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The weekly newspaper for air cargo professionals No. 1,116

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25 January 2021

LOCKDOWN ONLINE SHOPPING BOOM FOR CEBU

STOPPING TRAFFIC IN 2020, the German air navigation service provider DFS logged fewer reports of interference caused by drones at airports in Germany than in previous years. However, more than half of these occurrences led to traffic disruptions. In total, 92 drone-related occurrences were reported in German airspace in 2020, which was lower than in previous years. Proportionally, however, the volume of air traffic, which came in 56% below the previous year’s level, declined more than the number of such occurrences. Consequently, even with reduced traffic volumes resulting from the pandemic, drones had a massive impact on flight operations.

In one third of the cases, air traffic was severely restricted. Such restrictions have consequences. The spacing between arriving and departing aircraft may have to be increased, or it can mean that specific areas, such as individual runways, cannot be used. In extreme cases, no take-off or landing clearances can be issued, which is tantamount to an airport closure. At the beginning of

2020, Frankfurt Airport was out of service for four and a half hours in total, following two occurrences with drones. Between August and November 2020, drone detection systems from six vendors were put to the test at the airports of Frankfurt and Munich. For 600 flights with various types of drones, DFS investigated the effective use of these drone detection systems at large-scale airports in live operations. The findings of this project, which is unique worldwide, will serve as the basis for a future tender for a drone detection system. Successful drone defence by regulatory and police authorities will only be possible with reliable drone detection.

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INSIDE ATSG AND AIR CANADA INK DEAL

AIR Transport Services Group subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management has agreed to purchase two Boeing 767300ER aircraft ... PAGE 2

MITTELDEUTSCHE’S 2020 AIRFREIGHT BOOM

MITTELDEUTSCHE Flughafen AG benefitted from strongly developing business in the airfreight sector during the past year which marked ... PAGE 3 WHAT MAKES THOMAS OPTIMISTIC

THE industry is prepared to manage upcoming challenges. All stakeholders have learnt a lot based on the experiences in 2020, collaborated ... PAGE 5

transport logistic ACE online: more information AS announced, transport logistic has been cancelled as a face-to-face exhibition. The cancellation of transport logistic also includes air cargo Europe. Registrations and, if applicable, stand confirmations already made for 2021 are automatically cancelled. There are no liabilities or further need for action. Instead of the physical exhibition, transport logistic will be online from May 4-6,

2021. The event will be focused on a broad conference programme.

Precisely tailored Organisers say: “The distinctive atmosphere of our physical networking trade fair cannot be represented in digital form. Therefore, we are convinced that the transfer of know-how within the framework of an online

conference offers precisely tailored addedvalue and that the broad international field of participants will benefit from this. “We also offer participating companies suitable presentation opportunities as part of the session programme – from individual keynotes to self-organised panel discussions and product demonstrations. You will also have the opportunity to present yourself as a sponsor.”

‘MASTERMIND’ POLMANS JOINS NALLIAN

STEVEN Polmans, former director cargo and logistics at Brussels Airport and current TIACA chairman, is joining data sharing and connected cargo ... PAGE 6

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Japan Airlines increases digital abilities

UPS expands Polar Speed capabilities UPS has expanded healthcare capabilities at its Polar Speed subsidiary, with a new 10,000 sq m state-of-the-art healthcare logistics facility in Birmingham, United Kingdom. UPS Healthcare is leveraging Polar Speed’s comprehensive healthcare expertise to help address the increasing need for last-mile COVID-19 vaccine delivery and other healthcare logistics support. “Polar Speed is an important part of the UPS Healthcare global logistics network,” explained UPS Healthcare president Wes Wheeler.

“From this new facility, Polar Speed is already scheduled to deliver three million influenza vaccines each week into GP surgeries and community pharmacies. This new delivery capacity is now immediately available to also support COVID-19 vaccines for distribution across the country.” During recent winter flu seasons, Polar Speed has routinely transported more than 10 million vaccine doses each year into various UK National Health Service locations. When combined with the existing 40,000 sq m of MHRA-licensed Polar Speed ware-

housing capacity throughout the UK, the additional size and scale of this new facility creates a seamless framework to deliver even more vaccines in response to COVID-19. The combined hub, depot, and warehouse facility is a significant investment project in the United Kingdom and will be staffed by more than 100 employees, with capacity to store 8,000 pallets at a range of temperatures from 2°C to 8°C and 15°C to 25°C, and frozen storage capacity ranging from -20°C to -80°C, allowing it to store up to 25 million vaccine doses.

