Land, Sea & Air Issue 170 July 2019

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Land,Sea Air

Incorporating Shipping & Marine

The magazine for transport and logistics

July 2019 • Issue 170

Customer winning storage


Products from BITO Storage Systems can help to optimise logistics processes an essential part of meeting today’s demands for faster delivery times


l Ulstein has developed a range of X-BOW

Air freight

With the view to developing an efficient, modern, and unified air cargo industry, TIACA has created a tool to deliver business insight

vessels for the RoPax market l Martek CUAS and Global Yachting form

a new partnership l New offshore spec helicopter delivered

to Wiking Helikopter


When choosing a pallet network, the areas to focus on are quality, service, value, level of partnership and collaboration


LS A contents Chairman Andrew Schofield Managing Director Joe Woolsgrove Editor Libbie Hammond

Features 4 News

Assistant Editor Will Daynes

Updates and announcements from land, sea and air – warehousing & logistics, aviation, maritime, storage, transportation and more

Staff Writer Vladi Nikolov

6 Review - Multimodal 2019

Production Manager Fleur Daniels Art Editor/Design David Howard Advertising Design Fiona Jolliffe Production/Office Manager Tracy Chynoweth Operations Director Philip Monument Operations Manager Natalie Griffiths Editorial Researchers Jeff Goldenberg Jo-Ann Jeffery Ben Richell Ian Shaw Advertising Sales Mark Cawston Theresa McDonald Gary Silk Sam Surrell Web Sales Independent Sales Dave King Exclusive Features Darren Jolliffe Social Media Jo-Ann Jeffery Subscriptions

Follow us at:

@Land,Sea&Air Land,Sea & Air Magazine

Schofield Publishing

Cringleford Business Centre, 10 Intwood Road, Cringleford, Norwich, NR4 6AU, U.K. Tel: 044 (0)1603 274130 ©2019 Schofield Publishing Ltd Please note: The opinions expressed by contributors and advertisers within this publication do not necessarily coincide with those of the editor and publisher. Every reasonable effort is made to ensure that the information published is accurate, and correct at time of writing, but no legal responsibility for loss occasioned by the use of such information can be accepted by the publisher. All rights reserved. The contents of the magazine are strictly copyright, the property of Schofield Publishing, and may not be copied, stored in a retrieval system, or reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.

This year’s event was a great success and re-bookings for the 2020 show were at a record high

11 Review - Breakbulk Europe 2019 Breakbulk Europe opened its doors in May, and featured a lot of improvements

12 Associated British Ports The largest port operator in the UK, ABP continuously improves its service and facilities to meet customer needs

32 Fuel

LNG is one alternative fuel available to shippers, who need to be ready to comply with new 2020 regulations on the chemical composition of marine fuel

34 Marine fuel Accurate fuel testing is one of the most important processes for ensuring the viability of marine business models

36 Safety at sea An important step taken to improve the prevalence of fires on board ferries has resulted in the publication of a set of interim guidelines


Exclusive feature 16 Materials handling Edward Hutchinson, MD of BITO Storage Systems, explains how the right storage and order picking technology can help companies win new customers

20 Air freight TIACA is keen to ensure that the air cargo industry worldwide is efficient, modern and unified, and is developing a service quality tool to benchmark standards

22 Aerospace An event held by Renishaw discussed the future of aerospace and what preparations manufacturers should be making

24 Servicom With over 30 years of experience in delivering communications solutions, Servicom’s core sectors are Land, Sea & Air

26 Aircraft MRO To be competitive and gain differentiation, aircraft MROs are gearing up by servitising and expanding their portfolios

38 Skills Logistics is facing a skills shortage and only by addressing the sector’s image problem can the situation be remedied

40 ERP Three relatively simple suggestions that can help organisations become integrated, which is essential if enterprise technology is to work

42 Distribution When choosing a pallet network, make sure you have a list of criteria to consider, including IT and approach

44 Commercial vehicles As fleet operators look to improve their sustainability credentials, they are looking at alternative fuel sources


28 Exclusive feature B&H Worldwide A provider of comprehensive logistics solutions for the management of aerospace components, B&H Logistics has ambitious future plans - 1

Land 46 Knowles Transport



LS A contents



64 Marex


50 Norman Global Logistics 54 Westcoast

68 Portico

58 Plymouth Citybus

72 Cory Brothers

61 Linehaul Express

76 Port of Cork Company

Air 80 Aerotech Peissenberg GmbH & Co. KG



Gardner Aerospace

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Green energy

GE’s Power Conversion business was recently chosen by Harvey Gulf International Marine, LLC to provide the latest SeaGreen Energy Storage System (ESS) on-board the offshore platform service vessel (PSV), Harvey Champion. The SeaGreen solution manages energy sources according to load demand, enabling marine operators to optimise energy usage while providing continuity of operations, increased efficiency and reduced emissions. Included in the transformer-less solution are two 1000A systems, each with batteries, drives and supporting cooling and safety systems, all mounted within a single ISO container. The ‘plug-and-play’ approach makes the solution a simple, fast and cost-effective choice for vessel upgrades. SeaGreen ESS can provide backup power in the event of a power blackout, which is hugely disruptive to vessel operations. It can also provide critical reserve power in the case of the failure of any engine or smooth out peak power fluctuations. Thus, it removes or minimises the need to run additional engines, avoiding significant additional fuel consumption and engine hours running costs. “The Harvey Champion is one of America’s first offshore support vessels that will be equipped with a battery energy storage system, aiming to achieve emissions reduction and fuel-efficiency benefits,” commented Shane Guidry, CEO of Harvey Gulf.

Drone protection

Martek CUAS has formed a new partnership with Italian yacht supplier and refitter Global Yachting / GY Marine, which will now be representing Martek CUAS and its groundbreaking M.A.D.S anti-drone system in the Italian market. In light of the increasing threat of drones invading privacy through video surveillance, photography and covert listening, as well as the more sinister threat of airbourne attack, Martek Anti-Drone Systems has developed M.A.D.S, a Marine Anti-Drone System. M.A.D.S is a modular system, which detects and identifies drones within a 5km range, providing GPS positioning of both drone and pilot together with the drone’s speed and heading. Configurable and escalating stage alarms in real time allow the threat level to be assessed in good time to decide on appropriate defence actions. Once a real drone threat has been established, the system enables a 500m electronic ‘exclusion zone’ to be created around the yacht. Should the drone approach this exclusion zone, its’ control/video signal will be blocked, initiating its’ fail-safe mode forcing it to land or return to its’ operator.

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Predicting growth Rhenus Logistics UK is predicting further growth in the Middle East on the back of yearon-year growth in its air and sea routes between the region and the UK. The German-owned freight forwarding operator attributes this expansion to an economic renaissance in the region, which is shifting from its historic reliance on oil as a source of revenue. The Group has its own country organisation in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has opened its first business site in Dubai. It operates there through Rhenus Logistics Gulf and is specialised in handling air and sea freight and providing customs clearance for imports and exports. Gary Dodsworth of Rhenus said: “The communication between our UK office and Rhenus Dubai is excellent, which enables us to identify any potential problems before they occur. This in turn helps us to transition freight with the utmost ease, ultimately providing a level of service the customer demands. One area that Rhenus Dubai really stands out is in its ability to accommodate the requests of customers, specifically when they are locally based and importing from the UK. It’s their local expertise that allows them to co-ordinate for goods to stay within the warehouse and advise on the customs clearance of those items.”

Designed for success Ulstein has developed a range of X-BOW vessels for the RoPax market. Many RoPax vessels operate in harsh areas, for which the X-BOW was originally designed. The X-BOW hull line is a proven solution used in a number of different market segments, and leads to improved seakeeping, reduced speed loss and fuel consumption, and a reduced environmental footprint. The seakeeping behaviour of RoPax vessels is important to the integrity of the cargo and the comfort of the passengers. X-BOW RoPax vessels will not need to slow down even in fairly rough weather, which helps to keep schedules, and furthermore, the ‘compact’ concept introduces higher flexibility with respect to vehicle logistics on board the vessels. The propulsion system of the vessel can be designed according to the vessel’s operational profile and set schedule. A smaller propulsion plant will contribute to lower capital investments (CAPEX), less maintenance (OPEX) and reduced energy consumption (VOYEX), making the operation of the vessel more efficient. Furthermore, and equally important, power energy consumption improve the greener profile of the vessel and its operations.


LS A news Flying high

Wiking Helikopter Service has taken delivery of Pic Wiking © Cara-Irina Wagner/Airbus Helicopters another H145 helicopter in offshore configuration. Wiking helicopters are used to drop off harbour pilots, fly air rescue missions over the North Sea and transport service technicians to offshore wind farms. The H145 in offshore configuration will be equipped with an emergency flotation system certified for Sea State 6, a weather radar, and a hoist to bring passengers directly to their target destination where potential landing by helicopter or boat would not be possible. The H145 can be equipped with seating for up to eight passengers in compliance with international offshore regulations. The combination of compact external dimensions, a comparatively small rotor diameter, the largest interior in its class and maximum power-to-weight ratio make the H145 ideal for offshore operations. The Helionix cockpit with 4-axis autopilot and auto-hover function are further advantages for such demanding missions, as the pilot work-load can be reduced and a maximum level of safety can be reached.

Mega vessels at Khalifa Port

CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, a container terminal built and operated by China’s COSCO SHIPPING Ports Limited (CSP) at Khalifa Port in partnership with Abu Dhabi Ports, received two of the world’s largest mega-vessels within less than a month - cementing Abu Dhabi’s position as a global maritime hub. The ships – MV. COSCO SHIPPING SOLAR and PISCES – are the third and fourth main line vessels to pass through CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal since it started trial operations in 20 April 2019. With a capacity of 21,000 TEU, SOLAR, which arrived on May 25, is the largest ship ever to call at Khalifa Port. The PISCES, which called on May 5, held the same accolade for just under three weeks with its capacity of 20,000 TEUS. Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said: “The container industry is constantly looking for ways to improve efficiency, and the use of mega-vessels to cut costs and time is a trend shaping the future of the sector. We have ensured that through CSP Abu Dhabi Terminal, Khalifa Port is able to handle the largest vessels of today and adapt to those of tomorrow.”

Boosting trade flows Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is collaborating with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). “This collaborative agreement will enable us to promote the benefits of strengthening the Netherlands as a gateway to Europe, and Atlanta Airport as a gateway to the Atlantic, the Midwest, and the South of the USA,” explained Bart Pouwels, Head of Cargo, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. “Not only is this good news for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol by expanding our Cargo Community with Atlanta, but it will also benefit the economy of the Netherlands by further establishing Schiphol’s Mainport hub role.” The MoU will enable an exchange of data between AMS and ATL to facilitate end-to-end planning and capacity optimisation, extend the benefits of the AMS Cargo Community system to ATL, and boost trade flows between the respective air cargo gateways. From September this year, and throughout 2020, AMS and ATL will be working on the formation of the Atlanta Cargo Network, with the aim to increase exports from ATL to AMS of agricultural and manufacturing goods produced in Georgia, which will be measured by an economic impact assessment study due in 2021. - 5


cargo owners

Recognised as the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe’s only one-stop-shop for cargo owners, Multimodal 2019 was one of its largest events yet


hen the doors to the NEC in Birmingham opened on the morning of 18th June, 2019, Multimodal 2019 officially commenced its twelfth year of putting shippers, retailers, wholesalers, importers and exporters in front of exhibitors offering the latest logistics and supply chain solutions. Originally created to give the UK its own platform to host every major logistics sector under one roof, Multimodal is now firmly established as the UK, Ireland and Northern Europe’s premier freight transport, logistics and supply chain management event. “As businesses in the transport, logistics or supply chain management sector will know, they tend to operate in both vertical and horizontal sectors. What Multimodal does is offer a unique opportunity to make priceless face-to-face contact with fellow professionals from all walks of industry, and to network with one’s peers in a collaborative environment,” explained Robert Jervis, Logistics Portfolio Director, Clarion Events. This year, over 9000 individuals attended Multimodal. “Multimodal 2019 was the ideal space for building networks and growing businesses, with shippers, retailers, and manufacturers making up a third of visitors, and exhibitors have already signed to Multimodal 2020,” Robert added. Multimodal offered a range of exhibiting opportunities to engage

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influential visitors, and in 2019 the event featured between 200 and 250 exhibitors. Across the three days it also played host to a number of important seminars, delivered by industry experts and leaders. “The speakers this year included the CEO of Ocean Network Express (ONE) – which was a brand-new exhibitor in 2019 – Jeremy Nixon, CargoiQ Executive Director, Ariaen Zimmerman, Chief Executive of the Port of Dover, Tim Waggott, and Eurotunnel’s public affairs chief, John Keefe, to name just a few,” Robert revealed. “Other new exhibitors, meanwhile, include Eddie Stobart, The Swain Group and HAROPA. These are just a few examples of how the event attracted speakers and exhibitors who are at the epicentre of the biggest topics and talking points facing the industry today. “I would like to thank all our speakers who came from a range of backgrounds, both inside and outside logistics, for sparking debate and providing insights into the biggest issues affecting the industry today.” As well as the expected Brexit-based talks that took place across the three days of the event, significant time was spent discussing some of the exciting future developments attendees are preparing to deal with, from increased digital disruption and the potential use of advanced robotics and artificial intelligence, to the ever-changing landscape that is customs compliance. For Robert, one of the more exciting events that took place occurred on day three, when

Multimodal 2019


What Multimodal does is offer a unique opportunity to make priceless face-toface contact with fellow professionals from all walks of industry, and to network with one’s peers in a collaborative environment

Images from Multimodal 2018 - 7

Multimodal 2019


Multimodal 2019 was the ideal space for building networks and growing businesses, with shippers, retailers, and manufacturers making up a third of visitors, and exhibitors have already signed up to Multimodal 2020

Images from Multimodal 2018

Multimodal 2019 addressed training, recruitment and the skills gap, with a major focus on apprenticeships, re/upskilling and education, with seminars and initiatives specific to this sector. A panel of next generation of logistics leaders took to the stage to discuss the industry’s potential to attract and retain new talent in the industry. They talked about how the recruiters in the industry should do more to take advantage of the potential for people outside the industry to become specialists. Speaking on the panel of her experience joining the industry, Jenny Karim, Supply Planner, Tarmac Cement and Lime said: “I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do in the supply chain because the logistics industry is so broad, people don’t understand there is a wealth of opportunity, and I am still learning.” In addition to all of the aforementioned features and talks, attendees of Multimodal 2019 also enjoyed the annual FTA Multimodal Awards Night and the very popular Multimodal Mixer, which brought together exhibitors and attendees in a relaxed networking environment at the close of day two. Thanks to the planning and expertise of the organisers, the interesting and stimulating information shared by speakers and the range of innovative and exciting products on show, Multimodal

2019 was a great success. Robert concluded: “We were delighted with the feedback from the show. Our first day was busier than expected – the seminar sessions were packed (especially the Brexit ones!) and everyone was delighted with the career-ready piece we organised on day three. “The awards ceremony was great fun – and rightly recognised excellence in our industry. Our VIP guest, Steve Davis – was also a great addition to the fun on the night! “Re-bookings for the event were at a record high – so we are looking forwards to being back in Birmingham for Multimodal 2020.” v

Multimodal 2019 NEC, Birmingham, UK – 18th – 20th June 2019 - 9

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Breakbulk Europe 2019

Access to the


Breakbulk Europe is the world’s largest exhibition and conference for the project cargo and breakbulk industry and was a must-attend event for all involved in the transport and logistics of project cargo newly revamped VIP Shipper program, along with an exclusive Breakbulk Masters lounge located on the second level of this hall. General content offerings were doubled with the Breakbulk Main Stage in Hall 4 and the Tech & Innovation Hub in Hall 6. Leading the event’s sponsor roster was once again the Port of Bremen and its twin Port of Bremerhaven, managed by bremenports. Together they are an important logistics hub for the automotive industry, consolidating and distributing parts and kits for assembly lines all over the globe. Bremerhaven is also an important location for the offshore wind energy industry. Project cargo and breakbulk cargoes—large machinery, industrial plant components, steel and more—are primarily handled at the Port of Bremen. The bremenports stand was located in the centre of Hall 5 and included 33 of its partner companies.


reakbulk Europe has become the global hub for the entire industrial project supply chain, including the world’s foremost manufacturers, oil & gas companies, EPCs, carriers, ports, logistics firms, specialised transporters and related service providers. This year’s event brought together around 11,000 professionals from more than 120 countries. Alongside its comprehensive exhibition space, Breakbulk Europe included three lively content theatres (the Breakbulk Main Stage, where the key focus was on business strategy, including the latest megatrends and the global project market outlook; Breakbulk Tech & Innovation Hub where it was all about operations and technology, including trends, innovation in engineering solutions and the evolution of digitalisation across the supply chain; and the VIP Shippers Arena with peer-to-peer networking and project cargo case studies to share lessons learned.) There was also an all new Innovation & Technology Hub. Many improvements to the show were introduced this year as a direct response to feedback from attendees. There were more food venues and bars, including an open-air café at the front of the venue, flanked by large vehicle and equipment display space. A new registration area was located in Hall 7 at the taxi drop-off, in addition to the registration area in Hall 4. Because of the unusual heat last year, the venue improved the air conditioning system just in case the weather decided on a repeat performance. Further, long taxi queues were but a distant a memory thanks to the city officials who provided free public transportation to all Breakbulk attendees. New to this year’s event was the addition of Hall 7, which featured the Masters Arena, a content theatre designed for the

Returning in 2020 During the run up to Breakbulk Europe 2019, the organisers announced that the event will return to Bremen, Germany, for the third consecutive year in 2020 at Messe Bremen from 26-28 May. “We are delighted to be returning to the historic city of Bremen for the third year in a row,” said Nick Davison, Portfolio Director for Breakbulk Events, ITE Group. “Bremen has really stepped up its commitment to provide the services to support this event. In fact, the city will provide free public transportation on its trams and trains to make traveling between the venue, hotels, restaurants and popular tourist sites around town convenient to all participants.” Davison noted that the early announcement was made in consideration of all Breakbulk Europe attendees and especially the more than 550 companies that exhibited at this year’s event, 21-23 May. “As an organiser with more than 200 international events, we know it takes months of rigorous planning to make an event the size of Breakbulk Europe successful,” Davison said. “Like with us, exhibiting companies also have much to plan as they prepare for this event. We wanted to share the location and dates for Breakbulk Europe 2020 as early as possible to help our current customers and those who wish to join us next year.” v

Breakbulk Europe 2019 21−23 May 2019, Messe Bremen, Bremen, Germany - 11

Below: ABP pictured with the new loading shovels, buckets and pusher blades, for the handling of bulk products, at the Port of Ipswich

ABP: Adapting to the UK’s dynamic dry bulks sector


Of strategic importance is the location of many ABP ports that have rail-linked facilities. This key differentiator means that large construction bulk materials can be delivered to the quay and railed to their final destination, far more quickly than vessel-to-truck operations


he world of dry bulks is forever changing, which means that the port industry must also continually expand its abilities to create a flexible customer-centric approach and innovate in equipment and services for this vitally important industry. Associated British Ports (ABP) is the largest port operator in the UK, with a network of 21 ports nationwide. We also operate the Hams Hall rail terminal, the country’s busiest inland rail freight terminal, which has deftly adapted its approach to handling a growing range of materials being imported and exported by its customers. Maintaining world-class infrastructure to offer the best services available to customers is key, as, together with our

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partners, we handle more than 40 million tonnes of dry bulks every year. The majority of our ports have a rich heritage and unparalleled expertise in handling a wide range of dry bulk cargoes, routinely and expertly servicing biomass, coal, cement, aggregates, powdered chemicals and ball clay. It was a very proud moment when our Port of Immingham won ‘Best Dry Bulk Port’ at the International Bulk Journal awards in 2018. Also during 2018, our South Wales Ports of Swansea and Newport achieved ISO 9001:2015 accreditation in relation to their Quality Management System for ‘Loading & Unloading Bulk Carriers and Storage & Distribution of Bulk Products’.

