DHL maximizing fuel economy for cleaner skies
The Leipzig- JFK-New York flight on 01JUL20 was a first effort in establishing a “perfect flight” with regard to fuel consumption. Given the relatively empty skies due to the corona crisis, the experiment whereby much less fuel is consumed through 50 actions identified by DHL’s operation airline European Air Transport GmbH, aimed at improving aerodynamics (pre-flight engine wash for example), optimizing the route using state-of-the-art flight planning, as well as optimum take-off and landing positions that require minimum engine power, to name but a few, and resulting in overall jet fuel savings of around 1,000kg and reduced CO2 emissions of around 3,150 kg. Alberto Nobis, CEO, DHL Express Europe explained: "We are aware of our responsibility towards the environment and we try to use innovative technologies to apply all possible levers in our logistics chain to become more efficient and environmentally friendly. Optimal routes and less jet fuel consumption will help us to become even greener.”
The "perfect flight" was carried out under real operating conditions, at a normal capacity load of around 60 tons of freight, and air traffic control units and other aviation partners along the Atlantic route, including German Air Traffic Control (DFS), Eurocontrol, NATS (National Air Traffic Services, U.K.), IAA (Irish Aviation Authority), Shanwick Oceanic Control, NavCanada, ISAVIA (Iceland), IATA (International Air Transport Association), the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and PANYNJ (Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) were involved and committed to supporting the “perfect flight” demonstration. Roy Hughes, Executive Vice President, DHL Network Operations Europe, said: "We are delighted to have so many partners on board for this flight. Together we have thoroughly prepared for it and are looking forward to its execution, as well as the results. Our ‘perfect flight’ can demonstrate a route to making air freight more efficient with the lowest possible fuel consumption and a reduction of CO2 emissions. With this demonstration flight we can gain important insights for the air transport industry and contribute to the Deutsche Post DHL Group's climate goal of net zero emissions from transportation.”
“GEODIS e-Logistics” launched on 29JUN20
"The current crisis has benefited e-Commerce, a fundamental sales channel that is experiencing profound accelerated growth, from France to China via the United States. Responding to this new consumer demand requires brands to be able to orchestrate both orders and inventories, while overcoming major logistical obstacles. This is why GEODIS e-Logistics has been developed. This new offering, based on the power of digital technology, is aimed at strengthening brand autonomy," Marie-Christine Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of GEODIS explained at the launch of "GEODIS e-Logistics" on 29JUN20. This is a digital platform that enable brands to grow their online sales whilst relying on end-to-end logistics support from GEODIS, with its worldwide network of e-Commerce warehouses and transportation services. The customer orders via an online channel and in the background the optimum delivery process starts being planned. “Locating the available product closest to the consumer, wherever that may be, while optimizing the ‘time-cost’ factor, seems like common sense, but today it’s a challenge. Most brands are still struggling to achieve profitable growth via the e-Commerce channel and to provide a personalized customer experience,” Ashwani Nath, Vice President & Global Head of e-channel solutions of GEODIS, expands. The platform provides a real-time overview of all available inventory, in-store, in warehouse or in transit, worldwide.
From Trucker Babes to Trucker Bots
TuSimple announces itself as “the world’s first and only Autonomous Freight Network (AFN)” and is a start-up, founded in 2015, focused on developing technology (together with German car-parts manufacturer ZF Friedrichshafen AG) to increase long-haul trucking efficiencies whilst at the same time reducing transportation costs. Driverless trucks are not bound by operating limits (drivers have to rest after a certain number of hours), nor are there the risks of drivers falling asleep at the wheel or driving under the influence. Instead, self-driving trucks can operate all hours, in almost all weather, and run according to digitally mapped routes, strategically placed terminals and the “TuSimple Connect” monitoring system. TuSimple plans to have established a U.S. coast-to-coast Autonomous Freight Network by 2024 and believes an AFN is “the safest and most efficient way to bring self-driving trucks to market”, and has the potential to reduce freight transportation costs by up to 30%. A video on its site shows how its self-driving trucks navigate through traffic, recognizing the other vehicles on the road, and adapting to the circumstances. Clients can track their shipments in real-time, too, and can rely on them arriving punctually at destination.
