Tag: Stewart Brown
A new window film from Designtex takes its cues from science fiction.
Open offices are privacy nightmares, especially if you’re trying to hide sensitive data on screens. But since open offices aren’t going away any time soon, there’s Casper: a new product from the applied materials company Designtex that works like a cloaking device.
When applied to a glass wall or a window, Casper blacks out screens behind it. The transparent window film blocks light waves transmitted through LCD and LED screens. This makes them look like they’re turned off. Everything else in the room looks completely normal. While privacy screens have existed for laptops and individual monitors for quite sometime, Casper brings it to the architectural scale. It’s like a Romulan cloaking device come to life.
Courtesy : Fastcodesign Full article here
A young Fort Worth architecture firm is about to put its design mark on the city.
Soon, Matthijs and Jie Melchiors, partners and founders of MEL/ARCH studio, will start construction on a three-story office building made entirely of shipping containers. In all, 40 containers of various colors will be used. It’s expected to be completed in October.
In all, the building will have space for 30 businesses. There will also be a break room, restrooms and common areas.
The building will be 15,000 square feet, with each office about 160 square feet. The containers are 8 feet by 20 feet, but they are 12 inches taller than the typical container size.
The building will have solar panels on the roof and tree sculptures on an outdoor deck that are really wind turbines that will generate supplemental power to the building.
Courtesy of Star-Telegram – Full story
Bellow Press partners with Independent to bring North American Innovation to Clerkenwell Design Week
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or Stewart Brown at email@example.com for any questions you might have about the event.
International firms want your products, but they have to know your brand to specify them.
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.
Independent Freight is extremely pleased to announce our partnership with Overseas Markets LLC, founded to work together with North American manufacturers to take advantage of the opportunities being presented for their products in international markets.
As featured in this week’s edition of Business of Furniture, the company is focused on providing instant expertise in global trade to manufacturers in the Commercial Interiors Industry, without the manufacturer requiring any existing in-house resource or expertise.
Uniquely, Overseas Markets provides services on a transactional basis, working outside of traditional sales structures, allowing manufacturers to take advantage of international opportunities as they may arise without risk, complexity or commitment.
On behalf of the manufacturer, OM qualifies international inquiries, identifying requirements, processing proposals, handling documentation, shipping and securing payment – taking full responsibility for the transaction throughout without any cost to the manufacturer.
Overseas Markets has partnered with Independent Freight to provide the logistics expertise for their transactions, and will provide warehousing, customs and documentation consultancy and support, shipping, end user logistics, installation and project planning to all points worldwide.
We are extremely pleased to work in close partnership with OM in bringing North American products to international customers and wish them all best wishes on their activities.
What is the SOLAS Container Weight Rule?
In brief, the SOLAS Rules from the IMO state that, effective July 1 2016, ocean freight carriers worldwide will be prohibited from loading a container aboard vessels in 162 countries worldwide unless the shipper has provided the carrier with the verified gross mass (VGM) of the container. The VGM must be provided to the carrier either digitally or signed and noted on the bill of lading prior to vessel loading.
How is the new SOLAS Rule being implemented for US export shipments with effect from July 1 2016?
With a few exceptions, as it stands today the standard rules as published by the shipping lines require their receipt from the shipper of a certified VGM prior to the container arriving in to port for onward shipment, otherwise cost may be incurred for delay and/or port handling. Currently the VGM should be determined using either Method 1 or 2 as per our previous message on the subject and remains the responsibility of the shipper as per the B/L.
What, if anything, has changed ?
With just days before the SOLAS container weight rule takes effect, ports, marine terminals and container lines are coming closer to creating a system that will use pre-existing weighing processes to alleviate the burden on U.S. exporters. Regulators have given the go-ahead that allows a group of six East and Gulf coast ports and 19 ocean carriers to develop a common strategy for using existing weighing processes that satisfy federal regulations to meet the new international rule, and with multiple shipping lines backing the approach and the head of the Federal Maritime Commission urging the industry to embrace the same path, more announcements from terminals and carriers are expected before the rule takes effect on Friday.
