Cool new HQ for Tower Cold Chain near Heathrow
UK-based pharma and life-science protection specialist, Tower Cold Chain announced it will be opening a new global headquarters near to its existing Theale facilities, within a half-hour reach of London’s Heathrow Airport. The almost 8,000 m² complex will include an Innovation Centre, expanded laboratory facilities with two, new, environmental test chambers, as well as more office space; all enhancing the company’s container conditioning and storage capacities, as well as its design, laboratory and testing capabilities when it comes to developing robust, reliable, and reusable temperature-controlled pharmaceutical supply chain solutions. It currently boasts a temperature excursion rate of less than 0.1% over the last 15,000 shipments, using Tower protection technology.
“This is another important milestone in the continued growth of Tower,” Niall Balfour, Tower’s CEO, exclaimed regarding the new facilities. “We are experiencing increasing demand for our range of services to support the fast and efficient distribution of temperature-critical pharmaceuticals and life science products, ensuring they maintain their efficacy to deliver the best result for the end-patient. The additional space and facilities in our new premises further strengthen our collaborative approach, which is at the heart of every project, and will enable us to react even more quickly to customer requests.” The company was voted one of the 30 fastest growing companies to watch in 2021 by Silicon Review, and the new UK headquarters reflect its rapid network expansion with strategically located hubs across Europe, the USA, Asia-Pacific, India, and South Africa, to ensure that Tower containers are always on hand where required. It aims to build on its already extensive product offering which covers containers for all pharmaceutical temperature configurations and standards, meeting the varied Euro, US, single and double pallets, as well as smaller sub-pallet consignment requirements. A first-mover when it came to deploying phase-change materials to protect temperature-sensitive materials, as well as developing a patented built-in data logger for its products, Tower recently also introduced a range of unique biotechnology deep frozen pack-out solutions. More new products can be expected, based on customer needs. “Delivering product protection and safety as part of an efficient, reusable system are critical requirements of a cost-effective pharmaceutical supply chain,” Balfour underlined. “Our new premises will further enhance our capabilities to deliver high performance solutions that meet these criteria every time.”
Total Touch Cargo is AFKLMP Cargo’s latest SAF partner
The skies will be a little greener from Kenya up to the Netherlands, now that Total Touch Cargo Holland BV (TTC), a specialist in the daily air transport of fresh flowers, vegetables, herbs, fruit, and fish from Nairobi to Amsterdam, (and AFKLMP customer since 1995), has opted in to Air France KLM Martinair (AFKLMP) Cargo’s sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) partnership program. “Under the partnership, AFKLMP Cargo will use sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) on selected cargo flights from Nairobi - Kenya to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, carrying TTC’s fresh agricultural and horticultural products,” the press release states, adding that these shipments average around 350 tons a week from Kenya throughout the year. The official partnership documents were signed last week by Bénédicte Duval, Vice President Africa at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, and Total Touch Cargo’s CEO/owner, Harry van der Plas, at AFKLMP Cargo’s headquarters in Schiphol. Within the framework of the program, which allows the customer to stipulate what percentage of SAF they are willing to cover, Total Touch Cargo agreed to a fixed annual investment “that will allow AFKLMP Cargo to further expand development and procurement of SAF. TTC’s contribution will be used to cover the cost differential between conventional aircraft fuel and SAF”.
Pier Luigi Vigada, Director Eastern & Southern Africa at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, stated: “We are delighted that a professional company like Total Touch Cargo and its visionary CEO Harry van der Plas have teamed up with us. Total Touch Cargo is the first Freight Forwarding agent in Africa to commit to our SAF program. Its vision on sustainability and enthusiasm about our program form part of a clear path to make the airfreight industry for daily commodities, a cleaner and more sustainable one. Congratulations to Total Touch Cargo!”
Harry van der Plas, CEO/owner at Total Touch Cargo, said: “The SAF program fits in perfectly with our vision and drive to be a first-mover in relation to innovative industry developments, as well as maintaining a focused strategy to be a distinguished service provider with top-quality airlines and long-term relationships to achieve optimal customer satisfaction.”
Closure of Maastricht Aachen Airport no longer a taboo
Closing Maastricht Airport (MST) and changing the use of the area for other purposes has been put forward as another alternative in the debate over the airport’s future. This time the suggestion comes from within the political bodies of the Province of Limburg, which owns and operates the airport.
MST has been making a loss for years. In this respect, 2020 was an exception thanks to the considerable increase of cargo volume due to COVID-19 related traffic.
Looking to 2022, the renovation of the runway is an important decision the province will have to make.
In a letter to the ‘Provincial States’ (the ‘parliament’ of the province), Stephan Satijn, Executive Council Member responsible for the Economy, has proposed the idea of closing the airport altogether, suggesting that the cost of the renovation may never be compensated by the earnings of the airport. The grounds could then instead be used for housing or educational purposes.
Last January, the Province commissioned former Secretary of State, Pieter van Geel, with a study on the future of the airport. He suggested 4 roles as potential options: a cargo-only airport, aircraft repair, general aviation, and aviation training.
