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Archives for September 2012

Uniserve acquires Portall Solutions

London: 13 September 2012

Uniserve, the UK’s largest privately owned international freight and logistics company, has announced is acquisition of Portall Solutions Ltd, a finance and management consultancy business.  This signals Uniserve’s intention to redefine supply chain management services and to raise current standards of industry capability with its new concept of Global Trade Management (GTM).

Extending beyond the traditional freight forwarding competencies, the Portall product will provide Uniserve’s GTM service with a degree of flexibility designed to tackle today’s economic conditions and to exploit opportunities; an alternative approach to existing supply chain solutions which reflect past conditions.

Iain Liddell, Managing Director of Uniserve said “The acquisition of Portall will give us a significant addition to our range of capabilities.  It is our intention to lead the industry and promote the next generation of business support services, taking supply management to another level.  Our concept of Global Trade Management, or GTM, encompasses many skills and competencies in which Uniserve has been investing for some time.  To accelerate the growth of GTM, the 100% acquisition of Portall gives us a number of unique and innovative products to provide for our clients.”

The world class supply chains devised for many of our customers and other blue chip companies require to be updated constantly to remain world class.  To sustain this development Uniserve strives to up-date supply chain management structures by asking these crucial questions: is an existing supply chain designed for current trading conditions and for those of the foreseeable future; given limited growth in UK and EU markets, how can supply chain design facilitate those growth opportunities that do exist; how can opportunities to increase efficiency, not previously identified, be unlocked and what can be done to identify changing trends in rates and other performance metrics?

Uniserve believes with its global infrastructure of partners it is well placed to take advantage of the extremely competitive prevailing conditions and so react to these challenges to the benefit of our customers.

Liddell concludes, “Uniserve is pleased to be able to invest through this acquisition of Portall, adding to its knowledge bank and expertise.  Only companies like ours, with a strong balance sheet and a clear vision for the future, will be able to grow during this current down-turn.  We are confident that Uniserve will attain such growth through extended margins and a good return on this current investment.”


About Uniserve Group

Established in 1984, Uniserve are the largest British privately owned international freight and logistics company in the UK. Working with an unrivalled network of professional partners across the world, Uniserve is a leading import and export consolidator and full load carrier, operating via air, sea and road.

We are experts in all major Global trade markets and specialists in Europe, China, South East Asia, and The Indian Subcontinent. At Uniserve we pride ourselves on our experienced, knowledgeable, dedicated team, selected from the finest in the industry to provide the best service and advice to you, across all modes and aspects of transport, import and export procedure.

For further details please contact:

Mike Woodall

Tel:   0044 1708 259 400

Mobile:  0044 7557 092 606


Wind Turbines by Rail – SNCF Geodis and Vestas Initiate a Shift for the Industry

Global logistics provider SNCF Geodis and Vestas, the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturer, launched a breakthrough concept in the transportation for wind turbine blades. For the first time in Europe 55-metre long wind blades have been delivered by rail, from Germany to Denmark, generating significant reductions in transport time, costs and CO2-emissions.

“We took an innovative approach to lowering the cost of energy while at the same time reducing impact on the environment”, says Mette Heileskov Bülow, Transportation Chief Specialist at Vestas. The first blade-by-train transport, consisting of nine wind blades went in less than 20 hours from Vestas’ production facility in Lauchhammer, Germany, to the port of Esbjerg, Denmark, mainly by electric railway. By road it would have taken 72 hours, involving 9 trucks accompanied by 18 safety cars.

SNCF Geodis and Vestas are about to design rail connections between Vestas’ production facilities, research centres, warehouses and erection locations throughout Europe. Changing the mode of transport for the majority of these onshore wind turbine components in Europe in the near future will also reduce transportation cost – “already at this early stage we experience a reduction of up to 15%”, confirms Mette Heileskov Bülow.

