Bring on 2023 – we’re used to challenges, now
This time last year, many of us were convinced that 2022 would pan out better than the previous two years, aware, however, that further challenges were ahead. And they came. Nevertheless, resilience and flexibility has seen the industry through – and will continue to do so in 2023.
“The challenges will not get any easier, against the volatile covid variations, the rapidly rising costs and inflation, and the currently tense global political situation. If conflicts were to intensify, for example between Russia and Eastern European countries, and in the Indo-Pacific between China, neighboring states, and the USA, it could have a huge impact on global trade and supply chains, putting the ongoing capacity shortages across all transport channels in the pale,” was what we warned at the time.
Little did we know then, that just 8 weeks later, Russia would invade Ukraine, triggering new limitations and obstacles as flight routes lengthened, capacities and established cargo airlines disappeared from the market, and the iconic AN-225 Mriya was destroyed right at the start of the illegal war that has claimed so many lives, caused so much suffering, and is still continuing.
The prognosis for 2023, following the past six months of a softening global market, rising inflation, dropping rates, returning belly and ocean capacities, for example, is that the first half of the year will continue in much the same vein, with the market picking up again towards the end of next year.
On the Covid front at least, things appear to have returned back to “normal”, with even China beginning to drop restrictions. Travel and tourism have picked up, and certainly the attendance at cargo conferences has increased. CargoForwarder Global enjoyed meeting many of you throughout the year at the various events in AMS, ATH, CPH, DXB, FRA, LON, VIE, and lastly over in MIA at the TIACA air cargo forum in NOV22. The atmosphere has always been one of genuine collaboration, and positive developments.
Industry buzzwords: Sustainability, Digitalization, and Innovation, are increasingly accompanied by tangible projects and achievements – many of which CargoForwarder Global has been proud to showcase in various Exclusives. Something we also look forward to doing again in 2023. Our pencils are poised to write about your business success stories, innovations, product launches, mergers, partnerships, and the like. At this point, we would also like to say THANK YOU to our readers, sponsors, guest authors, contributors, and media partners for your sincere and faithful support this past year. We write for you and are always happy to hear your feedback and suggestions.
Our next edition of CargoForwarder Global will be sent on Sunday 08JAN23. Should you wish to see your article or advert in there, or in a subsequent issue, simply send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
In the meantime, we wish you all, whether you are at work, at home, or away on holiday over the end of the year, a relaxing festive season, and a successful start to the new year.
Your CargoForwarder Global Team
ECS Group’s first venture into Japan
With Globe Air Cargo Japan’s founding on 01AUG22, ECS Group has for the first time established a physical presence in Japan. Its office is located off-airport, near to the large global and local Japanese forwarders in downtown Tokyo, in Shinbashi, Minato-ku, 70 km away from Japan's main cargo airport, Narita (NRT). The local team, headed by Managing Director, Dmitry Vorontsov, is well-versed and networked in air cargo having held positions with a number of different airlines in the past.
ECS Group is thus well set-up to build and strengthen business relations in East Asia. Globe Air Cargo Japan has been chosen by Air Premia to be its Japanese GSSA. It is already represented by ECS Group subsidiaries in Korea and the U.S., who ensure optimum revenues and load factors on each of its flights. The two companies have been preparing for Air Premia’s inaugural Japan flight: “On 23 December 2022, Air Premia will leave from Japan for Korea with a typical Japanese export cargo load of automotive parts, semi-conductor parts, and general consumer goods. The Korean airline plans to run a scheduled service linking Narita (NRT) with Incheon (ICN), and from there on to Singapore (SIN), Saigon (SGN), and Los Angeles (LAX), respectively,” the release announces.
Dmitry Vorontsov, Managing Director Globe Air Cargo Japan, said: “With our established team of highly experienced in sales professionals and existing forwarder relationships across the country, Globe Air Cargo Japan offers local air cargo expertise within a truly global ECS Group network, and one that goes above and beyond any standard GSSA portfolio. We look forward to contributing to Air Premia's success in Japan, and carving out a strong market presence for ECS Group, too.”
Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group, added: “ECS Group has placed a key focus on expanding its presence in Asia these past 12 months, and growing to support its international customers. Together with Air Premia, ECS Group is fulfilling its pledge to offer the strongest Asian network with unlimited connections. I am delighted that we can now provide GSSA services in one of the world's most significant economies, and know that with Globe Air Cargo Japan, our Japanese and international customers will be more than well-attended to.”
