UK Forwarders object to New Air Cargo Surcharge

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

Advertisements

Global container ports could handle 840m TEU a year by 2018

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

E-cigarettes increase on the back of traditional tobacco advertising – will regulation follow?

o-ECIGS-570It seems the ‘e-industry’ is the vehicle for the next generation of contraband and illicit goods and Im not alluding to the electronics and entertainment industry here. While the World Health Organisation urges a ban on marketing of e-cigarettes, will the need for governments to consider taxes on such become necessary …read on:

E-cigarettes are following in the footsteps of their none-lectronic predecessors by utilizing advertising means no longer available to traditional cigarettes and increasing their ad spending on techniques such as television commercials, promotions, events, sample giveaways, celebrity endorsers, and slogans such as “A perfect puff every time.”

Electronic cigarettes are battery-powered devices that heat a nicotine solution into a vapor inhaled by users. While the chemicals of tobacco cigarettes are not included, the addictive feature of nicotine remains. The use of e-cigarettes has climbed steadily, with 6 percent of all adult Americans and 21 percent of adult smokers trying them in 2011, nearly twice the rates in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Unlike tobacco cigarettes, which are heavily regulated, e-cigarettes are free from laws that limit their methods of marketing. As a result, brands such as Blu eCigs have spent $12.4 million on advertising for the first quarter of 2013, up from less than $1 million last year. They feature endorsements from actor Stephen Dorff and personality Jenny McCarthy. Traditional cigarette companies such as Lorillard and Reynolds are also getting in on the action by purchasing or launching their own lines of e-cigarettes.

The advertising itself even references tobacco cigarettes, with campaigns that seek to make smoking acceptable again. In a Blu eCigs ad, for example, Dorff praises e-cigarettes because they can be smoked “at a basketball game . . . in a bar with your friends . . . virtually anywhere,” adding, “Come on, guys, rise from the ashes.”

But with the increased profile may come regulation.

“It is beyond troubling that e-cigarettes are using the exact same marketing tactics we saw the tobacco industry use in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, which made it so effective for tobacco products to reach youth,” Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, told The New York Times. “The real threat is whether, with this marketing, e-cigarette makers will undo 40 years of efforts to deglamorize smoking.”

WHO urges countries to adopt global guidelines that will end the indoor use of e-cigs. WHO also calls for a ban on marketing practices that could encourage children and non-smokers to use e-cigs.

States such as Indiana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Mississippi, and Utah have already extended restrictions on tobacco cigarettes to include e-cigarettes, while other states such as California and Pennsylvania are considering similar laws. Inhalation of e-cigarettes is prohibited on Amtrak trains and onboard U.S. planes.

The Food and Drug Administration is said to be planning the release of proposed regulations in October. Referencing a report from the financial group CLSA Americas, AdAge reported that the agency is expected to propose a ban on TV advertising to set limits on sales to minors, implement the possibility of a warning label, and restrict online sales. An FDA spokesperson said she could not comment on specifics of a proposed rule, but that the agency “intends to propose a regulation that would extend the agency’s ‘tobacco product’ authorities – which currently only apply to cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco – to other categories of tobacco products that meet the statutory definition of ‘tobacco product.’ Further research is needed to assess the potential public health benefits and risks of electronic cigarettes and other novel tobacco products.”

Why it matters: The increasing use and potential regulation of e-cigarettes may trigger another round of tobacco wars between industry and the government. Debate about the product remains – is it an alternative form of smoking, or a means of quitting, like nicotine gum? Should e-cigarettes be taxed and regulated like traditional tobacco products, with age limits, warning labels, and a ban on certain forms of advertising such as TV, or are they a separate and distinct category of products? If and when the FDA wades into the issue, the fight will truly begin. Source: Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP

Related article