De actualidad


Suez Canal Accident

The passage through the Suez Canal is currently closed to ships in both directions. On 23 March at around 8am local time, the 400m container ship "Ever Given", coming from the Red Sea and heading north, ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking the entire shipping channel. Today, in the early morning, it was partially re-floated. More than 27,000 cubic metres of sand and silt have been removed to a depth of 18 metres over the last few days, freeing the ship's rudder and propeller. However, the bow of the ship is still stuck.


Punctuality is no longer the norm but the exception in container shipping

Sea-Intelligence reports falling punctuality rates in container shipping. For the sixth month in a row, the rate of punctual container giants fell in January. What does that mean in practice? Only a good third of all ships arrive at their port of destination on time and each ship currently arrives an average of 6.42 days late. Based on further evaluations by Sea-Intelligence, DVZ reports that this was still 4.68 days in January 2020 and 4 days in both 2019 and 2018. The punctuality rate thus fell by 33.5% in 2021 compared to the same month the previous year.


Time limit for delivery of export containers in the Port of Hamburg to be extended to additional terminals

As early as December, trucking companies sounded the alarm: HHLA's CTA terminal in Hamburg could accept export containers no earlier than 48 hours before the arrival of the ship. Since the beginning of February, this regulation has also affected the CTB and CTT terminals. Eurogate is now following suit with its terminal from 16 February and will accept export containers no earlier than 72 hours before the ship arrives.


New regulations for packaging wood from China, India and Belarus from 1.3.2021

The rules for notification and inspection requirements when importing goods from China, India and Belarus will change from 1.3.2021. From this date, consignments of goods from the risk list must be declared for a phytosanitary entry document (PP2 GGED) upon importation into the EU under certain conditions. On the risk list are materials such as clay, slate, marble, granite, wood, paving stones, processed factory stones, ceramic tiles, aluminum sheets and strips.


Trade between the UK and the EU after Brexit

A hard Brexit could be avoided by the trade and cooperation agreement between the EU and UK, but nevertheless there are some rules to consider since the UK left the single market and the customs union. The Union Customs Code will be replaced in the UK by the new UK Customs Act. A 3-step plan governs the transition; see our news from July 2020 on the rules for imports to the UK


High quarantine requirements lead to suspension of feeder operations in South China and Hong Kong

High Covid 19 quarantine requirements must be met in China ahead of Chinese New Year 2021. From 5 January to 21 February 2021, feeder operators in South China and Hong Kong have suspended their services to meet these requirements. Cargoes to South China ports are therefore temporarily suspended for this period.


Delays in container shipping are increasing

Only 65% of the container ships of the 15 leading shipping companies still reach their destinations on time. This has been established by Sea-Intelligence, a leading analyst and market researcher in container shipping.


Controls on wood packaging of goods from China continue

Since 1 October, wood packaging of certain goods imported from China has to be checked for compliance with import requirements, for example to prevent the introduction of non-native pests. The goods in question are stone, earthenware, ceramics, wood and wood products, aluminium and goods made from aluminium, iron, steel and products made from these materials. In accordance with the EU regulation, a list can be found in the so-called risk goods list, which also contains the corresponding customs tariff numbers.


Free trade agreement between EU and Vietnam came into force on 1.8.2020

Trade between Vietnam and the EU will experience a boost with this Free Trade Agreement: almost all customs duties will be abolished, making it much easier for the countries' economic participants to trade goods and services both ways. Non-tariff trade barriers (such as technical regulations, registration formalities, packaging regulations, etc.) will also be dismantled in the future.


Brexit - Changes as of 01.01.2021

Great Britain left the EU on 31.01.2020. However, for a transitional period until, the country will remain part of the EU internal market and the EU customs union, so that in practice nothing will change in trade between the EU and Great Britain: No customs declarations have to be made and there are no customs controls. However, regardless of the outcome of the negotiations, this situation will change from 1 January 2021.


Special Transport within Bremen

In mid-June 2020 we carried out an unusual transport of heavy load within Bremen that needed special permits: A decommissioned waggon of the Deutsche Bahn had to be picked up from a railway station and taken to an industrial estate. In order to manage this transport, two simultaneously working mobile truck cranes were needed.


