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WORLD ACW Digital is sponsored by AIRPORTS.COM FREIGHTERS.COM

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The weekly newspaper for air cargo professionals No. 1,127

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12 APRIL 2021

IN MY OPINION: COVID-19 PANDEMIC’S LEGACY

SAUDIA CARGO SUPPORTS UNICEF’S COVAX FACILITY

connection points. We fully understand our role and will work hand in hand with UNICEF and ensure the maximum global reach for the vaccines. Safe, timely and efficient transportation of these supplies is paramount and we are sure our freighters will expertly get the job done,” said Omar Hariri, Saudia Cargo CEO. Etleva Kadilli, director of UNICEF supply division, said: “Delivery of these life-saving vaccines is a monumental and complex undertaking, considering the sheer volumes that need to be transported, the cold chain requirements, the number of expected deliveries and the diversity of routes. “We are grateful to these airlines for joining forces with the UNICEF humanitarian airfreight initiative.” The 10 airfreight companies operating upon COVAX Facility’s effective delivery strategy will form a global logistics preparedness mechanism for any potential humanitarian health crises on short and long terms. For now, the COVAX deliveries and subsequent vaccinations to frontline health workers continues to have the utmost importance to empower their critical role in this unprecedented global situation.

SAUDIA Cargo is one of the first airfreight companies to join the humanitarian airfreight initiative launched by UNICEF to support the prioritisation of COVID-19 vaccine delivery alongside essential medicines and other critical supplies to fight the pandemic. The members of the initiative are 10 leading airlines which together cover routes to over 100 countries with one goal in mind, to support the COVAX Facility – the global effort to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines regardless of any country’s income level. COVAX Facility’s first round distribution plan provides doses to 145 countries starting in the first half of 2021. These countries will immunise 3% of their population, on average and subject to all requirements and final allocation plans. The initiative commits airlines to prioritise the shipment of all life-saving supplies, add freight capacity to routes whenever necessary and take the important measures of temperature control and security. “Saudia Cargo is ready and on full power to operate for UNICEF humanitarian airfreight initiative and take part in this global vaccines delivery effort through Saudia Cargo’s wide range of destinations and

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INSIDE ETIHAD CARGO APPOINTS ROM TOP

ETIHAD Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, has selected Rom Top Aviation Ltd as its general sales agent (GSA) for ... PAGE 2

IMPROVEMENT FOR AIR CARGO PROGRAM

AN important decision of the Cargo Agency Conference (CAC) will give freight forwarders a stronger voice in the development of ... PAGE 2 E-COMMERCE IS THE “NEXT BIG THING”

“WHERE there is consumption in the market, there must now be speed of supply to match it. Today in Latin America, e-Commerce is changing ... PAGE 4

THE RIDE HAS JUST BEGUN

THE global food supply chain is built to follow patterns in consumer demand. When COVID-19 hit last year, these patterns were disrupted and ... PAGE 6

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NEWS MNG Airlines invests in Next Generation A330P2F MNG Airlines has entered into a contract with Elbe Flugzeugwerke (EFW), a joint venture of ST Engineering and Airbus, for the Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversion of two Airbus A330-300 aircraft. The first A330 aircraft was inducted for conversion on April 1, while conversion for the second aircraft will commence in 2022. Conversions will be carried out at EFW’s facility in Dresden, Germany. With these two A330-300P2F conversion freighters, MNG Airlines will add further capacity to its network, complementing its current Airbus aircraft fleet of four converted

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Emirates SkyCargo first to deliver 50m doses of COVID-19 vaccines

