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maersk digital solutions Warehousing and Distribution operations are critical in integrated supply chains.

As part of the company’s portfolio of technology innovations, Maersk is exploring AI-empowered, warehouse design slotting digital solutions.

In large scale fulfillment operations, slotting is essential to maximize the overall efficiency of warehouse operations by maximizing space utilization, increasing productivity, and reducing inventory handling. The constant optimization of inventory layout within warehouses improves workflows, order preparation processing times and the company’s operational strategy.

"Utilizing AI, developing algorithms, predictive analytics, simulations and data-driven analytics added to business model innovations enables us to continuously improve supply chain processes. This visibility enables our customers to compete with a faster time-to-market proposition. AI solutions embedded with deep expertise in machine learning, optimization, simulation, and data-driven analytics also upskills decision-making." Erez Agmoni, Maersk’s Head of Innovation and Strategic Growth for the Warehousing and Development product.

Since November 2021 in Redlands, California, Maersk’s cross-functional innovation team collaborated with IAI Labs Technology to create a customized digital application for the slotting solution process in omni-channel fulfillment centers. The new technology being prototyped enables software analysis to improve the accuracy and efficiency of results and enhance the storage location distribution of items for warehouse utilization.

"The solution is well-ahead in the proof-of-concept process and is already tracking with a 97% accuracy rate which will significantly improve decision-making through digitalization." Manuel Pappaterra, Maersk’s Warehousing and Distribution, Head of Customer Implementations.

"This project is a fantastic opportunity for us to validate the value of our solution to Maersk. The feedback from industry experts is valuable to our growth. This also helps fast-track our engagement with Maersk and explore new opportunities to scale." Siming Li, CEO of IAI Labs.

Qatar Airways Nigeria Qatar Airways has enhanced its presence in Nigeria with the launch of four weekly flights to Kano (KAN) on 02 March 2022, and three weekly flights to Port Harcourt (PHC) on 03 March 2022, both operating via the Nigerian capital, Abuja.

To mark this milestone, the new service was inaugurated by the airline’s state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner featuring 22 seats in Business Class and 232 seats in Economy Class.

Qatar Airways will operate to Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (KAN) in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, and the gateway to Kano’s rich historical treasures that have survived millennia. Meanwhile, Port Harcourt, the largest city and capital of Rivers State, Nigeria will be served via Port Harcourt International Airport (PHC) a diverse and fast-moving city on the southern tip of Nigeria. More than a century of international trade has turned this former port town into a vibrant, fast-growing metropolis. The aircrafts were greeted in Kano and Port Harcourt by traditional water cannon salutes upon their historic arrival.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “This is a defining moment for Qatar Airways, with Nigeria becoming our most connected market in Africa with the launch of our new services to Kano and Port Harcourt. We see tremendous opportunity in the region and these new routes are an important catalyst to further boost trade and commerce in the country. Our presence in Nigeria now covers four key markets and is a real affirmation of our support to the country. Qatar Airways has stayed steadfast in its commitment to Africa throughout the pandemic, operating continuously and reliably to Nigeria. We have since increased frequencies and grown our network, considerably, improving connectivity to and from the continent and providing travellers with more choice and convenience.”

In Nigeria, the airline offers double-daily flights to Lagos and now operates daily services to Abuja. The two new routes, (Kano & Port Harcourt), bring the number of flights Qatar Airways operates between Africa and Doha to 188 weekly flights serving 28 destinations across the continent.

Minister of Aviation, Federal Republic of Nigeria, Hon. Sen. Hadi Sirika, said: “The new flights provide important travel and trade links between Nigeria and the world. As the largest economy in Africa, this enhanced global connectivity via the new Qatar Airways service will provide a vital network to move goods and people, as we recover from challenges of the pandemic and prioritise growth. Kano and Port Harcourt are both important to this recovery. This new service also reinforces the close ties between Nigeria and Qatar, and it paves the way to explore new, untapped opportunities.”

Qatar Airways continues to apply its flexible booking policy that offers unlimited changes to travel dates and destinations, and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued for travel completed by 31 May 2022.

Passengers flying to and from Kano will also benefit from Qatar Airways’ generous baggage allowances which provides for up to 46kg in Economy class, split over two pieces, and 64kg, split over two pieces, in Business Class.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named ‘World’s Best Business Class’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat’, ‘World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’. The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021).

Qatar Airways has also become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax. This follows the success of HIA as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These awards provide assurance to passengers across the world that the airline’s health and safety measures are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment.

etihad cargo revenue growth 2021Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of the Etihad Aviation Group, has achieved record revenue growth of 49 per cent in 2021 as it continued to outperform expectations with a 27 per cent year-on-year increase in freight carried, contributing towards 55 per cent of the group’s revenue.

