LCAG and Bleichert Automation to create the heart of the FRA cargo hub
Long in the planning, the modernization of Lufthansa Cargo’s Frankfurt hub is now a significant step further to the making, with the signing of a contract between Lufthansa Cargo and Bleichert Automation GmbH & Co. KG. Bleichert will be responsible for the planning and construction of a new central high-rack storage system which, according to the press release, will form “the centerpiece of the Frankfurt hub”. Measuring 40 meters in height and comprising four aisles over 13 levels and a multi-level distribution axis along the production areas, the new construction should shorten handling times and improve efficiency, allowing for a higher turn-over rate, smoother transport processes, and resulting in higher service quality. “Construction and commissioning will take place in several stages, with realization of the high-rack storage system and the first part of the material distribution axis planned between 2022 and 2025. The complete modernization of the Lufthansa Cargo Center is scheduled for completion in 2029,” the press release forecasts.
Harald Gloy, Chief Operations Officer of Lufthansa Cargo, explained: “With Bleichert Automation, we were able to gain experienced experts in the field of warehousing and material handling technology who will support us with individual and custom-fit solutions. By continuing the successful cooperation with our logistics general planner agiplan, we now have a high-performance team on board for the realization phase and can move forward in large steps towards construction.”
Anton Schirle, CEO of Bleichert Automation, added: “By providing our technology, we can make an important contribution to the modernization of the logistics center. The assignment of this project is a significant indicator for our company and for Germany as a business location. It proves that our ideas and innovative developments are competitive.”
Dr Christian Jacobi, Executive Partner at agiplan GmbH, stated: “After the joint concept and planning phase for the future-oriented cargo logistics at the Frankfurt hub, we are now pleased to ensure a smooth realization of the new warehouse and conveyor technology for the client.”
AFKLMP Cargo and Koppert Biologicaly Systems partner up
The amount of green in the image underlines the core focus of the partnership between Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Koppert Biological Systems: the Sustainable Aviation Fuel(SAF) program. Koppert's sensitive agricultural and horticultural products for sustainable, biological pest control will fly on board of selected international AFKLMP Cargo flights running on SAF. Koppert, which has worked with AFKLMP over almost 20 years, is the first AFKLMP freight shippers to come on board of the SAF program, and follows its own agenda to reduce transport-related carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.
Martijn van de Waarsenburg, Corporate Manager Supply Chain at Koppert outlined the move: “We have signed an agreement under which we will purchase a full year of sustainable aviation fuel, thereby reducing our carbon dioxide to a level comparable to emissions from our shipments flown by AFKLMP to our main market, the North American continent. The SAF program works in the same way as green energy; SAF is not actually used on the specific flights carrying our shipments, but we are participating actively in AFKLMP's total fuel pool. By taking part in AFKLMP’s SAF program, Koppert is acknowledging its responsibility to make transport more sustainable. We hope to set an example for other airfreight agents and shipping companies. SAF is currently the most effective way to reduce the aviation industry’s carbon footprint. Together, we can really make a difference.”
GertJan Roelands, SVP Sales & Distribution for Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, declared: “We are proud to partner with Koppert Biological Systems, a leading Dutch company that attaches great importance to sustainability. The SAF program enables different stakeholders in the logistical airfreight industry to power a percentage of their flights with SAF. Customers determine their own level of engagement and we ensure that their entire investment is used for sourcing SAF. By participating in our program, our customers not only reduce their carbon footprint, but confirm their commitment to leading the industry towards a more sustainable future. Only with the support of all stakeholders can we successfully develop a more viable market for SAF.”
AFRAA and ACI Africa’s MoU to improve African Air Transport Industry
Things are moving on this year since CFG reported on the “Achieving Affordable Air transport across Africa” webcon held on 03MAR21. On 22APR21, the African Airline Association (AFRAA – 46 member airlines) and Airports Council International Africa (ACI Africa - 70 regular members from 53 African countries, managing 260+ airports, and 40 Business Partners.) announced that Abderahmane Berthé, AFRAA’s Secretary General, and Ali Tounsi, ACI Africa’s Secretary General, had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to materialize their cooperation and support the development of the air transport industry in Africa. The following collaborative action points have been defined:
- Promotion and sharing of best practices to foster constructive engagement between airport operators and air carriers.
- Safety enhancement initiatives in line with the Abuja Safety targets.
- Promotion and implementation of new technologies in air travel.
- Data and intelligence sharing.
- Affordable airfares in Africa using a holistic approach for the reduction of the cost of air travel.
- Focused Think Tank group, led by AFRAA and ACI Africa and comprising subject-matter experts in airports and airlines, to exchange views, steer constructive dialogues and address matters of prime importance and interest for the air transport industry on Africa.
- Joint events (webinars, trainings, workshops, etc.) on how to render air travel more affordable in Africa.
