Linkspan delivered for Grimsby ro-ro terminal
The latest stage in the development of Associated British Ports’ new £26m ($41m) Grimsby River Terminal has recently been completed with the delivery of a specially designed 70-metre-long linkspan bridge.

The linkspan arrived at the Port of Grimsby ready for installation by heavy-lifting experts Mammoet on the crane barge Mammoet Amsterdam.  

The 80x30 metre pontoon, which is currently under construction on the River Tyne, will be delivered in April. The project also consists of a 250-metre-long approach span jetty and a 195-metre-long pier jetty. The linkspan bridge will connect the pontoon and the approach jetty.

“It’s great to see this exciting phase in the development of the port of Grimsby take shape with the addition of this new linkspan,” said John Fitzgerald, ABP Port director for Grimsby & Immingham. “The new terminal is on course to secure Grimsby’s position as the UK’s leading car import facility.”

The first vessels are expected to berth at the new terminal in the first half of this year.

Car carriers are currently berthing in Grimsby's Alexandra Dock, which is accessed through the port's original Royal Lock that limits ship size capacity to a maximum of 800 cars per vessel. When complete the new terminal will offer lock-free access for two vessels carrying up to 3,000 cars each, significantly increasing the port's capacity

Gareth McLaverty, project manager for Graham Construction, the main contractor in charge of the terminal build, said: “The installation of this landmark structure marks a significant milestone in the delivery of the project. We now look forward to completing the new River Terminal and changing the landscape and port facilities on the Humber Estuary.”

Gefco supports John Deere in Ukraine
Agricultural machinery manufacturer John Deere has chosen Gefco for the express movement of spare parts to its service centres in Ukraine. The logistics provider will be handling the transport of replacement parts and accessories from international locations to the country, as well as storage of the parts in its dedicated bonded warehouse in the capital Kiev. Gefco will also handle customs on cross border shipments and the delivery of the John Deere parts to distribution locations in Ukraine.

“Delivery of spare parts for machines requiring repairs usually takes about a week, as we need to order them from Western Europe,” said Gefco Ukraine’s sales and marketing manager, Lyudmila Mukhina. “But during the harvest or sowing period every second counts. By having local stock in place managed by John Deere and Gefco, we will be able to reduce delivery time to the end user by up to three days.”

MacGregor delivers ro-ro equipment
Cargotec’s marine engineering division MacGregor has signed a contract to deliver electrically-driven ro-ro equipment for two new car carriers under construction at the Onishi Shipyard, in Japan, owned by Shin-Kurushima

Each ship will be supplied with a stern ramp, a side ramp, six internal ramps, a ramp cover and hoistable car decks.

The first vessels with all-electrically-driven internal and external ro-ro outfits went into service in 2011, including Nissan's eco-friendly coastal car carrier, Nichioh Maru, which was also delivered by Shin-Kurushima.
"MacGregor electric drives are not new to the shipping industry," said Magnus Sjöberg, sales director for MacGregor RoRo. "They represent proven, mainstream technology with a solid history of operational reliability and performance. One of their major advantages is the elimination of hydraulic oil leaks that cause pollution and cargo damage.
"An additional advantage is that they are easy to monitor and service," continued Sjöberg. "These new vessels will be fitted with a touch-screen monitoring system for the electric drives, which has improved the commissioning process of each of the drive units because of its user-friendly interface and flexibility."
The monitoring system will provide a continual data stream and equipment status updates. It has been optimised for future developments and is ready for external integration into other ship management safety systems.

Geely secures future of London Black Cab
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has announced that Chinese carmaker Geely has bought the principal assets and trade of Manganese Bronze Holdings, maker of the London black taxicab, which went into administration in November last year.

The acquisition, made by a newly-created subsidiary of Zejiang Geely Holding Group – Geely UK – includes subsidiaries LTI, MB Property Services and MB Services, otherwise known collectively as the London Taxi Company. It secures the future of production for the distinctive taxicab.

“The last three months has seen an extensive search for a buyer, an accelerated successful programme to return the small number vehicles affected by last autumn's recall quickly to cabbies in London and across the UK, and the readying of new vehicles for a return to the market,” said Matthew Hammond, lead joint administrator and partner at PwC, which was handling the administration of the company. 

"I am delighted to announce the completion of this deal which secures a future for the Coventry-based manufacturer of the iconic Black Cab.  It is great news for London Black Cab drivers and operators, for the employees across the dealerships and in Coventry, and for the suppliers who have supported the business. All current MBH and LTI employees will be transferred to the new company.

The deal includes retaining the production and assembly plant in Coventry, the Mann & Overton dealership in London, including its property, and all related dealership assets including those in Manchester and Edinburgh.

PwC said that in addition the goodwill and brand names within Manganese Bronze Holdings and the shares that it held in a Shanghai-based joint venture are also included in the sale.

Geely already holds a 19.9% shareholding in Manganese's UK business after an initial investment in 2006. The remaining 80.1% of shares are not part of the administration process and are therefore not part of the deal.

The company’s stock of new and unregistered vehicles together with the entire fleet of used and demonstrator vehicles are also part of the deal with Geely UK.

"The Midlands automotive industry is benefiting once again from new overseas investment and the London Taxi Company can now move forward with the added boost of Chinese investment in this UK business,” said Hammond.

He said the business would now resume the manufacturing and sale of new and current vehicles including the TX4 assembly line in Coventry.

DB Schenker to open Czech centre in Q3
DB Schenker Logistics has started the construction on a new €23.5m ($32m) logistics facility in Rudná u Prahy in the Czech Republic, close to Prague. It is scheduled to open in autumn this year.

The total area of the facility will be 90,800 square metres, including an 8,000 square metre hall with 92 loading platforms and a 4,700 square metre office building. It will employ 320 workers.

"The new centre will contribute our further growth in the Czech Republic,” said Tomá Holomouck, managing director of the local Schenker subsidiary. “Our new premises will contribute to faster transit times, due to excellent traffic links. And we will offer the full range of logistics services, including handling of air and ocean containers.”

Customers will also benefit from a bonded warehouse and a warehouse dedicated to hazardous and flammable substances (ADR).

Both the office building and the warehouse are designed to ensure minimum impact on the environment. An in-house photovoltaic power station and a system for solar heating of hot service water are a part of the project. The architects also plan a CNG station (Compressed Natural Gas) for passenger cars.