This is an excerpt from Monday’s Point of Sale retail supply chain newsletter.
The UK grocery supermarket sector was once highly oligopolistic, but in recent years, European brands have expanded in the UK and have created a much fiercer competitive landscape. There are 4 primary British supermarket chains dubbed ‘The Big Four’: Tesco, Sainsbury’s, ASDA, and Morrison’s. The new challengers include Aldi and Lidl of Germany, and SPAR of the Netherlands.
The long and messy trade disputes stemming from Brexit are forcing supermarkets in Northern Ireland (NI) to conduct highly unusual business practices to keep shelves stocked. On December 31, England, Scotland and Wales left the EU’s single market for goods but NI did not. This created a new trade and regulatory border between NI and the rest of the UK.
The new ‘Irish Sea border’ means that food products entering NI from England must undergo a range of time-consuming new processes such as the creation of export health certificates and checks at new border posts. In response, supermarkets have been looking at ways to source more products locally in NI and the Republic of Ireland.
For Sainsbury’s, that has included indirectly partnering with the enemy, Netherlands-based SPAR. To ensure shelves remained stocked, Sainsbury’s entered into a contract with Henderson Group, one of Northern Ireland’s biggest food wholesalers which sells to retailers and caterers. But, the retailers Henderson stocks are almost exclusively a network of SPAR stores across NI.
While the agreement is temporary and only in place until Sainsbury’s can work out long-term supplier agreements, the move is unprecedented. When the Sainsbury’s management team was pressed on the unusual nature of stocking rival’s goods, the company insisted that it was “not that unusual”. It said that “for example, elsewhere in the UK we have wholesale agreements which mean Sainsbury’s branded products are stocked by Simply Fresh, Dobbies and WHSmith”.
However, as the News Letter pointed out, Dobbies is a garden centre, WHSmith is a newsagent, and the small high-end grocery store Simply Fresh has no shops in NI. Management could not point to any precedent for a supermarket stocking a rival supermarket’s branded produce.
This is the British equivalent of Walmart carrying Target-branded SKUs, or Trader Joe’s stocking Publix products. The anecdote demonstrates a couple of things: how disruptive Brexit is; how even the most extreme supplier flexibility has to be part of any retail contingency plan; and why it’s worth it to sacrifice a little bit of margin on rivals’ SKUs in order to keep shelves stocked, preserve foot traffic, and get consumers in the door (where they can buy lots of other things too).
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XPO Logistics Inc. (NYSE:XPO) said Tuesday that Malcolm Wilson, the current CEO of its European operation, will run the newly created logistics company that XPO plans to spin off into a stand-alone business.
Richard Cawston, currently XPO’s president, supply chain logistics-Europe, will continue in the role with the new company, Greenwich, Connecticut-based XPO said. Ashfaque Chowdhury, XPO’s president, supply chain logistics – Americas and Asia Pacific, will also remain in his current role with the new company, XPO said.
Wilson (pictured) joined XPO after it completed its $3.5 billion acquisition of French transport and logistics firm Norbert Dentressangle in 2015. Cawston also joined after the Dentressangle acquisition, while Chowdhury joined after XPO acquired New Breed Logistics, the firm that was headed by current Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, in 2014.
In December, XPO said it would separate its transportation and logistics businesses, and spin off the logistics operations to its shareholders. The initiative is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Brad Jacobs, XPO’s chairman and CEO, will run the transportation company. XPO President Troy Cooper will have the same role with the transportation company.
At the time the transaction was announced, XPO said the logistics company would be headed by senior executives currently in charge of that business.
Burkhard Eling took the helm as chief executive officer of logistics provider Dachser on New Year’s Day.
Eling also will serve as the executive board spokesman and head corporate strategy, human resources, marketing, corporate key account management and governance and compliance.
He succeeded Bernhard Simon, who will take over as chairman of the supervisory board of the family-owned company in mid-2021. Also moving to the supervisory board is Michael Schilling, the former chief operations officer for Road Logistics.
Also effective Jan. 1, two longtime Dachser managers were promoted to the executive board. They are Sefan Hohm, the chief development officer, and Road Logistics COO Alexander Tonn.
Eling joined Dachser in 2012 as deputy head of the finance, legal and tax unit. He was promoted to CFO the following year.
