Air traffic in UK facing standstill
A new, highly contagious form of the Covid-19 virus has broken out in the southern part of the UK, and has now largely paralyzed commercial air traffic. This mainly affects international passenger flights taking off or landing at Heathrow and other major London airports. Cargo flights are not affected.
On Saturday 19DEC20, PM Boris Johnson officially imposed Tier 4 restrictions on the region. Accordingly, people have to stay at home and are only allowed to leave their homes for errands that cannot be postponed. A consequence of the lockdown is that international travel to and from the south of England will come to a virtual standstill.
The official guidance on the UK Government site states, "if you are in TIER 4, you should not be traveling abroad unless it is permitted. In addition, you should consider the public health advice in the country you are visiting."
In the meantime, the UK has closed its internal borders. In a reaction, Scotland has announced that it intends to implement a strict ban on travelers from mainland UK soon, this way disrupting flight itineraries. Similar measures have been imposed by Northern Ireland and Wales, leading to further flight bans.
In continental Europe, the Netherlands was the first country that has banned flights from and to the UK, followed swiftly by Italy, Belgium, and Austria. The German government announced suspending air traffic to and from the UK beginning at midnight. An official said that a closely coordinated EU measure is in preparation.
Lufthansa Cargo’s new CCO: Ashwin Bhat
When Dorothea von Boxberg becomes Lufthansa Cargo’s Chairperson of the Executive Board and CEO on 01MAR21, it will be SWISS’ current Vice President and Head of Cargo, Ashwin Bhat who will take her place as Chief Commercial Officer of Lufthansa Cargo, in charge of the company’s Product and Sales division. His responsibilities will include the external organization of sales and handling, product, revenue management, pricing, network planning and sales management worldwide. The 51-year-old who holds a BSc, having majored in Chemistry from the University of Mumbai, India in 1990, had a background in accounting and airline financial services provider in Mumbai before joining Swisscargo AG in Zürich in FEB99, where he held various positions in revenue management, transport management and global area management, culminating in his appointment as until his most recent position as Vice President and Head of Cargo for Swiss International Air Lines in OCT15.
Harry Hohmeister, Member of the Lufthansa Group Executive Board and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Lufthansa Cargo announced: “I am very pleased that we have been able to gain Ashwin Bhat, a highly experienced senior manager within the Lufthansa Group, as our Chief Commercial Officer. With his extensive expertise in the air freight business as well as his many years of sales experience, he will further strengthen Lufthansa Cargo's leading position in international competition.”
Frankfurt’s Air Cargo Community welcomes new Chair
Patrik O. Tschirch, Managing Director of LUG aircargo handling, has been appointed Chair of the Executive Board of Frankfurt’s Air Cargo Community, taking over leadership from Harald Gloy, Board member for Operations at Lufthansa Cargo. “Patrik O. Tschirch represents this location. He has an extensive network and since the very beginning has been part of the Board of Air Cargo Community. The fact that he has now agreed to take over its management is all the more testimony to his commitment to the air cargo forwarders in Frankfurt,” Managing Director, Joachim von Winning, stated. Patrik O. Tschirch held freight forwarding and air cargo positions in a number of companies, before joining LUG in Frankfurt in 2011, and becoming its Managing Director in 2013.
The Board was elected at the online General Assembly at the end of NOV20, and consists of Patrik O. Tschirch, Harald Gloy, Michael Hoppe (Secretary General at Barig – representing airlines on the Board), Dr. Tobias Riege (Managing Director of Riege Software - representing service providers), Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, Susanne Klingler-Werner. The latter two members are first-time active board members. Replacing Götz Wendenburg, Station Manager at DHL Global Forwarding, who did not stand for re-election, Susanne Klingler-Werner, Director Freight Forwarding Germany, Eastern Europe, and Nordics represents the member group of freight forwarders in the Executive Board of Air Cargo Community. Dr. Pierre Dominique Prümm, Executive Board member for Aviation and Infrastructure, replaces his Fraport Board colleague Michael Müller due to internal changes of responsibility and assumes the role of Deputy Chair.