The suggestion of closing is a clear trend break in the Provincial policy. Opponents of the airport have always maintained that the province’s aviation services needs are served by nearby airports at Eindhoven, Liege, and Düsseldorf. The Province is expected to come with a decision in May 2022.
MASkargo becomes cargo.one’s first Southeast Asian partner
Malaysia’s MASkargo is the latest airline opting to offer its capacities on the cargo.one real-time booking platform, and the two partners are now working on integrating their systems so that freight forwarders can benefit from the airline’s sought-after Asian and Australian routings before the end of this year.
“At MASkargo, our strategy is to deliver a first-class customer experience by way of a continuous innovative digital solutions cycle. We are delighted to partner with cargo.one to augment our domestic digital offering to a premium global presence by bringing our real-time rates and capacities to this innovative and rapidly growing online booking platform”, Mark Jason Thomas, Chief Commercial Officer at MASkargo, explained. “Over the past months, cargo.one has already helped shape our strategy and I believe the team's expertise and analytics will be crucial in supporting our shift towards a digital-first business model going forward. The platform will increase the airline's service quality and efficiency, and the ongoing partnership support and access to data will also enhance MASkargo's ability to manage digital sales channels and drive market relevance. Not only will we reach a larger booking audience by extending our network visibility to cargo.one's strong global user base, but we are also keen to benefit from being at the forefront of the platform's imminent expansion into new markets, particularly within Asia”, Mark Jason Thomas confirms.
“In line with our Asia expansion strategy, we aim to partner with forward-thinking and customer-centric airlines. We are therefore especially pleased to welcome MASkargo as our latest airline partner, with its strong Asia and Oceania network,” Moritz Claussen, Managing Director of cargo.one, commented. “We look forward to working with the MASkargo team in serving their customers' needs in the best way possible and developing the future of digital cargo in Asia together.”
Lufthansa Cargo’s customers now have “Sustainable Choice”
Lufthansa Cargo recently announced that all its customers can now opt for CO2-neutral transportation of their shipments when booking any product, simply by selecting the “Sustainable Choice” add-on service available on all routes that include a freighter segment. “Sustainable Choice” means that customers can opt to offset or see the corresponding CO2 emissions based on their routing and booking specifics. The press release explains: “Already during the booking process, customers can use a CO2 calculator to determine the CO2 footprint for each shipment flying with Lufthansa Cargo. Possible routes can be compared with regard to their CO2 emissions. Customers can then choose to have their freight transported CO2-neutrally for an additional charge as part of their booking. The Sustainable Choice service also includes the option for customers to have a CO2 report drawn up afterwards to provide an overview of all the CO2 emissions of the shipments they have transported. In addition to the total CO2 emissions, the report also contains a breakdown by mode of transport. With such a CO2 report, customers are also able to compensate for CO2 emissions afterwards for completed freight transports.” The airline offers the option of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, as well as the choice of participating in one of a number of certified offsetting projects. “The complete CO2 neutrality of a freight shipment can be achieved either by combining both options or by 100% compensation in climate protection projects.” With the latest “Sustainable Choice” offer, the airline sets another milestone on its path to halving its (2019) CO2 emissions by 2030.
“For the transport of airfreight, we are striving for 100% CO2 neutrality. However, we will only achieve this ambitious goal together with our customers. Therefore, we are very pleased to now be able to offer everyone a way to contribute to reducing their own carbon footprint,” Dorothea von Boxberg, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo, explained. “Already in recent months, we have observed an increasing demand for Sustainable Aviation Fuel. These requests confirm to us that the use of sustainable aviation fuels is an essential component for climate neutrality in airfreight.”
The CCA goes for a new look and new website
15SEP21 saw the Cool Chain Association (CCA)’s seventh Global Perishables Conference being held online, attended by more than 60 delegates. It unveiled its new logo and website which are intended to attract more members to support the common goal of a more quality-driven temperature-sensitive supply chain. The logo symbolizes collaboration across the cool chain, and should serve to encourage this, whilst the website offers easy access to information regarding ongoing projects, as well as downloadable white papers and case studies.
Stavros Evangelakakis, Chairman, Cool Chain Association (CCA), declared: “There has perhaps never been a more pressing time for our community to work together and drive quality in the temperature-sensitive supply chain. CCA provides a neutral platform to facilitate collaboration with the aim of reducing food loss and waste, as well as benefiting the pharma industry. Our new look is a reflection of our renewed vision to grow membership and drive quality-driven change in the industry.”
The Perishables Conference provided updates on CCA initiatives such as the activities of its new Technical Committee set up to “assist, analyze, study, and manage critical points affecting product quality along the value chain, as well as developing standards, and initiating projects,” the press release detailed. Lucien Jansen, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PPECB, presented an overview of the perishables market in South Africa, whilst Dr Radhika Batra, Founder and President of Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) Every Infant Matters, (the CCA's chosen charity), talked about reshaping healthcare to make it more accessible.