"Break of Gauge" - Silk Road seen with different eyes as a work of art

"Break of Gauge" - A piece of Art by Paul Kolling and Jack Wolf


Kolling and Wolf deal with the freight train connection between Zhengzhou and Hamburg on a completely different level. Considered in the business world as a "mere" transport connection of the fast type between the continents, the two convey a completely different picture of the connection via a single, coherent satellite image of the entire train route:


Shortage of cargo space is leading to increasing rates

The extensive blank sailing programmes of ocean carriers in recent months are causing major problems for North European exporters to Asia. Rates are skyrocketing on the route as space becomes tight. Short-term 40ft container rates from North Europe have increased double from January, as shippers fight for space on the few export vessels with port calls changing daily. Possibly, a large number of Asia-bound containers might be rolled over at European ports.


Our contribution in times of Corona: Supply with protection masks

These days our airfreight department received an inquiry for importing facial masks to deliver to a hospital in the north western region in Germany (Münsterland). Our customer managed to purchase protection masks in China but needed support with the transport and customs clearance. Due to the fall out of nearly all passenger flights there is a capacity bottleneck in cargo on airplanes - and high demand for the remaining tonnage.


Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

In total, 6,012 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths in connection with COVID-19 have been reported in Germany. The number of cases continues to increase. The country has closed borders with Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland.


Coronavirus - consequences for Chinese airports

With the exception of Wuhan Airport, which is still only open for relief flights, all airports in mainland China and Hong Kong are in operation. After the Chinese New Year holidays and the authorities' extension of the holidays following the outbreak of the new Corona virus, companies and factories in China are gradually starting to work again. However, production downtimes in the past few weeks have led to disrupted supply chains, which will lead to bottlenecks in the coming days and weeks.


News about the Coronavirus

The situation in China is changing daily. The Novel Coronavirus has now infected over 60,000 people globally, resulting in over 1,500 reported fatalities. Most of the major Chinese ports opened at the beginning of the week and are operational but subject to local restrictions. This does not necessarily imply that freight is moving through the terminals as many staff have not yet returned to work. Factories are slowly getting back to work and each geographical region in China is moving differently based on their local rate of infection.


Measures against the Coronavirus

The measures taken by the Chinese government to combat the spread of the corona virus are having an increasingly negative impact on international supply chains. At this stage it is uncertain how long the current disruption to air and ocean shipments and rail cargo services to and from China will last. While work after the prolonged Chinese New Year holidays is planned to resume on February 10, reports suggest that the shutdown could last considerably longer, as the outbreak of the virus shows no signs of abating.


Coronavirus in China - Contingency Planning

After the Outbreak of the Coronavirus in China, some of the country’s cities in the affected areas have been quarantined in order to stop spreading the virus further. In the meantime, the Chinese government has prolonged the official holidays by three days in order to limit contact between people.


EU recommends renewal of „Consortia Block Exemption Regulation“ (CBER)

Container lines are at a huge advantage in competition law that allows them to control the number of sailings on routes between international sea ports. By “pooling” of vessel capacities one shipping line in a consortium will be allocated bookings made with any of the consortium’s partners on that particular route. The agreement between partners in a Consortium needs not to be published. The CBER has been agreed on for four years and is now up for renewal. Currently, market participants are invited to spell out their concerns and arguments in response to the EU’s recommendation.


Consequences of a "no-deal" brexit

In case of a “no-deal” Brexit, Great Britain exits the EU’s free trade area and the transport of excise goods will immediately be subject to the same customs formalities as international trade, pending any new agreements. At that point, all EORI numbers (Economic Operators‘ Registration and Identification Number) issued in Great Britain and Northern Ireland (GB) become void. British businesses may already now request an EORI number in an EU country of their choice which then comes into effect on 1st November.


What does it take to integrate refugees successfully?