On 01JUL20, TuSimple announced that, in partnerships with UPS (which has a minority stake in the company), Penske, U.S. Xpress, and McLane Company, it was planning to establish the AFN “ecosystem”, and roll out across the country in 3 phases, starting with Arizona-Texas connections in 20/21, East and West Coast connections in 22/23 and finally 48-state coverage in 2023. If all goes well, TuSimple aims to branch out to Asia (delivery pilot in Shanghai) and Europe.
COVID-19 has paved the way for contactless digital solutions and already similar competitors such as Aurora and Waymo are looking into establishing fully autonomous solutions, too.
Dubai lets drones fly
Dubai might be the first city with a multitude of drones zigzagging the air, connecting skyscrapers and landmarks through landing pads and tiny airports situated across the Gulf Emirate. The way for drones operations was paved by governmental law issued by the government last Saturday (4JUL20) permitting state and private entities the use of UAVs for delivery services including operating flying taxis for transporting travelers from Al Maktoum International to the city and vice versa. Officials told local media that an integrated business system for drone-based air freight, e-commerce, logistics and passenger transport services “will create an important new business tributary for Dubai’s economy.”
In a first reaction to the new law, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCAA), emphasized that “the decision establishes the framework for Dubai to become one of the world's leading cities in shaping the future of civil aviation.”
Mohammed Abdullah Ahli, Director-General of the DCAA and CEO of Dubai Air Navigation Services, is cited by local paper Khaleej Times as saying that “the project will create a master plan for the infrastructure of ground stations and their use as airports; loading and connecting stations; and maintenance, operation and freight stations. It will also classify the main urban areas for the distribution of ground and air service sites.”
Regarding safety and security issues, the DCAA assured that thanks to the existing “Dubai Shield” system drones are tracked electronically, and counter measures can be taken in coordination with governmental bodies should this become necessary.
W-Cargo Airlines is getting ready for take-off in SEP20
In JUN20, the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) accorded the newly formed Warnercom Tanzania Limited company which is aiming to operate cargo-only flights under the name of ‘W-Cargo Airlines’, a one-year operating license. With a $10 million investment, the company will deploy of a medium-range Boeing 737-400F aircraft with a capacity of 21 tons out of Dar es Salaam to international destinations such as Doha, Sharjah, Hahaia (Comoros), Medina, Amsterdam, Mumbai, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali, and DRC, starting in mid-SEP20. These international routes will be operated on a case-by-case basis based on a Bilateral Air Services Agreements between Tanzania and respective countries, TCAA noted. According to W-Cargo Airlines’ Managing Director, John Buyamba, domestic flights to Kilimanjaro, Mwanza and Songwe are also planned once the company adds a 5.5 ton-capacity Fokker F-27 to its fleet by MAR21.
The news of Tanzania’s first cargo-only airline has been met positively by forwarders and experts in Tanzania, who state that the current cargo capacity on passenger flights was insufficient, and especially those exporting perishables, welcomed the opportunity, since they have to go via Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) when passenger flights are full. W-Cargo Airlines will enable direct exports, unhindered by the APR-JUL tourist season, which also cuts into cargo space on passenger aircraft. Thus, exports will become more efficient and faster, cutting down on costs. Given the corona crisis and the expectation that it will take around 2-3 years for passenger operations to fully return, the timing of the new cargo airline is well-planned.
GEODIS and Hellmann partner up to improve distribution between France and Germany
On 01JUL20, GEODIS and Hellmann declared the signing of a partnership agreement aimed at sharing and strengthening each other’s transport networks in France and Germany. The cooperation will formally begin on 01SEP20. The two companies have already been working together in the UK market, and the new arrangement now will give GEODIS access to Hellmann’s German distribution network, and Hellmann will gain from GEODIS’ delivery of its French shipments. The average delivery time in the two countries will be 48 hours.
“This partnership positions GEODIS as industry leader in terms of trade between France and Germany. It will offer a unique cross-border grid that will allow our customers to enjoy attractive delivery times between both countries. We have been working successfully with Hellmann in Great Britain for several weeks. With our relationship now firmly established, we look forward to expanding this collaboration,” stated Stéphane Cassagne, Executive Vice President of GEODIS Distribution & Express.
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