AfA to take on 5 U.S. airport congestion pain points
The Airforwarders Association’s Airport Congestion Committee has identified five areas for improvement when it comes to tackling congestion at American airports. Resulting from a survey carried out among airport cargo stakeholders, by AfA, the National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA), and the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the five identified topic areas are: technology and automation; service standards; airport facilities and infrastructure; staffing and hours of operation; and regulatory and paperwork challenges. In a meeting last week, the 35-strong Airport Congestion Committee (ACC) agreed to focus on developing solutions in these areas and eventually produce a Recommendation Paper.
Between now and the end of May, the ACC members representing all parties of the air cargo supply chain, will work on prioritizing and suggesting a mix of digital, infrastructure, process, communication, and training solutions against a list of evaluation criteria such as costs, applicability, ease of implementation, urgency, and timelines. The Recommendation Paper will serve as a basis in collaboration with private, public, and government entities, highlighting the challenges and suggesting solutions to ameliorate airport congestion issues. Brandon Fried, Executive Director, The Airforwarders Association, illustrated: “Truck congestion caused by cargo handling delays at major airport cargo facilities, continues to cost our members significant financial resources and lost productivity. This initiative will help us identify causes while providing a foundational document to share with government officials in creating solutions to the challenge.”
Donna Mullins, Vice President of AfA member Kale Info Solutions, and Chair of the ACC, detailed: “When we have completed the work, we will be inviting the air cargo industry to come together to implement the needed solutions for more efficient throughput and movement of inbound and outbound air cargo at airports. Our survey generated hundreds of responses from a broad cross-section of industry segments clearly articulating a number of problems that require remedial action. Our deliverable will not be a document that sits on a shelf; we will be presenting concerns as well as potential solutions to key industry leaders and appropriate members of Congress and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation. The potential upside of our efforts is enormous with regard to our ability to obtain available public funds for a wide range of capital and technology improvements.”
Dnata and Qatar Airways Cargo continue partnership
The two companies signed a multi-year contract extension last week for cargo handling and road feeder services at Brussels Airport, Belgium. Stef Vanbinst, Managing Director of dnata Belgium, said: “We are proud to have earned the trust and loyalty of Qatar Airways Cargo with our reliable and safe services. We continue to invest in our operations to consistently provide world-class quality to the airline and its customers.”
The air services and ground handling provider has been active in the Belgian cargo market since 2019, where it quickly ramped up cargo operations across the Benelux states. The past three years saw a number of investments in equipment and technologies such as an Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV) system. dnata employs 120 staff at its 7,000 m² cargo center, and also operates the state-of-the-art, 2,000 m² Animal Care & Inspection Center. Last year, the company handled 80,000 tons of cargo. Part of that included a 25% increase in the amount of cargo handled for Qatar Airways Cargo. The airline operates a mix of 15 freighter and passenger flights each week to and from the Belgian capital.
“Qatar Airways Cargo is happy to announce that we have extended our partnership with dnata in Belgium. dnata always ensure premium service at BRU, handling our 15 weekly flights, arranging road feeder onforwarding for our customers, and coping effortlessly with a 25% increase in cargo volume in 2021. We look forward to similar developments this year and in the future. Thank you, dnata!” the airline published on LinkedIn.
AELF shifts into lead among wide-body ACMI operators
The global aircraft leasing company, AELF FlightService, operating out of the U.S. and Malta, welcomed a fifth A330 flexible passenger-to-freighter (P2F) aircraft to its fleet recently. ‘Flexible’ means that the plane’s removed seats and installed cargo nets, can quickly be reversed within weeks, allowing the ACMI operator to offer passenger flights, too: something it plans to do in the summer, when a sixth A330-200 is due to enter service. That recently acquired aircraft is configured with a brand-new passenger interior accommodating 295 passengers, and will fly alongside three other re-converted A330s by August. The A330 fleet will be operated by the company’s affiliate Maleth Aero. Lee Jones, President of Maleth Aero, said: “The flexibility of the configuration was a draw for us from the beginning. Anticipating an inevitable return of passenger demand and a time limit from EASA on the preighter exemption, we looked to the option that would provide a solution for our cargo customers but also allow us to adapt to the regulatory environment and the marketplace.”
The fifth A330, registration 9H-CFS, carried out its first commercial P2F cargo flight from Vietnam to the U.S. on 23APR22. In welcoming that aircraft to the fleet, AELF shifted into the lead when it comes to fleet size among ACMI widebody charter operators, operating a total of nine wide-bodies. All its five A330s are currently in PTF configuration, and able to carry parcel freight in the upper deck, alongside standard freight capacity in the lower deck.
