IN BRIEF - THE LATEST AIR CARGO INDUSTRY NEWS
Abu Dhabi Airport and Etihad start cargo project
Abu Dhabi Airport officials feel the need to update their air cargo operations in order to attract new customers as well as giving the AUH-based carrier Etihad Airways a better handling platform for the future. Both Etihad Cargo and the airport have made it known that they are starting a large multi-phased project aimed at bringing the air cargo handling facilities up to date.
The first phase of the project will be to upgrade the Southside Etihad cargo facilities, whereby special attention will be given to enhancing Etihad Cargo’s pharma facilities at the airport. Work here will start straight away and both have set a completion target date of the third quarter 2020. Other plans see the construction of a new fully automated state-of-the-art cargo facility which is to be built on land made free at the airport’s East Midfield area.
By announcing the new plans, the Abu Dhabi government seems to be going into head-on competition with their larger airport neighbour, Dubai. Their (AUH) aim is to top DXB as the region’s air cargo hub. It will be interesting to see how Dubai reacts to their neighbour’s ambitious plans.
FCS staff walked off the job
Ground handler FCS Frankfurt Cargo Service, whose majority owner (51%) is Paris-based WFS, seems to have been hit by the wave of strikes shaking France. In a solidarity action supporting their French colleagues, the German service union Verdi has called on its FCS members to stop working temporarily. The strike, affecting operation at their warehouse in Frankfurt’s Cargo City South, commenced last Friday (6 Dec.) at 8 pm and ended at 2 pm the day after. There was no information available on how many employees participated in the walkout. According to German law, unions and staff are not legally obliged to inform in advance about spontaneous strike actions.
Staff in import breakdown and parts of export warehouse handling were not affected from strike actions, states the FCS management in a first reaction. Contingency procedures can be activated on short notice. In compliance within the legal framework, numerous actions were taken to keep the impact on the service as low as possible, reads their note. “Nevertheless, depending on the extent of strike actions and actual freight volumes, particularly over the weekend, we would expect some impact of services and/or delays.”
TAPA urges EU Commission activity in safer truck parking
The Transported Asset Protection Association, better known as TAPA, has for some time been voicing their concern about the number of attacks on truckers as well as cargo thefts within the (CFG reported) European and African regions.
TAPA has said that the EU Commission should ‘listen to the voices of buyers and decision makers’ in order to successfully drive the expansion of the EU Safe and Secure Truck Parking Areas (SSTPA) Standard, in order to stem the ever growing number of thefts and attacks on truckers. TAPA is calling for a constructive dialogue with the EU Commission and has offered to align its own Parking Security Requirements (PSR) into those of the EU Commission. This, TAPA says, would go a long way to accelerate adding more safe and secure parking areas within Europe. TAPA is also convinced that a cooperation in this field would eliminate future confusion within the industry between the TAPA and EU commission standards.
The TAPA proposal sees them adapting their PSR scheme into the core requirements within the SSTPA. TAPA EMEA CEO, Thorsten Neumann categorically states that: “We are not looking to compete with the EU SSTPA, we simply want to add value to it.”
The EU representatives would be well advised to sit down with TAPA on this important issue in order to speed up the safer truck parking issue.
Cargolux renews Cargo iQ certification
Luxembourg’s all-cargo airline, Cargolux, has announced the successful renewal of their Cargo iQ certification for the coming three years. The recent audit shows that the carrier complies fully with Cargo iQ standards for the transport of air cargo throughout the complete supply chain.
Cargolux was a founding member of cargo iQ which is an IATA interest group made up from airlines and forwarders with the aim of improving various work processes throughout the supply chain from shipper to consignee. Processes introduced within the Cargo iQ system are backed by set quality standards which are constantly being measured and supported by data input supplied by its members. Franco Nanna, Director Global Logistics at Cargolux says that: “Cargolux has been committed to the Cargo iQ project since the very beginning and has been actively involved in the development and implementation of improved business processes.”
The carrier also has made it known that they have reduced their present fuel surcharge for all shipments since December 2nd, 2019. The surcharge is lowered by €0.05 per kilo to €0.60 per kilo, or the equivalent in other local currencies. The fuel surcharge was raised to €0.65 in September after the heavy terrorist attacks on Saudi Aramco oil refineries.
time:matters now offers worldwide DGR transport
Last September time:matters which specializes in Special Speed Logistics for urgent or overnight shipments, started offering speedy transport of certain Dangerous Goods by air to various European destinations.
