DOHA: March 22, 2017. Qatar Airways has welcomed the arrival of the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital from the UK where the non-profit organization had earlier launched 'Operation Sight 2017', a treatment and training program for Vietnam, Cameroon and Bangladesh.
The third generation Flying Eye took to the air in June 2016 following the conversion of an MD10 donated by FedEx. The result is the world's only flying ophthalmic teaching hospital featuring live broadcast capabilities to train doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals - ultimately treating more people and restoring their sight.
While in Doha the hospital will promote 'Qatar Creating Vision', an eye health initiative that brings together three charities and 19 hospitals to provide 5.5 million child eye tests and treatments to children in India and Bangladesh before 2020.
Ashud Ahmed, Bangladesh Ambassador to the State of Qatar (left of picture), toured the Orbis aircraft that is in the country until March 29 to raise awareness about preventable blindness and its impact on developing countries.
Khalifa bin Jassim Al Kuwari, director general of the Qatar Fund for Development commented: "Many people take vision for granted and don't realize how significant eye problems can be, particularly for children in the developing world. Half of childhood vision loss can be prevented or cured, so there is much that we can do to improve access to eye care, which everyone deserves."
Supported by FedEx Express, L'OCCITANE, Alcon Foundation and OMEGA, the Flying Eye has delivered programs in 78 countries, trained thousands of doctors, and delivered over 10 million treatments in a single year since its take-off in 1982.
Orbis Special Envoy to the Middle East Robert Walters noted: "Through partnerships, we can change lives, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank HE Akbar Al Baker for his generosity through the years and the State of Qatar - in particular, the Qatar Fund for Development - for enabling us to provide a clearer and brighter future for children by bringing eye care closer to home."
Earlier this week Qatar Airways took delivery of its 12th B777 freighter. Another unit is due before the end of 2017 to bring its freighter fleet of B747s, B777s and A330s to 22 aircraft.
MEMPHIS, TN: March 21, 2017. Next month FedEx is to begin a B777 freighter flight from Liège, Belgium to Memphis as part of a round-the-world service linking Shanghai, Seattle and Anchorage.
"This new flight by FedEx Express is a tangible example of the customer benefits that the acquisition of TNT will bring," said FedEx president and CEO David Cunningham. "By combining our strengths, particularly the FedEx Express air network and TNT's strong European road capabilities and Liège hub, we will connect even more people and possibilities,"
The company said TNT customers shipping to North America will see improved service benefits including two-day delivery rather than up to four days; three-day transit times from points in the Middle-East, Africa and India; pre-noon delivery of express parcels; four-five day transit times for deferred shipments; higher weight limits for express and deferred shipments; and reduced cost and increased capacity for customers in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
TNT CEO David Binks added: "North America, and the U.S. in particular, is Europe's major trading partner. The introduction of a direct FedEx Express flight reinforces the role of the TNT hub in Liège as a significant operation for the group, complementing the FedEx Express hubs at Paris Charles-de-Gaulle and Cologne." (pictured right.)
SCHINDELLEGI, Switzerland: March 16, 2017. Kuehne + Nagel is to acquire two specialist logistics companies in Turkey and Italy to expand its good practice-compliant (GxP) services for pharmaceutical and healthcare customers. The purchase price has not been disclosed.
Entering the Turkish pharma logistics market for the first time, K+N is to purchase market leader Zet Farma, with 400 employees and 56,000 square meters of "pharma grade" warehouses in metro Istanbul.
In Italy, the company has acquired Ferlito Pharma Logistics that operates GxP-compliant warehousing, forwarding and local distribution services covering the main pharma markets of Rome and Milan.
Gianfranco Sgro, K+N head of Contract Logistics explained: "The pharma logistics market is expected to significantly grow due to global demographic changes and increased consumer spending. It is one of the markets Kuehne + Nagel differentiates itself by operational excellence, global footprint and dedicated logistics infrastructure."
In a related move K+N has expanded its specialty trailer network in Belgium and Luxembourg with the purchase of an additional 50 constant temperature-controlled pharma trailers to add to its existing fleet.
"We are committed to investing in best-in-class equipment to ensure our customers' products arrive at their destination safe and completely intact through shipping fully compliant according to temperature guidelines", said Kevin Nash, K+N managing director for Belgium & Luxembourg.
DUBAI: March 15, 2017. Panalpina has officially opened its 40,000 square meter logistics manufacturing center in Dubai Logistics City, part of the bonded corridor that links Al Maktoum International Airport and Jebel Ali Port.