Joe Cirillo, Chief Operating Officer at AELF FlightService, explained: “As supply chain issues drag on, the addition of 9H-CFS is our commitment to fulfilling the need for capacity in the air cargo market in the short-term, while maximizing our flexibility to return to passenger service later this year.”
The press release goes on to explain: “While the fleet will undergo transformation to passenger configuration this summer, the group is also exploring its options for a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that will allow continued operation of the P2F configuration for one or more of its aircraft beyond the EASA preighter exemption deadline.”
Happy with its first A330 P2F: CDB Aviation
“This [25APR22] is an important and historic day for CDB Aviation as we see the fruit of two years of intense work and collaboration, culminating in the delivery of our very first A330 P2F since we made the strategic entry into freighter aircraft leasing,” Patrick Hannigan, CDB Aviation’s Chief Executive Officer, exclaimed. “We are grateful to the mas team for trusting CDB Aviation to be a partner in supporting their innovative fleet strategy and for being our very first A330P2F customer.” Spoken at the delivery of the first of two A330-300 P2F aircraft to CDB Aviation and its launch lessor, Mexican cargo airline, mas. The second one is due this month.
CDB Aviation (“Delivering a unique global aircraft leasing platform supporting the ever-changing needs of airlines worldwide”), is a wholly owned Irish subsidiary of China Development Bank Financial Leasing Co., Limited (“CDB Leasing”), founded 37 years ago. It contracted Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (“EFW”) to convert the aircraft and deliver the first freighter in CDB Aviation’s history.
“We are glad about the in-time, in-quality re-delivery of the first A330P2F to our customer CDB Aviation. With this first of many more to come conversions, we proved meeting customer expectations in these very challenging times,” Jordi Boto, Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH‘s CEO, announced. “We are proud that mas is now taking the third A330P2F conversion freighter from EFW. By this, mas is benefiting from all advantages of the A330P2F family, the longer range and the higher volume offering best flexibility for their upgraded fleet.” mas is the world’s first operator to benefit from both wide body A330P2F versions. “The A330-300 series aircraft will be operated mainly on routes to Europe, while the A330-200 model will be operated by mas on new scheduled routes to China, which will start before the end of the first half of 2022,” LinkedIn reads.
Luis Sierra, mas’ Chief Executive Officer, remarked: “We feel honored that CDB Aviation trusted mas to be its first A330 P2F customer. For us, operating the -300 variant will open amazing opportunities in regional markets where there is a need for highly reliable aircraft, providing enough volume. Working together on this process was amazing, and we are already looking at ways to do more business with the CDB Aviation team.” Celebrating with EFW on LinkedIn, he wrote: “Dear EFW team, so far, so good! 3 received, one more to come. See you soon.”
DHL Aviation to serve Brazil, appointing ECS Group as GSSA
DHL Aviation is set to operate six Boeing 767-300 freighters per week from Viracopos (VCP)/Sao Paolo/Brazil via Bogota (BOG)/Columbia to Miami (MIA)/U.S.A., every day except Sundays, starting 10JUL22. It recently appointed ECS Group's established Brazilian subsidiary, BCS AIR, as its exclusive GSSA at the new online destination: Viracopos/Brazil. As the leading GSSA in Brazil, with over 25 years of experience in the market, BCS AIR will be responsible for establishing and expanding DHL Aviation’s market presence in the region.
Joao Luiz Ferreira, BCS AIR's Managing Director Brazil, stated: “It is both a pleasure and an honor to welcome DHL Aviation to our client portfolio, especially on such a highly demanded route. Despite regular services already being provided by UPS, Avianca, and LATAM, this is much-needed capacity that DHL Aviation is bringing into the Brazilian market, and it therefore opens up great development potentials for a wide range of businesses: particularly to Colombia, Central America, the Caribbean, and Florida. BCS AIR is in the process of putting together a dedicated 4-person team for DHL Aviation, as we envisage a strong future for this connection. Our focus will be on a good load mix of automotive, pharma, high-tech, footwear, and express, alongside ad hoc, and general cargo shipments.”
Paco Ortega, ECS Group's Regional VP Central & South America, added: “We are extremely happy and proud to have gained this new GSSA contract in the region so soon after also signing with DHL Aviation in Chile. It not only confirms DHL Aviation's faith in our competence, but also establishes DHL Aviation as one of our main customers in South America. This is definitely a new milestone achievement in our ECS Group strategy of establishing strong GSA leadership in South America and the Caribbean and providing our unique Augmented GSA solutions to all airline customers. We look forward to promoting and growing DHL Aviation's presence in Brazil and beyond.”
