November 2 - And so, it's time for another edition of HLPFI's Friday Flyer, giving you a round-up of news from the last week, together with a few comments from the editorial team.
Starter for ten
The old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure is rarely better focused than when a disaster strikes. Hurricane Sandy brought human tragedy in its immediate wake from the Caribbean to landfall in the US North East. In aftermath, many in the global supply chain may realise they have no business interruption (BI) strategies in place.
Many project and heavy lift locations may be a long distance from any devastation and remain undamaged but still BI may hit deadlines and create delay penalties. Closed ports, diverted shipping, staff who return home to assist in rescue operations and the inevitable delays and increased costs that are incurred will be accounted for in BI planning and coverage.
While BI insurance is held by many companies, insurers warn that a high number may not have cover for suppliers who let them down. Sub-contractors may be unable to make time-sensitive deliveries,goods may be diverted at sea and landed at ports miles, or even time zones, away.
A second old chestnut is that insurance is expensive until you need it: prior planning will mitigate short-term disruption and reduce delay in operations but BI cover, including supplier disruption, should work towards business survival. One thing is certain, there will be future Sandys. Are you prepared?
The comment by the UK energy minister John Hayes that London plans to put a firm limit on the building of any more onshore wind farms in the UK may bring a decade of acceleration in their growth to a shuddering halt. While his comments have been countered by the government, has the comment taken the wind out of much of this development, both in the UK and the wider EU? This is not the arena for the green debate but many Friday Flyer readers will have business and revenue streams based on the transport and installation of onshore wind power generation equipment.
At the same time, ending onshore development is likely to shift interest towards further offshore projects. Naturally this will benefit coastline countries and those companies that handle off-shore installations. Green issues aside, the comment by Hayes shows that even the most solid-looking industry can have the rug pulled out from under its feet at the drop of a politician's interview or change of mind. And that can happen anywhere.
Hatches, matches and despatches
It's not people but companies that are tying the knot this week. Engineering, construction and project management giant Bechtel and Subsea 7, a world leader in the construction of offshore projects, are to work together to develop offshore wind and associated transmission projects in Europe.
England Logistics, a full service transportation and logistics provider with offices in North America and mainland China, has acquired certain assets of Portland, Oregon based Kampstra Transportation and Logistics. England Logistics said the move would provide greater service to its brokerage customers in the US Northwest and throughout the United States.
Grindrod and Sturrock Shipping have jointly announced the merger of their respective ships agency operations under a 50:50 joint venture. Sturrock Shipping, which is owned by the Sturrock family and the Calulo Group, Grindrod's existing BEE partner, said that the merger expected to take place yesterday, with the portion of the merger relating to the Namibian agency company still being subject to Namibian competition commission approval.
BBC Chartering is strengthening its presence in the Australian market by establishing a local representation in Western Australia.
In the business arena
It will come as little surprise to many Friday Flyer readers, the costs involved in operating a vessel are expected to rise by three percent in both 2012 and 2013 according to a new survey by international accountant and shipping consultant Moore Stephens. Based on responses from key players in the international shipping industry, Moore Stephens forecasts that lubricant expenditure and crew costs are the categories most likely to produce the highest levels of increase.
At the same time, supply chain advisors Drewry says there has been remarkable turnaround in fortunes that has seen the shipping industry fight back from a huge first quarter loss to a tidy profit in the second quarter. So does this mean that carriers are set once again to throw caution to the wind and to return another rates war? Drewry asks.
Dockwise subsidiary Fairstar Heavy Transport has commissioned a new USD150million Type 1 vessel to be named White Marlin. With delivery scheduled in the fourth quarter 2014, the newbuild's capacity and capabilities will be similar to the existing Blue Marlin vessel in the Dockwise fleet.
Many of the UK's most respected infrastructure experts, main contractors and asset owners will meet in London in December to discuss the UK National Infrastructure Plan announced by the UK government in November 2011. The UK Infrastructure Conference (UKICE) is a two-day meeting on December 5-6, 2012 between the UK asset owners and operators (energy, transport, information and communication infrastructure, water and waste) and the main contractors, alongside the project investors to discuss the implementation of priority projects for 2013.
Shipping line Safmarine has successfully introduced a new forum aimed at assisting its customers in finding solutions to business-critical challenges. The focus of the first Safmarine Business Link forum, held in October 2012, was on the logistical challenges of importers in South Africa's land locked Gauteng province, the country's economic hub and richest province.
The Chambre de Commerce etd'Industrie (CCI) in the French port of Le Havre, will host the sixth annual Project Professionals Group (PPG) annual conference from May 20-22, 2013.
PPG general manager Kevin Stephens said that Port Corpus Christi, Texas, had once again signed on as a major sponsor for the event and the Grand Port Maritime du Havre had also joined the list of conference sponsors.
Consignments on the move
South Africa based heavy lift and plant relocation specialist Vanguard has recently completed the transportation of a second mill shell for supply chain solutions provider UTi Projects from South Africa to the Mopani Copper Mine in Zambia.
Albacor Shipping has successfully transported two grinding and crushing machines to the Detour Lake Gold Mine, some 190 km northeast of Cochrane, in Ontario, Canada, as well as the transport of two heavy chlorinators measuring 18.6 m x 7.7 m x 7.7 m in dimensions and weighing 129 tonnes each, plus miscellaneous parts and accessories from Maryland, USA to Yanbu in Saudi Arabia.
Turkey's Kocaman Transport has transported six 150 tonne boilers from Iskenderun on the Mediterranean coast of the country to Baiji, Iraq. Due to the extreme height of the shipment on its low loader trailers, Kocaman had at one point to send in engineers to cut and temporarily reposition a bridge in order for the extra-high shipment to pass under it.
A Volga-Dnepr Airlines IL-76TD-90VD freighter operated for Transact International has delivered diesel generators weighing over 35 tonnes from East Midlands Airport in the UK to Bagram, Afghanistan. The oversized power generators, designed and manufactured by Dale Power Solutions, were placed in special shipping containers and rolled into the cargo cabin directly from the airside tarmac using a wheeled loading system designed by Volga-Dnepr that eliminates the need for third-party loading equipment.
Chapman Freeborn Airchartering has worked in association with the St Anthony Health Foundation and Catholic Health Initiatives to organise the air transportation of surplus medical supplies from the US to Vietnam while worldwide freight forwarding and boat transportation company PSP has shipped the first of a new fleet of Chinese built 70-foot ocean racing yachts to the UK, marking the start of a new era for the 40,000 mi (64,374 km) Clipper Round the World Yacht race. The company has also just opened its third office in the UK.
Ahlers is handling a hydro plant relocation in multiple lots from China to Belarus. Whereas Europeans tend to ship such a project all at once, Ahlers says its Chinese customers prefer shipments spread over several months.