LATAM Cargo continues to grow its fleet
CC-CXE is the registration of the second of LATAM’s planned fleet of ten converted B767 BCF. It was taken delivery of on 17MAR22, following its four-and-a-half-month conversion process carried out by SASCO MRO in Singapore. The latest addition brings the airline’s cargo fleet up to 13, of which five are converted passenger aircraft. Its first flight took place on 30MAR22 from Miami to Bogota and back, carrying a cargo of flowers and general import cargo. “Although its incorporation will allow offering greater capacity throughout the network, it will initially serve the markets of Colombia, Brazil, and Central America,” the press release says of the new plane. Another two such aircraft are planned to be delivered this year, totaling 15 B767-300 cargo planes by the end of 2022. A rocket expansion in the following year should see the airline own a 21-strong freighter fleet by the end of 2023.
“With the arrival of the growth plan's second freighter, LATAM's cargo subsidiaries provide a solution appropriate to the current needs of their clients in terms of capacity, connectivity, and service from, to, and within South America. Fulfilling the growth plan despite the uncertain scenario generated by the pandemic in the industry, reflects the commitment of LATAM and its cargo subsidiaries to the region's importers and exporters of providing them with more and better options for taking their products to their relevant markets,” Kamal Hadad, Alliances and Network Director at LATAM Cargo, commented. He went on to explain that “growing with Boeing 767 freighters is a significant advantage, as it is the optimal plane in terms of size, volume, and versatility. Additionally, using one type of aircraft generates relevant efficiencies.”
Kales supports Ukraine
The helpfulness of logistics companies to support people in Ukraine suffering from Russia's invasion is overwhelming. Following the example of the Frankfurt-based aid organization Cargo Human Care, the Kales Group has now also sent aid supplies to the war-struck country for the first time. According to Kales Chief Sebastiaan Scholte, the general sales and service agent (GSSA) has donated and sent 2 truckloads full of medical relief goods to the Polish Red Cross on March 31. The supplies will be onforwarded to the affected people in Ukraine.
“We are honored to be able to help the people in need due to this horrendous situation which has already resulted in the displacement of more than 6 million Ukrainians, both nationally as internationally. The terrible reality of the war in Ukraine is that the needs are growing every day. It is great to see that not only our company but so many other companies and individuals in the world are helping with donations and relief goods,” comments Kales CEO Sebastiaan Scholte. “I want to thank our management in Poland under the leadership of Sebastian Kraucki for arranging these transports. Our thoughts are with all the innocent people who are affected.”
Honorata Krzywoń, Managing Director of Polish Red Cross Mazovian district said she is grateful to the Kales Group for organizing such specific humanitarian aid and deliveries to their central warehouse, from which they will get in a Red Cross convoy directly to parts of Ukraine. The first truck with goods received from Kales Group has been already delivered to Lviv, confirmed Ms. Krzywoń.
“I’m very proud we could find such high demanded medical and sanitary equipment which will save many lives of the innocent people of Ukraine. The trucks will deliver professional disposable items used for surgeries and hospitalisation like sterile medical aprons, pads, covers, wraps and dressings,” noted Sebastian Kraucki, Managing Director for Kales in Poland.
More transports may follow, depending on how the situation evolves, states Mr. Scholte.
DHL and Cargojet fortifying DHL’s global network together
With Plantation, Florida, USA-based Cargojet as its latest airline partner, DHL Express has not only largely broadened its North American footprint, but also gains a potential 9.5% equity in the company. The two companies announced the signing of a 5-year strategic agreement, including a renewal option taking it up to 7 years in total. As part of the long-term relationship in which Cargojet will provide ACMI, CMI, charter, and aircraft dry lease services to DHL, it will also issues warrants “to acquire up to 9.5% of Cargojet’s outstanding voting shares […] at a price of C$158.92 per share […] over a period of seven years, with vesting tied to the delivery by DHL of up to C$2.3 billion in business volume during the same term,” the release states. Cargojet’s 12 freighters serving DHL, will soon be complemented by 5 additional DHL B767 freighters over the next year, as well as Cargojet’s first B777 converted cargo aircraft, for which DHL will be the airline’s inaugural launch customer. They are due for delivery late 2023 or early 2024.
Mike Parra, CEO, DHL Express Americas, said: “Cargojet is an important aviation partner of DHL in North America, and we see this expansion of our relationship further strengthening intra-regional and intercontinental links to and from this region. Its versatile cargo fleet and high on-time reliability positions us well to further capitalize on the dynamically growing e-commerce market, in particular. This step builds on the significant investments we have made in DHL’s aviation capacity and capabilities over the last two years in the Americas.” Those investments include an 18% capacity increase in the Americas in the 2021 peak season, mainly to support e-commerce, and a recent new 102-ton capacity, weekly air connection from Vietnam to the U.S.
