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Dnata 1dnata has US$ 4 million in equipment and hired 125 aviation professionals to its team at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) following the award of a three-year contract by Lufthansa Group.

Starting from November, dnata delivers quality and reliable ground-, and passenger handling, aircraft cleaning and de-icing services for four airlines of the airline group, including Lufthansa, Swiss International Air Lines, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines, which will operate up to a total of six flights a day from Dulles Airport. dnata now serves 14 airlines with a team of over 300 customer-oriented staff at IAD, managing 5,200 aircraft movements annually.

David Barker, Chief Executive Officer of dnata USA, said: "We are delighted to expand our long-standing partnership with Lufthansa Group at Washington Dulles. The airlines of Lufthansa Group all share our passion for safety, quality and service excellence, and we are proud to be their ground handler of choice at nine airports in the United States. We keep investing in our team, infrastructure and equipment to cement our leading position and continually provide the best possible services to all of our over 60 airline customers in the world's largest aviation market."

Holger Bremes, Director Commercial Airport Infrastructure, Lufthansa Group, said: "Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are excited to grow the North American relationship with dnata at Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). With our very positive service experience from destinations like BOS, LAX, SFO and JFK we are looking forward to providing first class service to our customers with our handling partner at Washington Dulles."

dnata commenced ground handling and cargo operations in the United States in 2016. Since then, the company has invested more than US$ 50 million in facilities, equipment, training and technology, while continually expanding its operations in the country. Offering highly competitive benefit packages in the market, in the past two years dnata has expanded its team with 1,000 additional professionals and now employs over 3,800 dedicated staff in the USA.

The excellent quality of dnata's services is underpinned by the constant growth of its customer base. Having won over 50 new contracts in the past 18 months, dnata now serves over 60 airlines at 27 airports in the United States.

A global air services provider and the trusted partner of over 300 airline customers, dnata offers ground handling, cargo and catering services at 127 airports in 19 countries.

CONTAINERSLong-term contracted ocean freight rates for carriers continued their downward trend through the month of October. The latest freight data from the XSI® Public Indices report from Oslo-based Xeneta shows a continued drop in contracted freight rates as the industry heads into the key seasonal months.

Rates on a number of key routes have continued a steady downward slide since early summer but have yet to fall below the levels seen one year ago, nor at the start of this year.

The company’s XSI (Xeneta Shipping Index) which reports on the long-term contracted market, dropped a further 2.2% during October 2019 to reach 110.74 points, but this level remains 1.5% higher than one year ago (at the end of October 2018), and 2.2% higher than the levels reported at the start of this year.

Xeneta’s unique indices use the very latest crowd-sourced shipping data – covering over 160,000 port-to-port pairings and 110 million data points to offer an accurate picture of the freight markets among ocean carriers.

Next months to be critical

According to chief executive Patrik Berglund the next few months will likely be critical in shaping contract negotiations on key trade lanes, with significant general (FAK) increases planned on the Far East-North Europe trade routes, as well as the transpacific routes for November 1st.

“Spot rates on these routes have continued to trend downwards, so carriers will be looking to set a more positive tone ahead of rate negotiations and the introduction of the new low-sulphur in fuel regulations in 2020 that could see an increase in bunker costs,” he says.

Despite the difficulties facing carriers, Berglund notes that Maersk has still been able to upgrade its full-year earnings (EBITDA) guidance from $5bn to between $5.4bn and 5.8bn. The Danish line attributes the improved prediction to reliability and capacity management, in addition to continued margin improvements. Some of this improvement would have come from a reduction in fuel prices, with IFO (Intermediate fuel oil) having steadily declined since April.

The devil is in the detail

While the overall XSI Index showed a continued decrease the devil is in the detail when looking at more regional export and import data trends over the last year. Berglund notes that the current indices continue to look erratic, but the overall trend of a declining freight rate market will likely continue for a short time still despite carriers’ best efforts.

