DA ILY NEWS THE OFFICIAL DAILY NEWSPAPER OF AIR CARGO SOUTHEAST ASIA 2023
Emirates SkyCargo celebrates regional role
manufacturers, traders and exporters with businesses all over the world. “Markets in Southeast Asia were amongst the early additions to the Emirates network, back when we were a young airline, as we saw the chance to create reciprocal business opportunities for customers in the region with global economies. Since then, we’ve gone from strength to strength,” said Ravishankar Mirle, Vice President Cargo Commercial, Emirates SkyCargo – Far East and Australasia. He added: “The region is currently undergoing a
renaissance, as global supply chains are poised for change with manufacturers, distributors and suppliers aiming to diversify their production hubs. Asia is well positioned with Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Malaysia offering manufacturing capability and attractive investment incentives. Conferences such as Air Cargo Southeast Asia are essential for the logistics ecosystem to connect, share insight and strengthen relationships to ensure a streamlined global supply chain.” Emirates SkyCargo first began operations to Southeast Asia on 17th June 1990 with direct flights between Dubai and three destinations: Singapore, Bangkok and Manila. Over the next three decades, the airline steadily scaled operations, increasing capacity, gateways, and frequencies to better serve local and global customers and strengthening trade lanes between east and west. Now, in 2023, Emirates SkyCargo operates five freighters and 176 passenger planes into 11 destinations across the region every week. With over 140 destinations on its vast global network, Emirates SkyCargo facilitates the quick and efficient transportation of goods, supporting Asian businesses export their goods to all corners of the world.
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s the air cargo industry gathers in Singapore at air cargo Southeast Asia, Emirates SkyCargo has reflected on over 30 years of connecting to the region, developing trade flows and connecting
INSIDE THIRD DAY
50 YEARS OF GROWTH IN ... Over the past 50 years, Chapman Freeborn has built strong strategic relationships with various agencies and ... PAGE 8
STREAMLINING SYSTEMS ... With digitalisation redefining the airfreight industry, Cargo Flash has been actively involved in streamlining ... PAGE 16
BOOMING TRADE BOOSTS ... In recent years, Southeast Asia has emerged as a pivotal hub for global trade and e-commerce, with a ... PAGE 22
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FRIDAY • 3 NOVEMBER 2023
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Teleport and VietJetAir Cargo strengthens supply chain linkage in Southeast Asia
eleport has announced a new partnership with VietJetAir Cargo, with the two companies signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at air cargo Southeast Asia in Singapore. This partnership enables Teleport and VietJetAir Cargo to mutually extend its network, combining Teleport’s largest Southeast Asia air cargo network of over 80 destinations with VietJet’s global flight network. “Our partnership with VietJetAir Cargo is timely as Vietnam is clearly growing to be a key market in Southeast Asia, with increasing manufacturing lines shifting to the country in recent years, contributing more than 20% to the country’s GDP in 2022. VietJetAIr Cargo will be able to leverage on our freighter capacity and we are able to move goods across key lanes such as Kuala Lumpur to Vietnam. Together, we will bolster economic connectivity between Vietnam and the region, ensuring seamless connectivity and enhanced services for both our customers,” Francis Antony, Cargo Group Head of Teleport, said. “Our global supply chain capabilities will be extensively bolstered following Teleport’s partnership. We will be able to serve businesses in diversified areas and at quicker speeds, providing comprehensive logistics solutions to our customers worldwide. This especially empowers our businesses in Southeast Asia to engage in global trade with greater ease and confidence in the coming time,” Nelson Wu, Vietjet Air Cargo Managing Director, said.
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Awery joins Cargo iQ to drive real time shipment visibility using AI
Cargo iQ has welcomed Awery Aviation Software (Awery) to its growing membership. As a full IT member, Awery will contribute its expertise in AI, data sharing, and tracking technologies to enhance stakeholders’ ability to collaborate on the planning and monitoring of an air cargo consignment. Longer term, the aviation tech developer plans to become a Cargo iQ Data Management Platform (CDMP) provider to further enhance data sharing between members. “Awery will support Cargo iQ’s ambition to leverage digital transformation to make end-to-end shipment visibility a reality for all stakeholders – an essential requirement for driving quality in the supply chain,” said Lothar Moehle, Executive Director, Cargo iQ. The solution fills the gaps in Cargo iQ’s door-to-door Route Map by enabling Cargo iQ members and non-members to collaborate on planning and monitoring the journey of an air cargo shipment via a URL. “We whole-heartedly support Cargo iQ’s mission to drive improved standards in the supply chain and look forward to supporting this mission with the technology needed to bring full transparency of shipment data to all parties,” said Vitaly Smilianets, Chief Executive Officer, Awery.
Jettainer and PACTL West sign cooperation agreement
ettainer and PACTL West, the ground handler for Shanghai Pudong International Airport Public Cargo Terminal Co. Ltd. West, have entered into a strategic cooperation agreement. The partnership, announced at transport logistic and air cargo Southeast Asia, will see Jettainer open a new hub for its lease&fly ULD leasing service at Shanghai Pudong International Airport (PVG). PACTL West will be responsible for handling and storing the ULDs. Jettainer’s lease&fly provides ULDs for both shortterm and long-term needs, catering to ad-hoc flight operations, charters, seasonal peaks as well as the ramp up of new businesses or growth plans. With its new location at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, China’s second largest airport, Jettainer opens the fourth lease&fly hub after Frankfurt, Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. Customers will initially benefit from fast access to PMC pallets, one of the
We are pleased that Jettainer has entrusted PACTL West with our warehousing and handling services for their new lease&fly hub
most commonly used ULD types. The portfolio of standard and special containers and pallets will be gradually expanded, meeting future customer requirements. PACTL West, as the strategic cooperation partner, will contribute its extensive
ground-handling expertise to ensure the smooth operation of the new hub. Jettainer’s Hong Kong office takes care of customer service and all sales activities for needs in the region. Carsten Hernig, Deputy General Manager VP Sales & Marketing and Production at PACTL, expressed his satisfaction with the partnership, stating, “We are pleased that Jettainer has entrusted PACTL West with our warehousing and handling services for their new lease&fly hub. As a ground-handling service provider with the highest standards of quality and professionalism, we can further improve services for airlines and forwarders onsite and in the region. Together with Jettainer we will contribute to meeting the demand for ULDs flexibly at all times.” Thomas Sonntag, CEO at Jettainer, highlighted the significance of the partnership: “The cooperation with PACTL West is the ideal addition to our lease&fly network as Shanghai Pudong Airport is one of the most important air cargo hubs for our customers’ ULD leasing demands.” Sonntag further added, “Airlines and forwarders are seeking adhoc, short-term and long-term ULD leasing solutions, often with the requirement to have ULDs directly available. The opening of our lease&fly hub in mainland China will add great flexibility to both new and existing customers and is another step in our expansion plans in Asia.”