The success of the past three months with the transport of DGR shipments has prompted time:matters to expand the service into a worldwide operation. Time-critical DGR shipments in the hazard classes 2,3,4,5,6,8 and 9 are now being accepted to all destinations served by time:matters. At their four hubs in Frankfurt, Munich, Brussels and Vienna, time:matters gives their clients personally supervised apron service for the DGR shipments, claiming that by doing this they save many hours transit time for their customers compared to the time it usually takes to transport DGR by air.
Swiss WorldCargo offers export flights from Cancun
Swiss International Airlines’ sister company Edelweiss recently started passenger services from Zurich to Cancun, Mexico (see CFG report 17. November) using one of the carrier’s Airbus A340-300 aircraft.
Swiss WorldCargo, the air cargo arm of Swiss International Airlines markets the belly space on Edelweiss aircraft. Up till now cargo has been accepted only on the Zurich to Cancun sector. This has changed as of 2 December, where now exports on the return leg from Cancun to Zurich are also being accepted. The carrier operates a thrice-weekly A340 service and offers customers an average of 15 tons of belly space on both sectors.
Skylog, a member of the French based ECS Group, markets the new service in Cancun and ground operations are handled at both airports by Swissport. The Mexican Yucatan Peninsula will give Swiss WorldCargo access to moving a wide variety of products from the area into Europe via their Zurich hub.
Antonov Airlines flies for Boeing
The Kiev, Ukraine-based heavy lift carrier which operates with a fleet of giant AN-124 freighters recently partnered with Boeing in order to transport four brand new Apache AH-64E Attack Helicopters from the USA to India. Boeing, which manufactures the Apache helicopters hired an Antonov Airlines AN-124 to carry the choppers from Phoenix, Arizona to India’s Hindan Air Force Base.
The flight planning was particularly difficult because the Apache AH-64E is listed as military cargo and Antonov Airlines needed to gain special permission to overfly certain countries en-route. The AN-124 could normally accommodate five of the Apache’s in its massive cargo department. In order to easily store the four which were delivered to the Indian Air Force, the helicopter rotor blades were dismantled and loaded alongside each craft. Due to the high ground temperatures in Arizona, loading was done in the early morning hours and take-off was at night when temperatures were somewhat lower. The whole operation took no longer than 24 hours and Boeing has in the meantime contracted Antonov Airlines for further Apache helicopter transports before the end of the year.
LH Cargo - ANA Cargo celebrate fifth anniversary
It’s now five years ago that Lufthansa Cargo and Japan’s ANA Cargo started their bilateral air cargo joint venture. The joint venture started on routes from Japan to Europe giving both carriers customers access to a larger variety of destinations as well as faster and more frequent connections. Efficiency in booking and handling of shipments has been greatly improved due to both carriers’ shared processes and what they term as a one-stop shopping for pricing and bookings.
It did not take too long before LH Cargo and ANA Cargo expanded the service in both directions, covering the carriage of general cargo as well as perishables and express shipments. It seems that both airlines are convinced that the joint venture will carry on for at least a further five years.
CHAMP honoured by visit of Luxembourg PM
Luxembourg-based CHAMP Cargosystems which offers air cargo IT solutions to the aviation industry was recently honoured with a visit by Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Xavier Bettel. He visited CHAMP’s Luxembourg headquarters along with his personal advisor, Anouk Agnes, in order to congratulate CHAMP on their crystal (15 years) anniversary.
The high-level delegation was received by CHAMP’s CEO, Arnaud Lambert as well as other members of the company’s Executive Committee. Cargolux’s CEO and CFO, Richard Forson and Maxim Strauss were also present in their function as shareholders in CHAMP Cargosystems. During the two-hour visit Mr Bettel was brought up to date by CHAMP on the company’s history as well as their objectives and plans for the future.
Not bad for the company when the Prime Minister drops in for a friendly visit.
CEVA Logistics wins multi-year contract
Switzerland-based CEVA has been awarded a multi-year contract to provide regional logistics services to Ideal Standard who are a leading global manufacturer of private and public bathroom solutions. The contract covers Ideal Standard’s Central and Northern European region.
The agreement sees CEVA operating a 17,375 square meter regional distribution centre which is located in Bielany Wroclawskie in south western Poland. The facility is able to handle up to 150,000 pallets each year and CEVA will manage all of the warehouse and transport processes for Ideal Standard in Central and Northern Europe, which includes supplying the distribution centre from European factories as well as coordinating deliveries to end-customers in many European countries.
John Mc Donagh
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