Pierre Blayau, CEO of SNCF Geodis, says: “This new transportation concept shows the beneficial strategic fit between SNCF Geodis and Vestas. Both our companies are role models for creating sustainable solutions in our respective industries.”

Going forward, SNCF Geodis and Vestas already plan to design rail connections between more Vestas’ facilities in Europe. The transport management will be provided by Geodis Wilson’s Industrial Projects division and its specialized oversize-rail-cargo unit STSI, together with Captrain, the European freight rail division of SNCF Geodis.


About SNCF Geodis

SNCF Geodis, the Transports and Logistics Division of SNCF Group, provides an end-to-end flow management solutions for its customers in Europe and worldwide. With its global multimodal network covering 120 countries and a 47,700-strong workforce, SNCF Geodis is the fourth-largest transport and logistics operator in Europe, with a revenue of 9.4 billion € in 2011.

Geodis Wilson is the freight forwarding division of Geodis. With its 7,300 employees in more than 50 countries and a revenue of 2,4 billion € in 2011, the company delivers integrated logistics solutions with a dedicated industry focus. Geodis Wilson runs also a dedicated specialist network for industrial projects, managing all kinds of oversized cargo operations worldwide.

About Captrain

Captrain is the European rail arm of SNCF Geodis. It was formed in 2010, following a series of acquisitions in several countries. With its 1350 employees all across Europe it covers rail freight activities outside France. Captrain units are based in Germany, Benelux, Italy, Romania, Czech Republic, Poland and the UK. In 2011, Captrain generated a revenue of 396 million € (up to 26% compared to 2010).

About Geodis Wilson

About Vestas

Vestas wind turbines deliver clean energy that supports the global fight against climate change. Wind power from Vestas’ more than 47,000 wind turbines currently reduces carbon emissions by approximately 55 million tons of CO2 every year, while at the same time building energy security and independence. Vestas delivers wind energy in more than 70 countries, providing jobs for over 20,000 employees. With 65 per cent more megawatts installed than its closest competitor and more than 51 GW of cumulative installed capacity worldwide, Vestas is the world leader in wind energy.

DACHSER Launches Irish Pallet Service for the Northwest

Rochdale & Northampton:  4 September 2012

DACHSER UK’s European logistics network, providing direct pallet and part-load deliveries for UK exporters, has been further extended with the introduction of a daily service to Ireland from the company’s northern hub in Rochdale (Greater Manchester).  This augments DACHSER’s UK/Ireland services which also run daily from its depots in Northampton and Dartford.

The service is provided in cooperation with Johnston Logistics Ltd., a long-standing partner of DACHSER’s in both the Republic and Northern Ireland, which provides total geographical coverage via its headquarters in Dublin and three regional facilities.

Nick Lowe is Managing Director of DACHSER UK.  He commented on the service extension, “This new Irish connection is critical to DACHSER providing a comprehensive European pallet service to our customers in the North of England, a region for which Ireland is an extremely important market.  Our integrated, state-of-the-art shipment control and tracking systems as well as EDI connections will all be available on this new service.’’

Irish-based customers will be able to take advantage not only of daily links to UK destinations but also of the network of DACHSER services to the continent.  Welcoming the announcement Albert Johnston of Johnston Logistics said, “Our operational cooperation with DACHSER has significantly improved the service packages we are able to offer our customers, whether they are importers or exporters in Ireland.  This new link to the North of England is particularly welcome. “



DACHSER UK is part of the Dachser group, a major international logistics provider which in 2011 generated total sales worth EUR 4.3 Billion. 21,000 staff working in 315 locations worldwide handled 49.3 million consignments comprising 37.1 million tonnes.

For more information, please visit


Johnston Logistics specialises in providing end to end contract logistics solutions based on leading edge technology and innovative thinking designed to deliver cost savings and competitive advantage to its customers

Offering the ultimate in Supply Chain Management (SCM), its services include: Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) , Stock Management, International freight services, Domestic Irish distribution and Specialist logistics services

For more information, please visit

TT Club Advise on Forwarder’s Cargo Receipts

Freight transport insurance specialist TT Club was pleased to collaborate with the Japan International Freight Forwarders Association (JIFFA) in the revision of its Forwarder’s Cargo Receipt (FCR) form, marrying the Club’s expertise with practical freight forwarding experience.

