LONDON: April 24, 2017. Trans Global Projects (TGP) has joined the WACO System global forwarder network as a member for Azerbaijan.
Founded in the UK as a project logistics management company, TGP has since expanded to offer a set of related services including project logistics management, supply chain management, ship chartering, passenger aviation, procurement, and logistics consultancy.
TGP (Azerbaijan) provides Customs clearance, port handling, vessel agency, local transport and international transport by road, sea/river, and air.
"We are delighted to be accepted as the designated agent for Azerbaijan," said Azer Aliyev, TGP regional director. "[We] looks forward to being a member of the WACO network and the opportunities it brings for us in Azerbaijan and globally, as part of this extensive network."
Other new additions to the WACO network include ACE Logistics Bel, offering freight forwarding and logistics services covering Belarus and the Baltic region through its sister companies; and the ITN Group, headquartered in Toronto with additional offices in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver operating its own trucks, chassis, Customs brokerage house and bonded warehouses.
Founded in 1973, WACO is the original freight forwarder network and now has 400 locations worldwide. Based in Switzerland and owned by its 112 members, the association has a combined annual turnover of US$4 billion and employs 21,000 people in 109 countries.
"The WACO System is proud to be the oldest independent network in the world, and we continue to grow our presence globally with the addition of local experts with a proven track record in the world's most dynamic economies," said Richard Charles, WACO System executive director.
WILMINGTON, OH. April 25, 2017. Bahrain-based Texel Air is the launch customer for a new conversion program by Pemco World Air Services for the B737-700.
The charter airline, a subsidiary of MRO provider Chisholm Enterprises, will operate a 'FlexCombi' version of the aircraft, designated a B737-700FC.
The aircraft will have three configurations: a 24-passenger cabin plus six main deck pallet positions and a 30,000lbs payload; a 12-passenger cabin plus seven pallet positions to carry 35,000 lbs.; or a full-freighter version with eight pallet positions for a 40,000lbs payload.
A second version, the B737-700F, will have space for nine pallet positions to carry up to 45,000 pounds of cargo.
"We made a significant investment to develop our specification for the FlexCombi to meet our operational requirements," said Chisholm Enterprises CEO George Chisholm. "We have also worked with Pemco as the end customer for four previous B737-300 conversions including the current two aircraft in the Texel fleet. We have benefited from the trouble-free PEMCO cargo system since 2009. We are very confident of a successful partnership with PEMCO on the -700FC," he added.
Chisholm formed Texel Air in 2013 to carry - among other shipments - dangerous goods, live animals (including grooms), fuel and perishables for customers throughout the GCC region from Bahrain International Airport.
Pemco, now a subsidiary of Air Transport Services Group that provides line-haul B767 services to Amazon Prime Air, expects to receive U.S. FAA certification for the two conversion types by mid-2018 followed by similar approvals from the European Aviation Safety Agency and the Civil Aviation Administration of China.
"This has been a very carefully thought out process for us," said Pemco general manager Pastor Lopez. "Operators have responded very favorably to our entry into this space."
JAKARTA: April 23, 2017. The CMA CGM 'Otello' has become the largest container vessel to call at the Jakarta International Container Terminal (JICT) at the start of its first direct service from Indonesia to the United States.
The 8,238-TEU vessel is deployed for the Java Sea Express (JAX) service and Pendulum Loop 1 (PE1) service by CMA CGM and APL respectively.
CMA CGM OTELLO is one of 17 vessels that will operate the weekly JAX or PE1 service with a 23-day transit time between Jakarta and Los Angeles.
The new service is the result of a collaboration between the Indonesia Port Corporation and CMA CGM that allows for the handling of very large box carriers at the JICT with its Post-Panamax cranes.
CMA CGM senior vice president Asia Jean-Yves Duval commented: "Indonesia is strategic to the developments of the CMA CGM Group in Southeast Asia. We are fully behind Indonesia's aspiration for a mega maritime network across the island nation and seek to exploit opportunities to make a meaningful contribution."
JICT is located in Tanjung Priok, Indonesia's largest container port and serves as the country's national hub port and a gateway to Jakarta and the industrial heartland of West Java. Owned by Hutchison Ports, JICT handles more than 2.2 million TEU per year.