Another one joins the SAF – a UK first, this time
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo (AFKLMP Cargo) announced this week that Birmingham-based Metro Shipping Ltd has opted in to its SAF program, thus becoming the first UK customer to do so. At the official signing ceremony at Metro Shipping’s head office in Birmingham, Metro’s Managing Director, Grant Liddell, declared: “We are proud to be partnered with Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, and take this collaborative approach directly with the airline. Although it is currently early in the switch to full SAF on cargo flights, this will gather pace over the coming years, and we are already promoting the benefit in greenhouse gas reductions to our customers that are using time-critical modes across the industry.”
Metro, which was established in 1981, is an all-rounder in the British and international supply chain scene, importing and exporting various raw materials and finished food, fashion, and transport products. It announced its intention to join AFKLMP Cargo’s SAF program back in mid-November already, arguing on its website that “despite the continuing challenges of the COVID pandemic and the war in Ukraine the aviation industry is committed to decarbonizing by 2050, but alternative energies such as electric and hydrogen will not solve the challenge, which is why Metro is joining industry ‘innovators’ to support and invest in sustainable aviation fuel,” and pointing to the airline group’s SAF initiative: “Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), which was first flown on a commercial flight by KLM in 2011, has been identified as one of the key elements in helping achieve this goal.”
Metro’s own operations are already carbon-neutral, so it is now focusing on the rest of the supply chain, “which is why the board has elected to join the AFKLMP Cargo SAF program and invest in sustainable aviation fuel.”
Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s Cargo Director for the United Kingdom & Ireland, Arturo Marte added: “I’m pleased to welcome Metro Shipping as our first UK customer to join our Sustainable Aviation Program. Metro Shipping has been very active in helping us raise awareness in our industry and more specifically in the UK. Creating a more sustainable air bridge for our customers is crucial and will require many initiatives from all of the players in the logistics chain. We’re very proud of the many initiatives being put into production to help curb the impact of fossil fuels in air freight logistics. Looking forward to 2023, we’ll continue to engage with our respective customers to gather the much-needed momentum here in the UK. Looking forward to partnering up with many more of our local UK customers to continue our mission on sustainability.”
CMA CGM AIR CARGO is CargoAi’s 71st airline customer
In the same week it became apparent that CMA CGM AIR CARGO has halted its U.S. to Europe freighter services, and its aircraft are instead flying for DHL Express and Qatar Airways Cargo in the interim, CargoAi announced that the neo-airline has opted to publish its capacities on the digital marketplace. For CargoAi, the latest addition brings its airline count up to 71 operating “from 195 origins to 447 destinations”, according to the press release, which also claims that its “CargoMART eBooking platform has become the marketplace with the most available options per routes and is becoming the partner of choice for freight forwarders.”
For CMA CGM AIR CARGO, CargoAi is its first venture onto a third-party marketplace enabling real-time capacity and rate information and immediate booking options on its Paris-Hong Kong SAR return routing. An interesting development in an otherwise still nebulous transitional set-up where sales are steered by ECS Group on the one hand and fleet operations are meant to be shifting to AFKLMP Cargo.
Matt Petot, Founder and CEO of CargoAi.co, commented: “We have been growing very fast thanks to our different approach and special focus on making it simple for our airlines to integrate and for our forwarders users to make bookings. Our unique combination of Tech and Air Cargo talents has helped to showcase that CargoAi can deliver modern tech solutions at a very fast pace to this industry. We have still a lot of work to do and 2023 looks already very exciting as CargoAi will focus on delivering new solutions outside of our eBooking platform (CargoMART) and work on customized projects for our partners.”
Magali Beauregard, CCO of CargoAi, added: “We’re thrilled that CargoMART becomes the first marketplace to sell CMA CGM’s freighter service. This is a great addition to our existing airline portfolio that users on www.CargoAi.co get benefit from, especially with the perspective that 2C will further expand its network globally.”
And one more makes three…
Founded in 2020, Georgian Airlines, a subsidiary of Armenia Aircompany, began operations in February of this year, just after it received its AOC on 04FEB22. It quickly rose to first place on the Georgian air cargo scene. Until now, it has been operating two Boeing 737s (one Boeing 737-86N and one Boeing 737-8SF) on behalf of Silk Way West Airlines across Central Asia. At the Farnborough Air Show in JUL22, Tamaz Gaiashvili, the President of Georgian Airlines Group, announced that three more Boeing 737’s had been ordered: “We are thrilled to bring more much-needed air cargo capacity to the region with the addition of three B737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters. The B737-800BCF has the payload, range, and capability to carry both e-commerce and general cargo.”
The delivery dates had been planned for 2023 and 2024, following modification at Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Company Limited (GAMECO) and Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. (STAECO) in China.
