ACW Daily news 9th November 22

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AIR CANADA CARGO ... AIR Canada Cargo has announced the introduction of a specialised service for equine transportation ...

air cargo forum Miami and transport logistic Americas officially opens


he International Air Cargo Association (TIACA), Messe München and a delegation of government officials celebrated the opening of air cargo forum (ACF) Miami and transport logistic Americas on Tuesday. With nearly 4,000 people attending the exhibition, the event organisers were proud to welcome visitors to the year’s largest trade show. “It’s time to look forward, face new challenges and embrace new opportunities,” Steven Polmans, President of TIACA, said at the ribbon cutting ceremony. “We can start shaping the future - a better future. People, interaction and collaboration has always led to improvements and better results.

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“Live events are back. Even bigger and more diverse,” Robert Schönberger, Messe München’s Exhibition Group Director, added. “It was our goal to have a true multimodal show and we have absolutely succeeded.” After a four-year interval due to the Covid pandemic, more than 200 companies are spread across the exhibition hall floor at the Miami Beach Convention Centre, ensuring that people throughout the industry can exchange ideas or conduct business. With Miami being a key gateway between North and South America, the city will now be the permanent home of the exhibition, which will return every two years. “We are extremely happy and proud to be here in Miami,” Polmans stated.


JETTAINER SECURES FIRST ... MEXICAN cargo airline AeroUnion has outsourced the management of all its Unit Load Devices (ULDs) ... PAGE 4

THE COLD CHAIN FROM ... Peli BioThermal has branded itself as the industry’s cold chain partner from discovery to distribution ... PAGE 8

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20/10/2022 12:15



AIR Canada Cargo has announced the introduction of a specialised service for equine transportation utilising its Boeing 767-300 freighters. Air Canada Cargo will use stalls that are specifically designed to transport prized horses, with up to three animals per unit. Attendants accompanying horses will be accommodated on the same flights in special upper deck seating. The Air Canada Cargo freighter network provides many opportunities to facilitate convenient equine transportation globally throughout North America, Europe and Latin America via its Toronto hub. The facilities in Toronto include a state-of-the-art barn that can hold horses in care and comfort at any point during their journey. “This new highly specialised service is another sign of our continued investment in our facilities and international network to better serve our customers. Air Canada Cargo takes great pride in the safe and humane transport of animals, and our new equine product we offer to our customers, from the facilities and stalls that provide the highest standard of safety and care for these magnificent animals to our ability to accommodate attendants onboard, is state of the art from end to end,” Matthieu Casey, Managing Director, Commercial for Air Canada Cargo, said. The attendants accompanying the horses will be able to check on the animals in-flight, ensuring they are well cared for throughout their journey. The stalls Air Canada Cargo will utilise for this service are provided by Unilode and were manufactured by VRR. Air Canada Cargo offers the highest service level for horse transportation. Earlier this year, they become the first airline to be re-certified by IATA for the safe transport of live animals.


Edward Hardy

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Kim Smith

International Sales Director:

Rosa Bellanca

International Sales Executive:

Zainab Khalid

Finance Manager:

Rachel Burns

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Design & Production Manager: Alex Brown Website Consultant:

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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.


Air Canada Cargo introduces specialised equine transportation service



Global GSA Group has selected Lemon Queen as its communication and press relations agency

PRESENT in 54 countries, Global GSA Group has been providing the highest standard of expertise to the airfreight industry since 1995. Experience, flexibility and reliability are its key words. With people as the core value of its culture, Global GSA uses the passion of its employees to serve its customers and continuous innovation to embody the ideal committed partner. To express their values in an equally dynamic and disruptive way, Global GSA Group has chosen Lemon Queen to accompany it in its development and global communication: strategy, public and press relations, social media, creation, advertising, events and consultancy. The agency will drive the company’s media relations and more. Lemon Queen is proud to accompany Global GSA Group in its growth perspective. The group joins others the agency already works with, including ECS Group, Qatar Airways Cargo, WestJet Cargo and CargoTech.

Jettainer secures first foothold in Mexico MEXICAN cargo airline AeroUnion has outsourced the management of all its Unit Load Devices (ULDs) to Jettainer, the companies announced at air cargo forum Miami. Jettainer has taken over more than 800 units from the airline and will position and manage them to the highest efficiency with its team of experts and intelligent IT systems, as well as being responsible for maintenance and repair. The contract was concluded for a period of five years. AeroUnion is based at Mexico City Airport and operates an all-cargo fleet of three A300s and two Boeing 767-200s, serving an extensive network of 21 destinations in the US and Latin America via

Mexico City. To ensure that the ULD management is as efficient and sustainable as possible, AeroUnion has engaged the expertise of Jettainer for this purpose. “With Jettainer, we have found a partner who guarantees us 100 percent and highly efficient ULD availability,” Alonso Haro, Chief Executive Officer at AeroUnion, said. “AeroUnion adds another ambitious cargo airline to our customer portfolio in the Americas. The region is an important growth market for us, where we want to further expand our leading role,” Shailendar Kothari, Managing Director at Jettainer Americas, added.

