Cargo iQ announces new Chair and Vice Chair
With Henrik Ambak, Senior Vice President, Cargo Operations Worldwide at Emirates, stepping down after four years as Chair of the Board of the established air cargo quality standards organization, Cargo iQ, Kerstin Strauss, Vice President, Global Air Logistics Operations, Kuehne+Nagel, steps up to take his place. She vacates her previous post as Vice Chair, which is promptly filled by Rutger-Jan (RJ) Pegels, Director Performance Management & Analytics, KLM Cargo. Though Ambak stepped down in MAY23, the announcements were made on 29JUN23, after Cargo iQ’s recent AGM. A natural progression, according to the organization’s Executive Director, Lothar Moehle: “Having served four years as Vice Chair, Kerstin was the natural successor as Chair of the Board and RJ has been a prominent figure on the board for some time, and both have contributed significantly to our progress as a group. Their combined knowledge and experience will serve Cargo iQ extremely well as we double down on our ongoing efforts to develop industry-wide standards.” Those efforts are to include the introduction and steering of “a tiered membership structure to support speedier creation of standards.”
Both new Chairs look back on long careers in air cargo industry, having held numerous positions in their respective companies for more than 25 years.
Kerstin Strauss commented: “The Cargo iQ membership must hold itself and each other accountable to deliver on the agreed standards in a consistent and complete manner. From the Board, we will therefore put forward a new tiered and structured approach to our members around continuous improvement to strengthen and meet our service delivery promise to the end-customer. This will enable us to evidence our quality approach and get the basics right, while continuing to work on the development of new projects and standards.”
Rutger-Jan (RJ) Pegels added: “With a more structured matrix, we aim ensure that areas of improvement identified by one individual have the potential to benefit more members – most directly carriers, ground handlers and freight forwarders – in a more immediate way than it might do today. Our ambition to develop new standards and address the need for new solutions in the ever-changing and fast-paced environment we operate in, will remain a clear focus for Cargo iQ. We will aim to increase the speed of standards creation and consequently implementation amongst the membership by working on fewer projects in parallel but bringing them to life faster.”
Cargo iQ awards Awery at IATA’s ONE Record Hackathon
Awery stepped up to the Cargo iQ challenge of developing a solution to support the planning and updating of cargo tracking events performed by non-Cargo iQ third parties such as trucking companies, which are currently unable to share status updates with Cargo iQ members. In the marathon 28 hours allocated to the IATA ONE Record Hackathon entrants at its 7th event last week, Awery came up with a prototype solution, CargoTracking.aero, which will soon be offered to customers once it is fully compliant with ONE Record. The solution, supported by three Awery-developed apps (all created during the hackathon), supports a common modern standard for the air cargo industry, thus fulfilling the challenge’s purpose. As Henk Mulder, Head of Digital Cargo, IATA, declared: “IATA's ONE Record is all about driving supply chain visibility and transparent data access. The Awery hackathon team picked up on that and created the perfect match with Cargo iQ. This collaboration is a great approach to help the industry close the visibility gap in the supply chain.”
Designed to facilitate door-to-door air freight planning and real-time updates, CargoTracking.aero works with two apps that allow freight forwarders and third parties to upload documents and plan and confirm events over the course of a shipment, and a third app that gives shippers and consignees transparency of the shipment journey through information on planned and actual events. CargoTracking enables cross-stakeholder planning via a URL, which Cargo iQ members and non-members can share with their unmonitored providers, and thus allow the input of shipment details through IATA's ONE Record Data Sharing Standard API.
Vitaly Smilianets, Chief Executive Officer, Awery, outlined: “Our solution is open source, and we truly believe it could develop quickly, once implemented by the air cargo community, speeding up the adoption of the ONE Record standard across the whole industry. We are proud to have the opportunity to work on a common modern standard for the air cargo sector. What we have created in 28 hours of continuous brainstorming and work is an impressive start, and we will continue to develop this moving forward.”
Laura Rodriguez, Implementation and Quality Manager, Cargo iQ, confirmed: “Awery's application stood out as it presented an easy way to gather status updates from third parties and at the same time provides a feasible way to plan events such as Proof of Delivery for those providers.”
Tower’s American Center of Excellence
Pharmaceutical thermal protection specialist, Tower Cold Chain recently opened its new headquarters in the Americas region: the American Center of Excellence, located just 2.6 km from Philadelphia (PHL) International Airport. Almost 8000 m² are dedicated to container conditioning and storage, offering Tower’s customers state-of-the-art temperature-controlled solutions. Tower Cold Chain caters to pharmaceutical companies, airlines and 3PL customers in North, Central, and South America. The American Center of Excellence is a replica of Tower’s existing and successful Center of Excellence in the United Kingdom. The facility includes everything necessary for design and laboratory testing, as well as office space accessible to customers. Meetings, product demonstrations, research and development of new technologies, as well as new product development in partnership with customers are all planned to be held there. “By establishing a dedicated Center of Excellence in the Americas, Tower Cold Chain aims to strengthen its collaborative partnerships with pharmaceutical manufacturers, airlines, and 3PL providers in the region. The facility will serve as a hub of innovation and expertise, fostering partnerships, knowledge exchange, and the development of customer-focused solutions to address the evolving challenges in the cold chain logistics industry,” the release states.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was chosen as the location due to its pharmaceutical business focus, thus being in close proximity to customers. Good infrastructure was a second decisive factor. “The company plans to leverage these advantages to build strong partnerships, whilst supporting its network of hubs throughout the region, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Puerto Rico,” the release continues, also inviting partners, customers, and industry stakeholders to an official Open Day in PHL on 12SEP23.