Economic and geopolitical instability, such as even more delays for the UK leaving Europe (Brexit) and the trade war between US and China reaching now into the end of the year season, will add more necessity for shippers and freight forwarders to keep a sharp eye on rates.

Exports/Imports Europe

Imports on the European XSI™ remained mostly unchanged month-on-month for October, falling by just 0.1% to 111.42 points. It is worth noting that Xeneta’s European XSI ™ ended the month 3.6% higher than at the end of October 2018, and 1.8% than at the end of 2018.

“Over the month the index has failed to sustain any upward momentum – It has been fluctuating between 106.83 and 112.95 for the last four months,” states Berglund.

“Imports on the European XSI ™ look positive, being 3.8% higher year-on-year, but the more near-time trends are less positive,” says Berglund, noting that month-on-month the October rates fell by only 0.1% to 111.42.

Meanwhile exports on the European XSI ™ fell 2.3% in October to 111.50 points, bringing the index almost in line with European imports. Year-on-year, exports remain up 1.9%, thanks largely to a 1.1% increase reported since the end of 2018.

As Far East-North Europe trade faces continued headwinds, Maersk and MSC have announced they will be extending the suspension of their AE2/Swan service by an additional 2 weeks.

The short-term capacity reduction will be combined with efforts to increase FAK rates to $1,100 per TEU, whilst CMA CGM is similarly looking to raise them to $1,000 per TEU.

“Whether the short-term capacity reduction will be enough to ensure the increase is sustained is questionable, given rates have been falling since the start of 2019 and previous improvements have been short-lived,” says Berglund.

However, with annual contract negotiations on the horizon carriers will try and improve rate conditions, even if only temporarily.

Far East Exports/Imports

Far East imports on the XSI ™ fell to another all-time low having declined by 4.5% month on month during October 2019 to 93.83 points.

“This now makes this benchmark 17.6% lower than the same period of 2018 and down 17.3% since the end of last year,” Berglund points out. “Far East exports declined by 4.0% in October to 117.25, reversing the gains reported over the previous two months. This fall means the index is now 3.0% lower than in October 2018 and down 0.9% since the end of 2018”.

US Imports / Exports

While imports on the US XSI ™ fell slightly in October to 121.78 points the index remains close to an all-time high. The 0.3% month-on-month decline means that the index ended October 20.3% higher year-on-year and 19.9% higher than 10 months ago.

Exports remain virtually unchanged over the month at 94.22 points, which represents a 10.8% increase year-on-year and 7.6% over the course of 2019.

Reflecting on future rate changes on US exports and imports Berglund notes that talks between the US and China have resulted in a tentative “phase one” deal that could mark the beginning of the end for the protracted trade war. Both sides have agreed to further discussions at an upcoming summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.

“While the news will be welcomed, it is by no means a formality and further disruption to the trade is still possible, particularly as the proposed December tariffs on $150 bn of Chinese consumer goods are still scheduled to go ahead,” admits Berglund.

DSVDSV's chief exeucitve officer Jens Bjorn Andersen sounded an update tone as he announced a healthy upturn in profits and revenues for the third quarter as DSV pushes ahead with its integration of Panalpina.

Jens Bjørn Andersen, Group CEO: “The closing of the Panalpina transaction on 19 August was the all-important event in Q3. We have had a good start to the integration and the first operational integrations have already started. Meanwhile, we are pleased to report strong results for Q3, despite challenging market conditions, especially in the air freight market.”

Due to the Panalpina transaction, we withdrew the financial outlook for 2019 earlier this year. With the transaction completed and Panalpina included in the consolidated financial statements as of 19 August 2019, the expectations for full-year EBIT before special items for 2019 are at DKK 6,600 million including amortisation of customer relationships of approximately DKK 100 million, of which DKK 80 million are related to Panalpina. Transaction and integration costs (reported as special items) for 2019 are expected to amount to approximately 30% of total expected restructuring costs of DKK 2,300 million.

