Exchanging Places was back on the road again yesterday in London working with lorry drivers and cyclists helping to tackle the problem of cycle accidents in the capital by raising safety awareness for all road users. The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed its support of the Metropolitan Police (Met)…
Exchanging Places was back on the road again yesterday in London working with lorry drivers and cyclists helping to tackle the problem of cycle accidents in the capital by raising safety awareness for all road users.
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has expressed its support of the Metropolitan Police (Met) initiative, which helps provide HGV drivers and cyclists with an understanding of each others perspective. Through this they aim to ensure both road users recognise the risks and position themselves appropriately when on the roads.
The FTA s Head of Urban Logistics Policy Christopher Snelling commented: Raising awareness and, through that, promoting better and more defensive behaviour all round will be the best way to improve safety on our roads for all. More is needed, for drivers as well as cyclists; The Exchanging Places programme is a good example of what can be done when we work together to share the road safely.
The most recent Exchanging Places event was held yesterday outside Charing Cross Station, at which leading global insurer RSA partnered the Met and the programme, to produce a short video, supported by Transport for London. Published to YouTube the film is available to be viewed at: (www.youtube.com/watch?v=UN7mJR64tvs); the video follows a cyclist and an HGV driver who experience what it is like to be on the road from the other s perspective.
Peter Collins, RSA head of Corporate Responsibility said: As a major insurer, we want to play a role in making roads safer for all users. With the production of this film, we hope it will provide cyclists and drivers with a new perspective, avoid accidents and ultimately save lives.
The Metropolitan Police Cycle Task Force was responsible for setting-up Exchanging Places events in order to raise awareness of cycle safety. People are invited to sit in the driver s seat of the lorry cab in order to help them better understand of what an HGV driver can and can t see, especially in regards to cyclists on the nearside and directly in front of the vehicle..
Snelling added: Freight operators realise how important raising safety awareness is for all road users and these type of events play a big part in this. They are made possible by logistics companies providing vehicles and drivers free of charge at substantial cost to themselves. This commitment illustrates how the logistics industry is working towards trying to improve safety on our roads. FTA commends all companies who have provided such support and ask all our members to support these events where ever possible.
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Exports of liquefied natural gas are contracting for a second year, diminishing the number of available cargoes at a time when companies from Vitol Group to Glencore Xstrata Plc (GLEN) are expanding their trading teams.
Global exports in the first eight months were 5 percent lower than a year ago, according to data from Poten & Partners Inc., a New York-based shipbroker. Thirty-five companies now trade LNG in Europe, from fewer than 10 a decade ago, said Douglas Ferguson, a managing director at Webber Chase Ltd., which recruits for the commodities industry.
Banks and trading houses are expanding in the $150 billion LNG market, lured by volumes that jumped 38 percent in the past five years. While demand is still growing as nations favor cleaner fuels, the number of spot cargoes stagnated at about 25 percent of the total since 2011. Rising domestic demand, fewer-than-expected Angolan shipments and disruptions in Nigeria and Egypt have cut the number of tradable sources, meaning nobody s making a fortune trading LNG, Vitol Chief Executive Officer Ian Taylor said last month.
With output from Angola still limited, it is very difficult for newcomers to source reasonably priced flexible cargoes, said Yves Vercammen, the general manager at the trading and shipping unit of Eni SpA (ENI), which has long-term contracts for LNG from Algeria, Nigeria and Qatar. On the other hand, there is a growing financial trading market that LNG traders definitely need to be in now. Price Boost
Spot and short-term imports, defined as contracts lasting four years or less, reached a record 25.4 percent of total trade in 2011, from 16.3 percent in 2009, before dropping to 25 percent last year, according to the International Group of LNG Importers, or GIIGNL, a Paris-based industry group. The ratio probably will be little changed in 2013, Javier Moret, head of LNG origination at RWE Supply & Trading, predicted in September.
The lack of cargoes is boosting prices, with LNG for delivery to northeast Asia in the next four to eight weeks averaging $18.10 per million British thermal units in the week ended Nov. 11, or 30 percent more than a year earlier, according to data from World Gas Intelligence in New York.
Traders, producers and consumers are meeting in Paris today for the three-day World LNG Summit, with representatives from more than 120 companies as well as government officials.Exponential Growth
About 150 people are involved in LNG trading and origination in Europe, according to Webber Chase s Ferguson. The biggest teams are at London-based BP Plc (BP/), Paris-based Total SA (FP) and Moscow-based OAO Gazprom (GAZP) while Citigroup Inc. (C) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC) are the biggest banks transacting the fuel, he said. Glencore hired traders from Morgan Stanley in September.
