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BASEL: December 20, 2018. Panalpina is now part of the Plug and Play supply chain and logistics platform, joining Maersk, CMA CGM, Lufthansa Cargo, DHL, Swiss Post, Ericsson, BASF and Panasonic.

“This will allow us to get access to digital start-up companies in Plug and Play’s global network and identify attractive pilot and investment opportunities,” commented Luca Graf, head of the Panalpina Digital Hub. “We are particularly interested in cooperating with start-ups that create solutions in the fields of blockchain, IoT, asset tracking, advanced analytics and supply chain optimization.”

Panalpina plug and play partner platformPlug and Play was founded in 2006 to connect large corporations to the world's best startups through industry-focused accelerator programmes. Since then it has attracted 280 corporate partners and 6,000 start-ups while raising over US$7 billion in funding - with successful exits including Dropbox, PayPal and SoundHound.

“Since Panalpina is a major player in the freight forwarding and logistics industry and known for their culture to drive innovation, the start-up ecosystem and our industry-leading corporate partners are very much looking forward to their participation in the Plug and Play accelerator programme,” commented Mike Zayonc, the founder of Plug and Play Supply Chain & Logistics.

Earlier this year Panalpina joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance and launched its Digital Hub to promote innovation in freight forwarding and logistics.

As 2018 comes to a close, the company reports a record one million tons of airfreight carried as it operated a third B747-8 charter to New York this month for a fashion industry client.

Despite the growth, Panalpina says air cargo has not been quite as strong as 2017 in terms of the overall market.

“This was to be expected. 2017 was really an exceptional year with a market growth of 10 percent. We estimate [the] air freight market for 2018 to come in at 3-4 percent, which, in absolute numbers, still signifies good growth,” commented Lucas Kuehner, the company’s global head of Air Freight.

For Panalpina, trade between China and Europe, Europe to the US and China to the US were the strongest airfreight lanes, with US airfreight exports developing strongly towards the end of the year.

“The disciplined capacity management gave the carriers room to play in the spot market in anticipation of higher rates and potentially more attractive ad hoc charters during peak season. As a result, capacity has been scarce on selected trade lanes. The few freighters that were delivered in 2018 mostly went to the integrators, adding to the capacity crunch,” explained Kuehner.

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