UPS and Stirling Ultracold are getting cool
UPS Healthcare is ramping up its dry ice production capabilities and has teamed up with Stirling Ultracold for the provision of Stirling ULT25 and Undercounter Model SU105 portable freezers which can store vaccines at temperatures between -20°C and -80°C, in order to be best prepared for the Covid-19 vaccine transports. UPS is now able to produce around 545 kgs of dry ice per hour at its facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Not only will it have enough to meet the cold storage requirements of the vaccines, it will also provide hospitals, clinics and similar institutions with dry ice in order to secure an unbroken cool-chain, and is thus countering the increasing fear of a dry ice shortage given the rapid increase in demand. “Enhancing our dry ice production capabilities increases our supply chain agility and reliability immensely when it comes to handling complex vaccines for our customers,” Wes Wheeler, president of UPS Healthcare, ennuniciated. “Healthcare facilities in Louisville, Dallas and Ontario will ensure we have the capability to produce dry ice to sufficiently pack and replenish shipments as needed to keep products viable and effective.”
The portable ultra-low temperature (ULT) freezers that UPS is launching in collaboration with Stirling Ultracold, will also be made available to care facilities needing a more permanent solution for longer term freezer storage. “We are truly proud to partner with UPS in this critical effort. As the leading manufacturer of small and portable ULT devices, Stirling Ultracold freezers integrate well with UPS Healthcare logistics to provide complete cold-chain of custody for COVID-19 vaccines from the drug manufacturers to medical facilities,” Dusty Tenney, CEO of Stirling, stated.
“This program will help ensure vaccines remain effective next year, and for years to come, as future vaccines and biologics are developed to keep the world healthy and safe.
SkyCell and AFKLMP Cargo sign partnership agreement
The two companies have partnered with the aim of increasing sustainability and the safety of pharmaceutical shipments by reintroducing “hybrid containers”, and in preparation of the Covid-19 vaccines transports. Regarding the latter, as well as covering the industry standard 2-8°C and 15-25°C temperature ranges, SkyCell’s solutions can also deal with -70°C requirements. In addition to this, the hybrid containers contain IoT sensors which monitor temperatures both within and outside the containers (able to cope with ambient temperatures of -30°C to +70°C), to best protect the pharmaceuticals’ efficacy en route. Thus, not only do they maintain the safety of the products, they also prevent unnecessary waste through spoilage.
Apparently, these containers reduce a shipment's carbon footprint by up to 50% since they are able charge independently without the need for dry ice or electricity, and they can provide protection for an average of around 202 hours (8.4 days), which can be prolonged through trucking or storage under refrigerated conditions.
Enrica Calonghi, Global Head Pharmaceutical Logistics Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, stated: "Shipping pharma and healthcare products is a core activity for AFKLMP Cargo. Partnerships, such as those with our container suppliers, play a crucial role in the entire chain, especially when it comes to guaranteeing the necessary quality, reliability and connectivity. Together, we are ready to play a key role in the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, thereby helping to ensure that as many people as possible around the globe will have access to vaccines in these challenging times."
Richard Ettl, CEO SkyCell, commented: "Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is a pioneer in pharmaceutical air freight and, like SkyCell, is committed to minimizing its environmental footprint through technological innovation."
Qatar Airways Cargo appoints Wexco as its Australia GSA
Qatar Airways, which serves Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, in Australia, with 30 passenger and freighters flights every week, appointed ECS Group subsidiary, Wexco, as its Australian general sales agent (GSA) on 01NOV20. Thus, Qatar Airways and ECS Group now operate a strategic partnership in 20 countries. Daniel Parker, Vice President Cargo Asia, Qatar Airways, said: "Qatar Airways is one of the best and most reliable airlines in the Australian market. We have a solid foundation for further growth with our partner Wexco, whose excellent reputation in the Australian market was also a major factor in our decision, together with its deep knowledge of Qatar Airways' processes."
Cédric Millet, managing director Wexco Australia, welcomed the new agreement with Qatar Airways Cargo, adding: "Qatar Airways sets very high expectations and so does Wexco. We are very much aligned on providing the highest service levels to our customers. The Qatar Airways Cargo motto is 'Moved by people' and we have built an excellent team of 13 dedicated people within Wexco, who will do a fantastic job for Qatar Airways. […] The Australian air exports registered a 24% decrease compared to last year, but we are seeing an injection of services in the lead up to the peak season, particularly for the exports of produce. A lot of flights are being operated under the government funded International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) program in order to boost Australia's perishables export trade."
