zoom Cargo volume at The Port of Virginia (POV) grew 6 percent in February, an increase of 10,134 TEUs when compared with the same month last year.“We think February’s volume could have been even greater, but repeated snow storms and resulting lost work days had an impact on us,” said John F. Reinhart, the Virginia Port Authority’s CEO and executive director. “Anything we lost in February, we expect to be made up in March.”“The POV is dedicated to improving our service and operations to accommodate this increasing volume. We must achieve financial stability in the POV and optimize our facilities. The adverse impact of congestion compounded by several winter storms has resulted in continued operating losses. These current losses must be reversed through focus on costs, processes, productivity and coordination with our customers, partners and suppliers.”February’s growth was led by imports, which increased by 8.4 percent (6,515 TEUs) when compared with last February. (This January, growth was led by exports.) There was also growth in breakbulk tonnage, 1.1 percent; rail containers, 5.5%; barge containers, .6 percent; and vehicle units, 7.6 percent.For the first two months of the year, the port’s TEU volume has increased 5.7 percent (18,638 TEUs) when compared with the same period in 2013.Reinhart anticipates the growth in volume to increase through the spring as the G6 vessel-sharing consortium implements changes to its transatlantic services that connect the Europe, the Mediterranean and Asia trade lanes with the US East Coast. Last month, the G6 partners said four-out-of-the-five realigned services will call The Port of Virginia.“Two of those services will be last-out vessel calls, meaning Virginia will be their last US East Coast stop before heading to their foreign destinations; last-out calls can be crucial in developing export business,” Reinhart said.The port continues to have record-high fiscal-year-to-date TEU volumes through February: throughput through February in fiscal 2014 is 1,516,052 TEUs, up 5.3 percent when compared with the same period from fiscal 2013. portofvirginia, March 18, 2014
8 British-built cars and industry leaders join forces to promote UK Automotive ahead of key Paris motor show.UK brands more popular than ever, with exports reaching record levels in 2015, and almost 900,000 cars shipped to global buyers in first eight months of 2016.£10 billion invested in UK over past five years to produce new models and enhance UK’s position as a centre for engineering excellence.Eight of the UK’s major car brands united at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on the eve of the key international motor show to demonstrate the diversity and quality of cars currently produced in the UK. Senior executives from British-based manufacturers, including Aston Martin, BMW MINI, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, McLaren, Nissan, Toyota and Vauxhall, were joined by Mark Garnier MP, the British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for International Trade, to promote the strength of the UK automotive sector to a global audience.The UK automotive industry has undergone unprecedented growth in recent years – thanks to competitive business conditions, tariff-free trading and significant investment in new models and facilities. Car manufacturing achieved a 10-year high last year and British-built cars have never been so popular, with a record 1.2 million cars exported to more than 100 countries. Already in the first eight months of 2016, that total looks set to be beaten this year, with exports reaching almost 900,000 vehicles – 13% ahead of the same period in 2015.1The UK’s biggest trading partner is the European Union and 57.3% of UK-produced cars have been exported to the rest of the EU so far this year, followed by 12.1% to the US and 7.1% to China. While the US topped the list of individual countries buying British cars, EU Member States took six of the top 10 places: Germany, Belgium, Italy, France, Portugal and Spain. 1. 877,457 cars exported from UK in the year January – August 2016: SMMT Data2. ACEA data for Q2 20163. OICA data for 20154. Automotive Council: The UK Automotive International Competitiveness Report November 20155. Automotive Council6. ACEA data for 2015Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said, The UK automotive industry is respected globally for its rich heritage, iconic brands and engineering excellence. More than £10 billion of investment has gone into new facilities and models over the past five years and we’re proud to see so many rival brands coming together to promote the strengths of UK Automotive ahead of a key international motor show. The future success of this sector will hinge upon the ability of the UK to maintain the business and trading conditions that make the sector so competitive globally.Huge sums are invested into the UK to