“My fellow board members and I are taking over an extremely robust and fast-growing company that even the challenges of the coronavirus crisis haven’t managed to throw off course,” Eling said. “With their tremendous know-how and commitment, the people at Dachser have succeeded in maintaining the supply chains of our global customers even under adverse conditions.”
Eling’s successor as CFO is Robert Erni, who took on the role Jan. 1 after a four-month induction and transition phase. He previously was the group CFO for Panalpina.
Kempten, Germany-headquartered Dachser has about 31,000 employees and 393 locations around the world. It provides transport logistics, warehousing and customized services through its two units: Dachser Air & Sea Logistics and Road Logistics.
Third-party logistics solutions provider GlobalTranz Enterprises LLC has appointed Bryan Foe to the position of senior vice president of branches.
Foe will be responsible for overall P&L management of all branches that are part of GlobalTranz’s direct channel business in the United States and Mexico. He joins GlobalTranz after a 27-year tenure with C.H. Robinson, where he held leadership positions of increasing responsibility in the United States and Europe.
Ross Spanier, executive vice president of direct sales and operations at GlobalTranz, said Foe’s “management caliber and varied logistics experience will help further grow GlobalTranz’s branch network. His ability to create and lead empowered teams that create value-enhancing solutions will help GlobalTranz deepen and widen long-term strategic relationships.”
GlobalTranz said in a statement that the company is “driving strong growth with over 25,000 shipping customers through technology innovation, a network of more than 120 less-than-truckload and over 50,000 best-in-class truckload carriers, transformative M&A, innovative technology and service offerings, an industry-leading independent agent network and superior customer service delivered by some of the best people in the industry.”
Containerization & Intermodal Institute
The Containerization & Intermodal Institute (CII) has appointed Randy Bayles, group manager of ports at Norfolk Southern Corp., to its board of directors for a three-year term.
Bayles has more than 35 years of supply chain and intermodal experience, including 22 years with Norfolk Southern, where he is responsible for business development at all intermodal and automotive ports in the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Norfolk Southern, he worked for such companies as Yellow Freight System, Roadway Package System and National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia.
The nonprofit CII promotes industry awareness, preserves the history of intermodalism, and engages scholarly interest in the field by organizing educational conferences and seminars, serving as an information resource, providing networking opportunities and facilitating scholarships.
Illinois Railroad Association
The Illinois Railroad Association said that after decades serving the freight rail industry and leading the organization since 1998, Joseph Ciaccio has retired. The association announced that after a lengthy search, it has named Michelle R. Kelm as executive director.
Ciaccio joined the Illinois Railroad Association in 1986 after serving as an attorney with the Illinois House Democratic staff and as manager of government affairs for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.
Kelm comes to the organization with nearly 25 years of executive experience in both public service and private government affairs.
Headquartered in Springfield, the Illinois Railroad Association is a nonprofit trade organization established in 1951 to represent the interests of freight railroads operating in Illinois and related businesses in the state. Association members include all seven Class I railroads operating in the United States, numerous regional and shortline railroads and the Railway Supply Institute. The association’s executive committee is composed of representatives from Union Pacific Railroad, BNSF Railway, The Belt Railway Co. of Chicago, CN, Norfolk Southern, Canadian Pacific, CSX and Indiana Harbor Belt Railway Co.
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Click for more American Shipper/FreightWaves stories by Senior Editor Kim Link-Wills.
Swiss transport and logistics giant Kuehne + Nagel International AG (OTC US: KHNGY) said Monday that it closed on the sale of most of its U.K. contract logistics business to U.S.-based provider XPO Logistics Inc. (NASDAQ:XPO), nearly 10 months after the deal was announced.
The transaction, which was consummated after the approval of British antitrust authorities, calls for Kuehne + Nagel to divest itself of logistics operations that supported its food and beverage, retail and technology businesses. Revenue from the divested operations totaled about $656.4 million in 2019, Kuehne + Nagel said at the time the deal was disclosed last March.
The sale, financial terms of which were not disclosed, closes the books on Kuehne + Nagel’s plans that began two years ago to shed non-core contract logistics services. Kuehne + Nagel has already sold its contract logistics business in Argentina, its cool chain fast moving consumer goods portfolio in France and a grouping of real estate assets.
Kuehne + Nagel said it remains committed to e-commerce and pharmaceutical contract logistics services in the U.K. and worldwide.
