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FReightWeek Magazine


Kuehne and Nagel Atlas Air Kuehne+Nagel signed an agreement to acquire Morgan Cargo, a leading South African, UK and Kenyan freight forwarder specialised in the transport and handling of perishable goods.

During 2022 the company handled more than 40,000 tonnes of air freight and more than 20,000 TEU of sea freight globally, managed by approximately 450 logistics experts.

The acquisition of Morgan Cargo ideally complements Kuehne+Nagel's perishables logistics service offering, while improving connectivity for customers to and from South Africa, the UK and Kenya, which includes state-of-the-art cold chain facilities.

Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel, responsible for Air Logistics, commented: “With Morgan Cargo, we acquire a reliable logistics service provider for the benefit of our customers. Expansion in high-growth markets such as Africa clearly ties into our Roadmap 2026 and reinforces our commitment to the Middle East and Africa Region. We have been active in Africa for many years, but this acquisition is an ideal addition to our regional presence.”

Schalk Bruwer, CEO of Morgan Cargo, added: “We wanted to expand our successful family-owned business and took the opportunity to become part of one of the world leaders in logistics. This new development will provide greater opportunities for our customers in terms of global reach and allow our team to advance their careers beyond the realm that was previously possible. Morgan Cargo is extremely excited to become part of Kuehne+Nagel.”

Closing of the transaction is expected during the third quarter of 2023 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including clearance by the competent merger control authorities.

Aviant Kyte The MIT-founded company uses drones to provide convenient and innovative home delivery services to people in remote areas.

Backed by the venture arm of the Norwegian Postal Service, Bring Ventures, the company can deliver to customers in a radius of over 30 kilometers.

TRONDHEIM, Norway (June 6th, 2023) Norwegian drone logistics company Aviant has launched its home delivery service, Kyte, now capable of delivering groceries, takeaway food, and non-prescription medicines to sparsely populated areas and holiday homes in Norway. Additionally, the company has landed an additional €1M of public funding from Innovation Norway to autonomously deliver vital prescription medicines directly from pharmacies to people in remote and suburban areas, where mobility can be challenging due to long distances and factors like bad roads or severe weather.

Founded by Lars Erik Fagernæs, Herman Øie Kolden, and Bernhard Paus Græsdal at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2020, Aviant has delivered 12 commercial contracts in Norway and Sweden, most notably transporting Covid-19 tests and blood samples between district hospitals and central hospitals during the pandemic. Since then, the company has operated over 2,500 autonomous flights, covering more than 35,000 km.

Unlike other solutions on the market, such as Google Wing or Manna Drone Delivery, Aviant’s drones are capable of flying as far as 120 km in a straight line, similar to an airplane. The increased efficiency and speed means Kyte’s delivery range is significantly higher than other airborne door delivery services, being able to deliver within a 30 km radius for return flights, compared to the 2-3 km offered by other providers. Aviant is certified under EU regulations to operate autonomous flights within the union.

“Our technology proved critical for rural healthcare services during the pandemic, where winter road closures meant our drones were the only link between Covid-19 test sites and laboratories in Central Norway. Now, with the launch of Kyte and our funding from Innovation Norway, Luminar Ventures, and Bring Ventures, we are able to provide people in remote and hard-to-reach areas with the groceries and medical supplies they need, directly to their doorstep, with no traffic restrictions and minimal climate emissions,” says Lars Erik Fagernæs, founder and CEO at Aviant.

Customers can request delivery through the Kyte app, where they can choose from various groceries, ready meals, and light medicines. Once the order is placed, the drones are loaded with the ordered items at Kyte’s home base before they autonomously deliver the package and return to base. So far, Kyte has made deliveries covering a distance of more than 4,000 km, with an average delivery time of 24 minutes.

According to Fortune Business Insights, the drone delivery market is set to grow from US$998M in 2020 to US$31bn in 2028, with an annual growth rate of 24,4%. More than 2,000 drone deliveries are made in the world each day, ranging from emergency supplies in remote areas to urban food delivery.

Fagernæs continues: “Door-to-door drone delivery has been a hot topic for years already, but most commercial attempts have been limited to small, open areas such as a single park or technology that limits the radius to 2-3 kilometers. Where plenty of companies have received initial funding, getting a commercial last-mile delivery service up and running has proven extremely difficult. That changes with Kyte. We have a large delivery radius, the permits to operate, and no requirements for pilots or spotters along the route. We are actually delivering food, groceries, and medicine by drone to people’s doorsteps in Norway right now.”