ATSG AND AIR CANADA CONVERSION DEAL AIR Transport Services Group subsidiary Cargo Aircraft Management has agreed to purchase two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft from Air Canada, convert them from passenger to freighter configuration, and lease them back to Air Canada. This is the first sale-leaseback agreement between ATSG and Air Canada. The first aircraft will be inducted for conversion in

March 2021. Both are expected to be redelivered by the end of 2021. “Getting these two 767 freighters into our operation in 2021 is aligned with our announcement in November,” commented Jason Berry, vice-president of cargo at Air Canada. “We are excited to be in a position to capture market opportunities that currently present themselves.”

Brussels sees 2.2% cargo growth in 2020 ... BRUSSELS Airport has released the latest performance figures for 2020. A total of 6,743,395 passengers passed through Brussels Airport in 2020, unsurprisingly down 74% on 2019. Despite passenger acivity falling off a cliff, the cargo business, and in particular air cargo, saw demand actually increase in 2020 especially for the transport of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies and recorded a 2% growth in cargo volumes. “[Last year] truly was a very unusual and difficult year for the aviation industry,” explains Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company. “As from March, the sanitary measures and the travel restrictions made passenger numbers at

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JAPAN Airlines (JAL) has started to implement CHAMP’s API Gateway solution that will power a new domestic air cargo service that enables the carrier to compete with other modes of transport, integrating air and land options. JAL is able to use a suite of APIs that connect its new domestic service to Cargospot, the airline’s cargo management system, developed and operated by CHAMP. Benefits of the API integration include instant end-to-end quotation for customers and the ability to allow partners to offer multiple services including checking for flight availability and managing bookings. “CHAMP has delivered truly innovative solution,” commented Yasunari Taniguchi, vice president, administration, cargo and mail at Japan Airlines Cargo. “Instead of arranging land and air transportation separately, and manually comparing the different options, CHAMP’s APIs now allows us to connect and provide an easier and seamless end-to-end proposition to our valued customers. We are delighted with its smooth roll-out and business transformation.”

Oman Air renews IOSA

OMAN Air has successfully passed the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). From December 7 to 11, Oman Air was subject to the audit which was conducted by an accredited organisation approved by IATA to perform these tasks. Abdulaziz Al Raisi, Oman Air CEO commented: “We are delighted to maintain an excellent track record since 2005. The IOSA is probably the most important examination of our operations and the results are testament to our all-encompassing safety culture.” IOSA is an internationally recognised and accepted evaluation system designed to access the operational management and control systems of an airline, which occurs every two years once the airline successfully completes the first audit.

... as Aerts succeeds Polmans at Brussels

Brussels Airport plummet. We had to constantly adapt to be able to safely welcome our passengers in accordance with current health regulations.

Great demand “Fortunately, our cargo department has been in great demand throughout the crisis, particularly for the transport of pharmaceuticals and perishables and for e-commerce. “The major role Brussels Airport played since the end of November in the transport of COVID vaccines will undoubtedly continue throughout 2021. “May this new year allow us, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, to welcome more passengers again.”

GEERT Aerts will succeed Steven Polmans as director cargo and logistics at Brussels Airport. Aerts has been active in aviation for 17 years. He says: “I am looking forward to joining the team at Brussels Airport and further develop cargo activities with the Brucargo community, clients and partners. “I have always followed Brucargo with interest.”

