DA ILY NEWS WEDNESDAY • 1 NOVEMBER 2023
THE OFFICIAL DAILY NEWSPAPER OF AIR CARGO SOUTHEAST ASIA 2023
INSIDE FIRST DAY
Southeast Asia’s rising role on show in Singapore
Messe München is ready to welcome attendees and exhibitors to the first transport logistic ... PAGE 8
ey players in the airfreight and transport and logistics sector are meeting for the first time at transport logistic Southeast Asia and air cargo Southeast Asia. With 135 exhibitors from 23 countries, the exhibition space is sold out, reflecting how the Southeast Asian market is becoming increasingly important for international companies. Visitors at transport logistic Southeast Asia and air cargo Southeast Asia will have the opportunity to find out about business opportunities in Southeast Asia, networking with exhibitors around the globe. In addition to companies from Southeast Asia, companies from North America, Europe and the Middle East are also strongly represented, with exhibitors including Northlink Aviation, DP World, duisport, DHL, R-Bag Group, Liege Airport, Gebrüder Weiss, and more. The international country pavilions from Singapore, the Netherlands, Germany and China are packed with companies, such as Singapore Airlines, SATSACO GROUP, GUUD, Crossover Asset Management, SFS
Global, Halcon Primo Logistics and Commonwealth Kokubu Logistics. Global and regional players in the industry, such as Boeing, Emirates SkyCargo, Singapore Airlines, United Cargo, Jettainer, Garuda Indonesia, MAS Kargo, Vietjet Cargo and ACL Airshop, will also be in attendance. Asia Pacific is also one of the most important markets in the air cargo sector. From a strategic point of view, the timing of air cargo Southeast Asia is perfect for initiating important business deals and establishing contacts in this growing market. “Southeast Asia is a dynamic hub for trade and commerce. transport logistic Southeast Asia gives visitors access to a wide range of market opportunities. The show provides the platform to connect with the right people from the region and unlock growth potential. We look forward to a wide-ranging conference programme focusing on digitalisation, resilience, and sustainability that will discuss the current and upcoming issues in the logistics industry with a broad audience,” Michael Wilton, CEO & Managing Director of MMI Asia, said.
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Strike Aviation’s global ascent
trike Aviation Group is set to make its debut appearance at air cargo Southeast Asia. Julia Knecht Ostwaldt, COO Europe at Strike Aviation, emphasised the significance of this move: “This marks our first foray into this region, where we’re eager to explore the potential it holds for us and how it can contribute to expanding our global reach.” Singapore’s connectivity to major cities worldwide is a key factor behind the company’s interest in the region. With an extensive network of air routes ensuring seamless access to vital global markets, businesses can effectively reach their customers with speed and efficiency, making it an attractive prospect for companies like Strike Aviation. Strike’s team is optimistic about gaining valuable insights on integrating into the new region and building rapport with the local business community. They pride themselves on fostering quick, human interactions with partners, even when dealing with business matters. “We are proud to aim for greater heights in Asia and expand our presence,” she said. “Our entire European team will be participating in transport logistic and air cargo Southeast Asia, where they will undoubtedly forge new connections and bolster partnerships in the Asian region,” Frank Ziesemer, CEO of Strike Aviation, added.
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Changi’s connectivity keeps cargo moving
Singapore Changi Airport has reported a strong Q3 result as the market returns to normality. From July to September 2023, airfreight throughput totalled 451,000 tonnes, a decline of 4% compared to the same period last year. The softening in air cargo demand has gradually eased during the quarter, led by improvements in transhipment volumes. For the period, Changi’s top five air cargo markets comprised: Australia, China, Hong Kong, India and the United States of America. Notably, air cargo traffic with India registered a strong growth of 21% compared to the corresponding period last year. “As we move towards 2024, we will continue to work with airlines to reinstate more city links and strengthen capacity on existing routes, to further strengthen Changi Airport’s connectivity to the rest of the world,” Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group’s Executive Vice President for Air Hub and Cargo Development said.
Europe’s key trading partner
head of transport logistic and air cargo Southeast Asia, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport Oliver Luksic has highlighted the growing significance of Asia as a key trading partner for businesses in Europe. “Asian countries are undisputedly among the most important economic partners worldwide,” Secretary Luksic stated. “It is not for nothing that the Asia-Pacific region is considered the engine of the world economy. Germany’s imports from the Asia-Pacific region have been on the rise in recent years. In 2022, the value of German imports was more than 45% higher than pre-pandemic levels. German exports to the region have also recovered from various economic and social crises in recent years and already exceeded pre-crisis levels again in 2021. The bilateral trade volume last year amounted to €14.7 billion. “We hope to further expand the relations. transport logistic Southeast Asia will certainly make a positive contribution to this,” he continued.
Digital transformation By and large, the logistics industry has recognised the advantages of the digital transformation in terms of greater efficiency and climate change mitigation. “The digital transformation of intralogistics is very advanced and many B2B processes are also being mapped in digital form already; the electronic consignment note is currently being tested in practical applications, route tracking in real time has already been implemented in many scenarios, and simulations and intelligent load carriers are currently very much in
I am glad that after the years of the pandemic it is possible again for us to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas
demand and are being developed,” Secretary Luksic explained. Business models in logistics are changing faster and faster and companies are experiencing a new age in logistics. Artificial intelligence can help to reorganise flows of goods, make transport more efficient and reduce emissions. To support this digital transformation, the Federal
Ministry for Digital and Transport is funding, among other things, the Silicon Economy project, which aims to comprehensively digitalise process and supply chains through the use of artificial intelligence. “We want to facilitate digital transport checks in Europe and, in doing so, speed up the process. And we will digitally map approval processes for bulk and abnormal loads transport operations in order to issue permits quickly and efficiently,” Secretary Luksic stated.
Diverse representation Germany is strongly represented across the trade fair, with numerous companies offering their services, solutions and know-how to current and potential business partners. “Their portfolio is of course diverse and relates to the most varied areas of logistics. Many optimisations are digitally driven,” Secretary Luksic highlighted. “I invite all interested parties to visit the German companies at the fair and get to know their particular offers at first hand. We are also here to exchange with others and to learn from each other.”
Embracing opportunity With the Asian airfreight industry having faced significant disruption in recent years, transport logistic and air cargo Southeast Asia offers companies a chance to capitalise on opportunities and chart a path through major challenges. “I am glad that after the years of the pandemic it is possible again for us to meet face-to-face and exchange ideas,” Secretary Luksic said. “The international focus of the sector is even stronger than that of other transport industries. air cargo Southeast Asia offers the ideal environment to network extensively on this and other topics,” he continued. “The Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics, for example, is presenting a project on digitalisation at the fair: the Digital Testbed for Air Cargo.”
