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

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ECS Sponsorship_Operations_Digital Only_26 July.indd 1

20/07/2021 11:08


The weekly newspaper for air cargo professionals No. 1,141

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26 JULY 2021

AFKLMP Cargo’s strategy is paying off

MUSCLE Volga-Dnepr transports its largest outsized piece onboard An-124-150

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olga-Dnepr Airlines has transported a large custom-built compressor from Zurich to Abu Dhabi on its Antonov 124-150 aircraft. The delivery was organised in partnership with GEODIS, the Group’s long-standing customer. The project has been one-of-a-kind as the single piece, measuring 15.65 x 4.40 x 3.85 m and weighing 100 tonnes, was one of the largest out-of-gauge shipments ever carried aboard an An-124-150. The preparation covered all the steps and details involving project teams from the shipper, consignee, forwarder and operator and ticking off key milestones, ending with a site visit to ensure all open points and modifications were executed. Each step was co-ordinated by Volga-Dnepr‘s operational base in Dubai, with load planners and the commercial team being always able to support and advise. Artemiy Ivanovskiy, regional manager IMEA, Volga-Dnepr highlights: “With strict delivery deadlines from the onset we were battling with many challenges from production, assembly, operations handling and other facets. Thanks to clear and straightforward communication with all the stakeholders we were able to resolve them and come up with a comprehensive action plan to accomplish this complex transportation, meeting the customer’s requirements and getting positive feedback in the end.”

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INSIDE

HANS AIRWAYS SIGNS GSSA CONTRACT

UK-based start-up airline, Hans Airways has appointed Air Logistics Group as its Cargo General Sales and Service Agent (GSSA) ... PAGE 2

BREXIT: PREPARE FOR RULE CHANGES

THE British International Freight Association (BIFA) is encouraging businesses engaged in visible trade between the UK and EU, and the ... PAGE 2 100% BUSINESS CLASS AIRLINE PARTNERS

LA Compagnie, the 100% business class airline, has appointed Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) to support its first-ever venture ... PAGE 4

TIACA SPECIAL: SUCCESS

THE biggest issue facing the aviation industry today is sustainability. Though it is at the top of many companies’ agendas, for true change ... PAGE 5

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Hans Airways signs BREXIT: PREPARE FOR GSSA contract with ALG RULE CHANGES

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Giving the thumbs up to the Cargo General Sales and Service Agent agreement between UK-start-up airline Hans Airways and Air Logistics Group are (from l-r): Stephen Dawkins, CEO, Air Logistics Group; Simon Prower, director of ground operations, Hans Airways; and Ian Davies, COO Hans Airways.

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K-based start-up airline, Hans Airways has appointed Air Logistics Group as its Cargo General Sales and Service Agent (GSSA) network-wide. The exclusive GSSA agreement will take effect from August 1 2021, with the East Midlands-based supplier providing Hans Airways with full cargo sales, marketing, online booking and customer service support across its network. This news follows swiftly on the back of the airline’s recent announcement of its highly experienced team of Board members earlier in July. The new GSSA agreement is a timely development as Hans Airways prepares to launch its direct non-stop flights to India later in 2021 as it continues its drive towards gaining its UK Air Operator Certificate from the Civil Aviation Authority. The agreement is expected to drive invaluable cargo revenues to the airline’s bottom line, particularly at a time when worldwide air freight is booming. “At Air Logistics Group, we are confident that we have chosen a partner capable of providing the selling expertise, fast response times and service levels that the freight community

will expect from Hans Airways,” comments Ian Davies, chief operating officer, Hans Airways. “With experienced staff, and the network to provide effective coverage of our planned routes, Air Logistics Group is well-positioned to be the face of the Hans Airways cargo team.” The deal with Air Logistics Group will not be the only contract signed by Hans Airways with an industry heavyweight in its respective field, as the carrier intends to partner with many established aviation industry names. “Our business strategy from day one has been to work with market-leading suppliers and partners, like Air Logistics Group, allowing us to build the solid and robust foundations needed to succeed. There are more agreements in the pipeline that will show that Hans Airways means business,” adds Davies. “Hans Airways is an exciting new face in the airline industry and will be operating on a vital trade route between the UK and India,” explains Stephen Dawkins, CEO at Air Logistics Group. “We are confident that their new service from the UK to India is just the start, and that we can build the cargo business across the Hans Airways network as it expands.”

