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WFS adds Boston to SAS stable

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) has awarded a cargo handling contract to Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) at Boston, its fourth major airport in North America.

The new three-year agreement will see WFS, a member of SATS Group, handle cargo onboard SAS flights on daily Airbus A350 flights to and from the Danish capital, Copenhagen.  

Boston joins Los Angeles, New York JFK, and San Francisco as airports in the US where WFS and SAS have partnered.

WFS expects to handle over 8 million kilos a year on the Boston operations, including large volumes of perishables. 

WFS opened its operation in Boston in 2010 and now operates two cargo terminals at Logan International Airport, offering over 70,000 square feet of cargo handing space. The two facilities process more than 57,000 tonnes of cargo annually for WFS’ 14 airline customers in Boston.

WFS vice-president cargo, Timothy Coggswell, said: “Boston is a prime airport gateway for WFS and SAS in North America. Our ability to provide the airline with the high service standards it expects for its customers, alongside the reputation we have built working with SAS at other major US airports, have earned us this new opportunity to extend our partnership.”

DP World platform takes to the air

DP World is now offering an Air Tracking feature on its SeaRates visibility platform. It extends SeaRates’ existing suite of tools, which includes freight tracking, Logistics Community Systems and ship scheduling. Chief operating officer for digital technology, Mike Bhaskaran said: “Our customers’ evolving needs are always at the forefront of how we think about the industry. With the increasing reliance on air freight solutions to overcome disruptions and challenges in global logistics, SeaRates’ Air Tracking feature is a testament to our commitment to providing end-to-end solutions that fit the dynamics of the market.”

Emirates gets together with Schenker

Emirates SkyCargo has established an API connection with forwarder DB Schenker. The host-to-host connection with DB Schenker’s internal booking engine gives agents direct access to schedules, standard and contract tariff rates and available capacity, on its network of over 140 destinations.

Launching first in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, the connection will then launch globally, facilitating trade with key markets including Hong Kong, China, Singapore, India, Germany and the US. Initially, the service will enable agents to book general cargo, with the possibility of adding other products from Emirates SkyCargo’s portfolio in the near future.

Etihad adds cool dollies in Abu Dhabi

Etihad Cargo has added cool dollies to its Abu Dhabi tarmac transportation fleet for pharma and perishable shipments. The specialised containers offer a closed, temperature-controlled system to ensure the reliable and seamless transport between aircraft and the cool chain warehouse.

They can be set to between +2 and +25 degrees Celsius, and an in-built alarm system sends alerts if the temperature fluctuates beyond the set parameters. Offering high insulating capacity, a refrigeration cell made with a single-piece fibreglass panel, and reinforced wall, roof and floor panels, as well as providing a more robust temperature-controlled transportation solution, they are also greener with a longer isolation cell life and low-cost maintenance while significantly reducing fuel costs and environmental impact as a result of fewer thermal dispersion points and high thermal insulation and UV reflection properties.

Head of cargo operations and delivery, Thomas Schürmann, said: “Etihad Cargo is committed to the safe, reliable and robust transportation of temperature-sensitive cargo via its IATA CEIV Pharma-certified PharmaLife and IATA CEIV Fresh-certified products. Part of this commitment is ensuring cargo is transported between the aircraft and cool chain facilities as fast as possible and mitigating the risks associated with outdoor and environmental conditions during the cargo’s journey.

“Etihad Cargo and Etihad Airport Services Cargo have partnered to introduce dedicated cool dollies at the carrier’s Abu Dhabi Airport hub to minimise the time that temperature-sensitive cargo is exposed to external factors, such as high temperatures. These specialised containers not only control the temperature but also enable Etihad Cargo to access the data records, providing Etihad Cargo increased visibility of this Critical Control Point to reduce, eliminate and prevent hazards.

Etihad Cargo is bridging the last gap in its global cool chain offering by providing continuity and stability with advanced temperature-controlled solutions during the most critical step of air cargo transportation.”

Etihad Cargo has also introduced dedicated thermal covers and the launch of a cool chain facility at Abu Dhabi Airport in partnership with Etihad Airport Services Cargo and Abu Dhabi Airports.This has doubled cool chain capacity with an additional 50,000 tonnes capacity of cool chain commodities.

