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CMA CGM members add intra-Asia capacity

SINGAPORE: October 20, 2017. CMA CGM Group subsidiaries APL and Cheng Lie Navigation (CNC) have launched a new Korea China Straits (KCS) box service connecting China, Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Kaohsiung Terminal TaiwanThe weekly rotation will link Nansha in South China to the Straits of Singapore, Port Klang and Indonesia; provide transit between Indonesia and Manila; and call at Lianyungang in China's Jiangsu province.

APL said the launch of the service from Dalian on November 18 would include five Panamax vessels in a capacity sharing agreement with CNC and enable the carrier to reinforce its intra-Asia footprint.

Meanwhile on November 14 CNC is introducing its first direct service from four ports in China to Semarang, Indonesia; and from Xiamen to Ho Chi Minh and three port calls in Indonesia.

In a related move, APL has renewed its terminal lease at the Port of Kaohsiung, Taiwan (right) for another 10 years from January 01, 2018.

"Today, Intra-Asia container volume accounts for one- sixth of all containers moved globally. We see further growth prospects in this trade where APL is seeking to be a major player," said CEO Nicolas Sartini. "Our terminal in the Port of Kaohsiung will therefore be strategic for our advancement in Intra-Asia where we are connecting the key markets of Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam amongst others via the relay hub today."

The terminal is used by CMA CGM group vessels up to 14,000 TEU and has an annual capacity of 1.5 million containers.

Britain requires new aviation strategy with or without Brexit

LONDON: October 18, 2017. The Manchester Airports Group (MAG), owner of Manchester, London Stansted and the airfreight-focused East Midlands Airport, has called on the UK government to invest in better road and rail access to make them more competitive with Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris.

Despite the possibility a "hard Brexit" could mean "no flights" across EU airspace after March 2019, according to UK Chancellor Philip Hammond, MAG says Theresa May's government should execute an "ambitious plan" for improving international connectivity from UK airports as part of its vision for a new global Britain.

MAN airportMAG says rail improvements to London Stansted would attract more long haul routes and better access to global markets; a direct connection from Manchester Airport to the new high-speed (HS2) rail link between London and the industrial north of the country would support trade, investment and the creation of high-skilled jobs; and more investment in rail and road infrastructure around East Midlands Airport would enhance the role of air cargo in support of UK trade and advanced manufacturing.

MAG Corporate Affairs director Tim Hawkins commented: "Aviation generates £1 billion a week towards UK GDP, something that is made possible by the nearly one million people that work in and around the industry. The government can now provide a strong boost to the UK economy by making the best possible use of existing capacity at airports like Manchester and Stansted over the next 10 to 15 years," he added.

The local government-owned airport group says a successful UK aviation industry is required to deliver the government's vision of a "truly global Britain" after the country leaves the EU, and that encouraging key strategic airports across the UK to develop to their full potential would give investors the certainty they need for the country's future economic success.

MAG, which also owns Britain's Bournemouth Airport, handles more than 58 million passengers per annum, contributes £7.1 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK economy, and directly employs over 5,300 people and supports 40,000 jobs on its airport properties. East Midlands Airport is the largest airfreight hub in the UK and second only to Heathrow in total air cargo traffic (330,000 tons per annum).

The airport group says it has committed £1.6 billion to upgrade facilities at Manchester and Stansted.

Airlines increase support for endangered species

DOHA: October 18, 2017. Qatar Airways has joined Airlines for America, Delta, Emirates, IATA, Kenya Airways and United in the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) partnership.

In addition to airlines, ROUTES brings together international conservation organizations, donors and the U.S. government in a bid to disrupt the US$20 billion a year trafficking of 7,000 species of animals and plants.

According to a 2017 ROUTES report, 114 countries have recorded cases of wildlife trafficking at their airports in the past decade. The top five locations for trafficking of ivory, rhino horn, live birds and live reptiles (which collectively make up about two-thirds of all trafficked wildlife) are China, Thailand, UAE, Kenya and India.

elephantThe report discovered that nearly 50 percent of all smuggling attempts are via checked baggage, five percent as hand luggage and 14 percent as airfreight. This week security officials at Lahore airport, Pakistan arrested a man attempting to smuggle five falcons worth nearly US$50,000 on a flight to Qatar.

