Transport communications

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Archives for April 2021

GEODIS appoints new Regional Air Freight Director in Asia-Pacific

Yigit Saricinar has been promoted to Regional Air Freight Director, Asia Pacific (APAC). He will join GEODIS’ regional Management Board, reporting to Onno Boots, GEODIS’ Regional President and CEO, APAC.

Previously Sub-Regional Air Freight Director, ASEAN, Yigit has 15 years experience in the air freight industry and has been a valued member of the ASEAN management team at GEODIS over the last 3 years. During this time he has built a strong foundation for air freight in key ASEAN countries and will now expand his responsibilities to manage an ambitious air freight strategy within the regional as a whole.

In commenting on the appointment, Onno Boots said “The Head of Air Freight for APAC has a key role to play in the development of GEODIS’ services in the region. We have ambitious goals.  We will continue to be a valued growth partner to our customers, and assurance of delivering reliable and differentiated airfreight solutions to our customers is crucial.  As we expand on our scheduled services, such as AirDirect Mexico which connects Greater China to Mexico twice weekly, Yigit’s leadership will be pivotal.”

“While some passenger airlines have resumed operations, the current situation in the air freight market remains volatile,” Yigit comments. “The air freight team in APAC is well positioned to not only navigate the continued turbulence of the air cargo market in 2021, but to also thrive in both these conditions and in the years to come. We will continue to invest in our Own Controlled Network and fixed capacity.”


GEODIS is a top-rated, global supply chain operator recognized for its commitment to helping clients overcome their logistical constraints. GEODIS’ growth-focused offerings (Supply Chain Optimization, Freight Forwarding, Contract Logistics, Distribution & Express, and Road Transport) coupled with the company’s truly global reach thanks to a direct presence in 67 countries, and a global network spanning 120 countries, translates in top business rankings, #1 in France, #6 in Europe and #7 worldwide. In 2020, GEODIS accounted for over 41,000 employees globally and generated €8.3 billion in sales.

Coastal States need to reconsider their responsibilities in granting refuge

In its continued campaign to reduce the risk and consequences of container ship fires, TT Club turns its focus to the plight of fire damaged ships and their often prolonged search for a place of refuge.

London & Dubai, 6th April, 2021

A detailed review of some of the more serious container ship fires of recent years highlights concerning features of the aftermath in terms of safety to crew, the stricken ship and its cargo, and the maritime and coastal environment. 

Speaking at the Middle East Transport and Logistics Summit recently, TT Club’s Abdul Fahl pointed to the substantial delays in finding damaged ships a place of refuge (usually an existing port), illustrated by the examples of ‘MSC Flaminia’, ‘Maersk Honam’ and ‘Yantian Express’. These heavily damaged, fire-stricken ships took at worst almost three months to be granted refuge and a further period approaching six months elapsed before their cargo could be safely and securely discharged.

Fahl explained, “A place of refuge – typically a port – is where a ship in need of assistance can take shelter to enable it to stabilise its condition and reduce the hazards to navigation and protect human life and the environment.” He goes on, “There are no international conventions or mandatory regulations directly compelling a State to provide refuge.  IMO resolutions promote preparedness and the need for coastal States to take responsibility to avoid compounding issues faced by ships in distress. Equally, EU member States are required to draw up and implement plans to take ships in distress requesting refuge under their authority. However, the relevant Directive stops short of imposing a legal obligation on the coastal States to provide such refuge.”

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) guidelines state ‘when a request for an access to a place of refuge is made, there is no obligation for the coastal State to grant it, but the coastal State should weight all the factors and risks in a balanced manner and give shelter whenever reasonably possible.”

Despite such ‘requirements’ and ‘guidelines’, the fire-crippled ‘MSC Flaminia’, on which three crew members died, was denied access to a number of ports in Europe for eleven weeks before berthing in Wilhelmshaven, Germany.  Even then, a further twenty plus weeks elapsed before her remaining containers were discharged in Romania.  The ‘Maersk Honam’ was even more seriously damaged in the Arabian Sea, with five crew losing their lives.  The severely destabilised ship was eventually allowed into Jebel Ali, Dubai some eleven weeks later.

Such delays endanger crews and salvors, increase the risk of further fire and damage, augment the possibility of maritime pollution and environmental damage of the coasts, and enlarge the losses of unaffected containers and cargo due their extended transit times to their final destinations.  While clearly each incident presents multifaceted issues and diverse interests, the balance in favour of coastal State sovereignty, economy and environment may restrict the readiness to provide assistance to ships in distress.

As a result, TT Club urges all stakeholders, port administrations, coastal States and the regulatory authorities to consider carefully their responsibilities to be proactive in setting up and testing emergency plans in regard to places of refuge on safety, environmental and moral grounds.


