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LONDON: August 20, 2018. Zero-emissions engineering company Dearman has launched a two-year project aimed at reducing harvest waste in South Africa that costs the country US$6.0 billion a year – half of which is perishables.

Dearman says it plans to use its liquid nitrogen engine to develop a mobile pre-cooling system to cut the temperature of perishables at harvest and thus reduce spoilage.

UN FAO statsWorking with cold chain operator Transfig and Harvest Fresh, a family-owned food producer based in South Africa’s Gauteng province, Dearman will deploy a mobile, off-grid, zero-emissions system that enables farmers access affordable pre-cooling.

The company estimates that deploying 250 units throughout the country would save 350,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables wasted during post-harvest handling and storage. The solution would also save 328 million cubic metres of water, 29,000 hectares of land and boost farmer income by 12.0 percent.

“Small farmers in the country want an affordable pre-cooling system, but one that does the job cleanly,” commented Dearman head of New Applications Daniel Fennell. “The zero-emission system we are developing can offer a real alternative to polluting, expensive diesel systems and help to reduce post-harvest food loss.”

According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), roughly one third of annual global human food production - some 1.3 billion tonnes - is wasted at a cost of US$680 billion in industrialized countries and US$310 billion in developing nations.

The FAO says fruit and vegetables, plus roots and tubers, have the highest wastage rates of any food at 40-50 percent of the total.

Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).

The food lost in Africa could feed 300 million people and the FAO calculates that saving 25 percent of the current food loss globally would be enough to feed 870 million people.

“In developing countries food waste and losses occur mainly at early stages of the food value chain and can be traced back to financial, managerial and technical constraints in harvesting techniques as well as storage and cooling facilities," according to the FAO.

“Strengthening the supply chain through the direct support of farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation, as well as in an expansion of the food and packaging industry could help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste,” it added.

The African fruit and vegetables pre-cooling market is estimated to be worth US$942 million. Funded by the UK Department for International Development, the Dearman project includes a six-month field trial in order to demonstrate the viability of wider commercial deployment across the continent.

MADISON, WI, August 16, 2018. Transportation software company SwanLeap has topped Inc. Magazine’s latest ‘Inc.5000’ list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.

SwanLeap founder Brad HollisterAccording to the index, SwanLeap is leveraging AI across the supply chain to optimize transportation execution while helping companies “turn freight into a profit centre”. The company claims its technology can provide annualized savings of 26.7 percent to businesses.

Flexport founder Ryan PetersenEntering the Inc. 5000 list in 2017 at No.55 with US$99 million in revenue, SwanLeap has grown 75,660.8 percent over the past three years to put the five year-old software company in first place this year.

“If your company is on the Inc.5000, it is unparalleled recognition of your years of hard work and sacrifice,” observed Inc. editor-in-chief James Ledbetter. “The lines of business may come and go, or come and stay. What doesn’t change is the way entrepreneurs create and accelerate the forces that shape our lives.”

SwanLeap founder Brad Hollister (right) commented: “Although I envisioned this level of success from the beginning, it has been a hard road getting here. We’re doing something new, something very different and a lot of the market is just starting to understand that.”

Founded in 2013, the company, formerly ClearView Audit, provides transportation management systems, shipping technology, and freight payment and auditing software.

Another logistics software company has also made the Inc. 5000 list this year. Occupying the No.8 position is Flexport – “the modern freight forwarder” – that reported revenues of US$224.7 million in 2017 and has had a three-year growth trajectory of 15,911 percent.

Founded in 2013 by Ryan Petersen (left), the San Francisco-based startup says it helps companies like Bridgestone move freight globally by combining “powerful software and dedicated experts to give [them] accountability, peace of mind, and control over [their] supply chain”.

LONDON: August 11, 2018. ATC Aviation and Pacific Feeder Services (PFS) have partnered up to provide improved services in the South American market. The deal has been negotiated over the past three years and was signed in Santiago de Chile by Ingo Zimmer, CEO ATC Aviation Services and Mark Thiermann, managing director GrupoPFS.

ATC AviationThe acquisition is expected to combine the strengths of both companies, increase global presence and create a robust portfolio that can benefit from growth trend over the long term.

Thiermann commented: “PFS and ATC are now one combined company in South America. We will direct all our efforts towards ensuring that our customers will benefit from our new group. With global reach and top local expertise, we are in a good position when it comes to supporting our partner airlines’ growth”.

ATC CEO Ingo Zimmer added: “Together we will achieve strong and complementary positions in South America’s key export markets, creating a broader and more balanced portfolio. This purchase is a further step to complete our mission to become the world-leading cargo GSSA.”

