Last week we noted that Volvo Trucks is betting on the fuel DME (dimethyl ether) as a super-clean alternative to diesel, and the company will soon launch a line of vehicles for the US market designed specifically to run on the stuff. We also noticed a catch, though. DME can be produced from natural gas as well as biogas, and right now Volvo seems to be quite excited by the nonrenewable part of the equation, at least as far as the US market is concerned. On the other hand, Volvo s fuel partner in the US, Oberon Fuels, has just received a grant to run a biogas-to-DME project in California, which could hint at healthy role for biogas in DME s future.
Cows by JelleS.
What s So Bad About Natural Gas?
For those of you who are new to the topic, there is no question that natural gas beats other fossil fuels in terms of greenhouse gas emissions when burned. However, in terms of lifecycle emissions and other impacts related to the drilling method called fracking1 (short for hydraulic fracturing, which involves pumping a chemical brine underground) the gas industry has some serious splaining to do.
Evidence has been mounting about significant local impacts from natural gas fracking and related fracking waste2 issues including water contamination3 and earthquakes4 as well as community disruption related to truck traffic, noise and the introduction of industrial activity in non-industrial areas.
A growing body of evidence is also beginning to hint that methane leakage from natural gas fields5 could contribute to significant lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions that cancel out any advantage natural gas has at the burn point.
That s why we give DME produced from natural gas the stinkeye6, at least until more is known about the role that the natural gas production lifecycle plays in greenhouse gas emissions, and until there is a more reliable regulatory framework for addressing local impacts.
The Road To Renewable DME
The use of renewable feedstocks presents an altogether different picture, and Oberon Fuels7 checked in with CleanTechnica earlier this week to remind us that its DME production system does indeed produce the fuel from both natural gas and renewable biogas feedstocks that are generated by the decomposition of agricultural waste and other biomass.
As we noted earlier, the company has engineered modular DME production systems that can be located at or near the source of the feedstock, which reduces greenhouse gas emissions related to biomass transportation.
For large farms, that transportation benefit gets doubled. Oberon cites the example of a sugar beet producer, which generates a large amount of agricultural waste. The waste can go to a regional Oberon DME facility right nearby, and the fuel can go right back to the farm to power trucks and agricultural equipment such as tractors and pumps.
A Pilot Project For Renewable DME
Announced earlier this month, the project pairs Oberon and Volvo Trucks with supermarket giant Safeway, Inc., to run heavy duty trucks on DME produced from renewable feedstock including agricultural waste and post-consumer food waste. It s starting off with two trucks, which doesn t sound all that exciting, but given Safeway s previous experience with renewable fuel9 and the fact that it has an enormous fleet servicing its 1,641 stores, there is an enormous potential for growth.
That s all well and good, but while we re taking another look at Oberon s website we notice that there is another potential market for the company s modular DME facilities, and that is the harvesting of stranded natural gas from remote locations. Until the regulatory framework tightens up, expanding that market is going to introduce natural gas fracking into new areas and new communities, and add another area of concern to the growing list of risks and impacts.
Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey13 and Google+14.
- ^ cleantechnica.com (cleantechnica.com)
- ^ planetsave.com (planetsave.com)
- ^ cleantechnica.com (cleantechnica.com)
- ^ cleantechnica.com (cleantechnica.com)
- ^ triplepundit.com (www.triplepundit.com)
- ^ cleantechnica.com (cleantechnica.com)
- ^ oberonfuels.com (www.oberonfuels.com)
- ^ oberonfuels.com (www.oberonfuels.com)
- ^ sfgate.com (www.sfgate.com)
- ^ tina m casey on twitter.com (twitter.com)
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- ^ 996 Posts (cleantechnica.com)
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Our client is seeking an Operations Manager to join their Seafreight department. The successful applicant will need to support the Seafreight General Manager with the day to day delivery of the operation, overseeing all teams including Ocean Import, Export, Invoicing & Compliance and the Key Account Executives. The main responsibility of this role is to work closely with the relevant managers to deliver quality and service to customers whilst driving growth through retention, development, margin improvement and operational excellence.
Main Duties will include:
- Oversee the Ocean Import and Export freight planning to ensure the customer s needs are met.
- Full responsibility for operational compliance and validity of rate levels with continued review.
- Ensures only approved partners and agents are used by both import and export departments.
- Act as deputy in the absence of the General Manager ensuring continued smooth running of the ocean import and export departments.