Cargojet’s Chief Executive Officer, Ajay Virmani, stated: “Earning the trust and confidence of Deutsche Post DHL Group is a remarkable milestone in Cargojet’s journey. We are even more excited about the opportunity to add value and earn the right to be a long-term strategic partner each and every day. This strategic partnership is a real tribute to our people who have worked extremely hard all through the pandemic while maintaining the industry best on-time performance and flexibility that has allowed us to earn this business.”
Skyport handles automotives charters to Spain
Skyport’s CEO, David Adamek, stated: “We've been working with ACS for some time now and, during the past month, our co-operation has been very intense, with six different orders being accommodated. Our successful collaboration has been of key importance in ensuring global automotive production continued uninterrupted.”
He was referring to the 11 tons of essential automotive spare parts handled by Skyport recently, in collaboration with Air Charter Service, which flew from Poland to Girona–Costa Brava Airport, Spain, via Prague Airport (PRG), Czech Republic, on board of six urgent charter flights. Those charters took place over a period of two weeks, using a mix of ATR-42 and Saab 340 aircraft.
The parts had been brought to PRG airport from Poland by truck, where they were accepted by Skyport and, given special express treatment, were prepared for their onward flights within just two hours of receipt. “As a result, it took approximately six hours from the first point of contact with Skyport to the flight departing from PRG with the automotive parts on board,” the press release states.
James Fitzgerald, Managing Director of Air Charter Service, complimented Skyport: “ACS thanks Skyport for their assistance on these flights; it is a pleasure to have an agile, reliable, and effective handling partner in the center of Europe. We couldn't have done it without Skyport's help at Prague Airport, and we look forward to more successful collaboration with the team in the future.”
Air Canada is the latest airline to join WebCargo
“When we said we're going big in North America, we weren't messing around,” Eytan Buchman applauds on LinkedIn, as he reveals that Air Canada is the latest North American – and largest Canadian – carrier to join WebCargo. Air Canada Cargo’s Senior Director Cargo Global Sales and Revenue Optimization, Matthieu Casey, explains: “It’s become increasingly clear throughout the pandemic and resulting supply chain challenges, that digitalization is the key to the success of air cargo. As one of the largest North American airlines, we pride ourselves on staying ahead of the curve, and embracing technological solutions that will provide value to our customers and add efficiencies to our company.”
The transition to the WebCargo platform over the next few weeks, will see Air Canada Cargo’s real-time pricing and capacity become visible and available to WebCargo’s extensive, international user-base. More than 10,000+ forwarder offices will be able to make direct Air Canada Cargo bookings via WebCargo. The airline enhances WebCargo’s North American and European offerings, and is complemented by WebCargo’s recent acquisition, the rate management company, 7LFreight.
Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo, says: “We’ve seen demand for Digital Air Cargo skyrocket, with eBookings on the WebCargo platform increasing 10X in 2021 alone. This adoption has been in large part thanks to the cooperation of tech-forward airlines like Air Cargo Canada, who see the inherent value and need in digital air cargo solutions. We’re excited to launch our partnership and enable more forwarders to start booking online.”
Qatar Airways Cargo and Wisetech connect booking systems
The two companies recently launched a direct eBooking solution connecting their two globally operating systems, bringing their digital connection even closer and adding to their existing flight schedule and operational data exchange implemented last year. The latest enhancement between WiseTech's flagship CargoWise platform and Qatar Airways Cargo’s management system, CROAMIS, means that those freight forwarders using CargoWise to select and book Qatar Airways Cargo flights can do this in real-time, without having to leave the platform. The same applies to necessary modifications to bookings made via the solution.
Qatar Airways Cargo’s Chief Officer Cargo, Guillaume Halleux, explained: “Our continued collaboration with WiseTech Global is focused on providing our mutual customers with an enhanced experience, and supporting them with improved visibility, efficiency, and value. With our operational data exchange with CargoWise seeing positive results, this was a natural next step in the partnership. Our digitalization strategy remains centered on moving to robust systems, automatic quotations, real-time integrations, and improved reporting. These have become critical in an industry that is moving rapidly towards digital solutions.”
Scott McCorquodale, WiseTech Global’s Head of Airline Connectivity, said: “Qatar Airways Cargo's strong focus on improving its digital processes, and our shared purpose of providing a seamless and valuable experience for our customers, meant it was only natural that the collaboration would develop. There's no denying that the traditional air cargo booking process for many freight forwarders, which relies on communication methods such as telephone calls and emails, is now so glaringly inefficient that they simply must move to the electronic method, or risk being left behind. The air cargo industry has historically been very manually based, which contributed to substantial inefficiencies. This has all changed in recent years, with many airlines now firmly prioritizing their digital transformation projects. With the new eBooking connection now available to CargoWise users, forwarders are able to confirm their bookings without any input from airline staff – dramatically speeding up the process, and allowing forwarders to focus on providing value-added services to their customers.”
