BIFA repeats call for end to shipping line charges

The British International Freight Association (BIFA), the trade association for UK freight forwarding and logistics companies, is repeating the call it made earlier this year for an end to surcharges imposed by shipping lines.
“Forwarders do not like shipping line surcharges and we have been challenging there legitimacy on behalf of our members – and their customers – for many years,” says Robert Keen, BIFA Director General.
“Last week, one line said that it is moving to address the container imbalance problem being faced in North Europe at the moment brought on by increasing demand for containers, by introducing a number of Equipment Imbalance Surcharges applicable from November 1st on the eastbound Europe/Asia eastbound trades.
“Another line introduced a Peak Season Surcharge.
“Our members have become used to shipping lines adding peak season, fuel and currency surcharges, but the number of surcharges and fees continues to grow – often with no real explanation or justification. For instance, what does an extra ‘administration fee’ or ‘container sealing fee’ cover that is not in the standard service offered?”
Shippers can also be asked to pay surcharges when there is port congestion caused by labour unrest or bad weather, or haulage surcharges when there is a shortage of HGV drivers.
Forwarders do all they can to minimise the effects of the surcharges but in the end at least some of the costs need to be passed on to the customers “and there is sometimes an unfair perception that our members are to blame,” he adds.
Mr Keen is also Chairman of the Multimodal Transport Institute within FIATA, the international trade association that represents the world’s freight forwarders and logistics service providers, and this has been focussing on surcharges for several years.
“If a shipper enters a contract to buy goods they should know exactly what they are paying and that price should not change. If they use Incoterms they can buy ex works or FOB and control the supply chain. If they let their supplier arrange shipping, they have no control over the charges applied. But in either case, additional surcharges imposed by shipping lines should not be allowed.”

Dematic offers dispensing systems from Apex

Materials handling automation company, Dematic, has announced it will offer automated dispensing systems from Sydney-based Apex Supply Chain Technologies to the market.
Apex devices are powered by Trajectory Cloud, a secure business intelligence platform that allows businesses to track, manage and control supplies, materials, equipment and other inventory in real-time. Their solutions have application in a number of industries, including warehousing, distribution centers, mining, automotive, retail, food service and healthcare. In addition to Sydney, Apex has offices Apex has offices in Germany and the United Kingdom and its global headquarters is in the United States.
Brian Lang, Dematic’s Director of Real Time Logistics, said: “We are thrilled to be integrating Apex automated solutions into our customers’ operations. We look forward to working closely with this global leader to offer Australian businesses access to Apex’s world class dispensing systems and supply chain technologies.”
“Apex solutions provide businesses an easy way to increase productivity, lower costs and gain real-time visibility into mission-critical supplies and equipment. Our customers report greater accountability, reduced consumption and show an average savings of 30 percent or more with our solutions,” said Kent Savage, Apex Supply Chain Technologies founder and CEO. “Collaborating with Dematic and its customers will allow companies to extend their continuous improvement programs into traditionally overlooked areas.”

Australasian Fleet Safety Awards 2017 open for entries

Road safety charity Brake has announced the details of its 2017 Australasian Fleet Safety Awards. Brake is inviting awards entries from fleet operators and suppliers working to reduce the number of road crashes involving at-work drivers. The deadline for entering is Friday 16 June 2017 and the winners will be announced on Thursday 28 September.
Brake’s Australasian Fleet Safety Awards recognises the achievements of organisations and individuals working in the field of road risk management. The 2016 Award Winners included the Council of the City of Sydney, Fonterra and Fleetcoach.
The 2017 Awards, which are free to enter, will be offered in the following five categories:

  • Company Driver Safety
  • Safe Vehicles
  • Fleet Safety Product
  • Road Risk Manager of the Year
  • Outstanding Commitment to Road Safety

Visit the event website,, where you can find out more details and download an entry form.