- Directly own relationships with key suppliers taking responsibility for the management of their service performance
- Production of reports and presentations where needed relating to pricing levels, gross profit, budget and overall performance of the Ocean Freight teams.
- To ensure compliance with Security and Health & Safety policies and processes
- Own and develop relationships with accounts in line with hierarchical level to ensure retention of the account and develop the business wherever possible.
- To strengthen the ocean freight services by providing and implementing innovative solutions for the customer
- Prepare updates for client and internal communications
- Continuously develop staff and self to support and improve personal and business performance.
- Ensure staff receive reviews both formally and informally in line with development goals.
- Ensure staff receive mandatory training as legislated.
- Recruitment and assessment of direct reporting staff ensuring they reach performance standards required
- Proven experience in ocean freight services at a department management level, with an understanding of import and export procedures
- Good track record of commercial activity including the growth and retention of business ocean services.
- Experience in the application of Supply Chain Management
- Established and proven people management skills
- Excellent IT skills, especially in operational database, MS Excel, MS Outlook and MS Word
Salary: 40k (ZZ0451)
- Norfolk Southern s earnings fell by 10% in 2012 due to a 17% decline in coal freight revenues.
- Despite this decline, coal freight still contributed 26% of Norfolk Southern s total revenues in 2012.
- The slowdown in coal has primarily occurred due to decline in natural gas prices, which is now being used for utility (electricity) generation.
- Export coal demand also slowed as world GDP only grew by 3% in 2012. GDP is expected to again grow at 3% in 2013.
- If total coal freight shipments in the United States fall to 5.5 million due to low natural gas prices and low export demand in 2013
Norfolk Southern s (NYSE:NSC) earnings took a 10% hit in 2012, primarily due to a decline in coal freight revenues which fell by 17% year-over-year. Despite this slowdown in coal freight, NSC s coal division still raked in 26% of the firm s total revenues and makes up around a quarter of the company s total value. We think that NSC s reliance on coal freight is likely to suppress bottom line growth in 2013, as low natural gas prices and a slowdown in coal export demand will hurt coal freight demand during the year.1
Coal Use for Utilities Declining
Norfolk Southern s coal freight business is primarily reliant on coal used for generating electricity; coal for utilities made up approximately 65% of the coal that Norfolk Southern shipped in 2012. Utility coal tonnage fell by 17% in 2012, as low natural gas prices caused a substitution away from coal when it comes to energy production. This substitution of coal is troubling for NSC because if natural gas prices stay depressed for an extended period, utility companies could start shifting a material part of their electricity production to natural gas permanently. If this occurs, Norfolk Southern s coal freight demand might not recover in the coming quarters, hurting the firm s revenues through 2012.
Coal Export Demand Will Also Slowdown
As can be seen from the table above, demand for coal export also slowed down during 2012, as weakness in the Chinese economy, the European Union and the United States ensured that global growth remained muted. Global growth fell to approximately 3% in 2012, and is expected to remain at this level in 2013. 
However, it is important to note that global growth could miss these 3% estimates in 2013. The Euro crisis has yet to see an end, and the outcome of the situation continues to remain uncertain. European GDP contracted 0.6% during Q4 2012, the third straight quarter of decline and the largest since Q1 2009.  This situation, combined with the slowdown in China and India is likely to have a negative effect on worldwide coal demand. We currently estimate that U.S. carloads of coal will fall to approximately 6.40 million in 2013, but if this number falls further to 5.5 million, we would see around 5% downside to our price estimate.
- ^ Norfolk Southern s (www.trefis.com)
- ^ See our complete analysis of Norfolk Southern here (www.trefis.com)
- ^ $63 price estimate for Norfolk Southern (www.trefis.com)
- ^ Click Here To Understand What Drives A Stock At Trefis (www.trefis.com)
The U.S. Midwest experienced a drought in the Spring of 2012 and is still feeling the effects of this today. The Midwest drought decreased grain production, but it is slowing Mississippi River trade. Since water levels are forecasted to reach record lows, barges will be delayed or even brought to a halt.
These barges carry a variety of important product such as coal, steel, petroleum, and grain. Since there is the chance of the Mississippi River becoming too shallow for transport at the point where it joins the Ohio River, there could be significant difficulties for the U.S. agriculture industry.
The U.S. agriculture industry has recently had an increase in grain exports throughout the past few years. A main factor for this increase is that Asian demand is growing; however, the Midwest drought is likely to cause a decrease in crop production and the loss of meeting potential market demand. Some harvests are prospected to yield 13% less than what was harvested in 2011 even though farmers planted more acres in 2012 than they have since 1937.