Aviant raised a seed round of €2.3M in September 2022, in a round led by Bring Ventures, the venture arm of the Norwegian postal service. The company is planning to open a second base in Norway during 2023, which will enable it to serve 20,000 - 30,000 remote holiday homes with door-to-door deliveries. In the longer term, Aviant is planning to bring drone home delivery to most of the Norwegian population, as well as EU markets.

“Aviant has the perfect combination of proven, reliable technology, great people, and a market ready for the taking,” says Anett Berger Sørli, Investment Manager at Bring Ventures. “We invested in Lars Erik and the team because we see drone delivery as central to the future of logistics, and being able to launch Kyte within such a short timeframe shows how driven this team is to lead us to that future.”

CN nomineesCN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) is proud to be part of the United Nations Vision 2045 documentary film series.

CN’s video highlights how the Company is moving towards a more sustainable future.

CN is building on its decarbonization initiatives, its deployment of operating technologies to drive safety and efficiency, its focus on making CN a great place to work, and by engaging with all stakeholders with trust and transparency.

CN's sustainability leadership is recognized through its inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability World and North American Indices. CN has also been recognized for its climate leadership, securing a place on CDP's prestigious Climate Change "A" List.

“For more than 100 years, CN has been powering and growing the North American economy and we intend to be here, Delivering Responsibly, for centuries to come." Tracy Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, CN.

In 2045, the United Nations (UN) will celebrate its 100-year anniversary. The Vision 2045 documentary video series was created recognizing that upcoming milestone and the UN's mission to encourage global political and economic cooperation in support of peace, prosperity and human rights. Vision 2045 aims to inspire businesses and people to take collective action to ensure a better future for all.

Port of Felixstowe Westell Port of Felixstowe, part of the Hutchison Ports' network, and Shanghai Westwell Technology Co. Ltd (Westwell) have signed an agreement for an additional 100 battery-powered autonomous Q-Trucks.

The order follows a tender exercise and a thorough testing and evaluation process.

Hutchison Ports first introduced Westwell's Q-Trucks at Terminal D in Thailand's Laem Chabang Port in 2020. Fifteen Q-Trucks run in mixed mode operation with no separation from other traffic and have handled over 334,000 TEU (Twenty-feet Equivalent Unit) moves since their introduction.

Commenting on the agreement, Clemence Cheng, Chief Executive Officer of the Port of Felixstowe and Executive Director of Hutchison Ports, said:

"We are really excited to be working in partnership with Westwell to bring their ground-breaking and AI-driven technology to the Port of Felixstowe. Following the positive introduction of autonomous trucks at our terminal in Thailand and after thorough and successful testing in Felixstowe, we are rolling the system out in the U.K. The new trucks will increase the efficiency and operational consistency of our container handling as well as making a significant contribution to decarbonising operations at the port."

Kenny Tan, Chairman of Westwell said: "Hutchison Ports is a significant global partner for Westwell. As a world leading company in intelligent mass-logistics, Westwell, with its holistic solution in new energy autonomous driving, can help increase efficiency while reducing costs and delivering sustainable development options. The contract also marks a very important development of Westwell's Ainergy Strategy to utilise AI applications to reduce energy consumption and facilitate decarbonisation. In this respect we will continue to explore opportunities to commercialise new developments with Hutchison Ports to equip global logistics for sustainable development."

Delivery of the first autonomous trucks will commence in September 2023.

The new equipment is an essential element of the port's decarbonisation strategy. Hutchison Ports has announced that its UK ports will achieve Scope 1 and Scope 2 net-zero by 2035 as part of the group's global target established in line with the Science Based Targets initiative's (SBTi) net-zero standard. In addition to the autonomous trucks, the port is investing in battery-powered conventional tractor units, replacing and re-engineering its yard cranes and purchasing electricity only from certified renewable sources.

The Port of Felixstowe is part of Freeport East, one of twelve Freeports being established in the UK. A key element of the Freeport East strategy is to boost innovation and investment. Following the signing ceremony for the autonomous trucks, Clemence Cheng and Kenny Tan held further discussions about bringing Westwell's technology and expertise to the UK through the establishment of a new facility for Westwell within Freeport East.