HiSERV acquires BER service provider WISAG Aviation, and pilots e-bus
HiSERV had acquired the service provider WISAG Aviation at BER airport, created the subsidiary “HiSERV Werkstatt Service Berlin”, and assumed the rent for WISAG's 3,000 m² hangar at the airport, along with its 26 employees. The company is responsible for the technical support and maintenance/repair of HiSERV airport equipment such as aircraft tugs, loaders for air cargo, passenger stairs, which HiSERV leases to customers. Speaking to CFG, Roland Ueckert, Managing Director of HiSERV, stated that he also expects third-party business in future, for example from service providers based at BER who require servicing for their airport equipment.
HiSERV has also premiered the e.Cobus 3000 at BER. The e-bus, which was a world premier e-drive bus back in 2016 when it was launched at Stuttgart Airport, and is now a familiar sight at a number of European, North American, and Chinese airports, has finally reached Berlin, too, in a pilot project.
BER already has a number of e-drive pushbacks and high-loaders, but if the e-bus pilot is a success, the airport will need to create a separate charging infrastructure to keep the fleet running.
The e-bus which can carry 110 passengers, runs on long-life lithium titanate batteries with 126 kWh capacity, enabling it to travel up to 70 km.
“The advantage with this type of battery is that it can be fully charged in just 90 minutes,” says Andreas Funk, sales manager at Cobus. Apron buses generally run at a maximum of 30 km/h and have a high proportion of idling, which generates poor exhaust emission values in diesel engine buses, yet there are no such negative effects with electric motors.
“We are very happy that HiSERV is taking this step. The use of e-buses can help us in the long term to reduce exhaust emissions on the apron,” says Klemens Krys, Quality and Process Management Officer at BER.
Roland Ueckert added “Buses with electric drives require much less maintenance than those with diesel engines and can therefore help to save money.” Their environmental friendliness is increased if the electricity also is generated from renewable energy sources.
World’s first Drone Logistics Facility planned in Japan
APAC’s logistics-focused real estate platform, ESR and UK aerospace and drone company, VRCO have announced that they are working together to design and demonstrate the world’s first cargo drone logistics facility in Greater Tokyo, Japan. The ESR Higashi Ogishima Distribution Centre will be located near Haneda Airport and, upon completion in MAR23, will host a fleet of at least 24 “highly
automated fleet of smart and self-aware air-cargo vehicles” [drones] and will be designed to deliver 14 tons daily. “The collaboration with VRCO and its Future of Flight Simulator division will be carried out within the remit of ESR’s Future Solutions Group, which proactively evaluates how technological, economic and societal changes will impact the design and operation of ESR’s distribution facilities,” the press release states. The 9-storey, 365,385 m² prototype facility will be used as a blueprint for other locations in Japan and pan-Asia. Speaking on behalf of ESR, its Senior Managing Director and Head of the Future Solutions Group, Dr. Michael de Jong-Douglas said, “We continuously monitor developments that could be of interest to our customers and the movement of cargo in a sustainable, direct aerial mode presents significant opportunities. It is clear that eVTOL aircraft will have a dramatic effect on cargo and people mobility over the coming years.”
Stuart Gibson, Co-founder and Co-CEO of ESR, added “VRCO’s Future of Flight modelling and Simulation capability will aid ESR to make informed decisions with regard to the definition and adoption of eVTOL services. […]. The ability to move high value, time sensitive cargo directly from our distribution center to its destination presents a significant value proposition for ESR’s tenants and operators. […] We are a firm believer in innovation and technology and are committed to providing best-in-class logistics space and solutions for the future.”
