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Freight Forwarding

2015-2016 Archives

Kuehne + Nagel Expands Rail Transport Service Between Asia and Europe

Summary: Kuehne + Nagel is expanding service of its KN Eurasia Express rail service after six months of its introduction. With the latest expansion, Kuehne + Nagel offers shipments from Northern China, Japan, South Korea and South-East Asian countries to European locations.

Kuehne + Nagel notes that point of origin, Changchun, in Northern China, to Hamburg is particularly attractive to customers from the automotive industry.

In addition, Kuehne + Nagel is offering a combined sea and rail service for shipments between Japan and South Korea as well as to destinations in Europe while for Southeast Asian countries, Kuehne + Nagel’s existing overland transport can be utilized in combination with its rail service.

LogisticsTI Take: As more and more forwarders and 3PLs offer rail solutions between Asia and Europe, a need to differentiate is emerging. In addition, the ability to combine rail services with existing Asian networks is a good move and as added bonus, will improve competitive advantage for intra-Asia movements.

Tigers Launches Rail Freight Service Along the Silk Road

Summary: Tiger Rail provides a 16-day transit time both east and westbound, between Duisburg, Germany, and Hefei, Chongqing, and Chengdu, China. Customers will be able to charter a train, or book Full Container Load (FCL) or Less than Container Load (LCL) shipments on weekly scheduled services to and from over 15 origin stations in China.

In addition, Tigers plans to offer a small parcel service along the route to particularly target e-commerce customers.

“We have seized the opportunity to provide integrated logistics for our customers, who increasingly require shorter transit times than ocean freight, and lower costs than airfreight, making Tiger Rail the perfect solution,” said the Managing Director for Tigers China.

According to the press release – The launch of Tiger Rail comes soon after Tigers achieved Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) certification in the UK, expanded its footprint with a new office in Leeds, and launched a post-Brexit solution to combat any disruption caused by Brexit.

LogisticsTI Take: Tigers is following a number of logistics providers in introducing Silk Road freight services. While nothing particularly different than other providers, Tigers’ plan to incorporate small parcels will be of particular interest to monitor. How will it effect post offices and the big integrators? It seems to us that Integrators may be feeling the pinch from others within the logistics space who are looking to capitalize on e-commerce small parcel trends.

Expeditors International of Washington Introduces Cargo Signal

Summary: Previously available only on shipments moved by Expeditors, the company’s latest sensor-based technology will be offered on shipments moved by Expeditors as well as other carriers. These digital services are powered through the Company’s proprietary, cloud based operating system which offers visibility and control across air, ocean and ground transportation providers.

The latest solution will be managed by Cargo Signal Solutions, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Expeditors, and will be dedicated to providing sensor-based solutions that enhance shipment visibility, integrity and security for customers.

According to the President and CEO of Expeditors, “The development of Cargo Signal is a great example of how we innovate through understanding and responding to industry needs. Three years ago we were hearing from customers who were frustrated with third-party security and tech start-ups that did not understand complex global supply chains.  In response, we were the first non-asset based global logistics provider to launch an integrated, sensor-based offering for high-risk shipments tied to global transportation services. More recently, these customers began asking us to provide sensor-based services not only on the shipments we managed for them but also on shipments managed by other carriers and logistics providers. In response to their needs, we have now launched Cargo Signal.”

LogisticsTI Take: As more and more high-valued goods are shipped globally, the need for real-time visibility is necessary from a security and for some goods from a temperature control basis. Expeditors has been dabbling in this space for a while including its collaborative efforts with Honeywell and the introduction of connected technology for high-value freight solutions earlier this year.

Other logistics providers offer similar solutions in terms of monitor, visibility and tracking for their own shipments. It’s a growing opportunity for many providers but the actual handling and possible exception/intervention activities is where many stumble. Will this solution be different? We shall see.

Panalpina Launches Panprojects Carrier

Summary: According to Panalpina’s announcement, it will manage multimodal heavy-lift moves from fabrication to installation sites under one contract. According to Panalpina’s global head of marine chartering, “Panalpina now offers a unique, seamless solution for multimodal heavy-lift transportation where the ocean part represents the main leg. And by seamless I do not only mean a complete end-to-end service, but one that is also fully mirrored and governed by an absolutely consistent legal framework.” As the company points out, “this greatly helps to avoid problems and disputes when exceptions occur during transport, especially when the transport mode changes. The new purpose-designed legal framework therefore ensures the best possible contractual clarity and one point of contact for the customer”.

Panprojects Carrier does business under Pantainer (H.K.) Limited for special heavy-lift cargo and acts as an in-house carrier for Panalpina with no assets of its own, but specifically chartered tonnage and/or hired equipment.

LogisticsTI Take: Management of multimodal heavy-lift cargo is a complex service and often involves a number of parties. As such, a good move by Panalpina by offering a solution that includes one point of contact and a single contract for ease of management.