Though the U.K. business never performed optimally for Kuehne + Nagel, the verticals that XPO has acquired are well within its wheelhouse. It is believed that XPO will get far more mileage out of the assets than did Kuehne + Nagel. XPO said last March that it planned to integrate Kuehne + Nagel’s business onto its technology platform under its pan-European network.
XPO announced in late 2020 plans to separate its transportation and logistics businesses and spin off the logistics operation into a separate company. The initiative is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
More than 70% of the imports that reach the United States come by ship and enter the country through its ports. One of the largest shipping companies in the world – A.P. Moller – Maersk – carries a share of those imported goods.
According to the company website, “A.P. Moller – Maersk is an integrated transport and logistics company with multiple brands and is a global leader in container shipping and ports. The company employs roughly 76,000 employees across operations in 130 countries.”
It is a huge company with a global reach. But like most global companies, it didn’t start that way. This edition of FreightWaves Classics provides an overview of the company’s history. Much of the information and most of the photos come from the company’s website, and FreightWaves Classics thanks A.P. Moller – Maersk for its cooperation.
Early in the last century (April 16, 1904 to be exact), Dampskibsselskabet Svendborg (The Steamship Company Svendborg) was established in Svendborg, Denmark. This company eventually became what is known now as A. P. Moller – Maersk. The company was founded by A.P. Møller and his father, Peter Mærsk Møller. With some difficulty, the father-son team were able to raise enough money and purchased a used steamer in October 1904. The Møllers renamed the ship SVENDBORG after their hometown.
The younger Møller wanted to expand more quickly than the company’s board members felt was prudent. Therefore, when he had the opportunity in 1912, A.P. Møller founded another steamship company (Dampskibsselskabet af 1912).
World War I provided opportunities for shipping companies, and Møller’s new enterprise was able to expand rapidly. Interestingly, both steamship companies were managed together for decades, when they were merged under one name in 2003 – A.P. Moller – Maersk.
Møller had other ideas as well; he wanted to open a shipyard and combine the company’s shipping experience with shipbuilding. He did so in 1918, opening the Odense Steel Shipyard on the island of Funen. Over the decades, the shipyard was a key company supplier, particularly after the initial container ship was delivered in 1980. However, the company’s leadership decided to close the Odense Steel Shipyard in 2009 because of increased competition. The last vessel built in the shipyard was delivered in 2012.
In 1919, shortly after the end of World War I, A.P. Møller and his cousin, Hans Isbrandtsen, opened the New York office of ISMOLCO (which stood for the Isbrandtsen-Moller Company) for cargo bookings.
The company’s first regular liner service began in 1928 with monthly sailings. Maersk Line was chosen as the name of the new service, which changed the company’s focus from the spot market. In maritime shipping, participating in the spot market means that a ship agrees to carry cargo to a specific port or ports and does not keep a regular schedule or call on the same ports from voyage to voyage. The first Maersk Line service left from the Port of Baltimore, traversed the Panama Canal, and then made calls on U.S. West Coast ports and Asian ports. The U.S. to the Far East liner service was Maersk Line’s only service until 1947, when the company established additional routes.
World War II in Europe began on September 1, 1939 when Germany invaded Poland. A few months later, Germany began its occupation of Denmark on April 9, 1940. On the night of April 8, A.P. Møller and his son, Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, sent messages to each of the company’s ships that were outside Danish territory to steer for neutral ports – as well as to disregard any further orders from occupied Denmark. Of the company’s fleet of 46 ships, 36 were requisitioned and utilized in the war effort. The war was costly; 150 seamen and 25 ships were lost.
The Maersk logo features a white seven-pointed star on a light blue background. The REGINA MÆRSK was a new ship built by the Odense Steel Shipyard in 1955. It was also the first Maersk vessel to have its hull painted with the same light blue color. Within a few years all Maersk ships were using that color scheme.
A.P. Møller and the Svendborg and 1912 steamship companies were granted a 50-year concession to explore and extract raw materials from Denmark and its offshore holdings in 1962. This began A.P. Moller – Maersk’s entry in the oil and gas industry, as well as its off-shore services business.