Airlines represented by ATC Aviation Services / Pacific Feeder Services in South America are: Aeromexico, Aerolineas Argentinas, American Airlines, CAL Cargo Airlines, Cargolux Airlines, Ethiopian Airlines, GOL Linhas Aereas, Silkway, Korean Air, Peruvian Airlines, Tame Airlines. Saudia Cargo, Royal Air Maroc and Solar Cargo.

ANCHORAGE: August 08, 2018. The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) reports a 5.2 percent rise in air cargo volumes to 1.34 million tonnes for the first six months of 2018 compared to the same period last year.

Anchorage Airport Cargo"Anchorage Airport’s strategic location gives air cargo operators the ability to fly fully loaded aircraft between Asia, the United States, Europe and Latin America," said airport manager Jim Szczesniak. "You can fly a fully loaded freighter to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Taipei, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Mexico City, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt from Anchorage. This one location provides you global access.”

Some 22 major air cargo airlines and nine domestic carriers connect via ANC to 11 major cities in Asia and 18 in North America, generating over US$1 billion in annual economic impact for the city of Anchorage.

Special air cargo transfer rights allow the airlines to transfer cargo between aircraft at ANC in the same way passengers make a connection at a hub airport.

“We are seeing air cargo customers utilize these special transfer rights to increase the efficiency of their networks and that gives them the ability to open new markets. We are also seeing a lot of growth and interest in using ANC as a connection point between Asia and Latin America,” explained Szczesniak.

ANC is the world’s fifth busiest air cargo airport supporting 150 widebody freighter flights a day including “significant operations” from UPS, FedEx and DHL.

“The Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport continues to be a strong performer in Alaska’s economy,” noted Alaska governor Bill Walker. “We highly value the central role that Anchorage plays in transpacific air cargo. As we continue to strengthen our relationships in Asia we will keep working hard for continued growth at ANC.”

DALLAS-FORT WORTH, TX: July 11, 2018. The Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Transportation Council (RTC) is to conduct a feasibility study for a hyperloop link between Fort Worth, Waco, Temple-Killeen, Austin, San Antonio and the US/Mexico border city of Laredo, a distance of over 430 miles.

As a first step the RTC will commission an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a high-speed corridor connecting Dallas, Arlington and Fort Worth. A preliminary analysis by Virgin Hyperloop One engineers estimates it would take six minutes to travel the 30-plus miles between Dallas and Ft. Worth.

Virgin Hyperloop Texas“The RTC is all about bringing innovation to the transportation system in the Dallas-Fort Worth region and hyperloop would be an exciting technology to add,” said Gary Fickes, Tarrant County Commissioner and RTC chair. “I think the future’s very bright for hyperloop and its use in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.”

Last month the chief minister of India’s Maharashtra state, Devendra Fadnavis, and representatives from the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority visited Virgin Hyperloop One’s test site in the Nevada Desert following the signing of a framework agreement in February to build the first hyperloop in India.

The planned route will link central Pune, Navi Mumbai International Airport and Mumbai - a distance of 94 miles - in 25-minutes. The high-capacity passenger and cargo hyperloop route will also have the potential for the rapid movement of palletized freight and light cargo between the Port of Mumbai and Pune, creating a robust backbone for on-demand deliveries, supply chains and next-generation logistics, said the company.

“This was a very fruitful discussion and we should be able to start moving on this project very fast,” commented Shri. Devendra during his visit.

According to the hyperloop company, the Pune-Mumbai route could result in US$55 billion in socio- economic benefits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 150,000 tons annually.

“I am incredibly excited to see this Pune-Mumbai hyperloop project go from a vision to reality as it starts detailed planning,” said company chairman Richard Branson “The opportunity is enormous: to connect 26 million people with access to affordable infrastructure that will unlock significant economic and social value,” he added.

MADRID: August 07, 2018. Virgin Hyperloop One is to open its first European development facility in the Andalusian region of Spain at a cost of US$500 million that includes €120 million of government grants and loans.

Isabel Pardo de Vera Posada (pictured), president of the Administration of Railway Infrastructures (ADIF) and Rob Lloyd, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop One, signed the agreement.

 Isabel Pardo de Vera PosadaThe 19,000 square meter centre, to be opened by 2020, would develop, test, and certify components and subsystems to improve safety and reliability of hyperloop systems said the company.

“For hyperloop to be commercially viable it needs to be safe and reliable - safety is our number- one priority,” said Josh Giegel, co-founder and CTO. "Ultimately, the centre will help us deliver upon our first projects and scale to meet future demand around the world.”

The new facility will be at Bobadilla, 65 kilometres north of Malaga that already supports a reported 9,000 transport and logistics companies, the second largest aerospace cluster in Spain and 20,000 employees in R&D.

