Heathrow Cargo

Record breaking figures for Heathrow

Freight travelling through Heathrow reached record levels for the start of the year, as over 133,000 tonnes made its way through the airport in January, with export volumes growing by 10.6%.

The top destinations for cargo growth were the US (1,214t), Spain (1,070t) and China (966t).

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said:

“Heathrow is off to a flying start, with record passenger numbers and cargo volumes and the start of our public consultation on the third runway.  Heathrow expansion will provide the global trading routes to super-charge Britain’s economy as we leave the EU.”

Heathrow has now launched one of the largest public planning consultations in the country’s history – the next milestone in the airport’s plans for expansion. The 10-week consultation offers the public the opportunity to shape the airport’s plans, enabling Heathrow to deliver the benefits of expansion while the keeping commitments made to local communities.

Heathrow remains the UK’s busiest port by value with over £100bn of goods travelling through the airport each year.

arctic tanker

Shipping first for the Arctic

Following on from our article concerning Chinas expansion into the Arctic, this week there has been a first for shipping, as the first commercial tanker crosses the Arctic sea route in winter.  

Thawing polar ice in the region of Russia’s Northern Coastline means that this could be a viable option of increasing maritime trade to the region.

The vessel, named Eduard Toll, set out from South Korea in December for the Sabetta terminal in northern Russia, cutting through ice 1.8m thick. Last month, it completed the route, delivering a load of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Montoir, France.

Bermuda-based firm Teekay is investing in six ships to serve the Yamal LNG project in northern Russia. A similarly designed vessel owned by Sovcomflot  made the same passage last August.  The specially-built ship completed the crossing in just six-and-a-half days setting a new record, according to the tanker’s Russian owners.

Arctic sea ice is steadily thinning and receding, with seasonal fluctuation, as global temperatures rise due to human activity. In January 2018, ice extent hit another record low for the month, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre There has been an overall decline in Arctic sea ice over the past 30 years, linked by scientists to rising global temperatures. In 2017, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, the annual maximum extent of Arctic sea ice hit a record low for the third year in a row.

While polar conditions remain tough, the trend creates market opportunities. The northern sea route is shorter than alternatives through the Suez Canal for many trade links between Europe and Asia.

To view the video please go here

There are also some fantastic photos here

Source: The Guardian / BBC

air freight

Air freight volumes at their strongest year of growth since 2010

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released full-year 2017 data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs) grew by 9.0%. This was more than double the 3.6% annual growth recorded in 2016.  

Air cargo’s strong performance in 2017 was sealed by a solid result in December. Year-on-year demand growth in December increased 5.7%. This was less than half the annual growth rate seen during the middle of 2017 but still well above the five-year average of 4.7%. Freight capacity grew by 3.3% year-on-year in December.

Full-year 2017 demand for air freight grew at twice the pace of the expansion in world trade (4.3%). This outperformance was a result of strong global demand for manufacturing exports as companies moved to restock inventories quickly.

Industry-wide FTKs grew by 9.0% year-on-year in 2017 as a whole, up from 3.6% in 2016 and the strongest calendar-year of growth since 2010.  Demand grew three times faster than capacity in 2017, which drove a further recovery in the freight load factor. 2017 was also the strongest year of global goods trade growth since 2011.

“Air cargo had its strongest performance since the rebound from the global financial crisis in 2010. Demand grew by 9.0%. That outpaced the industry-wide growth in both cargo capacity and in passenger demand. We saw improvements in load factors, yields and revenues. Air cargo is still a very tough and competitive business, but the developments in 2017 were the most positive that we have seen in a very long time,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

“The outlook for air freight in 2018 is optimistic. Consumer confidence is buoyant. And we see growing strength in international e-commerce and the transport of time- and temperature-sensitive goods such as pharmaceuticals. Overall the pace of growth is expected to slow from the exceptional 9.0% of this year. But we still expect a very healthy 4.5% expansion of demand in 2018. Challenges remain, including the need for industry-wide evolution to more efficient processes. That will help improve customer satisfaction and capture market share as the expectations of shippers and consumers grow ever more demanding,” said de Juniac.