In fact, a number of shipping lines have today confirmed that they will receive the certified scaled weight electronically from the terminal, and this will be used as the VGM.
As a shipper, do I still need to ensure that a VGM is correctly submitted on my behalf ?
Yes, until we have clear confirmation otherwise – the new rule’s rollout is just days away, but guidance from operating ports, carriers, terminal operators and nation states has been variable and prone to change with little or no notice.
What happens next ?
We believe that the process, standards and responsibilities for the implementation for the VGM rule under SOLAS rule will become less arduous to the commercial shipper over the next few days, weeks and months but would recommend close compliance with current methodology in the meantime until such time as any new regulations are finalised.We will continue to keep you updated on developments, and please be assured that we will work with everyone on a case by case basis to ensure that shipments are in compliance with the new rulings, and avoid unnecessary cost or delay on export.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to let us know if we can help in any way !
A big thanks to the exhibitors, attendees and organisers of 2016 workspace at INDEX for a fabulous show in Dubai 23-26 May 2016. Some images below !
What is the SOLAS Container Weight Rule?
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has amended the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) convention in the wake of several maritime safety incidents between 2007 and 2015 believed to be linked to inaccurately-reported container weights.
Under the new rule, effective July 1, 2016, ocean freight carriers worldwide will be prohibited from loading a container aboard vessels in 162 countries worldwide unless the Shipper (as identified by the Shipping Line B/L) has provided the carrier with the verified gross mass (VGM) of the container. The VGM must be provided to the carrier either digitally or signed and noted on the bill of lading prior to vessel loading.
How is the New SOLAS Rule Being Implemented?
Two methods have been outlined for determining the VGM of a container:
Method 1: Weighing the loaded container
Method 2: Adding the verified weight of the contents of each container to the container tare weight.
Though enforcement of the new rule will go into effect on July 1, questions that stakeholders around the world are struggling to address include how container weights should be determined, be reported to carriers, how will the rule be enforced, and what is the implication of non-compliance.
At present no single global standard exists for the above, and it appears unlikely that such a standard will be adopted prior to July 1. Even within the United States, there is no uniform standard for how to obtain container weights and communicate them to carriers.
There is also uncertainty over how far in advance VGMs will need to be submitted to carriers. It appears that carrier cutoff times for VGMs will vary from vessel cutoff times – with VGM deadline dates occurring earlier than general cutoffs, depending on the carrier.
As a general rule, carriers are requiring VGM receipt prior to containers being received at port for export. Carriers are further advising that if the VGM is not received by their deadline, costs will be incurred for the account of cargo which may include port weighing charges, additional terminal handling, container roll charges and demurrage.
To further complicate implementation, the IMO did not specify a uniform margin of error for declared container weight vs. actual weight. As a result, each of the 162 effected countries will be able to define their own margin of error and terms for enforcement. Below is a snapshot of how different countries are approaching enforcement:
- Argentina – Weight must be accurate within 5%.
- Brazil – The countries container terminals have an existing policy in place of weighing containers upon receipt at port. The terminals plan on charging the carriers 40-60 reais/container for VGM input
- Canada – Spot checks will be performed on container weight. Violators will be fined ranging from C$600-C$1,200.
- China – Weight should be within 5% or 1 Ton.
- India – Weight must be exact within 200 kg.
- Japan – Fine of up to USD 2,600 per violation if there is a discrepancy of more than 5% in container weight.
- Russia – Terminals such as Container Terminal Saint Petersburg and NUTEP Novorossiysk will allow container weighing at the port, though it is unclear whether the necessary infrastructure will be in place by July 1.
- South Africa – Auditing, inspections to ensure compliance. Violators can be imprisoned for up to one year or fined.