The Mississippi River barges transport 60% of grain exports that move through the U.S. Gulf Coast, but this could be severely restricted if the river becomes too shallow. This means that shippers in the agriculture industry will have to depend on railroads to transport their cargo. This may be a reason for the increase seen in railcar shipments in October and November (up 12% compared to 2011). And this trend is likely to continue as the agriculture industry looks to secure rail freight capacity.
Today, Rapidfix Industrial launches industrial logistics and packaging services in China, this is a historic moment for Rapidfix Industrial.
New York, NY (1888PressRelease) October 25, 2012 – Rapidfix Industrial launches industrial logistics and packaging services. The services range from rental of warehousing, assembly and production workshop, office space, to services in the area of contract packaging, kitting and assembly. The service was launched to offer industrial customers a complete service to outsource their logistics needs and provide maximum flexibility, cost-cutting, in a time of rising cost for business operations in China and wider Asia.
- Contract packaging
The packaging services involves sourcing and printing of a vast range of packaging types such as cartons, blister packs, clamshell packs, poly bags, pallets, labels. The packing will go through different stages of incoming goods inspection and quality control, counting, sorting, and assembly, if necessary, then labeling and packing to prepare various components to small size industrial goods and equipment for shipment.
- Rapidfix Industrial
In the modern industrial sector, specific industrial goods, components and equipment look very much the same when they roll off the manufacturing line. To satisfy manufacturers, distributors and ultimately retailer requirements, Rapidfix Industrial can wrap, seal, tie and pack goods in the most specific and accurate ways to ensure global packaging standards and professional presentation to end-customer.
Rapidfix Industrial then offers consolidation, freight forwarding and import -export, customs clearance and VAT handling services to reduce workload on behalf of industrial customers.
- What we provide
Lower freight costs. Typically, products ship out to the contract packager and then back to the DC for final distribution. These extra runs hike freights costs an estimated 38%.
Lower inventory carrying costs. Many companies that use an outside contract packager add about 7 days to their distribution cycle and lose visibility of their product during this time. They deal with uncertain stock levels by adding inventory.
Reduced labor and equipment. Contract packaging/distribution operations allow for labor and rolling stock to be deployed where it’s most needed at any given time, across multiple functions.
Reduced damage. The more product is moved, the greater the potential for damage. Shipping product to and from an outside packager results in about 3% damage.
For further information, please contact:
Email: rfservice ( @ ) rapidfix dot info
Phone: +86 21 54653298
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At present, the government is grappling with the problem of plenty due to record production in recent years. Its godowns are overflowing with a record 82 million tonnes of rice and wheat, against the storing capacity of only 64 million tonnes
The government is mulling export of 2 million tonnes of wheat from its stockpiles.
Representatives of various countries today had a meeting with the officials of External Affairs Ministry, the official told PTI.
It was a preliminary meeting. The representatives of countries enquired about the quality of wheat and modalities of shipment among other issues, the official said.
The government had lifted ban on wheat exports in September 2011 but the shipments have not been picked up so far. Over one million tonnes of wheat have been shipped through private trade since September 2011.
The country is facing storage crisis and wants to clear wheat stock, especially that of 6.6 million tonnes lying open in unscientific way before monsoon picks up in the coming weeks.
India is also in talks with sanction-hit Iran for export of wheat and is resolving the quality issues.
Experts said that India is in a better position to export as the CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight) of wheat grown in Australia and the US is close to $315 per tonne.
The country s godowns are full with rice and wheat stocks due to record procurement and production in the last few years. Wheat production is estimated to be bumper 90.75 million tonnes in 2011-12 crop year (July-June).
Source: Business Standard
From the development of a product to its delivery to the customer, every link in the supply chain serves a crucial part in the integrity of your product, with possible threats to public health, as well as thousands and millions of dollars worth the product loss and damage.
Aluminum floor trailers, like the ones utilized by Road Scholar Transport, can help prevent contamination built up on wooden flooring over time, creating a more sanitary environment for your products.
There is no room for error when it comes to the lifespan of your product. From the time the product is first manufactured to the time it is placed on shelves, it has become the duty of company’s employees to ensure the safety of their products and protect their brand equity. Just last month, there was a recall of over 650,000 bottles of Advil due to a potential odor deriving from an element in the manufacturing process. And who could forget the Tylenol recall a few years ago in which health problems, along with a moldy odor in the Tylenol, were found to be caused by the wooden pallets used to store and transport the products at one of their plants. Trace amounts of the pesticide TBA, used to treat the wooden pallets, were found within the Tylenol.
