Posts

Record tonnage for Heathrow

Five new services to China helped London Heathrow Airport achieve a record high of 1.3m tonnes, up 1.5%, in the nine months to September 30.

Overall, revenues climbed 2.3% to £2.2bn “on the back of higher demand to fly and strong retail spend”, according to the airport.

It says progress continues on delivering expansion and the initial ground surveys of surrounding land began in September. “With two further public consultations set for January and June 2019, Heathrow remains on-track to submit a planning application in 2020 and for the first flights to use the new runway in 2026.”

Chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “With the outcome of Brexit negotiations unknown, strong businesses like Heathrow must stand up to support Britain’s economy. We will expand Heathrow to boost Britain’s global trade for decades to come, and we are proud to protect Britain’s SMEs by maintaining our 30-day payment terms for all of our suppliers.

Slump in food shopping drags down UK retail sales

LONDON (Reuters) – A free-spending summer by British consumers came to an abrupt end last month with the biggest fall in sales in six months, raising questions about one of the main drivers of the economy ahead of Brexit, official figures showed.

A shopper pushes a trolley in a supermarket in London, Britain April 11, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/Files

Retail sales volumes in September dropped by 0.8 percent from August – a sharper fall than economists had expected in a Reuters poll – hit by the largest decline in food purchases since October 2015, the Office for National Statistics said.

Annual sales growth slowed to 3.0 percent from 3.4 percent in volume terms, in contrast to the pick-up expected by economists.

But looking at the quarter as a whole, annual growth was still the strongest for a calendar quarter since late 2016.

The joint-hottest summer on record, combined with the World Cup in June and July, encouraged shoppers to splash out on food and drink for barbecues earlier in the quarter.

Britain’s economy has slowed since the June 2016 Brexit vote, but consumer spending has remained fairly solid, despite pressure on household disposable income from a spike in inflation since the referendum.

Sterling edged lower against the dollar after the data.

“September’s dip in sales reinforces suspicion that consumers may be a bit more restrained in their spending in the near term, at least after their third-quarter splurge – as their purchasing power is still relatively limited,” said Howard Archer, economist at consultants EY ITEM Club.

Previously published data from the British Retail Consortium and Barclaycard had already shown households were spending more cautiously last month after their summer spree.

This week provided signs of some respite for households, with underlying pay growth picking up to its fastest since 2009 at 3.1 percent and inflation dropping to 2.4 percent.

“Retail sales continued to grow in the three months to September … despite a slowdown in food sales following a bumper summer,” ONS statistician Rhian Murphy said.

Thursday’s data showed a 1.5 percent monthly drop in food sales, spread across both big supermarkets and smaller stores. But sales of household goods such as furniture and electricals saw the biggest annual growth since 2001, boosted by promotions, clearance and online sales.

British retailers themselves have reported mixed fortunes in their most recent earnings reports.

While grocery sales have been robust this year, a shift away from high-street spending towards holidays and entertainment, along with online competition, has taken its toll on clothing and homeware retailers who lack a dominant internet presence.

This week, fashion retailer Superdry warned on profit, and department store group John Lewis has reported lacklustre autumn trading.

Online fashion has been the exception with both ASOS and Boohoo reporting strong trading..

Editing by Larry King

Turkish Cargo flies into Stansted

Turkish Cargo has launched an all-cargo connection linking its Istanbul hub to London Stansted Airport.

The three times a week Airbus A330 freighter service flies into Stansted on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Different routes are operated on different flights, taking in way points such as Johannesburg in South Africa, Nairobi in Kenya, Khartoum in Sudan, Riyadh and Dammam in Saudi Arabia, Maastricht in the Netherlands and Izmir in Turkey.

According to Turkish Cargo, it expects that the new service out of Stanstedill feed the Middle East region, Africa and Asia markets.

Turkish expects to carry a wide range of British exports out of the UK on the service, including machinery, military equipment, automobiles, car parts and chemicals.

It expects to be flying into the UK mainly precious stones and gold, plastic products, automobiles, crude oil, turbo jets, smart phones and pharmaceuticals.

