Nothing says “I love you” like 438 tons of flowers!
It’s the busiest time of the year for flower shipments. In the run up to today’s Valentine’s Day (14FEB21), IAG Cargo has carried 438 tons of flowers across its network, destined for those who believe in romance and are willing to show it! That translates into 18 million stems of mainly roses, chrysanthemums, and carnations, that have been making their way from Nairobi, Kenya to London-Heathrow, UK, on board of four weekly flights, or from Kenya to the USA, on one of the final legs of a complicated logistics supply chain involving flowering farms, cargo operators, freight forwarders and distributors. Incredibly, less than 72 hours after they are cut, the flowers hit the flower shops, ready to be carefully selected for that special occasion. Their pristine freshness is ensured through a cold chain keeping them at temperatures of between 0 – 2°C from the moment they leave the flower farm to the minute they arrive in the flower shop.
Bob Andersen, CEO at The Elgon Collection based in Kenya, which cultivates roses on 43 hectares of land, commented: "During all the challenges of COVID-19, buying flowers for a loved one is a small way of making someone feel special. We believe the secret to our success is in growing top quality roses whilst genuinely caring for our community and environment. With the success of our flower farm, we have been able to build three schools, a hospital, a vocational training center, a children's home, and a training center. We hope our flowers will brighten up your Valentine's Day, this year."
Freddie Overton, Regional Commercial Manager for Europe & Africa at IAG Cargo commented: "Flowers are the quintessential gift on Valentine's Day, and we're pleased to see that, despite the ongoing difficulties caused by COVID-19, there are many people in the world who are romantics at heart, even during a pandemic! We have some of the best floral facilities in the world to help get Valentine's flowers to market, looking as fresh as the day they were cut, for consumers to enjoy during a unique Valentine's Day, this year."
S.F Holding offers over USD 2 billion for Kerry Logistics shares
On 10FEB21, the two companies announced that Shenzhen-based courier company, S.F. Holding Co., Ltd, would be investing in Hong-Kong headquartered Kerry Logistics Network Limited – owned by Malaysia’s richest man, Robert Kuok – buying 51.5% (931,209,117) of its shares in a Partial Offer and setting up a strategic cooperation. Along with this Partial Offer, Kerry Logistics Network's warehouse assets in Hong Kong, valued at around USD 1.7 billion will be sold and shareholders offered special dividends. This is intended to create a more competitive, asset-lighter business model. Also, its USD 161 million worth Taiwan business, will be sold to a wholly owned subsidiary of Kerry Holdings Limited, and the proceeds used to promote the company’s expansion.
Speaking at a press briefing on the day, SF Holding Chairman Dick Wong stated: “The deal demonstrated the Kuok family’s vote of confidence to SF Holding and to myself. While Kerry Group gave us the control of the company, we’ll still jointly manage Kerry Logistics together in the future.” Kerry Group’s share of Kerry Logistics will be halved, dropping from 40% to around 20%, however the cooperation will profit from combining the two companies’ core competencies to create a leading Asia-based global logistics platform capable of meeting ever-changing demands.
Kerry Logistics Network will retain its listed status on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and the "Kerry" brand will continue to exist. The strategic cooperation envisages Kerry Logistics Network functioning as S.F. Holding's international business platform, and both companies will collaborate in Greater China, aligning their respective businesses. Since they will be dealing with different customer segments, S.F. Holding and Kerry Logistics Network will coexist as separate entities in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. Overall, the vision is the expansion of the logistics businesses, both in terms of scale and coverage.
cargo-partner focuses on post-Brexit UK with local presence
With its acquisition of a third of the shares of its long-term, UK-based partner, Aztek International Freight Ltd., followed by the opening of cargo-partner UK’s new office in Manchester on 01JAN21, cargo-partner has established itself up to offer a range of services out of post-Brexit UK. These include air, sea, road, and rail transport, and – currently much welcomed – comprehensive customs services, given that customs challenges are still a pain point following the UK's exit from the EU with the end of last year.
Stefan Krauter, CEO of cargo-partner, commented: "This investment in cooperation with our long-time partner Aztek is our first strategic step towards establishing cargo-partner in the UK. Among other factors, our launch on 01JAN21 was motivated by our desire to optimally support our customers with their challenges surrounding the recent Brexit. In the past month, our experienced teams in the EU and the UK have been very successful in providing express customs services for numerous clients." Those express services include emergency shipments such as a full charter flight of car tires from Thailand and similarly urgent airfreight shipments for automotive customers. The company focus is on time-critical shipments and it aims to concentrate on Industrial, Aerospace, Healthcare, Retail and Consumer products, offering its strong European network in addition to a full coverage of UK, operating out of Aztek International’s three office locations in Manchester, East London, and Bradford.
"Our new office in Manchester is a game-changing addition to our European network and provides a significant added benefit for our customers," Stefan Krauter continued. "With our strong setup in Central and Eastern Europe, we can ensure smooth and efficient processes for imports and exports to and from the UK. At the moment, we are handling a lot of road freight from the EU to the UK as well as from Northern Ireland to the UK and vice versa." cargo-partner UK and Aztek International will share their networks and focus on developing new business opportunities in Asia, Indo-ASEAN. as well as North and South America.
European Parliament weakens rules for slot use
The European Parliament has voted on less strict rules for the use of airline slots to support the aviation sector during the current pandemic.
In MAR20, the EP had already suspended the ‘use it or lose it’ rule on the use of slots. This was decided in order to stop airlines from having to operate empty flights to safeguard their planned slots in the next season. The exemption will end on 27MAR21.