Once a product safely makes it through the production stage, it must then be distributed to customers and face the ongoing battle of cargo theft.
70% of freight in the U.S. is transported via truck a year with an estimated 3.5 million professional truck drivers (according to TruckInfo.net) transporting this freight. Would you bet money, your car, your house, that 100% of these drivers are trustworthy…reliable…flawless? Of course not. In fact, at least 85% of cargo thefts are a result of insider jobs.
And “with more companies outsourcing for raw materials and distribution, having end-to-end visibility in a supply chain is an absolute necessity in order to ensure public safety, as well as brand protection.” 1 As MarketWatch explains, “A global brand’s strength can become a liability overnight if tainted with a product quality issue such as a food or medication scandal.” For this reason, the trucking industry has been continuously striving to improve security efforts. But as the American Trucking Associations (ATA)’s Phil Byrd explained in a hearing to a congressional subcommittee, in order to strengthen security efforts, there needs to be better communication between the government and industry.
Byrd addressed the panel by opening with the ATA’s support in the enactment of the MODERN Security Credentials Act of 2011, to which the group previously commented on as important in consolidating multiple background checks, saving drivers time and money, marking it as their “top security policy priority.”
Moving on, Byrd touched on our country’s alertness and prevention initiatives after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, explaining that although the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has placed Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (VIPR) teams along Tennessee and Georgia highways to “distribute information to commercial drivers about means to report suspicious activities they might witness while performing their duties,” the TSA should also 1: “inform trusted industry representatives, such as SCC members, that such initiatives are likely to take place in particular timeframes and geographic areas to ensure commercial trucking operations can plan accordingly and not face unnecessary disruptions for time sensitive deliveries” and 2: “require TSA to report and provide specific information about the results of such VIPR highway operations, and any other similar initiatives that the agency implements in the surface transportation sector.” 2
Byrd furthered his argument of the need to work together by stating an event that happened last year when 20-year-old Khalid Aldawsari attempted to purchase a chemical for a bomb he was making. A shipping company employee, who was suspicious of the package and researched some of its materials, contacted security who then called the police. Byrd cited CNBC’s comments of the events, “In the end, it wasn’t a TSA agent, a Homeland Security operative or an FBI agent who first spotted alleged terror plotter Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari. It was the employees of a private shipping company.”
Byrd concluded the argument by stating, “This incident underlines the fact that industry, just as much as government, has increased its level of alertness and vigilance to prevent terrorists from utilizing or targeting our U.S. transportation system, including the surface modes.” 2
Road Scholar Transport is one such trucking company that is always on alert of potential security threats. That’s why we educate our drivers with the latest policies and procedures and are trained on how to react under certain circumstances. Our trucks are also equipped with the latest security features including an internal remote locking device that gives the driver NO access to your freight. Click on the video below to learn more about this innovation and let us know what you think about it!
Do you feel that there needs to be better communication between the government and transportation industry in order to strengthen security efforts? List your comments below.
Want to know how can you increase supply chain security? Below are the top ten innovations being utilized today according to the Journal of Commerce.
(the following is provided by http://www.joc.com/joc-tens/10-innovations-cargo-and-supply-chain-security1):
1. Shipment tracking.
The most sophisticated electronic shipment tracking systems are customized, interactive, transparent, available 24/7 and allow users at any time to see where a shipment is and what it consists of — down to individual item descriptions, quantities, product codes, vendor or consignee identities, and countries of origin and destination. They provide automatic alerts for key events (loading, sailing, arrival and delivery) and allow customers to query their shipments online using purchase order numbers and SKU product codes. Such systems are password-protected and encrypted for added security. As a result, shippers always know the status of the shipment and can immediately identify any disruption that requires remedial action.
The use of this technology is becoming more widespread. In it, the carrier essentially puts a virtual “fence” around the route the load is scheduled to travel from pickup to delivery. A Global Positioning System tracking device allows the carrier and shipper (marine, truck or rail for intermodal methods) to follow the load along the route. All parties are alerted the moment the load veers off the planned route or the device itself is impacted, initiating immediate remedial action to recover the shipment.
3. Electronic seals.
These high-alert devices send an instant alert to the security team monitoring a shipment if container or transport vehicle seals are breached. Units incorporate industry standard security seals and bolts and typically use a combination of the global system for mobile communications and the GPS system for tracking and positioning. Devices can be fitted to any standard container, offer weeks of operation before recharging is needed and provide immediate notification if a shipment or seal has been tampered with. The best devices are part of a fully managed tracking system through a control center to monitor and act on alerts as they occur.