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Delivering enhanced cold chain solutions
s the demand for temperature-sensitive cargo solutions continues to rise across the Asia-Pacific region, Aeris Group is seeking to provide innovative and reliable cold chain solutions. Specialising in offering end-to-end cold chain solutions for the pharmaceutical, medical, and food industries in Singapore and across Asia, the services offered by Aeris encompass consultancy and the supply of temperature control packaging needs, ensuring the safety and integrity of cargo throughout its journey.
methods in vendor/partner selection, production and working closely with all its partners and customers in validating work processes for all movements involving us. Its attention to detail helps customer trust it in ensuring integrity and reliability. “Aeris Group is one of the few Asia based provider of temperature control solutions and we can quickly customise as well as create solutions to help our customers succeed in the field of temperature control security and solutions,” Henri Lee, Aeris Group Managing Director, said.
Collaboration and connectivity
Aeris works to ensure high service levels via its own quality control
Prior to Covid, Aeris had service depots in almost all Asian Countries. During Covid, it had to scale back and today they are present in Singapore, India, China, Malaysia and Hong Kong. The company is now also expanding again into Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Australia, Vietnam and the Middle-East. “Many 3PL (third party logistics), clinical organisations, as well as labs and large healthcare providers are working with us,” Lee highlighted. “We work closely with reliable and strong partners which have niches in their specific areas to mitigate most of these issues when it comes to on-time delivery, availability and nimbleness,” Lee continued.
Sustainability and solutions Going green diligently and with determination, Aeris has developed its own life cycle analysis and is working constantly and diligently to ensure products and all its components support goes towards green tech and solutions. “We are a bespoke provider who provides the full spectrum (currently) of temperature security solutions to our customers, we take an all hands onboard approach when working with both knowledgeable users and new entrants to temperature control solutions to help ensure success and peace of mind,” Lee said.
Strength and security Aeris Group is looking to strengthen air cargo temperature security for airlines and end customers and, heading into air cargo Southeast Asia, is seeking more collaboration and welcome all partners to discuss how it can make its business in temp sensitive movement successful, sustainable and impactful. “We foresee a greater need for niche solutions that helps our customers address specific needs,” Lee said. “We foresee customers wanting to work with providers who can produce their own products like us or to rely on us to validate the products of vendors for security and reliability,” Lee continued.
Embracing adaptability in airfreight
n the ever-changing landscape of the global air cargo industry, adaptability and innovation are key. Air Logistics Group (ALG) has embraced this mentality, rising to the challenge of market shifts and disruptions. “Being a cyclical industry, our business model has always been used to being able to adapt to change,” Stephen Dawkins, Chief Executive Officer, Air Logistics Group, said. “During and after Covid we were able to react very rapidly to market changes in the different geographical areas around the world that we are located, which reduced the impact of the market shift/disruption. Where there is disruption there are opportunities.”
Responding to changing requirements Customer requirements have changed due to an increasingly competitive landscape and a real focus on service. Value added services are now an expectation from our forwarding/ airline customers. “As a GSSA we have become a significant player in the supply chain and see the progression of the online booking platforms as a positive evolution for the freight forwarding industry,” Dawkins explained. To facilitate their forwarder/airline clients, ALG are continuing to provide the option to use all the various sales channels, be it online, or by email or telephone to generate business. For shipments above 1000kgs, dangerous goods, pharmaceuticals, or outsized cargo, their clients continue to lean on experienced employees, and those clients demand the highest level of service, and they will continue to support their needs. “Investment in business intelligence is a crucial element to allow our teams to have the commercial knowledge and data to outperform the market by giving them the right information as swiftly as possible to allow them to make the right business decisions,”
Dawkins highlighted “We continue to invest in technology, a dedicated Pharma service, and solutions verticals to address the needs in the industry,” he said. “We must provide a solution for every request, and we must deliver to the market as quickly as possible from receipt of the quotation.”
Southeast Asian stations grow Over the last decade ALG’s presence in the APAC region has significantly grown, in terms of airline partnerships and offices. They now have their own presence in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia, the Philippines and other parts of southeast Asia, working with a carefully selected partner. ALG has seen a significant impact with the reorganisation of global supply chains, with companies wanting to de-risk themselves from traditional legacy countries due to geopolitical influences. A large proportion of those volumes have moved to Southeast Asia, South Asia, and Central America. This market shift brings very positive opportunities for an established and well recognised business to provide solutions to forwarder/airline clients. “For us, the Southeast Asian market is very important to our continued network growth, be that organic growth or via acquisition,” Dawkins stated. “Over the last decade we have seen tremendous growth in our Southeast Asia stations with many new airline opportunities. New airlines have emerged, and current airlines have expanded their reach, they know our brand and what it represents and as a result we have won many sizeable new contracts which has contributed to our global success,” he added.
Enhancements and evolution ALG sees network building, investment in
experienced and knowledgeable employees, and embracing this digital world, as key to having a strong business model. “Our industry has six core pillars - complexity, security, compliance, sustainability, knowledge, and risk,” Dawkins explained. “You combine these together with investment and experienced employees, then you have an edge that can make the difference.” With the GSSA and airfreight industry becoming increasingly competitive, this mindset is crucial in delivering the speed needed to meet market demands, securing and retaining the services of customers. “Our industry will continue its cyclical evolution, with geo-politics, high inflation and increased fuel costs, there are near to medium headwinds which have made 2023 challenging. But markets will recover, the skill, as always, is to be ready for the ‘snap back’,” Dawkins stated.
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50 years of growth in a competitive market
ver the past 50 years, Chapman Freeborn has built strong strategic relationships with various agencies and organisations that support clients, such as airlines, airports, and handling agents, and it is this global network and these partnerships that make it a strong player in the charter brokerage sector. Part of Chapman Freeborn’s strategy is growth and expansion. This encompasses not just recruitment, but also ensuring that they have subject matter experts across the globe to support existing and new clients. The charter broker is also able to utilise the internal fleet belonging to Magma Aviation, its air cargo management subsidiary, as well as various third-party operators, differentiating it from competitors.
automotive charters, as well as scheduled services around the world with Magma Aviation. The charter broker “is currently undertaking an ambitious growth strategy of global expansion in new markets and new countries, as well as in existing countries,” Dursley explained. “For example, in the past 12 months, we have opened two new offices in the United States, in New York and Houston.” “This strategy also includes recruitment, with a focus on dedicated industry vertical experts to support our freight forwarding clients.”
