Flight alternative moves closer
EIT InnoEnergy, Europe’s sustainable energy engine supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT), has celebrated the success of its start-up Hardt Hyperloop, which has successfully completed two years of feasibility tests for Europe’s first hyperloop.

At a ‘Grand Reveal’ event, Hardt Hyperloop revealed break-through Hyperloop Lane Switch (HLS) technology. The lane-switching technology allows hyperloop vehicles to change from one lane to another without additional or moving components. This enables the vehicles to retain their high speeds, effortlessly switch routes, and merge in and out of the network. The completion of the HLS marks both the end of a testing phase and the beginning of a much larger testing facility titled the ‘European Hyperloop Centre’.

The first test phase assessed fundamental hyperloop technologies including magnetic levitation, low-pressure environments, a propulsion system, cargo / passenger weight simulation, and lane switching technology.

Celebrating at the event Jacob Ruiter, CEO InnoEnergy Benelux said: “The completion of these tests is a milestone for hyperloop technology everywhere. Bringing this technology to market will fundamentally change how we travel, offering a sustainable alternative to short-haul flights as well as shortening journey times in comparison to cars and trains.

Flying high
Lease Corporation International (LCI), a leading helicopter lessor and the aviation division of the Libra Group, has successfully closed a new asset-backed helicopter facility in excess of $135 million with a syndicate of five banks led by CIT Group Inc. as agent.

The new facility, which has been agreed with CIT, National Westminster Bank Plc, National Australia Bank Limited, Barclays Bank PLC and The Huntington National Bank, will be used to support the continuing development and expansion of LCI’s fleet.

Commenting on the deal, Jaspal Jandu, Chief Financial Officer of LCI, said: “We are delighted that LCI’s long-held commitment to strong but balanced growth across multiple markets and sectors has been recognised in this vote of confidence from five major financial institutions. This facility, arranged and closed during a period of major industry realignment, will enable us to pursue the continued growth of our diversely-placed fleet.”

LCI’s fleet, which comprises approximately $1 billion of assets in service, on order and under control, is focused on the latest technology medium and super medium helicopters manufactured by the leading helicopter OEMs including Leonardo, Airbus and Sikorsky.

Survey and study launched
The newly-formed Diversity Study Group (DSG) is to take a barometer of all aspects of diversity across the shipping sector and establish a centre of excellence to improve diversity.

DSG is a joint initiative founded by Heidi Heseltine, CEO of Halcyon Recruitment, and Mark Williams, MD of Shipping Strategy, both long-term advocates for supporting greater diversity and inclusion in the industry. The 2019 study will be conducted through the autumn, with the results unveiled at DSG’s inaugural seminar in November.

Speaking ahead of the launch of the survey, Heidi Heseltine commented: “We believe passionately in the need for greater diversity, inclusion and equality in the workplace. Companies that draw upon the full range of talents available to them by embracing diverse, inclusive workplaces are shown to outperform their peers and shipping is no different to this. Our goal is to not only provide a regular barometer of where diversity in shipping stands, but also to champion diversity and to provide expert support and resources to our member organisations.

“Armed with robust data and insights into diversity across a range of criteria, we can then benchmark progress and advise on the right actions to drive meaningful change.”

The deadline for participation in this year’s study is 25 September 2019.

Working airside
GEODIS Netherlands has opened its new Airside Gateway at Schiphol, which represents the beginning of a faster and safer way of airfreight handling. The GEODIS Amsterdam Gateway (AMS-GTW) comprises 2500 m2 of warehouse and office space directly next to the airport’s runway. Ellis de Jong, Operations Director Freight Forwarding commented: “We estimate that Gateway will bring a significant decrease in airfreight handling times, ensuring quicker delivery of cargo and a better service to our customers. Export wise, with Gateway we gain more efficiencies on the consolidation side.”

The Amsterdam Gateway is part of the long-term growth strategy of GEODIS, in which innovation is a key element. Thomas Kraus, President & CEO North, East and Central Europe says: “The Amsterdam Gateway … will substantially increase our competitiveness and reinforce the crucial hubbing function of our airfreight operation in the region.”



Cold chain solution
NewCold, the deep-frozen storage and logistics specialists, has recently introduced a fully-automated handling solution which, says the company, sets new standards in maintaining temperature integrity and efficiency in the cold chain.

Designed in close partnership with Gray and Adams and produced at the trailer builder’s Doncaster manufacturing facility, the aptly-named ‘Pod’ draws on the latest automated loading technology and according to NewCold is a first for the UK.

The Pod’s key function is to bridge the gap between the deep-frozen production or storage environment and NewCold’s auto-loading 44-pallet double-deck trailers – also designed and manufactured by Gray and Adams.

Newcold’s Logistics Advisor Tom Cassells sees a key role for the Pod going forward: “Automated handling and loading are bringing a host of benefits to the deep-frozen supply chain and this new advancement represents a big step forward for NewCold and their customers – in terms of energy saving, faster turn-round and overall product quality.”


Logistics contract
Amco Group has secured a new contract with Sertec Group for the management and implementation of the Sertec Group’s logistics network and transport requirements. This move to Amco by Sertec is to streamline its transport processes as part of the company seeking improvement in efficiencies and a cost reduction as part of its planned development and growth.

The transport and logistics contract will see Amco placing a dedicated transport planning team in the 145,000 ft2. Sertec Logistics Centre at Hams Hall, to manage transport flow between Sertec’s five manufacturing facilities in the Midlands. The Amcos Logistics Centre in Worcester will manage the transport and logistics requirement using Amco’s own fleet of vehicles, to distribute across the UK and Europe for Sertec manufacturing.

Sean Trainor, Amco Group’s Business Development Director commented: “Our businesses are very much aligned in terms of how we operate and our core values and approach to business are similar. We look forward to continuing to grow and develop our long-term partnership with Sertec by ensuring we leverage our knowledge and expertise in this sector and bring additional benefits from past experience and our ability to integrate into their complex supply chain.”

Fab ferry
UK shipbuilder Wight Shipyard Co (WSC) has completed its second export order. The order placed by Ultramar, the largest ferry operator in Mexico, consists of two 37m fast ferries.

“Working with Ultramar is a good match for WSC, our standards and attention to detail are of paramount importance to produce not only an on-time build, but one of superior quality. Ultramar provides both commuter and holiday destination vessels and the level of fitout is far higher than normal commuter boats. Stages for live bands, multi-coloured LED lighting above and below the waterline and very powerful sound systems were a first for us,” said Peter Morton, CEO WSC.

Peter pointed out that the critical issues for these newbuilds were timely delivery and the weight saving target that needed to be achieved. The vessels were designed by Incat Crowther, which has a long-standing relationship with Ultramar and WSC whose previous export order to Austria was also an Incat Crowther Design.

Ultramar said that one of the main reasons for choosing WSC for the build was that the yard has a strong reputation for delivering on time, something it said it has struggled with in the past.