14 Nov 2017 - Port Taranaki is withdrawing from the container sector, including closing its container transfer site. Port Taranaki chief executive Guy Roper said changes to the New Zealand supply chain had prompted the decision, particularly the introduction of larger international container vessels, the development of inland ports for the containerisation of products, and the increased use of rail transport linking regions to ports with international departures. With coastal shipping impacted by these changes, there was now reduced incentive for shipping lines to call at Port Taranaki.
“We have not had a full container service at Port Taranaki for three years – the last container ship to call was in October 2014,” Mr Roper said. “Since then we have worked hard with potential customers and shipping lines to make it viable to call at the port.
“However, container services rely on scale and throughput, and with the changes to the national supply chain, we have been unable to secure sufficient trade to attract shipping lines. As a result we will no longer seek to recommence a container shipping service.”
Mr Roper said the decision would result in the closure of the container transfer site.
“As a service to Taranaki companies, through an arrangement with shipping lines we have maintained a container transfer site, making containers available to local importers and exporters,” Mr Roper said. “However, with Port Taranaki’s decision to withdraw fully from the container sector, the container transfer site will close.”
Mr Roper said the port was in consultation with two staff who would potentially be affected by the closure of the container transfer operation.
The site is expected to close at the end of January. From 1 December the site will operate from 7am to 3pm weekdays.
In addition, Port Taranaki has closed the cold store on the Blyde Wharf, which stored chilled and frozen products for the dairy and poultry industries. The closure, which was effective from 1 November, resulted in the loss of one position at Port Taranaki.
“Because of the halt in container trade in the past three years, the cold store has been under-utilised, which is why we decided to close it,” Mr Roper said.
The decision to withdraw from the container business has been made following a strategic review of the container sector by the Port Taranaki Board.
Board chairman Peter Dryden said the changes occurring within the New Zealand supply chain and the need to operate a sustainable and successful business for the benefit of the Taranaki community, had brought about the review and subsequent decision.
“After examining our position in the container sector and what we believe are permanent changes to the New Zealand supply chain, investing in future capability to be competitive, such as machinery and systems, was not viable,” Mr Dryden said.
“Port Taranaki will now focus on growth in other areas of the business, such as our burgeoning log business, as well as concentrating on our core business of bulk liquids, bulk dry products and support of the offshore oil and gas sector,” he said.
Mr Dryden said the port would retain its mobile harbour cranes in support of other work, including Port Taranaki’s offshore business.
“We will be working with local logistics providers to ensure continuity for Taranaki importers and exporters,” he said.
10 Nov 2017 - International port logistics company ISO Limited has been selected as the preferred operator for Kawerau's planned container terminal. This selection is a vital step towards the container terminal's completion. Kawerau District Council economic and community development manager Glenn Sutton said the decision was not easy.
"It was an extremely close choice between ISO and the other candidate, C3, as both companies were of high calibre and would have easily met the requirements for the role.
"ISO has high values and an emphasis on community involvement and development that Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau believes will complement and benefit the district."
ISO Limited is an international port logistics company, providing stevedoring, marshalling, warehousing, container-packing, IT and total supply chain solutions to exporters and importers throughout New Zealand, Australia and America.
Its New Zealand operations include Marsden Point, Auckland, Tauranga, Kaingaroa, Murupara, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Napier, Wellington, Lyttelton, Bluff, Nelson and Timaru.
"Consequently, the company brings a wealth of experience and skills to the operation of the Kawerau container terminal and is well supported by its parent company, QUBE," Sutton said.
Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau initiated the container terminal concept in 2012.
"Once completed, the terminal will provide a cost-effective logistics system for Eastern Bay of Plenty value-added exporters to transport their products to port."
Toi-EDA general manager Francis Pauwels said the terminal would support the Eastern Bay for current and predicted growth.
"This project is positive for the entire Bay of Plenty as business and industry work together to better the region.
"The overarching strategy is to achieve cost-effective and efficient logistics solutions for current businesses to grow, and to attract new businesses into the region.
"Moving freight is a key component of that, but also extends to UFB coverage, airport links, wharf facilities and safe roading networks.