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Importance of regional representation
n recent years, Air Charter Service (ACS) has been making significant strides in expanding its operations and strengthening its presence in the Asia Pacific region, strategically expanding its footprint in key markets. Currently, the company operates from two offices in mainland China, in addition to offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, and Brisbane. Furthermore, they have plans for more openings in the near future, indicating their commitment to growing their presence in the region. Understanding the importance of having a strong presence on the
ground in Asia, ACS has harnessed the local knowledge and presence of staff to both benefit new business ventures and support their offices worldwide. “Speaking the local languages, a physical presence and local cultural knowledge are all essential to break into these markets,” Dan MorganEvans, Air Charter Service’s Global Director of Cargo, said. “That local knowledge and presence doesn’t only benefit new business locally but also supporting our offices around the globe.”
Fluctuating demand in emerging markets While the COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected demand for all of the industry, including charter services in the Asia Pacific region, ACS managed to navigate around the supply chain disruption. Turning to opportunities in the market, ACS supported the transportation of PPE and test kits around countries like China, Vietnam, and Thailand. Seeing the region as a “growth area,” ACS is keen to keep an eye on any opportunities that might arise in the APAC area. “Obviously we look for peak season demand for consumer goods and e-commerce – but we’re always serving the more traditional markets you see around the world, such as oil and gas, project cargo, etc,” MorganEvans explained.
Avoiding disruption through innovation In the face of recent disruptions in the supply chain across Asia, and elsewhere, ACS has had to embrace a fundamental principle of flexibility. “Charters are all about adapting and being dynamic so no real change in how we operate – we have always been agile and able to adapt to market conditions,” Morgan-Evans stated. This is reflected in how ACS has embraced the opportunities technology provides in a strategic manner to deliver the best possible service. Focusing on efficiencies in-house, ACS has positioned itself to be able to work faster and deliver improved offerings to customers. “Technology for technology’s sake is not something we are interested in,” Morgan-Evans said. “The internal system we have developed is synced across our entire network enabling us to leverage availabilities and one-ways to reduce prices and increase the speed of response,” he continued. “We believe this enhances our customer experience in real terms. Obviously, we will work towards outward facing technology but only if it improves the experience and isn’t just a gimmick.”
Southeast Asia’s growing role in airfreight
outheast Asia is set to play a pivotal role in the growth of the airfreight industry and its move towards a more sustainable vision, according to insights from Boeing and its World Air Cargo Market Forecast (WACF).
e-commerce boost powers cargo carriers One of the standout trends highlighted by Boeing is the robust growth of e-commerce in Southeast Asia. The region experienced a remarkable 16.1% year-over-year increase in e-commerce sales revenue in 2022, and this upward trajectory is predicted to continue, with forecasts indicating it will reach a staggering $206 billion by 2025. The surge in online shopping, combined with evolving supply chain dynamics and the entry of new cargo carriers into the market, has driven a surge in demand for dedicated freighters to meet the needs of e-commerce logistics. Notably, the number of standard-body freighters operating in the region, such as the Boeing 737-800 Converted Freighter, has more than doubled from 21 aeroplanes in January 2020 to 45 in August 2023.
Regional evolution Boeing’s report also highlights the evolving landscape of supply chains in the wake of the pandemic. Manufacturers and logistics firms are increasingly diversifying their supply chains, with a focus on reducing costs while enhancing reliability and resilience. Geographical diversification has emerged as a key strategy for manufacturers, and the report indicates substantial growth in air export volumes from manufacturing centres in several Southeast Asian countries. Notable beneficiaries of these evolving supply chain strategies include Malaysia, Vietnam, and Thailand, which have seen cargo tonnes to the U.S. increase by 101%, 84%, and 79%, respectively, from 2017 to 2022.
Sustainability in the spotlight Boeing’s sustainability report shows the pressing need for sustainability in aviation and has outlined four strategic pathways to reduce emissions: fleet renewal, operational efficiency, renewable energy, and advanced technologies. The introduction of new aircraft generations offers substantial
efficiency gains, with each new iteration reducing fuel consumption and emissions by 15-25%. The upcoming 777-8 Freighter, for instance, promises to be a gamechanger, featuring advanced technology from the new 777X and the proven performance of the 777 Freighter, resulting in the highest payload and lowest fuel use, emissions, and operating cost per tonne of any large freighter in service. Furthermore, Boeing highlights the significance of freighter conversion programmes, which provide airlines with an economical means to extend the serviceable life of commercial aircraft while replacing oldergeneration freighters. For instance, the fuel-efficient 737-800BCF boasts up to 20% lower fuel use and CO2 emissions per tonne compared to its predecessor. Boeing is putting itself at the forefront of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) adoption, recognising it as the primary avenue for reducing emissions over the next three decades. Boeing’s commitment includes developing SAF capabilities to ensure their commercial aeroplanes are 100% SAF compatible by 2030, using SAF for their own operations, and fostering global industry partnerships and policy advocacy to scale up SAF production. In a significant move towards sustainable aviation, Boeing, in collaboration with the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), initiated a joint study in June 2023 to scale sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production in Southeast Asia. SAF has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by up to 85% over its life cycle. The study, set to unfold in phases, will evaluate the feasibility and sustainability of SAF production in Southeast Asia, with findings and recommendations slated for publication in the first quarter of 2024.
Asia’s advantage Boeing’s insights underscored Singapore’s pivotal role in the aviation and logistics industry. Singapore, one of the world’s most connected nations, is strategically located along major trade routes, connecting over 600 ports. The country is home to more than 100 airlines serving around 100 countries and territories worldwide. At Singapore’s Changi Airport, an impressive 1.9 million tonnes of cargo is handled annually, ranking it 16th globally and making it Southeast Asia’s largest air cargo hub.
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Shaping the future of logistics and transportation
esse München is ready to welcome attendees and exhibitors to the first transport logistic Southeast Asia and air cargo Southeast Asia in
Singapore. Bringing together a global industry, the event is poised to be one of the most important business platforms for professionals to network, make new contacts, develop upcoming markets and explore joint business potential. The high-calibre trade show will bring together top experts from all around the world where industry representatives come together on this platform to discuss key topics affecting their business.
As economies in the region continue to expand, the demand for efficient transportation and logistics solutions increases, making Messe München’s events integral to the sector’s development. “By hosting events in ASEAN, we contribute to the development of this sector in a region of immense significance,” Wilton stated.