AFRAA Secretary General, Mr. Abdérahmane Berthé stated: “The high cost of airline operations in Africa negatively impacts the viability of African airlines and hinders the sustainable growth
of air transport industry in the Continent. This MoU, which comes at a time most needed when the industry is navigating turbulent times, will commit both our organizations to a stronger working
relationship for the development of air transport in Africa.”
ACI Africa’s Secretary General, Mr. Ali Tounsi said: “The development of a safe, secure, and financially viable and sustainable air transport industry in Africa cannot be undertaken without a strong and enhanced collaboration between airports and airlines. The MoU signed between ACI Africa and AFRAA was long overdue. I am delighted that the collaboration between our two organizations is being brought to an altogether new level, paving the way for a constructive stakeholder engagement based on mutual trust and respect.”
Antonov Airlines picks up what goes down
216 tons is a somewhat larger than usual urgent shipment… This time, it was mining equipment that was urgently needed in African mines currently being expanded. Antonov Airlines picked up a total of 14 pieces of drilling machinery in Istanbul, Turkey, and transported these on board of two AN124-100 flights to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso and Monrovia, Liberia. The 103 tons on board of the first flight, touched down for a technical stop in Algiers, Algeria on its way to Burkina Faso, whilst the 113-ton Liberia-bound flight had to stop twice for refuelling and crew rests – once in Casablanca, Morocco, and then in Diass-Thies, Senegal. “These two flights from Turkey to Africa were meticulously planned and both flights were completed with maximum payloads on each route,” Eugene Kiva, Commercial Executive at Antonov Airlines, explained. “Antonov Airlines provided the flexibility required by our partner Skyair Chartering to perform these air shipments within the customer’s deadlines.”
Tekin Ertemel, Director Business Development at Skyair Chartering, added: “As per our customer’s request for the delivery of large quantities of oversized drill machinery in a short timeframe, the two flights provided by Antonov Airlines made sure the needs of the expanding mining facilities were met. Antonov’s AN-124-100s are equipped with ramps, which are ideal to transport heavy and oversized loads safely and easily, contributing greatly to the delivery of a seamless operation.”
According to Antonov Airlines, the requirement for mining equipment charter flights is on the increase since the start of this year. Last month, it operated three such flights totaling 370 tons, from Australia to Latin America.
Out of this world!
ICAO announced a couple of very special, official codes on 20APR21: The flight designator “IGY” which along with the call-sign “INGENUITY” designate the Ingenuity helicopter flight conducted on Mars and have been assigned and presented to NASA in the ICAO's Designators for Aircraft Operating Agencies, Aeronautical Authorities and Services, and to the FAA. Also, the location designator “JZRO”, referring to the flight’s destination: Jezero Crater on Mars, was ceremoniously assigned, celebrating the world-first off-planet flight operation. “The three-letter and call sign (telephony) designators which ICAO assigned to Ingenuity are traditionally used in air traffic control and assigned to aircraft operating for government agencies or servicing companies for commercial domestic and international operations. ICAO four-letter location designators are normally assigned to airports, and are used for flight planning applications,” the press release explains.
“ICAO Council States have prioritized the enabling of innovation for this Organization, and Ingenuity provides an excellent example of just how far our capabilities for powered flight are evolving today,” the President of the ICAO Council, Mr. Salvatore Sciacchitano announced. Dr. Fang Liu, ICAO Secretary General, added: “ICAO's eyes are on the future of flight, and Ingenuity is a perfect example of the safe, cyber-secure, and zero-emission capabilities that will make that future so exciting, autonomous, and sustainable,” speaking for the UN agency with its strong focus on globally standardizing and integrating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) safely into traditional and new types of airspace.
CEVA augments its air cargo offer with two new products
SKYCAPACITY and Time Critical Solution are the names of two newly launched CEVA products to offer a more stable solution in an otherwise highly volatile market, currently. The first offers guaranteed capacities on routes to and from
North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific that the company has secured across a number of partner airlines and for which it offers both consistent rates and spot prices. The second is aimed at the healthcare, automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries requiring emergency deliveries of parts or products and offers a 100% on-time shipment solution using the fastest routing possible, along with full insurance and customs clearance. A 24/7 Time Critical Solution Team ensures continuous monitoring and steering and is bound to answer any request within 15 minutes, following quickly with the quoted solution. “CEVA is so confident in its ability to execute its no-failure solution that if the shipment misses the deadline, the shipment cost is refunded to the customer,” the press release promises.
