TIACA goes local – starting with AMS
TIACA is ready to go local and implement the Regional Symposium series it announced earlier in the year. The first one will take place in Amsterdam City Centre on 28-29JUN22, hosted by Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: a positive sign for the region, and an opportunity to meet CargoForwarder Global’s Marcel Schoeters, too, as he will be attending on our behalf. The first day offers interactive conference sessions and an evening reception, and the second day will feature a tour of Schiphol Airport.
The aim of the series is to set a focus and forum for the local air cargo community to come together to identify and discuss joint, regional issues, where TIACA can support and which it can “incorporate into our overall work on behalf of the industry.” TIACA’s focus points feature on the program: sustainability, market challenges, people issues, and economic outlook, alongside digitalization, and safety and security issues. The outcome of the Symposium will be a Regional Action plan “that will be incorporated into TIACA strategic objectives and activities.” The Regional Symposium is open to both TIACA members and non-members, and the attendance fees have been kept low so as to encourage as comprehensive a community representation as possible, “so that we can get a full understanding of the local needs for air cargo.”
Steven Polmans, Chairman TIACA, expanded: “TIACA is committed to being connected to our membership and by organizing the Regional Symposiums, we are able to interact more intimately with our members in each region and discuss what issues they face on a day-to-day basis. TIACA is greatly appreciative for the support of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol for inviting us to Amsterdam to launch the inaugural event. We look forward to excellent discussions and outcomes.”
Roos Bakker, Director Business Development Cargo at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, commented: “We are very honored to host the first TIACA Regional Event. As Europe's preferred Cargo Hub, we are more than delighted to welcome the community to Amsterdam for the kick-off event. It will be an interesting event full of new insights. We hope to see and meet many Air Cargo professionals.”
Saudia Cargo and Cainiao continue ecommerce success
The press release talks of a “thriving sky bridge” that the two companies have established between Asia and Europe, based on an e-commerce cooperation agreement signed last year. In MAR21, Cainiao Network, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group, began its partnership with Saudia Cargo, on the Hong Kong SAR-Liege, Belgium route, transiting Saudia Cargo’s hub in Riyadh. Those 12 weekly freighter flights have proven to be a success, placing Riyadh and the Middle East on the ecommerce distribution network, greatly benefitting the airline’s ecommerce revenue growth, as Saudia Cargo’s Regional Director – Asia Pacific, Vikram Vohra, elaborated: “The agreement has allowed us to benefit from access to Alibaba’s e-commerce platform as online shopping continues to soar, boosted in part by the Covid-19 pandemic. The partnership with Cainiao, which offers logistic services to more than 200 countries, is central to our growth strategy for this decade and sets the template for future cooperation agreements. Cainiao has become a trusted and valued partner.”
Dandy Zhang, Commercial Director of Global Line Haul, Cainiao’s Cross-border business, commented: “As a global smart logistics company, Cainiao has been consistently enhancing its logistics services and efficiency to satisfy the booming demand for e-commerce in Europe and Middle East. Our partnership with Saudia Cargo has been fruitful, and we look forward to strengthening our cooperation in the long term.”
As e-commerce features strongly in Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030”, over the past few years, the cargo airline has placed emphasis on attracting the commodity, upping the number of cargo flights it operates to destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. With regard to Hong Kong, the number of flights serving the destination increased by more than 30%.
Ostend-Bruges Airport busy with clouds and the environment
Though not plagued by congestion and delays, Ostend-Bruges Airport has shifted to Nallian’s Cargo Cloud to ensure visibility, transparency and the prevent process problems that could occur when cargo volumes grow. It has opted for “the collaborative applications of Nallian’s Cargo Cloud, such as Inspection Management, Truck Visit Management, Check-it, and Cargo Statistics.” The digital system enables both process visibility when it comes to truck management, perishable goods inspections, and various operational and compliance checks, as well as key insights into possible improvement areas along the end-to-end cargo flows. Eric Dumas, CEO at Ostend-Bruges Airport, explained: “We have an ambitious cargo community that strives to deliver first-in-class service. Nallian’s Cargo Cloud is a robust platform that has proven its worth in many other cargo hubs. It’s easy-to-implement, modular approach will allow us to quickly activate functionality and generate first benefits and easily expand in the future. This digital tool will allow Ostend airport to strengthen its attractiveness and further increase the speed of cargo handling which is already one of its main differentiating assets. It completes the ambitious development project ‘Ostend Cargo Village’, the first building phase of which is already under construction.”
