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CLECAT disappointed by further doubt about Brexit

CLECAT, the European association for Freight Forwarding, Logistics and Customs services, is disappointed with the outcome of the vote in the UK Parliament

CLECAT disappointed by further doubt about Brexit
CLECAT disappointed by further doubt about Brexit. Image: Flickr/ Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916

CLECAT, the European association for Freight Forwarding, Logistics and Customs services, is disappointed with the outcome of the vote in the UK Parliament last night against the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement which leaves the industry in further doubt.

Meanwhile, the logistics sector – including logistics service providers and customs agents – is continuing to prepare for a situation whereby the UK will leave the EU without a transition period.

Dominique Willems, Senior Manager of CLECAT said: ‘Our members are already used to handling trade with third countries. In most cases they already have the competence, experience, permits (including for example AEO) and IT systems in place to deal with such circumstances.

The challenges that remain are the amount of human resources needed and the preparedness of importers, exporters and other stakeholders in the logistic chain, which have limited experience in trading with third countries.’

He continued: ‘Over the past year, and especially over the last couple of months, various measures were already taken to soften the blow of a no-deal Brexit by both government authorities and the private sector stakeholders.

Customs authorities in countries such as Belgium, France, the Netherlands and UK have recruited and educated additional employees. Various stakeholders such as port operators, transporters and freight forwarders have started good cooperation initiatives to ensure that, for example, any delays at ferry terminals can be minimalised or at least managed in the best possible way.

Despite the preparedness of the logistics service providers, CLECAT still considers that a no-deal Brexit on 29 March should be prevented at all cost. Regardless of any preparatory efforts, such a situation will almost certainly lead to disruption, delays and extra costs in trade, and it will thus surely damage the economies of both the UK and EU.’

On 19 December, the EU Commission proposed further steps towards implementing its Contingency Action Plan to mitigate some of the most significant damage that would arise from a no-deal Brexit scenario, including measures relating to road haulage permits (ECMT), air freight and several specific customs aspects. In cooperation with Member States and private sector representatives, the Commission is continuing these efforts.

Last night, British Parliament Members rejected Prime Minister May’s Brexit deal, casting the UK’s path out of the European Union with further doubt. The deal must be ratified by the UK and European parliaments before it can come into force on 29 March 2019.

Without a withdrawal agreement, the UK will become a “third country” to the EU as of that date, meaning that there will be no transition period or any other specific arrangements that could ease the exit of the UK from the EU. However, just 10 weeks before that date, it remains unclear whether the no-deal Brexit will actually happen as various scenarios are possible like a delay of the UK’s exit, possible amendments to the Withdrawal Agreement or even no Brexit at all.

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Freight Forwarding

BDP International enters US customs brokerage portfolio

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BDP International enters US customs brokerage portfolio. Image: Pixabay
BDP International enters US customs brokerage portfolio. Image: Pixabay
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BDP International, a leading privately owned global logistics and transportation solutions company has announced the acquisition of DJS International, a Dallas-based customs brokerage and freight forwarding company.

DJS provides customized logistics solutions to a diverse group of more than 800 long-tenured customers across all modes of transportation. As a proven leader in international trade, transportation and customs brokerage services, DJS will readily complement BDP’s diverse portfolio of logistics and global trade management solutions, with trade compliance and inbound logistics as key focus areas.

“The similarities between our two companies are astounding; both built from humble beginnings, family-owned and operated, strong customer relationships, and both expanding in prominence as major global players in the industry,” noted BDP Chairman & CEO, Rich Bolte. “Trade compliance continues to be filled with new complexities and challenges; it’s a major focus area for our customers and therefore it was a natural fit to extend our reach in this area of expertise. We’ve always had a significant presence in the US Gulf region but with DJS we can provide a wider array of specialized and customized solutions for our customers in this new normal world.”

DJS will operate as a subsidiary of BDP, guaranteeing access to BDP’s entire global network and portfolio of services. BDP and its partners will reap the benefits of DJS’s proven position as a leader in trade management. With this new partnership, BDP International and DJS customers can expect a unique service experience backed by a combined century of industry know-how, expertise, and experience.