That same year, a joint venture among the company and oil giants Shell and Gulf began. Named the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC), the joint venture benefited A.P. Moller, who had no prior experience in oil and gas exploration/extraction. The DUC extracted oil from the North Sea for the first time in 1972. By 1974 Maersk Oil had developed enough experience to share the management of the efforts. Twelve years later (1986), Maersk Oil took sole reins of North Sea exploration.
A.P. Møller died at the age of 88 in June 1965. When he died, the fleet that he had built comprised 88 ships – almost 50% of the total merchant fleet of Denmark. His son, Mærsk McKinney Møller, took over the management of the company.
In 1967 another part of the business began – Maersk Supply Service. This occurred when two supply ships to serve the company’s oil rig were delivered. Seven years later (1974), Maersk Supply Service was established as an independent business within the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group.
Shipping and global trade changed forever when Malcom McLean developed standardized cargo containers. McLean not only changed maritime shipping for Maersk and its competitors, but also caused changes in the drayage, trucking and rail industries.
Maersk was not the first shipping line to embrace containerization. However, Maersk ordered nine container ships in 1975 and began containerized shipping on its original route. The company’s first container ship, the ADRIAN MÆRSK, left Newark, New Jersey, on September 5, 1975. Its cargo included 385 containers.
Containerization continued to grow, and to maximize cargo capacity, consolidation and utilization, Maersk started Mercantile, a freight forwarding business, in 1977. Over the decades this grew into Maersk Logistics and the company’s integrated supply chain services.
A.P. Moller – Maersk continued its expansion into affiliated maritime businesses in 1979, when it acquired Svitzer. A company that was almost 150 years old at the time it was acquired, Svitzer focused on specialized marine services such as “harbor, coastal, terminal/LNG, offshore and ocean towage as well as salvage operations, crew-boat and emergency-response services.”
As noted above, the standardized shipping container revolutionized multiple shipping modes. Having dealt with containers for more than 15 years, the company began Mærsk Container Industry, or MCI, in 1991. MCI was founded to develop improvements and manufacture shipping containers. Its first manufacturing facility opened in Denmark. Within a few years, MCI was manufacturing not only dry containers, but refrigerated containers as well. The company built container manufacturing facilities in China. The first opened in 1998; the second in 2004. Now the company only manufactures refrigerated containers at a plant in Qingdao, China.
A.P. Moller – Maersk’s growth continued in 1993 when it acquired the liner business of EACBen Container Line Ltd. from Danish East Asiatic Company. With this acquisition Maersk Line became the largest container shipping company in the world.
In 1999, the company acquired Sea-Land. This had been the company that Malcom McLean had led, and that changed the shipping of freight around the world. For more than 15 years the company had been investing in shipping terminals in strategic locations, and the Sea-Land acquisition increased its terminal portfolio. Two years later (2001) Maersk Line expanded its operations again, establishing APM Terminals. This became another independent unit of the company that provides port and inland infrastructure.
Almost a century after the original steamship company was founded in 1904, the first two companies in this now-huge company – the steamship companies – and all their partnerships and subsidiaries merged under the name A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S in 2003.
In 1995, a merger of the British container shipping company P&O and the Dutch container shipping company Nedlloyd created P&O Nedlloyd. In 2005, A.P. Møller – Mærsk’s acquisitions/ industry consolidations continued when it purchased P&O Nedlloyd. In addition, as the integration was in process, the company also changed the Maersk-Sealand brand back to Maersk Line (as it had been prior to 2000).
On its website A.P. Møller – Mærsk admits that the “integration of one large, global organization into another large, global organization proved difficult, but eventually provided Maersk Line with a scale that would not have been possible through organic growth.” The company, which had been an industry leader for decades, truly became a global leader as it expanded and absorbed and integrated its many parts.
Prior to its closing a few years later, the Odense Steel Shipyard continued to build bigger and more advanced ships. In 2006 (for the third time in 10 years), it built the largest container vessel in the world. Named the EMMA MÆRSK, this ship was capable of carrying more than 15,000 twenty-foot containers. Just over 30 years earlier, the first Maersk container ship, the ADRIAN MÆRSK, had left Newark with 385 containers. Moreover, the company took ownership of seven more ships that were the same size as the EMMA MÆRSK.