Airlines in all regions reported an increase in demand in 2017.

Asia-Pacific carriers saw demand in freight volumes grow 5.6% in December 2017 compared to the same period in 2016 and capacity grow by 2.2%. This contributed to a growth in freight demand of 7.8% in 2017 compared to 2016. Capacity increased 1.3%. The strong performance of Asia-Pacific carriers in 2017 largely reflects the ongoing demand for exports from the region’s major exporters China and Japan which has been driven in part by a pick-up in economic activity in Europe and a continued solid performance from the US. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

North American airlines saw freight demand increase by 5.4% in December 2017 year-on-year and capacity increase of 2.2%. This contributed to an annual growth in 2017 of 7.9%.  Capacity grew by 1.6% in the 2017 calendar year. The strength of the US economy and the US dollar have improved the inbound freight market in recent years. Looking towards 2018, the recently agreed US tax reform bill may help to support freight volumes in the period ahead although this may be offset by the recent weakening in the dollar.

European airlines posted a 5.0% year-on-year increase in freight demand in December and a capacity rise of 3.2%. The strong performance in December boosted cargo volumes for the 2017 calendar year by 11.8% – the largest increase of all regions with the exception of Africa. Capacity in the region increased by 5.9% in the 2017 calendar year. This is consistent with Europe’s manufacturers’ export orders growing at their fastest pace on record. This is expected to support demand into the New Year.

Middle Eastern carriers’ freight volumes increased 6.3% year-on-year in December and capacity increased 4.7%. This contributed to an annual increase in demand of 8.1% in 2017 – the third fastest growth rate of all the regions. Capacity increased 2.6%. However, having not seen the strong upward demand of other regions in the first half of 2017, Middle-Eastern carries’ share of global demand dropped for the first time in 18 years.

Latin American airlines experienced a growth in demand of 4.9% in December and a capacity increase of 11.6%. This contributed to an annual growth in freight demand of 5.7% and a capacity increase of 3.1% in 2017. This was the first increase in annual demand in two years. The pick-up in demand comes alongside signs of economic recovery in the region’s largest economy, Brazil. Seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes are now back to the levels seen at the end of 2014.

African carriers’ posted the fastest growth in year-on-year freight volumes, up 15.6% in December 2017 and a capacity increase of 7.9%. This contributed to an annual growth in freight demand of 24.8% in 2017 – the fastest growth rate of all regions. This is only the second time African airlines have topped the global demand growth chart since 1990. Capacity in 2017 increased 9.9%. Demand has been boosted by very strong growth in Africa-Asia trade which increased by more than 64% in the first eleven months of 2017.

IATA stated that 2017 will be remembered as the best year for growth in air cargo. With growth comes additional challenges, therefore, it is important that the industry continues to transform and embrace new technologies. As Alexandre de Juniac, IATA ‘s Director and CEO says, “2017 was the strongest year for air cargo since 2010. There are several indicators that 2018 will be a good year as well. In particular, buoyant consumer confidence, the growth of international e-commerce and the broad-based global economic upturn are cause for optimism as we head into the New Year.”

To read the full report please go here

 

polar silk road

China longing for a Polar Silk Road

Following on from their Silk Road direct link, China are now looking to capitalise on a Polar version.

The first silk road train from China to Britain arrived in February of last year – (see our news post at that time for more information)

China now plans to create a Polar Silk Road of new Arctic shipping lanes, to extend the Belt and Road initiative created by President Xi Jinping.China is a non Arctic state, but is becoming more active in the polar region, and even became a member of the Arctic Council back in 2013. The council has eight permanent members made up of the five coastal Arctic countries, Norway, Russia, Canada, U.S. and Denmark, and three non coastal members, Finland, Iceland and Sweden.

They have this week published their Arctic Policy Whitepaper.  in which they set out that as a result of global warming, the Arctic shipping routes are likely to become important transport routes for international trade. China respects the legislative, enforcement and adjudicatory powers of the Arctic States in the waters subject to their jurisdiction.

