FIATA e-Flash no 194, 25. February 2019


2019 RAME Field Meeting Beirut, Lebanon – June 24-26th

We are happy to announce that the 2019 RAME Field Meeting will take place in Beirut, Lebanon from June 24-26th. This event will be hosted by our Lebanese Forwarders Syndicate which are well underway in preparing an engaging program for all delegates in attendance. 

For further details and how to register, please visit the field meeting website –

BIFA (UK): launches networking group for young freight forwarders

BIFA is launching a new networking group, the BIFA Young Forwarders Network (YFN), aimed at supporting individuals that have recently joined the sector. The launch will take place on March 6th during the forthcoming 12th National Apprenticeship Week (NAW 2019) which will run from March 4 to 8, 2019 in which BIFA has been encouraging its members to participate.

“The timing of the National Apprenticeship Week could not be better and we intend to be actively involved through the networking group. Throughout the week we will be taking to Twitter social media to share useful tips and advice with both employers and employees who are interested in learning more about apprenticeships in the industry,” commented Carl Hobbis, BIFA’s training development manager.

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No recession but global growth will slow to a crawl this year, Janus Henderson says

Market participants are increasingly worried about the prospect of a serious economic downturn this year.
A long-running U.S.-China trade war and uncertainty around the U.K.’s exit from the European Union has soured business and consumer sentiment in recent months. “Our central forecast is not for a recession. It is just for dull, low growth,” Jane Shoemake, investment director of global equity income at Janus Henderson Investors, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box Europe”.

At the start of February, the European Commission said euro zone growth will slow to 1.3 percent this year from 1.9 percent in 2018 and is expected to rebound in 2020 to 1.6 percent.

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EP vote on Brexit contingency measures for road and air

On 13 February, the European Parliament’s Plenary adopted the European Commission’s Brexit contingency measures on air connectivity, aviation safety and road freight connectivity in case there is no deal by the time the UK is set to leave the EU.

On road freight connectivity, the Parliament has decided to stick to the original Commission proposal as much as possible, amending it only to clarify the text and strengthen the principle of equivalence of rights to EU and UK hauliers. UK Government issued on 5 February a draft haulage statutory instrument, aiming to grant equivalent access for EU hauliers to the UK.

On basic air connectivity, while the report is largely in line with the Commission’s proposal, some important amendments were included in the report.

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Shadow of recession adds to carrier woes as rates fall after Chinese holiday

As anticipated, container spot rates softened across the major deepsea trades following the Chinese New Year factory holiday. The Shanghai Containerized Freight Index (SCFI) this week recorded spot rates from Asia to North Europe down 5.6%, to $906 per teu, as carriers scrambled to fill their ships following the break.

But the rate erosion could have been much worse without the 2M’s last-minute decision to blank the sailing of the 19,437 teu MSC Eloane on Maersk Line and MSC’s AE10/Swan loop this week.
According to the January edition of the Global Port Tracker for North Europe, there are also growing economic fears, with Italy already reporting two consecutive quarters of negative growth and Germany marginally avoiding recession.

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Surge in box traffic waning at US west coast ports

THE surge in containerised imports into US west coast ports over the latter half of 2018 may be waning, according to a comparison of throughput figures.

The January data for Los Angeles, Long Beach and Oakland show declines in the throughput of containerised imports compared with the previous month. Long Beach processed 323,838 teu of imports, a fall of 13.2% over the December 2018 figure of 373,098 teu. Los Angeles said it processed 429,923 teu of imports, a decline of 8.3% from 468,905 teu. Port of Oakland said its January imports stood at 81,895 teu, or 5.9% lower than the previous month’s 87,056 teu.

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Air freight FTK growth slowed to 3.5% in 2018

Global air freight demand growth, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTKs), fell to 3.5% in 2018, significantly lower than the extraordinary 9.7% growth recorded in 2017, according to figures just released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Meanwhile, freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometers (AFTKs), rose by 5.4% in 2018, outpacing annual growth in demand. This exerted downward pressure on average load factors, “but yields proved resilient”, IATA noted.