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AMSTERDAM RELEASES 2020 CARGO FIGURES Schiphol’s 2020 year-end cargo figures fall in wake of cancelled passenger flights during COVID-19 AMSTERDAM Airport Schiphol’s total cargo volume for 2020 declined by 8% to 1.44 million tonnes compared to 2019. Last year freight volumes were shipped in three categories of flights: full freighters, which accounted for 61% of total volume; paxcargo-only, which includes passenger flights with only freight on board at 10%; and passenger flights at 29%. Inbound cargo volumes declined by 4.7% to 754,361 tonnes in 2020 compared to 2019, and outbound cargo volumes decreased 11.7% to 687,161 tonnes during the same period. The three biggest destinations for cargo tonnage were Shanghai, China, Doha, Qatar, and Chicago. “The 2020 figures are in line with our expectations given the challenging year we all had to face,” said Patricia Vitalis, incoming director

airport operations and aviation partnerships. “I am proud of our cargo community and our team at Schiphol, who have worked hard to continue supporting our customers through the pandemic in a constantly changing business landscape and for providing new routes for new cargo airlines to transport essential PPE consignments.” Outbound traffic to the Asian region from Schiphol was down 8.21% to 238,889 tonnes in 2020 compared to 2019, and inbound declined 0.58% to 266,688 tonnes. The outbound North American market fell 8.27% to 150,988 tonnes, while inbound was down 9.72% to 101,132 tonnes. Cargo inbound to Latin America declined 10.84% to 102,983 tonnes and outbound dropped 4.28% to 72,899 tonnes. European figures show outbound traffic fell 28.62% to 85,395 tonnes and inbound

increased 0.01% to 106,487 tonnes. The Middle East market inbound showed a positive story as inbound was up 8.51% to 101,014 tonnes, but outbound was down 9.28% to 96,321 tonnes. Outbound traffic to Africa was down 17.67% to 42,669 tonnes and inbound declined 21% to 76,057 tonnes. Flower imports from Africa showed a dip in the first half of the year, but stabilised later in the year. Last year, the airport accelerated its Smart Cargo Mainport Programme, ensuring faster handling of export cargo, resulting in all ground handlers at Schiphol being ready for digital and/or electronic re-notification in January 2021. Schiphol also joined the Circular Plastics Alliance as part of a significant commitment to ensuring the flower produce moving through

the Dutch airport are shipped in a sustainable way. The Alliance has introduced standardised box sizes for flower consignments with the aim of reducing the product importers’ carbon footprint by 25%, whilst increasing their profitability by 25% at the same time. This year will see cargo team moving into a newly-established Aviation Business Development Division, putting all airline and cargo commercial and operational business in a single department and introducing new faces.

Mitteldeutsche’s 2020 airfreight boom

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itteldeutsche Flughafen AG benefitted from strongly developing business in the airfreight sector during the past year which marked a turning point for the complete air traffic sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers of passengers passing through Dresden and Leipzig/Halle Airports during 2020 totalled 918,340, 78.2% below the previous year’s figure. Dresden Airport registered 385,651 passengers, 75.9% fewer than in 2019. The number of passengers at Leipzig/Halle fell to 532,690, a decline of 79.7%. The volume of freight handled at Leipzig/Halle Airport increased by 11.7% to around 1,383,485 tonnes in 2020. This set a new record high. Growth was particularly significant during Q4 2020. Freight volumes increased by 35% to around 140,940 tonnes during December alone. Götz Ahmelmann, Mitteldeutsche Flughafen CEO, comments: “We can count ourselves lucky that we’re continuing to attract stable business to the whole corporate group, primarily through our air freight operations. We’re expecting further growth in freight in 2021 and also a gradual recovery in passenger numbers, as soon as the travel restrictions are eased. Dresden Airport will benefit from this substantially, as it had already temporarily emerged from the crisis in good shape last spring.” The outlook for airfreight is encouraging for the current year too. Both the scheduled and freight charter business are developing in a positive manner. Shipments of medical goods and protective equipment will also play an important role. This includes the possibility of handling vaccines at Leipzig/Halle. Thanks to its CEIV Pharma certification, the airport is able to handle temperature- and time-critical pharmaceutical shipments round the clock. Leipzig/Halle Airport, which is Germany’s second-largest airfreight hub, safeguards important logistical and supply chains. The airport operates the largest DHL hub in the world and it is the first regional airfreight centre for Amazon Air in Europe.

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EUROPEAN AIR CARGO REPORT

East Midlands Airport is flying high

ACW spoke to Clare James, managing director of East Midlands Airport (EMA) about the highs and lows of 2020 and hitting the ground running in 2021.

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: 2020 was certainly a strange and challenging year, how was business in terms of cargo at EMA?

