Finnair Cargo has spun the web to WebCargo
WebCargo’s latest airline partner is Finnair Cargo, whose capacities will soon be digitally bookable by over 2,000 forwarders worldwide. With Finnair, WebCargo ups its service to include more than 22% of the world’s cargo capacities, bringing its lead even further forward. WebCargo already “has the largest aggregation of digital pricing and booking ready airlines”. Starting in the US and Europe, WebCargo customers will have access to instant pricing, guaranteed capacity, and eBooking confirmations on Finnair routes. Finnair’s move to Digital Air Cargo comes with the accelerated focus on digitalization in recent months and the requirement for fast on-demand global supply chains, along with greater efficiency and transparency. WebCargo benefits from Finnair’s specialization in shipping pharma and perishables.
Karri Kauppi, Head of Revenue Management & Pricing, Finnair Cargo said: “At Finnair Cargo, we have always been committed to seek new opportunities to ease our customers’ daily work. Through our partnership with WebCargo, we look forward to offering forwarders real-time availability of our network between US, Europe and Asia.”
Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo, stated: “Providing our forwarders with diverse airline carriers to suit their varied shipping needs has always been a priority for WebCargo. We’re thrilled to partner with Finnair Cargo, a carrier known for embracing digital air cargo solutions. Together, we’re excited about making global freight booking more efficient and reliable for carriers, forwarders, and end shippers.”
Flex Air Cargo is a new cargo charter airline in the Czech Republic
Three pilots, a cargo expert and a lawyer got together during the pandemic and decided to launch a cargo charter start-up, Flex Air Cargo, registered in Prague, Czech Republic. It was officially launched in March this year and last week began flying with A330-200 and A330-300 preighters. The website is somewhat sparse, with no mention of the aircraft types on offer, or specific destinations. However, it promises a wide range of commodity services, apparently to anywhere in the world. The initial idea was to focus on e-commerce and medical shipments. With the ongoing capacity shortage, “Flex Air Cargo is a Czech company providing charter flights for the transport of air cargo with a volume of up to 106 metric tons per flight worldwide. Our company is based on the principles of providing reliable, tailormade and effective solutions to our clients. In today's growing global economy, a well-grounded logistics chain is essential. We provide air freight worldwide. We offer charter flights based on short-term or long-term cooperation. We partner with an extensive network of suppliers, to ensure effortless cargo transportation. Our diverse management has extensive experience in air transport and freight.”
Atlas and Polar chill with their new CEIV Pharma certificates
Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. announced 13MAY21, that its companies Atlas Air, Inc. and Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, Inc. are now both certified according to the Center of Excellence for Independent Validators (CEIV) Corporate Pharma credential from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This confirms that they are both able to transport pharmaceutical products in the correct and safe manner stipulated by pharma manufacturers. Their certification which is valid through to 2024 was approved after a strict audit to ensure that standard operating procedures are adhered to and all staff are trained accordingly. The two airlines are now “even better positioned to deliver the best form of safe transportation for their valued pharma and medical customers around the world.”
Michael T. Steen, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide explained: “Even as the COVID-19 pandemic has added unrelenting operational complexities to our business, our employees around the world are dedicated to meeting and exceeding our customers’ needs in transporting sensitive medical and pharmaceutical products. This CEIV Pharma certification reinforces the flexibility and reliability of our outstanding team, unrivaled portfolio of assets and scale of our global network.”
Lars Winkelbauer, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Polar Air Cargo Worldwide, said: “Polar’s CEIV Pharma certification affirms the company’s long-standing track record for successfully transporting temperature-sensitive goods like produce and other perishable commodities. I am immensely proud of the Polar team for achieving this industry-leading certification, underscoring our ability to maintain end-to-end temperature-controlled shipments across our network. With the increase in demand for cold-chain transportation tied to vaccines and the equipment needed for safe distribution, our customers can continue to rely on Polar’s expertise around the world.”
Out of this world!
EU-based full-service ACMI lessor, SmartLynx Airlines Malta, announced on 13MAY21, that its A320 and A321 fleet would soon be expanded with the addition of 5 converted A330 aircraft, leased to SmartLynx by CDB Aviation. SmartLynx Airlines’ business goal is to “become the leader of the long-haul market,” and to take advantage of the increasing demand yet current lack of cargo capacity. Due to arrive in MAY21 and JUN21, the 5 aircraft are currently undergoing removal of their passenger seats and being modified to Zero LOPA (just as two of its A321 units were earlier this year, when SmartLynx became one of the first carriers to introduce A321F to operations). The converted A330s will have a volume capacity of 260 m3 and a maximum cargo weight of 50,000 kg. The long-haul Europa, Asia, and US commodity focus includes vaccines and medical supplies, thus the timing for the second half of the year is perfect.
“As one of the leading EU-based ACMI and charter operators on Airbus aircraft, we are excited to substantially grow our fleet and offer our clients different products while diving to long-haul operations. The addition of the modified Airbus A330 aircraft is a big step forward for SmartLynx Airlines and we are more than excited to see what challenges and victories it will bring,” Zygimantas Surintas, CEO of SmartLynx Airlines, commented, going on to say: “We understand that eventually the long-haul cargo market will return to the pre-Covid levels, so SmartLynx Airlines plan to return the Airbus A330 aircraft to operate on long-haul passenger flights once that time comes. We believe that our low-cost structure and great efficiency will allow us to create competition to market veterans.”
