e-Flash No. 206 – 12 August 2019



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The trade association that represents the UK’s freight forwarding and logistics sector says that the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has hit the nail on the head with its warning that neither the UK nor the EU is ready for a no-deal Brexit on October 31st.

Robert Keen, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) says: “As the trade body that speaks for the sector of the economy that is responsible for managing the supply chains that underpin the UK’s visible international trade, we’ve been vocal in our concerns that our members cannot prepare for a no-deal Brexit, given the ongoing uncertainty over many issues that affect how they conduct that trade.”

For more details on his speech please visit: https://www.bifa.org/news/articles/2019/july/freight-forwarders-say-cbi-s-brexit-report-hits-the-nail-on-the-head

Traditional freight forwarders keen to ride the e-commerce wave

Traditional freight forwarders and logistics players are keen to go into e-commerce logistics given the strong demand and popularity of online business activity.

Federation of Malaysian Freight Forwarders (FMFF) vice president and Selangor Freight Forwarders & Logistics Association president Datuk Tony Chia Han Teun said many traditional freight forwarders in Malaysia are interested to venture into this new stream of business.

As eCommerce is changing so fast, there is a risk of knee-jerk reactions at first incidences, which could deter new logistics solutions and facilitation. This can be only avoided by working together with mind set on to sustainable development, with eyes open toward innovative solutions, probably at a faster pace than originally expected. FIATA and its members stand ready to contribute to policy discussions on eCommerce suited solutions as stated in one of its position paper.

For more details, please visit: https://www.thesundaily.my/business/traditional-freight-forwarders-keen-to-ride-the-e-commerce-wave-DA1211489



New September Tariffs: 3 Critical Things To Know For Your Supply Chain Now

Arguing that China did not follow through on promises to both increase agricultural purchases from the United States and stop the sale of Fentanyl into the U.S., President Trump announced an additional 10% tariff on $300 billion worth of goods imported from China that are not already subject to Section 301 tariffs.

While there is still time to move goods by airfreight before the tariff deadline, early planning is essential. There is likely to be a rush to grab available capacity. These new tariffs are far more likely to go up than down. Relief is unlikely before 2021, at the earliest. Businesses have to plan accordingly.

For more details, please visit: https://www.forbes.com/sites/flexport/2019/08/05/new-september-tariffs-3-critical-things-to-know-for-your-supply-chain-now/#3224b0533e59

Post-Brexit freeport ‘gateway to prosperity’ plan comes under fire

Questions continue to be raised over the announcement that the UK government intends to establish a series of freeports across the country after Brexit. Trade secretary Liz Truss called on airports and ports to bid for the scheme, saying: “Freedoms transformed London’s Docklands in the 1980s, and Freeports will do the same for towns and cities across the UK.

“They will onshore enterprise and manufacturing as the gateway to our future prosperity, creating thousands of jobs.” However one source claimed the announcement was little more than a “cynical ploy”and “spin and electioneering”.

For more details, please visit: https://theloadstar.com/post-brexit-freeport-gateway-to-prosperity-plan-comes-under-fire/

CARB opens $40M voucher program for zero-emissions freight equipment

California has been ground zero in the fight to reduce vehicle emissions, often posting even stricter standards than the federal government. The state has also continually put funds behind its regulatory push, and it is doing so again. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced the “Clean Off-Road Equipment Voucher Incentive Project” (CORE) program on August 5, 2019.

CORE is a $40 million voucher program to accelerate the purchase and use of zero-emission off-road freight technologies. Users will be able to tap into the program to help offset the higher costs associated with zero-emission equipment. Terminal tractors, transport refrigeration units, forklifts, container handling equipment, airport cargo loaders, wide-body aircraft tugs, railcar movers and rubber-tired gantry cranes are eligible equipment.

For more details, please visit: https://www.freightwaves.com/news/carb-opens-40m-voucher-program-for-zero-emissions-freight-equipment

10% China tariffs and the supply chain scramble

The 10% tariffs announced Thursday in a four-part series of presidential tweets sent U.S. importers into what Sue Welch described as a “scramble.” “It’s really hard to plan for crazy,” Welch, the CEO of Bamboo Rose, told Supply Chain Dive. “And this is crazy.”