Although there are a finite number of vessels, the number of LNG traders and originators has grown exponentially in recent years, Ferguson said by e-mail from Singapore. The trading market was non-existent a decade ago but we have seen many new entrants challenge the monopoly of the majors in this capital intensive, but potentially ultra-high-reward industry.
Traders can profit from the difference in costs between regions. LNG for delivery to southwest Europe cost $12.60 per million Btu in the week ended Nov. 11, compared with $18.10 in northeast Asia, according to WGI assessments.
Angola LNG, the only production plant with no long-term contracts, is operating at about 20 percent capacity and will ship three more cargoes this year, on top of five since it started in June, Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said in an interview this month. The $10 billion facility expected to load at least 13 cargoes this year, George Kirkland, vice chairman at operator Chevron Corp. (CVX), said Aug. 2.Force Majeure
Supplies to Nigeria LNG s Bonny Island plant were disrupted this year by leaks in a pipeline caused by people trying to steal fuel and a three-week blockade of the terminal because of a dispute over levies. A six-month force majeure, a legal clause that excuses a supplier from meeting its delivery commitments because of events beyond its control, was only lifted in April.
Egypt stopped supplying gas to the Segas LNG plant because of rising domestic demand, Sherif Haddara, chairman of state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corp., said in February. Egyptian LNG, the country s second liquefaction plant, diverted half its gas to the domestic market, BG Plc, which buys from the facility, said in May.
Exporters worldwide produced at about 85 percent of capacity in 2013, Andrew Walker, BG s vice president for global LNG, said today at the World LNG Summit.
Global LNG exports, including reloads from import terminals, were equivalent to almost 209 billion cubic meters of gas in the first eight months, compared with 220 billion a year earlier, the Poten data show. Shipments fell 0.6 percent in 2012, the first annual drop in the data starting in 2002. Trade contracted 1.9 percent last year, the first decline in three decades, GIIGNL estimates.Wonderful Colleagues
There are very few freely tradable sources, therefore we will bid on every single one of them, Vitol s Taylor said at a conference in London on Oct. 1, sitting on a panel with Gunvor CEO Torbjorn Tornqvist and Alex Beard, the head of Glencore s oil unit. The trouble is our wonderful colleagues here on the platform will also bid on every single one of them.
Supply will fail to keep pace with consumption until at least 2015, according to Bank of America. Regasification capacity, a proxy for demand, will expand as much as five times faster than production capacity next year, and prices in Asia may reach a record in the next several months, the bank said in a report Nov. 13.
Japan, the biggest buyer, shut most of its atomic plants after the Fukushima disaster in 2011 and South Korea, the second-biggest consumer, decided in May to halt two nuclear reactors. Import capacity in China, India, Singapore and Malaysia is increasing, boosting demand for cargoes, Bank of America said.Capacity Increase
Global production capacity will increase by 130 billion cubic meters by 2018 as 12 new liquefaction plants open, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said in a report last week. There were 89 liquefaction plants operating at the end of last year with annual capacity of 384 billion cubic meters.
Supply will be boosted from 2015 as projects from Australia to the U.S. start producing, GIIGNL said in June. Trade will increase 31 percent by 2018, from last year s levels, the group said. International trade in LNG reached 236.6 million tons in 2012, from 171.1 million tons in 2007, GIIGNL estimates.
Interest has been growing particularly as participants find new uses for LNG, said George Stein, the New York-based managing director of Commodity Talent LLC, a recruitment company. Interest on Wall Street has grown as well as interest in the large merchant trading firms. Banner Year
Demand for traders with experience in the Atlantic is rising as companies in London seek to get everything in place so that 2015 can be a banner year, said Ferguson of Webber Chase. A senior trader can earn $300,000 to $500,000 a year and as much as $1 million if they meet earnings targets, he said.
The LNG market is valued at more than $150 billion, according to Rob West, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein in London. That s based on the 240 million tons traded last year at an average price of $13 per thousand cubic feet. Demand will reach 480 million tons by 2035, Bernstein said in a September report.
While previously only companies with stakes in liquefaction plants bought and sold the fuel, more trading houses are now transacting cargoes, said Laurent Maurel, the senior vice president for strategy, markets and LNG at Total.
