WindwardShipping activity across the world’s oceans is the lifeblood of the global economy, transporting billions of tons of goods annually and facilitating global commodity flows of oil, coal, grains and metals. Vessel activity is also of critical importance to Intelligence and Security agencies worldwide, as criminal and terrorist activity has become increasingly global and borderless.

And yet, the oceans remain one of the last ‘wild west’ frontiers, with limited visibility on what ships are actually doing once they leave port. AIS data, the most widely used data on ship activity worldwide, underlies decisions from Finance to Intelligence, but the data is unreliable and increasingly manipulated by the very ships it seeks to track.

And this trend is growing, fast, with little-understood and far-reaching implications worldwide.

AIS data, used routinely by decision makers across industries, is widely perceived as a reliable source of information on ship activity worldwide. Massive financial investments and critical operational decisions are based on this data.

New research from Windward reveals that AIS data has critical vulnerabilities when used to track ships, an ‘off label’ use of the system. The data is increasingly manipulated by ships that seek to conceal their identity, location or destination for economic gain or to sail under the security radar.

Manipulation practices are varied, according to Windward’s research, and range from Identity Fraud, to Obscuring Destinations, ‘Going Dark,’ Manipulating GPS, and ‘Spoofing’ AIS. Ships that manipulate AIS undermine not only their own data, but the entire maritime global picture — once some of the data is corrupt, all data is suspect.

If this kind of manipulation is occurring on ships, consider the impact of ‘cargoes/substances’ on board ‘ghost ships’. You can find the Windward Research paper “Analysis of the Magnitude and Implications of Growing Data Manipulation at Sea” as well as a poignant infographic on their website, by clicking the hyperlinks. Source: Windward.eu

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Ms Nompumelelo Mboweni works as an Airfreight Import Controller at Bidvest Panalpina Logistics in Johannesburg [TT Club]

Ms Nompumelelo Mboweni works as an Airfreight Import Controller at Bidvest Panalpina Logistics in Johannesburg [TT Club]

The 2014 Young International Freight Forwarder of the Year (YIFFY) Award has been presented to South African forwarder Fortunate Nompumelelo Mboweni at the FIATA Annual Congress in Istanbul.

Each year at the FIATA Annual Congress the achievements of young freight forwarders from around the world are celebrated via an awards programme. TT Club is proud to have sponsored this award, now in its sixteenth year, since its foundation. The process of awarding the honour of Young Freight Forwarder of the Year (YIFFY) began earlier this year when entrants from all over the world submitted papers about a wide variety of transport and logistics projects.

These ranged from the transportation of tunnel drilling equipment to Bolivia to the delivery of a catamaran in Indonesia and from a project moving radioactive isotopes from South Africa to Namibia to the expedited deployment of a Disaster Assistance Response Team in the Philippines.

From this bewildering, yet highly professional array, the YIFFY Steering Committee selected a shortlist of four regional finalists. These four young professionals were then invited to attend the 2014 FIATA World Congress this week in Istanbul, Turkey to make a presentation on their dissertation topic.

The four regional finalists who proudly represented the future of the international freight forwarding industry in Istanbul were –

Africa/Middle East: Miss Fortunate Nompumelelo Mboweni, South Africa
Americas: Mr Douglas Whitlock, Canada
Asia-Pacific: Mr Saiful Ridhwan Bin Zulkifli, Singapore
Europe: Mr Christian Hensen, Germany

Following a comprehensive judging process, Ms Fortunate Nompumelelo Mboweni from South Africa was announced as the 2014 Young Freight Forwarder of the Year at the FIATA Congress’ opening ceremony on 13 October. Ms Nompumelelo Mboweni works as an Airfreight Import Controller at Bidvest Panalpina Logistics in Johannesburg. Andrew Kemp, TT Club’s Regional Director for Europe congratulated her and presented the award.

“I have been honoured as TT Club’s representative to be part of the selection process, and I personally was engrossed by the finalists’ presentations, which showed a considerable depth of understanding of their individual projects. I have to say all four finalists performed with flying colours at the recent final presentations; it was certainly a difficult decision to pick an overall winner. However, Fortunate prevailed and deservedly takes this year’s award,” said Kemp.