Michael Guttrof, Managing Director of Kopf & Lübben, has become involved in the integration of refugees by being a Regional Ambassador in Bremen within the national Network "NETZWERK Unternehmen integrieren Flüchtlinge“ (network of companies integrating refugees). In an interview with the regional TV C Channel „buten un binnen“ he explains what is most important from his point of view and how companies get the chance to support refugees.


Carriers bemoan low ocean freight rates

For several months now, sea freight rates on the route from China to Northern Europe have been at a low level. The comminssioning of several Megamax ships, coupled with a weakening global economy, has led to furher overcapacity and made it more difficult for shipping lines to increase freight rates. The cancellation of several departures and the resulting artificial shortage of cargo space did not lead to the desired result either. According to Alphaliner data, a total of 42 departures were cancelled in the first three quarters of this year, compared to 16 empty trips in the same period last year.


Top-level politicians support battle against competitive disadvantage due to reclaim procedure of VAT in Germany

German proceedings for claiming a refund of import VAT cause high costs for importers. These expenses do not incur in the neighbouring EU countries where import VAT for non-EU commodities imported by local entreprenerus can be reclaimed under the reverse charge mechanism and need not be paid upon filing the customs entry. This is why urgent demand for action is required by the federal republic government and its federal states in order to eliminate the current competitive disadvantage in this field at German ports and air ports, to improve liquidity and cut costs for German importers.


No-Deal Brexit

Should the U.K. leave the European Union without a ratified agreement, the region will then be classified as a third country subject to the legal provision applicable to other non-EU countries. This will also have consequences in respect of trade and VAT procedures for transport and logistics services.


Import Sales Tax - reform of reclaim procedure called for

Professional associations in the logistics industry have criticized the procedure for reclaiming import VAT in Germany for a long time. At present, sales tax is levied on the import of goods into the EU by customs, a federal government agency. However, the refund is a federal state task, which implies that the processing of refunds creates a high administrative burden for all involved. In addition, importers have high costs for interim finance and, in certain instants, the placement of guarantees. Within the EU only Germany, Cyprus, Ireland and Great Britain do not allow the offset of import sales tax against VAT, i.e. these countries are at a disadvantage within the EU. Remedial action in Germany is in sight:


Exports of dual use items

Dual-use items are goods, software and technology that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. When exported as part of trading of services to a third country, they are being closely controlled in terms of  the EU’s export control system.


Limit of sulphur content in fuel oil inflates prices in the shipping industry

In 2016 member states of the IMO (International Maritime Oganization of the UNO) have decided to set a limit for sulphur in fuel oil used by ships. It is expected that this will have major health and environmental benefits for the world. As of 1st January 2020 only fuel oil with a maximum of 0.5 % sulphur content is allowed to be used as opposed to the current 3.5 %. The shipping industry anticipates that this will lead to additianal cost of 24 -60 Billion US Dollars in the maritime trade; about a quarter of which will affect the container liner shipping.


Kopf + Lübben Cargo Services donates to three charity organizations

Helping others makes one feel good – we are donating to three charities to promote a child help organization (Kinderhilfe Kleine Strolche), a foundation to find bone marrow donors (Deutsche Knochenmarkspenderdatei DKMS) as well as an organization that sends clowns to visit patients in hospital (Bremer Klinikclowns). These donations are not only helpful for the receiving organizations but also for us as we know that our donations are used for three important purposes.


New Regulation on the import of goods into Saudi Arabia

Our Saudi Arabian partner points out that specific rules apply to the import of goods to Saudi Arabia.


Increasing costs expected due to rising fuel prices and toll fees

Toll fees have been extended to many additional kilometres of road in Germany as of 1st July. Further to that, fuel prices ave been rising to such an extent that both will hit the tranport industry heavily.


Long Waiting time for treatment for BMSB

Long waiting time for treatment of shipments for the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB): Since 1st September,  all goods, packaging and transport containers must be treated for the BMSB before they may be shipped to Australia or New Zealand.


Germany is "World Champion in Logistics"

Since 2007 The World Bank has been collecting data in the logistics industry as a benchmarking tool to help countries identify the challanges and opportunities they face in their performance on trade logistics. Germany has regurlary reached leading positions in this worldwide survey, ranking 1st in 2010, 2014, 2016 and 2018.