A few years later, in 2013, Maersk took delivery of the first Triple-E ultra-large container ship, which was even larger than the EMMA MÆRSK and its sister ships. When it was delivered, the MÆRSK MC-KINNEY MØLLER was the largest ship in the world. It measured over 1,312 feet long and could carry 18,000+ twenty-foot containers. Moreover, because of its design, Triple-E ships were more energy-efficient, which reduced their CO2 emission per container.
A.P. Møller – Mærsk began combining its various logistics-related brands in 1999. The Sea-Land acquisition that year came with a number of container terminals and logistics providers. As noted above, the company had started Mercantile in 1977, and integrated it and the Sea-Land logistics functions under the Maersk Logistics brand in early 2000. The 2005 P&O Nedlloyd acquisition included that company’s forwarding business (Damco Sea & Air, which had been founded a century earlier as C.W.H van Dam & Co.). In 2009 A.P. Møller – Mærsk combined Maersk Logistics and Damco under the DAMCO brand.
In late April 2015, the company opened APM Terminals Maasvlakte II container terminal in Rotterdam, Netherlands. When it opened it was the most technologically advanced, automated and sustainable container terminal in the world. It was the world’s first terminal to generate zero carbon emissions because it is powered by electricity generated by wind turbines.
Near the end of the third quarter of 2016 A.P. Møller – Mærsk announced that its management had made the strategic decision to reorganize the company, moving from a conglomerate of related companies to an integrated company focused on the transportation and logistics of containers.
As part of that decision, it meant that A.P. Moller – Maersk would divest its oil and natural gas-related businesses. A year later (September 2017), the company agreed to sell its shares in Maersk Tankers to APMH Invest, a wholly owned subsidiary of A.P. Møller Holding A/S (which is the controlling shareholder of A.P. Moller – Maersk).
Maersk Tankers had been part of the company since 1928. A.P. Møller had ordered five oil tankers in 1927, and they became the first ships in the Maersk Tankers fleet a year later. That part of the company grew over time, and transporting crude oil was its primary business interest for 25 years (1950-1975). A few months after selling Maersk Tankers, the company sold Maersk Oil to TOTAL S.A. in March 2018.
As noted above, A.P. Moller – Maersk’s involvement in the oil and natural gas industry began when the company was granted the exploration/extraction concession from the Danish government in 1962. Its involvement ended in April 2019, when the company began “the separation and demerger of Maersk Drilling and its activities. Subsequently Maersk Drilling became a separately listed company on Nasdaq Copenhagen.” The company had founded Maersk Drilling in 1972 to own/operate rigs for oil exploration companies.
The company’s latest acquisition (to date) took place in December 2017, when Maersk Line acquired what was then the world’s seventh-largest container shipping line, Germany’s Hamburg Süd.
After learning more about A.P. Moller – Maersk, it seems clear that the company will continue to innovate and grow to meet the demands of the marketplace. It is a global leader in transportation and logistics, and that leadership will be needed to meet the challenges that are sure to arise in the years to come.
The European Commission is aiming to convert nearly all cars, buses and heavy-duty vehicles to zero emissions by 2050. That is one of the key takeaways from the EU Commission’s Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy for European transport released Wednesday. It includes new emission reduction strategies, freight shifting goals and digitization techniques.
“The challenge we face is to try and make sure that the needs of Europeans are met and at the same time the carbon footprint of transport is decreased,” said Frans Timmermans, executive vice president of the EU Commission’s European Green Deal.
Extensive infrastructure is needed to support the EU Commission’s goals for zero-emission road vehicles to take over. The plan is to install 1,000 hydrogen stations and 1 million public recharging points by 2025. By 2030, 2 million more recharging stations would be added. This indicates that the EU Commission is planning on rapid adoption of electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles in the next decade. Another flagship initiative is creating zero-emission airports and ports and promoting sustainable aviation and maritime fuels.
The EU Commission said it will make a proposal to extend the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS) to maritime transportation. It will also propose revisions to the existing ETS to reduce the free allowances currently allocated for airlines.
Making zero-emission large aircraft market-ready by 2035 is another milestone in the strategy. Airbus recently shared three hydrogen-powered zero-emission aircraft concepts that are projected to be flying commercially by 2035.
“Additional investments for 2021-2030 in vehicles (including rolling stock, vessels, and aircraft) and renewable and low carbon fuels infrastructure deployment are estimated at EUR 130 billion per year, compared to the previous decade,” the report says.
