Not so much “going for gold”, but “gold is gone!”
“TORONTO, April 20, 2023 /CNW/ - The Greater Toronto Airports Authority is aware of the theft that took place this week. The GTAA wishes to clarify that thieves accessed the public side of a warehouse that is leased to a third party, outside of our primary security line. This did not involve access to Toronto Pearson itself and did not pose a threat to passengers or GTAA staff.” This statement, published on Toronto Pearson Airport’s website is in response to a heist that took place on Monday 17APR23: CAD 20 million of valuable goods, including gold, were reported missing, and police investigations are on-going.
Meanwhile, The Globe and Mail has revealed that the airline and warehouse in question are both Air Canada Cargo: “It was cool and cloudy when Air Canada Flight 881 from Zurich landed at Toronto Pearson International Airport just after 4 p.m. on April 17. The Boeing 777 disgorged its passengers, and one container holding precious cargo. The box was taken to Air Canada’s cargo warehouse at the edge of the airport, where it was unloaded. A short time later, police say, the container and its $20-million contents vanished, touching off a whodunit at Canada’s largest airport.”
A highly surprising incident in this day and age, where various airlines have implemented strict four-eyes procedures for valuables and deploy cameras in warehouses. Air Canada Cargo offers its AC Secure service for precisely this kind of commodity. Its website reads: “While we consider all cargo precious, some items are more highly-valued and require unique handling. AC Secure is designed specifically to ensure the safe and secure transportation of goods with a known value of C/US$1,000/kg or more, or when a shipper purchases insurance in the same amount per kilogram, regardless of the commodity,” and that, in theory, includes “secured holding areas and handling”, even the “coordination of third-party security guards (if required).”
And yet, despite these promises, thieves have managed to get away with what media are reporting is one of the largest heists in Canadian history, at an airport that not only handles almost half of Canada’s air cargo, but also sees a great deal of gold bullion pass through. Was it an inside job? Who, otherwise, would know its movements?
DHL Express orders Mammoth fleet upgrade
DHL Express has placed an order for nine Mammoth-converted B777-200LR freighters from Jetran, as it sets out to modernize its long-haul fleet. Older B747 aircraft will start being replaced when the first B777F is delivered in 2024, in a roll-over that will likely last until early 2027. Not only will the fleet renewal of DHL's long-haul aircraft fleet lead to a stronger intercontinental air network, enhancing the airline’s ability to meet growing demand, but will also significantly improve its environmental footprint, in line with the goals outlined in Deutsche Post DHL Group's Sustainability Roadmap.
The Mammoth-converted B777-200LR freighter is a perfect aircraft type for DHL and, with its payload capacity of 102 tons and a range of 9,200 kilometers, is very similar to the production freighter. The B777F has the largest capacity and range of all twin-engine freighter aircraft, and is more fuel-efficient and reliable, reducing CO2 emissions by 18% compared to legacy airplanes.
DHL's commitment to sustainability is further demonstrated by the decision to order converted freighters with a shorter useful life, providing an efficient bridge between current and new airframe technologies, such as new generation wide-body freighters B777-8F and A350F. This move follows DHL's purchase of 28 new B777-200F freighters from Boeing between 2018 and 2022, with 18 of those aircraft currently in service. The remaining ten will be delivered between 2023 to 2025. These aircraft form the core of DHL's intercontinental air network, where DHL Express serves 220 countries and territories with 2,400 daily flights, operated by more than 300 dedicated aircraft with 18 partner airlines.
Robert Hyslop, EVP Global Aviation at DHL Express, stated: “We are excited to welcome Mammoth-converted B777-200LRFs to the DHL Express family. With the modernization of our intercontinental fleet, we can simultaneously enhance our proven ability to meet growing demand, improve our environmental footprint and deliver best quality service to our customers. We are pleased to continue demonstrating to partners and customers alike how these advancements elevate our service and bring us closer to our Sustainability Roadmap goals.”
Forced reparation with an An-124 in Canada
Antonov Airlines’ current remaining fleet of 5 An-124 could grow to 6 at some point soon. On 11APR23, Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Denys Shmyhal met with his Canadian counterpart, Justin Trudeau in Canada, and – among discussions that included military aid in the form of 21,000+ assault rifles and 2.4 million rounds of ammunition, he posted that they were “preparing to confiscate the An-124 aircraft and other assets of the aggressor in Canada, and transfer them to Ukraine.”
