CEVA shifts into top gear on automotive logistics
CEVA Logistics announced on 10JAN23, that with the integration of French automotive specialist, GEFCO, it has become a world leader in the automotive logistics field. At the same time, it is now the largest freight logistics provider in France, with its global headquarters based in Marseille since 2019. CMA CGM Group which owns CEVA Logistics, acquired GEFCO last JUL22. GEFCO was founded by French car manufacturer, Peugeot, back in 1949, and had since grown to own a fleet of 1,600 trucks, roughly 3,000 vehicle transport wagons, and over 100 vehicle compounds, which it deployed to transport around 4 million vehicles a year.
Its brand has now changed to CEVA Logistics, and what used to be GEFCO main automotive operations has now become a CEVA division dedicated to the logistics of finished vehicles (FVL). The global team of 4,000 staff is headed by former GEFCO COO, Emmanuel Cheremetinski. GEFCO’s other services which include contract logistics and ground transportation, are also being integrated into CEVA’s existing operations, and its original branding will have been wholly changed to CEVA by the end of this year. Through the GEFCO acquisition and integration, CEVA which had previously already served 14 of the top 15 global automotive manufacturers and many global automotive parts suppliers with logistics solutions (which include inbound to manufacturing, component and aftermarket services), is now in a position to offer complete lifecycle solutions to the global automotive industry.
Mathieu Friedberg, CEO, CEVA Logistics, stated: “Our promise of Responsive Logistics requires high levels of industry know-how, so we are growing in both scale and expertise to co-create value with our customers. With our new CEVA colleagues who came from GEFCO, we are able to offer extensive global capabilities to a wide range of industries, including the automotive industry. Backed by the CMA CGM Group, we expect our growth to continue as we target becoming a Top 3 global 3PL.”
Guillaume Col, Deputy CEO, Regions and Products, CEVA Logistics, commented: “With the automotive industry undergoing significant transformation, integrating a mature finished vehicle organization puts CEVA in a very strong position. With a unique depth of expertise and solutions at all stages of the automotive supply chain, we are already developing comprehensive, end-to-end solutions for this sector.”
Astral Aviation and Air Logistics Group pair up
Previously represented by Network Airline Services Group, Astral Aviation revealed that since 01JAN23, its General Sales and Service Agent in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States, is now Air Logistics Group. This strategic partnership is the foundation of the Kenyan airline’s planned expansion across Europe and the United States this year. One core objective is to increase its perishables business into Europe, as the carrier works on offering its customers in Kenya, Europe, and the USA, with more services and additional online capacity on cargo routes from Europe into Africa.
Sanjeev Gadhia, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Astral Aviation, said: “We look forward to our partnership with Air Logistics Group, who will be responsible for promoting Astral Aviation in the strategic markets of Europe, UK, and USA, and will cover Astral's intra-African scheduled network of 50 destinations which are served from its Nairobi Hub, in addition to new point to point destinations from its Liege Hub to Africa. We are confident of Air Logistics Group's professionalism, expertise, and neutrality to represent us in three of the key markets, notably Europe, UK, and USA and look forward to a new partnership.”
Stephen Dawkins, CEO, Air Logistics Group, stated: “Astral Aviation is an established and recognized quality airline operating to and from Europe and within key trade lanes in Africa. We are excited to connect our comprehensive network to theirs and to expand further the strong presence that Astral Aviation has in this region in the coming years."
The only way is up, says WestJet Cargo
WestJet Cargo will be the one to “bird watch” this year, as it spent last year gearing up for the big moment of its own cargo fleet – no mean feat, building a cargo airline from scratch. By its own admission, WestJet Cargo was on full energy blast in 2022, establishing partnerships such as with GTA which “contributed to massively increase its services and shipping capacities in Canada”, launching a new cargo platform in partnership with SmartKargo, and – most significantly – putting a dedicated inhouse cargo team together. With Kirsten De Bruijn appointment as Executive Vice President, a whirlwind of cargo activity was triggered, with Bharat Bhatia coming on board as Head of Cargo Operations, and Hao Cai as Manager of Network Planning, Revenue Management & Interline Analytics. The airline launched new routes, including Los Angeles (LAX) and Orlando (MCO), and began taking delivery of its first 4 dedicated freighters. These are moving into runway position to start operating in earnest this year, and putting WestJet Cargo on the map “as a strong player in the demanding Canadian air freight market.”