Label solution designed to save on shipping costs

Toshiba Tec Corporation has introduced its Form & Label Solution designed to save on shipping costs while optimising logistics operations.
This solution allows shipping via its multifunction peripheral (MFP). Toshiba’s Form & Label Solution combines many types of documents within one combination label.
An array of documents and labels – from invoices, shipping lists and shipping labels– are used in logistics operations. Promotions and return labels are also required in e-commerce business. The Form & Label Solution combines all necessary information in one format to reduce the steps of shipments by half while helping avoid shipping errors.
Toshiba Tec Europe Imaging Systems S.A.’s, the toner factory of Toshiba Tec in France, says that using the Form & Label Solution is improving the company’s logistics operation.
“Improving our work efficiency by 30 percent is more than what we expected,” says Alain Verna the President of Toshiba Tec Europe Imaging Systems S.A. “As a result of the high level of success our company has realized throughout our logistics operation, we believe Toshiba’s Form & Label Solution will enable other organizations to achieve similar levels of success.”

Diagnosing problems before they occur

Almost every company knows what it is like when there is an unplanned outage of equipment. One reason for such an outage can be a maintenance schedule that has not been optimally adapted to the equipment. Maintenance is often carried out either too early or too late – after a malfunction has already occurred at the equipment. Consequently, an outage of individual components often causes a standstill of the entire production.
Spare parts may need to be ordered. It can take days before the equipment can be returned to full working order. This can result in substantial economic damage to the company. “The enormous costs which can be the result of such a standstill can be avoided,” says Moritz von Plate, CEO of the Cassantec AG.
In order to avoid such equipment outages the Cassantec offers condition-based prognoses. Cassantec Prognostics forecasts time windows in which equipment malfunctions can occur. Using the Prognostics approach, Cassantec compiles an individual report for the respective piece of equipment in order to determine when and with what probability a particular type of malfunction is to be expected. This enables the operator to identify the time frame for necessary maintenance.
In cooperation with the customer Cassantec determines what the most critical potential malfunctions are; yet there is no need for a malfunction history as Cassantec can also forecast malfunctions that have not yet occurred in the equipment at hand.
To compile the report the company uses a combination of mathematical methods. This way future condition trends, risk profiles of malfunctions and the remaining useful life (RUL) of equipment is determined. The prognosis is updated in periodical intervals by using historical and current condition data as well as process data such as temperature, vibration and lubricant analyses.
The results of the analysis are presented in a decision-orientated format such that the schedule for necessary maintenance interventions can be optimised. Cassantec offers the prognostic report on a subscription basis (Software as a Service – SaaS) and in certain cases it is possible to acquire a software licence.
The asset operator profits from such a prognostic solution in a number of areas. By changing from reactive, or as the case may be, preventive maintenance cycles, to condition based maintenance, costs can be cut. Prognostic reports can be used to precisely justify maintenance decisions and plan them long-term.
This way, maintenance interventions can be bundled or avoided altogether with the aim to minimise the overall downtime. Additionally, Cassantec Prognostics enables comprehensive fleet-wide learning.

Sunstate Cement makes the move to PE bags

Waterproof, UV resistant and clean are some of the features of packaging powder-type products in Polyethylene (PE) plastic using Form, Fill and Seal (FFS) technology.
Sunstate Cement, a manufacturer and supplier of cementitious products, made the decision to invest in new packaging equipment at its Port of Brisbane manufacturing facility.
“… One [feature] is that customers can store product outside all year long which means increased storage capacity and the ability to optimise overall logistic expenses.” says Michael Fullelove, Operations Manager at Sunstate Cement.
PE bags are also dust-free, which creates safer and cleaner working conditions, and an essential advantage at point of sale:
Following its decision to implement PE bags, Sunstate sought out a PE packing solution, selecting Haver & Boecker as its technology partner, who provided several pieces of equipment to the cement manufacturer.
Sunstate’s complete technology solution comprises:

  • packaging machine
  • drymix mixer
  • palletiser
  • stretch hood machine

The products from this production line will start rolling off in November 2016.

