Silk Way West Airlines’ second Azerbaijan-India connection
Silk Way West’s latest connection is a weekly 747F (100 t/week capacity) service between Baku Heydar Aliyev International Airport and Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport. The latter is one of India's key international air cargo centers, and the second Silk Way West connection in the country. The airline will be represented by its GSA, Taylor Logistics. Last month, Silk Way West began a weekly B747F service between Baku and Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, where Hercules Aviation operates as the GSA on its behalf.
Wolfgang Meier, Chief Executive Officer and President of Silk Way West Airlines, said: “We are very pleased to launch a service to Mumbai with the new flights in India. to Mumbai. In collaboration with our Indian partners, Silk Way West Airlines is continuously expanding its network in the region. The geographical reach of our scheduled network continues to expand. In the process, the new scheduled flights will turn a new page in the history of the bilateral partnership between Silk Way West Airlines and our Indian partners.”
Johnny Rubio, Chief Commercial Officer ISMEA (Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Africa) of Silk Way West Airlines, stated: “With this expansion presence, Silk Way West Airlines is now well-positioned to connect India to its global network and to offer our valued customers a Boeing 747F schedule,” underling India’s importance in the airline’s business strategy, given the country’s standing as one of the world’s most important global cargo markets. says Rubio. Silk Way West is focused on increasing its relevance for the Asian continental cargo network, and expanding the reach and quality of its air cargo services across India and beyond.
Menzies is making it big in L.A.
Menzies has almost doubled the capacity of its cargo facilities over at Los Angeles Airport (LAX). The new off-airport warehouse which went into operation this month, has added 40% more space at one of America’s busiest airports, and more than doubled its truck door capacity. It is dedicated to handling import cargo as exports will mainly be handled in the existing on-airport facility. A third warehouse facility operated by Air Menzies International, also exists off-airport. All three facilities are custom bonded and able to deal with an annual throughput of more than 130,000 tons, thanks to a local team of over 200 Menzies employees. Tonnage that is set to grow significantly as per the market forecast as well as the company’s new and efficient operating procedures for truck access coupled with its own inter-terminal transport to ensure smooth freight operations between airside to landside.
“It’s a major coup to secure these facilities as space is at a premium at Los Angeles International Airport, which is currently the epicentre for imports into the United States,” John Redmond, Executive Vice President, Americas at Menzies Aviation, commented. “By creating dedicated import and export facilities we have an opportunity to grow our cargo business in one of the busiest airports in the United States. Menzies has an extensive portfolio of ground services, cargo services and fuel services at LAX and a team of almost 800 Menzies employees at that location, and we are excited about the opportunities created by this addition to our cargo facilities.”
And the growth plans to not stop there. Menzies’ Americas’ expansion strategy includes investing in other existing cargo facilities, and branching out into new locations. Earlier this year, it successfully launched cargo operations at Miami, bringing its cargo network up to 53 international locations.
GEODIS to expand pharma offer with GANDON acquisition
GANDON Transports, an established French expert in temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals logistics in the 2-8°C and 15-25°C ranges, is poised to become part of GEODIS following the company’s announcement of its acquisition proposal agreement. The addition of GANDON will serve to “strengthen the capacity of GEODIS to distribute to pharmacies, hospitals and wholesalers throughout France,” the press release states. “This acquisition will consolidate GEODIS' status as a key player in the healthcare market. From inventory planning to temperature-controlled storage, and transport to the final recipient, we want to offer our customers a complete and reliable solution throughout the supply chain,” Marie-Christine Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of GEODIS, declared.
Stéphane Cassagne, Executive Vice President of GEODIS’s Distribution & Express Line of Business, detailed: “This operation will meet our customers’ growing demand for temperature-controlled transport of the healthcare products. This new resource will enable us to offer our current and future customers a transport service for heat-sensitive products, anywhere in France.” Joël GANDON, President of GANDON Transports, added: “By joining the GEODIS group, a world leader in transport and logistics, we will be able to offer greater opportunities to our customers and employees. At the heart of this alliance are the strong and shared values of customer service and employee satisfaction.”
Qatar Airways Cargo expands WebCargo booking offer to U.S.
From 19JUL21, Qatar Airways Cargo’s capacity will be bookable on the WebCargo by Freightos online booking platform, for forwarders across the USA. They will have access to real-time pricing and capacity out of 12 American cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C. A total of 145 weekly flights are available. This translates into more than 4,700 tons of cargo space per week. Qatar Airways Cargo, which follows a focused digitalization strategy, began offering its routes via WebCargo in FEB21. It has quickly seen eBooking volumes rise, and the USA launch will increase its online service offer to 33 countries, as it continues to gradually roll-out across its network.
Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Mr. Guillaume Halleux said: “Following our successful launch across Europe, we are glad to introduce WebCargo throughout the United States of America, steadily extending digitalization across our organization. We are actively pushing for digitalization in air freight as it brings in efficiencies and provides multiple benefits for our customers such as 24/7 visibility of price and capacity, as well as real time confirmation, to name but a few.”
Freightos Group CEO, Mr. Zvi Schreiber, stated: “In the past year, the industry has passionately adopted Digital Air Cargo (DAC), with WebCargo by Freightos as the chosen platform, driving 2,000%+ growth in bookings. Today, it's an honor to expand WebCargo's partnership with Qatar Airways Cargo to the United States of America, bringing direct access to the world's number one cargo airline to the world's largest economy.”