When Panalpina is fully integrated we expect to achieve annual cost synergies of around DKK 2,300 million (previously announced DKK 2,200 million). Around 5% of the cost synergies are expected to impact the income statement in 2019, around 60% in 2020 and the remaining 35% in 2021. Total transaction and integration costs are expected in the level of DKK 2,300 million. These costs will be charged to the income statement under Special Items. We expect that approximately 30% of the transaction and integration costs will materialise in 2019, 55% in 2020 and 15% in 2021.

On 11 November, we will launch a new share buyback programme of a maximum value of DKK 2,500 million, running until 6 February 2020. Please refer to Company Announcement No. 800 for further details.

The full financials can be read here.

Prep for BrexitWith a General Election agreed and Operation Yellowhammer knocked on the head, ParcelHero says retailers, manufacturers and everyone sending a parcel no longer need worry about a Christmas Customs crisis.

The UK could have been crashing out of the EU without a deal last Thursday. Now, with Brexit on hold until January 31st , the international delivery expert ParcelHero says exporters, importers and anyone sending a parcel over Christmas to the European Union (EU) can breathe a sigh of relief.

Says ParcelHero’s Head of Consumer Research, David Jinks MILT: ‘Retailers, manufacturers and anyone intending to send a parcel had been bracing themselves for Christmas chaos. The prospect of new Custom’s checks and paperwork, combined with tariffs on UK goods entering the EU, had been looming over Christmas like the spirit of Scrooge. But now Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted the EU’s offer to extend the Brexit deadline until 31 January, guaranteeing a Brexit-free Christmas. A Brexit deal can still be approved before 31st under the EU ‘flextension’, but there can’t be a no-deal crash-out.’’

Notes David: ‘The Government’s £100M ad campaign for 31 October has been stood down. Operation Yellowhammer, the Government’s contingency plan for a no-deal Brexit, has been put back in the tool shed, and there is no longer the chance friends and relations in the EU will be paying unexpected duties on their gifts sent from the UK. A 1st November no-deal Brexit would have been a terrible outcome for businesses large and small, coming as it would have done slap-bang at the beginning of Christmas peak. It’s hard to believe we could come so close to the imposition of new red tape and duties on our exports to the EU just before Christmas. This would have precipitated a crisis in warehousing space as Brexit stockpiling and Christmas distribution collided.’

Concludes David: ‘A 12th December General Election will keep politicians busy in the weeks before Christmas, and that means an unexpectedly smooth period of Christmas trading and gift sending. We’re happy to confirm there will be no new tariffs or paperwork on any shipments to the EU, from Christmas presents to cars. There could be new January jitters if the election fails to resolve things, but for this festive season, it’s business as normal’.

DB Gideon RobotDB Schenker has introduced autonomous robots from the manufacturer Gideon Brothers at its location in Leipzig.

DB Schenker is thus relying on the flexible solution for automating logistics processes in existing warehouses. The robots, which are equipped with cutting-edge technology, allow productivity gains without the need to modify facilities.

“In our drive to offer strategic advantages for our clients in the increasingly complex digital environment, DB Schenker continuously explores opportunities to integrate innovations from visionary start-up companies”, said Xavier Garijo, Member of the Board for Contract Logistics at Schenker AG. “Delivering automation possibilities for logistics and warehouse operations is a foundation for building the next generation supply chain."

Gideon Brothers’ autonomous logistics robot is equipped with a Visual Perception-based Robot Autonomy System, which combines deep learning with stereoscopic cameras to create the next generation of robot vision. With this revolutionary AI-powered visual perception it is designed to navigate safely around employees and equipment as well as other moving machines. The robots are capable of moving a load 800 kg each and are using a hot-swappable battery system, allowing minimum downtime for recharging.