Investment in handling facilities ABP has invested millions to enhance our handling equipment and storage facilities. As part of this upgrade, more than 20 new cranes, some of the most efficient in the industry, have been introduced across our port estates, increasing the speed at which dry bulk cargo is discharged or loaded. Other investments include new conveying systems, particularly in our larger ports in the Humber and South Wales, focusing on specialist minerals for the steel and power industry, which have generated significant improvements on vessel turn around journeys. Following various industry engagements, we have purchased new grabs, which are designed to handle dusty, mineral-type materials, and devices

Profile: associated british ports (ABP) Top: ABP’s Orwell Bulk Terminal at the Port of Ipswich, and below, the Cliff Bulk Terminal

needed for feed and grain have also been introduced, thereby ensuring the right grab for the right material is at hand. Underlying our investment is our continued commitment to working flexibly and collaboratively with our customers to give them the facilities and the room they need to grow their businesses. As part of this, we strive to attract the very best people who can work effectively with the latest in equipment to maximise operational capabilities. We have some of the largest dry bulk handling facilities in the UK and Europe, such as our award-winning Immingham Bulk Park (IBP) which offers 1.5 million sqft of undercover storage and our Humber International Terminals – HIT 1 & 2 – also at

the Port of Immingham, which allow cargoes of up to 100,000 tonnes to be discharged and stored in dedicated compounds. Other significant recent terminal investments include the introduction of the new in-house haulage team and state-ofthe-art tipper trucks for the Port of Hull in July 2018 and £65 million in our Immingham terminals to support steel manufacturing on the Humber. Our world-class infrastructure includes the latest in state-of-the-art mobile cranes and continuous ship unloaders, which are operated to maximum efficiency by our expert teams. Constant investment in our business allows us the flexibility to handle larger volumes and support our customers’

growth. In March this year, our Port of Hull celebrated a milestone for its Dry Bulks Terminal as it handled its biggest shipment of biomass to date. As part of the operation, ABP’s expert team successfully discharged nearly 30,000 tonnes from the 200 metre Isadora vessel, destined for the Drax Power Station in Selby. The shipment was large enough to generate enough sustainable electricity to power almost 18,000 homes for an entire year. Lasting over 77 hours, the operation required a great degree of skill and involved the loading of weather-sensitive compressed wood pellets directly onto lorries, with the remainder of stock stored in the port’s state-of-the-art 26 Shed. Hull’s Dry Bulks Terminal is seeing - 13

Profile: associated british ports (ABP) Top: New demountable shed in Ipswich and Below: Julian Scott of Clarkson Port Services and Neal Birkett of ABP, oversee the loading MV Aldebaran with rice at ABP’s Port of Ipswich

Protecting cargo, protecting the environment ABP was one of the first port operators to introduce a new standard bulk walled storage design. We have also built a new set of six-metre high bulk walled covered storage sheds over the last five years. The design means that less floor space is required to hold bulk cargo compared to the older style of facilities seen across many ports in the UK. Security of stock, reduction in contamination issues and full traceability for sensitive cargo are only some of the multiple benefits this approach gives. Of further critical importance is how ABP ensures that the material we handle does not interfere with other port users or the wider community around their ports. As our customers require higher standards of environmental compliance, we have also invested in systems that improve cleanliness, dust suppression and appropriate monitoring of air quality, giving further comfort to customers that dealing with ABP is the right choice.

Connectivity is key

increased business in other sectors too, and in 2018 saw a strong performance with the UK’s leading crop production and grain marketing business Frontier Agriculture. The terminal was able to handle up to three times more throughput than planned with Frontier last year, at times exceeding the expected tonnes-per-hour performance rate by up to 50 per cent.

We continually invest to enhance the warehousing facilities we offer to our customers in the dry bulks sector. Recent examples include a new £2.2m state-ofthe-art grain terminal at the Port of Ayr

warehousing space. Our demountable warehouse can be constructed far more quickly and moved to different locations, compared to legacy construction methods. The shed can be adapted to be used for dry bulk or packed materials very quickly, utilising five-metre-high stelcon walls, with the design and construction times as little as four months from conception to completion. Construction of the new portable warehouse began in 2018 and was completed on schedule to provide extra storage space to accommodate the growing business needs of ABP’s customers, Clarksons Port Services. Returning to the new grain terminal

in Scotland, announced in 2019, and a £700,000 de-mountable warehouse facility in Ipswich. This is an innovative new approach to the provision of additional and flexible

in Scotland, work on the new 4000 sqm agribulk facility began in 2018 to support South West Scotland’s growing agricultural sector. The new terminal is located on the west side of Griffin Dock at the port of Ayr.

Investment in storage facilities

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Efficiency and flexibility is also maximised by our proximity to the UK’s transport infrastructure. ABP’s network of ports around Britain benefits from excellent marine access. Our ports also offer efficient road and rail links, providing swift access to destinations throughout Britain. Of strategic importance is the location of many ABP ports that have rail-linked facilities. This key differentiator means that large construction bulk materials can be delivered to the quay and railed to their final destination, far more quickly than vessel-totruck operations. The increase in the use sea-dredged materials for the construction industry, and the reduction in terrestrial aggregate availability over the coming years, mean that ABP will be well-placed to provide confidence to an industry that requires a flexible approach, backed by world-class infrastructure. v • The largest port operator in the United Kingdom • Massive investments in equipment and facilities • ABP’s locations offer efficient road and rail links

Below: BITO Storage Systems holds extensive stock

Customer winning

storage solutions

The right storage and order picking technology will help companies win new customers, writes Edward Hutchison, Managing Director of BITO Storage Systems


ITO Storage Systems is one of the largest subsidiaries in the international BITO group and celebrates 20 years in the UK, having been established in 1999. The UK head office is centrally located in Nuneaton, from where an experienced team offers a full range of services including solution design, project management, customer support and after sales service. The company also holds extensive stocks of products for nationwide delivery. A very important aspect of the head office is the ‘Experience Centre’, which enables customers to see how BITO products can help solve their storage and picking requirements. For many companies, these requirements are based around optimising their logistics processes to meet the demand for faster

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delivery of goods that can be carried out as cost effectively as possible. This has become critical for businesses success – whether they are involved in omnichannel retail, manufacturing, shipping or any general logistics process. Choosing the best storage system to create the right conditions for keeping delivery times as short as possible will make a positive impact on the bottom line. It will also give the competitive edge required to win new customers. For many businesses, the requirement is not just for high capacity for holding stock: they must also be able to expand or rearrange their storage systems, so they can react as flexibly and quickly as possible to constantly changing market conditions.

Materials handling Right - Top: BITO Storage Systems in Nuneaton Bottom: BITO Carton Live storage at Proper Music

Above: BITO Pallet Live storage

Depending on order volumes and the number of items sold, it is worth considering whether manual or automated storage makes more sense. It might be that a combination of the two system types would be the ideal option for storage and picking.

Live systems for dynamic storage Many companies are already realising this and have installed live storage systems – which essentially replace solid shelves with racking housing lanes of rollers. This is due in large part to the

ability of live storage to have goods automatically replenishing themselves on each shelf, enabling constant item availability. Functioning on the ‘operator-to-goods’ principle, live storage systems are also ideal for supplying cartons in the grocery sector. They enable storage and picking on a FIFO basis: goods can be sorted by, for example, expiration date, so the picker can take the product with the nearest best-before date. Also with live storage, picking and replenishment routes are kept separate, which prevents staff carrying out these tasks from getting in each other’s way. This results in faster picking, which in turn accelerates the process of assembling online orders and, therefore, the delivery process as well. Carton live storage allows businesses to drastically reduce travel times (by between 40 and 70 per cent) compared with conventional shelving. The amount of floor space required is also reduced (by up to 30 per cent). These factors can save operations significant amounts of money. How should goods be picked? Multi-level picking is an increasingly common choice for online retail. Here, items are picked individually and only later consolidated into specific orders. Shelving systems with adjustable shelf dividers can be used as ‘put’ shelves for collecting orders in individual trays. Here, the trend for picking directly into the despatch carton has become particularly prominent. The fastest sellers of all, and the top products in general, are sometimes held in an outer warehouse for cross-docking so that they can be picked direct from the pallet they were received on, which saves time, money and travel distance. - 17

Below: BITO RK containers on BITO shelving

Shelving systems: a flexible storage solution With manual storage systems offering the greatest flexibility, shelving is often a key component of warehouse design. BITO shelving systems can be easily assembled, reassembled or expanded to meet the user’s needs. They can be serviced from both sides and are ideal for storing and picking containers, cartons and items of various sizes. Various shelving depths are available depending on the items to be stored, or the containers or cartons in which they will be stored. Easily adjustable shelf heights allow various numbers of shelves to be positioned at varying heights within a racking structure. High-quality shelving systems avoid sharp edges and corners. This is particularly important for storage solutions in the fashion sector, keeping sensitive textiles safe during storage, and significantly reducing the risk of accidentally damaging delicate materials and items of clothing. Using dividers maximises the density of the storage space within a shelving system, making unused space available once more. This smart sorting aid efficiently simplifies every imaginable step in the storage and picking process, including the all-important returns process for online retail, saving time and money and making everyone’s jobs easier. Returns need to be received, sorted and returned to the warehouse as quickly as possible so they can be placed back in their proper position ready to be sold again. Where return rates are extremely high, it can make financial sense to set up complete returns warehouses using shelving systems with multiple tiers and shelf dividers. These ‘pigeonholes’ help with sorting and directly restocking returned goods. Racking & shelving make up about 70 per cent of our business in the UK. The majority of products we sell are manufactured in Meisenheim, near Frankfurt, however we also work with UK fabricators to design and produce components to enable us to supply bespoke solutions.

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The stable long-term solution for cartons Another solution for storing goods that need to be protected, conserved, well sorted and clearly organised is the use of highly stable and moisture-resistant plastic containers. Units can be individually labelled and are available in many different sizes and colours, with numerous printing options for identification, dividers to better sort small items, and optional lids. Trays are ideal for transporting goods or cartons, which cannot be transferred to containers for time reasons. These particularly stable holders allow operations to safely move loads of various sizes on conveyors. They also help protect goods, since cardboard cartons are not impact-resistant and do not have a very long lifespan. Containers represent about 30 per cent of our turnover and, to facilitate further growth, capacity for the production of plastic containers almost doubled recently at our plant in Lauterecken, not far from Frankfurt. BITO offers a wide range of plastic bins and containers that meet the requirements of all aspects of storage, picking and shipping. Our range starts with small parts storage & picking bins, including the very popular RK bins, progresses in size through industry standard European stacking containers, attached lid distribution containers to large heavy duty containers for use with forklift and pallet trucks. We also offer a range of standard sized containers designed for use on conveyors and automated bin storage systems. A recent addition to the range is the U-Turn Stack & Nest large capacity container that can stack as well as nest to save space when not being used.

Order picking cost savings Well thought out storage solutions will help companies seeking cost savings in order picking through reducing costly mispicks. If, for example, a company sends out 99 instead of 100 items they will then have to repack the missing item and send it separately. On the other hand, if too many items are picked, stock quantities will be out, which could lead to letting another customer down.

Materials handling

Below: BITO LEO at Siemens

A company may wish to opt for a pick-by-voice or pick-by-light system combined with flow shelves to save time and give accuracy.

thus improving their service offering. However, many warehouses will continue to seek a stepped approach towards automated systems by adopting lower cost, ‘mechanised’ systems. Many BITO products, such as carton live and integrated conveyors, can be described as low level automation. BITO also recently launched the LEO Locative – an entry level driverless vehicle for simple repetitive tasks that can be automated. BITO’s LEO Locative driverless transport system is suited to any operation. With no WiFi or IT required LEO is easy to set up and run in-house – keeping procurement costs low. The first UK installation of LEO units is at Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery’s new Global Service Operation Centre (GSOC), which separates human and busy forklift truck areas by using LEOs to transport goods. Floor staff productivity is maximised by LEOs taking over simple transporting duties, and reducing travel time by 30 per cent. To

They could spread their investment over several years with an initial investment in flow racking, with good labelling before moving to the new technology when it is appropriate. These solutions allow the creation of pick zones. This means that instead of a picker trawling round a warehouse with a trolley, covering miles in the process, that member of staff can instead look after a small section of the warehouse, picking from that zone and then passing the order to the next zone. This will not only improve house keeping and picker productivity but will also give the picker a feeling of responsibility for that stock and for its accuracy within their zone. Furthermore, any mispicks in that zone will be easily identified.

match this increased productivity would require two extra full-time operatives on start up and a further three as business ramps up. The system gives Return on Investment (ROI) within a year, compared to the typical five-year period for conventional AGVs. Unlike other AGVs, LEO installation is simple and quick with the units following tape laid on the floor, giving complete flexibility to reconfigure and maximise efficiency by simply pulling up the tape and relaying new routes. Siemens can scale up if required by buying or hiring extra LEOs straight off the shelf. As the Siemens application demonstrates, by contributing to a reduction in delivery times and helping to win customers as a result, investment in any storage systems can be returned quickly. v

Automation Warehouse automation is becoming easier to justify economically for more operators who need to juggle higher volumes and demand for faster order fulfilment, with rising staff costs. The logistics sector has always leaned heavily on manual labour, but a shrinking labour pool is changing the cost equation. More warehouses will therefore be investigating an automated approach for maintaining high service levels. Continual developments in modularity, sophisticated control systems and performance will increase warehouse automation’s practicality and flexibility for a broader variety of applications – from fulfilling omnichannel retail to supplying line-side manufacturing. Automated, ‘goods to picker’ based installations will increasingly be integrated into intralogistics systems. Automated Storage and Retrieval Systems (AS/RSs) are relatively commonplace today, but warehouses will be looking to also automate other integrated tasks. For example, internal transport between goods-in and order picking zones, installing robots to feed an AS/RS, and then place picked items for packaging back on the transport. Some of the most exciting developments are likely to evolve from solutions that address a specific customer need such as shelving to suit a robotic picking system. Automating more of the intralogistics process will reduce cycle times, which will enable operations to extend order cut-off times,

Edward Hutchison is Managing Director of BITO Storage Systems. With its head office and main production facilities in Germany, BITO is an internationally operating manufacturer of storage and order picking systems. BITO Storage Systems, one of the largest subsidiaries in the group, has its UK head office in Nuneaton where an experienced team offer solution design, project management, customer support and after sales service. The facility has extensive stocks of products for nationwide delivery and hosts the ‘Experience Centre’ to help customers solve their storage and picking requirements. - 19

Building a

benchmark Vladimir Zubkov asks: When it comes to air cargo, how do we know what good service looks like?


ccording to the Airports Council International, there are more than 17,000 airports in the world that handle cargo. That represents a lot of choice for freight forwarders for whom timely delivery of cargo will be a major deciding factor in choosing country

entry points. Such decisions will partly be based on geography. The proximity to onward destinations and assessments of the total mileage involved in transportation is always a major consideration. In today’s world, some of that decision should also be influenced by the potential carbon footprint. But, to date, business deals in air cargo have mostly been limited to the cost consideration, with less emphasis on the quality aspect. As a result, air cargo is losing its market and value to the customers.

