Kuehne+Nagel riding the electric wave
Kuehne+Nagel’s domestic groupage transportation services are going to be much greener from now on. On 31MAR23, Kuehne+Nagel France was ceremoniously handed over the keys to 23 electric Renault trucks. As the press release states, this “delivery is a first wave in a bigger electrification effort” to decarbonize the company’s road services. Not just in France, but globally, since Kuehne+Nagel’s sustainability plan is to have 60% low-emission vehicles in its own fleet by 2030.
This fleet of 23 electric vehicles (EVs) was presented by the Managing Director of Renault Trucks France, Christophe Martin, who visited the Kuehne+Nagel site in Villefranche sur Saône, France, where he was met by Kuehne+Nagel France’s National Road Logistics Director, Xavier Leger, who received the keys.
On a global level, Kuehne+Nagel has already been piloting the use of electric trucks for around the past three years. Short journeys of up to 250km are possible with medium-sized battery electric vehicle (BEV) of up to 18 tons – something that Xavier Leger, Kuehne+Nagel France, National Road Logistics Director, also underlined: “For now, it is more efficient to use EVs for domestic routes instead of international routes because of their limited range and the lack of charging infrastructure on European highways.”
The press release emphasizes the company’s deployment of HVO (hydrotreated vegetable oil) fuel in the interim as a “bridging technology to reduce carbon emissions” on the road “until the required infrastructural changes happen for long distances.” That said, short-haul transports constitute a large part of road freight journeys. Across France, Kuehne+Nagel serves 56 locations, many of which are good for EV-operated routes. The green move in fleet is also a positive move in advance of upcoming French legislation for better air quality, which will prohibit polluting vehicles from entering French cities from 2025 onwards.
Patrick Schuster, VP Global Head Strategy and Sales Development Road Logistics for Kuehne+Nagel Management AG, commented on LinkedIn: “Great day for one of our strongest and most progressive country organizations in the world. Our French team delivering customer excellence every single day will do this now being more and more on battery electric vehicles. Thrilled to spot them on the roads.”
WebCargo now hosts three Chinese Master Loaders
Integrated logistics providers Sinoair, CIMC Anda Shun, and Sinotech have joined the WebCargo platform and are “Open for Business” as WebCargo puts it in its press release, augmenting the marketplace’s footprint in one of the largest air cargo markets in the world: China generates 7.3 million metric tons out of a global air cargo market of 65.7 million metric tons. European and North American freight forwarders using the platform can now also view and access real-time Chinese air cargo export capacity and rates handled by the three Chinese master loaders, in addition to capacity already available on WebCargo’s airline partners. The difference? “Unlike many airlines, these master loaders do not require forwarders to be IATA cargo agents,” the release explains. The move onto WebCargo will also change and speed up traditional business processes: “Historically, China's master loaders would offer their services to local forwarders who would then resell capacity to overseas forwarders looking to import goods from China.” Manel Galindo, CEO of WebCargo, said: “By the end of Q1, we will have on-boarded three Chinese master loaders, Sinoair, CIMC Anda Shun and Sinotech. No more language or time zone barriers, middlemen or costly delays. Going forward, forwarders will have cross-border access to China, democratizing access to global air cargo on this key trade lane."
Wenxuan Zang, Sinoair's General Manager of Logistics and Information Technology Department, commented: “WebCargo's innovative platform and our expertise in Chinese air freight is a winning combination. Here at Sinoair, we're constantly looking to grow and innovate. The opportunity to offer direct sales with Western forwarders will expand access to a large customer base and provide us with financial KYC's through Webcargo's payments functionality - both important advantages in this uncertain economy.”
Star He, CIMC Anda Shun's Overseas Market Director, stated: “Partnering with WebCargo means our overseas customers will be able to book and pay for the best shipping options from China anytime, anywhere. As China reopens to international travel and more passenger flights get added to our overall air freight capacity, inquiries from overseas customers are increasing as well. We look forward to growing together with WebCargo.”
Vincent Zhang, Sinotech's Overseas Business Director, voiced his view: “The convenience and efficiency that we bring to overseas customers through WebCargo means faster and better cross-border freight and trade. This way everyone gets to enjoy the benefits and ease of digital booking and payment.”
VRR selects Japanese MRO and parts partner
VRR announced this week, that it has entered into a distribution partnership with the Japanese Ground Support Equipment (GSE) and Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) provider, Tamagawa Aero Systems. The long-standing aircraft parts specialist, founded in 1952, will act as a further distribution channel for the Dutch ULD manufacturer. The agreement will go into effect this year, allowing Tamagawa to sell VRR’s products and to carry out repair services using OEM parts. With a local partner, VRR not only benefits from Tamagawa’s national network of outlets and stations, but also from a closer customer service across the country through local business knowledge and language. The product support, and repair and maintenance services will be carried out at Tamagawa’s ULD repair station in Narita.