The new facility supports circular supply chains with most of the operational space used for inbound-to-manufacturing (I2M), vendor-managed-inventory to support Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS), and for outbound distribution.
"We first set foot in the United Arab Emirates 25 years ago," said Panalpina CEO Stefan Karlen. "Today's official inauguration opens a new exciting chapter for our logistics and freight forwarding activities in the region. It is the biggest facility of this type that we currently operate," he declared.
Also attending the opening ceremony was Emirates Group chairman HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum who commented: "We share [Panalpina's] vision of how supply chains in a circular economy are shaping the future. The new logistics center will further strengthen the relationship between Panalpina and Dubai South and help attract additional industries to the region such as high fashion, automotive, and aerospace, as well as research organizations and think tanks."
Panalpina global head of Logistics and Manufacturing Mike Wilson (pictured rght with HH Sheikh Ahmed), said that as part of a growing circular economy, the company was seeing increased demand for reverse logistics, including diagnostics and ultimately repairs for their customers' products.
"With the trend of distributed manufacturing close to point of consumption, the emphasis on sustainability, the Internet of Things and the makerspace movement, as well as technological advances such as additive manufacturing, we will see more logistics facilities like this one in the future, where we can add value to our customers' supply chains," he explained.
Responding to a growing number of companies wanting to configure, customize and deliver their products as close to the customer as possible, the Panalpina center includes a separate repair room where specialists evaluate used mobile phones, tablets and laptops before they are reintroduced into the supply chain, recycled or discarded.
Specialists also refurbish game consoles after diagnostics, repair and testing, while in the LMS area engineers and technicians pick semi-knocked down units and then configure, assemble and test them with the latest software uploaded prior to distribution.
"Our hub here in Dubai is designed to take advantage of the changing dynamics of supply chains," Wilson noted.
ABU DHABI: March 14, 2017. IT solutions provider Mercator, majority-owned by Warburg Pincus Investments, has launched what it says is the air cargo industry's first open API platform for management and ground handling: the 'Intelligent Cargo Ecosystem' (ICE).
The company has also produced a new 'Warehouse App' for airlines to connect goods, people, data and processes with warehouse operations.
The app allows warehouse data capture via a single mobile interface for full shipment visibility from acceptance and relocation, through to breakdown, build-up, delivery, and tracking billing data.
Finnair Cargo is one of the first carriers to test and deploy the app as part of a program to transform air and ground handling operations. Janne Tarvainen, managing director of Finnair Cargo noted: "We are very pleased to have Mercator as a partner in this significant project. The warehouse app will be an important tool for years to come."
The company's 37,000 square meters 'COOL Nordic Cargo' hub at Helsinki Airport (right) is scheduled to open in May 2017.
The app is the first part of Mercator's ICE that includes Offer & Order Management, Logistics, Warehousing, Regulatory Compliance, Quality Management, Revenue Management and Analytics.
The company said the open platform enables air cargo carriers to move away from legacy systems by allowing handlers and operators to make process changes quickly - as well as introduce new services, particularly for Perishables and eCommerce traffic.
"The role of technology is rapidly shifting from being a driver of efficiency to an enabler of fundamental innovation and disruption in air cargo management and ground handling," said Brendan McKittrick, Mercator's CTO. "The technology can really transform the industry, providing much greater visibility, versatility, and above all, the ability to simplify complex and challenging processes."
Mercator said its new app was developed after consultation with hundreds of air cargo warehouse agents around the world.
CHICAGO: March 14, 2017. UPS 3PL subsidiary Coyote Logistics has opened a new office in metropolitan Guadalajara, Mexico to develop transborder truckload, LTL, and intermodal brokerage services.
According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, nearly US$1.5 billion worth of goods cross the border between the U.S. and Mexico each day under the NAFTA. Approximately 80 percent of U.S.- Mexico merchandize trade crosses via road and rail.
U.S. imports from Mexico contain as much as 40 percent U.S. content, which means U.S. and Mexican-made goods use border crossings multiple times throughout a supply chain process between the two countries.
Coyote provides a network of 40,000 contract carriers to 14,000 shippers based on a partial or fully outsourced supply chain management program, Collaborative Transportation Management (CTM), and a suite of technology solutions.
