Amsterdam’s ‘contraction scheme’ is another blow for air cargo
The decision by the Dutch government to lower the Schiphol’s cap of 500,000 flights a year to 440,000 by the end of 2023, is another blow for the air cargo industry, the Dutch shippers claim.
The shippers’ organization, evofenedex, has said that it fully understands the government’s decision to further curb the nuisance for the surrounding communities as well as Co² and nitrogen emissions, but questions the implementation of the plans. The organization has called for a distinction to be made between the type of flights in the reduction of slots, so as to preserve the cargo capacity at Schiphol.
evofenedex reminds that even if air cargo represents only 2.5% of the number of flights at the airport, it contributes significantly to its economic significance. Even apart from dedicated measures, the reduction of the number of flights from 500,000 to 440,000 has a direct impact on the total air cargo capacity at Schiphol, the shippers say.
“The slot reduction will be distributed evenly over the various airlines. Cargo and network flights (carrying belly cargo) will have to hand back slots, leading to a further decline of Schiphol’s position as a cargo hub. Since 2018, the cargocarriers have been forced to hand in slots due to slot scarcity, evofenedex criticizes."
The governments’ decision also puts an end to the local rule, still to be worked out, that would reserve some 25% of unused slots for cargo carriers. The Dutch air cargo community has demanded that a ‘cargo pool’ of 20,000 guaranteed flights be created to compensate for the flights reduction.
Marcel Schoeters in Amsterdam
Struggles ahead: more regulations, fewer truck drivers
For years, regulations have been too complex, un-harmonized, and far too paper based, the participants in the Safety & Security panel at the Amsterdam TIACA event insisted. And there are always new regulations in the making, it seems. Gordon Wright, a former UK Border Control Officer now working at DHL, recalled the ‘perfect storm’ of Brexit and the new EU VAT-ruling for e-commerce coming together. The next challenge will be in the upcoming environmental regulation. “It will take regulation onto the next level”, he said. Representing the European freight forwarders’ forum, Clecat Constantino Canu said the authorities should not regulate for the sake of regulation.
A lack of harmonization is also quite apparent, with the different interpretations of the ‘regulated agent’ concept in the various EU-countries as only one example. A recent Wise Persons report is supposed to tackle this issue in the next upgrade of the EU Customs Code. One striking fact is that current regulations are still based on paperwork. Questions to be asked are whether the present regulations are fit for the technical environment, and if everything is still relevant when you shift to digital.
According to Mr Wright, within the air cargo industry, safety and security are a fight between 2 thoughts: for customs organizations, export controls are less important than import, which has an effect on the countries on the receiving end. For ICAO, it is all about a ‘bomb in a box.’
Road feeder services, the blood line for onforwarding between major airports, is coming under pressure, as Europe lacks about 400,000 drivers currently, said Jan de Rijk’s David Smorenburg. Among the alternatives being studied, are raising the number of women drivers (now 3% in Europe, vs. 8% in the US), getting more truckers in from the Ukraine and Moldova, younger drivers, and recruiting in South-East Asia. Jan de Rijk invites retired drivers back in for some trips and will even allow couples on the trip. In the longer-term, substantial wage increases are needed to attract Western-European drivers. Autonomous trucks may also offer a solution. Longer Heavier Vehicles (LHV’s), ‘super lorries’ could perform so-called ‘mill runs’ for air cargo (picking up consignments from different shippers’ or forwarders’ premises).
Marcel Schoeters in Amsterdam
Pharma.Aero and BSMA will jointly work to improve health care supply chain
The photo shows Pharma.Aero’s Secretary General, Frank Van Gelder, and Chairman, Trevor Caswell, alongside Devendra Mishra, Executive Director of the Bio Supply Management Alliance (BSMA), and its Managing Director BSMA Europe, Franck Toussaint, at the signing event which took place during the BSMA’s 15th Annual Conference in Foster City, California, USA. The two associations agreed to collaborate in order “to augment their supply chain management capabilities for their global communities”, the press release states. They intend to synergize Pharma.Aero’s for LifeScience and MedTech network with BSMA’s Life Sciences supply chain. The two associations will work together on standards, processes, and product handling guidelines – both with a view to reviewing existing ones, and recommending new ones. They also intend to collaborate on and foster industry-relevant projects for innovation.
Devendra Mishra, Executive Director of BSMA, stated: “The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the vulnerability of the global supply chain where airfreight logistics was significantly constrained because of systemic and external factors of decimated cargo capacity. Combining the supply chain management dimension of BSMA with the global network of Pharma.Aero augurs well for the industry committed to saving human lives. Together, the two associations will synchronize the links of the end-to-end supply chain with optimal policies.”
Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General of Pharma.Aero, added: “Pharma.Aero is a strong international cross-industrial collaboration platform, fostering collaboration between the pharmaceutical manufacturers and the stakeholders of the Life Science Supply Chain specialized in end-to-end airfreight logistics. The collaboration between BSMA and Pharma.Aero increases the shared insights and experiences to optimize, design and develop the future health care supply chain. The members of both organizations will benefit through joined initiatives and projects with the aim to improve the entire supply chain."
