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Thursday 11 June 2015

Together we can make a difference to the homeless.

On the 18 of June I am  joining some of Australia's top business and community leaders sleeping rough on one of the coldest nights of the year and would like your support.
Funds raised through the Vinnies CEO Sleepout will go towards helping the more than 100,000 Australian men, women and children who are experiencing homelessness to find the warmth, safety and dignity that they desperately deserve.
Vinnies supports people experiencing homelessness through a range of person centred and holistic support services including crisis accommodation, domestic violence support, access to budget counselling, life skills courses and legal advice, as well as assisting in planning for change and their return to independent living. Your kind donation enables this good work to continue and makes a real difference to people's lives.

It only takes a moment to help write a new chapter in the story of homelessness and help break the cycle. 
Please visit ceosleepout.org.au to find out more and see a full list of CEO's participating.
Thanks for your support!
All for now,

Sunday 12 April 2015

100 years since the ANZAC's landed at Gallipoli.

ANZAC Day, 25 April, this year marks the centenary of the landing in WWI at the Gallipoli Peninsula by Australian and New Zealand forces where they and other allied troop's mission was to capture this territory from Turkey. This attack saw over 44000 allied troops lose their lives of which 8709 were Australians and 2701 were New Zealanders. The Turks lost 86000 men in this campaign.

This year in Gallipoli there will be a special tie up between surf lifesaving and the Australian military. An association which has always been strong with mateship being a shared cornerstone value between both organisations.

Back in WWI any surf lifesaving club members joining the armed forces were immediately given at least the rank of corporal or sergeant, and in some cases lieutenant, due to the training they had undergone. The discipline and values they had ingrained in them through being surf lifesavers put them in excellent stead as soldiers.

Today the famous red and yellow flags that designate the safest place to swim on the beach hark back to the flags used by Australian troops onshore to communicate with ships.

For most of my life I and one of my friends and work colleagues, +Melissa Andrews have proudly been members of Tweed Heads and Coolangatta Surf Lifesaving Club . Our children are "Nippers"(junior lifesavers) there.

TH&C SLSC was founded in 1911. Three years before the start of the war. It the first club in Queensland and was one of only a handful of surf clubs clubs even formed nationally at that time. A significant contingent of our members joined the war effort in WWI and other wars for that matter.

To commemorate and recreate the ANZAC landing, TH&C's long time surf boat captain, Brian Sullivan, "BA" to everyone who knows him at the club, is sweeping a boat in the G100 surf boat race in Turkey with his son and other members of TH&C who are currently serving members of the Australian Military. The surf boats bare a resemblance to the dorys used by the ANZACs so they are fitting for this occasion in more ways than one.

BA and the boys will be racing other surf boats from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey along the Dardanelles to ANZAC Cove over 4 days starting on the 21st of April. It's not all racing though with the crews stopping to pay their respects at historically significant places along the peninsula. 

Depth Logistics and Depth Travel are very proud to be one of the sponsors of the TH&C crew for this special occasion.

Depth Travel has put together a Gallipoli cruise and tour to coincide with the commemorations. The profits earned have gone toward the sponsorship of the crew. It's still not too late to book but time is running out fast so you need to be quick. More details....

For me ANZAC Day has always been the most significant day in our national calendar having had my grandfathers serve in WWII and an uncle serve in Vietnam. 

This year will be even a bit more special knowing BA and the boys will be right there at ANZAC Cove representing TH&C SLSC. 

Hope you and the boys are first on the beach BA!!!

Lest We Forget

+Brad Skelton 

Friday 3 April 2015

New expensive ship wreck removal convention comes into force this month.

A potentially massive cost impost on ship owners and their insurers is now in force with the Nairobi Convention. There will be an impact down the line on shippers rates and risks.

In operation this convention places strict liability on ship owners to remove the wrecks of their vessels if they are deemed to be hazardous.

Once upon a time the salvage technology and equipment simply didn't exist to remove some ship wrecks so they had to be left to mother nature to be broken up. Alternatively, in some situations, human intervention would cut them down only enough to allow the safe passage of the deepest draft vessels using that route. This has changed and in the last twenty years it seems removing any wreck is possible if enough money is thrown at it and therein lies potentially huge liability for the shipping industry. 

Although a cruise ship, take the "Costa Concordia" salvage for example. This cost approximately US$1.2bn and was a remarkable high tech operation. Here is a link to the time lapse of her being re-floated. 

So what does the Nairobi Convention potentially mean to shippers?