Union Pacific expedite Houston Starting June 1, 2023, international shippers will be able to deliver TVs, cell phones and other consumer goods quicker and more efficiently to consumers, as Union Pacific Railroad expands its services at Port Houston to allow intermodal containers to be loaded directly onto railcars and transported by rail to five key metropolitan markets in the United States.

Union Pacific’s new service at Barbours Cut Container Terminal at Port Houston will provide customers direct rail access to five of the nation’s fastest growing metropolitan intermodal markets in Denver, Salt Lake City, Oakland, Los Angeles, and El Paso, reducing truck traffic on our nation’s highways and greenhouse gas emissions.

It also will eliminate the need for containers to be trucked approximately 30 miles from the port to the nearest rail facility in Houston for loading onto rail cars, reducing highway congestion in the Houston area.

“Union Pacific is always looking for ways to save our customers time, while providing them more options and greater ease to our rail network,” said Kari Kirchhoefer, senior vice president – Premium, Marketing and Sales. “The new on-dock terminal service provides additional routing options to key metropolitan markets, while helping customers enhance their efficiency.”

A single freight train can take several hundred trucks off the nation’s highways – a win for communities and customers working to reduce their environmental footprint.

Port Houston is the largest Gulf Coast intermodal container port, handling 73% of U.S. Gulf Coast container traffic and is an essential economic engine for the Houston region, the state of Texas and the U.S.

“These added rail services from Union Pacific are an exciting step forward in the movement of cargo at Port Houston. Port Houston is a top five container port and growing fast, and intermodal solutions like this help ensure continued efficient movement of goods to locations throughout the U.S.,” said Roger Guenther, executive director at Port Houston.

FedEx trade fair JA FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and one of the world’s largest express transportation companies, announced the six winners of the 2023 FedEx Express/Junior Achievement International Trade Challenge (FedEx / JA ITC) Korea Finals.

The FedEx / JA ITC fosters business knowledge through practical teamwork exercises and classroom learning. The winners attended a local trade workshop and competed with six other teams in a local competition.

The six students who will represent Korea at the regional finals are:

Team : Leaf
Names of students : Jungwook Park, Yoonyoung Joo
School : Korea Digital Media High School
Product presented : Eco-Friendly Menstrual Cup

Team : Jeju Entrepreneurs
Names of students : Jae-won Lee, Jeongwoo Lee
School : Korea International School, Jeju Campus
Product presented : Reusable Lumo Candle

Team : Panorama
Names of students : Seungwoo Baik, Jiwon Lee
School : Lighthouse International School, Saint Paul Preparatory School
Product presented : Zero-Plastic Shampoo Bar and Dental Care Set

To foster collaborative thinking and encourage diverse ideas from different cultural backgrounds, the six Korean winners will go on to work with students from other Asia Pacific, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA) markets at the 2023 Asia Pacific International Trade Challenge regional finals in August. This team setting enables contestants to exchange experiences with students from Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, get a global perspective, and brainstorm ideas that work towards achieving a common goal.

This year’s competition resumed to an in-person event for the first time in three years since the pandemic hit. A virtual workshop was held in April 2023, which was attended by more than 75 students to heighten their knowledge on global trade and acquire skills to prepare a detailed marketing entry strategy plan. The students were challenged to develop a sustainable alternative to a single-use product of their choice for the South Africa market. This aligns with the FedEx approach to “reduce, replace, and revolutionize” across business activities in order to minimize impacts and add value.

“We were excited to see a wide range of unique ideas and entrepreneurial enthusiasm by the participants at this year’s FedEx/JA International Trade Challenge. This program provides young entrepreneurs with a valuable opportunity to hone their creative and leadership abilities while discovering how global trade can create more possibilities,” said Wonbin Park, Managing Director, FedEx Express Korea. “By fostering the entrepreneurial mindset among the young generation, we are able to connect more ideas to solve important issues in our communities and create a better world,” he added.

Since its introduction to Korea in 2007, FedEx / JA ITC continues to strengthen its commitment to help students better understand the nuances of international trade. The programme has attracted more than 2,802 students with 96 students representing Korea at the regional finals.

Port Corpus Christi CEO Port of Corpus Christi Commissioners Tuesday named Port of Corpus Christi Chief Financial Officer Kent Britton as Interim Chief Executive Officer, effective June 1, 2023, following the departure of CEO Sean Strawbridge.