Rhenus and KatalX join Pharma.Aero THE Rhenus Group and KatalX have joined Pharma. Aero. The international cross-industry platform fosters collaboration among Life Science and MedTech shippers, certified cargo communities, airport operators and other air cargo industry stakeholders. Its members and associate partners jointly initiate and participate in projects that focus on end-toend supply chain visibility and address challenges faced by the Life Science and MedTech industry. “With onboarding Rhenus, with a clear and determined Life Science and MedTech vision multi modal, we are enlarging the group of driven full members, that collaborate beyond their own programs to ensure the overall improvement of the industry. As we drive innovation and engage new projects on the next generation technologies, our new associate partner KatalX matches our common ambition in collaboration and visibility

through advanced digital analytics,” Frank Van Gelder, Secretary General of Pharma.Aero, stated, welcoming Rhenus and KatalX to the organisation. “Joining Pharma.Aero provides a great platform and visibility for Rhenus to collaborate with the different stakeholders in the life sciences & healthcare supply chain and to share, learn and grow in this segment,” Stephan Dülk, Global Head of Life Sciences and Healthcare at Rhenus Air & Ocean, said. “We are truly honoured to join Pharma.Aero and have been inspired by its cross-industry leadership from the very early days of KatalX, at the time of Project Sunrays and the challenges of Covid-19 Vaccine logistics. We really look forward to engaging with members and associate partners on projects like Cell & Gene Therapy, Vaccine distribution and Sustainability,” Damien de Chillaz, CEO and Co-Founder of KatalX, added.

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19/10/2022 14:36



Data drives the supply chain


argoiQ has its eyes firmly fixed on enhanced data sharing and supply chain visibility, as it heads into 2023, having unveiled its objectives for the year ahead back in September. Amid its list of goals, the organisations key projects for the next year include developing an approach for truckers and improving data analytics for members. “Cargo iQ has made great strides towards our collective goal for a quality-driven global supply chain in 2022 and we are dedicated to maintaining

this momentum towards a seamless and transparent supply chain with our focus areas for 2023,” Cargo iQ executive director Lothar Moehle said.

The path forward

While there is a focus on modernisation and moving toward more sustainable practices, air cargo holds a prominent place in the transportation of goods that is only set to grow further as e-commerce grows and the world becomes more interconnected. “As far as air cargo is concerned, it’s still being moved by planes. The planes have been modernised. They use less fuel, less CO2 emissions.

As far as cargo is concerned, without access to electronic data, we cannot work

What has changed is that over the past two or three years, more attention has been given to the cargo operations,” Moehle explained. “Maybe cargo was the only reason why some airlines survived the pandemic when no passengers were allowed to fly, so that helped to change the mindset in the industry overall. It showed how resilient and flexible airlines can be at adapting to this situation,” he added.

Digitalisation is in the spotlight As a company that embraces technology to help improve processes, control shipments and ensuring a shared understanding of the situation and what is/isn’t working, it’s no surprise that Cargo iQ recognises the value in having a keen eye on digitalisation. “As far as cargo is concerned, without access to electronic data, we cannot work. Digitalisation will be ruling the world in the future as far as we are concerned. We are adapting to that already. I don’t know how the world overall will be operating in 10 years but the development/investing cycle is so quick nowadays,” Moehle stated. “Individual airlines, freight forwarders are very much advanced but, as a whole industry, we surely have a lot of work to be done. We have to speed up the digital process. No doubt about it.”

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24/10/2022 10:56



The cold chain from discovery to distribution


eli BioThermal has branded itself as the industry’s cold chain partner from discovery to distribution, the first cold chain packaging solutions provider to make available a broad and comprehensive portfolio of patented and award-winning single-use and reusable thermal protection packaging solutions for the safe transportation of goods within the life science industry. When providing solutions that are tailored to an industry with the unique and very specific requirements needed when handling temperature-sensitive payloads, collaborating with clients is the first step. Through its global services network Peli BioThermal provides consultation, support, engineering and deployment to help companies overcome challenges wherever they exist, Adam Tetz, Peli BioThermal’s director of worldwide marketing, highlighted.

to rethink how it interacts within its own organisation and with customers. “We’re actually working together more as a global team than we probably did before the pandemic.

a place that can support the world’s second and third largest pharmaceutical markets, as well as tap into smaller, emerging markets. This site in Japan followed the opening of Peli BioThermal’s first

We’re actually working together more as a global team than we probably did before the pandemic

We’ve had to be fairly innovative about how we tackle supply chain issues, so things for all companies have been much more difficult,” Tetz admitted. However, that’s not slowed the company down, rather it’s just had to adapt with its purchasing group working to bring things in house of find alternative sources for supplies.