Additional customs duties are in force on certain products from the US

As of 22nd June additional customs duties apply to the import into the EU of certain products originating from the US as a counter measure for additional customs the USA have imposed on the export of European aluminium and steel.


EU is taking steps against US sanctions on Iran

Following the green lights of EU leaders in Sofia, the European Commission has taken steps on 18th May 2018 to preseve the interests of European companies investing in Iran and demonstrate the EU's commitment to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) - the Iran nuclear deal.


Kopf & Lübben Hamburg now part of "shift"-programme

Kopf & Lübben Hamburg is now part of the “shift“ programme that helps college dropouts and students to find an employer where they can undergo dual training.


The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO Summit in Qingdao

As already communicated, the SCO’s (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) summit will take place in Qingdao from 9th – 10th June. From Thursday to Friday, 7th and 8th June, our local office will move to rented conference rooms with good internet connection in a hotel outside the exclusion zone in order to maintain business operations as best as possible.


China: Effective June 1st 2018, Customs Regulation Order No. 56 comes into force

Effective June 1st 2018, the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China (GACC) will amend its advanced cargo information requirements for imports and exports, according to their Order Number 56. Additional data elements must be communicated for transportation by air and sea, for both inbound and outbound shipments.


Netherlands to enhance controls for compliance of anti-dumping and countervailing duties

In the coming months the Dutch customs authorities will check the import of goods from Asia (China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan and Thailand) more closely for compliance of the correct import duties.


Ocean carriers to introduce Emergency Bunker Surcharges

Due to increasing bunker prices several ocean carriers have decided to introduce an Emergency Bunker Surcharge (EBS). The increase in bunker price is more that 20 % compared to the beginning of 2018 which means that the standard bunker adjustment factors do not cover this unexpected variation any longer, ocean carriers explain in their press releases.


The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation SCO Summit in Qingdao

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) will probably be held in Qingdao from 9th to 10th June this year. The People's Republic of China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, India and Pakistan are members of the SCO and represent approx. 40% of the world population. The organization deals with security issues, economy and commerce as well as stability in the region (source: Wikipedia).


Adverse weather conditions affect sailings from China to Europe

This year, the changing of seasons in China has led to extreme situations of foggy weather with low visibility, which immediately affects the shipping sector, as several carriers report. Particularly impacted are the ports of Dalian, Ningbo, Shanghai and Qingdao as a result of a slow-down of operations and even port closures.


Currently no import duties against the EU

Donald Trump has made it become true what he had announced in his election campaign over and over again: For the protection of the American steelworkers he has imposed punitive duties on the imports of steel and aluminum products. This would have hit European suppliers badly if German Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier as well as the European commissioner for Trade Cäcilia Malmström had not intervened and prevented import duties through their express-mission in trade diplomacy.


Transitional period in amended Aviation Security Act to end on 3rd March, 2018

Security reviews of airfreight staff were allowed to be carried out to companies' internal standards if these complied with the Aviation Security Act. This Act also comprised a transitional period up to 3rd March, 2018. From this coming Sunday on, internal security reviews are no longer permitted - airfreight staff is now to be reviewed by the responsible authority.


Substantial waiting times for clearance of goods at Frankfurt Airport

Long delays of up to 8 hours and more have become normal at Germany's largest airfreight hub, Frankfurt Airport - this is the conclusion of research the newspaper DVZ has done. Changes for teh better are not in sight as several emergency meetings are said to have shown.


Time Slots in the Port of Hamburg

Delivery or pick-up of containers at the terminals in the Port of Hamburg requires patience - several influences -including the call of larger ships carrying mor containers - have lead to significant delays in the recent past which was not only inconvenient but also costly for all parties involved.


Free Trade Agreement CETA

Today the Comprehensive Economc and Trade Agreement CETA between Canada and the EU provisionally becomes effective . From 00:00 hrs local time 98 % of customs duties of all product groups that are being traded between both sides are then being dropped. According to the EU Commission savings for European companies amount to 590 Billion Euro per year.


