“AIRsaf” is Bolloré’s latest step on its sustainability mission
Bolloré Logistics last week launched “AIRsaf” as the latest measure in its “Powering Sustainable Logistics” CSR program, launched originally in 2018. The initiative has the goal of providing sustainable supply chain solutions to its customers, and reducing its CO2 emissions from transport services delivered to its customers by 30% by 2030. AIRsaf, whereby customers can opt for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) when purchasing air cargo capacity for their shipments by selecting “the best eco-responsible approach”, could reduce carbon emissions by up to 80%. Whether the customer has a one-off shipment or regular transports, they are offered AIRsaf at cost price on all geographical routes, via several airlines. “This new offer also incorporates an end-to-end approach, with environmentally responsible pre-carriage and post-carriage procedures, as well as management of reusable packaging for transportation. It should be noted that this new offer is also combined with the delivery of a certificate enabling the customer to prove their commitment to the environment,” the press release reads. Philippe de Crécy, VP Airfreight Europe of Bolloré Logistics, outlined: “SAF is currently the only effective solution when it comes to decarbonizing air freight and enabling our customers to meet their emission reduction targets. We are actively working to expand our offer with as many airline companies as possible, to cover our entire network.”
FIATA members offered PayCargo’s tailored Freight-Pay solution
“We have worked with FIATA to develop a cost-effective custom online payment platform to ensure their members have access to, and can benefit from, the ongoing digitalization of the freight payment industry,” Lionel van der Walt, Global Chief Commercial Officer, PayCargo, explained. “Freight-Pay simplifies transactions and reduces costs in a secure environment, supporting FIATA members to grow their business and improve efficiency and customer service delivery. PayCargo remains focused on leading open collaboration projects that will benefit the broader industry as we continue to digitize.”
Freight-Pay is a tailored solution developed within the new PayCargo – International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) partnership. It enables FIATA members to instantly make and receive payments between themselves around the globe, with reduced transaction costs and peace of mind with regard to security since the tool is end-to-end encrypted. Registration to set up a user account on Freight-Pay is free for FIATA members, who then have instant visibility regarding their transactions.
“Freight-Pay is meant to simplify the freight forwarder's day-to-day business and we are excited to introduce this new tool to our members,” Dr Stephane Graber, FIATA Director General, said. “As we dive deeper into the digital world, we must continue to equip our members with hands-on resources that make their daily practice easier. That's why we collaborated with PayCargo to develop the Freight-Pay solution, so that FIATA members can have an efficient and secure platform to transfer money among themselves at a reduced cost.”
Cathay Pacific deploys Descartes BLE technology in Ultra Track
Ultra Track is Cathay Pacific Cargo’s “multi-dimensional tracking system using Bluetooth technology” which it began rolling out last week. The aim is to have global coverage across 29 ports once roll-out is complete. The IoT tool (Cathay Pacific’s first) enables near real-time airport-to-airport shipment monitoring and remote connection to those shipments for customers, thanks to the Descartes Core Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)TM Network, Tags, and Readers logging and transmitting data. The BLE is linked to the AWB, and is placed on the shipment. That shipment is then tracked from terminal to terminal, including the airside ramp operations and flight (in cooperation with FlightRadar24) The logger records and transmits data such as GPS location and temperature/light/humidity/vibration to Bluetooth readers in the cargo terminal and on the airside ramp area. Especially pharmaceutical, perishable, and other vulnerable shipments profit from Ultra Track surveillance not only by the customers, but also by Cathay Pacific Cargo's 24/7 OCC (Operations Control Centre). The OCC is “a dedicated team of cargo professionals who not only monitor shipments but can also instruct ramp and cargo terminal staff to take proactive steps and corrective actions,” and with whom customers can live-chat directly where necessary.
“If something happens, like a temperature excursion, the OCC can investigate and implement the corrective actions to put things right. It means that Ultra Track is both a damage-prevention and service-recovery process in one,” Frosti Lau, Cathay Pacific General Manager Cargo Service Delivery, explained, continuing: “As the aviation industry starts to recover, we want to ensure that our customers' experience is enhanced through greater use of digital technology and industry engagement with IATA and Cargo iQ. We want to take the lead on the industry's technological development and use the best technologies to keep abreast of customer needs, and serve them better in the years to come.”
“Customers have been demanding increased visibility of their air cargo, and the pandemic has made it even more important for high-value and pharmaceutical cold-chain products,” Scott Sangster, VP, Global Logistics Service Providers at Descartes, declared. “We are pleased to work with air cargo industry leaders such as Cathay Pacific to help provide end-to-end shipment visibility and develop standards that can be adopted across the industry.”
Cooperating on the race to Net Zero
Rolls-Royce and Royal Dutch Shell plc have signed an agreement to drive the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in aircraft engines and support the aviation industry in heading towards net zero emissions by 2050. Both companies have already collaborated for over 100 years (according to the press release), and the latest MoU illustrates their joint commitment to moving towards a greener future. “The heritage of collaboration between Rolls-Royce and Shell is a strong foundation for the future, particularly when it comes to our shared ambitions for achieving net zero emissions,” Anna Mascolo, President, Shell Aviation, underlined. “Being from different parts of the aviation value chain means Rolls-Royce and Shell bring complementary expertise, experiences, and ideas to the table. Wide-ranging cooperation can drive new solutions that will help the aviation industry and our customers navigate a pathway to net zero.” Cooperation such as in Rolls-Royce’s SAFinity service, where Shell is the exclusive SAF supplier, and both advocate the use of 100% SAF as a full “drop-in” solution.