Global reach

Strategic locations

Over the past few years, the industry has been faced with significant challenges but also great opportunities to learn and grown. For a company with a global reach, with large offices in the US, UK and Asia, as well as smaller centres scattered globally, Peli BioThermal has had

Earlier this year, Peli BioThermal opened its newest service centre in Japan, with that facility joining a growing number of locations for the company in Asia, as they seek to grow their presence in a strategic region. The latest site, with existing facilities, will be located in

network station in China and fourth in the Asia-Pacific region. Based in Shanghai, the station will serve worldwide customers of the Credo on Demand rental programme. With China planning to significantly grow its pharmaceutical industry over the next five years, the location will make temperature controlled shipping logistics more convenient for customers working the Asia-Pacific region. According to the International Trade Administration, China’s pharmaceutical market value is set to grow to $161.8 billion by 2023. “In Asia, we have high throughput service centres in Japan, Singapore, China, South Korea and India, so we’ve got the major ones

covered. Now, Australia might be one that we would look at but with the service centres we’ve got, Asia is covered well,” Tetz stated.

Sustainable solutions

Amid all of the solutions provided to aid customers with their operations, Peli BioThermal remains conscious of the need to meet long-term goals, such as sustainable targets. That’s why the design team doesn’t just work to create strong and robust products that can survive the rigours of international transport but ensure reusable packaging and recycling plans are in place. “When we first introduced some of our reusable products, 10-12 years ago, the reusability was a powerful aspect because there was a cost reduction...It’s really changed in the last couple of years with more questions about how sustainable and environmentally friendly products are,” Tetz explained. At Air Cargo Forum, the company is focused on this, presenting its global network and available programmes, including Credo Go and Credo Cargo. “The shows are great because you get that learning aspect, to talk to existing customers in one spot and see new and different products and technologies,” Tetz added.

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Modernising and moving more c


The world’s largest international airline, Emirates, is looking to build on its previous success as it heads into 2023, following several years of disruption for the global aviation industry. While there are still plenty of tough headwinds ahead, with supply chain disruptions, an evolving industry, and growing competitors, it’s set to be an interesting time. Emirates and its airfreight division Emirates SkyCargo are ready to rise to the occasion, having recently announced a landmark agreement with United Cargo that will deliver benefits to customers of both airlines around the world, as well as adding its capacity to a third-party online booking portal for the first time. Having been a part of the industry for nearly 40 years, the cargo airline connects the world’s supply chains through 300+ destinations across 80 countries in six continents from its operational hub at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central.

Expanding network The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) recently signed between Emirates SkyCargo and United Cargo builds on a broader historic commercial agreement between two of the world’s largest airlines. Finalised back in September and unveiled by Nabil Sultan, Emirates divisional senior vice president of Cargo, and Jan Krems, president of United Cargo,

the MoU will see the pairing coordinate on a number of aspects, such as expanding cargo interline options and blocked space agreements, pending regulatory approvals. The duo will have access to one another’s distribution networks, with United Cargo having access to Emirate SkyCargo’s bellyhold space to over 100 destinations, while Emirates benefits from United’s space to over 200 cities in the US and 300 cities elsewhere. “We’ve been working with United for a long time. Of course, now this would probably be the time to take the relationship one step further,” Sultan said. “United and SkyCargo have incredibly complimentary capacity. When you look at their network versus our network, we believe there are areas that are going to be explored and we have a plan to move forward.”

Focus on freight While Emirates is one of the top ten largest airlines by scheduled revenue passenger kilometres flown, it is even stronger in the cargo market, as the fourth-largest carrier in terms of freight tonne kilometres flown. But, for Emirates, it goes beyond the traditional airfreight networks, ensuring that it covers intermodal routes across air, road and partner networks. This means that the airline has the ability to connect with offline or-


re cargo igin and destination stations, integrating with flight schedules for optimal connectivity. The airline’s cargo operations are linked 24/7 from their hub with a trucking corridor that ensures the seamless transfer of cargo when needed. In an ideal location, at the centre of the world, Emirates has a geographical advantage that helps it serve major international trade regions, connecting global trade hubs quickly and efficiently. In fact, Emirates is able to cater to two-thirds of the world’s population in just eight hours, adapting to whatever their customers need, even in changing times. “We’ve played a major role in the pandemic. We were the carrier the world relied on to move a lot of vaccines around the world, especially into challenging parts of the world, such as Africa, the Middle East and India,” Sultan said. However, despite capitalising on the need for cargo transportation, there are challenges that still exist with geopolitical factors influencing the logistics and supply chain industry. “The lockdown in China has been one of the areas that has, obviously, hit production. I mean, that’s the world’s factory and when that shuts down it will definitely have an impact.”