develop, manufacture and bring to market vehicles that are cleaner, more fuel efficient, safer and more advanced every year. When it comes to ultra low emission vehicles and plug-in cars in particular, the UK has a strong record, with a £1 billion joint industry-government initiative to develop advanced propulsion technologies, while the UK ultra-low emission car market itself is the second fastest growing market in Europe after Spain.2Meanwhile, the UK is already earning a reputation as global development hub for connected and autonomous vehicles, thanks to significant industry and government investment. The ability to trial these cars on public roads – as a result of the UK not having ratified the Vienna convention some decades ago – has given the UK a two-year head start on many other countries. This offers huge growth potential for the UK as the development and introduction of these technologies could result in an annual £51 billion contribution to GDP by 2030, along with 300,000 new jobs created and 25,000 accidents prevented every year.That the UK has grasped this opportunity is testament to its ability to adapt, lead and innovate. Thanks to early investment, expertise and an inherent commitment to technological advancement, UK Automotive is well placed to be at the forefront of these breakthrough technologies to make driving smarter, safer and cleaner.10 Facts about the UK car industry1. In the UK, a new car rolls off production lines every 16 seconds.2. The UK exports around 80% of all the cars it produces – and exports are at record levels, with 1.2 million people across the world buying a British car in 2015.3. Some 2.5 million engines are produced every year in the UK, with more than half exported to global markets.4. The UK is home to 13 R&D centres and six design centres. In fact, innovation has been a major part of the sector’s growth – with £2.5 billion invested every year in R&D.5. In terms of car production output, the UK now ranks 3rd in the EU (behind Germany and Spain); and 10th in the world 3 – and the sector also has the highest level of workforce productivity in Europe.46. If development of connected and autonomous vehicles continues at its current rate, the industry could be worth £51 billion to companies operating here by 2030.7. The UK has one of the EU’s fastest growing electric car markets – demand grew by more than 50% last year.8. The UK imports 86.5% of the 2.63 million new cars sold in the country – 81.5% of them from the EU – offering consumers a huge choice.9. The UK is home to 90% of the world’s top automotive suppliers, and a £6 billion untapped supply chain opportunity has been identified there.510. The UK new car market is one of the most diverse in the world, and with 2.63 million vehicles registered in 2015, it is the second biggest in Europe behind Germany.6
A crocodile skin handbag, one upon a time, was a sign of great status and wealth, something which could be found in pride of place in London’s most expensive department stores.Now, that era is at an end as Selfridges becomes the first major department store to ban exotic animal skins, following many major fashion houses.The retailer, which banned the sale of fur in 2005, said it prided itself on being a “responsible retailer and a trusted curator of brands”.Python, alligator, crocodile and lizard skins are also disappearing from the catwalk, as Chanel and Victoria Beckham are among those who have banned the material, with more expected to follow.Selfridges’ buying director Sebastian Manes said: “I am proud to confirm that exotic skins will no longer be available to purchase at Selfridges as of February 2020.”We will continue in our ambition to inspire our brands and customers through thoughtful, ethical and transparent buying strategies.” The most expensive handbag in the world is a crocodile skin Hermes BirkinCredit:REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni “Selfridges, Victoria Beckham and Chanel banning exotic skins within weeks of each other raises the bar in compassionate fashion and illustrates a shift in the industry towards innovative, high-end animal-free fabrics. We look forward to seeing more designers make the same ethical choice to stop subjecting exotic creatures to cruelty, and leave them in the wild where they belong.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. This move has been welcomed by animal rights activists. Humane Society International Executive Director Claire Bass, said “It is wonderful to see Selfridges end the sale of exotic skins, a move that will save countless crocodiles and snakes from losing their lives.”When Selfridges went fur-free more than a decade ago, it positioned itself as a retailer at the forefront of compassionate fashion. Banning exotic skins in recognition of the serious animal welfare issues that exist in this industry is a natural next step for a responsible retailer.