IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Malitzke takes over at DPD Germany
It came as a surprise to many last week when DPD Germany (Dynamic Parcel Distribution) made it known that the present CEO, Boris Winkelmann would vacate his post by the end of this year. His successor is Eric Malitzke who is a well known personality in the German air cargo scene.
Malitzke is already on board, having started his duties as of September 1st. He will undergo a four month work-in period alongside Winkelmann before officially taking up the reins in January 2020. One can only speculate as to why Winkelmann’s peers in Paris at owners GeoPoste, decided to bring in Eric Malitzke and supposedly give Boris Winkelmann other duties in the Paris headquarters.
DPD, which claims to be the second largest parcels distributor in Europe is seen by some as being an ideal takeover candidate - or joint-venture company for Chinese express companies such as Alibaba in order for them to get a foothold especially in the German and other European markets. Whether that is true, remains to be seen.
Eric Malitzke has made a name for himself as being someone who does not take no for an answer and who has gained valuable experience in the air cargo operations sector during the past two decades. Having started his career with Fraport, he then moved on in 2003 to take up the position of CEO at Leipzig Airport. In 2009 he became the boss of the DHL hub in Leipzig before moving on in 2012 as Director Operations for Amazon. He moves to DPD from Riege Switzerland where he has been acting as CEO since 2015.
Gebrueder Weiss: Thoma takes over from Senger-Weiss
Former Militzer & Muench CEO Lothar Thoma has joined Austria-based logistics and transport company Gebrueder Weiss, becoming head of the Air & Sea sector. Thoma has more than 20 years of experience in the logistics industry. "With Dr. Lothar Thoma we have an experienced logistics expert on board who, thanks to his international leadership skills, is able to meet all the requirements for managing the Air & Sea division at Gebrueder Weiss," stated Rudolf Christian Stiehl, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Gebrueder Weiss.
The 52-year-old is an acknowledged expert in international traffic between Europe and Asia and the trade flows between both regions.
Mr Thoma succeeds Heinz Senger-Weiss, who announced his retirement from the operational management of the family-run company. Senger-Weiss has been responsible since 2005 for Air & Sea, Sales and Customs.
In 2018, Gebrueder Weiss generated net sales of 1.67 billion euros. Currently, 7,100 employees stand on the company’s payroll.
Uni-Top plans U.S. flights
Wuhan, China based Uni-Top Airlines which operates a mixed fleet of Airbus A300 and Boeing 747 freighters, has made it known that they plan to start up operations from China to the United States. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has confirmed that Uni-Top has applied for an Exemption Authority and a Foreign Air Carrier Permit. The Uni-Top application is for three weekly rotations between Wuhan and Chicago with an intermediate stop in Anchorage, using one of their B747-400 freighters.
If the permit is granted by the U.S. DOT, then Uni-Top plans to start operations during the last quarter of this year. Operating with six A300Fs and three B747Fs, Uni-Top serves various destinations within the Far East as well as Luxembourg and Liege in Europe. It has plans to increase its freighter fleet to sixteen aircraft by 2023.
JetBlue to expand cargo operations
U.S. Low Cost Carrier (LCC) JetBlue has since 2018 seen the benefit of carrying cargo in the bellies of their large Airbus A320 and A321 fleet. It was during last year that they started a trial programme to transport cargo between Fort Lauderdale and San Juan, Puerto Rico. This apparently has been successful, and the carrier has announced that they are going to partner with Aeronex Cargo, a Miami-based consultancy company, in order to look at how they can and should expand cargo operations.
The primary emphasis is on flights from Fort Lauderdale. However, JetBlue states that their large hubs in New York (JFK), Boston and Los Angeles are high on the list in the near future. Eventually JetBlue would like to see cargo being carried on their operations from almost all cities they serve within continental USA. JetBlue operates with almost 200 Airbus aircraft as well as 60 smaller ERJs - thereby offering quite some additional belly cargo capacity for the future in the USA.