Data-driven decisions In 2021 Chapman Freeborn was joined by Laurent Jossa in the new senior position of Chief Information Officer, with a view to modernising its operating systems, creating a more efficient process for its clients. “Chapman Freeborn utilises multiple industryrenowned and world-renowned data sources, analysing these on a monthly basis to ensure that we are working with the right operators, that we are focused on the right trade lanes and that we are supporting the industry verticals of our clients,” Neil Dursley, Chief Commercial Officer, said. “Everything we do is evidence-based, and it is this solid data that makes us confident that we are meeting the specific requirements of sectors and markets across the globe,” he continued.
Diverse offering Chapman Freeborn has diversified its service offerings over the past five years on behalf of its clients so that it is no longer only focused on charters. They also support clients with capacity management related volumes, key load business, on board couriers, and time-sensitive
world, and to continue the diversification of our service offerings.”
Global reach with regional support Chapman Freeborn is building momentum to further strengthen its customer service by significantly investing in its global footprint to better meet customers’ fast-changing needs. The carrier is strengthening its international network by opening more offices across the globe, including Austria, Switzerland, France, Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. “Our dedicated people in our new office locations will provide professional advice and competitive aviation solutions to the local community, leveraging a compelling portfolio with bespoke solutions,” Eric Erbacher, Group Chief Executive Officer stated. “In September we will open an office in Chengdu, right in the centre of China,” he highlighted. “By the end of this year, we intend to open an office in Mexico to connect this important market with our network.”
Customers and capacity
Another addition was Zori Marshall, who joined Chapman Freeborn as Chief Legal Officer in 2021, expanding the legal and compliance team from three to 13. These people are based globally in all four regions of our company – Europe, Americas, IMEA, and APAC - to ensure that we remain up to date with all regulatory and compliance-related changes. “Our vision is to be the number one aviation specialist globally, with global coverage and both internal and external assets to support the ever-changing requirements of our customers,” Dursely added. “We aim to expand our global footprint, to recruit industry experts across the
Chapman Freeborn is committed to continuing its path of being a trusted air capacity provider by customers, delivering tailored and flexible air solutions for passenger aviation services and air cargo services. “We are here to support our customers in direct response to their most challenging timecritical logistics needs,” Erbacher explained. “We are placing a strategic focus on the expansion of our own controlled capacities, currently consisting of five B747-400 freighters and two Dornier-228 aircraft, and by adding several converted B777-300ERMFs into our managed fleet of widebody freighters in the future.” “The forthcoming development of Chapman Freeborn shall be bright; earmarked by rapid growth of all main parameters, such as revenues, profits, and size of our labour force.”
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Sustainable logistics to deliver a greener future
he global challenge of climate change has sparked a paradigm shift in the business world, compelling companies across industries to rethink their operations through a sustainability lens. In this environment, Kuehne + Nagel has turned its focus to sustainability. By intertwining innovation, collaboration, and a commitment to decarbonisation, Kuehne + Nagel is keen to create an environmentally-conscious logistics industry.
“Climate change is a global problem that can only be solved together. We are convinced that collaboration and transparency are crucial for sustainability work and that is why those aspects are at the core of our sustainability strategy,” Dr. Fabiano Piccinno, Kuehne + Nagel’s Global Air Logistics Sustainability Manager, said. “As one of the world’s leading logistics providers, we play an important role to develop and deploy solutions that decarbonise our sector and global supply chains.”
Key pillars Kuehne + Nagel’s sustainability mission, anchored by their four pivotal levers—customer engagement, supplier collaboration, low carbon fuels and new technologies, and data analytics—propels the company’s journey toward a greener future. “When it comes to our customer offering, we want to empower our customers to make more sustainable choices. For this, we believe it is essential to be aware of the carbon footprint generated along each step
of the supply chain,” Piccinno said. These four pillars function synergistically, forming the core of their sustainable solutions strategy. Informed by a desire to empower their customers to behave in an environmentally-friendly manner, Kuehne + Nagel employs a “measure-avoid-reduce” framework. Starting with robust data collection, this approach enables them to offer solutions that circumvent or diminish CO2e emissions across the supply chain. By harnessing emission data, the company can enrich its services, leveraging operational optimisation, consolidation, cutting-edge transportation technologies, and low-carbon fuels. Their unwavering commitment to innovation is underscored by continuous investments in sustainability solutions, extending beyond their own value chain through carbon compensation initiatives.
Looking beyond operations Kuehne + Nagel’s dedication extends to collaborative efforts with suppliers to align with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). Through these collaborations, the company strives to reduce emissions across the supply chain, fostering a holistic approach to sustainability that extends beyond its own operations. Kuehne + Nagel’s dedication to sustainability also permeates their own operations. The company invests in on-site photovoltaic installations and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECSs) to achieve their goal of utilising 100% renewable energy in all their facilities by 2030. Furthermore, their commitment to transitioning 60% of their fleet to low emission vehicles by 2030 reinforces their holistic sustainability commitment. A testament to their progress lies in their proactive embrace of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Kuehne + Nagel highlighted the significant interest in low carbon fuels, especially SAF, among customers. The company’s investment in sustainable fuels across various transportation modes, such as hydrotreated vegetable oil for road logistics, sustainable marine fuels for sea logistics, and SAF for air logistics, has led to a notable reduction of approximately 57,000 tonnes of Scope 3 well-to-wheel GHG emissions. This remarkable achievement exemplifies the company’s dedication to driving change within the logistics sector. “We are committed to constantly increase that number in the coming years. Looking at 2023, this will be surpassed by a considerable margin,” Piccinno Added.
