First Boeing 777 Freighter emerges

Boeing 777F leaves the factory for the first time

Progress continues on the first Boeing 777 Freighter as the company’s newest cargo aeroplane was towed out of its factory in Everett, Wash. and onto the flight line on Tuesday night. Work will continue on the 777 Freighter to prepare for flight test this northern summer and to paint it in the Boeing livery.

The 777 Freighter is claimed to fly further and provide more capacity than any other twin-engine cargo aircraft. Boeing will deliver the first 777 Freighter to its launch customer Air France in the fourth quarter of 2008. The 777 Freighter is based on the 777-200LR Worldliner passenger aircraft and is built using the same production line as all other models of the 777. Eleven customers around the world have ordered 78 of the 777 Freighters.


Mega-logistics centre unveiled

National private development company Walker Corporation has unveiled its master plan for a billion dollar industrial mega‑centre at Ipswich with vital access to a national transportation grid.

The 335 hectare integrated business precinct, to be known as Citiswich, will feature a mix of industrial, commercial, residential, open space and business uses in a master-planned estate. It is set to become one of the leading developments of its kind, according to Walker Corporation.

Situated at the junction of the Ipswich Motorway, Warrego Highway and the Cunningham Highway, only 22 kilometres from the CBD and eight kilometers from Ipswich, Citiswich will connect businesses to the major transport and economic flows to and from the south-east corner of the State.

The Citiswich site which is now being developed by Walker Corporation was formerly known as Bremer Business Park.

Walker Corporation will spend about $250 million on land development in seven stages over the next 8-12 years, and ultimately Citiswich is expected to provide the base for industries employing up to 5,000 people.

Included in the infrastructure works is a link between Brisbane Road and the Warrego Highway, which will create a huge benefit for local traffic flows.

Development approvals for Stage One are expected to be finalised by the new year, with the first land settlements expected by the middle of next year.

Walker Corporation Queensland general manager, Peter Saba, said Citiswich would offer options for either land purchase or purpose-built facilities for leasing.

“Citiswich will offer businesses an outstanding opportunity to capitalise on the current shortage of available land and building alternatives in south-east Queensland,” he said.

“The name Citiswich makes a distinct reference to its strategic location near Ipswich and its exceptional transport connectivity.

“Citiswich will cater for all sectors of industry ranging from local operators up to large scale national and international businesses.

”"Lots in the first stage will range from 4,000 sqm to 12 hectares, and in later stages, Citiswich will offer lots from as small as 1,000 sqm.

“Citiswich is an ideal location for manufacturing industries, distribution and logistics operators, warehouse and storage facilities, construction and service industries, mining companies and research and technology firms.”

Citiswich has direct access to the Bremer River and will include public open space, parklands and recreational facilities. With significant landscaping, wide buffer zones and set‑backs it will have a minimal visual impact on the surrounding area.

Citiswich has a frontage to the Warrego Highway, offering high-exposure premises for light industry, commercial activities and corporate headquarters.

Mr Saba said Citiswich would eventually be one of the major industrial areas servicing south-east Queensland.

“As industries look to establish a corporate foothold in south-east Queensland or to relocate from more expensive and congested city sites, Citiswich will provide an ideal alternative in a strategic and highly accessible location,” he said.

QR revamped, but is it for sale?

Rail transport and logistics company, QR Limited, has announced plans for a new corporate structure and new appointments to its senior management team. 

QR Chairman, John Prescott, said the proposal involved the development of specific business entities within QR to improve focus and outcomes for its newly redefined Freight, Passenger, Network and Services businesses.

Mr Prescott said the objectives of the changes were to:

    * Improve safety, customer service and operating performance; and

    * Provide flexibility for QR to continue exploring opportunities with potential private sector partners for its freight business, where they would bring scope, scale or expertise.   

“We need to have better focus on customer outcomes, be more closely aligned with markets in which we operate and improve our financial performance,” Mr Prescott said.

“The new structure recognises that QR has a portfolio of businesses operating in distinctly different markets. They need to be separate, customer-focussed and absolutely accountable for safety, performance and bottom line results.