Jean Verheyen, CEO at Nallian, added: “It’s a misconception that solutions like Truck Visit Management, one of the collaborative applications on our Cargo Cloud, only generate value for big hubs facing congestion issues. The pandemic has illustrated the importance of air cargo and the need for efficient, transparent processes. Digitization is the way to achieve this. It has proven to generate significant benefits for big and small cargo hubs, and we are very proud to support Ostend Airport on its digitization journey.”
In other news last week, following a strict audit, the airport succeeded in renewing its environmental management certificate: ISO 14001, which it has held since 2013. “We take a structured, policy-based approach to environmental care. Our airport attaches great importance to environmental care and sustainable business,” Eric Dumas underlined. “We are proud to renew our ISO 14001 certificate for the next 3 years. It is our ambition to continue our commitment to the environment and to limit our impact as much as possible. For example, we are looking at the options of installing solar panels on the grassed areas at the airport. That way, we might also be able to generate energy.”
Qatar Airways Cargo launches third WeQare chapter
From free capacity for NGOs sending relief goods in 2020, to rewilding the planet by assisting with the transport of wild animals back to their natural habitat in 2021 (and beyond), Qatar Airways Cargo has now turned its focus to children in need across the planet. Chapter 3 of its WeQare initiative carries the motto “Let's Stand Together”, and is a donation drive that began on 26APR22 and runs until 10MAY22, looking for donations in kind in three specific areas: education, sports and fun. “Thus, Qatar Airways Cargo is collecting study material (books, school bags, pencils), clothes and sports items (socks, soccer balls, sneakers, jerseys), as well as toys, musical instruments, and board games. Any donation for children is welcome, as long as it is clean, in good condition and without batteries,” the press release stipulates. Anyone can participate, whether affiliated with Qatar Airways Cargo or not, and can drop donations off at local Qatar Airways Cargo stations. All donations will be transferred to the airline’s Doha hub, where they will be sorted in a consolidated employee effort on 17MAY22. From there, they will then be transported to set locations across the globe, and Qatar Airways Cargo has pledged to offset all CO2 emissions of their free transport.
Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways, said, “Children are the future generation, and we hope that they bloom and develop their full potential. Not all children are born with the same opportunities, but every child has the right to dream. To make their dreams a reality, Qatar Airways Cargo wants to gather forces to support this next generation in need, by sending them toys, educational materials, and sports items so that all children can enjoy their childhood.”
Romcargo ready to register second B747F
The new Romanian cargo airline, Romcargo Airlines (previously known as Fly Sky Airlines), initially started out with a single B747, obtaining its Romanian AOC in NOV21, only to become grounded for a week in DEC21 for undeclared reasons other than European Union Regulation 965/2012. An inauspicious start that is looking to improve this year. In MAR22, the US DOT granted it permission to fly to the U.S. from any European Common Aviation Area member country, with the comment: “It is in the public interest to issue the applicant a foreign air carrier permit. [...] We also find that the applicant is financially and operationally qualified to perform the services authorized, and that it is substantially owned and effectively controlled in a manner consistent with the provisions of the US-EU Agreement.” Helpful, since it operates daily flights between Liège/Brussels and Hong Kong via Bishkek/Kyrgyzstan, and has also flown Liège-Madrid-Liège roundtrips.
The average age of its fleet is due to improve shortly: its original, 32.3-year-old, ex-Thai Airways passenger-to-cargo converted B747-400 (reg: YR-FSA) is about to be joined by a second B747-400BDSF (Bedek Special Freighter) – this time from the Taiwanese airline, Eva Air Cargo. It, too, began life as a passenger aircraft for EVA Airways, before undergoing cargo conversion in Israel in 2007. It then continued to fly for the airline as a freighter. Registration YR-FSB has already seen 29.5 years of service, but brings the average fleet age down to 30.9 years. It is currently registered in the US as N27063, and has spent the last months in Jakarta/Indonesia, undergoing maintenance. In the next few weeks, it will be moved to a European airport for Romanian Civil Aviation Authority (AACR) verification before it enters commercial service for Romcargo Airlines. Romcargo can boast that it was the first airline to register a Boeing 747 aircraft in Romania.