According to the paper China, as a responsible major country, is ready to cooperate with all relevant parties to seize the historic opportunity in the development of the Arctic, to address the challenges brought by the changes in the region, jointly understand, protect, develop and participate in the governance of the Arctic, and advance Arctic-related cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to build a community with a shared future for mankind and contribute to peace, stability and sustainable development in the Arctic.

Global warming in recent years has accelerated the melting of ice and snow in the Arctic region. As economic globalisation and regional integration further develops and deepens, the Arctic is gaining global significance for its rising strategic, economic values and those relating to scientific research, environmental protection, sea passages, and natural resources.

With the ice melted, conditions for the development of the Arctic may be gradually changed, offering opportunities for the commercial use of sea routes and development of resources in the region. Commercial activities in the region will have considerable impact on global shipping, international trade and energy supply, bring about major social and economic changes, and exert important influence on the way of work and life of Arctic residents including the indigenous peoples.

Shipping through the Northern Sea Route would shave almost 20 days off the regular time using the traditional route through the Suez Canal, the newspaper reported last month.

In 2017 a Russian tanker made the journey from Norway to South Korea without need of an icebreaker for the first time, because of climate change.

However, there are misgivings from other countries who believe this to be an example of rapid Chinese expansion and a chance to use resources that should be beyond their reach.  China refers to itself in the paper as a ’near-Arctic state’ and as such believes that its close geographical location means that the natural conditions of the Arctic and their changes have a direct impact on China’s climate system and ecological environment, and, in turn, on its economic interests in agriculture, forestry, fishery, marine industry and other sectors. However, oil, gas and mineral resources are also part of the rich range of resources that are present in the Arctic, and China seem keen to capitalise on those. Fishing, scientific research and mining are also possibilities and China requests involvement due to the direct impact that the Arctic has on their climate system, ecological environment and economic interests.

Vice-Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said at a briefing “Some people may have misgivings over our participation in the development of the Arctic, worried we may have other intentions, or that we may plunder resources or damage the environment, I believe these kinds of concerns are absolutely unnecessary.”

In the conclusion of the paper, China state that the future of the Arctic concerns the interests of the Arctic States, the wellbeing of non-Arctic States and that of the humanity as a whole. The governance of the Arctic requires the participation and contribution of all stakeholders. On the basis of the principles of “respect, cooperation, win-win result and sustainability”, China, as a responsible major country, is ready to cooperate with all relevant parties to seize the historic opportunity in the development of the Arctic, to address the challenges brought by the changes in the region, jointly understand, protect, develop and participate in the governance of the Arctic, and advance Arctic-related cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative, so as to build a community with a shared future for mankind and contribute to peace, stability and sustainable development in the Arctic.

China have already proved their expansion plans through their earlier silk road and belt initiatives which although could take up to half a century to complete, ultimately should succeed. Safeguarding the environment of the arctic has to be a priority in a time of global warming, and with China pushing ahead it is down to the other members of the Arctic Council to make sure that they are doing as they say they would and keeping to the premise that the counties can work together to build a better Arctic for many centuries to come.

HoneyBadger

HoneyBadger Rugby 7s Team

We are proud sponsors of the HoneyBadger Rugby 7s Team

Team HoneyBadger is an open invitational 7’s team, based in NW London. 3 years old, they have evolved from a social side, winning silverware in 4 tournaments in 2015, to an Open squad. In May 2016 they won the Open Competition of the Middx 7s, qualifying for the RFU 24Sevens Regional Finals where they won the Plate. In Dec 2016 they competed in the Dubai 7s their 1st ever international tour, where they reached the Plate SF of the Mens’s Open.

Here are some photos from their recent trip to Dubai.

We look forward to supporting them in the years to come!

You can check them out and follow them on Facebook here

chinese new year

Do you have any urgent cargo that needs to be shipped before the Chinese New Year?

Unlike our New Year festivities, the Chinese version is a movable celebration and this year happens on 16th February. As a national holiday, Chinese families gather together for a reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, and clean their houses to sweep away bad fortune on New Year’s Day.

This obviously means that Chinese Shipments will be affected around this date for possibly up to two weeks.