Successful LNG trading businesses typically take at least two years to build, Ferguson said. A handful of trading houses and an even smaller number of investment banks have got it right by developing innovative LNG businesses without spending billions of dollars in investments. Source: Bloomberg
As 2013 Road Safety Week was launched today (18 November) the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has supported the national campaign by voicing the importance to drivers to stay focussed and not be distracted by the phone when behind the wheel. The FTA has enforced the message of this years Road Safety Week,…
As 2013 Road Safety Week was launched today (18 November) the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has supported the national campaign by voicing the importance to drivers to stay focussed and not be distracted by the phone when behind the wheel.
The FTA has enforced the message of this years Road Safety Week, which has the theme of tune into road safety by calling on drivers to turn off their phones or to put them in the boot, and urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who s driving.
Christopher Snelling, FTA Head of Urban Logistics and Regional Policy said: The behaviour of the road user is the most important element in ensuring road safety, and it s the thing we all have within our immediate control. When travelling we all need to focus on the road and the users around us, so we can keep ourselves and others safe .
Despite it being a decade after hand-held mobiles were banned at the wheel, figures revealed today showed that 575,000 motorists have been prosecuted for using a handset at the wheel or being otherwise distracted while driving.
Snelling added: FTA members of course know that it is illegal to use a hand-held phone to text or call at the wheel, and recognise that anyone trying to multi-task when behind the wheel can be distracted. However, in support of Road Safety Week we would discourage any driver from taking part in a phone conversation as it can affect their ability to control a vehicle. We believe it is imperative that all road users share the road safely whether you are driving, cycling or walking it is vital to focus on keeping yourself and others safe .
Distraction isn t just an issue for drivers; for people on foot and cycling, being sidetracked by a mobile phone, or not being able to hear due to listening to music can be lethal. Negotiating roads need everyone to give their full care and attention, and to share roads safely.
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If you re a UK based manufacturer, you may have recently seen an increase in the demand for your goods overseas. Perhaps you haven t exported your goods before, or have only done it a few times. It will seem like a daunting task, but that s why it is a good idea to appoint a Freight Forwarder to handle your export shipment for you.
Mercator Cargo is a UK based Freight Forwarder, we have been running for over 20 years, and are still managed and run by the same family. We are a small team of experts in international shipping. Our dedicated export department can assist you in exporting your goods to almost anywhere in the world.
The Government has been saying for some time that international trade (particularly exports) will help the UK economy grow. Now is the perfect time to take that first step into the international trade arena and start exporting your UK manufactured goods. International trade can massively boost a small to medium sized company.
The UK has had a few exposed years in terms of media coverage, what with the London 2012 Olympics and the Queen s Diamond Jubilee, the Royal Wedding and so on. As such, there is a greater demand in the world marketplace for UK branded goods.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the export market for the UK for the second quarter of 2013 has been the highest on record (at 78.4bn). If you think your company would like a slice of this huge potential, then perhaps it is time to seriously consider exporting your goods worldwide.
If you are in the stage of arranging some international sales, then it is always a good idea to also tempt your buyers by offering freight included (this can be seen as favourable as it would reduce their workload). We can offer a range of services, from just freight, to a full door to door service.
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How on earth in austerity Britain can we afford Clegg s 600m giveaway, asked the Daily Mail s front page headline this morning, as if this was a bizarre luxury, a peculiar whim by the coalition s junior partners.
There are a number of ways of addressing this, but it does imply just how strange the idea of prevention and investment to prevent is to the English soul.
Never mind that the Finnish approach to care and youth justice frontloads its spending into the early years to cut spending in later years the reverse of our pattern in the UK. Never mind that Nurse-Family Partnerships, a mentoring programme for at-risk families giving birth in New York City, with 30 years of data, shows that savings carry on into until the baby is in its early twenties. English policy-makers seem not to get it (though, yes I know, Family-Nurse Partnerships1 (the UK version) have started here too).
So, of course the initiative to provide free school meals for the first three years in primary school is welcome and important too. It is prevention in action. But there are two provisos that you can t ignore.
One is that prevention is a far bigger challenge than school meals. It requires a constant effort to push spending further back up the chain of causality. It means blurring departmental boundaries until they practically disappear it is ridiculous that prevention should be a burned sacrifice on the altar of long-running rivalry between Defra and the Department of Health on food.