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At the airports themselves, what is needed most is a smooth transition of cargo. The bottom line remains a major deciding factor, and delays due to, for example, superfluous documentation, inadequate provision of ground handling services or even slow moving technology can all prove costly. At The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), we have the goal of developing an efficient, modern, and unified air cargo industry worldwide. We represent all segments of the air cargo supply chain and want all elements of our industry to perform in a way that makes air cargo a preferred mode of transportation. Until recently, assessment of the quality of our performance has been limited to opinion swapping at industry events and conferences. There was no way to collate data in order to build consensus about the quality of services, and no objective way to make useful

air freight

comparisons that would aid decision making about getting freight to its destination. What was needed was a way of benchmarking global standards for the airfreight industry to adopt, to build quality awareness and culture in the air cargo supply chain to boost air cargo as a preferred mode of transportation. In response, TIACA developed the Cargo Service Quality (CSQ) tool, which allows freight forwarders to rate the level of service quality they receive at cargo terminals by way of a survey. We think it will be the key to understanding how to increase customer satisfaction and improve business performance for everyone in our sector. The survey is designed for air cargo supply chain stakeholders that require up-to-date feedback on their service performance to drive superior operational and strategic decision-making. It helps the participating stakeholder to understand performance on the day, as well as any changes over time, and allows benchmarking and comparison of performance against competitors. The aim is to assess quality across the entire air cargo supply chain and to identify opportunities for improvement. It will provide

airports and cargo terminals with business insight and help guide investment decisions. Rating and ranking is based on answers submitted through an online portal and provide ratings on several factors including process, technology, facilities, regulators, and general airport infrastructure, amongst other variables. But would it work? To ensure that it did, we conducted a pilot with 179 freight forwarders and 18 cargo terminal operators around the world. They included India’s Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, AAICLAS Chennai Cargo Terminal, Indonesia’s PT Jasa Angkasa Semestra, Hong Kong’s Asia Airfreight Terminal and Singapore Airport Terminal Services (SATS) Ltd, amongst others. During the trial we observed airports embracing an environment of collaboration and visibility, leading the way for change in their communities. Cargo terminals in Asia, Africa and Europe are now participating in CSQ. The performance of freight forwarders, airlines, and cargo terminals is made transparent with the use of the tool, meaning shippers will have the ability to choose based on the level of quality they desire. By having visibility of the quality of service delivered as perceived by the customer, and the ability to accurately identify the areas in need of improvement, all players in the supply chain can focus on continuous improvement so that consistent levels of services are delivered. We want every element of the air cargo industry to perform to optimal standards in order that our services remains essential and so our customers can relax, safe in the knowledge they can rely on us. Every industry has to adapt, not only to survive, but in order to remain relevant and competitive. The transparency and visibility that CSQ brings is part of the new vision and mission that TIACA has developed over the last couple of years. As the world changes and modernises, successive epochs bring new and exciting challenges. Going forward, TIACA will be looking to ensure that the air cargo industry is attractive to a new generation of talent and ensuring we make the best use of technology to optimise efficiency. The CSQ tool can help us all to up our game to give the best service possible. That is surely a goal worth striving for. v Vladimir Zubkov is the Secretary General for The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) which represents, supports, informs, and connects every element of the global air freight supply chain. TIACA lobbies governments and regulators, provides valuable networking opportunities, organises and hosts leading industry events, and gives guidance, advice, and specialist career development training for members. - 21


forward Renishaw shapes the future of aerospace at a leading industry event


n March 2019, global engineering technologies company Renishaw hosted 150 attendees for Manufacturing in Aerospace - The Direction of Travel. The Open Day, held at the company’s world-class Innovation Centre in Gloucestershire, UK, featured a presentation from Renishaw, alongside talks from Airbus, GKN, Rolls-Royce, Castle Precision Engineering and Sandvik Coromant. The event led discussions on the future of aerospace and what preparations manufacturers should make to meet the expectations of this growing industry. The 150 attendees were a mix of tier 1 and 2 suppliers, including manufacturing professionals, company directors and shopfloor engineers. Trevor Higgs, Vice President and Head of Engineering, Airbus UK gave the Keynote address to provide insight into Airbus’ views on the future of flight. His presentation also focused on the industry’s reliance on manual work and how automation and digitalisation still have a long way to go to make a difference to aerospace. Paul Perera, Vice President of Technology at GKN, Simon Gough-Rundle, Civil Aerospace Chief Metrologist at Rolls Royce, Yan Tiefenbrun, Managing Director at Castle Precision Engineering and Magnus Ekbäck, Vice President for Strategy and Business Development at Sandvik Coromant, also presented at the Open Day. “Aerospace is the one of the biggest manufacturing industries in the UK and there are so many opportunities for growth and development,” said Adrian Billingsley, Marketing Co-ordinator at Renishaw. “Bringing these leading figures of aerospace together, with other like-minded

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professionals, gave real insights to the industry and opened up the discussion on how we should shape future development.” “Renishaw has pioneered a new generation of aerospace technologies in additive manufacturing and metrology,” explained Paul Maxted, Director of Industrial Metrology Applications at Renishaw, who also presented at the event. “This technology enables aerospace businesses to manufacture a new generation of bespoke, lightweight and highly accurate parts. Renishaw’s approach to process control has been instrumental in developing innovative technology and the event provided a great environment to share knowledge with the rest of the industry.” In addition to talks from industry leaders, attendees were given full demonstrations of a range of Renishaw’s products. These included Renishaw additive manufacturing systems, machine calibration equipment, machine tool probes and the latest technology for co-ordinate measuring machines (CMMs). v Renishaw’s experience in the aerospace sector spans over 40 years, beginning when Sir David McMurtry invented the touch-trigger probe to solve a measurement challenge for Concorde’s engines. The company is dedicated to research and development (R&D), investing up to 18 per cent of annual sales back into R&D, often driven by the demands of the aerospace sector. It has over 4500 employees located in the 36 countries where it has wholly owned subsidiary operations. - 23

Seamlessly Bridging

Land, Sea and Air Communication,

Is This A Reality?

In today’s world we have high expectations of the performance of mobile networks. As we use our phones we take for granted that they will work seamlessly. Users don’t need to know which technologies are in place to help them to achieve their needs, it all “just works”. This same level of interconnection and dependability within industry is even more fundamental for the safety of employees and to ensure operations meet performance requirements. However some industries that rely on multiple interconnected communication systems do not, by default, meet these expectations. For example, consider one of the most hazardous working environments - Oil and Gas extraction. Clear, consistent and reliable voice communication is essential at all times. Rig-deck teams and crane operators need to talk to surface vessel crew and vice versa. Helideck operators need to talk to helicopter crew while also coordinating with other deck teams. However each of these communication scenarios operates under its own frequencies and none of them are by standard interoperable. Workers are expected to carry multiple radios, sometimes having to use them simultaneously.

In some working environments, there are mandatory requirements for intrinsically safe devices such as (ATEX) rated radios. There are no Avionic radios on the market meeting safety standards. The use of Ground to Air communications in some scenarios may TSXIRXMEPP] GSQTVSQMWI ¾MKLX WEJIX] ERH LEZMRK XS W[MXGL XLIWI VEHMSW off is less than an ideal situation.

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Communications and Applications

In the similar scenario of Port Authorities and on-land handling, bridging of two-way communications from Land Mobile Radio (LMR) to Avionic, ERH 1EVMRI JVIUYIRGMIW [MPP MQTVSZI STIVEXMSREP IJ½GMIRGMIW *SV %MVTSVXW FVMHKMRK GSQQYRMGEXMSR TEXLW FIX[IIR %MV 8VEJ½G ERH KVSYRH XIEQW WYGL EW ½VI ERH WIGYVMX] MW ER IWWIRXMEP HE] XS HE] VIUYMVIQIRX

Servicom and their technology partners are able to offer seamless bridging solutions to deal with all the operational issues of connecting different technologies and different frequencies. 7IVZMGSQ EVI I\TIVMIRGIH MR TVSZMHMRK YRM½IH WSPYXMSRW XLEX EPPS[W JSV personnel to seamlessly bridge voice and data from their existing system XS SXLIV W]WXIQW 4VSZMHMRK JYPP GSQTPMERGI [MXLMR WEJIX] EVIEW XLEX RIIH %8)< GIVXM½IH HIZMGIW Delivering extended features such as voice recording across all talk TEXLW )\XIRHMRK GSQQYRMGEXMSR SYXWMHI SJ XLI STIVEXMSREP EVIE using bridging technology allowing for even more devices to join the GSRZIVWEXMSR WYGL EW WQEVX TLSRIW XEFPIX HIZMGIW ERH 4'´W )REFPMRK GSRRIGXMZMX] JSV SJJ WMXI QSRMXSVMRK WXEXMSRW ERH LIEH SJ½GI SZIVWMKLX MR WSQI GEWIW FIMRK GSRRIGXIH ZME WEXIPPMXI

Servicom have already delivered bridging VROXWLRQV WR 2LO ¼HOGV RXW LQ WKH 1RUWK Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the Caspian Sea. The same bridging solutions have also been deployed at numerous shipping terminals and airports around the UK. %W [IPP EW TVSZMHMRK YRM½IH GSQQYRMGEXMSRW 7IVZMGSQ EPWS TVSZMHI WIEVGL ERH VIWGYI XVERWTSRHIVW ERH IQIVKIRG] FIEGSR WXEXMSRW JSV QEVMXMQI WEJIX]

Servicom are proud to have over thirty years of experience, delivering communications solutions for the Land, Sea and Air sectors is their core business. Servicom (High Tech) +44 (0)1527 510800 Servicom’s growth over three decades, across all sectors and continents, has overseen huge changes in communications making them ideally placed to meet the changes and challenges of the future. Innovations is their standard and their wraparound service offers continual support and maintenance. - 25


Move on

Mr. DRSV Varma takes a look at how digital strategies can help aviation manufacturing and MRO businesses to advance to the next level


iven the high cost of owning an aircraft fleet, airlines today are looking to pay for the function of the system and not for the CAPEX of its ownership. This behaviour is encouraging OEMs to use innovative business models that can efficiently budget costs across the product life cycle. OEMs are also producing nextgeneration aircraft and products which comparatively need a lesser degree of maintenance, further denting the Aircraft MRO business. These market dynamics necessitate aircraft MROs to servitise their offerings by augmenting their existing portfolio with more value-based services. They need to enhance their existing business models and fix process inefficiencies to gain a competitive edge. The commercial aviation industry is seeing rapid growth accentuating the demand for MRO facilities. The rising middleclass population with surplus spendable income has created a high demand for air travel. This, in turn, has impacted the growth of global commercial fleet and is disrupting the aviation industry order. The MRO business too is showing bullish signs for the coming decade. Though newer equipment will require fewer maintenance visits, aircraft MROs will continue to see an upward business trend driven by the slow pace of retiring aircraft. This growth will further be propelled by production and delivery challenges of new generation aircraft. Airlines are looking for MRO partners who can beat cost and time expectations while offering the best quality, dependability, and customised services.

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To be competitive and to gain differentiation, aircraft MROs are gearing up by servitising and expanding their portfolio, and resorting to digital transformation. The paucity of trained technicians and mindset of millennials is also pushing the need to adopt digital technologies for servicing the technically sophisticated aircraft.

Digital technologies to deploy for Aircraft MROs: Use of Augmented Reality aids in identifying and tracking defects with unprecedented accuracy and offers the right fix to bring systems back to service-ready condition with quick turnaround time. Additionally, robotic applications and image processing techniques increase the effectiveness and reliability of inspections while reducing human errors. By leveraging blockchains, MROs get a whole new perspective on the treatment and fidelity of data with the right security measures in place. Additionally, the use of IoT and cloud technologies for asset management enables the optimised and efficient use of costly and sparse resources improving the bottom line for MROs. Additive manufacturing is also revolutionising spares and obsolescence parts management, and making in-roads swiftly into the MRO space. Another significant technology comes in the form of digital twins. It is being used to receive early warnings and predicting system

aircraft mro

behaviour for effective, proactive maintenance. Tying the data together across the MRO value steam by using the digital thread offers world-class customer-service experience coupled with transparency on the work scope. Big Data analytics are also being leveraged for asset health management and to streamline maintenance schedules by predicting failures accurately. Furthermore, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have made it possible to clone the expert mode of analysis in the accurate diagnosis and pointed root cause analysis. Implementation of such digital technologies will be successful if OEMs have no barriers and restrictions in sharing proprietary information with MROs. The evolving digital technologies come with a price and MROs should pursue innovative avenues for funding their digital aspirations. The digital transformation for MROs has to be fast-paced, and it requires them to be more agile and flexible. MROs should also find the right skill set and engineering partners to drive their well-planned and strategised digital journey. Two major developments that can disorder MROs is the increased focus on advanced materials and changing business models. While smart and self-healing materials can largely eliminate the need for repair, MROs can shift gears in picking up the skills for sensor technologies that control this self-healing behaviour. Also, adopting the right business models is the key to remain competitive and ahead in the game. MROs should focus on bringing in process efficiencies, defect-free repair methodologies, faster turnaround

times, optimised spare parts inventory, and co-ordinated logistics. A simultaneous intersection of capacity increase, process improvements and digital transformation will create MROs of the future as entities who are resilient to combat the ever-growing competition threat. Working on the forefront of technologies, Cyient has observed that digital strategies when executed in time can swiftly take aviation manufacturing and MRO businesses to the next level. Coupling this digital journey with NORMs (New Order Revenue Models) will aid MRO companies to create significant and continuous business value for their customers. v Mr. DRSV Varma is Head of Operations at Cyient Singapore. Cyient provides engineering, manufacturing, geospatial, networks, digital, and operations management solutions to global industry leaders. Cyient leverages the power of digital technology and advanced analytics capabilities, along with their domain knowledge and technical expertise, to help clients solve complex business problems. As a Design, Build, maintain partner that takes solution ownership across the value chain, Cyient empowers its clients to focus on their core, innovate, and stay ahead of the curve. - 27

Skilled, timely,



ess than five months into 2019, the year has already been chockfull of remarkable events for B&H Worldwide. The provider of comprehensive logistics solutions for the management of aerospace components has just opened two new offices – in Frankfurt and Prague, to take its tally to a total of 11 worldwide. In parallel, the organisation released the innovative web-based system FirstTrac as the successor of OnTrack – a real-time global tracking IT system initially launched in 2000.

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“The decision to expand our global network with the two offices in continental Europe was driven by the need to cater for the increased business with both new and existing customers, as well as to respond to potential Brexit-related challenges,” reveals Stuart Allen, Global CEO of B&H Worldwide. “It is also part of our goal to create a Europewide road freight network as a cost-effective alternative to current airfreight services. Europe is a key location for our clients across the globe and our extended presence at the heart of the continent, combined with

the new road network, further enhances our ability to meet their needs as the independent aerospace logistics partner of choice.” Indeed, just over 30 years after its creation, B&H Worldwide’s vision is to be the most respected, valued, passionate, and entrusted leader in global aerospace logistics; and as such, the company has developed a broad range of customer-centric services. Among the most distinguished of those are its 24/7 AOG & critical logistics solutions, warehouse and inventory management,

Profile: B&H Worldwide

control tower services, business intelligence and financial reporting, engine movement solutions, freight management, as well as the aforementioned FirstTrac system. Stuart discusses the properties of the cloud-based IT platform at length: “Designed exclusively for the aerospace sector by InTech – our in-house IT development division, it is the result of an 18-month programme that aimed to create an integrated customer solution. Essentially, FirstTrac is a business and customer service management tool that connects B&H operations teams with our customers through operational and data sharing functionality, commencing when an order is raised and going right through to postshipment reporting and analysis. “The search capabilities within the system allow the user to source information by purchase order, repair order, part and serial number, date ranges, aircraft tail numbers, airway bill, or a range of customerdesignated references. Orders are also tracked via more than ten critical process milestones, ensuring supply chain efficiency is achieved at every step of the order process,” he continues. “With its multireference number-capturing approach, order tracking can be positioned to all areas within our customers’ businesses, therefore reducing the need to continuously chase their logistics provider for information. “We believe that cutting-edge IT is the key to success in the fast-paced aerospace logistics sector, hence FirstTrac’s utilisation of APIs to communicate within the application, and external sources such as customer and supplier systems. Integrating the system with these enables scalability, supply chain visibility, and data integrity, which leads to the generation of accurate business reports that drive decisions within the supply chain,” Stuart remarks. Moving from theory to practice, the new FirstTrac platform will feature prominently in the operation of the second 24/7 control tower B&H Worldwide established at its Changi Airport facility in Singapore. “Recent business growth around the world has prompted the development of our second control tower, with us looking to ensure that our standards for operational excellence are maintained,” Stuart comments. “As with all of our global solutions, the control tower makes use of the latest advancements in IT, therefore, the FirstTrac system will support the management of dispatch requests, inbound restocking shipments, and AOG shipments.”

Opening the second control tower was part of a series of investments B&H Worldwide has made in Singapore in the past two years to extend its space and address marked growth in demand. With parts and aftersales support much sought-after in the Asian market, the company has reinforced its senior management team, too, appointing Chris Allen as Business Development Manager for the region. “Our facility in Miami has also seen quite significant expansion in this period,” notes Stuart, before adding that the company has just installed a new section within its warehouse at Heathrow Airport, which offers segregation and enhanced security for customers with special requirements. In his words, the high-security area has its own CCTV, a quarantine area, and a swipe access floor-to-ceiling entry door. In another


There is no better proof to our commitment than the latest initiative we launched in March 2019 – our Customer FIRST! programme, which will give us more customer-facing resources within the business, so that we can meet our growth targets and maintain the best-in-class quality of our services and solutions - 29

anticipated infrastructure development, B&H Worldwide is scheduled to move premises in Melbourne to secure a further 4000 square metres of warehousing capacity. Lastly for now, B&H Hong Kong has just signed a new

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lease effectively doubling its warehouse footprint and expects this space to be operational by mid-May. Having been at the forefront of the aerospace logistics industry for three decades, the company has completed hundreds of projects. While many of these deserve to be seen as case studies in which the business has clearly demonstrated the full extent of its capabilities, Stuart singles out two of the most recent jobs B&H Worldwide has undertaken. “We have worked with Icelandair since 2017 after winning a tender process launched to address ongoing challenges in logistics provision and poor

savings of 50 per cent during the first three months.” Last year, B&H Worldwide struck another notable partnership, this time with Smartwings, whereby it will manage the majority of the latter’s logistics services. Stuart details: “The ongoing demand for wet lease arrangements and the adding of new aircraft to its fleet has made it challenging for the client to maintain quality and cost reduction of logistics services. Under the umbrella of B&H Services, we will now expand our relationship with Smartwings to exclusively manage all AOG traffic, timecritical spares, and courier shipments. This covers Smartwings’ major operating centres in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, and Hungary, and a further 400 airports on four continents where the company is present.” Cost increase appears to be a ubiquitous concern across the aerospace industry. As airlines face ongoing pressure to keep costs at bay, B&H Worldwide focuses on providing them with tools that can assist in taking

supply chain initiatives arising from managing multiple suppliers globally. Utilising our implementation process, strong partnership has been established, leading to enhanced outcomes, centralised visibility, and cost

informed decisions. “Air freight capacity is another ongoing challenge due to seasonal fluctuations,” replies Stuart when we ask him about the significant industry trends of the day. “To give you an example, capacity has

Profile: B&H Worldwide

been at a minimum for the past half a year, resulting in considerable price increases from carriers. Our way of dealing with the issue is through comprehensive planning. For instance, we forward-buy consol services for routine shipments to keep prices low for our customers and enhance their competitive edge.” In recognition of the high quality of service B&H Worldwide offers, the company was named ‘Best-in-Class’ by the Global Institute of Logistics in late-2017. Kieron Ring, CEO of the body, summarised the business’ unique capacity when announcing the new award: “B&H Worldwide is operating and executing to logistics standards beyond what is considered normal for the industry. The company is regarded by its customers as miles ahead of a general practitioner; skilled, timely, and resolute in its approach, intuitively knowing what is best while at the same time keeping a cool head.” B&H Worldwide received further endorsement for its expertise in January of