Stansted represents only the latest addition to the Turkish Cargo freighter network. It added Kigali in Rwanda and Muscat in Oman in August to the list of destinations served by its A330-200F, and Mexico City to its B777F network in Mexico on October 3.

And, in September, Turkish Airlines confirmed that it is to establish a new cargo unit that will serve as part of the previously announced strategic partnership with China’s ZTO Express (the world’s largest parcel distributor) and Hong Kong-based GSSA PAL Air.

First automated low-entry truck for Brakes – Logistics Manager Magazine

Brakes, the supplier of food to the catering industry, is making deliveries in London with its first fridge-bodied Mercedes-Benz Econic to feature the manufacturer’s own automated manual transmission.

The low-entry 18-tonner is powered by a 7.7-litre straight-six engine driving through a 12-speed Mercedes PowerShift 3 system.

The PowerShift transmission system was not previously available on the Econic. It has been introduced to meet demand from distribution-related operations for a more fuel-efficient alternative to the six-speed Allison automatic which is well-suited to stop-start waste collection duties.

Working from the company’s Premier Park distribution centre in west London, Brakes’ Econic 1830L is making an average of 20 deliveries each day to hotels, restaurants, pubs and other establishments in London.

Brakes’ fleet & MHE Manager Paul Vernon said: “The Allison gearbox was not appropriate for an operation like ours, but we have high hopes for the Mercedes PowerShift system. We’ve already seen some very encouraging fuel returns. The Econic is averaging 10 mpg, which is on a par with the 18-tonne Mercedes-Benz Antos trucks we operate from the same location.

“The Econic’s cab affords drivers great all-round visibility, which may help to make the roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians. Its easy cross-cab access also enhances safety for our own drivers, because rather than stepping down into the traffic when they exit the vehicle, they can always do so on the pavement side.”

Environmental compatibility was also a priority. Like other vehicles based at Premier Park, the Econic runs on Shell GTL (gas to liquid) fuel. According to independent research from one of the UK’s vehicle testing organisations, this fuel offers significant reductions in NOx and particulate emissions compared to a standard Euro VI truck.

New Actros offers ‘partially automated’ driving

Waitrose trials two-hour delivery service – Logistics Manager Magazine

Waitrose is trialling a two-hour delivery service for food and drink in selected London postcodes.

It is using On the dot, the last mile specialist spun out of CitySprint for the “Waitrose Rapid Delivery” service.

Customers will be able to choose up to 20 items from more than 1,500 products at rapid.waitrose.com.

Before completing their order they will be given the option to receive their shopping within two hours of placing the order or to specify a one-hour time slot on the same day. There is a £10 minimum spend and a £5 charge will apply for using either service.

The postcodes covered are: SW5, SW6, SW10, WC1, WC2, EC1, CR5 and CR8.

Richard Ambler, head of business development at Waitrose & Partners, said: “Customers are increasingly wanting to buy whatever they want when they want it. For many, we have moved away from the weekly supermarket visit to give us more fluidity with our busy lives and give us better control against over-buying and waste. Our trips to the supermarket are therefore much more frequent – Waitrose Rapid Delivery ensures we give our customers even greater flexibility and convenience to get their shopping as and when they want it.”

Using On the dot cargo bikes as well as vans to make deliveries is predicted to save up to four tonnes of GHG emissions a year. “The grocery sector is undergoing its biggest shift for decades – one where convenience and immediacy will win,” said Santosh Sahu, chief executive at On the dot.

Kingfisher’s France boss replaced, top team reshuffled

LONDON (Reuters) – Kingfisher, Europe’s second biggest home improvement retailer, has replaced the boss of its underperforming French business with the leader of its largest British operation.

The firm said on Friday Marc Tenart was stepping down from his role as CEO of Kingfisher in France, where it trades as Castorama and Brico Depot.

Tenart will be succeeded on Oct. 1 by Christian Mazauric, a 17-year Kingfisher veteran and the current CEO of B&Q UK and Ireland.