"The terminal site is owned by the Putauaki Trust and represents fantastic partnerships between Eastern Bay businesses and communities."
The next step in the project will see Industrial Symbiosis Kawerau and involved partners working with ISO on the terminal's design.
9 Nov 2017 - Air New Zealand is rolling out new tracking technology which will allow the airline to more easily track and analyse the movements of cargo shipments and its cargo equipment worldwide. The airline is currently installing more than 5,500 Bluetooth® tags on its cargo containers, pallets and unit load devices as well as more than 100 readers at 29 airports it provides cargo services to around the world. When a tagged item passes the reader it automatically updates an online application providing real time information to the team. Air New Zealand General Manager of Cargo Rick Nelson says the technology is expected to drive enormous efficiencies for the airline. “This technology has been introduced as a result of direct feedback from our cargo and airport staff who saw an opportunity to enhance our handling processes. These Bluetooth® tags and readers will not only allow us to speed up cargo handling but also improve our accuracy and inventory management and help to locate any missing items,” says Mr Nelson. The airline has been working with Core Transport Technologies Inc on the technology which has been designed and manufactured in New Zealand. “We believe this to be the first time this type of technology has been deployed at this large scale anywhere in the world. It’s great to see our technology benefitting Air New Zealand and its many cargo customers and we look forward to continuing to work with the airline to further drive efficiencies,” says Core Transport Technologies Inc Managing Director Ian Craig. While the technology is only being used internally at this stage, the airline hopes to make it customer-facing in the future. “We see significant potential for this technology – it could be rolled out at airports to monitor ground service equipment, or used to manage mail shipments and eventually we would like to see it become customer facing so our cargo customers can more easily track their shipments,” says Mr Nelson. Air New Zealand Cargo plays an important role in growing New Zealand’s high value exports, processing the majority of the country’s air freighted imports. The airline operates an average of 3,566 cargo flights per week and exports a total of 42,000 tonnes of goods from New Zealand annually. Click here to download broadcast quality footage on Air New Zealand’s new cargo tracking solution.
4 Nov _ As blockchain and IoT converge, the push to commercialize applications leveraging both technologies grows. The latest industry to embrace this confluence is the transportation and logistics industry. In late August, the Blockchain in Trucking Alliance (BITA) launched with 150 or so member organizations — including transportation management companies, brokers, carriers, shippers and technology vendors. BITA’s stated goal is to create standards and educate industry stakeholders about the promise of blockchain. And at last week’s Connected Fleets USA event in Atlanta, BITA co-founder Craig Fuller, CEO for TransRisk, stressed that the combination of IoT and blockchain in logistics and transportation will be a formidable one.
Blockchain “has the power to transform almost every element of this industry,” said Fuller, whose company develops products to help stakeholders in the transportation industry manage price risk. In the future, blockchain systems will work in tandem with data from IoT devices used in transportation and logistics. Business transactions surrounding the shipment of freight will be automated using blockchain-based “smart contracts,” which improve upon traditional contracts by enforcing the rules controlling the transfer of currency or assets under specific conditions. In simplified terms, blockchain systems use a chain of cryptographically protected records to expose the details of transactions to all participants and distribute records across the network of participating “nodes,” or computers, thereby eliminating the need for a central authority to maintain records, which makes processes more efficient and cuts costs.
The benefits according to Sandeep Kar, chief strategy officer for Fleet Complete, include:
Accelerated payment, better security and reduction of fraud.
Simplified claims settlement.
Improved traceability and trackability.
Elimination of the middleman, which cuts costs, reduces paperwork and shortens the supply chain.
Reduction in the cost of regulations and compliance.
Increased transparency of price, ownership and the entire process.
But there are, of course, challenges to blockchain in logistics and transportation, which Kar summarized as:
Lack of initial knowledge, skills, expertise and trust in the technology.
Limited easy availability of cryptocurrencies, which may or may not be coupled with a blockchain system.
A bias toward the established infrastructure.
Lack of a central authority to mitigate risk.
Potential cryptocurrency volatility because no central authority governs cryptocurrencies.