HKIA sees double-digit cargo growth

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he Airport Authority Hong Kong (AA) has released the traffic figures for Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) for June 2021. During the month, passenger volume increased by 40.1% year on year to 83,000 passengers, cargo throughput rose by 11.5% year on year to 399,000 tonnes, and flight movements increased by 10.9% to 11,050 compared to the same month last year. The growth of cargo volume was mainly attributed to double-digit growth in both transshipments and imports compared to the same month last year. Exports also increased by 8% year on year. Cargo to and from Southeast Asia experienced the most significant increase during the month. Due to the COVID-19 situation, passenger traffic remained significantly below

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pre-pandemic levels recorded in 2019. The year-on-year increase in passenger traffic was mainly attributed to the low base for comparison. Traffic to and from Mainland China and Europe recorded significant increases. Over the first half of the year, HKIA handled 379,000 passengers and 62,820 flight movements, representing year-on-year decreases of 95.4% and 33.3%, respectively. Cargo throughput rose 11.9% to 2.3 million tonnes. On a 12-month rolling basis, passengers and flight movements declined 97.8% and 57% to 910,000 and 129,340, respectively. Cargo throughput saw an increase of 3.0% to 4.7 million tonnes. HKIA received the Triple Gold Award in the “Web Accessibility Recognition Scheme 2020/21” jointly organised by The Hong Kong

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Internet Registration Corporation Limited and the Office of the Government chief information officer, with the Equal Opportunities Commission as the independent advisor. The Triple Gold Award was granted to HKIA after its website attained the Scheme’s Gold Award for three consecutive years, achieving excellence in all 24 specified judging criteria covering layout and function. Lily Lai, chief information officer of the AA, said: “We are honoured to receive this award in recognition of our dedicated efforts to make our website accessible. The userfriendly interface of HKIA’s website allows all passengers with different accessibility requirements to obtain information related to the airport. We will continue to enhance our digital platforms and optimise user experience for all our users.”

he British International Freight Association (BIFA) is encouraging businesses engaged in visible trade between the UK and EU, and the freight and logistics companies that serve them, to make sure that they are fully prepared for rule changes that will take effect over the next six months following an initial postponement. In March, BIFA welcomed easements for new customs declaration requirements and other checks on imports from the EU as part of delays in the implementation of Stages 2 and 3 of the Border Operating Model; delays introduced by the UK government to soften the impact of the UK’s departure from the EU single market and customs union at the end of 2020.

The clock is ticking Now the trade association says that whilst those easements have made life a little easier for UK importers, the clock is now ticking on the extended deadlines. Whilst BIFA director general, Robert Keen, notes speculation in the media that the delayed customs declarations timetable has simply delayed a potential crisis, he is confident that most BIFA members have now had the opportunity to prepare for completing new customs processes for imports from the continent. However, he also noted that any new importers should beware of the implications of failing to make the declarations that will become necessary. “That’s why we are encouraging them to consider appointing a freight forwarder, if they haven’t already done so, to deal with their customs documentation, whilst they concentrate on their core business, which has been hard hit by both BREXIT and COVID-19. “Feedback from our members suggests that one lesson learned from the changes implemented at the start of January this year is that

