Bolloré Logistics playing it cool at Charles-de-Gaulle (CDG)
2,200 m² of temperature-controlled space are now dedicated to healthcare shipments over at Bolloré Logistics’ Roissy CDG hub. The company recently extended its existing cooling facilities by 800 m², adding more space for pharmaceutical shipments requiring +15 °C to +25 °C. The latest unit comprises 3 dedicated dock doors for seamless and temperature-controlled handling, a racked area able to hold 550 pallets, and a large storage area. The decision to extend the pharma facility which boasts three temperature-controlled areas for +2 °C to +8 °C, +15 °C to +25 °C, and -20 °C, respectively, came as reaction to the increase in pharmaceutical shipments arising from the pandemic. The unit enables the secure handling of sensitive healthcare products by staff trained in Good Distribution Practices (GDPs), to maintain and ensure their integrity, additionally supported by power connections for active containers, monitored unit temperatures, and temperature mapping. The Hub is certified in ISO 9001, 14001, 45001, and IATA CEIV Pharma, and also fulfils security requirements, including continuous video surveillance and powerful security systems.
Pascal Le Guevel, Bolloré Logistics Roissy CDG Hub Director, stated: “This investment demonstrates our determination to support the health sector in its logistics challenges. Our facilities and solutions are specially designed to respond to requirements on regulations and operational excellence and are adapted to each category of goods transported.”
Franck Philippe, Health Market Director, France at Bolloré Logistics, added: “With this environment, we are able to deliver complete and needs-adapted solutions to all our customers, from the preparation of active containers to that of passive packaging, including customized services such as the use of isothermal sleeves and real-time monitoring solutions.”
IAG Cargo celebrates a decade in the business
In April 2011, British Airways World Cargo and Iberia Cargo joined together under the umbrella name of IAG Cargo, merging their networks and thus expanding their service offer. Almost 1 million flights later (950,000), to more than 450 global destinations, and the addition of Vueling (2013), Aer Lingus (2015), and Level (2016) in the interim, the International Airlines Group’s cargo division has become one of the world’s largest cargo operators. It counts around 14,000 forwarders amongst its customers, is active in 60 countries on 5 continents, has 2,250 employees across the globe, and a fleet which has seen 30 different aircraft types and has grown 53% in that time, to number 533 planes. Over the years, it has innovated and invested in digitalization, pharma centers, various products such as pharmaceuticals, live animals, and theft-endangered shipments, and has flown all kinds of cargo “from ancient artefacts for The British Museum, endangered animals for BornFree, vaccine shipments for Biological E to airplane parts for Boeing.” Most recently, it has transported more than 20,000 tons of PPE and other Covid-19-related medical equipment, and this year joined the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to support the COVAX initiative, transporting over a million vaccine doses already by the end of January, with more to come.
John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer at IAG Cargo said: "This is a major milestone for IAG Cargo. It's been exciting to see the business grow and transform into one of the largest cargo carriers in the world today. We've built a strong relationship with our customers across the world to understand their needs and adapted our products, as well as launched new products and routes to support them. We're very proud of our 'always moving' spirit to provide some of the most flexible options for customers, helping them get their freight across the world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We look forward to continuing to expand our offering in the years to come."
SmartLynx Airlines Cargo flying Covid-19 vaccines
Latvia’s second-largest airline (founded 1992), specializing in ACMI and charter operations mainly for the leisure sector, ventured into cargo operations last year and became involved, like many other airlines, in the transport of PPE and Covid-19-related materials. It reconfigured two of its A321 aircraft to enable a volume capacity of 115m3 and a maximum cargo weight of 22,000 kg. Now vaccines are the order of the day and SmartLynx has passed all the stringent handling requirements and regulations stipulated by the FAA as well as the European union Aviation Safety Agency with regard to packaging, dry ice, temperature control, and trained staff. Last week, the airline successfully delivered a consignment of vaccines from their point of origin in China to their final destination in Guinea, Western Africa, and expects to carry out many more such shipments this year.
According to Aleksandrs Gusevs, VP Commerical of SmartLynx, “There can be no doubt that cargo is the new and presently most important business direction showing growth across the aviation industry. While many companies are sowing the seeds that will eventually support future needs, we at SmartLynx are already proud of our involvement in supporting global efforts in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. This is only made possible by cohesive teamwork which allows SmartLynx to respond swiftly to the demands set before us and execute the necessary steps to meet our goals.”