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: Last spring, in the early part of the pandemic, EMA was one of Europe’s top 10 busiest airports because of its cargo traffic. Throughout the year there has been approximately an increase of 18% uplift in the volume of cargo that has been handled at EMA. The airport has just had its busiest peak season in the run up to Christmas and December 2020, volumes were up 43% compared with December 2019.

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: EMA proved to be a gateway for essential goods coming in to the UK. What drove this?

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: The drivers of this are primarily two-fold. Firstly, a reduction in long-haul bellyhold capacity across the world has meant more goods being flown by dedicated air cargo operators, the likes of which are based at EMA (DHL, UPS, FedEx etc.) Secondly, much of the demand is being driven by the fact that more people are shopping online as non-essential shops are shut because of lockdowns and other restrictions.

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The express freight operators, which are based at EMA, handle everything from fashion items through to electronic and household goods – the sorts of products that more people are ordering online. In terms of the passenger operation – this has been decimated by COVID restrictions, lockdowns and quarantining requirements, which wiped out all demand. Passenger numbers are down almost 90% on the previous year.

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: What makes you optimistic about recovery in 2021?

Airlines are telling us that bookings are picking up for the summer, which is encouraging news. A combination of pre-travel testing (we have a testing centre at the airport), combined with the rollout of the vaccine, will be key to opening up international passenger travel later this year. Many people will be desperate for a holiday this summer but obviously much depends on how quickly we recover from the latest strain and when lockdowns start to be eased. Well over 90% of EMA’s passengers are leisure travellers and so when the conditions are right for people to start flying off on holiday again, I hope they come back to EMA in large numbers. However, industry insight suggests that it could take up to four years for pre-pandemic passenger demand to return globally. Our forecasts suggest that the cargo operation will continue to grow as demand for online retail continues to soar.

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: Vaccine transport has taken a large proportion airfreight capacity. Has this affected other cargo operations at East Midlands Airport?

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: We’re not aware that any vaccines are being flown in and out of EMA to date. However, medical equipment and PPE has been handled at EMA by the operators based at the airport since the start of the pandemic back in Spring last year.

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: What about Brexit? Have the regulation changes of this year affected operations thus far at the airport?

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: It hasn’t. From a cargo perspective the operators based at EMA have been preparing for all sorts of scenarios for years and are experts in moving goods all around the world. So they have the expertise and procedures in place to deal with any additional processes. From a passenger perspective there is currently very little change to any departure or arrival requirements.

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: What is one thing you’ve learned from the chaos of 2020 that you can take forward to improve airfreight?

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: The importance of being nimble given the rapidly changing circumstances. Planning too far ahead has been almost impossible.

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SINCE the beginning of the pandemic the air freight industry has ensured supply chains are kept moving. Airlines are some of the most visible players in this, but some of the key components to efficient supply chains are locked in the cargo hold. Andreas Seitz, CEO of German based DoKaSch, highlights the importance of temperature solutions in the efforts to keep supply chains moving worldwide. “2020 was a challenge for us,” explains Seitz. “With the first lockdown in March, global airfreight capacities collapsed overnight and everyone along the supply chain had to adapt to an uncertain and completely new situation.” “However, everyone along the pharma supply chain was aware of the importance of a stable supply with pharmaceutical products, especially life-saving medicine. “In turn, the air cargo community quickly managed to adapt to the new situation and established a stable global pharma supply chain. It still was challenging to return empty containers on time and provide the required capacities. “Thanks to our strong partner network and spare capacities, we managed to fulfil all demands and did our part in ensuring a stable global supply with important pharmaceutical goods.”

Industry predictions Industry predictions suggest things will start to pick up this year in terms of normal cargo operations, with the slow reintroduction of passenger flights and belly capacity. Seitz is not as optimistic as some: “I do not expect a return to normality this year. “The capacities will stay rather low due to the missing belly capacities of passenger flights, while the global economy will start to recover with a high demand for air cargo. “Preighters can partly compensate this problem, but are not able to replace all the

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What makes Thomas Sonntag, Jettainer MD, optimistic for European airfreight?