Awards Competition. “We continually strive to improve our service quality and this is the main reason why we are repeatedly being acknowledged by peers and customers alike,” Stuart maintains. “There is no better proof to our commitment than the latest initiative we launched in March 2019 – our Customer FIRST! programme, which will give us more customer-facing resources within the business, so that we can meet our growth targets and maintain the best-in-class quality of our services and solutions.”

last year when it was selected by a panel of industry experts as winner of the 2017 British International Freight Association award in the ‘Supply Chain Management Services’ category at BIFA’s Freight Service

In concrete numbers, B&H Worldwide has the ambition of growing by at least 25 per cent annually in the next few years. To achieve this, the company intends on evolving its systems and increasing

automation. “In short, we are eager to continue delivering our vision, which entails maintaining the highest level of customer service and investing in the staff who lead our operations,” Stuart concludes. l

B&H Worldwide • Providing logistics solutions for the management of aerospace components • Named the world’s best-in-class global aerospace logistics company • Recently launched FirstTrac – an innovative IT tool for business and customer service management - 31


green Peter Keller takes a look at LNG, and the benefits it offers the shipping industry as a more environmentallyfriendly source of fuel


n less than a year, new regulations on the chemical composition of marine fuel will come into force and send a wave of disruption across the global shipping industry. On January 1st, 2020, the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) global sulphur cap will cut the permitted sulphur content in marine fuels from 3.5 per cent, as it currently stands, to 0.5 per cent. The sulphur cap has unsettled the usual steady pace of the global shipping community as its players rush to prepare for the regulation, with impacts reaching from bunker fuel refiners right down to consumers. With less than 12 months to go until the regulation is enforced worldwide, the well-documented three main compliance options remain the same; switch vessels to burning more expensive, IMO-compliant 0.5 per cent low sulphur fuel oil; install exhaust gas cleaning systems – or scrubbers – to scrub out the sulphur from existing (3.5 per cent) heavy sulphur fuel oil; or move away from traditional fuel oils altogether and adopt alternative low emission fuels, such as Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). SEA\LNG considers the latter of these options – LNG – to be the most environmentally friendly, readily available fuel alternative for the shipping industry, both today and for the foreseeable future – and we’re pleased to see this assessment gaining strength across the industry. Given its considerable environmental credentials, and the approaching sulphur cap deadline, 2018 saw a sea-change in attitudes and actions towards LNG as a marine fuel. By March, for example, of the 94 cruise ships on the global order book, 18 under construction were LNG-powered. This represented 20 per cent of all newbuilds for the cruise industry, but 25 per cent of newbuilding capacity due to the size of the vessels ordered. Overall, the LNG-powered fleet has grown globally from 118 LNG-powered vessels in operation in 2017, to 159 LNG-powered vessels in operation as at the beginning of May 2019 – with a further 145 on order and 141 LNG-ready ships either in operation or on order (according to DNV GL Alternative Fuels Insight). As

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regards LNG supply, of the top 25 global ports ranked by volume of trade, bulk LNG is already available in, or in close proximity to, 24 of them. What is needed are the last mile investments to bring LNG to the ships and these are happening. LNG bunkering facilities are available or planned in all but one of the top ten bunker ports, driven by the requirement to supply the soaring number of LNG vessels. The single operational LNG bunker vessel operating at the beginning of 2017 has been joined by a further eight, with – we estimate – 30 likely to be in operation within the next four to five years at key bunkering nodes in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and North America. The environmental case for LNG as a marine fuel on an airquality basis is well-documented. LNG outperforms conventional marine fuels in terms of minimising local emissions to improve air quality and can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. LNG emits zero sulphur oxides (SOx) and virtually zero particulate matter (PM), and compared to existing heavy marine fuel oils, LNG also emits 95 per cent less nitrogen oxides (NOx). These benefits bolster LNG’s position as the fuel of choice in complying with the IMO’s 2020 sulphur cap for deep-sea shipping, and the vast reduction in sulphur and particulate emissions also presents significant human health advantages for vessels operating in ports and coastal areas. One key misconception which has served as a barrier to the adoption of LNG across the global fleet surrounds its performance against current and developing fuel options on the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Varying estimations on LNG’s GHG reduction performance have ranged from negligible to considerable, and the lack of evidence to support the claims made by both LNG’s opponents and advocates has created uncertainty among shipowners looking to invest in newbuilds. SEA\LNG has recently released the results of an independent study examining the GHG performance of LNG as a marine fuel, providing long-awaited, proven evidence to the debate. The Wellto-Wake (WtW) GHG Emissions Life Cycle Study reveals that GHG reductions of up to 21 per cent are achievable now from LNG as


a marine fuel, compared with current oil-based marine fuels over the entire life-cycle from Well-to-Wake. Further isolation across the life cycle process also demonstrates GHG benefits of up to 28 per cent from the combustion process for LNG bunkers on a Tank-toWake (TtW) basis. The study was jointly commissioned by SEA\LNG and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), and was conducted by leading data and consultancy provider thinkstep according to ISO standards. The report, which has been reviewed by a panel of independent academic experts, is the definitive study into GHG emissions from current marine engines. Indeed, one prominent maritime journalist noted; “there is no doubt that this is one of the best theoretical studies to date.” On an engine technology basis, the absolute WtW emissions reduction benefits for LNG-fuelled engines compared with HFO fuelled ships today are between 14 per cent to 21 per cent for twostroke slow speed engines and between seven per cent to 15 per cent for four-stroke medium speed engines. Seventy-two per cent of today’s marine fuel is consumed by two-stroke engines, with a further 18 per cent used by four-stroke medium speed engines. These GHG emission reduction benefits for gas fuelled engines do not change significantly when compared with the expected post2020 compliant oil-based marine fuel options. The study also affirms that emissions of other local pollutants, such as SOx, NOx and particulate matter, are close to zero when using LNG compared with current conventional oil-based marine fuels.

In confirming what we already know in terms of LNG’s immediate impact on air quality and human health, and in providing a foundation of long-awaited evidence to ground the GHG emissions debate, the study definitively proves that LNG is a fully compliant and viable solution both for the impending sulphur cap, and significantly contributing to the IMO’s decarbonisation target of a 40 per cent decrease by 2030 and 50 per cent by 2050 for international shipping. Ongoing optimisation within the LNG supply chain, and developments in engine technology in combination with efficiency measures being developed for new ships in response to the IMO’s Energy Efficiency Design Index (EEDI), will deliver further progress on LNG’s ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Longer term, bioLNG and synthetic LNG also offer the potential for significant GHG emissions reductions. Bio and synthetic LNG are fully interchangeable with LNG derived from fossil feedstock, and analysis shows that both fuels can provide significant additional benefit in terms of WtW GHG intensity – a blend of 20 per cent bioLNG as a drop-in fuel, for example, can reduce GHG emissions by a further 13 per cent compared with 100 per cent fossil fuel LNG. LNG provides a major advantage for the shipping industry in improving air quality and human health, as well as contributing significantly to the IMO’s GHG emissions reduction targets. It is widely available and scalable now, and the scope for continued innovation and optimisation across the LNG market lays the foundation for a clear pathway towards decarbonisation. v

Peter Keller is Chairman of SEA\LNG, a UK-registered not for profit collaborative industry foundation serving the needs of its member organisations committed to furthering the use of LNG as an important, environmentally superior maritime fuel. SEA\LNG has members across the entire LNG value chain including providers of the product, users, engine and asset suppliers, and class societies. - 33


results Accounting for more than half of container ship operating costs, it is essential organisations take steps to manage water content in marine fuel, says Honeywell’s Aparajita Kapoor

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round the world, the marine fuels sector is undergoing a period of change. New rules relating to emissions, introduced by the International Maritime Organization (IMO), have resulted in the development of alternative fuel types. Along with ongoing concerns regarding the quality of fuels, introduction of these new products is sure to see test labs servicing the marine industry kept busy in coming months. Driving maximum value from fuel purchases is increasingly central to a healthy bottom line, with marine fuel representing as much as 50 – 60 per cent of a container ship’s operational expenditure. Unfortunately, with reduced freight rates continuing to squeeze margins, vessel operators are buying



It’s true that the practice of dishonest vendors supplementing fuel with water, beyond permitted limits, has been going on for some time. But with the sector suffering a period of reduced profitability, vessel operators can no longer afford the false economy of cheap water adulterated fuel

their fuel on a purely price basis, even when ‘cheaper’ products often carry inherent risk. Grey practices by some unscrupulous fuel resellers, for example, can result in bunker fuel being bulked out with water, well above permitted limits stipulated by ISO 8217:2012. This not only means that vessel operators aren’t getting what they pay for, but also that the excess water can also trigger costly handling and maintenance issues. A 0.5 per cent water level – which is the upper limit of the ISO specification – would amount to five metric tonnes in a 1000 metric tonne bunker delivery. At a cost of around $800 per metric tonne, this is the equivalent of $4000. Water removal can also lead to additional disposal costs plus, maintenance

may be necessary to remove water-related sludge from the purification systems. There are therefore financial as well operational reasons to test marine fuel for water content via an independent lab. With so much at stake, test labs need to ensure that they can offer their marine industry clients quick, accurate and reliable approaches for measuring the water content in bunkered fuel. However, tests, even those as widely used as the Karl Fischer titration, are not straightforward. Petroleum products are mixtures of long-chain hydrocarbons that don’t readily dissolve in methanol. Water determination using Karl Fischer titration therefore needs the addition of a solubiliser. Importantly, fuel oils are heterogeneous so any water content will be unevenly distributed so samples therefore need to be homogenised prior to testing. Also, as a result of the low levels of water, it is important to use a titrant with a low factor – 1mg or 2mg/mL. To complicate things further, fuel additives can trigger side reactions during the titration process. Labs therefore need to ensure that they have reliable access to high quality solubilisers and reagents, ideally from a supplier that can also provide technical support and help with methods. In a market experiencing depressed freight rates, the addition of expensive fuel changes will no doubt lead to many operators selecting the cheapest fuels available – a business decision steeped in risk. It’s true that the practice of dishonest vendors supplementing fuel with water, beyond permitted limits, has been going on for some time. But with the sector suffering a period of reduced profitability, vessel operators can no longer afford the false economy of cheap water adulterated fuel. Accurate fuel testing, therefore, is now one of the most important processes for ensuring the viability of marine business models. It is imperative operators partner with labs that can provide quick and accurate results. Doing so ensures the profitability of every voyage is maximised. v Aparajita Kapoor is Global Manager Hydranal, Honeywell Research Chemicals. Riedel-de Haën™, Fluka™, Hydranal™, Chromasolv™, TraceSELECT™, and Burdick & Jackson™ are part of Honeywell Research Chemicals, which is based in Morris Plains, New Jersey, with manufacturing in Seelze, Germany, and Muskegon, Michigan. It produces high-purity solvents and reagents for lab research and testing applications. - 35

Managing the


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Making ferries safer by reducing the risk of fires on board


he outbreak of fires on board ro-ro decks of ferries such as the likes of the Grande America should come as no surprise. It’s unfortunate but true. The statistics bear this out with at least one very serious accident reported on board the roro decks of passenger ships every other year since 2002. And, while these ship types are popular for their unique ability to rapidly integrate with other transport systems, a number of factors such as the complexity of design, cargo on board and large passenger numbers make safety more difficult to achieve and accidents – when they arise – potentially more catastrophic. An important step was taken recently to improve the situation at the last session of the International Maritime Organization’s Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment. A set of interim guidelines for the reduction of fires on the ro-ro decks of passenger ships was agreed and is expected to be approved by the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee in June of this year. Driving this development is a set of studies commissioned by EMSA and conducted by RISE, Bureau Veritas and Stena Line. These Firesafe studies, as they are known, have given meaningful input to IMO and it is hoped they will lead to further discussions and agreement on relevant amendments to the International Safety of Life at Sea Convention, SOLAS. The two studies investigated the various stages involved in fire-related accidents, namely ignition, extinguishment, detection, decision, containment, and evacuation, and were conducted according to the Formal Safety Assessment (FSA) methodology.

Safety at sea

Collecting useful conclusions The statistics collected during the two Firesafe studies led to some very useful intermediate conclusions. It could be seen, for example, that 90 per cent of these fires originate in the cargo being transferred and not the ship itself. This would make prevention of such fires extremely difficult, given the nature of the normal operation of ro-ro passenger ships. Where the studies can also have a positive impact is in the large number of quantified Risk Control Options (RCOs) identified. These are regulatory proposals and best practices for which the expected risk reduction and relevant implementation costs have been identified and quantified. The findings were shared with the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment and led to extensive discussions, drawing input from accident investigation reports and best practices.

Taking a two-step approach for more rapid change To encourage rapid development, it was decided that a twostep approach would be advantageous. The first step would involve the adoption of interim guidelines and the second, the adoption of amendments to SOLAS as well as any other relevant instruments (FSS Code, STCW). In the first step, the adopted interim guidelines, several recommended safety measures were put forward, including the introduction of: • a minimum distance between life-saving appliances and the openings on ro-ro decks • a fixed fire detection system and water monitors for weather ro-ro decks • improved decision-making Risk Control Options

• stricter requirements for cabling and connections • CCTV to cover all ro-ro spaces Importantly, these guidelines would also prohibit open ro-ro decks in new builds. Open ro-ro decks (i.e. those with significant side openings) have been identified several times in accident investigation reports as being risky due to their negative influence on detection, extinguishment, containment and evacuation. Throughout this whole process, ferry operators have been very much involved, not least in their contribution to the agreement reached at the IMO’s Sub-Committee on Ship Systems and Equipment. They have also been actively implementing safety measures and best practices over the last few years, showing a clear break from a ‘compliance mentality’ towards one of risk reduction on board their vessels. While much work remains to be done, the second step involving amendments to SOLAS is in the pipeline with a deadline of 2021 and a possible entry into force in 2024. Looking forward to the increased presence of alternatively powered vehicles on board ro-ro decks will see another set of emerging risks which will also require combined efforts to tackle safely and effectively. v

The European Maritime Safety Agency is one of the European Union’s decentralised agencies. Based in Lisbon, the Agency’s mission is to ensure a high level of maritime safety, maritime security, prevention of and response to pollution from ships, as well as response to marine pollution from oil and gas installations. - 37

Attract, develop,


An ageing workforce and shortage of young people entering the logistics sector are combining to create an everexpanding skills deficit. Ruth Edwards outlines the challenges and discusses what businesses can do to future-proof themselves and the wider sector


alent in Logistics is dedicated to the recruitment, development, engagement and retention of the 2.2 million+ people working in the transport, logistics and warehousing sector. It is a sector that keeps Britain moving and contributes £120.7 billion to the UK economy every year. Yet in a survey we conducted at the 2018 WorldSkills UK event, 42 per cent of students admitted they don’t even know what logistics is, and only 3.8 per cent had any desire to pursue a career in the sector. As specialists in staff recruitment and development we recognise the importance of reaching out to as many potential

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employees as possible, for example veterans and new parents returning to work, but by far the largest untapped talent pool is to be found in schools and colleges. Unfortunately, the education system offers very little information about the logistics industry. This is a particularly worrying problem considering the speed at which the sector is evolving. A number of organisations are in the process of testing the validity of drone-based delivery and the US has already approved its first commercial drone delivery service. UPS is using an AI-powered GPS tool called ORION (On-road Integrated Optimisation and Navigation) to create the most efficient routes


for its fleet and emerging technologies are being employed to make the sector more environmentally-friendly. Digitalisation is making the need to focus recruitment efforts on ‘digital natives’ - millennials and generation Z - vital. This generation will bring a wealth of tech-knowledge into their chosen profession. Encouraging more of them to opt for careers in logistics will provide a safety net for individual businesses and the sector as a whole. But with the industry seemingly suffering from a chronic image problem, how can this be achieved?

Problem of perception The WorldSkills UK event was an eye-opener. Not only is there an alarming lack of awareness among students about logistics, but those who claimed to have knowledge of the sector were largely misinformed. They are unaware of the diverse range of opportunities available, or the earning potential within them. They are unsure of what skills are required for logistics careers and they cite ecofriendliness, boredom and safety as concerns about the sector, as well as a lack of diversity. Understanding these barriers is key to averting a catastrophic skills shortage. This understanding will inform the practical steps businesses can take to attract a new generation of logistics professionals.

Practical steps The first action should be to increase your visibility with students. Look out for opportunities to appear at careers fairs and make sure you take advantage of the Baker Clause. This states that all local authority-maintained schools and academies must give education and training providers the opportunity to talk to pupils in years 8 to 13 about approved technical qualifications and apprenticeships. Additionally, re-evaluate the way you communicate with young people, which includes making better use of social media. Take Instagram for example. This may not be the most obvious platform for logistics companies to use, however our survey found that a huge 66.4 per cent of respondents engage with the picture sharing site, which presents an incredible opportunity for logistics recruiters to capture millennials’ attention with engaging visual content. In taking these positive actions it is possible to reverse the negative and misleading perceptions around the industry. However, one opinion of the sector which does unfortunately reflect reality is a lack of diversity. Figures suggests logistics remains a male-dominated space, despite rising numbers of women in other sectors. In the UK, barely a quarter of the people working in logistics are female, according to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). Diversifying your workforce will not only help to address this imbalance, but attract young people from more talent pools. Important actions include changing cultural values and leadership behaviours, as well as highlighting the success stories of female and BAME leaders. Improved career development as well as increased opportunities for sponsorship and mentorship, such as the CILT’s Women in Logistics, are also vital.

Cultural change Once you have successfully recruited new staff, ensure you are prepared to retain them. Create a culture of employee engagement and inclusivity, and consider what young people are looking for in an employer. What is going to attract them? Flexible working, corporate social responsibility, employee engagement, variety of work, innovation and the opportunity to progress are all areas that may require attention. Finally, ensure you have a learning and development strategy in place. This is a framework that facilitates an organisation’s development of its workforce’s capabilities, skills and competencies. A learning and development strategy is vital in driving your business forward. Employees who feel that their development and progression are valued are more likely to be loyal and committed to the company, while their increased level of ability will provide continued results for employers.

