German ports aid Latvia’s economic growth

German ports aid Latvia’s economic growth

In the first quarter of 2018, Latvia recorded the strongest real growth among European states. The seasonally adjusted rise of 5.1% has attracted positive interest.

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The reason for the good economic situation is strong domestic demand, driven by EU funded major projects, and greatly consuming private households. Goods flows in the Baltic States move not least of all via the Ports of Lübeck and Hamburg. Just how closely the German economy is linked to this Baltic state was showcased at an event in Liepaja, Latvia initiated by Port of Hamburg Marketing jointly with the Ports of Lübeck and Liepaja, as well as Stena Line.

In his address, Kaspars Ozoliņš, state secretary in the Latvian transport ministry, stressed: "Relations between Latvia and Germany have always been close, based on open dialogue and trustworthy cooperation. Germany is one of Latvia's most important strategic economic and trade partners, and our partnership is continually developing."

Ingo Egloff, Joint CEO of Port of Hamburg Marketing elaborated how important the Baltic Region, with the upcoming Baltic States, is for the Port of Hamburg: "In the rankings of the most important trading partners for the Port of Hamburg, 'supposedly little' Latvia plays a significant role." A dense network of feeder liner services excellently connect the Baltic State to Hamburg's overseas port.

The Port of Lübeck, too, with its ferry service to Latvia run by Stena Line is considered as an important pooling hub for goods flows between Germany and Latvia: "For the services to the Baltic States and Russia, Latvia, and more specifically Liepaja, is an important strategic partner. We are taking real steps to further strengthen the Lübeck – Liepaja axis," emphasized Sebastian Jürgens, CEO of Lübecker Hafen-Gesellschaft.

"We are looking forward to continue to grow our partnerships, business and freight volumes on the Travemunde-Liepaja route", said Oskars Osis, Stena Lines Freight Commercial Manager for Baltic Sea North.

In his address, Jānis Lapiņš, CEO of Liepaja Special Economic Zone Authority, emphasised the pleasing development of the Zone that belongs to the port. The Port of Liepaja has a major share of local freight, making up 40% of total cargo volume. Apart from the well-established ferry and Ro-Ro traffic, in the Port of Liepaja there is a considerable handling volume of German cargo.

This event for Latvian and German representatives from the worlds of business and politics aimed at strengthening existing relationships and to prepare the way for further developments between the ports and the business partners.

For Marina Basso Michael, Head of market development Baltic Region/Eastern Europe at Port of Hamburg Marketing – HHM, this meeting was the next step after a successful event almost two years ago in Riga: "Mutually shared information leads to more cooperation between trading partners. German and Latvian businesses and ports profit equally," stated Marina Basso Michael. "Latvian logistics profits from the transit traffic with Russia and the other CIS states, making a major contribution to the national gross value-added."

Valmet Automotive deploys a fleet of over 100 electric forklifts at its Uusikaupunki plant

Valmet Automotive deploys a fleet of over 100 electric forklifts at its Uusikaupunki plant

Valmet Automotive has acquired over 100 electric forklifts from Toyota Material Handling Finland Oy for internal logistics at the Uusikaupunki plant.

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The value of this agreement is several million euros, making it the largest forklift investment in Finland. The acquisition improves the occupational safety at the plant and significantly reduces the emissions and operating costs created by forklift traffic.

As a result of the deal, only electric forklifts will be used at the plant. Forklifts have a critical role in the material flow of vehicle production. Electric forklifts offer longer service intervals, fewer maintenance targets and lower energy costs compared to fuel powered forklifts. Also the working environment improves when exhaust emissions are removed.

At the same time, a significant share of trucks powered by lead-acid batteries are replaced with new forklifts powered by lithium-ion batteries to further enhance the efficiency of internal logistics. Compared with lead-acid battery, the shorter charging of lithium-ion battery saves working time, its life cycle is about triple and the energy consumption is about 30 percent lower.

"On the Finnish scale, the size of the vehicle plant's forklift fleets is significant, the annual utilization rate is high and the material volume transported with the forklifts is absolutely enormous. This sets strict demands on forklift durability, maintenance operations and life-cycle costs," says Pasi Nieminen, CEO, Toyota Material Handling Finland Oy.

"The transition to electric-powered equipment and lithium-ion battery technology will bring annual savings of hundreds of thousands of euros on the forklifts' operating costs. Improving occupational safety and reducing environmental emissions support the sustainability strategy of the car plant," says Ismo Haaparanta, VP Supply Chain Management, Valmet Automotive.

JAXPORT’S Board of Directors elect John Falconetti as Chairman

JAXPORT’S Board of Directors elect John Falconetti as Chairman

The JAXPORT Board of Directors selected new officers during its regular monthly meeting, unanimously electing Jacksonville business and civic leader John Falconetti as Chairman.