LONDON STANSTED: April 25, 2017. Pegasus Airlines is launching new B737-800 services from London Stansted to four destinations in Russia plus Abu Dhabi, via its Sabiha Gokcen hub on the Asia side of Istanbul.
The airline's new thrice-weekly services include the start of flights to Grozny on April 12, Samara and Volgograd on June 19 and to Nizhny Novgorod and Abu Dhabi the following day.
Pegasus will now offer freight capacity to seven Russian points including its current services to Moscow, Krasnodar and Mineralnye Vody.
Abu Dhabi is the airline's fifth GCC destination in addition to Kuwait, Bahrain, Doha and Dubai and expands the Pegasus network to 103 destinations in 40 countries
Last month the airline celebrated 10 years of flying from Stansted to over 60 destinations across Turkey, Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia and North Africa.
Pegasus Airlines CCO Guliz Ozturk commented: "We are proud to have flown over 1.5 million guests since launching our scheduled service at London Stansted Airport ten years ago. I am delighted to confirm that the strong and positive relationship between Pegasus Airlines and London Stansted Airport is one that we will continue to build upon for further success in the future."
Pegasus said "despite the many developments that have negatively affected the aviation industry," it managed to increase its turnover by 6.0 percent last year as the number of passengers flown rose 8.1 percent year-on-year to 24.14 million.
Stansted Airport aviation director Mats Sigurdson added: "I'd like to offer my congratulations to Pegasus on a fantastic and very successful ten years at the airport. We are very proud to have them as a highly valued and key partner at the airport and very much look forward to working with them for many years to come."
The current flights to Grozny operate on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; flights to Samara will operate on Monday, Thursday and Saturday; to Volgograd on Monday, Friday and Saturday; and Nizhny Novgorod on a Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
Flights from Stansted to Abu Dhabi will operate every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, according to the airline.
SINGAPORE: April 18, 2017. Airbus Helicopters and Singapore Post (SingPost) are to begin trials of the Airbus Skyways drone project at the National University of Singapore (NUS) in early 2018.
Skyways is an experimental project to develop a safe and economically viable aerial unmanned parcel delivery system for use in urban environments.
Last year Airbus Helicopters signed a contract with the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore to test a fully autonomous drone parcel delivery service (load-fly-unload-notify) at the NUS.
Airbus Helicopters is the overall Skyways system architect that allow drones to land, dock with secure structures, discharge or take on payloads, and then fly off to other destinations.
"Skyways was launched with the intent to provide highly efficient, reliable and seamless small parcel deliveries using drones in urban cities," commented Airbus Helicopters' executive vice president of Engineering and CTO Jean-Brice Dumont. "The project has been progressing well and we welcome SingPost onboard as our logistics partner in this critical phase, as we work in tandem to develop a robust autonomous parcel delivery system that will revolutionize the logistics industry."
SingPost will provide the project with additional expertise in delivery networks, real-time back-end links to last-mile delivery, and eCommerce logistics solutions.
"Drones and other autonomous vehicles are in the future of the logistics industry. The demonstrator that Airbus Helicopters and SingPost will be developing is designed to address real-world challenges such as safe and accurate flight in high rise cities," said Mervyn Lim, SingPost's Covering Group CEO.
"Our trial will involve SingPost's parcel locker technology, and this fits well into our long term plans to develop future generations of parcel delivery points that involve drones and the vertical dimension," he added.
In addition to Airbus/Sing Post, delivery drones have been tested by Amazon, DHL, Lufthansa Cargo, Matternet on behalf of the Rwandan government, Mercedes Benz, Pony Express Ireland, Swiss Post/Swiss WorldCargo and the 7-Eleven convenience store.
Pictured: Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice president of Engineering and CTO Airbus Helicopters (left), and Mervyn Lim, SingPost's Covering Group CEO.
BEIJING: April 25, 2017. JD.com, China's other online retailer, has launched JD Logistics to provide smart supply chain and logistics services to a wide range of business sectors.
The company said it would use AI, big data and automation to leverage the accumulated data from every step of its e-commerce process, from ordering to delivery and after-sales service.
"This move is a major step in our vision to make technology even more central to what we do over the next 12 years," commented chairman and CEO Richard Liu. "In the 10 years since JD.com launched China's first B2C logistics network, we have redefined what consumers expect from an e-commerce experience."
