French port breaks export record
After the historic records of the 2013-2014 grain campaign (2.4 Mt) and the 2014 calendar year (2.3 Mt), the port of Dunkirk has seen the advantages offered by its operator and infrastructures with record traffic of 1.09 Mt confirmed for the first quarter of 2015, exceeding the last export record back in 1991.
980,000 tonnes of wheat was shipped to the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, and 110,000 tonnes of barley to Asia.
These excellent results reflect the drive of the operator Nord Céréales which has improved its productivity through significant investments on its site, allowing it to berth and load very large ships (14.20 m draught) with high productivity rates (eight shiploads of 63,000 tonnes during this first quarter). While the modal share of transport by waterway has reached 52 percent, rail is again being used after a gap of more than ten years, further extending the hinterland of Dunkerque-Port towards eastern France. New traffic volumes have been carried by rail to the port of Dunkirk since the beginning of the year: four rail operators are active on the market and run full trains. The volume of grain carried by rail has now exceeded 76,000 tonnes.
Nord Céréales stands as the leading company of northern and eastern France in the service of grain operators, with an exceptional site located in the heart of the industrial area of Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque to serve the largest grain carriers in the world.
Joël Ratel, General Director of Nord Céréales, is delighted with these good results. He said: "Thanks to the professionalism of the transport operators and that of Nord Céréales, the 2014-2015 campaign should be exceptional, and last year’s record (to 30 June 2014) is likely to be beaten. The recent investments have made Nord Céréales known and recognised, and the current investments (dryer and cleaner) will reinforce the position of Nord Céréales for years to come."
DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID
Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.
This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go.
With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”.
Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats.
In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.
“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”.
How Do We Sustain Immunisation?
By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”.
Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared.
Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.