The award is presented in recognition of forwarding excellence and was established by FIATA with the support of TT Club to encourage the development of quality training in the industry and to reward young talent with additional valuable training opportunities. The TT Club has been a sponsor of the award since its inception and remains firmly committed to the importance of individual training and development within the global freight forwarding community. Source: TT Club

-Dinesh Sharma, senior research manager at Drewry Maritime Advisors, says that global container throughput would rise between 5% and 5.5% a year up to the end of the decade. Speaking at a Ports & Terminals seminar in London, he cited ports in Africa and northern China as registering the strongest growth.

In his outlook, Sharma projected a 2020 global throughput volume of at least 1 billion TEU, up from 623 million TEU in 2013, with Asia accounting for 65% (650 million TEU) and transhipment traffic 32% (320 million TEU) of the total. This, he explained would compare with shares of 56% and 22.5% (140 million TEU), respectively, in 2013.

Within Asia, Sharma argued that China would become increasingly significant over the next seven years, citing that the country’s share of global container-handling activity would rise from 30% in 2013 to 40% in 2014. In 2000, China’s ports processed just 16% of a world total of 235 million TEU, a figure that reveals the spectacular growth that has occurred in the Asian country since it joined the World Trade Organisation in November 2001.
In a further assessment of the future, Sharma said the percentage of empty boxes handled would not change and would remain at about the 20% (200 million TEU) level in 2020.
Other interesting facts presented by the analyst showed that 22,000 TEU-sized ships would be in operation in 2020, the world population of super post panamax cranes would number over 2,000 units, compared with 1,160 units in service in 2013, and that the leading four global terminal operating companies would control an estimated 41% of all containers handled. Source: World Cargo News

China-Overseas-FDIFollowing the financial crisis that hit Asia in the late 1990s, the Chinese government introduced its ‘Going Out’ or ‘Going Global’ strategy. The country had been open to inward FDI for a number of years at this stage, and the time had come to promote Chinese companies globally.

While Africa considers itself as a significant destination for China FDI, the numbers indicate that Chinese projects and investment is significantly smaller than it’s investments in other parts of the western world. To see exactly where the money is going, visit this link – Where is China Investing?

The government aimed to increase investment, promote its Chinese brand of companies and improve the country’s free market. The policy became one of the government’s ‘four modernisations’ and encompassed a range of schemes to assist outward FDI, such as using currency reserves to support foreign investment, offering tax rebates to investors and encouraging Chinese embassies globally to offer more and better financial assistance.

The result has been a boom in Chinese outward FDI. Between January 2009 and December 2013, greenfield investment monitor fDi Markets recorded a total of $161.03bn in Chinese outward FDI, creating almost 300,000 jobs across the world. During this period, in terms of investment projects, China was the ninth largest source country for FDI, peaking in 2011 with 429 projects. In terms of both capital expenditure and job creation, China was ranked seventh globally. Source: FDI Magazine

e-invoicingUS Bank, part of the fifth-largest commercial bank in the United States, is launching a payment solution in Europe aimed at the freight industry that it said will allow shippers to hold on to cash longer while accelerating payments to carriers.

The bank’s subsidiary, Elavon Freight Payment, claimed it was the first solution of its kind for the freight industry in Europe. In addition to allowing shippers to hold onto their money longer while accelerating payment to their carriers, it claimed the solution “offers carriers a cost-effective alternative to factoring and other financing options commonly used in Europe today”.

It said the new trade finance capability joined a suite of recent enhancements to Elavon Freight Payment that reflect Europe’s diverse business, legal and regulatory environments. “The offering provides an automated solution for some of Europe’s most labour-intensive freight-payment processing needs, including VAT support and consolidated invoice processing”, the company said. Customers can choose German, French, or English-language platforms.

“As a financial institution, Elavon Freight Payment is uniquely positioned to offer this efficient method of improving cash flow for both shippers and carriers,” said Rick Erickson, global director of Freight Payment Solutions for US Bank. “We’re excited to expand our industry-leading capabilities to a wider range of customers.”