Last November IATA launched an Airport Wildlife Trafficking Assessment tool to help defeat smugglers of endangered species following the United for Wildlife Buckingham Palace Declaration by 40 major logistics organizations, NGOs, U.N. and government agencies to collaborate against the illegal trade.

The members, including Qatar Airways, have committed to receive and exchange credible information about high-risk routes and methods of transportation; to develop a secure system for passing information about suspected illegal wildlife trade from the transport sector to relevant Customs and law enforcement; and to notify relevant authorities of cargoes suspected of containing illegal wildlife and their products and, where able, refuse to accept or ship such cargoes.

ROUTES chair Michelle Owen commented: "We are thrilled that Qatar Airways is taking an increased leadership role against wildlife trafficking within the aviation sector. [The] ROUTES partnership is strengthened by the knowledge and motivation that members like Qatar Airways contribute."

Qatar Airways noted criminal organizations involved in wildlife trafficking are also connected to trafficking narcotics, arms and people: "We have a prominent position in establishing industry solutions to global threats, such as the illegal transportation of endangered wildlife," said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

"Qatar Airways is proud to stand with other aviation industry leaders to state that we have zero tolerance for this criminal activity. As a result, we have devoted resources to raise awareness to not only eliminate wildlife trafficking, but to protect these creatures that we value," he added.

In June this year 12 more airlines signed the Buckingham Palace Declaration: TAP, Lao Airlines State Enterprise, China Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Aerovías de Mexico, Air Transat, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, KLM, Air France and EgyptAir.

Britain should remain in the EU says OECD

LONDON: October 17, 2017. In its latest survey of the UK economy the OECD says the positive impact on growth "would be significant should Britain remain in the EU".

The tParis-based think-tank says a "disorderly Brexit" following a break-up of EU-UK negotiations, with no immediate prospect of a trading relationship, could trigger an adverse reaction on financial markets, push the foreign exchange rate to new lows and lead to sovereign debt rating downgrades.

This would lead to a business investment "seize up", rising prices, reduced private spending and increased pressure on financing the country's current account deficit.

Airbus  BombardierAt the same time the OECD says Scotland could vote to remain in the EU with another referendum, the Northern Ireland peace process could be threatened by a "hard border" with the Irish Republic, and the result would lead to "major negative economic impacts, hampering business and consumer confidence".

The OECD notes UK exports have not benefited significantly from a 20 percent fall in the value of Sterling since June 2016 and "the persistence of currency weakness could notably reflect financial market expectations about the longer-term cost for the UK economy of changes in its trading arrangements after Brexit."

The report explains that Britain's exports have a "low responsiveness" to exchange rate movements, due in part to increased participation in global value chains and a resultant high import content in exports: "This leads to a high pass-through of import prices into export prices, reducing scope for exporters to win market share following currency depreciation," it adds.

At the same time productivity gains have made no meaningful contribution to UK output performance since 2007, relying instead on higher employment and [more] hours worked per employee. Moreover, while the level of UK labor productivity is similar to the OECD average, it is about 20-25 percent lower than in the U.S, France and Germany.

"The United Kingdom is facing challenging times, with Brexit creating serious economic uncertainties that could stifle growth for years to come," said OECD secretary-general Ángel Gurría. "Maintaining the closest economic relationship with the European Union will be absolutely key, for the trade of goods and services as well as the movement of labor."

Last month the OECD projected the global economy would grow by 3.5 percent this year and 3.7 percent in 2018, with industrial production and trade picking up.

In the EU German GDP is forecast to grow 2.2 percent and 2.1 percent; France by 1.7 percent and 1.6 percent respectively; Italy 1.4 percent and a 1.2 percent; and Britain 1.6 percent in 2017 and just 1.0 percent next year. U.S. growth is estimated at 2.1 percent in 2017 and 2.4 percent in 2018.

(Pictured: Airbus has agreed to produce the Bombardier C Series aircraft from an Airbus assembly facility in Mobile, Alabama. The deal is expected to underwrite complex import and export supply chains linking existing facilities in Northern Ireland, Canada and the U.S.)

Lebanon gets new access to export markets

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: October 10, 2017. CMA CGM has added Tripoli to its Beirut, Lebanon call on a weekly basis in a bid to link exporters in North Lebanon to markets in France, Spain, Algeria, Turkey and Egypt.

Using four vessels with a nominal capacity between 1200 and 1700 TEUs, the service will connect Marseille, Livorno, Civitavecchia, Malta, Mersin, Iskenderun, Tripoli, Beirut, Damietta, Alexandria, Malta and Algiers.