Impact of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm but due to the general weather situation including further hurricanes to be expected is still a great threat. Ocean carriers are pointing out that timetables might change for the vessels affected by the weather conditions  in the USA in order to protect crews and cargoes.


growth in air freight demand exceeds expectations - air freight rates continue to rise

Air freight service is still very popular and its growth in demand surpasses expectations, reports the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines AAPA. New business orders particularly from European countries support the demand in this region followed by a growth in demand by 10.9 % in July. The high Freight Load factor lead to expansion of capacities by 4.4 % and still the Freight Load factor was 66 % - 3.8 % higher than in the same month last year. Simultaneously, load factor improvements are now being reflected in higher air freight rates.


BRICS summit from 3. -5. September leads to restrictions in the xiamen area

This year's BRICS summit (Brasil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) will take place in Xiamen from 3. - 5. September. The Chinese government draws attention to restrictions that will affect traffic in and around the area of Xiamen .


Bahn-Sammelcontainer mitten ins Herz des Ruhrgebietes

Kopf + Lübben Cargo Services erobert mit dem eigenen Bahn-Sammelcontainer nun das Ruhrgebiert:

ab 5.9.2017 fährt wöchentlich Dienstags unser eigener Bahn-Sammelcontainer für LCL (Stückgut) Verladungen von Zhengzou nach Troisdorf bei Köln!


G20-Summit from 06. – 08.07.2017 in Hamburg

As is commonly known, the G20-Summit will take place in Hamburg from the 6th to the 8th of July. Security measures as well as several demonstrations will lead to major traffic congestion in the downtown area as well as in many other parts of the city, including the port.


Service Tax on "prepaid" ocean freight to India

Since January 22nd, 2017 a Service Tax of 4.5 % has been imposed not only on freight collect, but also on prepaid consignments, i.e. ocean freight the shipper pays was taxed. Some shipping lines had announced to charge this Service Tax to the freight payer at origin. This approach has been discussed controversially as it discriminates against foreign companies who are not part of the Indian tax system and therefore unable to off set this tax. After international protest the Indian government has finally decided to change the law:


Change of regulations for import of used vehicles with cooling agent in air-conditioning system

Since 1.1.12017 certain cooling agents are not allowed to be imported into the EU any longer. This regulation has been relaxed for private individuals:


Import of motor vehicles only possible without cooling agent in air-conditioning system

Since 1.1.2017 certain cooling agents may no longer be imported into the EU. This also applies to "prefilled components" such as air-conditioning systems in new and used cars that are to be imported from third countries.


Service Tax is being imposed on "prepaid" ocean freight to India

So far, India raised a Service Tax of 4.5 % on "collect" ocean freight shipments. As a result, a number of companies changed their terms and conditions to "prepaid" for their shipments. In reaction, the Indian Government announced on 12th January that the Service Tax would be levied on freight "prepaid" consignments in the near future. This rule came into effect on 22nd January  and since then 4.5 % tax is being raised on "prepaid" shipments.


Coherent set of rules for all industry and shippers associations from 2017

Until 2015, more than 90 % of all freight forwarding and logistics business was conducted in terms of the ADSp, the German Freight Forwarders' Standard Terms and Conditions, which reflect the characteristics of carriage of goods. As maritime law was revised substantially, also the ADSp hat to be re-negotiated which lead to difficulties in 2015:


Hanjin Shipping has filed for receivership

The continuing crisis in the global container shipping industry has lead to a further bankruptcy earlier this week: Korean Hanjin Shipping Co. Ltd., the world's seventh largest container ship carrier, has filed for receivership. This bankruptcy would be the largest ever for a container ship carrier.


Trial period prolonged for Air Cargo Advance Screening for US-bound air freight

U.S. customs have prolonged the trial period of Air Cargo Advance Screening (Acas) until July 26th, 2017.


G 20 summit on 4th and 5th September is around the corner

Preparations are in full swing for the upcoming 11th G 20 summit in China. Hangzhou, situated between picturesque hills, many lakes and rivers, is getting prepared for the summit with a package of measures.


