Cartus top of the RMCs

The Cartus Corporation has earned the rank of No:1 for overall satisfaction among large relocation management companies in the 2017 International Managers Survey conducted by Trippel Survey & Research, LLC.

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BAR to leave FEDEMAC

The British Association of Removers (BAR) has announced a decision to leave FEDEMAC (Federation of European Movers Associations).  FEDEMAC’s main function is to express the concerns and needs of the moving industry on European level and to co-ordinate national activities with European impact.

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1,000th Neopanamax vessel passes through the expanded Panama Canal

 

Less than nine months after the historic inauguration of the expanded Panama Canal, managers have announced that the 1000th Neopanamax vessel has passed through the waterway, highlighting the importance of the route and customers’ continued faith in the safe, efficient service the Canal provides.

 

On Sunday, March 19, the containership Mediterranean Shipping Company’s MSC Anzu made the historic transit through the expanded canal, from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The Panama-flagged containership measures 299.98 meters in length and 48.23 meters in beam with a carrying capacity of 9,008 TEUs. During its transit, the ship called at Panamanian port terminals on the Pacific and Atlantic to discharge and load cargo on the way to its final destinations. The container ship is part of the SAWC-USA-NWC service between Europe, the United States and the South America West Coast that was consolidated last year to take advantage of the expanded Panama Canal.

 

Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said, “Today’s transit represents a considerable milestone, marking the industry’s strong adoption of the expanded Canal and its successful operations thus far.”

  

The container segment accounts for nearly half the transits through the Canal and represents its principal source of traffic. Fifty-three percent of containership cargo transiting the waterway does so using the expanded Canal. As of March 2017, the average number of Neopanamax vessels transiting the new lane per day is 5.9.

   

“Although the full impact will be felt gradually over time, we’re very encouraged by the success of the expanded Canal thus far as trade patterns continue to shift in favour of the route,” said Panama Canal’s Executive Vice President of Planning and Business Development, Oscar Bazan.

  

Ports around the world, and in particular along the U.S. East Coast, have already expanded or are in the process of deepening and widening their channels to accommodate the influx of Neopanamax vessel traffic due to the expansion. Many of these ports have witnessed record tonnage months, including the Ports of Charleston, Philadelphia and Savannah, which experienced record container volume growths in January of this year.

 

 

Image:  MSC Anzu in the new Panama Canal 

 

 

 

 

Bridge closure in Kuwait means delays for two years

 

The Ghazali bridge connecting the main seaport Shuwaikh to Kuwait city has been closed for a period of two years for road development works. The closure is likely to create traffic chaos until motorists become familiar with alternative routes. The temporary road under the bridge is only open to heavy trucks and trailers from 4-10pm Sunday – Thursday. 

 

The closure is likely to cause delays in handling containers from the port.  OMNI members should work closely with their agents in Kuwait to monitor the situation and advise clients of delays and additional costs that may accrue.

 

 

Import Delays at Apapa, Nigeria

Yinka at IAL Nigeria has advised that household goods shipments to Nigeria are now subjected to more intensive customs examinations due to an incident two weeks ago where a lot of guns and ammunition was found in an import shipment that arrived through the Apapa ports.

Consequently, we have noticed an increased number of officers attending the examinations which ultimately results in more boxes being pried open with an equal increase in levels of pilferage and indeed damage.

We will continue to try our best to avoid any unpleasant outcomes but will appreciate that prospective transferees are informed of the likelihood of delays and rummaged boxes.

Thank you.

Orphee Beinoglou receives growth award in Greece

Orphee Beinoglou in Greece has been honoured as one of only 20 winners in the country’s Awards for Growth and Competitivity ‘Growth Awards’, organised jointly by Eurobank and Grant Thornton. The aim was to reward enterprises that were able to combine high financial performance with a successful modern corporate management and who have the drive to contribute to the structure of the business environment and corporate culture in Greece.  The awards were made on Thursday, December 1st 2016 at the Athens Music Hall.

