Week 33 has seen ongoing developments on a number of issues that are likely to have a major impact on supply chains over the next few months.

Tax is never simple to understand, but Beijing seems to have made the subject of VAT on transportation even more difficult to grasp. Information regarding the imposition of Chinese VAT remains unclear. In China, a VAT charge has been imposed on domestic shipping, logistics and forwarding but there remains uncertainty as to how it might apply internationally, creating uncertainty for shipping managers, shipping lines, airlines and forwarders.

It might seem a dry topic, but forwarders are crying foul with claims that airlines are introducing chargeable weight methodology on all surcharges. Airlines cite the costs relating to tightened security and fuel prices as being behind the switch from charging on actual weight to chargeable weight.

Nurminen Logistics alerted HLPFI to some changes that are happening at the Russian border, which will impact on road services into and out of that country. The International Road Transport Union (IRU) has welcomed the postponement of a move by Russian Customs not to honour the TIR guarantee until mid-September. Despite the delay, the IRU has slammed what it still maintains is a "unilateral and illegitimate decision." The Union considers that if Russia refuses to acknowledge the TIR guarantee, no one wins - the move will hurt the economies of all countries involved in international trade with Russia and the Russian economy itself.

This week's Friday Flyer is sponsored by Broekman Project Services, located in the Port of Rotterdam, which offers a total solution for handling and assembly of project cargoes - www.broekman-group.com/bps

In the corporate world
STX Pan Ocean reported a Q2 2013 net loss of USD24.7 million - down from USD84.3 million 12 months ago - on revenues of USD855.8 million in the quarter, down 32 percent on Q2 2012. A STX semi-submersible can be seen right.

Imperial Logistics has entered into a joint venture with international advisory and procurement firm, The Beijing Axis to offer its clients an end-to-end supply chain solution between Asia and Africa.

Entrec Corporation's results for the three months ending June 30, 2013 (Q2 2013) saw revenue grow by 72 percent year-on-year to USD 47.77 million.

Wilh. Wilhelmsen Holding's results for Q2 2013, show operating profit for the quarter totalled USD106 million based on a total income of USD903 million, up 37 percent, while the revenue increased 4 percent.

Kerry Logistics has acquired a majority stake in Mexico's Cargo Master's Group, whilst Rickmers-Linie has named Ben Line Agencies (HK) as its sales agent in Southern China. Last year, Rickmers-Linie transported three LPG storage tanks from Malaysia to Kuwait, pictured second right.

According to maritime research agency Drewry, cargo no-shows and phantom bookings are a major headache for ocean carriers. With the peak season now well underway, cargo rollovers are more likely. Whilst freight booked from Asia to Europe was being rolled onto later vessels at the beginning of July, some ships still sailed under-capacity as a result of last minute booking cancellations.

Royal Boskalis Westminster has issued its H1 2013 performance figures reporting a net profit of EUR123 million (USD164 million), up from EUR102 million (USD136.11 million) in H1 2012, with the results of the recently acquired Dockwise business being fully consolidated from the second quarter (pictured third right above).

Capacity developments
In association with Kasgro Inc, Fracht USA has designed and built a new 16-axle, 11 m railcar, capable of carrying 400 tonne loads, for use in the North American market (pictured right).

Modulift has designed and built its first-ever modular spreader frame, the CMOD, in response to customer demand and what Modulift calls a gap in the market for an adaptable spreader frame (pictured second right).

PSC has unveiled its brand new self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT) 600 trailer (pictured third right) that can carry 67.5 tonnes, aimed at heavy transport requirements inside nuclear facilities.

Liebherr is to supply six heavy lift vessel cranes to China for ships being built for Rickmers-Linie. Four of the cranes have a capacity of 450 tonnes, while two have a capacity of 120 tonnes each (pictured bottom right).

Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics is set to offer two or three sailings per month from Veracruz, Mexico to the US East Coast, before voyaging to Western Europe, calling at  Veracruz, Galveston, Brunswick, Charleston and Baltimore; then proceeding to Europe calling at Antwerp, Bremerhaven and Southampton.

Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd (K Line) is to launch a new business unit focused exclusively on the sales and marketing of ro-ro cargoes, targeted at construction machinery, agricultural equipment, static cargoes, as well as used automobiles and construction gear.

NEAS has taken delivery of its newest multipurpose vessel, Mitiq. The 137 m vessel was built in 1995 and is ice class 1 certified and has three onboard 60-tonne lifting capacity cranes.

Network news
XLProjects (XLP) has named Fiza Logistics Pvt Ltd as its new representative in Pakistan and Afghanistan. XLProjects (XLP) has also added Columbia Pro-rail Transport Services Limited (CPTS) as a representative in the cities of Qingdao and Tianjin, China.

Project Cargo Network (PCN) has added Westlink Logistics as a new member, representing Australia.

Reshamsingh & Co has become the exclusive member for the Cargo Equipment Experts (CEE) network in New Delhi, India in the heavy haulage, cranes and barge categories.

The Air and Ocean Partners (AOP) network has welcomed Alpha Maritime Services, Genoa, Italy as a new member.

People and places
Eric Thompson has become vp transportation engineering, rail and heavy haul department at Fracht USA.

Kaj Lindvig (pictured top right), senior advisor at A2SEA, has hit the road after his resignation, though he will remain on the books as a consultant.

US congresswoman Betty Sutton (pictured second right) has been sworn in as the tenth administrator of the US Department of Transportation's Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (SLSDC).

UTi Worldwide has opened its new London facility in Heathrow, UK, to act as the company's main air and road base in the UK.

C.H. Robinson has appointed Ivo Aris as director of European global forwarding tasked with setting and executing the company's European global forwarding strategy.

DB Schenker Logistics has opened its brand new EUR13 million (USD17.35 million) logistics centre in Zwevegem, Belgium.

All about Evie
Evie applauds the charitable efforts of USA headquartered Ceres Barge Line. The company has recently taken delivery of a 'hot pink' barge named Big Hope 1 and will contribute a percentage of the vessel's net earnings for a minimum of five years to Mary Crowley Cancer Research in Dallas.

Of late, Evie has taken to starting her working week by checking out the latest opinions of XLProjects founder, Gary Dale Cearley, who is now posting thought-provoking articles on the project forwarder network's website every Monday.

David Cheslin - R.I.P.
A memorial service for freight PR man, David Cheslin, who passed away recently has been organised. It will take place on Friday September 27 at 2pm at St Mary Abchurch, Abchurch Lane, London EC4. At David's request, this will not be a religious service but the venue is a consecrated Church so there is the option for private prayer if you wish.