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UPS joint venture moves in on Indian market

UPS has joined forces with travel and hospitality conglomerate InterGlobe Enterprises to launch a new MOVIN brand to serve the Indian market.

MOVIN (a combination of Movement and India) will offer a range of express and premium services coverage across the country with emphasis on B2B domestic services including a day-definite, express and time-definite solutions.

The venture will build technology-backed solutions and offer seamless integration across air and ground networks.

Headquartered in Gurugram, MOVIN will launch operations in a phased manner and will ramp up in July of 2022 starting with Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Bengaluru – with more expansions to other metros and cities across the nation to follow.

Director of InterGlobe Enterprises, JB Singh, said: “India’s growth towards a $5 trillion economy will be largely supported by the growth of local businesses and logistics which are key contributors to India’s economy. I am confident that InterGlobe’s deep understanding of the Indian market, combined with UPS’s 114 years of logistics expertise will make this venture a success.”

UPS President Indian subcontinent, Middle East and Africa, Ufku Akaltan, commented: “With a strategy of customer first, people led, innovation driven, UPS further expands its global network, including healthcare solutions, through a unique partnership that creates a suite of services to serve B2B customers’ need to grow.”

Dimerco delivers urgent test kits to Taiwan

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Dimerco has delivered self-test kits from Hong Kong to Taiwan to help tackled an increase in Covid infections. The forwarder used commercial air freight to transport 165 pallets with a total weight of nearly 50 tons within just four days, despite the required delivery date directly following the Hong Kong Easter holiday. Dimerco also achieved significant savings for its customer by consolidating the cargo into a single flight rather than the usual two to three passenger flights after the airline agreed to prioritize the freight, and it also avoided the express freight charges generally expected for peak time Friday. Dimerco coordinated the customer’s assigned customs clearance and trucking vendors onsite at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to complete the import procedure and enable seamless onward transportation.

Airblox offers live space feed

Airblox has launched a live feed of global air freight scheduled flight capacity to support users of its electronic Block Space Agreement (eBSA) booking service.

Airblox’s online marketplace enables freight forwarders and airlines to trade air cargo capacity in the form of standardised eBSAs.

The new live feed will enable users to view upcoming capacity and make informed business decisions by lane by making bids for, and securing eBSAsat competitive prices.

Airblox says it is pioneering the digitisation of BSAs, where companies purchase cargo space on a flight in advance, to make the BSA a tradable commodity.

Airblox founder Edip Pektas said: “By digitising capacity in a centralised exchange in a standardised format, the market is assigning a certain value to it that can be trade.

 “We believe that the future of air cargo capacity is as a tradable concept, and by launching this new feed, we are a step closer to giving full transparency of the scheduled global air freight capacity to our users so that they can make informed decisions.”

Forwarders need to be convinced of digitisation benefits, says industry chief

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Forwarders are ready to digitalize but need clear evidence of its value, says Airforwarders Association executive director Brandon Fried.

He said his members were ready but needed to better understand its worth beyond regulatory or customer requirements, Brandon Fried told delegates at the CNS Partnership Conference in Phoenix on 25 May.

“There has been steady acceptance and adoption in the air cargo sector at large, but within the independent freight forwarder community, digitisation is driven by the shipper,” said Fried.

“Many AfA members invested in automation before the pandemic and could work from home, so in many ways th lockdowns were a gigantic proof of concept. But for continued and more widespread streamlining of operations through digitization, there needs to be a more clearly articulated value proposition.”

Fried emphasised that for the necessary increased engagement to happen forwarders need to understand what is at stake.

Acknowledging the challenge of reaching out to the diverse US forwarder community of up to 4,000 companies, he stressed that software providers had to be better at demonstrating the benefits of digital compliance.

“If the benefits of adopting a specific automation solution are not properly communicated, forwarders won’t move on from legacy practices,” he argued. “The software providers have to be better at demonstrating the benefits of digitisation and until they do I think the industry at large is paying the price.”

Spot booking is here to stay, says software chief

Spot pricing will dominate air cargo bookings as digitisation continues to drive market change, says the boss of an industry software company.

Awery Aviation Software chief executive Vitaly Smilianets (pictured, right, with chief commercial officer, Tristan Koch) told delegates at the CNS Partnership Conference in Phoenix, Arizona that fixed rate booking would not make a comeback in the short term.

He said that fundamental change in the air cargo booking process accelerated by Covid is here to stay due to the uptake of digitisation.

He said: “A side effect of the COVID pandemic was a fundamental shift away from long term contracted rates over to spot booking as capacity shrunk and demand increased,” said Smilianets.

“At the same time, the uptake of digitisation by airlines introduced huge efficiencies making pricing quicker and more responsive. Because of this, we anticipate that even as air cargo capacity increases, either through increased passenger flights or investment in freighters, the airlines won’t return to fixed rates.”

He added: “The airlines have done a fantastic job in adapting to new processes, embracing digitisation to adapt to the changing business landscape. By adopting digitisation, the industry is building business resilience and future proofing against the next challenge.”

