Prague handler Skyport now in joint American and Singaporean hands
Ventus LCC, an Atlanta, Georgia, USA based infrastructure investment firm that was founded last year, and which specializes in air cargo and robotic industrial infrastructure investments in Europe and North America, announced on 28APR21, together with Singaporean company Sky Logistica Pte, that they have acquired Skyport a.s., the leading cargo handler in the Czech Republic. Included in the deal are Skyport’s air cargo operations in Slovakia at the airports of Košice and Bratislava, and its air cargo handling operations along with 20,000 m² of modern semi-automated airside property at Prague Airport, Czech Republic. The latter facility was acquired by Singapore-headquartered Elite Logistics Fund in connection with the acquisition of Skyport by Ventus and Sky Logistica. Over half of the air cargo passing through Prague Airport is handled in this facility.
Andy Popovich, Chief Executive Officer, Ventus, stated: “The last twelve months have proved the importance of air cargo infrastructure as a strategic component of global trade. Investing in automated facilities and modern operations is the future of this industry and we are excited to work with our institutional capital partners to further invest in this asset class. Skyport has huge potential for growth, and we are focused on optimizing the existing facilities and unlocking additional capacity by deploying technology to enhance operations.”
Airbus and Lufthansa Technik work on A330 cargo-in-cabin solution
The preighter lives on. On 28APR21, Airbus and Lufthansa Technik (LHT) announced that they have signed a cooperation agreement to work on developing a temporary “Cargo in the Cabin” solution for Airbus’ A330 range. With its seats removed, the A330 lends itself well as a preighter, also from the point of view of operational economics. The solution will involve the temporary installation of industry standard PKC pallets and nets on the main deck. LHT will be responsible for developing and supplying the modification kits and will own the respective Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for the solution, while Airbus as Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will provide the technical data, engineering validations, and operational calculations. Airlines choosing to deploy the solution on their main decks will be able to offer 12 PKC pallet positions (18 nets) and a volume of 78m3 of on their A330-200, or 15 PKC pallet positions (19 net) and 86m3 on their A330-300.
Daniel Wenninger, Head of Airframe Services at Airbus, explained: “This new solution combines Airbus’ experience as an aircraft OEM with Lufthansa Technik’s expertise in managing STCs and aircraft upgrades. In these times of reduced passenger traffic, our customers are looking for quick solutions to temporarily increase cargo transportation capacity in the cabin.”
Soeren Stark, Chief Operations Officer & Accountable Manager at Lufthansa Technik, added: “We join forces with Airbus in times of crisis to deliver the best solution for aircraft operators. We mutually benefit from each other’s expertise in many respects and thus create a blueprint for possible future co-operations.”
Alinda Capital Partners acquires ACL Airshop
The global U.S. and UK-based infrastructure investment company and world’s second largest pension assets manager, Alinda Capital Partners, recently acquired the air cargo ULD logistics solutions provider, ACL Airshop. No information is given as to the price paid. The move of the company that seeks out long-term assets that provide essential services, provides stability for the established, 38-year-old, ULD solution leader which will continue to operate and lead under its existing management and operations team. ACL Airshop owns, maintains and leases more than 50,000 Unit Load Devices (ULDs), across 55 airport hub locations in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Latin America, and serves over 200 airlines, air cargo carriers, and other transportation clients. Going forward, ACL Airshop plans to continue to expand its ULD fleet and global network of airport locations and deploy innovative new technologies.
Steve Townes, President and Chief Executive Officer of ACL Airshop, said: “Alinda is among the world’s most successful investors in infrastructure, including transportation and logistics. Alinda also has a successful track record of investment in pooled and leased equipment, and is experienced in backing growth-oriented companies. They are committed to ACL Airshop’s strategy of growing with its customers and share our vision for continued expansion in the coming years.”
Alinda Chairman Chris Beale’s comment was: “ACL Airshop is a uniquely positioned business and is led by an exceptional management team. We look forward to supporting their growth strategies.”
CEVA Logistics UK gets first lot of electric vehicles in green fleet rollover
By 2025, CEVA Logistics’ UK operations aims to have an all-electric company car fleet. By exchanging its more than 220 vehicles for greener, electric versions over the next four years, the company will be able to reduce its annual carbon footprint by 262 tons. That figure has been calculated on the basis that CEVA’s U.K. employees currently drive 2,238,000 km each year, which translates into a carbon footprint of 380 tons of CO2. With the rollover to electric vehicles, this carbon impact will be just 118 tons. In addition, CEVA’s UK sites already run on 100% renewable energy, so its charging facilities will also be carbon neutral. The first fully electric cars arrived in April 2021.
This move comes in advance of the UK directive that no petrol or diesel cars will be permitted to be sold on the island post-2030. As the existing fleet reaches the end of its lease contracts, CEVA is ensuring that the new cars coming in already meet future standards and will have replaced over half of its fleet by the end of 2022. CEVA Logistics and the CMA CGM Group follow a comprehensive sustainability focus aiming for carbon-neutrality by 2050. CEVA recently announced its participation the United Airlines Eco-Skies Alliance to promote the use of sustainable aviation fuel in passenger and transport flights.
Jamie Foster, CEVA Logistics Procurement Director Europe, comments: “This change has been possible through the vision and passion of our people and has been a collaborative endeavour with all team members. Everyone was committed to the change and confident that it could be achieved, and we are now able to make this announcement.”
