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Your monthly digest Issue 9,  December 2017

This month’s news includes: 


UK forwarders concerned over post-Brexit customs plan

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) says that more needs to be done to manage the huge uncertainty faced by a large number of traders over the matter of future Customs declarations once the UK leaves the European Union. BIFA agrees with the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee and shares their concerns over the government and HMRC’s plan for customs procedures post-Brexit. Robert Keen, BIFA director general, said: “It is clear that there will be many problems if the new customs system is not in place and functioning efficiently by the scheduled date that the UK is set to leave the European single market and the Customs Union in March 2019.”

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Drewry: Positive and negative shipping events in 2018
“The world has restocked and normal growth patterns are once again reasserting themselves, but for next year we believe there will be a regression to the mean that will result in lower rates of growth in the short to medium term”, according to Drewry, the maritime research consultancy which identified 12 positives and 10 negatives for shipping in 2018 such as a booming South Asian market on the upside and a rise in fuel prices on the downside.

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Ferry boatFerry operators debate alternative fuels

The challenges and opportunities posed by alternative fuels were addressed at the Interferry’s 42nd annual conference in October 7-11, 2017 in Split, Croatia. Mediterranean ferry operators expressed concerns about how to comply with the new 2020 sulphur regulations. It was suggested that using low sulphur fuel would increase costs by €2 million per year and that LNG would be more suited as an option in cold sea temperatures of 7-10 degrees. As for electrification, Soren Danig from Plan B Energy Storage argued that unless electricity can be produced in the quantities required without using fossil fuels, electrical shipping is just shifting the emissions somewhere else.

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Christmas rail delays: Work to shut lines across UK

RailMore than 200 sets of engineering works on lines are planned causing disruption over the Christmas period. Routes across London, Kent, East Sussex, Lancashire, Essex and Glasgow will be affected by the work on the network. Network Rail advises passengers to plan ahead this Christmas as some routes will be “heavily affected” and journey times with planned bus replacements are likely to increase.

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How retailers are reinventing the supply chain for an omnichannel age


Retailers are making the move from multichannel and segregated fulfilment to a truly omnichannel model, where fulfilment capacity and stock availability can be flexibly deployed into any channel as dictated by customer demand. But they find themselves challenged by the complexity these efforts pose for underlying logistics support systems. How are retailers overhauling their supply chains in line with their omnichannel ambitions?

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Rail network New EU rules on rail infrastructure coordination warmly welcomed by freight body

The EU has adopted new rules to improve international coordination of infrastructure works. The European Rail Freight Association (ERFA) commends this news as it helps to create a more customer-orientated rail network and improves the reliability and quality of rail services. The new framework coming into force at the end of the year provides basic consultation and coordination obligations for infrastructure managers aimed at minimising disruptions to rail services. First improvements will start to be felt from the 2018 timetable change and the full impact will be felt by 2020.

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DNV GL: Standardisation to drive shipping’s digital transformation

Shipping transformationA recent paper by classification society DNV GL showed that standardisation can enable the effective collection, storage, analysis, exchange and use of data, while contributing to improved data quality and sensor reliability in the shipping industry. First demonstration and pilot projects of digital technologies in the maritime sector have already started. The emphasis on standardisation could now help to transform these projects into fully scalable products. According to DNV GL there are six key areas for standardisation: Ship data models, sensor naming and referencing, maritime taxonomies and code books, sensor metadata, shipboard data recorder, as well as sensor quality and reliability.

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Sulphur 2020


Become a guest blogger for

The sulphur cap in 2020 is coming. There are still many open questions like when will the full cost of 2020 be known or what impact will 2020 have on environmental legislation? is a dedicated online forum for open and in depth discussions about the implications of the IMO rulings on the reduction of sulphur in maritime fuels by 2020. Do you want to be part of the community and raise issues, debate industry questions and solutions for meeting the requirements in a blog post? It is easy to contribute to the debate, register on the blog or write an email to