Kerry Logistics links Hong Kong to Huntsville
Four weekly, direct charter flights have been established from Hong Kong (HKG) to Huntsville (HSV), Alabama, USA. Flying out on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, Kerry Logistics is thus offering a solution for the “transport of lithium batteries and other sensitive cargoes such as PPE, perishables and dangerous goods,” its press release confirms. Once over in America, the forwarder ensures “B2B, B2C, B2B2C door-to-door deliveries to major cities [:] Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Bogota, Mexico City, Santiago, Lima, Montevideo, São Paulo, and Buenos Aires.”
The flights form part of Kerry Logistics’ Kerry Freight Controlled Network (KCN) service which was launched in AUG21, and is since expanding. On 15JUL22, for example, Kerry began serving Huntsville out of Hanoi (HAN), Vietnam, with 3 weekly HAN to HSV flights. “KCN is a time-definite solution that offers standard air freight services to customers with guaranteed space and long-term pricing, fulfilling the needs of customers looking for stable and long-term solutions.”
Mathieu Renard Biron, Managing Director - Global Freight Forwarding of Kerry Logistics Network, said, “Our HKG-HSV charter service is welcomed by a wide range of customers, in particular electronic brands and e-tailers since its inaugural flight in April 2022. Last month, we successfully expanded our KCN to include three weekly flights from Hanoi, Vietnam, to Huntsville. We are also in dialogue with some of our key accounts to further extend our services to the Mainland of China and other parts of Asia. Backed by KLN’s long-term partnership with best-in-class carriers, extensive coverage of major air transit hubs and strong in-house customs clearance capabilities, KCN is expected to meet the recurring demand for secured air freight services in an uncertain world.”
Bring back Bob!
Delightful story on IAG Cargo’s blog last week of the rescue of prize-winning racing (and normally “homing”) pigeon, Bob, from the US back to the UK. You do have to wonder how he ended up on an entirely different continent – was it a heavy night out with the lads the evening before or was he relying on faulty pigeon GPS? Either way, when he left Guernsey in JUN22, he should have been racing home 10 hours to Gateshead in Northeast England – a distance of a little over 600 km. Instead, he ended up in a man’s garden in Mexia, Monroe County, Alabama, almost 7,000 km away, looking a little worse for wear (covered in oil, hence suggesting he might have bagged a ride on a ship), and pretty skinny. The Monroe County Alabama Animal Shelter vet he was subsequently taken to, discovered his microchip and traced his owner, Alan Todd, after which the plans began to repatriate him.
For IAG Cargo, which has carried all kinds of animals in its 70 years of experience, 4-year-old racing pigeon, Bob, (with a net worth of GBP 1000) was a first. During JUL22, preparations were made to bring Bob home. This included species-appropriate handling, a special container, and adherence to all relevant health requirements.
Valerie Hadley, Products Manager at IAG Cargo, said: “We are glad to have been able to reunite Bob with his owner, Alan. It was an amazing and unique experience to fly out to the US to support Bob’s move back to the UK. I’ve helped fly many animals during my time at IAG Cargo. However, participating in a rescue mission for a lost and subsequently found racing pigeon is a first. Although this move wasn’t one we had initially planned for, IAG Cargo’s global network meant we had the capacity and routes available to bring Bob safely back home.”
Bob’s owner, Alan Todd, stated: “I am delighted to be able to have Bob back with me in Gateshead, and that wouldn’t have been possible without the help of IAG Cargo. The cargo staff haven been supportive throughout and have guided me through the process on how they will bring Bob back home.” Not only IAG Cargo, but also Heathrow Animal Reception Centre (HARC) were sympathetic and helpful: HARC waived the fee for Bob’s 30 day-quarantine at the center.
Bearing up under the circumstances
Alaska Air Cargo also had a cute VIP passenger recently: an orphaned brown bear cub that had been found on the Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson military base outside Anchorage, earlier in the year. With no mother to care for her and ensure her survival, she was put into the care of Alaska Zoo. Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo soon caught wind, offering the cub a permanent home at its Living Northwest Trail habitat. Kevin Murphy, interim Senior Director of Animal Management at Woodland Park Zoo, explained: “It’s unfortunate when a wild cub loses its mother and becomes an orphan, especially because the cub learns so much about how to be a bear directly from its mother. We are grateful that we are in a position to take in another brown bear at this time and have the expertise and facility to do so.”
