ANA Cargo’s B777 Freighter JA771F inaugural NRT-FRA route
Positive news in troubled times: 10JUN20 saw ANA Cargo Inc.’s first NRT-FRA-NRT freighter flight, as one of the two B777 freighters added to its fleet in JUL19, made its way to Frankfurt. Landing at 13:53, registration JA771F, carrying around 68 tons of general cargo, was ceremoniously welcomed with a water cannon salute. In almost record time, it was unloaded and loaded with 88 tons of cargo, departing FRA again at 16:21.
This inauguration NRT-FRA-NRT flight marked the first of a new weekly schedule serving FRA on Day 3, and is part of ANA Cargo’s promise to its customers to keep supply chains running during the crisis, as stated by ANA Cargo Inc.’s President, Toshiaki Toyama: “ANA will make every effort to contribute to the society by maintaining cargo transportation capacity to the [greatest] possible extent, such as operating non-scheduled freighter / charter flights and utilizing passenger aircrafts to transport pharmaceuticals and medical equipment as a preventive measure of infection spread or to keep logistics flow which is the basis of economic activities.” A relatively young cargo company, launched in 2014, ANA Cargo Inc has the ambitious target of “evolving daily with the aim of growing into a Global Top 5 carrier.” By its own declaration, it is currently ranked 11th.
Pigs might fly!... And they do
Whereas much of the world is currently relying on China for the production of PPE and other medical supplies, China has been relying on Europe and the U.S. for its ever-increasing supply of pork: 254,533 tons from the U.S. alone in the first four months of 2020 (and already more than the 245,000 tons China imported during the whole of 2019.) Not only is China the world’s largest pork importer, it is also the world’s largest producer, given that the average Chinese person eats around 30kgs of pork each year. With the onset of the corona crisis things turned from sweet to sour, as the reduction in cargo capacities meant that perishables and live animal transports were largely reduced and partly restricted. A further challenge on top COVID-19, was the outbreak of African Swine flu currently affecting a number of countries again, and which has killed over 100 million Chinese pigs since AUG18, largely crippling local breeders and causing pork prices to soar.
Thus, Volga-Dnepr to the rescue. So far, it has transported more than 3,000 breeding pigs from France 10,400 kilometers to China, on board a B747F, in an effort to restore local livestock levels. Quite a change from its usual types of cargo such as aerospace, which has seen a drop of around 30% this year, but a sign of the times as it joins the world’s airlines in transporting mainly PPE and eCommerce goods. Alexey Isaykin recently stated: “Global aviation is going through its most challenging time ever, but for cargo carriers like us it’s a chance” – a chance that he estimates will increase Volga-Dnepr Group’s revenue by a third to around USD 2 billion this year. “The geography of our shipments is expanding, following the spread of coronavirus. We just started shipping Chinese medical goods to Africa and are getting first inquiries from Latin America. I think India will be next.” Volga-Dnepr’s sales rose 32% to $630 million in the first four months of 2020, compared with the same period in 2019. That’s one fat piggy bank!
Bengaluru Airport on its way to becoming a digital cargo hub
On average, around 30 different documents, often in a number of copies, accompany each shipment at its various supply chain interfaces. Not only is this a huge waste of paper, it is time-intensive, generating a great deal of data-capturing work which has a knock-on effect on the speed of cargo handling and waiting times at an airport. Last week, therefore, Bengaluru International Airport Ltd. (BIAL) took a great step towards efficiency, by signing an e-agreement with Kale Logistics Solutions to develop an Air Cargo Community System (ACS) platform, enabling it to streamline its air logistics. The ACS will provide a logistics ecosystem, bringing all those involved in shipment movement, such as customs, customs brokers, shippers, airlines, trucking companies, ground and cargo handlers, and freight forwarders, together, enabling information-sharing where required, faster transaction processing and doing away with data duplication and paperwork.
Speaking for BIAL, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Satyaki Raghunath said: “At BIAL (Bengaluru International Airport Ltd), our vision is to make the Bengaulru Airport a cargo hub, equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure and cutting-edge technology to deliver efficient operations. As part of our digital transformation efforts, together with our cargo community, we are excited to implement a data-sharing platform.”