The company said it plans to offer business customers warehousing, transportation, delivery, after-sales service, and smart and cross-border logistics.
"We hope JD Logistics can revolutionize China's commercial infrastructure and become the global model for smart supply chain solutions," added Liu.
By the end of last year JD.com operated seven of the largest smart fulfillment centers in Asia, in addition to 256 warehouses and 6,906 delivery and pickup stations across China. The company reported gross merchandise value last year of RMB658.2 billion.
SAN FRANCISCO/ROTTERDAM. April 18, 2017. Africa box carrier and breakbulk specialist NileDutch is to use ClearMetal AI and predictive logistics technology to improve container flow and vessel fleet utilization.
Developed by software engineers from Stanford University and Silicon Valley, ClearMetal's technology predicts shipment cycle events to enable asset allocation and trade management decisions for carriers, forwarders, terminals, and shippers.
"Managing fleet and container utilization against a backdrop of fluctuating demand in today's highly complex market can be challenging," said Mark Kraaijenbrink, NileDutch director Information and Communications Technology.
"We are always seeking innovative solutions to gain a competitive edge and ClearMetal's machine learning technology for predictive logistics appears to provide a significant advantage over any other industry methods and tools we've seen."
NileDutch will use ClearMetal technology to predict container supply and demand based on supply chain performance history, data and patterns.
"ClearMetal's approach to harvesting data and overlaying advanced technology will quickly move us to the forefront in applying predictive logistics and AI to our commercial and operational activities," continued Kraaijenbrink. "This results in better service for customers and greater opportunities for us to grow."
ClearMetal CEO Adam Compain added: "NileDutch is a very forward looking company that shares our belief that the future of the supply chain will be about data intelligence over scale."
Nile Dutch focuses on developing trade between Africa and the rest of the world with a fleet of 30 container/breakbulk vessels.
BENTONVILLE, AR: April 20, 2017. Walmart has launched 'Project Gigaton' to encourage its suppliers to help eliminate one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from manufacturing, materials and use of products by 2030.
The company says its goal of removing the equivalent of 211 million passenger vehicles from U.S. roads and highways for a year is based on a verified science-based target emissions-reduction plan.
"Supply chains are the new frontier of sustainability. The journey products take from source to shelf will collectively shape our planet's future," explained Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund. "Project Gigaton is a testament to the transformative impact that leaders of industry can have on our greatest common challenges. As more companies follow in the footsteps of Walmart and their suppliers, we can achieve the critical mass needed to address climate change," he added.
In collaboration with WWF and the Environmental Defense Fund, Walmart has identified energy, agriculture, waste, packaging, deforestation, product use and design in a bid to reduce emissions that are a consequence of its doing business but are out of its direct control – i.e. from suppliers.
"Through the years, we've seen that integrating sustainable practices into our operations improves business performance, spurs technological innovation, inspires brand loyalty, and boosts employee engagement," said Laura Phillips, senior vice president, Sustainability for Walmart. "Our suppliers recognize the opportunity to realize those same benefits in their businesses. By working together on such an ambitious goal, we can accelerate progress within our respective companies and deep in our shared supply chains."
Unilever North America president Kees Kruythoff commented: "We congratulate Walmart on using the power of collective action to tackle carbon reduction and climate change. We will continue to support Walmart's efforts in reducing one gigaton of carbon through initiatives like our Sustainable Agriculture commitment."
Project Gigaton is part of several Walmart sustainability initiatives that include investing in solar energy where it is now one of America's significant commercial solar and on-site renewable energy users.
CHICAGO: April 17, 2017. United Airlines has reported a 69.3 percent drop in net income to US$96 million for the first quarter of 2017, on a 2.7 percent rise in revenue to US$8.4 billion year-on-year.
Cargo revenue rose 13.4 percent compared to the same period in 2016 to reach US$220 million, as cargo ton-miles increased 20.3 percent for the quarter.
Net operating profit after tax for the rolling 12-month period ending in March was US$4.94 billion.
During the quarter the airline also recorded a US$21 million severance cost associated with a voluntary early-out program for 1,000 Teamsters' union employees through early 2019.