“We welcome any suggestions for projects that will progress the ambition of the Association to reduce waste and loss and improve the quality, efficiency, and value of the cool supply chain,” said Nicola Caristo, CCA Secretary General; Airline Partner Manager, SkyCell AG. “It allows us to concentrate efforts and resources on specific topics and projects, whilst showcasing the benefits of joining the Association to cool chain companies through white papers and proof of concept.”
IAG Cargo goes completely CargoAi
Following successful testing in France, IAG Cargo has now opted to offer the 60+ countries in its cargo network on CargoAi, augmenting the digital solutions platform by thousands more international flights per week. In just a couple of clicks, freight forwarders using the artificial intelligence-enabled booking platform can see e-Quotations and make e-Bookings on the freight capacities of the IAG group airlines: British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling, and LEVEL.
CargoAi’s CEO, Matthieu Petot, explained: “IAG Cargo’s ‘always moving’ spirit promises to get the goods of customers to where they need to be. I like this ambitious philosophy that is focused on action and customer satisfaction. Likewise, at CargoAi, we are committed to ensuring that our users find the air transport solutions that suit their needs and can very easily book the required capacities at the best price. The integration of the cargo capacities of IAG's five airlines is undoubtedly a fantastic opportunity for our users!”
John Cheetham, Chief Commercial Officer of IAG Cargo, emphasized: “We're delighted to be partnering with CargoAi, offering our customers yet another solution to book their freight online with IAG Cargo. In today's digital world, there's no such thing as business hours with customers increasingly wanting the option of booking online, any time, from anywhere, to any destination on our network. We're always looking for fresh and innovative products to support customers such as CargoAi, a powerful yet simple e-booking tool.”
Gulf Air selects ground handlers in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia
Bahrain-based Gulf Air recently signed two handling contracts. For Pakistan, it chose leading ground handler, Gerry's dnata, signing a multi-year contract for ground, passenger, and cargo handling services at six Pakistan airports: Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, Multan and Faisalabad. For Gerry’s dnata, this is now the tenth contract signed during the past 18 months, bringing its customer base up to 30 airline customers. Syed Haris Raza, CEO of Gerry's dnata, said: “We are proud to be the ground handler of choice for Gulf Air in Pakistan. We consistently invest in infrastructure, cutting-edge technologies and training to deliver the best possible services for our customers. Our new contract is a vote of confidence in our quality offering, and a testament to our team's hard work and commitment to safety and service excellence. We look forward to a long-standing partnership with the airline.”
For ground handling across all Saudi Arabian airports, Gulf Air has selected Saudi Logistics Services (SAL). An agreement was signed on 13SEP21, valid for the next 7 years, cementing the mutual cooperation of the two companies, both with regard to passenger and as well as cargo flights. Gulf Air’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Captain, Waleed AlAlawi underlined that the partnership will strengthen the airline’s presence and expansion into the important Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. SAL’s CEO, Hesham Alhussayen underlined the benefits Gulf Air will enjoy given SAL’s broad logistics services offer, and “the pivotal role SAL plays in facilitating cargo movement at all main airports where the company utilizes its full logistic capacity to effectively serve airlines through its full-fledged modern facilities according to high international standards”. The ground handling specialists
handled a total of 900,000 kg for Gulf Air at KSA’s main airports in 2020.
PayCargo introduces EMEIA MD
As a digital product, in this case for cargo payment, PayCargo has seen immense growth since last year, with an ever-expanding customer base across Europe, the Middle East, India, and Asia. It has therefore recently appointed Christian Dornhaus as its Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East, India, and Asia (EMEIA). He will operate out of Madrid, Spain, leading a team dedicated to supporting the continued, rapid growth of PayCargo across EMEIA. Having already been accorded USD 35 million in an Insight Partners Series A funding round in SEP20, PayCargo received an additional USD 125 in JUN21, in a Series B investment round, which, it stipulates in its release, “is being used to fuel the EMEIA expansion as well as digital payment tools and services for platform users”.
Dornhaus, who comes over from UPS company Coyote where he was Vice President of Sales Europe, counts more than 20 years in the freight and logistics industries, including senior positions at FedEx, Panalpina, Bolloré, and Dachser. Commenting on his appointment, he said: “This is an exciting time to be joining PayCargo's leadership team as we witness a huge uptick in adoption of digitalisation across the freight industry, which is supporting our platform's rapid global growth. Companies across the EMEIA region are increasingly seeing the value of adopting modern digital solutions that enable efficient, sustainable operations, and with our scalable platform, we are able to support them to achieve just that.”
PayCargo Global Chief Executive Officer, Eduardo Del Riego stated: “We have seen continuous growth in users and are currently on track to process USD 10 billion of freight-related payments; a 250% increase from 2020. We envision a substantial portion of our future growth to come from the EMEIA region under Christian's leadership. His hands-on local market knowledge, experience, and network will undoubtedly enable us to expedite this objective, and strengthen our commitment to providing digital payment solutions that add efficiency and transparency to the global supply chain.”
Brigitte Gledhill & Marcel Schoeters
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