As I have mentioned in my blog in the past international maritime law places shared liability on all parties who have cargo on a vessel that gets into distress regardless of who is at fault. In simple terms essentially the law is that all parties are deemed to be joint venture-rs in the voyage and precedents tend to side with the ship owners who can successfully argue their vessel would not have been in that place, and therefore in distress, had it not been on it's way to deliver the shippers cargo it was carrying. This means that shippers share in the costs that flow from any incident. That's why my team and I constantly remind Depth Logistics clients to always always ALWAYS be insured!

The Nairobi Convention will inevitably lead to higher insurance premiums, charter rates and freight costs for shippers. 

Nonetheless the environment will be all the better for it with less wrecks dotting the worlds coastlines. 

All for now,
+Brad Skelton 

Saturday 10 January 2015

Plunging oil prices cause a surge in the shipping oil tanker market

There are winners and losers with the 48%+ drop in oil prices in recent times. The Shipping Industry is one winner as it is not only benefiting from lower operational costs but the oil tanker market is enjoying boom times but not from a growing transportation task.

Oil is in contango so traders and energy companies are buying and storing now in expectation of profiting from higher prices later this year. Land based storage is reaching capacity so the industry is switching to floating storage hence the surge in demand for oil tankers. In the next few months as much as 60 million barrels could soon be held in storage at sea.

Current charter rates for crude tankers is now US$35000/day and rising rapidly. This is the highest the tanker market has been since 2010. The shipping term for this practice is vessels going "Dark". This means that they effectively leave the transportation trade and instead enter the contango trade whereby they sit at anchorage brimming with oil waiting for the price to rise and then discharge their cargo.

The worlds largest oil tanker, "TI Europe", which has a capacity of 3.2 million barrels and is 380m long has gone "dark" and is off the coast of Singapore now. It was chartered by a Chinese oil trader who is waiting for the perfect time to sell her cargo.

Some forecasters believe the contango oil trade could ultimately see as much as 100 million barrels being stored at sea.

In the long term as alternative energies are favored and countries like the USA are self-sufficient for their energy needs, I wonder what the tanker market will look like then? 

We will we still see goliath vessels like the TI Europe operating or will they go the way of the dinosaurs?

All for now,

+Brad Skelton 

Friday 10 October 2014

Tech like smartwatches will drive increased need for speed in supply chains

Instant gratification is not just a wish it's a hardwired expectation of the Millennials that are gradually moving into influential positions in commerce. So what will be their future demands on shipping and logistics providers regardless of the mode of transport? Road, rail, air or sea?

Smartphones, and more recently smartwatches, are already changing the way business is done radically as they enable users to immediately order the goods and services they need. Lets take this one step further though and consider intuitive, automated ordering particularly via smartwatches? As it is wearable devices can track your heart rate, steps taken in a day and your sleeping patterns so it stands to reason they will eventually be able to do far more than this and anticipate what goods the wearer needs and then locate them for an immediate rapid response delivery by the local logistics provider.

So while this technology will have less of an impact on large shipments of whole containers and the like, if Depth Logistics had a courier division delivering small parcels and satchels our team would be working on a rapid response delivery system to cater for this inevitable supply chain need.
As consumers can already easily check prices, from the very same devices, sellers are being forced to organically aligning pricing to stay competitive. Therefore in my opinion the competitive battleground will inevitably switch to the speed of service or delivery as the deal clincher.
Exciting times ahead!
All for now,

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Incredible footage of two container ships colliding in the Suez Canal 2 days ago!

If you ever think marine insurance these days is unnecessary then watch this

Two days ago the "Colombo Express" and "Maersk Tanjong" collided in the Suez Canal causing the loss of eight containers and serious delays in the southbound convoy through the canal.

As yet no cause has been reported and it is believed nobody was hurt. Only one container has been recovered so far.
Accidents do happen so contact my team at +Depth Logistics now to make sure your shipments are comprehensively covered.
All for now,

The Death of Television

When my children have the choice to either watch TV or +YouTube for entertainment guess which one they choose? It's YouTube.

My daughter, nearly 12, doesn't use Google to search online for most things...she first tries YouTube for what she is looking for.

My friends report the same thing about their kids who apparently disappear into their room for hours watching YouTube on their tablets and smartphones.

The rise and rise of YouTube cannot be underestimated. Did you know it is now the 2nd biggest search engine in the world? Sure, it is still owned by Google but this says a lot about the way future consumers want to find entertainment and information and how this will impact business and media consumption in the future.

In homes now with internet enabled TV's, like mine, YouTube is what my kids want to watch ahead of free to air programming.

Why? The bottom line is, they are in control. They get to CHOOSE what they want to watch and even get the opportunity to skip advertising after a few seconds. They also have the freedom to CHOOSE which device they watch it on and when. How does television compete with that? It can't!

Have you set up your YouTube channel for your business yet?

All for now,

+Brad Skelton