Lufthansa Cargo and cargo.one launch Auto Assigned AWBs
Until now, one obstacle to online bookings has been the fact that forwarders first need to arrange a valid Air Waybill stock from participating airlines first. Only then, can they use those numbers to book against. Lufthansa Cargo and cargo.one have now solved that issue with an industry first: the joint initiative of “Auto Assigned AWBs”. The new function, offered free of charge, means that cargo.one users will be able to book Lufthansa Cargo capacities and, instead of having an Air Waybill stock, will automatically be assigned one at booking confirmation. This results in a more seamless booking experience, and speeds it up. cargo.one maintains “the benefits include an even quicker booking time and less booking errors, and is an example of driving new standards for airlines in customer-centric digital distribution.” It also claims that auto assignment “makes booking air cargo even easier than booking a passenger flight.”
This new function breaks a decades-old process of manually allocating AWB numbers prior to accepting reservations from forwarders, and brings it into the paperless, digital age. It removes the problem of running out of AWBs (something that a cargo.one survey discovered, happened to 55% of respondents last year), as well as the delay that (33% of) forwarders have suffered waiting for new stock, and ensures ongoing business processes. It also does away with another problem 12% of survey respondents had raised: the issue of AWB validity failures. At the same time, it removes lengthy administration processes both on the side of the airline as well as the forwarder.
Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer of Lufthansa Cargo, said: “At Lufthansa Cargo, we are committed to finding new ways of driving our digital user experience across all of our distribution channels. Launching the automatic assignment of Air Waybills with cargo.one is exactly the type of feature that helps us to differentiate in our digital journey, and deliver freight forwarders the best possible outcomes and enhance their experience with Lufthansa Cargo.”
Oliver T. Neumann, Founder & Co-CEO of cargo.one, stated: “Users love cargo.one because it's super easy to use, accurate, and simple. Removing the pesky copy-pasting of AWB numbers makes booking simpler, faster, and removes a source of errors. A small improvement with a big impact on our forwarders' daily work.”
Gebrüder Weiss branches out to southern Turkey
After Istanbul and Izmir, Mersin has now become Gebrüder Weiss’ third Turkish base, adding to its 75-strong air and sea freight team around since 2012. Mersin, in the south of Turkey is a central logistics hub on the Mediterranean Sea for shipments to the Caucasus, the Middle East, and Central Asia, from where the forwarder will be providing both air and sea services for the regional industries: textiles, agriculture, chemicals, and mechanical engineering. “Turkey is an emerging growth market and, with its location on the Mediterranean Sea, an important freight handling facility for transports between Asia and Europe. Mersin represents another region being developed by us for our customers, following on from Istanbul and Izmir. Favorable transport connections to the Mediterranean region as well as the proximity to industrial operations in the hinterland are all advantages offered by the new location," Wolfram Senger-Weiss, Gebrüder Weiss’ CEO said. Çiler Keskinel, the company’s Country Manager Air & Sea Turkey, added: “The key factor is the location's immediate proximity to producers. In addition to air and sea freight services, we also offer local customers pharmaceutical and multimodal transports as well as warehouse logistics and customs clearance.”
Senger-Weiss also pointed to Turkey being an important alternative to the Silk Road running through Russia, as it is located on the "Middle Corridor" of the New Silk Road towards Central Asia and China, running along Georgia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to China. "We have our own locations in most of the countries along the Middle Corridor and are familiar with the local legal and cultural particulars in these regions. We are also seeing increased demand from our customers for shipments on this route.”
AGI adopts technology and canine experts to speed up handling
Alliance Ground International’s (AGI) new 23,500 m² off-airport import center including a state-of-the-art racking system and cargo mobility system, heavy investment in technology, as well as the introduction of canine screening, have gone a long way to improving the congestion problem at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. In compliance with Transport Security Administration (TSA) regulations in effect since 01JUL21, AGI adopted K9 Cargo Screening, and the benefits are impressive as Warren Jones, Vice President Business Development, details: “The introduction of canine screening has boosted efficiencies, both in terms of accuracy and speed, by up to 85% and this has been particularly vital through the pandemic.” The company recently invited Brandon Fried, Executive Director, US Airforwarders Association (AfA) to a tour of the facility, summarizing its efforts in an online video: https://vimeo.com/689505564?utm_campaign=Oktopost-AGI&utm_content=Oktopost-linkedin-&utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin Brandon Fried’s conclusion: “AfA worked very hard with the TSA to get the third party privatized canine program underway. It is fantastic to see it work in practice and know that it will significantly help with regard to the reduction of cargo congestion currently hampering the efforts of our membership today.”
In addition to this, ground handler AGI has focused on improving communication between forwarders and airlines, and what it calls “customer culture”. Jones explains: “AGI is the largest ground handler in Chicago, and the digitization of our handling processes has made us the most capable. It has enabled us to foster a culture change in communication that will benefit freight forwarders and our airline partners alike. The combination of the OCC's Flight Tracker Radar System, integrated Cargo Sprint software, capacity optimization heat mapping, and the upcoming AGI online 'real people' chat center has meant that AGI can directly communicate with forwarders, airlines, and other service providers to deliver a new level of stakeholder communication.”
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users.