Alaska Air Cargo was tasked with the transport from Anchorage to Seattle last month. At 40 kgs, the cub’s chargeable weight was rather less than it would have been were she fully grown: Mature coastal brown bears weigh up to around 225 kg, and are larger than their grizzly relatives. Working together with both zoos, the airline’s cargo team devised a travel plan based around the size and weight of the cub’s crate, and ensuring that no other animals would be flying in the same cargo hold. Woodland Park Zoo, which annually ships around 250 animals via air freight, uses Alaska Air Cargo whenever possible, because of the quality of its service. This includes priority loading: “last on in Anchorage and first off in Seattle”, to keep the animal’s stress levels as low as possible.
Alongside the airline, with its well-booked Pet Connect product, Anchorage Airport, too, is well-versed in animal transports. Jeff Munro, Cargo Operations Manager for Anchorage Airport (ANC), stated: “Our team is so experienced moving animals of all kinds, and we just love it,” referring to the many wild animals passing through the airport, headed for zoos, wildlife rehabilitation centers or returning to remote areas of Alaska following rehabilitation.
Like Bob, “the as-yet-unnamed cub still must pass her 30-day quarantine (standard procedure at Woodland Park Zoo) and learn her new environment before visitors to the zoo can meet her,” but she is already settling in well.
Big SAF MOU signed for potentially up to 1.8 million metric tons
01AUG22 saw a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding being signed between Shell International Petroleum Co Ltd. and Deutsche Lufthansa AG (Lufthansa Group), to explore and secure the supply of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) until 2030. It also envisages negotiations for the definite purchase of up to a total maximum of 594 million gallons (1.8 million metric tons), being delivered between 2024 and 2030. If this sale goes ahead, it will be Shell’s largest order commitment to date, and a clear milestone in its strategy of at least 10% of its global aviation fuel sales being SAF by 2030. It would also spell a significant precedence in the aviation world: not only is the Lufthansa Group trying to drive the availability, market ramp-up and use of SAF, but it is also already the largest buyer of SAF in Europe.
Shell will be producing the SAF using up to four different, approved technology pathways, and a broad range of sustainable feedstocks. It will be delivered to airports around the world from 2024, onwards. Jan Toschka, President, Shell Aviation, commented: “I am very happy to see the relationship between Shell and the Lufthansa Group moving towards reaching our respective sustainability goals. It is encouraging to see large flagship carriers coming to us to discuss SAF supply deals, knowing there will be a lot of things to be defined and determined at a later stage, including established price markers. SAF is the most significant way to decarbonize aviation over the decades to come. Our relationship goes beyond commercial arrangements – it is strategic and aligned regarding the view that SAF holds the key to achieving a sustainable aviation future. The potential SAF purchase agreement contemplated under the MoU, by its anticipated volume size, term period and geographic scope, is expected to be a milestone if concluded and shows the way forward for decarbonization in the aviation industry.”
Katja Kleffmann, Head of Fuel Management Supply Lufthansa Group, commented: “We are happy to enhance our long-standing global business with Shell by signing this MoU. As an industry we have to work jointly towards making flying more sustainable and to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Shell is very experienced with the global handling of Jet fuel and that is one key element for our trust for smooth operations of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, too.”
Another customer interested in Blockchain BSAs
Marketed as “the newest strategic air cargo capacity management tool,” Chicago, USA-based Fintech company, Airblox, is unique in that it uses Blockchain for its electronic Block Space Agreements (eBSAs™) marketplace. And interest in placing and accessing these eBSAs is growing. Following French air charter broker, Avico’s move to the platform in June, when it began listing its capacity there, Airblox has now succeeded in attracting its first South-East Asian company. HPW Cargo, headquartered in Hanoi, Vietnam, has become the latest forwarder to begin using the marketplace. The 2009-founded freight agent will kick off by listing its recurring Block Space Agreement (BSA) positions on its Hanoi-Frankfurt/Germany route, this summer. Its BSA capacity will then be available for tender, sale, or reservation by other forwarders using the Airblox marketplace. Buyers bidding for space, receive answers within minutes. Airblox has already attracted more than one hundred thousand freight forwarder and global sales agent users, and the platform now lists over 2000 lanes on more than 200 airlines. It also includes features such as predictive analytics and pricing forecasts on major cargo lanes. Founded just last year, Airblox is really taking off. Airblox Product Management Lead and Co-Founder Farhan Farrukh explained why: “Electronic capacity contracts are the future because they expedite and simplify the process for buyers and sellers, there’s real-time access to capacity information, and an e-platform facilitates these transactions in a global marketplace.”