About TT Club

TT Club is the established market-leading independent provider of mutual insurance and related risk management services to the international transport and logistics industry. TT Club’s primary objective is to help make the industry safer and more secure. Founded in 1968, the Club has more than 1100 Members, spanning container owners and operators, ports and terminals, and logistics companies, working across maritime, road, rail, and air. TT Club is renowned for its high-quality service, in-depth industry knowledge and enduring Member loyalty. It retains more than 93% of its Members with a third of its entire membership having chosen to insure with the Club for 20 years or more.

GEODIS has Partnered with Phantom Auto to Produce the First Remotely Operated Forklift

Mountain View, CA and Levallois-Perret, France, March 31, 2021 – GEODIS, a leading global logistics provider, has partnered with Phantom Auto, experts in long-range remote operation software for unmanned vehicles, to develop a forklift truck that can be controlled from a distance. This innovative program is aimed at improving comfort and safety, and creating job opportunities for people with physical disabilities and others that are historically underrepresented in the logistics industry.

The first successful tests took place in France (Levallois and Le Mans) as part of a multi-year cooperation between GEODIS, Phantom Auto, and Fenwick-Linde[1] to create the first remotely operated forklift, capable of being controlled from thousands of miles away. It is the precursor of a revolution in the nature of work in the logistics industry, expanding opportunity to people from historically underrepresented demographics (e.g. women, people with physical disabilities, geographically-isolated, and more).

This cooperation stems from a creative idea from a GEODIS manager and was developed in the framework of the GEODIS internal innovation program. The solution uses a Fenwick forklift combined with Phantom’s secure, network-agnostic, and interoperable remote operation software to enable remote workers to operate the vehicle, unlocking efficiency and equipment utilization gains. For example, one remote worker can operate multiple forklifts at a number of warehouses at different times of the day, all from one central location. 

GEODIS remote operators, also referred to as digital drivers, will be able to “teleport” between different vehicles and between different warehouses with the click of a button, all from the safety of a distant office. Phantom’s software provides GEODIS’ remote operators with real-time eyes and ears all around each vehicle, enabling them to safely and confidently guide the vehicles from wherever is convenient.

GEODIS’ remotely operated forklift program contributes to: (1) reduce injuries and increase overall safety in warehouses, (2) reduce the number of people physically inside warehouses to enhance worker comfort,  (3) create new future-proof remote operator jobs that can be carried out within a office environment, (4) hire individuals who may have physical disabilities restricting their use of traditional forklifts, as well as individuals from other historically underrepresented demographics, (5) recruit from regions outside of where warehouses are located, including areas of higher unemployment.

“Phantom Auto’s technology enables dynamic balancing of workforce allocation, safer warehouses, enhanced worker well-being, and employment opportunities to those who otherwise could not physically drive forklifts,” said Stéphanie Hervé, GEODIS’ Chief Operating Officer Western Europe, Middle East & Africa. “This innovation will be of benefit to the wider community and indicates the future of logistics operations. We believe that technology should serve people, and that is what this partnership with Phantom Auto illustrates”.

“Phantom is proud to have partnered with GEODIS in Europe in this groundbreaking initiative, which delivers multiple benefits in efficiency and the provision of a safer working environment,” said Shai Magzimof, Co-Founder of Phantom Auto. 

Co-Founder Elliot Katz added: “Phantom’s remote operation software can help people with physical disabilities not just to get from point A to point B, but also with actual employment opportunities, and we are thrilled that GEODIS is using our technology for good.”

[1] Fenwick-Linde is the French subsidiary of Linde Material Handling. Linde Material Handling GmbH, a KION Group company, is a globally operating manufacturer of forklift trucks and warehouse trucks, and a solutions and service provider for intralogistics. With a sales and service network that spans more than 100 countries, the company is represented in all major regions around the world.

About GEODIS – 

GEODIS is a top-rated, global supply chain operator recognized for its commitment to helping clients overcome their logistical constraints. GEODIS’ growth-focused offerings (Supply Chain Optimization, Freight Forwarding, Contract Logistics, Distribution & Express, and Road Transport) coupled with the company’s truly global reach thanks to a direct presence in 67 countries, and a global network spanning 120 countries, translates in top business rankings, #1 in France, #6 in Europe and #7 worldwide. In 2020, GEODIS accounted for over 41,000 employees globally and generated €8.3 billion in sales.

About Phantom Auto

Founded in 2017 in Silicon Valley by a team of real-time communication and robotics experts, Phantom Auto specializes in remote operation of all types of unmanned vehicles with customers throughout the world.

Phantom Auto’s interoperable solution enables people to remotely monitor, assist, and operate fleets of unmanned vehicles from up to thousands of miles away – including forklifts, robots, trucks, passenger vehicles, and more. The company’s proprietary software delivers secure, low-latency communication over volatile wireless networks for reliable sensor streaming and safe control of vehicle functions.

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“K” Line : Notice on Differences between Consolidated Financial Forecasts for the Fiscal Year ending March 2021

Please be advised that, “K” Line Tokyo Head Office, made the following press release today, please refer to the attached PDF file.

It is also available on our Web site both in English and Japanese.