Stop whispering, start shouting Logistics is undeniably one of the most important career fields in the world and the impact of a skills shortage in the future cannot be underestimated. Only by addressing the sector’s image problem can logistics avoid grinding to a halt. If the sector is to thrive rather than simply survive, we must ensure the range of opportunities available to young people is more widely known and that myths surrounding the industry are dispelled. In a sector that works quietly behind the scenes to keep the country going, it’s time to start shouting about what we do. v

Ruth Edwards is Business Manager at Talent in Logistics. Talent in Logistics is dedicated to the recruitment, development, engagement and retention of the 2.2 million+ people working in the transport, logistics and warehousing sector. Talent in Logistics was specifically developed to support these employers and aims to encourage organisations to address skills, training and career progression to retain exceptional staff and attract new employees. - 39


steps How to create a lean manufacturing supply chain using some tips that work in the real world. By Antony Bourne


ost organisations are looking for ways to streamline their supply chain and create a seamless process – after all, no organisation wants to waste money, time or resources. As part of this, there is move towards creating what is often referred to as a ‘lean’ supply chain, particularly within the enterprise manufacturing sector, where organisations can drastically boost their bottom line. But what is a lean supply chain and why is it important? Lean in a supply chain context is about a holistic view of procurement, manufacturing distribution and sales order processing. The aim is to simplify the complete supply chain process from production through to the distribution, and everything in between, to create a more effective and unified structure. While some level of enterprise technology is needed, to view the organisation in an integrated context rather than as functional islands, technology alone won’t cut it. Manufacturing executives also need to start thinking in lean supply chain terms. There are entire books and training courses devoted to lean supply chain practices, but there are also a few relatively simple steps that enterprises can take.

1) Unify the business by understanding goals and avoiding silos At the beginning of your journey towards a lean supply chain, it’s essential to take the time to understand the operations and processes, how they work and why they are needed. Only with this insight can you start to make decisions about what changes

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and measures need to be implemented to reduce non-valueadded work. It’s also important to look at the organisation as one entity, rather than as different silos, as each department will often have a different idea on what is considered lean. For example, it is common for there to be some level of conflict between the need to be efficient in production and the need to be responsive to customers. Manufacturing departments tend to schedule for maximum efficiency by producing very large batches. This is a good way to minimise the cost per produced unit, but it runs the risk of conflicting with the goals of the sales team. While manufacturing is rewarded for efficiency, the sales department is rewarded for serving the customer, which in turn leads to increased revenue and commissions. With large production runs it can also leave the sales team slightly tied and unable to meet customer demand as their


output. This will not only create a lean supply chain model, but it will ensure the business operations are unified, customer service is improved and there will be a notable ROI.

2) Resolve any disconnect with external suppliers One of the greatest bottlenecks to improved supply chain efficiency is often the disconnect between internal scheduling processes and those of external suppliers. To some extent changes and measures around this are limited, as external supplies will have their own protocols in place. But, the disconnect is often around the final stages of shipment, such as the packaging, as suppliers need final numbers and statistics etc. In this case, technology can play a pivotal role in eliminating the constraint. By keeping communication open and creating a supplier portal, teams can prepare in advance, know their own schedule/production plan and make any amends accordingly. This negates the need for a lot of the manual and administrative work.

3) Master the ability to forecast with AI

needs often change and fluctuate during the year. In addition, it also means that large amounts of capital are tied up in finished product inventory, long before any revenue can be realised. And if the product is perishable such as food or drink, it places greater pressure on the sales team to ensure goods are not left sitting on the shelf. However, by unifying the manufacturing and sales teams, enterprises can create a leaner supply chain structure that feeds into the efficiency of both departments. Rather than having a manufacturing department that operates as a silo, making unilateral decisions, production should be linked to sales projection, not only will this help to reduce waste, it will ensure the sales team is supported in its goal. To encourage this, other metrics and KPI’s can also be introduced that are holistic and based on customer service levels and inventory turns, rather than just production

Forecasting is also an essential element and failing to give it the attention it deserves is often the undoing of even the most aggressive lean supply chain projects. If you think of a demand forecast, the more accurate it is, the better positioned you are to supply to the market. Conversely, basing a lean supply chain effort on an inaccurate demand forecast is like building a house on a foundation of sand. By using artificial intelligence (AI) businesses can improve forecasting to ensure they have accurate levels of insight that will fundamentally help to improve the supply chain model. This technology is quickly becoming a game changer in the industry as it not only improves business operations, but it can enhance customer service. If you can increase the demand forecast accuracy, you can decrease inventory and increase the level of customer service at the same time. Although forecasting sounds like a major challenge, and to some may seem impossible to accurately predict, AI has closed this gap. However, most companies tend to divide responsibility for this among multiple departments, which limits its impact and can mean it falls between different chairs. It is imperative that manufacturing enterprises assign demand forecasting to an independent party within a company that has more of a holistic point of view and a thorough understanding of the technology behind AI. Simple steps such as these can go a long way in helping to deliver a lean supply chain. There are also technologies available that can also support, but there is no application that will, by itself, solve this. Enterprises that first embed these simple steps will be in a far better place to leverage the benefits. v Antony Bourne is Industries President at IFS, leading a team of global industry experts who cover the IFS focused industries, and support sales, marketing and partner enablement. IFS develops and delivers enterprise software for customers around the world who manufacture and distribute goods, maintain assets, and manage service-focused operations. The industry expertise of its people and solutions, together with commitment to its customers, has made it a recognised leader and the most recommended supplier in its sector. - 41


success The art of partnership. By Louise Cole


allet networks brought cost-effective and timely service to small consignments of palletised goods and have proved a boon to importers, manufacturers and retailers. As with all logistics decisions, however, you need to pick the right partner to ensure customer satisfaction and retention. The very first caveat has to be about price – not least because most logistics tendering processes put a disproportionately high emphasis on it. The pallet network model offers good value compared to other forms of delivery, but fierce, local competition can lead to price wars. TPN – THE Pallet Network – discourages its members from participating in games of volume over margin for one simple reason – it leads to poor service. TPN members say that customers who leave for a cheaper supplier invariably return within months because it damages their customer experience. That’s not to say that freight owners shouldn’t demand excellent value. For most, much of that value comes in the form of customer satisfaction rates but it also shows itself in contract KPIs and the lack of penalties at RDCs for missed delivery windows. Customers should ask pallet network members to demonstrate their quality. TPN members are not only rigorously audited to

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ISO:9001 every year for their network operations, but they can also show their KPIs for all their pallets, weekly or monthly. TPN’s audit team keeps a very close eye on all key performance indicators and immediately steps in to help members if they fall slightly below excellence on any marker. Hence at TPN’s Annual Awards, it always has several members celebrated for achieving over 99 per cent KPIs on every single aspect of their operation across the entire year. In short, look for a network where service excellence isn’t a buzzword, but a reality. That said, the best transport supplier can be affected by congestion, road closures, or adverse weather. The key here is communication. Network IT systems and members should support clear, timely communication between depots, and with the freight owner and their customer. The biggest threat to service levels in a network is unmanaged volume growth. The market has long since abandoned its traditional peaks and troughs and has settled into a steady and relentless double-digit growth rate. This means that unprepared networks or members find their assets are too thin on the ground to cope with managing so many pallets. The Hubs are too small, or their processes overwhelmed, or their members run ragged over too large an area with too few


trucks for the numbers of deliveries they are being asked to make. It’s worth investigating, therefore, what scalability is built into a pallet network’s model in order to ensure excellent service levels regardless of volumes. TPN was recently handling 85,000 pallets a week, over a fivenight operation. So how does it do this without service levels suffering? The first element is proper infrastructure with a 367,500 sq ft Minworth-based Hub which can load or unload 40 trailers simultaneously for fast turnaround times. It also has two regional Hubs in Northampton and Preston, which take freight originating in and destined for those regions. The second key element is postcode coverage. The larger a delivery area a member must cover, the more stretched their resources. For this reason, TPN has developed the best postcode coverage in the UK, with 106 members, and 125 depot locations, which means delivery areas are smaller and ensure resilient service levels. Finally, scalability comes down to the quality of the IT offered. TPN Connect is an in-house developed system that is constantly improved to meet customer needs. It’s free to members and customers and it is designed to make pallet deliveries as efficient as possible. That efficiency starts with the customer, who can input jobs quickly, with repeat customers remembered by the system; they can print their own labels, reducing duplicated effort or errors; and their TPN partner can see how many consignments they are entering in real-time, so work with them for rapid or early collection.

Freight owners – or their customers – can also see their pallets in real time throughout their journey, right up to the point of the customer’s electronic signature. This cuts admin time and customer queries. Customers can even track pallets on their mobile phones. But what happens if you want to input from several geographical locations? Or your logistics needs are complex and small pallet consignments only one part of your needs? This is where TPN’s seamless collaborative model comes into play. Not only do TPN members – who are all top regional hauliers in their own right – collaborate with one another on geographically dispersed contracts, but the network is also backed by the prodigious resource of Eddie Stobart Logistics, a national specialist in road and rail movements. So regardless of the diversity of logistics requirement, in terms of skills, mode, geography or resource, TPN members can seamlessly draw on their own and their partners’ assets and skillsets to offer a complete logistics solution. Finally, the most overlooked aspect of pallet network performance is – you. Choose a network partner which can help your team to improve their customer and freight management. Pallet delivery, especially by tail-lift, often depends on the quality of information provided about the destination. Find out if it’s a residential address; if there are access restrictions; if the intended delivery area is suitable for a tail-lift vehicle or a pump truck, eg not grass, cobbles or gravel and not on a hill. If necessary, your local TPN member will teach your team to package pallets correctly for stability and protection. Make sure the pallet is the correct weight and dimensions. These factors are essential to ensuring a successful delivery. When choosing a pallet network, focus on quality, service, value, and the level of partnership and collaboration your transport provider can offer to ensure a robust and responsive delivery performance. v Louise Cole is an award-winning logistics journalist and director of editorial services agency White Rose Media. TPN is the UK’s leading pallet network. In 2018, it delivered 4.1m pallets, with excellent KPIs. It offers sector-leading IT and the best postcode coverage in the UK. - 43

Driving the green


In the face of ever-tightening emissions controls – which now includes London’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone – an increasing number of road transport operators are looking to improve their fleet’s sustainability credentials. By James Walker


rucks and vans are the lifeblood of the cities they operate in. As the largest independent contract hire, fleet management and rental specialist in Europe, Fraikin is perfectly positioned to take a leading role in showcasing the new technologies and alternative fuels that will power these vehicles in the future. The Government’s Clean Air Strategy sets out to reduce harmful emissions by ending the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040, with the goal to make almost every car and van a zero emissions vehicle by 2050. Additionally, the EU agreed in December 2018 that truck manufacturers will have to cut CO2 emissions by 30 per cent for new vehicles by 2030, and by 15 per cent come 2025. The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) labelled these targets as ‘highly demanding’, and as the number of natural gas refilling stations in the UK and Europe don’t currently meet the required levels, it’s a fair comment. It’s also difficult to predict what kind of impact the aftermath of Brexit will have on the commercial vehicle industry, so it’s our job to ensure customers have all the information they need to make valued decisions on the most appropriate and costeffective new vehicles for their operation.

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At the 2018 IAA Show in Hanover, Fraikin was proud to have the world’s first 460hp LNG-powered heavy truck for swap body operations on display on the IVECO stand. There are obvious environmental advantages of gas as an engine fuel – for operators specialising in long-distance missions CO2 savings could be up to 15 per cent when using regular CNG or LNG, rising to between 85 and 95 per cent when fuelled with biomethane, versus a Euro VI diesel engine. Natural gas also delivers a 99 per cent reduction of particulate matter and 60 per cent reduction in NOx emissions, compared to a modern diesel, helping to significantly improve air quality. Fraikin also has long-standing experience with electric power, having delivered its first electric vehicle for multi-drop work in the heart of London over a decade ago, as well as trialling innovative solutions such as Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) technology in its rental fleet since late 2016. Though all-electric, zero emissions vans and light commercial vehicles have proven feasible for urban operations, introducing this technology into heavy trucks still has a number of constraints that need to be overcome – particularly in terms of range, payload potential and the supporting infrastructure for recharging.

Commercial vehicles

The evolution of alternative-fuelled commercial vehicles does, of course, raise concerns about their cost – which could potentially cripple smaller operators. The drive towards new engine technologies is already making many of our customers face some tough decisions. However, with factors like the additional weight of the electric batteries decreasing a vehicle’s working payload, or the lack of natural gas refuelling infrastructure in the UK, it’s no surprise that many are reluctant to make the move away from diesel. Though diesel certainly isn’t yet the fuel of yesterday – the current Euro VI diesel truck engine is one of the cleanest on the road, and not to mention ULEZ-compliant – the Government’s emissions targets dictate that eventually fossil fuels will be a thing of the past, so operators should at least start to think about making changes, as it could become a major headache further down the line. Fraikin understands the impact of these targets and the complex issues surrounding the move towards alternativefuelled drivetrains. And though no-one knows what stage the industry will be at in the next ten years, or even what technology will be the most widely adopted, we have already adapted our business model to ensure that whatever happens, we will have the financing, maintenance, breakdown support,

diagnostics and telematics technology in place to make alternative-fuelled vehicles a commercially viable solution. Regardless of the direction the industry moves, Fraikin will certainly be ready, and we would urge everyone to follow our lead. v James Walker is Commercial Director at Fraikin. Fraikin Ltd is part of the Fraikin Group, the largest commercial vehicle fleet services company in Europe, providing expert fleet management, contract hire and rental solutions to both the private and public sectors. The Fraikin Group, established in France in 1944 by Gérard Fraikin, has operations in 16 countries, with more than 2800 employees, 7000 clients, 180 branches and a fleet of 60,000 vehicles. Its operations span Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Morocco, Netherlands, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Poland and the UK. - 45

A logistics



stablished in 1932 by its visionary founder Gerald Knowles, Knowles Transport began life with just the single vehicle in its possession, which it used to deliver agricultural produce to London markets. The company has spent the succeeding decades becoming a premium provider across a wide range of logistical services and is now widely considered to be a powerhouse player in the UK logistics sector, under the guidance and strong leadership of Gerald, his sons Tony and Gerald (with Tony succeeding his father to lead the company) and, more recently, Tony’s son Alex who has taken over the reins as Managing Director and continued to build on his father, uncle and grandfather’s success. Today, Knowles Transport is able to

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offer unparalleled supply chain solutions, bolstered by a broad range of distribution and warehousing services. Combining this with a wealth of managerial experience in different industries, which has delivered excellence for more than 87 years, the company is trusted by some of the biggest and best-known businesses in the country to provide superior supply chains and best in class service with a competitive advantage. “Being a service orientated, customer focused company with a high emphasis placed on family values, we have found ourselves being approached consistently over the years and we have expanded naturally in line with this,” explains Knowles Transport’s Operations Director, Simon Woodward. “In the last two years alone, we have seen the

company grow by no-less than one third, and that is a pattern that is continuing to occur year-on-year.” Knowles Transport’s distribution network gives its customers complete coverage of the UK, while its fleet of 110 vehicles and 200 trailers – which operate out of a number of distribution hubs – allow it to provide flexibility and best-in-industry OTIF service levels. Among the myriad of logistics solutions that the company has to offer one will find, contract logistics, full load, part load and small pallet quantity distribution, dedicated traction only solutions, short lead time fulfilment, webbased POD viewing, bespoke IT integration and returns management, to name a few. In addition to the above, the company is also proud to partner with Palletforce –

Knowles Transport

the UK’s leading pallet distributor – as its palletised distribution network provider. Through its Palletforce division, Knowles Transport offers its customers a tailored and professional palletised distribution service that allows them to grow their respective businesses. It delivers on behalf of Palletforce across Cambridgeshire and East Anglia, and, as a result of its national presence within its contract logistics division, it has the capacity necessary to manage customer supply chains wherever they are located. A dedicated team will tailor the palletised distribution solutions a customer receives to align to its corporate, supply chain and customer’s current and evolving requirements. When it comes to warehousing, Knowles Transport provides both shared user and dedicated solutions to a variety of industries and customers. Operating over two million square feet of freehold warehousing space, its warehousing solutions include, open and closed book accounts, national groupage, manual and mechanical handling equipment infrastructure, a range of racked solutions, and advanced warehouse management IT systems. Some of the best-known names in the world of UK food manufacturing trust Knowles Transport to manage and optimise their warehouse management, and all of its warehouse operations are BRC A grade accredited. On the subject of business within the food industry, Knowles Transport can also claim

to offer superior expertise in consolidation – through its Knowles Consolidation Unit (KCU) – for all the major supermarkets, and is renowned in particular for the outstanding results delivered to Sainsbury Consolidation. The concept behind KCU operates as follows: At 11am each day it automatically receives loads direct from the retailer in question into its warehouse management system. Here, details are generated as to where and when the loads need to be delivered, as well as the stock keeping units from each KCU partner. These are then carefully picked, loaded and allocated to a relevant vehicle and driver via experienced traffic co-ordinators and KCU’s traffic management system. The loads are then delivered from midnight onwards, and throughout the rest of the next day. Across all of its operations, the company aims to carry out its activities sustainably, working to make sure that the environmental impact of all of its services are measured, monitored and minimalised continuously. Taking its responsibilities seriously, its primary corporate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions year-on-year. By measuring its emissions through its telematics partners, Knowles Transport constantly analyses its progress, and has implemented a series of initiatives aimed at securing a successful future. These initiatives include identifying the most fuel-efficient vehicles – all of its vehicles are a minimum of Euro 5 emission class

and the majority are Euro 6 class – and the production of its own renewable energy. The company has been praised in particular for its recent investment in a 500kWh solar panel project, situated on a number of its warehouse roofing spaces. This project is one of the largest commercial solar panel projects in the UK, and is projected to save over 210,000kg of CO2 every year. “As a family business, we understand as well as anyone else that it is our responsibility to ensure that we act appropriately for the benefit of future generations,” states Alex Knowles. “As well as introducing solar technology at our sites to create our own renewable power, we are also doing more work with trialling different fuel saving and carbon reduction technologies, trailing the use of LNG vehicles, and switching the last of our Euro 5 tractor units to Euro 6. Furthermore, we are playing an active part in the Government’s extended trailer trial - 47

