SEKO Logistics partners with ShipStation

SEKO Logistics is partnering with ShipStation to increase its eCommerce merchants’ ability to grow in new cross-border markets.
ShipStation helps eCommerce retailers import, organise, process and ship their orders quickly and easily from any web browser.
“We’re excited by the opportunity to partner with ShipStation and to be combining our respective strengths to open up new markets for dynamic and ambitious merchants, especially those exporting from our major markets in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia. SEKO’s reputation for cross-border eCommerce solutions means we are also a first port of call for smaller shippers that want to expand globally. We will now be able to migrate those companies to ShipStation and they can just ‘flip a switch’ to use our cross-border eCommerce solutions because ShipStation is integrated with so many eCommerce platforms,” Brian Bourke, SEKO Logistics’ VP of Marketing, said.
Merchants can now connect to SEKO Logistics via ShipStation and see:

  • Reduced transit time and lower cost to international markets for faster expansion
  • Reduced cart abandonment rates internationally with lower shipping costs
  • An easy and monetized returns solution with international in-country return capabilities
  • Unified tracking internationally regardless of final mile postal carrier
  • Retailer/Seller custom-branded tracking portals

World trade momentum weaker but growing, says DHL

According to the latest DHL Global Trade Barometer (GTB), global trade will continue to grow over the next three months.
With an overall index of 61 points, the GTB’s analysis of international air and containerised ocean trade flows indicates that the development of the previous quarters will continue: Indices for all seven countries that constitute the GTB index are above 50 points, which corresponds to a positive growth forecast according to the underlying methodology.
READ MORE: DHL to sell off Chinese supply chain business
The pace of growth, however, is further slowing in all index countries.
This deceleration will be particularly strong in Asia (except for China): Index values for India, Japan and South Korea have dropped by eight, six and five points respectively compared to the previous release of the GTB in September.
With an overall index of 75 points, India, however, continues to be the country with the strongest trade growth forecast.
“The DHL Global Trade Barometer clearly shows that the state of global trade remains solid. Both, air and ocean trade, continue to grow around the world. However, given the smoldering trade conflicts, especially between the US and China, and economists’ expectations that the global economy could cool down, it is not entirely surprising that trade momentum has weakened slightly”, Tim Scharwath, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding, Freight said.
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$120 million investment to boost rail capacity at Port Botany

NSW Ports is set to invest in ‘on-dock’ rail infrastructure capacity at each of the three container terminals at Port Botany, commencing in 2019.
Investment will be staged, with stevedores being required to invest in rail operating equipment to meet target terminal capacities.
“The growth of containers on rail is a key objective in NSW Ports’ Masterplan, to cater for the growing trade needs of NSW. This investment will build greater rail capability at the port, supporting the Government’s investment in completing the Port Botany rail duplication and ongoing investments in large scale intermodal rail logistics centres at Enfield and Moorebank,” Marika Calfas, Chief Executive Officer, NSW Ports said.
The investment will reduce the growth in truck movements around the port.  When fully operational this investment will reduce truck kilometres travelled in Sydney by at least 10 million per year. This will save over 2 million litres of diesel per year which is the equivalent to a net reduction in COemissions of more than 5,400 tonnes a year.
“Patrick currently handles a large volume of rail based containers and is focussed on growing and optimising our rail offering.  NSW Ports’ investment in rail infrastructure will be accompanied by Patrick’s $70 million investment in operating equipment and systems to deliver 1 million TEU capacity. Our agreement with NSW Ports will significantly increase our terminal’s rail capacity and enhance productivity and efficiency in container movements at the port,” Michael Jovicic, Chief Executive Officer, Patrick said.
To fund the investment, NSW Ports will implement a modest increase of $3.08 per TEU in wharfage fees on full imports and exports from 1 July 2019. This has been spread over the long term to minimise the wharfage increase and will be removed once the cost of the investment has been recovered.
Work will begin next year and is planned for completion by 2023. Rail operations at Patrick are expected to continue during the construction period.

CMA CGM strengthens stake in CEVA Logistics

CMA CGM has signed a new relationship agreement with CEVA Logistics to reinforce the industrial cooperation between the two companies.
We are convinced of CEVA Logistics’ potential. This industrial cooperation will make it possible to accelerate its required transformation and to make it a more profitable and efficient leader in logistics for the benefit of its clients, its employees and its shareholders. It reconfirms CMA CGM as the reference shareholder as well as its long-term partner,” Rodolphe Saadé, Chief Executive Officer of CMA CGM said.
According to a joint press release, this agreement will make it possible for CEVA Logistics to accelerate its transformation by:

  • Bringing CMA CGM’s operational expertise and its experience in corporate transformations to help CEVA achieve its recovery plan faster and more efficiently.
  • Creating new commercial opportunities: as a leader in the sea transport sector with an international commercial network, CMA CGM will generate new opportunities for CEVA Logistics.
  • Adding value to the commercial complementarities between CEVA Logistics’ and CMA CGM’s freight management activities: CMA CGM will transfer its freight management activities to CEVA Logistics, thus strengthening the company and creating economies of scale.
  • Supporting CEVA Logistics’ reorganisation and development strategy: CMA CGM will support additional investments aiming – among other things- at implementing CEVA Logistics’ digital and IT transformation which will stimulate its commercial success and operational efficiency.