“Supporting the decarbonization of aviation while continuing to enable progress in flight are goals that Rolls-Royce and Shell both share,” Paul Stein, Chief Technology Officer at Rolls-Royce, added. “We believe that working together on these aims can deliver benefits for both the development of new innovations as well as collaborating to find ways to unlock the net carbon emissions reduction potential of technology that is already in use today. SAFs will not only power large aircraft and business aviation, but also hybrid electric Urban Air Mobility (‘Flying taxis’) and the forthcoming generation of hybrid fixed wing city hoppers, which is why we place such importance on the ramp up of SAF adoption across the industry.” The MoU extends beyond a pure aviation focus (wherein both companies will proactively encourage industry bodies, forums, and other stakeholders, to develop strategic policy issues and address barriers), to include assessing decarbonization potentials in other mobility sectors such as shipping and rail.
Qatar Airways Cargo opens up Europe on WebCargo
Just four months after Qatar Airways Cargo began successfully offering its capacity on WebCargo by Freightos in selected launch countries (France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, and Spain) on 07FEB21, it has now announced the expansion across most of the rest of Europe (with the current exception of Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.) Since 30JUN21, therefore, forwarders in a total of 32 countries, now have access to Qatar Airways Cargo’s real-time rates and capacity, and can ebook directly and quickly via WebCargo.
Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Mr. Guillaume Halleux, commented: “We are glad to further roll out the third-party eBooking platform, WebCargo throughout Europe, as we aim to provide digital connectivity for our customers and extend digitalization across our operations. This will bring in more efficiencies in the supply chain and provide multiple benefits for our customers. Our aim is to gradually roll out WebCargo throughout our global network during the year, providing convenience and transparency to our customers.”
Zvi Schreiber, CEO Freightos Group stated: “We are so proud to have partnered with Qatar Airways Cargo, the world's number one cargo airline, on driving global Digital Air Cargo (DAC) adoption. The hypergrowth of our eBookings in the last few months (up 1,000% year on year) has proven that forwarders are very keen to adopt real-time pricing, capacity, and eBookings, particularly in today's volatile market. Ultimately, this allows them to deliver better air cargo to importers/exporters. With today's significant expansion of our partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo, we are excited to drive a further acceleration of digital air cargo bookings in Europe.”
Pharma shipments are on the rise…
…and that holds true for the illegal stuff, too. Hong Kong Customs bagged their largest air cargo haul in the past twenty years, on 22JUN21, when 110 kgs of cocaine intended for the local Hong Kong market, were discovered hidden in two, large-scale, hydraulic devices. Market value: HKD 130 million (USD circa 17 million). Back in FEB21, too, around 80kg of suspected cocaine were found in a transshipment container at the Kwai Chung Customhouse Cargo Examination Compound. The pandemic has driven illegal drug trafficking to air cargo – and particularly “e-commerce”. According to Hong Kong’s “The Standard” in JUL20, the first half of 2020 had seen a 37% increase in drug trafficking cases, with a five-fold increase in “express parcels” containing drugs. Given the lack of airline passengers, it appears to be a natural progression to using courier mail bags, sea routes, and air cargo, instead. Yet, if shifting to alternative channels, traffickers would be advised to make their story a plausible one… The 110 kgs this time originated from Brazil (as opposed to Europe as the 2020 main cocaine supplier to Hong Kong), and despite being “wrapped [in] lead, steel and metal, [which] did make our discovery more difficult,” (according to Lee Kam-Wing, Head of the Customs Drug Investigation Bureau), Cheung Tin-Ho, Senior Customs Officer at Hong Kong International Airport, pointed out that, after noting that the consignee company's address was incomplete, and the apparent engineering firm had only been founded in the previous year, suspicions were also raised because “South America is not a place where large-scale hydraulic devices are usually produced. Therefore, customs officers used high penetration X-ray to inspect the [devices] and found some abnormal images.” Given that the two 2.7 m-long hydraulic devices, weighing 1.5 tons each, had been practically seamlessly welded, customs officers called upon firefighters to help them retrieve the two 55 kg parcels from within using heavy-duty equipment to break the molds. On 26JUN21, two men, the Company Secretary (50) and the Director (51) of the construction company listed as the consignee, were arrested in connection with the case, but have been released on bail pending further investigation. If found guilty under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance, they could face a maximum penalty of a $5 million fine and life imprisonment.
55,000+ kg on board Etihad B777 destined for Brazil
Those more than 50,000 were vital antiretroviral drugs, that Etihad Cargo transported to Brazil in cooperation with the global supply chain company, EFL Global. They had come from the manufacturer based in Hyderabad, India, and were destined for São-Paulo-Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil, after transiting via Abu Dhabi International Airport as well as Milan’s Malpensa International Airport. CEIV-Pharma-licensed Etihad Cargo ensured that the handling of the temperature-sensitive freight was carried out in the correct manner, and provided data tracking and real-time status monitoring throughout the journey.
“The sheer size of the consignment and the need for stringent product integrity over such a long distance had seen other carriers turn down the shipment. Utilizing Etihad Cargo’s pharmaceutical logistics capabilities and EFL’s extensive industry expertise, the shipment was successfully delivered, maintaining strict controls across the entire journey,” Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group, explained. “The cargo was carried from origin to destination in the same flight, with no vessel change in order to preserve the consignment’s condition.”
“Customers trust our capability to move lifesaving medications across continents in the best way possible. And we take this responsibility very seriously,” Rooso Ramachandran, Chief Commercial Officer of EFL Global – India, emphasized. “Being a global supply chain service provider, we are heavily invested in having the right partnerships and compliance in place to uphold our promise. Each step of the operation is stringently planned with the best possible resources that ensure a seamless delivery, regardless of the complexities.”
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