Even if the U.S. and China reach a trade resolution, Welch said the damage from disruption to supply chains will last long-term, at least five to 10 years. The rush to import goods and shift supply chains can strain shippers’ relationships with suppliers, carriers and freight forwarders, she said.

FIATA has advised, through its position paper, governments will need to play their role in the future of trade to avoid erecting trade barriers; this is the only way to facilitate their citizens’ businesses’ access to markets, whilst ensuring that citizens’ safety and security are not put at greater risk. The power of the regulator will be best exercised in seeking greater harmonisation of standards and procedures.

For more details, please visit: https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/10-tariffs-300-billion-china-supply-chain-scramble/560141/



Google pledges carbon-neutral shipping by 2020

Google is committing to carbon-neutral shipping “to and from customers” by 2020 and and to recycled materials in 100% of its products by 2022, according to a company blog post.

Google’s switch to ocean shipping marks progress as ocean freight is far less carbon-intensive than air freight, emitting between 3.0 and 7.84 grams per ton-km of carbon compared to 435 for air, according to data from the World Shipping Council. In addition, the maritime shipping industry is pushing for more environmentally conscious operations to reduce emissions and maritime pollution. As a result, Google will be able to spend far less on carbon offsets to neutralize the environmental impact of shipping its hardware.

FIATA applauds Google’s efforts to push towards carbon neutrality. FIATA has asked policy makers, through a position paper, to not only focus on enacting legislation that will set GHG target emissions for which the industry must remain compliant. But to look at the glass half full and enact policy that would enable infrastructure development, technological research, and tracking procedures leading to enhanced connectivity and efficient transport operations that would in turn stimulate economic growth.

For more details, please visit: https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/google-carbon-neutral-shipping-2020-sustainability/560278/

Chinese delivery player SF Express entering into global ocean freight market

China’s leading express delivery industry player SF Express announced that the company is entering into global shipping market and is to launch the full container load services from Mainland China/Hong Kong/Macau to USA.

“There is stable freight capacity of the company to provide freight service to major ports in US, and the company will be able to provide tailor-made service to clients,” said SF Express.

For more details, please visit: https://www.seatrade-maritime.com/news/asia/chinese-delivery-player-sf-express-entering-into-global-ocean-freight-market/



Forwarders mitigate air cargo volatility with air freight forward agreement

In what could be a significant shift in air freight, forwarders will be able to manage their exposure to the volatile market, and get better prices, from derivatives trading.

Freight Investor Services (FIS) launched an Air Freight Forward Agreement (AFFA) market last month, and has seen several industry players use futures to hedge their forward exposure to price movements, using the TAC Index as the base.

For more details, please visit: https://theloadstar.com/forwarders-mitigate-air-cargo-volatility-with-air-freight-forward-agreement/

Air Canada Cargo eyes new revenue streams as results disappoint

Air Canada is thinking outside the box: Tim Strauss, vice-president of cargo, wants to double his division’s revenues through new channels to insulate the business better against the gyrations of the general freight market.

The past 12 months have been a rollercoaster for Air Canada Cargo. The carrier ended 2018 with cargo revenues of C$803m (US$604.7m), up from C$708m the year before.

Read more at https://theloadstar.com/air-canada-cargo-eyes-new-revenue-streams-as-results-disappoint/

Pittsburgh International Airport named Cargo Distribution Center

As Qatar Airways Cargo nears its two-year anniversary in Pittsburgh, the cargo route received a significant boost with a major global customer committing to shipping its goods through Pittsburgh International Airport.

Sri Lanka-based freight forwarder EFL is making Pittsburgh International Airport a cargo distribution point in conjunction with the nonstop service – a milestone reflective of the success of Qatar Airways Cargo. EFL will capitalize on one of Qatar’s two weekly Boeing 777 freighters into Pittsburgh. The company’s first 90-ton shipment started in May into Pittsburgh.

