IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
EFW going for A321P2F
Dresden’s Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW) which is a joint venture company between ST Engineering and Airbus, have announced that a Letter of Intent (LoI) has been signed with U.S.-based BBAM, an American aircraft lessor. The LoI is for a P2F conversion of an Airbus A321 aircraft. At the same time EFW also made it known that another LoI for a further A321 conversion has been signed with an unnamed client.
The P2F conversion for BBAM will start in mid-2020 and the aircraft which will be configured with 14 main deck positions is expected to be delivered by the end of that year. ST Engineering has been working on getting an A321 P2F programme up and running since 2015, with Airbus offering relevant data and support for the aircraft’s certification. The A321 P2F will be able to carry a payload of up to 28 tons over a distance of 2,300 nautical miles and the belly holds will be fully containerized with ten LD3s as well.
Amazon gets 15 more B737Fs
Amazon’s Prime Air has reached an agreement with U.S.-based aircraft lessor GECAS for the delivery of fifteen more B737-800BCF aircraft to their fleet. Prime Air already operates five of the type which are also leased from GECAS. The additional aircraft are to be used to as additional capacity for Amazon’s Free One-Day programme.
The express carrier now operates forty-six freighters made up of a mixture of B767Fs and B737Fs. They expect to have a total of over seventy aircraft in service by 2021. The facility expansion in the USA continues as Amazon plans to open new distribution set-ups in Fort Worth, Wilmington and Rockford as well as their main Cincinnati hub.
Swissport grows in Vienna
Ground handling agent Swissport opened a new warehouse at Vienna airport with a surface comprising of 2,100 square meters. Including their existing facility, they now manage a total floor space of 7,000 square meters at the Austrian capital’s airport. The agent emphasizes that the new building has direct airside access, facilitating the transport of shipments from the cargo building to the aircraft stands and vice versa much more rapidly than before.
“We are pleased to be able to offer our clients even shorter transit times for their shipments going through Vienna”, says Willy Ruf, Senior Vice President Central Europe for Swissport. “The opening of the new warehouse is another step to meet our strategic goal of offering direct airside access at each of the 15 airports where we offer cargo services in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.”
The sorting and distribution center was built by operator Flughafen Wien AG and is leased and managed by Swissport. It offers clients a one-stop service, emphasizes the ground handling company.
Running a second warehouse in Vienna is in line with Swissport’s global cargo strategy, which focuses on higher yields and profitable growth, states the handling agent in a release.
In mid-May, Swissport was appointed by Finnair Cargo as the new operator of the carrier’s COOL Nordic Cargo Hub facility at Helsinki Vantaa Airport.
Cargolux adds Jakarta to network
Luxembourg’s all cargo carrier, Cargolux has added their sixteenth Asia-Pacific destination by starting a new service from Luxembourg to Jakarta, Indonesia. The inaugural flight took place on June 23rd and will in the future be a weekly Sunday departure to the Indonesian capital city. The aircraft will then continue on to Hong Kong and Ashgabat before returning to Luxembourg. Cargolux managers see Jakarta as being an additional attractive commercial stop in their Far East network.
In other news Cargolux transported around 230 tons of precious artworks from the USA to Basel, Switzerland which are being displayed at the famous ‘Art Basel Fair’ this year. The complete shipment was transported on 104 main deck pallets and spread over eight separate flights. Three originated in Los Angeles and five in New York. The precious works of art were flown to Luxembourg where they were then transferred to 31 guarded trucks for the final leg of the journey to Basel.
VD Gulf services first B777
Volga-Dnepr Technic’s daughter company, VD Gulf which has its base in Sharjah, UAE, has received their first Boeing 777 client for their MRO services in the region.
The Iraqi Airways B777 positioned to Sharjah in order to undergo a heavy C-check along with additional maintenance work. The aircraft has in the meantime been returned to its owner after having undergone a fourteen day tear down and check by the VD maintenance specialists.
VD Gulf now has full approval for the maintenance of B777 aircraft as well as for B747 / B737 and Airbus A320 types. They run a 22,000 square meter maintenance facility at Sharjah Airport where the Boeing 777 maintenance team consists of EASA-approved engineers with many years of B777 MRO experience.
Hactl signs for ULD CARE
The Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) is the latest organisation to join the ULD CARE’s new Unit Load Device (ULD) Code of Conduct.
This is a ten-point voluntary agreement which promotes best practice in the handling of ULDs in order to ensure a safe and efficient operation on ground as well as in flight. The main aim of the Code of Conduct is to reduce avoidable damage and loss to ULDs along the complete supply chain. There are already quite a few airlines and handlers who have also signed up to the code.
Hactl signed up for the code at this year’s International Ground Handling Conference (IGHC) which was recently held in Madrid. Hactl’s CEO, Wilson Kong stated that: “the ULD is fundamental to the modern air cargo industry; but it’s an everyday item that we all take for granted, and which many do not treat with the necessary care and respect.”
SEKO gets ISO13485 certification in Amsterdam
SEKO Logistics healthcare arm, MedTec, has given their European operation a boost by gaining ISO13485 certification at their major European set-up in Amsterdam. This facility acts also as a distribution centre for medical devices throughout the continent.
The company claims that their MedTec business has grown by 20% annually over the past five years and now contributes a total of 13% of the company’s global revenue. They handle equipment ranging from large laboratory machines to small healthcare devices including those which are on the market for home use. The ISO13485 certification allows SEKO to provide light contract manufacturing services, including assembly and inspection of medical devices, non-sterile product kitting and third-party logistics support. Their many facilities in the United States already have ISO13485 certification.
Kerry Logistics enter J.V. with Spanish Post
Hong Kong-based Kerry Logistics has joined up with Spain’s national postal service in a joint venture aimed at providing end-to-end cross border e-commerce solutions from China. Both companies claim that their long experience in line haul and Customs clearance (Kerry) and postal services (Spanish Post), will bring service experience to the next level for customers including marketplaces and e-tailers.
Kerry Logistics was awarded third place at this year’s 2019 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain Awards (AFLAS) as the third Best Logistics Service Provider. They now received this award for the fourth time since 2016.
John Mc Donagh