Last month Kingfisher reported a weak second quarter performance at Castorama and the group’s shares have fallen 21 percent so far this year.

The firm said Graham Bell, currently CEO of Kingfisher’s Screwfix business, would take over from Mazauric as CEO of B&Q UK and Ireland.

It said John Mewett, the group’s digital director, has been appointed CEO of Screwfix, succeeding Bell.

Kingfisher, which across Europe trails France’s Groupe Adeo, is in the third year of a five-year plan to boost annual profit by 500 million pounds ($648 million) from 2021.

Costing 800 million pounds the programme involves unifying product ranges across brands, boosting e-commerce and seeking efficiency savings.

Shares in the group were down 1 percent at 1019 GMT.

($1 = 0.7714 pounds)

Reporting by James Davey; editing by Costas Pitas

Oil firms as U.S. crude inventories fall, products gain

LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices edged higher on Friday as a rise in stocks of refined petroleum products offset a big fall in U.S. crude inventories to the lowest level since 2015.

Pump jacks operate in front of a drilling rig in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Brent crude futures firmed 32 cents to $76.82 a barrel by 1204 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 11 cents at $67.88 per barrel.

Both contracts were set for their first weekly loss in three.

U.S. commercial crude oil inventories fell by 4.3 million barrels to 401.49 million barrels in the week to Aug. 31, the lowest since February 2015, U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed on Thursday.

But sentiment suffered due to a rise in refined product stocks coupled with relatively weak demand for fuel during this summer’s U.S. driving season – when consumption normally peaks.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.8 million barrels, while distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, climbed by 3.1 million barrels, the EIA said.

“(Gasoline) stocks … are now 3.5 percent above the year-ago level. More worryingly, the surplus to the five-year norm now stands at 5.4 percent, the highest since June 2017,” Stephen Brennock of London brokerage PVM said.

“This bears all the hallmarks of a disappointing summer driving season. As a result, the alarm bells are now ringing that a gasoline glut will persist for the foreseeable future,” he added.

On the supply side, U.S. crude oil production last week remained at a record 11 million barrels per day (bpd), a level it has largely been at since July.

Outside the United States, U.S. sanctions against major oil producer Iran are fuelling expectations of a tighter market towards the year-end.

“The main driver of oil prices, in our view, remains the reimposition of U.S. … sanctions against consumers of Iranian oil,” Standard Chartered said this week.

“We have cautiously subtracted only 500,000 bpd from Iranian supply, assuming its production at 3.3 mln bpd for 2019 and 2020,” SEB Markets commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop said.

Saudi Arabia will need to keep production between 10.5 million bpd and 10.7 mln bpd to the end of 2020 “to prevent oil prices from spiralling higher”, he added.

Washington has indicated it may offer temporary sanction waivers to allied countries that are unable to cease imports immediately from Iran.

Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Dale Hudson and Louise Heavens

World stocks at six-month high as NAFTA deal eases trade war fears

LONDON (Reuters) – World stocks rose to a six-month high on Tuesday, lifted by investor optimism that a U.S.-Mexico deal to overhaul the North American Free Trade Agreement will go some way to averting a global trade war.

Signage is seen outside the entrance of the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain. Aug 23, 2018. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

Some of the previous day’s buoyant mood was starting to ebb, however, on uncertainty over whether Canada would agree to the new terms of the three-nation pact. Pressure is heavy on Ottawa to join the agreement, with talks due for later on Tuesday

Monday’s news of the U.S.-Mexico deal had pushed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes to fresh records, and on Tuesday, Europe and Asia followed Wall Street’s lead, inching to multi-month highs.

Wall Street was set to open slightly higher again, futures markets signaled, while the dollar slipped to a four-week low. Implied volatility across currencies and equity markets also eased, as investors took on greater risk. Emerging market stocks hit their highest since Aug. 9.

“Global trade tensions have undoubtedly been the most significant source of risk in 2018,” said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM.

“The U.S.–Mexico deal seemed to boost confidence that the trade war is moving closer to an end, and the next question is who’s next to close a deal with Trump?” he said.