The industry is prepared to manage upcoming challenges. All stakeholders have learnt a lot based on the experiences in 2020, collaborated closely and were forced to break new grounds. “Digitisation and innovation were boosted. The industry is flexible and responding quickly to the challenges, whilst optimising cost and efficiency. “Supply chains take years to be setup; as a result they do not collapse easily – but they are also not adjusted quickly.

missing belly capacities.” Even if, as Seitz believes, “we still have to go a long way until airfreight is back to normal,” there are certainly lessons to be taken from the challenges of last year and applied to the changing market. “I was impressed by the flexibility of the whole air cargo industry,” comments Seitz. “Despite a sudden and nearly complete breakdown of global capacities, everyone along the supply chain quickly came up with unusual and helpful solutions like, for example preighters. Furthermore, regulations were adapted to the new situation quickly. To me, this shows how resilient air cargo is.”

The year of the vaccine For DoKaSch, vaccine transportation was “no big factor” in 2020. But this is set to change. “During the last year, our operations were mainly focused on the usual transports of pharmaceutical products. Up until now, most vaccines were transported in concentrated form at very low temperatures and do not require much space. However, we expect that to change during 2021. “With more vaccines coming to the market and a growing global need, we will most likely see an increasing demand for vaccine

Flexible solutions like the “preighter” business might continue for some months. “It is also likely that ad-hoc charters and trucking will become a new standard before we see the number of passenger flights grow in the second half of 2021. “We expect the pandemic to accompany us throughout this year. It is difficult to predict how quickly the economy in the respective countries will recover and what impact this will have on the airfreight markets. Airfreight is a global business

dependent on worldwide production and existing supply chains. “We do not see an overall recovery across Europe as of yet, at least not in respect to freighter and belly capacities. But European carriers have an extensive network of Road Feeder Services (RFS) to feed their hubs. “We have experienced a shift of ULD-movements from flights to trucking services. ”Cargo is being transported on the road and we use the trucks for the positioning of ULDs.”

transports with Opticoolers as well, especially considering that more vaccines are stored in the 2-8°C range, which our Opticoolers are made for,” explains Seitz. With that in mind, DoKaSch are committed to perfecting their products in order to optimise transportation processes to promote efficiency along the supply chain. And for this, there is much emphasis on their Opticooler air cargo containers. “We are focusing on our current product, the active temperature-regulated Opticooler. Not only is it highly reliable, it also fulfils the requirements for most pharma/biotech transports and it is also suited for most vaccines,” explains Seitz. “Furthermore, many pharmaceutical products are transported on pallets, which is exactly what the Opticooler is made for. It holds up to five Euro-pallets and accordingly provides lots of storage space for sensitive pharmaceutical products.” With capacity down, he notes the importance of this generous storage space of the Opticooler. DoKaSch is ready for the year ahead. To keep on top of demand the company has optimised their process and increased stocks to enable them to provide containers whenever and wherever they are needed.

Qatar Airways resumes flights to Riyadh QATAR Airways has resumed flights to Riyadh with a daily service: QR1164 from Hamad International Airport to King Khalid International Airport at 13:45 local time and arrival at at 15:10. The flight was operated by an Airbus A350-1000. Qatar Airways will resume flights to Jeddah QR1188 departing DOH at 18:50 and to Dammam, QR 1150 departing Doha at 17:10. The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 110 destinations with plans to increase to over 125 by the end of March 2021.

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Two new appointments by IAG Cargo

IAG Cargo, the cargo division of International Airlines Group (IAG), has announced two new appointments to its commercial team. Daniel Byrne and Freddie Overton (above) have been promoted to regional commercial managers. The internal promotions see Byrne appointed regional commercial manager for UK & I from his prior role as area sales manager for the same region; and Overton appointed regional commercial manager for Europe and Africa from his prior role as area commercial manager for Benelux, Germany and Switzerland. Overton has over six years’ experience in the logistics industry, the last two as area commercial manager supporting IAG Cargo’s commercial strategy for Benelux, Germany and Switzerland. In this role he will be responsible for delivering IAG Cargo’s commercial strategy in Europe and Africa.