Strategic expansion Messe München’s entry into the Asia-Pacific region represents a strategic move to harness the potential of Southeast Asia’s dynamic and rapidly growing markets. “Our goal is to provide a platform for businesses in the transportation and logistics sector to connect, showcase their innovations, and foster collaborations,” Michael Wilton, General Manager, MMI Asia Pte Ltd, said. Singapore’s strategic location, world-class infrastructure, and reputation as a global business hub were key factors behind selecting it as the launchpad for this venture. “It serves as a gateway to the ASEAN region and offers excellent connectivity. Additionally, Singapore’s strong commitment to innovation and sustainability aligns with our values and goals for our events in the logistics industry,” Wilton added.
APAC’s increasingly important role The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region plays an evergrowing role in global trade and transportation. Messe München’s presence in ASEAN positions its logistics shows at the centre of this market. “The APAC region is a key driver of global trade and transportation growth. Our move into ASEAN allows us to position our logistics shows at the heart of this flourishing market,” Wilton said.
Boosting regional recovery Given the disruptions seen in recent years, it was paramount for Messe München to lead with the topic of supply chain strategies. This choice addresses a critical industry need, providing attendees with valuable insights and solutions to navigate uncertainties and build more robust supply chains. “As the regions return to normality postpandemic, the air cargo industry is crucial for expediting the flow of goods,” Wilton said. “Meetings could provide a timely opportunity for air cargo professionals to reconnect, explore new strategies, and adapt to the evolving landscape. Participating in conferences offer insights into the latest technologies and best practices to enhance efficiency and resilience in air cargo operations.”
Showcasing industry advancements
Growing network The new show in Southeast Asia complements Messe München’s global network by expanding its reach and providing specialised platforms in respective markets. This synergy among existing events addresses unique needs and opportunities in the ASEAN region, fostering a comprehensive global network for the transportation and logistics industry. “air cargo and transport logistics Southeast Asia foster stronger ties between European and ASEAN businesses,” Wilton said. “As trade relations between these regions grow, our platform facilitates the exchange of ideas, technologies, and partnerships that are essential for seamless cross-border trade. It’s a testament to our commitment to supporting and enhancing global trade networks.”
Messe München’s major message at the event revolves around innovation, sustainability, and collaboration. “We aim to showcase the latest advancements in transportation and logistics, emphasise the importance of sustainable practices, and encourage industry players to come together to overcome challenges and seize opportunities in the sector. Especially in a high-tech and fast moving industry,” Wilton said. “The response from the industry has been overwhelmingly positive. There is a significant demand for specialised events like this in the ASEAN region. Industry players recognise the value of these platforms for networking, knowledge exchange, and business development,” he continued. Messe München hopes attendees will leave the event with a wealth of knowledge, new contacts, and actionable insights. The organisers hope that those at the show will be inspired by the latest innovations, motivated to embrace sustainability, and equipped with strategies to enhance their businesses. “Ultimately, we aim for attendees to feel empowered to contribute positively to the growth and development of the transportation and logistics industry in ASEAN and beyond.”
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Sights set on Southeast As
hangi Airport (Changi) is keeping its focus on longterm growth for Singapore’s air cargo hub. In 2022, the country was ranked 10th globally based on international cargo traffic, handling 1.85 million tonnes of airfreight. Against the current global economic slowdown and amid inflationary pressures, Changi’s airfreight throughput totalled 835,000 tonnes in 1H 2023, a drop of 10% compared to the same period last year. For the period, Changi’s top five air cargo markets comprised Australia, China, Hong Kong, India and United States of America. Since the start of 2023, India has emerged to be among the top five air cargo markets for two consecutive quarters. Notwithstanding the near-term macro challenges Changi remains steadfast in its mission to facilitate global trade and support the flow
of essential goods, into Singapore and onward to the surrounding region. To this end, expanding air cargo connectivity and pursuing new opportunities remain critical areas of focus as Changi strives to anchor its position as a leading air cargo hub. This is evidenced by the full recovery of Changi’s overall cargo capacity to pre-pandemic levels, fuelled by the return of passenger flights. Cargo airlines have also contributed significantly to its cargo capacity. The sustained uptick in overall cargo capacity indicates the industry’s optimism about long-term growth. To further boost its competitiveness in the region, Changi will continue to bolster its efforts to pursue partnerships, raise service quality in cargo handling, and leverage automation and digitalisation to unlock greater capacity. Mr Lim Ching Kiat, Executive Vice President, Air Hub and Cargo Development of Changi Airport Group (CAG) said, “While global air cargo demand has weakened, Changi Airport remains optimistic on long-term growth, especially in Southeast Asia. Despite the recent economic headwinds, Southeast Asia’s air trades with the rest of the world continued to expand over the past four years. Given the expectation of strong long-term progress with urbanisation and industrialisation, Southeast Asia is primed for growth in manufacturing, trade and logistics. Singapore, being in the heart of Southeast Asia, will have a critical role to play in global supply chains, contributing to the flow of international goods.”
Forging new links Pursuing air cargo connectivity and capacity, as well as building long-term competitive advantages, are key goals for the Changi air cargo hub, and CAG is determined to continue its efforts to work closely with airline partners to expand its freighter operations and passenger freighter flights. In 2022, Changi welcomed the partnership of DHL Express and Singapore Airlines to deploy five Boeing 777 freighters out of Changi Airport, which will operate on routes between the United States and Singapore via points in North Asia and Australia. As of July 2023, the third of the five freighters has been inducted into operation. In July 2023, Changi also welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between SATS and SingPost to explore the establishment of a state-of the-art e-commerce transhipment hub in Singapore, leveraging both parties’ combined strengths and expertise to shorten delivery times and reduce operating costs, and manpower. SATS is one of two key ground handlers in Changi Airport, while SingPost is Singapore’s national postal agency. Against a booming Southeast Asian e-commerce market, which is forecasted by McKinsey to grow at a CAGR of 22%1, this collaboration will ensure Singapore is in a good position to capture this growth.
t Asia’s long-term growth Strengthening Changi through innovation The pandemic showed the world that global supply chains are vulnerable to devastating disruption. Singapore was not exempt from these challenges, underscoring the impetus for change and building resilience. There is a clear pressing need for the air cargo sector to move forward with digitalisation and automation, in order to improve efficiency of otherwise manual processes. Digitalisation will also enable a more interconnected air cargo ecosystem and empower data sharing. Through this, airports, such as Changi, can achieve improved supply chain visibility for better planning and operational excellence. “To raise service quality in cargo handling, we firmly believe in taking a collaborative approach by working closely with our partners in the air cargo community,” said Mr Lim.
