ACW Daily news 10th November 22

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Cathay Pacific and Unilode extend ULD management partnership until 2027


athay Pacific and Unilode Aviation Solutions have announced the renewal of their fullservice ULD management agreement until 2027. Cathay Pacific and Unilode have partnered on a wide range of ULD-related services and innovation projects since 2014 including the integration of Unilode readers into stations across the Cathay Pacific route network, as part of the successful rollout of Unilode’s IATA Cargo Innovation Awardwinning digitalisation solution. Cathay Pacific and Unilode will now build on this milestone by partnering on several joint cargo projects, framing an upcoming five-year digital roadmap to improve operational efficiencies, transparency and data accuracy throughout the supply chain. “Cathay Pacific Cargo is pleased to renew its

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contract with Unilode. The refreshed partnership goes beyond traditional ULD leasing and management, with increased commitment from Unilode of digital resources to facilitate Cathay Pacific Cargo’s agenda to further drive productivity, efficiency and safe operations through digitalisation initiatives,” Frosti Lau, General Manager Cargo Service Delivery, Cathay Pacific, said. “Cathay Pacific is Unilode’s largest ULD management customer, operating a fleet of approximately 26,000 containers and pallets. We are delighted and proud to continue providing our full-service ULD management solutions to Cathay Pacific. We are also excited to broaden the scope of our partnership as we explore new products and services together in order to enhance our service offering,” Ross Marino, Chief Executive Officer, Unilode, said.

DUE to ongoing global disruptions and the need for further diversification of cargo flows, the Rhenus Group has ... PAGE 3

AVIANCA CARGO ADDS THREE ... AS part of its digital transformation and growth plan, Avianca Cargo has announced that it has joined ... PAGE 4

KUEHNE+NAGEL AND NOVO ... NOVO Nordisk has partnered with Kuehne+Nagel to drive the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) ... PAGE 8

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20/10/2022 12:34



DUE to ongoing global disruptions and the need for further diversification of cargo flows, the Rhenus Group has declared the Americas as a vital region. The global logistics service provider is investing further in North, Central and South America, focusing on its goal to complete its global network of locations. Rhenus is committing to creating more sustainable transportation and expanding its freight forwarding services as well as warehousing solutions across the Americas. This announcement was made by the Rhenus Group on Wednesday at the Transport Logistic Americas trade show in Miami, where the company is exhibiting and highlighting its portfolio of services, solutions, and innovations. “We want to further strengthen our footprint in the Americas by enhancing the sustainable organic growth of the company and focus on mergers and acquisitions,” Tobias Koenig, Global CEO of Rhenus Air & Ocean, said. “The group will continue to successfully grow in the western hemisphere by investing across the Americas to build a stronger transatlantic network with Europe, intensify transpacific cargo flows, and expand into contract logistics and multimodal transportation in Latin America.” In the Americas, Rhenus is currently represented with 21 locations in eight countries. The company specialises in air freight and air cargo charter services, ocean freight forwarding, road transportation, warehousing solutions, customs clearance, and project logistics. Having invested in a 15,000-square-metre warehouse that is designated as a foreign trade zone and gateway to Latin America, the regional headquarters in Miami operate as the essential hub for the rest of the Americas.


Edward Hardy

Director of Operations:

Kim Smith

International Sales Director:

Rosa Bellanca

International Sales Executive:

Zainab Khalid

Finance Manager:

Rachel Burns

Video Director:

Michael Sales

Design & Production Manager: Alex Brown Website Consultant:

Tim Brocklehurst

Directors: Norman Bamford • William Carr • Dawn Jolley Printed by: Smart Advertising, Miami, Florida, USA. The views and opinions expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publishers. Whilst every care is taken, the publishers cannot be held legally responsible for any errors in articles or advertisements. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by electronic, mechanical, photographic or other means without the prior consent of the publishers. USA: The publishers shall not be liable for losses, claims, damages or expenses arising out of or attributed to the contents of Air Cargo Week, insofar as they are based on information, presentations, reports or data that have been publicly I N T E R N AT I O N A L disseminated, furnished or otherwise communicated to Air Cargo Week.


Rhenus Group designates the Americas as the key region for growth and business



Astral Aviation selects ACL Airshop as a strategic partner

ASTRAL Aviation has confirmed a multi-year ULD (Unit Load Device) agreement with ACL Airshop. Astral Aviation and ACL Airshop have teamed up to enhance the logistics efficiencies of Astral Aviation’s ULD fleet, including the introduction of “ULD ControlTM” for real-time tracking of ULDs. That, combined with ACL’s global Operations Center and the innovative “FindMyULD” mobile App all operate together for better utilisation rates and cost efficiencies. “Astral Aviation values its strategic partnership with ACL Airshop. As we expand our air cargo network, we are enthused to extend their relationship with us through this multi-year agreement,” Sanjeev Gadhia, Chief Executive Officer of Astral Aviation, said. “Astral’s unique strengths across Africa are admirably formidable, plus their expanding network of operations to other continents. With the industry’s largest independent fleet of Lease-Ready ULDs and our own growing network of service hubs on 6 continents, our objective is to cost-effectively help Astral Aviation keep growing as a trusted leader in air cargo,” Steve Townes, CEO of ACL Airshop, said.

