Japanese airlines give Opticooler go-ahead
Japan’s two largest airlines, Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways (ANA), have now technically approved DoKaSch’ active “Opticooler” containers for transport in their cargo holds, giving the company a strong footing in the Asian market. It already operates a dedicated Japanese subsidiary alongside a new service station in Tokyo-Narita opened last year, able to deploy RKN and RAP Opticoolers whenever required. Half of the country’s pharmaceuticals travel through Narita Airport. Both airlines are well-connected to Europe, North America, Southeast Asia, and Australia, so forwarders now benefit from increased leasing options for temperature-controlled packaging solutions on a worldwide network. Since the active container has a self-supporting electrical power generator with full climate control, and does not require dry ice, it is highly reliable and able to maintain the desired temperature level, e.g., between 2° and 8° Celsius at all times, regardless of external climatic and infrastructural conditions.
“The demand for temperature-sensitive goods is increasing in Japan as well as in whole Asia,” Kazuyoshi Kakizawa, Head of DoKaSch Temperature Solutions K.K., explained. “In addition to reliability and safety, fast availability at any quantity is also crucial, to step up with this trend. Combined with our new Japanese service station directly at the gateway of our new partners Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, we can excellently provide these key capabilities to our customers in the Asia-Pacific region.”
Andreas Seitz, Managing Director of DoKaSch Temperature Solutions, stated: “The new technical approvals by Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways are a major step for our growth strategy in Asia. Thanks to the new cooperation, we are further expanding our established and dense global network. With its market leading reliability as well as availability, our Opticooler packaging solution will thereby become available to even more customers in Asia as well as worldwide.”
The Cool Chain Association just got bigger, ready to face risks
CCA welcomed its sixth airline, LOT Polish Airlines as well as the specialist in temperature-controlled containers, Tower Cold Chain, as new members recently. Tower Cold Chain’s, Global Head of Sales and Marketing, Nick Gilmore, said: “We are delighted to join the CCA and look forward to collaborating to ensure pharmaceuticals are handled and transported by means of robust, reliable, reusable solutions. Through working together, Tower can better assist the temperature-sensitive supply chain to reduce excursions and waste and improve sustainability, to benefit the pharmaceutical community.”
The association also established a Risk Management Committee which met for the first time last week, in which new member LOT, (CEIV Pharm certified since 2020) also participated. Kamil Rarak, Special Cargo Product Development and Training Manager, LOT Polish Airlines, explained: “By joining the CCA and taking part in the Risk Management Committee, we hope to create common global standards and work towards a safe environment for handling pharmaceutical and healthcare products across the temperature-controlled supply chain.”
The Committee is sponsored by CCA Board Member and President of Freshbizdev, Eric Mauroux, and led by Stefan Braun, Managing Director of SmartCAE. Other Committee members include: Rogier Rook, Logistics Director, Nature's Pride, and, Xavier Ripoll, Sales and Marketing Director, Able Freight, and an as yet undisclosed pharmaceutical company due to join soon. Maroux detailed: “The group will focus on developing digital risk management strategies in order to move towards more efficient and smarter pharma and perishable supply chains. We will identify case studies to help us adapt solutions, which are cost-effective and sustainable, as key drivers to reducing the risk of waste.”
It is open to CCA members volunteering to coordinate CCA-sponsored projects to come up with initiatives which can then be presented to the board.
dnata chooses Erbil, Iraq as its “OneCargo” launch station
dnata which runs the cargo terminal in Erbil, Iraq, has just implemented its “OneCargo” digital cargo management system for the first time, there. For David Barker, dnata’s Divisional Senior Vice President for Airport Operations: “The implementation of OneCargo in Erbil is a major milestone which paves the way for the global launch of this advanced digital solution. In addition to improving operational and commercial performance, OneCargo will help us drive synergies across our international network and ultimately offer more value to our customers. We continue to invest in cutting-edge technologies, advanced infrastructure, and process improvement to consistently deliver the same high level of safety and quality at every dnata station across the globe.”
OneCargo enables process digitalization and thus improved cargo operations, no longer slowed down by manual checks or risks of error. The cloud-based platform automates key business and operational functions, including safety and quality monitoring, reporting and ULD management, and incorporates AI-driven tools and analytics. The latter give customers real-time visibility on their sales and business performance, giving them the opportunity to react to demand and maximize their revenues. Iraq was the launch station. Next on the OneCargo plan are airports located in Pakistan, Switzerland, UAE, USA, and Zanzibar (Tanzania), among others.
By the end of next year, dnata expects OneCargo to have a user base of more than 2,000 employees across 10 stations in 6 countries. It will also seamlessly interface with a number of other system applications within dnata’s IT landscape.
