Cargo Breaking News

Bahri’s logistics and chemicals divisions to expand presence in APAC

Bahri, the leading direct, full-liner service provider from US East and Gulf Coast ports and Canada to Jeddah, Dubai, Dammam and Mumbai (including way-port calls along the liner service route in the Mediterranean and Europe), has announced the expansion of its market presence in the Asia Pacific (APAC) region’s maritime industry. The stronger presence will help the company gain deeper insights into market trends as well as customer needs in chemicals and logistics sectors in Singapore and the wider APAC region. The expansion will also enable Bahri Logistics and Bahri Chemicals, two of five business units of the company, to market their offerings, acquire new clients, serve existing clients, and channelise communications. The company also plans to expand the services of its other business units to the APAC region in the future. Bahri’s global network of destinations already includes ports in China, India, Singapore, and South Korea.

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JNPT attains new high of 8.5 MT in bulk cargo handling

Jawaharlal Nehru Port (JNPT) registered an all-time high in bulk cargo throughput, touching 8.5 million tonnes (MT) in 2018-19. This was a 5.58 per cent increase over 2017-18. JNPT’s overall throughput was over 70 MT in the just-concluded fiscal, inclusive of bulk and liquid. Meanwhile, in its core competency, the port ended FY2018-19 on a high note by handling 5.13 million TEUs, which also included 4.71 lakh TEUs in March 2019, the highest in a month. It had handled 4.83 million TEUs in 2017-18. As part of its effort to automate procedures and digitalise processes, JNPT has also discontinued manual Form 13 and Form 11, and now has e-versions. It also has RFID-enabled gate automation systems in order to provide faster and efficient entry and exit for container trucks. The port plans to further enhance efficiency with the addition of three mobile scanners and a drive-through scanner equipped with the latest technology.

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DHL Express launches Yellow Yatra for Indian MSMEs to succeed globally

DHL Express has launched the ‘Yellow Yatra’ programme, a multi-city series of events focused on equipping entrepreneurs from micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in different Indian cities with the know-how to succeed in international e-commerce. Commenting on the launch, RS Subramanian, Country Manager, DHL Express India, said, “MSMEs are crucial to the Indian economy because they contribute over eight per cent to India’s GDP and constitute more than 70 per cent of our business here in India. The launch of ‘Yellow Yatra’ is part of our ongoing commitment to promote the growth of Indian SMEs through participation in cross-border e-commerce trade. Our extensive local, regional, and global network is a key enabler for SMEs who want to venture out of their cities.” At the event, entrepreneurs had the opportunity to hear from industry experts, share best practices with e-commerce players, and most importantly, build important business networks.

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Freightos WebCargo acquires Air Freight Bazaar India

E-booking platform Freightos WebCargo has acquired India’s Air Freight Bazaar, a regional air cargo rates and sales platform based in Chennai. “This acquisition combines WebCargo’s advanced air cargo rates, sales and e-booking platform, used by over 1,400 leading forwarders, with Air Freight Bazaar’s market share of 300 leading regional air forwarders,” said a Freightos WebCargo spokesperson. Air Freight Bazaar customers will receive access to WebCargo’s existing platform, including access to on-demand air rates, dynamic pricing, and e-booking with airlines like Lufthansa Cargo. Vinay Sethia, Co-founder, Air Freight Bazaar, said, “With WebCargo by Freightos, we can offer our customers improved technology, direct access to over 300 airlines, and e-booking. We’re also excited to represent WebCargo and Freightos in India.” Zvi Schreiber, Chief Executive Officer, Freightos, said, “Air Freight Bazaar has been a regional leader in freight digitalisation, making them a natural fit. Our initial focus in India will be on further automation for local air freight forwarders and collaborating on dynamic pricing and e-boking with regional airlines.”

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Maersk Trade Finance plans outlay of $200 million for India’s SME

Maersk Trade Finance has announced its global loan disbursement projection of US $500 million for the year 2019 with US$ 200 million target for India. The company has disbursed a total of US $0.7 billion globally, till date, since its inception in 2015, with over 150 million in India in the year 2018, a 53 per cent Y-o-Y increase as compared to 2017. Vipul Sardana, Global Head, Maersk Trade Finance, said, “Indian Small & Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) sector continues to play a significant role in India’s economic development. As the sector is gearing up for its digital transformation, the rapid technological advances are putting trade finance in the spotlight and playing a significant role in changing the way global supply-chains are managed and monitored.”