"The Guadalajara office is a smart expansion for Coyote and our customers," said Coyote president, Jonathan Sisler. "We have been arranging the movement of freight into, out of and within Mexico for years, but this expansion allows us to further develop the intra-Mexico business and execute a broader, more complex array of services to existing and new customers both in Mexico and North America."
UPS said favorable production costs, proximity to North American consumer markets and rising labor costs in China, have prompted U.S. companies to move a portion of their supply chains from Asia to Mexico.
"We are very excited about what this project and opportunity means for Coyote," says Coyote director of Mexico Business Strategy, Jose Fernandez Chavira. "The new Guadalajara office represents a significant step forward in our continued growth and success. Being closer to customers and carriers will put us in a great position to increase our footprint."
The top commodity between the U.S. and Mexico last year was electrical machinery at US$102.6 billion, with US$94.0 billion moved by truck, followed by vehicles and parts with US$43.7 billion moved by rail.
Earlier this month Mexico Secretary of Commerce Ildefonso Guajardo Villarreal reiterated his government's opposition to additional tariffs or quantitative restrictions on trade with the U.S.
Villarreal said that thanks to NAFTA, the automotive industry had become "a pillar of the economic relationship" between Mexico and Michigan and added that his country is quite ready to modernize and strengthen the existing treaty for the future benefit of all parties.
Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation shows the value of NAFTA cross-border trade by truck, air, sea, pipeline and rail fell 3.4 percent last year to US$1.069 trillion.
The value of U.S.- Mexico freight fell 1.1 percent to US$525.1 billion as trucks carried 71 percent and rail 14.7 percent. Airfreight totaled 3.0 percent by value.
ABU DHABI: March 14, 2017. Unilode, the ULD management company formerly known as CHEP, has won a major outsource contract from Saudia and Saudia Cargo to begin April 01, 2017.
Pictured left to right: Chris Notter, vice president Operations Saudia Cargo; Nadeem Malibari, Head of Ground Operations PMO Saudia; Ludwig Bertsch, president and CEO, Unilode.
Unilode will set up regional management offices in Jeddah and Riyadh and also operate a facility in Jeddah for the maintenance and repair of ULDs and galley carts, supplemented by Unilode´s worldwide network of 30 repair stations.
Noting the Unilode ULD inventory is now over 120,000 units, Saudia Cargo CEO Nabil Khojah said: "For our service delivery it is essential that we have the ULDs ready in an airworthy condition when and where we need them."
Saudia and Saudia Cargo will reply on a hybrid ULD management solution in which the containers are part of a dedicated fleet and the pallets are being supplied from Unilode's pool.
Saudia CEO Jaan Albrecht added: "During the tender process Unilode demonstrated exceptional knowledge and expertise in all aspects of ULD management and repairs, and has proposed a number of ways which will enable us to improve our operations and enhance the service we provide to our customers."
Unilode president and CEO Ludwig Bertsch commented: "Middle Eastern carriers are the world's fastest growing airlines and we are committed to support our customers' growth plans which may include the purchase of additional assets and opening of new stations in our ULD management and repair network."
In a related announcement, the team of Saudia Cargo Africa, lead by regional director Ken Mbogo (pictured second from the left), were on hand to receive an award for 'International Cargo Airline of the year in Africa' at Air Cargo Africa 2017 in Johannesburg earlier this month. Mbogo said the award would give the team a new challenge to continue improving its products and services in order to achieve a consistent pattern of growth.
KIRCHHEIM/TECK, Germany: March 15, 2017. After a five-year hiatus, automobile logistics specialist Mosolf Group is re-introducing a weekly rail link between its terminals in Kippenheim, Southern Germany and Düsseldorf.
Family-owned Mosolf said it handled 67,000 vehicles at Düsseldorf last year with plans to increase the number to 70,000 in 2017 with 49 percent via Inland waterways, 17 percent by rail, and trucks carrying the remaining 34 percent.
According to the company its Düsseldorf multimodal hub will remain primarily focused on handling inland waterway traffic with deliveries to Antwerp from the local Mercedes-Benz auto plant several times a week via Dutch car-carriers MS Terra and Terra 2.
The re-launch of the rail service is a bid to move more auto traffic off the German road network and the company expects to carry 12,000 vehicles annually between the Black Forest and the Rhineland with only the final mile delivery by truck.
"In addition to the environmental benefits of rail services compared to trucks – after all, a block train with 250 cars is roughly the equivalent of 35 truckloads, depending on the load factor – the concept also makes sense from a logistical point of view," said Mosolf head of Sales Wolfgang Göbel. "The prompt, regional deliveries provided by the routes from Düsseldorf also enable more efficient and faster vehicle distribution," he pointed out.