Saudia Cargo is the latest airline to join the UNICEF initiative
Saudia Cargo last week signed UNICEF’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative, joining other leading airlines such as Emirates, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa Cargo, Air France KLM, Martinair Cargo, and Cargolux, in the global mission to delivery vaccines and other essential medical supplies and equipment to the over 100 countries via air connections as part of the COVAX Facility. The COVAX Facility, which provides fairer access to vaccines for those countries at a financial disadvantage, plans to supply doses to 145 countries during the first round in the first half of this year, enabling them to immunize 3% of their population. Until now, more than 33 million vaccines have been shipped to 74 countries, under the COVAX Facility. During the second half of the year, another 2 billion vaccines will be delivered.
Saudia Cargo’s CEO, Omar Hariri announced: “Saudia Cargo is ready and in full power to operate for the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative and take part in this global vaccine delivery effort through its wide range of destinations and connection points. We fully understand our role and will work hand in hand with UNICEF and ensure maximum global reach for the vaccines. Safe, timely and efficient transportation of these supplies is paramount, and we are sure our air freighters will get the job done.”
Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF Supply Division stated: “Delivery of these lifesaving vaccines is a monumental and complex undertaking, considering the sheer volume that needs to be transported, the cold chain requirements, the number of expected deliveries and the diversity of routes. We are grateful to these airlines for joining forces with the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to support the rollout of vaccines.”
Etihad selects Rom Top Aviation as GSA in Israel
Etihad launched a scheduled twice-weekly Abu Dhabi-Tel Aviv service on 06APR21. Rom Top Aviation Ltd was appointed in advance to act as its general sales agent (GSA) for the State of Israel. Since the diplomatic agreement between the UAW and Israel with the signing of the Abraham Accords on 15SEP20, business between the two regions has steadily increased. Etihad issued a Hebrew version of its website and carried out its first official Tel Aviv flight back on 20OCT20. It had also previously dispatched an unmarked cargo plane to Tel Aviv flying aid to assist the Palestinians in fighting Covid-19.
Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group, explained: “The new three-and-a-half-hour service will link two vibrant economic and technological centers and further facilitate trade avenues between the two nations within the region and beyond. Since the establishment of relations, there has been increased interest in trade and investment between the UAE and Israel, and Etihad Cargo can assist in realizing these emerging opportunities. Given Israel’s recognized prowess within the medical and food production fields, there is an anticipation of strong demand for the specialized PharmaLife and FreshForward products.”
Cargo Agency Conference to listen to Freight Forwarders
A resolution has been passed aimed at greater inclusion of freight forwarders in decisions passed by the Cargo Agency Conference on the Air Cargo Program. The Cargo Agency Conference (CAC), which usually takes place every March as part of the World Cargo Symposium, is an IATA initiative that works towards “establishing standards and providing customer-driven distribution services to the cargo industry”, and “deals with relationships between airlines and sales intermediaries involved with the selling and processing of international air cargo”, the IATA pages state. It has recently joined forces with FIATA for better collaboration and redefinition of responsibilities. The latest resolution stipulates that prior to any future resolutions or amendments, the CAC (which is made up only of airlines) must first consult with the Regional Joint Councils (made up of local freight forwarder associations affiliated with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), as well as individual freight forwarders and airlines). This should give freight forwarders a stronger voice and ensure that resolutions are passed that are implementable and effective for the industry. Especially in light of the current pandemic, increased collaboration should help overall to reduce costs, improve quality across the supply chain, and ultimately improve commercial success for all involved.
“This is a major improvement for all concerned. The Air Cargo Program works to improve the safety, security, and efficiency of cargo distribution. Considering the views of all interested parties at the beginning of the decision-making process is a win-win. The freight forwarders and their associations will have a stronger voice to influence the process. The CAC will be able to make better decisions with broader input to the decision-making process. And once decisions are made, they can be implemented universally with stronger support from all parties,” said Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s senior vice president for customer, financial and Digital Services.