It has also refurbished its perishables handling and storage facility and now has a 3,000-square-metre dedicated temperature-controlled warehouse comprising three cool rooms (2-8 degrees Celsius). Etihad Cargo’s enhanced FreshForward centre provides smoother transfers to its FreshForward truck fleet.

CMA CGM to launch North America/Asia route

CMA CGM Air Cargo will launch a transpacific route connecting Asia to North America in summer 2024, after it takes possession of two Boeing B777-200F aircraft. The first aircraft, scheduled for delivery in June, will enable operations to begin on the transpacific route during the summer ahead of peak season and the second aircraft will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2024 and will also be deployed on the transpacific route.

The first B777-200F will serve Hong Kong, Chicago, and Seoul and the second will connect mainland China to North America. Flights will be operated by Atlas Air.

Further fleet developments will include, in the first quarter of 2025, a third B777-200F and, in 2026, delivery of eight Airbus A350Fs which will enable the carrier to operate a global network.

CMA CGM is launch customer for the cargo version of the A350, which it describes as the most environmentally efficient aircraft on the market, offering a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to its direct competitors. It adds that the A350F will also be the only large freighter capable of meeting the CO2 standards established by ICAO, which will come into effect from 2028.

Three years after its launch, CMA CGM Air Cargo currently offers 12 departures per week from Paris to Greater China and India and charter flights. It current fleet consists of two B777F and three A330Fs, based at Paris-Charles de Gaulle, operating services between Paris, Hong Kong Shanghai, Guangzhou and Mumbai.

Chief executive Damien Mazaudier, described the addition of the Transpacific route as “ a turning point in the company’s history by connecting a new continent to our network and aligns with the ambition of the CMA CGM Group to offer a range of solutions to its customers.”

CMA CGM Air Cargo recently appointed ECS Group as general sales and services agent (GSSA) for flights operated by its in-house freighter fleet.

Inspections would bring US air cargo to a halt, warns forwarders’ chief

Any moves towards 100% physical inspection of pharma packages in the US to tackle the fentanyl crisis would grind air cargo operations to a halt, warns executive director of the Airforwarders Association, Brandon Fried.

Instead, government should use advanced data analysis and detection technologies to target suspicious shipments without impeding the flow of commerce, he told delegates at the CNS Partnership Conference in Dallas on 15 April.

Fentanyl is a powerful painkilling drug but it has also been implicated in a surge of drug overdose deaths in the US.

Fried said: “The air cargo industry is keenly aware of the devastating impact of the fentanyl crisis on the US and many countries worldwide. We understand the urgency to prevent the flow of illicit substances across borders and we are committed to working alongside government authorities to identify red flags and support efforts to stop these dangerous materials.

“However, we must resist calls for 100% physical inspection of packages, an approach which would grind air cargo operations to a halt, disrupting legitimate trade and harming the global economy.

“By working together, we can hold bad actors accountable while ensuring the smooth and efficient movement of legitimate goods.”

Fried said that, as well as a missing commitment to adopting new technology, there was an ongoing lack of investment in infrastructure in the US.

He added: “Without significant investment and operational improvements, we face severe challenges with ongoing congestion at airports, and without a collaborative approach to stopping illicit materials, countless lives remain at risk.”

US Customs gets tough with e-commerce importers

Cross-border ecommerce shipments to the US face being rejected under changes introduced to Entry Type 86 in April, warnings tech firm Hurricane Commerce.

Entry Type 86 is a customs clearance procedure for low value shipments imported by one person on one day with a value not more than $800.

However, from 13 April US Customs and Border Protection has updated its to the Automated Commercial Environment (ACE) with a requirement for Type 86 transactions to be filed, including full product descriptions and HS codes prior to or on arrival of the cargo. If misconduct is identified and / or failure to exercise reasonable care in the execution of Type 86, penalties, administrative sanctions and liquidated damages may be imposed.

If filed after the cargo has arrived, the entry will be rejected and the cargo will be held until a separate entry or appropriate entry type is made and will no longer be eligible for Entry Type 86 clearance.

Hurricane says the change has huge implications for customs brokers importing into the US, particularly from major global ecommerce centres such as China and India.