Kale Logistics Solutions’ CEO, Amar More, explained: “In the digital age, airports must be nimble to manage issues related to security, rising costs, unprecedented lockdowns and curfews. Kale’s ACS for BIAL is a next-gen community platform which will enable collaboration between stakeholders in the supply chain to launch new services and deliver superior customer experiences. We are happy to partner with BIAL in its digital transformation journey to become resilient and adaptable. Our ACS is developed on the principle of enabling a cohesive ecosystem of partnership and driving efficiency in air cargo operations with the highest level of data accuracy, security and compliance.”
Rhenus moves into the golden triangle…
Rhenus Air & Ocean has moved into a new branch at Europe’s fastest-growing cargo airport: Liège Airport (LGG), Belgium, placing itself bang in the center of the “golden triangle” formed of Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris. The company’s strategic focus is on offering multimodal solutions and expanding its global airfreight network, as Frank Roderkerk, CEO of Rhenus Air & Ocean Northern Europe, confirms: “In addition to attractive flight schedules, Liège Airport has excellent multimodal connections, which will enable us to offer our customers more air and rail freight products in addition to sea freight products in the future.” Rhenus has been building up a solid air & rail freight product (Landbridge) with global end-to-end logistics solutions, therefore the fact that “several trains a week connect Liège with China along the land bridge, including Yiwu and Zhengzhou” is also part of the enhanced service portfolio, along with the forwarding activities the airport location solution provides.
Commenting on LinkedIn, Bert Selis, VP Commercial Cargo & Logistics at Liège Airport, exclaimed: “We are proud and excited that Rhenus Air & Ocean is joining the Liege Airport Cargo Community! Be it by air or by rail, let’s do great things together!”
Meanwhile, over on the other side of the planet, Rhenus Logistics opened a new 106680m² warehouse in Gurugram, Delhi, India, designed to offer a one-stop logistics solution with its capacity of 30,000 pallet positions, 19 docks, 24-hour security and CCTV. The latest addition to the Rhenus Logistics India infrastructure brings the company’s total warehousing space across the country to almost 580,000m².
Vivek Arya, managing director, Rhenus Logistics India said “With 69 offices in India and more than 1,600 employees nationwide, Rhenus India is committed to being the first choice for an integrated logistics solution and Service provider. We partner with our customers to be the single-point-of-contact for the entire supply chain, trusted with our advantage in terms of our trained manpower, consistent systems and processes. The strategically-located new warehouse affirms our commitment to our customers, as we step up on our offerings, and raise the bar for warehouses here.”
Introducing WebCargo’s first freighter operator: AirBridgeCargo!
On 09JUN20, Air Bridge Cargo (ABC – part of Volga-Dnepr Group) added to its digital service offering by joining WebCargo (part of the world's largest digital freight platform provider, Freightos Group, since 2016), thus making its space available to the 2,000 forwarders globally using WebCargo’s eBooking platform. For WebCargo, which is already used by airline groups such as Lufthansa, AF KLM, IAG Cargo and Etihad Cargo and amounting to around 30% of the world’s air cargo volumes in total, ABC is the first freighter operator on board enabling real-time pricing and booking online on around 40 routes between North America, Asia, and Europe. WebCargo’s CEO, Manel Galindo stated: "Air carriers have a unique and important role to play keeping global trade moving, especially during crises. WebCargo is proud to partner with airlines like AirBridgeCargo who are stepping up to the logistics challenges of COVID-19 and quickly implementing digital tools like our eBooking platform."
ABC is not new to eBooking platforms, already being a customer of cargo.one and now having added WebCargo, “giving customers option to choose which eplatform they like better. We work with both,” Andrey Andreev, Air Bridge Cargo, VP Europe, said. “The impact of COVID-19 across the globe is unprecedented, we need to be online for our customers now more than ever. [This] announcement underlines ABC's commitment to serve the digital channel and with WebCargo we will connect our inventory to the freight forwarder community at scale. We plan to quickly extend our online offering to new commodity types and together with internal developments in the area of dynamic pricing, this partnership is very well aligned for us.” Dynamic pricing is one of the key challenges currently facing logistics players in the air cargo industry, with ever-shifting parameters.
Descartes acquires UK-based digital freight platform, Kontainers
Descartes has added another digital feather to its bow with the acquisition of UK-based enterprise software company, Cracking Logistics Limited which operates under the name of “Kontainers” and serves ocean shipping lines and freight forwarders all over the world. Kontainers supports the digital shipping process from quoting to booking, tracking and dashboard analytics, enabling logistics services providers (LSPs) to quickly offer branded state-of-the-art digital experiences for their end customers.