Avianca Cargo adds three distribution platforms to expand digital offerings As part of its digital transformation and growth, Avianca Cargo has announced it has placed its capacity on three online booking portals of the industry: Cargo Ai, WebCargo, and “In Avianca Cargo, we are transforming our business through digitalisation. We are committed to offering our customers a reliable service with more options every day. Partnering with the top portals of the industry will allow us to continue strengthening our position as one of the leader carriers in the region and provide users the opportunity to find rates and available capacity in real-time, book our products and receive an immediate booking confirmation,” Gabriel Oliva, CEO of Avianca Cargo, said. By expanding its digital offer, this partnership allows the Latin American carrier to promote its services in more than 10,000 freight forwarders across more than 100 countries. The integration with the distribution platforms was also possible through the work developed along with IBS and the implementation of iPartner Customer, a solution that enables seamless connectivity. “Avianca is firmly committed to strengthening its cargo business, and that includes an intense digitalisation strategy,” Matthieu Petot, CEO of CargoAi, explained. “Avianca Cargo recently completed the implementation of our digital innovation partner, IBS Software’s unified air cargo management platform, iCargo. With iCargo as its digital foundation, this meant that the integration of our Marketplace and API Suite products was particularly quick and easy. We are beyond proud to be Avianca Cargo’s marketplace when it comes to delivering real-time capacity and booking opportunities to our international forwarder network and look forward to being a key sales driver as our esteemed new airline partner continues to successfully expand.”

Through digitalisation, Avianca Cargo aims at making its customer experience a more transparent and simpler one. This transformation allows to seamlessly integrate its capacity and rates with its customers’ systems. “We’re committed to working with airline partners like Avianca Cargo to improve the efficiency of global trade” Camilo Garcia, WebCargo’s VP Global Business Development, said. “With forward-thinking airlines like Avianca Cargo, we are making air cargo more accessible and efficient. What starts with APIs ultimately leads to tangible benefits for all consumers, like fresher, more affordable roses”. “Following extensive partnership experience with many of the world’s leading cargo carriers, we

We’re committed to working with airline partners like Avianca Cargo to improve the efficiency of global trade

are delighted to expand Avianca’s digital footprint to thousands more forwarders in all corners of the world. With our unique partnership approach, teams will support Avianca to drive customer centricity, and navigate the technological and organisational steps needed to gain maximum advantage from their digital distribution,” Moritz Claussen, Founder & Co-CEO of, commented.

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19/10/2022 14:36



Shaw & Co launches second annual automotive, transport and logistics sector report


haw & Co, the specialist corporate finance advisory firm, has launched its second annual in-depth report into the automotive, transport & logistics (ATL) industry. The report segments 2,033 ATL businesses with earnings of over £1 million by size and sub-sector – aerospace, automotive, marine,

and transportation & logistics – to track their performance, profitability, debt levels, borrowing capacity and M&A activity.

Scale The industry is highly concentrated, with just 6% of the 2,033 companies analysed accounting for 66% of total turnover. Business owners

should consider increasing their revenue generating capacity either organically or by acquisition, the report found. There continues to be a wealth of available funds in the debt market, although lenders are naturally more cautious given the current economic headwinds. Organic revenue growth through product innovation, better online presence, having stock on hand (considering the current supply chain interruptions), or by shoring up working capital, are all fundable options.

Profitability The data showed how effective smaller businesses have been competing with the giants and preserving their own market share. Indeed, gross margin level and bottom-line profitability are largely comparable between firms with an EBITDA of between £3 million and £30 million. Most likely, the report suggested this implies that whatever scale advantages larger players generate, are passed on to consumers in more aggressive pricing from larger players.

Borrowing Over the last 12 months, with the exception of transportation & logistics, debt levels have marginally increased across most sub sectors. Nearly 50% of the total industry debt is carried by the transportation & logistics sub sector. Value of debt within a business, especially fixed rate debt, is a naturally positive feature in an in-

flationary environment. Business owners with growth aspirations should consider the alternative lending market to fund growth projects or scale driven acquisitions of competitors, key suppliers or distributors, the report claimed.

Mergers & Acquisitions 108 M&A deals were delivered during the past 12 months, of which 72% were completed by UK buyers. This is particularly true for smaller deals. Outside the UK, US and Canadian buyers are the most prominent. In many cases businesses will already know the companies that are most likely to acquire them as they will already be key players in this market, Shaw & Co stated.

Benchmark performance “We are delighted to have launched our second annual, in-depth Automotive, Transport & Logistics sector report. We hope it will help SME business owners benchmark their own and their peers’ performance in the sector and aid their decision-making processes,” Colin Burns, director – business funding, at Shaw & Co and editor of the report, said. “Our aim is to provide small business leaders with free access to the same market intelligence as larger blue-chip corporates, who benefit from investment banking advisors. The report will also provide SMEs with valuable insight in terms of their relative creditworthiness and attractiveness from an M&A point of view,” Burns added.

