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DOWNLOAD: Shipping and Distribution – The State of the Deskless Workforce

Are staffing problems leaving your business high and dry? Download Quinyx’s new report for invaluable employee retention and scheduling advice. 

Current worker shortages in the UK are continuing to cause problems. Many firms are desperately trying to avoid business disruption as they attempt to plug staffing gaps, whilst running the risk of overworking existing team members too.

Workforce management solution provider Quinyx has released a new report aimed at leaders within the shipping and distribution sectors. Full of useful tips and advice on staff scheduling and employee engagement, the report outlines findings from Quinyx’s recent study of ‘deskless’ workers in the industry, highlighting what matters most to employees.

As the sector faces uncertainty following COVID-19 and Brexit, looking after loyal staff has never been more important. Quinyx’s report contains key insights on employee retention, plus details of how managers can implement scheduling processes to make day-to-day operations run more smoothly.

Download your free copy here.

WEBINAR: Managing cost volatility with forecasting – a practical roadmap with SLG Brands

By Zencargo

With global shipping costs inflated to unprecedented highs, getting a total view of the costs of your supply chain has never been more important for a business.

In fact, in a recent roundtable of 25 supply chain leaders[1], 56% said that ‘improving overall data quality for more informed decisions’ was the one approach that would make the most impact on their business.

But building out a forecasting process that delivers results takes time – not to mention the PO management foundations you need to lay before you even start to implement forecasting. To make implementation as smooth as possible, you need a roadmap.

Over the last six months, SLG Brands, the company behind some of the high street’s most fashionable beauty brands,has undertaken extensive work around PO management, as well as forecasting freight spend and container usage – all of which has helped to manage a lot of risk and uncertainty. 

In this upcoming webinar, Devinder Chana, SLG’s Director of Supply Chain, explains to Zencargo’s Scott Irvine exactly how they are tackling their forecasting project: from planning the project to focusing on data health.

In the webinar, Scott and Devinder will cover:

  • Why SLG wanted to implement better PO management and cost forecasting
  • What you need to get started on your path to better cost visibility
  • The main stages in your forecasting roadmap
  • The advice Devinder would give to other businesses that are expanding their forecasting ability

If you’re looking to cut the risk of cost volatility, make sure you book your place now.

ABP invests in Port of Lowestoft to support UK Southern North Sea energy sector

Associated British Ports (ABP), the owner and operator of the Port of Lowestoft has invested more than £250,000 in the construction of a new fuel bunkering facility to support the UK Southern North Sea (SNS) energy sector.

Yesterday, the bunkering facility received its first fuel from the vessel, Thun Grace, which called at the Port of Lowestoft on behalf of Peterson UK and GEOS Group as part of a strategic partnership to carry out fuel services. GEOS Group provides fuel directly from a UK refinery to various ports around the UK.

John Shade, UK Fuel Manager, said: “This new fuel bunkering facility provides operators from the oil and gas and offshore wind sectors with another reason to use Lowestoft as their port of choice, with capability and capacity now in place to service any vessel that comes into the port. We are pleased to have worked in partnership with ABP and GEOS Group to create a competitively priced solution in a very convenient location.”

Barry Newton, Director, GEOS Group, added: “We are delighted to be able to provide a fuelling facility in Lowestoft, both supporting and adding to port services, and are excited to work with ABP in the development of the port going forward.”

Construction of the new facility, which included the raising of bund walls, began in November 2019 and was completed on schedule by the local contractor Brooks and Wood.

Paul Ager, ABP Divisional Port Manager – East Coast, said: “Today marks another important milestone in our partnership with Peterson UK and GEOS Group, which will help support jobs and the regional economy at this vital time.

“With this new bunkering facility our marine teams are able to support the UK SNS energy sector 365 days a year, making sure that our customers get a consistent, cost-effective and efficient service.”

Since the start of ABP and Peterson UK’s long-term business partnership in January 2019, the two companies have celebrated a number of successes, including reaching the milestone of handling 100 vessels in October 2019. Since then, this figure has grown to more than 350 vessels, which have called at the port.

Peterson UK operates a wide range of warehouses and other cargo and logistic services from the Port of Lowestoft, including fuel bunkering to support the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors being supplied from its Lowestoft Supply Base.

New container shipping association established

A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express plan to establish a new container shipping association.

The move is intended to ‘pave the way for digitalisation, standardisation and interoperability in the container shipping industry’.

In addition, IT executives from A.P. Moller – Maersk, CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and Ocean Network Express are discussing the creation of common information technology standards which will be openly available and free of charge for all stakeholders of the wider container shipping industry.

“It’s in the customers’ and all stakeholders’ best interest, if container shipping companies operate with a common set of information technology standards”, said André Simha, CIO of MSC and spokesperson of the group.

“We are striving for less red tape and better transparency. The timing is right, as emerging technologiescreate new customer friendly opportunities. Together, we gain traction in delivering technological breakthroughs and services to our customers compared to working in our own closed silos.”

The shipping industry already has multiple organisations and associations, but the new group’s members say they’ve identified a need for a neutral and non-profit body for ocean carriers that is driven by delivering benefits for the industry and its stakeholders.

The new association claims it has no intent of developing or operating any digital platform, but aims to ensure interoperability through standardisation. Similarly, the association will not discuss any commercial or operational matters.

BIFA reasserts call for an end to shipping line surcharges

The British International Freight Association (BIFA) is repeating the calls it has made previously for an end to surcharges imposed by shipping lines.

The latest call follows recent announcements by the world’s leading container shipping companies almost in unison that they would be levying “emergency” bunker surcharges in response to rising fuel costs.

Robert Keen, BIFA Director General, said: “Forwarders do not like shipping line surcharges of whatever nature and we have been challenging their legitimacy on behalf of our members – and their customers – for many years.”

“In the past, we have seen equipment imbalance surcharges, peak season surcharges and currency surcharges, in addition to fuel surcharges.

“The number of surcharges and fees continues to grow – often with no real explanation or justification. For instance, what does an extra ‘administration fee’ or ‘container sealing fee’ cover that is not in the standard service offered?”

BIFA explains that shippers can also be asked to pay surcharges when there is port congestion caused by labour unrest or bad weather, or haulage surcharges when there is a shortage of HGV drivers.

Forwarders do all they can to minimise the effects of the surcharges but in the end at least some of the costs need to be passed on to the customers “and there is sometimes an unfair perception that our members are to blame,” Keen added, before concluding: “If a shipper enters a contract to buy goods they should know exactly what they are paying and that price should not change. If they use Incoterms they can buy ex works or FOB and control the supply chain. If they let their supplier arrange shipping, they have no control over the charges applied. But in either case, additional surcharges imposed by shipping lines should not be allowed.”