ECS Group introduces Pillar 2 of its Augmented GSA concept
The ECS Group’s Augmented GSA concept comprises four pillars in total: Commercial, New Abilities, Technology, and Sustainability. New Abilities, the second pillar, is an à-la-carte menu of 10 service modules “designed to support air cargo clients around the world.” They are available to customers whether or not these have a GSA contract with the group, and across the more than 50 countries where ECS Group is active. As examples, the release mentions “All-In”, the new name for the company’s established Total Cargo Management Solution, which provides a complete range of air cargo processes from sales, marketing, revenue optimization, operations, interline management, claims handling, to chartering operations. Single service modules are also available: “Quality Stars” offers back-office data administration, whilst “Optimum” assists airlines in maximizing their cargo revenues. New Abilities also include unique services “never before offered by a GSA,” such as “ECS Inside” which supports with staffing requirements, or “Brainflow” offering consultancy services, and “Spotlight” is a solution for companies requiring comprehensive marketing concepts.
“The air cargo world is undergoing massive disruption – something that was already becoming visible prior to the pandemic. Digitalization as well as emerging digital platforms, ever-developing safety and security regulations, the e-commerce boom, greater cargo community collaboration, multimodal... All these factors and more are leading to changes in age-old air cargo processes. The traditional GSA model is no longer enough,” Adrien Thominet, ECS Group Executive Chairman, explains. “Our ambition, as the leading worldwide GSSA, is to offer maximum support to our customers in this changing environment, as and where they require it. We have therefore spent the past three to four years committed to structuring our widespread expertise and improving and developing innovative, high value-added service modules. With our New Abilities, we provide a comprehensive set of service solutions that can be purchased individually, whether or not the customer has a GSA contract with us.”
Smart, Smarter SmartIST!
Turkish Cargo has moved home from the old Ataturk Airport over to the country’s flagship, Istanbul Airport, which was inaugurated on 28OCT18. Though the airline’s cargo operations on passenger flights had already transferred in 2019, its freighter operations were still being handled at the old airport. Now, within an impressive 72 hours, Turkish Cargo has shifted 4125 pieces of equipment and all its cargo operations into Istanbul Airport’s “Mega Cargo Facility”, with the attractive play on words alias, “SMARTIST”. A joint project effort between Turkish Cargo, TGS and the Relocation Control Center moving company, it took a fleet of 50 trucks and 160 runs to move all the equipment belonging to TGS and Turkish Cargo. The press release compared the distance covered, circa 16,000 kilometers, to the distance between Turkey and New Zealand.
Flight TK6455, operated by Airbus 330F, to Khartoum, Sudan, was the last Turkish Cargo flight to leave from Ataturk Airport, after 89 years of operations.
Turhan Ozen, Chief Cargo Officer of Turkish Airlines, declared: “During the last 3 years, we carried out a highly substantial operation in both of our hubs. While we made use of our freighters at the Ataturk Airport, we benefited from our passenger aircraft and the paxfre* [preighter] capacity at the Istanbul Airport,” listing circa 23,000 freighter and 6,000 preighter flights, carrying a total of over 4 million air cargo shipments. “2.5 million tons were transported from/to the Ataturk Airport and 1.8 million tons were transported from/to the Istanbul Airport. Now, we are gathering the air cargo operations which we have been carrying out triumphantly on ‘dual hub’ basis without compromising our service quality, under a single roof at the Istanbul Airport. Thanks to SMARTIST, our new home with all of its processes equipped with autonomous and robotic systems, we as Turkish Cargo, the air cargo bridge of Turkey, are now ready for the future more than we have been ever before."
SMARTIST is billed by the airline as “the new hub for the global logistics” due to its attractive location between East and West, is able to handle 4 million tons per year in a 340,000 m² area. As the name suggests, it is furnished with smart technologies such as Augmented Reality, Automatic Storage Systems, Robotic Process Automation, and Unmanned Ground Vehicles, all aimed at speeding up operations and improving service quality.
Applying Superman’s x-ray vision to black plastic
Ok – the headline is technically misleading; however, it is true that black plastic no longer has to be a laser-scanning hassle when it comes to establishing a shipment’s dimensions. Houston, Texas, U.S.-based software company, Cargo Spectre, “an NTEP certified and patented software platform that uses non-proprietary hardware to dimension, weigh, and capture visuals of pallet freight and parcels,” has developed a machine-learning scanning system that uses infrared technology and dramatically speeds up the dimensions recording of black-plastic-covered cargo. It works with non-proprietary scales, cameras, and 3D scanners, and gives fast and accurate dimension readings of parcels and pallets, triggered by either a weight sensor, a barcode scan, or the single click of a button.