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Cargo ‘mastermind’ Steven Polmans joins Nallian A

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STEVEN Polmans, former director cargo and logistics at Brussels Airport and current TIACA chairman, is joining data sharing and connected cargo community specialist Nallian. As chief customer officer, Polmans will be

cross-company processes. Polmans comments: “When I decided to leave Brussels Airport, it has always been my intention to stay in the sector and build further on what I have created together with my cargo

responsible for accelerating the expansion of Nallian’s global network of cargo communities that operate the Nallian Cargo Cloud. With his cargo expertise and impressive track record in digital cargo transformation and building cargo communities, Polmans perfectly fits Nallian’s global ambition and mission ‘to make the world operate as one’. He has more than 20 years of expertise in the cargo sector and was the mastermind behind various game changing projects in the sector. As the founding father of BRUcloud, Brussels Airport’s Cargo Cloud, he was the first in the industry to get the different stakeholders at a cargo hub to work in a connected and integrated way by sharing data in their

colleagues and peers. “Air cargo is more than a job for me, it’s a passion and it was very important for me to find a place where I can share, cultivate and act upon this passion. I feel Nallian is the best place for me to do so. We share the ambition to drive efficiency and transparency in the air cargo industry by making cargo communities operate in a connected, collaborative way. It is what initially brought us together on the BRUcloud project, and what we have been developing at Brussels Airport over the past years. I now look forward to assisting other cargo actors airports, ground handlers, freight forwarders, trucking companies - shippers with their digital cargo transformation.”

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WITH its new digital platform, GEODIS enables retailers to deliver goods such as fashion items, health and personal care and high-tech merchandise directly to US consumers from the closest retail store in just a few hours thanks to a combined delivery network of traditional carriers and private individuals. “We wanted to have our own technology, based on our expertise in transport and logistics, to support the deployment of new services for even faster urban delivery. This technology utilises already existent resources and helps to relieve congestion in urban centers. With this new platform, GEODIS can roll out a new distribution network in an extremely agile manner, anywhere in the world and very quickly,” says Marie-Christine Lombard, CEO of GEODIS.

Control centre

“This powerful mobile technology provides each driver with a central point of communication, a benefit that makes the opportunity to work with GEODIS highly attractive”, points out Gina Anderson, vice president of solutions and growth of the supply chain optimsation line of business of GEODIS. “Beyond the freshness of crowdsourced delivery, our technology allows us to offer our customers, particularly retailers and e-merchants, an innovative logistics solution that draws simultaneously on all the transport capacities available in the market.”

NEW TECHNOLOGY

GEODIS has developed its own digital platform. Incorporated in it is a driver mobile application called GEODIS Zipline for the dedicated use within its partners network and for individuals providing the local delivery services. Order tracing is a priority for retailers and the consumer. Both are looking for reliable advice on an individual package’s predicted delivery time. GEODIS Zipline provides such visibility and closely monitors all deliveries via a centralised web application; supporting both clients and drivers with real time data. Individuals, selected according to a rigorous process, may choose to take countless deliveries throughout the day or simply choose deliveries that align with their own daily commute. Drivers have visibility to see a live map with available orders in their area, and then independently select those they prefer. Drivers may chat with the support centre through a messaging service embedded within the GEODIS Zipline driver app.

New Timestrip electronic indicators launched

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imestrip, the developer of smart indicator technology, is launching a completely new range with two electronic temperature indicators. They will be important in monitoring the safe storage and transportation of a wide range of goods including pharmaceuticals, vaccines, healthcare, food produce, adhesives and inks. The eTimestrip Complete (TC) indicators are highly versatile and can be attached to products at unit, case or pallet level. They track any breach of temperature outside the designated range, helping manufacturers and logistics staff to safeguard product quality and meet regulations. The new Timestrip range comprises two indicators. The TC489 is an intelligent device that monitors temperature data every minute with high accuracy. The key alert temperatures can be selected as standard such as 2-8 ºC, or can be specified as bespoke across a wide temperature range as low as -30 ºC or as high as 60 ºC. The TC489 has upper and lower limit alarms and can communicate wirelessly using near field communication (NFC) via a free app. The TC490 is a simpler device monitoring similar ranges with a 180 day service life, irreversible alarms, and provides a highly cost effective solution to monitoring a wide range of sensitive products. “The new eTimestrip TC products offer our clients solutions for applications that need accurate temperature monitoring, and where strong functionality is needed in cost critical applications”, said Nora Murphy, commercial director of Timestrip. “