And then there is the cost-benefit problem, constantly justifying prevention spending according to what it would save on budgets long gone by when real prevention ought to mean a whole new kind of budgeting and a whole new understanding of what causes what.
But there is another proviso, and it is this.
Spending like this can potentially have a double or triple effect. It could be used to kick-start the local food economy in every area a huge injection of economic localisation. It could mean a whole range of new food production and distribution enterprises, keeping the rewards local.
Alternatively it could go to a handful of big providers, on the grounds that trucking their turkey-chicken nuggets 300 miles a day for reheating is somehow more efficient.
One of the most exciting new food enterprises in Dorset started in reaction to Rentokil trucking in free school meals from Nottinghamshire (see picture).
It matters enormously which policy is pursued. One maximises the knock-on effects of prevention. The other is a waste of time and resources in comparison, and won t result in effective employment for the disadvantaged children who eat the meals when they reach adulthood.
Company Responsible to Bill Overseas Trucks Carrying Freight in the UK Announced UK Northgate Public Services1, which has a track record in delivering IT solutions to central Government departments, has been appointed by the Department for Transport (DfT2) to develop and operate the foreign operator payment system for the forthcoming HGV road user levy. The toll system to ensure road haulage outfits pay their way towards the upkeep of British roads will apply to all trucks that weigh 12 tonnes and more using the UK road network. The new time-based user charge will come into effect on 1 April 2014 and will ensure that for the first time, foreign HGV s contribute to the costs they impose whilst engaged in shipping freight, whether involved in import/export activities or cabotage. The levy has been set in line with EU legislation with the rate paid reflecting vehicle weight and axle configuration. There are seven levy bands which align with existing Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bands. For a 40 tonne 5 axle artic, the most common type of foreign vehicle coming to the UK, operators will pay 10 per day or 1,000 per year. The charge is designed to be cost neutral for UK hauliers, through offsetting reductions in VED payments and the requisite changes to VED will be included in the Finance Bill 2014. The foreign operator payment system will enable operators or drivers from overseas to purchase the levy in advance before entering the UK through a number of sales channels including online, telephone and point of sale terminals. The system will also create a database to enable authorities to identify hauliers who have not paid and the proposals were warmly welcomed by UK operator representatives when details were announced a year ago3 following the original DfT statement4 in January 2012. Transport Minister Stephen Hammond said this week: Getting the foreign operator payment system right will be crucial to the success of the levy. The system will be easy for foreign carriers and their drivers to access and straightforward to use. Its design also sends an important message to those foreign operators who think about avoiding paying. If you don t pay, or underpay, you will be caught and face a 300 fine. Northgate Public Services won the contract after a competitive tendering process, and will be responsible for the design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of a foreign operator payment system for the HGV levy. The agreement will initially run until 2019. David Meaden, Chief Executive of Northgate said: The foreign operator payment system will provide a simple and effective means of ensuring that foreign hauliers who use the UK road network contribute to the cost of its upkeep. By re-purposing existing technology, the programme can be delivered in a shorter timescale and with lower costs and risk than would otherwise be possible. The majority of UK HGV s will see no increase in costs as reductions in Vehicle Excise Duty will fully offset the cost of the levy. The Government says that it is working hard to ensure that where cost increases are faced, these are kept to a minimum. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) will have primary responsibility for enforcing the levy in Great Britain and the Driver and Vehicle Agency (DVA) in Northern Ireland.
Zen Yaworsky, Programme Director of the Supply Chain Academy, takes a look at how forwarders are organised and how they set about doing their work.
I took a stand for my company at a logistics exhibition last year and spent three days engaging with visitors on the subject of developing and improving the supply chain capability within their organisations. My attempts to enter into a conversation with one chap, a freight forwarder of the very old school, didn t go so well. He was not in the mood to slow down or make eye contact and with a curl of his lip he dismissed me with the comment, I ve been a forwarder for 38 years and there is nothing you can teach me.
Most of the work I do is with manufacturers and retailers, helping to improve their teams capabilities to understand and optimise their supply chains. Until this year the academy didn t class forwarding companies as typical customers but recently I have been doing some research and came up with some pretty alarming facts when it comes to freight forwarders.
- 49% of the workforce has below NVQ level 2 qualification
- 47% are over the age of 40 years with only 10% between 16 and 25 years
- The only requirements for becoming a freight forwarder are a phone and broadband connection.