Geert van Riemsdijk, Managing Director of VRR, declared: “This new partnership will make life much easier for our customers based in Japan. Tamagawa is well-respected in the region for its expertise in repairing aircraft parts and GSE products. What’s more, its people speak the language and have in-depth knowledge of how business is conducted in Japan. We’re very excited about this agreement.”
Cargo insurance is digital and developing
“Breeze came together to bring customer obsession to the world of cargo insurance. We leverage innovative technology and data to provide better pricing, instant policies and extremely swift claim settlements,” is the interesting wording on its website. Breeze is a free-to-use, fully automated, digital insurance solution, specifically tailored for freight forwarders and logistics companies. Last week, the insurtech start-up, founded in the UK in 2021, appointed a cargo insurance management specialist (30 years in the business) as its Chief Insurance Officer: Patrizia Kern. She comes over from Swiss Re Corporate Solutions' global marine division and is well-versed in marine insurance. Breeze shows all cargo transport modes on its website, including air, and is developing quickly. In addition to insurance, Kern also has extensive experience of technology and sustainability drives. She chairs both the Poseidon Principles for Marine Insurance (PPMI), a 2021 initiative to accelerate decarbonization in the shipping industry, and the Big-Data and Digitalization Forum and Nominating Committee of the International Union of Marine Insurance (IUMI). Her verdict: “Breeze is at the forefront of the digital revolution in marine and cargo insurance. Combining new technology, data and machine learning will completely transform the marine and cargo insurance industry, to provide a level of transparency and efficiency in freight management that will ultimately make shipping more sustainable, more profitable, and safer. Breeze has built in a very short time what the industry has been talking about for years now, and I am looking forward to using my knowledge of the market to accelerate the industry's transformation through impactful end-to-end, digital, and data-driven insurance offerings.” The company recently opened an office in the U.S.
Matthew Phillips, Chief Commercial Officer at Breeze, said: “Current estimates are that around 70% of global trade is either un-or-under insured. With the growing number of risks affecting supply chains, it is more important than ever that cargo is properly covered. In many cases shippers are not even aware that they are not insured by their forwarder or logistics provider, and with Breeze forwarders can seamlessly offer shippers the coverage they need. Patrizia's experience and energy will be a huge asset to our growing team, and we are excited that she is joining us.”
Commendable side note: Kern is also a mentor in the Women in Aviation and Logistics' (WAL) mentoring program, currently in its second round.
Messe München branching out to Singapore
Messe München is premiering a multimodal logistics trade fair in Singapore at the end of this year. The dates to note in your diary are 01-03NOV23. DP World, Dubai South, DHL, dnata, Changi Airport, and Etihad are already signed up for the debut transport logistic Southeast Asia in Singapore, and many more key industry players are expected “as the location is already one of the leading hubs and is likely to become even more dynamic in the future as an internationally trusted region from a geopolitical perspective.” Historically, too, Singapore has always played a crucial part in logistics as the world’s largest port (until Shanghai recently surpassed it), and with Changi Airport (17th largest air cargo hub in the world in 2022, based on tonnage, according to ShipHub), known particularly for its high-quality pharma standards. Many of the world's logistics service providers and ASEAN shippers represented there.
The three-day event will focus on key topics such as digitalization, sustainability, and resilience, and – as usual, it will be a key opportunity to showcase and network. Michael Wilton, CEO of MMI Asia (the 1992-established, regional subsidiary of Messe München), confirmed that there has been much positive response in the first transport logistic Southeast Asia: “The current occupancy of two halls at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre already exceeds the originally expected size of the exhibition. We are currently planning to add a third hall.” Up to 10,000 m² of floor space will be available.
Singapore thus joins an ever-developing list of exhibition locations already including India (Mumbai), China (Shanghai), Türkiye (Istanbul), South Africa (Johannesburg), the Americas (Miami), and the original, “world's largest logistics event” in Munich (Germany), coming up in MAY23 [bg: Reach out to Heiner Siegmund, representing CargoForwarder Global, there!]
For more on this subject please view our Exclusive interview - Messe München targets Singapore.
AZFreight opts for CargoAi's CargoWALLET
Tim Brocklehurst, Digital Transformation Lead of AZFreight, announced: “We are excited to offer our users the latest in air freight technology, significantly growing our user experience beyond a directory and information site. We have chosen to partner with CargoAi now, after the release of CargoWALLET, which will make a huge difference in the experience we offer to our users. We are also pleased with Cargo2ZERO features as part of the booking flow, aligning with our commitment to promote sustainable practices in the industry.” CargoWALLET is CargoAi's air cargo payment solution enabling all freight forwarders to instantly pay for their bookings without needing an IATA Cass Number, AWB stock, or bank guarantees.
