>> Transpacific - port coverage from April 1st.more.

>> Are direct services becoming less attractive for shipping lines?. more.

>> What happens to the small ships post Panama Canal expansion?. more.

>> Maersk to acquire Hamburg-Sud and reinforce its presence on the Latin America routes. more.

>>£0.5 trillion of trade passes through UK ports. More.

>> The future of rail freight and private investment. More.

>> The Northern Freight and Logistics report. More. 

>> Oxford Cambridge Expressway Study. More.

>> The potential impact of Brexit on trade. More.

>> India - the impact of shipping lines’ consolidation and the cabotage rule change. More.

>> Iran – changes in maritime services post-sanctions. more.

>> 'India: The only way is up' say MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> Hanjin’s collapse - A wake-up call to the industry? More.

>> Peak season 2016: could the seemingly more rational shipping lines restore stability to the market?. More.

>> Panama Canal Expansion: the major announcements so far have been made by the CKYHE Alliance and G6 Alliance: each have indicated the upsizing of some of their vessels on the services passing through the Panama Canal as shown in MDS Transmodal's analysis. More.

>> CMA-CGM’s acquisition of Neptune Orient Lines and Cosco’s merger with China Shipping Container Line (CSCL), prompted the need for a few changes in the current capacity-sharing agreements amongst the shipping lines. More.

>> MDST has been appointed by Transport for the North (TfN), in partnership with York Aviation and Regeneris Consulting, to carry out a review of international passenger connectivity in the North of England. More.

>> Chris Rowland, Managing Director of MDST, presented the draft conclusions from the Transport for the North (TfN) Freight & Logistics Strategy at the Freight in the City Conference in Manchester on 3 March 2016. More.

>> With 22 maritime services, Iran is expected to see an increase of around 250% in the capacity of container shipping passing through its ports in spring 2016, as shipping lines seek to benefit from the removal of sanctions. More.

>> MDST Chairman, Mike Garratt, wrote to the editor of RAIL magazine in March about the future of rail freight in Great Britain. More.

>> MDST has examined the evidence for Chinese ‘dumping’ of steel on the global and UK markets using its World Cargo Database, which allows it to monitor world trade by both volume and value and for detailed commodities. More.

>> East Asia export box trade sees growth of 1.7% in 2015, says MDST in an article published by Lloyds List. More.

>> The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has published road traffic forecasts which used MDST’s GB Freight Model (GBFM) to develop forecasts to 2040 for HGV traffic on the British road network. More.

>> Ports should be at the centre of distribution chains says MDST. More.

>> Based on its analysis of Eurostat port statistics and its own World Cargo Database, MDS Transmodal has concluded that ports handled 640 million tonnes in 2014, a market share of 40%. More.

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Freight & Logistics Strategy For The North Of England

Chris Rowland, Managing Director of MDS Transmodal, presented the draft conclusions from the Transport for the North (TfN) Freight & Logistics Strategy at the Freight in the City Conference in Manchester on 3 March 2016.  He explained how the draft strategy, which sets out a series of public sector interventions that incentivise investment by the private sector freight and logistics industry, could secure public benefits of about £51bn up to 2043.

The strategy, which was produced in partnership with Mott Macdonald between September 2015 and March 2016, is the first ever pan-regional freight and logistics strategy to be produced in the UK and is designed to consider how the freight and logistics sector can contribute to transformational economic growth in the North of England.

While the freight and logistics industry is owned and operated by the private sector and invests in its own infrastructure and equipment, the industry also has the potential to be a key enabler of transformational growth for the northern economy by securing greater levels of logistics activity. As the industry is highly competitive and sensitive to changes in the policy and regulatory environment, appropriate public sector interventions will lead to a response from the private sector.  However, the private sector needs a clear, consistent and harmonised view of the future business environment within which it can make investment decisions.

The North of England has the advantages of a cluster of population centres (creating local demand) and associated logistics activity, along with key strengths in the energy, manufacturing and extractive industries, and major ports on four deep water estuaries.  However, the North suffers from a lack of both road and rail network capacity, a fragmented land use planning framework (as in most of the UK) and a relatively peripheral location compared to the logistics ‘golden triangle’ in the Midlands.

The strategy that was developed by MDS Transmodal focuses on rail and waterborne transport to reduce the cost of transporting freight within, to and from the North and, in effect, make a virtue of the North’s relative peripherality by using modes of transport that are cheaper over longer distances.  This strategy also has the advantage of providing net environmental benefits because the traffic would otherwise have been transported by road.  However the strategy also includes a wide range of highways enhancements, particularly on east-west routes within the North and to improve access to the North’s major ports.

The draft strategy sets out an integrated package of public sector interventions that would ensure that rail network capacity is available ahead of demand on routes to, from and within the North; reduce the fragmentation of the planning system to facilitate the growth of a network of Multimodal Distribution Parks (MDPs) – distribution parks that are served by rail and/or waterborne freight services as well as road; improve connectivity to the North’s ports by, in particular, sea and rail; and target investment in the highways network, including to and from the major ports. This package of interventions would provide more cost-effective access to the North for shippers and receivers, making the region more attractive to manufacturing industry and inward investors.

The consultancy team adopted an analytical and quantitative approach to the development of the strategy, which allowed the benefits of the package of interventions to be calculated using an approach that would be acceptable to HM Treasury and the Department for Transport.  MDS Transmodal used its GB Freight Model, which is the freight demand model used by the Department for Transport within its National Transport Model, to determine the likely benefits directly for the freight and logistics industry in terms of lower costs (user benefits) and for society in terms of lower emissions and levels of congestion (non-user benefits) from a Preferred Strategy Scenario compared to a Do Minimum Scenario up to 2043.  The user costs amounted to about £16bn up to 2043, while the non-user benefits net of taxation impacts amounted to a further £16bn.  Economists at Mott Macdonald examined the impact on employment and GVA of the additional economic activity in the North that would be generated by the strategy, which provided a further £19bn of benefits up to 2043.

The impact of the Preferred Strategy Scenario on highways flows in 2033



The impact of the Preferred Strategy Scenario on rail flows in 2033


The draft strategy shows how appropriate public sector interventions can lead to about £51bn of benefits up to 2043.  These benefits can be employed to support the business cases that will be made by Transport for the North and its partners to HM Treasury and the Department for Transport in the next few years.  It also demonstrates the scale of the public benefits that can be achieved by the public sector in partnership with industry when a strategy is developed based on a strong evidence-base using a quantitative approach.

The presentation can be downloaded here.