The EU Commission wants to see rail freight traffic double by 2050. Because rail and maritime are less emission-intensive modes of transport, another milestone of the strategy is: “By 2030, rail and waterborne-based intermodal transport will be able to compete on equal footing with road-only transport in the EU.” In line with the European Green Deal, this new strategy says that short sea shipping and transport via inland waterways should increase by 25% by 2030 and 50% by 2050. The goal is to reduce emissions for the last mile of delivery for goods.
The Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) should be finished by 2030 to help these transitions, according to the report. The TEN-T is a network across the EU of connected inland waterways, airports, railway lines, roads and shipping routes that would work together to manage bottlenecks and the environmental impacts of transportation. The EU Commission estimated it would take 300 billion euros over the next 10 years to finish the core TEN-T.
Automation and digitization
The release said that the EU Commission fully supports the deployment of unmanned aircraft and drones to contribute to sustainability and safety goals. The EU Commission recognized the benefits of automation, including saving time, increasing environmental sustainability, providing real-time data and relieving traffic issues.
Through digitizing forms and processes, the EU Commission said freight will be able to “seamlessly switch between transport modes.” A milestone of the strategy is achieving paperless freight transport by 2030. The EU Commission said the combination of the digital and green transitions could reshape the sector, increase connectivity and stimulate the economy.
“The Commission will also continue to promote the use of European technical, social, environmental and competition standards in international fora, and in relations with individual non-EU countries across transport modes.”
Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.
The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.
The United Kingdom officially leaves the European Union on Dec. 31 after an 11-month easing-out period. The final closing of the door, so to speak, on Brexit involved many preliminary steps. One of these was for the U.K. to establish a bilateral air service agreement with the United States. This open skies agreement was crafted in November 2018, finally signed by both parties last month and goes into effect on Jan. 1. In effect, the U.S. and the U.K. will maintain operations as they did under the U.S.-EU open skies agreement of 2007.
As a member of the EU, for just a few more weeks, the U.K. takes part in the European Common Aviation Area (ECAA). Created in 2006, the ECAA gives U.K.-based air carriers access to 44 countries, which include the 27 EU nations and 17 other countries the EU pulled into the ECAA via horizontal agreements. The EU nations within the ECAA enjoy the widest options for routing. This covers commercial entry and exit (known as “third and fourth freedoms”) all the way to cabotage (known as “eighth and ninth freedoms”). Of course, none of the 17 non-EU members offer cabotage options. These freedoms of the skies designations were first set out in 1944 under the Convention on International Civil Aviation, also called the Chicago Convention.
Beyond the EU, the U.K. will have to busy itself establishing bilateral air service agreements with other countries as well. To date, bilateral agreements have been finalized with Albania, Canada, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco, Switzerland and the United States.
Once it is officially out of the EU trade bloc, the U.K. will be able to negotiate agreements with countries that the EU has not or will not. On the other hand, the U.K. and EU ought to re-ratify their Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement (CATA), which also expires on Dec. 31. If they cannot, and fail to agree to some sort of extension, both parties’ air carriers will see their operating licenses invalidated between them. Trying to maintain cabotage rights, if that were desired, would require moving carrier domiciles from one party to the other. Majority ownership would have to be swapped as well. Such a topsy-turvy move of, in effect, taking on foreign routing options at the expense of domestic ones would obviously be untenable. Barring any agreement, both parties might simply default to the typical elements covered in a standard bilateral air service agreement. This would limit commercial aviation activity to first-freedom through fifth-freedom routing.
The U.S.-U.K. and U.S.-EU open skies agreements now rest alongside each other. Just like a free trade agreement does not really mean free and unfettered trade flows, an open skies agreement is more about entry and exit routing than about intracountry routing. Beyond granting co-terminalization options, cabotage would have to be further negotiated. Just like the removal of most nontariff barriers would lead to true free trade, sovereign skies cannot really be considered open unless cabotage were granted to foreign passenger and air cargo carriers. Words have power but they can also have nuance. Just like an income tax cut is not really a gift from the government — it is only an allowance to hold on to more of one’s own income — free trade and open skies agreements are matters of degree and intent on the part of governments.
Click here to see other commentaries by Darren Prokop on American Shipper and FreightWaves.
