Hellmann firmly puts its pin on the Italian map
In true “For the better. Together” style, as is its catchphrase, Hellmann announced on 07SEP23, that it is acquiring over Hellmann Worldwide Logistics S.p.A. (Hellmann Italy). Its long-standing Italian partner, founded in Milan in 2006, employs around 70 staff across six locations, and has been carrying out sea and air freighter services for Hellmann since that time. Italy is the latest European market to firmly become ensconced in the group. Earlier this year, Hellmann extended its portfolio in Switzerland, and expanded with another new station in Austria. In the past few years, it has invested heavily in network infrastructure across France, the Netherlands, the Benelux countries, the Czech Republic, and Poland.
With Italy, now, Hellmann gains a key European logistics market, cementing its presence in both the central Alpine region as well as the Mediterranean. Hellmann now plans to expand its service portfolio in Italy. Daniela Coppola, Managing Director of Hellmann Italy, will continue to lead the operation within Hellmann Worldwide Logistics and “ensure a seamless continuation of all activities”.
Jens Tarnowski, Regional CEO West Europe, Hellmann Worldwide Logistics, explained: “The organic integration of Hellmann Italy into the global Hellmann network will enable us to even better exploit the potential of the Italian market and tap into new market segments.”
Daniela Coppola, Managing Director, Hellmann Italy, commented: “We are pleased that we are now an integral part of the global Hellmann network. After years of working together as partners, the integration is an important strategic step towards strengthening Hellmann Italy in the long term and enabling us to operate on an even more global scale. The integration will also enable us to offer our customers an even more attractive product range.”
BlueBox Systems announces new Global Sales Manager
BlueBox Systems, which offers real-time air cargo tracking, has appointed Usman Khan as its new Global Sales Manager. Whilst the company is based in Bonn, Germany, Khan will operate out of London, reporting directly to its management. He is tasked with ensuring that “BlueBox Systems remains the leading developer of intelligent air freight tracking solutions, providing pioneering services to its customers around the globe.” His responsibilities include developing new sales strategies, acquiring new customers, optimizing sales processes, sourcing new markets, analyzing and acting on market trends, and being the main contact for all BlueBox products. To do all that: “It is very important for me to gain a deep understanding of our customer’s pain points and offer guidance to navigate and overcome these challenges. I see huge potential in the product offering of BlueBox Systems and I want to help realize that potential,” Khan says. One industry change he has already picked up on is: “In the past, data visibility was a pleasant add-on for enterprises, yet not deemed essential. Times have evolved, and today modern freight customers now insist upon data visibility – a fundamental prerequisite for a superior customer journey. Bluebox Systems, aligning perfectly with this shift, delivers precisely that.”
Khan joins BlueBox Systems over from Vizion API, where he was Global Account Executive. He previously spent two years as a Business Development Executive at Rhenus Logistics, where he founded Just-In-Time Trucks – an award-winning digital trucking start-up: “At that time , I realized that the logistics industry still needed to catch up in the area of digitalization.” He underlines: “I’m truly passionate about the synergy between logistics and technology, as it propels innovation and efficiency across every aspect of our interconnected supply chains. With my previous career background, I’ve gained valuable insights into various modes of cargo transportation and understand the immense benefits for freight forwarders and shippers in embracing digitalization in order to revolutionize their operations and redefine their customer experience.”
Martin Schulze, CEO of BlueBox Systems, stated: “Whether it is air freight, sea freight or trucking: Usman Khan is an absolute expert in his field. He lives our commitment to provide the best air freight data on the market and to create added value. Due to his expertise BlueBox Systems will continue to develop and make sure that we remain number one in the market.”
GEODIS announces Chief Strategy Officer and scores run
Xavier Avrard was appointed to the Management Board of GEODIS as its Chief Strategy Officer – a role he took up on 01JUL23, under the chairmanship of Marie-Christine Lombard, Chief Executive Officer of GEODIS. His career in the company began in 2014, first as Group Controller, then being promoted to Managing Director for Projects Logistics in 2015, initially for Africa and then for the WEMEA region. He became Senior Vice President of the Odyssey program in 2019, responsible for launching and managing the Group’s digital transformation program. At the start of this year, he took over the strategic development of the Europe region – in particularly GEODIS’ recent acquisition: trans-o-flex. As the head of GEODIS’ new Group Strategy Department, his tasks include corporate strategy, mergers & acquisitions, post-merger integration, and the monitoring of the Group’s strategic investments and developments.