Kirsten De Bruijn, Executive Vice President, has clear plans for what she feels will be a great year: “What was achieved in 2022, was colossal, and I am so proud that we managed to overcome the obstacles we encountered on the way. With our new freighters due to start operating in March, WestJet Cargo will be asserting its position in the market. Our strong identity supported by a new wave of energy and team spirit will hugely boost our development, allowing us to meet the coming challenges and making us an essential player in the industry.” That new wave of energy will be focused on further implementing WestJet Cargo’s vision to be “the up and coming cargo carrier” – by which it refers to “providing customers with creative, agile and flexible solutions and always committing to reliability.” It is also still establishing its cargo team, careful to select highly skilled, customer-oriented and open-minded professionals, since they will be the ones carrying the airline to its success. And it already has a brand image and digital platform to match its “new team, new routes and new freighters [and] clear vision and mission”. The airline emphasizes strong-will, agility, and flexibility as ingredients for a great year.
Coyne Airways airs space on Airblox
Airblox Founder, Edip Pektas is convinced that 2023 will be a glorious year and with the news aired on 09JAN23 already, he may well be right. The pioneering digital marketplace for so-called eBSAs (electronic Blocked Space Agreements, an acronym that Airblox has now trademarked) has gained London, UK-based Coyne Airways as a customer, alongside Vietnamese freight forwarder, HPW Cargo, and French air charter expert, Avico, which both officially joined the platform last year. Further, 2023 is the year Airblox plans to move from its beta to a true go-live (CFG reported), so Coyne Airways is likely to be the first in a number of customer announcements over the coming months.
1994-founded, non-asset-based Coyne Airways, which operates charter services worldwide and has a niche specialization in services to difficult-to-reach destinations in Armenia, Georgia, Afghanistan, Iraq, as well as an increasing number of African destinations, is now listing its available freighter capacity in the form of electronic Blocked Space Agreements on Airblox. This space can then be purchased or traded with other air charter customers and freight forwarders. The airline will naturally also have access to eBSAs offered by other customers, and will benefit, too, from the software’s capacity AI analyses regarding market trends and spot prices.
Larry Coyne, Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Coyne Airways, stated: “Coyne Airways is delighted to partner with Airblox, which is an exciting innovation for the airline industry to help airlines and customers optimize capacity and increase efficiency. We, like Airblox, are dedicated to providing consumers with the air capacity they require on the terms that best suit them – whether on a blocked space or per kilo basis. We look forward to providing access to our scheduled lanes and empty legs on the platform.”
Unilode and Gulf Air agree on another decade of partnership
If something works well, don’t change it. Bahraini carrier, Gulf Air, which points to its Skytrax award for being the “World’s Most Improved Airline 2022”, has just renewed its ULD management partnership with Unilode Aviation Solutions for another 10 years. No doubt, Unilode contributed to the airline winning that award, since on-time, reliable, and adequate ULD provision plays a huge role in an airline’s public image. Cooperation began in 2011, when Gulf Air contracted the management of its ULD fleet to Unilode – a fleet which proceeded to grow as Gulf Air’s fleet and route network expanded. Unilode now ensures global ULD supply, management, maintenance and digital services, and accessories management. It provides a dedicated local customer success management team which is supported by Unilode’s global Operations Control Center. Over the next decade, Unilode will “continue to supply pallets, and lighter weight and more durable AKE containers from its ULD pool to Gulf Air for increased synergies and sustainability benefits. Unilode will also provide specialty containers, which will be dedicated for Gulf Air’s exclusive use,” the release outlines without detailing which commodities the “specialty containers” are intended for.
Gulf Air Chief Executive Officer, Captain Waleed Al Alawi, commented: “Unilode has demonstrated excellent customer-centric attitude and met all our expectations, therefore we are delighted to continue working together with our valued partner. Gulf Air is committed to being an industry leader and embracing innovative technologies, and Unilode’s digital ULD fleet enables our airline to enhance the services offered to our passengers and customers. For the success of our airline, it is important to collaborate with strategic partners who share our values and vision, and we are pleased to be able to continue our strong relationship with Unilode’s team and ULD solutions for another 10 years.”
Unilode Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ross Marino, said: “Gulf Air is one of Unilode’s most loyal ULD management customers, and we are pleased with the extension of our partnership until 2032. Gulf Air is well-known in the industry for its focus on customers and its continuous improvement, and we are proud that Unilode has been able to contribute to its growth and success. We have strengthened our presence in the region with additional customer success management staff to be able to continue providing the best possible service to our valued partner. Gulf Air’s ambitious growth plans are very exciting, and we look forward to continuing our close and successful partnership for many years to come.”
ECS Group reflects on a year of Augmented Success
"Four seasons in one day!” is how ECS Group’s Chief Commercial Officer, Robert Van de Weg, sees the year that just recently came to an end. “We enjoyed a very strong first half year; however, the second half has been more challenging given a flatter market compared to the summer, with falling yields and volumes, particularly out of Asia. An unusual situation for this time of year, and one that will likely remain so for the first half of 2023. We expect Asian exports to pick up again in the second half of the year, when the U.S. and Europe begin restocking once more,” he said, taking stock of the current situation.
