IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Tony Douglas takes the chair at Etihad
Etihad announced the appointment of Tony Douglas as group chief executive officer, replacing James Hogan who left the company last July. Douglas, who is currently acting as CEO of the Defense Equipment and Support of the UK’s Ministry of Defense will join the Abu Dhabi-based airline in January 2018. Previously, he held leading positions with airport operator BAA, including MD of the London Heathrow T5 project.
His appointment comes as EY recorded $1.87 bn in losses in 2016 as a result of tough market conditions, high impairment charges, and high expenditures to keep loss making Air Berlin and Alitalia afloat, in which Etihad owns stakes. The 2016 results were a significant plunge from the $103 million in profits announced a year earlier. The stakes in Air Berlin, Alitalia and other Etihad satellite airlines were part of the devastating and costly growth strategy orchestrated by former CEO James Hogan.
In a first statement, Tony said that he intends to “implement a range of strategic initiatives to position Etihad for sustained success in an increasingly competitive regional and global aviation market.”
China okays UPS-SF joint venture
China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has approved the planned joint venture between UPS and SF Express's parent company, SF Holding. SF Express has a significant presence in China with more than 13,000 service points in 331 cities.
The UPS/SF joint venture, which was first announced in May, will establish international delivery services, beginning with deliveries from China to the U.S., giving Chinese e-commerce sellers access to the U.S. market. UPS and SF Holding began collaborating in 2015 when SF’s retail stores in Shanghai and Shenzhen began offering UPS Worldwide Express service.
In a statement this week, Ross McCullough, President of UPS Asia Pacific, said: "UPS has an aggressive multi-year growth plan in China. Aligning our two networks will increase our market presence by connecting China’s consumers and manufacturers to the U.S. and around the world with logistics solutions that strengthen cross-border B2B and B2C capabilities. This JV is highly symbolic of UPS’s confidence in long-term growth opportunities in China.”
According to Alan Wong, Group Vice President of SF, the joint venture "boosts global expansion of Chinese enterprises beyond local borders and SF and UPS are able to maximise the strengths of both companies to continuously innovate and create more competitive products that deliver strong value for customers.”
Leisure Cargo changes AWB
Cargo sales agent Leisure Cargo, an Air Berlin subsidiary, has announced appointing Condor Flugdienst’s AWB 881 as of 1 October, replacing the former Air Berlin air waybill 745. It’s an important step towards Leisure’s independence from its insolvent parent AB, reads an announcement. “We opted for using Condor’s AWB because of our close ties with the airline, whose cargo business we run,” explained MD Thilo Schaefer of LC.
Affected by the AWB change are LC’s collaborating sub-GSAs together with the company’s 14 mandate airlines. All 745 (Air Berlin) AWBs with issuing date prior to October 1, will remain valid and will still be accepted and processed throughout a transition period of four weeks until October 31, 2017, assures LC.
Meanwhile, logistics firm Zeitfracht confirmed to CargoForwarder Global its interest in taking over Leisure Cargo together with Air Berlin Technik and the AB daughter airline Luftfahrtgesellschaft Walter. The latter operates a fleet of 20 turboprop Bombardier Dash 8-Q400, serving regional routes. “Should we be awarded the contract we intend to convert the Dash 8 to quick-change passenger/cargo aircraft,” Zeitfracht speaker Thomas Schulz told CargoForwarder Global. Running an own fleet is part of the Berlin-based logistics firm to initiate a European Express Network.
Belgian authorities target illicit pharmaceuticals in Liege and Brussels
As part of an Interpol-led international operation named ‘Pangea X’ Belgian customs, the Federal Agency for Medicine and Health Products (FAMPH) and the Hormones division of the Federal Police have seized 136 consignments of fake and illicit medicines and medical devices at the main Belgian cargo airports. Between 8-14 September, 8,547 postal and express packages were controlled at Brussels Airport (B-Post, DHL, TNT, UPS and FedEx) as well as Liege Airport (TNT, Aramex and Swissport). Of these, 336 consignments were blocked. China, India, Thailand, Turkey and Hong Kong were identified as the main ‘risk’ countries of origin. Most of the products were erection-stimulating medicines, painkillers, psychoactive substances; dope, anabolic steroids as well as illicit slimming agents.
Worldwide Pangea X led to the seizure of 25 million illicit and counterfeit medicines, representing a value of €43 million. In all, 197 police, customs and health regulatory offices form a record 123 countries were involved in the operation. In addition, illicit medical devices such as dental devices and implants, condoms, syringes, medical testing strips and surgical equipment worth an estimated €425,000 were recovered.
EK SkyCargo reports pharma boom
Emirates SkyCargo has transported 51,000 tons of pharmaceuticals since the launch of its specialized “Emirates Pharma” product a year ago, valued at over €9.3 billion. The main types of pharmaceuticals transported include vaccines, medication for diabetes and cancer, and Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), notes the airline. Adding to this that pharma volumes transported between January and September 2017 grew by over 25% when compared with the same period in 2016.
Concurrently, EK SkyCargo announces to having received a revalidation of the European Union Good Distribution Practices (EU GDP) certification for pharma operations at its hub in Dubai. The German Bureau Veritas conducted the annual surveillance audit for the revalidation. This makes Emirates SkyCargo the operator of the world’s largest multi-airport GDP certified hub with over 8,600 sq meters of dedicated pharma facilities including the purpose built pharma terminal at Dubai International Airport.
‘Processing Center’ enthuses Finnair Cargo
Thanks to their new state-of-the-art cargo terminal at Helsinki Vantaa Airport the throughput of shipments have reached a record level. The modular designed facility, inaugurated earlier this year and internally dubbed as Processing Center, enables consignments off all kinds to transit the building at high speed. “About 80 percent of goods transported by air to and from Helsinki are beyond-shipments. Thanks to digitalized and automated processes we need no more than three hours – maximum – for processing transits, including security checks and customs procedures,” states Janne Tarvainen, CEO Finnair Cargo. He adds to this that storing is “the most costly issue in air freight.” That’s why “we want air freight to come in and go out as fast as possible, to the benefit of our customers.” The terminal offers 29,892 sq meters of storage space, including 6,500 sq meters of cool rooms.
Janne stated that the new terminal is a key pillar of his airline’s roadmap to further air freight growth. Currently, cargo contributes between 15 to 17 percent of the revenues generated by the Nordic carrier’s long-haul A350 fleet. In average, 200 tons of air freight leave Helsinki Airport on board Finnair’s fleet every day, of which 50 tons are seafood.
Slot Booking App successfully tested at BRU
The pickup and delivery of freight consignments will become less stressful for truckers and warehouse people and more efficient at Brussels Airport. This was proved by tests on 6th and 20th September at BRU. During the two testing days, DHL Global Forwarding and Nippon Express booked all freight pickup and delivery at the warehouses of ground handlers WFS and Aviapartner using the BRUCloude Slot Booking App. The digital tool matches the requests for truck loading and offloading with the availability of the time slots at their local ground handler and offers an alternative slot if no match is found. “This smoothens the freight delivery and pick-up at the warehouses, eliminates waiting times for the forwarder and makes BRUCargo more efficient,” reads a release issued by the freight division of Brussels Airport. In addition to this, the BRUCargo team announces that in November the application will be enhanced, offering a number of new features.
Heiner Siegmund / Nol van Fenema / Marcel Schoeters