Monday, May 23, 2011

New volcanic ash threat to air space

Flights across Europe and Russia are under threat from a new volcanic eruption in Iceland.
The Grimsvotn volcano began erupting on Saturday, emitting a plume of ash reaching 20km into the sky, although that plume has now shrunk to around 13km.

As a result of the ash plume, the Icelandic air traffic control operator, Isavia, has established a 120-nautical-mile no-fly-zone around the volcano, closed the country’s main airport, Keflavik, and cancelled domestic flights.

The UK’s Met Office said the ash cloud was expected to reach the UK mainland on Tuesday morning. It is expected affect parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and parts of northern Russia.

It has also warned the ash could spread to parts of Spain and France later in the week, depending on how the weather develops.

But it added that, while the eruption does not necessarily mean there would be airspace closures, it does make flight disruption more likely.

Other experts said the weather was much more changeable than in April last year, when the Eyjafjallajökull volcano erupted, causing the closure of airspace across Europe for days, making it hard to predict what impact the Grimsvotn eruption could have.

The European organisation for the safety of air navigation, Eurocontrol, said on Sunday it did not expect there to be any disruption over the next 24 hours.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Container lines' reliability declines alongside freight rates

Container shipping service reliability has declined for the second successive quarter, in line with decreasing freight rates. According to Drewry Maritime Research’s latest Schedule Reliability Insight report, the proportion of the 2,972 vessel calls arriving on time at ports around the world in Q1 dropped to 51%, down from 55% in Q4 2010.

Despite showing the biggest decrease, the transpacific trade remained the most reliable of the three major east-west routes.

Reliability of transpacific services fell from 64% in Q4 last year to 55% in Q1 this year. In comparison, Asia-Europe/Mediterranean services dropped one percentage point to 49%, while transatlantic services went from 55% to 52%.

“The decline in service reliability during the first quarter of 2011 mirrors the sharp fall in freight rates that lines have had to endure,” said Drewry.

Simon Heaney, Editor of Schedule Reliability Insight, said: “Drewry cannot speculate whether carriers are consciously rewarding or punishing their customers with varying service quality dependent on prices, but it can be assumed that low rates reduce the incentive to deliver above-average service reliability.”

He added: “Compounding the problem, escalating fuel prices means carriers are probably less inclined to speed-up if the ship falls behind schedule.”

In Drewry’s latest ranking of the top 20 most reliable container lines, Maersk Line ceded its top spot to CSAV (pictured above).
The Chilean carrier managed to improve its on-time average to 69.1% in the first quarter, up from 45.5% in Q4 last year.

Maersk slipped from 70.2% to 66.4%, putting it also behind APL, which finished the quarter with an on-time average of 67.6%.

The lowest-ranked carriers were CSCL (40.1%), UASC (39.8%) and Hanjin (38.8%, 20th in the list).

Only seven of the top 20 lines equalled or bettered the 51% industry average for punctuality, and only four improved their performance on the previous quarter, said Drewry.

Sourse: IFW

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

KOREA—Exporters must register to avail of new Free Trade Agreement ( FTA).

The EU and South Korea signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that will help Irish companies expand  exports to Korea. Last year Irish exports to Korea totalled €357millio in goods. The FTA is expected to enable exports to Korea to increase by approx 50% in the coming years , by elimination virtually all import tariffs, as well as most non – tariff barriers.
This FTA is the most ambitious trade agreement ever negotiated by the EU and the first with an Asian country and will come into effect on 1st July 2011. Across the EU it is expected the Agreement will increase trade with Korea by €19 billion .

New EU-South Korea Free Trade Agreement – Approved Exporter Requirement
Among the provisions contained in the EU – South Korea Free Trade Agreement is the adoption of a system of preferential treatment for originating goods.

Under this system, an exporter can issue a declaration of preferential origin on an invoice for consignments up to the value of €6,000. Where an exporter has been authorised by the Customs authorities to do so (“Approved Exporter”), invoice declarations can be issued for consignments of any value.

N.B. The agreement provides that an invoice declaration is the only acceptable proof of preferential origin, i.e., exporters will not be able to issue EUR.1 Movement Certificates as proof of origin.

Source:Irish Exporters Association

Friday, May 6, 2011

Air cargo volumes through Hong Kong down on last year

Hong Kong Airport’s leading ground handler saw tonnage fall in April, compared with a year earlier, as exports from China continued to falter. 
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) handled 225,791 tonnes in the month, down 9.3% year on year.

Cumulative tonnage for the first four months of the year was down 1.1% to 876,136 tonnes. Decreasing export volumes was the prime cause, 11.6% down, year on year, to 122,123 tonnes.

Total export volumes for the first four months of 2011 totalled 457,236 tonnes, a drop of 4.1% year on year.

Import volumes for April also fell: down 6.4% to 57,748 tonnes.

“On account of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami and nuclear crisis, imports from Japan in April showed a year-on-year decrease of 28.1%,” said Hactl.

Source;  IFW