DHL and Latvian Railways Partner to Boost Baltic-China Trade

Summary: The agreement between DHL Global Forwarding and the Latvian Railways is expected to establish multi-modal rail routes between Latvia and China using Riga City as a logistics hub. Under the agreement, connections will include guaranteed transit times and simplified customs and handling procedures for inbound and outbound cargo as well as support for flexible shipments such as LCL freight. The agreement also includes provisions for ocean freight and intermodal shipping between Latvia, Scandinavia and the UK and Ireland as well as air and road freight connections to major cities across continental Europe.
DHL has similar agreements with national rail providers in Belarus, Chengdu and other major hubs along China’s ‘Belt and Road’ trade routes.

LogisticsTI Take: This latest agreement expands DHL’s service offerings for those shippers in both Europe and China that are interested in utilizing China’s ‘Belt and Road’ trade routes as an alternate solution to traditional air and ocean.

CEVA Starts Rail Service Between Guangdong Province in China

Summary: Offering China to Europe rail services since 2010, CEVA has expanded its service linking Shilong in southern China’s Guangdong province to Hamburg, Germany. In conjunction with the Chinese state railway company, the new block trains will run through Shilong, Manzhouli (China), Zabakalsky (Russia), Brest (Belarus), Malaszewicze (Poland) and Hamburg with station-to-station lead time of 17-19 days.

CEVA operates both FCL and LCL services which are managed through its control tower in Shenzhen. The service is door-to-door with 24/7 real time tracking via its web portal.

LogisticsTI Take: As China expands its One Belt, One Road initiative, more and more logistics and transportation providers as well as forwarders are offering services to address this alternative solution for air and ocean.

Panalpina Rolls Out its New IT Platform in Germany

Summary: Panalpina recently went live with its new transportation management platform system in different business units throughout Germany. According to the company’s chief transformation officer, “Panalpina Germany is our third biggest organization in terms of shipment transactions globally. The successful roll-out in Germany will further confirm the systems capabilities. Germany is now the fifth country using our new operating platform after Switzerland, Singapore, Italy and Canada where the system has already been fully implemented.”

During the ramp-up, Germany will focus on having all ocean freight transactions handled on the new system by July and all air freight transactions by October at the latest.

LogisticsTI Take: In 2008, Panalpina announced plans to invest in SAP systems for its ocean and air freight business. According to the press release at that time, the CEO noted, “over the next three years we plan to invest around CHF 25-30 million in the new system.” The first two countries, Singapore and Switzerland, went live in early 2016, a couple of months delayed. Now in its 9th year since announcing the partnership with SAP, the slow roll-out is perhaps due to the global economic slowdown in 2009/2010 along with the collapse of the oil industry, an important industry for Panalpina and not to mention a new CEO. A costly project for sure but impacted by outside forces is not helping matters. According to the CEO, “we see continuous strong volumes, we are still facing margin erosion. As a result, we expect these market challenges to adversely impact our profitability levels and we anticipate lower results for the first half of the year, compared to the same period last year.”

Indeed, we also should not forget that DHL abandoned its original plans to implement a SAP solution for its forwarding products after racking a heavy financial cost. A SAP issue or a DHL issue? Let’s just hope Panalpina has better results.

DHL Global Forwarding Introduces Ocean View to Provide Ocean Freight Visibility

Summary: DHL Global Forwarding has introduced Ocean View, an online platform that allows shippers to track their ocean freight shipments. The platform consolidates information from DHL’s transportation management system, the ocean carrier and the vessel itself for real-time visibility of the ocean transport. It also provides a forecast on future milestones as well as a notification feature in case of route changes or delays.

According to the press release, if necessary, Ocean View can be combined with DHL Ocean Secure, where security devices are fitted to containers that can monitor temperature, humidity, shock or lighting as required.

LogisticsTI Take: A good move to consolidate the parts of a shipment onto one platform. Instead of when necessary, perhaps go ahead and incorporate Ocean Secure onto the platform. This way, if shippers need Ocean Secure, they can simply click a button to request it as needed. Simplifying the process and bringing it all on one platform for shippers will likely result in better customer satisfaction.

Purolator International Launches Intra-US Expedited Forwarding Services

Summary: Purolator International introduced an expedited forwarding service for domestic US shipments. The service is available for next day, two-day, or 3-5 day delivery. The company offers complete US coverage using a connected distribution network made up of hubs, airports and qualified transportation partners.

Purolator International further highlights in its press release its “elevated level of personal service: called PuroTouch. Solutions are tailored to customers’ specific needs and a “hands-on” approach to transportation management from the first call to final delivery.

LogisticsTI Take: The president of Purolator International commented “In 2017, I’m committed to expanding our domestic expedited forwarding service to truly become a single source provider for retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors across the US.” Indeed, this latest expansion will extend their network and capabilities further while competing in a crowded forwarding market.