Enhancing booking efficiency “The pandemic has been a big learning lesson for all of us in the industry. We​saw the demand in a major way, there were issues no one could deal with because the processes were outdated. Therefore, digitalising the way we do business has become absolutely

essential,” Sultan admitted. “Moving forward we will probably start to see a faster pace of technology and digitalisation in all aspects of our industry.” Having announced earlier this year that it is placing its capacity on the WebCargo by Freightos portal, Emirates SkyCargo is moving to give customers “quick and easy direct access” to both its flights and inventory, so they can book cargo capacity. “I think that this is a huge stepping stone,” Sultan said, adding that “the whole message behind it is that we need to be easier to do business with and this initiative that we are embarking on is to ensure our customers get the best service they deserve.”

The pandemic has been a big learning lesson for all of us in the industry


Jettainer sets its sights on


nit Load Device (ULD) management company Jettainer has revealed its plan to capitalise on the potential opportunities available within the Asia-Pacific region, as it looks to double its existing fleet of more than 100,000 ULDs. Announcing its goals earlier this year, the company looks to build on its current presence in the Asia-Pacific arena, using Singapore and Hong Kong as main gateways. With changes in the market having seen companies transform the way that existing processes function, airlines have looked to confront the challenges that a lack of ULDs can cause. Securing the necessary supplies and being able to guarantee reliability have become crucial, as cost issues and sustainability have come under the spotlight. Tackling the challenges around the supply of ULDs is critical for Jettainer, which prides itself within contracts on guaranteeing that customers will have access to the ULDs they require when they need them.

Opportunities abound As cargo handlers and airlines bolster their existing businesses or start new operations, there is a clear growth track that Jettainer can tap into within the Asia-Pacific region. This is particularly true as ULD operations traditionally were handled in-house, meaning there is a space for Jettainer to provide a

range of management solutions dependent on market needs. “We currently manage a fleet of more than 100,000 ULDs. In perspective, the amount could double – especially due to growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Airlines have recognised the value of ULDs and the need to manage them efficiently,” Thomas Sonntag, Managing Director of Jettainer, stated. “We are already better positioned than two years back...We extended our regional network on top of our existing customers,”

ULD outsourcing Currently, Jettainer manages pallets and containers for a number of carriers, including T’Way, VietJet and Cebu Pacific, with several more teased as being in the pipeline. To manage operations, Edward Neo, general manager sales APAC, coordinates existing sales activities, while leasing solution lease & fly is developed out of Hong Kong, with Stella Wang mainly focused on mainland China. “The challenges are pretty much the same - convincing airlines with an in-house ULD management that they are far better off outsourcing. They can get much better quality, save costs, at basically no risk,” Sonntag said. “The time is right for ULD outsourcing. We manage ULD fleets with only 80 percent of the units previously required. This potential ULD saving of 20 percent can either be used for growth, to offset shortages – or to simply


on the Asia-Pacific region save cost.”

Location is key

Jettainer recognises the importance of having strong local understanding of the needs of their customers and the situation they are facing on the ground. “Being close to our customers is enormously important to us. Our customers benefit from what I would call ‘regionally relevant ULD expertise’: understanding networks, geography and culture and transferring this into perfected ULD management,” Sonntag highlighted. “It brings us into the position to really understand our customers’ requirements. For this reason, our goal is to establish regional teams for sales and operations, but also central functions, on all continents, as well as local representatives where necessary and useful,” he added.

Technology tracks ULDs Using their monitoring and location data, Jet-

tainer gives its customers the ability to keep an eye on ULDs as they move between various parties and around the world. Shailendar Kothari, the managing director of Jettainer Americas, described ULDs as the “most neglected expensive asset at any airport,” as nobody takes ownership of them and they are not stored in the right place. That’s why monitoring services matter, as it’s crucial for ULD providers to protect their products to maintain supplies to customers. By deploying Jettainers management service and technology, the company will make ULD fleet operations more efficient and create greater transparency along the entire supply chain, knowing where ULDs are remaining, even if they haven’t been placed with an airline yet. This, paired with the company’s global repair network swiftly returning damaged items to service, means Jettainer can ensure pallets and ULDs are available even at short notice and avoid customers struggling to achieve the demand they need.

Being close to our customers is enormously important to us


Decarbonisation progress of world’s transport companies shows concerning lack of progres


The World Benchmarking Alliance’s new Transport Benchmark has highlighted an urgent need for the sector to work together to develop and scale sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels. Published in October, the comprehensive analysis of 90 companies covers 25 airlines, 9 rail companies, 6 road companies, 17 shipping companies, and 33 multimodal companies.

Still reliant on fossil fuels Transport has the highest reliance on fossil fuels of all sectors, with more than 90% of transport energy coming from crude oil-derived products. Despite this, only 7% of companies assessed have committed to phasing out their use of fossil fuels. Across all companies, 85% have fleets which are incompatible with a low-carbon future but the majority fail to disclose any plans for changing this. Some of the solutions that transport operators need to adopt, such as alternative fuels (including ammonia, hydrogen, and sustainable

aviation fuel) and cleaner vehicles (including electric trucks) are still in early development and analysis showed that on average only 0.3% of total transport related revenues are invested in research and development (R&D) into low-carbon technologies and fuels, such as electric vehicles and sustainable aviation fuels.

