No surprise that Smart and IQ go together!
Could not resist that little play on the two names, but when a company called SmartKargo becomes a member of a cross-stakeholder organization called Cargo iQ, it appears inevitable. Cambridge, USA-headquartered SmartKargo markets itself as “The world’s most advanced air cargo end-to-end integrated solution” and is a 100% cloud solution aimed at facilitating e-commerce within the global air cargo industry. With SmartKargo, airlines can benefit from the steep rise in global e-commerce sales, by offering end-to-end integrated logistics for e-commerce parcel shipments, from online transactions to delivery to the customer's door. The solution comprises a suite of scalable application such as Enterprise Resource Planning, (ERP), a booking platform, plus data analysis. Easily integrated with existing air cargo management systems, it opens up new customer markets for airlines, yielding higher rates than the usual general cargo: a concept that airlines in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, and Norway have already proven, works. SmartKargo markets to airlines, GHAs, and GSAs. Its CEO, Milind Tavshikar, explains that the company’s motivation to join Cargo iQ, is to promote key quality enhancements to the air cargo industry for the long-term: “Establishing consistent quality management standards requires transparency and collaboration among supply chain partners who bring a variety of perspectives to the conversation. We joined Cargo iQ to bring our unique experience to this important interest group and look forward to contributing as well as being inspired by our industry colleagues. Together, we can ensure that standards of quality management evolve steadily in this industry that is so important to the world.”
For Cargo iQ, SmartKargo brings the number of its diverse air cargo members closer to 70, as it celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. Potential members interested in Cargo iQ can meet them at the 31st CNS Partnership Conference in Phoenix, US, 23-25MAY22. Commenting on SmartKargo’s joining, Lothar Moehle, Executive Director of Cargo iQ, states: “The SmartKargo team will bring a valuable perspective and important sector expertise to Cargo iQ's ever-growing taskforce. Diversity in specialisms among our members is key to ensuring our work brings benefits to the quality of the entire logistics chain. In joining the Cargo iQ community, SmartKargo has shown its commitment to our shared vision to improve standardization in the air cargo supply chain, in particular by assisting our industry and our members with their digitalization strategies and implementations.”
MNG combines social with social responsibility
What is better than Turkish coffee? Turkish coffee where the proceeds go to help children suffering from cancer. The country’s only private air cargo company, MNG Airlines, arranged exactly that last week, by hosting the Hope Café in the parking lot of its Istanbul headquarters on 12MAY22. The Hope Café is a travelling food and shop truck that began operating in 2017 on behalf of The Hope Foundation for Children with Cancer (KAÇUV). KAÇUV was established in 2000 to assist in ensuring that children with cancer who are at risk of delaying their treatment due to financial problems, continue to receive the treatment they require. Its Hope Café project helps the families of affected children to earn additional income, offering employment opportunities to those families from outside the city who struggle to find the financial means to provide for cancer treatment. The Hope Café van travels around Istanbul, not only selling hot and cold beverages, but also handmade snacks created by the mothers of children suffering from cancer.
On 12MAY22, therefore, MNG Airlines’ employees (of which there are 1000 worldwide), at its headquarters, were able to combine their work breaks with supporting a good cause. Every drink or food item purchased from the Hope Cafe contributed to supporting children with cancer and was well received by MNG colleagues. Ali Sedat Özkazanc, General Manager of MNG Airlines, commented: “As MNG Airlines, we are a team with a very strong sense of solidarity. Having Hope Kafe with us today was an event that brought our team together while creating resources for KAÇUV. We will continue our cooperation with KAÇUV to ensure the sustainability of the treatment and offer an optimal environment for treatment. We want to host Hope Cafe in our facility at Istanbul Airport as soon as possible and increase our donations.”
One of the USA’s leading ground handlers just got bigger
Miami-headquartered, Alliance Ground International (AGI), which operates in mail, passenger, and cargo ground handling at 25 American airports (including San Juan International Airport, Puerto Rico), announced on 10MAY22, that it has commenced proceedings to acquire the Texan passenger and cargo handling specialist, Total Airport Services (TAS). The move is pending the usual regulatory approvals expected soon. With TAS, AGI, which is already affiliated Cargo Force and TSCS, is continuing its strategic growth strategy and upping its total employee numbers from 5,000 to 6,600 and adding another 331,000 tons of cargo handled per annum to its 1.5 million tons handled per year.
“TAS specializes in cargo, ramp, and passenger handling services across eight locations in the US including Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), San Francisco International Airport (SFO), George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), and Rickenbacker International Airport (LCK),” the press release states. The latter airport is also AGI’s newest location. Jared Azcuy, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), AGI, outlined: “TAS boosts AGI’s operations in the passenger handling market, which is key to our current strategy and complements our cargo handling capabilities at key US hubs. TAS is an excellent fit, and we’re excited to welcome the TAS team to AGI. We will continue to pursue acquisitions that fit in with our strategy of expanding both our product offering and our global reach, with particular focus on Latin America, Europe, and Canada.”
Speaking for TAS, CEO Silvio Tano explained: “It is clear that AGI and TAS complement each other very well. We are very proud of what TAS has achieved to date and look forward to further growth and opportunities as part of the AGI team.”
