The first freight train has set off from China to the UK on the reintroduced historic Silk Road trade route.
The train, carrying household items, garments, textiles, bags and suitcases, will take around 18 days to travel more than 12,000km.
The train, which left on New Year’s Day from Yiwu in eastern Zhejiang province, will pass through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before arriving in London.
According to the China Railway Corporation (CRC), London will be the 15th European city to receive freight train services from China.
The CRC said the service would “improve China-Britain trade ties, strengthen connectivity with western Europe, while better serving China’s Belt and Road initiative, an infrastructure and trade network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along ancient trade routes”, China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua reported.
Under China’s officially named One Belt, One Road initiative, billions of dollars will be ploughed into infrastructure along historic trade routes in a bid to shift the world’s centre of economic gravity.
China is the EU’s second biggest trading partner after the US and in 2015 the EU imported goods worth €350.5bn from China, up 4.4% on 2014.
The LoadScan Load Volume Scanner (LVS) is the original non-contact ‘drive-through’ lorry and dump truck load measurement instrument for the measurement of bulk materials volumes, and LoadScan are the leading international manufacturer of payload volume scanner and load management solutions for the construction, mining, mulch and biomass, quarry and sandpit, oil and gas as well as many other industries. LoadScan are the leading experts in volumetric truck load measurement solutions.
The Load Volume Scanner was developed in 1998 to accurately tally the movements of aggregate and spoil being moved onto, off and around earthworks sites.The need for such a product came from the civil construction industry where engineering materials for the construction of roadways, subdivisions, landfills, building sites etc are tendered, scheduled and paid for using volume measures. These materials are generally carted by truck and trailer, and volumetric truck measure is a standard measure for the monitoring or trading of bulk quantities.
Up until this time there was no satisfactory means of measuring load volumes quickly and accurately. Quarries, cartage companies and construction contractors have traditionally used weight as their trade measure. Load volumes are computed from assumed bulk densities (mass/volume ratios), but this method can be inaccurate. It is also labour intensive and time consuming for the contractor who receives product purchased by volume measure to manually level and check each truck load.
LoadScan has continued to develop the LVS product and LVS devices are successfully operated on a full spectrum of truck and trailer designs including on-road truck and trailer units, semi-trailers and centre-dumpers, as well as off-road articulated dumpers and quarry trucks. The Load Volume Scanner (LVS) design for conventional truck and trailer units has been approved for trade use within New Zealand and Australia, trade approval was first gained in New Zealand in 1999 by the New Zealand government’s Measurement and Product Safety Service (MAPSS) and in Australia in 2010 by the National Measurement Institute (NMI). Patents have also been granted for the LVS design.
The LVS is a proven, reliable technology that receives glowing accolades from its users so it is no surprise LoadScan is rapidly gaining recognition in the civil construction, quarrying, Mining and bark & mulch products industries. The Loadscan Load Volume Scanners are working in these industries in 10 countries around the globe, all manufactured and tested at their facility in Hamilton, New Zealand.
Prime Minister John Key and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have turned the sod on the first section of the long awaited Pūhoi to Wellsford Road.
The Puhoi to Warkworth road will be a new 18.5km motorway between Auckland and Northland. It is the first section of the Pūhoi to Wellsford Road to get underway, one of the Government’s Roads of National Significance.
“Extending the Northern Motorway between Pūhoi and Warkworth will enhance inter-regional and national economic growth and improve the reliability of the transport network between Auckland and Northland,” Mr Bridges says.
“It will also support population growth, connecting the expanding Warkworth area which is expected to grow to 20,000 residents in the next few decades.”
The $709.5 million project is being delivered through a Public Private Partnership, the second for a state highway in New Zealand.
Progress is also being made towards starting the second stage between Warkworth and Wellsford.
“The NZ Transport Agency has been undertaking investigations and will be sharing an indicative route with the public early next year,” Mr Bridges says.
“Both of these projects will reduce the overall travel time between Auckland and Northland, bypassing town centres and avoiding State Highway 1’s current steep and winding route.
“It will also create a better freight connection for Northland to the Upper North Island freight “Golden Triangle” of Auckland, Waikato and Tauranga.”
The road is planned to be open to traffic in late 2021.
More information is available at http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/ara-tuhono-puhoi-to-warkworth.