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24/10/2022 10:56



Kuehne+Nagel and Novo Nordisk expand global partnership into low carbon fuels


ovo Nordisk has partnered with Kuehne+Nagel to drive the development of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). This will be a step towards meeting the ambitious Novo Nordisk target to reach zero CO2 emissions from operations and transport by 2030. With the deployment of 12 million litres of SAF, Novo Nordisk will be able to replace fossil fuel for all Kuehne+Nagel airfreight shipments in 2022.

Transitioning to a low carbon business model Having set ambitious carbon reduction targets, Kuehne+Nagel actively supports customers with their transition to a low carbon business model by providing various solutions for reducing or avoiding carbon emissions. As one of the key activities, Kuehne+Nagel continues to invest into the adoption of alternative aviation fuels and expand its offering. Novo Nordisk chose the Kuehne+Nagel sustainable fuel solution to reduce the environmental footprint of their air freight shipments in 2022. Use of 12 million litres of Kuehne+Nagel SAF for all Novo Nordisk air freight avoids direct emission of around 30,000 tonnes of CO2. Such commitment underlines a growing demand for low carbon shipping options, leading to an increase in the production, development and deployment of SAF. In this effort, Kuehne+Nagel has been actively raising awareness across the industry by promoting the importance of sustainable fuels as the most effective measure to reduce the environmental footprint of airfreight.

“Novo Nordisk is not only leading the way in driving change to defeat diabetes and other serious chronic diseases, but also in their shipping by using sustainable options. I am pleased that with our global SAF solutions, customers can easily switch to low carbon air transport. It’s another step on the way to the “zero impact” goal and yet another signal for more sustainable fuel production and use globally,” Yngve Ruud, member of the management board of Kuehne+Nagel responsible for Air Logistics, said:. “This is yet another step in Novo Nordisk’s continuous support of the development of sustainable aviation fuel. Our airfreight accounts for most of our product distribution emissions as we provide life-saving medicines to patients around the world. We want to drive change in this area to help pave the way for other companies to also transition and cut emissions,” Dorethe Nielsen, vice president of corporate environmental strategy at Novo Nordisk, added. By joining the Science Based Targets initiative, Kuehne+Nagel has set ambitious environmental goals in transitioning to a low carbon business model. This is is done by reducing the company’s own carbon emissions and supporting its customers with their transition.

Options on the table Depending on the production method, there are two types of SAF: Bio SAF and synthetic SAF. Bio SAF is made from biomass —waste products and feedstocks with low carbon content. It is not entirely carbon neutral. It still generates CO2 emissions during production, processing and

transport. However, it can reduce emissions by 75% – 90% depending on the base components of the Bio SAF. The primary energy source and feedstocks for the production of synthetic SAF are renewable electricity, water and carbon dioxide (CO2). At the moment, the only commercially available technology of Bio SAF production is hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA), which refines used cooking oils, waste oils and fats into SAF. Synthetic SAF is considered the long‐term solution for the industry as it can be produced without availability limits, avoiding biomass supply limitations, and can reduce emissions up to 100%.

This is yet another step in Novo Nordisk’s continuous support of the development of sustainable aviation fuel

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03/10/2022 15:03


Going for growth in an unpredictable environmen


tihad Cargo is focused on growing as the air cargo market expands, with its eye on opportunities to evolve, as it navigates out of a period of unpredictable chaos and disruption in the market. In that time, it’s been important for Etihad Cargo to work with partners who understand its objectives and can help it to achieve its targets, as well as exploring areas within the business, embracing innovation. At a time when the airline is facing a number of tough challenges, such as supply chain shortages, border restrictions, fuel costs and more, Etihad Cargo is set, as it heads into 2023, on proactively taking steps to best utilise the carrier’s assets and resources.

Proud of punctuality With other airlines embracing digitalisation, expanding operations and becoming increasingly sustainable, it’s the extra touch that counts. Etihad Cargo’s selling point comes in the form of punctuality. Over the summer, despite a sea of challenges, Etihad was ranked as the most punctual airline in the Middle East and worldwide. With an on-time arrival performance rating within 15 minutes of 83%, when companies are looking at which airline to ensure their cargo arrives on-time, Etihad has the ability to say it is flying above its competitors. In fact, Etihad didn’t just deliver during the summer, the punctuality ratings showed Etihad was one of the few airlines in the region that consistent-

ly operates towards an 80% on-time arrival performance, with one of the lowest cancellation rates worldwide. “Etihad’s stable performance throughout an extremely challenging summer demonstrates our unwavering commitment to delivering our flight schedule on time and providing a high-quality end-to-end experience,” Mohammad Al Bulooki, Etihad’s chief operating officer, said earlier this year. “Etihad is constantly looking at ways to enhance operational efficiency and service by using the latest technology.”

