IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Cargo markets continue to shrink
The air cargo market ends the first quarter of this year with shrinking volumes. The latest figures for March which were issued by WorldACD show that the total chargeable weight decreased by -2.4% year-on-year (YoY) but was +25.2% month-over-month when compared to February tonnages. This, WorldACD states was expected as February figures were negatively affected by the traditional Chinese New Year. The relatively good results for March did not however lend support to the overall Q1 figures which showed a YoY decrease of -3.1% in chargeable weight.
As was the case in previous month’s figures, special cargo such as pharmaceuticals showed a +3.5% increase, whereas general cargo dropped across the board by -4.8%. Monthly yield increased slightly by +0.5% but was down by -5% on a YoY basis. The Asia Pacific region remains as the most important air cargo driver says WorldACD but is also faltering with Asia Pacific to Europe tonnages down by almost -5%, Europe to Asia Pacific by -4.3% and North America to Asia Pacific dropping by -4.7%. Other markets fared somewhat better by the end of the first quarter. Asia Pacific to the Middle East and S.E. Asia chargeable weight increased during the first three months of this year by +2.9%.
LOT Cargo goes for CEIV certification
The Warsaw-based Polish national carrier, LOT, is intent on claiming their share of the lucrative pharmaceutical market and have announced that they are in the process of applying for the IATA CEIV pharma certification. The carrier hopes to complete the certification process by the end of October this year.
Poland is said to be one of the world’s largest producers of insulin as well as vaccines and antibiotics and LOT Cargo aims to gain a large part of these products which are shipped around the world from the central European country. LOT’s Cargo Director Michal Grochowski stated: “we are eager to develop in directions set by the Polish pharmaceutical market. Embarking on certification proves that we respond to market needs and our clients’ demands.” LOT Cargo has also introduced IATA’s new Dangerous Goods AutoCheck (DG Autocheck) system into their booking network.
Swissport ups their 2018 EBITDA
Zurich-based airport ground handler Swissport has released their 2018 results which show that the handler which operates cargo, passenger and ramp handling services around the globe, has achieved far better results than the previous year.
EBITDA increased by 24.1% to 273.2 million euros and the handler reports that revenues generated from operating activities increased by 6.7% to 2.99 billion euros. The air cargo handling sector contributed 0.56 billion euros to the results which was an increase of 6.5% over the previous year. A total of 4.8 million tons of air cargo were handled, an increase of 100,000 tons on the previous year. Swissport was able to increase their operating cash flow to 182.5 million euros, a rise of 40.3% compared to 2017 cash flow figures. The airport ground services division generated 2.43 billion euros in revenues and performed 2.2 million aircraft turnarounds in 2018. Swissport was able to strengthen its presence in the Asia Pacific region in 2018 by acquiring the Australian ground services company Aerocare.
CHAMP renews with DB Schenker
DB Schenker has agreed to renew their agreement with Luxembourg-based CHAMP Cargosystems for its Traxon cargoHUB solution which the leading German forwarder utilizes in order to communicate digitally with their worldwide supply chain partners.
The CHAMP - DB Schenker relationship has continued for over a quarter of a century and the agreement renewal does not come as a surprise to insiders. This is a lucrative deal for CHAMP as Schenker operates at more than 800 worldwide locations. The Traxon cargoHUB platform offers electronic access to more than 100 airlines and thousands of forwarders around the globe. Schenker’s EVP Global Air Freight, Niklas Wilmking commented when signing the renewal that: “our ongoing use of CHAMP’s Traxon cargoHUB solution demonstrates its effectiveness and ability to adapt to changing times.”
AF-KL Cargo Q1 slowdown
The somewhat stagnating air cargo market has also left its mark on Air France-KLM first quarter cargo results.
A total of 270,000 tons of air cargo were moved by the Franco-Dutch carrier during the first three months of this year. This is basically the same amount as recorded in Q1 of 2018. In a statement AF-KL Cargo put the static volumes for Q1 of this year down to the “economic slowdown, political uncertainties and trade disputes.“ The average load factor for the period dropped by 0.5% to 59.1% and freight rates fell by 4% compared to the previous year’s first quarter. However, total cargo revenues increased by 0.7% to 547 million euros, whereas revenues generated solely on scheduled services fell by 0.8% to 473 million euros.
Emirates 2018 cargo results stagnate
Once seen as the leading air cargo revenue generating airline, Emirates SkyCargo has had to report that by the end of their fiscal year in April, that they were only able to record what they term as marginal growth for the year.
Competition, especially from carriers such as Turkish Cargo and Qatar Airways Cargo, has surely been one of the factors affecting Emirates’ 2018 cargo results. Volumes carried on the carrier’s large passenger and cargo fleet only increased by 1.4% to a total of 2.6 million tons. Here, the deciding factor were the January to March figures, which as was the case with almost all other carriers, were disappointing.
However, cargo continues to play a very important role for the Dubai-based airline. Revenues generated in the above-mentioned period were about AED13 billion (US$3.5 billion), which in plain figures actually amounts to a 5% increase. The Emirates Airline Group announced that the group profits for the year dropped dramatically to AED3.9 billion. How much of this was contributed by the cargo department is not made public.
CEVA Logistics signs with LUSH
Swiss-based CEVA Logistics has announced that they have signed a three-year deal to deliver LUSH products to their stores in the UK and Ireland. The deal means that CEVA will be responsible for moving the complete range of LUSH products in both countries. LUSH produces a wide range of cosmetic articles and beauty products which will be picked up daily by CEVA at LUSH’s UK distribution centre at Poole in the UK. These will then be delivered overnight to the stores in the UK and Ireland.
In other news CEVA Logistics AG has announced the appointment of Pierre-Olivier Landry as their new Chief Human Resources Officer. Mr Landry who is based in Marseille takes over from Pierre Girardin and he took up his position on 1. May. He reports directly to the company CEO. Landry comes from French forwarder Geodis where he held the same position.
CEVA Group results for the first quarter of this year show a 5.1% drop in revenues (US$1.698 billion) and a -32.1% fall in EBITDA (US$134 million).
Volga Dnepr Technics gets ISO certification
Volga-Dnepr Technics Moscow (VDTM) which provides MRO services for a host of Russian and foreign airlines in Russia reports that they have succeeded in gaining ISO 9001-2015 certification.
VDTM had also implemented their Quality Management System (QMS), which they say was an important move to improve efficiency and transparency for their maintenance processes and for their customers. Bureau Veritas, a leading testing, inspection and certification company conducted the audit for VDTM. This was carried out in two stages. The first being a check on all documented information and the second was a detailed study of VDTM’s operating and performance systems at their Moscow hub.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines recently moved a 36 ton, 4-metre-long wind turbine hub from Cologne-Bonn Airport to Adelaide Airport in Australia along with three 12.6-ton generators. After having been offloaded from one of VD’s giant AN-124 freighters they were then transported by road to Hallet, a town situated in the northern Australian region where they will be assembled and be used as a renewable energy wind farm in the area.
John Mc Donagh