in the realm of sustainable aviation fuels. Acknowledging the scarcity of sustainable fuels and the need to scale up their usage rapidly, Kuehne + Nagel’s approach bypasses logistical complexities. By decoupling the physical flow of fuel from its allocation, the system allows customers to purchase sustainable fuels and allocate them to their shipments regardless of origin, destination, or carrier. This pioneering approach democratises access to sustainable fuels, empowering companies willing to invest in sustainable solutions and amplifying demand for sustainable aviation fuels. The company’s role in offering sustainable fuel options across all modes of transportation, particularly in airfreight, exemplifies their dedication to environmental stewardship. The innovative “Book & Claim” system, allowing customers to opt for sustainable aviation fuels, showcases Kuehne + Nagel’s commitment to driving tangible change. Another advantage of this approach is that it reduces unnecessary transportation of fuels across the globe as it can be combusted closer
Taking action together Partnerships play a pivotal role in Kuehne + Nagel’s sustainability journey, with collaboration and transparency the cornerstones of sustainable progress. Recognising their unique position as an assetlight company with over 98% of emissions occurring in their value chain (scope 3), Kuehne + Nagel’s partnerships with suppliers and customers have transformative potential. The company acknowledges that reducing emissions is a collective endeavour, necessitating partnership-driven change across the logistics industry. Through these synergistic relationships, Kuehne + Nagel’s aims to drive the acceleration of sustainable practices from suppliers to customers. “Irrespective of where our stakeholders are in their sustainability journey, we engage in purpose-driven relationships, offering a range of sustainability solutions,” Piccinno said. “However, we also seek to define synergies with companies who have – like us – committed to the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and reinforce our relationship to meet common goals.” However, despite their commendable progress, Kuehne + Nagel remains forthright about the industry’s pace of sustainable transformation. While they recognise the increased willingness among customers to embrace sustainable solutions, Kuehne + Nagel acknowledged the hurdles posed by cost and technology. “Companies are not moving fast enough,” Piccinno highlighted. “Unfortunately, many of the sustainability solutions, such as sustainable fuels, come at a significant price and many shippers are either not willing or capable to make such investments.” “Today’s quantities of SAF are extremely low in comparison to fossil jet fuel and it is of upmost importance that the quantities are scaled as fast as possible,” Piccinno explained. “In order for the sector to reach its climate targets, we need action now – as every additional emitted tonne of CO2 counts.”
Innovative idea The company’s innovative “Book & Claim” system stands as a lighthouse
to its production site. Book & Claim helps to overcome obstacles to a greener future as it simplifies the access to sustainable fuels by detaching the physical flow of the fuel with the allocation of it. This means that the SAF might be on a completely different flight than it is accounted to. “This ensures that pioneering companies with the ability and willingness to invest in these solutions can easily do so, which helps create demand and facilitate the scale-up of sustainable aviation fuels,” Piccinno stated.
SAF solution Kuehne + Nagel is open that, simply “there is just not enough SAF available.” IATA estimates the global SAF production of 2022 to be at 300 million litres, which would cover around 0.1 % of the global jet fuel demand for that same year. “One of the biggest potential challenges to mass adoption is therefore the limited supply of SAF. Today, there is basically just one production process for SAF at industrial scale available,” Piccinno said. “Another important factor that slows down the scaling of SAF is the premium that needs to be paid. Newer technologies might even be more expensive at the beginning until they reach economies of scale.” Even though those production numbers are growing at a fast rate and new production plants are announced regularly, reaching only 50 % would mean a 500-fold increase of production (assuming the global demand of jet fuel stays constant). “All our efforts that we make in our SAF programme are always with the intention to speed-up the uptake and thus reduce the emissions of air freight. As the biggest forwarder in airfreight, one of our roles in the SAF market that we play is the one to help creating demand for existing as well as future SAF technologies and quantities, which in turn gives carriers and producers more security to invest in it.” “With our SAF programme, we aim to make the SAF purchasing process for airfreight shippers as simple and transparent as possible.”
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Adapting to airfrei changing dynamic
s a passenger-first carrier, United Airlines determines its routes by where there is travel demand. However, by leveraging its robust pipeline of resources, including trucks, joint ventures, and interline partnerships, it has become adept at optimising cargo distribution and ensuring the efficient utilisation of its flights. This adaptable strategy has allowed it to effectively fill planes and maximise the value it delivers to customers. “What we have seen in the post-pandemic airfreight business is more cargo capacity, lower rates, and a general uncertainty in the marketplace,” Jan Krems, President of United Cargo, said. “We must tackle each of those challenges. We know the business and every few years we see a challenging marketplace, so we must be flexible and operate day-to-day.” “We also must deal with the challenges of being an airline first and dealing with our passenger capacity. We must balance getting the right cargo on board with the number of passengers which is increasing each season. That’s why we need to be so close to our customers to understand what’s happening day in and day out and react to the changing marketplace.”
Post-pandemic position United experienced an immediate Covid-related boom in the Asian market due to a combination of a high demand for PPE and home office equipment, in addition to an upswing in online shopping. There was also a capacity shortage that drove up the yields. Now that markets getting closer to a pre-covid operations, United is seeing a normalisation of the market environment after a rough end to last year. There is still an uncertainty in traditional commodities that were dominating the APAC market pre-Covid, and there is a shift in manufacturing production to other areas of the world. “With the help of the e-commerce demand, we are expecting to see a stable market with the potential to have a peak season ahead of us,” Krems said.
Key routes United is committed to both expanding into new markets and enhancing their position in existing ones. “We are making key investments in our current areas through United Next,” Krems highlighted. “We’re making our fleet bigger by adding up to 200 widebody planes — the largest order by a U.S. carrier in commercial airline history.” United plans to deliver more than 230 new planes by the end of this year and will have more than 700 new planes in their fleet by 2033. This means it will be upsizing its planes to many smaller U.S. markets and adding more widebodies to its fleet for long distance hauls. “Of course, we will continue to expand in markets that are favourable to passengers and cargo. Most recently, we announced a new route to Manilla, we are resuming service to Beijing and Narita, and we are adding more flights to Oceana than any other airline.”
Bolstering facilities To meet the evolving demands of the cargo market, United Airlines is investing in facilities worldwide. This includes adding temperature-controlled coolers at our facilities to meet the demands of cold chain shipments. For example, United just cut the ribbon on its new enhanced temperature-controlled storage at O’Hare International Airport. “We’re excited to unveil our new, state-of-the-art cooler at ORD, featuring two new temperature-controlled chambers. Each chamber is 3,200 sq ft and has a new insulated panel enclosure, epoxy flooring, and sprinkler/lighting system,” Krems explained. “We are also building out our new space at Newark Liberty International Airport to meet the demands of our EMEIA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) shipments.”
Green goals United Cargo believes the freight industry needs to be bolder when it comes to climate change. Its strategy is to become 100% green
reight’s mics (without relying on traditional carbon offsets) by focusing on four key areas: Reducing its environmental footprint with investments in Sustainable Aviation Fuel; innovating transformative carbon reduction technology; removing carbon emissions in the atmosphere; seeking out suppliers with commitments to sustainable business practices in order to enhance the sustainability of United’s operations, products, and services. “From a cargo perspective, collaboration is key. We must work together to empower and define how customers and shippers make smarter choices to reduce emissions whether that is using sustainable focused providers and freight forwarders, connecting API’s to ensure we are providing emissions data at the time of booking, or network optimisation that produces the least carbon footprint,” Krems said. Today, United partners with nearly 10 freight forwarders to pay the green premium of SAF, and receiving the right to claim GHG reductions from the SAF against their GHG inventory. “Because production is still in its infancy we must scale the availability so it is accessible for all, and United has the solution to build a viable market through the United Airlines Ventures Sustainable Flight Fund,” he added. “This is a first-of-its-kind investment vehicle in which the fund supports start-ups working to decarbonise air travel, develop sustainable aviation fuel, build new planes more sustainably, and innovate develop green technology!”
