Archive for March, 2010

Shipping Industry Needs More Help, British Shipping Industry

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The shipping industry is commonly considered by many to be the most carbon-friendly sector of the freight industry, but despite this the business of shipping cars and overseas shipping companies in general still needs to make changes in order to help the freight industry meet future carbon emission targets. The ocean freight industry has certainly shown signs of taking this battle into its own hands, after what’s generally recognized as the failure of recent meetings on the subject of putting in place law-binding rules and regulations to help the shipping industry in its desire to lead the fight to change their industry. Still, most feel more needs to be done to help the ocean freight industry make the needed changes to the way they do business in order to meet future carbon emission targets.

The shipping industry of the United Kingdom has been a world leader in many industries connected with the business of overseas shipping companies for centuries and they still lead the world in many sectors, such as shipping finance, insurance coverage, shipping brokerage, shipping law and shipping itself according to industry experts. It also appears that there are entities in the shipping industry of the United Kingdom that want to lead the world in the sectors of security, the environment and trade. There have been recent cries from some freight industry professionals in the United Kingdom for more to be done to build momentum in these key three areas of future growth in the freight industry, along with more work continuing to be done in other areas of interest in the freight industry. The cry for something to be done about these importance subjects isn’t a surprise considering the importance of the shipping industry to the life and breathe of the United Kingdom. Hopefully the comments reach the right ears and things begin to pick up speed in the fight to get some work done in these three areas.

E1 A1 Israel Airlines Has Seen Better Times

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

The air freight industry of Israel has problems to deal with that only a select few air freight carriers in the world have to spend company time and resources on. Israel has essentially been in a state of war since the day of its creation and the war of survival continues today. The problems of air freight carriers attempting to provide customers with air freight services in the midst of a state at war can probably only be imagined by most air freight service providers. Israel’s air freight carriers have been dealing with a war on the southern border of Israel of late, along with the worldwide financial crisis which has been strangling business opportunities for companies conducting the business of freight around the world for awhile now.

The problems of doing business in a theatre of war can be seen in the numbers that E1 A1 Israel Airlines posted in 2009. E1 A1 Israel Airlines watched as their revenue dropped by fifty percent of that experienced in 2008. It isn’t a surprise then that they lost almost twice as much in 2009 as in 2008, considering their revenues and loss of business due to uncontrollable circumstances. Certainly there are a lot more factors involved with the numbers posted by E1 A1 Israel Airlines during the past two years, but then they have a lot of company around the world. They also have problems to deal with in their air freight business that other providers around the world generally don’t have to worry about. Hopefully, the war will come to an end or they’ll find ways to deal with their problems that they haven’t thought of before. The Israelis are a very resilient people and they’ll think of something to help improve their air freight industry. Either way, the air freight industry is very important to Israel’s survival, so we can probably expect the business of freight to continue at Ben Gurion Airport, even if the country is at war.

WTSA Recommends a General Rate Increase, The change price of container services

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

After a terrible 2009 we’re finally into 2010 and with freight volumes going up slightly in the first part of 2010, along with freight rates, things are starting to look a little better for freight carriers using container shipping services from the United States to Asia.

This is great news for an industry that has had to deal with one problem after another, but it’s only a small improvement and we need to control our responses to the upturn in business. The improvement in the numbers could just be a temporary thing and we need to keep our responses to the improvement in the numbers well measured.

Just as we’re starting to get a little excited about the improvement in the freight carrier business news comes in that the Westbound Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement (WTSA) has decided that freight rates still need to be increased in order to help freight carriers deal with the problems they’re experiencing. The Transpacific Stabilisation Agreement members include APL, Cosco, Evergreen, Hanjin, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, K Line, NYK, OOCL and Yangming.

According to the WTSA freight carriers continue to head into the red as we head further into 2010, despite the increase in freight volumes and the present freight rates, and a further rate increase is necessary to help companies try to stay afloat.

This decision by the WTSA isn’t surprising since companies are continuing to loose money with the present rates that are being charged and a firm won’t be in business long if it keeps losing money. Companies need to make a profit and the price of freight services will have to be set at a level that allows firms to make a profit.…tid=20017752615

Trucking Transport Improving in Canada, Canadian trailer trucking industry

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

The last twenty months has been chaos for a Canadian transport trucking industry that has had to deal with unstable freight rates for trucking transport, but there are reports by Canadian agencies tasked with watching over the freight industry in Canada think that things could be starting to return to normal and freight rates could start being a little more stable as we head further into 2010. The latest figures indicate according to some freight industry experts that the Canadian freight trucking industry has made it through the worst part of the recession. Hopes are that the recession is over and the improvement in the numbers isn’t just a temporary event and that we’ll get to win back some of the losses that we all have seen during the past twenty months of financial instability.