Chris Walton, CEVA Logistics Managing Director U.K. and Ireland comments: “We are all committed to the future of the planet, and we wanted to make an active contribution that would have real benefits for all concerned. We will continue to evaluate possible adoption of the most eco-friendly solutions for all our energy requirements across the business.”
airBaltic building Baltics’ largest air cargo handling facility
The land reservation papers are signed between Riga Airport and airBaltic, following a Riga Airport’s tender from NOV20 for the construction of a multimodal logistics center. Construction on what will become the Baltics’ largest, dedicated air cargo handling facility, measuring around 6000 m², is due to start near the end of 2022, and should be completed in early 2024. The project will be financed through banks and operated by Baltijas Kravu centrs SIA, airBaltic’s cargo handling subsidiary.
Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “For years airBaltic Cargo has provided essential mail and cargo shipments to and from Latvia, using the existing hangar. However, the hangar will be demolished to make room for the Rail Baltica track. The new Baltic Cargo Hub will enable the company to handle more than 30 000 tonnes of cargo each year.”
Chairperson of the Board of Riga Airport Laila Odiņa: “I am pleased that we will be able to work with the national airline in the development of the Airport's air cargo centre RIX Cargo City. The volume of belly cargo forms a significant part of cargo carriage at Riga Airport, and airBaltic is the largest carrier of this type of cargo. The construction of a new cargo handling centre will help increase the volume of cargo handled at Riga Airport and will benefit both the Airport and airBaltic.”
Amazon Air’s San Bernardino airport hub is now open
Just 10 months after it was first announced (CFG reported: Amazon’s growth and discomfort zones), Amazon began operations at its 200,000 m² San Bernardino airport hub. Costing US$200 million, the facility is Amazon’s seventh air site in California, and will be the Southern California headquarters for its Amazon Air cargo network. Starting out with one daily e-commerce delivery flight, the plan is to increase to six daily flights by July, and nine by the end of 2021. 14 flights to 35 different destinations could theoretically be handled at the location, which was built from scratch and according to Amazon’s Climate Pledge, including the company’s first electrically run ground-power units, as well as its first electric wide-body pushback tractors in North America, both of which will help to reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution. The site also brings much sought-after jobs and aims to employ more than 1,000 people by 2022.
Despite this, it is not all plain sailing, however, as a court case is still running since DEC19 brought against the Federal Aviation Administration, San Bernardino International Airport and master developer Hillwood Enterprises, from local environmental groups challenging the approval to build the logistics center, arguing that the surrounding community would be subjected to health risks. The prosecuting attorney, Adrian Martinez, from Earthjustice, stated: “It’s really frustrating that the operations are starting (at the air hub), especially given the significant harms from an air quality, climate and other impact perspective, and even in light of this important case that’s ongoing.”
Bolloré constructing pharma center at Strasbourg Airport
Bolloré Logistics will be constructing the largest dedicated pharma logistics center in Europe, on the Skyparc business area at Strasbourg Airport, France. Measuring 10,000 m², the temperature-controlled warehouse will be operated by Bolloré Logistics under its own name and is planned to go into operation JAN22.
“This project is emblematic of Strasbourg Airport’s strategic plan: to create lasting value for its customers and the region, while accelerating the adaptation of the airport business model to the consequences of the health crisis and the challenges of the future,” the press release reads. It will be very well connected to the airport facilities, freight operators, airlines, customs, and police forces, as well as the motorway, and will comprise two temperature-controlled areas, at +2°/+8°C and +15°/+25°C. “Two pharmacists affiliated to Bolloré Logistics Solutions will also be present on site, responsible for ensuring that operations are processed in accordance with the public health code and good distribution practices.”
Brice Bellin, Healthcare & Life Science Director for Europe at Bolloré Logistics, declared: “With this new logistics center, the largest in our pharmaceutical network, Bolloré Logistics demonstrates its ambition to continue investing in Europe with the creation of new platforms built on this model. This infrastructure, which integrates into a secure and innovative environment, will also allow us to support our customers in the expansion of their activity related to the arrival of new products.”
Renaud Paubelle, CEO of Strasbourg Airport, added: “The health crisis leads us to rethink our economic model, particularly in terms of leveraging the available land in an efficient and sustainable way. The Bolloré Logistics project for a logistics center dedicated to the pharmaceutical industry represents a new step that anchors Strasbourg Airport more than ever to the heart of regional economic development and current events, at this time when the health of all is everyone’s business.”
Jens Wollesen will be Hellmann’s new Chief Operating Officer.
It is a while off yet, as Jens Wollesen will join Hellmann Worldwide Logistics as Chief Operating Officer from 01JAN22. Alongside Reiner Heiken (CEO), responsible for the six regions of the Hellmann Group as well as HR, Sales, Corporate Development and Marketing & Communications, and Martin Eberle (CFO), in charge of Finance, Insurance, and Legal & Compliance, Wollesen will be responsible for the product segments Air, Sea, Road & Rail and Contract Logistics, and IT & Digital.
Jens Wollesen has extensive logistics experience. An industrial engineer by trade, he has been a member of BLG Logistics Group’s Executive Board for the past five years, responsible for the contract logistics division. Before that, he served 12 years on the management team of Kühne+Nagel Germany and Central Europe and was a long-standing member of the Management Board of Stute Logistics. Jens Wollesen began his career as an apprentice at J.H. Bachmann in Bremen.
Dr. Thomas Lieb, Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, said: “As part of the global growth strategy “Fit4Growth”, we have defined a detailed plan for Hellmann until 2025, which we are now implementing. To tackle the associated tasks in a focused manner in both the operational and strategic areas, we have expanded and strengthened the Management Board with Jens Wollesen, a proven expert. Mr. Wollesen has extensive experience not only in the operational logistics business, but also in the areas of digitalization and innovation management - two topics that play a central role in Hellmann's growth strategy. With Jens Wollesen’s entry into Hellmann, we achieve an improved split of responsibilities, thus allowing all board members to focus more on their core areas and, in particular, our customers and employees.”
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