Innovative ideas United is making many investments in its digitalisation operations including launching a new United Cargo Booking Portal. As they approach the full launch, they are ensuring multiple touchpoints as early in the process as possible, emphasising their commitment to a seamless transition and a customer-centric booking experience. “We began the booking portal beta late last year with a launch to customers in select countries and stations to validate what we will be delivering to all our customers to fit their needs and met our high expectations for our digital channels,” Krems highlighted. “We
have much more planned and are busy enhancing our entire digital customer experience.”
New normal The initial surge in airfreight demand sparked by COVID-related capacity constraints has now eased, as sea freight capacity has returned to normal, prompting a shift in cargo movement patterns. United has also noticed that warehouses are full of product as the global supply chain has normalised. In summation, the current sentiment among U.S. exporters can be described as a mixed bag, a reflection of the intricate interplay between various market forces and operational realities which has been changing every day. In the current market scenario, United is all about delivering topnotch quality, seeing it as an absolute must. “We’re not just offering services; we’re all about adding real, tangible value that speaks to our customers. In a landscape where price competition is a thing, our unwavering dedication to maintaining quality and performance sets us apart,” Krems stated. “We get that customers might be tempted by lower prices, but we’re here to show them the value of what we bring.” Partnerships are where it’s at in our industry. Back during the height of COVID, United worked to be there for its partners, and now the tables have turned. “It’s a two-way street, and we know the importance of having each other’s backs through thick and thin. Our commitment to quality and these rock-solid partnerships define who we are and how we thrive, no matter what the circumstances,” Krems added. “We are back again. We have in our pockets the biggest increase of flight activity in the past years. We are going to increase flights more than double in Australia and New Zealand, increase flights in Hong Kong, Taipei, Shanghai and Tokyo,” Krems said. “We are restarting Beijing again and start new services to Manila and Christchurch. We have plenty of great options to offer our customers as we head to air cargo Southeast Asia.”
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Digitisation trans airfreight industr
n the airfreight industry, digitalisation has emerged as a game-changer. It has not only transformed the roles and responsibilities of General Sales & Service Agents (GSSAs) but has also ushered in a new era of efficiency, customer-centricity, and adaptability. Group Concorde recognises that technological innovation will dramatically reshape the sector; streamlining operations through digital tools and a u t o m a t i o n , leveraging data analytics for route optimisation and pricing, enhancing customer service with real-time tracking and quicker issue resolution, integrating w i t h e-commerce platforms f o r e f f icient cargo
movement, ensuring compliance with evolving customs and regulations, coordinating with various supply chain stakeholders for improved visibility, optimising costs using digital resources, and prioritising security measures to safeguard data and cargo from cyber threats. In essence, digitalisation will make GSSAs more efficient, data-driven, and customer-centric in meeting the evolving demands of the air cargo supply chain. “Digitalisation offers significant advantages for GSSAs as it streamlines cargo booking, tracking, and reporting processes, leading to increased efficiency, accuracy, and improved customer experiences,” Prithviraj Chug, CEO, Group Concorde, said. “For GSSAs, digitalisation means faster and more accurate cargo bookings, real-time tracking capabilities, and access to valuable data insights. It will reduce the operational costs, enhance transparency, and allow for data-driven decision-making.”
Capitalising on key opportunities GSSA’s can capitalise on the surge in e-commerce by providing specialised logistics solutions, such as efficient last-mile delivery and returns management, to cater to the needs of online retailers. There is a rising demand for pharmaceutical cargo, offering an opportunity for the agents to offer secure and temperature-controlled
ansforms ustry transportation services for these valuable goods. Further, embracing eco-friendly practices, including the use of sustainable packaging materials and carbon-neutral shipping options, can attract environmentally-conscious customers and align with global sustainability trends. Lastly, leveraging advanced digital tools and technologies for cargo tracking, management, and customer service can lead to operational efficiencies and improved customer experiences. “We anticipate that the e-commerce segment will play a crucial role in the upcoming months,” Chug stated. “Additionally, there is a growing demand for electronics and pharmaceuticals, and even automotive demand is surging post-COVID, especially in Asian markets where there is increased demand for both hybrid and electric vehicles.”
Market movements The pandemic has brought both challenges and opportunities for GSSAs in the cargo aviation sector. While they faced operational hurdles due to reduced capacity and health protocols, they also played a crucial role in transporting essential goods. Adapting to a digitalised landscape and diversifying services have been key strategies to navigate these turbulent times successfully. Looking forward, these agents are likely to continue evolving as the airfreight industry responds to ongoing changes in global logistics. The demand has gradually been decreasing, while the supply has consistently increased, leading to a depreciation in yields. “Nevertheless, there are some positive signs, especially from the Asian markets, especially in the last quarter, and we anticipate a much-improved situation as we head into 2024,” Chug added. “Our priority is to maximise the load factor, achieve the best available yields, and remain vigilant for opportunities while maintaining strong customer relationships. We anticipate stronger worldwide demand in 2024, particularly in the second half of the year.”
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Streamlining syste with digital solutio
ith digitalisation redefining the airfreight industry, Cargo Flash has been actively involved in streamlining air cargo management and operations since 2009. Having sought to offer effective tools to improve operations, the company utilises both Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) solutions and offers Integrated Cargo Management Solutions (nGen ICMS) that are customised to address specific challenges faced by clients in the air cargo industry. nGen harnesses the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to comprehensively manage targets, budgets, and overall operations. The system’s dynamic pricing and real-time sales planning capabilities provide airlines with a significant competitive advantage, allowing them to nimbly navigate the fast-paced cargo landscape. Furthermore, the predictive insights and future indicators embedded within nGen offer a unique perspective, enabling management to detect and react to imminent target breaches, thereby strategising for optimal revenue outcomes. Beyond predictive analytics, nGen emphasises the integration of a holistic data management approach, catering to every facet of cargo operations, from flight scheduling to customer relations. Additionally, to augment the user experience at warehouses and foster streamlined booking processes, nGen has been seamlessly integrated with kiosk machines for walk-in shippers along with latest android based handheld terminal applications that makes the entire warehouse operations process manageable, ironing out any human errors. “With these tools, Cargo Flash is truly reimagining and revolutionising the way airlines operate in today’s dynamic cargo landscape,” Gautam Mandal, Director – Digital Transformation, Cargo Flash Infotech, said.