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n the run up to World Health Day on April 7, Emirates SkyCargo became the first airline cargo carrier in the world to have transported more than 50 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines on its flights. The carrier has also transported more than 100 tonnes of syringes across the world to support the delivery of vaccines. Since the start of international distribution late last year, Emirates SkyCargo has transported over 220 tonnes of COVID-19 vaccines, equivalent to more than 50 million doses, on more than 150 flights from manufacturing locations to 50 destinations on its network through Dubai. Overall, the carrier has transported six different kinds of COVD-19 vaccine. Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president, Cargo, said: “Emirates SkyCargo is proud to have reached the 50 million COVID19 vaccine delivery milestone just ahead of World Health Day. As a socially responsible global air cargo carrier, our actions over the

last year have always been directed at helping communities across the world, and especially those in developing nations, recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic. We have been leading the global air cargo industry’s efforts and working with our partner organisations in Dubai to rapidly distribute COVID-19 vaccines through Dubai to the rest of the world.” Emirates SkyCargo has remained agile and dynamic throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, responding quickly to maintain international connectivity for essential goods across the world. The carrier was one of the first in the world to deploy passenger aircraft for cargo only flights in order to transport PPE, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and food. Over one year, Emirates SkyCargo had operated more than 27,800 flights and transported over 100,000 tonnes of essential commodities. As early as October 2020, Emirates SkyCargo set up an EU GDP certified dedicated airside

hub for distribution of COVID-19 vaccines at its hub in Dubai. With its sophisticated infrastructure and extensive storage capacity, Emirates SkyCargo positioned itself to fly in large quantities of COVID-19 vaccines from manufacturing locations, store the vaccines in Dubai and then regularly replenish vaccine supplies to developing nations with limited cold chain infrastructure through its cargo flights. In January 2021, Emirates SkyCargo joined hands with leading Dubai-based entities, DP World, International Humanitarian City and Dubai Airports to form the Dubai Vaccine Logistics Alliance to harness the strategic strengths of Dubai as a major global distribution hub for COVID-19 vaccines. In February 2021, Emirates SkyCargo signed an MoU with UNICEF to prioritise transportation of COVID19 vaccines in support of the COVAX facility which is aimed at equitable global distribution of vaccines.

Major efficiency improvement for the Air Cargo Program A300-600RF and one factory-produced A330200F. The A330-300P2F provides best-in-class versatility and about 23% more volume than its closest competitor B767-300ER. Depending on the weight variants, the conversion freighter can offer a gross payload of up to 63 tonnes per flight and a range capability of up to 3600nm. “We are excited to welcome MNG Airlines as a new A330P2F programme customer,” said Dr Andreas Sperl, CEO of EFW. “We look forward to a good working relationship with MNG Airlines and to supporting them strongly to meet the growing international and regional air freight demand.” “MNG Airlines believes that the A330300P2F, with its higher volumetric capacity, will provide new commercial options for short and medium range routes to the integrators,” said Sedat Ozkazanc, managing director of MNG Airlines. “Together with our A330-200F factory-produced freighter, the A330-300P2F will grow our fleet of efficient medium-sized freighters to create better economics for MNG Airlines’ customers.”

airlines. The Regional Joint Councils are composed of local freight forwarder associations affiliated with the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA), as well as individual freight forwarders and airlines. Obtaining Regional Joint Council views in advance of adopting resolutions will strengthen the Air Cargo Program by ensuring the efficient global implementation of resolutions.

AN important decision of the Cargo Agency Conference (CAC) will give freight forwarders a stronger voice in the development of CAC resolutions. This is the result of a newly adopted resolution of the CAC that will require consultation with Regional Joint Councils before any future resolutions (or amendments to resolutions) are proposed to and considered by the CAC. The CAC is composed only of

Etihad Cargo appoints Rom Top Aviation as Israeli GSA ETIHAD Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, has selected Rom Top Aviation Ltd as its general sales agent (GSA) for the state of Israel. The appointment came ahead of the April 6 launch of Etihad’s scheduled twice-weekly Abu Dhabi-Tel Aviv service and as official Israeli government figures point to rising trade with the UAE following the establishment of

diplomatic relations between the two in the wake of last year’s signing of the Abraham Accords. “The new three-and-a-half hour service will link two vibrant economic and technological centres and further facilitate trade avenues between the two nations within the region and beyond,” explained Martin Drew, senior vice president sales and cargo, Etihad Aviation Group.

“Since the establishment of relations, there has been increased interest in trade and investment between the UAE and Israel, and Etihad Cargo can assist in realising these emerging opportunities. Given Israel’s recognised prowess within the medical and food production fields, there is an anticipation of strong demand for the specialised PharmaLife and FreshForward products.”