Baltic neighbors support smooth handling services at RIX
Latvia and Estonia come together to ensure smooth handling operations over at Riga Airport (RIX), Latvia, the largest air cargo hub in the Baltics: The Latvian cargo handler, AG Handling, which runs two cargo terminals on and off the airport, opted for Estonian SaaS handling system provider, Qstep’s latest generation handling platform earlier this year: good news for its customers such as Lufthansa and LOT Polish Airlines. 2014-founded Qstep already serves 5 EU air cargo hubs and operates an ecommerce logistics SaaS platform for new postal service companies over at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
“We went through a detailed selection process to choose the best available air cargo terminal handling system available for our size and type of business. Apart from only reviewing the tender documents, we also visited many locations where systems we reviewed were operating. In the end, we felt Qstep was the right choice,” says Gunars Peize, Director of AG Handling. “Now, [after] operating Qstep for several months already, we have received positive input from cargo forwarding community who now have much more control over both their export shipments from the moment they pre-advise shipments in our extranet (Qclient), giving us a possibility to plan the flow of resources in the warehouse, as well as their import shipments – having clear notifications showing transparent storage conditions and costs, complemented with automated invoicing. All in all, […] we now have a reliable system providing all cargo terminal and invoicing functionalities in one place. Also, important to note we now have not only all messaging to airline systems automated, but also integration to Latvian Customs electronic data system.”
“For Qstep, the move marks a new chapter in its international expansion as Riga becomes the fourth airport where our air cargo handling platform is being deployed after Helsinki, Tallinn and Vilnius”, Haiti Arendi, CEO of Qstep, elaborates. “Qstep platform enables all essential elements in a single window, from cargo operations and paperless warehouse management to automatic and intuitive communications with various stakeholders. In-built intelligence helps to prevent any unchecked shipments to be loaded to the aircraft such as security or DGR check. Invoices are automatically generated based on the actions performed in the warehouse which substantially increases the efficiency in the back office as well.”
Pharma.Aero appoints new Chairman
The 2016-founded non-profit organization focused on raising and setting standards in international air cargo pharmaceutical logistics, has seen a rotation in its Board. After six years of dedication in driving the progress of the young association, Chairman Nathan De Valck is stepping down and handing over to Trevor Caswell. Nathan De Valck, Head of Cargo – Product & Network Development at Brussels Airport Company – a founding Strategic Member of Pharma.Aero since 2016, stated: “As past Chairman, I look forward to continuing taking up an active role in the Board of Directors and supporting the launch of our Pharma.Aero projects and the smooth running of our back-office and finance processes. I will remain involved as back-up in some of the strategic priorities, supporting Trevor in his role as the new chairman.”
Trevor Caswell, who, in his function as Manager, Demand & Product Development (Cargo) at Edmonton International Airport (EIA), has been a Strategic Member of Pharma.Aero since 2019, now steps up from his previous role as Vice-Chairman to Chairman – a post he will hold for the next two year. He is joined by five other members of the Board of Directors – all representatives of Pharma.Aero Strategic Airport Members: Jeremy Mitchell (Sharjah Airport Authority) – Vice-Chair. Jaisey Yip (Changi Airport Group/representing Lim Ching Kiat)– Vice-Chair, Bruno Guela (Managing Director Latin America Cargo City) – Treasurer, and Nathan De Valck (Brussels Airport Company) - Past-chair.
Trevor Caswell has clear ideas on Pharma.Aero’s priorities going forward: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my role as Vice-Chairman with the BoD, [and] am thrilled and honored to begin my new role as Chairman, following the tremendous work that Nathan De Valck has successfully led over the past six years. I would like to thank him for all of his time and dedication. […] Some of our key priorities over the next term will be:
- continuing to attract new members to join
- ensuring our existing members continue to receive the high-quality industry insight they have come to expect
- expanding our strategic airport members
- delivering high-quality projects and white papers our members want to read and more importantly be a part of
While Pharma.Aero continues to grow, we will ensure that we remain the essential link that connects pharma shippers with all the strategic partners in the pharmaceutical supply chain. We will ensure we remain the leading cross-industry organization, by continuing to collaborate and coordinate projects that address real challenges in the global pharma supply chain.”
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