A division of US Bank’s Corporate Payments business, Elavon Freight Payment claims to give users greater visibility into their global transport spend “and more complete, timely data with which to make business decisions”. In addition to improving processing efficiencies for European shipping operations, it said the expanded system reduces costs by automating manual processing and optimizing cash flow. Source: Lloydsloadinglist.com

Also view the following article – US bank launches e-invoice base freight payment trade finance service (www.eeiplatform.com)

Aussie Customs & Border Charges ReviewThere are only three weeks left to put in a submission to a government review which puts customs and border charges – worth $3 billion to border agencies – under the microscope.

The Joint Review of Border Fees, Charges and Taxes will look at ways to streamline and improve existing borders fees, charges and taxes. This includes visa application charges, passenger movement charges (the old departure tax) and Department of Agriculture fees levied on imports, such as container chargers and import declaration charges.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says it costs $6 billion each year to administer Australia’s borders.

“We must ensure that border fees and charges do not provide a disincentive to trade and travel that adds value to our economy,” he said.

Cost recovery, both now and in the future, is also an important focus of the review, as is charting the outcome of recent changes to visa application charges.

The review is being led by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS) and the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and will be conducted jointly with the Department of Agriculture.

Some other fees and charges are outside the scope of the review: the Goods and Services Tax (GST), export fees, Customs Duty (including refunds, Tariff Concessions, Drawbacks) and fees and charges recovered by the Department of Agriculture such as inspections, treatments and export certification.

The Department of Agriculture is currently completing its own review into cost recovery. The inquiry was announced by Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison in September and the closing date for submissions is October 31.

An industry consultation paper , available on Australian Customs website tells you more about the review. Recommendations to the government should be finalised by April 2015. Source: GovernmentNews.co.au

Kasumbalesa1Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) border post with Zambia, one of Africa’s busiest land frontiers, went high-tech, with a web-based customs system that was meant to improve efficiency and eradicate corruption. It’s not quite working to plan. As officials struggle to get to grips with the new system and DRC’s decrepit phone network groans under the weight of data, the Kasumbalesa border post 300 km (200 miles) north of Lusaka has almost ground to a halt, according to drivers and freight operators. The result is a tailback of trucks stretching at least 20 km into Zambia and a spike in prices in Lubumbashi, impoverished DRC’s second city, which has lost its one proper road link to the outside. The bottleneck is bad even by African standards but it throws into stark relief the problems governments face as they try to remove the numerous bureaucratic and physical barriers to intra-regional trade across the poorest continent.

The Kasumbalesa blockage is being felt 100 km away in Lubumbashi, a bustling mining city of several million who rely on the 450 trucks a day that normally pass through the border laden with everything from biscuits to cement to paraffin. Shop owners are stockpiling and prices of staples such as casava powder – known locally as fufu – have gone up 50 percent in three weeks. “This has already had a big effect. It is causing lots of problems for the population,” Lubumbashi resident Charles Pitchou said.

Kasumbalesa – at the heart of the relatively prosperous and developed Copperbelt – was meant to be an example of how to do it properly, a frontier handed over to a private firm to make customs run like clockwork.

In one of the first public-private partnerships on African borders, an Israeli-run firm called Baran Trade and Investments won a 20-year concession in 2009 to build a “one-stop” customs post and operate it for 20 years. (Makes one wonder why the countries have a Customs authority in the first place?) With $5 million of Baran’s own money and a $20 million loan from the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Zambia Border Crossing Company (ZBCC), as the subsidiary was known, had a streamlined Kasumbalesa up and running in 2011. Local media reports suggested much-reduced crossing times. However, Lusaka canceled ZBCC’s contract in late 2011 when President Rupiah Banda lost an election and his successor, Michael Sata, ordered investigations into a slew of state deals struck by his predecessor. TheBaran deal never went out to public tender and the fees charged to trucks – $19 per axle – were too high. It also said giving control of the border to an outside concessionaire was a threat to national security and that the reduction in waiting times was not as dramatic as the firm said. Baran’s chief executive, contacted via ZBCC’s website, did not respond to requests for comment.