Bolloré inaugurating Abidjan airport cargo base this year
3.4 billion CFA francs are budgeted for the creation of the state-of-the-art logistics base within the Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire airport premises. Construction on the 9,000 m² site is underway, and it is planned to be inaugurated this September, following 18 months of work. Comprising a 7,500 m² operating area, 1,500 m² of office space, and a 3,500 m² warehouse, it will be furnished with modern equipment such as a weighbridge, a dock leveler, a palletization system, and a cold room. The latter is especially important given plans to focus on offering pharma-related services such as the packaging of pharmaceutical products, and value-added storage for all types of freight, including perishable goods destined for the Ivorian market or European countries. It is well connected both to the international airport, as well as the city of Abidjan, and will be staffed by standard freight and express transport teams located close to the operating sites, who will deal with air cargo imports and exports.
Joël Hounsinou, Managing Director of Bolloré Transport & Logistics Côte d’Ivoire, commented: “This investment is part of the structuring projects to which we have been committed for several years, aiming at modernizing the logistics infrastructure in Côte d'Ivoire. Two years on from the inauguration of Aérohub, we are preparing to bring a modern infrastructure into operation that will enable us to meet the growing needs of our customers and to strengthen our role as a regional logistics hub.”
Wiremind Cargo is now a proper business entity
“Over the past months, we have structured Wiremind Cargo as a separate business entity, and established a strong team of experts dedicated entirely to the needs of the air freight industry. Our engineers all have a background in transport and logistics, and are well-versed in how airlines, GSAs, GHAs and freight forwarders operate,” Nathanaël de Tarade, Chief Executive Officer of Wiremind Cargo, explains.
“Wiremind Cargo shares the overall Wiremind mission to create 'Tools built for people, not tools that people have to adapt to.' From a data management and coordination perspective, the air freight industry is highly challenging, and therefore also a hugely attractive prospect for us at Wiremind Cargo. We have the know-how and capacity to deliver efficient solutions for inventory, reservation, capacity management, pricing, or flight optimization, to name just a few areas. Our goal is to develop a unique cargo management platform that supports and facilitates the daily work of people working in all areas of the industry, be they cargo sales or reservation agents, flight controllers, or involved in operations.”
What was launched as a dedicated air cargo business unit in NOV21, has now become an official subsidiary: Wiremind Cargo, headed by CEO, Nathanaël de Tarade, and CTO, Etienne Corbillé. The French logistics software solutions company offers air cargo products such as its flagship: SkyPallet, a ULD & Flight Optimization system launched in 2017, which helps to maximize cargo capacity utilization.
Leading airlines and cargo companies such as Emirates SkyCargo, Atlas Air, United Airlines, Qantas Airways, WestJet, ECS Group, Chapman Freeborn, rely on and endorse Wiremind Cargo's expertise in software and data science. Wiremind Cargo also entered into partnership with ECS Cargo Digital Factory and launched CargoTech earlier this year. The two companies are collaborating to build a comprehensive air cargo ecosystem offering a complete suite of innovative products and providing specialized consultancy services with regard to digital strategy and implementation.
Jettainer creates new role: Head of Product lease&fly
And hires Stella Wang to fill it. Stella Wang joined Jettainer in Hong Kong on 01APR22, coming over from PAL Express, where she was a Sales Manager. She brings 17 years of air cargo logistics expertise to the company, having held roles at Sinotrans Air Transportation, serving customers in the Asia-Pacific and European markets, Cathay Pacific where she also dealt with ULD requirements among other cargo responsibilities, as well as AirBridgeCargo in Hong Kong (https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2022/04/10/exclusive-jettainer-eyes-two-eldorados/).
Her new responsibilities include serving customers in the East Asia region and ensuring East Asia ULD distribution, as well as the new Head of Product for lease&fly role, which entails overseeing the development of the ULD expert's leasing business, thus ramping up the lease&fly leasing service. “lease&fly allows Jettainer's standard and specialty ULDs to be leased for adhoc assignments for periods lasting from one day to several months. Long-term leasing customers also benefit from the ULD specialist's global repair network,” the press release explains.
Thomas Sonntag, Managing Director of Jettainer GmbH, remarked, “Stella Wang is well acquainted with airlines' ULD needs and a seamless fit for our international team of experts. We plan to work with her to continue unlocking high-growth markets in Asia and expanding our wide-ranging services from complete ULD management to leasing operations.”
The ULD management company has its sights on expanding within the Asian region. In addition to creating this new function in Hong Kong, Jettainer also opened a new office in Singapore in December.
We welcome and publish comments from all authenticated users.