“2021 was a milestone year for Etihad Cargo,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales & Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group. “The Etihad Cargo team has worked closer than ever with partners and customers to address their demands and allocate necessary capacity, resulting in a record tonnage of 729,200 tonnes – the highest since 2017.”

In Q1, Etihad Cargo temporarily modified five Boeing 777 aircraft to support cabin-loaded cargo, operating more than 800 charter and scheduled cargo flights in the new configuration in 2021, adding capacity along key strategic routes. By mid-2021, Etihad Cargo had announced the recovery of more than 90 per cent of its network compared to pre-COVID. In total, the carrier operated more than 6,000 passenger freighters throughout the year, with freighter utilisation averaging 16.5 hours.

Premium products have also seen remarkable growth: PharmaLife, the carrier’s award-winning pharmaceutical shipment solution, achieved a 85 per cent increase in revenue on 2020, while FreshForward, for transporting perishables, increased by 26 per cent. With the relaxation of travel restrictions, SkyStable, the carrier’s dedicated equine transportation solution, grew by 28 per cent, and SafeGuard, for transporting valuables, increased by 103 percent compared to 2020.

Despite the ongoing operational challenges imposed by new variants of the COVID-19 virus, the UAE national carrier also maintained a Delivered As Promise (DAP) rate of 84 per cent through the past 12 months and an on-time performance (OTP) of 84 per cent.

“It is testament to the hard work and commitment of the team that, despite the challenges of the pandemic, Etihad Cargo has achieved its operational targets while meeting and exceeding customer expectations,” said Drew.

Over the past year, Etihad Cargo continued to facilitate critical COVID-19 vaccine distribution which contributes to 30 per cent of its pharmaceutical shipments. Jointly with its partners at the HOPE Consortium, over 250 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been handled to over 40 countries. In addition, several initiatives have been launched to facilitate the distribution and to position Abu Dhabi as a pharmaceutical and live science hub including establishing the first pharmaceutical distribution corridor between Abu Dhabi and Belgium. The corridor will facilitate the quick delivery of vaccines and meet future life science needs. The carrier is also working in tandem with UNICEF to transport aid globally following the signing of a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to support the UN agency’s Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative.

Investing in digitalisation has continued to be a key enabler to success. Augmenting customer service was a key focus of 2021 and Etihad Cargo’s new online booking portal was developed following extensive customer workshops to address their requirements, reducing the booking time to just 45 seconds. Since its launch in October, the company has recorded 36% increase in online bookings within three months of launching the new portal. In addition, the carrier has announced exploring a proof of concept with SPEEDCARGO for using Artificial Intelligence to measure cargo dimensions and optimise space planning, which will in turn allow Etihad Cargo to improve capacity planning.

Emirates SkyCargo Spain Emirates SkyCargo welcomed Luis Planas Puchades, the Spanish Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; Iñigo de Palacio España, Ambassador of Spain to the UAE and a senior delegation from Spain at its headquarters last week in Dubai.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo welcomed the Minister and outlined how the air cargo carrier supports Spanish agri-businesses and perishables exporters by helping transport premium exports rapidly from Spanish gateways to global markets through Dubai. Emirates SkyCargo also reaffirmed its commitment to remain a strong partner to Spanish exporters of perishables and other commodities in the years to come.

Emirates SkyCargo commenced freighter operations in Spain in July 2007 with scheduled flights to Zaragoza. Due to increase in demand, the air cargo carrier eventually established freighter services to Madrid and Barcelona in addition to the cargo capacity provided on passenger flight services to the two cities. During the year 2021, Emirates SkyCargo exported more than 30,000 tonnes of cargo from Spain out of which more than 1750 tonnes were fruits and vegetables.

Europa Flow Brexit In the wake of Parliament’s spending watchdog reporting that Brexit has negatively impacted on UK trading levels, the latest statistics from Europa Worldwide Group shows its ‘frictionless customs product’ is enabling its customers to buck that downward trend.

Since it was launched at the start of 2021 in response to the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU), Europa Flow has seen a 101% increase in the number of jobs going through the books.

Over the course of past year, more and more customers engaged with this specialist delivery duty paid (DDP) service as they realised other carriers did not have sufficiently robust plans in place to move goods seamlessly across Europe.

In January 2021, Europa Flow transactions were averaging around 4,000 per month. From that point onwards, as customer confidence grew, the volumes have increased rapidly over the ensuing months.

One year on, by the end of January 2022, the average monthly transactions had more than doubled, meaning that by the end of the first 12 months, Europa Flow had dispatched over 100,000 consignments; a significant milestone and one the firm is immensely proud of.