With Baran gone, the state-run border posts muddled through until September, when DRC upgraded its systems from ‘Sydonia++’, a set-up widely used in the 1990s, to a web-based successor called ‘Sydonia World’, freight operators and regional trade experts said. Although UNCTAD was pushing use of ‘Sydonia World’ as far back as 2002, the data burden was too much for DRC’s computer networks, which crashed.

“The system is very good but if you don’t have a decent Internet connection, it doesn’t work,” said Mike Fitzmaurice, a South African logistics consultant and editor of online trade journal Freight Into Africa. National government spokesman Lambert Mende said a vice finance minister had been despatched from Kinshasa, 1,500 km away, to resolve the problem.

Zambia too is pulling out the stops to get the border moving again in a region important to its economy. “We need to have a normal flow of goods and services because this affects the entire region,” deputy trade minister Miles Sampa told Reuters. One stop-gap solution has been to scan documents in low-resolution black-and-white, rather than full color, to ease the data burden. But even if the two sides iron out the immediate snafu, the fiasco has provided another example of the dream of a seamless, integrated African border crossing falling short of reality.

Zimbabwe and Zambia upgraded their Chirundu border to a one-stop frontier in 2009 but crossing times have only dropped from 38 hours before to 35 now, according to Fitzmaurice, who compiles weekly records on delays. By contrast, customs clearance within the 114-year-old Southern African Customs Union (SACU) – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – can be as little as 30 minutes. “Once you go north of SACU, into Zimbabwe, Zambia, wherever, there’s no such thing as a ‘good’ border post,” Fitzmaurice said. “The concept behind all these systems is good but the implementation just falls down every time.” Source: Lusaka Voice

RhinoA new report released by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) partner TRAFFIC reveals that illegal rhino horn trade has reached the highest levels since the early 1990s, and illegal trade in ivory increased by nearly 300 percent from 1998 to 2011.

The report, Illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn: an assessment to improve law enforcement, is a key step to achieving USAID’s vision to adapt and deploy a range of development tools and interventions to significantly reduce illegal wildlife trafficking, USAID said in a September 22 press release. The report was prepared by the wildlife monitoring network TRAFFIC in partnership with USAID. The assessment uses robust analysis to identify capacity gaps and key intervention points in countries combating wildlife trafficking.

Seizure data indicate that “the fundamental trade dynamic now lies between Africa and Asia,” according to the report. In China and Thailand, elephant ivory is fashioned into jewellery and carved into other decorative items, while wealthy consumers in Vietnam use rhino horn as a drug that they mistakenly believe cures hangovers and detoxifies the body.

Rhinos and elephants are under serious poaching pressure throughout Africa, with even previously safe populations collapsing. Central Africa’s forest elephants have been reduced by an estimated 76 percent over the past 12 years, while in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve elephant numbers have fallen from 70,000 in 2007 to only 13,000 by late 2013. A record 1,004 rhinos were poached in 2013 in South Africa alone, a stark contrast to the 13 animals poached there in 2007 before the latest crisis began.

Record quantities of ivory were seized worldwide between 2011 and 2013, with an alarming increase in the frequency of large-scale ivory seizures (500 kg or more) since 2000. Preliminary data already show more large-scale ivory seizures in 2013 than in the previous 25 years. Although incomplete, 2013 raw data already represent the greatest quantity of ivory in these seizures in more than 25 years.

Both rhino horn and ivory trafficking are believed to function as Asian-run, African-based operations, with the syndicates increasingly relying on sophisticated technology to run their operations. In order to disrupt and apprehend the individuals behind them, the global response needs to be equally sophisticated, USAID said.

“There’s no single solution to addressing the poaching crisis in Africa, and while the criminals master-minding and profiting from the trafficking have gotten smarter, so too must enforcement agencies, who need to improve collaborative efforts in order to disrupt the criminal syndicates involved in this illicit trade,” says Nick Ahlers, the leader of the Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment and Priority Setting (Wildlife-TRAPS) Project.

