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ONE launches digital freight booking platform by Descartes Kontainers

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ONE launches digital freight booking platform by Descartes Kontainers. Image: Flickr/ Frans Berkelaar
ONE launches digital freight booking platform by Descartes Kontainers. Image: Flickr/ Frans Berkelaar
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Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, announced that Singapore-based Ocean Network Express (ONE), the world’s sixth largest container carrier, is using the Descartes Kontainers solution to digitize the shipper-facing aspects of its freight execution operations in 11 Asian countries as part of a pilot program.

“Shippers today need a more efficient and streamlined end-to-end freight booking experience,” Hiroki Tsujii, Managing Director, Marketing & Commercial said at ONE. “With the launch of our new digital platform ONE QUOTE, powered by Descartes Kontainers, customers can now receive an instant quote for export shipments and place bookings anytime, anywhere. It’s a one stop service that completely automates traditional manual tasks.”

The Descartes Kontainers solution facilitates a fully digital customer experience including quoting, booking, tracking and dashboard analytics for shipping lines, freight forwarders, ocean transportation intermediaries (OTI) and non-vessel operating common carriers (NVOCC) around the world. The digital freight execution platform enables these logistics services providers (LSP) to rapidly create branded, online self-service experiences for their customers. With its recent acquisition of Portrix Logistics Systems, Descartes can also now provide freight forwarders with a comprehensive digital solution for engaging customers and managing rates. However, the solution also helps LSPs preserve investments in existing rate management and back-office systems and quickly get their digital customer experience live through the use of standardized APIs. Even large carriers and LSPs such as ONE are able to get customers booking freight in just a few months.

“We are pleased to help ONE simplify and enhance the customer experience through digitization,” said Graham Parker, VP Digital Freight Solutions at Descartes. “As the shift to digitize customer-facing operations accelerates, it is increasingly valuable to have a leading execution platform that can provide rates, quotes, and the ability to book cargo and track it on demand on any Internet-enabled device.”

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Container Shipping Lines

DP World Maputo launches first dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare

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DP World Maputo launches first dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare. Image: DP World
DP World Maputo launches first dedicated logistics rail service between Maputo and Harare. Image: DP World
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DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal, last Friday handled the first dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare, Zimbabwe.

The new service is part of the company’s continued focus to expand its logistics and supply chain offering in the region, and key to its vision to connect several countries in Southern Africa – namely Maputo with South Africa, Zimbabwe and Swaziland – by rail.

This new offering presents a multitude of new business opportunities for customers in Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Not only will this help enhance DP World Maputo’s position as a gateway to Zimbabwe, the service offers significantly better transit times for customers in Zimbabwe. In the past, transit goods on their way to Harare would often have to be transported far greater distances by sea and road, but this route will give customers a new, direct, and faster option for delivery.

Following the launch of the bi-weekly rail service, DP World Maputo will continue to work with all the stakeholders involved to make this a weekly train service between the two cities, to allow even greater cost saving and planning opportunities for businesses and individuals who need reliable, efficient transportation of goods.

Christian Roeder, CEO of DP World Maputo said: “This rail service between Maputo and Harare is key to reopening the route between these markets to drive more efficient logistics in the region. Through this service, which we will facilitate and handle all port and border documentation, we can cut down transit times, give our customers better service and improve the connections between cities.”

The rail service also follows the recent announcement of DP World Komatipoort in South Africa, handling its first transit import via Maputo, demonstrating that the Maputo Port can be seamlessly used as a gateway to South Africa’s hinterland using DP World Komatipoort. International container imports landed in Maputo port and destined for the South African hinterland, can now be moved under bond to Komatipoort, where full customs clearance can be provided and made ready for delivery across South Africa.

DP World will continue to develop the Maputo Corridor, a vital trade route in Southern Africa, through investing in new infrastructure to meet local demand, while DP World Maputo’s container terminal capacity will also be enhanced, having already doubled in size between 2016 and 2018.

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Container Shipping Lines

Good traction for MSC’s Asia-to-Europe ocean and rail solution

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Good traction for MSC’s Asia-to-Europe ocean and rail solution. Image: MSC
Good traction for MSC’s Asia-to-Europe ocean and rail solution. Image: MSC
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In mid-May, the first shipment of MSC containers was moved via MSC block train from Vostochniy to St. Petersburg in Russia, as part of a new regular multimodal solution from Asia to Europe, which was launched in April.

In recent years, a growing number of shippers have been moving containers from east to west over land, including a surge in cargo originating in China bound for Europe via rail. Against the backdrop of this trend, MSC launched the Taiga service, which combines MSC’s intra-Asia shipping network, our rail service in Russia and our short-sea feeder network in Europe. One single package offers connections from China, Korea and Japan all the way to various locations in North West Continent, Europe

From Asia, cargo is shipped on MSC’s Golden Horn and Sunrise services to two of the largest container ports in Russia: Vostochniy and Vladivostok. The cargo is then transported via MSC block train to St. Petersburg in 13 days and can then be transshipped via MSC’s Maroc Express and Baltic Loop 7 services to other North-West Continent and northern European ports such as Antwerp, Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Le Havre in four to seven days.

“Customer response for this new solution has been very positive, and the volume is currently high enough so we can run dedicated block trains to St. Petersburg, instead of relying on existing rail schedules. This means added flexibility for our customers, which is much appreciated in these challenging times,” said Salvatore Scotto di Santolo, Trade Manager at MSC’s headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Total transit time for shipments from Shanghai to St. Petersburg is 24 days via this combined solution of ocean and rail, compared with 41 days by ocean freight. In addition, the usage of rail service is highly stable as it is not so impacted by weather conditions, increasing the reliability of the offering.

Potential for further growth

In 2020, China became the EU’s largest trading partner and exports from China to the EU grew by 5.6 per cent compared with 2019, according to data from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office.

While MSC continues to offer traditional ocean network coverage via our usual 2M services, the Asia-to-Europe multimodal solution is an attractive additional alternative proposition for shippers who are facing issues with getting space on ocean freight services due to the Suez Canal blockage incident in April and on-going port congestion in Europe stemming from the pandemic.

Furthermore, there is room for this transport option of moving cargo overland via Russia to scale up, with MSC’s commitment to avoid considering the Northern Sea Route through the Arctic due to environmental concerns.

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Container Shipping Lines

Wan Hai Lines confirmed orders for four new vessels

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Wan Hai Lines confirmed orders for four new vessels . Image: Wan Hai Lines
Wan Hai Lines confirmed orders for four new vessels . Image: Wan Hai Lines
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Wan Hai Lines has confirmed an order of 4 container vessels with SAMSUNG HEAVY INDUSTRIES CO., LTD. The contract was signed on 31st May 2021.

The contract includes four (4) 13,100Teu container vessels. These new vessels will start taking delivery in the 2nd quarter of 2023 respectively.

Currently, Wan Hai Lines operates a vessel fleet of 83 owned and 62 chartered.

This new shipbuilding contract is the company’s latest fleet upsizing plan to ensure that the company’s vessel fleet is able to maintain competitiveness and support continuous market development.

Eventually, the company aims to deliver better service quality to its customers through its recent vessel renewal plan.

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