CDB Aviation Chief Marketing Officer, Peter Goodman, commented: “We are pleased to partner with SmartLynx Airlines to support their expansion in the cargo market. We commend the SmartLynx Airlines team for recognising opportunities to expand their global footprint by incorporating the A330 aircraft into their fleet.”
Volga-Dnepr Group lands Sputniks in Moldova, Mexico, and India
A total of 144 thermo-containers container the Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines were transported on board of Volga-Dnepr charter flights recently. AirBridgeCargo Airlines and ATRAN Airlines carried the much-needed cargo to Kishinev (Moldova), Mexico City (Mexico) and Hyderabad (India). More than 25 tons were arranged and sent within the space of 48 hours on behalf of and in collaboration with The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) in partnership with DHL Global Forwarding, in an effort to support national vaccination programs.
Tatyana Arslanova, Executive Operating Officer of Volga-Dnepr Group, stated: “It is a great honor and responsibility to be entrusted with transportations of Sputnik V vaccines. All the flights have been organized in line with the current industry requirements and biosafety measures. Not only have we been able to deliver several batches of vaccines lately but have also carried production lines which will upscale vaccine manufacture in various countries of the world.”
That same week, the Group operated three An-124-100 and Il-76TD-90VD charters to India from China, Ireland, and Germany, bringing more than 200 tons of urgently required medical aid including oxygen storage containers, concentrators, and cryogenic containers. Commercial Director of Volga-Dnepr Airlines, Ekaterina Andreeva, underlined: “With the situation in India worsening we have started getting charter requests for transportation of ISO tanks. Together with a team of experts from various departments and powered by competence in dangerous goods transportations we were able to advise our customers on loading, packaging, and conditions of tanks. Working in tandem with our long-standing and reliable customers, Chapman Freeborn, Maersk Special Project Logistic team and Air Charter Service India Pvt Ltd, we organized charter flights within the shortest timeframes in line with biosafety requirements and completed another humanitarian mission.” Yulia Celetaria, Global Healthcare Director for Volga-Dnepr Group, added: “We hope that our efforts and additional medical supplies will help India in meeting the oxygen crisis. Together with our Global Healthcare team and local managers, we are able to cater to the needs of our customers and supply the world when it needs us the most.”
Kuehne+Nagel purchases Apex and is transpacific market leader
Kuehne+Nagel announced last week that it had completed the acquisition of one of Asia’s biggest freight forwarders, Apex International Corporation, rendering it the market leader on the transpacific route. Apex, which excels in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility, made over 2 billion euros in turnover in 2020, generating a gross profit of over 270 million euros and ranking seventh in terms of global air freight forwarding volume. That success has continued into 2021, with turnover in the first quarter exceeding 507 million euros. The transaction agreement saw those revenues already being entered on Kuehne+Nagel’s books since 01JAN21, though the full financial statement consolidation will happen following the actual closing date of the transaction. Purchase for around 1 billion euros, financed by the Group’s own funds and approximately 750,000 new Kuehne+Nagel shares issued out of authorized share capital, Kuehne+Nagel now owns the majority of the shares in Apex, with the option to acquire all remaining shares in Apex over the next three years, based on performance. Until then, a minority participation and rights remains with the Apex management, and its existing, experienced management team of Apex will continue to run the company, supported by the global network, capabilities, and solutions of the Kuehne+Nagel Group.
Dr. Joerg Wolle, Chairman of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, said: “With the acquisition of Apex, Kuehne+Nagel complements its successful organic growth strategy and substantiates its strong position as one of the world’s largest logistics providers. With this transaction we are expanding the Group’s service offering, networks and potential for growth, in Asia and globally.”
sennder expands France-Benelux reach with acquisition of Cars&Cargo
Operating a fleet of 240 chartered trucks around the clock, the largest logistics provider for general cargo and vehicles in France and the Benelux, Netherlands-based Cars&Cargo has now been acquired by Europe’s largest digital freight forwarder, sennder. Cars&Cargo’s entire fleet, driving some 43,000 loads annually, is thus integrated into sennder’s digital platform, bringing more capacity to its customers in France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, along with greater transparency and efficiency granted by its sennOS operating system. It is the latest in a spate of partnerships, acquisitions, and joint ventures which include Michelin, Zeitfracht, Uber Freight Europe, Everoad, and Poste Italiane, and will not be the last, as the company continues to evaluate strategic acquisitions to further strengthen its offering across Europe.
Cars&Cargo will continue to operate under its existing brand in the near-term, its team will join sennder, and Cars&Cargo’s Founder, Bob Snijder, will continue as its Managing Director. About the acquisition, Bob Snijder said: “I look forward to moving our trucks onto sennder’s operating system, sennOS. We share sennder’s vision, to make logistics fit for the future and we feel digitalizing our chartered fleet aligns our collective goal. With sennder we will give the industry greater access to capacity that’s digitally optimized to run as efficiently as possible - that’s an exciting proposition.”
David Nothacker, Co-Founder and CEO of sennder, added: “sennder has been on a remarkable growth journey, which has included several high-profile acquisitions, contributing to us becoming Europe’s leading digital road freight forwarder. 2021 is all about expanding our existing offering to carriers and shippers alike – our acquisition of Cars&Cargo delivers on this objective. We look forward to working with the talented Cars&Cargo team to digitalize its existing fleet and provide a premium service to the Benelux, German and French markets.”
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