The USAID-funded Wildlife-TRAPS Project seeks to transform the level of cooperation among those affected by illegal wildlife trade between Africa and Asia.

Rhino horn is often smuggled by air, using international airports as transit points between source countries in Africa and demand countries in Asia. Since 2009, the majority of ivory shipments have involved African seaports, increasingly coming out of East Africa. As fewer than 5 percent of export containers are examined in seaports, wildlife law enforcement relies greatly on gathering and acting on intelligence to detect illegal ivory shipments.

The report recommends further developing coordinated, specialized intelligence units to disrupt organized criminal networks by identifying key individuals and financial flows and making more high-level arrests. Also critically important are improved training, law enforcement technology, and monitoring judiciary processes at key locations in Africa and Asia.

The full text of the report (PDF, 1.6MB) is available on the USAID website. Source: USAID

Thomas Swahibi Moyane - Newly appointed Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services

Thomas Swahibi Moyane – Newly appointed Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma, has in terms of section 6 of the South African Revenue Services Act, 1997, appointed Mr Thomas (Tom) Swabihi Moyane as a Commissioner of the South African Revenue Services. Mr Moyane’s appointment is with effect from 27 September 2014.

Mr Moyane, a development economist, recently served as the advisor on turnaround and security strategies at the State Information Technology Agency (SITA).

His qualifications include a BSc Economics from the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, Diploma in consulting to small Business from the University of the Witwatersrand, and certificates in Strategic Management, Managing Markets from Henley, Micro-economics from London School of Economics and Mastering Finance from GIBS.

Mr Moyane will bring more than 30 years’ experience to the position, having worked as a senior executive in various government and private sector entities.

Mr Moyane has served as National Commissioner at the Department of Correctional Services, as Chief Executive Officer for the Government Printing Works, as managing director for Engen Mozambique as well as regional coordinator for the regional spatial development initiatives and as chief director for industry and enterprise development at the department of trade and industry. During his period in exile he worked for government departments in Mozambique and Guinea Bissau.

The President has wished Mr Moyane well in his new responsibility of steering SARS to the future.

Mr Moyane said: I thank the President and the Minister of Finance, Mr Nhlanhla Nene for the confidence they have bestowed upon me. I look forward to working with the successful team at SARS to assist to take forward all priority development programmes and policies. Source: Office of the Presidency

Dube Tradeport will be officially launched as an Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) by President Zuma on Tuesday 7 October.

At the launch event, the Dube Tradeport will officially be handed over an operator permit which provides them the status of an IDZ.

Situated at the Dube Centre, King Shaka International Airport, Durban, it was designated as an IDZ on 1 July 2014 by the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies.

Davies says, “The Dube Tradeport IDZ will be launched during a period of transition wherein Industrial Development Zones as governed by the Manufacturing Development Act will become Special Economic Zones (SEZ) under the new Special Economic Zones Act 16 of 2014.”
According to Davies, the Act has been assented to by the President, and will come into effect before the end of 2014.

Davies adds, “The main areas that have designated as Dube Tradeport Industrial Development Zone (DTPIDZ) are Dube Agrizone and Dube Tradeport. Dube Agrizone is about 63.5 hectares and focuses on high-value, niche agricultural and horticultural products while Dube Tradezone which is 240.27 hectares focuses on manufacturing and value-addition primarily for automotive, electronic, fashion garments and similar high value, time-sensitive products and inputs.”

“The launch of the IDZ will highlight the continuous efforts by government to promote industrialisation and create awareness about the SEZ programme, and its potential to grow the economy and create jobs through creating a conducive environment for foreign direct investment.” Source: Transportworldafrica.co.za with images from dubetradeport.co.za.

SARS Customs New NII Ste - DurbanSARS Customs recently launched its new X-Ray cargo inspection facility adjacent to the Durban Container Terminal in the Port of Durban. Following the trend as in other countries, SARS has identified non-intrusive inspection capability as part of its ‘tiered’ approach to risk management.

In 2008, SARS introduced its very first mobile x-ray scanner which was located inside the Durban container terminal precinct as part of South Africa’s participation in the US Container Security Initiative (CSI). While it has proven itself in the development of Customs NII capability, its location and lack of integration with other Customs automated tools has limited its success.

