Logistics News - March 21st

Logistics News - March 21st

Scottish Pan to Boost Rail Freight | Logistics Manager

Scottish freight operators and users have launched a joint strategy to boost the amount of freight on the rails, to meet a target of 7.5 per cent growth set by the Scottish Government last year.

They have defined four actions: doing things differently; achieving simpler solutions; developing growth; and encouraging customer confidence.

The plan is being developed by Network Rail, freight operating companies, freight users, industry bodies and hauliers.

About 50 of the UK’s 600 daily freight trains run in Scotland.

“We believe that building capacity in the rail network is vital to help the effective delivery of infrastructure ambitions and look forward to working together to achieve the positive growth targets in place,” said Chris Swan, head of rail at Tarmac.

And Ken Russell, managing director Russell Group, said: “It is particularly pleasing to see Transport Scotland placing a requirement on Network Rail to grow rail freight over the next control period and that Network Rail has grasped this with industry mapping out a growth programme.”

 

After Ten Years of Piracy in the Indian Ocean, is Somali Piracy Still a Threat? | Digital Journal

On 6 November the United Nations (UN) Security Council renewed the authorization for international naval forces to carry out anti-piracy measures off Somalia's coast. It is now 10 years since the first resolution was passed in 2008 to respond to piracy and robbery against humanitarian and commercial ships in the region.

At the time, piracy was considered a major threat to both local and global peace and security. Since then, and especially since 2013, the number of attacks and hijackings has dropped. Recent incidents have however raised concerns over the long-term sustainability of counter-piracy measures and whether enough is being done on land to increase the resilience of Somali communities and prevent a resurgence of piracy.

In the most recent attack on 16 October, four men attempted to board the bulk carrier MV KSL Sydney around 340 nautical miles (630km) off the coast of Mogadishu, opening fire on the ship. The pirates aborted the attack after private security guards on board returned fire. The European Union Naval Force, as part of Operation Atalanta, tracked down and destroyed a whaler ship believed to have been that of the attackers.

This is only the second piracy attack off the coast of Somalia reported this year, which is dramatically down from the 160 piracy incidents reported during the height of the problem in 2011.

Read more

 

NFUS Official says Fife is ‘rural crime capital of Scotland’ | The Courier

A leading Fife farmer has warned that the spate of tractor thefts in the area by organised criminal gangs has the potential to escalate into a “danger to life and limb”.

Stuart Milne from Aberdour, the chairman of NFU Scotland’s West Fife and Kinross branch, has seen three neighbouring farmers lose valuable tractors and other equipment to thieves and says the industry is now concerned not just about large financial losses but the risks of on-farm violence.

“Fife has become the rural crime capital of Scotland and it’s a big worry that a farmer could find someone in the yard at 2-3am – or more likely two or three of them. No farmer is going to let anyone just walk away with a tractor but that confrontation is not going to end well,” he said.

“The financial loss is one thing but we’re now worried about the dangers to life and limb.”

Mr Milne is working closely with Police Scotland and local politicians and has appealed for more resources to help address the problem.

He believes organised criminals are targeting the area with the help of local intelligence.

“Fife has good communications and it’s easy to get on to the motorway before anyone is aware of what has happened,” he said.

“But some of the farms that have been targeted are remote and isolated so we are sure the gangs have someone embedded on the periphery of the farming community who is providing intelligence; and clearly the thieves have international connections because these tractors are never heard of again.”

Mr Milne added that the sustained level of criminality was having a psychological impact on the local farming community.

Read more

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