the practical application of the changes has often been as challenging or, in certain cases, more challenging than anticipated. Now, both the trade association and its members need to encourage traders to fully consider the likely impact of the requirements of Stages 2 and 3 on their business well before the implementation dates.” Whilst the government has provided advice and guidance on some of the changes, BIFA says that significant gaps in information remain, which need to be filled to allow businesses to make certain key operational decisions. Keen continues: “Despite constant pressure, we are still lacking full clarity as to which ports will be operating a Pre-Lodgement, as opposed to a Temporary Storage, model for processing cargo, for example. BIFA notes that from October 1 2021, there will be additional documentary checks on products of animal origin and high risk foods not of animal origin, whereby traders will be required to declare all SPS consignments on IPAFFS. The original documents will need to be submitted and these will be audited post clearance. Keen says: “The period after January 1 2021 was very challenging, although trade did not grind to a halt. However, the new fear is that we face much greater challenges after January 1 2022 than we did the previous year, if only because there are more new processes to master and, historically, levels of import traffic exceed exports by a considerable margin. “Clearly, there is much to consider and prepare for, and there is not much time to do so. Whilst we continue to help members with their own preparations, we are also encouraging them to help their clients that import from the EU to be equally prepared. Of particular concern is the level of preparedness and knowledge of EU suppliers with regard to the new import procedures to be adopted, and potentially the export procedures in Europe.”

Topo Solutions developing a new platform for REWE

SUPPLY chain software leader Topo Solutions is developing a new digital Supply Chain Management Platform for REWE Far East. It will increase efficiency by facilitating remote working, and enable transparency, traceability, and compliance in the supply chain. The Low Code solution uses visual interfaces and drag-and-drop features, replacing the need for extensive coding, which can be slow and costly to implement. “Topo empowers remote collaboration with all supply chain partners, automates workflows, reduces manual work, and enables

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data-driven decision making and transparency with advanced Data Analytics,” said Benjamin Eberle, Topo founder and CEO. Changing consumer behaviour is driving the need for more sustainable products and transparent supply chains. “We are designing a tailored solution for REWE Far East, which combines our Next Generation Platform, featuring the futuristic technologies of Software as a Service (SaaS), Low-Code, and Data Analytics, with our extensive experience with clients in the consumer goods industry,” said Eberle.

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CargoAi launches Tech Summer

TECH Summer is a three-day online event open to all. The goal of the Tech Summer series is to talk about the ways air cargo stakeholders can elevate their digitalisation activities through easy-to-apply tools and strategies in order to level up.

For its first Tech Summer, CargoAi offers participants the chance to take a break and learn more about tech. The CargoAi team and several members of the Board of Advisors, industry and tech experts will lead three sessions on the current hot topics:

Get behind the cloud and the hottest 3-letter code (API); Product: The best way to build a product in unchartered skies; and marketing and sales: The power to make waves (the good ones) for your business. “At CargoAi, our raison d’être has always been to digitalise air freight in a simple and human way. This Tech Summer is the concrete manifestation of this desire. “Our ambition is to make tech accessible to everyone by providing advice, explanations and a platform for exchanging best practices on the subject,” said Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi. Today, digitalisation is on the roadmap for all air cargo companies – and there is a lot of catching up to do. That is why the question remains as to whether this digitalisation is being undertaken correctly. Answers to this question can be found during the Tech Summer on August 3-5, with a studious but relaxed atmosphere guaranteed.

Emirates flies Olympic horses AS the eyes of sporting enthusiasts around the world turn to Tokyo, a group of very special champions are making their way to the Japanese capital on special flights operated by Emirates. Emirates SkyCargo is operating eight charter flights to fly 247 horses from Liege to Tokyo. The first flight with 36 dressage horses has already landed at Haneda airport, Tokyo. Emirates will be operating an additional eight flights for the return journey from Tokyo to Liege. The carrier is working with Peden Bloodstock, a leading international horse transportation specialist for this charter.

During the flights, the horses will be comfortably settled inside specially designed horse stalls. Emirates SkyCargo will be flying 131 horse stalls to transport the 247 horses. In addition, 59 grooms will also be flying with the horses on the eight flights to ensure that the animals are well cared for, fed and watered during the journey from Liege to Haneda via a brief stopover in Dubai. Emirates will be transporting 20 tonnes of in-flight food and drink for the horses along with 100 tonnes of special equipment for the onward journey from Liege.