CMA CGM containerAccording to World Bank regional director Saroj Kumar Jha, with less than half the working age population employed, North Lebanon faces structural and socio-economic challenges: "Political, community, and social insecurity have impeded investment, curtailed growth and job creation, and fostered out-migration of talent. The influx of large numbers of Syrian refugees has further exacerbated employment challenges, particularly for the poorest," he explained.

In a report published last month, the World Bank said developing the Port of Tripoli as a leading container terminal for regional shipping and extending the transport infrastructure to improve connectivity between Tripoli, the rest of the country and the other economies in the region, would be critical in strengthening the competitive position of North Lebanon.

Lebanon's minister of Labor Mohammad Kabbara responded saying: "Tripoli enjoys several major assets: an international fair, a port, a refinery, an airport, and the forthcoming establishment of the Special Economic Zone, which is expected to be a major driver of the economy in the North and the rest of Lebanon."

The bank also noted the need to establish the Tripoli Special Economic Zone to support a competitive, regional manufacturing and logistics sector; to upgrade urban infrastructure and municipal capacity to promote improved "livability" for residents of Tripoli; and to position the city and the North region to support post-conflict reconstruction in Syria.

CMA CGM Lebanon general manager Joe Dakkak added: "Lebanon has always been a big priority for CMA CGM. We have always been pioneers in our service offerings and now we are getting closer than ever to our clients in the North. With this weekly call to the Port of Tripoli, we hope to actively contribute to the economic and commercial development of the region and of Lebanon in general."

In a related development the company has opened a 20,000 square meter logistics facility in the heart of the Bekaa Valley, 50 kilometers from Beirut and 124 kilometers from Tripoli. CMA CGM said the location is ideal for the export of fruit and vegetables to Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Africa GDP growth of 3.7 percent in 2018

ABIDJAN, Côte d'Ivoire: October 12, 2017. According to a new forecast from the African Development Bank (ADB), the continent's GDP is expected to grow 3.0 percent by the end of 2017, up from 2.2 percent last year, and a further 3.7 percent in 2018.

Abebe Shimeles, ADB acting director, Macroeconomics Policy, Forecasting and Research said the data reflects a bottoming out of commodity prices since 2014; the result of steady domestic demand and public infrastructure investments; and strong export performance and higher government [tax] revenues.

RMS St. Helena"Economic diversification and drive for structural transformation need to proceed with urgency and intensity in order to avoid the repeat of boom-bust cycle in the wake of commodity price volatilities," he added.

East Africa GDP is projected to grow by 5.4 percent and 5.8 percent in 2017 and 2018, followed by North Africa at 3.1 percent and 3.6 percent respectively, while better economic performance by South Africa is expected to boost Southern Africa regional growth to 2.3 percent by 2018.

West Africa GDP is forecast to growth 2.5 percent in 2017 and 4.0 percent next year due to improved oil production in Nigeria and rising global commodity prices.

The ADB noted that Central Africa GDP was slowed in 2016 by poor performance in Equatorial Guinea and Chad that contracted -7.3 percent and -6.4 percent, followed by the Republic of Congo at -2.4 percent, while the Central Africa Republic is expected to grow 1.6 percent and 3.1 percent in 2017/2018.

On October 14 South Africa regional airline SA Airlink began a weekly scheduled service with an Embraer ERJ-190 linking Johannesburg with the British Protectorate of St. Helena for the first time.

Built at a reported cost of £285 million, the island's new airport is meant to encourage tourism but with flights limited to smaller jets because of perennial cross-winds over the runway, the increase is likely to be capped at 4,000 visitors a year unless more airlines want to risk the 1,200 mile flight that currently routes via a fuel stop at Windhoek, Namibia.

The British government plans to withdraw a regular call by the RMS St. Helena (above) in February 2018 and put the passenger/cargo vessel up for sale. With a cargo capacity of 1,800 tons - including 92 TEU - plus 156 passengers, the ship has been operating the only link between Cape Town and St Helena/Ascension Island since 1990.

New Russian arrival in Hong Kong

Aviastar freighter  Hong KongHONG KONG: October 10, 2017. Moscow-based carrier Aviastar-Tu has begun flying a Tu-204C freighter from Novosibirsk to Hong Kong on behalf of Russia Post.

Handling is provided by Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl).