BRU and skeyes test new safety drone and drone detection system BRUSSELS Airport and skeyes have tested the operational use of drones at and around the airport. An innovative safety drone has been deployed, which can be controlled from a large distance to find out how drones can increase the safety, security and efficiency of airport operations. In addition, a drone detection system is being tested to detect unwanted drones around the airport. Drones are prohibited at and around the airport. A stray drone can create very dangerous situations for air traffic. During two test days on March 31 and

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“This is a major improvement for all concerned. The Air Cargo Program works to improve the safety, security, and efficiency of cargo distribution. The freight forwarders and their associations will have a stronger voice to influence the process,” said Muhammad Albakri, IATA’s senior vice president for customer, financial and digital services. IATA is the secretariate for the CAC.

April 1, the possibilities and operational procedures of such a safety drone were investigated. In co-operation with Citymesh, drone operator and partner for the private 5G network at the airport, a safety drone was tested. For this test the Citymesh drone pilot was not on site but in West Flanders Bruges. Via 5G he controlled the drone

“beyond visual line of sight”, which is a first for an airport. During the test, it was investigated how the drone can be used for inspection rounds on the grounds and for monitoring the airport area. A second simulation concerned an aircraft incident where a drone can arrive very quickly to get a first impression of the situation.

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Etihad Cargo, has already played a major role in establishing relations between the UAE and Israel. “This is an honour to be awarded the GSA of Etihad’s activities in Israel. On behalf of Rom Top Aviation and myself, we are committed to the success of Etihad Cargo in Israel and I am sure this is going to be a fruitful cooperation,” commented Irit Krief, owner, Rom Top Aviation.

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In my opinion: COVID-19 pandemic’s legacy on air cargo pharma operations By Martin Drew, senior vice president sales and cargo, Etihad Aviation Group

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he pandemic has left a lasting legacy and we must all learn to keep adjusting to the new normal. That said, it is not all doom and gloom. A particular positive to emerge during the past 12 months is the strength of partnerships, with a renewed energy for collaboration to find viable solutions. Strong partnerships have been vital in the transportation of pharmaceuticals, a commodity that requires strict adherence and temperature-controlled solutions at every stage of the journey. Through our own IATA CEIV certified PharmaLife product we have extended our support across private and public shipments, leveraging our expertise to

ensure we and our partners deliver without compromising the product integrity. We have also worked with different partners to bring COVID-19 vaccines directly from manufacturers globally into our hub in the UAE and onwards across our network. Abu Dhabi has been at the forefront of the collaborative effort to addressing the distribution of vaccines around the world through the establishment of the HOPE consortium – a ‘first-of-its-kind’ complete supply chain collective of health, port, airline, airport and freight forwarding partners to aid global COVID-19 vaccine distribution. Through the consortium, we have demonstrated how private-public entities can leverage collective expertise and extensive network capabilities to provide essential logistical solutions where they are most needed. It has also highlighted how supply chain resilience emanates from having the right mix of partners, products, solutions, particularly in addressing the cold-chain complexities that come with the vaccine supply chain, as well as tight alignment on shared values and complementary capabilities.

Time-sensitive Beyond the vaccine, Etihad Cargo has collaborated with our partners to fly time-sensitive PCR tests from health clinics around the world to be tested at Unilabs laboratories in Abu Dhabi and provided necessary uplift for vital medical supplies and equipment. All of which would not have been possible without working together. Choice of partners is essential. Do they have certified solutions to guarantee product integrity? Have they proven credentials? How extensive is the network and can it quickly reach destinations where the product needs to go? Due diligence is crucial in forging sustainable alliances that deliver trust – a key ingredient in pharma transportation. Trust now has a wider footprint than ever, spanning producers, freight partners, political bodies, and end consumers. Product integrity is now