Hurricane Commerce partnership director, Laurie Cieciuch, said: “Failure to meet the new Entry Type 86 requirements could result in customs brokers having to manage massive volumes of formal and informal entry clearances, something that is hugely labour intensive and time consuming and ultimately impacting their clients and end consumers.”

The changes also come at a time when a growing number of brokers, which have traditionally operated in Business to Business (B2B) are moving into Business to Consumer (B2C).

In another significant change, from 1 April, CBP implemented national cargo messaging to communicate with the entry filer on shipments that have vague, non-compliant cargo descriptions.

The update is part of the drive by CBP to “address vague cargo descriptions including, but not limited to, ‘gift’, ‘daily necessities’, ‘accessories’, ‘parts’ and ‘consolidated’, the latter only being acceptable at master bill level.

The CBP said: “Brokers and freight forwarders who self-file House Bills are held to the same standard as carriers and are expected to screen data for compliance with cargo declaration regulations. The entry filer is expected to review the cargo messages for compliance when concerns are identified.”

Hurricane says its Zephyr API has been built to handle the huge volumes involved in cross-border ecommerce in which automation is key and where the tech must be highly scalable.

Budapest adopts Kale’s Airport Cargo Community system

Currently, cargo handlers and integrators use separate IT systems for data collection, reporting and transmission at the gateway. Kale’s ACS system provides enhanced visibility and transparency, with real-time tracking and monitoring of cargo movements and automated regulatory compliance checks.

Airport cargo director József Kossuth said: “Budapest Airport aims to become the main cargo hub in the Central and Eastern European region. We are now the fastest growing airport in the region in terms of cargo volume, as we handled a record 201,306 tons in 2023 with +48.5% increase compared to 2019. The ACS will serve as a centralised platform, facilitating seamless communication and data exchange among all stakeholders involved in the cargo handling process.”

Climate change puts the heat on pharma shipments

Aramex UK is urging companies exporting pharmaceuticals overseas to be mindful about shipping to warmer climates.

Temperature fluctuations due to improperly configured refrigerated containers, unforeseen delays or other issues can lead to product damage or loss, costing potentially millions of pounds. Failures in temperature-controlled logistics could cost the global pharma industry around $35 billion per year, it says.

Middle East-based Aramex says that demand for temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals has surged in recent years, and ensuring the safe delivery of critical medical supplies has become critical.

Temperatures in the Middle East and Asia often exceed 40°C making shipping pharmaceuticals more difficult – especially when adding regulatory requirements, security concerns, and supply chain disruptions to the mix.

As climate change increasing severe weather events and record-breaking temperatures year-on-year becoming commonplace, the need for a robust logistics strategy has never been more vital, it says.

Aramex UK has recently obtained a WDA (H) licence, allowing it to handle and distribute medicinal products in accordance with current compliance standards for safety, quality, and traceability.

Ronan Kitchin, who heads up Aramex UK’s Life Science & Healthcare division said: “The logistical solutions to ship pharmaceuticals have become much more refined. In order to cater to the increasing demands of the marketplace, and with regulatory compliance, we have created an end-to-end, customisable offering that is built upon ensuring that the integrity of every product within our care is preserved throughout the entire supply chain.”

DB Schenker achieves GDP pharma status for 157 global stations

DB Schenker has achieved Good Distribution Practice (GDP) pharma standards for 157 of its stations. The German-owned forwarder says that it can now cover 80% of the world’s healthcare flows under the certification, making it one of the world’s largest GDP-compliant logistics networks, , spanning the Americas, Europe and Asia.

DB Schenker’s internal Global Healthcare Quality Management System addresses the Good Distribution Practices for medicinal products for human and veterinary use and related active substances as set out by the European Union and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Head of global vertical market healthcare, Veronique Dameme, said: “At the end of every healthcare supply chain there is a patient. That’s why we ensure that medical products are stored and distributed in accordance with the highest standards. The successful GDP certification of our facilities marks a significant milestone on our roadmap and shows our ongoing pursuit of excellence in pharmaceutical logistics.”

After a station is awarded certification following successful completion of an internal certification process, a risk-based re-audit is performed based on continuously measured KPIs. This is repeated a minimum of every three years.

Within the next twelve months, the DB Schenker plans to certify over 180 of its stations to organize and manage GDP-compliant logistics.