Logistics-Aide-Ukraine.Org matches support partners
The dreadful events in the Ukraine have triggered many relief actions. This includes an important new website, logistic-aide-ukraine.org., aimed at supporting quick help by bringing together healthcare supply chain specialists with relief organizations. It is a joint initiative between the Dutch pharma supply chain information platform, Validaide, and the British PR agency, Meantime Communications, which had posted a call on social media to take positive action in supporting the people of Ukraine. The result is the new portal that connects charities and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)s with the more than 900 healthcare logistics companies subscribed to the Validaide platform, to facilitate the transport of healthcare supplies to Ukraine.
Successful matches such as a global Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) being connected to a warehouse provider in Poland to facilitate the movement of aid, have already been made, and requests have been coming in regarding airfreighting relief products from the USA into Europe, road freight transport within Europe to the Ukraine region, warehousing in Poland, and transport into Ukraine, for example. The platform is open to shippers wanting to transport cargo to Ukraine, as well as suppliers offering services. Each party can search and select, or request support online. “The matchmaking has so far been facilitated by Validaide with staff volunteering their time,” Eelco de Jong, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Validaide, detailed. “We are at the beginning of this process, but we envision that, moving forward, the different parties will be able to find each other directly from the logistic-aide-ukraine.org website. The goal of this initiative is to help ensure humanitarian aid gets delivered.” The platform is work in progress, as Validaide plans to expand it to include practical information on humanitarian logistics.
“We must unite to support our friends and colleagues in Ukraine with actions, not only words, as much as we can,” Emma Murray, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Meantime Communications, emphasized. “The logistics community has so much to offer to tangibly help, we are proud to be part of that community and to support this initiative.”
Air Canada Cargo chills out at Toronto
Air Canada Cargo inaugurated a $16-million new cold chain handling warehouse at its Toronto Pearson International Airport cargo facility on 16MAR22. Over 10,000 m² of temperature-controlled areas are available to handle pharmaceuticals, fresh food, and all kinds of other perishables. The facility upgrade included an expanded cooler and numerous adaptations to ensure energy-efficient, sustainable operations in line with the airline’s long-term net zero emissions goal. Temperature controllers constantly monitor the temperature within the building, only regulating it as and when required. Rapid roll-up doors minimize the energy loss when the cooler is accessed to store or retrieve goods, and LED lighting ensures minimum energy consumption.
“This is an exciting day for Air Canada Cargo as we take another step forward in our evolution. The enhanced temperature-controlled facility is the only one of its kind for a Canadian airline, and positions Air Canada Cargo to continue successfully growing our business, including the launch of our dedicated freighter aircraft. This investment, and the others that are to follow, will allow us to better serve our customers and I am very excited for what the future holds for Air Canada Cargo,” said Jason Berry, Vice President, Cargo, at Air Canada, touching on the company’s multi-year investment plan for the facility, one of several planned infrastructure investment projects for Air Canada Cargo.
Gearing up for the second Pharma Logistics Masterclass
The resounding success of the first edition of the International Pharma Logistics Masterclass in Antwerp last September, clearly demanded an encore. And that encore will take place again in September, 05-09SEP22, but this time at Khalifa University of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi. It is the joint effort of Pharma.Aero, Antwerp University, Khalifa University, and HOPE Consortium, again aiming to bring together the air cargo industry with elite academia over the course of 5 days on-site (and partly online), for mutual learning. Lecture and workshop topics include Disruptive Technologies & Big Data; Supply Chain Strategies; Innovations in Packaging & Cool Chain; Emergency Crisis Logistics & Health Care Aspects; and Sustainability & Pharma Green Lane Logistics, and the course offers site visits to the Khalifa University Center for Robotics and Autonomous Systems (KUCARS), Genome Valley, and Abu Dhabi Airport and Sea Port.
Prof. dr. Roel Gevaers, University of Antwerp Belgium and Chairman of the International Pharma Logistics Masterclass 2022, announced: “With Khalifa University, we have found an excellent partner whose expertise in AI, robotics and simulations can really add value to this Masterclass.” Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “Our expertise spans new methods and tools to improve the performance of complex and extended supply chains through predictive analytics and self-optimizing logistics while enabling transition into paperless, borderless and highly trusted transaction-based operations.”
Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General Pharma.Aero and Co-Chair of the International Pharma Logistics Masterclass, commented: “Pharma.Aero's vision and mission underline fostering collaboration. By continuously giving insights and sharing the latest changes between pharmaceutical companies, industry stakeholders and the academic world, the overall knowledge, and the quality of the Pharma and MedTec supply chain improves. We are ready to offer a great program.”
Trevor Caswell, Vice-Chair of Pharma.Aero, concluded: “Now that the registrations are open, the eagerness of both academics and industry stakeholders to learn and be part of the second masterclass in Abu Dhabi is big. Great networking possibilities and exposure to the state-of-the-art lectures on the developments and innovations of the future supply chain will be the perfect combination for our members to be part of a great masterclass week.”