We have completed our pilot trials at the Changi Airfreight Centre and are gearing up for community-wide implementation early next year
In 2020, the hub introduced a community data sharing platform Changi Air Cargo Community System (ACCS), which is an open ecosystem of collaborative and community-based applications underpinned by an information sharing platform that aggregates data from all parties involved in the cargo handling process. Among the first and community-prioritised use case is the Truck Dock Slot Booking application, which aims to even out cargo lodgement and collection at its cargo handler’s airfreight terminals, thereby reducing waiting time, optimising resources and providing greater insights to airport landside activities. “We believe that such collaborative and community-based applications will augment the Changi air cargo community’s digitalisation journey,” said Mr Lim. In the area of automation, CAG and its partners have been investing
in resources to trial autonomous solutions like autonomous tractors to reduce the manpower resources required for point-to-point transportation of baggage and cargo. Ongoing trials have been promising and Changi expects to trial fully driverless operations for baggage delivery by 2024. “On the digital front, CAG is also developing solutions to track all motorised ground support equipment, and working closely with cargo handlers in Changi on warehouse automation and digitalisation. All these will help optimise equipment deployment, boost productivity and efficiency, increase capacity, as well as improve the quality of cargo handling capabilities,” added Mr Lim.
Advancing sustainability Sustainability is another important focus area for CAG and it is intensifying efforts alongside the airport community towards building a more sustainable air hub. “Over the past years, sustainability has evolved into a licence to grow for many businesses and industries. Although airports account for only about 2% of global aviation emissions, we form the common platform upon which a multitude of aviation partners operate. As such, it is a priority for us to work hand in hand with the airport community to achieve responsible and sustainable growth,” said Mr Lim. CAG is adopting a broad-based approach to improving sustainable practices across all scopes of emissions. In the area of Scope 3 emissions specifically, CAG is working closely with airline partners and ground handling agents. One recent notable development has been the push for Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). In May 2023, Neste completed its refinery expansion, which will enable up to one million tonnes of annual SAF production capacity in Singapore. Domestic SAF production will enable Changi Airport’s airline partners to achieve their sustainability objectives with lower carbon footprint compared to importing SAF from other production locations. In July 2022, Singapore Airlines Group started a year-long trial to uplift a blend of regular jet fuel and SAF for its departing flights out of Changi Airport. Moving forward, as announced by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), all new airside light vehicles, tractors and forklifts will have to be electric from 2025. By 2040, all airside vehicles should be fuelled by cleaner energy. On the ground, Changi has been working closely with our ground handling agents in their decarbonisation journey. To date, Changi has installed a network of more than 100 EV charging points that supports a 100% electric baggage tractor fleet at Changi Airport. To enable this next phase of airside fleet electrification, Changi will expand its charging network to more than 300 points over the next few years, in tandem with the needs of its airport partners.
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Evolving to meet glo demand
s the national carrier of the UAE, Etihad Cargo has played a pivotal role in helping the emirate of Abu Dhabi cement its position as a global air cargo hub in a relatively short period of time. Since the carrier’s establishment, Etihad Cargo has set its sights on global growth and has added depth to its network with the addition of new destinations and increased frequencies to support increased demand for its premium products for key sectors. Leonard Rodrigues, Head of Revenue Management & Network Planning, shares insights into Etihad Cargo’s evolution and how the carrier has expanded into key markets and sectors in recent months to achieve its vision of being the air cargo partner of choice. As the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways and the national carrier of the UAE, Etihad Cargo has demonstrated an appetite for growth, expanding its global network to serve 70 destinations since its establishment nearly 20 years ago. While the carrier’s fleet has expanded and its network has grown, a core principle has remained — taking a customer-centric and collaborative approach to provide world-class air cargo solutions to Etihad Cargo’s partners and customers. Over the past few years, this commitment has seen the carrier respond to challenges with agility. Now, with the hurdles of the pandemic in the past, Etihad Cargo has set its sights on enhancing its offering and adding depth to its network to not only cement its position as the air cargo partner of choice but also maximise its
strategic location to help Abu Dhabi become a global pharmaceutical and express logistics hub. Rodrigues said, “Abu Dhabi’s location makes it a natural gateway between Europe, Asia, Africa and the US. Our hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport is within a four-hour flight radius of approximately one-third of the world’s population, allowing for quick and efficient access to these key markets. Supported by a strong economy and trade, the modern infrastructure at Abu Dhabi’s multimodal airport, including a dedicated cargo terminal, has been pivotal in enhancing connectivity between the Middle East and the rest of the world. This has given Etihad Cargo a strong foundation to build on, and we are committed to going even further.” Going further and expanding the carrier’s reach has been a driving force in Etihad Cargo seeking out partners with the vision of delivering mutual growth. Earlier this year, the Middle Eastern carrier announced it had entered into a mutual blockspace agreement with China’s SF Airlines. This partnership saw both airlines operate freighter flights between Abu Dhabi and the Hubei province. Building on the successful collaboration between the two carriers, Etihad Cargo’s inaugural flight to Ezhou Huahu Airport touched down in August, making the UAE carrier the first international airline to operate flights to Asia’s first professional cargo airport. The introduction of Ezhou to Etihad Cargo’s Chinese network has enabled the carrier to offer greater connectivity to China’s five national-level city clusters via the
global airport’s transportation infrastructure, including railway, waterway, expressway and air links. Rodrigues said, “As a multimodal air cargo hub, Ezhou Huahu Airport serves as a gateway for air trade between China, the UAE and the rest of the world. The addition of our new Abu Dhabi-Ezhou route enables Etihad Cargo to provide customers and partners with seamless connectivity across the Chinese market and will help both airlines transform Abu Dhabi and the Hubei Province into major logistics and express hubs. Etihad Cargo’s partnership with SF Airlines has enabled us to add depth to our Chinese network, and we are exploring how to further expand our international network out of Ezhou to offer greater connectivity to our customers.” Ezhou is the latest addition to Etihad Cargo’s growing freighter network, which saw the introduction of Guangzhou in recent months. Now serving Ezhou, Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai, Etihad Cargo’s Chinese freighter network offers ten weekly scheduled freighter flights. The carrier also offers additional belly capacity via ten weekly passenger services to Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai. New destinations and increased frequencies have been added to support growing capacity demand for Etihad Cargo’s premium products, which include a specialised product dedicated to e-commerce and the carrier’s IATA CEIV Pharma-certified PharmaLife, which accounts for 20 per cent of Etihad Cargo’s total volumes for China. Product development and the enhancement of its eight-strong
premium product range have also enabled Etihad Cargo to better meet the needs of its global customers and partners. In addition to bolstering the carrier’s PharmaLife product with the launch of a state-of-the-art cool chain facility in Abu Dhabi and the introduction of new features, including thermal covers, Etihad Cargo has also invested heavily in its product dedicated to express logistics and e-commerce. Rodrigues explained, “There has been a phenomenal global increase in online shopping and cross-border trade between e-commerce businesses. Cross-border e-commerce has always been a key component of Chinese exports and e-commerce represents a large proportion of freighter demand through dedicated charter programmes. We have enhanced our product offering to offer the speed consumers and businesses need and expect to answer the growing demand for reliable express logistics solutions.” Rodrigues concluded, “Pharmaceuticals, express cargo, and express options for other types of cargo, will continue to be a focus for Etihad Cargo in the next decade and logistics across these critical sectors will further evolve. Etihad Cargo will invest in our product offering so we can offer quick, reliable and efficient transportation solutions across our global network, supported by our extensive road feeder service network to connect with offline stations.”