Next week, we look at Dangerous Goods and Far East cargo ACW 25 JANUARY 2021

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LOCKDOWN ONLINE SHOPPING BOOM BOOSTS CEBU PACIFIC CARGO

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ebu Pacific Air has been using its Pratt & Whitney-powered ATR 72-500 freighters to transport medical supplies and other vital goods to help in the country’s COVID-19 relief effort. With some passenger aircraft grounded due to the pandemic Cebu Pacific deputy chief finance officer Mark Cezar says having the dedicated freighters means essential cargo can still be transported at reasonable cost. “During the pandemic, Cebu Pacific has been able to fly humanitarian goods such as medical supplies across the Philippines, free-of-charge,” he says. The freighters have been used to serve government and non-government organisations in addition to businesses, says Cezar. Cebu Pacific started replacing its ATR 72-500 passenger aircraft in 2016 with new ATR 72-600s, but rather than phase-out all the -500s, it decided to convert two to freighters. The first ATR converted freighter was delivered in 2019, while the second was delivered in December last year. The ATR 72-500 and ATR 72-600 are both powered by the Pratt & Whitney Canada PW127. Cezar says: “The PW127 combines excellent take-off capabilities on the ATR with good fuel burn and low maintenance costs.” The engines are on Pratt & Whitney Canada’s Event Cost Plan, he says. The Event Cost Plan by Pratt & Whitney is a pay-atthe-event fleet management programme maintenance plan that allows operators to pay an amount equal to a predetermined hourly rate at each maintenance visit for the coverage selected. Operators like this plan because it is a comprehensive and flexible solution, says the manufacturer. Cebu Pacific operates a large Pratt & Whitney PW127 fleet because it needs an aircraft like the ATR which has short take-off and landing (STOL) capability. The PW127 is ideal for STOL aircraft, because it is a light-weight engine and it allows the aircraft to have a slow approach when coming in to land, which is what you want when

accessing short runways and airstrips.” Cebu Pacific’s Cezar adds: “Having a STOL aircraft in our fleet allows us versatility in where we can fly. Only about 30% of the airports in the Philippines can accommodate a jet aircraft, and having the capability to serve smaller airports allows us to fly to more routes”. Cebu Pacific decided to add dedicated ATR freighters,

In an archipelago like the Philippines, having multiple points of connectivity and modalities of transport is integral to economic development. because it had a growing cargo business and found that bellyhold space on passenger aircraft was insufficient. “It was just not enough. Passenger flights prioritise baggage, leaving limited space for cargo, so the space that can be allocated for cargo tended to vary,” says Cezar. Cebu Pacific’s move into dedicated cargo operations aligned to the move by the airline’s parent company, JG Summit Holdings, into e-Commerce. JG Summit owns shopping centres but can see the growth of online shopping is a trend that is only going to grow bigger. JG

Summit has tapped the growth of online shopping by investing in e-Commerce sites such as Shopee. “Due to the strict quarantine restrictions in the Philippines, online shopping has flourished,” says Cezar. “In the past, it was a slow burn for online shopping, given the penchant of Filipinos to go to the malls. Having the capability to fly all-cargo and freighter services allows online shopping platforms and merchants to ship goods much faster, and effectively meet customer demands and expectations. Speedy logistics also enables transporting to hubs in bulk, allowing for more competitive pricing and even deals, such as free shipping,” he adds. Cebu Pacific’s dedicated freighter service has also helped Philippine exporters, especially those based in remote parts of the country. Cezar says: “Our wide domestic network enables traders and exporters to bring in fresh products from various points in the Philippines, consolidate these [in Manila] and send to key export markets. For example, fresh fruits, high-value vegetables, and even live seafood can easily be flown from the provinces, then onwards to destinations across Asia and even the Middle East.” The Pratt & Whitney-powered ATR 72-500 freighter can carry ULD containers, the standard size container used by the global air freight industry. The ULD containers are transferred from ATR freighters arriving in Manila to Cebu Pacific’s widebody aircraft for export.

Reliable logistics Cezar says: “In an archipelago like the Philippines, having multiple points of connectivity and modalities of transportation is integral to economic development. Steady and reliable logistics is critical to move goods and people - whether for trade, commerce or tourism.” “Having robust air connectivity is fundamental in driving growth in the economy down to the grass roots level,” he adds.

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Profile for Azura International

ACW digital 25th January 21  

ACW digital 25th January 21