Leipzig/Halle – Istanbul resumes for Turkish FROM July 15, Turkish Airlines restarted scheduled flights between Leipzig/Halle Airport and Istanbul. The airline’s cargo customers from Central Germany can use the connection to the international hub Istanbul on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Thanks to co-ordinated flight times, Istanbul Airport, which was newly opened in 2018, can easily reach destinations in Asia, the Middle East and Africa, among others. Flights to Istanbul depart at 11:20 on Thursdays and Saturdays with arrivals at 15:20. On Fridays and Sundays, Turkish Airlines aircraft take off from Leipzig/Halle at 18:05. and are expected in Istanbul at 22:05.

MAI partners with Citri MUNICH Airport, originator of operational readiness and airport transfer (ORAT) services, and Atlanta-based Citri Inc., as provider of an ORAT project management software, will partner in providing digital ORAT services to airport operators and infrastructure developers. The solution serves any airport operator, authority or investor who is planning and implementing an airport development project, be it an extension of existing infrastructure or construction of a new airport with landside and airfield facilities and systems. “ORAT was born in Munich in 1992, when Munich Airport relocated to its current site in an unprecedented overnight operation. Over the past 30 years we have successfully delivered more than 40 ORAT programmes worldwide and have improved and refined the process for the benefit of our customers continuously,” said Dr Ralf Gaffal, MAI’s managing director.

AFKLMP strengthens Sinotrans ties with Cargo SAF Programme

SINOTRANS Global E-commerce Logistics has joined the Air France KLM Martinair Cargo Sustainable Aviation Fuel Programme on its Hangzhou-Amsterdam route. The Cargo SAF Programme enables shippers and forwarders to power a share of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel, a cleaner substitute for conventional jet fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 85%. Participation in the programme confirms the industry’s drive to seek alternatives to fossil fuels for powering commercial aircraft, as well as its commitment to greater sustainability. Sinotrans Global E-commerce Logistics is headquartered in the Beijing Airport Economic Zone and will be offering a “green route” between Hangzhou and Amsterdam. The AFKLMP Cargo Sustainable Aviation Fuel Programme aims to create an environmentally friendly aviation industry, based on a clean, green and more efficient way of flying. The effects of environmental pollution are there for all to see. Harmful greenhouse gases, depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere, climate change and global warming demand a conscious and sustained effort by all. Sinotrans is similarly committed to social responsibility and, as a leading logistics company, continues to pay attention, devote time and pursue meaningful involvement in the field of environmental protection. At the start of the year, Sinotrans and AFKLMP Cargo signed a memorandum of understanding to further promote cross-border e-Commerce and contribute to promoting Sino-Dutch and SinoEuropean trade cooperation. By combining Air France-KLM’s global network and air transportation resources with the leading advantages offered by Sinotrans in ground operations, customs brokerage and domestic China-wide trucking services, the two companies are partnering to stabilise global supply chains and actively promote worldwide economic recovery. “This is an important signing and a new milestone that will push the strategic cooperation between the two parties to a new level,” said Xiao Chenglu, managing director of Sinotrans Global E-commerce Logistics. “We welcome Sinotrans to our Cargo SAF Programme, which makes it easy to understand and visualise the change one can make in reducing CO2 emissions on a trade lane or flight segment,” said GertJan Roelands, SVP of sales and distribution at Air France KLM Martinair Cargo.

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Nothing prickly about DHL Express Thailand

DHL Express Thailand has introduced Cactus Export Service to provide next-day delivery of delicate plants like cactuses from Thailand to Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Cactuses have become increasingly popular in Southeast Asia. This new service will allow local business owners to capture the opportunities of this increasing demand and expand their reach across the region. DHL Express provides cactus business owners with access to direct routes from Bangkok Hub and Gateway to the four country destinations. Full tracking visibility is enabled across the entire supply chain and supported by DHL Express’ own fleet of planes, ground transport and logistics facilities. “Conversations with customers in order to review our services and identify areas where we could improve is important to us. We are constantly looking at ways to better serve our customers, and to be the platform of choice. “By expanding our capa-