ECS Group and Bluebirds in the Nordics
Iceland-based import and export air freight service provider, Bluebird Nordic, has chosen regional ECS Group subsidiary, NordicGSA in Denmark, as its GSSA. The airline, a subsidiary of Avia Solutions Group, operates direct flights between Iceland and Dublin throughout the working week, and feeds into an international, worldwide cargo network of over 100 destinations, cooperating with leading airlines such as Aer Lingus Cargo, Emirates Sky Cargo, and UPS Air Cargo, for example.
The recently signed, unlimited GSSA contract with NordicGSA came into effect at the beginning of this year. NordicGSA is now responsible for filling and steering the airline's daily flights (Monday-Friday) from Billund (BLL), Denmark, to Keflavík (KEF), Iceland, and back, with import distribution operations to Northern Germany. The usual commodities being moved on Bluebird Nordic’s fleet of 9 Boeing 737F, are fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, clothing, electricals, and other general freight. The airline’s fleet will grow by an additional three leased Boeing 777-300ER currently undergoing passenger-to-freighter conversions and due to begin flying in 2024.
“We have a good, long-standing professional relationship with Bluebird Nordic here in Denmark, having worked together on projects in the past, so I am delighted that Magnus Magnusson and I were now able to conclude a formal GSSA agreement,” Thomas Frederiksen, Managing Director - Denmark at NordicGSA, who signed the GSSA contract on behalf of all the ECS Group countries involved, said.
“We have high hopes for this new route from BLL and CGN, as it allows us to service our biggest export markets, Germany, Belgium, and France, with fresh fish,” Magnus Magnusson, Business Development Director at Bluebird Nordic, revealed. “There is a great deal of interest from the freight forwarders in Iceland in this new lane, as it opens up new opportunities for imports from the Nordic countries that have until now only been served by passenger aircraft.”
Cargo iQ: positively influencing supply chain quality for 25 years
Ever since its beginnings as Cargo2000 in 1997, cross-stakeholder organization, Cargo iQ has had one goal in mind: greater supply chain quality visibility. Start with a vision and develop the steps towards it. The timescale shows Cargo iQ’s steadfastness in moving forward. Whereas its quality reports have been around since 2002, the external auditing scheme ensuring that its meanwhile 60+ members from all across the supply chain, adhere to Cargo iQ quality specifications, was launched in 2015–16. Training joined the portfolio in 2018 and was rapidly adapted to online versions in 2020, when the pandemic disrupted normal classroom procedures.
Its recent developments include key updates to the Cargo iQ Quality Management System (QMS), with the addition of Freight into Warehouse (FIW) and Freight out of Warehouse (FOW) milestones to the Route Map (enabling tracking the shipment handover between the warehouse handler and the ramp handler), and, most recently, the addition of a Visibility Maps function. Visibility Maps are maps that can be generated despite certain data missing from the Route Map. Until now, Route Maps, required for shipment planning and monitoring, could only be shown once all flight details were known and entered into the system. “If segments remained missing when the shipment started to move, no Route Map would be available and an error message would be sent to the airline, leading to reporting gaps” the press release explains. The Visibility Map function does away with this error, since it can be created based on the Cargo Data Management Platform (CDMP) status updates and data it receives, regardless of any data gaps.
Cargo iQ’s Executive Director, Lothar Moehle, said: “As Cargo iQ turns 25, we are focused on embracing digitalization, for example by providing truck drivers with technical tools to send shipment status updates, as the path to a seamless and transparent supply chain. Working together is key to achieving this as an industry, and Cargo iQ continues to provide a vital platform for true cross-stakeholder collaboration with our ever-growing membership.”
What’s next? “We are working on the specification and simple communication and messaging tools for Road Feeder Services (RFS) to bring improved planning and monitoring capabilities for shipments travelling under AWB on the roads. This is another key development to improve quality and visibility in the global air cargo supply chain.”
What is behind Challenge Group’s Challenge Accepted slogan?
“Challenge Accepted” – two words that exude a positive attitude and hands-on strength: pretty much Challenge Group summarized and on point. A unique mix of individual subsidiary skillsets, Challenge Group includes three airlines: CAL Cargo Airlines (based in Israel), Challenge Airlines BE (Belgium), Challenge Airlines MT and Challenge Air Cargo, the commercial arm of the Group, (both based in Malta), its own ground handling company in Liege, Belgium: Challenge Handling, a strong European road feeder network out of Liege: Challenge Logistics, an aircraft and parts leasing division: Challenge Aviation, and a comprehensive line maintenance provider: Challenge Technic. The oldest Group member is CAL Cargo Airlines which started in 1976, and its handling division previously known as LACHS, established in 1997. All other companies were set up in the past six years, with the Maltese Challenge Air Cargo being the newest member, due to start flying this year.