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Redefining air cargo with
nata Singapore has been harnessing innovative technologies and sustainable practices to redefine the landscape of global air cargo operations, reflecting the company’s commitment to efficiency, environmental responsibility, and cutting-edge solutions. “In recent years, we’ve significantly invested in infrastructure, equipment, and technologies to provide best-in-class cargo services to our customers in Singapore,” stated Sam Gould, emphasising the company’s dedication to advancement. dnata Singapore’s advanced cargo terminal at Changi Airport stands as a testament to this commitment, designed to handle a massive annual turnover of 550,000 tonnes of cargo. This sophisticated terminal seamlessly facilitates the movement of an extensive array of cargo, including perishables, pharmaceuticals, dangerous goods, live animals, aircraft engines, and vehicles. Integral to dnata Singapore’s cargo operations is the state-of-the-art 1,400m² pharma and perishable handling centre. This facility is capable of processing an impressive 75,000 tonnes of goods annually, ensuring impeccable temperature-controlled
handling and storage solutions for airline customers. The cool chain facility was meticulously designed to accommodate unique product handling requirements, leveraging the latest advancements in cold storage technologies and designs. The temperature-controlled areas within the facility are modular, providing flexibility to manage shifting handling demands with
operation of multiple cool dollies. These dollies are not only equipped with solar panels on the roof but also conditioned to optimal temperatures using electric power. This approach ensures the secure and seamless delivery of temperature-sensitive goods between aircraft and facilities, while also minimising environmental impact. Customers benefit from dnata Singapore’s customer track & trace portal, a versatile
The Cargo Eye dimensioning machine has streamlined this process considerably as well as providing a more transparent and accurate service
dedicated climate control capabilities. This modular system also contributes to energy conservation during periods of reduced capacity. A web-based monitoring system enhances real-time management, allowing for precise control of cargo conditions. dnata Singapore’s commitment to sustainability is further exemplified by its
platform offering a multitude of online services. This portal empowers customers with online flight and shipment enquiries, access to import and export lists, printing of consignment lists, and generating reports on monthly cargo tonnage statistics. Each forwarder enjoys a personalised portal for reviewing shipment updates, payment
with innovation and sustainability information, and customs details—a significant step towards streamlining operations and enhancing customer satisfaction. “One of the latest additions to dnata Singapore’s array of technological innovations is the Cargo Eye dimensioning machine, located at the acceptance dock,” Sam Gould explained. “The Cargo Eye dimensioning machine has streamlined this process considerably as well as providing a more transparent and accurate service.” This innovative machine not only captures the volume of every shipment but also captures precise timestamps, takes images from multiple angles, and is set to incorporate temperature reading technology. Addressing the critical issue of emissions, dnata Singapore’s dedication to sustainability shines through. In 2022, the company pledged an impressive US$100 million investment to implement green technology and initiatives across its global businesses, aiming to reduce its carbon footprint by 50% by 2030. The company’s fleet planning is driven by green considerations, with investments an electric and hybrid ramp, ground support equipment, and forklifts. An upcoming transition to an all-electric fleet of forklifts in the Changi cargo terminal exemplifies dnata’s dedication to environmental responsibility. Notably, dnata Singapore’s approach extends beyond technology, with efforts to upcycle discarded materials like cargo netting, wooden spreaders, and transfer belts within its processes. The sourcing of locally recycled plastic for wrapping Unit Load Devices (ULDs) underscores the company’s commitment to sustainability even in challenging material sourcing scenarios. Sam Gould’s optimism for the industry’s future was palpable: “I am genuinely excited to observe the significant progress our industry is experiencing in terms of
digitalisation and sustainability,” he said. “We will continue to invest in our operations to consistently provide the highest quality services while enhancing environmental efficiency across our operations.”
With a robust foundation built on cuttingedge technologies and forward-thinking practices, dnata Singapore is keen to shape a greener and more efficient future for air cargo operations.
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Cutting edge cargo in the APAC region
ingapore Airlines Cargo has solidified its position as a leader in cargo operations across the Asia Pacific region, boasting an extensive network, cutting-edge infrastructure, and a commitment to digital innovation that sets it apart in an increasingly competitive market. With a cargo network that spans the globe, Singapore Airlines Cargo (SIA) covers 46 destinations in the Asia Pacific region alone, including key hubs like Auckland, Melbourne, Sydney, Bangkok, Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Manila. Beyond the region, the network reaches over 120 destinations worldwide.
Investment in infrastructure “Aside from our extensive network, we also invest heavily in training and capabilities that allow us to handle different types of cargo with the required care and security,” Marvin Tan, Senior Vice President of Cargo at Singapore Airlines, stated. Located at its Singapore Hub, the airline utilises SATS Coolport, a purpose-built airfreight terminal equipped with electronic temperature monitoring technology and cold rooms with various temperature settings to handle commodities with different temperature requirements. Temperature-sensitive goods transiting in Singapore are swiftly transported to SATS Coolport to ensure that shipments are handled at the required temperature range. On-tarmac coolers are also available to protect the temperature-sensitive cargo when it is transported between flights. “We move high-value, time-sensitive and temperature-controlled pharmaceutical cargo across the world with Singapore Airlines Cargo’s state-of-the-art cold chain service. Singapore Airlines Cargo is also the first airline in Asia Pacific to obtain the IATA CEIV Pharma certification, attaining this certification in 2017 and being subsequently re-certified in 2020 and 2023,” Tan highlighted.
“As a member of Pharma.Aero and Pharma@Changi, we understand the importance of cross-industry collaboration in the continued enhancement of our pharma handling standards.”
