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Rail Transport

When Rail Transport Is the Best Option

Rail freight is a good choice when shipping large volumes of cargo over long distances, both domestically and across borders. With low fuel costs, it is a cost-effective alternative to other modes of transportation. Here are the cases when rail transport is a good choice and the factors that determine rates.   When to Use For European logistics operators that are moving cargo inland from port facilities, rail freight is a good alternative. This is especially true for countries with busy inland routes that cause delays. It is also best to use when large volumes are shipped in bulk, especially… Read more

Maritime and Rail Terminals for Cargo

Types of Maritime and Rail Terminals for Cargo Handling

Distribution centers and rail and port terminals are used for storage, loading and unloading, and transloading activities. There are different types of terminals based on infrastructure, interface, equipment and vehicles used, location, and land access. Rail Terminals There are five types of facilities – satellite and transmodal terminals, load centres, and near-dock and on-dock. They are linked with port facilities and are a key component of the inland intermodal supply chain. Satellite terminals are usually built at peripheral sites with less traffic. They are used for operations that would take a lot of time or are expensive at port terminals…. Read more

global supply chain

Ship Crews Stranded Onboard to Keep Cargo Flowing

The global supply chain now faces another challenge as many countries begin to restart their economies in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. Some 200,000 ship crews are stranded because of flight reduction and suspension and closure of ports around the world. Crew Changes Before the coronavirus pandemic, about 100,000 crew swaps took place on a monthly basis. Experts point to the fact that the number of changes has dwindled to just 20,000 – 30,000 a month. Not only are 200,000 crews stuck onboard and unable to disembark but another 200,000 are staying home and waiting to replace them. Overworked… Read more

Safe Shipping of Medical Supplies Aiding the Fight against the Global Pandemic

Safe Shipping of Medical Supplies Aiding the Fight against the Global Pandemic

Shipping medical supplies and equipment safely and quickly has become key to preventing the further spread of Covid-19 and compensating shortages in many countries. The proper packing of medical equipment is important, especially for non-standard and fragile items and when specialized transportation is required. Types of Medical Equipment and Supplies Medical supplies that are shipped to protect frontline healthcare workers include disposable gloves, N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns, and foot and eye protection. Equipment is also shipped, including bulky devices such as X-Ray scans, MRI machines, ECG, and ultrasound. The World Health Organization also published a list of priority equipment… Read more

trains carry oversized cargo

New Train Technologies to Prevent Derailment and Improve Safety

Advanced technologies can make rail transport safer, more efficient, and cost-efficient. New practices such as speed restrictions and more rigorous track inspections help improve safety. Freight car defect detectors are also increasingly used to monitor sound, temperature, force, and other indicators and identify defects. Infrastructure and Track Inspections Multiple studies have shown that broken welds and rails are the main culprits for derailment and fatal accidents. Track geometry, including elevation, gauge, and alignment also lead to train derailments. To overcome this problem, operators now use geometry vehicles to perform inspections. Some carriers also use ground-penetrating radars and ultrasonic systems to… Read more

Maritime Shipping

Half of Maritime Shipping Companies Expect Recovery

The EU shipping industry has been hardly hit, and maritime shippers are not an exception. At the same time, measures and policies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic have not been implemented in all Member States. This is a critical moment for forwarders throughout Europe, including ship owners, operators, charterers, and shipping companies, all having to make the difficult decision whether to continue operations. Impact on the Maritime Shipping Industry In April 2020, a survey was conducted among industry players to assess the impact of the coronavirus crisis on the shipping sector as well as to evaluate the effectiveness… Read more

Freight Transport in the EU

Freight Transport in the EU: Facts and Figures

Moving cargo in a cost-efficient, quick, and safe manner is essential for economic growth, national distribution networks, and global trade. Intermodal transport in Europe combines maritime, rail, road, and air transport to account for factors such as delocalization and concentration of heavy and light duty manufacturing facilities and other processing and manufacturing sites.   Road Transport in the EU Road transport accounts for over 75 percent of freight transport within the European Union. Road transport rates are the highest in Luxemburg based on population size, followed by Lithuania. In terms of national road transport relative to foreign road networks, countries… Read more

