The Loadstar

  • Europe’s airlines may be readying for new, US-style merger round
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 19/09/2014
    tailfins

    The unseemly scrabble that represents Europe’s airline industry at the moment will need to consolidate further if it is to take on the might of the Middle Eastern competition on long-haul and the low-cost competition on short routes, according to French export finance house Coface. While the carriers continue to struggle – Air France’s pilots yesterday threatening to strike indefinitely despite the €10-15m daily cost – and excitedly eye the low-cost market, Coface argues that the EU needs “super players”. But with strict laws on foreign ownership, and the likely consequence of higher fares and restricted competition if more mergers take place, it is hard to see how much the carriers can really do to lower their cost base.

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  • Maersk Line CEO pays a visit to China’s antitrust authorities
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    skou

    Not to be caught out by Chinese competition authorities twice, Maersk’s CEO has gone to meet and “update” China’s commerce department over its attempt to enter a vessel-sharing alliance with MSC. Soren Skou met the director of the anti-monopoly bureau, even though the new agreement only needs to be filed with the transport ministry. The pair apparently discussed the ban on the previous alliance, the new pact and monopoly issues, before the CEO went on to visit the vice minister for transport. The 2M pact is awaiting approval from the US – although, says Maersk, it’s a “formality”.

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  • Filling the security gaps in your supply chain
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 19/09/2014
    fight-cargo-crime

    Some nasty stats from FreightWatch. Cargo thefts were up 60% in Europe last year, while in the US, the greatest cause of trouble is fictitious pick-ups. As reported in our story on Sony’s air freight supply chain today, crime is a serious problem, especially on the roads. While this article was published on DHL Supply Chain’s website, and therefore is not perhaps quite as independent a point of view as you might like, it does suggest some useful  tips for mitigating the risk.

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  • Gap’s report on supplier factories detail problems
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 18/09/2014
    Mind-the-Gap

    The US embassy in Myanmar has released a report compiled by clothing retailer Gap into working  practices in two new production plants in the country that are set to begin supplying the company. It details a host of problems that will resonate with anyone familiar with Bangladesh’s garment industry, including “excessive working hours and inconsistent payment of overtime, an unclear policy on the hiring of underage workers, inappropriate behaviours from supervisors towards workers and certain safety issues regarding health and fire prevention. It said one of the two South Korean-owned plants had subsequently resolved the issues and had begun producing for Gap, the first US retailer to begin sourcing from Myanmar.

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  • Manston Airport bidder says cargo is the way forward
    FavoriteLoadingAdd to favorites 18/09/2014
    Manston

    A possible US buyer of Manston Airport has said he can secure the £20m required to reopen it, and has already offered owner Ann Gloag the £7m asking price, but has yet to receive a response. He reckons it could be operational again in 2016, with cargo the priority traffic. Overcoming Ms Gloag, who appears dead set against any resumption of aviation activities, remains the chief obstacle. “We’re in a pretty good position to not only purchase the airport, but recapitalise it and make it profitable,” said interested investor Stephen de Nardo.

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