“Nobody does it better” - ECS Group is certain
In introducing Pillar 1, “Commercial” of ECS Group’s 4-pillar Augmented GSA concept, its Executive Chairman, Adrien Thominet, boldy claims that the world’s leading company secured its position on the fact that it is the best worldwide in doing sales: “Our authentic personal touch in doing business is what differentiates ECS Group from more traditional GSA models and quickly positioned us as the world's leading GSSA. All of us at ECS Group are committed to commercial excellence – day in, day out. Our airline customers know that they can count on 100% premium, professional representation, and the freight forwarders we work with rely on us to offer optimum, innovative solutions for their shipment requirements. Sales is our company DNA, and our ongoing success is down to our extensive industry experience, our expansive local intelligence, a dense and close-knit global network, and – above all – genuine personal interaction – inside and outside the company. Professional sales requires trust, flexibility, and exceptional skill: Qualities that ECS Group has incorporated ever since we started out in 1998.”
And the company has a lot to show as proof of its success: over 500 charters arranged and flown already this year, the launch of unique “New Abilities”, and continuous strategic growth. The group’s attention is very much on LatAm team, U.S., and Asia, in 2022, augmenting the global representation it already enjoys in 50 countries, representing more than 150 airlines, and handling over 1,200,000 tons of air cargo per annum. The opening of its 167th office and first dedicated branch in Korea at the end of NOV21, is another example, as Adrien Thominet explains: “Over the past few years, we have strongly focused on intensifying our presence in the Far East, both north and south; a highly dynamic region with a great deal of potential, and one that our key business partners such as DHL are also driving. Our ECS Group pledge is to offer the strongest Asian network with unlimited connections, and yet, until recently, Korea was missing from our extensive network. I am pleased to say, the first six months of operation have already shown that a local presence on the Korean market is highly welcomed, and we look forward to seeing GAC Korea grow its business in this well-yielding and promising market.”
Challenge Group is now a member of The Air Charter Association
Less of a challenge, more of a chance: Challenge Group has become a member of The Air Charter Association, with a view to actively contributing its expertise to the leading global trade association for companies and individuals involved in the aircraft chartering business – both on the cargo as well as on the passenger side. “The Air Charter Association, which was established in 1949, is one of the oldest and most respected air freight related associations globally. The Challenge Group is honoured to be accepted as a member by this prestigious association, and we are looking forward to working alongside other members and partners in shaping the future of the Air Freight industry in general and that of the Global Charter in particular,” Or Zak, Vice President Commercial of Challenge Group, declared. Challenge Group, which comprises experience in air cargo airlines, ground handling, logistics, maintenance, and leasing, brings broad representation to the association, and it believes in sharing ideas for a more sustainable future. Yossi Shoukroun, Group CEO of Challenge Group, said: “Our mission is to empower customers' expansion; therefore, we are ready to fly where our business partners need us to do so, providing tailor made air cargo solutions.”
Kevin Ducksbury, Chairman of The ACA stated: “We are delighted to welcome The Challenge Group to the Association as we develop our international growth and increase our representation for membership in the cargo sector.”
Particularly the past two years have seen a huge increase in charter operations, due both to the pandemic as well as various geopolitical issues. The Air Charter Association, too, has felt this increase and welcomed new members. Membership of a trusted association is a clear signal to prospective charter customers, that the company is a bona-fide one, since opportunity also triggered several dishonest charter operators especially in the early months of the pandemic. For Challenge Group, the growing number of customers approaching it for charter solutions reinforced its decision to join the association, thus visibly demonstrating its professional conduct and high quality standards in operation.
Cloud-native CargoAi thanks strong partners for its success
Marketing technology company and SaaS application provider, CargoAi, which has seen astronomical growth as the “world's only cloud-native air cargo solutions provider” over the past three years, subscribes its success to the intense collaboration it enjoys with its strong partnerships. No less than 25% of the world's airline capacity is now available on its digital marketplace, and there are more airline and GSA contracts to come. CargoAi is looking to grow its offer to 50% of global airline capacity by the end of this year in its mission to “bring the best technologies to air freight, so as to effectively build the missing pieces and seamlessly connect the air freight industry.” Integratable with all airline cargo management systems, CargoAi’s suite of products such as Marketplace, Whitelabel, API suite, CargoBi, and Sustainability, offers 61 airlines flying 5,000 different routes. Its booking platform with monthly double-digits growth, is used by more than 5,000 freight forwarders across 103 countries.
Kerry Logistics pioneers a fleet of electric trucks
This month saw a premier on the roads of Hong Kong as the largest international logistics company listed the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (€ 9.93 billion revenue in 2021), Kerry Logistics Network Limited, began deploying fully electric trucks in a trial run. It is the first logistics company within the country to make a move towards cleaner transport in this way. The 5.5-ton e-trucks are part of its green initiative strategy to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. William Ma, Group Managing Director of Kerry Logistics Network, said, “We are proud to be the first logistics company in Hong Kong to deploy e-trucks, which demonstrates our strategic focus on supporting cleaner and greener supply chain management. In order to future proof our growth, Kerry Logistics Network is in the process of shifting to alternative fuel vehicles and phasing out vehicles with lower emissions standards on a trial basis. As energy consumption accounts for most of the carbon emissions in our operations, we will continue to increase the use of renewable energy in the countries in which we operate, to create a value chain for sustainable business.”
The company already tested electric vehicles in Singapore in the second quarter of 2021, and its experience with hybrid electric vehicles goes back to 2013. Towards the end of last year, four electric vehicle charging stations were installed at its global Hong Kong headquarters, to encourage the use of electric vehicles. Kerry Logistics Network “aims to maintain the resilience of its logistics network to climate change and to minimise its environmental footprint around the world. It is committed to enhancing operational efficiency by switching to renewable energy for road transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” the press release underlines.
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