This industrial cooperation has received the full support of CEVA Logistics’ board of directors and management. It preserves CEVA Logistics’ assets and identity.
The agreement signed between CMA CGM and CEVA also entails:  

  • A removal of the drag along clause in the relationship agreement previously entered into
  • A voluntary public tender offer from CMA CGM, for a value of 30 CHF per share in cash, for the CEVA Logistics shareholders who wish to sell their shares despite the value creation potential from the industrial cooperation with CMA CGM, which will be pre-announced by November 30, 2018 at the latest. 

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Siemens, Alstom rail merger troubles the ACCC

The ACCC has expressed preliminary concerns about the proposed merger of Siemens A.G.’s (Siemens) Mobility Division with Alstom S.A. (Alstom), which are detailed in a Statement of Issues published today.
“A combined Siemens-Alstom would be by far the largest supplier of heavy rail signalling in Australia,” ACCC chairman Rod Sims said.
The ACCC’s review has focused on signalling systems for heavy rail passenger networks, particularly train interlocking systems and automatic train protection (ATP) systems. Signalling systems provide safety and traffic management controls on rail networks. Interlockings are the core of a signalling system; they set routes for the safe movement of trains across railway lines. Train protection systems ensure that trains comply with movement authorities issued by the interlockings.
“The ACCC’s preliminary view is that the proposed merger may substantially lessen competition in the supply of heavy rail signalling systems for passenger rail networks in Australia, in particular interlocking systems and ATP systems. The loss of competition could result in increased prices for customers, or lower levels of service, quality, or innovation,” Mr Sims said.
“We have heard from many industry participants who have expressed competition concerns with the merger. We will continue to evaluate the competitive options available to passenger rail networks in Australia.”
The proposed merger is also being reviewed by overseas competition regulators, including the European Commission.
“The ACCC is liaising closely with overseas competition regulators, as some of these potential competition issues may also arise in other countries,” Mr Sims said.
The ACCC has invited further submissions from interested parties in response to the Statement of Issues by 20 September 2018. The ACCC’s final decision is due on 29 November 2018.
Background
Siemens is a listed German conglomerate headquartered in Munich. Its Mobility Division is one of eleven business divisions. Siemens acquired signalling supplier Invensys Rail in 2013 and Perth-based MRX Technologies in 2017.
Alstom is a French société anonyme listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange. In 2015, Alstom acquired GE’s signalling business.
Siemens and Alstom are both active in the rail mobility industry globally and each supplies rail signalling systems, rolling stock and rail electrification services in Australia. The key area of overlap between the parties in Australia is in the supply of rail signalling systems.

Toll to spend $311 million to boost Bass Strait trade

Toll is to spend $311 million to boost Bass Strait trade, in a project that the company says will see shipping capacity increase between mainland Australia and Tasmania, supporting economic growth and rising demand for local produce.
Toll Group managing director Michael Byrne said the investment includes $170 million to build two new ships and $141 million to upgrade terminals, wharves and berthing facilities in Melbourne and Burnie.
“This is the largest-ever investment by a logistics business in the Bass Strait, and underpins Toll’s commitment to the Australian domestic market and the Bass Strait trade,” said Mr Byrne.
“Toll is the gateway between Tasmania and mainland Australia. We are proud to support the state’s local economy by helping businesses reach interstate and international markets. Equally important, Tasmanian consumers depend upon Toll to import products, particularly retail goods, and we are proud to support this exchange.
“Bolstering our carrying capacity means we can support the Tasmanian exports boom driven by demand from Australian and Asian markets,” he added.
Toll’s new ships and facility upgrades will provide more capacity to transport goods, including:

  • 40 per cent more capacity for containers and trailers, with later cut-off times and earlier receivals.
  • Increased capability and capacity to handle refrigerated freight.
  • Faster turnaround times for customers due to terminal upgrades at McGaw Wharf and Webb Dock, providing more efficient loading and discharge of the ships.

The new, 700 TEU purpose-built ships will commence operations on 1 March 2019. They will replace Toll’s existing ships, and continue to operate overnight services on a six-day per week schedule.
Works to update the wharves have commenced at Webb Dock in Melbourne. They are scheduled to begin in Burnie later this month.
 