In other news, GEODIS has scored a great run, having been chosen as Official Freight Carrier for the Rugby World Cup France 2023, which is currently underway: 08SEP23-28OCT23. Some 140 employees, among them 40 GEODIS drivers, have been deployed to the customized logistics project, which will oversee around 80 tons of team equipment being airlifted on behalf of 20 teams from locations in five continents to France, and then transported to and between the teams’ hotels and the 10 host cities. Each team has an average of 4 tons of equipment, including kits, and training and body-building equipment. GEODIS has announced that it will use biogas-fueled trucks for journeys of under 300 kilometers. A dedicated control center in Brive-la-Gaillarde, southwest France, will ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Stéphane Cassagne, CEO France for GEODIS, said: “Transport and logistics are among the prerequisites of any successful sporting event. On the strength of our experience at Euro 2016 and the Women’s World Cup in 2019, we will be providing a robust, coordinated operational system for this prestigious sporting event, which embodies the values of commitment, trust, and solidarity – values that mirror those of GEODIS. Our fast-acting, highly-skilled teams are capable of handling any contingency that may occur throughout the tournament, and thanks to them we are proud to be the Official Freight Carrier for Rugby World Cup France 2023.”
Unilode chosen to manage My Freighter’s ULDs
The Uzbek start-up cargo airline, My Freighter, took delivery of its first B747-200 freighter almost a year ago on 23OCT22, becoming the country’s first operator of the 105-ton aircraft version, and more than doubling the cargo capacity of previous Uzbek freighter operations (max 50-ton payloads). It celebrated its first touchdown in Shanghai, China just three weeks ago. The airline offers both scheduled and charter operations primarily between Asia and Europe but is willing to fly to all international destinations. As it scales up to acquiring another five B747-200 and increasing its fleet to a total of 20 planes within the next five years, it has selected Unilode Aviation Solutions to manage its ULDs. Unilode will initially provide 600 digitized pallets from its ULD pool, with an expectation for significant growth over the next five years.
Abdulaziz Abdurakhmanov, My Freighter General Director, announced: “We are excited to partner with Unilode for ULD management services that will cover our ULD supply, maintenance, repair, tracking and monitoring needs. Unilode’s extensive industry experience, state-of-the-art technology solutions and commitment to operational excellence align perfectly with our goals of providing superior cargo services to our valued customers. This partnership will strengthen our air cargo capabilities and support our strategic growth plans. We are looking forward to significant growth together with Unilode during our initial five-year contract term.”
Ross Marino, Unilode Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are delighted to have secured My Freighter as a valued customer. Start-up carriers with ambitious growth plans are a welcome addition to our ULD management portfolio and we are glad to play an important role in enabling their expansion and success in the air cargo industry. Unilode’s full-service ULD management solutions will provide a scalable foundation for My Freighter and will accommodate their increasing operational requirements that will facilitate their growth. We are pleased to partner with My Freighter and to help them achieve their goals, and we very much look forward to contributing to My Freighter’s success story.”
Icelandair Cargo joins AfA
The U.S.-based Airforwarders Association (AfA) now counts Icelandair Cargo among its 200+ members, as it focuses on also including European companies that operate U.S. offices. “Icelandair Cargo will bring a valuable new geographical perspective to the group as it targets this objective,” the release states. For Icelandair Cargo, the decision to join AfA was a logical step as it sets out on its strategic expansion into North America this month, operating dedicated freighters out of Liège, Belgium, via Iceland’s Keflavik, to a number of North American cities. As a member of AfA, Icelandair Cargo benefits from a consolidated voice to the U.S. authorities, lobbying for the interests of the transport and logistics industry, and dealing with issues such as investment in air cargo infrastructure, and assisting customers in meeting changing U.S. cargo screening requirements.