Boosting visibility Digitalisation has significantly addressed the increasing need for transparency and visibility in the supply chain. Through technologies like Internat of Things (IoT) sensors, blockchain, and advanced data analytics, companies can track products in real-time, monitor conditions, and share information with stakeholders. This transparency enhances trust, reduces errors, and allows for more informed decisionmaking, ultimately benefitting both businesses and consumers. Furthermore, for the air cargo industry, which is highly fragmented and operating in silos, collaboration is a need that stands at the forefront, which can allow bringing together a multitude of stakeholders—ranging from shippers, freight forwarders, airlines, and ground handlers to customs officials. This cohesive synergy can be significantly facilitated by the IATA-led ‘One Record’ API standardisation, which is being adapted at Cargo Flash. This initiative ensures seamless connections between diverse systems associated with each stakeholder, fostering an environment where data flows freely yet securely. The overarching benefit is the creation of a single source of truth, eliminating discrepancies and redundancies. Such transparency not only fosters an environment of trust but also minimises errors, paving the way for judicious decision-making. “This digital evolution, in essence, has amplified benefits for both businesses and end consumers, crafting a more resilient and responsive supply chain,” Mandal continued.
Changing demands Octoloop, one of Cargo Flash’s pioneering solutions, has been meticulously designed to streamline the operations of GSA/GSSAs in a rapidly evolving air cargo landscape. With increasing competition, GSSAs need to operate more efficiently than ever. Octoloop’s single login feature allows GSSAs and their freight forwarders to easily
access and book cargo on multiple airlines from a single platform. This minimises redundancy, reduces the margin for error, and streamlines the entire booking process. The real-time interline route connections and inventory management features enable GSSAs to quickly respond to the dynamic supply chain conditions. This is especially vital in times of supply chain disruptions, ensuring GSSAs can offer their clients up-to-date solutions and alternatives. “GSSAs represent multiple airlines in various territories,” Mandal said. “Octoloop’s feature that allows airlines to manage their flight schedules, cargo capacities, and interline connections equips GSSAs with all the tools they need to provide a comprehensive service to both their partner airlines and freight forwarders, thus providing them opportunities to not only expand their market to also increase their overall sales and revenues.”
Shaping the industry “The cargo aviation industry in 2024 and 2025 will be marked by a rapid evolution driven by technological innovation and a commitment to sustainability. These trends promise to reshape the industry, making it more efficient, eco-friendly, and responsive to the demands of a rapidly changing world,” Mandal explained. The IATA-led ‘One Record’ initiative stands poised to revolutionise data sharing across the supply chain. By facilitating a seamless connection between myriad system vendors and ensuring a singular source of truth, ‘One Record’ is not just a digital standard; it’s the foundation upon which future aviation digital frameworks will be built. Parallel, the rise of digital logistics and booking platforms will reshape the customer experience. These platforms, are anticipated to offer real-time cargo tracking, dynamic pricing, and automated booking capabilities, drastically reducing manual interventions and errors.
Their user-centric designs will cater to the evolving demands of shippers, freight forwarders, and other stakeholders, ensuring swift, transparent, and hassle-free cargo bookings and management. The call for sustainable aviation is becoming louder, urging the industry to adopt greener practices. Innovations in biofuels, electric propulsion, and operational efficiency are setting the stage for an eco-friendly aviation ecosystem, where systems should be able to provide the CO2 footprint for each shipment and option for shipper/freight forwarder to offset it. Moreover, blockchain technology is positioning itself as a pivotal player, especially in logistics, ensuring transparent, tamperproof, and swift transaction records. This will be especially crucial in tracing the journey of sensitive or high-value cargo, enhancing trust and accountability in the process. The twin realms of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are opening new vistas in training, maintenance, and even customer service. For instance, ground staff and maintenance crews can benefit from AR-enhanced training modules, while VR can offer immersive booking experiences for customers. Lastly, as urbanisation continues coupled with the increasing need for fast air delivery at remote unreachable locations, drones for cargo delivery are set to soar in prominence. These unmanned aerial vehicles will not only offer solutions for quick deliveries in densely populated areas but also have the potential to be game changers in remote or inaccessible regions. With the potential to cut down delivery times, reduce carbon footprints, and offer unparalleled flexibility, drones might very well be the linchpin that ties the urban and the remote in a cohesive logistical network. “As 2024/25 dawns upon us, the aviation industry is set to witness an era where digital convergence meets logistical efficiency, driven by a blend of pioneering initiatives and technological marvels,” Mandal added.
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ong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (HACTL) has embraced technological innovation, seamlessly integrating robotics and automation into its operations, reshaping cargo handling operations. HACTL’s foray into automation began in the 1980s, and its commitment to innovation led to the creation of a state-of-the-art terminal at Chek Lap Kok in 1998. This terminal incorporated groundbreaking technologies such as the world’s largest Elevating Transfer Vehicle (ETV) system and a Box Storage System, both powered by AIdriven automation. Wilson Kwong, Chief Executive of HACTL, explained: “These systems were automated, used driverless vehicles, and used their own intelligent systems to decide storage locations and retrieve from them.” Over time, these systems evolved, consistently upgraded and fine-tuned with in-house developed AI systems to bolster efficiency.
A new frontier for enhanced productivity While automation had long been an integral part of HACTL’s operations, robotics presented a novel challenge. Kwong notes, “What’s newer for us is robotics, which is still a learning process but with huge potential.” HACTL embarked on a journey of trial and learning, designing and building a robotic Automated Parts Store, contributing to the swift recovery of mission-critical machinery. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, HACTL deployed sanitisation and security robots,
showcasing its adaptability and willingness to innovate in response to emerging needs. “All this work is helping us to prepare for the more “serious” potential applications, which we see as primarily driverless vehicles in our terminal and on the ramp, and in automated pallet building,” Kwong continued. Implementing robotics and automation in a high-paced environment necessitates rigorous safety measures. Kwong emphasised,
Sustainability and synergy
HACTL’s adoption of robotics and automation aligns seamlessly with its commitment to sustainability. “Robotics and automation generally achieve greater efficiency, and that means there is usually an eco-dividend too,” Kwong stated. The strategic rewriting of logic systems controlling the Container Storage System
What’s newer for us is robotics, which is still a learning process but with huge potential
“Safety is always our top priority...Our robots are all equipped with collision avoidance systems, and always will be.” This dedication to safety echoes HACTL’s long-standing commitment to creating a secure working environment. The challenge of integrating robotics into cargo handling, especially the delicate art of pallet building, required merging AI and robotics expertise. Kwong explained, “This is the real challenge ahead but, with recruitment becoming ever more difficult and traditional skills being lost through retirement, it’s a challenge we must eventually meet.”
exemplifies HACTL’s approach to reducing energy consumption and environmental impact. However, while HACTL marches towards a more automated future, human involvement remains indispensable. Kwong clarified, “Whatever systems we develop and introduce... enable humans to make fully-informed ultimate decisions about work priorities.” This fusion of human decision-making and robotic execution ensures seamless operations and customer satisfaction.