4. ISO 28000
The International Organization for Standardization 28000 standards series on supply chain security management provides a comprehensive framework to address theft, terrorism or piracy. It specifies the requirements for a security management system and offers certification and registration of conformity either by an accredited third-party organization or through self-determination of conformity. ISO 28000 can be used by organizations of all sizes and with all transportation modalities to address strategic and operational security issues.
5. Coordinated best practices.
Practical application of ISO standards must be coordinated for each transportation mode. In truck shipment, for example, loads should travel in an ISO container instead of a more vulnerable trailer. Seals should be placed on the container to demonstrate the shipment hasn’t been compromised. Use of an air cuff lock on the tractor (which prevents the truck’s brakes from being released) is an additional precaution.
6. Marine Security: ISF
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has created rules for an Importer Security Filing that requires importers to submit security-related information on their shipments at least 24 hours before the goods are loaded on an ocean vessel. The ISF filing must be made electronically and includes 10 categories of detailed identification and individual line-item information regarding the manufacturer, shipper, consolidator and importer, as well as information on the shipping container stuffing location and various shipment identification numbers.
7. Air Security: CCSF.
U.S. government standards mandate 100 percent security screening of all cargo transported on aircraft. The Transportation Security Administration isn’t responsible for the screening of cargo, which is to be handled by a Certified Cargo Screening Facility that can be a shipper’s own facility, a freight forwarder or an airline. Forwarders approved by the TSA can meet the air cargo2 security rules by using electronics to document the integrity of a shipment throughout the supply chain by utilizing stringent chain-of-custody methods.
8. Ground security: C-TPAT.
The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism is a cooperative cargo security effort between CBP and the full supply chain of importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers and manufacturers. Customs asks these businesses to ensure the integrity of their security practices and communicate and verify the security guidelines of their supply chain partners, as affirmed in meetings with and inspections by CBP agents. As one example, trailer and container integrity of motor truck shipments from Canada or Mexico approved through C-TPAT must be maintained by using high-security seals and related procedures.
9. Risk profiling: CHIEF.
Other countries are implementing their own integrated security and customs programs. In the United Kingdom, for example, the country’s Revenue and Customs Agency interacts with the Border Agency to ensure freight security, and it has developed a number of new programs to facilitate security screening of import shipments. Key innovations include Customs Handling of Import-Export Freight, or CHIEF, which uses a sophisticated risk-profiling system to identify goods that require documentary or physical examination while using electronic communication between customs and business users. Using EDI inter-system messages, CHIEF checks that the data on the customs declaration matches the inventory maintained on each of six independent trade systems nationwide.
10. Insurance integration.
Insurance and security management for shippers and freight forwarders3 continue to integrate. The new Rotterdam Rules that include carrier liability terms in individual, confidential contracts clearly document responsibility and liability during the whole transport process and dovetail with customs and security regimes for multimodal shipments. Just as qualified forwarders can secure approval from security regulators to conduct the required screening and itemizing, so too can they use their knowledge of Incoterms and electronic tracking systems to compile the detailed bills of lading required under the Rotterdam Rules. The result is one-stop security and insurance oversight that benefits all shippers.
Tags: American trucking Associations, ATA, cargo, MODERN Security Credentials Act of 2011, remote lock, road scholar transport, supply chain security, tracking device, Tylenol, Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response6789101112131415
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- ^ http://www.joc.com/joc-tens/10-innovations-cargo-and-supply-chain-security (www.joc.com)
- ^ air cargo (www.joc.com)
- ^ freight forwarders (www.joc.com)
- ^ http://www.marketwatch.com/story/without-a-trace-lack-of-traceability-makes-product-integrity-and-profits-disappear-2012-05-11 (www.marketwatch.com)
- ^ http://www.trucking.org/AdvIssues/Litigation/Documents/Phil%20Byrd%20Testimony%20on%20TSA%20Surface%20Transportation%20Inspection%20Program%20final.pdf (www.trucking.org)
- ^ American trucking Associations (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ ATA (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ cargo (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ MODERN Security Credentials Act of 2011 (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ remote lock (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ road scholar transport (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ supply chain security (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ tracking device (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ Tylenol (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response (www.roadscholar.com)
- ^ View all posts in LTL freight (www.roadscholar.com)
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