Gunnar Mar Sigurfinnsson, Managing Director, Icelandair Cargo, explained: “As Icelandair Cargo enters the air freight market in North America, we want to be part of the business community here and we see AfA as the ideal platform to establish close relationships with forwarders working in the same market. We are all part of the same supply chain, serving the same client, and we see it as our duty to connect with the community and to align with the AfA on its strategic objectives, aiming to be a partner of choice for forwarders in the region. It's not enough to just be a member – we also have to deliver on our service promises and meet the needs of forwarders, and we are ready to work hard to ensure we not only meet but exceed these expectations.”
Brandon Fried, Executive Director, AfA, commented: “With its strategic position midway between North America and Europe, the addition of Icelandair Cargo to the AfA community represents an important development for our global representation and strengthens our efforts to present a united front for the worldwide transport industry. We hope that as we diversify our membership, AfA's goal to bring compliance and harmonization to the sector will grow in tandem.”
Qatar Airways Cargo launches SecureLift
Some cargo is more at risk of theft than others: Valuable and Vulnerable shipments such as precious metals, stones, gold bullions, banknotes, jewelry, or watches are considered Valuables, and sought-after high-value electronics or newly launched products are classed as Vulnerable. Qatar Airways Cargo has now launched its new product designed to ensure that these commodities reach their respective destinations intact and complete. Called SecureLift, the service offers optimum protection and secure storage. “Key features include high loading priority, close monitoring of shipments, inclusion of approved data loggers and shipment escorts, in addition to secure handling, transportation and storage of the product. Valuable shipments would also be moved in specialized containers and boxes for protection of the product, and kept in the strong-room [tempered at 20°-25°C] with restricted access providing added security.”
In 2022, the cargo carrier transported more than 9,000 tons of valuable and vulnerable cargo – a record figure. Miguel Rodriguez Moreno, Head of Cargo Products, detailed: “SecureLift embodies our unwavering commitment to meeting the unique needs of our valued customers. This service redefines safety and security standards for high-value and vulnerable shipments, showcasing our dedication to excellence, safety, and cutting-edge solutions.”
In other news: Qatar Airways Cargo also announced that it has reinstated its thrice-weekly Bahrain freighter link since 01SEP23, thus offering more than 4,500 tons of cargo capacity to 24 destinations in the Middle East: among them 200 tons on its freighter flights, complementing the belly capacities of 21 weekly narrow-body passenger services to Bahrain.
Liesbeth Oudkerk, SVP Cargo Sales and Network Planning, announced: “We are glad to be back in Bahrain with dedicated freighters three times a week. Bahrain is an important market for us, and having a consistent freighter service will contribute to the economic and trade growth between Qatar and Bahrain.”
Korean Air Cargo launches Cargo SAF Program
Korean Air is the latest airline to launch a program supporting and promoting the use of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) for air cargo operations. The program allows air cargo customers and forwarders to make customized contributions towards reducing the carbon footprint of their shipments. Korean Air puts those contributions towards purchasing additional SAF and shares the information on the amount of carbon emissions reduced through the use of SAF with its customers. The program has been introduced as part of the airline’s drive to lower carbon emissions and raise awareness in the air cargo sector so that net zero carbon emissions can be achieved by 2050.
SAF is an environmentally-friendly aviation fuel derived from alternative raw materials that may be blended with existing conventional jet fuel. From production to consumption, sustainably-produced SAF can lead to up to 80% less carbon emissions than when conventional fossil-derived aviation fuel is used. The press release underlines that “Korean Air has been at the forefront in paving the foundation for SAF usage in the Korean domestic aviation industry. The airline has actively participated in the Korean government’s ‘eco-friendly biofuel activation alliance’ since last October, to introduce and promote new biofuel in Korea. The airline will continue to work with stakeholders in the government, private institutions, and refiners to review various domestic and international demonstration projects to increase SAF production and application.”
Jaedong Eum, Senior Vice President and Head of Korean Air’s Cargo Business Division, commented: “We're pleased to work together with our clients to reduce carbon emissions from cargo operations through the SAF program. Korean Air is committed to sustainable development with our next generation in mind.”