Investment is key Investment in R&D is critical to ensuring that new technologies can come to market more quickly, as is working in partnership with suppliers and developers such as vehicle manufacturers or fuel producers. However, 94% of companies do not provide any meaningful data on research and development into low-carbon vehicles and fuels. A few companies are using their influence to push for infrastructure solutions, improved climate policy, or customer behaviour change. Only three out of 90 showed any significant support for low-carbon policy and just six directly work with infrastructure operators to build low-carbon solutions. 48% of the benchmarked

companies have a strategy to help customers to reduce emissions but none of the companies had set measurable targets for customer engagement to encourage low-carbon alternatives.

Companies must step up

“Transport accounts for 37% of global carbon emissions, so the sector has to step up if we are to keep 1.5 alive. The large-scale change needed cannot be achieved without every company getting actively involved across their business – from research to customer advice to support for low-carbon policies and regulation. There is an urgent need for collaboration to identify and scale solutions,” Vicky Sins, World Benchmarking Alliance’s decarbonisation and energy transformation lead, said. “Transport companies are vital to connecting people and goods globally – but they cannot thrive unless the places and people around them are thriving too. It is no exaggeration to say the future of our world will be significantly shaped by how these companies translate pledges into


looked at the implications for workers and customers, as part of helping to ensure a low-carbon transition that leaves no one behind. Altogether, the 90 transport companies employ an estimated total of 9.6 million people around the world but only 43% of these have a publicly available policy statement committing to respect the health and safety of their workers. In addition, only three companies disclose quantitative information on health and safety for their workers. While 38% of companies demonstrate measures on skills, training and education of employees, only FirstGroup publicly commits to both green and decent jobs, re- and up-skilling workers displaced by the low-carbon transition.


action,” Sins added. The top five performing companies across the Transport Benchmark are ComfortDelGro Corporation, a Singapore-based company operating vehicles in seven countries, La Poste Groupe, a French postal service company, FirstGroup, a UK public transport company, NS Groep, the principal passenger railway operator in the Netherlands, and Maersk, one of the world’s largest container shipping companies.

Benchmarks must be set “ACT assessments are a robust way to evaluate the performance of the top emitting sectors. This benchmark highlights a vital lever or obstacle on the way to a 1.5 aligned world, demanding ambitious action from the transport sector. Companies must go further in setting not only long-term targets, but near-term targets and credible climate transition plans to demonstrate how they are going to reach these targets, currently only 51% of companies within the benchmark have net-zero targets,” Amir Sokolowski, CDP’s global director of climate change, said. “These plans must be disclosed so they can be measured and managed. This is not happening across the sector. This means that vital risks are not being assessed or addressed, and all players could be left behind as we see a rise in regulation on mandatory disclosure,” Sokolowski stated.

Impact on the industry In addition to decarbonisation, the research

Transport companies are vital to connecting people and goods globally


Taking US e-commerce b


irhouse plans to help thousands of direct-to-consumer U.S. brands ‘go global’ by offering simple, cost-efficient cross-border e-commerce operations through an international partnership with SEKO Logistics (SEKO). Launched in June 2020, Airhouse offers brands an intuitive software platform that powers fulfillment from factory to front door. Its software automates dozens of workflows and integrations through a customisable solution. Once connected with a brand’s ecommerce platform, Airhouse’s software evaluates store data to create a holistic view of the business and where its customers are. Brands are then matched with warehouses in Airhouse’s partner network that make the most sense to ensure inventory is shipped to the partner facility as fast as the same day. From there, as new orders come in, the entire fulfilment pro-

cess is efficiently and affordably managed by Airhouse.

Getting products into the hands of customers

Through this partnership with SEKO Logistics, Airhouse customers will gain access to SEKO’s best-in-class facilities and expand their operations globally with the benefit of local fulfilment costs regardless of where they’re based. “We believe it should be easy for modern brands to get their products into the hands of customers,” Airhouse co-founder, Kevin Gibbon, said. “Over the past few years, a surge in e-commerce has brought us to a critical tipping point. While tools have emerged to run nearly every aspect of a consumer product business, how those products actually get to customers hasn’t kept pace. The traditional fulfillment for-

mat does not apply to modern businesses, so it’s time for one that does. Partnering with a global 3PL like SEKO is exciting for us and the smaller, emerging brands we’re working with because SEKO is one of the best direct-to-consumer 3PLs in the world.” Joining forces with SEKO is Airhouse’s biggest-ever 3PL partnership. Ultimately, Airhouse clients will have access to SEKO’s millions of square feet of warehousing in Europe and Asia as well as in North America. “For small and fast-growing brands, working with traditional 3PLs is extremely time-consuming and takes up a lot of operational resources. Airhouse solves for the host of inefficiencies brands traditionally face: outdated and inefficient software, inconsistent and non-transparent pricing, poor and mismanaged quality control, and a fractured and unscalable fulfillment process. And the benefits aren’t limited to our customers—our partners


ce brands global benefit from our platform as well. For SEKO, we streamline the process of serving these types of ambitious, emerging customers, which can range from DTC start-ups to businesses doing up to $50 million in annual revenues.”