All cargo welcome While HACTL’s immediate focus lies on
s robotic revolution automating everyday cargo handling, the company envisions automating even the most challenging cargo types. This is a work in progress. We will begin with the simpler “everyday” cargo because that is where the volumes are, and the biggest gains are to be made,” Kwong stated. “If we can automate that area of our business, it’s only a matter of time before even the most demanding cargo can also be handled that way,” he explained. Kwong acknowledges that segments of the supply chain may lag behind in adopting technology due to the correlation between technological uptake and business scale. “The industry as a whole relies on the companies like HACTL to drive the pace and innovation, and then they find it easier to follow,” he explained.
An innovative future Reflecting on the broader industry trends, Kwong forecasts that technological innovation will unfold most rapidly where volumes and revenues are substantial. The largest players in the airfreight arena will drive this change, while smaller players will follow suit, leveraging the advancements pioneered by the industry’s frontrunners. “As is always the case, the pace will be highest where the volumes and revenues are,” Kwong said. “So it’s no surprise that Hactl in Hong Kong – the largest independent at the world’s top cargo hub – is already advancing in this area. Smaller locations handling smaller volumes through smaller facilities will come later, but they will come.” The journey of HACTL with robotics and automation is far from over. Kwong’s enthusiasm for embracing new technologies is palpable: “There is no technology we will not consider if we believe it has a viable part to play.”
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Automating operation in complex environme
ith the airfreight industry rapidly transforming, Speedcargo Technologies is on a mission to transform airfreight logistics by digitising, optimising and automating cargo handling. The company’s solutions improve revenues and profitability while driving down costs, resulting in improving capacity utilisation of both fleet and warehouse infrastructure. One of Speedcargo’s unique offerings is an integrated solution that natively connects airline operations with ground handling operations. This integration optimises cargo capacity from the booking stage to the cargo hold of the carrier. Airlines benefit by booking more cargo within existing capacity, significantly improving their cargo-related revenues. Ground handlers, on the other hand, experience increased revenues and productivity gains from digitalisation.
Ensuring transparency Speedcargo’s Cargo Eye technology is seeking to offer transparency in the supply chain. It digitises cargo upon entry to the warehouse, capturing precise dimensions and generating high-resolution images. This comprehensive digital record creates an audit trail of cargo handling processes, detecting under-declarations and variances between declared and actual cargo volumes. This not only eliminates revenue leakage but also improves safety and compliance. “In one of our facilities, Cargo Eye scanned 262 air waybills from 9 flights and we conducted a variance analysis to understand the discrepancies between declared cargo volume against what was received at the ground handlers’,” Krishna Kumar Nallur explained. “We found that only 27.5% air waybills were accurately declared and that 72.5% air waybills had a variance beyond +/- 10% of the declared volume.” “Our newest solution offering with Cargo Eye will enable ground handlers to uptake contour checks of fully-built ULDs, along with highresolution images to ensure complete safety and compliance before the ULDs are transported to the aircraft.”
Automating airfreight According to Speedcargo, the key to automating the airfreight industry lies in digitising physical work processes. By capturing detailed information about cargo dimensions, materials, stacking feasibility, and more, the system gains the information required for automated handling and optimisation. This approach facilitates the transition from manual to automated cargo handling, benefitting both workers and operations. “In order to automate cargo handling, the system needs detailed information on the cargo: the dimensions, its packing materials, whether it can be stacked or tilted, if there are dangerous goods or other special handling codes, etc.,” Krishna Kumar Nallur said. “Our process of digitising physical cargo generates the information required for automated handling. “A laddering approach where organisations first digitise their operations makes it easier for them to upgrade their operations efficiently. Digitisation also upskills labour to be better acquainted with managing digital systems, bridging the gap between having no digital skills to handling automated work processes.”
Carrying complex cargo As cargo comes in all sizes, shapes and weights, Speedcargo Technologies refers to it as a high-mix, high-volume environment. It is also a high payload environment, where you may have a shipment that is 10 kilos or up to two tonnes. When you have that range to handle, it becomes difficult to automate that process with a standardised mechanism. In such an environment, automation needs to address lastminute motion planning and placement position. “The industry has been facing issues such as an ageing workforce, constrained capacity, and deteriorating infrastructure,” Krishna Kumar Nallur explained. “There is a dwindling number of trained and experienced cargo handlers with ongoing retirements. New entrants to the workforce are less willing to do labour-intensive jobs, which involve both mundane tasks and hazardous heavy lifting.” “On the other hand, warehouse infrastructure tends to be outdated
— designed for manual process and for volumes of the past. Upgrading these facilities to increase the cargo throughput per sq m of warehouse space to suit the rising demands is imperative.” “Automation will address these issues in the airfreight industry. While the industry is on the right track by digitising their operations, automation is where the true transformation will take place. Automation will not only increase cargo throughput but also save space and maximise the utility of existing infrastructure.” With this in mind, Speedcargo believes that robotic technologies and automation will make air cargo handling attractive to the next generation by upskilling the workforce and creating an environment that focuses on managing and controlling digital systems. In addition, Speedcargo Technology is clear that automating the cargo handling process will ensure consistent, safe, and quality handling with continuous 24/7/365 operations.
Speeding up digital development It is well acknowledged within the industry that the air cargo industry operates around legacy systems and has been lagging in the uptake of technology. In current operations, automation that revolves around paper flows is where most of the advancements exist. Automating material handling is limited to conveyor systems and automated storage and retrieval systems. “The adoption of automation is not a matter of “if”, but a matter of “when,” Krishna Kumar Nallur said. “The constraints felt by the industry are very real: space is limited, people are ageing, and infrastructures need to be upgraded. If companies want to survive and be profitable then adoption of automation is inevitable.” The benefits and ROI from automation can clearly be seen from the other industries that have adopted it early on. Robots can work 24/7—as opposed to humans—with their meantime to failure being approximately 10-12 years. State-of-the-art robotics can create a highly connected workflow which is efficient, sustainable, and cost efficient. Like all new technologies, there will be early adopters, and there
will be followers. Some will feel a greater need due to pressures under which they operate, and the more innovative organisations will use this as a mechanism to offer improved services and garner market share. “The journey towards automation starts from digitising your workflows. There are so many companies in the industry today that offer solutions to digitalise operations in different areas of your workflow. Organisations can see digitisation as a low-hanging fruit that they can start enjoying benefits from, quickly,” Krishna Kumar Nallur said.
