Detroit is moving up in the world of cargo
At least, where Lufthansa Cargo and Avflight are concerned. The airline and its ground handler have embarked on an 18-month cargo operations improvement project at Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTT). This includes the construction of a new-build cargo warehouse, on apron, that should be operational by the end of next year, signifying the end of a three-phase development plan that kicked off last month. The first phase, recently completely, was the successful transition into a temporary warehouse – a converted former aircraft hangar on DTT’s apron area. Phase Two sees Avflight and Lufthansa Cargo’s collaboration in planning the new state-of-the-art cargo warehouse on-airport, next to the current temporary facility. Avflight is under contract with DTT to construct the warehouse, which, given its direct aircraft access, will enable faster processing times at lower operating costs. Efficiency, sustainability, and attractiveness are the values being taken into account, to provide the region’s customers with premium services when it comes to handling and transporting automotive, valuable, hazardous, and animal shipments. Lufthansa Cargo currently carries more than 500 tons of cargo per year on its seven weekly passenger flights, ad hoc services, and multiple truck connections to Chicago (ORD) into and out of Detroit, much of it from the automotive industry. The airline sees great potential for expansion.
Henry Julicher, Lufthansa Cargo’s Head of Sales and Handling Michigan & Head of Sales Midwest, said: “In Detroit, there is a great demand for secure and professional transport solutions: for example, urgently needed components in the automotive sector. There is a lot of weekly freight traffic here between Michigan and the world, including destinations in Germany, Europe, South Africa, and Thailand. The expansion of our warehouse capacity in this direct apron accessible location helps us improve the handling processes for faster and more direct service, and also enables Lufthansa Cargo to offer additional premium products and services to our customers. Our dedicated ground handling agent, Avflight, is providing us with significant support in these endeavors. As a Michigan-based company with valuable market knowledge and enthusiasm to expand its service offering in the cargo segment, we are positive about what we have achieved so far and look forward to further cooperation.”
dnata and Etihad count on Speedcargo’s AI solutions
Two weeks after CargoForwarder Global’s Speedcargo interview (https://www.cargoforwarder.eu/2023/08/13/getting-the-right-grip-on-air-cargo-automation), things are taking shape over at dnata. The global services provider has partnered with logistics technology solutions provider, Speedcargo to deliver cutting-edge cargo services to Etihad Cargo at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). Following successful trials, Etihad is the first airline customer at the airport to benefit from Speedcargo’s technology solutions. ‘Cargo Eye' and 'Assemble' have been installed at dnata’s facilities. Using AI, they aid in maximizing flight cargo capacity, increasing digitization in processes, and improving operational efficiencies when handling Etihad’s daily flight operations out of SIN. Cargo Eye uses advanced, vision-based 3D technology to scan and record a shipment's exact dimensions, volume data, images, and labels. Assemble adopts this information to create the optimum digital build-up plan. Both seamlessly integrate into dnata's existing warehouse management system. SIN is dnata's first Speedcargo location. More will follow.
Charles Galloway, dnata's Regional CEO, Airport Operations – Asia Pacific, said: “dnata is proud to lead the digitization of cargo processes through innovative technology solutions. Working alongside Speedcargo, Cargo Eye and Assemble will enable us to provide Etihad Cargo and its customers with digital audit trails of how their cargo has been handled, improving efficiency, and providing a quality end-to-end service. We will continue to create value and enhance our service offerings through digitalization.”
Dr Krishna Kumar Nallur, Speedcargo's CEO, commented: “This first step towards industry transformation will enable end-to-end optimization of cargo capacity, from booking to cargo hold. Our AI-powered solutions will help Etihad Cargo to maximize capacity across their fleet, and enable dnata Singapore to digitize their cargo handling, thereby improving their productivity and efficiency in operations.”
Thomas Schürmann, Head of Cargo Operations & Delivery at Etihad Cargo, said: “With the launch of Speedcargo Technologies' AI-powered solutions, Etihad Cargo is transforming airfreight operations and optimizing cargo capacity as the latest step in the carrier's digitalization journey. Singapore was selected as the first station to go live with these state-of-the-art AI tools, which will boost efficiency, digitize, and standardize cargo handling across Etihad Cargo's network and enhance service levels for the carrier's customers and partners. Following successful trials of the AI-powered cargo handling solutions, Etihad Cargo sought out a ground handling partner to deploy Cargo Eye and Assemble, and dnata was a clear choice, being fully aligned with Etihad Cargo's commitment to utilizing cargo-maximizing technology to enhance air cargo operations.”