Profile: Knowles Transport


We are proud to be a multi-award winning company, the most recent of which came at the recent Palletforce Awards, where we were awarded the prize of Network and Brand Ambassadors of the Year 2019

to reduce the environmental impact of road haulage.” Knowles Transport also appreciates that the themes of efficiency and safety extend to its people, which is why its drivers are educated in ways that they can enhance energy efficiency, and also undertake their work in a safe, courteous manner. Said drivers attend dedicated CPC programmes and one-to-one workshops, providing them with complete training and awareness of the latest guidance and best practice protocols. The company’s experienced driver trainers target driver behaviour and spend time with each individual, both in the classroom and

the vehicle, in order to highlight and overcome any possible areas of weakness. As Simon goes on to add: “We are proud to be a multi-award winning company, the most recent of which came at the recent Palletforce Awards, where we were awarded the prize of Network and Brand Ambassadors of the Year 2019. However, we take just as much pride in the support we provide to the local community, in which we sponsor local sports teams, host school visits, provide work experience opportunities and support HM Forces, which many of our employees having either previously served or presently represent.” As should be clear, Knowles Transport has devised the best ways of leveraging almost 90 years of experience in delivering excellence into its present-day operations. Together with a modern foresight to continually adapt and develop, it is best poised to ensure that its customers remain the recipients of world class supply chain services. l

Knowles Transport • First established in 1932 • Offers a tailored palletised distribution system • Trusted by the biggest names in UK food manufacturing - 49

Trusted to



ver since Ken Norman and Ian Terry launched Norman Shipping in Ealing in 1970, the company that relaunched as Norman Global Logistics (NGL) in 2000 has been a trusted supply chain partner to its customers. Today, its five UK and seven Asian offices provide air, sea and road freight services, together with logistics operations and a dedicated recyclables operation. With 130 personnel managing the international movement of cargo on NGL’s air, sea and overland services, NGL’s ambition is simple, yet effective: to provide every customer with

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the very best service, by communicating openly, anticipating problems and delivering consistent results. NGL offers a wide range of services and solutions in the fields of forwarding, logistics, supply chain management and cargo insurance. NGL provide the widest range of inbound and outbound multi-modal services, managing customs clearance and on-delivery from any port of arrival. Logistics wise, NGL offers comprehensive storage, packaging, fulfilment and distribution capabilities, while its supply chain management functions ensure that the right

products arrive at the right time, for the best price, and in the required quantity. NGL Director Kevin McNamara has been with NGL since 1985, joining at the age of 17, and has witnessed first-hand its growth. These days, Kevin travels the world regularly, building agent relationships, developing commercial responsibilities and managing NGL’s network activity. Speaking to Land, Sea & Air magazine, he begins by detailing some of the unique characteristics and strengths of a company that he proudly states can provide its services to virtually any business, wherever it may be based. “I would certainly

Profile: Norman Global Logistics

say that customer service has been at the heart of NGL’s success over the decades,” he explains. “We have always taken the approach of going that extra mile for all of our customers, and in doing so we have built up strong relationships built on trust, honesty, passion and professionalism.” NGL’s strongest markets include the Asian continent and the United States, and one of the factors that makes NGL stand out from similar sized competitors is the NGL offices in SE Asia, Hong Kong and across mainland China. Its first location in the country opened in Shanghai in 2011 –

one year after its first Asian office opened its doors in Hong Kong – and it has since established operations at key locations including Ningbo, Qingdao, Xiamen, and Ho Chi Minh City Vietnam. In 2016, NGL was awarded the coveted NVOCC license from the Republic of China’s Ministry of Transport, which grants authority to register its own Bills of Lading for export cargoes and be an authorised consignee for ocean freight imports. However, in spite of its strong presence in China, and Asia as a whole, Kevin readily admits that there is much more potential - 51

Profile: Norman Global Logistics

for future growth. “We are actively investing and developing our commercial capabilities to secure additional business,” he says. “And that is why we have put additional time and resources into our marketing activities, to raise our profile and generate interest from prospective customers.” As Kevin goes on to detail, similar efforts are in the process of being made when it comes to the US market. “While, like Asia, we find the US to be a relatively easy market to operate in, it does play host to lots of competition, which is why our sales and commercial team specialise in doing business in the US, know the intricacies of the region, and have intimate knowledge of the biggest and most regular shippers. Developing contacts in important service areas such as road & rail, is critical in developing cost savings for customers and additional benefits to attract the wider market.” The first half of 2019 was a positive one for NGL, with international business remaining consistent and the successful launch of its nQuote digital freight rate platform, while in the UK it has had particular success with its scrap metal shipping activities. From its offices in Liverpool, the company’s dedicated team manages the supply chains of many leading recyclers, importing and exporting scrap metal to and from the UK and global destinations. “We have built up an important share of this market, which has been a source of good results for us in the early part of this year and we are hopeful that this will continue for the rest of 2019,” Kevin reaffirms. Whether it is NGL’s activities in the UK, the US or in Asia, the company operates under what Kevin describes as a constantly evolving strategy. “Adopting this approach is important in the fast flowing and rapidly changing environment that is forwarding and logistics,” he concludes. “It also provides a level of fluidity and flexibility to respond to possible growth opportunities as they arise, which bodes very well for the future.” l

Norman Global Logistics • Handles over 210,000 tonnes of freight per year • Aspires to be the first choice for global shippers • A global network of more than 230 locations

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CROWN_SC6000_Safe_Manoeuvrable_FullPg_ENG_CULINA.qxp_Layout 1 07/08/2017 10:21 Page 1





STEM â„¢

Distribution the

Westcoast way Westcoast’s new 340,000 sq. ft. warehouse facility in Andover, Hampshire

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We are currently riding upon a super growth curve, and we do not see this changing anytime soon. The IT industry has helped to define the world over the last 30 years, and the great thing is that it will continue to do so for the next 30 as well


Above: Alex Tatham, Managing Director

ounded in 1984 by one of the UK’s most successful technology entrepreneurs, Joe Hemani, Westcoast began life following the decision to purchase 10,000 Canon laser printers on the west coast of the United States and facilitate their distribution across Europe. One year on, Joe became the first person to secure distribution contract with HP for work outside of its home country. With this, the business would embark on a growth trajectory that has seen it become the UK’s leading distributor for IT brands including HPE, Microsoft, Lenovo, Apple and many others to a wide range of resellers, vendors, retailers and office product dealers. Consistently ranked within the Sunday Times Top Track 100 of the largest privatelyowned UK companies, Westcoast has experienced remarkable growth in its more recent history, going from being a £100 million business some 15 years ago, to one that in 2018 recorded revenues reaching £2.5 billion. “Being a privatelyowned company, our sole shareholder has given us the instruction of growing the business and that is what we are committed to doing, however, in order to be able to do so dramatically, you have to have the necessary passion, determination and ambition,” explains Managing Director, Alex Tatham. “We also benefit greatly from having a narrow decision making structure within an outstanding management team. This provides us with a great deal of freedom and flexibility, and means that we can react quickly to opportunities presented to us by both existing and new customers, thus stealing a march on our competitors.” With more than 1300 people employed across a number of locations in the UK, Ireland and Europe, Westcoast is able to offer its range of customers a winning combination of supreme product expertise and highly competitive pricing. While resellers are able to rely on it for availability of stock, speed of service and total reliability, - 55

Below: Operations Director, Andy Newberry

DPD Group DPD is the UK’s fastest growing major parcel delivery company and has been voted the nation’s favourite parcel carrier by, six years running. DPD’s reputation for being the most innovative in the express parcels sector is built on its unique Predict service, which gives customers a one-hour delivery window and a range of ‘in-flight options’ if they aren’t going to be at home. The DPD app has over four million users and lets customers set their own preferences to take complete control so they never miss a parcel delivery again.

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vendors are provided with the opportunity to extend their market reach and amplify the power of their commercial initiatives. The latter is achieved by Westcoast being able to handle all of their warehousing, logistics and distribution needs, as well as all the necessary financing. “One trait of Westcoast that all of our customers – large or small – appreciate is our ability to bend our capabilities to their needs,” states Operations Director, Andy Newberry. “We have a multi-channel approach to distribution, and this covers everything from our wholesale B2B business, where we ship goods to anyone of our thousands of customers on a next day basis, to our fulfilment activities, where we ship to our customers’ actual end users, and our retail operation, where we exist as the partner of choice for the delivery of IT goods to nearly every major chain in the UK. Then, the final part of this multi-channel strategy is that we are able to drop ship goods from a wide range of products we hold for certain retailers. These can be computing and IT goods, right through to those you wouldn’t


typically associate with Westcoast, including Yankee Candles and USN Protein products.” As previously stated, the mission that Alex, Andy and the rest of the Westcoast team have been tasked with delivering is continued, rapid growth, the likes of which allows it to compete with its panEuropean and global competitors. In April 2019, the company finalised a deal that goes a long way to meeting this aim, announcing the expansion of its operational capacity with the lease of a new 340,000 sq. ft. warehouse facility in Andover, Hampshire. This facility will effectively double its UK warehouse space, and provide it with further room to provide more logistics services to its customers. “The new facility will be moving to Westcoast’s new warehouse management system, and we will be bringing across a number of innovative automation procedures that we presently operate, such

weight stations and sortation gates. We will, however, ensure that we remain a careful and considered adopter of new technology, while also continuing to work closely with vendors on the better utilisation of their own IT in order to promote greater levels of integration.” Turning the conversation to the next phase of Westcoast’s development, Alex and Andy are both keen to highlight the opportunities that await the company. “We are currently riding upon a super growth curve, and we do not see this changing anytime soon. The IT industry has helped to define the world over the last 30 years, and the great thing is that it will continue to do so for the next 30 as well,” Alex proclaims. “With all of the distribution channels we have at our disposal, what we have in front of us is the opportunity to do not only more of the same things that have got us to where we are today, but also lots of new, exciting

as handheld devices for picking and mobile work stations for printing dispatch notes and labels,” Andy adds. “In the months to come, we will also be looking at the introduction of further automation in the form of advanced

things too, all with the aim of taking costs out of the supply chain for the benefit of our customers,” Andy adds. “I think the majority of people out there with experience of the market recognise that the distribution

supply chain is too long at present, with too many touchpoints. What we see is huge potential to establish Westcoast as a single touchpoint for vendors, resellers and other customers, and we look forward to working towards realising this aim as we continue to grow in the years to come.” l

Westcoast • The UK’s leading IT distributor for key IT brands • Revenues of £2.5 billion in 2018 • Celebrating its 35th birthday in 2019 - 57

Cruising Britain’s

Ocean City


new chapter in Plymouth Citybus’ modern history began in 2009 when the bus operator was acquired by one of the largest, everexpanding public transport providers, the Go-Ahead Group for £20 million. Previously, the company had operated as a private limited company wholly-owned by Plymouth City Council for 23 years and, although it was formally founded in 1986, it is the proud continuator of a long tradition of public transport provision in the port city that started in 1892. It was then that horse trams were introduced to the Plymouth, Stonehouse, and Devonport areas, before electric tramcars replaced the horses in the late 19th and early 20th century. Over the years, what came to be known as Plymouth Citybus has established itself as a pillar of the local community, being a patron of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and regularly taking part in local forums affecting life in the city.

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Estimates show that Plymouth Citybus handles approximately 18 million passengers per year through its comprehensive sevendays-a-week service. The company operates a modern fleet of buses and employs around 550 staff who oversee the smooth running of the business, which also includes Plymouth Citycoach (providing popular coach tours and coach trips), and Plymouth Car & Commercial (servicing vehicles for both private companies and local customers). Committed to regularly upgrading its fleet, Plymouth Citybus purchased several new vehicles in 2018, with ten more buses projected to be delivered by the end of this year. Moving with the times and addressing new requirements for more environmentallyfriendly public transport, the bus operator intends on reducing its emissions by investing in hydrogen and electric vehicles. In fact, the company is currently trialling the ultra-modern and super-green Enviro 200EV single-decker – a £350,000 electric

Plymouth Citybus was selected by its parent firm as one of only two provincial operators alongside Salisbury to test the vehicle. Undoubtedly, Plymouth’s transition to ‘greener’ transport is still in its early days, but there is confidence among Plymouth CItybus’ senior management team that the electric buses are the future of public transport and will, sooner or later, be omnipresent across the city. Until then, the Enviro 200EV will be trialled in the streets of Plymouth, but will not be open for the public. The model was unveiled at the Devon Business Show in June, wowing about 1000 attendees of the event. The Go-Ahead Group already has 45 operating electric buses from its Waterloo depot in London and it has been deemed possible that vehicles of this kind will be cruising Plymouth by the latter half of the 2020s. To this end, the local authorities will need to install reliable infrastructure that will enable the efficient charging of the buses,

bus boasting zero emissions, a smoother ride, more comfort, mobile phone charging, and USB ports for passengers. Notably,

lest the city’s electric grid cracks under the pressure of increased demand. In another recent highlight for Plymouth

Alexander Dennis Limited

Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL), is a subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), one of the world’s largest independent bus manufacturers. NFI is a leading global manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under brands: New Flyer®, Alexander Dennis Limited, Plaxton, MCI®, ARBOC® and NFI Parts™. ADL is a world leader in the design and manufacture of double deck buses, and the UK’s largest bus and coach manufacturer. ADL offers single and double deck buses and coaches, and has over 31,000 vehicles in service in the UK, Europe, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada and the United States. - 59



As a key partner to Plymouth Citybus, Nielsen provides specialist cleaning solutions to its fleet, backed by industry leading training and support. With over 18 million passengers a year enjoying Citybus transport, Nielsen understands the importance of providing a range which delivers power, longevity and value - in equal measure. Thanks to its dedicated R&D, manufacturing and training academy based in the UK, Nielsen has the scale and expertise to help Citybus maximise product performance, speed and value for money. Enjoying its 50th anniversary, Nielsen, like Citybus, continues to invest in future transport technologies to ensure the brand continues to pioneer solutions for its commercial vehicle partners.

Citybus, the company announced the launch of Plymouth’s first open-top service bus “in a generation” to serve the Barbican and The Hoe throughout the summer of 2018. Designed in conjunction with the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, the vehicle was branded as Britain’s Ocean City Waterfront Shuttle, becoming Plymouth Citybus’ first ‘hop-on, hop-off’ service. Owing to the success of the concept, the operator proceeded with the creation of the Ocean City Sights ‘hop-on, hop-off’ tours, allowing passengers to explore the gems of Devon’s largest city. The opentop sightseeing bus service launched in April this year and is an excellent example of the central role the company plays in the economic development of Plymouth. While preparing the service, it collaborated extensively with several local businesses to provide exclusive offers to passengers when they present their ticket at attractions, eateries, and shops. For instance, these include ten per cent off admission to the National Marine Aquarium, two for one

on the entire menu at the Treasury bar and restaurant, and free child entry to the Mayflower Museum. Recognising its importance to the local community, Plymouth CItybus often undertakes social initiatives designed to support its vulnerable members. This past spring, the company created a donation point at its Royal Parade Travel Centre shop to collect items for local charity Sheiknah – an organisation that helps those who have found themselves homeless. The idea was conceived as one to commemorate the late Dave Salmon – a hugely popular bus driver known for his active support of many charities around the city of Plymouth. Initiatives of this kind have certainly been at the root of Plymouth Citybus’ selection as the winner of this year’s ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Award’ at the Plymouth Business Awards. Pleased with the recognition, the bus operator vowed to work even harder and be even more ambitious in its future partnerships with local organisations aiming to help people in need. Evidently, Plymouth Citybus is going from strength to strength and has a clear vision of how it is going to achieve its future goals. The important first steps towards shifting to a more environmentallyfriendly fleet have been taken with the trialling of the Enviro 200EV, while the bus operator continues to seek an ongoing improvement of the ways in which it delivers its services. Not long ago, Plymouth Citybus freshened its Customer Experience team up and organised multiple events across Plymouth where it met with citizens to listen to their views and suggestions for the more efficient running of its services. Transparency is a key trait of the business and one that earned the respect of Plymouth’s local community long ago. Going forward, Plymouth Citybus promises to remain a reference point for other operators around the country with its genuine care for people and keenness to embrace new technology and ensure a brighter future. l

Plymouth Citybus • Part of the Go-Ahead Group • Currently trialling Plymouth’s first electric bus • Won the 2019 ‘Corporate Social Responsibility Award’ at the Plymouth Business Awards

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Going the extra



hat Linehaul Express, known in the industry as Linex, is a special company with excellent prospects, is confirmed by the fact that the logistics and transportation provider can name not one, but two major postal organisations as shareholders. It was GeoPost SA that first invested in the business in 2009, before Japan Post followed suit five years later. The majority shareholder, however, remains Morty Langslow, Linex’s founder. From its beginnings as a freight forwarder and customs broker, the company has eventually expanded into express courier and parcel services, working with both B2B and B2C customers. “We are primarily a wholesale neutral operator servicing industry players,” Managing Director - UK, Alistair Wood, points out. “Over the past four decades we have grown one of the largest independent networks in the world and are also the worldwide express courier General Sales Agent (GSA) for Cathay Pacific. In my opinion, this web of whollyowned subsidiaries, joint ventures, and agents, available to any company in the transportation industry requiring - 61


Further down the road, we are aiming at doubling our revenue in five years’ time and becoming the marketleading, preferred international e-commerce logistics service provider that offers complete end-to-end solutions

a top-quality neutral express sales and distribution solution, is one of Linex’s biggest strengths.” Over the past five years, the company has invested heavily in the growing e-commerce logistics sector. Its complete range of services includes unique hybrid solutions that combine commercial and postal clearances and last mile delivery, as well as return logistics back to origin. “The former is aptly named ‘ez’ and offers faster transit times compared to your normal economy product, and full tracking, but at economy prices,” Alistair remarks. “In addition to the ‘ez’ service, which caters for larger packages and faster transit times, there is also our ‘ePAC’ service, which works in the same way, but is more costeffective for smaller parcels with slower transit times. Our current destinations for the two solutions include our global hub Hong Kong, China, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia with more countries to follow shortly. “Linex is also always working to produce new unique products for the changing e-commerce logistics sector,” he continues. “This is done by consolidating