Edip Pektas, the founder of Airblox, said: “Our partnership with HPW Cargo marks our first expansion into the South-East Asian market, as we continue to build our network, meet growth targets, and provide our platform to a larger user base. We look forward to working with HPW Cargo and finding new opportunities to develop together.”
Harris Hieu, Sales Manager, HPW Cargo, commented: “Joining Airblox will be a great benefit for HPW Cargo, as it allows us to automate our services and expand globally. We strongly believe that the Airblox business model is the future of air cargo space sale, and that taking the very first step with them will help us gain a foothold into the Industry 4.0 of interconnectivity and smart automation.”
DRONAMICS becomes a partner of the CALEUS Consortium
Over in Scotland, the National Health Service has been looking into the feasibility of using drones for the distribution of essential medical supplies to remote areas, for quite some time. Argyll & Bute HSCP carried out a proof-of-concept in 2020 between Lorn & Islands Hospital and Mull & Iona Community Hospital, and COVID test sample deliveries by drone were trialed in early 2021, together with SkyPort. The CAELUS (Care & Equity – Healthcare Logistics UAS Scotland) consortium was created as a research project looking into the benefits and challenges of using drones within Scottish healthcare, transport, and delivery systems It recently secured GBP 10.1 million ($12 million/€11.8 million) in funding from the Future Flight Challenge, the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)-led investment program that has committed £125 million ($149 million/€146 million) into the next wave of aviation tech.
DRONAMICS is one of 16 partners that will be working together to establish the UK’s first national drone network. Between now and JUN24, the partners will be looking at integrated airspace, clear drone regulations, demonstrating economical and social values of drone use, establishing physical and digital infrastructure, educating communities, and flying and trialing various services for the NHS, including DRONAMICS’ "Black Swan" cargo drone in the middle-mile. The other CAELUS consortium members are: AGS Airports Limited, NHS Scotland, NATS, University of Strathclyde, Connected Places Catapult, ANRA Technology, Atkins, Arup, Cellnex UK, Commonplace Digital, DGP Intelsius, Plane Finder, Skyports, The Drone Office, and Trax International. The project launch was announced at Farnborough Airshow.
Fiona Smith, AGS Airports Group Head of Aerodrome Strategy and CAELUS Project Director, commented: “The CAELUS project is set to revolutionize the way in which healthcare services are delivered in Scotland. A drone network can ensure critical medical supplies can be delivered more efficiently, it can reduce waiting times for test results and, more importantly, it can provide equity of care between urban and remote rural communities.”
Svilen Rangelov, CEO and Co-founder of DRONAMICS, said, “This is an excellent opportunity for us to kick-off operations in the UK by leveraging our authorization experience in the EU with EASA. The flight trials for NHS Scotland would also validate our ongoing product development towards delivering medical goods. We have seen that our solution could be vital for remote communities in Scotland, drastically decreasing the transit time for medical supplies.”
WACO Radiant with new USA member
Non-asset based third party logistics provider, Radiant Global Logistics (RGL) has been appointed the WACO System’s member for the USA “following an extensive country wide investigation and vetting process,” the press release issued on 01AUG22, announces. Founded in 1973, the WACO System is an exclusive network consisting of a number of independent freight management companies, and has its headquarter in Zurich, Switzerland, and operations in London, UK. It meanwhile boasts more than 120 members in 117 countries and shifts a combined 1.4 million tons of air cargo each year. “We have agreed with RGL that every effort will be made to support other WACO members with existing and new freight volumes at the earliest opportunity, while WACO members will equally support this newly appointed WACO member,” Richard Charles, Chief Executive Officer, WACO, detailed.
RGL is headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and is present in more than 100 locations across North America. It provides a full suite of technology-enabled global transportation and value-added logistics solutions, and delivers both domestic and international freight forwarding services, truck and rail brokerage services and other services such as customs brokerage, order fulfilment, inventory management and warehousing to its international customer base. “We look forward to working closely with WACO members and are ready to do business immediately,” Arnie Goldstein, Chief Commercial Officer (CCO), RGL, confirmed. “We particularly look forward to meeting all WACO members at the forthcoming Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) in November,” he continued, referring to the network’s event taking place in Dubai from 06-09NOV22.
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