“Each business will have a profit and loss statement and balance sheet, and be responsible for cash management and other results.”

The new structure sees the establishment of the four major business units named above, supported by a focussed corporate core of four functions: Finance, Risk, Human Resources and, in a major new initiative, Marketing. These changes will be bolstered by significant new management appointments announced today by QR’s new CEO Lance Hockridge. These include:

    * Deborah O’Toole as Chief Finance Officer, commencing at QR this week

    * Stephen Cantwell as Group Executive General Manager QR Freight (previously Chief Operating Officer),

    * Michael Carter as Executive General Manager QR Network (previously Acting Group General Manager Network Access), and

    * Glen Mullins as acting Executive General Manager Services (previously Group General Manager of Infrastructure Services)   

“Stephen Cantwell will add management strength and expertise to the freight business. Stephen has done an outstanding job in rolling out QR’s national freight strategy to date. We believe he is well respected by customers and will bring a strong focus to this critical area.”

Mr Hockridge also said he expected to shortly announce the appointment of the senior marketing executive. The new business model is expected to be in place by early 2008.

“All the work done has reinforced QR’s potential in building a successful national transport business but significant changes are needed. We are not simply restructuring QR, we are building a new business,” Mr Prescott said. “We’ve built a national platform in recent years, it’s now time to put in place the strengths to carry each business forward.”

The restructure is widely seen as the first step in a possible partial sale or sharemarket float next year.

Asciano chases mining boom, ditches agriculture

Asciano Group, the infrastructure, port and rail operator arm of Toll Holdings up until its recent forced separation, has outlined plans to offload its rural businesses and expand into the burgeoning coal transport market.

Asciano also ended speculation about a possible $20 billion takeover bid for logistics firm Brambles, saying that it "no longer sees its 4.09 percent stake as a long-term investment".

Chief executive Mark Rowsthorn said it would focus on coal transport as the decade-long drought had made its rural businesses unprofitable.

"Due to their cyclical nature they are not businesses we can stay in for the long term. This current situation cannot be tolerated."

Asciano plans to reduce its grain operations and sell or close its rural container business at a cost of $50 million. Rowsthorn said the restructure will reduce exposure to volatile cyclical sectors and will produce annual benefits of $40 million.

Asciano said the restructured business would see fiscal 2008 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of $695-705 million.

The company also said it was actively looking for port and rail acquisitions in Europe, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and India, adding it was shortlisted among four bidders for some Saudi port facilities.

Customs DVD to help exporters

The DVD, Exports Reporting, targets five common export compliance and reporting errors, and provides step-by-step guidance on how to report export information correctly the first time round.

"It is extremely important for Customs to find innovative ways of delivering business improvements. The launch of today’s educational DVD will provide a resource that is designed to assist industry efforts with voluntary compliance in their export reporting process," National Director Compliance, Peter White said.

"By following the principles laid out in the DVD, exporters can avoid the delays that occur when Customs has to verify data. Reducing errors will increase productivity and allow Customs greater opportunities to target high risk non compliance."

In October, a preview of the DVD was enthusiastically received at the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia (CBFCA) national conference.

Council Executive Director Stephen Morris said it was a great direction for Customs to take in training, both for CBFCA members and exporters.

"Training staff is one of the biggest challenges for companies in this sector and with such technical data entry and reporting requirements, it’s fantastic to now have an easily accessible and effective product that our members and exporters can show their staff," Mr Morris said.

Request for copies of the Exports Reporting DVD can be sent to:

Email; or telephone

Union supports shift to seafreight

A national carbon-pricing scheme would result in fewer freight trucks on the nation’s roads, an independent report into the greenhouse impact of Australian transport has found.

The Australia Institute study found that a shift from roads to sea freight would deliver cleaner environmental outcomes and assist Australia meet Greenhouse reduction targets.

The report found that road transport accounts for less than 40 per cent of the domestic freight task, but is responsible for over 80 per cent of freight emissions.

