June 5, 2017   Posted by: Indy

Middle East air freight disruption looms as Qatar is blacklisted over ‘terror links’


Air freight transhipped via the Middle East could be disrupted after several countries decided to cut air, sea, land and diplomatic ties with Qatar.

Saudia Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Yemen and Libya have all announced a break-off in ties with Qatar over its continued support of Muslim Brotherhood and its relationship with Iran.

All three major Gulf airlines will be affected – the most serious impact will be felt by Qatar Airways, which will be unable to fly to these countries, which have shut their airspace to it. The move is likely to result in longer flight times for Qatar Airways, as well as higher fuel bills.

Qatar Airways has published a short note on its website, but did not comment further. It said: “Qatar Airways has suspended all flights to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia until 23:59 UTC on 5 June (2.59am, 6 June, Doha time).”

It advised customers with an existing cargo booking to call the nearest QR office.

While it only notes the suspension to Saudia Arabia, the UAE and other countries are expected to be added to the list.

Emirates, Etihad, Saudia, Gulf Airways, flyDubai and Air Arabia announced they would suspend all flights to and from Doha from 6 June, “as instructed by the UAE government”, noted Emirates. Etihad will upgrade its aircraft on the route to a 777 for the last few flights.

Etihad Cargo said in a statement: “All customers who have cargo booked on Etihad flights to and from Doha are being provided with alternative options and will be contacted directly regarding their specific requirements. Should you have any concerns about specific shipments, please contact your local Etihad Cargo office or alternatively our dedicated customer service team can be contacted 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“All other Etihad Cargo flights, including to the rest of the Middle East, are operating as normal. Any further changes to the status of flight schedules to Doha will be communicated through the appropriate channels. Etihad Cargo regrets any inconvenience caused as a result of the suspension.”

Qatar is fairly reliant on both the UAE and Saudi Arabia for its imports. About half of its food is sourced in the Middle East, primarily from the UAE, which also accounts for most of its fruit and vegetables. The UAE accounts for some $2.76bn of its imports, and is Qatar’s fifth biggest import country. Much of the country’s poultry and dairy products come from Saudi Arabia.

Qatar’s only land border crossing with Saudi Arabia, at Abu Samra, sees about 800 lorries cross the border each day.


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February 9, 2017   Posted by: Indy

Winter Storm Niko closes offices / ports / airports on US East Coast

Winter Storm Niko hit the entire US North East coastal area earlier this morning, bringing heavy snowfall. Flights, road and rail networks, and container vessel traffic have been disrupted throughout the region. Ports and Airports have been closed, including New York, New Jersey, Boston and Norfolk.

Forecasters said Wednesday morning that the storm was expected to clear the area by Friday morning, but we do not as yet have confirmation as to how long the ports and airports may remain closed.

Please be advised that we expect to experience delays throughout the North American air/road/rail/ocean transportation system for at least the next few days as systems come back to full operational capacity and equipment is repositioned.

We will continue to monitor shipments and advise as appropriate.

In the meantime, please do not hesitate to let us know if we can help in any way !

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January 3, 2017   Posted by: Indy

Bellow Press partners with Independent to bring North American Innovation to Clerkenwell Design Week

Clerkenwell Design Week (CDW) in London has become one of the premiere events on the contract furnishings calendar. It is one of the few exhibitions held in the world that fulfills its promise of delivering the architecture and design community. The breakdown of who attends CDW is telling: Of the 60,000 or so visitors from 72 countries, 88% are architects and designers.

In many ways, CDW is more like the events surrounding iSaloni than a traditional furnishings show. In addition to furniture and furnishings — new products are launched here — visitors to CDW will find art installations, programming and a lot of parties.

Bellow Press, publishers of Business of Furniture and Workplaces magazine, and Independent Overseas Market Support are organizing the first ever North American Commercial Interiors Exhibit at Clerkenwell Design Week 2017. The exhibit will be curated by Bellow Press to show off the most innovative products North America has to offer the world.

“What struck me as I wandered around from permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitions was the absence of many of the most innovative North American commercial interiors companies.” says Rob Kirkbride, editor-in-chief at Bellow Press. “It is a shame, because designers I spoke to are very interested in specifying North American brands. The designs that are dreamt up in Clerkenwell spawn projects around the world, and the designers simply have no connection to the best from North America.”

The North American Exhibit will be as unique as the event itself. Those chosen to show at CDW 2017 will pick a single product to exhibit, one that focuses on innovation. For a low all inclusive cost, the product will be shipped to London from Independent’s Chicago hub, displayed on a professionally designed stand in a prime show location with other complimentary North American manufacturers, included in a pre-show CDW guide published in Business of Furniture and Workplaces magazines (along with a complimentary full page ad) and promoted heavily by show organizers. There will also be a North American themed party, think craft beer and BBQ.

Many small and mid-sized North American companies may have never done business overseas or even considered it. If needed, the organizers of the North American Exhibit have partner companies that can help to follow up on sales leads and projects in London and around the world – on a transactional basis.

So how do you get a product into the North American Commercial Interiors Exhibit? Reach out to Rob Kirkbride at or Stewart Brown at for any questions you might have about the event.

International firms want your products, but they have to know your brand to specify them.

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October 6, 2016   Posted by: Indy

Hurricane Matthew disrupts Shipping, closes ports and airports

Hurricane Matthew has disrupted container vessel traffic, closed ports at Caribbean hubs and in Florida, and raised alarms farther up the US South Atlantic coast as the killer storm moves north.

Airports in Florida have already announced flight cancellations and closures, with expectations of disruption throughout the system.

The hurricane has caused havoc for ship schedules as vessels change routings to avoid dangerous weather.


Container transshipment ports at Kingston, Jamaica; Caucedo, Dominican Republic, and Freeport, Bahamas, have been affected by the storm. Ports in Jamaica and Haiti were closed last weekend as the hurricane approached. The Kingston Freeport Container Terminal at the biggest port in Jamaica reopened Tuesday after closing Saturday.

Forecasters said Wednesday morning that the storm was expected to move through the Bahamas by Thursday evening, graze the east coast of Florida, and veer northeast toward the Carolinas before possibly edging out to sea.

In Florida, the Coast Guard ordered a halt to cargo activity Wednesday at South Florida ports including Miami, Port Everglades, Miami River terminals, Palm Beach, and Fort Pierce. Farther north, Port Canaveral halted operations Tuesday.

The Coast Guard ordered a halt to Jacksonville vessel traffic, bunkering, and cargo transfers effective 8 a.m. Thursday in anticipation of gale-force winds. The Jacksonville Port Authority said its terminals would close at 3 p.m. Thursday and reopen Monday.

The Georgia Ports Authority said it planned to keep its Savannah and Brunswick terminals open Wednesday and Thursday, but was monitoring the storm and preparing for heavy rain and winds.

The North Carolina State Ports Authority also planned to keep terminals open but was securing equipment and lowering container stacks in expectation of high winds.

Several million residents of South Atlantic coastal areas have been warned to prepare to leave their homes and emergency declarations have been issued for parts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas.

We will continue to monitor shipments and advise as appropriate.

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