Focus on being environmentally-friendly Sustainability is a buzzword that is consistently at the centre of discussions at logistics conferences around the world, as companies seek to bolster their credentials in this area. For Etihad Cargo though, it’s more than just a performative measure, it’s a key element of their strategy, having signed up to multiple programmes in recent months to show its commitment. In September, Etihad Cargo became the first Middle Eastern carrier to join TIACA’s BlueSky programme, advancing its own sustainability journey. The multi-sector sustainability verification programme will see greater visibility, benchmarking the airline against eight sustainable criteria, such as decarbonisation and waste elimination. This was followed by an announcement that Etihad Cargo is partnering with IATA to trial a CO2 emissions calculation tool, specifically developed


Etihad has been bolstering its relationship with Airbus recently, with 14 A320s in its fleet and five A350 passenger aircraft already delivered and in operation. At the time of the order of the A350Fs, Etihad was clear that it is part of the airline’s commitment to reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050, ordering a “remarkable fuel-efficient aircraft.” “The A350 complements our existing fleet. It’s a fantastic aircraft. We operate five of them at present on the passenger side and we’ve really been impressed with the performance. When we look at sustainability and the sort of emissions on that aircraft, it just makes sense,” Isik said.


for cargo flights. The aim of the trial is to provide a valuable proof of concept for the cargo component of the IATA CO2 Connect carbon calculator, which has been successfully operating for passenger flights since June this year. “It’s a natural step for us to do that, as we are targeting becoming carbon neutral by 2050,” Tim Isik, vice president – commercial, said. “We hope to see other carriers in the programme as well, so that collectively we can all work together to make air cargo more sustainable and build on some of the topics and discussions we’ve had.” Most recently, Etihad Airways and World Energy embarked on a mission to collaborate and demonstrate the future of net zero aviation. The partnership will aim to see the airline operate the first net zero flight powered entirely by Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Book & Claim system. The initiative hopes to prove net zero commercial aviation is possible, while confronting logistical challenges to turn the potential into the routine.

Partnering with Airbus Etihad, which operates one of the youngest fleets in the world, averaging at 6.2 years, has adopted both Airbus and Boeing aircraft in the past, seeking to take advantage of the most efficient and effective planes available. With five Boeing 777 freighters in its active fleet at the moment, the airline has recently ordered seven new generation A350F freighters. The move is part of Etihad’s evolution to upgrade its fleet with the most efficient cargo aircraft in the market.

It’s a natural step for us to do that, as we are targeting becoming carbon neutral by 2050


GSAs keep airline


Global GSA’s Group’s CEO Ismail Durmaz’s quote is emblazoned on the front of the company’s website: “Behind every successful airline, there is a dedicated GSA.” That has arguably never been more true, as companies look to grow and profit more from new and existing business in a period of phenomenal opportunity after the disruptive two years the industry has been through. With a proud history, dating back nearly 30 years, Global GSA Group was the first independent cargo GSA, founded in the Netherlands in 1995. Since then, the business has gone from strength to strength, representing 65 airlines and covering 138 airports with 174 offices in 44 countries.

All-service airline representation GSAs, while initially just General Sales Agents for airlines in specific countries or regions, now need to be able to provide a well-rounded service. That’s why Global GSA Group consists of a team of professional, energetic and dynamic people to provide an international network with experience, flexibility, valuable contacts and a high standard of expertise. This plays out in a tailor-made solution that fits the specific needs of the airline using their services, whether it be boosting brand awareness, yield improvement or cost reduction. The company has always recognised that outsourcing commercial

air cargo activities provides for competitive advantages. It allows for enhanced focus, cost effectiveness and practical reduction of administrative workload. With the cargo market being more competitive than ever today, Global GSA Group believes airlines and cargo carriers can benefit in this moment from propositions that add value. At a time of multiple challenges, Global GSA Group sees itself as being able to help its partners remain competitive. Airlines want to expand operations but have to balance their business ambitions with rising fuel and energy costs, as well as the lingering effects of the Covid pandemic. However, Global GSA Group sees investment as playing a key role, both in its own operations and those of the airlines it works with. “As a GSA, we will invest in the coming years on our people,” Durmaz stated, citing how the boom in e-commerce is helping to drive growth for the sector.

The right IT solution for your operations Offering a range of operations, from tracking and tracing to flight planning, as well as a suite of management tools, administrative options and other services, Global GSA Group recognises the importance of technological innovation within the industry. Digitalisation has kicked into a new gear since the Covid pandemic swept through the industry, hampering operations.


ines competitive For airlines and cargo carriers that wish to maintain efficient, effective and up-to-date communications with partners to deliver goods on time, it’s critical in the eyes of a GSA for them to have the digital tools needed to maximise the potential within their business. “We are having a huge investment into this and trying to work with partners, like CargoAI. You cannot predict anything in this world because of what’s going on. But what we do is invest in people and all this to try to cooperate across the industry.”