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our resources, combining our partners’ strengths, and leveraging our own global network and gateway operations capabilities. A good example of such a product, is our internally-developed ‘hubez’. Essentially, this is an online platform that acts like a one-stop shop for all of our e-commerce solutions. By accessing it (either directly at or through API integration), our customers are able to utilise all the services we offer, print our unique labels, track their shipments, and make payments. ‘hub-ez’ is currently being rolled out in many of our network offices and we will begin trials in the UK this month.” Alistair goes on to analyse some of the ongoing trends across the industry that have an impact on Linex’s work. “We all know that e-commerce disruption is a challenge to all traditional freight companies as more and more customers are looking for single suppliers who can offer end-to-end solutions, including last mile delivery and return logistics. This can indeed pose problems, as setting up last mile delivery is not only very expensive, but also not easily done, because in most countries, this service is controlled by one

Profile: linehaul express

rendered 2019 challenging, he also reveals that the company has recorded stronger performance this year than at this point in time in 2018. “We have got many new products and solutions coming on board and we are hoping to have a strong second half of the year. Further down the road, we are aiming at doubling our revenue in five years’ time and becoming the market-leading, preferred international e-commerce logistics service provider that offers complete end-to-end solutions,” he summarises Linex’s aspirations for the years to come. l

Linehaul Express • A wholesale provider of neutral express solutions • Operates one of the world’s largest networks of wholly-owned subsidiaries • Recently expanded into the e-commerce logistics sector or two large market players. Nevertheless, we can respond effectively to the situation, because we have partners that have last mile delivery operating in many countries. What is more, as we have gateway operations in all the destinations we service, we are able to offer return logistics solutions to our clients.” No successful positioning within the hi-tech e-commerce logistics sector would be possible without building an internal IT structure that fits the bill. Linex realised that more than ten years ago when it decided to stop outsourcing its IT systems to third-party companies, resolving to invest in its own in-house IT team, instead. “We have spent a lot of money and deployed a large amount of human resources to create our own IT systems focused around our operating system which we affectionately call ‘SAM’,” Alistair explains. “Through the hard work of our CTO and the IT team we have assembled, our systems continue to evolve and improve. Notably, they are unique in the sense that they are adaptable not only to our, but also to customers’ requirements, all while enabling us to be operationally and cost effective,” he adds. Benefitting from the wide coverage its network of wholly-owned subsidiaries provides, Linex has a positive outlook for the foreseeable future. While Alistair admits that political uncertainties have - 63

Below: The Marex 360 Cabriolet Cruiser is an open cabin cruiser

Kings of the



hree key traits define the Norwegian luxury motorboat manufacturer, Marex. Modern craftsmanship, motorboat longevity, and impeccable designs have all come together to ensure the continued success experienced by the company, which has been in operation since 1973. Founded by Eyvin Aalrud, today, Marex remains a family-owned business, with Eyvin’s sons – Espen and Thomas – in charge. Land, Sea & Air got in touch with Espen, the CEO, who unravels the reasons behind

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Marex’s ongoing growth. “The high quality we maintain in our production process is a major factor,” he begins. “Our employees have an excellent sense for the boats we are building, because the majority of them are keen boaters themselves, so they possess an in-depth knowledge of what a good vessel needs. “Another important point is that we often refresh our range by renewing the models we have created, taking hundreds of customer requirements into consideration. This combination of broad-ranging expertise

Profile: Marex Below: The Marex 310. The perfect cockpit cruiser for the family

on our part, customer guidelines, and strong design capabilities, has proven to be the winning formula for Marex over the years.” At this moment in time, the range of boats offered by the company consists of seven different models, their length varying from 21ft to 37.5ft. Among the most popular of these is the 310 Sun Cruiser, which has become almost synonymous with Marex, courtesy of its well-thought-out concept and practical design. The 310 SC impresses with enormous space in the smart wraparound cockpit seating that stretches all the way from the helm position to the passenger seat. Furthermore, both the portside and starboard side can be used as a sun bed, which gives owners the option to have a greater number of friends and family for sleepovers. The boat also has plenty of accommodation below the deck, with the feeling of spaciousness enhanced by the huge companionway door that splits the cockpit area and the lower deck, thus allowing natural light to infiltrate the galley/ hallway area.

In the front cabin, the large hull windows provide a spectacular view out – definitely one to wake up to. As to the mid cabin, it has a double berth, a hanging wardrobe, a room to change next to the bed, as well as another large hull window. Between the two cabins, there is also a spacious and wellfinished bathroom. Marex is the developer of the world’s fastest canopy system and the innovation is featured prominently on the 310 SC as well as on the other models. It is used to close the cockpit, which is protected by two sliding sunroofs and the sideparts are curtains hidden in the targa arch. Finally, the boat has two-person helm seats in front of the dashboard and a single seat on the starboard side, creating space for three people facing forward when the vessel is underway. It was in January this year that Marex launched its latest model to date at the worlds biggest indoor boatshow in Düsseldorf. The 360 Cabriolet Cruiser is a full-planning open cabin cruiser, boasting one of the largest convertible cockpits in its


Choosing the right suppliers is absolutely vital, because there are multiple components that we use that are of utmost importance to the functioning of our boats. We are looking for companies that strive for high craftsmanship, just like we do. It is all the better for us if they perform to an even higher standard - 65

class. Its creation follows the company’s wellestablished practice of drawing inspiration from its previous models and embedding their working solutions in the new and improved versions. The boat was displayed at boot 2019 in Dusseldorf in January, where it received heaps of praise for its qualities. It has already got a lot of front pages in boat magazines all over the world. “We are actually one of the most awarded boat producers in Europe, having been presented with multiple prizes for each and every one of our models in the last eight years,” Espen notes. “The Sun Cruiser was named ‘Powerboat of the Year’ at boot 2017 and won the ‘Sportscruisers up to 45ft’ category at the Motor Boat Awards.

expansion into new international markets, without us having to invest too much time and money in marketing activities. The truth is that industry recognition is an allimportant factor for potential buyers, so we have been able to capitalise on the excellent reputation we have in the motorboat world,” he adds. In order to produce boats of the highest quality, Marex realises that it needs world-class manufacturing facilities and efficient processes. To this end, the company has adopted a series of lean production techniques and has committed to investing regularly in its infrastructure. Espen elaborates: “Not long ago, we set up a new production hall and purchased

hazardous components, for example. Right now, we are looking into another substantial investment of four million euros that will see us buy and develop a second production hall in a short period of time.” Instrumental to Marex’s successful exploits has been the company’s longstanding and fruitful partnership with its supply chain. One business that has excelled as a reliable provider of lightweight composites that go into various areas of the boat, is 3A Composites Core Materials. Owing to its deep knowledge of Marex’s professional challenges and demands, the Swiss provider has been a trustworthy entity for the manufacturer for a number of years. “Choosing the right suppliers is absolutely vital, because there are multiple components that we use that are of utmost importance to the functioning of our boats. We are looking for companies that strive for high craftsmanship, just like we do. It is all the better for us if they perform to an even higher standard, because, at the end of the

A year later, its design was singled out at the German Design Award in the transportation category. “These awards are doing a fantastic job for us, because they have enabled our

a new moulding facility for a combined sum of about three million euros. In these, we have focused on bringing in some environmentally-friendly technologies to improve air circulation and the filtration of

day, customers will see nothing else but our name on their boat,” Espen discusses. As it plans its route forward, the company makes sure that its actions are aligned with prevalent market trends and consumer

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Profile: Marex

preferences. Considerations for the environment occupy a central place in the design of Marex’s two new models that are scheduled to be launched in the coming months. “These will be boats that are based on some ideas we have come up with in the past, but which we are taking to a whole new level, as we adapt our approach to tomorrow’s environmental demands and customers’ requirements for more comfort and practicality on board,” Espen says. “The expansion of our range should help us meet our target of achieving ten per cent growth year-on-year. This will be further supported by our ambition to develop the market in Asia, which is currently showing

excellent potential. Nature-wise, there are parts on the continent adorned with insanely beautiful archipelagos, and these are the kind of regions we are looking to get into with our boats,” he brings our conversation to an end, sharing his bright view on Marex’s future. v

Marex • An award-winning manufacturer of motorboats • Achieved 20 per cent growth last year • Recently invested three million euros in new infrastructure

3A Composites Core Materials

We have been working with Marex to support the company’s strategic switch from PVC to sustainable PET core materials since 2012. Our AIREX® T92 – the easy to process structural PET foam – was the natural choice for Marex to implement its new green strategy, due to the product’s excellent compression strength, superior shear modulus, outstanding fatigue resistance properties, and sustainability. Together with Büfa, our distribution partner, we are very proud to support Marex’s green commitment for a sustainable future. - 67

Sailing to


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Profile: Portico


change of direction appeared imminent after Portico (formerly named MMD Shipping Services) had struggled for a decade to get to grips with the changing reality in the shipping industry. The company, which has been active in Portsmouth since the 1980s and was bought by Portsmouth City Council in 2008, was mainly known for being a fruit business, importing bananas and season fruits, but over the past two years, it has worked hard to transform itself into a multimillion cargo handling operation. The appointment of Mike Sellers as Port Director of Portsmouth International Port and as such, a Board Director for Portico, in January 2017 signalled the shift in the company’s focus. “From the start, I could see lots of opportunities, but we had to change our business plan,” Mike remembers. “There was no long-term strategy or vision for the future whatsoever and we were at a loss of how to adapt to the new market conditions and make the most of the warehousing and stevedoring opportunities that were available.”

For Mike and his senior management team, the remedy was diversification. Being a 100 per cent fruit business had rendered Portico a bit clumsy, so more flexibility in its market offering was to be introduced. Mike comments: “About 12 months ago, we started putting together our business plan. It had to be devised very carefully, because we were a company that had not made a profit in the previous ten years, so we had to prove to the Council that our strategy going forward was sustainable and one that was going to bring return on investment. Understandably, the Council employed the services of consultants who were to assess our plan and, to our satisfaction, it was deemed the best option for the development of the site.” Following the approval of Portico’s strategy, the company received a financial injection of £15 million over the next ten years in February 2019, also rebranding to take its current name. “The word ‘portico’ has a Greek origin and represents a structure consisting of a roof supported by columns at regular intervals, typically - 69

attached as a porch to a building. We found this name to accurately reflect our ambition of being a business that supports Portsmouth’s international trade,” Mike enthuses. “With the £15 million investment, we are hoping to modernise the port and make it more efficient when it comes to delivering the new types of service we aspire to develop in the coming years,” he continues. “For example, we will demolish a warehouse at Flathouse Quay and build a new, modern cold storage facility in its place with a capacity of 6000 pallets. In addition, we are in the process of demolishing two warehouses at Albert Johnson Quay, as we are looking to enhance our container storage. At the same time, we are making sure that we will increase our pallet storage by over a quarter for our fresh produce business, but this will be positioned further away from the quays, rendering the site’s overall layout a lot more relevant to our current objectives.” A central theme of Portico’s business plan is the formation of long-term agreements with various operators. With the company remodelling the space it has at its disposal, it is now going to take advantage of its storage and cranage facilities for containers and project cargoes. The first success of this optimisation has been the winning of a contract from MHI Vestas – a Danish-based international manufacturer of wind turbine blades. Marking a striking change in the type of cargo Portico usually handles, the ten-year deal will see the company store and load MHI Vestas’ 82-metre-long blades in its facility, getting involved in the offshore wind farm supply chain for the first time in the business’ history. “It is exciting to play a role in the offshore industry, with the launch of the new joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal opening up a host of opportunities for us,” Mike notes. “A third of British electricity is now set to be produced by offshore wind power by 2030, which strengthens the type of business companies like MHI Vestas are involved in, which, in turn, is good news for us and for the city of Portsmouth, as a whole.” Portsmouth International Port holds the reputation for UK’s best-connected ferry port for a reason. Located just a minute away from the motorway and providing easy access to most routes to France, Spain, and the Channel Islands, its connectivity has created numerous possibilities for local businesses. It is not a surprise, then, that

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Profile: Portico


According to our business plan, we should be a profitable business by 2021 and we are on track to achieving this goal. The plan itself maps out our aspirations for the next 20 years, so it is a longterm vision we are trying to execute

Ferryspeed approached Portico, entrusting the latter with the containers’ lift-on and lift-off on its Channel Islands line. Not neglecting the fresh produce side of the business, Portico has also recently won a contract with international fruit importer Seatrade. “All these relationships we have been establishing, demonstrate very clearly that our efforts to diversify our activities are already paying off. We are willing to be a true multi-user facility that can handle various types of cargoes and it is pleasing to

just operating in the fruit business, but this perception is definitely changing,” Mike discusses. “According to our business plan, we should be a profitable business by 2021 and we are on track to achieving this goal. The plan itself maps out our aspirations for the next 20 years, so it is a long-term vision we are trying to execute. Speaking of our medium-term future, in the next five years, we want to reach a point where we are generating enough of a profit that will enable us to start investing in the business

see the amount of project cargo business we have generated as of late. Previously, these companies would not have even considered Portsmouth as an option, because they thought we were

ourselves, rather than just borrowing money and taking loans from Portsmouth City Council. “Last but not least, we want to grow in a sustainable manner, respecting the

environment, and investing in clean- energy machinery. Last year, we purchased electric forklifts for the sum of £1.5 million, and we are currently looking at purchasing zero emission tugmasters, rather than diesel tugboats, thus making our contribution to a cleaner future,” Mike concludes. l

Portico • Provides a range of cargo handling and stevedore services • Secured a £15 million investment for the next ten years • Has recently won several new contracts that will help it diversify the business - 71

A new era I

nitially established in the mid-1800s, leading logistics and maritime service provider Cory Brothers (Cory) has seen solid, continuous growth throughout its evolution. Based on a foundation of shipping and customer service expertise and experience developed across three centuries, today Cory offers a seamless solution for every transportation need. In the words of Peter Wilson, Cory’s Managing Director, the company can be described as ‘a market-leading UK and global service provider offering port agency, hub services, freight forwarding and liner representation.’ “We are now enjoying our 177th year of trading, and since 2003 we have been wholly owned by Braemar Shipping Services PLC,” he added. One of the main strengths of Cory is its

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significant international presence – the company has representative offices situated around the globe, as well as regional control offices in key locations, within both established and emerging markets. Peter highlighted Gibraltar as the location of the most recent opening, and as he noted, this office is significant as it: “allows Cory Brothers to represent its broad client base for owner’s service in one of the busiest shipping deviation points in the world.” Historically Gibraltar is also special to Cory, as in the early 1900s the company had offices there to supply coal for ships’ bunkers. The operations provided by Cory that Peter mentioned previously are provided through three divisions – Logistics, Liner Agency and Agency. The first of these, Cory Logistics provides a dependable, cost-effective service

via a range of options, including forwarding, marine logistics, projects, air freight, custom clearance, Europe overland and intermodal, warehousing, renewables, auto and commercial, recyclables, consolidation and cool chain. These are based on years of international knowledge and experience, and are flexible, meaning that customers can benefit from solutions tailored to their own individual budget and timings. Peter noted the importance of this approach, which Cory calls ‘Customer Empowerment’ and the role that employees play in successfully delivering it: “We want our customers to feel in control of their shipment, to know where and when the cargo is going to be delivered. The key to this is having staff who are willing to pass on their knowledge to the clients to allow

Profile: cory brothers

Above: Peter Wilson, Managing Director

them to be fully engaged in the shipping process. Our customers appreciate effective communication, and this remains key to our provision. Customers who feel engaged and satisfied will always return, moreover it increases the confidence they have in us, their service provider.” Working alongside the leading Logistics division is Cory’s Liner Agency, which holds the top spot in the UK. It provides representation, marketing and sales support for ship operators within the UK, as well as local,

effective and practical operational services to suppliers, cargo owners and forwarders, covering all cargo types including containers, Ro-Ro, conventional, break-bulk, project cargoes and heavy-lift. The Liner Agency offers unrivalled market coverage, and while continuously expanding this global network is a priority for Peter and his team, this works alongside maintaining a flow of fresh ideas for increasing core services, as he explained: “We are fortunate to have a team of vastly knowledgeable

and experienced people whom, through a ‘open’ working environment, are encouraged to bring forward their own ideas to the leadership team. Many of these ideas have proven to have greatly enhanced what we do.” He continued with further details about how important this ‘open’ atmosphere is to the management at Cory: “The leadership team works tirelessly to ensure the staff feel engaged, entrusted and capable of fulling their roles. I will often spend time on the desks speaking to all our staff and encourage them to come to me and the leadership team with questions, suggestions or issues. We treat everyone as an equal no matter the role they undertake, and I believe our staff feel that in the business. “As part of our enhancing the culture, we have implemented training packages for staff that are keen to learn new skills (or even brush up on old skills!) We have an excellent ‘Employee Assistance Programme’ in place that gives all staff on-hand support and advice for work and personal matters. We have also now completed the process of bringing our HR services back in-house, employing top talent to provide the exceptional level of resource to our staff whom so richly deserve it.” Peter praises the staff as the cornerstone - 73

Profile: cory brothers

of Cory’s success, but he also deserves to be credited for the business entering a new era of prosperity – having entered the business 22 years ago as a trainee, he has undertaken almost every role from trainee to MD and this gives him a unique insight: “My experience allows me to truly understand what they all do and the issues they face,” he agreed. “We always continue to learn and as much as my role is one of mentoring our staff it is also about being mentored in return. So, the simple lessons I have learned are to listen and be open to accepting other opinions and very simply treat everyone as my equal and expect the same in kind. We employ the best people, so why would I ever try and restrict them.”


