IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Berlin Welcomes Pandas
Last Saturday, Meng Meng (f) and Jiao Qing (m) landed at Berlin Brandenburg International after a 12h flight on board a Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 freighter. Literally, they were the first two “passengers” arriving at BER Airport that has not yet been officially opened.
Both animals are doing fine after their long journey from Chengdu in China to the German capital - partly thanks to the first-class treatment they received on board the LH Cargo aircraft by vet Andreas Ochs from Berlin Zoo and two accompanying Chengdu keepers. One ton of tasty bamboo leaves and twigs traveling with the animals to secure their food supply might have helped to ensure their well-being.
Berlin’s mayor Michael Mueller and China’s ambassador to Germany Shi Mingde came to the Cargo Centre of Berlin Brandenburg Airport to welcome the pandas. “We are delighted that Berlin has gained another fantastic attraction with these bears,” stated Mueller upon the arrival of the animals.
The bears will spend the next few days resting and getting accustomed to their new environment,” explains Zoo Director Andreas Knieriem. Beginning 6 July, visitors will have the opportunity to see the bears in their brand new habitat of more than 5,000 sqm at the Berlin Zoo.
David Geer becomes MD of Virgin Atlantic Cargo
The manager will be based at Virgin Atlantic’s VHQ close to London Gatwick Airport. David joined Virgin Atlantic in April 2012 as Head of Strategy & Development at Virgin Holidays following six years as a Manager with L.E.K Consulting. He succeeds John Lloyd, who announced leaving the airline in August, after heading Virgin Atlantic’s cargo division since 2000. Commenting on his new role, David said: “This is an exciting new challenge and I am really looking forward to working with our cargo team and getting to know our customers. Virgin Atlantic Cargo has a great reputation for its service levels, strong customer relationships and winning mentality, and the business has a very important role to play in the continued growth of the airline.” In 2016, the airline carried over 218,000 tons of cargo.
ZTO Express to expand its Zhejiang hub facility
China-based express delivery company, ZTO Express has announced that it will expand its Zhenjiang regional warehouse and sorting hub.
In a statement, ZTO it said plans to invest up to RMB150 million (US$22 million) to expand its current facilities after obtaining land use rights for over 32,000 square meters of land in Jinyi New Urban District, Zhejiang Province.
The expansion plans include the construction of additional office space, warehouse and sorting hub with processing capacity for up to one million parcels per day. Construction is expected to be completed by August 2018.
ZTO Express founder and CEO, Lai Meisong said: "Building additional infrastructure at our Zhejiang regional warehouse and sorting hub is another step in our strategy to expand the scale of our network and improve service quality and operational efficiency."
Lai added that "Zhejiang is a very important commercial and regional hub for us and the additional capacity to process up to one million parcels per day will further reduce regional unit logistics costs, improve customer service and in turn strengthen brand loyalty among our customers and merchants."
WFS handles QR in Stockholm
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) was awarded a three-year contract to provide cargo handling services for Qatar Airways in Stockholm. The airline operates 13 direct flights a week between the Swedish capital and Doha. WFS expects to handle some 12,000 tons a year for Qatar Airways at its cargo center at Stockholm Arlanda Airport, which opened in 2012. The new contract extends WFS’ working relationship with Qatar Airways in Europe, where it is already providing cargo handling services for the airline in Madrid, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Paris.
CEVA kicks off new rail service China-Germany
Hardly a month passes without the introduction of a new rail link connecting China with Europe or vice versa. Today (26 June) CEVA Logistics announced the launch of a new rail service linking Shilong in southern China's Guangdong province to Hamburg in Germany. In conjunction with the Chinese state railway company, the new regular block trains will route Shilong, Manzhouli (China), Zabakalsky (Russia), Brest (Belarus), Malaszewicze (Poland) and Hamburg with a station-to-station lead time of 17-19 days. CEVA emphasizes in a release that their upcoming year-round service will save customers up to 2 days in time compared with other routings and will also deliver cost savings as a result.
CEVA operates both FCL and LCL services ex-China which are managed through its control tower in Shenzhen with dedicated rail and road connection teams delivering high-standard customer service through a single contact point.
Heiner Siegmund / Nol van Fenema