Growing sustainably As a business, Global GSA Group is committed to growing but in a way that means it consistently evolves to maximise the opportunities available, while minimising its environmental footprint. Having acquired three companies in the past year as it builds its portfolio abroad, Global GSA Group understands the challenges of expanding in the current environment, as

well as the issues on the ground within regions where it is operating. As its customers are focused on taking positive actions, Global GSA Group looks to lessen the negative impact their operations have in the sector. Bearing the slogan a “committed partner with solid solutions,” Global GSA Group looks to live up to that mission daily, going above and beyond to meet the targets of its customers in a way that they can be proud of. This is a key pillar for Global GSA Group, which has appointed a key executive to oversea the steps they are taking and those they work with to become more environmentally-friendly. This reflects the shift in the industry to growing in a sustainable manner, rather than just in a way that is driven by profits and financial ambitions. Alongside normal talking points, like volume, capacity, aircrafts and rates, sustainability is now right up there in the areas of consideration weighed by airlines, Durmaz explained.

We are having a huge investment into this and trying to work with partners, like CargoAI


Optimising revenue across the airfreight indu


iremind was founded with the belief that great products are the result of the use of modern technologies. Driven by the ambition to make a difference in revenue optimisation, the company seeks to use innovation, frequent releases of products and co-construction at the heart of

its solutions. From its origins in 2014, the company’s solutions have been adopted in different parts of the transport and logistics sector. First, Wiremind launched its SkyPallet end-to-end capacity optimisation solution, using comprehensive algorithms to help airlines, GSAs, Ground Handling Agent’s and freight forwarders. In 2020, SNCF, one of the world’s largest rail operators, selected Wiremind’s CAYZYN revenue management solution to optimise its TGV INOUI high-speed services, as well as its other trains.

Dedicated air cargo unit In 2021, Wiremind launched Wiremind Cargo, a dedicated air cargo industry unit, led by CEO Nathanaël de Tarade and CTO Etienne Corbillé. Around the same time, the company unveiled its cargo management system, CargoStack, to address the needs of the airfreight industry. “Over the past months, we have structured Wiremind Cargo as a separate business entity, and established a strong team of experts dedicated entirely to the needs of the airfreight industry. Our engineers all have a background in transport and logistics, and are well-versed in how airlines, GSAs, Ground Handling Agent’s and freight forwarders operate,” de Tarade said at the time.

The dedicated unit and the solution alongside it came at a highly challenging time for airlines. While this can be disruptive for the air cargo industry, it presents an attractive prospect for Wiremind Cargo with the potential for growth in areas of coordination and data management. “If you look at efficiency, the way the cargo industry works, there are areas where we believe there’s a lot to improve,” de Tarade explained. “When you speak to people near or in the industry, they tell you they don’t have the tools, resources, partnerships or collaboration to do what they need to do. So, that’s where we found there is a space for us.”

Enhance efficiency Using their experience in the technology space, Wiremind Cargo is working on delivering efficient solutions for capacity management, flight optimisation, inventory, pricing, reservations, etc to name a few areas. Their goal is to have a cargo management platform that is adopted in the industry, supporting and facilitating the daily work of people within the sector, from the cargo sales side to operations. Citing one area where efficient process were clearly lacking, de Tarade highlighted how on something basic like aircraft types there was confusion that slowed down the process. Instead, of a standardised system, you’d find that the data was different or organised in another way depending on the airlines. “Small things like that make your database’s complexity explode in the end.” “The non-standardised system is the rule in cargo and for digital tools to yield value, for algorithms to be efficient, the data is really the entry point and you have to try and address and solve that,” de Tarade added.


SkyCargo, Qatar Airways and WestJet, to name a few, relying on the software and systems provided by the technology firm. However, Wiremind Cargo is looking to become the air cargo industry’s partner of choice in technology solutions. “Digitalisation is not something you achieve in six months and then you’re done. It’s obviously a journey. You don’t need everything sorted perfectly or solved before the project can start. You will learn on the job. If you are looking at it from an investment perspective, it’s not always huge investments. You can start doing something, see if it works then streamline it much more to fit your needs,” de Tarade concluded.


CargoTech’s umbrella

One of the keys to success for technology companies is recognising the benefits of collaboration. Yes, there is competition within the industry but that drives innovation and opens the door for companies to work together, utilising their areas of expertise and building on individual achievements to come up with solutions that, on their own, might not have been possible. WireMind recognised this opportunity to work in close cooperation with others, joining forces with ECS Group’s Cargo Digital Factory and later CargoAI and Rotate to form CargoTech. Bringing these companies under one umbrella means the they can benefit from shared investment to build solutions that are needed, improve commercial decisions and grow their client base by being able to provide a stronger suite of solutions to those that they work with. “We’re really proud that a few partners have joined recently because it’s not an isolated initiative anymore,” de Tarade said. “The very essence of CargoTech isn’t that it’s a club that meets once in a while...We have a roadmap for all these companies. We share the roadmap, what projects we’re working on and mutualise what can be mutualised.” “If Wiremind Cargo decides to launch a certain product, it would be done in coordination with our CargoTech partners, then the others will launch the same kind of product, looking at how they can complement it.”