Please see our graphic for more information:

chinese new year

port of Southampton,

Costs are rising at Port of Southampton

According to The Loadstar, Hauliers and logistics operators are warning UK shippers and consignees using the country’s second busiest container gateway, Southampton, of higher land side rates, as costs rise as a result of growing box congestion.

The congestion has been a longer term effect of the  new alliance structure, which came into effect in April 2017. It was meant to provide a more even split of UK ports. At the time it was argued that port of Southampton would see an increase of 9% of vessels, a 17% increase in average vessel size and ten inbound calls, closely followed by Felixstowe with nine inbound calls.

DP World, a global global ports and logistics company operating Southampton, is the only port to handle vessels operated by ‘The Alliance’, ‘Ocean Alliance’ and ‘2M’ alliance – the three major container shipping line consortia.

DP World Southampton is linked to an unrivalled global shipping network, providing competitive shipping options to all corners of the globe. The unmatched geographical location, excellent road and rail connectivity of both terminals – plus their outstanding productivity levels and resilience to bad weather – help make the UK more competitive for importers and exporters.

However, one haulier told The Loadstar: “The problems began with the move of The Alliance services from Felixstowe to Southampton last April, which meant a lot of hauliers moving with their customers.

“With the increased volumes there is greater demand for haulage transport yards in and around Southampton and, since then, every haulier has been jostling to get facilities in the right place. The trouble is that these simply don’t exist, there is simply nothing available.

“You have to go a lot further than the 10-mile radius of a port that makes economic sense for a haulier and, as a result, round-trips between port and transport yard have greatly increased,”

This has been compounded by two further issues: the introduction of larger vessels, resulting in more container exchanges per vessel call; and the ongoing squeeze on driver availability. This has led to a battle to obtain drivers, with agencies said to be targeting their recruitment efforts on luring drivers from haulage firms with the promise of higher wages.

Port executives have however defended their record in handling containers with a spokesperson for DP World Southampton claiming that its operations serving hauliers had improved over the last 12 months.

“Southampton’s landside truck turnaround times actually decreased from average 36 minutes during 2016 to just below 33 minutes during 2017, an improvement of 7%.

“This is for the total time a truck is in the terminal, from arriving at the gate for dropping off an export container to picking up an import container and leaving from the gate.

“So, allegations from hauliers that there is structural congestion at Southampton are factually incorrect,” the spokesperson said – although acknowledging the disruptive effect the change in alliance schedules had on haulage operations in the UK.

“The large national haulage operators have a long presence at Southampton as well as the locally established hauliers. The choice of THE Alliance to call at DP World London Gateway and DP World Southampton meant some hauliers that previously worked out of Felixstowe have picked up new business at Southampton and London Gateway and are now looking for facilities.”

The terminal also disputed claims that the number of boxes at the port had increased significantly, and pointed to a 2016 terminal expansion project as evidence that it had sought to alleviate possible congestion.

It has previously been estimated that at any one time, there are around 15,000 containers in Southampton’s container yard, compared with around 6,500 before The Alliance services began calling there. The issue is not so much the new services, but the size of vessels deployed in the strings, which has led to more extreme peaks and troughs of container volumes.

It’s easy to see the trend in the growth of ships, but what cannot be forgotten is the role of ports. Amidst the fanfare that greets the arrival of colossal ships, there’s a feeling that ports are struggling to keep pace.

“When these ships come in to port, they need larger container gantry cranes, a larger storage yard, and better inland distribution,” says Richard Clayton, chief correspondent at IHS Maritime and Trade. . That of course costs money, not to mention the necessary space to expand, which is not always a given in densely populated cities.

•Sources: The Loadstar / Multimodal / APB / ship-technology

calm sea

Calmer seas for world Shipping in 2018

The 2018 marine forecast for transpacific and other major shipping trade routes notes that full recovery depends on a number of political, economic and technological factors.

China is also a concern.  “I know analysts have been harping on about it for years,” said Transport Intelligence Ltd. economist David Buckby, “but I think given what the Chinese government has said following the 19th [Communist] Party congress – that it will be switching focus from meeting long-run economic growth targets to other objectives – coupled with recent comments on trying to manage down debt, there is a real chance that Chinese growth will stutter.”