Daniel Hayes, Co-Founder of VRCO said, “We are delighted to be working with the leading logistics real estate platform in Asia which appreciates the opportunities presented by eVTOL transportation. This is both relevant and timely now that Japan has published a roadmap embracing the Airmobility revolution. Underpinning this revolution is the need for the infrastructure to be there and ready. The evolution of a distribution center to facilitate eVTOL cargo movement provides a compelling use case and value proposition to both ESR and its customers. Welcome to Airvolution!”
cargo-partner exceeds record € 1,000,000,000 in annual sales
2020 has been a challenging year for all and demanded great flexibility. cargo-partner’s efforts in providing a wide array of logistics transport solutions, which have included air cargo charters since MAR20, has paid off, given that for the first time in the company’s history, it has achieved more than one billion euros in sales. It hit the milestone on 30OCT20 and is thus well in line to reach its target two billion euros revenues by 2025.
While the company has grown organically up to now, it disclosed that is plans “to strengthen its European network by means of acquisitions” from 2021. cargo-partner CEO Stefan Krauter stated: “The year 2020 has brought an array of unprecedented challenges for the global economy and in particular for the logistics industry. I am proud to say that cargo-partner has mastered these challenges, thanks to the extraordinary commitment of our teams around the world as well as our ability to offer our customers fast and flexible alternatives for their transport challenges. These results show that we are on the right path” and pinpointed further success factors in addition to the flexible air, road, rail and sea service offers: “Another decisive factor for emerging as a winner from this year's challenges is our comprehensive digitalization strategy. This includes deep integration with our customers' business processes and streamlined communication via the supply chain management platform SPOT. Finally, our strong in-house IT competence also allowed for a fast and effective transition to working from home for all our offices worldwide. We will continue to build on our strong digitalization strategy and keep a close watch on market developments to offer our customers fast, effective and flexible solutions.”
HAUS61 gains LUG as sponsor, and welcomes 5 new startups
The HAUS61 Startup Accelerator based in Frankfurt, Germany, has announced that, despite the pandemic, it has managed to gain LUG aircargo handling GmbH as a new sponsor, and welcome five new start-ups on board. LUG joins other sponsors such as Fraport and KLM/AirFrance, who see the value of supporting innovation and digital solutions. Murat Karakaya, Managing Director of HAUS61, stated "We are pleased that, even in these difficult times, companies like LUG do not remain stagnant, but to focus on innovation and want to develop further in order to emerge stronger from the pandemic," underlining that now is precisely the right time for logisticians to join HAUS61 and take advantage of the Accelerator’s know-how.
The five new start-ups that HAUS61 welcomes in its second year of funding, are:
MotionMiners, byways, Otto ID Solutions, Tec4Med and logistics.cloud. The alumni start-ups of the first year - Wakeo, ThroughPut, CargoSteps, Helios and Conbee - will also remain with HAUS61 and together with the new start-ups offer an attractive brain pool of innovation. MotionMiners focuses on highly specialized artificial intelligence for the analysis and optimization of process efficiency and the detection of ergonomic risks in production and logistics. Byways is another AI startup offering fully automated planning systems for logistics and
supply chain management. Otto ID Solutions, winner of the Frankfurter Gründerpreis 2019, focuses on process innovation and optimization through RFID and state-of-the-art tracking technologies in the monitoring of critical goods, materials, documents, and workflows. Tec4Med has a pharmaceutical focus and deploys IoT products, a SmartHub/ BeaconSystem, and a Tec4Cloud, to offer a broad product portfolio of intelligent and digital tracking hardware for high-quality pharmaceuticals. Finally, logistics.cloud is a neutral data platform that enables companies to digitalize and visualize their global flows of goods.