“Our team at DJS is a family, and we pride ourselves on the notion of delivering service excellence to our customers – we adapt and fit to their ever-changing needs in this complex world,” noted David Meyer, DJS president and chief operating officer. “We wanted to partner with a company who had similar corporate values rooted in delivering service excellence and look forward to working with our 5000 new BDP family members while leveraging BDP’s technology, visibility, and global presence to continue helping our customers streamline and simplify their supply chains.”

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Parcel

NZ Post plans to invest close to $170 million on infrastructure – starting with a new Wellington ‘super’ depot for parcels

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NZ Post plans to invest close to $170 million on infrastructure - starting with a new Wellington ‘super’ depot for parcels. Image: Flickr/ 70_musclecar_RT+6
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The investment programme begins with construction of a new ‘super depot’ for parcels, in Grenada, Wellington. The programme also includes a new processing centre in Wiri, Auckland, due to open in 2023, and an upgrade to the Southern Operations Centre in Christchurch in 2022.

The Wellington super depot is due to open in 2022. NZ Post plans to invest around $18 million in the latest global technology that will sort and scan parcels at a much faster rate than what we have now.

“We know that customers really want complete visibility of where their parcel is at all times of its journey – and this technology will improve our ability to do this,” says NZ Post Chief Executive, David Walsh. “We’re making this multi million dollar investment to support New Zealand businesses – both growing new businesses as well as major ecommerce giants.

“NZ Post is forecasting significant growth in the amount New Zealanders will buy online in the next decade – this was before the explosion in online shopping during the COVID-19 period. Last year online shopping in New Zealand grew 13% with almost 50% of adult New Zealanders now shopping online, and we are expecting this growth to continue. We’re pleased to be able to invest confidently in our future, to meet the growth in online shopping.

“The depot will have a 10440 square metre processing floor – about the size of a rugby field – with plenty of room for processing New Zealanders’ parcels.

“We are proud to be contributing to the Wellington regional economy over the next two years, with the projects main contractors, Aspec Construction Wellington LTD, expecting to employ around 350 people through 60 sub-contractors on this project,” says Ash Pama, the property owners’ representative.

During the COVID lockdown period, NZ Post received over 3.5 million parcels in the first two weeks of Alert Level 3. It had been planning for this quantity of parcels in 2023.

Supporting our commitment to be carbon neutral from 2030, the Wellington super depot will incorporate a range of environmentally sustainable design features and has also been designed to accommodate a large solar power installation once battery technology makes this a viable option for our operation.

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Port of Long Beach sees cargo increase

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Port of Long Beach sees cargo increase. Port of Long Beach
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Cargo shipments rose at the Port of Long Beach in May as the economic effects of COVID-19 started to subside.

Dockworkers and terminal operators moved 628,205 twenty-foot equivalent units of container cargo last month, a 9.5% increase from May 2019. Imports grew 7.6% to 312,590 TEUs, while exports climbed 11.6% to 134,556 TEUs. Empty containers headed back overseas jumped 11.4% to 181,060 TEUs.

The Port has moved 2,830,855 TEUs during the first five months of 2020, 5.9% down from the same period in 2019.

“Our strong numbers reflect the efforts of our Business Recovery Task Force, which is setting the path for efficient cargo movement and growth,” said Mario Cordero, Executive Director of the Port of Long Beach. “Our focus on operational excellence and world-class customer service will continue as we prioritize our industry-leading infrastructure development projects.”

“We aren’t out of the woods, but this is the gradual growth we have anticipated as the United States starts to rebound from the devastating economic impacts of COVID-19 and the trade war with China,” said Long Beach Harbor Commission President Bonnie Lowenthal.

As part of its recovery efforts, the Port of Long Beach has activated an internal Business Recovery Task Force that works with customers, industry partners, labor and government agencies to ensure terminal and supply chain operations continue without disruption, along with expediting shipments of crucial personal protective equipment.

May marked the first month in 2020 that cargo shipments rose at the nation’s second-busiest port, and followed seven consecutive months of declines attributed to the U.S.-China trade dispute and the COVID-19 epidemic.

Manufacturing in China continues to rebound from the effects of COVID-19, while demand for furniture, digital products and home improvement goods is increasing in the United States.

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