Comprehensive cold chain solutions Singapore Airlines Cargo has established quality corridors within its network to further ensure product integrity in the cold chain handling process on the ground and in the air. Complying with standards adopted from the IATA CEIV Pharma programme and close collaboration with industry partners address the need for safety, care and efficiency in the transportation of pharmaceutical and healthcare products across key trade lanes. SATS Coolport is located within the Free Trade Zone and is designed to meet the highest international standards of cold chain integrity, such as the IATA Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators on Pharmaceutical Handling (CEIV Pharma) and Good Distribution Practice (GDP). “SIA is the first airline in South East Asia to attain the IATA Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators in Perishable Logistics (CEIV Fresh) certification, accomplishing this in 2021” Tan said. “This recognises the airline’s ability to meet the industry’s highest standards regarding food safety and prevent food waste along the supply chain. Singapore Airlines Cargo now offers the option of placing cargo tracking devices with your shipment, which enables customers to get real-time updates.” “This guarantees a continuous and safe cold chain service for our customers,” Tan continued.
Animals, aerospace and e-commerce With main deck and lower deck capacity, SIA Cargo transports live animals of different species and sizes, including racehorses, livestock,
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household pets and live tropical fish, safely and quickly. “Complying with the IATA Live Animal Regulations (LAR), the airline’s experienced staff ensure that the welfare and safety of the animals are well taken care of,” Tan added. SIA Cargo also provides regulated cabin pressure and temperature in the aircraft, ensuring a comfortable environment during the animal’s flight journey. SIA Cargo carries a wide range of aerospace parts ranging from massive aircraft engines to odd-sized landing gears and small aircraft parts. “With our skilled and experienced ground staff, your aerospace parts are in good hands,” Tan said . “As part of our value-added services, Heavy Cargo and Weight and Balance certified staff will also be deployed to monitor engine shipments for flights departing from Singapore.” There is never a need to worry about damage to the valuable engines. Additionally, all engines transiting through the Singapore hub will be stored in secured warehouses with 24/7 surveillance. To tap on the fast-growing e-commerce segment, SIA has launched Parxl, its blockchain-based e-commerce logistics platform. Parxl meets the international shipping needs of e-tailers by offering a seamless and fast cross-border delivery experience right to the consumer’s doorstep. It also provides merchants with end-to-end visibility of shipped packages, as well as access to SIA’s global airfreight network and portfolio of regional delivery specialists, while functioning as a singular touchpoint for all partners along the supply chain. “Through Parxl, SIA effectively expanded its cargo services beyond airport-to-airport transportation, providing a door-to-door solution to shippers and brands and their e-commerce volumes,” Tan explained.
Digital developments Digital innovation has been a driving force in enhancing Singapore Air-
lines Cargo’s operations. “As an airline with global connectivity, digital innovation allows us to connect to even more points beyond our network. It further allows the airline to better commit to its sustainability goals, through the management of environmental impact, safety and stakeholder engagement or supporting our communities,” Tan said. The digital operations control tower was launched in 2019, providing SIA’s cargo operations teams with a comprehensive view of flight and shipment statuses in real-time, as well as critical alerts to reduce delays and disruptions. In 2020, SIA appointed IBS Software to bring its global cargo operations onto a single integrated digital cargo platform (iCargo), to improve operational insight across its entire network. This covers the areas of sales, import and export operations, airmail handling, and revenue accounting. The move will strengthen the airline’s ability to better manage cargo capacity, gain enhanced visibility of yields and revenues, optimise network performance and seamlessly collaborate with partners’ systems. In 2021, SIA marked its cargo digitalisation journey with two significant partnerships. The first partnership is with cargo.one, a platform for the booking and marketing of airfreight capacity, to drive customer-centric digital cargo sales globally. The second partnership is with logistics software solution provider WiseTech Global, to integrate our eBooking systems and enable customers to book airfreight directly with SIA via the WiseTech Global’s CargoWise online platform. As technology continues to evolve, Singapore Airlines Cargo remains poised to adapt. “In line with SIA’s digital transformation efforts, the airline leverages digital tools to better monitor and manage cargo operations amid a fast-changing environment,” Tan said. “We will continue to make the necessary investments, in both our people and our business.”
ACW DAILY NEWS
Becoming a ULD industry leader
CL Airshop, a global provider of ULD (Unit Load Device) solutions, reached a significant milestone this year, marking its 40th anniversary. From its humble beginnings, the company has emerged as a key player in the ULD market, boasting a strong global network, innovative technologies, and a high-performance culture. “It has taken 40 years for ACL Airshop to arrive at its highly competitive, intentionally transformed status today. It has taken FOUR decades of steady growth investments, plus a uniquely effective entrepreneurial culture,” Steve Townes, President and CEO of ACL Airshop, said. The company’s journey started as “Airline Container Leasing” (ACL) before merging with Airshop BV in the Netherlands, creating ACL Airshop and expanding its international presence.
Global coverage ACL Airshop has evolved into a major player in the ULD market, owning, maintaining, and leasing more than 70,000 ULDs across over 55 airport hub locations worldwide. Its services network has grown from 23 airport hub locations in 2016 to 57 at present, with further expansion plans. This growth trajectory builds on the company’s heritage as a leasing specialist, offering both short-term solutions and long-term ULD management contracts. Townes emphasised that a key factor in ACL Airshop’s success is its people. “The secret? In a word: PEOPLE,” he stated. “People are the priceless soul of any successful enterprise, and in ACL Airshop we are proving that every day.” The company’s ethos revolves around exceptional customer service and strong teamwork. “Delivery of services cannot be done correctly without well-trained, highly experienced teams of personnel who love their jobs and love this industry,” Jos Jacobsen, ACL Airshop’s managing director and chief
operating officer for Eastern Hemisphere operations and global leasing, explained.
Keeping competitive In a rapidly evolving ULD market, ACL Airshop has stayed ahead of the competition by focusing on five key principles: expanding their network, growing their inventory of lease-ready ULDs, dominating short-term leasing solutions, advancing customer-facing technology innovations, and maintaining a positive work environment. “Managing fleet imbalances is all about being data-driven with effective logistics technologies, using speedy reporting systems, and continuous communication,” Jacobsen added. “It takes good systems, and it takes action. For example, we recently assisted a major air cargo customer who was having coordination difficulties at a huge hub airport in North America. We sent a senior-level “triage team” there to join with the customer’s leaders and with the leaders of their largest handler in the giant ecosystem of that airport,” Townes explained.
The company’s commitment to embracing the digital era is evident through its innovative technology offerings. “Customers have grown to expect their service partners to be more and more tech-savvy,” Townes stated.
