Built-in 2002 and sailing under the flag of Panama, the 18-year-old livestock carrier, Gulf Livestock 1, capsized in the East China Sea on Wednesday carrying 43 crew and nearly 6,000 cattle from New Zealand to China after losing an engine amidst Typhoon Maysak, with winds of at least 130 mph.
The crew included 39 people from the Philippines, two from New Zealand, and two from Australia. As of Friday morning, only 2 crew members and 1 cow carcass have been recovered thus far.
The Philippines government is coordinating with the Japanese coastguard as it continues to search for the missing crew members ahead of another typhoon. Typhoon Haishen is expected to slam the Korean peninsula on Sunday or Monday further complicating rescue efforts. Japan's meteorological agency is warning that this storm could be the third biggest to hit the country since records began almost 70 years ago.
Last year, New Zealand launched a review of its live export trade, worth around $37 million in 2019, after thousands of animals being exported from New Zealand and Australia died in transit. Applications for live cattle exports have been temporarily suspended by New Zealand’s Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in response to the tragedy.
Announced on Tuesday, Maersk is closing its Safmarine ocean brand at the end of 2020. South Africa’s Safmarine was founded in 1946 and Maersk purchased the company in 1999.
Maersk also announced its retiring its Damco brand at the end of this year. The company founded in 1918, later became part of P&O Nedlloyd before being acquired by Maersk in 2005. Damco specialized in air cargo and less-than-container-load (LCL) freight forwarding.
No official layoff numbers have been announced from Maersk, but estimates range widely from 3,400 to 27,000 affected. The goal is to finalize job cuts by Oct. 1.
Maersk is actually doing extremely well amid the COVID-19 crisis, with second-quarter profits almost triple those of the same period last year. As the saying goes: “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
The world’s container lines braced for a steep decline in shipping demand when COVID-19 first struck. While trade flows have in fact fallen, the red ink for shipping lines never came. Some operators are reporting their best earnings in years as they learned to balance supply with demand, remaining diligent on capacity.
Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S, the world’s biggest liner company, tripled its second-quarter net profit on year to $427 million from $141 million a year earlier. German rival Hapag-Lloyd AG doubled its profit in the first half to $337 million, while small carriers like Korea’s HMM and Taiwan’s Yang Ming, which have depended on state support to stay afloat, cut their losses substantially in the first half.
All had reported double-digit declines in shipping volume.
Alibaba has strengthened its hold on the courier market by investing an extra $966m in YTO Express, bringing its share in the company to 22.5% from 10.5%. The e-commerce giant will work with YTO on express deliveries, air cargo, building a global logistics network and digital technology.
The move looks to be part of a wider industry trend, following last month’s news, that JD.com has acquired a controlling interest in express transport company Kuayue-Express Group for $439m.
The Federal Aviation Administration has granted Amazon Prime Air a Part 135 exemption in the form of a standard operating certificate, which allows the company to begin drone delivery within a test range, according to documents from the agency and confirmation from the retailer.
Amazon told the FAA it would just carry 5-pound payloads initially, and would ultimately be essential for 30-minute deliveries. The test will begin with only 10 households who’s locations have not been disclosed. When asked about the test range, a representative echoed Prime Air has development centers in the United States, the United Kingdom, Austria, France and Israel.
As always, Happy Friday, folks! Don’t forget to check out last week’s news and come back next week for the following Friday Five Logistics News Roundup!