bilities to now include cactus delivery not only opens doors to new possibilities and cross-border opportunities for our customers, it also shows our versatility and commitment to meet their needs,” said Ken Lee, CEO, DHL Express Asia Pacific. According to the Global Succulent & Cactus Plants Market Report 2020, the Succulent & Cactus Plants Market will register 16.80% CAGR over the next six years to 2027. The four destinations accommodate international trade amid the COVID-19 gardening boom. Many cactus species are highly localised and tend to be slow-growing. These features make them particularly attractive to collectors interested in exclusivity. “The pandemic has accelerated the adoption of lifestyle e-Commerce. With our cactus export service, cactus business owners can take advantage of our global network and expertise to get their products quickly delivered. “This launch reflects our

commitment to Thai SMEs, the sector most affected by the pandemic. We continue exploring alternative services for them, working closely with our operations to establish compliant processes that address the restrictions for cactus shipping to accommodate them,” said Herbert Vongpusanachai, managing director at DHL Express Thailand & Head of Indochina.

CITES permit To deliver cacti to Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia with DHL Express, a CITES Permit (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora) is required by the customs authority, together with Phytosanitary Certification to certify that cactus is free from pests and aligns with conditions of the destination country. The recipient is advised to contact the ministry or relevant agency before the goods are delivered to prepare the import documents and facilitate prompt delivery.

100% business class airline partners with WFS for cargo launch LA Compagnie, the 100% business class airline, has appointed Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) to support its first-ever venture into the air cargo market. It has awarded WFS a three-year contract to handle cargo onboard its Airbus A321LR services from Paris Orly to Newark International. This is the first time La Compagnie has carried cargo onboard its business passenger services. Depending on the number of passengers, each flight is expected to carry up to 3.5 tonnes to and from France and the US. Damien Paries, VP ground operations, La Compagnie-Dreamjet, said: “As a global leader in air cargo handling, WFS is the perfect partner to support the launch of our first-ever freight service. We are confident they will provide the same high-quality experience for our cargo customers as our passengers enjoy when they choose La Compagnie.” WFS also holds ground handling contracts with La Compagnie in Newark for its passen-

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ger and ramp services to Paris Orly and Nice. “La Compagnie has recognised the significant business opportunity of carrying cargo on this prime route connecting Paris and New York and, by choosing to partner with WFS, can be assured of the highest standards of cargo safety and security operations, as well as proactive customer service. We are confident companies moving cargo between Europe and North America will welcome another choice of capacity in the market and we look forward to contributing to La Compagnie’s success,” added John Batten, executive vice president cargo - EMEAA at WFS.

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TIACA SPECIAL: BEST PRACTICES AND GREAT RESULTS INSPIRE SUCCESS IN AIRFREIGHT

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he biggest issue facing the aviation industry today is sustainability. Though it is at the top of many companies’ agendas, for true change to be realised it is imperative that companies are fully invested in the process of making the industry, and the world, more sustainable in all senses of the word. The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) is leading the way for the sector and in April realised the industry’s first sustainability report. The organisation performed a widespread industry survey and analysed the results to form a “ground zero” assessment by which future progress can be measured. The report’s findings will also feed TIACA’s overall sustainability strategy and support enhanced work programmes addressing each of the organisations three key areas: People, Planet, Prosperity, supported by innovation and partnership. “We see that TIACA has a very important role to play in terms of spotlighting and showcasing as many initiatives as we can that positively impact, People, Planet or Prosperity,” Glyn Hughes, TIACA director general told ACW. “This is also why we established the TIACA Sustainability Awards and why we encourage every organisation, not just TIACA members, to submit a nomination. We want to show the world the great innovative spirit that runs through the entire air cargo community.”

An interview with Glyn Hughes, TIACA director general

nities for countries to get their products to global markets supporting national economic prosperity and aligned to the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “And whilst providing these opportunities, we need to do so with environmental responsibility at the heart of what we

do. We have a collective responsibility to leave the planet in a better condition than that which we find it today.”

Complete sustainability What can the global airfreight industry to achieve the goal of complete sustainability? Hughes told ACW: “It starts with us all recognising the role we can play as individuals then as companies then as a community. “The more we identify common objectives and goals the greater the ability for the community to collaborate in their attainment. “Communities challenge each other, support each other and show each other through tangible actions. We also hope the TIACA sustainability awards will help in this direction as well. Best practices and great results will inspire others to follow and strive to succeed.”