UK-based AZFreight, establish 1995, marketed as “the longest-running and most-trusted network for global logistics professionals” has opted to augment its cargo information portal by incorporating access to CargoAi’s recently launched CargoWALLET as well as “the full CargoMART booking experience, using a white-label solution from CargoAi.” From this month on, AZFreight users will not only be able to search, quote, book, track and, now, pay for shipments within a single interface, but can also keep track of the carbon emissions of their shipments, thanks to Cargo2ZERO. “Integrated in the CargoMART booking flow, Cargo2ZERO provides CO2 visibility emission data on all CargoAi's airline schedules, Routes and AWBs, calculated as per IATA RECOMMENDED PRACTICE 1678 STANDARD. With data provided from Cargo2ZERO, AZ Freight forwarders can report on their Scope 3 emissions and be fully aligned for environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting requirements. AZFreight forwarders can also purchase Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) with Neste, the leading producer of SAF, as an 'add-on' to each booking to scale climate action rapidly from an individual level,” the release details.
Matt Petot, CEO of CargoAi, said: “We're excited to partner with AZFreight, bringing their users our latest solutions, CargoWALLET and CargoMART. This partnership provides members with a superior experience, combining sustainable carbon-efficient route options and instant payment solutions, into an all-in-one booking experience.”
ECS Group promotes an all-inclusive cargo service
Especially in today’s climate where cost pressure and resource limitations could restrict business, ECS GROUP's All-In service is an attractive alternative. All-in translates into Total Cargo Management, and the service has been honed over the years to comply with airline requirements. ECS Group claims it is “the most comprehensive air cargo management solution in the industry,” and a prime example of its Augmented GSSA strategy – doing more than the ordinary GSA. A team of 15 staff currently handle operations for 9 airlines, in 180 airports and from a steadily growing number of live stations – currently 217. In 2022, ECS Group managed 2300 tons of cargo on behalf airlines under All-In contracts. The service not only gives airlines peace of mind, since ECS Group are qualified and experienced cargo staff, but also enables significant cost savings and revenue growth. ECS Group supplies its own staff, which achieve sales optimization through the GSSA's market coverage and interline potential. All-in ensures a guaranteed annual revenue as capacities are purchased by the GSSA.
Though the GSSA expects a 30% rise in All-In tonnage this year, Robert Van De Weg, Chief Commercial Officer of ECS Group, nevertheless believes: “2023 will be a very tough year market-wise for cargo, but it will be good for the passenger side. So, it will be an interesting year, as passenger capacity continues to expand and new carriers aiming to benefit from this passenger boom will need solutions to get revenues from cargo as a by-product. With that in mind, it will make total sense for these airlines to consider ECS Group's All-In.”
Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group; added: “With 25 years' experience in cargo, ECS Group is the original TCM provider to airlines and we are more than ready to satisfy the current growing demand from airlines. We know the cargo business inside out. We have the expertise to handle all its intricacies and specificities. We actually have an airline mindset. That's why airlines trust us with their cargo. They know we can rise to the challenge as we excel both on the commercial and the operational front.”
On yer bike for a good cause
Gebrüder Weiss is flexing its social responsibility muscles again – this time its calf muscles as it encourages not only its own staff but also outsiders to jump on their bicycles and join its “Cycling around the World” campaign. The goal? To complete up to seven circumnavigations of the globe. Starting on 01APR23, the campaign is a repeat. Last year, the first edition of “Cycling around the World”, which aimed for a single circumnavigation of the world (40,075 km), already resulted in a record six world circumnavigations (249,392 km), hence this increased target of seven this year. A target that translates into 280,525 km in total and needs to be reached between 01APR23 and 30SEP23. What is it all for? To support a reforestation project in Nicaragua – a country that is suffering greatly because of climate change, and where trees can help to prevent flooding.
How does it work? Interested cyclists sign up to participate and then record the kilometers they cover by bike from now until the end of September, in the cycling app. Gebrüder Weiss has pledged to pay for a tree to be planted in Nicaragua for every 40 kilometers cycled. For this, they are in cooperation with PRIMAKLIMA, a non-profit association involved in reforestation projects for over 30 years. Last year, an impressive 5,000 trees were planted in the 2022 target country: Togo, Africa.
In case the environmental cause is not enough, there is an additional incentive to participate: the bet 250 cyclists have the chance to win a Gravelbike. There are also prizes to be won for completing individual sections ranging from 60 to 6,000 kilometers.
Frank Haas, Head of Corporate Brand Strategy & Communications at Gebrüder Weiss, stated: “We are excited to see how ambitious the participants will be this time. The bar is high, but we believe in our cycling community, which we hope will continue to grow. This campaign is aimed at anyone who enjoys exercising and wants to make a contribution to environmentally friendly mobility. Every kilometer counts, and together we can make a big difference – after all, that's what we like to do most as a logistics company.”
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