This is great news for the Canadian trucking industry and the freight industry as a whole if the experts are right and the recession is starting to lessen and we can expect the numbers to begin to get better. Stable prices for transporting truck freight is going to give customers and freight carriers more confidence that things are finally beginning to turn around in the freight industry and business around the world as a whole. This could mean firms are going to be willing to spend a little more to build business, which is going to make business even better.

If the price of trucking transport continues to be chaotic though, things are going to get even tougher for some firms in the Canadian trucking industry that are already close to the financial edge. The longer we spend in recession, the more trucking firms are going to head into the red on the accounting sheet and the more losses we are going to see.

Eurotunnel Sees a Light at the End of the Tunnel, European trucking transport, trucking loads, trucking transports, trailer trucking

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Everyday trucking loads are taken through the Eurotunnel on shuttles designed to take trucking transportsacross the English Channel. The Eurotunnel is one of the most amazing feats of human engineering on the planet and history, but since it has begun operation the Eurotunnel has had a few rough years during the past decade. This of course is due to the recession that has been strangling business opportunities in the trailer trucking industry and the fact that major users of their trucking transport service decided not to resign after using the service for a few years. This was obviously a bit of a surprise to the officials that operate the Eurotunnel and they appear to have been caught off guard a bit by the sudden departure of customers they were obviously counting on.

The operators of the Eurotunnel did recover beautifully and despite falling volumes of freight for their trucking transport service they have been busy at work finding customers that are different than the customers they were after before. This time they are diversifying their business by trying to attract medium and smaller companies to their services, rather than the larger firms that they were servicing before. This strategy appears to be working as they have reported better numbers in the fourth quarter of 2009. They also looking forward to growing their business even further in 2010 with medium and small trucking firms, which should give them a better financial base upon which to conduct their business operations.

Apparently, the Eurotunnel has found new customers to keep the truck shuttles moving at a constant rate through the tunnel and pay the bills that keep adding up if you don’t pay them. Things are looking a lot better for the Eurotunnel, now that they have a few new customers, and they expect the numbers to keep going up as we head further into 2010.…tid=20017751651

Taking Flowers to Destinations Around Europe, Trucking transport of flowers, trucking loads, trucking transports, trailer trucking

Monday, March 29th, 2010

There are specialized trailer trucking units of many kinds taking freight of specific kinds to destinations around many counties of the world. One of the most unique are trucking transports that are used to take trucking loads of flower and plants from the Netherlands to wholesalers and retailers around continental Europe. The flowers and plants are actually carried in roll cages and the newest trailers have been designed to allow for maximum use of the storage ability of trailers. The latest refrigerated trucking units being used include a split-door system that allows separate loads to be carried at different temperatures within the trailer. A neat innovation that must allow trucking firms that use these new units to provide services to a variety of customers with different requirements.

Hannon Transport recently recieved an order for ten of the latest refrigerated trucking trailers being made by Schmitz Cargobull that will be operating out of Hannon Transport’s business in the Netherlands. The new refrigerated trailers will be put to work taking flowers and plants from some of the world’s largest flower auctions to buyers that hail from all parts of Europe.

Hannon Transport currently operates around 90 trucking units in their fleet, but they have been adding to their fleet lately and appear to be thinking about making moves to improve business in 2010. Hannon Transport is a trucking transport firm that should be watched in the years ahead. They appear to have big plans for their particular business profile and could be making a few moves in the trucking transport industry in the years ahead that will be unique and particularly interesting.…sport-6008.html…tid=20017751618

Baltic Dry Futures Contract Proposed by LME, Baltic Exchange Cool to Proposal, freight rates, freight carriers

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

The Baltic Dry Index is a commonly-used measure of bulk shipping rates; if the London Metals Exchange gets its wish, it will be trading BDI futures in the near future, giving freight carriers and their customers a more transparent way to hedge their shipping costs. However, the parent company of the BDI, the Baltic Exchange, has a profitable business arranging ad-hoc forward contracts between shipping firms and clients and is rather cool to the idea.

Forward contacts are a bit like futures in that they are locking in a price for a transaction in the future, except that they’re generally custom-made between parties (banks often offer foreign currency forward contracts to customers) and don’t have the transparency of an exchange-traded futures contract. Direct participants can use the Baltic Exchange’s forward contracts, but other parties that have a stake in freight rates might be interested in the LME’s futures contract.

For now, the Baltic Exchange is happy to be doing their freight forward contracts and making a nice profit being the middle-man for the deals; the proposed partnership with the LME has been turned down to date.

It may be up to the financial regulators in Britain and the EU to determine whether a shotgun marriage between the Baltic Exchange and the LME is needed; regulators are a bit spooked by ad-hoc “over the counter” derivatives and may look to make the market a bit easier to regulate. Current customers may lose out on the customized nature of forward rates, so their will be parties with vested interests on both sides of the issue.