Deutsche Post DHL’s supply chain division (CXE: DPW) has received a contract from the German state of Lower Saxony to store and transport COVID-19 vaccines and is completing negotiations with other federal states for vaccine logistics.
DHL said Tuesday it will use two sophisticated cold storage warehouses to handle the first 2.2 million vaccine doses for Lower Saxony at temperatures as low as minus 94 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 70 Celsius) and about 350 pallets of vaccination equipment. The COVID vaccines and related supplies will be delivered to vaccination centers and hospitals across the state.
The ultra-low temperature storage is a feature of the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and German partner BioNTech. The U.K. approved their mRNA vaccine last week and hospitals began administering the first doses Tuesday. A U.S. Food and Drug Administration panel is scheduled to meet Thursday for an emergency review of the Pfizer vaccine and the agency could give the green light for U.S. distribution by the end of the week.
The European Union’s drug agency will meet later this month to assess the safety of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for public use. If regulators give their approval, distribution in Europe could begin before the end of the year.
DHL has an extensive network of facilities worldwide to support the pharmaceutical and life sciences industries and invested early this year in deep freezer farms and extra cold storage equipment.
DHL facilities can also handle vaccines that can be stored at minus 4 degrees F and at regular refrigeration, between 35.6 degrees and 46.4 degrees F.
BioNTech has two manufacturing plants in Germany.
Integrated logistics companies are expected to take the lead in the initial rollout of vaccines being managed by governments. FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and UPS (NYSE: UPS), for example, will deliver the Pfizer vaccine in the U.S. and other vaccines being managed for the U.S. government by health care distributor McKesson Corp.
The UPS Healthcare division has significant experience distributing vaccines, supporting clinical trials and providing direct-to-patient delivery, with an extensive cold-storage network, real-time package tracking and dedicated freezer farms. FedEx has similar capabilities.
Both companies have also invested in machines to produce dry ice at their main package hubs — FedEx in Memphis, Tennessee, and UPS in Louisville, Kentucky.
Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by EricKulisch.
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GEODIS aims to have women in 25% of its leadership positions by 2023.
The global supply chain operator has formed an internal women’s network dedicated to giving both “male and female employees opportunities to express themselves, make suggestions, initiate or support actions that contribute positively to gender equality and that help increase the number of women in leadership positions.”
“The network is also intended to improve the reputation of the logistics and transport industry, a field traditionally dominated by men, to one with an image of greater equality and attractive to women,” the company announced last week.
The number of women in leadership positions at GEODIS has grown from 13% in 2017 to 18% today, according to Mario Ceccon, the company’s executive vice president of human resources.
“We are aiming for 25% by 2023,” Ceccon said.
The GEODIS Women’s Network includes a steering committee made up of female and male employees in such countries as the United States, France, Germany, Denmark and Singapore. “The GWN acts to promote inclusion, reduce professional disparities between men and women, improve the balance between work and private life and provide equal career prospects,” GEODIS said.
Women currently make up 40% of GEODIS’ workforce. Marie-Christine Lombard has served as CEO of the France-headquartered company since October 2012.
“With a woman as CEO, GEODIS is already signaling loud and clear that women have access to leadership positions,” Ceccon said.
The network also will encourage women to consider careers in logistics and transportation.
“Our program will help to change an outdated, male-dominated image of our sector,” Ceccon said.
RightShip, billed as the world’s largest maritime risk management and environmental assessment organization, has announced the appointment of Steen Brodsgaard Lund as its new CEO.
Steen will succeed Martin Crawford-Brunt, who is leaving RightShip on Dec. 18 after three years as CEO.
Lund will be based in Singapore and expand RightShip’s global reach from the maritime hub.
Lund has more than 30 years of experience in the maritime industry and since early 2019 has served as CCO and CDO at Executive Ship Management.
He previously headed Radio Holland’s activities in Asia. Lund also was the executive vice president and head of Asia Pacific for Germanischer Lloyd, and following the creation of DNV GL in 2013, he led the regional operation of the newly merged company until 2017.
During 21 years with A.P. Møller – Maersk, Lund was responsible for the Maersk Line network in the Americas, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
He also is a council member for the Singapore Shipping Association and chaired its digital transformation committee.
RightShip Chairman Rashpal Bhatti thanked outgoing CEO Crawford-Blunt for his “dedication to RightShip through a backdrop of difficult global economic conditions, IMO 2020 and the pandemic. He has steered the company well through this challenging time.”