A new Land Transport Rule will help increase efficiency and ease congestion on our roads by enabling trucks to carry more freight, Associate Transport Minister Craig Foss says.
The new Vehicle Dimensions and Mass (VDAM) rule makes small adjustments to the rules covering height, width and weight limits for trucks and some buses.
“Maximising the potential of our heavy vehicle fleet will increase capacity and improve productivity across the transport sector,” Mr Foss says.
“Enclosed vehicles such as refrigerated trailers will be able to load three more pallets side-by-side, increasing capacity by 10 per cent and reducing the number of these vehicles on the road by a similar amount.”
The VDAM changes include:
Redefining the width limit to enable more vehicles to utilise the 2.55m limit;
Increasing the general access gross mass limits from 44 tonnes to 45 and 46 tonnes, depending on vehicle configuration; and
Increasing axle mass limits for various axle configurations.
“Safety is always the Government’s primary consideration. The rule will encourage operators to purchase newer vehicles aligned to international dimensions with more technology and safety features,” Mr Foss says.
The VDAM Rule 2016 comes into force on 1 February 2017.
The family that owns the Bluebridge Cook Strait ferry service has sold the bulk of its transport business to an Australian equity company.
Champ Private Equity has agreed to buy Strait Shipping, owner of Bluebridge, and Freight Lines from the Barker family, it was announced on Tuesday.
No price was mentioned in the announcement.
The sale represents the end of an era for the Barker family but was in keeping with founder Jim Barker's wishes, says Strait Shipping managing director spokeswoman and Mr Barker's daughter Sheryl Ellison.
"We are extremely proud of these three leading New Zealand transport businesses and we are excited about their future under a new growth focused ownership," she said in a joint statement.
Mr Barker had been closely involved with the sale until his death in August, Ms Ellison said.
"It was Dad's vision that these businesses would continue to thrive, grow and lead New Zealand's transport industry into the future and we're confident that this sale will ensure this."
Strait Shipping started its Cook Strait service with one ferry in 1992 when Mr Barker wanted a service to transport cattle. It now operates two ferries, the Straitsman and Strait Feronia.
The Barker family will retain ownership of Bulklines and Stocklines, which are not included in the sale.
Manufacturers continue to face additional freight costs, as well as delays and disruptions to supply chains, with the road and rail closures following the Kaikoura Earthquake, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA).
NZMEA Chief Executive Dieter Adam says, “We have had feedback from manufacturing members describing significant delays for some products to reach their destination, some with uncertainty as to when this will be resolved.
“Manufacturers are facing freight surcharges of around 15% currently, with other significant costs in adjusting and adapting their supply chains.
“We support Mainfreight’s call for KiwiRail to open up a dedicated coastal shipping option to take the pressure off roads that are not suitable for the level of freight. Given the predicted long time frames to fix the damaged roads and rail services, this kind of solution would be a huge help to restore more normal operating conditions for manufacturers and other businesses.
“Finding and implementing such a solution is a matter of urgency. This is not only a commercial problem, but one that hits manufacturers' viability and ability to compete, disrupting vital supply chains. The Government should be willing to step in to help facilitate a solution if one cannot be found soon.” Said Dieter.
Downer EDI has been awarded a $1.7 billion Sydney train contract by the New South Wales Government.
The contract includes an order of 24 double deck trains, with options for up to 45 additional sets, and maintenance of the trains for an initial period of 25 years, plus two optional five years extensions.
Under the agreement, Downer’s joint venture partner CRRC Changchun Railway Vehicles (CRRC) will manufacture the trains, while Downer will provide maintenance services.
The company’s Chief Executive Officer Grant Fenn said he was delighted to secure the Sydney Growth Trains contract which would build on the proven success of the Waratah trains.
“The Waratah trains have achieved exceptional availability and reliability – in fact they are the best performing train in the world. Importantly they are also very popular with commuters and train drivers,” Mr Fenn added.
“There is more than 90% commonality between the design of the Sydney Growth Trains and the design of the Waratahs. All major sub-systems are the same including traction, brakes, door, train information systems, heating, ventilation and air conditioning.”
Downer is a leading provider of services to customers in markets including: Transport Services; Technology and Communications Services; Utilities Services; Engineering, Construction and Maintenance (EC&M); Mining; and Rail.
The company, which employs 19,000 people, operates primarily in Australia and New Zealand but also in the Asia-Pacific region, South America and Southern Africa.