Pacific Shippers Allowed to Talk Slow Steaming, TSA Gets Anti-Trust Waiver on Fuel, container shipping, freight carriers, container trucks

Thursday, March 25th, 2010

When I first heard of the Transpacific Stabilization Agreement, a group of 15 big container shipping companies who get together to talk about rate issues on shipping from Asia to North America, I thought that it should run afoul of anti-trust laws. However, the TSA has an anti-trust immunity to “meet and discuss issues relating to freight rates and surcharges.” Thus, these seaborne freight carriers can agree to impose “voluntary” surcharges and steer clear of the anti-trust authorities.

The Federal Maritime Commission has now expanded what the TSA can powwow about, including pollution and fuel consumption issues. The hot-button issue on the fuel front is slow-steaming, where ships go at about 18 knots rather than the normal 25, cutting fuel costs in half. Setting up these slow boats to (and from) China will require longer supply lines and increased transit times; it also will tend to lower freight rates, as customers will expect that some of that savings will be passed on to them.

Freight customers will need to budget more time to get goods to US markets; any changes in the speed of the supply chain will have a ripple effect on other freight carriers.
Domestic container trucks will be getting their goods a week or so later under slow steaming, so their schedules will have to be modified. There may well be a lull in the number of shipments as slow steaming starts to become the norm, as ships that would have been pulling into port in the old days are still out at sea.


Older Container Transports Sit Around, New generation of container transport

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

What do you do with container transport ships that aren’t designed for the way the business of ocean freight is conducted in the century of the environment? Ships made as early as 2006 were designed to run as fast as possible to destination across the world. The current slow-running strategies of shipping companies makes these types of ships too inefficient to use in the century of the environment because they just burn too much $700 a barrel diesel at slow speeds that they weren’t designed to run efficiently at. The design of the hull and all aerodynamic systems of these ships is designed for optimum use at around 30 knots, not at slower speeds, so they use more fuel at slower speeds than they would at the optimum speed they were designed for.

This is exactly the situation that Maersk found themselves in with six container transport vessels that were designed in 2006 and 2007 to operate at the speed of around 30 knots. They decided to lay up these ships in the Scottish Loch of Striven for awhile until they can decide what’s going to happen with these fast running container transport vessels.

Things haven’t gone as expected for Maersk as the residents that live around Loch Striven have noticed the large vessels sitting in their Lock and have decided they want something done about this. They have repeated sent letters of protest that apparently have been ignored, which hasn’t gotten the response Maersk was hoping for.

Recently, a filming company approached the owners of Maersk to see if they could use one of the vessels laid up in Loch Striven to film scenes for their up coming children’s feature film. Apparently, Maersk thought this was a good use for the ships and even one that could make them some money because they agreed to let them use one of the vessels to film.

The whole controversy appears to have cooled a bit, now that both sides are making a little money off of the whole affair. There’s still people that want the vessels to be removed to another location, but opposition to the presence of the container vessels has definitely lessened…tid=20017749433

Air Freight Could Lead the Recovery, Coming back from the brink, freight carriers, freight carrier, trucking transport

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

2010 will be a better year for the freight industry if the numbers keep looking better, but freight carriers should probably keep an eye out for any indicators of problems. The industry went through a through period in the last twenty months that has taught firms a lot about financial stability in a tough market. Freight carriers need to keep the things we learned during this period in the front of our minds to help keep the industry headed down the path to continued growth.

The air freight carrier industry appears to be the industry that could come out of the recession the strongest, at least at first, but things can change quickly. The air freight industry could be in a better position than trucking transport and rail freight movements as we head down the path to recovery. Customers that use air freight services have different requirements than companies that move by truck and rail and the present situation in the freight industry for many firms could see them making use of air freight movements in order to move freight. Particularly firms that are moving to a just-in-time production principle for their goods will make more use of the speed, security and reliability of air freight movements. In addition, many firms trying to cut costs could start looking at buying materials and goods from sources closer to their production facilities in Europe and North America, and thus eliminate the cost of importing from Asia.

The savings in costs that this strategy could mean will definitely be very attractive to many firms that are in a cost-cutting phase. In many instances the cost of local production is going to outweighted the investment in infrastructure and employment resources required for the logistics of moving the freight from Asia.

Firms going through a cost-cutting phase are certainly going to look at anything they figure could help their bottom line and this strategy could help some firms.
The air freight industry appears to be able to change quicker in responses to stimulus of various types and this sector of the freight industry is picking up speed quickly. Hopefully, this sector can help lead the charge of the freight industry as a whole as we head further into 2010, and the recovery we have all been waiting for.…tid=20017750414