in the wider public domain. Furthermore, digitalisation and automation, which were already rising up pharma logistics agendas, are increasingly a priority as strict workplace social-distancing protocols become the norm. Digital transformation will enable the industry to more efficiently respond to fluctuations, including unforeseen volatility, yet will not undermine the need for intelligent forecasting. AI and machine learning will be essential in sustaining supply chains, achieving greater efficiencies, leaner inventory, and network design, while offsetting warehousing and labour costs. The longer-term legacy will be a shift in industry perception. As consumers seek to align with progressive, transparent organisations, we must prove our credentials in helping to deliver a safer world. We are endeavouring to achieve this by signing up to the UNICEF humanitarian airfreight initiative for vaccine and essential medicare response, and collaborating on the distribution of vaccines, essential medicines, medical devices, and humanitarian supplies. Our initial commitment is to help maintain UNICEF’s regular immunisation programmes for the world’s most vulnerable children. Increased accountability will mean a greater focus on professionalism across the sector, which will require investment in both product and education. As a member of IATA’s Time and Temperature Working Group, we are contributing to an ongoing education programme that has already reached a worldwide audience of more than 600 professionals through 30 webinars and will continue throughout 2021. We will build our network of certified pharmaceutical trade lanes that meet consistent standards and assure product integrity; invest in thermal blankets, cool dollies, digital e-booking and co-operate with the powerful cross-industry Pharma.Aero collective. Cross-sector collaboration is the new industry normal as the world demands air cargo pharma operations that contribute to a safer global environment.

Ben Dinsdale in new role as ACS director humanitarian and government services AIR Charter Service (ACS) has appointed Ben Dinsdale as the company’s global director for humanitarian and government services. It is a new role. Dinsdale joined ACS almost 18 years ago and has been an integral part of the cargo division. During his time at ACS, Dinsdale also oversaw the establishment of the Paris office’s cargo department and in 2016 became business

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development director for Europe. Justin Bowman, CEO of Air Charter Service, commented: “Ben has a huge amount of experience in humanitarian aid and has helped to establish ACS as a leading supplier for a number of organisations in the sector. “Ben is a well-known and well-respected figure in this industry.”

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Latin America

Andres Bianchi: the value of a plan LATAM Cargo CEO, Andres Bianchi spoke to ACW about overcoming the adversity of the past year, vaccine transport and the value of having a plan. THROUGHOUT the pandemic, LATAM has played an important role globally and within Latin America. First transporting PPE and medical supplies and now becoming a key player in what IATA have dubbed “the mission of a century” - vaccine transportation.

Project Hope “We are a truly South American company and have moved vaccines throughout the continent. From the beginning, we have made a major commitment as a company to support international and domestic vaccine logistics,” explained Bianchi. “The first thing we did was to assemble a cross-functional team of over 20 people to head the building of our CEIV pharma product as well as organising the transportation of the vaccine. “We then went on to plan the domestic and international networks. In our domestic regions, we utilised our ‘Solidarity Plane’ initiative, transporting vaccines for free. We also gave support to other companies that needed help and advice in this field.” So far, the carrier has transported 38 million doses. Bianchi explained that Chile was very pro-active in securing vaccines early on. “Chile has relied more on SINOVAC so far, so we’ve been to China several times to transport vaccines. From the southern tip of Patagonia to the Easter Island we’ve carried vaccines throughout the country.” “I’ve seen our team are very proud and engaged with their work. We call it Project Hope internally because its not only doing what you know how to do, but it’s putting it to service for the highest purpose. If we can get the vaccines out quickly, the end of the pandemic may be closer.”

Strong cargo sector It was LATAM’s strong cargo sector that helped the carrier continue to operate when passenger flights were grounded. In the mid to second quarter of 2020, LATAM Cargo went from flying 11 freighters to flying nearly 50-60 planes for cargo, utilising their passenger fleet. The carrier’s existing Solidarity Plane initiative demonstrated the value of having a plan for emergencies. “Solidarity Plane initiative is aimed at supporting natural disasters. South America is prone to natural disasters and by utilising our resources we realised we could help. Last November, we landed the first freighter in San Andres to bring aid after the hurricane. “This programme is for responding quickly to disasters, which is why it worked so well during the pandemic. “This pandemic is probably the biggest effort undertaken by Solidarity Plane and we have also extended this to the passenger side; we were moving doctors and medical personnel for free.”