Innovative spirit Aviation currently accounts for 2.5% of global CO2 emissions but alternatives to traditional jet fuel are being explored and it is the industry’s innovative spirit that will drive this change. IATA believes innovative SAF programmes will make a large contribution to cutting emissions and huge investments by the likes of AFKLMP, DB Schenker and Kuehne+Nagel to name just a few have already been made. Though SAF plays an important role in creating a greener cargo industry, it is not the only approach stakeholders can adopt to become environmentally cleaner. “There is so much being done in this area by all sectors of the supply chain,” said Hughes. “From energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, digitalisation of process, next generation of air and ground vehicles, electrification of ground based vehicles, recycling programmes, technological developments regarding single use plastics, reduction of packaging waste, optimisation of facility usage… the list is really quite exciting. “It’s true to say that innovation will lead the way and the most important fact is that everyone is on the case.”

Digital drive Environmental sustainability does stand in isolation, other components, namely the digitalisation of the industry, which has been a big topic of conversation, play an important role. “Digitalisation is about efficiency and optimisation, about organisational benefits that also translate into employee and customer benefits. “From reduced physical paper to greater utilisation of assets and resources, there are many benefits derived from a digitalised approach to business. Optimisation and efficiency also directly translate into greatly-reduced environmental impact. It’s about moving everything forward,” Hughes explained.

A global community Part of creating a socially sustainable industry is about fostering content and nurtured staff. Without a valued workforce making change in the industry and in the wider world is impossible. “We need to ensure we have an inclusive and diverse workforce, offering opportunities to all sectors of society regardless of age, education, gender, religion, ethnicity, orientation or any other differentiator which makes us all unique. We need to provide opportunities for education and growth,” said Hughes. “We also need to recognise the role the industry plays in the wider global community. Air cargo provides opportu-

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FVL IS GAINING SPEED LAUNCHED last year, Rhenus’ Full Vehicle Logistics (FVL) solution is gaining speed in the logistics world. The programme has allowed the company to further expand its automotive offering and focus on the movement of complete cars via air, ocean or road. In its first six months of operations alone, the vehicle logistics service transported 86 high performance cars, worth more than €100,000,000 in total. Ulrich Schorb, head of supply chain Americas, Rhenus Logistics spoke to ACW about the programme.

ACW: What trends in supply/ demand for automotive emerged during the pandemic?

Ulrich Schorb: During the pandemic, we see several trends in the automotive industry. Some are directly related to the pandemic, such as: · Unforeseeable labour issues and shortage of personnel coming into work. Due to the given rules and regulations by governments, this has caused interruptions in the production of the OEM and suppliers and, therefore, in the overall supply chain. · Uncertainty of production companies’ pre-vaccination activity in 2020 as many did not know how to manage social distancing and protection measures like disinfection of the workspace, causing production delay. There have also been indirect related trends such as: · Shortages of transport equipment and capacity in the supply chain · Shortages of chips and ROH products for the automotive industry.

ANTONOV AIRLINES FLEXING AUTO MUSCLES

WHEN it comes to heavylift cargo, Antonov Airlines’ capabilities are unmatched. These capabilities came in particularly useful when three Rosenbauer Panther 6x6 fire trucks had to be transported at short notice. The Russian cargo heavyweight moved the 63 tonnes consignment on a single AN-124-100M-150 flight from the Middle East to Central Asia. “When Rosenbauer came back to us and described the developments that affected the movement of its fire trucks, Antonov Airlines was able to connect this cargo with flight schedules already operating in the region to provide a cost-effective and time-sensitive solution that met Rosenbauer’s demands,” explained Ivan Bozhko, commercial executive at Antonov Airlines. Throughout the pandemic, Antonov has continued to fly challenging shipments from A to B to support the automotive industry. “We have actually observed an increase in automotive traffic since the start of the year as assembly plants around the world are currently ramping up production,” Iryna Kyianytsia, commercial executive, Antonov Airlines told ACW. “Antonov Airlines has recently safely transported 80 tonnes of automotive parts on a route from Indonesia and Vietnam to Ohio, USA to support increasing demand from vehicle manufacturers as plants across the USA reopen.” Kyianytsia noted that the most in-demand region for automotive cargo is the USA. “In some countries where we have been transporting automotive parts, the flight crew