Volga-Dnepr still has 12 An-124, which have illegal air worthiness certificates, according to a Ukrainian court ruling in APR22. One of those An-124 has been grounded in Canada since three days after the illegal invasion of Ukraine began on 24FEB22, and Canada prohibited Russian aircraft from entering its airspace. It is sitting at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, where it has meanwhile incurred parking fees in excess of USD 330,000, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Given that Volga-Dnepr is also on Canada’s sanctions list and its assets can therefore be seized, forfeited, disposed of or redistributed, that aircraft may now be repossessed. Antonov Airlines has a court-case running against Volga-Dnepr. In MAR22, this led to a ruling that three Volga-Dnepr aircraft, among them, the one in Canada, be prohibited from flying and returned to Ukraine. This would be a small reparation for the Russian destruction of Ukraine’s iconic and unique An-225 Mirya, right at the start of the war.
Volga-Dnepr Group has not commented.
60,000 loadsheets every month, now totaling 7 million!
Each and every loadsheet is the basis for a safely trimmed flight. Air Dispatch is a dnata service that takes over loadsheet production for airlines using their preferred departure control system (DCS). 170 trained aviation staff in three centralized load control centers (CLC), Prague and Ostrava in the Czech Republic, and Warsaw, Poland, offer 24/7 service and support, coordinating with all relevant stakeholders throughout the operations process. Over 60,000 loadsheets are produced each month. Air Dispatch has been calculating weight and balance conditions for aircraft prior to flight, since 2017. It meanwhile caters for 19 airlines, serving 392 airports across six continents and every time zone. Last week saw Air Dispatch celebrate its 7 millionth loadsheet. This was drawn up in Prague, and the flight in question was a Titan Airways’ Airbus A330-300 P2F cargo flight, operating on behalf of global forwarder, GEODIS.
Nick Yeadon, CEO of Air Dispatch, said: “We are proud to celebrate our 7th million loadsheet with our highly skilled team and long-standing customer, marking another remarkable milestone in our journey. With the increased adoption of the IATA Ground Operations Manual (IGOM), more and more cargo airlines are looking to CLC services as a way of complying with the newly required ‘four-eyes’ principle for the production of weight and balance documentation. Using a CLC for the production of the loadsheet allows for early communications with the cargo warehouse, thus maximizing the payload and freeing up the Loadmasters’ time during the turnaround. We will continue to work hard to deliver world-class value for our customers through innovative and safe services.”
Greg Holland, Operations Director at Titan Airways, said: “Congratulations to Air Dispatch on this milestone. The Air Dispatch team, day in, day out, provides our operation teams with first-class support. The CLC team in Prague work proactively with our partners, from our freight forwarder client, through the warehouse and ground handling chain to ensure safe and on time departures while maximizing the payload we carry. Additionally, the CLC provides reactive solutions to our Loadmasters when they are busy out on the ramp and encounter a need to replan, using the four eyes principle this enhances safety and allows our loadmasters to focus on load supervision.”
cargo-partner to become part of Nippon Express Holdings?
Last Summer, CFG reported that Stefan Krauter was looking to sell his 1983-founded Austrian logistics emporium and retire: https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2022/07/10/agent-cargo-partner-is-for-sale/ . Now, according to Bloomberg, it looks like he may have found a prospective buyer. Although neither side has confirmed the rumors, apparently people close to cargo-partner have revealed that it is in discussion with Nippon Express Holdings. Both parties are currently negotiating the terms of a possible takeover and could reach an agreement as early as the coming weeks. The sale us currently valued at around USD 1 billion/EUR 912 million. That said, as no final decisions have yet been taken, it could be that other potential buyers may still step forward if talks with Nippon could cease.
cargo-partner, based in Fischamend near Vienna Airport, provides sea and air freight services, warehousing and supply chain management. It has grown to 160 offices in 40 countries, with 4,000 employees generating sales in excess of EUR 2 billion. Nippon Express, on the other hand, was founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1937, and provides integrated multimodal freight services (ocean, air, rail and other modes of transportation). That said, it announced recently that it was considering a spinoff of its heavy haulage and construction business. Nippon Express reported net profits of YEN 110 billion/ EUR 750 million, last year.
