Record online cargo bookings over at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is no stranger to digital bookings and enhancing the customer’s experience when it comes to booking, tracking, tracing, or putting in a claim. Digital channel improvements over the past 5 years have culminated in its ‘myCargo’ online portal, which, similar to other eBooking platforms, has seen figures skyrocket during the pandemic. Recently released June figures show over 60% of bookings being made online – a first for Air France KLM Martinair Cargo. Another record the amount of online sales over in the US, which surpassed the 50%-mark, and overall visits to the ‘myCargo’ portal have increased 40% over the past two months.
As the Group’s cargo network offer increases again, with the restart of flights from its Amsterdam and Paris hubs to destinations in Canada, the USA, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Indonesia, India, Thailand, Réunion, Martinique, Guadeloupe and French Guiana, now and over the coming weeks, these figures will continue to rise. “Our network expansion has reached a new milestone in that we now offer 534 weekly frequencies to 93 unique long-haul destinations,” the press release reads. GertJan Roelands, SVP of Sales & Distribution at AFKLMP Cargo, commented: “At Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, we will keep striving to enhance the service we offer customers, regularly adding new destinations and frequencies to our cargo network and enhancing our range of digital services. Our ambition is to offer an optimum customer experience and to be industry leader in this regard.” More digital enhancements can be expected soon, as the Group explores third party portals, and continues to connect directly with customer systems through API technology.
It’s “freighting” Cats and Dogs!
Makes a change from PPE: AirBridgeCargo Airlines recently welcomed particularly sweet VIP guests on board one of its B747s: 54 cats and 25 dogs made their way from Moscow, Russia, to Chicago, USA. 35 boxes of Maine Coon, Siberian, Ragdoll, Bambino, Sphynx, Devon Rex, Bengali, British shorthair, and other cats, and 21 boxes of Chow-Chow, American cocker spaniel, French bulldog, Tibetan, Caucasian shepherd, and other dogs, had been booked by the Russian cattery HAKUNA MATATA, and were destined for their new forever-homes over in the USA. Khristina Moiseeva, Director of HAKUNA MATATA cattery, stated: “With the animals' health being of paramount importance, we were delighted to see that AirBridgeCargo and its team takes every delivery on a personal level, making sure that all the requirements are met, and is always here to assist, no matter how many questions we might have. Some technical issues will always take place, but it is important to be prepared for these situations and follow the right guidelines to guarantee safety of our 'special passengers'.”
Speaking on behalf of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, Peter Novozhenov, Regional Director, Russia and CIS, said: “Within our company, we have 15+ years of experience in the transportation of various animals, including pets. Our specialists, both in the air and on the ground, follow IATA LAR and strict internal guidelines, whereas sophisticated Boeing 747F onboard system allows for the creation of an ideal in-flight environment, making it possible to adjust the required temperature and humidity settings for each particular animal.”
Swiss WorldCargo offers commercial cargo transport on its Preighters
Swiss WorldCargo announced that it is now expanding its service offer to include commercial cargo in the cabin on select charter flights to Shanghai (PVG), Beijing (PEK), Bangkok (BKK),São Paulo (GRU), Johannesburg (JNB) and Dubai (DXB).
What is included in the accepted commercial cargo are commodities such as fashion/apparel, garments, fabrics, glassware, perishables, printing materials, machinery, electronic parts, aircraft parts, flowers, pharmaceuticals, and spare parts, alongside the medical equipment and PPE that has been transported in the cabin until now on all wide-body aircraft routes. Commercial cargo requires greater handling experience, which is why it is currently limited to certain destinations. In addition, SWISS staff fly with the commercial cargo in the cabin, as a precaution given that cabins do not have the same fire-protection possibilities as holds. The first commercial charter preighter – a B777-300 with garments and fashion goods on board in the cabin - landed in Zurich Airport, Switzerland, from Dubai International Airport, UAE, on 27JUL20.
The newest eBooking kid on the block
01AUG20 sees the launch of CargoBooking.aero – the latest player in digital air cargo booking platforms aiming to give verified freight forwarders access to real time capacities and rates via API integration between airline/GSA and forwarder systems, and doing away the need for endless email communication.
Headquartered in Dubai, UAE and founded by Vitaliy Smilianets, the website promises: “CargoBooking.aero offers full process automation for instant air cargo quoting & booking with API integration to freight forwarder systems and provides a consolidated view of all connected airlines & agents prices on possible flights/trucks routing options,“ and illustrates how quotes, spot requests and instant bookings can be carried out.
On 02JUL20, it announced: “We are happy to start the rates, instant quotes, and bookings with the launch partners: Airborne International, ATC, Air Logistic Group, Unitag, and Kales,” and on 20JUL20, it launched its Instant Quote tool in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Ireland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, USA and more to come.