The new Customs inspection facility is a step-up in technology and automation – a Nuctech MB 1215HL Relocatable Container/Vehicle Inspection System. It has some significant advantages over the original mobile version namely –

  • An efficient and cost-effective security solution with a relatively small footprint (site size).
  • 6 Mev dual energy X-Ray technology with high penetration (through 330 mm of steel).
  • High throughput of 20-25 units of 40ft container vehicles per hour.
  • A unique modular gantry design which improves system relocatability.
  • Self-shielding architecture which requires no additional radiation protection wall.
  • Advanced screening and security features such as organic/inorganic material discrimination.
  • High quality scanning image manipulation tools allowing the customs image reviewer the ability to verify and distinguish the contents of a vehicle or cargo container.

Since its launch more than 350 scans have been performed. Suspect containers were sent for full unpack resulting in various positive findings.

The new relocatable scanner is easier to operate and significantly faster than the mobile scanner. In addition, scanned images are now automatically integrated into SARS Customs case management and inspection software making case management both seamless and efficient.

It is anticipated that until October 2014, both the new scanner and the existing mobile scanner operations will co-exist. During this time, the new scanner will operate risk generated cases directly from SARS automated risk engine. Unscheduled or random interventions will continue to occur at the old scanner site, which operates 24/7.

Plans are in place to decommission the mobile scanner after October 2014. The new scanner will then operate on a 24/7 basis.

BagamoyoThe government of Tanzania has announced that successful negotiation with Chinese officials will allow work to start on the $11bn Bagamoyo megaport this year, rather than January 2015, as originally scheduled.

The port is to be developed by China Merchants Holdings International, the world largest independent port operators. In the first phase of work, the quay, the container yards, the cargo terminals and all dredging work will be completed by 2017.

These facilities will then be expanded in stages over a period of 30 years, to give an eventual capacity of 20 million containers a year. This is likely to make the port the largest on the east coast of Africa, with a capability to handle roll on, roll off ships and container vessels with a 10,000 TEU capacity (these is, “new Panamax” ships that are too large to fit in the Panama Canal).

Underwriting the development is the discovery of some 200 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is going to make the country a leading exporter over the next decade.

Bagamoyo is seen as a Tanzania’s trump card in the sharpening struggle with other east African companies for foreign investment, export markets, industrial development and business from landlocked countries in the interior.

In particular, Tanzania is competing with the Kenyan port of Mombasa for investment and the handling of exports from Uganda, Burundi, Zambia and Rwanda. Although it looks to be in the lead in terms of port infrastructure, Kenya has taken the lead in the development of effective rail links, and Mozambique is closer to bringing its liquid natural gas deposits to market.

When completed, the port will cover about 800 hectares. Around it will be a 1,700 hectare special economic zone. The intention is to encourage set up industries that process or refine Tanzania’s raw materials, such as coffee roasting or ore processing, thereby capturing more of the value chain.

Adelhelm Meru, the director general of the Export Processing Zones Authority, which will be in charge of the zone, told journalists in Dar es Salaam recently that he wanted to attract “industries specialising in value-addition of agricultural products” which he said had been a leading area of investment under the EPZA for the past six years. He said about 55% of industries established under the EPZA dealt in agricultural and textile processing.

The zone is expected to be fully developed by 2024. Source: Global Contruction Review

Picture1Due to overwhelming interest in the SARS Customs Detector Dog Unit, a dedicated page is now included – see the Detector Dog ‘tab’ at the top of this webpage for a direct link, or click here!

awb_welcomeIt is becoming more and more evident that every ‘automation’ project entails ‘more costs’. The benefits appear to lie in the ‘comfort’ of doing stuff at your keyboard. Much vaunted ‘cost-savings’ are a myth as technology encroaches every facet of global trading. The following is a fine example.