Since the start of the pandemic, the aviation industry has been hit hard but within the bad there were many lessons to be learned. “[This past year] got the industry thinking about things. Supply chains had been driven by cost and the pandemic highlighted that the sustainability and reliability of these networks need to be thoroughly considered. “I think going forward we will pay more attention on how to structure things so they are more sustainable. “Secondly, it has shown the value of airfreight as a diversification tool for airlines. Airlines that have good cargo capabilities

In my opinion: e-Commerce is the “Next Big Thing” in Latin America Fabio Mendunekas, senior vice president for Latin America, CEVA Logistics. “WHERE there is consumption in the market, there must now be speed of supply to match it. Today in Latin America, e-Commerce is changing our lives. This rapidly emerging logistics market segment has been growing in an ever-increasing way here over the last four years. “I remember well the old consumer mindset. We were all used to the delay and the high cost of freight connected with receiving products at home. But I also remember in mid-2017 when CEVA Logistics began working with e-Commerce customers Sephora and Mercado Livre. At the time, I was the head of sales, supporting the sourcing processes for these companies. It was a time of growth for CEVA in Latin America, diversifying market segments and

Intercargo aid vaccine logistics ON March 28, Argentine ground handling company, Intercargo attended flight KLM701 with more than 200,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine corresponding to the COVAX programme. Intercargo carried out the operation of unloading and transferring the pallets of the vaccines against COVID-19, to the

have been able to balance the damage done from lack of passengers. At one point we were the only part of the company that was flying and that is down to the fact we have a good cargo side. Bianchi described two lessons he has learned this year: the value of the team and the value of having a plan. “Our world was turned upside down and we had to put in a plan in two weeks. Having a team that is knowledgeable is imperative. At these moments you either fly or crash. “When you go from managing 10 to 60 planes, you have to have a team you trust will make the right decision all across the network. Building and investing in your team is critical. “We were also able to build a plan specific to the pandemic because we had an emergency plan before, in the Solidarity Plane. “We knew what we needed to do, our capabilities, our economics and so we had some sort of idea of what was required to do the right thing.”

refrigerated chamber located in the Cargo terminal (TCA) of the Ezeiza International Airport. For this operation, refrigerated dollies were used to preserve the cold chain and avoid sudden changes in temperature. The operation was carried out successfully and within the established and scheduled times.

adding capabilities and technologies. It was a time of growth for our customers as well, evaluating and then delivering new levels of service and connection with their customers. “More recently, the global pandemic and its lockdowns have accelerated this transformation in the market. “Consumers are not leaving home, increasing their need to buy over the internet and then receive those products at home. Given this, online commerce has been growing every day. “The technologies behind these new online business models typically reach a wider audience and perform processes more efficiently, increasing profit margin and driving growth. “For example, our biggest customer in Brazil has more than doubled in size during the pandemic. This expansion brought the corresponding challenge to serve the country’s entire popula-

tion with processes of order selection and shipping in a maximum of four hours, with next-day delivery to the consumer. These requirements demand responsive logistics solutions, often through combining transport modes like ground and air. On Black Friday alone, CEVA Logistics handled more than 600,000 packages in a single day for this customer. “Our initial challenge years ago was to bring together the right group of experienced people to meet the specific demands of an e-Commerce industry still in development. Since then, CEVA Logistics’ track record has taken us to another level in serving our Latin American customers. “During the seminars and workshops that we host regularly on this topic, we often call it the ‘next big thing’. “In reality, it’s not ‘next.’ e-Commerce is here, now.”

Azul plans to acquire Avianca Brasil assets AZUL has announced that it has signed a non-binding proposal in the amount of $105 million for the acquisition of certain assets of Avianca Brasil. This will be through an Isolated Productive Unit (UPI) agreement. The UPI will include assets selected by Azul such as Avianca Brasil’s air operator

certificate, 70 pairs of slots and approximately 30 Airbus A320 aircraft. The agreement is currently non-binding and that the UPI acquisition process is subject to a series of conditions. It is expected that the process will take around three months and be completed in early summer.