To help the industry get past the obstacles and reap the rewards of blockchain, BITA is attempting to address the education gap, as well as help develop standards that are specific to the transport industry. Education is critical, Fuller said: “People don’t understand the use cases for it. They know the buzzwords, but they don’t know how it’s actually used in the market.” Fuller said he’s been on the receiving end of a number of questions about how to create commercial uses of blockchain in logistics and trucking. Questions like those are what led to the formation of BITA. “We’re bringing disparate, sometimes competitive parties together to create a common framework to solve problems. … We’re trying to bring together the folks [who] can actually have an impact,” he said.
Performance history records. Potential use cases for blockchain in trucking include maintaining accurate performance history records. When a truck enters the secondary market (that is, gets sold as a used vehicle), questions come up around how the vehicle was maintained. “In a blockchain environment, you can have a trustless record” of that maintenance, Fuller said. Because blockchain transaction records are considered immutable and transparent, parties in a transaction don’t need to have established trust with one another beforehand. “The beautiful part is, I don’t have to trust the other party, the seller or an intermediary. The data is flawless.”
“The analog [to the performance history use case] in the consumer car industry is Carfax,” Fuller said. “Except [with blockchain], there’s no reporting agency. [The records] are distributed [across the nodes in the blockchain system built for this purpose].” All records pertaining to the truck would be recorded to the blockchain, from the moment it rolled off the assembly line until it entered the market as a used vehicle — using IoT sensor data as well as other transactional data related to the vehicle. A potential buyer of the truck therefore would be able to make a purchase decision with full knowledge of the vehicle’s history.
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Capacity monitoring. Another potential use of blockchain in the trucking industry is capacity monitoring. One of the factors determining the cost of shipping freight relates to cargo volume. IoT sensors can be used to detect the amount of space a particular party uses; that info is used in determining cost associated with shipment. In the future, pouring that data into a blockchain-based system, enabled by a smart contract, will mean self-executing payments against the amount of space used by the freight, as measured by the IoT sensors. In other words, a much more efficient process than what exists today.
Gray trailers. Blockchain also could level the playing field between truck owners and third-party logistics companies when it comes to “gray trailer pools.” Today, Fuller said, truck owners have an advantage over third-party logistics companies because they own access to freight trailers. Blockchain could enable a business model whereby “the trailers will be owned by a third-party entity and shared collectively with fleets. … You can have a fleet of gray trailers and use blockchain to not only know who had access to that equipment but also charge for it. And you can tie a contract to it and settle it in real time so there is no collection process,” Fuller said.
Dispute resolution. Blockchain will also have a role resolving disputes, he said. “Every single day, there’s $140 billion tied up in disputes for payment,” Fuller said. “The shipper says, ‘You didn’t send me a proper bill. … Your rate is $1.90, but [the bill] says $1.89.” And guess what? The shipper … doesn’t pay it until that price is exact.” Such wrangling creates a strain on the trucking payments environment, he said. With a blockchain system and a smart contract, the transaction would be handled according to the smart contract terms and the contract would be executed and the transaction cleared at the same time, eliminating the current back and forth between parties as they hash out the finer points of their agreement. “In a blockchain environment, you have a transaction standardized and anonymized, and [it’s subject to] what we call smart arbitration,” in which disputes or controversy related to the contract are settled immediately according to the blockchain system’s arbitration rules. And because the facts of the transaction are viewable by all parties, fewer disputes are likely to occur.
Fraud detection. Blockchain will also be useful for fraud detection. The example Fuller cited was the practice of “factoring” in trucking, or assigning unpaid freight bills to a third-party company for less than — perhaps 60% to 90% of — the value of the bill. Trucking companies use factoring to improve their cash flow since it gives them access to the money right away, but it costs them a percentage of the bill. “One of the reasons factoring companies charge so much [is because a significant portion of] factoring receivables end up getting duplicated, [when trucking companies] send multiple bills of lading to multiple factoring companies, or [a company might] create a false bill of lading.” Factoring companies charge a very high rate because a portion, which Fuller said was likely low, of transactions it engages in is fraudulent. With blockchain, as long as the sensor data itself is not falsified, the transactions represent what actually happened as opposed to what someone says happened. But perhaps more importantly, factoring itself would become less necessary since a blockchain system with smart contracts would govern the payment for transactions in an automated way.