As the latest Eurocontrol forecast indicates that air traffic is expected to be around half of last year’s level, the EP wants to set out a plan on how to return to a normal application of the above-mentioned rule.
The update of the rule, approved with 683 votes in favor, 3 against, and 4 abstentions, clarifies that airlines will only have to use 50% of their planned slots for the 2021 summer season in order to keep them in the next season.
Prior to the pandemic they had to use 80%. On top of this, the European Commission can also extend the new rules to other seasons in the future, adjusting the minimum utilization rate to between 30% and 70%. This will enable airlines to swiftly react to changing air traffic levels during the pandemic.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels
Delta keeps a close watch on those vaccine shipments
Ensuring the success of the Covid-19 vaccine distribution requires dedicated focus. A number of companies have set up a Covid-19 task force. In Delta’s case, that team is known as the Vaccine Watch Tower, and operates 24/7, monitoring those critical vaccine shipments along their entire journey. Given the highest priority on any Delta aircraft, the shipments are traced from the moment the booking comes in, all the way to delivery to the customer, providing end-to-end visibility, centralized monitoring, and proactive customer updates and reports. Ongoing monitoring enables quick reaction and recovery should anything go wrong along the way. Delta cites two Covid-19 vaccine shipments incidents recently, which were due to connect via Atlanta to the West Coast, but mechanical delays on the inbound Atlanta flights meant that those shipments were in danger of missing their connection. Thanks to the Vaccine Watch Tower’s efforts, the connecting flights could be held for a brief while given that operational disruption would be kept to a minimum, and the vaccines made it safely to Seattle as planned. “The Airport Coordination Center and Delta's Atlanta Cargo team updated the pilots on the reason for the delay and ensured the two aircraft were at adjacent gates at the airport to allow the teams to quickly transfer the vaccines,” the release read.
"To say this was our most challenging shipment to date would be an understatement, but the entire Delta team pulled together to make it a success," Delta's Cargo Control Center Manager, James Ryu said. "We are judged every day by the service we deliver our customers, and this is critical as we build trust with healthcare manufacturers and shippers that we can handle their business. None of this would have been possible without our employees who enable our business to operate and serve our customers."
Pharma.Aero’s new Associate Partners
Pharma.Aero is rapidly growing in the face of Covid-19 vaccine distribution challenge which is bringing the air cargo industry closer together and underlining the importance of quality in an end-to-end cold chain. Packing, in particular, goes a long way to ensuring this quality, and Pharma.Aero recently welcomed three cold chain specialists as new Associate Partners. They are: Cold Chain Technologies, Sonoco ThermoSafe, and Tower Cold Chain Solutions. “The market knowledge and expertise of our three new Associate Partners in terms of their cold chain packaging solutions, service and product offerings will strengthen the entire Pharma.Aero family and further enhance our thought leadership in the pharmaceutical supply chain management,” said Nathan De Valck, Chairman of Pharma.Aero.
Niall Balfour, CEO of TOWER Cold Chain Solutions added, “TOWER are globally recognised as being one of the most innovative providers of reusable cold chain packaging solutions to the Pharmaceutical
industry. We are therefore delighted to be accepted as a member of Pharma.Aero which will allow us to further enhance our relationships and collaborate with some of the largest providers within this market.”
“We are pleased to join the Pharma.Aero collaborative community,” said Ron Haub, Segment Director at Sonoco ThermoSafe. “Together with the other key stakeholders in the air cargo supply chain, we look forward to contributing our longstanding technical depth in temperature-controlled packaging to further drive continuous improvement in the pharmaceutical and life sciences air transport ecosystem”
Kristian Williams, Regional Sales Director of EMEA at Cold Chain Technologies cited, “As a global leader in the development and delivery of cost-effective insulated thermal packaging solutions, it is imperative that we strive to achieve excellence throughout the temperature-controlled supply chain. Joining Pharma.Aero gives us the platform to effectively collaborate with partners and stakeholders to ensure we continue to meet the specific requirements for transporting lifesaving temperature sensitive products to patients across the globe. The platform for collaboration that is available to the
Pharma.Aero members will support the innovation and growth goals that we have within Europe and Globally.”
Saudi Logistics Company (SAL) and King Abdullah Economic City move closer together
Both enterprises have signed a memorandum of cooperation in order to provide further support to their respective logistics sectors. Their mutual aim is to enhance services, paving the way for promising economic opportunities in conjunction with Saudi Arabia’s ambitious 2030 vision to transform the Kingdom into a global logistics hub.
Commenting on the event, SAL CEO Omar Hariri highlighted the importance of this strategic partnership and its future role in improving cargo ground handling services. He also stressed that KAEC is a perfect choice due to the company’s unrivaled logistics position in the region and its prominent role as an attractive investment location.
In his response, CEO Ahmed Linjawi of KAEC said: “This memorandum aims to enhance the strategic partnerships we enjoy with different public and private entities and is part of our continuous efforts to provide investors from inside and outside the Kingdom with a comprehensive stimulant investing environment to support and diversify the national economy.”
SAL is the logistics arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines, offering cargo handling services to carriers at Saudia Arabia’s domestic airports and multimodal connectivity services.
Mr. Hariri emphasized that SAL would utilize all its logistic capabilities to take advantage of the competitive benefits that the Industrial Valley run by KAEC has to offer.
Through its Industrial Valley, KAEC seeks to develop sectors including logistics, fast-moving consumer goods, plastics, automotive, and building materials, to name but a few. According to KAEC’s own statement, the Industrial Valley offers investors high-quality logistics and integrated infrastructure services. It is connected with King Abdullah Port and SAL’s flight network, offering users intermodal transport options.
We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.