For the past two years, the Group has concentrated on bringing its companies under one umbrella as part of an extensive rebranding and restructuring. Having trebled its capacity in just four years, and now handling 300,000 tons of cargo per year, with an ambition to reach half a million tons by 2023, the Group is rapidly expanding. It currently has 850 employees and a fleet of four B747-400F. The fleet, too, is due to treble with four 767-300BDSF and four 777-300ERSF conversions coming in by 2024, and its overall strategy is fixed on providing quality end-to-end solutions to its customers. Its core expertise is in airfreight, handling, and logistics, and it is known for providing tailored, air-cargo door-to-door solutions. 65% of its business is non-standard, often outsize cargo requiring creative, industry-specific handling solutions. Hence, its Liege handling location boasts Europe's largest 52-ton high-loader. It also manages the airport’s Horse Inn hotel, one of the finest in Europe, which sees much of Europe’s horse traffic pass through. Versatile, agile, and able to handle all kinds of cargo, “Challenge Accepted” is a fitting slogan for the Group.
Challenge Group’s CEO, Yossi Shoukroun, explained: “Air cargo is a people-driven industry, full of down-to-earth, hands-on characters. We identify strongly with this direct, solution-focused approach, and have incorporated company values that precisely reflect this attitude: Passion, Authenticity, Agility. The perfect ingredients for the success of our 'Challenge Accepted' promise. We enjoy getting things done!”
Low-cost carriers and low-cost cargo – why not?
Argentina’s very first low-cost airline, Flybondi, which began flying in 2018, recently decided to branch out into cargo. Together with local cargo experts, Fly Cargo, it launched Flybondi Cargas, and began commercial cargo transportation in mid-Dec2021. Deploying its Boeing B737-800 NG aircraft, the airline targets couriers, cargo agents and other logistics companies looking for an economical solution for low-weight cargo, mail, and parcels. On its website, it suggests weights of up to 32 kg and 1 cubic meter in volume, though its trained cargo team is available for advice on shipments exceeding those limitations. 12 domestic destinations are currently on offer, with a view to expanding to include other domestic as well as international destinations soon. Safety and quality are paramount, the airline underlines, working to ensure affordable rates at the same time.
Federico Pastori, Chief Commercial Officer of Flybondi, stated: “At Flybondi, we are constantly working to be able to continue providing more services to our clients. We are very happy with this new alliance since it will allow companies in the logistics sector and couriers to move their cargo at an ultra-low cost and with a safe and efficient service at a national level.” Nicolas Caleri, Manager of FLY CARGO, added: "This alliance is key for the industry so that more companies can have more options to send their cargo nationally and internationally safely and with a specialized team."
Mannheim and Odense are Dronamics’ latest network members
For Denmark, it is a first, for Germany, a fifth, and for Dronamics they are its forty-first and forty-second locations in its growing network of airports agreeing to host the Dronamics Black Swan. The UAS Denmark Test Center at Odense's Hans Christian Andersen Airport (Denmark), and Mannheim City Airport (Germany) are the newest recruits, as Dronamics sets up a European Droneport network to enable same-day delivery flights using Dronamics’ cargo drones capable of carrying 350 kg and covering up to 2,500 km in a single flight. The company’s first commercial flights are due to take place this year and will initially be between Malta to Italy. “We now have our very first partner in Denmark and are expanding with an important 5th location in Germany which increases our coverage area in the country. […] our ambition is to provide full coverage of all European countries within a day,” Svilen Rangelov, Co-Founder and CEO of DRONAMICS, commented.
“We are very pleased to welcome DRONAMICS to UAS Denmark Test Center. DRONAMICS' vision of enabling same-day shipping over long distances is a perfect match with our ambitions of leading the integration of manned and unmanned air traffic. We are certain that both DRONAMICS and UAS Denmark Test Center will benefit from DRONAMICS becoming a part of our growing drone technology cluster in and around Hans Christian Andersen Airport.” Michael Larsen, Head of UAS Denmark Test Center, said. Odense’s airport serves the region’s manufacturing, robotics, and shipbuilding industries, and houses one of Northern Europe's strongest hubs for the test and development of advanced drone technologies. The UAS Denmark Test Center is a joint venture between Hans Christian Andersen Airport, Odense Municipality, and the University of Southern Denmark.
“DRONAMICS is an important partner in our efforts to develop Mannheim City Airport into one of the pioneering infrastructure facilities for the environmentally friendly development of aviation. We are convinced that the short distances at Mannheim City Airport and the existing infrastructure perfectly match the requirements of this future-oriented project,” Dirk Eggert, COO of City Airport Mannheim, stated. Given the German airport’s limitation when it comes to accommodating modern, regional jets, the Dronamics signing is an excellent “second life” move, complementing its business aviation focus, and serving the region’s thriving technology industry.
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