ESC is organising a second joint workshop with railways on ‘Rail freight competitiveness and attractiveness’ on 6 April, from 10.00 to 13.00, as part of the next ESC Railway Transport Council meeting.
This workshop will be open to all shippers that are members of national shippers’ associations and sectorial associations members of ESC, as well as direct members of ESC. It will also be attended by several railway undertakings members of CER, UIC and ERFA.
On 21 February, Denis Choumert, President of ESC, and Pauline Bastidon, ESC Rail Manager, attended a strategy meeting with rail freight corridors to discuss railway undertakings and shippers’ expectations with regard to the corridors. The meeting was also attended by several shippers members of ESC or its member associations, representatives from railway undertakings and representatives from each of the nine European rail freight corridors. ESC highlighted the need for more reliable rail freight services, more attractive lead times and greater flexibility, that would all need to be provided to shippers at an attractive price in order to encourage more shippers to make use of rail freight.
On 15 March 2017, FTA organised a conference called ‘Keep Britain Trading’ which focused on the trade and logistics implications of Brexit. The conference gathered more than 160 participants from industry, the press and various UK Government Departments.
A key highlight from the event was a keynote speech by the Rt Hon David Jones MP, Minister of State at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU), who highlighted his vision of the UK as a global champion of free trade, noting that high-level dialogues with key trade partners had already started. He pressed industry to recognise that current arrangements would not continue in the future, but highlighted that the UK Government’s aim is to minimise additional red tape and ‘friction’. To this end, the UK Government wishes to negotiate a Free Trade Agreement with the EU allowing cross-border trade to be as frictionless as possible, as well as a new customs agreement with the EU. (more…)
IATA’s World Cargo Symposium took place in Abu Dhabi between the 14th and the 16th of March 2017. Three days of plenary sessions, parallel tracks on well defined topics; from high-level presentations about the state of play of Global Trade to micro-level aspects such as the effect of a Smart Unit Load Device (ULD) on the cost and efficiency of the supply chain, and of course many network opportunities. The European Shippers’ Council (ESC) was invited to participate significantly at the symposium and the ESC enthusiastically embraced this role.
The shippers’ active involvement was particularly seen in the debate about IATA’s shipper survey. The survey indicated that shippers are 70 percent satisfied with what air freight offers, that air freight’s competitiveness compared to other modes increased from 28 percent to 41 percent and so the dialogue between shippers and airlines. (more…)
European Shippers’ Council members report that many shippers who regularly export goods to Asia have been facing a large drop of available slots for containers on almost every shipping line.
The main reason given by carriers of the two new alliances is the reshuffling of their organization and the repositioning of their ships to start their new services next month. M2 alliance has stopped accepting freight from customers of competitors turning to them because of the shortage of capacity encountered.
Shippers are confronted with heavily damaging situations, ranging from breeching of contractual commitments by some liners to impossibility to get boarding slots before May. Either this results in a very fluctuating freight rates situation, with instant hikes up to 45% to firm up a booking. Or this translates into missed sales, stock failure, significant extra costs as some exporters are trying to circumvent these obstacles by using other modes.
The Shippers’ Advisory Committee of TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association) has finally published its White paper to voice the concerns and needs of the shippers in air cargo. Change is needed, and all sectors of the air cargo supply chain must work together to drive adoption of new technology and a greater transparency according to the Shippers’ Advisory Committee. The European Shippers’ Council (ESC), a Board member of TIACA, has fully endorsed the work of the Shippers’ Advisory Committee and is pleased that the voice of the Shipper is heard and is taken seriously by the entire air cargo supply chain.
A Dutch Court has decided that taking a long weekend rest in the cabin by a driver is not in line with the law. The Advocate General of the European Court of Justice wrote his conclusions in the same direction a couple of weeks ago. In most cases, the European Court of Justice follows the Advocate General’s position.
What can be the consequences?