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Lighthouse - September, 2016.

APL Strengthens Asia-Europe Service Network With New India Pakistan Europe Service


APL has announced the launch of a new weekly service – the India Pakistan Europe (IPE) Service, directly connecting the key South Asian markets of India and Pakistan to Major Ports in Europe. The new IPE service builds on APL’s strong market presence and local expertise in India and Pakistan to enhance its Asia-Europe service offerings.

“Europe is a premier trading partner and a major export market of South Asian countries. It is opportune that we expand our service coverage in Asia-Europe through the new IPE service, directly linking the major economies of India and Pakistan to Europe. As APL offers market connectivity, our priorities are also to provide reliable and timely cargo shipments across all regions,” said Mr. Eric Eng, APL Head of Asia Europe Trade.

With fast transit times from India and Pakistan to North Europe, the IPE service will call the Ports of Port Qasim, Nhava Sheva, Hazira, Mundra, Jeddah, Djibouti, Southampton, Rotterdam, Antwerp, Felixstowe and Le Havre.

First sailing of the IPE Eastbound service will commence on October 1, 2016 from Southampton. First sailing of the Westbound service will commence on 4 October 2016 from Port Qasim.


Hapag-Lloyd Merger Reveals UASC’S Huge Net Losses


The United Arab Shipping Company (UASC) suffered an operating loss of US $299-million and a net loss of US $384-million in 2015 off of a revenue of US $3.32-billion.

The figures were revealed by Hapag-Lloyd as part of its obligatory disclosures as a public company before an upcoming Annual General Meeting, scheduled to be held in Hamburg at the end of August.

At the meeting, the German carrier will seek shareholders’ approval to amend its capital structure to complete a planned merger with UASC.

UASC has until now never disclosed its financial results as the shipping line is privately owned by six GCC states. The depth of its underperformance will likely cause some hesitancy among Hapag-Lloyd shareholders.

A negative operating margin of -9.0% makes UASC the worst performer among all main container carriers that have published financial results for 2015.

UASC’s poor financial performance has continued in 2016 with an operating loss of US $132-million and net loss of US $201-million on revenues of US $1.5-billion in the first six months of the year.


Khalifa Port Expansion To Bring The World’S Largest Ships To Abu Dhabi




Nearly four years after it first opened for business, Abu Dhabi’s vast Khalifa Port container terminal is to be expanded to accommodate the world’s largest ships.

Abu Dhabi Ports, the government-owned company that runs the US$7 billion terminal, has announced plans to expand the port’s quay wall so that it can handle more cargo and to dredge the port to make it two metres deeper.

In a statement on Saturday, Abu Dhabi Ports said that it planned to build 1,000 metres of quay wall, adding 600,000 square metres of space for cargo handling and deepen its main channel and basin to 18 metres from the current 16 metres.

The company has signed a contract with the National Marine Dredging Company (NMDC) to start preparatory work on dredging the channels and using this material to build the new quay wall and a yard behind it.

The work, which will involve 250 workers, is scheduled to be completed in mid2018.

The expansion is part of ambitious plans for Khalifa Port, which replaced Abu Dhabi’s 1960s built Port Zayed as the city’s main container port in December 2012 with the capacity to handle 2 million containers a year and is projected to have the capacity to handle 15 million a year by 2030.


Singapore Bunker Market Players Establish New Association


Singapore’s bunker market has formed a new industry association, Association of Bunker Industry (Singapore) (ABIS), to improve and address the needs of the industry.

The new group said its core aims are to focus on working with small and medium-sized bunker firms so as to improve their business services, as well as working with national bodies to raise industry standards, and develop and deliver training programs for its members.

Kwok Fook Sing, honorary secretary of ABIS, said the new bunker association comprises of all bunker-related stakeholders, ranging from suppliers, shipowners, bunker buyers, traders, surveyors, fuel testers, legal counsels and mass flow meter (MFM) vendors.


Impact Of Gst On Indian Logistics Industry


The logistics industry in India is growing slowly but steadily, with introduction of E- commerce , Economic reformation by proposed GST , Initiative like “ MAKE IN INDIA”. Today we will see what positive & negative impacts can happen in Logistics Market for Modi Government’s proposed GST which will be implemented from 2017 calendar year….

