The day I went to prison… A personal note on the antitrust investigations that rocked the air freight industry

By Niall van de Wouw

The weather on the day that I visited prison was perfect for the occasion: it was grey, dreary, cold. Along the interstate leading up to the ‘correctional facility’ stood countless small churches with large billboards providing advice on how to find redemption. This put a smile on my face, despite the circumstances. But it soon disappeared when I arrived. The facility, with its watchtowers and barbed wire, was no smiling matter.

The security guards checked me for illicit goods, then let me in. I was escorted to a table in a large hall. All around me were inmates in distinctive khaki overalls, talking to their spouse or playing board-games with their kids. (more…)

UPS unveils network ‘transformation’ to target fast-growing e-commerce sector

By Alexander Whiteman

UPS has unveiled a new strategy targeting major growth in domestic and cross-border e-commerce volumes by 2022. At an investor presentation yesterday, Chief Executive David Abney said package revenues would climb 40 per cent, with cross-border income jumping 28 per cent. He said: “We are transforming from a position of strength and implementing an enterprise-wide transformation that will enable and accelerate our enhanced business strategy. Transformation will lift our earnings, as we generate higher-quality revenue and use technology to increase operating efficiency and enhance customer service.” (more…)

Port technology the key to unlocking efficiency and smoother supply chains

By James Leeson, head of port commercial at DP World London Gateway

Reliable port infrastructure is critical to the effectiveness of the UK’s supply chains and can unlock solutions to some of the pressing logistical challenges. Moreover, with more than 60 per cent of all global seaborne trade being moved in containers, box ports are crucial.

Containerization has boomed since its conceptualization in the 1960s, significantly simplifying intermodal freight transport. According to Statista, $12 trillion-worth of goods were moved around the world by container in 2017. A great chunk of that trade was moved between Asia and North Europe, routes used by the world’s biggest containerships. (more…)

Maersk warns customers they must help pay its bigger fuel bills after 2020

By Mike Wackett

Facing an extra fuel bill of more than $2 billion a year, as a consequence of IMO 0.5 per cent sulphur cap from 2020, Maersk Line set to introduce a new bunker surcharge mechanism. “The cost of compliance with the new regulation will be significant, so the cost of shipping will increase,” said the carrier.

“In order to allow customers to predict, plan and track how changes in fuel price will impact total shipping freight, Maersk Line will introduce a simple and predictive bunker adjustment factor (BAF).” To be rolled out on 1 January next year, exactly 12 months before the new sulphur cap becomes law, Maersk’s new BAF will replace its current SBF (standard bunker factor) and will be “charged separately from the basic ocean freight”. (more…)

With U.S. grain leading the way, Seaway volumes are up 4 per cent year-to-date

According to the latest figures, U.S. grain shipments via the St. Lawrence Seaway from March 29 to August 31 topped one million metric tonnes, up 31 per cent over the same period last year. The majority of U.S. exports originated from the port of Toledo and were carry-over from the 2017 grain season. The grain rush has helped boost overall cargo shipments on the St. Lawrence Seaway for the season to 21.4 million metric tonnes, representing a four per cent increase over volumes this time last year. Liquid bulk shipments at 2.8 million metric tonnes are also up 33 per cent, with coal at 1.5 million metric tonnes, up 30 per cent. Dry bulk shipments reached 5.5 million metric tonnes, down four per cent. (more…)