On 15DEC22, the airline received a third Boeing: the B737-800SF has been dry-leased from Titan Aircraft Investments. Michael Steen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Titan Aviation Holdings and Chief Commercial Officer of Atlas Air Worldwide, said: “We are delighted to welcome Georgian Airlines and appreciate their trust in Titan as we support their growing business.”
Irakli Mezvrishvili, General Director of Georgian Airlines LLC, commented: “As we expand in the airfreight market, we are honored to partner with Titan Aircraft Investments to bring more air cargo capacity to the region with the addition of the 737-800 freighter. We look forward to a strong partnership with Titan’s excellent team as they help us meet market demand and capitalize on cargo flows between Asia and Europe.” Whether it, too, will fly for Silk Way West, remains to be seen.
ANA opts for WebCargo
Just a week after WebCargo announced that the largest Chinese airline was joining its platform, it also revealed that Japan’s largest airline, ANA, is planning to launch on WebCargo, too. Go-live is planned for the first quarter of 2023. From then on, the more than 10,000 forwarders using WebCargo, will be able to book on ANA Cargo’s fleet of over 200 aircraft connecting ANA Cargo’s 130+ destinations around the world.
Kenichi Wakiya, Executive Vice President of ANA Cargo, stated: “ANA Cargo continues to improve customer experience with the implementation of digital technology. The expansion of our ebooking network through Webcargo’s platform is a large step that moves us forward to this goal. This is an exciting opportunity to use innovation to make an extraordinary, positive impact for our customers and the industry as a whole.”
Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo, a Freightos Group, said: “We are thrilled to join ANA Cargo in delivering a world class booking experience to their customers during these times of market volatility. We’re continuing to see carrier digitization on WebCargo bring visibility to carriers’ lanes and services that customers may not have been aware of. This new type of reach enables airlines not only to expand their customer base but enables expansion of existing customer business to new lanes or services for ad hoc or even recurring shipments, translating to added value for carriers and forwarders alike.”
In other news, WebCargo provided an update on the American 7LFreight company, which it had acquired at the start of this year – it now offers LTL ebookings on 7lFreight platform, alongside real-time rate and capacity management possibilities. Brennan O’Dowd, the CEO of 7LFreight, a Freightos Group company, commented: “We continually were asked by our customers how they could book the rates that they see within the 7LFreight platform. Creating booking capabilities for the LTL carriers is a paradigm shift that allows customers to be able to both instantly price and book shipments without ever leaving 7LFreight.” The platform provides a considerably more efficient booking process than via email.
Hong Kong’s COOLPORT is now rolling
Hong Kong’s COOLPORT now has a brand-new, functioning automated Cold-Chain Pallet-Cargo System. Lödige Industries announced this week, that it had completed the work that had been agreed in the JUN21 contract. It is the latest project in a long relationship which goes back to 2006, when Lödige Industries installed a large, multi-level material handling system for Asia Airfreight Terminal, which encompassed four 43-meter-high elevating transfer vehicles. The newest installment enables the fast and safe transport of temperature-sensitive goods inside the cold chain facility. It works with climate-resistant sensors in combination with an enhanced maintenance and control system to ensure an efficient and safe flow of fragile goods.
Yammie Sin, Chief Marketing Officer at Asia Airfreight Terminal, said: “The sector for temperature-sensitive goods is becoming a very important market for our customers. Seamless compliance with cold chain regulations is enormously important, so we are investing in the most reliable and efficient equipment for our new cold storage facility COOLPORT. This also allows AAT to offer services that were previously unavailable in Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA), such as temperature-controlled truck docks, the ability to screen, build up and break down cargo entirely within a temperature-controlled environment. With Lödige Industries, we have a long-standing and reliable partner, who was able to plan and install a state-of-the-art material handling system in a fast and cost-efficient way while complying with all important cold chain regulations required for COOLPORT. This allows us to offer our customers efficient and safe storage and handling of their sensitive and valuable goods.”
Nicholas Tripptree, Managing Director, APAC at Lödige Industries, stated: “We look back on a long partnership with Asia Airfreight Terminal at Hong Kong International Airport, where we continue to service the system which was handed over in 2006 and modernized in 2018. We are proud that one of the largest airfreight companies at the airport, chooses to support its customers with our best-in-class solutions for moving pallets and ULDs. Especially in the cold chain sector, absolute reliability and consistency are key. With customized solutions like this new and CEIV-certified cold chain storage system, Lödige Industries proves that it can also offer world leading material handling solutions for the area of temperature sensitive cargo.”
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