Rhenus is following a strategy of growth and social responsibility, as demonstrated by its recent announcements regarding a strategic investment in its London-Heathrow site to provide enhanced air freight services in the region, and strategic shareholding in Wings for Aid.
The new air freight hub in the UK joins Rhenus’ growing global gateway network which includes strategic locations in Amsterdam, Mumbai, Bangkok, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Miami, Newark, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo. Located close to London-Heathrow Airport, (LHR), the new UK gateway on Rhenus’ Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved Regulated Screening site, is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, cargo screening and air freight handling equipment. From handling, to screening, ULD build-up and break-down, and the facilities to deal with specials such as pharma and perishables, the new gateway is capable of providing a complete cargo handling service for all kinds of air cargo. It will function as a sustainable, consolidation hub, working in partnership with RHEGREEN, which was launched in 2019 as the world’s first carbon reduction program for air freight.
Enhanced cargo services
Martijn Stieva, Head of Airfreight North-West Europe, explained: “This new handling and cross-docking facility at London Heathrow enables our skilled and experienced team to service an increasingly wide range of highly demanding and regulated industry sectors and all to the high and exacting standards of Rhenus. The new gateway enhances our global air freight cargo proposition, ensuring we can handle all time-critical, sensitive shipments. We have invested in the latest X-Ray and Explosive Trace Detection (ETD) cargo screening equipment to boost our offering, and also in specialized air freight handling equipment to support unitised cargo. Our goal is to increase the volume of tonnage handled at the Gateway five-fold.”
Efficiency and sustainability
Spencer Davern, Managing Director, Rhenus Air and Ocean UK, added: “We are excited to confirm this significant investment for Rhenus and to announce the launch of the new Gateway. Our commitment to quality, efficiency and sustainability is at the forefront of this investment which is supported by our experienced workforce. Since our Heathrow site opened in May 2022, we have created a significant amount of jobs in the local community. Rhenus will continue with its intake of apprentices and graduates whilst ensuring that learning and development is accessible to all UK colleagues and actively encouraged.”
In other news, Frank Roderkerk, CEO North-West Europe Air & Ocean at Rhenus Logistics, recently posted on LinkedIn: “When disaster strikes and people are in need, it is up to all of us to lend a helping hand and uplift our global community. Rhenus Logistics is committed to making a difference, and it is an added bonus when our partner in these endeavours shares the spirit of innovation that resonates so strongly with us as well. I am proud to share that Rhenus is undertaking a shareholding in Wings For Aid, to strengthen the response to global crises with improved methods for disaster relief delivery systems.”
With this strategic holding, Rhenus and Wings for Aid are taking the working relationship they have enjoyed since 2018, a step further and committing to supporting last-mile delivery solutions for emergency relief goods too difficult to reach disaster regions, or similarly, medical supplies to remote areas. Frank Roderkerk explained: “The logistics operations account for about 80% of the costs when transporting any aid supplies. In this respect, Rhenus and Wings for Aid can achieve a significant difference for people in need.” Significant because, today, around 100 million people suffer inadequate last-mile delivery services on account of living in crisis or remote areas.
RPAS due to start Q4/23
Rhenus will support Wings for Aid with the logistics operations for humanitarian support projects, as well as jointly establishing regional and in-field support bases. Wings for Aid has developed and is currently testing a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) and smart technologies to carry a 160-kg payload per flight over a range of 250 kilometres, using its patented 20-kg cardboard delivery boxes. Rhenus and Wings for Aid expect to begin RPAS operations for humanitarian projects in Q4 2023. Barry Koperberg, General Manager of Wings for Aid, summarized: “It’s our goal to be able to be on the ground anywhere in the world within 72 hours to deliver emergency aid. Rhenus is helping us with its expertise and its global network so that we can transport our system to the response area quickly and efficiently.”
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