IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
AF-KL-MP Cargo gets Bogota FlowerWatch approval
The Franco-Dutch airline Air France, KLM, Martinair Cargo are attending the Proflora conference and exhibition being held this week in Bogota, Colombia. Proflora is rated as being the largest international trade fair for cut flowers in the Americas.
The carrier received its first FlowerWatch certification in June of this year for the transport of fresh cut flowers from Nairobi to Amsterdam. They will make it known at this year’s Proflora event that their flower flow out of Colombia is now also FlowerWatch approved.
FlowerWatch is an Amsterdam-based company which has developed what they term as a fail-safe Quality Assurance system which is aimed at ensuring that fresh flowers actually remain fresh before, during and after transport by air and that their so called “vase-life“ is guaranteed. Eric Mauroux, AF-KL-MP Cargo’s Global Head of Perishables Logistics stated that “by implementing the FlowerWatch quality insurance system in the main flower markets, we are not only improving the quality and vase-life of fresh-cut flowers but also fostering vertical collaboration amongst all stakeholders in the supply chain.”
SpiceJet plans IPO for SpiceXpress Cargo
In a recent Bloomberg report it was stated that the Indian carrier SpiceJet is almost ready to launch and initial public offering (IPO) for its daughter company SpiceXpress Cargo. The carrier’s chairman Ajay Singh is reported as saying that the B737F operator could very well be listed on the Indian stock exchange within the coming twelve months.
The SpiceXpress freighter fleet presently consists of three B737-800BCF aircraft, with a fourth ready to be delivered. It also has two B737-700BCFs on its books and is said to have orders in for a further seventeen of the type. The passenger arm - SpiceJet runs a mixed fleet of almost 100 aircraft on Indian and South-East Asian routes from their hubs in New Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Kolkata.
CHAMP joins Animal Transportation Association
Luxembourg-based CHAMP Cargosystems which provide a wide range of IT solutions for the air cargo industry, have now become a member of the Animal Transportation Association (ATA). The move was made in order for CHAMP to get closer to those who run animal transports and together then look at getting new information systems up and running.
CHAMP states that their team have been working on the development of new animal transportation solutions which are aimed at a better communication throughout the supply chain from shipper to forwarding agent and airline. ATA it seems welcomes CHAMP’s membership. ATA President Filip Vande Cappelle said “there has not been much development in animal transportation in the last few years. The way we currently ship animals is still the same as 10 or 20 years ago. He added, “the logistics industry must raise the bar and put high standards for animal transportation since the comfort and safety of the precious animals is our number 1 priority.”
Silkway West goes for Oslo operation
Baku-headquartered carrier Silkway West Airlines which operates a fleet of five B747-8Fs and four B747-400Fs on routes from the Azerbaijan capital to destinations in Europe, Asia and North America, started a new weekly service from Oslo to Baku as of 27. September.
The route which is served on Fridays from Oslo is targeting the lucrative Norwegian seafood market. Silkway West offers direct onward connections to other Far East destinations for this temperature sensitive product from their main base in Baku. Silkway West are the latest of a long list of freight carriers who are using Oslo Airport to pick up enormous amounts of fresh seafood to destinations in the Middle and Far East as well as to other continents.
Fraport & AeroGround develop Virtual Reality Tool
Munich Airport handler Aeroground has joined forces with Frankfurt Airport operator, Fraport to use a joint online platform for ground handling training.
After a one year test phase both airport handlers will commence training in October with the new tool which they have dubbed as “Virtual Reality Training (VR).” This is a training tool specifically developed to train staff on ground handling operations on the ramp and also consists of a dedicated training course for baggage handling. The virtual reality aspect allows new and existing staff members to train on systems without having actually to be on site on the ramp.
The training modules are available in both German and English. This is the first time that airports have joined forces in investing in interactive VR training. Once the system is running smoothly Aeroground and Fraport have indicated that they would be willing to offer it to other users by means of their joint platform.
Hactl gets SCA award
Yet another award has been presented to the Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl).
Hong Kong’s major independent air cargo handler was honoured at this year’s Supply Chain Asia Awards. They were given the Supply Chain Innovation of the Year (Smart Logistics) award in recognition of their recently introduced Smart Cargo Locating project.
The Smart Cargo Locating tool was developed by Hactl specialists in order to fast and accurately locate loose cargo shipments stored or spread over various transit sheds. The tool is stored on forklift drivers handheld systems, which Hactl says can then ensure a speedy location and retrieval of loose shipments. The award was handed to Hactl at the gala dinner and awards event which was held in Singapore.
Cargojet CEO sells off shares
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada-based Cargojet Airways which operates a fleet of 23 freighter aircraft, announced this month that their president and CEO, Ajay Virmani has sold a total of 674,000 company common voting shares which have been held by the Virmani family trust.
This it seems will not affect Mr Virmani’s position as president and CEO of Cargojet. He still holds the majority holding in Cargojet and has stated that he is committed to remain as the leader of the airline. The sale of the 674,000 shares brought the Virmani family a total of just over CA$ 68 million. The sale is said to represent only 4,95% of the common and variable voting shares of Cargojet. The sale brings Virmani’s share in the company down from 11,89% to 6,94% of the total shareholding. Canadian press reports say that Mr Virmani is to use the proceeds of the share sale in order to fund estate planning as well as for charitable funding within the family foundation.
Call to share more data at Cool Chain
At last week’s Cool Chain Association (CCA) Pharma and Biosciences Conference which was held in Paris, there was a call from delegates to the industry to start sharing more data and knowledge amongst each other.
This move was made at this year’s conference where during the two day event participants agreed that among others, updates and information relating to smart data applications, unmanned aircraft, and supplier management solutions be commonplace.
The CCA hosts two events each year. One is on perishable transport and the other on pharma transport and supply chain issues relating to both. Shippers and start-up companies it seems are driving the mindset change within the organisation and have started convincing members who originate from all sectors to start opening up on data exchange which is for their common good.
Celine Hourcade, Founder, Change Horizon and TIACA Program Manager, put it in a nutshell by stating that “despite not yet being cost-effective or scalable, there was a new emerging industry on its way and it was important to share information and not reinvent the wheel.”
John Mc Donagh
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