- United Kingdom – Shippers planning to weigh the contents and packaging of a container as per Method 2 will have to become certified by the U.K. Maritime and Coast Guard Agency, and pay a fee for their application. Shippers will need to fill out a checklist and provide documented evidence in order to receive MCGA approval, and once certified, will be added to a publicly available database tracking exporters. Shippers must have documented evidence of a process control system such as an ISO 9000 certification, the weighing method used, detailed information of weighing equipment that will be used, equipment maintenance and calibration processes, record retention, training in equipment use and procedures for dealing with faulty equipment. Failure to adhere to the new law (weight must be accurate within 5%) will constitute a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment or significant fine.
- UAE – DP World has advised they will weigh each container at the terminal and provide the VGM for a fee per container.
- United States – Coast Guard is leaving enforcement of the rule up to interpretation of, and enforcement by, the shipping industry. Congress refuses to clarify official U.S. Government stance. Speculation of possible involvement by Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) to set clearer guidelines.
Summary – US exports
As far as shipments from the US are concerned, the practical application of the new regulations, whilst still in the process of being formalised, can currently be summarised as follows :
- The shipper (as identified by the Shipping Line’s B/L) is responsible to declare the VGM to the Carrier.
- The VGM is currently expected to be an electronic declaration to the carrier.
- The VGM should be transmitted by the shipper’s authorised forwarder or the NVOCC (if not a direct shipment), based on the verified container contents information confirmed by the shipper, including shipment weight (product and packaging), loading/dunnage materials, added to the tare weight of the container.
- The shipper should have a method in place to determine the actual weight of the contents of the container. Methods could include :
- weighing the contents prior to loading,or
- using published manufacturer’s weights if product is shipped in manufacturer packaging and the weight is printed on that packaging, or
- for manufacturers, using standardised shipment weights where weights of samples have been separately verified, or
- any combination of the above.
- The shipping lines will generally require receipt of the VGM information prior to the container arriving in to port for onward shipment, otherwise cost will be incurred for delay / port handling – which cost will not be inconsequential.
- In the case of a less than container load shipment, the responsibility for verifying the detail of, and transmission of, the VGM remains with the NVOCC/consolidator/master loader.
We will continue to keep you updated on developments, and please be assured that we will work with each of our customers on a case by case basis to ensure that shipments are in compliance with the new rulings, and do not incur unnecessary cost or delay on export.
Courtesy : JOC, American Shipper, CargoSmart, Cargo Business, IMO, World Shipping Council
With overall market statistics and named project information, the report once again provides unique detail on the commercial, education and healthcare fit out opportunities available to North American companies in the Middle East region.
An extract from the overall conclusion of the Report confirms as follows :
The GCC’s fit out industry has its hands full heading into 2016 due to heightened construction activity, and the completion of structural works on large-scale. Fit out operations have evolved in line with industry changes, and modern fit out designs and practices are transitioning to suit international standards. This evolution can be attributed to the rapid globalisation ambitions of local GCC markets such as the UAE and Qatar.
As sustainability has become a major issue, the fit out industry has experienced increased pressure to implement environmentally-responsible practices.
Despite the slump in oil prices, the GCC building construction and interiors market is clearly set for a sustained upward stint over the next few years.
– The GCC interiors and fit out spend in the Commercial Sector is expected to increase from US$ 1,150 million in 2015 to US$ 1,168 million in 2016.
– All GCC countries are likely to register an upward trend in 2016 in terms of interior and fit outs spend except for Saudi Arabia.
– The interiors and fit out spend in the UAE Commercial Sector alone is likely to increase from US$ 328 million in 2015 to US$ 350 million in 2016.
This year’s traditional bet between the Chicago Bears fans at Independent and the fans of division rivals Packers for once did not go to plan for their Green Bay based furniture clients.
Whilst in the final analysis the Green Bay Packers finished the season almost winning the division, and the Chicago Bears ended up in last place, the Thanksgiving Day game between the two teams did not go well for Green Bay !
As a result, Green Bay Packers fan Beth Hassler of Axess International fulfilled the terms of the wager by wearing Bears team gear and allowing the picture to be posted here.
For once, the Bears fans at Independent are looking forward to doing it all again next season !