The company said it plans to operate the aircraft, which can carry 28,500 kgs. nonstop 3,000 kms., four times a week between Russia and China by the end of the year - adding an extra frequency from Novosibirsk and a twice weekly service from Vladivostok.

Aviastar-Tu CEO Dmitri Kovalenko commented: "The contract for which we are operating these new flights is an important win. We are confident that Hactl's considerable experience in mail handling, and their dedicated Express facilities, will enable us to provide our customer with the highest possible service standards."

Hactl CEO Mark Whitehead added: "We are very pleased to welcome Aviastar-Tu to Hong Kong, and to the Hactl carrier community. This is an interesting new contract as we believe it marks the Tu-204C's first appearance in Hong Kong."

Aviastar-Tu began flying the Tu-204C in 2000 for European express carriers including TNT and DHL. In 2008 it began flying six times a week for DHL between Moscow and Leipzig and in 2012 operated cargo services for th company between Bahrain and Afghanistan.

Since 2013 Aviastar-Tu has been carrying mail and eCommerce traffic between China and Russia for Russia Post.

Biofuels no alternative to hydrocarbons claim

LONDON: October 12, 2017. As the U.N. International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) held its second conference on alternative aviation fuels this week, nearly 100 NGOs and environmental organizations have called on its Member States to oppose the promotion of biofuels for the aviation industry as an alternative to hydrocarbons.

Citing U.N. data from 2016, the group says greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from international aviation grew by 87 percent between 1990 and 2014. In an attempt to mitigate the growing emissions effect, ICAO has proposed cutting the use of hydrocarbons by 50 percent by burning 285 million tonnes of biofuel a year by 2050.

Geneva AirportBiofuelwatch, which produced a report on behalf of the group, says the only way this target will be reached is by expanding monoculture growth of palm oil from which hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) can be derived to power aircraft.

In anticipation of this new market opportunity, by 2013 European investors had acquired six million hectares of land in sub-Saharan Africa for biofuel production that biofuelwatch claims will just lead to greater food price volatility, more deforestation, water pollution and "overall climate impacts which are no lesser than those of fossil fuel oil per tonne of fuel".

Rather than expand palm oil plantations to produce biofuel, the report suggests ICAO should discourage airline and airport industry growth and encourage countries to invest in other forms of transport including rail.

This week Richard Branson announced Virgin Group is investing in Hyperloop One – describing it as the world's most revolutionary train service. "This is an incredibly innovative and exciting new way to move people and things at airline speeds on the ground," he declared.

In September Finland-based Neste, a leading HVO producer from palm oil, announced it would supply its 'Renewable Jet Fuel' to operators at Geneva Airport (right). This followed a vote in June by the Norwegian Parliament to ban the use of palm oil-based public procurement of fuels for public transport in the country.

Also last month Velocys, a renewable fuels company, said it had partnered with British Airways and recycling company Suez to determine the feasibility of building a  waste-to-renewable-jet-fuel plant in the UK. A decision will be made in 2019.

Velocys said the plant would take post-recycled waste, destined for landfill or incineration, and convert it into a jet fuel that would produce 60 percent less GHG emissions and a 90 percent reduction in particulate matter emissions compared with conventional jet fuel. 

Puerto Rico begins to restore essential services

SAN JUAN, PR: October 06, 2017. The American Maritime Partnership (AMP), representing 450 companies specializing in U.S. cabotage routes, says its members have delivered over 11,300 containers of aid to Puerto Rico following the devastation by Hurricane Maria.

The AMP said domestic Jones Act vessels expect to deliver an additional 9,000 containers, including at least 3,300 for FEMA, with food, clothing, medicines, and other goods over the next two weeks as member vessels have the capacity to carry more than 4,000 containers per week to the island.

Trump travelAccording to ongoing updates from the Puerto Rico government, airlines are now operating to normal schedules and 78.18 percent of the island's gas stations have stocks; 73.03 percent of the supermarkets are now open although just 10.7 percent of the electricity grid has been restored; 24.09 percent of cell towers are now working with 42 percent of the island accessible via telephone and internet; 481 ATMs are usable and 55.59 percent of bank branches have reopened.

With the ports working at 75 percent capacity and container throughput now at 81.64 percent, over 513,000 barrels of oil and over 512,000 similar units of gasoline have been delivered to the island.