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Falconetti is Chairman and CEO of Jacksonville-based print services provider Drummond, one of the fastest growing printers in the country. He previously served as JAXPORT Chairman from 2014 through 2015 and has also served in leadership positions for numerous high-level state and local boards.

Falconetti and the following officers will serve through Sept. 30, 2019:

Vice Chairman: John Baker, Executive Chairman of FRP Holdings, Inc.
Treasurer: Jamie Shelton, President of bestbet Jacksonville
Secretary: Wendy Hamilton, President, Eventide Investments of Florida, Inc.

Other members of the JAXPORT Board of Directors include Immediate Past Chairman Ed Fleming, Retired CEO/President, Atlantic Marine Holding Co, LLC; Dr. John Newman, Senior Pastor, The Sanctuary at Mt. Calvary and J. Palmer Clarkson, Founder, President and CEO of Bridgestone HosePower, LLC.

"We are in a period of incredible opportunity for JAXPORT and our community. During my previous seven years of service on this Board, I have never seen the kind of enthusiasm and momentum that we are currently enjoying," said Chairman-Elect Falconetti. "I look forward to working with my fellow board members and our dynamic CEO Eric Green to further increase this organisation's significant contributions to the region's economy."

Board Vice Chairman Baker will serve as Chairman of the Audit Committee and will be joined by Shelton and Newman.

JAXPORT's unpaid, appointed seven-member Board of Directors provides policy guidance. Four board members are appointed by the Mayor of Jacksonville and three members are appointed by the Governor of Florida.

JAXPORT is Florida's largest container port complex and one of the nation's top vehicle-handling ports.

Tokyo International container terminal reaches milestone of handling 20 Million TEUs

Tokyo International container terminal reaches milestone of handling 20 Million TEUs

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. announced that the MOL-operated Tokyo International Container Terminal (TICT) reached a major milestone on August 21, a cumulative total of 20 million TEUs handled.

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The terminal started operations in November 1971, and in December of that year, the full containership Kamakura Maru, serving the Asia-Europe route, was the first vessel to call at TICT. After 47 years of successful operations, TICT becomes the first terminal in the Port of Tokyo to handle 20 million TEUs.

A ceremony to celebrate the occasion drew distinguished guests from the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Bureau of Port and Harbor and Tokyo Port Terminal Co., Ltd., which operate and manage the port and harbor and the wharf at Tokyo Port, executives from Ocean Network Express (Japan), Ltd., the cargo owner whose containers put TICT over the 20 million mark.

TICT is striving to enhance and expand its container terminal capacities through measures such as the introduction of an aseismically designed wharf and a series of high-capacity gantry cranes, establishing stable operations with cargo volumes increasing and successively larger vessels calling at the port.

GEFCO Group completes acquisition of GLT

GEFCO Group completes acquisition of GLT

GEFCO Group, a global provider of industrial supply chain services and the European leader in automotive logistics, has announced the completion of its acquisition of GLT, the Europe-Morocco transport specialist. The planned acquisition was announced on January 11, 2018 and the purchase has received European Regulatory approval.

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The acquisition of GLT will enable Gefco to strengthen its position and expertise in the region while consolidating and expanding its customer portfolio, particularly in the automotive, fashion and retail sectors.

Luc Nadal, Chairman of the Management Board of Gefco, commented: "We are very pleased to have completed the acquisition of GLT. GLT brings over two decades of strong expertise in logistics flows between Europe and Morocco. We are happy to welcome all GLT employees to the Gefco Group and we look forward to combining our operational know how to create more value for our customers."

Founded in 1998, GLT is recognised as the specialist for fully secured logistics flows through the strait of Gibraltar and is the leading operator of the gateway between Algeciras and Tangiers. The company ensures over 16,000 crossings per year, with 75 trucks and 380 trailers.

GLT will be owned and managed by Gefco Spain, as a specialised business entity for the Europe-Morocco Gateway. The Spanish subsidiary of Gefco has more than 30 years of experience in high quality logistics, with 700 employees and 5,000 industrial clients.

Groupe PSA’s parts warehouse in Coventry to be re-located to Luton

Groupe PSA’s parts warehouse in Coventry to be re-located to Luton

In order to streamline their operations, Groupe PSA has decided to re-locate its parts warehouse in Tile Hill, Coventry to Vauxhalls’s Aftersale Warehouse in Luton.

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The French automaker notified the workers at this facility that it has started a 45 days consultation with the trade union, Unite, over the future of the site as also work towards ensuring that the job losses arising out of this move is kept at a minimum. This move will affect approximately 100 jobs.

Groupe PSA also claims that according to a study that they carried out, Vauxhall's parts distribution centre in Luton would fit perfectly with the scale of the Group's activities in the UK. This move is expected to help the automaker become more competitive in the demanding market.

Apart from this, Groupe PSA is also mulling moving 100 head office functions, currently located at Vauxhall's Luton Head Office, to the Group's Head Office in Coventry.

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