New year, new cargo operations
There’s a new air cargo provider over in Slovenia: French integrated aeronautics group, Amelia Group (known as Regourd Aviation group until 2019), which is better known for its business travel operations across Europe and Africa, has now launched cargo services over in Slovenia. On 06JAN22, it took delivery of its first cargo aircraft, an ATR72-212, at Ljubljana Airport. Operating under Amelia International (the Slovenian subsidiary of Amelia Group), the ATR72 freighter will be based in the Slovenian capital and will be deployed on European routes as a capacity support solution to the massive increase in e-commerce and emergency supplies requiring transportation. With its 1000 nm range and a load capacity of up to 8.2 tons, the aircraft is very versatile. No doubt, it is a hopeful and welcome addition in Slovenia since the demise of Adria Airways on 30Sep19. Whether or when more aircraft will be added, is not yet clear, however, the airline is already in talks with several freight forwarders and plans to quickly develop its new cargo offer.
It is the group’s second operation in Slovenia. Back in 2012, it acquired the local helicopter maintenance company, Aero4M, which has since expanded to become an IOSA-registered airline (AOC EASA) and CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Operation) center.
And across the Pond, another new and different cargo airline
Working on the basis of ‘show and sell’, 2017-incepted Reliable Robotics with its mission “to bring certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation as soon as possible” has brought together three long-time experts in the air cargo field to establish commercial cargo operations for its own Part 135 airline subsidiary. Jeff Drees, Director of Cargo Strategy for Reliable Robotics and former Co-owner and Chief Commercial Officer of Ameriflight gets straight to the point: “We are working with leading cargo carriers eager to integrate remotely piloted systems into their fleets. By demonstrating crewed air cargo delivery first, we will build a solid foundation for the transition to remotely operated flights.” He is now flanked by David DeRose (also a former Ameriflight executive) as Director of Finance, and Lee Tomlinson (pilot with in-depth air cargo experience at numerous airlines) as Director of Operations. The press release points out that, together, the gentlemen bring “80-plus years of strategic and tactical expertise in the air cargo industry."
The three are tasked with growing Reliable Robotics’ airline team and operational experience “as part of a phased certification approach to bring its Remotely Operated Aircraft System and services to market.” Robert Rose, Co-founder and CEO of Reliable Robotics, explains: “We’ve taken deliberate steps to recruit a reputable team and further develop our experience in the air cargo sector, but certifying aircraft systems for safe routine operations takes time. We will introduce automation into the airline operation once we have proven to ourselves and the FAA that these systems can be deployed safely for commercial use.”
Reliable Robotics raised $100 Million in Series C funding in OCT21, precisely to scale its team, support its first Cessna 208 certification program, and expedite the launch of commercial cargo operations especially for services to rural and remote communities. It is starting its pioneering advanced automation airline from the ground up and is now focused on “hiring world-class talent and establishing safety management and operational procedures.”
Shipper Lenovo joins DB Schenker and LCAG’s CO2-neutral flights drive
Everyone in the supply chain is responsible for positive, clean change. Thus, shipper Lenovo has joined freight forwarder DB Schenker and airline Lufthansa Cargo in opting for SAF flights. It has chosen to ship a weekly 20 tons/chargeable weight of laptops, notebooks, and PCs from Shanghai (PVG) to Frankfurt (FRA) on a carbon-neutral freighter flight. Doing so will avoid 78 tons of greenhouse gases every week, since the flight is 100% covered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) made from renewable waste and residue raw materials.
Thorsten Meincke, Global Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight at DB Schenker, explained: “Our unique SAF full charter flights help corporates to make their shipments more sustainable. Lenovo is a major customer for this game-changing initiative and an example how shippers are keen for real change towards greener transports. We look forward to seeing further companies who would like to prioritize decarbonizing their supply chains together with us.”
Gareth Davies, Head of Global Logistics at Lenovo, underlined: “Sustainability is critical to our business and mission of delivering smarter technology for all. We are proud that we are further enhancing our solutions through this collaboration with DB Schenker and Lufthansa Cargo. For all businesses and individuals, adopting programs that improve sustainability is incredibly important and we are delighted about this new partnership.”
Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer at Lufthansa Cargo, stated: “Our joint effort with DB Schenker to avoid CO2 emissions is continuously growing stronger. An increasing number of customers realizes that we need to work together across industries to achieve our shared goal. Only together, we can make a real difference. With our SAF-covered flights, we are doing pioneer’s work.”
WACO scores logistics goals in preparation of the FIFA Arab Cup
A football tournament takes a lot more than simply getting players and balls to the destination on time in a fit state to play. In the case of the recent FIFA Arab Cup that took place in Doha, Qatar, the tournament equipment consisting of exhibition demonstration material, diverse furniture, display stands, and all kinds of large-scale tournament construction items, weighed a total of 600 tons, and needed transportation from six different countries. The complex, time-definite operation was entrusted to members of The WACO System (an exclusive network of global freight management companies), and headed by Dimotrans Group. A third of the cargo traveled by air on board of three charter flights (100 tons) as well as normal, scheduled flights. The other 400 tons were transported in 100 sea freight containers. Despite the ongoing capacity constraints both in the air and on the sea, the project was successfully implemented.
According to Eric Abballe, Events Manager, Dimotrans, “It took representatives from Qatar, France, UK, Germany, Belgium, and The Netherlands to make this international sporting occasion a success. A major challenge was to coordinate local operations and international transport from multiple countries to such a strict deadline, which was further complicated by ongoing capacity struggles across airlines and shipping lines. As a member of WACO, we were able to call on our partners across the network to navigate the tight market conditions and ensure the diverse cargoes were transported safely, in full, and on time.”
“This project highlights both the benefit of being a WACO member and the effectiveness of The WACO System combining local knowledge, multinational collaboration, and diverse expertise to deliver for a world-class event,” Richard Charles, Chief Executive Officer, WACO, summarized.
SupplyStack and Nexogen have been acquired by Transporeon
Pending customary regulatory approvals, Ulm, Germany-based Transporeon has announced the acquisition of digital solution providers, SupplyStack and Nexogen. Already one of the world’s largest cloud-based logistics platforms, the new acquisitions are adding multimodal and part load capabilities and AI based fleet optimization, dispatching, and itinerary planning to its global Transport Management Platform.
Stephan Sieber, CEO of Transporeon, outlines: “There is an increasing demand in the supply chain to improve transparency and reduce costs, while at the same time making freight transport more sustainable. Adding multimodal and part load transport planning and execution capabilities to our platform through the acquisition of SupplyStack will provide our customers with the degree of flexibility necessary to achieve this goal.” He goes on to explain:
“The integration of Nexogen into our Transport Management Platform will help carriers improve their asset utilization and manage complexity. This is important with regard to the upcoming EU
mobility package. While the new framework guarantees fair competition across the market and protects drivers through clear rules, it adds further regulation to logistics operations. Intelligent
solutions are needed to successfully operate under this framework. Nexogen’s AI powered services will assist fleet operators to consider all necessary information and rules when planning a
Nick Poels, Founder and CEO of SupplyStack, commented: “Although powerful alone, we believe we are stronger together. This acquisition marks an important milestone in our mission to change the way freight is moved. Combining SupplyStack’s Transport Management solutions with Transporeon’s network will enable our customers to profit from our services – on global supply chains with a mix of modes as well as on domestic operations.” Nexogen CEO András Kovács added: “Our mission is to use data for leveraging the potential of logistics through intelligent, automated planning and optimization. Adding Nexogen’s capabilities to Transporeon’s large portfolio of carrier services will allow us to drive digitization, thereby improving efficiencies and reducing CO2-emissions in each freight transport. We therefore are pleased to become part of the Transporeon ecosystem and its vast community counting more than 130.000 carriers”.
Delta Cargo is the latest airline to rely on Releye
Delta Cargo’s pharmaceutical shipments will soon be travelling in Envirotainer Releye RLP container since the airline has just approved the ULD for use on its fleet. “The introduction of the Releye RLP, in combination with our CEIV certified pharma network, provides our customers with more choice when looking for reliable container options to support the growing demand for pharma and vaccine shipments,” Jannie Davel, Managing Director Cargo Commercial at Delta Cargo, commented.