Lufthansa Cargo’s customers check CO2 emissions
Lufthansa Cargo is forging ahead in enabling CO2 neutral flights. In addition to its CO2-neutral, SAF(drop-in)-powered flight together with DB Schenker at the end of NOV20, its new eBooking portal contains a carbon calculator which allows customers to check the level of CO2 emissions their shipment’s transport generates and to offset these soon. Together with the Lufthansa Group’s 2019-launched central compensation platform, Compensaid, Lufthansa Cargo – which will be offering CO2-neutral air freight on a regular basis come the summer – customers can opt for the sustainable product, offsetting CO2 emissions through the use of SAF and, if they wish, through reforestation projects. “If SAF is used, Compensaid ensures that the corresponding sustainable fuel is purchased and fueled to compensate for the resulting emissions. For this purpose, Compensaid works closely with Lufthansa Group Fuel Management and with SAF manufacturers located around the world […] to make the process from calculation to fueling transparent and efficient.”
"Lufthansa Cargo supplies people and markets with urgent goods and raw materials. We are part and driver of globalization, which stands for economic progress and opens up new opportunities for every individual. And that does not exclude sustainability. We will focus more strongly on it - both in an economic and social sense. In addition to investments in a modern freighter fleet, our commitment to alternative fuels also contributes to the United Nations' 'Climate Action' sustainability goal. Through the possibility of using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), we are actively driving forward research in this area and can thus relieve the environment in the long term," explains Peter Gerber, CEO Lufthansa Cargo.
"CO2 compensation in the business customer sector is an important and effective step towards CO2-neutral aviation," says Gleb Tritus, Managing Director Lufthansa Innovation Hub. "Through the larger B2B volumes, we are increasing demand and thus promoting awareness, availability and cost-effectiveness of alternative fuels."
CHAMP Cargosystems is CargoAi’s latest partner
CHAMP Cargosystems has become the latest air cargo systems provider to partner with CargoAi, augmenting each other’s customer reach through API system connections. “CHAMP offers increased visibility to CargoAi for its more than 100 airlines and GSAs customers. In return, CargoAi offers CHAMP clients a new sales channel. And CargoAi increases its capacity to make quotes, prices, and bookings instantly available to freight forwarders,” the press release states. “Our clients and users are at the heart of this partnership. Creating value for them has always been our priority and that is why we have the widest range of suites of systems dedicated to air freight. Being available on CargoAi, if they wish, is therefore an additional service that we can offer our clients,” says Nicholas Xenocostas, VP Commercial & Customer Engagement at CHAMP Cargosystems, illustrating the company’s goal to accelerate innovation and bring “more digitalization and visibility” to the air cargo industry, in this case greater supply chain integration, since the new connection via APIs allows airlines, freight forwarders and GSAs can thus connect and exchange information very easily.
“Our goal remains the same: to make digitization accessible to all industry players. This partnership with CHAMP, the leading air cargo systems provider, is a real boon for our customers. Because thanks to the joint work we have accomplished, our customers can grow their businesses by being connected to each other, without having to do anything,” says CargoAi CEO Matthieu Petot. “CHAMP and its teams are the gold standard in our industry and working with these cargo system experts is a fantastic opportunity.”
IAG Cargo with a cherry on top
Though in other news, there are threats of strikes and warnings of cargo delays in UK airports, with a number of IAG customers currently disgruntled, it has nonetheless recently announced having uplifted record numbers of Argentinean and Chilean cherries for Christmas season. Rodrigo Casal, Regional Commercial Manager for Latin America at IAG Cargo said: "Our cherry loads are blossoming, and we've already quadrupled our 2019 tonnage. When it comes to perishables time is critical, and our specialized advanced cool chain solution Constant Fresh, designed exclusively for the transportation of perishable goods, maximizes product shelf life, minimizes waste, and preserves quality and integrity until it reaches the supermarket and the consumer."
This huge increase has been handled by deploying special charters from Santiago de Chile to London Heathrow, the latest one last week carried more than 7 million cherries destined for the UK market. “Since the season started in late October, IAG Cargo has already transported over 1000 ton of cherries from Latin America to Spain, the UK and China via B787-9s and A350-900s, compared to 236 ton in 2019” the release states.
Yet not just cherries are brought over from Latin America. Among the annual 50,000 tons (and growing – pardon the pun!) of perishables transported by IAG from Latin America, are also salmon, hake, blueberries, corn seeds and stone fruits.