Schienesische Medizin

Bahnfracht ist die Lösung für eilige Importe aus dem Fernen Osten, deren avisierte Liefertermine zu knapp für Seefracht sind. 


EM 2016 – Achtelfinalbegegnungen stehen fest

Seit knapp 2 Wochen rollt der Ball in Frankreich und zu unserer großen Freude hat Deutschland die Vorrunde als Gruppenerster gemeistert. Am Sonntag muss sich die Nationalmannschaft im Achtelfinale gegen die Slowakei bewähren - bei Kopf + Lübben drückt das ganze Team die Daumen.


"No VGM - no gate-in" from 1. July 2016

Effective 1.7.2016 shippers are responsible for obtaining and declaring the Verified Gross Mass to the ocean carriers. 


Unionszollkodex seit 01.05.2016 gültig

Am 1.5. hat der Unionzollkodex den mittlerweile über 24 Jahre alten Zollkodex der EU-Gemeinschaften abgelöst. Mit dem Unionszollkodex wird das Zollrecht modernisiert mit dem Ziel, Vorschriften zu vereinfachen, Bürokratie abzubauen und langfristig auf die Zollabwicklung im IT Verfahren umzustellen. Die maßgeblichen Änderungen haben wir Ihnen hier zusammengestellt:


Download February 2016 timetable for LCL export shipments

Our current February LCL timetable for export shipments  is now available in our download area.


Brazil: Latest changes in ISPM regulations will be put into force from February 2016

Until now, wooden packaging materials could still be treated after arrival in Brazil, should they not have complied with ISPM standards.


The Union Customs Code

The European Union has decided to simplify cross border trade by streamlining the customs handling system. As of 1st May, 2016, the UCC (Union Customs Code) shall come into force.


German Freight Forwarders' General Terms and Conditions (ADSp) face massive changes

Due to the changed regulations and new legislation, a revision of the German Freight Forwarders' General Trading Terms and Conditions ADSp would be necessary. Unfortunately, the German Freight Forwarding and Logistics Association (DSLV) and various shippers associations (BDI, BGA, DIHK, HDE) were not able to agree on a common recast of the ADSp, which after 90 years of use could imply their end.  


Labelling of Hazardous Goods to Shanghai port

Following the disastrous explosions in Tianjin on 12th August, Chinese officials have changed the requirements for Hazardous Goods for shipment to Shanghai port significantly.


Explosions at cargo warehouse in Chinese port Tianjin affect container handling

After last Wednesday's explosions causing many deaths and injuries in the port of Tianjin, container handling will probably be further impeded even though in the meantime loading and discharging operations have been resumed on a low level.


China imports of solar moduls redirected via Taiwan and Malaysia?

There is increasing evidence that Chinese manufacturers of solar modules and cells circumvent anti-dumping duties by redirecting their export products via Taiwan and Malaysia. A German manufacturer has now lodged a complaint to have the EU investigate their allegations of suspected circumvention of anti-dumping and suspected dumping. The EU has now initiated an investigation due to submitted evidence. What does this mean in practice?




K&L Cargo Services Ltd. joins German Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong

K&L Cargo Services Ltd. has joined the German Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong that represents the various interests of companies with German roots in the Hong Kong region.


Increasing number of rejected import shipments into the USA - wood packing materials need to be appropriately treated in accordance with IPPC regulations

Our US partners report increasing numbers of rejected import shipments due to non-compliant wood packing materials (WPMs), i.e. these containers are re-exported and not allowed into the USA.


Supply Chain Management: Transparency through Global Logistics Access

The market requires a continuous, transparent supply chain -with our Internet-based solution GLA Global Logistics Access we offer our customers the possibility of consistently transparent process monitoring.




Nueva presentación de Kopf + Lübben Cargo Services

Hemos actualizado nuestra imagen y desde ahora nos presentamos con un nuevo lema y un nuevo diseño corporativo.


The SOLAS Container Weight Verification Requirement

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS): as a condition for loading an export container onto a ship, the container has to have a verified weight, i.e. "no verified weight, no loading". This requirement will become legally binding on July 1, 2016.