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Glenn Stephenson joins Mudanzas Gou

Mudanzas Gou in Mexico has recently appointed Glenn Stephenson as Director of Client Relations. Glenn began his career in the international relocation industry with The Viking Corporation in St. Thomas, USVI in 1977. From there, Glenn joined NorthAmerican International holding positions in Cairo, Egypt and returning to the headquarters office of North American Van Lines in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  

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Santos strike intensified

The port strike in Santos, Brazil, has intensified this week with the introduction of ‘Red Light Week’ until 16 December.  During this period, import cargoes will be retained in the terminals and the export shipments will undergo physical and documentary inspections.

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Strike called in Chile

 

Hellen Concha, Traffic Manager from Unipack in Santiago, Chile, has advised that the fiscal employees in the country have called a 72-hour strike in support of their wage demands.  Services such as customs offices, NSA, health department, and others government institutions will be affected.  This means that the processing of consignments arriving at the country’s ports and airports could be delayed while the strike continues.

More information as the situation develops

UPDATE – 02/11/16
 
Please be aware the strike of Fiscal Employees in Chile (ANEF) will continue for another 72 hours as an agreement with the Government has yet to be made.
(Monday 31st and  Tuesday 1st  were holidays in Chile)
 
More information as the situation develops

Momentous, Abels and Gerson merge

 

 

Momentous Relocation in London has announced that on Friday 14th October 2016, the company merged with Abels Moving Services and Gerson Relocation under common ownership led by Paul Evans. Phil Pertoldi, the current chairman of both Abels and Gerson, will remain with the new company as chairman of Abels Moving Services. The merger combines the strength of three leading moving and relocation brands delivering a wider menu of services, increased resources, and greater capacity to clients.

 

Under the Royal Warrant “By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen”, Abels Moving Services is a highly acclaimed specialist in residential and international moving services and is also a leader in commercial moving and new furniture distribution. Abels has a reputation for delivering exemplary service. 

 

Gerson Relocation (formerly Michael Gerson Ltd) has been synonymous with delivering unrivalled quality moving and relocation services to corporate clients since 1961. This attention to detail and customer focus led to the company becoming the very first relocation recipient of the ‘Queen’s Award for Export’; the company was also selected to move Margaret Thatcher both into and out of Number 10 Downing Street. 

 

Momentous Relocation is a leader in international moving, relocation, commercial distribution and the movement of fine arts. Over the last two years, the company has more than doubled in revenue.

 

Commenting on the merger, Paul Evans, said “We are very excited about the future of the new group, given the enormous strengths and reputation of the three brands and the combined experience. We are delighted that Phil Pertoldi will remain with the Group and I know he is excited about working with us to maintain the quality-driven ethos of all three companies while making sure we adapt and grow to meet the changing expectations and needs of all of our clients.”

 

Also commenting on the merger, Michael Gerson, ex-chairman of Gerson Relocation, said “Congratulations, it’s really exciting news to hear and fantastic for the industry! I wish the company every success.”

 

Please contact enquiries@momentousrelocation.com for further details. 

 

Shipping rates increase following Hanjin failure

 

Xeneta’s global community of shippers is reeling from the impact of the demise of Hanjin Shipping, the world’s seventh largest containership operator. Xeneta crowd-sources shipping rate data from more than 600 major international businesses, many of whom have now been hit by stranded inventory, rising prices and – in a shock development for a sector struggling with structural overcapacity – claims of under-capacity from the remaining liners.

 

Oslo-based Xeneta is a global benchmarking and market intelligence platform for containerized ocean freight. Its community of shippers provide it with up-to-date information across over 17 million contracted rates, covering more than 60,000 port-to-port pairings. This gives it, and its customers looking to negotiate the best rates, an unrivalled real-time snapshot of the market.

 

That snapshot isn’t pleasant viewing for shippers right now. “The Hanjin saga has the potential to redefine the container shipping landscape,” commented Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund. “For an industry that has struggled with collapsing rates, severe overcapacity (8.1% at the beginning of 2016) and devastated profit margins – with even Maersk down 90% year on year for Q2 – this marks an opportunity to finally regain the upper hand at the negotiating table.”