Flexport opens Atlanta Office and Announces Two Warehouses in Hong Kong and Los Angeles

Summary: Flexport announced it plans to open an office in Atlanta, GA on June 1, 2017, its fourth office in the US and seventh overall. The company cites Atlanta as a big logistics hub with major interstates and rail lines criss-crossing the region. In addition Atlanta is close to one of the busiest US ports, Savannah, and home to the world’s busiest passenger airport.  Half of Flexport’s revenue comes from air freight so it looks to take advantage of the airport which has announced plans to expand its cargo facilities over the coming years.

In other news, Flexport announced the opening of two warehouses in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. According to its blog post, the facilities will serve as consolidation and deconsolidation points for clients moving cargo between southern China and the United States and will be the beginning of a world-wide network of Flexport logistics centers.

Benefits to these facilities:

  • Keep rates low as the company consolidate multiple clients’ cargo into fewer shipments
  • Reroute and separate out key portions of shipments, reducing transit time and associated opportunity costs
  • Cut out communication challenges, inefficiencies and mistakes that can occur when relying on third parties for these services.

LogisticsTI Take: We agree with Flexport. Atlanta is an awesome place to open an office. It is a major logistics hub close to major ports (Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville), major airport, major road and rail network and great logistics talent thanks to GA Tech, Emory, GA State, GA Southern and more. It’s no wonder Atlanta is one of the fastest growing cities in the country as well as a growing tech hub. Yay for ATL!

As for building out a worldwide network of logistics facilities, not surprising. It’s a logical step for forwarders to take to reduce costs and speed deliveries.

KN Eurasia: New Rail Transport Service Between China and Europe

Summary: Complementing the company’s existing full container load (FCL) rail offering for import and export shipments, Kuehne + Nagel now offers less-than-container load (LCL) shipments between China and Europe from the hub terminal Wuhan in China to Hamburg and Malaszewicze/Poznan (Poland). In total, Kuehne + Nagel serves more than 50 collection points in the People’s Republic of China, including key locations such as Shengyang, Chongqing, Chengdu and Zhengzhou. KN Eurasia Express is targeted in particular at customers from the automotive, high-tech, and  fashion industries.

Cargo security is a main issue; Kuehne + Nagel ensures the highest security standards at terminals and, in particular, enhanced container seals for its KN Eurasia Express shipments. GPS-based data monitoring delivers real-time data on temperature, humidity, pressure, light exposure and position of the containers. Temperature-sensitive goods can be shipped in 45-foot long reefer containers.

The KN Eurasia Express product also covers countries in the European periphery. First block trains have already been successfully dispatched to Turkey. Own LCL services between China and Russia are being planned.

LogisticsTI Take: Rail as an option for shippers who are cost conscious appears to be growing. According to the publication, Shanghai Daily, by June 2016, trains had made nearly 2,000 trips between 25 Chinese cities and Europe, with a total import and export value of US$17 billion. An additional revenue generator for forwarders struggling with overcapacity in air and ocean markets, expect more to offer their own rail offerings.

UPS Labeling Improves Time in Transit

Summary: UPS announced the addition of origin labeling capability for UPS Trade Direct Air and Ocean services. The UPS Trade Direct solution allows importers ad manufacturers to bypass distribution centers by adding the final destination label to individual packages for immediate last mile delivery. The service will initially be available on select Asia to US trade lanes. Further capability expansion will be rolled out in the near future according to market demand.

UPS Trade Direct tools provide consolidation of international freight, air, ocean and ground transportation, customs clearance and direct delivery to multiple addresses within the destination country, all through a single source.

According to UPS’ Global Freight Forwarding Vice President of Air and Ocean Products, “Origin labeling provides greater flexibility to both importers and exporters. Labeling at origin reduces transit time by roughly one day and allows customers to use in-transit goods as a ‘floating warehouse’ during transoceanic voyages.’

LogisticsTI Take: Speed to market is the driving force behind solutions such as this. Expect it to be expanded to other lanes.

Estes Forwarding Worldwide Opens Latin American Gateway in Miami, Florida

Summary: Estes Forwarding Worldwide, a non-asset based freight forwarder and wholly owned subsidiary of privately held less-than-truckload provider Estes, opened a new Miami Gateway facility. The new facility will provide pricing on services and solutions including air and ocean and local trucking services as well as consolidate freight in transit from Europe, Asian and North America to all major destinations in Latin America with a concentration on Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica and the Caribbean.

LogisticsTI Take: The US-Latin America trade including the widening of the Panama Canal, presents many opportunities for forwarders, transportation and logistics providers particularly within the food and perishables, floral, mining and manufacturing parts commodities. Estes Forwarding faces stiff competition from larger forwarders but with access to its parent company’s trucking fleet, should do well.