Founded in 2001 with the mission to drive operational improvements in the global shipping industry, RightShip provides expertise in global safety, sustainability and social responsibility practices.
Bombardier has hired Bart Demosky as executive vice president and chief financial officer.
He replaces John Di Bert, who will be leaving the company, Montreal-based Bombardier said.
Bombardier said Demosky has more than 30 years of experience leading organizational transformations and building high-performing financial organizations in the transportation, energy, infrastructure and services industries. His previous leadership roles include serving as the president and CEO of Universal Rail Systems Inc., executive vice president and CFO of Canadian Pacific Railway and CFO of Suncor Energy.
With 52,000 employees, Bombardier has airplane and train production and engineering sites in more than 25 countries.
Towage operator Svitzer Europe has promoted Mattias Hellström to chief commercial officer.
Hellströmhas more than 25 years of experience in shipping and towage and joined Svitzer Europe in 2014 as managing director for Scandinavia. His role expanded to cover Svitzer’s operation in Germany in 2017.
Before joining Svitzer, he was the Sweden managing director for MSC. Hellström previously held several regional sales and management positions for Maersk Line.
Svitzer said with increasing growth opportunities in the terminal towage sector of the Americas region, it also is strengthening its organizational and managerial structure in order to pursue these opportunities. To support this growth, Svitzer has appointed Rutger Thulin as the managing director for the terminal towage cluster in the Americas, spanning Svitzer’s operations in Canada, Peru, Costa Rica, Statia and the Bahamas.
Thulin has been with Svitzer for seven years and for the past four years has served as the managing director for Brazil. He previously spent 14 years in managerial positions with A.P. Møller – Maersk.
Addressing the growth potential, Arjen Van Dijk, managing director of Svitzer Americas, said,“Although the competition is fierce, I firmly believe that our global ownership, footprint and experience, combined with in-depth regional and local knowledge, is an advantage, not only to us, but also to our customers, many of which are large global companies.”
Plus One Robotics
San Antonio-headquartered Plus One Robotics has hired Crystal Parrott as vice president of engineering.
Plus One said Parrott has a deep background in the robotics and automation industries and will be tasked with spearheading the product development of automation solutions for e-commerce fulfilment and distribution centers.
“The continued high volume in e-commerce is changing the way companies need to deliver their product to customers. Supply chain operators worldwide are challenged to maintain efficiencies while grappling with a critical labor shortage, a problem further exacerbated by COVID-19. These facilities are looking to technology and warehouse automation to fill the gap. Crystal is one of the brightest minds in the business, and Plus One’s clients will benefit immensely from her engineering leadership and market acumen,” said co-founder and CEO Erik Nieves.
Parrott previously was the vice president of the Robotics Center of Excellence at Dematic Corp. Prior to that, she spent 11 years leading the development of advanced robotics technology at the Southwest Research Institute.
Plus One Robotics was founded in 2016 with a mission to bring industrial robotics to warehouses.
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Container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd and Canadian Pacific Railway (NYSE: CP) are extending their rail service agreement to 2025 at the Port Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada.
According to CP, the agreement comes after “successful calls” to the Port Saint John this past summer, and Germany-headquartered Hapag-Lloyd will begin regular service with CP in 2021.
CP gained expanded access to the Port Saint John via its acquisition of the short line Central Maine & Quebec Railway. It also has connections via the Eastern Maine and New Brunswick Southern railways.
CP also serves Hapag-Lloyd at the ports of Vancouver and Montreal. Earlier this year, the railway said it hoped to provide 24-hour service between Saint John and Montreal by the end of 2020.
The rail service extension comes as CP seeks to expand market opportunities in Atlantic Canada and become a coast-to-coast railway. Both CP and competitor CN (NYSE: CNI) are also vying to provide additional access to the Midwest.
“Having Hapag-Lloyd call the Port of Saint John regularly is the first step in the port becoming a world-class gateway,” said CP President and CEO Keith Creel. “Through the Port of Saint John, CP enjoys about a 200-mile advantage over our competition into Montréal, Toronto and Chicago.
“This East Coast advantage bodes well for businesses in Atlantic Canada, customers across our network and for the broader supply chain. We are only just starting to unlock the potential that exists at the Port of Saint John,” Creel said.
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