MSCI’s benchmark world share index followed on from Monday’s best performance in over four months, rising 0.15 percent.

A pan-European share index enjoyed a third straight day of gains, though it gave up some of its early gains. Auto stocks continued to rally, adding 1.3 percent after enjoying their best day in a month on Monday – German carmakers rely on smooth trade between Mexico and the United States to sell Mexican-assembled vehicles into U.S. markets.

CANADA, CHINA, POLITICS

Disputes on trade have dragged on investor sentiment for much of 2018, despite solid economic fundamentals and robust corporate earnings. Many remain cautious.

Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Global Wealth Management, said markets’ assumption of Canada joining the new-look NAFTA was not “zero risk”.

U.S. President Donald Trump threatened he still could put tariffs on Canadian-made cars and demanded concessions on Canada’s dairy protections.

“If Canada does not join, then getting the agreement of (U.S.) Congress (to the deal) will be trickier,” Donovan said.

And the toughest battle in the trade war – with China – still looms. The United States and China held two days of talks last week without a major breakthrough, as another round of tariffs came into effect.

The U.S. Commerce Department also said on Monday that Chinese steel wheels exports were heavily subsidized and that it could impose duties on the product. These issues kept Chinese shares trading near flat.

An escalation in the U.S.-China spat would reverberate across Asia, “given the region’s intricate supply chains and that most of its economies still largely depend on exports”, Oxford Economics told clients.

But Asian and other emerging markets are being supported for now by the dollar’s pullback from 14-month highs . The greenback was down 0.25 percent, just off one-month lows against a basket of currencies.

Dollar losses accelerated last week after U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell signaled only a gradual pace of rate rises.

U.S. economic data – with latest estimates for second-quarter gross domestic product expected on Wednesday – could determine the dollar’s further moves.

But its retreat has allowed currencies such as South Africa’s rand

There are exceptions, however. The Turkish lira fell another 1.8 percent against the dollar, adding to Monday’s 2 percent fall as concerns have not abated about Turkey’s rift with Washington and its monetary policies.

Italian borrowing costs too rose to three-month highs after Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said the country’s public deficit could exceed the European Union’s ceiling of 3 percent of gross domestic product next year.

The British pound also slipped to languish near one-year lows to the euro as fears grew that the country would crash out of the EU without a trade agreement, a scenario many see as heralding economic disaster.

Reporting by Sujata Rao; Additional reporting by Swati Pandey in Melbourne; Editing by Mark Potter and Alison Williams

Oil rises to $76 as OPEC+ committee sees production increasing

LONDON (Reuters) – Brent oil prices rose to near $76 a barrel on Monday as a committee monitoring a deal on oil output curbs between OPEC and non-OPEC producers saw production rising while a U.S.-China trade dispute capped gains.

FILE PHOTO A worker inspects a pump jack at an oil field in Tacheng, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, China June 27, 2018. REUTERS/Stringer/File Photo

International Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were at $76.04 per barrel at 1326 GMT, up 22 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were up 13 cents at $68.85 a barrel.

Trading activity was limited due to a public holiday in Britain, traders said.

Members of an OPEC and non-OPEC monitoring committee found producers in a supply-reduction agreement cut their July output by 9 percent more than called for in their pact, two sources familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers led by Russia agreed in June to return to 100 percent compliance with oil output cuts that began in January 2017.

This follows months of underproduction by Venezuela and other producers which cut output by 160 percent of the agreed target.

The July findings compare with a compliance level of 120 percent for June and 147 percent for May, meaning participants have been steadily increasing production.

The committee groups Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Algeria, Venezuela and Oman.

The oil market is expected to tighten when U.S. sanctions targeting OPEC member Iran’s oil exports kick in November.

Iran has exported around 2.5 million barrels per day of crude oil so far this year. Most analysts expect this figure to fall by at least 1 million bpd.