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Perisha The ride has just b NEWS

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Lineage Logistics is ready for grocery e-Commerce growth

THE global food supply chain is built to follow patterns in consumer demand. When COVID19 hit last year, these patterns were disrupted and the supply chain was forced to react to unanticipated events like grocery store surges and restaurant shutdowns. Recently, in his 2021 outlook, Lineage Logistics president and CEO, Greg Lehmkuhl, pointed out that

while many of the consumer behaviour shifts we saw last year were temporary, there is one that is here to stay – and it is one Lineage is strategically prepared to handle: grocery e-Commerce. When e-Commerce accelerated, it accelerated quickly. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic brought with it an 80% surge in the number

of consumers buying their groceries online, as food buyers looked to curbside pickups, contactless payments and expanded home delivery to keep themselves safe. Now, after trying it, many consumers have made it part of their regular shopping habits. So much so, that in the past 12 months, consumer acceptance of grocery e-Commerce has hit numbers that

many predicted would take up to five years to achieve. According to Whitney Wilcox, Lineage vice president of business development, now that we’ve seen this acceleration, “Everyone is looking for that e-Commerce solve. And temperature introduces a whole new element. But with our resources and flexibility at Lineage,

IAG Cargo breaks Kenyan record for biggest air shipment IAG Cargo uplifted 53,793kgs of cargo on a cargo-only flight from Nairobi, Kenya to London-Heathrow operated by a British Airways B777-300 aircraft in March – a record for UK-Kenya traffic. The record cargo-only flight comprised of a mix of products including fruit, vegetables and textiles and courier. IAG Cargo operates four weekly rotations from Nairobi to London Heathrow and popular exports from Kenya into the UK include perishables such as cut flowers, fruits and vegetables, while imports are mainly automotive, pharmaceuticals, printed materials and consumer electronics. Speaking about the achievement, area commercial manager for East Africa, Michael Muriithi at IAG Cargo commented: “This record uplift of nearly 54 tonnes shows the dedicated and committed efforts of the IAG Cargo team in Nairobi. The flight was carefully planned, ensuring efficient ULD planning, and we worked collaboratively with our ground handling partners to ensure loading was completed with care. Since the start of the pandemic we have been committed to creating efficient solutions for our customers to maximise capacity and keep supply chains open. We are proud to support our customers across the world,” said Muriithi.

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Pakistan International Airline cuts tariff to facilitate ME fruit and vegetable exports PAKISTAN International Airline (PIA) has announced it has now cut its freight charges for the export of fruits and vegetables to the Middle East. The move is aimed at facilitating horticulture exports from the country, which fetched $730 million in FY20. The decision was made between PIA CEO Air Marshal Arshad Malik, Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) chief Waheed Ahmed and officials of Ministry of Commerce (MoC).

PIA has revised its air freight charges downward to 24 cents ($0.04 per kg — equivalent to Rs40 per kg) for vegetable and fruit exports to the Middle East

sector; Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam and Dubai. The airline also assured the PFVA there were to be low freight charges in the future, along with the provision of stateof-the-art ground handling facilities. The PIA CEO informed the officials that the airline has already installed a large scanning machine at Islamabad Airport where 100 boxes can be scanned in one go. Some scanners could now be installed at Karachi and Lahore airports, he added.

customers can bring us their problems, and we’ll use our innovation, network, transportation capabilities and engineers to find a solution. We are set up to handle these scenarios.”

Growth From a capacity standpoint, Lineage is building, expanding and acquiring facilities in strategically located, rapid-growth population centres. This keeps products closer to consumers and ensures there is always enough available inventory to quickly satisfy demand. Wilcox continued: “We can enable customers behind the scenes. Lineage has a very large network, so if we are able to do it in one market, we can replicate a service in another market.” Sudarsan Thattai, Lineage chief information officer, added: “Technology will facilitate a demand for e-Commerce that is growing faster than expected. We recognised the trends early and have seen how innovations like automation can deliver results in speed and efficiency.”

The ride has just begun Recent predictions show that by 2024 nearly 70% of consumers will be online grocery shoppers. While instantaneous shifts in consumer demand and behaviour may have initially shocked the food logistics industry last year, Lineage’s investment in infrastructure and innovation allowed the company to support customers in these uncertain times.

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Profile for Azura International

ACW Digital 12th April 2021  

ACW Digital 12th April 2021  

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