Australian exports reach record $400bn

Australia’s total goods and services exports have reached a record $401 billion for the first time, bolstered by strong export growth to China.
International Trade in Goods and Services data for 2017-18, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, demonstrates the ongoing strength of Australia’s overall trade performance, reinforcing the Turnbull Government’s commitment to open trade and investment.
The figures confirm the value of Australian exports reached a new high of $401 billion in 2017-18, the first time annual exports have exceeded $400 billion. Australia’s annual trade surplus was $6.3 billion over the same period.
These record exports were fuelled by increased resources exports including LNG, coal and iron ore, while meat and wool exports also rose. Machinery, other manufactures and gold also increased over the past year.
Importantly, the data reveals Australian exports to China, our largest trading partner, grew by 11 per cent in 2017-18, exceeding the $100 billion mark for the first time to reach $105 billion, reflecting the benefits provided by the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
Australia’s exports to Japan rose by 16.4 per cent to $48.2 billion over 2017-18; exports to ASEAN countries grew by 16.1 per cent to $32.7 billion and exports to India grew 7 per cent to $16.1 billion.
The figures highlight Australia’s global reputation as a premier tourism and study destination, with a record 9 million overseas travellers visiting Australia in 2017-18, helping to generate more than $85 billion in services export income, a 4.5 per cent increase on the previous year.

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Townsville Port opens to shipping after $40.7 million upgrade

The Port of Townsville’s Berth 4 container and general cargo facility has officially opened upon completion of a $40.7 million upgrade.
The two-year project has resulted in a full upgrade of the inner harbour berth so larger vessels can be accommodated and efficiency improved.
The project has doubled the capacity of Berth 4, allowing an additional 2 million tonnes of product per annum, delivering a 20% increase on current total port tonnage throughput capacity.
The upgrade will lead to more jobs in North Queensland due to the economic boost it would provide the region. Member for Townsville Scott Steware said: “The upgrade itself generated 100 local jobs, and the next phase, which involces crane investment and cargo infrastructure, will generate 35 direct jobs during construction. Berth 4 operations will also support ongoing jobs once the project is complete.”
Port of Townsville CEO Ranee Crosby said that the successful completion of the project by local company CivilPlus Constructions demonstrated the capacity for large projects to be carried out by local companies.

Newly-launched uTenant portal the Airbnb of commercial leasing industry

A new online platform called uTenant offers a cost-effective alternative to commercial agents for Australia’s freight, logistics and warehousing industry – drawing comparisons to services such as Uber and Airbnb.
“uTenant is intended to disrupt the commercial leasing industry like Uber has for taxis and Airbnb has for holiday accommodation. For tenants, the web-based portal will curate a list of available properties based on their specific size, location and preferred term of lease amongst other things, and connect them with landlords to arrange inspections, negotiate terms and sign a lease,” explains uTenant founder and director, Matt Sampson.
uTenant is an online commercial property portal that streamlines finding, inspecting and leasing warehouse space for tenants, whilst amplifying property visibility for landlords, helping them to source tenants and lease space cheaper and faster.
The brainchild of entrepreneur and former commercial leasing agent Matt Sampson, uTenant puts tenants and landlords in direct contact and provides a confidential, transparent, cost- and time-effective alternative to the old way of leasing space.
“With uTenant, we have reimagined how industrial warehouse space is leased, providing significant advantages and savings for the two most important parties to the transaction – the tenant and the landlord,” says Sampson.
How uTenant works

  1. Tenants enter their specific requirements into the uTenant portal
  2. uTenant curates a tailored list of suitable properties, which have already been validated as legitimate
  3. Tenants shortlist preferred properties and arranges inspections directly with the landlord or through uTenant
  4. Inspections take place and direct tenant-landlord negotiations commence
  5. On conclusion of a lease, standard fee payable to uTenant by landlord, with uTenant sharing a percentage of this with the tenant (fee sharing n/a in NSW)

 
 
 

ALC welcomes Infrastructure Priority List

The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) has praised the Infrastructure Priority List released by Infrastructure Australia (IA) last week. The list confirms an ongoing need for investment in freight infrastructure projects that will enhance supply chain efficiency and safety, ensuring Australia remains internationally competitive.
“As an industry leader, ALC has always been among IA’s most enthusiastic supporters, because we have long believed that the best way to ensure effective infrastructure investment is for an independent umpire to make evidence-based assessments of projects, which can then be used by governments to inform decision-making,” said ALC Managing Director, Michael Kilgariff.
“The release of the 2018 Infrastructure Priority List comes at a crucial moment, as the Commonwealth continues to develop the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy – an initiative which is again included as a high priority initiative on this year’s list,” continued Michael.
The key freight initiatives identified in the list are:

  • the Sydney Gateway connecting WestConnex to Port Botany & Sydney Airport;
  • the Port Botany Freight Rail Duplication to boost port efficiency;
  • the Chullora Junction upgrade to enhance Sydney’s freight rail network;
  • Preserving the corridor for the Western Sydney Airport fuel pipeline;
  • Preserving the corridor for Western Sydney Freight Line and Intermodal Terminal access;
  • Improving connection between Melbourne’s Eastern Freeway and CityLink;
  • Inland Rail and a dedicated freight rail connection to the Port of Brisbane; and
  • Implementation of the Advanced Train Management System on the ARTC network.
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