Growth opportunities

Airhouse is commencing its international partnership with SEKO in the United Kingdom, likely then to be followed by other prime ecommerce markets in Europe and Asia. As the partnership grows, Airhouse believes its entrepreneurial brands will look for growth opportunities across SEKO’s global network. “What we’ve learned since SEKO became one of the first entrants in the increasingly global e-commerce fulfilment market back in 2011 is that a lot of brands grow extremely quickly. The beauty of Airhouse and SEKO is that we allow brands to focus on what they do best while they

leverage our core technology, logistics, and fulfilment strengths,” David Emerson, senior vice president of SEKO e-commerce, said. “The market potential is vast. Airhouse estimates that only 10-15% of the thousands of brands it is working with are shipping internationally. Together, we are going to empower them to grow globally. It will allow UK customers to buy from these predominantly US-based brands as if they were based in the UK.” “Instead of smaller brands having to graduate to become a customer of a quality global logistics player like SEKO, they can start this relationship on day one through Airhouse. Brands will now be in a position to charge local shipping rates on international orders—bringing shipping costs down from as much as $40 to as little as $5. And their customers won’t be stuck waiting for an international item to cross customs,” Gibbon added.

We believe it should be easy for modern brands to get their products into the hands of customers


One-stop shop for digital sol


argoTech is looking to become the air cargo industry’s one-stop shop for digital solutions, as it encourages, facilitates and accelerates the digital transformation of the sector. Looking at the potential opportunity presented by digitalisation and challenges of updating an industry that can sometimes be stuck in outdated patterns, CargoTech is building a composition of companies that can create unique and tailored services. Bringing together experts within the air cargo industry and technology sector, CargoTech has positioned itself in a place where its members operate separately but in a coordinated manner to ensure the swift and smart implementation of digital processes to streamline their operations. With the air cargo industry having partners and customers fragmented around the globe, IT systems have moved from being beneficial to a necessity if companies are to remain ahead or on par with their competitors.

Finding the right solution for your company Not everything can be digitised. Realistically, in an industry that needs human interactions, with the personal touch making all the difference, digital systems will never fully replace people. But, what they can do, is boost the speed, efficiency and revenue of companies, while cutting

cost and reducing wasted resources. CargoTech’s combination of multiple partners within the industry who have their own specific area of expertise, complimenting one another, the group looks to ensure that companies can secure the right solution for each and every business process that they might encounter. Whether it’s an airline, freight forwarder, GSSA or other business, CargoTech is set to advise them, providing a plan from start to finish to see through their digital transformation. “Digitalisation started before the pandemic but at a very slow pace,” Cedric Millet, president of CargoTech, said. “The first step for CargoTech to identify synergies and the low hanging fruits that will accelerate the promotion of the existing products, and their adoption in the industry. The priority is also to define a comprehensive roadmap for the enhancement of the existing products, and the development of the new ones.” Millet has been clear that, while no one can predict what the future will hold, the mission should be to ensure that whatever can be digitised is - looking at other industries, learning from them and adapting it to the air cargo sector.

Tapping into talented tech companies CargoTech isn’t seeking to start from scratch. It recognises that there’s already a wide array

of talented tech companies who can help to achieve the group’s aim of being the onestop shop for digital solutions. Already calling Wiremind Cargo, CargoAI, ECS’ Cargo Digital Factory partners, CargoTech welcomed Rotate as its fourth member in September, with plans to add more in the near future. “We are always talking to new companies and there are plenty of companies out there, some of which are very interesting...We are talking to one specific company that could bring value. It is not only about digital solutions, it is also about evolution,” Millet revealed at a press conference in September. ECS’ Cargo Digital Factory and Wiremind Cargo are complementary businesses, having expert knowledge of the cargo process and the technological expertise to accelerate digital innovation. CargoAI brought its unique, cloud-native based online platform to the group and Rotate introduced its skillset, building solutions that make intelligent use of the large amount of data that is produced and stored across the industry. “These resources are not only expert in technology, but they are also expert in the cargo business itself. People working in the Cargo Digital Factory and Wiremind Cargo have more than 50 years’ experience in the air cargo industry all together,” Millet said earlier this year. “The future for cargo is bringing in technolo-


More visibly though, when the air cargo industry is in the midst of a staff shortage that has caused disruption over the past few months, digitalisation can help to allow companies to better redistribute resources and combat understaffing issues. Again, digitalisation will not replace people but it will help to fill the gaps and prevent customers or consumers from noticing the challenges that labour shortages are causing. “A lot of people associate digitisation with increased productivity and cost reduction, People forget that digitisation is also there for revenue optimisation purposes,” Millet said.


gies that are already existing on other kinds of businesses, related to more artificial intelligence and cognitive intelligence. It’s not a revolution. There are things that are existing outside the industry already that we want to bring into the industry.”