As well seeing exponential growth in the number of transactions, over this same twelve-month timeframe, Europa Flow has also delivered across 24 EU countries and exported goods worth a total value of £1bn.

Each month, Flow has also generated a total value of £1.8m duty deferred and created an estimated £14.28m in VAT zero rated processes for its customers.

The popularity of this seamless, stress-free service has arisen because it mitigates the exact issues – “increased costs, paperwork and border delays” – the Public Accounts Committee recently expressed concerns about.

Europa Flow offers anticipated goods declarations, meaning consignments can be collected and exported on the same day. This appeals to customers of UK exporters because it means the whole process of appointing a customs broker, completing import declarations, and paying import duties is already taken care of.

More and more customers have turned to Europa Flow for these reasons, but also because other logistics operators were not fully up to speed on the far-reaching implications of Brexit, meaning goods were being held up in transit.

Trunki – the original ride on suitcase for kids – was one such brand which experienced these frustrations. In the first half of 2021, the global business was using other carriers to move goods to Europe, but these continued to get stuck at ports because transporters lacked understanding of the new Brexit regulations and border requirements.

Philip Prophett, Warehouse Manager at Magma Moulding which manufacture the ride on suitcase Trunki, explained: “These transit delays were immensely challenging, so we began to explore alternative solutions. These included using European storage facilities and creating a European division of the company, both of which had huge cost implications, making them unviable.

“We had worked with Europa in the past, and received a call last summer from the firm, informing us about Europa Flow. It could not have been timelier, because we had really been struggling to find the right solution to meet our export needs.

“From that point on, the situation improved dramatically; we were able to increase our volumes and get our European growth projections back on track. Europa Flow gave us the confidence to expand our customer base on the continent once again, because we knew we could get our products there without any glitches.

“In our experience, Europa Flow really does seem to be the only available solution in the market that fully responds to a customer’s needs. Behind the scenes, there are dedicated account and branch managers who are responsive, proactive, and up front, delivering a personal service.

“Trunki very much sees Europa Flow as a partner, not just supplier, to the brand. Time is invested in understanding our processes, lead times, and relationships with key marketplace platforms such as Amazon. This partnership approach is of immense value to our business.”

Despite continued disruptions in the wake of the pandemic, Europa Flow – which sits under the business portfolio of Europa Road, the European road freight division of Europa Worldwide Group – has tackled the issue of Brexit head on.

The pioneering logistics operator has always been one step ahead of the challenge, making strategic preparations 12 months before the end of the transition period, with a significant investment of £5m.

Sales and Branch Network Director at Europa, Adrian Redmile, commented: “As a business, we have never shied away from the challenge of Brexit. Europa Flow has been about staying one step ahead of the game, future-proofing our own business as well as those of our customers.

“The product has been instrumental in enabling our clients to remain operational and resilient in the face of economic shocks. We are very proud of what Europa Flow has already achieved and how it is leading the logistics industry by example as we enter a new era of supply chain interactions.”

Europa Worldwide Group has five divisions – Europa Road, Europa Air & Sea, Europa Warehouse, Europa Contact Centre, and Continental Cargo Carriers and has featured in The Sunday Times Top Track 250 for the last three years.

Ross Marino Unilode Unilode Aviation Solutions, the market leader in outsourced ULD management and repair services, announces the appointment of Ross Marino as Chief Executive Officer, effective 28 February 2022.

Ross Marino succeeds Benoit Dumont, who has stepped down from his Chief Executive Officer position.

Ross Marino has over 30 years of aviation experience, having worked in numerous senior and executive management roles at leading global ground handling organisations and airlines. He had a 15-year-long career at dnata, one of the world’s largest providers of ground handling and air services, where he was instrumental in growing dnata into a leading global organisation, and most recently held the position of Chief Executive Officer Europe. He holds a Master of Science degree in Aviation from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and completed an executive education programme of the London Business School.

John Hanna, Partner, Head of Europe, Basalt Infrastructure Partners, says: “We are very pleased that Ross has joined Unilode as its new CEO and are confident that he is the right person to continue driving Unilode forward in these very exciting and challenging times of the aviation industry. Ross is a proven leader with exceptional strategic and business development vision and broad aviation industry experience, and we look forward to growing Unilode’s business together. I would like to thank Benoit Dumont, Unilode’s departing Chief Executive Officer, for his leadership, commitment and dedication over the past four years. During his tenure Unilode undertook a massive transformation that saw the development of new services, the launch of digital solutions, the expansion of its network and the growth of its customer base. We wish Benoit the very best in his future endeavours and welcome Ross at the helm of Unilode.”