The Swiss don’t just make great watches…
They are also in the supply chain intelligence driver’s seat given that telecommunication company, Swisscom and pioneering industry leader in digital cargo supply chain management solutions, Nexxiot are now taking their strategic partnership to the next level in providing data driven supply chain intelligence worldwide: Swiss-made IoT Connectivity using Swisscom’s best-in-class global IoT connectivity and 5g-readiness to transmit data from Nexxiot devices to the Nexxiot Connect Cloud Platform for the cargo transportation industry, where Nexxiot creates big data analytics tools and critical insights to improve supply chain processes. Nexxiot’s CEO Stefan Kalmund has already been working with much of Europe and says “It’s exciting that clients trust us to equip their supply chain assets with our zero-maintenance hardware. This opens the door to creating and delivering huge value for fleet operators and cargo owners who require data to improve their transparency around mileage, to increase the reliability of cargo arrival times and at the same time reach their sustainability targets.” Nexxiot messages originating from various supply chain assets such as train freight wagons or containers in more than 160 individual countries and running via more than 450 Swisscom roaming partners, using this Big Data to improve processes. “Whilst others are talking about ‘Big Data’, it’s been Nexxiot’s daily reality for a long time now. New customers have recently engaged in North America, Eastern Europe and beyond”, he adds, and is aware that the complex topic of IoT and Big Data requires a special approach: “Addressing topics like managing data around international borders where connectivity providers are switched over, can add significant complexity and therefore needs careful management. The important thing is that our customers get seamless visibility and intelligence on performance critical topics like delays and transport interruptions. This means they can rely on us and our world class algorithms for the processed data they need to manage all their business activities and critical events in the supply chain.”
The final dozen… The tail end of the B747
What has been expected, has now been confirmed. With the final aircraft delivery in 2022 of the twelve B747-8Fs still on order (including those for UPS and possibly still Volga-Dnepr), Boeing will cease production of the aircraft type. The last passenger 747 was delivered ack in 2017, to Korean Airlines, and over on the passenger side, they have largely been phased out. Yet the news is a particular blow to the cargo industry given the versatility of the iconic cargo workhorse with its nose-door.
In a memo to Boeing staff last week, CEO Calhoun stated “Regretfully, the prolonged impact of Covid-19 causing further reductions in our production rates and lower demand for commercial services means we’ll have to further assess the size of our workforce.” Production rates on other Boeing aircraft types have fallen, too (from 2021, 6 787s/month instead of 10, 2 777/777X per month instead of 3 – with the 777X delayed until 2022. Only the 737 MAX, which is expected to return to service by the end of this year, will likely be produced at a rate of 31/month come 2022), and the USD 2.4bn loss of the last quarter, given revenues of USD 11.8bn compared to USD $15.8bn for the same quarter last year, also means that more of the 160,000 staff will be laid off than the 12,000 figure previously announced in MAY20.
Huge, 4.5-ton power turbine takes to the skies
In its latest partner project, Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Kuehne+Nagel transported a 4.5-ton power turbine from the East Midlands, UK to Russia on board Volga-Dnepr’s IL-76TD-90VD.
“We always were of a high opinion on the quality of Volga-Dnepr Group’s solutions, and this flight was no exception. At this challenging time it is very important to have a reliable partner who is able to provide a consistent level of service. For us, Volga-Dnepr Group (including AirBridgeCargo, Volga-Dnepr Airlines, and ATRAN Airlines) is such a partner. Together we achieve inspiring results, and expect further development,” said Oleg Makushkin, Head of procurement and airline relations, Russia and CIS, Kuehne+Nagel, Russia.
‘For over two decades Volga-Dnepr Airlines and Kuehne+Nagel have partnered on projects which have allowed us to innovate and develop new solutions together — pushing the boundaries on what air freight can do. Starting with our AN-124 and IL-76 charter flights, and then progressing to partnership on scheduled operations with AirBridgeCargo Airlines, we work under the alignment of specialty cargo transportation across the globe. Having Kuehne+Nagel among VD’s TOP customers is an honor, and we hope for continuous development and quality enhancement between us for years to come,’ - commented Ekaterina Andreeva, Commercial Director for Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
A free, global “dating platform” for forwarders: Parnity
Based in Brazil, Parnity is a freight forwarding startup looking to offer a kind of business Facebook with added CRM for freight forwarders, where international partners can find and connect with each other. Having started out as a beta version in FEB20, it went public in APR20, and now accounts for more than 7,000 freight forwarders. The platform allows freight forwarders to run custom searches to select partners best fitting their requirements and, using the tool’s “My Network” system, they can prioritize the partners and keep a history of business deals, along with notes on any issues they may have had. “Trust scores” can also be given, allowing the companies to objectively validate each other, and to build up trust in a closed community. Parnity is continually improving its digital platform to further facilitate networking across the freight forwarding industry. With information available on LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, Parnity has been running regular webinars to explain its tools and encourage more users: “We continue to educate people on the utility of our tools, and how they can save time and money by using Parnity. We are a free platform looking to change the status quo of the industry via modern tools. You could be a small or medium-sized forwarder and you could still go digital, modernize your process, and scale your business.”
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