EU Regulations on Shipping Alcohol

EU Regulations on Shipping Alcohol, Perishable Goods, and Other Regulated Commodities

Free movement of goods and people is a core value of the European Union, but this doesn’t mean that everything can be shipped. To ensure that small shipments and cargo pass customs, it is important to become familiar with the conditions under which items can be shipped between EU Member States. Alcohol The rules for shipping alcohol are different for individuals and businesses. In most EU countries, individuals are not allowed to send alcohol, whether by courier service or by post. Authorized online shops are permitted to ship light alcoholic beverages or they can be shipped as freight. Only authorized… Read more

Shipping Pets

Regulations on Shipping Pets and Domesticated Animals Internationally

Many ask freight forwarders if they can safely ship pets internationally as this can be a stressful experience for cats, dogs, and ferrets. Depending on final destination, some countries allow pets after a quarantine period while others may not allow them at all. EU Member States also have special requirements when it comes to required information, vaccinations, and other specifics. Specialized transportation may also be required for some domestic animals, including road and air shipping. What Documents Are Required If you plan to import pets from non-EU states, they must come from authorized countries and territories. State authorities require an… Read more

Import of Drug Supply

Over-Reliance on Import of Drug Supply and the Way Forward

The coronavirus pandemic hit vital industries across the globe and disrupted supply chains due to restrictions and stay-at-home orders. The pharmaceutical supply chain has also been affected by lockdowns and restrictions imposed in India and China where major pharmaceutical producers operate. Drop in Supply due to Over-Reliance Supply from pharmaceutical manufacturers in China has dropped significantly over the last couple of months. This is a source of concern in light of estimates by the WHO that China produces about 1/5 of active pharmaceutical ingredients used by producers.  The UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency announced that this figure could… Read more

global supply chain

Major Ports Digitize Processes Due to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Major ports across the globe are increasingly digitizing processes to ensure efficient workflow and keep contact to a minimum during the coronavirus outbreak. The global pandemic already caused major disruption to the global supply chain, with workers ordered to stay home and falling ill. Experts predict that ports may experience staff shortages due to the fact that certain processes require physical handling and interaction. Ports That Already Make Use of Automation and Digitalization The Port of Rotterdam has already introduced digital tools to reduce costs, improve safety, and ensure efficient workflow. Software tools speed up handling of inland vessels, trains,… Read more

Drug Shortages

Drug Shortages due to Reduced Freight Capacity

Europe is now facing coronavirus drug shortages due to reduced freight capacity and more specifically air freight capacity. As many countries have imposed lockdowns, travel bans, and other restrictions, airlines are forced to have their aircraft grounded. Experts predict that the demand for drugs will continue to increase as the pandemic spreads all over the world. How Aircraft Grounding Affects Supply Last month Medicines for Europe Director-General Adrian van den Hoven warned that drug chain supply from countries such as India and China is essential for European states. Shipping drugs across the globe is critical and should be done fast… Read more

Safe Cargo Shipping during Coronavirus Outbreak

Safe Cargo Shipping during Coronavirus Outbreak

New rules have been implemented to ensure the safe shipping of cargo as to enable trade on a global scale to continue. These are of interest to European logistics operators carrying cargo across borders.   Air Cargo Airlines are increasingly transforming their fleets into cargo planes, shipping medical equipment, supplies, and medications. Those shipping cargo from affected areas are asked to follow WHO guidelines as to prevent further spread. Special handling is not necessary but workers must wash their hands frequently and maintain good hand hygiene. IATA advocates the view that cargo crew must be exempt from quarantine and travel… Read more