The robots are being piloted in DB Schenker's Leipzig warehouse, to automate tasks associated with regular order fulfillment, speeding it up and allowing employees to focus on more complex tasks. A few weeks into the project, DB Schenker expanded the pilot by adding a significant number of new pick-up and drop-off points. The flexibility of the system is showcased by the fact that both the expansion and the ongoing fine-tuning has been undertaken by DB Schenker staff. In the first month of the pilot, a typical distance covered by a robot surpassed 26 km per week. The results of the pilot project will be evaluated in detail after completion.

“Our machines perceive the world just like we do – by processing visual inputs and understanding what surrounds them and how it relates to their tasks,” Matija Kopić, CEO and Co-Founder of Gideon Brothers, said. “This is a technological leap. Self-driving machines, powered by vision and AI, will succeed where earlier technology failed – it will become ubiquitous in industrial environments.”

VoltaVolta Trucks is to collaborate with UK-based electric vehicle drive systems designer and manufacturer Magtec in the development of its fully electric trucks.

This follows the recent onboarding of significant industry partners including world-leading motorsport and advanced technology consultancy, Prodrive, transportation design agency, Astheimer, and technology and design studio, Conjure.

Working in close collaboration with Volta Trucks, Magtec will be responsible for designing and manufacturing of the drive system of Volta’s prototype truck, which will be unveiled early summer 2020.

Magtec brings unrivalled experience delivering drive systems for world-class electric vehicles. The first project to launch using Magtec drives was a pioneering electric bus scheme in the USA in 1999. Since then, the company has worked extensively with OEM, Tier 1 commercial suppliers across the world on specialist vehicle installations.

Founded in May 2019 by CEO Carl-Magnus Norden and CTO Kjell Walöen and headquartered in Stockholm, Volta is developing fully electric trucks for commercial use within and around urban areas: ensuring safety by design, while removing air and sound pollution from city streets.

Volta trucks will be custom-made according to order requirements and feature a unique ‘Truck-as-a-Service’ rental model. Street pilots will be carried out in partnership with selected r¬etailers in London and Paris in 2021.

Through electrification, Volta vehicles make 50% less noise and produce zero tailpipe emissions. Beyond reducing environmental impacts, the removal of bulky diesel engines has allowed Volta Trucks to radically redesign its vehicles, ensuring increased safety.

The driver’s seat is positioned in the centre of the cabin, creating an increased field of direct vision and allowing for entry and exit through sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle, away from passing traffic. With the cabin positioned at 'True Floor Height' (street level) this also works to improve the vision of the driver, protecting cyclists and pedestrians, while preventing injuries caused from jumping out and climbing back into the truck.

As a result of the safety features, and reduced noise and air pollution of its vehicles, Volta trucks are permitted to operate in the most regulated urban areas, at all hours of the day, including nighttime. This allows for optimised delivery time and the reduction of traffic in congested areas.

Carl-Magnus Norden, CEO and Founder of Volta Trucks comments:

“Our business is based on co-creation and collaboration with some of the brightest minds of our industry. Doing this is essential to succeed with our goal of moving as fast as we can to reduce air and sound pollution on our roads, while increasing the safety of drivers, pedestrians and cyclists alike. With Magtec onboard we feel confident that this will help make our trucks road-ready at the pace we see necessary to meet the current, urgent needs of the cities and the people living within them. Until now, the HGV industry has been dominated by a few major players. With Magtec joining our other partners Prodrive, Conjure and Astheimer we now have a world-class lineup of experts working on this project and together we will be able to deliver on our promise to bring sustainability and safety to cities across Europe and beyond.”

Andrew Gilligan, UK Managing Director of Magtec, comments:

“We are delighted to partner with Volta Trucks on this innovative project to reduce environmental harm and improve road user safety. This is a very exciting time for Magtec with our company involved in pioneering work across the world. Public opinion, business requirements and environmental bodies are driving change across all transportation sectors. Magtec is perfectly positioned to meet the needs of these markets by rolling out class-leading technology developed by our team over the past 20 years.”

Air Cargo Belgium MadridLast week saw Foro Madrid Cargo organise the first official Madrid Air Cargo Day in Madrid, in collaboration with Aena (Spain's largest airport operator with international branches) and IATA.