In all respects, 2022 was a very full year of activity for ECS Group, which focused on solid growth of its modular Augmented GSSA services designed with the evolving world of air cargo services in mind, as Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group confirmed: “Our Augmented GSSA vision is starting to physically shape our business. ECS is increasingly developing into a Key Account Management matrix structure where activities are centered around customers. And those customers are becoming more heterogenous, too, with the emergence of the new air-sea shipping clients.”
Demand for its Total Cargo Expertise (TCE) services, was particularly strong as airlines built back after the pandemic and new cargo airlines came into the market. Market expansion was also on the books with ECS Group opening new offices in Tokyo, Japan and Seoul, Korea, to serve a growing Asian customer portfolio. The group also built up its employee base from 1,360 to 1,432 dedicated air cargo professionals, and focused not only on its own digital and online presence, but also a broader spectrum. Thominet commented: “It is also very encouraging to see that the digital transformation in our industry is gathering pace and ECS Group is clearly assisting this acceleration. Cargo Digital Factory, our own incubator, is already offering various tools such as Quantum, Apollo and Pathfinder. But the challenge of digitalization has led us to go further. To help accelerate the development of solutions for our industry, Cargo Digital Factory joined CargoTech early last year, enabling ECS Group to benefit from new solutions and create new synergies.”
Two for the price of one at heyworld
Actually, the correct statement is of course two for the price of two but replacing one over at heyworld. Lufthansa Cargo announced this week that Boris Hueske and Nikola Todic would both be succeeding its eCommerce subsidiary’s current Managing Director, Timo Schamber, as joint Managing Directors come 01FEB23. Timo Schamber, heyworld GmbH’s first and only Managing Director since its foundation in 2019, is stepping down on his own volition to take up a global airfreight role at a well-known German freight forwarding company, according to insider information. During his management, Frankfurt am Main-based heyworld GmbH grew to a 45-strong company, building up an eCommerce hub at Frankfurt Airport, including the start-up of operations of an own parcel sorter just last October. “The focus of [heyworld’s] service is on transport solutions in Lufthansa Cargo's medium- and long-haul network for online retailers, digital marketplaces and freight forwarders,” the release explains, speaking of “a modular product, […] fast and reliable connections with short transit times for transport as well as customs clearance[, including] end-to-end shipment tracking and a parcel-based pricing,” for simplified, digitalized cross-border eCommerce logistics in one-stop-shop solution that is “faster than mail and more price efficient than express services.”
The mix of Boris Hueske who, until now, was Head of Digital at Lufthansa Cargo, responsible for digital strategy and digital business model development, and Nikola Todic, who in his network planning, steering, and strategic development function led the business development of the A321F fleet at Lufthansa Cargo, is a solid basis for heyworld’s eCommerce network future as a digital forwarder.
Commenting on the management change, Ashwin Bhat, Chief Commercial Officer at Lufthansa Cargo, said: “I am very pleased to have Boris Hueske and Nikola Todic as two experienced and very agile managers for the young company, heyworld. They both bring extensive experience and knowledge from the areas of digitalization and eCommerce in the airfreight segment. Against the background of the continuing high demand on the market for customized eCommerce and same-day offers, our goal is to align our increased freight capacities in the medium- and long-haul network even more closely with the services of heyworld, and to make them even more attractive for our customers. In this regard, my thanks go to Timo Schamber, who has laid an important foundation for the establishment and expansion of heyworld in the course of our very good cooperation over the past years.”
Riege Software has certified security standards
Data and system security is increasingly important with the expansion of digitalization and therefore the growing risk of cyberattacks and leaks. Following strict and very detailed audits, the TÜV Nord recently awarded Riege Software with the ISO 27001 certificate for Information Security Management Systems (ISMS). This is an internationally approved standard for information security which defines the requirements for an information security management system (ISMS). The ISO 27001 is a seal of validation that tells customers and business partners that Riege Software complies with security standards across all of the processes within the company. “ISO 27001 is not limited to IT processes, but also covers aspects of infrastructure such as organization, personnel, and buildings. Maintaining this certification requires periodic reassessment audits to confirm that the ISMS continues to function as stated and intended,” the press release explains.
After reviewing Riege’s internal process descriptions, its physical as well as system security measures, TÜV Nord auditors pronounced the company’s data and system security to be of top-level standard, without any deviations. An excellent result given that the company counts around 10,000 users worldwide. This Riege has proven that it is very careful in handling information. The release admits that “only a handful of recommendations were made, which are to be put into practice immediately.”
Tobias Riege, CEO, said: “We consider this ISMS project implementation a powerful tool to manage and scale our grown company more effectively, while also assuring the integrity of Riege Software's data and system security to our customers. A quality promise that we do not only rely on, but actively work to fulfill. This includes obtaining this certification, which has to be renewed on a regular basis.”
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