FedEx uplifts 52 tons of medical aid to Ukraine
It was the second charter flight carried out on behalf of Direct Relief, following the successful first flight in MAR22. On board, on 26JUN22, were 52 tons of critical medical aid heading to Poland, in order to help Ukraine. FedEx’s Express Boeing 777 freighter carried emergency medicines and supplies, health kits, trauma and wound care items, chronic disease and chemical exposure medications, and antibiotics. These had been requested and approved by Ukraine’s Ministry of Health and local Ukrainian organizations. Direct Relief team members assisted in offloading and arranged the distribution to various health facilities within Ukraine. So far, since 24FEB22, Direct Relief has arranged for over 750 tons of medical aid in response to the crisis, from field medic packs — which contain items to address trauma, including tourniquets and wound dressings — to diabetes and cancer medications.
Thomas Tighe, Direct Relief President and CEO, said: “As the war enters its fourth month, Direct Relief’s support and solidarity remain steadfastly with the people of Ukraine. In addition to the heartbreaking loss of life and human toll, the war has had a devastating impact on health services in the country, and Direct Relief is committed to bolstering care with a continuous supply of medical aid. FedEx has created a powerful force multiplier for good with this most recent charter, and it’s an incredible example of what’s needed to address this crisis.”
Karen Reddington, regional president of Europe, FedEx Express, added: “It is gratifying to be able use our global network to support these critical missions, and with this charter flight we hope to make a small contribution to what is still a major humanitarian situation.” FedEx has donated over $2.3 million in humanitarian aid to Ukraine, or which $1 million was allocated for in-kind shipping with the company’s longstanding nonprofit partners
In other news, FedEx Corp. revealed on 29JUN22, is closing with the operational business model that has been in place for 50 years, and moving to its strategic “Network 2.0” initiative in which around $2 billion will be required for its implement over the next five years. It has a series of improvements lined up, from last-mile optimization, to enhancing truck load factors and services, but will also be streamlining its US processes: “FedEx said the initiative will allow it to operate 100 fewer U.S. stations over the next five years even as it grows its volumes over that time. It also forecast a 10% reduction in U.S. pickup and delivery routes over that period. In areas with relatively low package density, business units will operate out of one station,” the press release explained.
Qatar Airways Cargo’s 4th WeQare chapter is announced
"Strength in numbers is one thing – whether this is revenue figures or number of employees. Yet, the true strength, the core, and the success of a company is made up by the individual attitudes and aptitudes of its people," Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways, emphasizes. "Naturally, since air cargo is an international business, Qatar Airways Cargo is blessed with a highly international family of employees. Our staff come from close to 100 different countries, and altogether speak more than 40 languages. We are also very diverse in age range, from 18 to 65. Every one of us at Qatar Airways Cargo comes with their individual strengths, life experiences, cultural background, and job responsibilities, yet we are all united in one goal: ensuring the success and satisfaction of our customers. That goal is achieved precisely because of our different skills and approaches. Diversity is a proven driver for positive performance, and Qatar Airways Cargo is living proof of this. WeQare's Chapter 4 is a celebration of our diversity."
This particular chapter has been dedicated to the 2,873 diverse individuals making up the company, and being “the main reason for its success”. Chapter 4 celebrates diversity amongst the airline’s employees, with regard to skills, age, race, gender, religious beliefs, experience, and much more. This highly diverse group of people shares common goals: the success of the company, and top-quality customer service. “Chapter 4 Diversity, is the latest focus topic in WeQare's sustainability initiative centered around the environment, society, economy, and culture. It follows on from Chapter 3 – "Let's Stand Together", launched in April of this year, in support of disadvantaged children across the globe. Chapter 1 - "One Million Kilos" kicked off in July 2020, and provided the free transport of 1 million kilos of humanitarian aid and medical equipment to charitable organizations, and with Chapter 2 - "Rewild the Planet", which started in 2021, Qatar Airways Cargo committed to preserving wildlife and endangered animals, and transporting them back to their natural habitat free of charge", the press release explains.
From heart transplants to pizza...
“A core value of MissionGO is safety,” Chris Corgnati, President of MissionGO, explains. “If we can fly a human organ and medical supply samples safely, we can easily fly a pizza delivery. The success of these flights proves the viability of many types of UAS delivery within a densely populated urban area.” Ok – I'll admit, this quote brought a wry smile to my face. Being on a fitness drive for two years, I am well aware that pizza-overdose is not all that great for the heart, so the sequence of human organs then pizza triggered my dark humor. That aside – these are promising, futuristic developments – certainly on the medical front. For UAS-developer, MissionGO, and its UAS technology and infrastructure partner, Airspace Link, these 40+ Unmanned Arial Vehicle cargo flights over a period of 10 days, carrying blood samples, water containers, and food packages, across Michigan, signified its first first real-world cargo deliver operations via UAS in the state. They were carried out in collaboration with Beaumont Health Spectrum Health (BHSH), Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), NextEnergy, and metropolitan Detroit community leaders.