Volga-Dnepr Group proudly displays first B777F
Volga-Dnepr’s top management along with Boeing Corporation and GE Healthcare representatives were among the welcoming committee of the first B777F commercial flight from Seoul (South Korea) to Domodedovo (Moscow, Russia), which toured the latest fleet addition and watched the offloading of medical equipment. The new freighter, recently certified in Russia, bears AirBridgeCargo livery and will be deployed on Trans-Siberian route. It has a payload of 106 tons.
Tatyana Arslanova, Chief Executive Officer of Volga-Dnepr Group, comments: “We would like to thank our personnel and specialists, partners and customers for this great milestone at the turn of 2021 when airfreight is in high demand, especially for healthcare, e-commerce and essential cargoes transportations.”
Natalia Butrova, Logistics Leader Russia & CIS, GE Healthcare, highlights: “Timely delivery of sophisticated medical equipment stays one of the top tasks during these difficult times. Timewise, airfreight is the most preferred transportation mode, which, coupled with safety and security, is very important for us. For more than 30 years GE Healthcare has been providing sophisticated diagnostic medical equipment, including computerized tomographs and ultrasound systems. Thanks to our partnership the Russian doctors and patients could access essential technologies within the shortest timeframes.”
“2020 has put the air cargo at the front. Air carriers continued delivering much-needed medical cargoes – PPE, vaccines, medicines, medical equipment, and other items to combat COVID-19 spread. We are positive that the new freighter type within AirBridgeCargo’s fleet will open new opportunities for other carriers operating to/from Domodedovo airport,” says Igor Borisov, Director of Domodedovo airport.
Riege has joined Cargohub’s CDM project at AMS
Riege Software Netherlands has been given a seat in the CargoHub Trucking Collaborative Decisions Making (CDM) project consortium initiative at Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, to collaborate in improving congestion avoidance at the airport. The CDM initiative, launched in JAN20 under the motto “Work Together as ONE”, looks to use reliable data to improve transport and handling processes, to accurately predict and act to avoid congestion and delays along the various actors in the supply chain. Data transparency is important and Riege, with its software “Scope” and its own credo of “One System. ONE Record”, is a logical partner in terms of expertise. Henk Boorsma, partner and Managing Director of Riege in the Netherlands said “We’re excited that the new initiative asked us to join on behalf of our freight forwarding customers and for our knowledge. Looking forward to being part of a problem-solving team implementing new procedures on and around the airport.”
Raoul Paul, founder of the CDM platform welcomes Riege's participation: “Riege Software is an expert in the forwarder logistics area and a significant number of forwarders at Schiphol are using their services. By sharing their knowledge and expertise within the Trucking CDM project we will gain essential insights to deliver the right connectivity and the most efficient process optimization for our stakeholders. We look forward to working together with team Riege.”
FedEx Express gets its first ATR 72-600F
“The arrival of the first ATR 72-600F is a major milestone in the modernization of our feeder aircraft fleet, and it positions us strongly to continue growing our global footprint and serve more customers in locations that aren’t always accessible by our larger jet fleet,” said Scot Struminger, EVP and CEO of Aviation, FedEx Express. “The ATR 72-600F was constructed with input from FedEx engineers every step of the way, so we’re proud and excited to finally take possession of this impressive aircraft.”
This first-ever production freighter built by ATR on agreement with FedEx back in NOV17, and which was delivered to FedEx from Toulouse, France, is stronger than its passenger-converted counterparts, has a large cargo door, and can accommodate 74.5 m³ of freight – seven LD3 containers or five 88-inch pallets.
It is the first of a total of 30 ATR 72-600F (and an option to buy an additional 20) to be delivered. “Subsequent deliveries will be about six aircraft per year over a five-year period. The first ATR aircraft will be operated by ASL Airlines Ireland, a FedEx ATR operator since 2000, as part of the FedEx Express [364 strong] Feeder fleet [in 56 countries].”
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