Claus Wagner chairs VACAD
Since 31MAR21, Frankfurt Cargo Services Managing Director, Claus Wagner has replaced Jürgen Vogt as chairman of the board of VACAD. He is flanked by Deputy Chairman.Patrik Tschirch, Managing Director of LUG aircargo handling, and Stephanie Jelinek, Commercial Director of Düsseldorf Airport Cargo, who assumes the position of treasurer.
“The Corona crisis has shown very clearly the important role air cargo handling plays in Germany,” Claus Wagner, new Chairman of the Board of Air Cargo Handlers Germany VACAD, said. In the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic, many important and medical supplies such as masks, protective suits, respirators, and vaccines have been and are being transported by air. Air cargo handlers are indispensable to ensure that this often sensitive cargo is transferred quickly and safely from ground transport to aircraft. Services providers proved their flexibility and stability especially during the pandemic, as flight schedules became erratic and unreliable, with rates going through the roof. “This huge stress test has been mastered by our industry. As the new Chairman of the Board of VACAD, I am very happy to face the new challenges. With strong association work, we want to raise awareness about the central importance of air cargo handlers. In this way, the public will also gain more insight into the many other facets of our industry," Wagner added.
Shell investing in green fuel producer LanzaJet
Last week, Royal Dutch Shell Plc became the latest company to invest in the sustainable-fuels technology company LanzaJet, joining other investors such as Suncor Energy Inc., Mitsui & Co, British Airways and ANA. The amount invested is not known. LanzaJet was founded in JUN20 by alternative-energy technology company LanzaTech Inc. and is focused on developing four plants to produce sustainable jet fuel as well as renewable diesel. It works with an “alcohol-to-jet” method and is currently building a facility in the U.S. state of Georgia, with the capacity to produce 10 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), a year starting 2022.
Anna Mascolo, President, Shell Aviation, stated: “LanzaJet’s technology opens up a new and exciting pathway to produce SAF using an AtJ process and will help address the aviation sector’s urgent need for SAF. It demonstrates that the industry can move faster and deliver more when we all work together. Provided industry, government and society collaborate on appropriate policy mechanisms and regulations to drive both supply and demand, aviation can achieve net-zero carbon emissions. The strategic fit with LanzaJet is exciting. Through our Raízen joint venture in Brazil, we have been producing bioethanol for over ten years, and we have already demonstrated production of cellulosic ethanol from waste materials. Our access to feedstocks, experience of optimizing supply chains and extensive sales and marketing business will hopefully contribute to LanzaJet creating sustainable, robust and scalable commercial operations, supporting our customers’ decarbonisation ambitions for many years to come.”
Jimmy Samartzis, LanzaJet CEO, said: “We’ve been at a crossroads for years and we’re now at a point in time when real solutions matter to address the global need to get to net zero. At LanzaJet, we’re in a unique position with technology that is ready and scaling today to produce lower-carbon, sustainable fuels. Shell’s investment and partnership helps to further advance our work to do our part to decarbonize aviation globally, a sector with limited other options in the near- and mid-term.”
GEODIS has a new APAC Regional Air Freight Director
Yigit Saricinar has been appointed GEODIS’ new Regional Air Freight Director, Asia Pacific (APAC), and will join the regional Management Board, reporting to GEODIS’ Regional President and CEO, APAC, Onno Boots. Bringing 15 years of air cargo experience, Yigit Saricinar has been promoted from his position as Sub-Regional Air Freight Director, ASEAN, which he has held for the past three years, building a strong air cargo business in key ASEAN countries: which will stand him in good stead in his new position where he is expected to manage an ambitious air freight strategy within the region as a whole.
Onno Boots said “The Head of Air Freight for APAC has a key role to play in the development of GEODIS’ services in the region. We have ambitious goals. We will continue to be a valued growth partner to our customers, and assurance of delivering reliable and differentiated airfreight solutions to our customers is crucial. As we expand on our scheduled services, such as AirDirect Mexico which connects Greater China to Mexico twice weekly, Yigit’s leadership will be pivotal.”
“While some passenger airlines have resumed operations, the current situation in the air freight market remains volatile,” Yigit Saricinar stated. “The air freight team in APAC is well positioned to not only navigate the continued turbulence of the air cargo market in 2021, but to also thrive in both these conditions and in the years to come. We will continue to invest in our Own Controlled Network and fixed capacity.”
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