Easy as Uber ACL Airshop was an early adopter of Bluetooth tracking and tracing, and their awardwinning app, FindMyULD, has been integral in enhancing customer experiences. “It’s all about timely and measurable results,” Townes explained. “Uberisation” - That’s one of ACL Airshop’s favourite terms, coined in relation to the digitalisation wave that is sweeping air cargo now. “The industry is quickly playing catchup, and it’s a very healthy new quick-moving trend,” Townes said. “We want leasing a ULD from us to be as easy as calling up an Uber ride, linked simultaneously into our global inventory, our worldwide hubs, and our financial ERP systems. That’s where we are heading as reasonably fast as possible. “UBERISATION” of the air cargo ecosystem,” he highlighted. Examining the digitalisation of the airfreight industry, Jacobsen warned that companies must “invest in technology and keep advancing, or somebody will eat your lunch.” Pointing to remarks from one of ACL Airshop’s outside investors, Townes claimed that to be a market leader and advance and grow, you must also be a technology leader. As the whole industry becomes better, faster and more efficient, technology stops being an additional element and becomes a necessity to thrive and ensure the customer has the highest possible service available to them.
Evolving attitudes Still calling Greenville, South Carolina home, ACL Airshop can draw parallels to how the major business centre has evolved and
adapted. Just as Greenville has become a friendly hub for global businesses, ACL Airshop has become an international industry, linked around the world from GSP Airport’s impressive air cargo centre. Looking to the future, Townes envisions further growth for ACL Airshop while maintaining a focus on its core values. The company will continue to invest in technology, expand its network, and explore potential
acquisitions that align with its growth trajectory. “The company’s short-term solutions satisfy many urgent needs in the tumultuous ecosystem of air cargo, while our long-term contracts yield cost-efficienct and stable logistics improvements for clients,” Townes stated. “Thus, our strategic vision remains the same, we are simply larger, faster, and better than we were 5-10 years ago, and we will stay on that upward trajectory of continuous improvement.” “We are a growth “platform” to which other enterprises can be bolted-on. Especially if a deal would give us a leap-frogging result into adjacent technologies such as cold chain, or
other airport-centric and airline-centric hybrid leasing solutions on specialty equipment,” Jacobsen continued. Amidst all of the changes and fluctuations
within the airfreight market, Townes is clear that “one common denominator will stay constant: taking care of our people. That is our mantra as an employer.”
ACW DAILY NEWS
CS Group has been actively expanding its presence in the Asian market, with a particular focus on the Northeast Asia region, including Japan and South Korea. In 2022-23, the company extended its operations in these countries. In 2023, ECS Group has relaunched its activities in New Zealand, indicating its commitment to providing comprehensive services across the Asia-Pacific region. Indeed, ECS Group’s subsidiary Wexco, which has been providing GSSA services for twenty years in New Zealand has recently gained momentum by securing contracts from major airlines such as Air Asia, Air China and Royal Brunei. ECS Group is also ramping up its cargo operations throughout China through its partnership with Royal Brunei Airlines, reflecting the significant potential for growth and collaboration in this region. “ECS Group has witnessed a generally supportive and dynamic environment throughout its presence in the Asian market,” Adrien Thominet, Executive Chairman of ECS Group, said. “However, the market dynamics have experienced fluctuations, particularly due to the COVID19 pandemic.” During the pandemic, the market faced challenges, including reduced airfreight demand and disruptions in supply chains. The recovery in China, a crucial player in the region, has been slower compared to some other countries. Nevertheless, ECS Group recognises numerous opportunities and synergies in the region, which it has been actively exploring. The company has also developed the Total Cargo Management model in collaboration with its partner Air Premia, which is specifically tailored to the Asian market, showing its commitment to innovation and adaptation. Operating from Air Premia’s main hub at Incheon Airport, ECS Group’s Korean teams are supporting the airline’s fast expansion to key destinations worldwide, with the recent addition of Frankfurt and Newark. “The establishment of the Squair Service Centre in India marks a significant step in ECS Group’s commitment to providing dedicated support for airlines in the Asian market,” Thominet stated. “Since its inception, there has been strong and rapid growth in the centre’s operations.” “This growth reflects the increasing demand for specialised support services, such as admin assistance, an AWB Verification service (Verify) and customs reporting services which are tailored to the unique requirements of the Asian market. ECS Group’s continuous investment in such dedicated centres underscores its dedication to serving its airline partners effectively in the region.”
Digitalisation and diversification Through its department Cargo Digital Factory, ECS Group has recently implemented digital tools to enhance its operations in the region. While digital tools are paradoxically and relatively new in some parts of Asia, there is significant potential for robust growth. These digital tools provide ECS Group with the means to streamline processes, improve data analysis, and enhance overall operational efficiency. “By harnessing technology and data analytics, ECS Group aims to
offer more agile and data-driven solutions to its airline partners and customers in the Asia-Pacific region,” Thominet said. ECS Group has been diversifying its operations by introducing new service models, such as Total Cargo Management (TCM). This innovative approach allows ECS Group to offer a comprehensive suite of services that go beyond traditional GSSA functions. TCM involves a holistic approach to cargo management, covering everything from sales and marketing to revenue management and operations. “By diversifying into value-added services like TCM, ECS Group can provide more tailored and efficient solutions to its airline partners, setting itself apart in a competitive GSSA market,” Thominet explained. ECS Group’s All-In approach, exemplified by models like TCM, is particularly well-suited to serve low-cost carriers (LCCs) in the Asian market. LCCs often require cost-effective and streamlined cargo services to remain competitive. TCM, with its holistic management approach, aligns perfectly with the needs of LCCs by offering end-to-end cargo solutions.
Growing GSSA operations in a rebounding region “This approach not only meets the needs of companies in the region but also positions ECS Group as a strategic partner in the success of its airline clients, especially in the fast-growing LCC segment,” Thominet said.
Capitalising on APAC’s recovery The Asian airfreight market presents both challenges and opportunities. Some of the key challenges include overcapacity in certain routes and the pace of China’s economic recovery post-COVID. Overcapacity can lead to price pressures and reduced profitability. Meanwhile, the rate and sustainability of China’s economic rebound can significantly impact airfreight demand, given China’s pivotal role in manufacturing and trade. On the other hand, the region also offers substantial growth opportunities, driven by e-commerce, changing consumer behaviours, and the rise of low-cost carriers. These trends have increased demand for efficient and reliable air cargo services. ECS Group, with its extensive
network and innovative models like TCM, is well-positioned to capitalise on these opportunities. In 2023, ECS Group has observed a significant impact on yields in the airfreight market, even as volumes have returned to 2019 levels. This suggests that while demand has recovered, factors such as pricing and profitability have been influenced by various market dynamics, including competition and capacity issues. Looking ahead to 2024, ECS Group anticipates a relatively flat market compared to 2023. Market conditions are expected to stabilise, and the company will continue to focus on delivering efficient and high-quality services to its airline partners. ECS Group’s commitment to innovation and adaptation will play a crucial role in navigating potential challenges and seizing opportunities in the evolving airfreight landscape. ECS Group intends to further strengthen its presence by investing in digital tools and innovation,” Thominet said. “ECS Group’s local teams benefit from extensive training and easy access to the state-of-the-art technology developed by the GSSA’s in-house lab, Cargo Digital Factory.”