China launches seventh offshore engineering exhibition

China Maritime (CM) is the seventh International Offshore Engineering Technology & Equipment Exhibition and will be held on March 20-22, 2017 at New China International Exhibition Center in Beijing. It will be held concurrently with the 17th China International Petroleum & Petrochemical Technology and Equipment Exhibition.
In recent years, the Chinese government is increasing support for maritime exhibitions especially after Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed the “One Belt, One Road” Initiative. This was echoed by Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, who called on the construction of a maritime silk road linking China and the ASEAN countries to stimulate hinterland development.
Leveraging the global vision of Beijing, CM aims to promote global cooperation on maritime technologies and equipment and help enterprises generate social benefits and build itself into a high-end exhibition in the maritime industry. It has an exhibition area of 100,000m2, and will attract approximately 100,000 visitors and 2,000 exhibitors from around 65 countries and regions, among which 46 were Fortune 500 enterprises.
China is strengthening its efforts to develop the maritime industry. For the next five years, the global demand for maritime engineering equipment is estimated to be worth $60-75 billion, and China is going to invest RMB 250-300 billion or $36.9-44.2 billion in maritime engineering equipment manufacturing during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020).
The newbuilding order size experienced a sharp decline globally in the second half of 2016. Nevertheless, the Chinese market performed well with its newbuilding market share rising to 50.5 per cent from 47.9 per cent in 2013. Meanwhile, it signed orders for 31 sets of offshore engineering equipment and 149 offshore engineering vessels, worth a total of $14.76 billion and accounting for 35.2 per cent of the global market.

Hat-trick for drive specialist at award’s night

Drive specialist, Bonfiglioli, has managed a Bulk Handling Awards hat-trick, taking out the Gears, Motors and Drives category for the third year in a row.
This year, Bonfiglioli was recognised for its low backlash drives, which are sutiable for  demanding applications like bulk handling where there are often lots of stops and starts during operation.
The awards were held at Doltone House in Sydney on November 24th and recognised the most innovative, efficient and safe technologies in the bulk-handling industry.
“Drives are at the heart of all bulk handling operations, so Bonfiglioli is constantly striving to improve the safety, efficiency and reliability of products vital to its customers,” said the company’s managing director Malcolm Lewis. “To win this category three years running is a special honour for us. It rewards the hard work and dedication of all the staff at Bonfiglioli.”

Logistics specialist expands with 22,000sqm warehouse lease

CEVA Logistics (Ceva) has further expanded its presence in West Park Industrial Estate in Truganina, Victoria by leasing two new premises from Frasers Property Australia’s.
The company entered into a three-year lease for two facilities with a total lettable area of 22,840 sqm. Warehouse A comprises 10,892 sqm including a 10,593 sqm warehouse and 301 sqm office. Warehouse B includes a 11,948 sqm building comprising 11,647 sqm warehouse and 301 sqm office.
Key features of both facilities include 120 car spaces, 10 metre warehouse, 35-metre wide awnings and eight recessed loading docks. Ceva will manage a contract for Toyota in these facilities and the leases will commence this month.
Earlier this year, Ceva secured another automotive contract with Nissan, Infiniti and Renault, pre-committing to lease another 23,035 sqm office and warehouse space on Efficient Drive in West Park Industrial Estate. This facility will be completed in the first quarter of 2017.
Combined with Ceva’s super site which was completed in July 2016, the company has committed to 136,073 sq m in West Park Industrial Estate.
Anthony Maugeri, General Manager Southern Region C&I for Frasers Property comments, “We are delighted with current inquiry levels in West Park Industrial Park and equally pleased that Ceva has committed in this estate for the third time in 18 months. Truganina is one of the fastest growing industrial precincts in Australia and continues to attract major Australian transport and logistics businesses.

Crane-to-roof solution with Stramit

A manufacturer of steel building products, Stramit, has launched the crane-to-roof solution – a roofing product delivery truck and mounted crane in one.
The HIAB XS 288 E8 HiDuo crane is mounted on a Volvo FM 8×4 with a 13.5m trailer.
It has been designed for residential, multi-residential and light commercial building projects, as well as hard to access locations such as narrow sites. The compact and efficient design of the vehicle can get close to the building site, eliminating the need for a separate crane to be set-up on site. With the product arriving at the same time as the crane there’s no need to coordinate delivery times, thus saving on handling the product, and in turn reducing possible product damage.
This crane-to-roof unit is designed to reach a height of 23 metres, and will lift a maximum sheet length of 18 metres, and a maximum load of two tonnes. Its stabiliser legs at the rear and on the sides of the unit, which are for stability only makes the unit suitable for nearly all worksites with an under five-degree slope. Set up times are reduced with the stabiliser legs being fully engaged within five minutes. Once in position, the unit is ready to lift the Stramit roofing product within 15-20 minutes.
The company says it has safe and reliable fully trained crane operators who utilise wireless technology to best position product into the desired location, increasing safety and efficiency.

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