“Laser Scanning Cargo Wrapped in Black Plastic is Now Obsolete”, its press release announced earlier this month. The traditional laser method struggles with the reflective surface that results when shipments are covered in black plastic – this slows down the process and can result in incorrect results, especially if the cargo is not a standard cube shape. Coupled with a single, stationary, infrared scanner, Cargo Spectre’s system is unfazed by odd shapes or protrusions: “Each Cargo Spectre sensor collects data from millions of points simultaneously, rather than the single point scanned by a laser. As a result, reflective surfaces and protrusions pose no difficulty,” the release explains. Cargo Spectre’s Co-founder and CEO, Jason Joachim, adds: “Because Cargo Spectre's machine-learning algorithm improves its accuracy with every scan, our system has an important advantage over others in the freight-scanning industry. Our stationary, infrared system has learned to scan difficult, black plastic surfaces faster than any laser scanner in the world.” Not just that, “IR scanners require less maintenance and are far easier to source parts for, making the cost of Cargo Spectre scanners significantly lower than laser scanners. Lower-cost hardware combined with machine learning allows us to pass the savings on to our customers.”
The speed gain in handling also offers “significant time and cost advantages over outdated laser-scanning systems.”
A diverse jury befitting an award for Air Cargo Sustainability
TIACA announced the judges for the 2021 Air Cargo Sustainability Awards last week and, as befitting an award that stands for positive impact on the planet across a number of fields, it is diverse in all senses of the word. For the third time running, CHAMP Cargosystems is TIACA’s partner in holding the awards. CHAMP’s CEO, Chris McDermott, is on the jury, alongside, Changi Airport Group’s General Manager, Cargo & Logistics Development, Jaisey Yip,
Liana Coyne, Director of Coyne Airways, Andrea Tang, International Trade Lawyer at FIATA, Patricia Varela, Assistant Manager Operations Innovation & Change Management at IATA, and Hendrik Leyssens, Vice President, Global Operations, Cargo, Swissport.
Chris McDermott, speaking as the Exclusive Sponsor of the Awards, explained: “For the sake of future generations, we all have a responsibility to lessen our impact on our planet, so it is encouraging to see the increased awareness of sustainability is now placing it high on everyone's agenda. These awards have highlighted some brilliant sustainability initiatives in the past. We therefore look forward to reviewing this year's applications with great interest, and as further evidence of the air cargo industry's ongoing commitment to this important subject.” Over the next weeks in the run-up to the Executive Summit in San Francisco, 22-25MAR22, the jury will be assessing all applications in the two categories, Start-up/Small Business, and Corporate, for their contribution to sustainability in air cargo. The Corporate category winner will be announced prior to the event, whereas in the Start-up/Small Business category, three finalists will be selected and asked to present their initiative at the Summit. The audience will then participate in the voting. First place is awarded $10,000 USD, and the two runners-up each receive $2,500 USD.
“It is exciting to see the level of innovation that has been presented in this year's 2021 Air Cargo Sustainability Awards submissions. We have received submissions that have different focuses, such as new energy sources, digitalization, carbon neutrality, temperature protection and packaging, just to name a few. I am sure it will be challenging for our jury to select the winners,” Steven Polmans, TIACA Chair, said, also thanking CHAMP for its generosity in sponsoring the awards.
Descartes buys up U.S.-based NetCHB
Founded in Tuscon, Arizona, USA, in 2005, “with a vision to democratize access to the best trade compliance software for customs clearance on the market,” NetCHB today is a significant provider of cloud-based, automated customs filings solutions in the States. “More than 700 customs brokers to connect to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) Automated Broker Interface (ABI) to electronically execute both fiscal customs declarations and security filings,” the press release illustrates. “More recently, the company has built on its success with traditional customs filings to capitalize on changes in the regulatory filing framework for Section 321 Type 86 ecommerce shipments. Section 321 Type 86 is a voluntary filing initiative for low-value ecommerce goods that CBP introduced in 2019 to streamline border crossing.”
It is this dominant position in eCommerce software solutions, that led to Descartes Systems Group’s decision to acquire NetCHB for an up-front cash consideration for USD 40 million, to further strengthen its own lead in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce. The buy-out includes potential performance-based consideration. Based on NetCHB achieving revenue-based targets in the first two years, the maximum amount payable under the all-cash performance-based earn-out is $60.0 million. Ken Wood, EVP Product Management at Descartes, outlined: “Section 321 Type 86 compliance is complex, but brokers and forwarders that take advantage of it can reduce the amount of time ecommerce packages are waiting for customs release. NetCHB's platform automates the declaration process for high volumes of ecommerce shipments and helps keep them moving quickly to consumers, helping some of the largest ecommerce customs brokers and forwarders process shipments in a compliant and efficient manner.”
Edward J. Ryan, Descartes' CEO, added: “As the digitization of the logistics and supply chain industry picks up pace, we continue invest in complementary solutions that add depth and breadth to our Global Logistics Network (GLN). NetCHB has a team of deep customs domain experts, scalable and robust technology solutions, and a large group of customers that will benefit from additional solutions available on the GLN to help them manage the lifecycle of shipments.”
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