“Falling U.S. rig counts and last week’s decline in U.S. inventories are supporting oil prices amid a protracted U.S.-China trade war that could dampen global growth and weigh on oil demand,” said Stephen Innes, head of trading for Asia-Pacific at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

U.S. energy companies cut nine oil drilling rigs last week, taking the total to 860, the biggest reduction since May 2016, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long, or bullish, WTI futures and options positions in the week to August 21, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.

The speculator group cut their long positions by 15,723 contracts to 341,132 during the period.

Investors also cut their bullish Brent crude net long positions by 11,985 contracts to 324,431 over the same period.

Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Jan Harvey and Louise Heavens

Report examines two potential future digital scenarios for containerized trade – Canadian Shipper

London, UK — In their ‘Brave new world? – Container transport in 2043’ report, leading international freight transport insurer TT Club, in conjunction with global management consulting firm McKinsey, have looked at the future of containerized trade, how value can be created and who the ‘winners’ could be within the industry by 2043.

Industry experts, looking at the future for the container transport industry over the next 25 years, see the possibility of traditional supply chain service providers being significantly challenged. Increasingly digitally enabled services, which can directly control the flow of goods from factory to consumer, will become progressively more influential.

Indeed, these ‘Digital natives’, that apply technology to previously unsolvable challenges (as has been seen with Amazon and Alibaba), as well as ‘scrappy tech start ups’, fast-moving newcomers assuming an integrator role, could transform and re-shape the container transport industry.

Having carefully garnered the perceptions of leading figures from a cross section of the transport industry and beyond, the report highlights that an efficient containerised supply chain, acting like a conveyor belt from factory to consumer, could be one of the significant changes in the future outlook.

It acknowledges the well-known paradox of cargo owners and end-consumers enjoying lower costs, while industry players struggle to share in the value-creation and highlights six potential sources of value creation.

Six sources of value creation

  1. Greater economies of scale – The exceptional expansion in ship sizes has reverberated through the rest of the container supply chain. A key question for the future is the extent to which customers prefer lower unit costs or greater flexibility
  2. Flexibility – Do customers value faster, more direct services? If so, scale would be deprioritised in favour of flexibility and modularity
  3. Supply chain reliability and predictability – The other side of the flexibility coin, as e-commerce changes consumer expectations, driving improved cycle-times and transparency
  4. Consolidation and integration – So far seen in limited segments of the industry, which is still fragmented compared to some comparable industries and with potential of optimisation through vertical integration
  5. Automation and productivity hold the potential to improve reliability and service levels, while reducing structural cost
  6. Environmental performance – Responding to the challenges relating to fuel and emissions but also the growing societal sensitivities towards protection of the environment

The container transport industry today is entering a period of incredible experimentation as different players try to find a winning formula to create value. The Digital Reinvention scenario goes some way to utilising the six suggested sources of such value creation, resulting in a 2043 landscape in which the incumbents of the container transport industry lead what is fundamentally a digital future, where trade developments may not be the key driver. In this world, flexibility, resilience and optimisation are paramount, applying the ‘last mile’ lessons to deep sea trades. Furthermore, vertical integration becomes the strategic imperative in order to build effective digital platforms and operating systems that both satisfy, and benefit from, end to end demand. Scale economies lose value, as flexibility and deep integration into customer supply chains  increase, providing transparency, predictive capability and high reliability.

Digital reinvention

In this 2043 scenario, as the report states, “Digital, data and analytics have indeed become the fundamental driver of value creation. Players with significant asset footprints lead the way, with proprietary data that allows them to out-compete any potential disruptive entrant. Data and technologies like blockchain are used in creative ways and many digital native suppliers of software and analytical solutions thrive.”

Charles Fenton, TT Club’s CEO highlights the thought-provoking nature of the research: “The container transport industry faces a complex future. The industry experts in this research are generally agreed that the physical characteristics of the industry won’t change radically. However, automation holds enormous potential; digital, data and analytics will be central to competitive dynamics, and the business models of industry leaders in 2043 could look very different from today. Digital reinvention is just one of four potential scenarios that our report envisages. Its in-depth challenge to our perceptions of the future is well worth close consideration. ”