When you think about it that s a really unappealing cocktail. It can be summed up as an ageing workforce that is desperately unqualified and which is not being refreshed by new blood and, if my friend at the exhibition is at all representative of his colleagues, one which is steadfastly resistant to change .
Freight forwarding is hard these days, really hard. And it s demanding more and more from forwarding organisations if they want to stay in the game. The economics of the freight market today would suggest that it won t be long before there is some serious consolidation; after all a freight forwarder can t live on nothing for long, and nothing or close to nothing is what a lot of the freight forwarding companies are going to be making in fact a lot are reporting crippling negatives.
Before 2010, the ways of doing business were very much grounded on the relationship the forwarder had developed with the shipper and the shipping line; where the relationship was good then the business was good and so relationship management was and is still seen to be a core skill. Formal contracts were rare, almost unheard of, and there was little that couldn t be resolved by a jolly good dinner and few bottles of wine.
These days there is a very harsh wind that blows. Freight forwarders are under crushing pressure from both the shipper and the lines in a market economy that no-one can second guess.
From what I can see, the majority of forwarders haven t done much to change their game in response. I meet more and more people who are relying on their experience to try and get them through enormously volatile times, times which are inverting the normal rules of engagement. Experience may be the wrong solution.
Freight forwarders need to act fast if they want to have any control over their fortunes. There is a need to introduce new blood and there is a serious need to improve the current capabilities of the industry which are looking as inappropriate and outmoded as mullet hairstyles and wide lapels.
We are watching with interest the development and launch of The Novus Trust (www.novus.uk.com)1; an inspired initiative which is using really imaginative ways of attracting bright young talent into the forwarding, logistics and supply chain worlds. We will align ourselves closely with that organisation as our philosophies are very similar. Novus Trust will work with Huddersfield University and the stable of sponsoring companies who they have on board to develop young people and significantly, then guarantee them a job on graduation. But it will be four years before the first of these bright youngsters hit the ground (it s a three-year degree with a one-year placement). In the meantime forwarders still need to get hold of the capability problem.
At the Academy, we offer a range of courses covering all aspects of the supply chain, but the one which I am concentrating on developing, specifically for freight forwarders, is a course which is sorely needed by just about all the freight forwarders I know.
The Supply Chain Academy has some of the country s best negotiation training partners working with it and I have been playing back to them the precarious position that freight forwarders are faced with today. We agreed that if there really is a squeezed middle in this country then it is probably entirely occupied by freight forwarders and they are trying to rely on redundant experience to manage their positions and the critical profitability of their organisations. We came to the rapid conclusion that forwarders are desperately in need of modern, well-structured and skilfully delivered negotiation skills development.
Negotiation is a real science; it takes detailed planning, well-honed commercial acumen and a sophisticated understanding of the person and organisation on the other side of the table. It s no longer a simple relationship-centred bargaining session but rather a complex deployment of behavioural technologies such as Neuro-Lingustic Programming and Emotional Intelligence, manipulation techniques and subliminal linguistics. There is the need for detailed preparation and forensic analysis of the positions of the sellers (the lines) and the buyers (the shippers).
It will take us until Q1 of next year before this course is ready to launch. It s not the sort of stuff that will appeal to my sneering friend at the exhibition, but for those who are hungry to succeed and are committed to changing the way that they do business in order develop a competitive advantage, then this will make powerful sense.
The truth of the matter is that freight forwarders are purchasing professionals and it s imperative that they start to invest seriously in their capability development and assert themselves in the negotiating arena. It will require real change, but then as Charles Darwin said almost 160 years ago: It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor even the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.
The PTV Group, which has recently become a Gold Associate Member of the Road Haulage Association (RHA), is expanding its activities in the UK.
The RHA is a trade association which represents members of the road haulage industry, together with allied businesses. It provides expert advice and support for its members. Profitability, compliance and sustainability in the road transport industry are our key focus points. We have found that PTV Group offering is relevant to our members, giving them a good starting point for promoting green logistics, says Richard Ellithorne, Director of Operations, RHA.
The transport route planner PTV MapGuide plans and optimises routes and calculates toll costs as well as CO2 emissions.
James de Roo, Business Development Manager UK, PTV Group, commented: The RHA is one of the UK s most respected associations for road hauliers. The opportunity to become a Gold Associate member is pivotal for PTV in reaching UK s largest base of logistic providers and an honour for us as well. With ongoing sales success across our product portfolio and a continuing strong interest in our optimisation solutions, we look forward to expanding our market presence.