The trade association for UK freight forwarders and logistics service providers is encouraging its members to object to a Paper Air Waybill (AWB) Surcharge that airlines are planning for export AWBs that are not filed electronically. Robert Keen, director general of the British International Freight Association (Bifa), commented: “Bifa supports e-Commerce and e-Air Waybill implementation in the air cargo supply chain. However, we believe that implementation should create value for forwarders and airlines alike, and airlines need to recognise the costs that the originator of the information incurs to enter and transmit data.”

Keen continued: “Through our international body Fiata, Bifa will be voicing our objection to carriers that seek to apply yet another surcharge, and create yet another revenue stream, under the guise of supporting IATA’s – the airline industry body’s – e-Freight initiative, which aims to implement e-Freight worldwide.” Bifa is asking its members to join in the stand against the introduction of this surcharge by completing an online survey, which can be found here: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/1782849/Paper-AWB-Surcharge-Survey

The air freight sector missed IATA’s target last year of achieving 20% e-air waybill penetration “on feasible lanes”, achieving just 12%. The target for 2014 has been revised downwards to 22%, with a target for 45% e-AWB penetration by the end of 2015 and 80% by the end of 2016. IATA expects to see an acceleration of penetration levels this year, in part because of the introduction last year of the e-AWB Multilateral Agreement, to which around 70 airlines and more than 100 freight forwarders have now signed up.

But while there is increasing momentum among airlines and air cargo handlers, many forwarders remain unconvinced of the benefits. Chuck Zhao, process engineer project manager at US air cargo handler Consolidated Aviation Services (CAS), observes that only around 6% shipments out of the US are e-freight, largely because “those who cut the paper air waybills simply do not see the benefits of going paperless”.

Michael White, assistant director of cargo facilitation, security and standards for US air freight association Cargo Network Services (CNS) and regional manager of cargo for IATA, observed that there was a need for effective communication routes for the forwarders, especially small and medium-sized ones, to transmit their FWB & FHL messages – preferably a community system rather than via multiple airline portals. He said there was currently no community system in the US, but there were signs that companies are looking at that capability. Source: Lloydsloadinglist.com

singapore-port

Port of Singapore

Projected throughput four years from now compares with 642m teu in 2013 and 674m teu projected for this year. The 2018 projection is double the 2004 throughput figure of 363m teu.

The combination of faster traffic growth and strong profit levels is attracting aggressive new players to enter the container terminal-operator business , according to the 11th Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Review and Forecast report published by shipping consultancy Drewry. It says Africa and Greater China are the regions that will see the most rapid growth.

Overall , growth rates are expected to average an annual 5.6% in the five years to 2018, compared with 3.4% in 2013. That will boost average terminal utilisation from 67% today to 75% in 2018, Drewry forecasts.

“The sector’s strong financial performance and accelerating growth is encouraging new market entrants and renewed merger and acquisition activity in the container ports sector,” said Neil Davidson, senior analyst in Drewry’s ports and terminals practice. “Financial investors are particularly active at present, attracted by typical ebitda margins of between 20% and 45%.”

Drewry has also added two companies to its league table of 24 terminal operators it considers to be global. Both China Merchants Holdings International and Bolloré Group have been growing aggressively. In the case of CMHI further acquisitions are particularly likely. Other operators, such as Gulftainer and Yilport are also expanding rapidly and are challenging for inclusion in Drewry’s league table.

The composition of the top five players, when measured on an equity teu throughput basis, has changed little from last year, except new entrant CMHI which is now in fifth place. PSA again heads the table, by virtue of its scale and 20% stake in Hutchison Port Holdings which comes second. APM Terminals is third, followed by DP World.

Drewry said that by 2018, it expects both HPH and APM Terminals to be vying closely for the top spot in terms of capacity deployed. Most portfolio expansion will be through greenfield or brownfield terminals in emerging markets, led by APM Terminals, International Container Terminal Services, HPH and DP World. “All port and terminal operators are experiencing a number of key industry trends, some of which have wide ramifications,” said Mr Davidson. “The most important trends are deployment of ever-larger containerships, expansion of shipping-line alliances, financial pressures on shipping lines, rapidly emerging international terminal operators and owners, financial investor churn, as well as the gathering pace of terminal automation.” Source: Lloydslist.com