Kontainers’ Co-Founder, Graham Parker, who has now taken on the role of VP Sales Digital Freight Solutions at Descartes, says: “We’ve worked very hard with some of the world’s top logistics companies to create an optimal digital customer experience. Our team of domain experts is thrilled to combine with Descartes, which will give us the opportunity to reach a broader audience much more quickly. When added to the Global Logistics Network, we’ll also have the ability to offer a pre-integrated solution that combines Kontainers digital freight execution with Descartes’ rate management and forwarder enterprise systems.”
“The last few months have shown how quickly the world can change, and the shift to digitization is accelerating as a result,” says Edward J. Ryan, Descartes’ CEO, who put forward a total consideration of USD 12 million for the acquisition. “Logistics services providers operate on tight margins. Those that don’t move quickly to digitize their customer experience will be faced with higher costs to serve. Without the proper real-time connections between client-facing platforms and the quoting, rating, and booking systems that this digitization brings, LSPs will struggle to efficiently meet customer demand in today’s dynamic market. We’re looking forward to working with the Kontainers customers, partners and team of domain experts to help the logistics community capitalize on this opportunity.”
First EASA fully electric aircraft certification world-wide for Pipistrel
Whilst it will be years yet before we ever see an Electric Freighter of any notable size, 10JUN20 saw a significant entry into the aviation history books, with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency issuing the first certification world-wide for the Slovenia-based aircraft designer’s fully electric 2-seater Pipistrel Velis Electro. A very positive step in the direction of environmentally sustainable aviation. Over the course of just under 3 years of EASA and Pipistrel working closely together to ensure the highest safety standards, the international EASA team gleaned first-hand information on electric flight, batteries and their management systems, and electrical engine power units, and used this to develop the E&HPS Special Condition to further enable electric flight.
“This is an exciting breakthrough,” said EASA Executive Director Patrick Ky. “This is the first electric aircraft EASA has certified but it will certainly not be the last, as the aviation industry pursues new technologies to reduce noise and emissions and to improve the sustainability of aviation.”
“The type certification of the Pipistrel Velis Electro is the first step towards the commercial use of electric aircraft, which is needed to make emission-free aviation feasible. It is considerably quieter than other aeroplanes and produces no combustion gases at all,” said Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “It provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the type certification of electric engines and aeroplanes is possible.”
Dominique Roland, Head of the General Aviation Department at EASA said: “For EASA, the type certification of this aircraft marks a significant dual milestone: on May 18, 2020 we type certified its engine as the first electric engine – now we have followed up with the first type certification of a plane flying that engine. This was a truly ground-breaking project which has yielded many learnings for the future certification of electric engines and aircraft, undoubtedly a growth area in coming years in line with the aims of environmental protection.”
On the Road to Europe’s Largest Digital Road Freight Platform
Berlin, Germany-based sennder acquired Paris, France-based Everoad, announcing a merger “Everoad by sennder” last week with a view to creating one of Europe’s largest digital freight forwarding platforms. The two startups are very similar in the technological set-up and service, enabling large businesses to source trucking providers, and are both focused on reducing road transport’s carbon footprint (currently accounting for 6% of the European Union’s total CO2 emissions). By optimizing capacity usage and reducing deadhead miles (currently as much as 20% of journey traveled), the environmental impact can be lessened. Together, they have around 350 staff and a network of 10,000 carrier partners and large enterprise customers, completing more than 35,000 loads per month, and have raised €120 million in venture capital investment, aiming to achieve revenues of €1 billion by 2024. Operating out of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland and the Nordic region, the company is on the look out to continue expanding to other neighboring countries.
“Both our companies have strong R&D and IT teams, which has translated into great features and automation compared to other players,” said Maxime Legardez, the CEO and founder of Everoad. “Our objective was the same – to create a European industry champion within the freight forwarding and logistics industry. By merging with sennder, we achieved this target and can also contribute to reducing the environmental impact of the industry.”
sennder’s CEO, David Nothacker, added: “In the midst of this international crisis caused by COVID-19, road freight has demonstrated its inimitable, strategic role in transporting essential goods. It now makes more sense than ever to join forces and integrate Everoad into the sennder group. In that way, we can jointly invest resources and know how to tackle the new challenges and opportunities emerging out of the crisis.”
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