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   Vol. 15  No. 50
Wednesday June 29, 2016

SOLAS Changes Oceans July 1
SOLAS Changes Ocean July 1
Take a trip via tens of thousands of photographs looped together as The Containership Maersk Gunhilde glides across The South China Sea in this Time Lapse photo gem by Toby Smith.

     New Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS) rules kicks in later this week (July 1). Before the introduction of new global ocean container weighing rules, FlyingTypers asked some of the world’s leading air freight and 3PL executives how they and their customers were planning to manage any resulting disruption to ocean freight supply chains.
      For an industry dominated by excess capacity and low yields and desperate for a demand boost, there was some optimism, albeit optimism tempered by the realization that any modal shift would likely be short-lived.
     As previously reported in FlyingTypers, the new rules from the International Maritime Organization (IMO) come in the form of an amendment to the Safety of Life at Sea Convention’s (SOLAS) container weighing stipulations. As of July 1, shippers and their proxies will be compelled to verify the weight of containers before the box can be loaded onboard a vessel.
     Although the IMO has given relevant national authorities some leeway over how strictly the new law should be enforced in the first three months, many are still expecting some port congestion as stakeholders come to grips with the supply chain challenge of verifying the weights of boxes worldwide pre-loading. However, it would seem the air cargo industry is, for the most part, taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, even though the potential of supply chain disruption on the high seas prompting a major spike in air demand would offer welcome respite.
     A spokesperson for All Nippon Airways said the modal shift from ocean to air was not something the carrier had factored into its planning, but added that “we continue to monitor the situation.”
      John Cheng, Manager Cargo Sales and Marketing, said Cathay Pacific had so far not seen any impact in terms of customer strategy from the impending rule change.
Stewart Sinclair     Stewart Sinclair, Executive Vice President Asia, Middle East, and Africa for Worldwide Flight Services and Managing Director of Bangkok Flight Services, said that many Asian airlines did not have specific plans linked to the SOLAS amendments. “I have not heard anything from our customers with regards to contingency planning for July,” he said.
     However, forwarders—perhaps because they offer solutions across modes, giving them more visibility of shipper strategies and the difficulties of verifying the weights of millions of containers in different jurisdictions—appear to be more proactive in their preparations.
Lucas Kuehner     Lucas Kuehner, global head of air freight at Panalpina, told FlyingTypers the industry had realized there might be some disruptions at ports, but the IMO’s softened stance should ease the transition to the new rules. “Our ocean freight guys don’t expect huge disruptions, but it doesn’t take much of a move from ocean to have a big impact on air freight—it only takes 23 TEU to fill a B747-8F.
Helmut Kaspers      “We expect it will impact locally, but it won’t be like the US West Coast strike. It won’t save the air freight industry’s year.”
     Helmut Kaspers, Chief Operating Officer Air and Ocean at CEVA Logistics, said the company was not expecting a noticeable, general impact on airfreight. “Perhaps we’ll see some individual urgent replacement shipments caused by something like a blocked container, but nothing as severe as the U.S. West Coast port congestion in Q1 2015,” he said. “In our view, there is progress in SOLAS implementation preparation and we believe that shipping companies will try to avoid losing money. Therefore we expect them to show a certain level of flexibility.
     “For ocean freight diverting to air freight, there would have to be a major interruption or significant delays in the ocean supply chain to make shippers decide on such a change of mode.”
      To understand the rules in various countries around the world, the Global Shippers Forum offers a guide here.

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Vol 15. No. 47
Lufthansa Cutbacks Tip Of The Iceberg
ULDs Ain't Just Cans Anymore
Chuckles For June 20, 2016
Lightbox for June 20, 2016
Qatar Talks To The Animals
Vol 15. No. 48
Voices At Lufthansa Cargo
Letters to the Editor for June 22, 2016
Chuckles For June 22, 2016
Siginon Roots In Africa
Will Russia Save B-747
Pow, Right In The Kisser
Beam Us Up, Fred
Female Air Races USA

Vol 15. No. 49
Richard Malkin Is 103 Years Young Today
Brexit Pound Foolish
Chuckles For June 27, 2016

Publisher-Geoffrey Arend • Managing Editor-Flossie Arend •
Film Editor-Ralph Arend • Special Assignments-Sabiha Arend, Emily Arend • Advertising Sales-Judy Miller

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