Logistic Industry in India is primarily categorized into warehousing, land/road transportation, freight forwarding & value added service in which transportation contributes almost 60% on whole logistics part in India followed by almost 25% on warehousing, 10% on freight forwarding & rest 5% on value added services.

Currently Logistic Industry is suffering from various issues like (a) Complex Tax structure within states in India ( b) Poor Infrastructure (c) Poor / strict Custom efficiency and procedure of Customs , thus being a lower cost service proving country actually logistics cost in India is higher than many countries compared to European Countries.

Positive impacts what we can expect for implementation of GST…

1.  Indian Road/ Rail transport will be highly beneficial due to removal of multiple/ combined taxes like State entrance Tax/ Chungi/ Octroi/ Exise Duty/ Countervailing duty/ Service Tax, Value added tax/ luxury tax etc.

Currently if we combine Centre & State tax for most of the goods it works out to be 26.5 %( Cenvat 14% & VAT 12.5%), whereas post GST implementation the same is expected to reduce to standard rate of about 18-21% which will be levied on most goods and all services.

2.  Due to trade barriers such as Entry Tax/Local Body Tax/OCTROI and other hurdles trucks lie idle for 30-40% as per schedule , whereas post GST this will be phased out and logistics time will be improved resulting in improvement in operational efficiency through quicker and increased number of deliveries along with reduction in logistic cost during the transit.

3.  Inter-state TAX in India forced corporate to create & maintain warehouses in each state, as per a recent study currently there are around 20-30 warehouses per company, one in every state resulting supply chain must longer & Cost inefficient, but after implementation of GST logistics costs are expected to be decreased at least by 2% which can result immense scope of improvement in India’s Supply Chain management industry.

Small but short term negative impacts of GST Implementation.

1.  Importers in India will face a hard time which they import goods from Outside India due to Implementation of GST, because after GST the current Educational & Excise Tax of 15% on Import Duty will be charged between 18-21 % resulting increase of overall Custom duty which will result in increased cost in Imported materials.

2.  Currently India is not fully IT oriented country , still there are a large number of Trade players who are not organized, they will face major challenges as Logistics Industry is highly competitive which leaves little headroom for margin improvement.

CONCLUSION:

Implementation of GST in INDIA is an overall  welcome initiative by the Indian Government for the collective growth of the country, the rollout of GST, in India would dissolve the existing various indirect tax structure, i.e. multiple taxes that is being split between center & state governments leading to reduction of about 20% of current logistics costs.

Due to high Import duty after implementation of GST, Indian manufacturing industry will look out for Indian sources for RAW MATERIAL, instead of importing, which will actually strengthening the Rupees in World market.

Deliberating on holistic view the implementation of GST would help the entire Logistic industry in improving the operational efficiency thus cutting the logistics cost & expanding the business prospect through consolidation of logistic players.


Good Bye Stress


We all know that whether our office is lively, dull or easy-going we have days when things just do not seem to go right. At such times our stress levels rise and as a consequence our work suffers. Let’s face it we would all appreciate a less stressful day at the office. On such occasions an extra bit of ‘umph’ to jolly us along, would be very welcome.  It’s therefore of little wonder that lots of ongoing research takes place to see how this ‘umph’ may be provided. So here are three suggestions, from many, that are designed to stimulate ideas which may enhance a work place environment.

PLANTS IN THE OFFICE

The first one is a simple solution arising from research carried out by an Australian University that focused on the benefits of having plants in our offices. It concluded that plants, being present in the work place, not only helped purify the air but also added focal points and created identifiable spaces. Plants are known to be a source of tranquillity where a casual, almost subconscious, look can trigger inner peace. The Australian study determined that plants in the office reduced the adverse effect of a whole range of feelings including anxiety, anger, depression, stress and fatigue. Just one plant, per work space, can provide a good lift to staff spirits whilst at the same time promoting wellbeing.  The choice of plant is important depending on how much time one wishes to devote to looking after them. Ideally plants which only occasionally flower are better avoided. Seeing them come into bloom is upwardly stimulating but when the flowers start to wilt the emotional uplift is dampened. However if an office has a team member with ‘green fingers’ then maintaining a regular recycling of floral greenery displays will be a welcome assignment.