Don Harrison, Head of Global Key Accounts, Airlines at Envirotainer, said “We are happy to welcome Delta Cargo as a carrier of the Envirotainer Releye® RLP container. With the new Releye® RLP, Delta Cargo can offer their customers the latest active fully connected solution to protect the integrity and quality of air freight medicine products throughout the supply chain.” The press release goes on to illustrate the benefits of the container: “The Releye provides outstanding environmental performance, delivering up to 90% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to available passive solutions, based on life-cycle analysis. The Releye RLP uses rechargeable batteries to power its electric heating and compressor cooling system and can power its system for over 170 hours on a single charge."
Air Canada’s freighters start flying in 2022
Air Canada is raring to go with its new freighters and has published its scheduled flight to the US and Latin America. Miami, Quito, and Lima flights (on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays) ex Toronto began on 02JAN22, and were soon joined on 15JAN22 by San Juan (on Saturdays), and Mexico City and Guadalajara (on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays). Return flights from Miami to Quito, Lima and Toronto, take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The Frankfurt/Vancouver flights from DEC21 have come to an end. The airline reports that “as our new freighters get added to the fleet and based on demand, new regions and cities will be added.”
In total, the airline will operate 8 dedicated B767-300ER freighters. It took deliver of its first on 06DEC21, and took off on its first cargo mission just 3 days later, even before it had received its final livery. The reaons being that British Columbia had suffered severe flooding, negatively impacting its transportation network, so supplies were needed to be flown in. It went on to provide a regular, alternate service between Toronto and Vancouver, and Toronto and Frankfurt, that month.
Aviastar-TU plane burns up on the ground in China
Unsettling images made their way across social media again on 08JAN22, when an Aviastar-TU Tupolev Tu-204-100C, registration RA-64032, with over 19 years of service on its books, caught fire while still on the ground at Hangzhou-Xiaoshan International Airport (HGH), China. Operating on behalf of Cainiao, the freighter was destined to take off for Novosibirsk-Tolmachevo Airport (OVB/UNNT), Russia, as flight 4B6534, but a fire broke out in the cargo hold as it was preparing to push-back. 20 tons of general cargo were on board (no declared Dangerous Goods), and it had been fueled with 26 tons of kerosene. Thankfully, the airport fire services were on site within two minutes, and all eight crew members were safely evacuated from the aircraft. Though the fire was extinguished within 30 minutes, the firefighters had been unable to stop it fire from spreading through the entire fuselage, which then fractured behind the wings, splitting the aircraft in two and rendering it damaged beyond repair.
The CAAC East China Regional Administration have initiated an investigation into the incident. No details are known as yet, though it begs the question once more if this was down to undeclared and poorly packaged Lithium Batteries or other undeclared Dangerous Goods, given that Hangzhou is home to the “China’s Silicon Valley”, and has a strong electronics, telecommunications, as well as chemical industries.
Rock-It Global rolls out in dedicated London facility
Global Critical Logistics (GCL) company, Rock-It Global proudly announced the completion of its rebranding along with the launch of its new logo and website as it transitioned 40 years of niche expertise in live event logistics for the live entertainment, music touring, sports, and broadcasting industries. The previous individual companies, Rock-It Cargo, Sound Moves, Waiver, Cargo Live, and Rogers Customs Broker all now form part of Rock-It Global. In addition, Rock-It Global opened its new, dedicated, 1,394 m² London Heathrow Airport location which is fully equipped with own screening, explosive trace detection, 377 m³ secure, caged storage facilities, and 300 rack-space pallet positions for long-term storage and tour merchandise. It is thus fully autonomous in its handling operations.
“We will be screening cargo in-house with our own equipment operated by our own trained team so that we can offer 24-hour support with no pre-booking required,” Chris Palmer, co-Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), Rock-It Global, outlined. “A combination of huge volumes of e-commerce cargo, a reduced number of scheduled flights, and staff shortages at handlers and haulers has meant screening bottlenecks at Heathrow and in the live entertainment industry, which is so time critical, that sort of hold up just can't happen. By bringing everything in-house, we can avoid delays and cancellations and by offering a secondary screening system using our ETD machine, we can keep costs down and avoid the risk of damage that can come with extra handling when moving cargo to a third-party facility.”
“The Rock-It Global team brings together experienced specialists from across the world to support the live entertainment industry,” Paul J. Martins, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rock-It Global and GCL, added. “We are looking to the future with a new look, new facilities, and continued expansion of Rock-it/GCL offices throughout the world and we are ready to put our unique insight and our energy to work for customers all over the world.”
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