The main theme of this Cargo Day was "modernisation of the air freight world: projects, challenges and trends". More than one hundred attendees signed up to be present at the event. David Bellon (Vice President of Air Cargo Belgium) and Sara Van Gelder (Brussels Airport Company) were guest speakers.

Foro Madrid Cargo is a partnership between companies that are active in the world of air cargo, including their users (exporters). Air Cargo Belgium was invited by Foro Madrid Cargo to explain the activities of its association in Belgium and its specific strategy regarding digitisation.
David Bellon, Vice Chairman of Air Cargo Belgium and Sara Van Gelder, Business Development Manager of Brussels Airport were guest speakers and described in their presentation the emergence of Air Cargo Belgium as a cluster organisation, its structure, critical success factors and in detail the various initiatives on digitisation that were rolled out under the BRUcloud.

During the following question session, the interest in setting up a similar initiative and the challenges specific to the Spanish airfreight sector became clear.
Further presentations by IATA, Aena, the Spanish customs services as well as a panel discussion on e-commerce completed the programme. In the closing speech, Jesus Cuellar, chairman of Foro Madrid Cargo, also Sales Director at DB Schenker Spain, praised the presence of the Belgian colleagues for their presentation and pointed out that the creation of a similar association in Madrid will be crucial to meet the challenges of the future. He hoped that in the future he would be able to enter into partnerships with other airports in Europe in order to develop knowledge, and for this he handed out a hand to Air Cargo Belgium.

DHL FurnitureDHL International Supply Chain has developed a purchase order (PO) management and visibility solution for the Swedish home furnishings retailer Mio.

The solution provides Mio more control over inbound orders from eight countries, thereby reducing detention and demurrage costs while improving intake planning for distribution centers. DHL has secured a three-year contract to implement and continually optimize the solution. With end-to-end visibility, Mio will attain better control at destination and improve operational processes.

Mio is a leading Swedish retail chain for furniture and home furnishings that has been operating for nearly 60 years. With e-commerce and over 70 store locations in Sweden, Mio generated sales of $644 million in 2018.

"We are excited to support Mio in achieving better oversight and guidance of their inbound shipments," states Chris Arnold, Head of Operations ISC Nordics & CEE, DHL International Supply Chain. "By automating operations that were previously done manually, we free up resources for Mio to focus on other joint projects, such as port rationalization and CFS conversion, as part of their long-term growth strategy."

DHL will provide PO management and visibility for approximately 4,500 TEU shipping containers coming to Sweden from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, India, Bangladesh, Turkey, Indonesia, and Taiwan. DHL's solution gives Mio more control by allowing exceptions so that orders may be sped up or slowed down as needed.

In addition to managing day-to-day origin and destination operations, DHL International Supply Chain will provide Mio with a suite of bespoke reports, highlighting areas for improvement. Using these reports, DHL's experts will continually develop Mio's solution to ensure a smooth and efficient supply chain flow.

"DHL Global Forwarding has been a great partner throughout the development - and now implementation - of the solution," asserts Joakim Skimutis, Inbound Logistics Manager of Mio. "We are able to better manage our supply chain and are looking forward to continually enhancing our operations with their continued support."

The PO management and visibility solution enables Mio and its logistics partners to plan and execute the movement of shipments from the port into Mio's warehousing network via multiple modes. Visibility extends to all partners with Mio attaining control over intake demands earlier in the process and proactively controlling the impacts of demurrage and detention. Further projects in the joint development pipeline between DHL and Mio include port rationalization and CFS conversion projects to reduce overall shipment count and costs.

Ethiopian B737 MAX 8Ethiopian Airlines Group has launched an capacity development initiative aimed at creating local value in agricultural products.

The forward-looking development initiative is tailored to support cooperative unions comprising millions of farmers with innovations and technology, thereby ensure their international market penetration.