HOLDING A COLOUR DAY

This second suggestion is more team focused and allows for fun without occasioning any direct impact on working practices. Having a day when everyone in your department agrees to wear something of the same colour is bound to bring some interesting surprises. If there is an overall feeling that a more determined approach is needed then everyone should be asked to wear something red. It could be red socks, shirt, tie, dress, shoes or even an item of jewellery – anything, as long as it is red.  The variations will no doubt raise at least a chuckle and woe betides anyone who forgets. The choice of colours for your work place colour day should be picked to suit a team’s emotional needs. This brief look at the emotional meanings of colours will give you the idea:-

RED – Strength, energy, determination, decision making.
YELLOW – Loyalty, light-hearted, attention impact.
ORANGE – Joy, enthusiasm, creativity.
GREEN – Safety, growth, finance.
PURPLE – Luxury, power, ambition.
BLUE – Wisdom, trust, confidence.
BLACK – Power, elegance, authority.
WHITE – Perfection, goodness.

Choosing a colour will let everyone else know, who is into the secret, what your objectives are for your colour day. It’s bound to favourably impact on success.

PETS AT WORK

The third suggestion is bringing a pet to work. A British pet food company’s research revealed that some 40% of UK workers said that having a pet in their office would make them feel less stressed. It may be impossible for an office to adopt a pet but a staff member, bringing in their pet for the day, can have a wonderful interactive effect on others. It’s said that the next time you are stressed, perhaps because of a monthly meeting deadline, then reaching down to stroke a cat or pat a dog sets aside any unhelpful stress.

Still, whatever ideas this article may have stimulated for you, eliminating stress completely is not realistically possible. However we owe it to ourselves and our colleagues to see how we may say ‘goodbye’ to stress. By trying meaningful ways of injecting some ‘umph’, into our day to day routine, we may help each other to feel more contented at work; not least because it’s never too late to start.


The Impact Of Brexit On Shipping


A much talked about topic these days is the exit of Britain from the European Union (EU). The European Union is made up of 28 member states and on June 23rd 2016, the people of Britain voted for the exit of Britain (also referred as “BREXIT”) from the European Union, after being with EU for almost 43 years.Since the finality of the process of exiting the EU, will take about 2 year; this is the perfect time for individuals and companies engaged in the shipping industry to have a better understanding of the “Impact of BREXIT”.

A number of major hubs of the shipping industry lie within the European Union, namely Rotterdam, Hamburg, Antwerp, and Piraeus; the world’s largest Container / Passenger Ports. As aforesaid the European Union consisted of 43 member states and these member states were exempted from taxes or duty while trading with the member states that are within the European Economic Area.. However, with the exit of Britain from the European Union, it is not clear, whether these trade exemptions would still be applicable with regard to the UK.

Further, the Contracts / Agreements have already been entered into by the Companies in the UK, with Companies in the European Union may now have to be amended. . For example, Shipping Contracts, that allow for trading within certain geographical areas in the EU, should now specifically define, if this area in the EU includes, the UK or not. Since the Contracts/Agreements are binding on the parties to it, there is a need to be vigilant while amending these Contracts/Agreements so as to avoid any confusion or ambiguity that would arise in the future.

In the past, when disputes arose, and the concerned parties approached the Courts, they were prohibited from conducting parallel proceedings in the Courts of more than one European Union member state. This rule was applicable to proceedings that were initiated on the same issue concerning the dispute. This is based on the legal principle of “Res Sub-judice”, which in Latin means ‘under judgment’. It denotes that a matter or case is being considered by court or judge; when two or more cases are filed between the same parties on the same subject matter, the competent court has power to stay proceeding. However, with the exit of Britain from the European Union, it is not clear, whether Britain would elect to apply the Res Sub-judice rule to the parties, with regard to disputes both within and outside the European Union In order to avoid any such ambiguity in the future, it is advisable to have a clear mention of the Jurisdiction Clause, in all legal documents.

Conclusion:

As stated before, the process of Britain’s exit, is currently only on paper and would take a minimum of two years, to come into effect, hence these two years can be prudently utilised to understand the two “W’s” – “WHO” & “WHAT” shall be affected with the exit of Britain? We can further apprise ourselves of the legal implications and take possible and necessary steps to overcome the impact.


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