Cargo iQ kicks off advanced training in Phoenix

The Cargo iQ organisation inaugurated its new advanced training sessions for members with a workshop in Phoenix, Arizona, on 23 May.

The training is aimed at those working in-depth on Cargo iQ projects and related to ensure members have a comprehensive understanding of the group’s processes.

Advanced training is free of charge for members and is composed of six modules: Planning Logic; ENCORE; Milestones & KPIs; Smart Data & Reporting; Exception Handling codes; and Audit & Certification.

A second training day is scheduled in Geneva on 17 June 2022, after Cargo iQ’s Working Group meeting.

Express firm moves into Brazil

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Logistics company J&T Express has launched its network in Brazil, following the start-up of operations in Mexico. It has now expanded its global delivery network to 12 countries in Asia and Latin America, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

It says the rapidly growing e-commerce market presents significant opportunities for the express logistics industry in Brazil, where it covers all 26 states and one federal district.

Head of J&T Express Brazil, Andy Wang, said: “Compared to countries and regions with well-established e-commerce and logistics businesses, the Brazilian market is developing rapidly with a great potential for further growth.

We believe J&T Express is well positioned to leverage its determination and capabilities in building local operations to establish a refined service network in Brazil. “

Swissport claims ‘milk run’ success

Swissport says that its ‘Milk Run’ supply chain optimization initiative at Schiphol Airport has been a success. It combines freight to and from several cargo forwarders into a single truck, and has saved 20,000 individual truck runs since the start of the operation seven years ago.

However, the handler says that many freight forwarders still arrange their trucks individually and many vehicles are driving around with 75% of their capacity unused.

The Milk Run initiative at Schiphol was launched by a small number of handlers and forwarders in 2015 and has grown ever since. In early 2021, it was expanded to include export cargo.

Loading and unloading of Milk Run trucks is carried out at a dedicated truck dock.

WFS takes sustainable airfreight to the next level

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has launched an ‘Our Sustainable Flight Path’ plan to steer the next level of its Environmental, Social & Government (ESG) strategy and support the responsible growth of its global airport and aviation services. 

The strategy has been created with the support of PwC’s Sustainability team and aims to coordinate, build upon, and accelerate the numerous WFS sustainability projects across the company’s network at 168 major airports in 17 countries.

WFS has already invested in initiatives aimed to reduce its carbon footprint. These include building sustainability solutions into new cargo terminals or LED lighting in over 30 warehouse operations nearly 1,000 electric ramp and warehouse vehicles and biodegradable plastics to wrap airfreight pallets. 

Solar panels have been fitted at some WFS locations and trials of further electronic ground support equipment and hydrogen-powered vehicles are continuing. WFS is also participating in ‘green’ projects at some of the airports where it operates.

Chief executive Craig Smyth commented: “Despite the global disruption to the aviation industry and all of its partners over the past two or more years, and the business challenges this has brought, we have remained focussed on our sustainability ambitions because we recognise they are essential for our future success.

“With the great support of WFS teams around the world, we can show some significant achievements across ESG topics already, but this is not enough. We must continue to take collective and individual action as a company and as employees to maintain our leadership position in safety, security, ethics, and compliance whilst reducing our carbon footprint, supporting local communities, and developing our people.”

Global head of health, safety, security and environment at WFS, David Clark, stated: “Sustainability journeys can have no end date because we are learning all the time, new solutions come to the market, and the environment around us is ever-changing.

“We are not at the start of our journey because we have been implementing ESG initiatives into our operations for many years, but now we have a more integrated programme to take us forward, with the clear ambition to maintain our position as a global air cargo logistics leader and a premier provider of ground handling services at airports across the globe.

“Our new strategy reflects our responsibility to our stakeholders to steer our business towards more sustainable operations.”

American to offer Europe service from ten US gateways this summer

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American Airlines Cargo is to boost its transatlantic services this summer with direct service from key cities in Europe to ten US gateways from mid-May onward. 

It will operate service to New York JFK, Dallas/Fort Worth, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago O’Hare, Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT). Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (from London Heathrow) will be added to the schedule this summer.

All routes will be operated by wide-bodied Boeing 777, or Boeing 787 aircraft.

Leading European cities with flights to the US this summer are: Amsterdam, Athens, Barcelona, Paris, Dublin, Rome, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Munich, Milan and Zurich. 

Regional cargo sales manager, Northern Europe, Andy Cornwell, said: “Capacity to the US is gradually getting back to normal following the pandemic.” “We continue to see strong demand for all kinds of cargo including automotive parts, perishables and life science products including pharmaceuticals.

“With the number of flights growing month on month our European customers are continuing to take advantage of our extensive trucking network to send freight on the direct flights which best suit their needs. They can also benefit from the comprehensive onward network we offer from our US hubs.”

As of April 25, 2022, WebCargo (a Freightos Company)

Customers based in the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain can book direct flights to the US and beyond on American Airlines Cargo through the WebCargo platform.