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Iryna Kyianytsia were not allowed to come out from their designated hotel. “They received rapid COVID-19 tests during each rest window prior to receiving clearance to travel to the next technical stop airport,” she said. “For another project, the AN-124-100 had to pick up 40 tonnes of parts in Yogyakarta, Indonesia and a further 40 tonnes in Hanoi, Vietnam. A double pick-up is not usual in the day-to-day operations of the AN-124-100,” Kyianytsia explained.

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· These shortages (transportation equipment, chips, etc.) most probably will challenge the automotive industry post-pandemic. ACW: How has Rhenus coped with the backlog for automotive cargo now supply chains are moving again? Schorb: Supply chains are certainly moving again; however, we still see many interruptions and short-time problem-solving demands. Therefore, Rhenus is securing the capacity of transportation space by enlarging the few into the demands and production plans for our clients. We are enhancing the stock levels together with our clients along the supply chain over the world. This is done via object-oriented supply chain IT tools. These tools help the control towers of Rhenus to make faster and better decisions to support our clients. Online visibility of the supply chain is essential. ACW: What automotive shipments has Rhenus moved recently? Schorb: All kinds, like simple parts, components, and full vehicles in all modes via road, rail, air, and sea. Rhenus is not only storing and shipping goods for the automotive industry, but also providing value-added assembly for suppliers and OEMs as part of the industries’ value chain. ACW: What unique challenges come with supporting automotive supply chains? Schorb: The challenges are a consistently high volume of changes in the demand of parts and supply chain, meaning just in time or just in sequence.

ACW: What are the main routes for automotive cargo? Schorb: The cargo is moving from and to the centres of gravity of the automotive-industry - USA, Mexico, Brazil, Europe, Asia (mainly China). ACW: How are automotive supply chains evolving and embracing new technologies? Schorb: We will see new material flows for electronic vehicles. Electronic car batteries are heavier and dangerous compared to traditional automotive. This will bring new challenges to the automotive logistics sector due to the complexity of the life cycle of an electric car battery. From the production to the installation of the battery in a vehicle and the operational use of an electric car, automotive supply chains will need to understand the process for these specific batteries, including when they reach their end-of-life cycle. The battery can either be recycled or re-purposed for a second life. There is not yet a clear understanding of how to recycle a battery to get the good raw materials out of it since it may contain hazardous materials. Therefore, a second battery life cycle seems to be the most common solution and provides the most value in the market. Coronavirus, shortages in transportation capacity, and parts shortages will push for more and better management by exception methods and tools. The foreseeable leg of qualified people with high motivation for customer satisfaction in the logistics industry will push further for innovations in the automotive supply chain. New technologies are required to develop into a green footprint in the automotive supply chain!

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IN a major two-part interview, GertJan Roelands, SVP sales and distribution Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, tells ACW how AFKLMP Cargo’s strategy is paying off

What lessons, if any, have you learned in the pandemic that you will take forward into your recovery planning?

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or most, the pandemic came out of the blue. Did AFKLMP have any contingency plans in place for such an event? Were you caught by surprise?

I don’t think anyone could have foreseen the far-reaching impact of this pandemic. To be agile and continuously adapt to a changing environment and demands is an important part of our organisational DNA. We have a clear purpose to keep supply chains running. Since the start of the crisis, we’ve been rebuilding our cargo network in close co-operation with customers and the authorities. We’ve been utilising our full freighter fleet in combination with passenger freighters and our cargo-driven network. Initially, the main focus was on shipping COVID-19-related relief goods such as PPE, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. We also had to focus on building a network of destinations to carry food-related products and other perishables. Apart from our network strategy, the level of innovation has also made all the difference. We introduced concepts like passenger charters, cargo in cabin, cargo seat bags and kickcharter, an auction platform where customers could participate in passenger charter capacity to specific destinations. Additionally, our digital investments in recent years have paid off. Our myCargo platform provides customers the option of doing business with us 24/7 from anywhere and in a very easy-to-use environment. We’ve seen a significant growth in terms of online bookings, moving to a level of close to 65%. Our overall strategy is paying off. Since Q4 2020, we have been serving more than 110 long-haul destinations, one of the most extensive cargo networks in the industry. In Q1 this year, we were ranked the largest European-based combined passenger/cargo airline in terms of weight and revenue.