 

“Hanjin’s failure resulted in an immediate capacity reduction of up to 8% in transpacific and Asian-European routes and this gives competitors an obvious fillip. We’ve seen 2M (MSC and Maersk) moving to launch a new transpacific service, while the feedback we’ve received from our community details rising rates, stretched capacity, claims of broken contracts – when agreed at low prices – and a need to go to the spot market, where quotes of between one and three months are not being contracted.”

 

“In many ways the market has been turned on its head. Now it’s the liners flexing their muscles again. The question is, how long will this last?”

 

Berglund said that for many of the firm’s community it’s the stranded inventory that’s the number one priority, with an estimated USD 14.5 billion of goods marooned on vessels worldwide, belonging to some 8,300 different companies. Many of Xeneta’s customers have “hundreds of containers” stranded at sea.

 

That’s the immediate concern, but, as he explains, the long-term is also causing consternation. “Short term rates were already rising on the main Far East Asian to North European port route, the world’s most important trade channel, since hitting lows in March. Then the market average price for a 40’ container stood at USD 552, in late August it climbed to USD 1172 and now it’s USD 1834. Transpacific routes have climbed from USD 839 in March to USD 1887 now.

 

“As the year comes to an end the tendering/bidding season starts for many European shippers,” said Berglund. “This will be a wake-up call for the large-volume shippers who have maybe become accustomed to basking in long-term contracts at low rates. In a changed market the carriers won’t be as accommodating. Last term’s prices will suddenly be a distant memory.” 

 

The container segment has been stuck on a rollercoaster for years, Xeneta argues, and this latest corkscrew will do little to ease the sense of fluctuating rates and jolts in supply and demand.

 

“Stability is sorely lacking,” concluded Berglund, “and Hanjin could be the tip of the iceberg, as lenders tire of propping up players that have been limping along in this difficult market for too long. For the time being the carriers will enjoy exploiting the change of fortunes and their overcapacity gives them the means to step in and fill Hanjin’s hole. But this isn’t the long-term fix the industry needs.

 

“In this uncertain environment prices will continue fluctuating. That means shippers, freight forwarders and carriers need the latest data, from advanced software platforms like ours, to stay on top of developments and get the right price for their cargoes. There’s much more to come in this dynamic segment. I’d advise everyone to stay tuned.”

 

Strike at San Antonio Port, Chile

Strike of Employees in Chile

OMNI would like to thank Ward Van Lines for informing us that …”members of the Union, who demand better job benefits, have today called for a strike in San Antonio Port in Chile.
Shipments arriving and departing from this Port, will have to be transferred to other local Ports.
However this means, delay in the logistical operations.”

NB: Advised 7th September ’16. 

 

09/09/16 – UPDATE

The strike is ongoing. Unfortunately at this date no further information is available.

As soon as we are made of any updates we will share them with you.

 

22/09/16 – UPDATE

The strike is now over and operations are expected to gradually return to normal.

European commission fines truck manufacturers for breaking antitrust rules

 

The European Commission has found that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco, and DAF broke EU antitrust rules. These truck makers colluded for 14 years on truck pricing and on passing on the costs of compliance with stricter emission rules. The Commission has imposed a record fine of €2,926,499,000 (€2.9 billion).

 

MAN was not fined as it revealed the existence of the cartel to the Commission. All companies acknowledged their involvement and agreed to settle the case.

 

Commissioner for competition, Margrethe Vestager, said: “We have today put down a marker by imposing record fines for a serious infringement. In all, there are over 30 million trucks on European roads, which account for around three quarters of inland transport of goods in Europe and play a vital role for the European economy. It is not acceptable that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF, which together account for around 9 out of every 10 medium and heavy trucks produced in Europe, were part of a cartel instead of competing with each other. For 14 years they colluded on the pricing and on passing on the costs for meeting environmental standards to customers. This is also a clear message to companies that cartels are not accepted.”