Martello pride themselves on offering a reliable and trustworthy service with reasonable rates as standard. Using in-cab technology and a single point of contact, they ensure all specific requirements are met with as little fuss as possible. “Martello provide a personal and reliable service; contactable at all times and importantly they deliver” – Mike Bowden, Cory Brothers

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Given the open atmosphere within Cory, it should not come as a surprise that this extends outward to the wider community; as Peter explains corporate social responsibility (CSR) is important to all of Cory Group and he gave some examples of the policy in action: “We’re making more positive steps to be green: we re-cycle, re-use and run an annual Beach Clean with staff. Our new Ipswich office has a reduced paper policy to help cut waste and we provide staff with access to excellent mental health counselling. Our local community work is wide and varied from local sports sponsorship for football, boxing, rugby, netball, cricket and hockey to Christmas Tree provision for a local village.” Going forward, under Peter and his team’s trusted supervision, Cory looks set for further success. “We have plenty of plans for Cory growth through internal development and acquisition is, of course, key to all business,” Peter noted, when looking towards the future. “We also need to focus on developing our people, enhancing the skill sets and broadening the learning for all staff,” he said. “We are as prepared as we can be for Brexit and we keep out customers advised

periodically with the facts, what changes may occur with a No Deal Brexit and how they can avoid delays and issues. This should become clearer in the coming months (at least we hope so).” This pragmatism is also reflected in Peter’s own plans for the ongoing leadership of what has become somewhat of a British institution in the logistics sector: “I am very fortunate to have had the most amazing opportunities over the last 22 years. My ambition for Cory is to leave it in the strongest place possible but also find the candidates in this business who can follow in my footsteps, not because I am anything special but because it’s the right thing to do. The future is looking very bright for Cory.” l

Cory Brothers • Prides itself on a growing network to serve customers around the globe • Flexible and open management structure encourages fresh approaches • Has developed a reputation for its dedication to customer service

Investing in the



hen Brendan Keating, CEO of Port of Cork Company, states that he is “very pleased” with how business has been over the last several years, one needs not only to take his word for it. Indeed, a quick glance over its most recent statistics show that, in 2018, traffic through both the Port of Cork and its neighbouring Bantry Bay Port Company reached 10.6 million tonnes, which represents an increase of three per cent compared to 2017. In the same time span, total imports

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increased by eight per cent, exports by five per cent, and total container volumes through both its Tivoli and Ringaskiddy Container Terminals grew by six per cent – with a total of 229,762 TEU’s handled, while oil traffic handled through Whitegate Oil Refinery – owned by Canadian company Irving Oil – rose by four per cent. That is all before adding the fact that, in 2018, the Port of Cork handled 95 cruise liners bringing in over 157,000 passengers and crew to the region. “The last three-to-four years have

provided us with solid year-on-year growth, primarily in our container business, but also when it comes to our bulk and cruise operations,” Brendan states. “This has been driven, in part, by increased levels of activity within the agri-food and tourism sectors. In the case of the latter, it comes as a result of the introduction of additional ferry services in and out of the Port of Cork in 2018, including new RoPax services to Roscoff and Santander, operated by Brittany Ferries.” A key seaport in the south of Ireland, the Port of Cork is one of only two Irish ports

Profile: Port of Cork COMPANY

Main picture: The Polar Costa Rica at berth Above: The MS Queen Victoria berthed at The Port of Cork

Below: Cork City Quays

anticipate happening by the end of Q1

capable of servicing the requirements of all six shipping modes, lift-on lift-off, roll-on roll-off, liquid bulk, dry bulk, break bulk and cruise. Considering its importance, it is not surprising to find that, since 2000, significant capital has been invested on improving its infrastructure and facilities. Among these is the Ringaskiddy Port Redevelopment Project, which was officially granted planning permission in May 2015. The objective of the redevelopment is to allow the Port of Cork to overcome the physical constraints in handling larger

vessels and respond to the growing trend towards port-centred logistics. In 2018, the redevelopment project – and the port in general – marked a major milestone with the launch of its new €80 million Cork Container Terminal, which is presently around half way towards completion. Work is being undertaken by BAM Civil, with a contract also having been signed with Liebherr Container Cranes to supply two Post Panamax size ship-to-shore gantry cranes. “Once operational – which we currently

2020 – the new terminal will enable the port to handle up to 450,000 TEU per annum, which is naturally something we are very excited about,” Brendan continues. “We already possess significant natural depth in Cork harbour, and our work on Ringaskiddy Port will enable us to accommodate vessels of 5500 to 6000 TEU, which will provide us with a great deal of additional potential for increasing container traffic further still. This is just one of the many opportunities that our investment activities will create as we strive to future proof the Port of Cork as an international gateway for trade, and it is up to us to maximise these in the best way we can.” - 77

Profile: Port of Cork COMPANY Below: An impression of the new Cork Container Terminal


We are very encouraged with our projections when it comes to container traffic volumes for the coming months, and we are equally as optimistic when it comes to the volume of bulk cargo coming into, and out of, the port on a weekly basis

While the construction of the Cork Container Terminal represents the critical component at the heart of the overall Ringaskiddy Port Redevelopment Project, it is far from the only development planned. “Following the completion of the terminal,” Brendan reveals, “we will then turn to our plans to extend the Ringaskiddy Deep Bulk Berth. This will, again, be a large-scale project, and in the coming months we will be working to ensure that all appropriate funding is put into place.” Bantry Bay Port has also shared the spoils when it comes to investment, as Brendan goes on to add. “We have completed an €8 million renovation of Bantry Bay Port Terminal, upgrading it extensively. This will provide additional services and facilities to the likes of fishing trawlers and leisure craft that visit the port. We have also added in a new mariner at the port as part of our strategy to sustain and grow business in the local region.” Going forward, and even in the face of continued uncertainties related to Brexit, the Port of Cork has much to be positive about as it expects to see further growth in traffic. “We are very encouraged with our projections when it comes to container traffic volumes for the coming months, and we are equally as optimistic when it comes to the volume of bulk cargo coming into, and out of, the port on a weekly basis,” Brendan

adds. “On the cruise side, we are anticipating a bumper season, boosted by the addition of our newest roll-on roll-off services to Roscoff and Santander, with 102 cruise lines currently scheduled for 2019, and a projection of 113-to-120 for 2020. “As far as the longer-term future is concerned, we will work towards the consolidation of our container business as we steadily build in the direction of our volume handling capacity of 450,000 TEU, and possibly beyond. At the same time, we will be making every effort to reach a goal of being able to handle up to 2.4 million tonnes of bulk cargo per annum, and increase our number of cruise line calls to 125 a year. Lastly, we will be working towards producing an entirely new masterplan for the port, setting out a vision for 2020-to-2050 and the broader scheme for its development over that time. After all, as anyone in our industry will know, when one programme comes to an end, the next one has to be ready to start immediately!” l

Port of Cork Company • Key seaport in the south of Ireland • 10.6 million tonnes of trade passed through in 2018 • €80 million construction of Cork Container Terminal underway - 79

A class of its


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Profile: Aerotech Peissenberg GmbH & Co. KG The new Mexican facility, AT Engine Mexico, under construction and due to open in late 2019


ork has continued to accumulate for Aerotech over the past few years. Its customer base expanding, the manufacturer of components for aircraft engines is one of the most valued partners of OEMs like Rolls-Royce, Safran, GE, and MTU Munich. It was the latter that formed Aerotech in 1970, which, back in the day, was used as a production site for the manufacture of parts for marine and military diesel engines, and, later, for commercial engines. “Gradually, we started looking for opportunities to become independent and win business from other OEMs,” begins Bernd Kretschmer, VP Sales. “In 2005, we opened a production facility in Czechia and eight years later, we entered a joint venture with an English company called Abbey Metal Finishing, forming ATFIN – a business that specialises in carrying out chemical and electrochemical etching of parts using both

semi-automated and automated processing. As of late, we have set up another joint venture, this time with Mexico-based Grupo Punto Alto to create AT Engine Mexico and we are looking to open a new facility – AT Engine Mexico – in the country in the fourth quarter of 2019, with parts being shipped from mid-2020 and onwards,” Bernd discusses the most important milestones reached by Aerotech. The foundation of AT Engine Mexico was the result of Aerotech winning a major $2.3 billion-contract with GE Aviation until 2034 that will see the company manufacture HP compressor blisks, spools, and HP turbine disks, as well as manage the supply chain and establish and oversee all special processes required for the production. “It was a remarkable achievement for us to win the contract, because this was the first-time GE decided to outsource this function, which is rightly considered its crown jewel,” Bernd enthuses. “The Mexico facility will employ

Below: Bernd Kretschmer, VP Sales - 81


DMC 125 FD duoBLOCK BEST IN �LASS for rotationsymetric engine components

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Profile: Aerotech Peissenberg GmbH & Co. KG


In order to be cost-competitive, it is not enough just to have access to high-tech machines and processes to make the components, but you need to have the right structure within the company and be prepared with a range of production solutions that make your manufacturing as lean as possible

around 450 people and generate revenue of approximately $200 million, which will enable us to double in size.” Aerotech plans to turn the site into a one-stop-shop where the entire volume of the parts will be handled. Bernd explains: “Because we know the exact type of components that need to be manufactured, we will customise the facility to be able to perform the sophisticated and complex tasks related to the production process. For example, we will be using friction welding to create complete spools and also incorporating electrochemical etching and blue-etch processes.” Michael Kern, CEO of Aerotech, joins the conversation: “We are also adopting advanced turning capabilities in one machining operation. Our idea is to practically transfer our know-how from Germany to Mexico in the spheres of milling and turning operations, which are really hightech processes that will be introduced to that part of the world for the very first time. It is also incredibly positive to see how many

Aerospace Excellence for efficient manufacturing solutions


hanks to its early involvement in product development and the planning of new production units and sites by the customers, the DMG MORI Aerospace Excellence Center at DECKEL MAHO Pfronten is able to develop optimal and integral manufacturing solutions for applications in the aerospace sector. DMG MORI has over 20 years of technology experience in this field, ranging from complex 5-axis simultaneous milling through complete machining using milling-turning technology, including the integration of grinding and ultrasonic-based machining. Additive manufacturing with the powder nozzle, as well as the powder bed, is also increasingly gaining importance. Highlights in the DMG MORI Aerospace Excellence Center include industry-specific solutions such as the automatic changeover of front tools in angle heads for the production of housings on machines from the duoBLOCK and Portal series. The sensor-controlled Tool Control Center (TCC) ensures greater process reliability, allowing users to react swiftly to unplanned tool wear so that high-quality workpieces can be protected from damage. Aerotech Peissenberg, a long-standing DMG MORI customer, is a good example of such close and successful collaboration with the Aerospace Excellence Center. As a supplier for the leading manufacturers of aircraft engines, including MTU Aero Engines, RollsRoyce, SAFRAN and Pratt&Whitney, Aerotech Peissenberg supports complex projects that require efficient manufacturing solutions and top quality standards. Aerotech Peissenberg achieves the symbiosis of product quality and manufacturing efficiency with the development of intelligent machining strategies, which are supported by the experts of the Aerospace Excellence Center whose expertise comes into play early on in the initial phases of a project. The cost-effective

manufacturing solutions are based on the extensive DMG MORI product portfolio. A DMC 125 FD duoBLOCK, for example, is also in operation on the shopfloor at Aerotech Peissenberg. This and similar models for 5-axis simultaneous machining and technology integration enable machining in just a few setups – a vital requirement in engine construction if the geometric demands on the complex workpieces are to be realised. Increasing digitisation of the machines constitutes an important future growth area for boosting productivity and quality, and making the manufacturing processes even more reliable. - 83

Above: Michael Kern, CEO of Aerotech

people are interested in joining the company and working for us, so we need to initiate a rigorous recruitment process to ensure that we appoint the right employees that will lead us to success.” Bernd adds: “We trust fully in Grupo Punto Alto to help us with all the aspects surrounding the development of the infrastructure, the recruitment, and the legislation requirements we have to meet.

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The joint venture represents a perfect combination of a company that is an expert in parts manufacturing (us) and one that has proven itself time and again in setting up greenfield sites (Grupo Punto Alto). I believe that this complementation of our competences is what convinced GE to award us this contract.” “Speaking specifically of our recruitment policy, we intend on paying competitive

Profile: Aerotech Peissenberg GmbH & Co. KG

work in synchronicity and show the same level of ambition and dedication to delivering a task and growing together.” In conclusion, Bernd and Michael express a shared expectation that the aircraft engine business will experience certain growth within the next five years. Bernd wraps up: “We are confident that we are in a good position at the moment. We are creating the required setups in the market, in order to be attractive for engine manufacturers, basing our production sites in locations that work best for them. Given the anticipated growth in the industry, we will double our efforts in serving our clients in the best possible way.” l

and sustainable salaries to ensure high staff retention levels. In parallel, we will be offering our employees some clearly-defined career opportunities, creating development plans for each and every one of them,” Michael picks up where he left off. “It is absolutely crucial to maintain a stable and high-qualified workforce, because the kind of products we are going to manufacture require consistency in their quality and we cannot afford to make compromises with our work standards. We have built a reputation for exceptional manufacturing and engineering capabilities and reliability, and we are willing to stay this way and even improve our skills in the years to come.” The pair now moves on to comment on the requirements the aerospace industry has for its suppliers, as well as the challenges the latter are currently dealing with. “Competitiveness, both on technical level and from a cost perspective, is the main factor clients assess us against. It is a global market we operate within and the customers do not really mind where the parts are coming from, as long as they are delivered on time. In order to be costcompetitive, it is not enough just to have access to high-tech machines and processes to make the components, but you need to have the right structure within the company and be prepared with a range of production solutions that make your manufacturing as lean as possible. For example, Aerotech has a centre of excellence here, in Peißenberg, supported by our facilities in Czechia and Mexico, which, when working together, give us all the knowledge and experience to manufacture and industrialise the parts,” Bernd analyses. Michael interpolates: “The highest risk

for us and, as a matter of fact, for everyone else in the industry, is that not everybody can work at the same speed. It is easy to say how many parts are needed to assemble an engine, but if only one of these is missing, then the whole process is brought to a halt. Therefore, it is important for suppliers to

Aerotech Peissenberg GmbH & Co. KG • Partners with blue-chip OEMs such as Rolls-Royce • Won $2.3bn contract with GE Aviation • Joint venture to create Mexican operation - 85

A shared vision of



hen Manufacturing Today Europe previously documented the activities of Gardner Aerospace (Gardner) approximately two years ago, we discussed at length how this Tier 1 supplier of aerospace detailed parts and assemblies had enacted a major turnaround project in order to deliver growth, and prepare for the next phase of its expansion. Fast forward to the Spring of 2019 and we find a business that remains in rude health, with sales now totalling around $300 million per annum, 2250 people employed worldwide, and the recipient of investment from its Chinese parent company, aerospace

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parts manufacturer Ligeance Aerospace Technology (LAT). Gardner was officially acquired by LAT – at the time known as Shaanxi Ligeance Mineral Resources Co Ltd (SLMR) – in June 2017, and under its ownership the business has begun to capitalise upon the opportunity to accelerate its growth and spread its wings geographically. “Being a part of LAT has helped to establish Gardner locally in the Chinese market,” begins Chief Executive Officer, Dominic Cartwright. “The relationships that LAT have established over many years in the country, coupled with our own aerospace experience, enables us to provide a local

service to our customers, while retaining a truly international capability.” In 2018, the company took a further important step in its Chinese expansion plans by completing the construction of a 45,000 m² facility in Chengdu. “The first work packages, namely Airbus wing detailed parts, have now been identified and we are currently bringing know-how into the facility by building capability and using current customer approvals,” Dominic continues. “Meanwhile, Gardner is installing an in-house function to train local people to follow the ‘One Gardner’ ethos that we hold so dear.” The One Gardner operating model, of which Dominic speaks, is seen by the company


remiss not to cover its acquisition of precision machined parts manufacturer, Northern Aerospace Ltd (NAL). This development, announced in July 2018, brought a substantial machining capability into Gardner’s product portfolio, allowing a much broader product and service offering, to further aggregate commodities, and increase its ability to make parts of various complexity and size in best cost locations. “The acquisition of NAL enhances Gardner’s capabilities by adding Long-Bed machining, as well as new OEM clients such as Gulfstream, Embraer and Pilatus, and has also helped to raise us to a higher level within the Airbus hierarchy,” Dominic adds. Speaking of Airbus, another highlight for Gardner in 2018 was the company’s elevation to one of eight top performing Airbus Detailed Parts Suppliers. Airbus has consolidated its Detailed Parts Supply Chain from 130 to 80 strategic suppliers, and the new D2P award for the top eight was announced in November 2018, and since then Gardner has been categorised as a D2P Class B Global Partner. Turning to Gardner’s position in the market in 2019, Dominic is enthused by the potential

opportunities ahead. “The Gardner of today, I would say, now has a real value proposition and much greater credibility with engine manufacturers than ever before. As such, we are excited to be working with a number of engine and aircraft equipment companies, and we plan to address the opportunities that arise through organic means and through investment in our manufacturing process. At the same time, we are reviewing potential strategic acquisitions that will enhance our standing and footprint.” Dominic continues: “As we grow in size, our customers understandably expect more of us. Our manufacturing and engineering expertise positions us well to offer friendly support and advice to all of our customers in order to further reduce the overall manufacturing and support costs of the products that we supply. Now, we find ourselves in a position where we are particularly excited to be involved in future technology projects that include alternative manufacturing processes and materials.” With the immediate future looking very bright indeed, the bigger picture for Dominic and the rest of the Gardner team involves a number of important strategic objectives that

to be a key reason why it has become so well trusted to deliver its parts and is central to its consistent product quality, operational delivery and overall performance across all locations. “One Gardner facilitates consistent, stable operating performance, and ensures that quality, well-invested management systems are in place to provide a high degree of central group management visibility and control over operations,” Dominic explains. “It also calls for each of our sites to have a specific role in producing the type of detailed parts and added value services that our customers require.” Looking over some of the company’s other highlights from 2018, it would certainly be - 87

DSL Global Freight

A new international service delivering critical loads for Gardner Aerospace has been launched by DSL Global Freight. DSL - a key supplier to Gardner Aerospace - has been providing a just in time delivery service in the UK for several years. Now the company has expanded its service to Gardner with weekly runs into France and Germany with small loads, and abnormal loads to Spain and back. DSL Director Julian Frazier said: “We are proud to be a key supplier to Gardner Aerospace and have been providing a daily time critical delivery service to its sites across the UK for several years. A strong working relationship with the client and using our own fleet enables us to meet tight timescales of just a few hours for collection and delivery across the UK. Now we are able to provide this time critical service across Europe for larger loads.” DSL Global Freight are specialists in abnormal loads and moving freight by road, sea and air.

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the company hopes to achieve by 2023. “By this time,” he goes on to reveal, “we have every intention of being established as a top 75 aerospace company in the world – acting as a strategic supplier to a minimum of three aircraft manufacturers, two engine customers and two equipment sector customers – and with revenues of around $1 billion. To achieve this, we will require more talent, and thus we

and retaining the unrivalled level of service excellence that Gardner has become so well known for.” l

want to increase our global workforce to over 3300, while also broadening our technical capabilities, balancing market dependencies,

• Sales of more than $300 million per annum • 2250 people employed worldwide

Gardner Aerospace • An established Tier 1 strategic Airbus supplier