Etihad Cargo partners with CargoAi to improve booking process
Etihad Cargo and CargoAi have entered into a global partnership to build a unique Business Intelligence solution that will cover and enhance Etihad’s entire sales process. CargoAi will ensure that Etihad Cargo’s capacity offer, from live rates, schedules, quotations, to online bookings, will be available via the CargoAi platform. Go-live is planned for the start of AUG21. Etihad Cargo’s recently launched, state-of-the-art digital platform, etihadcargo.com, will also be enhanced through its collaboration with air freight and tech expert, CargoAi, as CargoAi will provide brand-new API accessibility for freight forwarders the world over. Forwarders will benefit from a quicker, more efficient quoting and booking process. “Digitalization has been at the core of Etihad Cargo's strategy over the last three to five years, and continues to be a focus in driving digitalization and streamlining processes across the air freight world,” Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales & Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group, explained, outlining Etihad Cargo’s intense and rapid development of technology advancements through a number of partnerships aimed at simplifying the customer experience. “Our partnership with CargoAi supports this vision, and provides an additional tool which delivers a rapid and fluid digital booking services platform.”
Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi, noted: “Etihad Cargo is a cutting-edge, highly innovative carrier in the field of digital air freight. We are fortunate to have the chance to be the first provider to use their latest modern APIs. As cargo capacities worldwide are still restricted, e-marketing the Etihad Cargo offer on CargoAi.co is clearly a major opportunity for our freight forwarder clients.”
Mriya plays her part in Covid-19 prevention logistics
The AN-225 “Mriya”, the world’s largest aircraft, was recently deployed on another NATO mission. As part of NATO’s Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) program, Antonov Airlines transported medical supplies consisting of masks, anti-viral gowns, medicines, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), from Germany to Namibia. The first of three such shipments of medical and humanitarian cargo to support in eliminating Covid-19, had been provided by the German Military Medical Command and was being transported on behalf of Germany's Federal Ministry of Defense at the request of the Namibian Government. A short-notice operation that was carried out without issue.
On 05JUL21, the AN-225, “which has recently returned to commercial operation,” the press release underlines, took off from its home base at Kyiv-Antonov, Ukraine and headed for Liepzig-Halle airport, Germany. The donated cargo was loaded onto the aircraft, and set off on 07JUL21 to Accra, Ghana, where it rested and refueled, before leaving early on 08JUL21 to its end destination in Windhoek, Namibia. Though the press release did not stipulate the weight of the cargo, the unique plane was met by VIPs, among them the EU and German ambassadors to Namibia, when it landed at around 14:00.
Just 2 weeks prior, Mriya had been used to transport a 23-ton shipment on board of a plane capable of uplifting 250 tons, from the Middle East to the UK. The volume of the shipment was such that the AN-225 was the only option capable of flying all the equipment in one go. Once again, it was on a NATO mission in collaboration with Air Partner who chartered the aircraft: this time supporting the withdrawal of the NATO presence from the Middle East region.
Saloodo! premieres RFS connection between Middle East and Africa
There is no denying that Saloodo!’s Press release statement “road freight connection is faster than ocean freight and cheaper than air freight,” is true. Still, setting up a road feeder (RFS) connection between the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman) and North Africa (Egypt, Libya and Sudan) is no mean feat, and Saloodo! is the first of the digital road freight marketplaces to do so. Called “BeduConnect”, the service was set up as an alternative to the capacity constraints currently prevailing in air and ocean freight. It is available for Full-Truck-Loads and the usual Saloodo! features apply: “The digital platform simplifies the search for suitable freight forwarders so that the right partners can be found more quickly from a network of verified freight forwarders. In addition, the platform recommends a transport price based on current market data. The supply chains are completely digitalised, the management of transport documents can also be easily accessed online, and a real-time shipment status provides the desired service for customers.”
Tobias Maier, CEO of Saloodo! Middle East and Africa, explained: “Having recently expanded to Libya, thanks to the success of the Saloodo! platform, we are now very proud to be the first logistics provider to establish road freight connections between the GCC countries and North Africa. Road freight is particularly effective here, as it is cheaper than air freight and has faster lead times than ocean freight. In addition, BeduConnect makes it easier for shippers to identify trusted carriers, help carriers manage their fleets and optimize their capacity.”
HLT places new CTO at the helm and drives NextGen upgrades
Hermes Logistics Technologies recently announced the successful roll-out of its new Hermes 5 (H5) virtual system upgrades for a number of international customers, including various Menzies locations, dnata in Amsterdam, and WFS in Frankfurt (FCS), to enable those customers to adopt its New Generation (NG) ecosystem (Hermes NG), and benefit from Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning algorithms which serve to support decision-making and optimize business and handling processes. At the same time, HLT disclosed that Marcus Campbell has been appointed by Hermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) to succeed Alex Labonne as CTO, and to continue the Hermes 5 virtual upgrades as well as to further expand and develop the new Hermes NG ecosystem.
Yuval Baruch, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), HLT, stated: “Marcus will support the ongoing development of our Digital Ecosystem bringing a rich history of tech expertise. We are focused on Next Gen solutions for the supply chain and Marcus' track record of developing and implementing new ideas will be invaluable as we move forward. Alex was instrumental in the development of our digital strategy and we wish him the best with his new role.” That track record includes more than 20 years of technological experience in position with leading companies such as Sony, Oracle, London Underground, Deloitte, and Accenture, in various industry segments including telecoms, retail, fintech, insurance, and shipping industries. “I am excited to join the Hermes technology team. I will make it our mission to accelerate our digital transformation and use technology innovation to deliver the next generation of cargo systems for our customers,” said Marcus Campbell, CTO, HLT.
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