Saturday, 19 November 2016

Lockheed Martin Airships are the next generation in transport

About four years ago +Julie Magnone and I were meeting with one of our energy logistics clients. We had been engaged for our oversize logistics expertise to collaborate with their engineers in designing modules of their gas production plant. The goal being to optimise the design for operational efficiency, cost effective construction and transport.
From a pure construction and operational integrity standpoint the engineers were wanting to build modules as large as possible. So large that it made the land transport task impossible. We could easily transport the module sizes they wanted from overseas to the Port of Brisbane but getting them to site in central Queensland at that size was impossible due to numerous overhead bridges, power lines, railway lines, narrow roads etc en-route.
I remember clearly one of the engineers refusing to accept it was impossible and seriously demanding that we find airships that could move the cargo to site from the Port of Brisbane. Julie and I left the meeting thinking that he was slightly mad but nonetheless we did some research anyway and at that time there wasn't any airship flying capable of lifting more than a few tonnes at the most.
Well...not anymore thanks to Lockheed Martin.

A prototype, like the one pictured, is operational. It has a 7X improved cargo payload compared to what we found in earlier generation airships of 21000kg. The cargo bay is 18m long x 3m wide x 3m high and able to accommodate standard shipping containers and various other types of loads.
These airships can travel at a speed of 60 knots or 111km/h and have a range of about 2500km. Due to a special air cushion landing system, much like a hovercraft concept, they can land on water as well.
For transport into remote areas these airships are far superior than helicopters in nearly every respect. They are quieter and more fuel efficient as well!

While the current prototype still could not solve the transport task our client set for us it is fair to say it probably won't be too long before cargo bays and payloads starting increasing making Airship cargo transport a commercial reality.
Depth Airships here we come!
All for now,

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

NYK, MOL and K Line to merge container operations

Yesterday the three largest Japanese shipping lines Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha Ltd. (K-Line), Mitsui OSK Lines (MOL), and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (NYK) announced their agreement, subject to sign off by their respective boards and shareholder/regulatory approval, to establish a new joint-venture company and to integrate their container shipping operations.

M&A activity is sweeping the shipping industry globally as carriers in the wake of the Hanjin Shipping receivership fight to survive. The current wave of M&A activity is more about addressing structural industry issues by strengthening balance sheets, addressing poor investor returns and adapting to a low growth environment.

The industry still suffers from surplus capacity so M&A activity is needed to realign carriers and find synergies in cost reduction, economies of scale, improved competitive positioning and better protection from the prevailing weak industry fundamentals.

This announcement is another positive step for the industry where a significant number of carriers have not made money in the recent years. People that were affected by Hanjin's demise know the problems this caused and is still causing so hopefully another failure by a major carrier can be avoided.


The industry must navigate it's way back to a healthy and sustainable performance for all stakeholders as fast as it can.
All for now,

Friday, 23 September 2016

New generation of car carrying ships now able to use the expanded Panama Canal

The term "Panamax" refers to ships of a size able to use the original Panama Canal. Prior to the expansion of the canal, which opened in July this year, some ships could not use the shortcut between North and South America. They were simply too big. Therefore many ships were designed and built to a maximum, "Panamax" size.

Since the opening of the expanded canal even the worlds largest ships can travel via the canal thus saving time and money. Ship owners have been building new bigger ships to take advantage of the improved economies of scale. These are called "Post-Panamax" ships.

Hoegh Autoliners now operates the worlds largest PCTC(Pure Car & Truck Carrier) and Post-Panamax ship in the "Hoegh Target". In fact she is the first PCTC of this size to transit via the canal.

The "Hoegh Target" can carry an incredible 8500 cars and has 71400 square metres of deck space. Importantly she is very fuel efficient and Hoegh claim will halve the emissions per car that they carry.

Here are a some pictures of her in the expanded Panama Canal.



Innovative vessels like this and the expanded Panama Canal are contributing to keeping freight rates lower for shippers.
All for now,

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Trade Finance is a way to ship more inventory more often

I have been pleased to be able to help many of Depth Logistics' clients with Trade Finance to fund their import and export activity. As I have spoken to many of them I have been surprised that most haven't even heard of this type of financing but when they do the majority have embraced it even if to reduce their reliance on financing from their bank.

It can give you greater and more transparent buying and selling power and the ability to ship more inventory, more often without tying up working capital.

For the uninitiated here are more of the key benefits of Trade Finance.
  • Available for imports and exports
  • Increase your negotiating buying power by being able to pay your supplier faster
  • Export more by being able to offer your buyer credit terms
  • Approvals within 5 days with a single establishment fee
  • Competitive interest rates available with up to 90 day terms
  • Does not interfere with existing bank security arrangements or letters of credit
  • Security is taken over the goods and a director’s guarantee only
  • Easy shipping and marine insurance arrangements via Depth Logistics
  • Credit facility is available in multiple foreign currencies
  • Bridge the gap between your shipping and other finance facilities such as Debtor Finance
Depth Logistics works in tandem with Depth Capital to provide this service so please contact me if you'd like to learn more about it.

All for now,

+Brad Skelton

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Ross Radich is back with our team at Depth Logistics

In the past month I have been extremely happy to have re-joined forces with +Ross Radich who is back working with the familiar team and clients at Depth Logistics as our Biosecurity Consultant.

Ross was originally a New Zealand Quarantine officer before joining my team about 12 years or so ago. He is a true gentleman, very reliable, diligent and always gets even the most difficult jobs done in a good humored manner. It's a sincere privilege to work with him.

During this time Ross has lived and travelled literally all over the world working with our clients and their suppliers making sure that cargo destined for Australia and New Zealand is prepared before shipping to minimise quarantine risks and achieve the smoothest possible clearance on arrival. In fact Ross has a perfect record on cargo he has inspected and prepared with not a single re-export order ever being issued.

The characters he has met, the places he has gone and the stories Ross has collected along the way are often amazing and funny. Ross written a book of them in fact and it's available on Amazon.


I really enjoyed reading the book and recalling many of the situations and stories. It's a great and entertaining read with good insights into the great work Ross has done not only for our clients, but in the big picture, in helping to minimise quarantine risks for Australia and New Zealand.
I hope you might buy a copy so we can help add "Best Selling Author" to Ross' list of accomplishments.
All for now,

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

The 20-Year-Old With a Plan to Rid the Sea of Plastic

As the branding of Depth Industries suggests the team and I all have a strong affinity with the ocean.

I came across this amazing project that promises to clean up the oceans of the estimated 150 million tonnes of plastic floating out there that is even gradually entering our own food chain through seafood. Check out this YouTube clip.




A simple but brilliant idea!

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Please help me to help the homeless at the Vinnies CEO Sleepout

The latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that 105,237 people in Australia are experiencing homelessness, with 60% of those under the age of 35. Perhaps surprising to many people is that 44% of these are women, 13% are under the age of 12. These figures in a lucky country like Australia are disgraceful.

On 23 June 2016 I will join with Brisbane’s community leaders and CEOs to spend one night on the streets as part of the Vinnies CEO Sleepout. We will experience homeless life in an endeavour to raise awareness and crucial funds for St Vincent’s homeless services.


Last year I raised $1,520.00 through donations from clients, suppliers, family and friends. This year I am aiming to better this amount and hope you will join with me to do so. Please click here to sponsor me and donate to support this great cause.

Thank you!