Future development Leading companies within the industry have already embraced the work that Wiremind Cargo is doing with Atlas Air, ECS Group, Emirates

Digitalisation is not something you achieve in six months and then you’re done. It’s obviously a journey


Oil and gas industry to drive global drone mark to $89.6 billion in 2030

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he global drone market is set to grow from $13.7 billion in 2021 to $89.6 billion in 2030. The market share of commercial drones is expected to increase from 34% to 64% during the period, aided by significant adoption in the oil and gas industry, GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, forecasts. GlobalData’s latest report, “Drones in Oil & Gas,” reveals that the recent regulatory changes across key markets have boosted the scope for drone deployment in the oil and gas industry. The March 2022 US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) update on beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drones is expected to benefit drone manufacturers as well as industrial users in the country. It might provide an impetus to the technology development, especially in BVLOS drones. “Drones have been conventionally flown within the visual line of sight (VLOS) at industrial sites, wherein the drone is visible to the operator on the ground. BVLOS offers extended coverage by expanding the purview of drones beyond the visibility of the operator. Earlier, BVLOS capabilities of the drone were seldom utilised for commercial deployment due to regulatory scepticism towards potential incursions,” Ravindra Puranik, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, commented. In the oil and gas industry, drones are being deployed for a variety of applications, including the inspection of offshore platforms, refining equipment, leak detection in midstream assets, emergency response, and material handling.

“In the past decade, the oil and gas industry tentatively experimented with drone deployment to monitor field equipment scattered over large areas. The industry then began collaborating with drone manufacturers to develop devices suitable for industry specific deployment. Over time, newer use cases were identified and implemented for drones, such as methane management,” Puranik continued. Image sensors or cameras with visual (RGB), infrared (IR), and lidar (light detection and ranging) capabilities offer enhanced data collection capabilities for drones. Besides, gas detectors installed on drones enable to collect emission related datapoints. “Advances in drone-based imaging, sensing, and data transmission are helping the oil and gas industry to devise newer use cases for drones. The role of drones in inspection has expanded from capturing RGB pictures/video to using infrared and laser technologies to record corrosion, weathering, and spacing characteristics of the asset under consideration,” Puranik concluded.

In the past decade, the oil and gas industry tentatively experimented with drone deployment to monitor field equipment scattered over large areas


Guiding Schiphol Airport th


chiphol Airport has faced a tough period over the past few months, with a summer of disruption. This, paired with a recently announced plan from the Dutch government to reduce the number of flights at the airport by 12% has put Schiphol under significant pressure at a time when it is attempting to rebound from the dam- aging impact of the pandemic While blame fell on the airport’s then-CEO Dick Benschop, with him having to ultimately step aside, the team at Schiphol and companies benefiting from its logistic network would argue the government is responsible for the issues impacting the hub. The government has failed to acknowledge Schiphol’s contribution to the region and instead been more interested on yielding as much dividend as possible for shareholders.

Changing leadership While Benschop had recognised the importance of having a strong cargo division at Schiphol, that wing of the airport has been left without a strong ally for the time being. Following his resignation, Dutch logistics group EvoFenedex stated that

Benschop had an “eye for Schiphol’s function for International trade and logistics.” Having been involved in politics before leaving that area in 2002, Benschop had an impressive business background and, as a Dutch national, a personal connection to the airport. He was clear

the total number of flights at Schiphol, they contribute around a quarter of the airport’s economic added value, showing the enormous potential they have. International companies see the Netherlands as an attractive location to base their operations due to its well-connected logistics

We remain a highly congested airport. I think ultra-congested airport

in his advocacy for Schiphol that it is one of the most dynamic organisations in the Netherlands and should be supported for the benefit of the wider community, not limited by short term thinking.

Cargo’s contribution While cargo flights only make up around 3% of

network, with a world-class airport and seaport. “We remain a highly congested airport. I think ultra-congested airport. We rank up there with Frankfurt and Heathrow and that remains a problem for our airfreight,” Roos Bakker, director of business development at Schiphol, said. “The market demand for cargo still remains high, so the only way to benefit from that is to add capacity but we’re slot restricted.” Benschop had looked to address the forced removal of cargo flights at Schiphol, setting up a separate slot pool for cargo flights at the airport to protect the economic added value for the region. However, that plan is now up in the air until a permanent successor is found and can outline their vision for the airport’s operations. “We deeply regret Dick is going to leave us. Our mission, however, is not likely to change. Our core value is to serve the Netherlands through the world, bringing business, connecting people, giving the possibility to meet people abroad or do business across the globe. That is not going to change,” Bakker stated. If the permanent successor does go down this route, arguably it’d be a groundbreaking step forward, as no other airport in Europe is following that approach to separate cargo and passenger


t through tough headwinds flights in a way that would prevent them from pushing each other out of the airport. Schiphol has been exploring the possibility of introducing this system, looking to Brussels for guidance, but the hope in the region is that it will protect flights that create economic activity which positively impact the airport and surrounding area.