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End of Airbus A380 production draws jeers, not tears from air cargo community

As part of an agreement with Emirates, Airbus announced on February 14 that it would produce an additional 14 A380 airplanes for the airline through 2021, after which it would no longer manufacture the aircraft. Emirates opted to order Airbus A350-900 and A330-900 aircraft to replace the A380s cancelled from the original order.

Much has been written about Airbus’ business decision in manufacturing the A380 and the challenge of selling such a large four-engine aircraft, which was designed for high-density passenger markets, especially with the advent in recent years of very efficient long-range two-engine aircraft like the Boeing 787, Boeing 777X and Airbus A350 variants.

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Single air transport market essential for African air cargo sector

The Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) initiative, which has so far been signed by 28 countries, is of great significance for the continent’s air transport sector. So affirmed participants in a panel discussion at the Air Cargo Africa 2019 conference and exhibition.

“SAATM is a very important initiative,” stated Kenyan airfreight airline Astral Aviation founder and CEO Sanjeev Gadhia. “It is the initiative that is going to save the air transport industry in Africa.” He pointed out that the continent was divided by what he called “walls in the sky”, with many African countries shutting out carriers from other African countries. “This is a continent that is disconnected.” Also, air transport in Africa was expensive. These barriers had to be broken down.

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Miami International Airport expands global offerings

Miami International Airport continues to expand its international offerings, both for passengers and freight forwarders. “Four international carriers have scheduled entries into the Miami market in 2019,” said Greg Chin, communications and digital marketing director for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department, via email.
There were also overseas routes announced last fall, which included Ethiopian Airlines’ two weekly freighter cargo flights to Addis Ababa, which created the first ever cargo-only route between Africa and Miami International Airport.

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European Commission adopts ‘no-deal’ Brexit contingency plan for rail

The measures should avoid major disruptions of cross-border rail operations and shuttle services after the UK’s withdrawal. In addition to the proposal, the European Commission emphasised that it is essential that the concerned undertakings and national authorities continue to take all necessary measures to comply with EU rules on train driver licences, market access, as well as safety certificates and authorisations required to operate in the EU.

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Can Freight Railroad Industry Maintain Momentum in 2019?

The railroad industry seems to be poised well not only in the near term but also in the long haul on the back of robust freight demand fuelled by a buoyant U.S. economy. A strong U.S. economy supports the bullishness of freight railroad operators, as it implies that more goods are being transported across the country.

The robust financial health of railroads bears testimony to the fact that the scenario has improved considerably for players in this industry despite coal-related headwinds. Currently, nearly 35% of the U.S. exports are shifted to the ports by freight railways. Year to date, the freight railroad industry has grown 18.9% compared with the benchmark S&P 500 index’s increase of 10.7%.

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Finland act on electronic consignment notes

Finland will accede to the international agreement on electronic consignment notes in April. In order to carry out the accession, an amendment will be made to the Act on the Convention for the Carriage of Goods by Road. The amendment is expected to enter into force on 11 April 2019.

This means that in future an electronic consignment note may be used in international transport between the countries party to the agreement. Also other documentation related to transport may be in electronic form.

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Driverless wagon ready to hit the track in the Netherlands

Autonomous single wagons that access whatever train path is accessible: that is the future of rail freight. These wagons will make rail as flexible as road, believes Paul van Bers, Innovation Project Manager at Container shift2rail. Van Bers will present this innovation at the Freight and Terminal Forum, taking place from 26-28 March in Utrecht, the Netherlands.

“The software makes this wagon autonomous. It is a smart wagon, it can improvise and react. It can operate alongside the traffic management system of a network, as it is able to observe when a train path is available. As such, it does not need to request a train path in advance.”

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Report: Amazon ramps up ocean shipping services

Amazon is reportedly ramping up its ocean freight services “quietly and below the radar,” as it aims to gain more control of its supply chain, USA Today reported. Since the beginning of last year, Amazon organized the shipment of more than 5,300 containers from China to the U.S., according to the report. Amazon did not respond to Supply Chain Dive’s request for comment by press time.

The containers are under the name Amazon Logistics or Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service, its subsidiary, traveling to either the Port of Long Beach or Port of Seattle and then onward to Amazon’s distribution centres.

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