Partnerships and processes Partnerships have been key for Speedcargo Technologies right from the beginning. Its technology was born out of an industry requirement from the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, and working on the solution gave it access to government regulators, key airlines, and ground handlers in Singapore. This was valuable as it gave the company an insider’s insight as to what the industry needs and how it works, helping it create solutions that are truly transformative. “The true value for the industry will come when more members of the ecosystem adopt this new way of work,” Krishna Kumar Nallur explained. “We work very closely with our technology partners as well, which allows us to bring state-of-the-art technologies being used in other industries into the airfreight industry.” It was not possible to automate the cargo handling process until recently, as the technology to do so had not yet evolved. Speedcargo’s goal is to bring cutting-edge technology to automate to these complex processes to help the industry move forward, as well as alleviate some of the challenges it faces. “It will be crucial to have leaders that champion technology and innovation to make this transformation happen. We are expecting a brownfield deployment first, and as confidence builds in automation to address the needs of the industry, the adoption will move towards large hubs that are looking to upgrade their infrastructure. This will then translate to a greenfield development where automation will be the new standard for operations,” Krishna Kumar Nallur stated.
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Booming trade boosts Southeast Asia’s potential
n recent years, Southeast Asia has emerged as a pivotal hub for global trade and e-commerce, with a surge in manufacturing, e-commerce, and increased intra-regional trade within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Southeast Asia’s booming economies have attracted multinational companies setting up manufacturing facilities and witnessed a rapid adoption of e-commerce. This surge in economic activity calls for robust delivery services to facilitate seamless shipments across borders. To address this need, DHL Express has strategically positioned itself with two regional hubs, the South Asia Hub near Singapore’s Changi Airport, and the Bangkok Hub near Suvarnabhumi Airport, further solidifying its presence in the region. Additionally, DHL Express is expanding its Kuala Lumpur Gateway, situated at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.
Express evolution Across the region there has been continued trade growth and high e-commerce adoption. Southeast Asia caters to various industries and consumer needs. “We transport a wide range of goods as we support customers in e-commerce, electronics, technology components, semiconductor, pharmaceutical and healthcare, textiles and apparels, legal, and so on,” Ken Lee, CEO for Asia Pacific, DHL Express, said. Benefiting from the boom DHL Express’s airfreight volume in Southeast Asia has seen a consistent upward trajectory. The region, along with South Asia, has been identified as a new trade growth pole, according to the DHL Trade Growth Atlas 2022 report. “As we continue to see the opportunities, we announced in 2020
that we would invest €750 million in our Asia Pacific aviation network and ground infrastructure to ensure that we are ready to support our customers when they need us,” Lee continued. “We have secured 130 Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) certifications showing our commitment to security excellence. This means shipments that pass through our network undergo stringent security checks at our facilities,” he highlighted. “It also means that local immigrations authorities trust that we have the expertise and specialists to help facilitate a smooth clearance for the shipments.”
Connectivity and capacity DHL Express has an extensive aviation and ground network consisting of its own fleet of aircraft and partner airlines. This allows the carrier to connect customers to different parts of the world through air transportation and provide them with time-sensitive cross-border deliveries. In Asia Pacific alone, DHL Express has more than 25 aircraft and works with airlines including Air Hong Kong, Singapore Airlines and Tasman Cargo Airlines. The air network is supported by facilities – hubs, gateways and service centres – that check the shipments and direct them to their destinations. Additionally, their team of network operations and aviation colleagues work closely with partners to monitor potential disruptions that could cause delays in the deliveries. “We leverage the Advanced Quality Control Center (AQCC) system at our operations centres across the network to monitor shipment movements and flag issues in real time,” Lee explained. “The AQCC, powered by artificial intelligence, tells us if shipments are stalled in
transit, giving us time to quickly take corrective measures to ensure that they can still arrive at their destinations on time.” “Our dedicated team of network operations experts also studies the shipment volumes that pass through our network and identifies areas that need adjustments,” he explained. “For instance, we added capacity between Ho Chi Minh and the U.S. last year as we saw strong express logistics services demand between the two. Adding flight capacity and adjusting our flight routes where necessary allows us to meet changing customer demands and shipment movement patterns.”
Streamlined service DHL Express constantly evaluates its own practices to streamline processes and enhance its accuracy and efficiency. The AQCC is one example of monitoring shipments’ status and location throughout the journey. The other example is the DHLBot, which is an automatic flyer sorting robot in one of its service centres in Singapore, sorting flyers with 99 %accuracy. DHL Express also uses automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to ferry shipments, cargo pallets, and containers at its facilities. These AGVs not only increase productivity and efficiency, but they also help minimise the chances of injury. “It is important that we listen to our customers’ needs and gather feedback from to implement what is sensible for the business operations and whether it adds value to our employees” Lee stated.
Securing a sustainable future By 2030, DHL Express aims to achieve at least 30% sustainable aviation fuels blending. Earlier this year, the carrier launched GoGreen Plus
service globally that allows customers to reduce the carbon emissions associated with their shipments by using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This is an important step for air transport as it is one of the key approaches to reducing CO2 emissions. Customers in Malaysia (Wellous and Royal Selangor) as well as in Thailand (Alive 2 Dive) have engaged our GoGreen Plus service to bring down Scope 3 emissions, which is the indirect greenhouse gas emission within their overall supply chain. “Besides SAF, we also invest in aircraft fleet replacement programme where we purchase the most reliable, fuel-efficient aircraft to operate on our international long-haul routes,” Lee said. Since 2018, DHL Express has acquired 28 Boeing 777 freighters, which reduce CO2 emissions by 18% compared to legacy B747-400s. Five of these freighters will be deployed at its South Asia Hub in Singapore, and will be operated and maintained by Singapore Airlines.
Future focus Southeast Asia is known for its diverse cultures and languages. Different levels of infrastructure quality and various complex customs regulations add to the logistics challenges, making it hard to navigate remote or hard-to-reach areas. However, DHL Express’s presence and constant investment to enhance its infrastructure, air network and workforce enables it to maintain its position in express delivery services. “We are expanding the Kuala Lumper Gateway in Malaysia to triple the size of the current facility,” Lee explained. “We also announced in 2022 that we will invest in the new Hanoi Gateway located near Noi Bai International Airport as we prepare ourselves to support Vietnam’s trade growth.”