The last period has again shown how important it is to be very close to our customers. Because of this, we have been able to rapidly rebuild our cargo-driven network. Additionally, we have intensified the level of communication, both externally and internally. Especially in times of uncertainty, it’s important to communicate frequently. We have used our website, customer newsletters and video calls for this. We’ve seen first-hand what a big difference social media can make as well. Moving forward, we will invest more in this as a communications channel, but also as a potential service channel. Also, as mentioned, our digital services made a significant impact. We’ve been one of the first movers in the industry when it comes to this topic. Given the success and potential moving forward, this will be one of key pillars in terms of investment. Another example is the dedicated COVID-19 vaccine proposition we introduced. Part of this is the 24/7 monitoring and intervention management process. This is typical of our proactive approach and we would like to further enhance this service in the future. E-Commerce has exploded during the pandemic. Will this impact airfreight operations going forward? What impact might this have? In recent years, the cross-border e-Commerce market already achieved double-digit growth. During the COVID-19 period, we have witnessed acceleration. Based on various studies, expectations are that this trend will persist. E-Commerce embraces different types of shipments with different lead times. For both the mass e-Commerce flows and the more high-end e-Commerce and express solutions, further requirements in terms handling and service will be needed. For example, IOT-related solutions such a trackers will become increasingly important in order to meet the demands of shippers and consumers. Are you leaving the pandemic with the same staff numbers you entered with or have you lost staff? Have you actually gained new people that wouldn’t have joined if it were not for the pandemic? As a combined passenger and cargo airline, we’ve been contending with financial challenges driven by the fall-back

of the passenger business prompted by the COVID-19 travel restrictions. This means we have been exploring significant company-wide efficiencies, including the cargo division. At the cargo division, we have accelerated our transformation. Over and above structurally reducing costs, we have also invested and will continue to invest in value-adding services and technology. We have a clear objective to be a leading force in the industry, in terms of service, distribution and sustainability. From a commercial perspective, this means that we’ve been adapting our service model by changing the structure of our customer service organisation, by further investing in digital services and by adapting our channel strategy, to develop new servicing solutions and to further train and develop our people. In the end, we aim to offer the full customer journey within our online environment. In the months ahead, we expect to release some industry breakthrough solutions, which will create significant potential efficiencies for our customers. We are about to deploy a structural upgrade of our API solution, making our API endpoint structure ready for the upcoming IATA standard. This standard, called Modernising Cargo Distribution (MCD), is part of IATA’s ONE.Record initiative. Back in 2019, AFKLMP urged IATA to expand ONE.Record with a standard for the distribution API, as it will enable our customers to invest only once, connecting to one standardised API solution that all airlines adhere to, instead of creating different API solutions for each individual airline. We see our customers increasingly displaying B2C needs in a B2B environment. This also means that the need for more tailored and targeted solutions and next level services is key. The use of big data, AI and technology play a key role in this respect. Part of the transformation has been to hire a team of data scientists, to transform our marketing department into a digital marketing and customer experience focused department by hiring new talent with the necessary experience and knowledge. These are just a few examples of our transformation. Also, from an operational perspective, we have game-changing initiatives at both our hubs in AMS, CDG and at our outstations that will be implemented in the course of the year. This reflects a combination of infrastructure and process-related initiatives, but further investments in technology and innovation are key enablers here too.

Part 2 next week.

aircargoweek.com

Profile for Azura International

ACW 26th July 2021  

ACW 26th July 2021  

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