Niall Balfour, Chief Executive Officer of Tower Cold Chain, commented: “We are thrilled to inaugurate our Centre of Excellence in Philadelphia, which demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the Americas market. This marks a significant step in Tower’s growth trajectory. As demand for robust, reliable, reusable pharmaceutical logistics continues to surge, our investment in strategic locations enables us to provide essential support for the seamless transportation of temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical and life-science products.”
DoKaSch grows business reach in Asia-Pacific
South Korea, Asia’s third largest pharma importer, is the focus of DoKaSch Temperature Solutions' business expansion of its global service and sales network. And to steer the company’s presence in one of Asia’s most important regions for the production of pharmaceuticals, biosimilars and biotech supplies, DoKaSch has also appointed a new Sales & Business Development Manager for South Korea: Kevin Lee. He will be in charge of driving sales activities for its active temperature-controlled packaging solution Opticooler® in the Southeast Asian region. Lee graduated in Business Administration in 1994, and looks back on a long career within the pharmaceuticals sector, starting out as a sales representative for Daewoong Pharmaceuticals. He has since worked in various sales management positions for a number of pharmaceutical companies in South Korea, including Schering Plough, Guerbet, and was Sales Director at S.lab Asia, a South Korean fixed-temperature chain logistics provider, prior to joining DoKaSch Temperature Solutions.
Kevin Lee, Sales & Business Development Manager South Korea at DoKaSch Temperature Solutions, commented: “I see many opportunities for the Opticooler® in the important South Korean pharmaceutical market and beyond, due to the extremely high level of safety and reliability of the actively temperature-controlled air freight container. We can serve customers quickly and reliably because of our proximity and extensive network supporting the growing pharmaceutical industry in an ideal way.”
Andreas Seitz, Managing Director of DoKaSch Temperature Solutions, remarked: “Kevin Lee is well acquainted with the pharmaceutical sector and a seamless fit for our international team of experts. With him, we will continue to unlock high-growth markets in Asia and expand our Opticooler® service network. South Korea is a major production and export center for pharmaceuticals and biopharmaceuticals and our new representative ideally complements our extensive global network. This allows us to further ensure that our Opticooler® reaches our customers quickly and thus contribute to a smooth and reliable cold chain.”
NAP launches air cargo ecosystem
Billed as 'One air cargo logistics ecosystem | Six sub-industry networks,' Neutral Air Partner showcased its new membership structure at the OPENAP conference in Greece, held in MAY23. Designed for more efficient networking, the new structure includes six groups, each with their own URL, so that NAP members can connect, interact, and cooperate. The six groups are: NAC Consolidators (for neutral airfreight wholesalers, consolidators & master co-loaders, NAF Airfreight Associates (for commercial air freight forwarders and logistics associates), NAV Aero (for independent cargo GSSA & brokers, air cargo operators & solutions providers), NAX Fresh (for professionals advocating for the interests of the time-sensitive perishables logistics industry), NeX eCommerce (for experts advancing the interests of the e-commerce supply chain logistics industry), and NAX 24-7 Time Critical (for experts driving the interests of the time sensitive and emergency logistics industry).
The new six sub-industry networks enable air cargo logistics professionals from across the logistics industry, be they neutral consolidators, master co-loaders, time-critical logistics firms, GSSAs, brokers, perishable logistics experts, express and eCommerce providers, charter brokers, carriers, or general airfreight forwarders, to quickly connect and collaborate according to their specialization and niche-sectors. In line with its mission: “Neutral Air Partner has built and will continue to build relationships with key service providers and partners to help achieve success,” NAP introduced the change having reformed and strengthened its air cargo logistics platform, and states that “membership in Neutral Air Partner is an exclusive privilege extended to a selected number of elite local and regional airfreight professionals. Selection criteria ensure only the most suitable partners with niche-specific expertise are part of the network”.
NAP CEO, Christos Spyrou, stated: “One of the main objectives of NAP has always been to revive specialization and inject a greater degree of advanced air cargo expertise into the logistics industry, and to drive air freight and express buying power across the air cargo supply chain. Sub-industry expertise and vertical focus are critical for collaboration and professional advancement. During our conference, we presented our new membership structure with the slogan 'One air cargo logistics ecosystem | Six sub-industry networks’ aiming to enable our members to more efficiently network, interact, cooperate, and excel.”