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Air cargo volume continues to grow double-digit: Vandana Aggarwal at ACFI

Air Cargo Forum India (ACFI) recently held a conference on ‘India – Future Air Cargo Leader in South East Asia’, in New Delhi. Addressing the gathering, Vandana Aggarwal, Economic Advisor, MoCA, Government of India, said, “In the last few years, we have emphasised on the fact that the entire value chain is important and we cannot work in silos. The result was laudable; air cargo, in terms of volume, has not only grown double-digit in the last two years, but we have also improved performance. Dwell time, which used to be more than 100 hours, came down to 13 per cent in the first year and 25 per cent in the second year. Today, we are stand at less than 39 hours for imports and less than 24 hours for exports, but there is more to be done.” Aggarwal also urged the air cargo community to take measures to strengthen itself to such a degree that these little blips, which were beyond their control, did not adversely affect the overall growth. Pradeep Singh Kharola, IAS, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India, was the chief guest at the conference. The conference brought together ministry officials and expert speakers from the industry, as well as leaders from both India and abroad to debate on the National Air Cargo Policy that has been outlined and circulated by the government.

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CONCOR inaugurates first distribution logistics centre in Chennai

Container Corporation of India (CONCOR) has inaugurated its first distribution logistics centre at Ennore, Chennai. This is the existing facility of NOR Infrastructure, which has been selected as the company’s partner for Distribution Logistics Facility at Ennore, Chennai. The first-of-its-kind facility will act as a fulfilment centre for the customers of different manufacturers and importers. CONCOR is a Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) under the Ministry of Indian Railways, which was incorporated in March 1988 under the Companies Act and commenced operation from November 1989, taking over the existing network of seven ICDs from the Indian Railways.

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Madhya Pradesh can double its share in country’s exports in next 5 years: FIEO

Recognising the export potential of Madhya Pradesh and its ability to attract export-centric FDI in pharma, auto components, machinery, textiles, processed agriculture products, etc., Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has submitted to Kamal Nath, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, its proposal to assist the government in working towards an increase in the state’s share in the country’s exports from the current 1.6 per cent to over three per cent in the next five years. Ganesh Kumar Gupta, President, FIEO, emphasised the need for identification of more products under GI, and marketing of such products through exclusive shops in the departure area of international airports, beginning with Mumbai and Delhi. FIEO has also requested for inland freight subsidy for all products, as the cost of carrying cargo from MP to JNPT, in many cases, works out to be more than overseas freight. In response, the minister assured that he will proactively look into the issue of freight subsidy and exclusive showrooms for GI products at India’s international airports.

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Emerging technologies can offset rising costs in transportation: ICRA

New technologies such as Big Data, telematics systems, and alternate fuel technology can help drive efficiencies in the transportation sector by optimising routes for efficient delivery sequence, maximise asset utilisation, and improve fuel efficiency. According to Shamsher Dewan, Vice President & Sector Head – Corporate Ratings, ICRA, the profit margins of fleet operators are highly volatile as compared to agents and third-party logistics companies. “The profitability margins of fleet operators are especially sensitive to fluctuations in diesel prices and frequent increase in vehicle ownership cost, toll charges, and other overheads. The sharp increase in diesel prices in Q2 and Q3 FY2019 had a significant impact on profitability indicators of fleet operators as freight rates didn’t move in a similar fashion owing to overall surplus capacity in the trucking system. In such an environment, gradual adoption of new technologies can help fleet operators improve their cost structure and bring down some of the fixed costs.”

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Future Supply Chain signs multi-year deal with Benetton India

To provide contract and express logistics services, Future Supply Chain Solutions (FSC) has signed a multi-year agreement with Benetton India. As per the agreement, FSC will manage Benetton India’s supply chain requirements from a large built-to-suit, multi-customer distribution centre in North India. This will cater to its pan India requirements, including reverse logistics. This is in addition to the express logistics services that FSC has been offering to Benetton India for the past few years. Apart from Benetton India, the company has signed multiple new contracts, including those with Voltbek Home Appliances, Haldirams Products, and Crompton Greaves Consumer Electricals in the past one year.

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