ACW DAILY NEWS
Innovation enhances the GSSA
he advent of digitalisation has ushered in a new era of adaptability for General Sales and Service Agents (GSSAs) in the airfreight industry. Digital tools have become integral in streamlining operations, and this has necessitated GSAs and GSSAs to be agile in response to rapidly changing technologies and industry standards. “With the introduction of online booking platforms, the services GSAs/GSSAs provided also had to adapt. Still being responsible for the majority of sales, but the need for customer- and back-end services is increasing by the day,” Ismail Durmaz, Global GSA’s CEO, stated.
Streamlined systems Global GSA has not been idle in the face of digitalisation. The company has developed a suite of internal digital tools to enhance operational efficiency. One of those tools is Quantum, a quotation system that ensures a proper follow-up and prevents cross-border pricing issues. With the collected data, Global GSA are able to monitor not only the performance of their personnel, but also the booking ratio of agents. Then there is SkyPallet, a decision-support tool to determine the operational volume and optimal build-up of ULDs. For Market Analysis purposes, Global GSA has Apollo, a business intelligence and reporting system, which combines market (CASS & Seabury) and performance data. “It brings efficiency to booking processes, reducing administrative work and errors. Real-time tracking offers immediate insights into shipment status, allowing for proactive issue resolution and boosting customer confidence,” Durmaz explained. “Automated reporting ensures precise and timely data, enabling data-driven decisions and reducing the risk of human error.” “Embracing digitalisation is paramount for all stakeholders in airfreight, as it enhances operational efficiency, elevates customer experience, enables data-driven decision-making, ensures compliance, and ultimately leads to cost savings and competitive advantages in the
industry,” Durmaz continued.
Leveraging the landscape GSAs/GSSAs companies serve as a crucial linchpin in overcoming the formidable challenges of the airfreight industry. Global GSA Group leverage its extensive industry knowledge and established network of airline partners to negotiate competitive rates and offer specialised services, giving us a competitive edge. With the growing e-commerce sector, there’s a surge in demand for airfreight services. GSAs/GSSAs can tap into this trend by offering specialised solutions tailored to the needs of e-commerce businesses, such as expedited services and last-mile delivery options. Additionally, the increasing globalisation of trade presents an opportunity for GSA/GSSAs to expand their reach and serve clients in new and emerging markets. By establishing strategic partnerships with airlines and logistics providers, they can offer comprehensive solutions for shippers looking to access global markets. GSA/GSSAs can invest in digital platforms and data analytics to provide enhanced visibility, real-time updates, and personalsed services, thus differentiating themselves in the competitive landscape. Sustainability is becoming a significant focus in the air cargo industry. GSA/GSSAs can seize the opportunity to pioneer eco-friendly initiatives, such as promoting sustainable packaging, optimising routes for fuel efficiency, and adopting green technologies. By aligning with the industry’s push for sustainability, GSA/GSSAs can not only contribute to environmental conservation but also appeal to eco-conscious customers and partners. Overall, by capitalising on the surge in e-commerce, expanding globally, embracing technology, and championing sustainability, GSA/ GSSAs can position themselves for success in the dynamic air cargo landscape. “When confronted with supply chain disruptions, our adeptness at local market intricacies enables swift adaptation, ensuring continuity in cargo movement through alternative routes or solutions. Moreover,
GSSA industry our customer-centric approach allows for an agile response to evolving customer demands, as we actively engage with clients, gather feedback, and tailor our services to meet shifting requirements,” Durmaz said. “By acting as flexible and knowledgeable intermediaries, GSA/ GSSA companies play an indispensable role in surmounting industry challenges, ensuring seamless operations, and meeting customer expectations,” Durmaz added.
Role in regional rebound The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted the role of GSSAs in the airfreight industry. In response, Global GSA Group demonstrated resilience by leveraging their extensive networks and relationships with airlines to find alternative cargo solutions. “We played a crucial role in adapting to the crisis by diversifying services and exploring new markets. Now, as the industry rebounds, Global GSA Group is focusing on agility, technology adoption, sustainability, and strategic partnerships to emerge stronger and continue providing essential support to airlines in a dynamic and evolving landscape,” Durmaz stated. Global GSA Group is closely monitoring market trends and emerging industries to identify areas of expansion, such as e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, perishables, and high-value goods. By tailoring its services to meet the unique requirements of these segments, Global GSA Group is poised to capture new business opportunities and enhance the market share of its partner airlines. “As we navigate the dynamic landscape of air cargo in Southeast Asia, our commitment is clear: Embrace Innovation, Drive Sustainability, and Deliver Excellence. Together, we are shaping the future of airfreight in the region.”
Technological trends In 2024 and 2025, the air cargo industry is set to witness transformative technological trends. Autonomous cargo drones and UAVs will revolutionise last-mile delivery and remote transportation.
Real-time tracking systems and IoT sensors will ensure end-to-end visibility and enhance security. Blockchain technology will streamline cargo documentation and data management, while AI and ML will optimise operations through predictive analytics. Digital platforms will facilitate agile cargo booking and capacity sharing, ushering in a new era of efficiency and sustainability in air cargo operations. “Global GSA Group is gearing up for the surge in technological innovation and automation. We’re investing in cutting-edge digital platforms, like advanced cargo management software and real-time tracking systems, to streamline operations and enhance visibility,” Durmaz said. “Staff training and upskilling are a priority to ensure proficiency in utilising these technologies. Additionally, active engagement with industry partners and tech providers ensures we stay ahead of emerging innovations, positioning Global GSA Group as a leader in the digital transformation of the airfreight sector.” Sustainability efforts will focus on the development of sustainable aviation fuels and carbon offset programmes. “We are actively promoting sustainable practices across our network, advocating for the use of eco-friendly materials, and encouraging the adoption of sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs),” Durmaz explained. “We are also emphasising fuel-efficient routes and operational practices to reduce carbon emissions.” Additionally, Global GSA Group is committed to transparent reporting on its environmental impact, aligning with global sustainability standards and disclosing progress towards emissions reduction goals. Furthermore, Global GSA Group is exploring partnerships with ecoconscious suppliers and carriers, seeking to collaborate with like-minded organisations to advance sustainable initiatives. “By integrating sustainability into our core strategies and operations, Global GSA Group is not only contributing to environmental conservation but also meeting the increasing demands for responsible and eco-conscious logistics solutions.”