Scott Plank, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of MissionGO, concluded: “This 10-day operation was just Phase I of what is promising to be an incredibly innovative future for Southeast Michigan and for UAS cargo deliveries as a whole. The opportunity to directly compare the effects of ground transport to an all-electric UAS transport will certainly open up the conversation on how UAS can be used to improve the environment, as well as the local economy.”
“As an FAA approved USS (UAS Service Supplier) it’s our role to support the industry and companies like MissionGO with the technology, data, and services they need to safely conduct their missions. Our AirHub platform is fully integrated with the FAA and State and Local Government agencies to provide the most up to date, authoritative data to pilots to increase situational awareness on the ground and in the air,” Michael Healander, Co-Founder & CEO of Airspace Link, summarized.
The flight operations, which were conducted using MissionGO’s 25 kg MGV100, single-rotor helicopter UAV, took place in two different locations. They were used to demonstrate hospital deliveries, multiple deliveries per day, plus to monitor various parameters such as transport time, carbon emissions, damage to contents, etc., were all carried out in compliance with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations; thus “flights were not conducted over non-crew members and the aircraft was kept within visual line of sight (VLOS) at all times”.
Silk Way West Airlines continues its fleet growth with A350F orders
Silk Way West Airlines is planning ahead. In 5-6 years from now, it will be welcoming its first two, new generation Airbus A350Fs. The agreement for two planes with an option to double the order, was signed with Airbus in Baku, Azerbaijan, on 28JUN22. It is the first time that Silk Way West Airlines and Airbus are cooperating, so the signing carried out by Wolfgang Meier, President of Silk Way West Airlines, and Wouter Van Wersch, Executive Vice President Region and Sales Europe Airbus, was a particularly special ceremony. Another first, the press release reveals: “This is the first order for A350F in the Central Asia and CIS region. The A350F is based on the world's most modern long-range aircraft, the A350. As new member of the A350 family, the A350F benefits from state-of-the art technology, aerodynamics and unrivaled operational flexibility and reliability.”
For Airbus, the new orders mark its 6th customer and brings its order tally up to 31, since the aircraft was launched in 2021. Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, commented: “I welcome Silk Way West Airlines as a new Airbus customer. The A350F is a game changer in efficiency and sustainability for the cargo operations of the future. We look forward to demonstrating how positively the economics and environmental signature of the A350s will stand out versus older generation aircraft.” Its USPs are a large main deck cargo door and a fuselage length optimized for cargo operations, a 30-ton lighter airframe thanks to advanced materials making up 70% of its body, an optimized and modern cargo loading system, and a 109-ton payload capacity. “Powered by Rolls-Royce engines, the A350F is in the large category of new-generation freighter aircraft and generates lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions. As one of the world’s most efficient and environmentally friendly freighters, these latest additions to the Silk Way West fleet will contribute to the airline’s sustainability goals,” the release explains.
“We are delighted to sign the first but surely not the last agreement with Airbus, which marks the start of what I am sure will be a very fruitful partnership as we strive for future growth. Today, our guests witnessed a defining moment in Silk Way West Airlines’ history. I am confident of the success that the acquisition of these new aircraft will bring us, and the signing of this agreement marks a new milestone in the growth of our company. There is no doubt that this partnership will strengthen the company's leading position in the global air freight market over the next 15-20 years,” Wolfgang Meier announced.
All good things come in threes for the CCA
The first of the three good things the Cool Chain Association (CCA) announced, was the addition of Tive as a new member. Tive is a real-time tracking company based in Boston, USA, that develops trackers capable of transmitting real-time shipment data across all modes, including temperature and humidity readings. The trackers, which serve both the pharmaceutical and retail industries, come in two variants: single-use, and multi-use. They not only stream location and condition information for any food or perishables shipment, but also send alerts and notification, and allow for detailed reporting and shipment journey analysis.
The Cool Chain Association’s Chairman, Stavros Evangelakakis, said: “Cool Chain members are focused on finding ways to collaborate to improve the temperature-controlled supply chain, and Tive brings knowledge and experience to help us achieve those goals. Our membership has been steadily growing over the last few months and we are excited to welcome a new member, who brings different skill sets to share with our community.”
Tive’s Referral Partner Manager, Blerta Lataj, stated: “Having accurate, real-time temperature tracking helps companies manage and maintain their stability budgets. Real-time, hyper specific location tracking is Tive's bread and butter, and this service is vital for managing time-critical shipments. We are very happy to become a member of CCA and strongly believe that the values and mission of CCA closely align with our solutions for temperature and time-critical shipments of perishables and the pharma sector.”
Good timing for Tive, from two perspectives, since the CCA recently launched a Technical Committee project (second good thing) which is focused on bringing experts from different fields together, to work on solutions to issues that along the temperature-controlled supply chain. Plus, it has become a member just in time to attend CCA’s two-day perishables summit (third good thing) and Annual General Meeting in Rome, Italy on 06-07JUL22.
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