Sunday, August 21, 2011

Logistics roadmap will benefit the region

Malaysia’s Roadmap for Development of the Logistics Services Industry will see a flourish of trade opportunities in the Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation (PBGEC) member countries, according to Deputy Transport Minister Jelaing Mersat.
He said the roadmap commissioned by the Malaysian Logistics Council and the EPU of the Prime Minister’s Department contained recommendations on improving performance of ports, shipping, land transport and freight transportation.
He said the Transport Ministry would play an active role in the roll-out of the plan which would include strategic initiatives to strengthen capital capacity and also to review and revamp regulatory and intuitional framework.
“The ministry will also look into legislations and international conventions involving shipping, liability regimes, air and surface transport to strengthen our governance, regulatory functions and ensure international compliance,” he told Bernama on Saturday.
“With the roadmap, the transportation networks will be connected within the Asean and PBG countries. This will further develop investment, trade and economic cooperation in the region and form cluster of industries, accelerate economic growth in the PBGEC.” – Bernama
Jelaing attended the 6th PBGEC Forum, which concluded here on Friday.
He said Malaysia would play its role in transportation infrastructure to improve the connectivity between Asean and China.
“We are doing everything that we can to speed up the connection, such as the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link.”
The roadmap for the Development of the Logistics Services Industry is an Asean economic blueprint signed by all Asean leader at the Asean Summit, which was attended by former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2007.
Meanwhile, Jelaing said the Transport Ministry would evaluate and implement relevant strategic initiatives under the roadmap which whould envision the development of world class freight logistics system, including strengthening the role of ports and shipping to support the country’s economic growth and development.
“We will liaise and consult with various stakeholders in the industry through the focus in moving the agenda on freight logistics forward,” he said.
On maritime cooperation, Jelaing said China-Asean Maritime Consultation Mechanism is in the midst of exploring cooperative opportunities.
Under the mechanism, he said both countries conducted numerous activities, including the meeting on Tide, Current, and Wind Measurement Project of Malacca and Singapore Straits (March and April) and the Workshop on Port Facility Security in July.
Source: BizStar

Monday, August 8, 2011

Economic fears deepen dry bulk shipping woes

Growing fears for the world economy signal more pain and even bankruptcies among dry bulk ship owners who are getting rock-bottom rates to carry cargoes like coal and now face a glut of new vessels ordered when times were good. 

The tougher climate has hit the sector hard this year and confidence is at a record low. Korea Line, South Korea's debt-stricken second largest dry bulk shipping line, is among the casualties. The firm, under court receivership, has filed a restructuring plan to the court. While cheaper rates could benefit buyers of commodities, the weak economic prospects are set to hit more ship owners. "Smaller companies tend to have less access to capital, especially in weak markets. High financial leverage and weak earnings could force covenant breaches or defaults in the sector," Deutsche Bank analyst Justin Yagerman said. 

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index, which track rates to ship raw materials, has already declined nearly 30 per cent since the start of the year as ship supply has outpaced demand to transport strategic commodities including coal, iron ore and grains. 

"A recession or recession like situation will actually prolong the period with poor freight markets," said Sverre Svenning, a director with broker Fearnley Consultants."In normal circumstances, governments - especially in Europe - would try and stimulate the economy through infrastructure and construction work but there is no government in Europe that has money for that now and the US government definitely does not have money." 

Investors worry that fiscal cutbacks due to Western credit softness and stagnating output are holding back global recovery.Weak US services sector data and poor manufacturing data this week have compounded the fragile outlook.

Former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers wrote in a Reuters column this week that there is a one in three chance of a US recession. 

"If there were to be a double dip recession in both the US and Europe, then it would feel like the mother of all recessions for the dry bulk market," said Khalid Hashim, managing director of the Thai-listed group Precious Shipping . 

"It would probably take us to the bad old days of the mid 1980s when the BDI was barely above its all-time low of 557 points." Khalid said that in such tougher economic conditions, he would not be surprised to see the BDI fall below the 1,000 point level and remain depressed for four to six quarters. 

The index was seen by investors in 2008 as an indicator of the global contagion from the financial crisis, highlighting the fall-off in demand for raw materials. During the boom times, the index posted a record high in May 2008 of 11,793 points. 

The financial crisis drove it as low as 663 points in December 2008. It reached 1,268 points on Thursday, having hit its lowest in more than three months early this week. 

"A further a slowdown from here would be very bad news for the freight market," said Georgi Slavov, head of dry research and structured products at broker ICAP Shipping. "I really hope this is a short lived seasonal slowdown in the West."

Read more: Economic fears deepen dry bulk shipping woes

Monday, August 1, 2011

Professional body CILTM recognises varsity’s logistics programme

A memorandum of agreement (MoA) signed between Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport Malaysia (CILTM) and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) recently will act as a springboard for the latter’s graduates in logistics studies to enter the industry.
CILTM president Datuk Abdul Radzak Abdul Malek said the MoA allowed for a greater and mutually beneficial cooperation between academia and the industry.
“Areas like exchange of knowledge from the industry to the academic through invited guest lectures by industry professionals can be made possible with this MoA.
“Others like joint research activities that has high application value to the industry, student-led out-of-classroom experiential learning activities and leadership camp for young professionals will add value to this MoA,” he said at the agreement singing.
The MoA entailed accreditation by CILTM to the Bachelor of Business Administration in Logistics and Transport (BBLT) programme currently offered by UUM.
“With this, the degree will not only be recognised globally but also has better marketability,” said Abdul Radzak.
The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) is the international professional body for all sectors of the transport industry.
Founded in the United Kingdom in 1919 and granted a Royal Charter in 1926, it was formed to promote knowledge of the science and arts of logistics and transport and to provide a source of authoritative views for communication to government, industry and the community.
Abdul Radzak said the MoA was timely as Malaysia was now undertaking a huge step in the logistics and transport industry.
He said the formation of Land Public Transport Commission, the development of mass rapid transit system in the Klang Valley and the creation of Southern Logistics Hub in Iskandar Malaysia were just a few examples of the Government’s seriousness in developing the industry.
He said all these economic and infrastructure development activities spelt the need for qualified logistics and transportation professionals.
“The fact that UUM has its BBLT programme recognised by CILTM as a professional degree is just like a stamp of endorsement that the graduates of this degree from UUM are not only qualified academically but also equipped with skills that the industry needs.
“This endorsement is further amplified when the graduates are conferred the Member of The CILT (MILT) immediately upon their graduation. This will put them in a better position to compete in the job market,” he said.
UUM vice-chancellor Professor Datuk Dr Mohamed Mustafa Ishak said the university had been offering the BBLT since 1993 and so far, 431 graduates had completed their studies.
“At present, we have about 453 undergraduate students enrolled in the programme of which about 15% are from countries like Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, Somalia, Thailand, China, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.
“Through this smart collaboration, our graduates are better positioned to face challenging careers as qualified professionals in logistics and transportation either in the Government or private sector,” he said.
Source: BizStar