Making all these use cases a reality, of course, will require the various stakeholders in the process to work together. “True implementation of blockchain involves both the shipper and carrier using this platform and so far what we have seen is a few shipping companies using it,” Kar said. “The real market pull, not push, will start … once the shippers start demanding carriers to start using this platform.”
When will that happen? At this point, it seems too soon to tell. Kar said, “I believe we’re at least two to five years out, or maybe sooner.”
3 Nov - In October, the internationally operating logistics company Logwin invested a one third stake in Supply Chain International Ltd (SCI). SCI was established at the beginning of 2017 as a subsidiary of the Auckland-based Supply Chain Solutions (NZ) Ltd (SCS). The subsidiary is being managed by another stakeholder, Peter Furlong, who has 30 years experience in international air and sea freight.
This investment by Logwin gives it entry into another attractive market with the deal also reinforcing its regional position in the Oceania region. In neighbouring Australia, whose economy is closely linked with New Zealand’s, the provider of logistics services has 5 branches and has been active there for more than 25 years. SCS is one of the leading providers of contract logistics and distribution services in New Zealand. Via the SCI subsidiary, customers will now also be linked to Logwin’s international network. Logwin is therefore continuing to expand its presence and with its global air and sea freight, it guarantees customers quick transport times and high-quality local services.
New Zealand-based heavy equipment specialist Tidd Ross Todd (TRT) has designed and manufactured a widening eight-line platform trailer for Queensland-based Mactrans Heavy Haulage.
According to TRT, the features of this trailer have been designed for Mactrans' specific haulage challenges following extensive consultation, to make the transport 70 – 120-tonne equipment more efficient.
The platform trailer has been designed for maximum manoeuvrability and load variation, using a centre spine with two widening decks that expand its width from 3350mm to 4880mm.
There is 18m of clear deck behind the neck to the inside the ramps, and 855mm lowered height for easy loading. The deck is manufactured with a positive camber and TRT’s coaming rail – which it says is the deepest of any trailer manufacturer – to help optimise load stability.
It has 64 wheels, eight spares and 16 BPW steer axles to provide the 23m trailer manoeuvrability in any direction.
The trailer also features TRT’s live hydraulic compensating “Gooseneck”, which allows the trailer to be lifted and lowered during travel, minimising damage to equipment and load.
Blockchain start-up Blockfreight has ambitions to serve 360 million shipping containers on blockchain networks by the year 2020, the company’s Australian Founder and CEO, Julian Smith, tells Logistics & Materials Handling.
After many years working on the development of applications for large corporations, universities and government agencies, software engineer Smith became increasingly interested in Bitcoin technology, an interest that eventually led him to the logistics space.
“Bitcoin is a way to digitally track and transfer virtual assets, but a similar type of technology can be used to track and transfer physical assets,” Smith said. “This method has great potential in the logistics space, reducing fraud and increasing efficiency and consistency – effectively leading to a more effective movement of goods between parties on a global framework.”
At the beginning of 2017, Smith founded Blockfreight in San Francisco to commercialise and build a reference implementation for enterprise, designed to act as a blockchain partner to the container logistics industry. He now spends his time between New Zealand, Australia and Blockfreight’s US offices.
To date, Blockfreight has completed a research period and is entering beta trials of its Blockchain technology on global freight, findings and case studies of which Smith will share at the upcoming Supply Chain Management Australia 2017 event, to be held in Sydney in November.
As a firm dealing with a developing technology, Blockfreight is delighted to be investing in Australia, with a three-year commitment to a Melbourne research and development lab, Smith noted.
“I believe Australia is a leading adopter of technology in the Asia-Pacific region and globally,” he said. “This is evidenced by the spectacular growth of vendors such as WiseTech Global, and is also the product of a relatively low population and its distance from major markets.”
“We put a particular emphasis and focus on opportunities for technology-led cost and process efficiencies.”