Sustainability vs economic growth The government’s decision to cut flights at Schiphol from 500,000 to 440,000 a year is thought to be a potential first for an airport, and maybe even a logistics hub generally, where climate concerns have been put completely before economic growth. That’s because, reducing flights by 60,000, would see the airport’s numbers fall 11% compared with pre-pandemic levels, a significant hit for a hub that had hoped to grow. “That will harm cargo operations,” Bakker admitted. “We know our government’s ambitions, so that is going to be an interesting balancing act and I think we’re at a crossroads and we have to make choices.” The government has publicly claimed that it is pursuing the cut in flights to get to a point where there is a new balance between the economic importance of the airport and the importance of a good quality of life for people living around it. Consultations are set to take at least nine months, with the government claiming it will consult the airport, logistics companies, airlines and others on the proposal. “Our government is going to have to own up to what is really needed. Are we going to go for economic growth that enables us to invest in green research and development or are we just going to diminish and not have the funds to do necessary sustainability steps,” Bakker added. While there is an acceptance that taking the steps proposed would have a positive environmental impact, those involved with the aviation industry claim there is a better way to meet sustainable targets, pointing to carbon offsets, sustainable aviation fuel, etc, without hurting economic growth or limiting opportunities.



Streamlining processes to maximise profits

Before the pandemic, passenger was king and cargo was the long lost cousin


ermes Logistics Technologies (HLT) has been developing and evolving cargo management systems for the industry since 2002. Coming from the air cargo industry, HLT understands the challenges facing and opportunities available to its clients. Carrying out regular analysis of businesses and listening to their requirements, HLT recognises the need to listen and learn to help streamline processes to maximise profits and utilise best practice. Using state-of-the-art technology, HLT works to reduce handling errors, identify operational inefficiencies, prevent revenue leakage, championing inbuilt best practice, creating automated processes, avoiding service level agreement (SLA) failures and enabling modifications based on customer needs.

Working with all shapes and sizes HLT seeks to work with companies of all sizes, from small, local cargo handling operations to some of the largest cargo airlines and facilities around the world. With over 70 global stations, some of the airlines and GSAs GHAs that the company works with include, amongst others, Etihad Cargo, Icelandair, PACTL, and a number of the Menzies & dnata stations, as well as some Frankfurt GHAs. “The pandemic really opened the eyes of many of those operating cargo businesses, not just for those in the cargo industry but also for many other industries,” Marcus Campbell, CTO of HLT, said. “For all cargo businesses the option to just shut down or be mothballed was not a viable option.” “Instead, they looked at their existing cargo technology solutions, which accelerated their need to modernise, transform and digitise what they do today, to enable them to become more resilient in a pandemic and post-pandemic world.” “Digitisation is really beneficial when human resources within a warehouse becomes unavailable, then systems and tools help to ensure business continuity. It will ensure the business continues to operate uninterrupted during events such as the experience of the pandemic scenario.” “In addition, a mundane tasks previously carried out by a warehouse operative, can be done by our systems well enough that the skill of that person can now be transferred, potentially to a more productive or personally fulfill-

ing position or tasks requiring human intervention and/or decision making,” Campbell said.

Managing the process HLT offers two solutions to its customers: a cargo management system that controls the import and export processes for GHA warehouses; and a hub management system that looks at the inbound and outbound process of cargo through a central hub control. “Before the pandemic, passenger was king and cargo was the long-lost cousin,” Yuval Baruch, CEO of HLT, said. “The pandemic has shown that actually cargo is a really solid business in which we should invest, not only because it is a more resilient business, but when the passenger business slows down, something that can happen for a multitude of reasons, you can always rely on cargo to continue and help build your business.” “One of the things that we have realised is that we have to help our customers in terms of what they do with training and onboarding of their own stuff staff, simplifying the processes as best we can, so the processes are actually being followed and done properly...we’re coming to help them setting up those programmes to make it more accessible, easier, quicker and avoid problems.”

Maximising financial benefits with technology The approach taken by HLT is to look at how the system and existing technology employed by their customers can be effectively and efficiently applied to operations to ensure that customers are getting the best value for money and making the most out of the opportunities available to them. “We always believe there is never enough investment in technology, particularly given the pace of change happening around us,” Campbell said. “HLT pays a great deal of attention to what is happening in the technology space, not only in the air cargo industry, but also looking at other industries to help enhance the digital journey for our customers. We are looking very closely around how our technology and people can help smooth the journey of moving cargo.” “We are investing a significant amount of time ensuring we have products that are tailored to the needs of the different customer types and their scale.” “We are taking advantage of cloud innovation to aid the delivery to quickly implement new stations as well as upgrade existing stations – this is where we believe customers will be able to take advantage of our products and services to foster the growth of their cargo business,” he added. “It’s not just about their existing needs, it’s about their future goals and ambitions to actually grow,” Baruch explained. The investment in HLT’s system and support it offers is not just about the platform itself but “being able to leverage the other pieces of technology that’s going on around the ecosystem at the moment, but also leveraging the ability for that customer to grow, to bring in more revenue, to hopefully work more with the platform and process more cargo.”