In comparison, shipping accounts for 22 per cent of the freight task and only four per cent of emissions.

Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said the report shows that Australian shipping should be part of the solution to meeting the challenges of climate change.

"The Howard Government’s neglect of Australian shipping is yet another example of this Prime Minister failing to address and plan for the inevitabilities of climate change," said Paddy Crumlin.

"Instead, this Government has undermined shipping – by far the most environmentally friendly transport mode – for more than a decade.

"As a result Australia’s shipping fleet is aging, its market share has been depleted and the potential for emissions reductions has been severely hampered," said Mr Crumlin.

"The environmental advantages of getting freight off our roads and onto ships are clear – not to mention the obvious safety benefits for road users."

"Australia needs transport policy that recognises the integral role of shipping and provides for Australia’s future economic and environmental sustainability," he said.

Institute urges bigger role for coastal shipping

A new report released today by the Australia Institute shows coastal shipping is a greenhouse friendly transport mode and that the drift away from shipping in the domestic freight market is contributing to rising greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, Climate Change and Australian Coastal Shipping, by Institute Deputy Director Andrew Macintosh found that coastal shipping has the lowest emission intensity of the three major freight transport modes (road/rail/ship). When the modes are broken into subgroups, it ranks second behind private rail as the most energy efficient mode.

“Shipping is an energy efficient and green transport mode, yet it is losing market share to less efficient modes, which is ultimately increasing freight emissions,” Mr Macintosh said.

Shipping’s share of the non-urban freight market has fallen from 37 to 26 per cent over the past 15 years. A large proportion of the market share lost by shipping has gone to road transport, which is the most inefficient of the three major modes.

“When operating in non-urban markets, trucks have emission intensities that are at least four to five times higher than those associated with shipping,” Mr Macintosh said.

“Road transport accounts for less than 40 per cent of the total domestic freight task, but is responsible for over 80 per cent of freight emissions. In comparison, shipping accounts for 22 per cent of the freight task and only four per cent of emissions.”

The report found that the introduction of a moderate price on greenhouse gas emissions via a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme is unlikely to result in a large increase in shipping’s share of the domestic freight market.

“Due to shipping’s competitive position, it is unlikely that the imposition of a moderate carbon price will lead to a rebound in shipping’s market share,” Mr Macintosh said. “In the short- to medium-term, achieving a substantial reduction in freight emissions will require significant improvements in the emission intensity of road transport and/or aggressive government intervention to encourage the transfer of freight from road to either rail or ships.”

Maersk reduces CO2 emissions in reefers

Maersk Line has come up with a way to significantly reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions of its refrigerated containers (reefers).

QUEST (Quality and Energy efficiency in Storage and Transport) software provides a new temperature control regime inside the container that allows it to cut the energy consumption used for cooling with up to 50% without impacting refrigeration reliability. Maersk Line estimates that QUEST will lead to CO2 emission reductions of 325,000 tonnes annually when fully implemented during 2008.

"While the most energy efficient and environmentally friendly mode of transportation is by sea, our aim is for continual improvement in our environmental performance. We are therefore particularly pleased to be able to start the use of QUEST. It marks a new milestone in our continuous effort to develop and implement ever cleaner and more fuel-efficient solutions", said Thomas Eskesen, senior director and responsible for reefer management at Maersk Line.

"Traditionally, we maintain a constant supply air temperature in the reefer container, a process that uses high amounts of energy. QUEST on the other hand focuses on the temperature of the transported commodity.

"With Quest, our customers and their commodities will benefit from all the usual features provided by our refrigeration solutions and in the same time we all benefit from lower energy consumption and reduced emissions", said Thomas Eskesen.

The solution is the result of a joint development project sponsored by the Dutch Government, and involved amongst others Wageningen University and Research Centre in the Netherlands, and Maersk Line.

"QUEST is a good example of thinking outside the box. The solution is innovative and successfully challenges conventional wisdom. We are very pleased to have been part of the project and with the opportunity to apply scientific research into our business. We are confident that QUEST will reshape an important part of the container industry, benefiting both customers and the environment", said Thomas Eskesen.