For more details, please visit: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/07/18/1884694/0/en/Pittsburgh-International-Airport-named-Cargo-Distribution-Center-for-Sri-Lanka-based-freight-forwarder-through-Qatar-Airways-Cargo.html



Self-driving truck startup runs freight routes in Texas

A startup firm developing self-driving trucks has started making its first commercial deliveries-with a safety driver behind the wheel-and opened a testing and freight operations office in Dallas, Kodiak Robotics said today.

By launching commercial operations, Kodiak is making a tangible step in an industry known for advancing in fits and starts. In 2016, ride-hailing pioneer Uber Technologies Inc. acquired the autonomous trucking startup Otto for a reported $680 million, but announced in 2018 that it had closed its autonomous truck unit in favor of developing self-driving cars.

FIATA encourages the introduction of technology into the freight forwarding industry as such tools and innovative processes will help improve efficiency in our sector ensuring that we continue to provide the value-added services for which our members have done so for decades.

For more details, please visit: https://www.dcvelocity.com/articles/20190806-self-driving-truck-startup-runs-freight-routes-in-texas/

ASEAN road specialists get a boost as trade war escalates and factories shift

Factory relocations stemming from the US-China trade war are proving good business for cross-border road freight in South-east Asia. According to Gursimran Singh, regional business development manager at road freight specialist Kart Asia, machinery exports from China have increased considerably this year.

“The general market is quite decent for cross-border trucking, and I think the major reason is the trade war,” he told The Loadstar. “Because of the tariff dispute there are a lot of factories moving from China to Vietnam and Thailand. That’s played in our favour and we’ve been relocating a lot of machinery.”

For more details, please visit: https://theloadstar.com/asean-road-specialists-get-a-boost-as-trade-war-escalates-and-factories-shift/



What 5G Means for the Transportation and Logistics Industry

What does 5G mean for the logistics and transportation industry? There are both short- and long-term impacts that shippers, carriers, and 3PLs will need to prepare for.

To grasp the true promise of 5G, imagine a truly “connected” supply chain, in which everything from the equipment that manufactures the product, to the truck that picks it up, and even the retail store shelf where it is displayed, is sending real-time signals that play a decisive role in driving production and transportation activities. For example, a stock out at the retailer level could send a signal to the manufacturer indicating how much of a given product is needed, where to manufacture it, and when it is needed, as well as triggering the dispatch of a truck, which in turn leverages enhanced data regarding available capacity, location of the truck, road conditions, and the performance history of the driver.

For more details, please visit: https://logisticsviewpoints.com/2019/08/06/what-5g-means-for-the-logistics-industry/

Alibaba Offered Controlling Stake in Logistics Firm for $1.4 Billion

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. has signed a deal to increase its stake of a domestic logistics service operator as the e-commerce giant continues to add delivery capacity.

Alibaba was granted the option to acquire a 31.35% stake in STO Express Co. Ltd. within three years, according to STO Express’s statement (link in Chinese) filed to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Wednesday. The deal would cost a total of 9.98 billion yuan ($1.45 billion), according to the statement.

For more details, please visit: https://www.caixinglobal.com/2019-08-01/alibaba-offered-controlling-stake-in-logistics-firm-for-14-billion-101446485.html

Uber Freight and MercuryGate team up on a cross-partnership initiative

SaaS-based transportation management system (TMS) provider MercuryGate International Inc. and Uber Freight, a subsidiary of the ubiquitous, ride-sharing service Uber, whose proprietary app matches trucking companies with loads to haul, have formed a partnership in which Uber Freight’s extensive carrier network is now available on the MercuryGate platform.

“Through this integration, shippers using MercuryGate will now have access to Uber Freight’s real-time pricing and guaranteed capacity,” said Driegert. “Users can price and tender immediately, spending less time on coordination, and opening them up to focus on improving their bottom line. By integrating into the existing workflow of our shippers, we are meeting shippers where they work and making the experience of using Uber Freight even more seamless.”

FIATA signed a MoU with MercuryGate during our 2015 FIATA World Congress in Taipei for our Advisory Body Information Technology Session. The IT products provided by Mercury Gate comes with a list of key functions and features at an affordable price to enhance efficiency of users.

For more details, please visit: https://www.logisticsmgmt.com/article/uber_freight_and_mercurygate_team_up_on_a_cross_partnership_initiative