Commenting on the financial results UAL CEO Oscar Munoz said it was obvious the airline needed to do a much better job serving its customers: "The incident that took place aboard Flight 3411 has been a humbling experience, and I take full responsibility.
"This will prove to be a watershed moment for our company, and we are more determined than ever to put our customers at the center of everything we do. We are dedicated to setting the standard for customer service among U.S. airlines, as we elevate the experience our customers have with us from booking to baggage claim," he added.
During the quarter the airline was named 'Eco-Airline of the Year' (right) for its leadership in environmental action; took delivery of six B777-300ER aircraft, two B787-9 and one A319; and began adding service to 31 destinations across the U.S. and to Europe as employees earned US$18 million in cash-incentive payments for achieving performance goals.
In a related announcement, UAL and Lufthansa Cargo have agreed to "extensive cargo cooperation" including capacity management, booking and handling on routes between the U.S. and Europe.
The carriers said their proposed joint venture, following an I.T. systems alignment, would provide customers with more than 600 direct connections per week between the U.S. and Europe later this year.
"We are excited about the benefits that will be generated by our teams' cooperation and our combined capacities," said Jan Krems, president of United Cargo. "Cargo customers will appreciate the opportunities for quicker and easier shipping between key locations in the U.S. and Europe."
ROTTERDAM: April 20, 2017. Samskip is to acquire New Jersey-based freight forwarder Rimar Consultants to expand the perishables business of its U.S. subsidiary Samskip Logistics.
Privately-held Rimar, which has been working with Samskip for the past two decades, handles 10,000-12,000 export TEU per year of U.S. meat and seafood.
"The purchase is strongly aligned with our continuing strategy to build [a] reefer business," said Samskip Logistics CEO Ásbjörn Gíslason. "The merger of Rimar's activities into Samskip Logistics USA will bring indirect cost savings, better procurement, and scale economies. Rimar has strong relations with key carriers, truckers and trans-load vendors, and this will strengthen procurement and benefit Samskip Logistics network volumes.
Noting a good forecast for perishables traffic this year, Gislason said integrating the business processes between the two companies would be straightforward and also create significant opportunities for growth.
"Rimar's strengths have been focused on growing its full container loads by sea business, but the same customers are very active in imports, cross trading, storage and air transport. [Its] strong relations in Asia, South America and Europe, when combine with Samskip's network and expertise, creates new opportunities for all parties in some of the world's key trade lanes," he added.
Last year Samskip Logistics acquired Silver Green AS based in Bergen, Norway that operates 14 reefer vessels in the North Atlantic, Baltic, North Sea and Black Sea. The company also invested in new reefer containers and introduced web-based track and trace capability for temperature-controlled cargoes throughout its network in 2016.
PURCHASE, NY: April 17, 2017. Teamsters union flight dispatchers at Atlas Air and Polar Air Cargo have voted to extend their contract with the two carriers until November 2021.
The move follows a tentative agreement reached last week between the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the 620 pilots flying for Horizon Air, part of the Alaska Air Group.
The amended Atlas/Polar agreement, ratified by 74 percent of the union voters, includes a 30 percent wage increase over the life of the contract, as well as generous moving expenses for members affected by the company's relocation of flight dispatch operations to Cincinnati, Ohio in support of Amazon's Prime Air service.
"The agreement ratified recognizes the relocation needs of the company and helps position it to continue its record of growth and its preeminent position as a world class airline," said Capt. David Bourne, Teamsters Airline Division director. Bourne commended the "professionalism and diligence" of both union representatives and airline managers during the negotiations.
Horizon Air said the agreement with its Teamster-represented pilots includes enhanced salary and bonus provisions that will enable the company to attract new talent: "I commend the negotiations team for their efforts to reach a deal that allows us to increase our pilot recruitment efforts and offer generous entry level wages for new first officers," declared Brad Lambert, Horizon Air vice president Flight Operations: "This deal will allow us to successfully compete for talent and grow our airline."
Last year Horizon placed an order for 30 Embraer E175 aircraft at a book price of US$2.8 billion for delivery by 2019. The jets, 13 of which are expected this year, will supplement the Portland-based carrier's fleet of Bombardier Q400s and allow the carrier to fly routes that are too long for turboprops but don't have enough passenger or freight demand to fill a mainline jet.