Addressing existing challenges When the air cargo industry is in a period of instability, companies are always keen to find way to tackle the various challenges that are slowing progress and hampering operations. When looking at how digitalisation can transform industries, including the air cargo sector, the most obvious way is through cutting costs and optimising revenue. The ability of technological innovation to improve systems within a company depends on the extent to which they have already embraced digital solutions. However, evidence is clear that many operations can benefit, whether that’s booking, pricing, tracking, etc as well as helping companies to focus on their own internal processes. “The real challenge is not in collecting more data, it is in putting that data and insight to good use and driving real actions that improve commercial and operational decisions. That is the difficult part,” Gert-Jan Jansen, founder and CEO of Rotate, said after his company joined CargoTech.

Digitalisation started before the pandemic but at the very slow pace



Almost half of logistics operators likely to make acquisition in next 12 months amid volatile market - survey

Understandably, the circumstances of the past year have led to a drop in logistics sector confidence


Investment in ESG frameworks is seen as another way to attract talent. More than half (53%) of logistics businesses are focusing on employee welfare and staff wellness as their priority ESG initiative for the coming year. Other sustainability priorities across the industry include optimising the fuel of existing fleets (52%), with four in ten firms (40%) viewing the introduction or expansion of alternative fuel vehicles as a priority for the year ahead. More than two in five (44%) plan to introduce greener lighting and power supplies to their warehouses.

Challenges take their toll ogistics industry confidence has dropped 12 points over the past year, the 2022 Barclays-BDO Logistics Confidence Index revealed. Increased costs, economic pressures and concern over talent shortages, has seen confidence levels fall to 50.41.

Record high interest

Despite these challenges, mergers and acquisitions continue to be a strategic priority for logistics companies with 45% of respondents reporting that they are likely to make an acquisition in the next 12 months, the highest figure ever recorded in this survey’s 10-year history. Operators are seeking to achieve economies of scale and expand their service offering, ingraining a trend for consolidation into what remains a fragmented industry. Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, against a gloomy economic outlook, a small majority of businesses in the sector are optimistic about the outlook for the coming year, compared to those who are pessimistic. Three out of five (60%) are expecting turnover to increase over this time frame, with only a quarter (25%) anticipating a decrease. On the flipside, however, high inflation and rising costs are impacting levels of profitability, as just under half (45%) of logistics companies say their margins will improve in the next 12 months, compared to 62% this time last year. Meanwhile, almost a third (30%) are anticipating a drop in profitability, up by 11% on 2021.

Labour shortages set to impact operations Of all the challenges facing the industry, 80% say labour shortages will have a major impact on their business in the coming months. In fact, concerns over a dearth of workers have led nine in ten firms to improve pay and conditions for their workforce. The most sought-after roles are drivers and warehouse staff, followed by office and admin staff. Competition for talent was so high that HGV drivers qualified to drive the heaviest vehicles saw advertised salaries increase by an average of 25% in the past year alone (Q1 2022 vs Q1 2021).

“Understandably, the circumstances of the past year have led to a drop in logistics sector confidence. Price rises, supply chain challenges, a scramble for talent, and strikes at UK and European ports have taken their toll,” Lee Collinson, head of manufacturing, transport & logistics at Barclays Corporate Banking, said. “However, it’s encouraging to see that businesses are looking ahead at capex and finding ways to grow. Many are looking to invest in mergers and acquisitions, as well as ESG initiatives and staff welfare programmes to remain competitive, and it’s clear they see investment in tech as key to managing their cost bases and improving efficiency. This spirit of determination and innovation has come to define the UK logistics industry and looks set to continue,” Collinson added.

The sector is evolving “In the last 10 years [since the launch of the Logistics Confidence Index], the sector has changed immensely, accommodating the rise in ecommerce, a seismic shift in customer expectations, the ESG agenda, and the growing role technology is playing in every aspect of the industry,” Jason Whitworth, partner, M&A advisory and logistics & supply chain management at BDO LLP, said. “Our latest report demonstrates that those decade-defining themes are still very much in play, now taking on greater meaning in the face of significant challenges, led by rocketing fuel and energy costs, customer pricing pressures, and a faltering economy. It’s little wonder that, as the market contends with the toughest business conditions experienced for many years, confidence is at its third lowest level since the report began. Concerns over profitability, skills, labour shortages, top line growth, and the rising cost of doing business, are integral to that fall,” Whitworth stated. “However, despite this, it’s reassuring to see that the logistics sector is still keenly focused on capitalising on strategic opportunities, with a focus on better servicing existing customers and also acquisitions the main drivers for growth,” Whitworth concluded.