Cargolux launches new booking tool
The Luxembourg-based all cargo carrier has now launched a brand-new online booking tool which they say will give their customers a smoother booking process and thereby enhance customer experience.
CV claims that this digital booking tool, which is powered by PRO’s solutions, gives a faster, frictionless and more personalized experience for its users, giving clients a faster and more streamlined freight rate quote and booking process. Cargolux has been busy for some time in a digital transformation of many of their services. Domenico Ceci, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing stated: “Our mission is to deliver superior digital sales experience for customers with AI-powered price optimization.”
In another new, Cargolux has delivered its heaviest single piece of freight into mainland China. The carrier transported a 10-metre-long shaft weighing 43 tons from Luxembourg to Zhengzhou. The turbine shaft was nose-loaded aboard one of CV’s B747 freighters.
Atlas Air flies for Flexport
New York-based Atlas Air which in the meantime operates with a fleet of almost 100 aircraft, has made it known that they have launched transpacific operations on behalf of U.S.-based forwarder Flexport. The service was previously operated by Western Global Airlines (we reported). However, Flexport cancelled the contract because they claim that Western Global were too unreliable and although a B747F was contracted, Western Global only offered capacity on a MD-11 freighter.
Atlas Air is using a dedicated aircraft on the transpacific route which is painted in Flexport colours. It operates from Hong Kong to Chicago and Los Angeles with intermediate stops in either Honolulu or Anchorage.
LATAM Cargo flies two big bears
LATAM Cargo Brazil undertook a special freight transport last week from Fortaleza to Sao Paulo.
These were two large bears which were rescued from circus life and were placed in a zoo in Ceara. It was decided that they should have permanent sanctuary in a wildlife park in Sao Paulo. The bears which together weighed around 1.3 tons were transported on board a LATAM Cargo B767F and they were accompanied on the flight by animal attendants and veterinary staff.
In their new habitat the bears will be taken care of by the Brazilian Rancho dos Gnomos Ecological Sanctuary Association (ASERG). This organisation specialises in caring for animals which have been kept in captivity or mistreated.
Amsterdam first half year cargo decreases
The first six months of this year showed quite a drop in cargo volumes at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. A total of 767,529 tons passed though SPL between January and June. This is a 9,2 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.
The main problem has been the continued drop in full freighter volumes. These went down by almost 17 percent in the first half-year. Full freighter movements through SPL decreased by 14.4 percent, but belly capacity on offer increased by 3,3 percent.
The main destination for export cargo during the first six months remained Shanghai with almost 89,000 tons, followed by Moscow with just under 39,000 tons. The airport’s cargo management has signaled that they are becoming more worried now about the lack of full freighter activity and the possibility that the airport becomes less attractive for freight forwarders. Inner-Europe cargo movements for export and import dropped considerably (-8% and -15%) and North American inbound cargo volumes went down by 13%, whereby exports rose by 4%. This trend was noticeable in most other market segments.
Asia Pacific carriers report July cargo downturn
The Asia Pacific-based airlines have recorded an almost 8 percent drop in demand for air cargo capacity during the month of July. This was shown in the statistics published by the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA). The actual freight capacity on offer in the region has not increased during the past couple of months. In July it fell by a further 0,4 percent which then resulted in a 5,2 percent load factor decrease which was only 58,9 percent for the month of July.
On the other hand, passenger numbers in the Asia Pacific region increased again. This time by 3,4 percent to reach 32,5 million passengers flown. Because of the continuing trade war between the USA and China, demand for goods has fallen and the Asia based carriers have been faced with a drop of just over 6 percent in volumes carried during the first seven months of this year.
WFS opens CPH pharma facility
CargoForwarder Global reported earlier that Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) were planning to open a new state-of-the-art pharma facility in Copenhagen.
The terminal has now officially been opened this month and this ties in with the opening of the WFS pharma centre in Paris. The 1,500 square metre facility can manage and store all kinds of temperature-controlled products, whether loosely loaded on euro-pallets or on prebuilt ULDs. Building of the €10 million facility started just over one-and-a half years ago.
John Mc Donagh
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