Peter Penseel, Chief Operating Officer, Air Freight at CEVA Logistics announced last week: “CEVA Logistics is taking the necessary steps to deliver responsive logistics to our air cargo customers through these two new offerings. Our new owned, controlled capacity network provides peace of mind in the midst of a supply chain experiencing significant volatility. We have already signed long-term contracts by customers looking for stability, reliability, and consistent pricing, and we believe that this program will continue to be a key differentiator in 2021 and 2022. For our new time critical solution, CEVA is investing in an experienced team to deliver round-the-clock solutions for our customers’ time-critical shipments where failure is not an option.”
WebCargo welcomes Turkish Cargo as its latest airline partner
Turkish Cargo has chosen to offer its real-time capacities, rates, and routes on the WebCargo online booking and pricing platform and announced the launch in true Turkish Cargo style: with an impressive short video ad across LinkedIn that reflects the company’s strong future focus. Beginning with Spain and India, the Turkish Cargo roll out on WebCargo will soon be expanded to other countries, upping WebCargo’s digital booking reach to more than 20% of global air cargo capacity. Turhan OZEN, Chief Cargo Officer at Turkish Airlines, stated: “Effective leadership is required to handle the customers constantly diversifying demands accurately across the air cargo industry. As the air cargo brand with one of the widest networks in the world, we focus on digital solutions. We are pleased to partner with WebCargo to provide digital connectivity for our customers as part of our commitment to constant innovation in offering the best service possible.”
Manuel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo, expressed his pleasure on LinkedIn: “Incredibly proud of how the air cargo industry took COVID as an opportunity to evolve, moving from 9% of global air capacity digital in 2019 to, as of today, with Turkish Cargo 22%! With the ripple effects of COVID, digital air cargo has become the clear solution for many carriers and has been embraced by logistics professionals passionate about innovation and moving the industry forward. Turkish Cargo one of the world's largest airlines, will soon be offering real-time pricing, availability, and eBookings through WebCargo by Freightos. Thank you to the entire Turkish Cargo team for your incredible partnership and collaboration throughout this process - we can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Indian freighter boom on the horizon
In the same week that information is emerging about SpiceXpress/SpiceJet looking to soon double its narrowbody freighter fleet (first initiated just 2,5 years ago), to profit from the ever-increasing e-commerce business, India’s largest and most rapidly expanding carrier, low-cost IndiGo has signaled its intention to expand on its CarGo service. In a press release last week, it announced that a letter of intent had been signed with a lessor for the first two aircraft of an initial fleet of four A321 CEOs. The first of these A321P2F passenger to freighter conversions with 24 container positions and a 27-ton payload, is expected to be delivered in JUN22, with the other three following in 2023. It looks to be just the start of an ever-growing freighter fleet. Until now, SpiceJet was the only private Indian passenger airline with its own freighter fleet.
IndiGo CEO Ronojoy Dutta outlined: “CarGo has been a success story over the last year, scaling new heights and creating new records, but our belief in the cargo business goes beyond the special circumstances right now. IndiGo was already the largest carrier of cargo in domestic India before Covid-19, and we expect the market to continue to grow after the pandemic. Our investment in the Airbus Freighter Program will help strengthen our product and services in the segment, and not only help accelerate our own business recovery but also be a strong engine of economic growth for the country.” Good news for IndiGo’s employees, too, since the airline’s statement confirms: “The initiative will make best use of the natural synergies, using the same pool of pilots and engineers that fly and service its current fleet.”
For cleaner Road Feeder Services in future
The two German truck producers, Framo GmbH (Thuringia) and FES GmbH Fahrzeug-Entwicklung Sachsen, announced last week, that they will soon be working together to massively increase the production of eco-friendly trucks. Framo GmbH is an industry leader in the development of eTrucks, and supplies customized vehicles ranging in size from 7.5 to 60 tons, with state-of-the-art drive technology, to DB Schenker and Volkswagen, to name just two of its largest customers. FES GmbH is a specialist in vehicle development and over the past five years, has been working intensively on the system integration of fuel cell drives in the automotive and intralogistics sectors. Together, the companies are aiming to increase their capacities to producing 1000 electric commercial vehicles per annum. In addition, plans are on the table to jointly develop at hydrogen truck. Through the cooperation “production costs will decrease sustainably, and we will be able to work more resource-efficiently on both sides,” Serhat Yilmaz, Marketing and Business Development at Framo, explains. “This cooperation is very promising for both companies. We are now creating the production capacities that our customers in Europe demand,” he continues.
Given that electric vehicles are more suited to short and medium distances, both companies are looking to provide an economic solution for emission-free heavy transports on the long distance: in the shape of a hydrogen truck, thus filling a current, critical market gap. “The advantages of hydrogen propulsion are quite obvious,” Yilmaz underlines. “With our fuel cell system, we can reduce the vehicle weight by at least half a ton. So compared to a pure battery drive, our hydrogen truck gets more range and of course more payload. This not only makes the vehicle more economical, but also significantly more ecological on the long haul.”
We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.