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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Changing the GSSA model


CS Group, the largest integrated General Sales & Service Agent (GSSA) worldwide, spanning more than 50 countries with over 95 subsidiaries and 153 offices, is working tirelessly to offer customers and forwarders with competitive services of the highest quality. As a GSSA representing airlines to commercialise air freight capacity and supervise complex local operations, ECS Group understands how the air cargo and logistics industry is evolving and the importance of adapting to meet those changes. Thanks to its ever-increasing network, in 2021, ECS Group carried over 1,200,000 tons of cargo on behalf of the airlines it represents, contributing to their growth and development on the international stage in the air cargo sector. With its augmented GSA concept, the company looks to move itself and its customers into the future of the industry through four key pillars - commercial, new abilities, technology and sustainability. “The standard GSSA business model will not last forever. If you’re just kind of reselling capacity on behalf of an airline, they will consider that they can take over the role, so we looked at how we can reinvent ourselves,” Adrien Thominet, executive chairman of ECS Group, said.

Anticipating evolution ECS Group works as an extended arm of the airlines it supports. As a company, it prides itself on being “resolutely forward-looking,” as well as anticipating and understanding the challenges ahead. That’s why, as a company, it is constantly innovating to come up with the solutions of the future, whether digital, in terms of process or managerial. “I think it really depends on the kind of airlines you’re speaking to. When you’re speaking to a leading airline, they don’t need you to offer the full set of services but they would be interested in one specific ser-

vice in one specific market” Thominet said. “Other carriers don’t have the resources to invest in a new IT system, digital, AI intelligence. Those guys need a full, complete solution.” The cargo sector was “very late” to adopting digitalisation, Thominet explained, highlighting the need to be able to give visibility and trans-

The standard GSSA business model will not last forever

parency to shippers, whether that be showing the carbon footprint per airline or the rates, etc. “I believe the old generation that has been working actively in this business weren’t too happy to change. They were not prepared for that.”

Sustainable charter ECS Group isn’t just looking to drive the transition of the air cargo and logistics sector, it is working to do so in a way that is sustainable and efficient. Tackling environmental, diversity and socially responsibly issues is something that is routed in the processes it develops. Alongside the other pillars, this can allow companies to meet their targets and imple-



ment a tailored support structure that aids their development. As the airlines it works with move towards a more sustainable future, ECS Group itself has adopted a sustainable development charter, integrating sustainable principles into its own business strategies, leadership principles, daily operations, activities and investments. “We do believe that this become a new concept. We wanted to say the GSSA has evolved and we are diversifying our approach to the business,” Thominet said. “We have developed our internal programme with our own carbon footprint and how we can reduce it and, if we cannot reduce it, how we can compensate for it,” Thominet stated. We co-invest with some of our key principals on specific actions - whether it’s on the SAF fuels or other key actions.”

Balancing responsibility While the airline industry can work effectively to identify what needs to be changed and where, it can sometimes be too focused on talking and not on how that progress can occur, shifting the responsibility and blame around the sector. ECS Group sees the need for important collaboration to help meet necessary goals. “No one will be able to deny that there is a need for change. On the other hand, airlines would not be able to clean the pollution that is generated. So the point is to see what you can immediately improve,” Thominet said. “I believe there will be a kind of self-policy not to put flights in the air without a minimum load factor or things like that,” while on ECS Group’s own sides, they are set to ensure suppliers and partners they work with are doing their part if they are to continue working together. “I do believe there is a room for a big group, like us, to come with our

own process,” Thominet added, although he highlighted the potential of working with existing brands, even acquiring them, to maximise an existing foothold, rather than starting fresh to make a change.

Unique system ECS Group has developed a unique freight forwarder business network that traverses both regional and global levels, with CargoConnect bringing cargo and capacity together by matching air freight with available scheduled and charter capacities. ECS Group created CargoConnect in September 2020, to counteract the mass disruption and uncertainty within the air cargo industry, caused by the domino effects of the pandemic. Adapting to market requirements and complementing what ECS Group’s GSSAs do on a local level in the countries where they are in operation, CargoConnect is equipped to support freight forwarders in marketing any remaining capacity on their own dedicated programs. Working in close cooperation with ECS Group’s in-house Revenue Management team, CargoConnect is quickly able to identify and secure the optimum business mix. “Collaboration is always beneficial for business, but becomes absolutely crucial in times of chaos, as we have all seen over the past two years” Jorrit Dubois, coordinator of CargoConnect, said. “Since we already foster solid business relationships with the world’s largest freight forwarders and airlines, we were in the unique position of having a central overview of existing controlled capacity programs and certain charter operations. As such, CargoConnect was able to provide much-needed support in quickly matching cargo with any available capacity – maximising load factors and efficient space utilisation.”

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