London, 3rd September, 2012

TT Club has an established reputation for seeking to clarify the risks and liabilities involved in transportation and supply chain services for cargo owners. Recent industry feedback has confirmed that many forwarders continue to be unclear of the extent of their exposure to losses and other liabilities during the course of international trade.

As a result, the Japan International Freight Forwarders Association’s (JIFFA) initiative to introduce a new Forwarder’s Cargo Receipt (FCR) Form proved an ideal opportunity for TT Club to work with forwarders and share its own expertise and global experience on the topic.

JIFFA needed to revise its FCR to meet a demand from its members following the deregulation of freight forwarding.  Ian Hyslop, Legal Consultant to the TT Club and Suki Kwan, Claims Executive in TT Club’s Hong Kong office, were invited to input into this revision process. The revised FCR, and an accompanying publication entitled, ‘Guide to Understanding JIFFA FCR’ (in Japanese and English)*, were launched at seminars in Tokyo and Osaka in July 2012, in which the TT Club was delighted to participate.

The FCR is a document designed for a specific, but pivotal, use in contemporary freight forwarding. Essentially, it is a confirmation by a forwarder that it has received goods into its possession or control with irrevocable instructions to forward them to a consignee. The FCR can be a more flexible and cost effective solution to modern trade problems than a letter of credit or bill of lading – although it is designed to be used in conjunction with both of these as required. Astute use of the FCR can allow cargoes to be consolidated, for example to meet ‘just in time’ requirements, or to be re-shipped en route while protecting the identity of the seller.

If the FCR is to be used safely and effectively, its limited characteristics need to be understood. It is not a transport document, a contract of carriage, a negotiable document, a document of title or a document entitling the holder to delivery. But it does create certain contractual obligations between the forwarder and its customer. It is essential that these are understood and respected by all the parties involved (and by courts in jurisdictions where disputes are likely to arise). These obligations should if possible be reinforced by a separate agreement directly between the forwarder and the seller or buyer. It is also common to print the forwarder’s standard trading terms on the reverse of the FCR. JIFFA itself extensively reviewed its standard terms in 2010 to help member companies perform business activities with minimum risk, and these highlight the relationship between the forwarder’s obligations in issuing the FCR and the carrier’s obligations in carrying the goods to destination.

As with all documentation, there is a need for absolute accuracy and consistency. Further, the forwarder must be satisfied of the financial standing of the parties, and be alert to the possibility of fraud.

Papers were presented at the seminars by Hiroki Okabe, a corporate lawyer for JIFFA and Chairman of the association’s Judicial Affairs Committee, and Ian Hyslop. Okabe made a technical analysis of the FCR, including many practical hints, while Hyslop put this in the international context and offered examples from reported court cases and the TT Club’s own experience.

Hyslop commended JIFFA for its valuable and painstaking work on the FCR and undertook that the TT Club would share the increased understanding it had gained from this work with its Members worldwide. Okabe drew attention to the following quote from the JIFFA FCR Guide: “We wish to acknowledge our deep appreciation for the contribution of TT Club, a provider of liability insurance for international transport and logistics industry. Their expert knowledge on risks, recent accidents and legal issues associated with the FCR has been so valuable to us”.

*The Guide is available at


Note to Editors:

The TT Club is the international transport and logistics industry’s leading provider of insurance and related risk management services. Established in 1968, the Club’s membership comprises ship operators, ports and terminals, road, rail and airfreight operators, logistics companies and container lessors. As a mutual insurer, the Club exists to provide its policyholders with benefits, which include specialist underwriting expertise, a world-wide office network providing claims management services, and first class risk management and loss prevention advice.