Updates and announcements from land, sea and air – warehousing & logistics, aviation, maritime, storage, transportation and more

Cable guys
AEI Cables has been chosen as one of three companies to supply cables for three of Britain’s new Type 26 warships for the Royal Navy. Working with prime contractor BAE Systems, AEI Cables will supply cable and wiring for the power, lighting and data communications circuits to the vessels, with 400 kilometres of cable being supplied for the first order.

Stuart Dover, Commercial Manager for AEI Cables, said: “Supplying cables of this kind for such complex requirements means there can be no compromise in their quality and functionality. We’re proud to be supplying our products to BAE Systems for such an important programme.”

First installation of the state-of-the-art range of naval power, instrumentation and communications wires and cables is scheduled, with the first warship expected to be in service in the mid-2020s.

A class act
DNV GL has been awarded a contract for the classification of the passenger sailing ship Sea Cloud Spirit, built by Metalships & Docks in Vigo, Spain. Ordered by the Hamburg-based operator Sea Cloud Cruises, the vessel is designed to meet the increasing demand from both independent travellers and the charter market, mainly in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

Measuring 138m, Sea Cloud Spirit will be equipped with 69 outside cabins, 25 of which will have a private balcony. The vessel is a full three-masted sailing ship, able to carry up to 136 passengers on luxury cruises, with 85 crew members on board. The planning firm Partner Ship Design from Hamburg will be responsible for the design of the ship’s interior.

“Sea Cloud Spirit will offer a new level of comfort to sailing cruise passengers. DNV GL has unrivalled competence in the passenger ship sector, and both our companies have a long history of working together, so the selection of class was a natural choice,” says Alberto Iglesias, Managing Director at Metalships & Docks.

Sea Cloud Spirit is scheduled to set sail in the summer of 2020.

Exciting times
Europe’s leading provider of Rotary Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) platforms, UMS SKELDAR, has ramped up its workforce and accelerated production lines for the world-leading rotary VTOL UAV ‘SKELDAR V-200’ and its variants to fulfil a string of new contract wins.

The company has experienced impressive growth to almost 100 full-time employees over the past 12 months with an increase of 74 per cent in Linköping, Sweden, and 35 per cent in Möhlin, Switzerland, and is still actively seeking to fill positions with a recruitment drive in both locations for technical experts including design engineers, pilots, project managers and mechanics.

Axel Cavalli-Bjorkman, CEO of UMS SKELDAR, the joint venture between Saab and UMS AERO GROUP, commented: “Our support for twin operations in Sweden and Switzerland with centres of excellence for prototype manufacturing and testing, supported by R&D and avionics and software development, plays to the considerable strengths of our multinational workforce of experts and highly motivated individuals working as one team.”

Perfect for pets
Cargo has announced a new pet transportation service on flights from the UK through its partnership with PetAir UK, alongside its sister company British Airways. Offering customers an improved online booking experience and custom crates to suit each pet, the new service also coincides with the unveiling of IAG Cargo’s new meet-and-greet pet area at London Heathrow.

Daniel Johnson, Manager, Global Products, IAG Cargo commented: “We are delighted to partner with PetAir UK to offer this service. Our customers – and their pets – are always our priority and we are continually innovating to improve our service across all our operations. IAG Cargo’s dedicated team of skilled and passionate animal handlers work alongside PetAir UK to ensure the highest level of care for pets for their journey to any of our 350+ destinations.”

The premium offer helps to remove the stress of complicated pet travel arrangements. Customers can book simply through IAGCargo.com for their pets leaving the UK. As part of the partnership, PetAir UK offers a UK-wide home pet collection service and can also manage all import permits, export documents and fulfil the often-complex veterinary requirements in house. All pets are flown in a temperature-controlled environment in customised crates that are lined with layers of absorbable vet bedding that wicks away moisture and provides warmth and comfort, helping to ensure pets are comfortable, relaxed and clean.

In safe hands
February saw leading terminal operator, Cuxport, a joint venture with Rhenus SE & Co. KG, manage a heavy-lift project involving multimodal transport and handling operations on behalf of freight forwarder, Bohnet.

The load, a machine frame for the aviation industry, started in Ravensburg with a short truck ride to the inland waterway port at Plochingen. Thirteen days later the item arrived in Cuxhaven. Cuxport completed the transhipment from the inland waterway vessel on to a ten-axle low loader with a four-axle tractor unit at its multi-purpose terminal.

The loaded truck, which weighed 150 tonnes, was then driven on board the ‘Ville de Bordeaux’ using the Ro/Ro method. The machine frame arrived at its destination in Saint-Nazaire from Cuxhaven two-and-a-half days later. The route via Cuxhaven was selected because stringent conditions and time-consuming permit procedures would make any alternative transport by road very challenging.

Roland Schneider, Head of Business Development at Cuxport added: “We can offer excellent conditions as a handling site for heavy cargo at Cuxhaven because of our links to the inland waterway network, suitable transhipment equipment and our network of scheduled shortsea services.”

Inspection contract
Class-leading offshore energy support vessel (OESV) operator, Seacat Services, has extended its vessel inspection agreement with Specialist Marine Consultants (SMC), the market-leading health and safety advisory to the marine and energy industry. The agreement marks the second year that SMC has been contracted to carry out the Marine Inspection for Small Workboats (eMISW) for the 14-strong Seacat Services fleet.

The eMISW is an annual assessment of metrics including vessel integrity, stability, and life-saving facilities. A valid eMISW report with at least six months left to run is generally a prerequisite for vessels under 24m and 500 tonnes starting contracts in the offshore energy industry. Through these eMISW vessel inspections, SMC ensures that each vessel in the Seacat Services fleet continues to meet the needs of the growing offshore wind sector, upholding the highest standards of safety and technical performance.

“The extension of this vessel inspection agreement is evidence of Seacat’s belief that SMC shares our commitment to safety and quality,” said Ian Baylis, Managing Director of Seacat Services. “Keeping a valid eMISW is essential for all of our vessels and operations, and SMC’s flexibility in providing these inspections as and when each vessel becomes available has been invaluable in maintaining availability for our customers.”

Optimal efficiency
Rather than using it operationally for route scheduling and planning, GEFCO, the European leader in automotive logistics, has deployed route optimisation software from Descartes Systems Group to respond to calls for tenders and to support its regional businesses with optimisation studies.

Within the tender process, Descartes route optimisation software functionality allows GEFCO to take into account the unique constraints of each customer, helping GEFCO to run route simulations and to formulate proposals which are much more precise and relevant, ultimately offering more value to customers.

In parallel, Descartes supports GEFCO’s optimisation studies on two levels: to rethink the scope of local intervention in an internationally planned schedule, and to help the company manage its grouping and fixed or semi-fixed transport plans, with Descartes determining the best routes by taking into account constraints in the field (traffic, accessibilities …) as well as customers (schedules, delivery frequencies, delivery platform …); the goal being to optimise GEFCO’s use of its own and external vehicles.