The International Cargo Center at the Chicago Rockford Airport (RFD) will be ready to open its newest building in December of 2022. The ramp-side facility is 50,000 SF and is the third phase of a fourphase program. Phases 1 and 2, with a total of 190,000 SF are fully occupied. The planning for phase 4 is underway and interested parties have already started reaching out to reserve their space in the up to 1,000,000 SF facility. In the spring of 2023, RFD will begin construction of a new taxiway that will further increase the efficiency by providing an additional taxi route to and from the International Cargo Center. Taxi times at RFD are already less than five minutes from wheels down to engines off. This additional taxiway will ensure large wide body aircraft (747-8 in particular) taxi efficiency remains even as RFD experiences unprecedented growth and into the future. In addition, RFD’s recent announcement of its partnership with Kale Logistics Solutions to implement an Airport Cargo Community System is part of the airport’s continuing commitment to the global air cargo industry. contact: Ken Ryan +1 815 703 5187 E. l Zack Oakley +1 815 7035319 E.

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Ensuring secure transp


ach year, airlines transport over 65.6 million tonnes of cargo, representing around 35% of global trade by value. In fact, on any given day, with 100,000 planes taking off, 140,000 tonnes of cargo worth $18.6 billion is moved via airfreight. Unit Load Devices (ULDs) facilitate transport logistics, as, without their presence, it would simply not be possible to provide the secure movement of goods at speed via airfreight. Either in the form of an aircraft pallet or aircraft container, ULDs are removable aircraft parts that restrain loads and ensure the safe movement of cargo and baggage during flight. A ULD is the aircraft part that leaves the control of the airline and may pass through unregulated

hands whilst having a potential impact on flight safety, so it is critical for airlines to have better control over ULDs in the cargo supply chain. Unilode manages over 145,000 ULDs, the largest fleet of a ULD provider in the industry, and serves more than 550 airports. With over 25 years in the industry, the company has seen many changes in the sector, and is continually adapting in order to maintain and grow its strong market share through technological innovation and business development.

Improving ULD management One of the biggest issues facing airlines and ULD providers is the management of the assets, with IATA estimating that, each year, the total cost

of repairing and replacing the devices is $330 million, which excludes the costs incurred from damage to aircraft and delayed or cancelled flights due to the impact of ULD operations. So, anyone looking at those figures can understand why providers are keen to improve handling of the devices to minimise neglect and increase responsibility. Not only would taking better care of ULDs aid the providers, it would also help to address the supply issues that occur with ULD availability, helping to guarantee that they are in the right place at the right time. To optimise efficiencies, save time and money and create additional revenue streams, Unilode is using digitalisation to bring ULD management capabilities to the next level. Fitted with


nsportation of airfreight multi-sensor technology, Bluetooth tags have been installed in close to 120,000 ULDs in their fleet so far, enabling the monitoring of location, temperature, humidity, light and shock, and protecting the devices and their contents more effectively. The monitoring systems used give greater transparency to the air cargo supply chain and better control over critical shipments, such as pharmaceutical, perishables and valuable cargo. When trying to meet growing demand, as the air cargo industry returns from the pandemic and starts to grow once more, it’s crucial for Unilode to increase its available stock, revive damaged, redundant or unused ULDs that have sat idle in a warehouse. Technology and expert staff can help to achieve this, ensuring the maximum asset utilisation is achieved from the company’s fleet.

Getting ULDs back into service Unfortunately, despite Unilode’s best efforts, ULDs will often require repair and maintenance, which does result in them being taken out of the supply chain and leaving a gap that needs to be filled. The longer a ULD is out of service, the greater the risk of disruption to the supply chain. That’s why Unilode prides itself on having the largest MRO network of any ULD provider with a focus on key hubs. With 50 MRO facilities spread globally the company’s operations are “vast in terms of global footprint and scale,” Ross Marino, Unilode CEO, stated. With there already being a well-documented shortage of ULDs in

the aviation industry, “we’ve got to be smarter with the management of our ULD inventory, in order for us to ensure stock is always available when needed for our customers,” he added. With an operation of this scale comes the need to ensure operations are working as efficiently as possible, which requires appropriate staff numbers, something that’s been a challenge for the industry in recent months, as it wrestles with labour shortages. Many MRO businesses prior to the pandemic worked multiple shifts, but during the pandemic these were reduced down to one shift. “It is important that we ramp up, so that we can meet current demands and have well-managed stock levels that satisfy demand,” Marino said.

The personal touch As with all parts of the airfreight industry, especially the cargo handling sector, staff play an essential role in keeping the flow of cargo moving smoothly. Unilode understands the huge role that its people play in making the business successful and values their contribution. Recruitment at this time is a challenge for Unilode, as it is for all aviation companies, but that’s why they are focused on rebuilding and rebounding as part of the post-pandemic recovery. Unilode is committed to bringing people back into the industry who might have been furloughed or forced to find other employment during the challenges faced in the past two years. Ensuring talented staff return, as well as attracting new employees is going to be key to

having a thriving business and surrounding sector in the long run. Unilode has a number of opportunities to expand into other markets, win new customers and renew existing partnerships with its longstanding customers. Its customer-focused business model plays an important part in convincing them that Unilode is a partner that can be trusted to deliver. After all, having successfully navigated disruption to the supply chain from Covid, one of the things airlines want most is peace of mind that their ULD supply will be guaranteed and they can focus on growing their business once again.

The company’s MRO operations are “vast in terms of global footprint and scale”

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