Challenge Group is growing its e-commerce focus
Yossi Shoukroun, CEO of Challenge Group, reveals: “Challenge Group's activity out of China is currently based on e-commerce demand which already makes up 30% of our business at Liège airport and saw 10% year-on-year growth in 2022.” That Liège has developed into a key e-commerce gateway in Europe, is down to its perfect geographical position “at the heart of the golden triangle,” making it ideal for e-commerce deliveries out of China (Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport (CGO) and Hong Kong (HKG), mostly), which usually carry a delivery promise of two to maximum three days. Challenge Handling has a dedicated second line warehouse, where e-commerce shipments are broken down to house air waybill level and then built-up according to their destination country, and onforwarded by Challenge Logistics to distribution centers in Paris (CDG), Frankfurt/Main (FRA), London-Heathrow (LHR), Amsterdam (AMS), Malpensa (MXP), or Riga (RIX).
Or Zak, Commercial Vice President of Challenge Group, explained: “e-commerce is the fastest growing commodity in air cargo and comes with its own highly specific requirements. End-to-end solutions from a single source remove the complexity for customers who otherwise need to individually engage with multiple supply chain stakeholders. Instead, using Challenge Group enables them to guarantee reliable timeframes to their end customers while we take care of all the logistical necessities.” Those include customs clearance in Liège, for example, which the group now offers a part of its service together with middle mile delivery to the first distribution point in the country of destination, which then becomes a domestic delivery for the last mile operator. Another benefit is its experience in dealing with Lithium Batteries (ELI & ELM). "Electronics containing Lithium Batteries are the main e-commerce commodities coming into Europe from China. Challenge Airlines is one of very few carriers transporting items containing UN3480 and UN3090.”
“With Liège firmly established as the main European e-commerce gateway for China, the next logical step for Challenge Group is to expand its footprint in China,” Yossi Shoukroun said, revealing plans to offer short and medium-haul air cargo network destinations in China, the Indian Subcontinent or Africa, with its new fleet of four B767F.”
Discussions are also ongoing with a major Chinese airport partner regarding a warehouse location. “A Chinese base will help us to further develop our end-to-end solution and reduce the delivery time to the final customer,” he said.
Cainiao and Correios enter strategic collaboration
The figures are incredible: As the world’s 15th largest market for eCommerce with revenues of USD 26.1 billion in 2021, Brazil’s online purchases are skyrocketing: following a 40%+ increase in the number of consumers in 2020, eCommerce in Brazil grew by another 31% in the first half of 2021. Pit Cainiao’s own developments against this and the figures are even higher: its last-mile delivery business in Brazil grew by more than 70% in MAR23, compared to MAR22. Eight cargo charters set off from China to Brazil each week, connecting to a growing network of automated distribution centers, overseas warehouses, and self-pickup lockers across Brazil, Chile, and Mexico. That development has just been further cemented by Cainiao’s latest collaboration: on 17APR23, the logistics arm of Alibaba Group Holding Limited announced that it has entered into strategic partnership with Brazil’s national postal service, Correios. The two companies will work together to enhance cross-border express and last-mile logistics through logistics and technology measures, ultimately also promoting bilateral trade between China and Latin America. “As part of this strategic collaboration, Cainiao and Correios will deepen their cooperation in international air freight, local logistics infrastructure, and smart logistics technology. This will help drive the optimization of import and export logistics and China-Brazil express services and create holistic full-chain solutions to serve more platforms, merchants, and consumers, and to accelerate trade exchanges between China and Brazil,” the release states.
Wan Lin, CEO of Cainiao, commented: “Globalization has always been one of our core business pillars. Today, Cainiao’s global express service has served hundreds of thousands of cross-border merchants, and we are accelerating the development of holistic logistics capabilities to better support our customers’ needs. Going forward, we will be deepening our collaboration with Correios to enhance bilateral trade between China and Brazil.”
Fabiano Silva dos Santos, President of Correios, said: “We envision that this collaboration will be a huge step forward in the optimization of logistic operations for Correios and Cainiao. Amid the highly competitive logistics industry in Brazil, it is pertinent for us to prioritize innovation, customer-centricity and a forward-thinking mindset in order to maintain industry leadership."
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