The press release points out that “Qatar Airways Cargo was one of the founder airlines within IFAM, offering registered exporters over 830 tons of cargo capacity each week on its passenger flights and freighters from Australia.”
Paris-CDG joins league of Covid-19 vaccine air hubs
Paris-CDG Airport is ready for the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, the Air Cargo France Association (ACFA) has communicated. In Paris too, private enterprise and public bodies are in close collaboration in this venture.
ACFA brings together all cargo operators at CDG (airport platform, freight forwarders, handlers, express operators, and airlines). For the rolling out of the Covid-19 vaccine strategy, it has joined efforts with the French state services (delegation of the Prefecture of Police for the safety & security of Paris airports, Directorate General of Customs and Excise, and the French Civil Aviation Authority).
Since the beginning of the health crisis, freight and logistics players at Paris-Charles de Gaulle have been actively committed to ensuring the continuity of cargo activity and the transport of foodstuff and essential goods for the country's economy: medical equipment and materials, food products, components and spare parts for industries.
Over the past years, several major operators in Cargo City at Paris-CDG have received CEIV Pharma certification, which has become the international standard in the transportation of pharmaceutical products and especially vaccines. Other companies can boast GDP (Good Distribution Practices) certifications issued by the European Medicines Agency.
ACFA is currently working on improving speed and increasing the airport’s level of performance in managing vaccine flows. When it comes to speed, the intention is to minimize the transit time of vaccines at the airport. In this context, discussions are mainly focused on customs clearance procedures and on the overall reduction of vaccine transit time between trucks and planes.
Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport has more than 3,500 m² of warehouses dedicated to the storage of temperature-sensitive products between +2° and +8° Celsius. The airport’s facilities guarantee optimal storage, even if some vaccines could be transported by planes in specific and autonomous containers or packaging enabling the temperature to be kept at -70° or even -80° Centigrade, for a period of up to ten days.
Marcel Schoeters in Paris
SAL Unveils New Pharma and Perishable facilities in Riyadh
As the next step in its Vision 2030 strategy to transform Saudi Arabia into a global logistics hub, and in time for Covid-19 vaccines distribution challenge, the Saudi Arabian Logistics Company (SAL), unveiled its new pharma and perishable facilities at the Cargo Village in Riyadh on 25NOV20. “The Saudi Ministry of Transport assured the country’s transport infrastructure and facilities, particularly air cargo and logistics, are fully prepared to handle COVID-19 vaccines once it’s ready for distribution,” the press release reads, underlining that the handling processes and facilities meet EU GDP standards.
Offering 5,000 m² of storage space, the new facility is capable of handling up to 365,000 tons of cargo a year. Four loading docks are available for refrigerated containers as well as twelve warehouses with varying temperature ranges from -20°C to 25°C, plus a dedicated flower storage area.
Partnerships with Saudi Customs and Saudi Food and Drug Authority mean that shipments can be cleared quickly and simply. A 650 m² temperature control breakdown area, a location for 20 active refrigerated containers, including a thermal isolation area, are also available.
SAL CEO Omar Hariri commented, “The launch of the Riyadh Cold Storage facilities comes at a historic moment that coincides with the world’s anticipation for the delivery of the COVID vaccine. This urgency makes us harness the capabilities of the operation capacity of our pharmaceutical facility and be fully prepared to receive and handle the new vaccines in coordination with the health authorities.”
Siemens implements unique cloud solution for dnata Cargo in Dubai
With its Appointment and Dock Management (ADM) cloud-based freight handling and booking platform, Siemens Logistics has enabled end-to-end shipment transparency for dnata Cargo in Dubai. Based on Siemens Digital Logistics’ Logistics Platform AX4, the platform intelligently combines all kinds of data to determine optimum slot solutions when it comes to shipment delivery or acceptance, for example. This improved processing efficiency leads to better operational planning and thus cost and time savings for all freight forwarders involved. Freight forwarders can book slot appointments at the cargo terminal to deliver and pick up shipments. The optimum slot time is suggested by the system based on the shipment’s characteristics, its flight details, as well as the freight forwarder’s vehicle type, to name just a few parameters. The digital platform is unique in that it can intelligently predict the duration and takes the historical behavior of the forwarder into account in combination with the flight schedule. So far, the ADM has led to a 60% reduction in average freight handling time at Dubai cargo terminals, which now averages at 30 minutes. Around 800 supply chain partners are integrated using ADM at Dubai, with over 600 appointments being made every day. Dubai Customs is also connected so that inspections can be coordinated.