Buckby said the slowdown might not occur in 2018, but it will likely happen over the next few years.

“As the linchpin of so many global supply chains, what affects China is going to impact the rest of the world. I don’t know exactly when that’s coming, but when it does, I think it will adversely impact global port volumes quite significantly.”

McKinsey & Co.’s Container Shipping: The Next 50 Years also points to warning signs about China’s retooled economic development model. It estimates that the swing away from exports of goods to a model based on consumption and services has coincided with a drop in China’s real gross domestic product to between 6% and 7% from more than 10%.

Asia, and China especially, are major containerised-shipping drivers. Asia accounted for 64% of the world’s container throughput in 2016, and McKinsey notes that China imported and exported 52 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in 2015 compared with 13 million in 2000. It also maintained that China’s dramatic growth and the resultant boom in container trade over the past three decades is unlikely to be repeated elsewhere in the world.

But John Murnane, a partner in McKinsey’s travel, transport and logistics practice, noted in an email response to Business in Vancouver that in the near term, continued growth in container-shipping demand is likely.

“The U.S. and Canada continue to grow strongly, and volumes in 2017 outpaced expectations. This is good news for all ports and terminals. We expect 2018 to continue this strong volume growth.”

Oxford Economics agrees. The U.K.-based economic research company raised its global GDP growth forecast to 3.2% in 2018 from 2.9% in 2017 based on what it sees as a continuing strong performance of the world economy and positive “omens for 2018.” Its December 4 global outlook research briefing pointed to four key reasons for that optimism: strong trade growth, low inflation, robust emerging markets and resilience to political uncertainty.

In a November brief, it also revised its world trade forecast up 0.5 percentage points to 4.2%.

Oxford Economics’ forecast for Canada predicts that exports will rise 2.9% in 2017 and 4% in 2018. It sees imports up 3.7% in 2017 and 2.4% in 2018, but Canada’s GDP growth slipping to 2.1% in 2018 from 3% in 2017.

The International Monetary Fund’s World Economic Outlook, meanwhile, projects global economic growth of 3.6% for 2017 and 3.7% in 2018.

In its 2017 nine-month financials, Hapag-Lloyd (ETR:HLAG), the world’s fifth-largest ocean container company, noted that global container-shipping volume from 2018 through to 2021 is projected to increase between 4.8% and 5.1%.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Review of Maritime Transport 2017, meanwhile, pointed to CETA and the economic partnership agreement concluded between Japan and the EU in July as positive developments for global trade and shipping. It added that the growth of cross-border e-commerce could also drive long-term container-shipping demand.

However, it noted that a sustained recovery will require a strong commitment to “coherent and co-ordinated multilateral policies.” It also red-flagged the growing cybersecurity threats to world shipping supply chains.

While Buckby agreed that CETA will benefit port volumes, he doubted that it would significantly increase cargo through Vancouver and other Canadian ports.

“The dirty secret of many free-trade deals is that they don’t tend to have a substantial economic impact, especially if they just address tariffs, which tend to be low anyway, and don’t focus much on breaking down non-tariff barriers.”

Buckby added that port volumes would drop if NAFTA collapses.“And even if it is successfully renegotiated, supply chains still face disruption, thanks to possible changes to rules of origin.”

The newly widened Panama Canal has also opened the way for larger transpacific ships to reach East Coast ports directly. Infrastructure and operations in those ports consequently face similar pressures.

Port productivity suffers because a mega-container ship can take up to five days to unload. “Some ports are rising to the challenge and investing, but smaller ports and constrained ports risk losing some mainline services.”

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

london gateway

Changes to the London Gateway network

London Gateway is to lose one of its Asia-Europe services next year after THE Alliance partners unveiled their network plans for 2018.

The five Asia-North Europe services will remain largely unchanged, other than in the UK where one call has been switched from London Gateway to Southampton.

Hamburg and Rotterdam will both retain five weekly calls and Antwerp three, while Southampton will gain one weekly call to make four a week – although there have been reports from hauliers about growing congestion at the port over the course of the past year.