The acquisition will be concluded on behalf of the French carrier by its Australasian subsidiary, ANL, which will then merge with Sofrana to create Sofrana ANL.
Chief executive of SeaIntelligence Consulting Lars Jensen said the acquisition was in line with CMA CGM’s focus on growing regional presence through snapping up niche brands.
Mr Jensen added: “It also is another step in the consolidation among the smaller shortsea and feeder carriers globally that will unfold in the coming years.”
While ANL already operates at ports throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Papua New Guinea, CMA CGM hopes to capitalise on Sofrana’s “in-depth knowledge” of the region to expand its reach.
Active in the South Pacific for 50 years, New Zealand-based Sofrana operates 10 vessels on eight tradelanes, servicing 21 ports in Australia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific.
Sofrana-ANL would conduct operations across Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, North America and the Pacific islands.
CMA CGM has proved adept at handling the integration process during recent acquisitions, its latest results being the third full quarter to include figures from Singapore-based APL, showing how it could take a loss-making company and turn it into a profit generator.
The carrier reported revenues of $10.1bn and operating profits of $724m, driven by an upturn of 34% in liftings and a 9% increase in revenue.
Net profit reached $320m over the six months to June, versus a loss of $217m at the halfway point of 2016, with APL contributing $116m – in the first half of 2016 APL lost $127m.
Industry analysts cite CMA CGM as the best-performing container line in the world, with profit margins in the region of 7.1%, 1.8% ahead of its nearest competitor.
The Sofrana acquisition follows the agreement this summer between CMA CGM, reefer specialist Seatrade and independent container line Marfret to launch a joint service in the South Pacific.
One of the first instances of cooperation between specialist reefer and container carriers, the 13-vessel joint service will link Australasia and French Polynesia with Europe and the US east coast.
The acquisition of Sofrana Unilines is expected to be completed by the end of October. The terms were not disclosed, but Benoît Marcenac, MD of Sofrana for 15 years will remain with the company.
The nearly 100-kilometer pilot run was completed without a driver on board, making it the first fully autonomous heavy haul train journey ever completed in Australia write MH&L .
At its iron ore operations in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, Rio Tinto announced on October 2, that it has successfully completed the first fully autonomous rail journey.
The nearly 100-kilometer pilot run was completed without a driver on board, making it the first fully autonomous heavy haul train journey ever completed in Australia.
The journey was completed safely, being closely monitored in real-time by Rio Tinto teams and representatives of the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator, both on the ground and at the Operations Centre in Perth.
“This successful pilot run puts us firmly on track to meet our goal of operating the world’s first fully-autonomous heavy haul, long-distance rail network, which will unlock significant safety and productivity benefits for the business,” explained Rio Tinto Iron Ore CEO Chris Salisbury.
The company is working towards commission AutoHaul project in late 2018. The AutoHaul project is focused on automating the trains that are essential to transporting the iron ore to Rio Tinto's port facilities.
Trains started running in autonomous mode in the first quarter of 2017. Currently about 50% of pooled fleet rail kilometers are completed in autonomous mode (with drivers on-board) and 90% of pooled fleet production tonnes are AutoHaul enhanced.
Rio Tinto operates about 200 locomotives on more than 1,700 kilometers of track in the Pilbara, transporting ore from 16 mines to four port terminals.
Ceva Logistics is celebrating two anniversaries in Australia this month, marking ten years of operations as Ceva Logistics, and the first anniversary of its new Australasian headquarters in Truganina, Victoria.
Ceva was born in Australia from the merger of Australian transport company, Thomas Nationwide Transport (TNT), and Eagle Global Logistics in August 2007.
Ceva is celebrating the milestone achievements with customers and staff across the country, starting with a staff event at Truganina hosted by Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand, Carlos Velez Rodriguez.
“We are delighted to be able to celebrate two landmark achievements at the same time with our colleagues and customers,” said Velez Rodriguez.
“I’d particularly like to pay tribute to our staff, be they working at this site or others in the Australia & New Zealand cluster, for their dedication and hard work in making this company the success it is today. A number of them have been with us for many more than the ten years we are marking today and we salute them all.”