"With AX4 and the newly developed ADM, we offer powerful applications for increasing efficiency in freight and cargo process management. We are proud of how the platform in Dubai has improved our customer's business processes," Michael Reichle, CEO of Siemens Logistics, commented. Bernd Struck, Senior Vice President UAE Cargo & DWC Airline Services for dnata, added “The now fully operational ADM solution from Siemens is a crucial element in our overall digital transformation program. The tool seamlessly integrates into our existing air cargo supply chain community trading platform, connecting over 800 supply chain partners with 2,000 users."
Dnata sets a green milestone in aircraft handling in the U.S.
From the electric baggage tractors to the electric conveyor belts at the aircraft for offloading and loading baggage and cargo, through to the Mototok electric, remote-controlled towbarless pushback tractor, and all the while handling Mexico’s greenest carrier when it comes to CO² emissions, dnata, in partnership with Terminal One Group Association, set a world premier as the ground handler to complete a green aircraft turnaround in the United States. The VivaAerobus Airbus A320 aircraft was turned around using only zero-emission ramp ground support equipment (GSE) at New York-JFK Airport's (JFK) Terminal 1 at the end of NOV20. In MAR20, dnata already completed a green turnaround in the UAE.
David Barker, CEO of dnata USA, said: "We are thrilled to achieve this memorable milestone by using only green equipment […]. We constantly invest in infrastructure and equipment to improve operational efficiency and reduce our carbon footprint. We are committed to converting our USA fleet to electric GSE to preserve our environment for future generations." The sentiment was echoed by Steve Rowland, Executive Director, Terminal One Group Association (TOGA), who said: "We will work closely with dnata to reduce our carbon footprint by replacing our existing fleet with environmentally friendly solutions over the next years. This initiative clearly demonstrates our commitment to the environment, we are proud to be the first at New York JFK."
Juan Carlos Zuazua, CEO of Viva Aerobus, was also delighted to be part of the innovative move that "puts environmental protection at its core. Undoubtedly, dnata is a world pioneer committed to our planet, and our work with them is a further step as the "greenest" Mexican carrier, since we are the airline with the lowest CO2 emissions per passenger in Mexico and the first one to separate waste for recycling during flights. We are firmly convinced that sustainability should be at the center of the air sector operations."
Ethiopian Cargo goes Trans-Pacific: ICN-ANC-ATL
Launched on 09NOV20, Ethiopian Cargo & Logistics Services which classes itself as Africa’s Largest Cargo Network Operator, offers Trans-Pacific routes using B777-200F, from Seoul to the USA. Commenting on its new service, Ethiopian Group CEO, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, said: “We are delighted to have launched our newest freighter service to our Cargo Forwarder customers worldwide, extending from Incheon to Atlanta via Anchorage in the current global pandemic crisis where speed in the supply chain management is highly required to deliver urgently needed goods. Our new cargo service will cut total air transport time significantly between Asia Pacific and North America facilitating fast and efficient global trade.”
The airline operates out of the largest trans-shipment terminal in Africa and with its state-of-the-art Pharma Wing, it is well-equipped to act as key player in the upcoming Covid-19 vaccine logistics challenge. It has already been very active in supplying African countries with medical supplies during the pandemic.
IAG Cargo resumes thrice-weekly London-Seoul flights
The direct flights, operated with B787s, leave London-Heathrow (LHR), UK, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, and return from Seoul (ICN), South Korea, on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. With the November restart of the year-round operations paused due to the pandemic, IAG Cargo has reinstated another of its important trade routes when it comes to the flow of pharmaceutical goods, e-commerce, and automotive parts. Earlier, Japan routes had been restarted, and the IAG press release reminds customers that charter flights can also be arranged.
Alec Rayner, Area Commercial Manager for Japan & Korea, IAG Cargo, stated: "South Korea is an important part of our network and we are delighted to be re-opening London Heathrow-Seoul for our customers. Last year the UK-Korea Free Trade Agreement was signed allowing businesses between South Korea and United Kingdom to guarantee a continued free flow of goods, supporting the movement of South Korean pharmaceutical, automotive and e-commerce goods to reach hundreds of destinations and British goods to reach South Korea."
Both countries are strong exporters and thus lucrative cargo business potentials.
We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.