Rocking the Green Business Status
Sustainability in logistics is always challenging, so it is great to hear positive news every once in a while: such as California-based global critical logistics company specialized in live events, Rock-it Global, being awarded the Green Business certification by the California Green Business Network. To achieve this status, Rock-it needed to prove its compliance with environmental regulations in the areas of waste, energy, water, pollution prevention, and air quality, and demonstrate its commitment to taking an active approach towards conserving resources and preventing pollution across its operations. Having undersigned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Smartway program in 2022, designed to drive supply chain sustainability and efficiency through monitoring and benchmarking, and having set up its own Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program, Rock-it continues to focus on ensuring positive environmental and social impact by working closely with suppliers and educating staff and clients on greener industry initiatives and alternatives. Examples of implemented initiatives to date, are: using environmentally friendly packaging material, fuel efficient modes of shipping, planning routing schedules so that they are more sustainable, and offsetting carbon emissions.
The benefits of being a Certified Green Business, are that Rock-it receives support from the California Green Business Network in implementing initiatives that lead to cost savings in energy, water, and waste. Additionally, Rock-it has access to GreenBizTracker, where it can track its environmental progress. The web-based reporting platform assists businesses by means of tools and metrics, to establish best practices in working towards achieving their sustainability goals.
Sasha Goodman, Chief Administrative Officer, Rock-it Global, explained: “Rock-it places a high priority on people and our planet, and is committed to offsetting carbon emissions, supporting local communities, and implementing green solutions into our daily operations. We are proud to have met the rigorous standards required to achieve the California Green Business credential and it is another step in the direction of solidifying Rock-it as an exemplary and progressive industry leader.”
Gebrüder Weiss acquires B+A, announces new Supervisory Board Chairman
Since 27JUN23, the 1982-founded Nuremberg freight forwarder, B+A Luft- und Seefrachtspedition GmbH, has become part of the Gebrüder Weiss family as a wholly owned subsidiary. The air and sea freight expert specialized in the import and export of groupage freight containers between Asia and Germany, retains its original name and its team of 20 employees. It will continue with its logistics projects and weekly container transports by sea from Asia, for example: here groupage freight containers (LCL) are shipped from logistics centers in China and Taiwan to Hamburg, from where they are then taken by rail to Nuremberg, and then dispensed to companies in the surrounding area. Gebrüder Weiss, itself has been active in Nuremberg since 2017, also within the air and sea segment. Nuremberg now links into its network central hubs across Germany, joining Hamburg, Bremen, Bremerhaven, Hanover, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, and Straubing.
Robert Stahlschmidt, Country Manager Air & Sea Germany at Gebrüder Weiss, stated: “Nuremberg is one of the top logistics locations in Germany and our German Air & Sea network will be given a particular boost by the acquisition. B+A's many years of expertise in the air and sea freight business are a perfect addition to the existing Gebrüder Weiss branch in Nuremberg, which has so far been focused on land transport and logistics. This will enable us to offer our customers in the Nuremberg metropolitan region an even more comprehensive range of services.”
Andreas Tylewski, Managing Partner of B+A, commented: “We look forward to becoming part of an equally sound yet ambitious family business. Our employees have excellent, long-term prospects under the umbrella of Gebrüder Weiss. We will, in future, be able to offer our customers the entire product range of a globally operating logistics company from a single source.”
In other news, the company announced on 30JUN23, that Wolfgang Niessner, formerly long-time Gebrüder Weiss Management Board Chairman, was appointed to succeed Dr. Rudolf Christian Stiehl as the new Gebrüder Weiss Supervisory Board Chairman, who will shortly retire.
Geerts Keirens (left) goes / Freek De Witte succeeds him as helmsman of Air Cargo Belgium
ACB says goodbye to Geert Keirens
Geert Keirens has left Air Cargo Belgium (ACB), of which he has been the Director since its inception in 2016. “This is not as yet an official retirement, but my agenda will be steered by enjoying life and not by the pursuit of other challenges,” he told CFG.
A biologist by training, Mr Keirens spent the greater part of his career at Aviapartner Belgium, as Station Manager Ostend, Station Manager Brussels, General Manager Cargo Handling, Project Manager and Project Manager Handling. He was also involved with the local branch of the Chamber of Commerce (VOKA Halle- Vilvoorde), to which Brussels Airport belongs, and he can be considered as one of ACB’s founding fathers.
Mr Keirens’ successor, Freek De Witte, also worked for VOKA Halle-Vilvoorde, as well as for the provincial economic development body. CFG got to know Dr Witte in his capacity as spokesman for DHL Aviation in Brussels. In JUL22, he switched to a comparable position at tobacco giant, Philip Morris.
Recently ACB also went through a chairmanship change with Brussels Airport Company’s Geert Aerts taking over from DHL Global Forwarding’s David Bellon.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels
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