“The location of the centre in our country will lead to important high-value commercial opportunities and will boost economic growth in the region”, said ADIF in a statement. “The agreement with Virgin Hyperloop One will help us to deepen the willingness to face new technological challenges, contributing to reinforce our leadership in the development of transport infrastructures in the international arena.”

The company estimates it would hire 200-300 high-tech skilled professionals and that the centre would spur job creation in a broad ecosystem of partners and suppliers in the region.

“By investing in the development and testing of Virgin Hyperloop One, Spain is extending its long- tradition as an innovative, global transport leader, “ said Lloyd. “We are excited to partner with such a forward-thinking country in developing the next generation of transportation.”

Virgin Hyperloop One investors include Virgin Group, DP World, Caspian VC Partners, Sherpa Capital, Abu Dhabi Capital Group, SNCF, GE Ventures, Formation 8, 137 Ventures and WTI.

SHANGHAI: July 10, 2018. Breakbulk Asia, formerly the Breakbulk China exhibition with its focus on renewable energy, rail, port expansion, mining and infrastructure projects, will be held in Shanghai March 20-21, 2019.

Following the success of the seventh annual Breakbulk China event in March, ITE Group said the change reflects the growing participation of companies based in both Asia and Southeast Asia that added to the core Chinese market.

Briese Porthos Nimbus“As China’s global influence expands through its sweeping One Belt One Road initiative, its neighbours on all sides are doing more business with China, particularly with large infrastructure and oil & gas projects,” said Nick Davison, Breakbulk Portfolio Director. “Breakbulk event in Shanghai has become the new business hub for the project cargo industry.”

Total show attendance reached 4,743 with sea transport providers and freight forwarders making up about 80 percent. Ports, terminals, equipment providers, industry-related services and specialty transport providers made up the balance. Together, Breakbulk China hosted the end-to-end project supply chain, presenting numerous opportunities for new project business for all involved.

“Moving freight in and out of China is a bit like surfing—you never know what kind of wave you are going to get, so you’d better prepare in advance with the skills, knowledge and tools needed for any type of weather,” commented Mac Sullivan, Transpacific Trade Lane manager for Toll Global Forwarding. “You have to understand that relationships are everything—there is absolutely nothing that can replace that initial handshake and looking someone in the eye as the foundation of a strong relationship.”

In addition to Breakbulk Asia, Breakbulk Americas, the original Breakbulk event, will be held in Houston October 02-04, 2018; Breakbulk Middle East will be in Dubai from February 11-12 next year followed by Breakbulk Europe in Bremen from May 21-23.

Globecomm, a provider of maritime connectivity services, has supplied its global Ku-band VSAT service to German shipowner Briese Schiffahrts. The company has ordered eight ‘Open Top Eco 5000’ multi-purpose breakbulk vessels (pictured) designed to consume 30 percent less fuel but with increased crane and cargo capacity.in support of its fleet growth plans. The Leer-based owner assumed management of six craned project cargo vessels of 12,780 dwt in 2015 and 2016 and a further four vessels of this type were taken over in March and April 2018 which will also be equipped with Globecomm VSAT.

BRUSSELS TRAFFIC JULY 2018BRUSSELS: August 07, 2018. Cargo volumes at Brussels Airport rose 13.9 percent in July 2018 compared to the same month last year.

The airport said belly air cargo grew 29 percent year-on-year due to new long-haul flights to Asia and the Gulf by, among others, Hainan, Cathay Pacific and Emirates.

The full-cargo segment rose 14.7 percent compared to the same month last year; trucked cargo increased 21.2 percent during the month; and the volume of express services fell 1.0 percent in the period.

Airfreight exports rose by 12 percent year-on-year due in part to LATAM’s services to Brazil and Chile, while imports jumped 33 percent in July with more flights from Asia, North and South America.

The airport set a new record for passenger traffic of 2.6 million during the month that provided more belly space capacity for air cargo on additional long-haul services to and from Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Dubai, Bangkok and Doha.

CHICAGO: June 26, 2018: Boeing has disclosed an investment in Matternet, a California-based pioneer of on-demand unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) delivery operations in urban environments.

Boeing HorizonX Ventures led the US$16 million, Series A investment with participation by Swiss Post, Sony Innovation Fund and Levitate Capital.

The manufacturer said Matternet's advanced logistics platform – combined with its expertise in complex logistics, integration and manufacturing capabilities – will further enable reliable, efficient cargo air transportation.

matternet zurichMatternet became the world's first company to receive authorization to launch UAV operations over densely populated areas in Switzerland in 2017. Leveraging its Matternet Station, M2 drone and Cloud platform, the company has achieved safe flights over densely populated areas and partnered with Swiss Post for on-demand deliveries of medical samples to hospitals in Switzerland.