The Gateway will next year boast an extra call, as it is now included in four of THE Alliance’s five transatlantic services between North America and North Europe.  There may also be other changes globally for THE Alliance’s network next year, as the schedule published today revealed it has yet to decide on a South-east Asia hub.

Currently, the five carriers – Hapag-Lloyd, Yang Ming, K Line, NYK and MOL – use Singapore as their main transhipment hub in the region, but the reluctance to identify an actual port other than  the reference to a “South-east Asia hub” suggests that the partners are continuing negotiations with other possible ports. The loss of CMA CGM volumes from Port Klang to Singapore would make the Malaysian hub an obvious candidate.

The grouping’s transpacific and Asia-US east coast services have also remained largely unchanged, although there appears to be an opportunity for one of the North-west Pacific ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert or Seattle-Tacoma to win an extra service, given that an unnamed “Pacific North-west” call has included on its PS8 service at the expense of Oakland.

However, the number of services provided by THE Alliance globally is set to increase from 32 to 33 from next April, with the addition of a second deepsea service between Asia and the Middle East – the AGX2, which will feature direct calls at the Iraqi port of Umm Qasr and the newly opened Hamad terminal in Qatar. This service will also include two direct calls at Dubai.

Source: The Loadstar

father christmas

Heathrow at Christmas

Heathrow has released new data revealing the wide array and surprising volumes of seasonal exports that fly in the bellyhold of planes in the months leading up to Christmas.  

Over 143 million kilograms of Christmas cargo is expected to fly via Heathrow to the world in the month leading up to December 25th, a record to date.

New data reveals a sharp spike in exports of seasonal essentials including Christmas lights, calendars, fish, lobster, and meat.

As the biggest port in the UK by value, Heathrow plays a crucial role in delivering the essential ingredients of Christmas celebrations to British homes and homes all over the world.  The airport’s data from November and December 2016 shows a clear spike in the volume of certain Christmas staples coming into the airport and out to non-EU destinations, including:

Christmas lighting sets – 27,467 kg (up from an average of 7,203 kg/month from January – October)

Frozen lobster – 443,146 kg (up from an average of 163,312 kg/month from January – October)

Calendars – 31,316 kg (up from an average of 3,382 kg/month from January – October)

Dried flowers, including for decorations –  310,677 kg (up from an average of 109,796 kg/month from January – October)

Salmon was the most popular export to non-EU destinations overall by weight in November and December 2016, with 6,070,000 kg of fish (equivalent to approximately 480 New London Routemaster Buses) recorded as flying through.    Exports of books were the second most popular commodity – with a recorded 4,834,000 kg going through last year (or approximately 382 New London Routemaster buses).

Heathrow’s data also reveals the top 5 destinations these exports are flying to outside the EU – showing the majority of long-haul exports are destined for American markets:

•United States (15.31 million kilograms)

•China (6.20 million kilograms)

•UAE (3.77 million kilograms)

•Australia (3.36 million kilograms)

•Hong Kong (2.77 million kilograms)

To highlight the wide array of exports flying out of its gates, Heathrow has today launched a “12 Exporters of Christmas” social media campaign.   Each day in the lead up to Christmas, Heathrow will highlight individual stories of SMEs up and down the country that rely on the airport to export British Christmas essentials including tea, jams and biscuits across the world.

In total, Heathrow has seen a record 290,340,803 kilograms of exports flying through from January to October to non-EU destinations this year – an 8.5% increase from the same period last year. These exports are worth an astounding £39.62 billion. Heathrow’s role as a trading hub will grow as expansion takes place, with cargo capacity set to double with the addition of a third runway.

Nick Platts, Head of Cargo at Heathrow Airport said: “Heathrow is at its busiest time at Christmas – and this year, we not only expect record numbers of passengers to fly through, but also a record amount of cargo to be flown in the holds under their feet.   Santa may still have the claim on the most deliveries on Christmas Eve, but for the months before it, Heathrow is doing its bit to export our British Christmas across the world.”

Source:

Heathrow media centre – All figures – unless indicated – exclude EU27 and Switzerland. Sources of figures: UK Tradeinfo, Seabury Group, Heathrow Analysis and Heathrow Monthly Traffic Figures