However nearly 8,400 U.S. citizens remain in 132 shelters across the island according to the latest government update: PR

Earlier this week Oxfam America commented on the Trump Administration's response to the disaster with its president Abby Maxman saying: "We are outraged at the slow and inadequate response the U.S. government has mounted in Puerto Rico.

"Clean water, food, fuel, electricity, and health care are in desperately short supply and quickly dwindling, and we're hearing excuses and criticism from the administration instead of a cohesive and compassionate response."

FormSwift, a San-Francisco-based SaaS provider of business, legal and personal forms, has calculated that the cost to the U.S. taxpayer in 2017 for flying Trump and his family on personal travel would have paid for over 129 container ships to deliver food, water and other aid to Puerto Rico (see picture).

With the distance between Florida and the island 1,150 nautical miles and the cost of fuel at US$321 per gallon, FormSwift reckons the total amount to send one ship, one way, is US$249,899. Based on publicly available data, the company estimates the taxpayer cost of Trump's personal travel this year totals US$32,000,000. Divide one number by the other, it suggests, and the answer is 129+ sailings.

The AMP points out the Jones Act does not prevent foreign vessels delivering cargo to Puerto Rico and that foreign- flagged vessels "compete directly with the American shipping companies in an intensely competitive transportation market".

Puerto Rico donations: http://unidosporpuertorico.com/en/

Delta pre-tax hit by hurricane

ATLANTA: October 11, 2017. Delta Air Lines has reported a 5.5 percent increase in third quarter 2017 (Q3) revenue to US$11.06 billion and a net profit of US$1.8 billion – down seven percent year-on-year.

Cargo revenue for the period rose 11.5 percent to US$187 million and seven percent for the first nine months to reach US$530 million.

Bombardier C SeriesAdjusted pre-tax income was US$1.7 billion, a US$182 million drop from Q3 2016 that included US$120 million from the effects of Hurricane Irma that hit the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and Delta's hub in Atlanta.

In response to the crisis Delta and the Delta Air Lines Foundation gave US$2.75 million to Red Cross organizations; employees added a further US$250,000 to the American Red Cross; while the airline operated nine humanitarian flights and shipped more than 600,000 pounds of relief supplies.

"We faced a number of challenges this quarter, including multiple hurricanes and an earthquake in Mexico. I am proud of how Delta people responded and still delivered an outstanding performance this quarter," said Delta CEO Ed Bastian.

Commenting on the order for 75 Bombardier C aircraft (right) that the U.S. Commerce Department has proposed penalty tariffs totaling 299.45 percent following a Boeing complaint, Bastian reportedly said: "We're not going to be forced to pay tariffs or anything of the ilk."

Adding he thought the 'Commerce ruling was "nonsensical", he said Delta expected to get the aircraft at the agreed contract price, although he was prepared to delay the first delivery due in early 2018 to resolve the issue.

In April 2016 Delta signed an order for 75 CS100 aircraft, with options for a further 50, at a list price that valued the order at US$5.6 billion. Although it doesn't manufacture a similar-sized airplane, Boeing subsequently filed a complaint with the Trump Administration saying the Canadian company was selling at below unit cost. A claim the manufacturer vigorously denies.

At the time of the order Bastian noted: "These new aircraft are a solid investment, allowing us to take advantage of superior operating economics, network flexibility and best-in-class fuel performance."

Saudi Arabia tops equestrian event at Asian games

Ashgabat equestrian show jumpingASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: October 03, 2017. President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov brought the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat to a close on September 28.

Awarded to Ashgabat by the Olympic Council of Asia in 2010, the Games opened on September 17 and involved 6,000 athletes and officials from 65 teams.

Some 36 countries got on the medal board with Turkmenistan top with 245 including 89 gold, followed by China with 97 including 42 gold and Iran with 118 medals including 36 gold.

Of the eight countries in the equestrian show jumping event, five countries won medals with Saudia winning one gold and two silver; Qatar one gold and one silver; Turkmenistan, one gold; and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kyrgyzstan and the Syrian Arab Republic, one bronze medal each.

Peden Bloodstock chartered a Cargolux 747-8 freighter to carry horses competing in the event from Luxembourg to Ashgabat in mid-September and they all returned safely the same way in state-of-the-art horse stalls.

Cargolux is a member of ATA, the Animal Transport Association, and has been flying horses around the world for 45 years.


Written on 20/10/2017, 20:31
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