Emirates SkyCargo goes CargoMART
Emirates SkyCargo is offering its customers even greater digital choice and has listed its five main products on CargoAi’s CargoMART platform: perishable solutions Emirates Fresh and Emirates Fresh Breathe, time-critical aircraft parts delivery service, Emirates AOG, and its express and general cargo solutions, Emirates Airfreight Priority, and Emirates Airfreight. The airline’s existing customers as well as CargoAi’s over 10,000 freight forwarders are now able to access these services at their leisure, and retrieve real-time pricing and capacity information.
Described as a “landmark partnership for Singapore-based CargoAi”, the airline’s services have already been launched on CargoMART in the Netherlands, Spain and France, with additional selected countries across APAC, Europe, the Americas and Africa, to follow soon.
Nabil Sultan, Divisional Senior Vice President, Emirates SkyCargo, said: “As we increase our digital connectivity, we are able to offer more choice for our customers to connect with Emirates SkyCargo's market-leading capabilities and extensive global network. CargoAi's digital touchpoint enables both our existing and new customers from across the world to book with Emirates SkyCargo at their convenience, providing an additional channel that further strengthens our world class customer experience.”
Matt Petot, CEO of CargoAi, exclaimed: “We are thrilled to partner with Emirates SkyCargo to enhance their digital customer experience through our marketplace solution, CargoMART. By providing real-time pricing and capacity information, we empower our mutual customers with greater choice and convenience, enabling them to make immediate bookings 24/7. This collaboration exemplifies our commitment to driving efficiency and accuracy in airfreight, and we look forward to further strengthening the world-class customer experience provided by Emirates SkyCargo.”
CHI Aviation Handling joins VACAD
CHI Aviation Handling GmbH has become the Association of Air Cargo Handlers of Germany (VACAD)’s latest member, bringing the German association’s membership to 16, and translating into more than 3,400 employees across most of Germany’s commercial airports, representing an annual handled volume of over 1,851,000 tons of cargo (2022). Its latest member is based in Frankfurt am Main, and offers all air cargo services from a single source, handling more than 100 freighters per month. CHI’s customers include Air India and LOT Polish Airlines.
Dominik Mißkampf, Managing Director of CHI Aviation Handling GmbH, explained: “VACAD has established itself as the voice of the industry and concerns itself with the issues that our industry faces - especially in politics and at the Federal Aviation Authority. We want to support that. We want to actively participate in the association and get involved.” One ongoing problem that
VACAD seeks to solve, for example, is the fact that certain cargo security regulations that are interpreted differently in Germany than in the rest of Europe. Dominik Mißkampf commented: “It is difficult to understand why certain security procedures are permitted in neighboring countries and not in Germany - even though you are subject to the same EU regulations,” and urged that German politicians act more pragmatically to arrive at a standardization of the rules. “For passengers, security checks will be made faster and easier. I would like to see the same for the cargo sector,” he concluded.
Wagner, Chairman of VACAD, announced: “We are very pleased to welcome CHI Aviation Handling GmbH as a member of our association. New muckrakers help us in our fight for a level playing field, for example. At the same time, new members are always a strong signal and show that we are on the right track with the association.”
Etihad preparing for a winter of plenty…
… when it comes to lower-deck cargo space. The airline announced increased belly capacities with the introduction of its 2023/2024 winter flight plan. 90 new passenger flights are listed, offering 29 weekly flights to new destinations. These include a wild mix of Düsseldorf, Copenhagen, Osaka, Kozhikode, and Thiruvananthapuram, as it seeks to expand its reach into key markets. Existing favorites, such as Munich, Rome, Madrid, Milan, Beijing, Shanghai, Chennai, Kochi, Islamabad, the Maldives, Phuket, and Cairo, will see an increase in the number of flight frequencies. Overall, Etihad Cargo will be marketing the space on board of 119 weekly passenger flights from this month on – in addition to its scheduled freighter flights, such as its newest service launch to Ezhou Huahu Airport, recently. It became the first international carrier to operate services to China's first professional cargo airport (CFG reported).
In Europe, Etihad Cargo has increased cargo capacities to its two new European gateways: Copenhagen/Denmark, and Düsseldorf/Germany, with four and three weekly passenger flights, respectively. These complement three additional passenger flights to Munich, bringing total number of German services to 28 per week, including Frankfurt’s four freighter connections. Portugal’s Lisbon, Italy’s Rome and Milan, and Spain’s Madrid airports will also see additional Etihad flights, while over in Asia, Osaka Airport is included as a second Japanese gateway, and flights to China’s Beijing and Shanghai Airports are increased. In India, flight services will be increased to 21/week, with new passenger destinations Kozhikode, Thiruvananthapuram, and additional Chennai flights complementing its twice-weekly freighter service. Etihad will also operate seven weekly direct flights to Colombo/Sri Lanka.
Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer at Etihad Airways, said: “Etihad Cargo's partners and customers will benefit from additional belly hold cargo capacity and improved connectivity to key markets with the launch of the carrier's winter schedule. The airline's growing passenger network, combined with Etihad Cargo's scheduled and charter freighter services, will boost cargo capacity across Europe, Asia, and North America, strengthening the links between Abu Dhabi and key global markets and ensuring Etihad Cargo can meet increased demand for cargo capacity. Etihad Cargo remains committed to achieving growth, adding depth to the carrier's network, and remaining the air cargo partner of choice through the continuous evaluation of its network and enhancement of its eight-strong premium product range.”
The Swiss cheese in solar cars to race Down Under
Not a piece of cargo you see every day. This unusual vehicle is the brainchild of Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zurich and will be participating in the World Solar Challenge over in Australia at the end of OCT23. Here, 31 international teams will race each other, looking to cover the daunting 3,000 km stretch from Darwin across the outback to Adelaide purely on solar power – a visionary race, therefore, encouraging the development of more environmentally friendly transport solutions. And that requires planning. In the case of ETH Zurich’s aCentauri Solar Racing Team’s solar car – almost one year. That is how long the students have been working on its development and implementation, focusing on an ultimate environmental solution that boasts durability and maximum energy efficiency. Alexandr Ebnöther, aCentauri’s Team Manager, stated: “Of course, we would like to win the race. But what is equally important to us, is taking an active role in developing efficient, environmentally sound solutions. With the support of Gebrüder Weiss, we can demonstrate that solar-powered cars and, by extension, sustainable mobility, are possible.”
Whether the driving pun was intentional or not, Frank Haas, Head of Corporate Brand Strategy & Communications at Gebrüder Weiss, stated: “Our position as a global logistics company means we are a driver of intelligent transport solutions, actively shaping the mobility of tomorrow. aCentauri's solar car is a trendsetter with the potential to revolutionize the transport sector, which is why we are supporting the team on their journey to Australia.” Gebrüder Weiss is the event’s official logistics partner and has even dedicated a separate landing page to the race, in addition to promoting it across its social media channels. In line with its own focus on reduced environmental impact, Gebrüder Weiss will be transporting aCentauri's solar car in its own zero-emission hydrogen truck for the first leg of its journey. From there, a tailored mix of logistics solutions over land, sea, and air, will ensure that the vehicle is at its starting position on time.
India’s Stellar Value Chain Solutions acquired by CEVA
French global logistics provider, CEVA Logistics is acquiring a 96% stake in Mumbai-based Stellar Value Chain Solutions from an affiliate of private equity firm Warburg Pincus and other shareholders, thus greatly expanding its contract logistics and cool chain capabilities on the Indian continent. This translates into 70 facilities in 21 Indian cities, totaling around 2,346,960 m² of space, and a local-knowledge workforce of almost 8,000 full and part-time Stellar employees. An impressive result for a company that only began seven years ago, in 2016. Founded by Anshuman Singh, Stellar Value Chain Solutions has established itself as a known contract logistics provider, offering omni-channel fulfillment services in the eCommerce, automotive, food products, consumer, fashion and retail, healthcare, and pharmaceuticals industry segments. Anshuman Singh will remain at the head of the business following the acquisition, driving CEVA’s strategy to provide its customers with end-to-end supply chain solutions.
CEVA Logistics already operates out of 75 locations across 35 cities in India, and owns around 822,960 m² of warehouse space. Hence, with the acquisition of Stellar, CEVA Logistics will take a significant leap forward in its APAC growth strategy.
Mathieu Friedberg, CEO of CEVA Logistics, said “With the addition of Stellar VCS, we will continue our strategic growth with the goal of becoming a Top 5 global logistics player. We are expanding into more key market segments and boosting our presence in this strategic country. Stellar has an important network of contract logistics facilities across India and a top roster of customers. Bringing on their expertise and footprint in India is a major step forward for CEVA Logistics.”
Anshuman Singh, Founder, Stellar Value Chain Solutions, said “We have built a strong network across India based on our commitment to serving our customers through long-term partnerships. Warburg Pincus has been an extremely valuable and supportive partner in building this company right from its inception and is now passing on the baton to another global giant, CEVA Logistics, to take this company ahead. I look forward excitedly to the future with CEVA, further supporting our commitment to our customers and allowing them to benefit from CEVA’s global capabilities with our knowledge of India. The shared values of our Stellar associates and those of the CEVA Logistics team will allow for a quick integration and new, global opportunities for our associates.”
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