Indonesia’s latest cargo airline receives AOC
The British International Freight Association partnered with carbon emissions measurement and offsetting platform, Pledge, at the start of 2023, and has now communicated that visitors to BIFA’s website can have direct access to Pledge's Freight Emissions Calculator. Thus, Association members can now see how easy it is to calculate their customers' carbon footprints. Members have the choice between a limited number of uses per day or a 14-day free trial of the full Pledge platform to get an idea of how it can assist in meeting emissions regulations, setting emissions targets, and developing reduction strategies. “To get started, users enter the origin, destination, shipment weight, and mode of transport of a shipment, which then generates a Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) accredited and ISO:14083-aligned emissions calculation,” the release explains.
Steve Parker, BIFA's Director General, stated: “I am very pleased that Pledge has made this calculator available via the BIFA website for our members to use. The need to understand and address the environmental impact of global supply chains grows by the day. Our members face pressure from various bodies, and increasingly their own customers, to demonstrate how they are able to calculate the freight emissions associated with a shipment. This is an important tool for BIFA members to help their clients meet their reporting obligations. Our cooperation with Pledge and this latest initiative is designed to help BIFA members, small and large, to demonstrate the actions they are taking to obtain thorough visibility of their carbon footprint and that of the shipments they handle, as well as the actions that they can take in order to reduce both.”
David de Picciotto, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Pledge, said: “Through our collaboration with BIFA, Pledge is proud to empower the freight and logistics industry with tools that drive sustainability. By embedding our Freight Emissions Calculator on its website, BIFA is again showing its commitment to giving members the tools to begin their journey towards decarbonization. Together, we're not just calculating emissions: we're helping catalyze a new era of sustainability in transport and logistics.”
Swissport expands CEIV pharma centers, returns to LHR T4
Swissport’s air cargo centers at Liège Airport (LGG) in Belgium and Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) in Canada have received IATA’s CEIV Pharma certification, bringing its total number of pharma centers to 21 (17 certified), alongside a further 70+ pharma-capable air cargo facilities. Both airports are the second in their respective countries to be CEIV Pharma-certified, complementing Brussels (BRU)/Belgium and Montréal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL)/Canada.
The new Pharma Center in Liège is part of a larger 6,000 m² air cargo facility, and has two temperature-controlled storage units capable of holding 15 ULDs, and offering 02-08° C and 15-25° C storage. Toronto’s Swissport Pharma Center also has two cool rooms, which can each hold 3 PMCs. That facility is 4,825 m².
Dirk Goovaerts, CEO of Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, and Global Cargo Chair at Swissport, commented: “We are thrilled to see Liège join Swissport’s growing network of Pharma Centers. This latest CEIV certification in Liège, where Swissport operates a state-of-the-art pharma center with end-to-end refrigeration solutions, is testament to our infrastructure investment and the operational expertise of our team. Our capabilities in Liège - one of the leading hubs for pharmaceutical shipments in Europe - perfectly complement our established offering in Brussels, Belgium, and other European pharma centers such as Frankfurt, Germany, and Basel, Switzerland.”
Charles Roberge, CEO of Swissport Canada, added: “The CEIV Pharma certification of our cargo operation at Toronto Airport is a recognition of the efforts and investments that went towards upgrading our infrastructure, refining our process and upskilling our teams,” says. “It solidifies Swissport’s leader role in pharma handling in Canada.”
Also in the news: “Swissport celebrates a return to London Heathrow Terminal 4 with new Air Malta handling contract.” The Air Malta ground handling contract is passenger-related (16 weekly flights: check-in, gate services, ramp, baggage handling, and aircraft cleaning services), but significant for the company which already handles more than 260,000 tons of cargo for 35+ airlines at LHR with 653 staff.
Karen Cox, CEO for Swissport UK and Ireland, said: “We are delighted that Air Malta has put its trust in us [and] this agreement will lay the foundations for Swissport’s long-term presence at Terminal 4 as we continue to grow our footprint at the airport. As the fourth busiest airport in the world, London Heathrow plays a pivotal role in global aviation as a hub for international travelers and cargo operations.”
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