04 // industry news

Last Updated 18 June 2013

Vietnam explores opportunities in Africa

Vietnam is looking to Africa and the Middle East as potential export markets, according to speakers at a conference organised by the Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency last week, reports Vietnam’s BizHub news site.
Opportunities have been identified in the food, agricultural, seafood and consumer products fields.
The Middle East region, with high GDP per capita, is seen to have strong purchasing power and good solvency, while Africa has huge demand for goods.
Vietnam already imports fuel, diesel, plastics, ores and metals from these countries.


Big slip in Richard’s Bay coal exports

South Africa's Richards Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) exported 4.35 million tonnes of coal in May, down from 6.24 million tonnes the previous month, RBCT data shows.
South Africa, a major exporter of coal to power stations in Europe and Asia, had 2.47 million tonnes of stock at the terminal at the end of May, RBCT said.
Coal producers in South Africa include Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Exira and Glencore Xstrata.


Drop in cocaine seizures reflects European hub’s plummeting airfreight volumes

Cocaine seizures at Frankfurt airport have fallen by more than 50 percent in two years, providing an insight into the fallout that a ban on night flights has had at Europe’s third-busiest aviation hub, reports Bloomberg Businessweek.
About 246 kilograms of the drug were recovered in 2012, down from 524 kilos in 2010, with the termination of overnight mail services from Latin America, a major contributor to the drop, according to Yvonne Schamber, a customs office spokeswoman. Airports, including Munich, where carriers such as Deutsche Lufthansa AG (LHA) diverted flights, have seen volumes gain.
Fraport AG, the hub’s owner, was forced to impose an 11 pm to 5 am curfew in October 2011 after residents who were opposed to a fourth runway sued over the increase in noise. The ban has hit hardest in the airfreight market, with volumes down 7 percent last year and Lufthansa – the world’s second-largest cargo carrier and the airport’s biggest customer – shrinking the capacity of a planned logistics centre there by 20 percent.
“The ban has an economic impact that’s never been properly analysed,” said Martin Harsche, professor of aviation economics at the University of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt. “Many kinds of businesses are suffering. It’s pleasing for the region if fewer drugs arrive, but it’s probably displacement of a transport route that won’t bring down the mass available.”
More than 2 million tons of freight passed through the airport last year, including 80 000 tons of air mail, ranking it second in Europe only to Paris


Shipping line sells stake in container terminal business

CMA CGM recently completed the sale of a 49 percent stake in its container terminal business, Terminal Link, to China Merchants Holdings International (CMHI) for R5.3 billion, reports Cargo Business Newswire.
"Our new strategic partnership with CMHI will allow us to join our complementary forces to operate and further develop terminal investments," said Farid Salem, CMA CGM's executive officer.


Air cargo major to move freighter fleet to new airport

Emirates SkyCargo is transferring its freighter fleet from its crowded main base at Dubai International Airport to the new Dubai World Central Airport (DWC), according to AirCargo News.
A trucking pipeline will be established between the two airports to handle Emirates’ transhipment and belly cargo transfers from its passenger aircraft. Connection times between the two airports will be around 45 minutes and will not affect service standards, says a spokesperson.
SkyCargo operates four B777Fs and three wet-leased B747Fs and has six B777Fs on order.


North-South corridor on the menu at next Transport Forum

The Transport Forum Special Interest Group will hold its next monthly meeting in Durban where several high-level speakers have been lined up to offer their insights on ‘The North-South Corridor’.
The School of Ports in Langeberg Road, Bayhead is the venue for the event which is, as always, free although booking is essential.
Speakers include Irvindra Naidoo, general manager:group strategy at Transnet, who will discuss the Durban-Free State-Gauteng Logistics and Industrial Corridor while Barney Curtis of Fesarta will offer his insights on solving transporters’ problems along corridors in East and Southern Africa, particularly the North-South corridor.


Nicaraguan assembly OKs US$40bn canal to rival Panama’s

Nicaraguan lawmakers granted a 50-year concession to a Chinese company last Thursday for it to design, build and manage a shipping channel across the Central American nation that would compete with the Panama Canal, according to a Reuters (US) report carried in Friday’s Daily Maverick.

The US$40 billion proposal by HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co Ltd (HKND Group) called for linking Nicaragua’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts and included plans for two free-trade zones, a railway, an oil pipeline and airports.

Nicaraguan president Daniel Ortega said the government was going ahead with feasibility studies that should be done by 2015, when work on the canal could begin.

Those studies will define what route the canal will cut through the country. Any design would almost certainly bisect Lake Nicaragua, which at 8 265 square kilometres, is Central America’s largest lake.

Advocates say the proposal played to Nicaragua’s natural strengths, which include low-lying land and the lake.

Still, the channel would likely be three times longer than the 77-km Panama Canal, which took the US a decade to build at the narrowest part of the isthmus. It was completed in 1914.

For a couple of centuries, added an LA Times report, through the brazen eras of exploration and exploitation by the likes of Cornelius Vanderbilt and the filibusterers, 19th century adventurers who periodically invaded Nicaragua, Nicaraguans have nursed the dream (some would say fantasy) of carving a land-and-water route across their section of the Central American isthmus.

The dream was raised and dashed time and again. The opening of the Panama Canal in 1914 seemed to relegate the idea to the realm of fanciful musings. Nicaraguan politicians started floating the idea again in the 1990s but the last serious set of studies was shelved in 2006.

Now, Ortega, taking advantage of his steady takeover of nearly all the decision-making institutions in the country, has revived the dream in hope, perhaps, of sealing what he sees as his legacy.

Economically justifying the concept, HKND senior project advisor Bill Wild told the Times that the changing nature of maritime trade - including the increasing volume, expanding customer base in Asian markets, and the size of ships - makes the Nicaragua canal an important, bigger alternative to the Panama Canal, currently undergoing a US$5.25bn expansion. Especially as the US eventually moves toward becoming an exporter of oil, the kinds of supertankers it and other suppliers would use would not fit in the Panama Canal.


Containers – one of most significant innovations of the last century

A Daily Maverick fact of the day: You wouldn’t think it, but one of the most significant innovations of the last century is the humble shipping container.

The standardised metal containers that decorate every port in the world today were only invented in 1956, and their impact on global trade was nothing short of revolutionary. Because they could be handled so easily, loading and unloading fees plummeted; and ships could carry more cargo and spend less time waiting in the dock. And on land, their uniform size made inland distribution by lorry and train so much easier.

A recent study looking at 22 industrialised countries found that containerisation was responsible for a 790% increase in bilateral trade over 20 years, making it far more significant than any trade agreement.

“Not bad for a simple box,” concluded the Economist.

 

News supplied by www.cargoinfo.co.za

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