"Matternet's technology and proven track record make the development of a safe, global autonomous air mobility system a near-term reality," said Brian Schettler, managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. "Our investment will allow Matternet to scale its operations while strengthening Boeing's position as a leader in next-generation transportation solutions."

In May 2018, Matternet was selected to participate in a joint U.S. Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration program aimed at accelerating integration of unmanned aircraft into national airspace. As part of the program, Matternet will work with hospitals, universities and transportation agencies in California and North Carolina to facilitate on-demand delivery of medical supplies and samples.

Today, Matternet joined an initiative to shape the future of mobility as part of the World Economic Forum. The company will participate in the Drone Innovators Network to accelerate a safe, sustainable, global mobility system focused on improving people's lives.

"We are excited to partner with Boeing, the pioneers of safe commercial aviation, to make this new mode of transport mainstream," said Matternet Founder and Chief Executive Officer Andreas Raptopoulos. "As we expand Matternet's U.S. and global operations, we will work with Boeing to make next-generation aerial logistics networks a reality and transform our everyday lives."

SEATTLE: July 26, 2018. Amazon has reported a Q2 2018 revenue jump from US$37.95 billion to US$52.88 billion year-on-year with 60 percent from product sales and the balance from its Amazon Web Services and advertising revenue.

Net income rose from US$197 million in Q2 2017 to US$2.53 billion in Q2 2018.

Prime AirThe company reported a rise in worldwide shipping costs from US$4.38 billion in Q1 2017 to US$5.99 billion in Q2 2018 for an increase of 31 percent. During Q4 2017, logistics costs rose to US$7.36 billion and declined to US$6.06 billion by the end of Q1 2018.

In an apparent bid to be less reliant on the mainstream logistics industry, Amazon announced in late June it would help entrepreneurs launch their own businesses to deliver its packages with the opportunity to earn as much as US$300,000 per annum.

“We have great partners in our traditional carriers and it’s exciting to continue to see the logistics industry grow,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of Worldwide Operations. "Customer demand is higher than ever and we have a need to build more capacity," he continued.

“As we evaluated how to support our growth, we went back to our roots to share the opportunity with small-and-medium-sized businesses. We are going to empower new, small businesses to form in order to take advantage of the growing opportunity in e-commerce package delivery,” Clark explained..

To keep start-up costs “as low as US$10,000”, the company says it will provide would-be owners access to sophisticated delivery technology, hands-on training and discounts on a suite of assets and services, including vehicle leases and comprehensive insurance.

Amazon is also committing US$1 million towards funding startup costs for US military veterans, offering US$10,000 reimbursements for qualified candidates to build their own businesses.

LONDON: June 20, 2018. Britain’s logistics industry has issued a stark call to the government today – give us the information we need to keep the nation’s trade moving efficiently post-Brexit or face delays and shortages of the products and services the UK relies on.

Speaking at the Keep Britain Trading conference in London, organised by the Freight Transport Association (FTA), Leigh Pomlett, the organisation’s president said:

Dover port“The time for political negotiations on Brexit is fast running out, and those of us responsible for keeping Britain trading need urgent assistance and guidance from government. We are now in a crucial period where businesses (like mine) need to make spending decisions and commit to operating plans for the period when Brexit will be a reality, but we are currently operating ‘in the dark’.

“Without knowing who we will be employing, how we will be crossing borders, what certifications and permits goods and vehicles will require in order to travel, business as we know it will be unable to continue.

“The logistics industry will be the first part of the economy to encounter the realities of Brexit when vehicles drive off the first ferry to arrive in Calais on 30 March 2019 and we want things to go smoothly, but we need more information about the trading conditions we are to expect once the UK leaves the EU. The time for talking is over – it’s now time to act.”

FTA, which speaks for the whole of the logistics sector and represents more than 17,000 member organisations, reiterated its call for clarification on the eight points its members need for the continuation of frictionless trade once the UK departs the European Union:

“Simply saying things will be ok is no longer enough,” continued Pomlett. “The logistics sector will be key to making Brexit work for the UK but we can no longer work blind and be left to guess what we may have to do, and when by. Today’s delegates have been clear in their instructions to government: logistics wants Brexit to go well for the country, but needs the tools with which to facilitate a smooth departure from the EU for all British business," he noted.

“Today’s conference has been very clear in its asks for government: logistics businesses need a clear roadmap to enable them to plan efficiently for a post-Brexit world. There is no more time for political posturing – British business deserves clarity and progress to reinforce the nation’s trading position in a post-Brexit world.”

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