, sharing information, skills and strategic planning.

The officials are on a two-day on-spot assessment of the operations of the two ports, saying they share a lot of commonalities and interaction that there is no room for competition, said the report.

"The growth in cargo volumes and hence the demand for services at the port of Mombasa has grown progressively and there is need for capacity expansion," Mr Ndua told a team of ministers from EAC Partner States and EAC Secretary General Ambassador Richard Sezibera at Mombasa.

The ministers are appraising existing problems, solutions that have been introduced and ongoing reforms at the ports as well as assessing the real time in clearing goods at the ports.

Reforms have been introduced, including a single widow programme and 24-hour operations, as well as a grace period for shippers to clear cargo without demurrage.

Mr Ndua said Mombasa still faced adequate port capacity to meet increasing demand, inadequate equipment, lack of adequate investments in infrastructure, as well as infrastructure constraints extending beyond KPA to road and rail networks, systems as well as the slow introduction of new technology.

Cargo volumes through Mombasa had increased 25 per cent since 2007 and the port traffic had increased from 10.5 tonnes to 19.9 tonnes last year 2011.

Mr Ndua said Mombasa Container Terminal was developed in 1980s with a capacity of 250,000 TEU but container had increased to 770,804 TEU in 2011.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE Port of Oakland has docked the largest containership ever to call at ports in North America, the 12,562 TEU MSC Fabiola, which is part of the fleet of the world's second-largest shipping line, Geneva's Mediterranean Shipping Company.

The vessel arrived from Long Beach and was berthed at Oakland International Container Terminal for an overnight stay before departing for an 18-day transpacific voyage to Fuzhou and then onto four other ports in China.

"Hosting the largest containership ever to call in North America is what we mean when we say that the Port of Oakland is 'world class, world fast'," said Oakland port commission president Pamela Calloway.

"We invest in our terminals, navigation channels and landside infrastructure to welcome these ships because they are the cleanest and safest in the industry. They are also where the industry is headed and where we must head to continue to compete."

The MSC Fabiola is almost a quarter of a mile long, more than the length of four football fields or about equal to the height of a 55-storey building. If all of the containers that fit on the ship were put end to end, they would stretch almost 50 miles.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

JAPANESE shipping giant NYK has been included in the list of "2012 World's Most Ethical Companies" by the US think tank Ethisphere Institute which has awarded the company the honour for the fifth consecutive year.

"The World's Most Ethical Companies designation recognises leading companies that truly go beyond making statements about doing business ethically and translate those words into action," a company statement said.

It said it is the only shipping company to be included among the 145 companies listed, and only one of six Japanese companies recognised.

In compiling the "2012 World's Most Ethical Companies" the Ethisphere Institute examined companies from 100 countries and 48 industries.

They were judged in the areas: ethics and compliance programmes; reputation, leadership and innovation; governance; corporate citizenship and responsibility and culture of ethics.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

GLOBAL supply chain giant CEVA Logistics has announced the appointment of Franck Chevret as senior vice president for France.

Mr Chevret will report to CEVA's northern European president Leigh Pomlett and will be responsible for further development of supply chain solutions for new and existing customers. In addition, he will continue to embed CEVA's programme of "Operations Excellence" across all departments, said a company statement.

He joins CEVA from DHL Supply Chain, where he has worked since 2005 and was managing director for Russia, Romania, Poland, Ukraine and also Morocco. Before this, he held several management posts in Danzas and Exel.

"We are delighted to welcome Franck to CEVA's team. We are certain that his expertise in the logistics industry and his leadership will be crucial to further developing our activities in France," said Mr Pomlett in a company statement.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News

THE British International Freight Association (BIFA) has declared that the British government budget does not address its members concerns on fuel prices.

"It is disappointing that the fuel duty increase planned for August 2012 has not been scrapped in today's Budget," said BIFA director general Peter Quantrill.

"Such a move would have sent out a positive message from government to businesses in our sector, which operate on the tightest of margins and put us in a better position to both facilitate international trade and compete on a level playing field with foreign competition," he said.

But Mr Quantrill also welcomed news of the government's decision to waive backdated business rate bills for port-based companies and that the tax on heavy trucks would be frozen.

"We are also pleased to hear that the coalition government intends to double UK exports to GBP1 trillion (US$1.5 trillion) this decade which would bring additional business to BIFA members. It is also positive that the government is prepared to confront the lack of airport capacity in the south-east. We now look forward to hearing more about government initiatives which will deliver on these announcements," he said.

"We note that the government will take forward many of Alan Cook's recommendations for the roads, including developing a national roads strategy and setting a renewed focus on the level of performance expected from the Highways Agency," said Mr Quantrill.

"We also note that the government will consider whether to go further and will carry out a feasibility study into new ownership and financing models for the national road network. BIFA will now look into how we can contribute to that study," he said.

"Our members are still being hit by the high cost of fuel and we would still like to see the introduction of an essential user rebate and a review of the fuel duty increase planned for August 2012," said Mr Quantrill.

The government's recent announcements about differing means of investing in road transport infrastructure is good news for its members, but road pricing schemes could burden companies bottom lines, he added.

Source Shipping Gazette - Daily Shipping News
 

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The magazine JŪRA has been published since 1935.
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