Prior to joining the Port of Corpus Christi in 2017, Britton worked as Chief Financial Officer for the Glencore-owned Sherwin Alumina Company. His career spans more than 30 years in accounting and finance, including leadership and executive roles at Alcoa, the world’s leading integrated aluminum company, and Blackbaud, Inc., the leading software provider to non-profit organizations. Britton was named Chief Financial Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi in 2019.

“As interim Chief Executive Officer, my plan is to support my team at the Port of Corpus Christi in advancing projects and commercial missions to best serve our customers and community stakeholders,” said Kent Britton, Chief Financial Officer and incoming Interim Chief Executive Officer for the Port of Corpus Christi. “From my post as Chief Financial Officer, I have worked closely with our executive leadership team and Port of Corpus Christi Commissioners to foster a thriving port authority committed to reinvesting in its surrounding communities.”

Port of Corpus Christi Commissioners announced Shey-Harding Associates will launch a nationwide search for a full-time successor in June.

“Kent Britton is a stalwart professional,” said Charles W. Zahn Jr., Port of Corpus Christi Commission Chairman. “He brings more than three decades of experience and a sharpened business acumen that will serve him well in his role as Interim CEO for the Port of Corpus Christi. Kent has the respect of staff and the full support of our Commission.”

Cathay Cargo quieter This year has been about the normalisation of our operations in North Asia.

Our freighter schedule is back to where it was before the pandemic, and we are continuing to resume passenger flights. In Seoul, that means we are back up to 24 Cathay Pacific passenger flights per week to Incheon. In Japan, we currently have 44 passenger flights per week split between the Tokyo airports with the potential for more during the summer peak, and 24 flights to Kansai International. Fukuoka frequencies are back to normal, flights have been restored to Nagoya and built up from practically zero at Sapporo, from where we are currently exporting Hokkaido scallops, which is all good news.

While summer may be the peak season for passengers, it is the quieter season for air cargo. We are lucky that the appetite for Japanese fruit and fresh produce in Hong Kong and other parts of Asia remains strong, but we recognise that demand for Japan’s semiconductor and machine parts is quieter. These are components that are needed by the auto industry and high-tech manufacturers. Now, with inventories relatively high after manufacturers acted to ensure they would not again experience the shortages they did during the pandemic, it will take some time for these high levels to be digested. However, we are confident they will be and the outlook for exports of these products from Japan remains positive, especially after recent announcements on increased manufacturing capability being built in the country.

Of course, it’s not just us in Asia; demand is soft in many global trade lanes. It is usual at this time of year to start looking ahead for signs of a peak, but the market is much harder to predict this time around – and I certainly don’t possess a crystal ball! However, with new data tools available we will continue to analyse the market for signs that inventories are starting to be replenished, and whatever happens, we will be ready for our customers.

Despite these challenges, there are still opportunities. Being able to sell main-deck freighter space in our market gives us advantages over airlines that only operate passenger aircraft. That means we are available for ad hoc shipments, and this year we have won more business carrying aircraft engines while demand continues to grow for semiconductor-printing ‘stepper’ machines. You can read more about my region’s market, as well as my thoughts on how the industry has changed here.

While I am celebrating 35 years at Cathay Pacific this year, our airline celebrates its 40th anniversary of flying into North America this month. You can meet my Vancouver colleague Alan Fung, who worked on that inaugural flightin Hong Kong and read how he continues to ensure safety and quality in our cargo operations to this day as our Cargo Services Lead Agent. The success of the historic transpacific route put us on the path to building our global network and successful cargo business. Much has changed since, but our commitment to high quality service remains.

STOP PRESS: We are delighted to announce that Cathay Cargo was named the Sustainable Cargo Airline of the Year – Asia at the Freightweek Sustainability Awards 2023. Many thanks to all who voted!

Separately, Cathay Cargo has been nominated for two awards from Asia Cargo News for the 2023 Asian Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain (AFLAS) Awards! Vote now for Cathay Cargo for “Best Air Cargo Carrier – Asia” (#27) and “Best Green Air Cargo Carrier” (#48).

Port of Hutchinson net zero 2035 Hutchison Ports has set a target of 2035 for its three UK ports to achieve Net-Zero for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

The leading global ports group, which has established science-based targets to reach net-zero globally by 2050, operates the Port of Felixstowe, Harwich International and London Thamesport.

Commenting on the target, Clemence Cheng, Executive Director of Hutchison Ports and Managing Director of Hutchison Ports Europe, said:

“Hutchison Ports has set both near-term and net-zero targets in line with the Science Based Targets initiative’s net-zero standard. We operate in many markets throughout the world and have set ambitious emissions reduction targets in every region.