While discussing with Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Ethiopian Group Chief Executive Officer at Ethiopian headquarters, stakeholders drawn from government agencies and farmers’ cooperative unions have expressed their gratitude on the launch of the capacity development program and vowed to work together.

Mr. Tewolde on his part remarked, “We are delighted to have launched the initiative which is geared towards enhancing the livelihood of Ethiopian farmers as well as supporting them in competing in the global market place. We will keep sharing our experience and underpin the implementation of the import substitution strategy of our country with consistent and progressive local value creation (LVC) endeavors.”

Ethiopian sources organic produces directly from the farm and significantly contributes to the import substitution move of the economy.

ACS Charity team and Emma from MacmillanAir Charter Service’s London office have raised £28,892 for the leading charity, Macmillan Cancer Support.

Emma Heley, the Senior Fundraising Manager at Macmillan, and who recently visited the company’s London office, commented: “Thank you to everyone at ACS for helping to raise this incredible amount – it will pay for a nurse for 1,000 hours, helping people living with cancer and their families to receive essential medical, practical and emotional support.”

Tina Leach, Head of ACS’s Charity Committee, said: “We really appreciate a personal thank you for our charity work – Macmillan is a cause that is close to a lot of people’s hearts here.”

Emma Heley’s visit was planned to coincide with a Macmillan Coffee Morning at ACS’s headquarters that same day, where bakers at the company raised more than £400 in a cake sale.

Air Charter Service supports a number of charities around the world; these include the international charity Save the Children and charities local to its London HQ, Momentum and the Dysart School.

Coyote statsExcessive fragmentation continues to impact the European road freight market – with 50 percent of shippers working with over 30 carriers at a time – leaving supply chain professionals faced with navigating a complex industry.

To do so effectively, shippers and carriers need to understand the dynamics of the market, which is why Coyote Logistics, a leading global third-party logistics (3PL) provider, is releasing exclusive new research today on the challenges facing supply chain professionals in today’s unpredictable market.

Titled “The Evolution of Technology + Humanity: Building a Supply Chain for Long-Term Success,” the study is comprised of results and data from two unique shipper and carrier surveys, along with Coyote Logistics’ own customer research. Developed in collaboration with third-party research firms MakerStreet (headquartered in Amsterdam) and Martec (satellite office in Frankfurt), Coyote Logistics investigated the unique challenges of decision makers across all European markets to understand the ideal balance between technology and human expertise.

Notably, the studies identified that shippers and carriers, in large part, are facing similar challenges. Rising costs, increasing complexity, shortage of capacity, the need for flexibility and agility, and increased visibility across the supply chain were among the top roadblocks identified. It also showed that shippers and carriers believe the ideal balance between technology and human expertise across tasks in the supply chain is 60:40, which reaffirms Coyote Logistics’ longstanding position that the two must work together to succeed in an evolving world.

“At Coyote Logistics, we know through our research and experience in the European road freight market that technology and human expertise are needed for long-term supply chain success,” said Joel Gard, Head of Europe, Coyote Logistics. “From the findings in the Technology + Humanity study, we have come to more deeply understand the challenges shippers and carriers face today in relation to evolving technologies, which allows us to better support both parties with the knowledge, resources, and insights they need to meet and exceed their business goals.”

To better understand how shippers and carriers can strengthen efficiencies in their supply chains, Technology + Humanity analyzed which of 13 tasks are best suited for human expertise, which functions can be optimized with technology, and which require a combination of both. The results demonstrate that human expertise is irreplaceable in creative, decision-making and strategic-thinking tasks, such as communicating with customers and resolving shipment and delivery problems.

Regarding automation, shippers and carriers reported that technology is best positioned to strengthen operational functions such as managing inventory and booking shipments.

However, while the study illustrates the many opportunities to incorporate technology into the supply chain, respondents did not identify any functions that they believe are best served only by technology. Instead, shippers and carriers advocated for a 60:40 balance of technology and human expertise in supply chain tasks.

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