IN BRIEF, THE LATEST CARGO AIRLINE INDUSTRY NEWS.
Airport handlers join forces
Last year Budapest, Duesseldorf and Hamburg airports announced that they would form a “Sister Airports” consortium in order to offer carriers alternative cargo hubs. This move was cemented further at this year’s Air Cargo China trade fair where all three who now term themselves as AviAlliance presented what they call their common features and characteristics of their logistics sites and infrastructure.
Their aim is to present their joint benefits as non-hub airports as a bundled package. They claim that goods flows can be handled just as well, if not better from dedicated non-hub airports such as theirs due to the fact that they also have state-of-the-art infrastructures and are more flexible in meeting customer’s needs. Budapest claims that they can be the best distribution point in Central and Eastern Europe, whereas Hamburg points out the benefits of their state-of-the-art new Hamburg Cargo Center which went into operation in 2016. Duesseldorf, which is Germany’s third largest airport claims to offer carriers and agents a tailored 365/24/7 service as well as an ultra-modern pharma handling facility. It will be interesting to see whether the three mid-sized airports can collectively convince carriers to look more closely in their regions.
In other news, Berlin-based Aviation Handling Services (AHS) and AeroGround Berlin, announced that they have entered into a long-term strategical cooperation at the Berlin airports. The idea is to use common synergies in order to strengthen both their market positions. Their primary focus is to concentrate on cost-optimization as well as joint sales activities.
ABC & PACTL sign MoU - ABC Best All Cargo Airline
At the recent Air Cargo China event, AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) and Shanghai-based handler PACTL, signed an MoU which is meant to extend solutions for Chinese pharma customers. Both PACTL and ABC agree to develop, expand and promote business cooperation in the time and temperature sensitive shipment sector and their accord is an extension of the strategic cooperation agreement already signed between both companies in late 2017. Due to the fact that both ABC and PACTL are now fully CEIV certified, the MoU will focus on enhancing operations relating to pharma products by what they term as an optimization of both their internal procedures as well as promoting personal skills and coming up with more innovative IT solutions in order to give clients at Pudong International Airport an even better service. PACTL, which received its CEIV certificate in 2016, operates a 3,500 square meter Cool Center at Pudong which can handle up to 100,000 tons per annum.
AirBridgeCargo Airlines was voted as being ‘Best All Cargo Airline’ for the third year running at the Air Cargo China show. The nomination and voting process is arranged by Air Cargo News whose readers can vote as to who they think offered the best service as a cargo carrier based on their performance. Sergey Lazarev, General Director for AirBridgeCargo commented: “It is overwhelming to be among such a prestigious group of winners for the third consecutive year. We are honoured by this recognition and, at the same time, recognise the responsibility of continuing to meet the requirements of our customers and partners.”
The Hague orders further investigation into “local rule”
The Dutch minister for Infrastructure, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, has called for further investigation on the local rule for additional cargo flights. Apparently, the discussion the interpretation of the implementation ligers on says transport weekly Nieuwsblad Transport. The issue was raised during the discussion on aviation in the ‘Tweede Kamer’ of the Parliament, during which SP (Socialist Party) and SGP (Protestant Party) asked why it is taking so long for the rule to be implemented. The shippers organisation evofenedex claims that the local rule has been discussed extensively and thoroughly with all the airline companies concerned, so that differences in interpretation are hard to understand. The shippers state that the ongoing uncertainty over the cargo ruling reduces their options for shipping through Schiphol Airport. The local rule is based on three principles: securing airlines their historic rights, creating space for incidental slot allocation and the re-allocation of non-flown slots. Of the latter, 25% would be allocated automatically to cargo operations.
AMS cargo figures show China, Latam and Africa growth
Despite the ongoing turmoil surrounding Amsterdam Schiphol’s local slot ruling, the airport has shown relatively good figures for the first quarter of this year. Main growth areas are reported to be to and from Latin America and Africa as well as continued growth to China.
The Chinese market showed a 2.1% growth rate at Schiphol in Q1, whereas Latin American shipments recorded a 10% inbound rise and a 31% outbound shipment increase over the same period in 2017.
African flower exports rose by another 7% although the imports into Africa dropped by 5% to almost 29,000 tonnes. Results for cargoes to and from Europe, the Middle East and North America were slightly below those of last year with a combined drop of 2.1%. It is interesting to note that full freighter volumes were only down by 2.4% although there were 7.4% fewer full freighter movements in Q1.
Kale collaborates with Cybage
Kale Logistics Solutions India recently signed an MoU with Cybage Software private Limited, an Indian company based in Pune. The MoU is aimed at jointly developing markets for Kale’s warehousing, transportation and other allied IT solutions. Cybage offers technology consulting services which specialise in so called ‘outsourced product engineering services.’ The MoU will allow both companies to leverage their technology to look at more ways of looking for new markets and expanding Kale’s warehouse and transportation businesses. A special focus will be on exploring new markets in order to provide warehouse and transportation IT solutions for their present and future customers.
WCA opens China office
World Cargo Alliance (WCA) has decided to open a new member support office in Shenzhen, China. This move was prompted by what the company describes as growing network demands from their members. WCA has also appointed Mirja Nissen, an ex-DHL eCommerce trade lane manager as co-director of their eCommerce network.
WCA states that their Chinese membership is growing rapidly and WCA China Vice President, Damin Wang comments that: “the number of members in Asia-Pacific require even more attention. Opening this secondary China office will help us manage agent requests and will align us to better support our growing membership in the area.”
Mirja Nissen who will work alongside WCA’s eCommerce Director, Alex Allen, has been in the logistics and cargo business since 2001. She brings considerable eCommerce experience with her and working alongside Allen, is expected to further develop WCA’s presence in this market segment.
Western Global Airlines who are based in Sarasota, U.S.A., have opened an aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility at Louisiana’s Shreveport Airport. The cargo carrier states they will invest around US$3 million for new tooling and other equipment in the facility. They have taken over Hanger 40 at the airport which offers just over 14,000 square meters of space. It is understood that the state of Louisiana has also given the cargo carrier an attractive incentive package.
Minsk headquartered Rubystar Airways has received their first Boeing 747-400 BCF aircraft. This is a 27-year-old B747F which was originally with ACG Air Cargo Germany. It is now being chartered by Silk Way West Airlines. Rubystar also has a fleet of five IL-76 freighters on their books.
FedEx Express was given a US$ 7,000 fine by the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) because they’d not had the proper safety procedures on hand during the loading of one of their B777 freighters at Memphis Airport. In November 2017 a loader was tragically crushed to death by one of their cargo loading vehicles when he was guiding the cargo loader into position. TOSHA says that FedEx did not have the proper procedures in place between their E-Stop controllers and cargo loaders.
Silk WayWest Airlines will add a further two B747-400F aircraft to their present fleet in order to meet continued demand for space and to serve new destinations to Budapest and Liege airports. The carrier presently operates with more than ten B747Fs.
John Mc Donagh / Marcel Schoeters