“Our journey has already begun. We are investing in new and more sustainable equipment and the UK will be amongst the first of our business units to reach the target.”

The Port of Felixstowe commissioned two new 11Kv high voltage substations to serve the charging infrastructure for its conventional electric tractor fleet on 20 May. Each substation will enable 20 vehicles to be charged at any one time at the port’s Trinity Terminal.

The port will take delivery of its next batch of 22 electric-tractors in July 2023 with a further 24 vehicles arriving in November 2023.

In addition, the port has introduced its first battery-powered autonomous trucks which will come with the latest battery swapping facilities. In total, it has plans to acquire 150 electric-tractors over the next 2 years.

Clemence Cheng explained: “Historically there was no option but to use fossil fuels to power the majority of port equipment. We have made significant progress at the Port of Felixstowe converting our yard cranes to electricity and now have 50 electric cranes with another 17 on order for delivery this year. All new equipment across our three UK ports will be sustainable and we have a programme to replace our entire vehicle fleet with battery-powered or alternative fuel options by 2033.”

To tackle Scope 2 emissions and ensure that sustainable electricity is used to power port equipment, the Port of Felixstowe signed a new deal in April which ensures that all the electricity it uses is certified as being generated by solar, offshore wind or other renewable sources.

vertiport droneThe first drone vertiport of the Netherlands became operational on May 24, following the landing of a multirotor drone in the presence of several invited guests.

Vertiport ‘Galileo’ is located on the Future Mobility Park site at Merwehaven in Rotterdam, with a similar vertiport being located at the RDM shipyard on the other side of the Nieuwe Maas. This configuration is a prototype for a network of vertiports in the port area.

In the future, drones will be used for all kinds of tasks in the Rotterdam port area, ranging from carrying out inspections and monitoring to transporting packages. This requires the establishment of a strategic network of universal take-off and landing platforms for drones, known as vertiports.

However, some experimentation is needed before then, preferably in the most realistic setting possible. These two experimental vertiports meet that need. The challenge is not so much in the technology, emphasised Tsjerk Kooistra, the Director of Dutch Drone Company, the company performing the test flight. ‘Drones are still mainly used for inspections and the next step is logistics. We can already do a lot in terms of technology, but there are still many regulatory restrictions. This demo is just a first step in alerting industry to the developments so they know this is on its way.’ Drone operators are free to carry out test flights as long as they meet all the requirements.

For this test flight, the DJI M300 RTK drone was controlled by a pilot on location. The ultimate aim is for drones to fly Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) and for 1 operator to oversee multiple drone flights. Corridors between various areas also need to be established. Kooistra continued: ‘This enables new business cases such as freight transport and later human transport too. It’s time to put the theory into practice.’

The Port of Rotterdam Authority is playing a facilitating role in supporting drone operations in the port area. This includes providing digital support for drone traffic, which should ultimately enable large-scale operation of BVLOS flights.

Vertiport ‘Galileo’ offers entrepreneurs and knowledge institutions an operational test environment to test drone services in the urban living environment within regular ‘time-slots’. This also enables simultaneous low-key demonstrations to be held. In addition to the Port of Rotterdam Authority, the organisations involved include: Future Mobility Park, IT partner Almende, drone operator Dutch Drone Company, helideck supplier Bayards, the municipality of Rotterdam and the Province of Zuid Holland.

Logistics UK A6 upgrade Speaking about today’s (24 May 2023) debate in the House of Commons about the Retained EU Law bill, Logistics UK’s Policy Director Kate Jennings said.

“Our members need certainty over the terms under which they trade, and while the government's recent changes to the Retained EU Law Bill provide some reassurance they aren't facing a regulatory cliff edge, it remains vital that government confirms the scope and scale of the legislation that is yet to be amended, and the timescales under which changes are to be made. The logistics sector is flexible and adaptable but cannot keep making last minute changes to trading arrangements if the supply chain is to be protected – business needs a clear understanding of what is to be reformed and by when, to keep the UK trading effectively.”

Logistics UK is one of the UK’s leading business groups, representing logistics businesses which are vital to keeping the UK trading, and more than seven million people directly employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With decarbonisation, Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. Logistics UK supports, shapes and stands up for safe and efficient logistics, and is the only business group which represents the whole industry, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers whose businesses depend on the efficient movement of goods.

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