Green Lanes at Border Crossings

Green Lanes at Border Crossings to Keep Cargo Moving

To ensure that essential goods are shipped across Europe, the European Commission asked Member States to create green lanes or internal border crossing points. These green lanes on the trans-European transport network will be used by cargo vehicles transporting goods across borders. Why Green Lanes? Land cargo makes for some 75 percent of all cargo shipped across borders. However, cargo shipping has been seriously affected by restrictions imposed by Member States, including restrictions on truck drivers and bans at border crossings. Many vehicle drivers face wait times of over 48 hours, including trucks shipping medical supplies. How It Works For… Read more

Intermodal Logistics

Intermodal Logistics Helps Safely Ship Cargo during a Coronavirus Pandemic

Intermodal logistics or the use of combined transport to ship cargo is especially important during the coronavirus outbreak. According to experts, it is one of the safest modes of transportation. This is because cargo is shipped by freight trains over long distances and then shipped by trucks over short distances. Rail transport can be used to ship medical equipment and supplies, food, household goods, and other types of cargo. Why Use Intermodal Transport One of the main benefits of using intermodal transport is that freight trains have the capacity to ship large quantities of goods across Europe. Controlled and fixed… Read more

Maritime Shipping

Coronavirus Outbreak May Lead to a Shipping Crisis

More and more retailers in North America and Europe are shutting down, which may lead to a significant decline in shipped volumes. This is mainly the result of social lockdowns that are enforced in many countries. How Maritime Shipping Is Affected Analyst Sealntelligence Consulting explained that a 10 percent decline in shipments is expected, resulting in just 80 million teu processed in ports and 17 million teu shipped by fleets across the world. In addition to stores shutting down, restrictions in place at ports have further impacted global container shipping. Some ports have even banned ships from countries with coronavirus… Read more

U.S. Travel Ban and Its Impact on the Logistics Sector

U.S. Travel Ban and Its Impact on the Logistics Sector

US President Donald Trump suspended all travel from and to Europe on 13 March, and many European logistics providers wonder whether cargo will be affected. What Trump Said about Cargo Initially President Trump announced that the restrictions also apply to cargo shipped from Europe to the United States. He then tweeted to say that the suspension does not apply to freight and trade and only to people. He also clarified that the free flow of goods between the EU and U.S. is an economic priority. His initial comment that cargo falls under the travel ban caused anxiety and confusion among… Read more

Sea freight in Europe

Coronavirus Measures at Ports and Their Impact on Sailings

European countries have implemented different measures and restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which to varying degrees have an impact on the logistics and transportation sector. Some of these measures specifically apply to ports and may be of interest to European logistics providers.   France The French authorities ordered a sanitary watch for several ports, among which Le Havre and Rouen. In case that Masters of vessels notice any symptoms of infection among crew, they are required to submit a health maritime declaration form and notify their agent without undue delay. Masters submitting a maritime declaration of health… Read more

Regulations and Guidelines for Safe Waste Shipping

Regulations and Guidelines for Safe Waste Shipping

Waste is shipped by sea, railway, and road transport across borders, and the goal is final disposal or recycling. Hazardous waste is also shipped from generator sites to processing facilities that can store, treat, and recycle shipments. Regulations In the European Union, freight forwarders that are shipping waste are subject to the ADR and IMDG regulations, EU Directive 1013/2006, and the Basel Convention Regulations. Directive 1013/2006 states that all shipments must take place in such a way as to protect human health and the environment. The directive governs shipments in transit, to and from third countries, and between EU Member… Read more

supply chain disruptions

Impact of Coronavirus Outbreak on Maritime and Air Shipping

The coronavirus outbreak and associated civil and health protection measures may have a serious impact on the EU economy. The EU Commission and other institutions are closely following developments in different sectors, including tourism, trade, transportation, and manufacturing.   Impact on Sea Transport According to the International Chamber of Shipping, shipping by container vessels from China has dropped by 1/3 during the last month alone. Companies have already begun to cut the number of vessels sailing from various destinations around the world. This is especially true for China, the second largest economy where major industries have been seriously affected. Keeping… Read more