Peter Jacobs, Head of Railway Operations North at Düsseldorf said the reintroduction of the rail service from the south of Germany adds trimodal logistics value to the capital of North Rhine-Westphalia: "We're delighted that Mosolf is now once again focusing on railway services to a greater degree in Düsseldorf alongside its inland waterway operations, and that we're able to support the company both with port logistics and railway services."
ISTANBUL: March 13, 2017. Turkish Airlines has reported a six percent rise in air cargo revenue in 2016 to US$996 million. Some US$600 million was derived from passenger operations and US$396 million from all-cargo services.
The increase was recognized with Turkish Cargo being awarded the 'Fastest Growing International Cargo Airline of the Year' at Air Cargo Africa 2017.
Chief Cargo Officer Turhan Özen noted: "Thanks to our dedicated efforts, we have been able to grow rapidly in recent years and become the 11th largest airline company in the African cargo market.
"I sincerely thank all Turkish Airlines employees who have contributed to this success. Our goal is to increase our growth rate even further, and enter the year 2020 as one of the top five air cargo companies in the African market, " he added.
In a related move, the airline is to begin direct flights from Istanbul to Voronezh and Samara in Russia from April this year. The company will operate three flights a week to Voronezh and Samara respectively beginning April 04 and April 11.
Turkish Airlines reported a gross profit of US$1.136 billion on revenue of US$9.792 billion for 2016 and ended the year with cash and cash equivalents of US$1.466 billion, up from US$900 million in 2015.
LONDON: March 14, 2017. Unisys has launched 'Digistics' - described by the company as an "integrated cargo logistics solution" for carriers to streamline freight management and improve their operational efficiencies.
According to the company the Cloud-based, pay-for-use architecture enables airlines to choose from a suite of offerings or select specific cargo services including inventory management, booking, invoicing and accounting.
"We are proud to be the first in this industry to offer catalogue-based cloud services," said Unisys vice president and global head of Travel and Transportation Dheeraj Kohli.
"Carriers can now select and subscribe to the features they need for their business operations, while the advanced level analytics will allow carriers to identify the factors to help them sustain efficient routes, as well as improve processes on less efficient routes," he added.
Digistics incorporates existing Unisys offerings including the logistics management system (LMS), cargo revenue accounting (CRA) and cargo portal services (CPS), as well as additional value-added services such as mobility, RFID and analytics.
The platform also benefits from fast implementation and enhancement based on feedback from the Unisys Cargo User Group.
Last month the company announced Air New Zealand had joined its CPS to allow the airline's forwarder customers to book and track shipments online, as well as enabling access to over 6,000 existing in-network forwarders in 105 countries.
"As Air New Zealand already uses [the] Unisys LMS, we can leverage the data in the cargo operations system to bring them online quickly," said Kohli. "And because they pay on a transaction basis, costs relate directly to value. Both of these benefits are clear examples of how cloud-based services are transforming the air cargo industry," he noted.
TOKYO: March 09, 2017. The U.N. World Food Programme (WFP) and NEC Corporation are to develop the first supply chain visibility platform for pandemic response, with an initial grant of US$1 million from the government of Japan.
The WFP and NEC will design a logistics visualization system for the Global Pandemic Supply Chain (PSC) Network that will enable end-to-end tracking of aid items, such as protective clothing and medical equipment, in a country facing an emergency.
Creation of the PSC Network was prompted by a review of how aid agencies responded to the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014. In addition to the WFP and NEC, founding members include the UPS Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, Henry Schein, Becton, and Dickinson & Co.
During the Ebola pandemic the international aid responders faced severe warehousing and distribution capacity constraints, limited visibility of the overall supply and demand of critical items, access constraints caused by border closures, and a lack of public-private sector coordination.
By bringing together logistics supply information and enabling the analysis of supply chain inefficiencies, the new information platform is expected to improve response times, save costs and use resources better, said NEC. Other key functions will include reporting, data integration with existing logistics systems, and in-country warehouse management.
"It is widely recognized that the global health architecture could be reinforced with improved supply chain platform to enable better preparation and faster response time for pandemics," said Hideaki Chotoku, director of the Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Relief Division at Japan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"The Japanese government welcomes and is proud to support the PSC Network which also involves Japanese IT technology. We look forward to monitoring its progress in designing this innovative tool," he added.