Upgraded Asia

From mid-September Hamburg Süd is offering an upgraded service between Asia and Australia/New Zealand (ANZL). Tasman Orient Line and Hapag-Lloyd will be partners on a slot-charter basis.
Five new 1,800 TEU chartered vessels will be phased into the fixed-day weekly service with an enhanced port rotation, replacing five smaller ships. Featuring 400 reefers slots apiece and a service speed of 21 knots, the newbuildings will provide the most comprehensive express service in the trade between Asia and Australia/New Zealand.
The new joint service has the following port rotation: Yokohama – Kobe – Shanghai – Hong Kong – Brisbane – Tauranga – Lyttleton – New Plymouth – Yokohama.
Additional origins and destinations throughout Asia and Australasia are quickly and easily available through connections to the expanded Hamburg Süd network. Tailor-made for this trade, these new vessels will also allow Hamburg Süd the flexibility to call at additional ports throughout the year in order to cover specific seasonal customer requirements.
This further enhancement of the service underlines Hamburg Süd’s commitment to provide its customers with fast and direct connections between Asia, Australia and New Zealand. At the same time the shipping group, backed by its network of owned offices, is seeking to expand its range of quality services to the entire Asian market, as well as to Australia and New Zealand.

Coolest cargo in the air

Would you ever guess that vaccines, bulk drugs, liquid syrups, insulin, and bio-technological products are some of the many goods eagerly awaiting the arrival of Emirates’ inaugural flight EK 538 from Dubai to Ahmedabad – the capital city of the Indian state of Gujarat?

Emirates six-flights-a-week service to Ahmedabad, effective 29th October, heralds the introduction of Emirates SkyCargo’s Cool Chain Solutions to the state’s pharmaceutical industry.

From Ahmedabad, Emirates SkyCargo, the cargo arm of the Dubai-based airline will offer over 110 tonnes of capacity per week per direction, together with its specially-designed temperature-controlled air cargo containers that maintain stable interior temperatures throughout the journey. Featuring active temperature control systems that range from -20C to +20C, Emirates SkyCargo’s containers keep product temperature stable despite fluctuations in ambient temperatures.

Home to over 3000 pharmaceutical industrial units, and investing over USD 1.6 billion in the industry, Gujarat contributes 28 percent to the production and export basket of India’s drug sector.

As a result of a global network spanning 94 gateways in 60 countries and a seamless transportation chain using the latest technologies in air cargo containers, life-saving medicines from Ahmedabad will make their way to pharmacies in the Middle East, Europe, United States of America, Far East, and Africa.

During this long journey, the cool chain has to be maintained. To ensure this, the award-winning cargo division will use a combination of temperature-controlled containers, Cool Dollies and warehouses at its Dubai hub so that the cargo arrives in the same condition it took off.

Peter Sedgley, Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo Commercial Operations said: “As global focus on medical services increases, it becomes crucial that innovative life saving drugs reach needy patients in time and in perfect condition. Our Cool Chain Solutions counter hostile temperatures to preserve the efficiency of medicines. Temperature-controlled containers can also be used to transport fruits and vegetables from Ahmedabad to local supermarkets around the world and throughout the year.”

Furthermore, Gujarat is the largest supplier of denim in Asia, a benefit it has reaped after setting up apparel parks in Surat and Ahmedabad, and textile parks in Palsana, Udhna, Navapura, Mangrol, and Kheda. Supported by a growing international network and having invested in the latest information technology, finest ground handling equipment, most advanced aircraft, and highly-qualified staff, Emirates SkyCargo can promise an efficient service that takes the state’s textiles products to new global markets.

Emirates SkyCargo will also move intricate, ethnic and contemporary gold ornaments from Ahmedabad to jewellery buyers in North America, South Africa, and the world-famous Gold Souq in Dubai.

Gujarat State Export Corporation Ltd. estimates that Ahmedabad presently utilises a cargo capacity of 1,100 tonnes to support its exports.

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