 

The decision relates specifically to the market for the manufacturing of medium (weighing between 6 to 16 tons) and heavy trucks (weighing over 16 tons). The Commission’s investigation revealed that MAN, Volvo/Renault, Daimler, Iveco and DAF had engaged in a cartel relating to:

 

•the factory price of trucks

 

•the timing for the introduction of emission technologies for medium and heavy trucks to comply with the increasingly strict European emissions standards (from Euro III through to the currently applicable Euro VI)

 

•the passing on to customers of the costs for the emissions technologies required to comply with the increasingly strict European emissions standards.

 

The Commission’s investigation did not reveal any links between this cartel and allegations or practices on circumventing the anti-pollution system of certain vehicles (commonly referred to as “defeat devices”).

 

In setting the level of fines, the Commission took into account the respective companies’ sales of medium trucks and heavy trucks in the EEA, as well as the serious nature of the infringement, the high combined market share of the companies, the geographic scope and the duration of the cartel.

 

Under the Commission’s 2006 Leniency Notice, MAN received full immunity for revealing the existence of the cartel, thereby avoiding a fine of around €1.2 billion. For their cooperation with the investigation, Volvo/Renault, Daimler and Iveco benefited from reductions of their fines under the 2006 Leniency Notice. The reductions reflect the timing of their cooperation and the extent to which the evidence they provided helped the Commission to prove the existence of the cartel. 

 

 

 

European Commission bans GRIs

 

 

The Freight Transport Association (FTA) in the UK says the European Commission’s adoption of new pricing rules for shipping lines will modernise the industry and bring it into the 21st Century.

 

The new legislation follows a three-year EU investigation into price signalling – the announcement of general rate increases – which was highlighted by FTA. Members of the Association’s British Shippers’ Council first raised concerns about the uncompetitive behaviour in 2010 and a dossier was submitted to the Council to support the claims.

 

The shipping lines involved agreed to significantly change their pricing behaviour, which is reflected in the Commission’s decision under Article 9(1) of Regulation 1/2003 declaring the binding commitments offered by the lines – most notably that they will cease to publish General Rate Increase (GRI) announcements.

 

FTA’s Director of European and Global Policy, Chis Welsh, said: “FTA welcomes the Commission’s decision. It closes another chapter in the liner shipping industry by ending inappropriate liner conference-type pricing arrangements. We welcome recent statements by some lines to modernise their existing pricing arrangements as a result of the Commission’s commitments decision, thus bringing shipping into line with normal business practices.”

 

Fifteen shipping lines were involved in the EU enquiry and all agreed in February to cease announcement of general rate increases – instead publishing actual prices to customers on an individual basis. This was put to a ‘market test’ for a month to allow interested parties to comment before the Commission announced its decision.

 

During the enquiry, the Commission made ‘unannounced’ visits to 14 shipping lines. In its preliminary assessment, it expressed concern that the practice of price signalling could allow the lines to explore each other’s pricing intentions and to coordinate their behaviour.

 

Mr Welsh said: “This new ruling will bring transparency to pricing in the liner shipping industry and will hopefully remove the need for our members to resort to court proceedings for competition damages.”

 

Leo Ots leaves the moving industry

 

Leo Ots has advised that he has now left Ziegler in Switzerland.  He said that he has had a wonderful 40 months with a group of professional people.  “I enjoyed working with them and everybody under my general management level, steering the company in the right direction with positive growth results,” he said.

 

Of his partners and friends in OMNI Leo said: “You have all assisted me with my re-entry into the international moving business after an absence of some years. Working with all of you was like coming home again to my old Arthur Pierre days. The tonnage award that Willy Toedtli gave me during the last OMNI convention in Firenze is one of my highlights of the past year and also the proof that there will always be a market to provide top service handled between real professional companies. I am a 100% OMNI fan.”

 

Leo said that he has no immediate plans for the moment but moving is in his blood and he is “nearly sure” that he will be back in the industry one day.