Benoit Dumont says: “I am very proud of Unilode’s great achievements and thankful for the exceptional drive and dedication of Unilode’s staff, the trust and support of its customers and investors, and wish every success to the organisation and my successor Ross Marino.”

Ross Marino, Chief Executive Officer, Unilode, says: “I am very excited to join Unilode in the role of Chief Executive Officer and build on the great foundation and growth potential of the business. Unilode’s customer-focused and innovation-driven business strategy makes it well-positioned for continued success. I look forward to continuing providing high-quality services to our customers and developing the company with a clear ambition of capturing the opportunities in the markets we serve. I am committed to successfully leading Unilode in its next chapter of growth and look forward to working with my new team.”

Energy transition leaders Egypt A coalition of energy transition leaders – Bechtel, Enppi, Petrojet, GE, Baker Hughes, HSBC, and the National Bank of Egypt – signed a Memorandum of Understanding under the auspices of Tarek El Molla, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, this week in Cairo.

The coalition will provide execution, technology, and financing expertise for a new initiative to support decarbonization of select downstream facilities in Egypt, aligning plans with the country’s leadership of the COP27, UN Climate Change Conference 2022.

The coalition technical partner organizations have the commitment and track record, as well as the technical expertise and data to be instrumental in this important effort.

“The coalition we formed will support Egypt’s leadership in creating access and opportunity for the people of Africa on the path to Net Zero ahead of COP 27,” said Paul Marsden, president of Bechtel’s Energy business unit. “We bring world-class expertise in execution, technology, and financing necessary to enable Egypt reach their decarbonization goals. Our Bechtel team is looking forward to continuing our partnership with the people of Egypt.”

The work of the coalition will begin immediately with an assessment of onshore oil and gas facilities fully or partially owned by the Government of Egypt to target CO2 /methane emissions reduction and energy savings.

Emirates welcomes MexicoEmirates SkyCargo welcomed Tatiana Clouthier, the Mexican Secretary of Economy and a senior delegation to its headquarters in Dubai earlier this week.

Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo met with the delegation and discussed Emirates SkyCargo’s support to Mexican exports and imports.

Emirates SkyCargo currently operates cargo services from two destinations in Mexico- Mexico City and Guadalajara. The air cargo carrier commenced cargo flights to Mexico City in April 2014 and to Guadalajara in October 2020. Overall, the cargo carrier has transported more than 26,000 tonnes of cargo into and out of the country in 2021 facilitating trade with global markets and supporting exports.

Perishables are the most commonly exported commodities from Mexico and between January and December 2021, berries, avocadoes, mangoes and jackfruits were the main perishables that were uplifted by Emirates SkyCargo from Mexico City and Guadalajara. Berries, which formed more than 10% of the total exports from Mexico on Emirates SkyCargo, were mainly flown to destinations in the Middle East and in Europe.

Emirates SkyCargo ensures that fruits and vegetables from Mexico retain maximum freshness during the journey to their destination through Emirates Fresh, a specially designed three-tiered transportation product to help maintain freshness of perishables during air transportation. Emirates SkyCargo transports between 500-700 tonnes of food items on its flights around the world on a daily basis.

apm terminals pecemDespite a challenging year for the global logistics market, APM Terminals Pecém reports a two-digit frowth for the second consecutive year, registering close to 430,000 TEUs in 2021.

The figures show a growth of 10% compared to the 2020 movements, mainly resulting from refrigerated cargo exports, which grew approx. 21% compared to 2020.

Cabotage moves in the Terminal grew by 6%, with more than 350,000 TEUs handled in Pecém throughout the year. Refrigerated cargo shipments boosted this strong growth, resulting in 47.7% above 2020 levels. Currently, the Port of Pecém offers 6 cabotage lines connecting the south of the country to the northeast and Manaus, thus being a strategic port for handling cabotage cargo and long haul.

In terms of long haul shipments, APM Terminals Pecém achieved a 31% growth compared to 2020, registering more than 75,000 TEUs moved in the year. These loads accounted for 18% of the terminal's total moves. Much of this is due to the great result of full load exports, which grew by 20%.

APM Terminals Pecém also grew in the export of fruits from the Northeast region to the North American East Coast and Europe. More than 11,000 containers handled from January to November represent an increase of 22% compared to the same period in 2020. In addition, the Terminal remained the main gateway for shipments of this cargo segment out of Brazil.

Azul CargoBrazil’s largest cargo transportation company, Azul Cargo, a subsidiary of Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras, has selected Miami-based Globe Air Cargo as its exclusive GSSA within the U.S.

ECS Group’s U.S. subsidiary, Miami-based Globe Air Cargo is now responsible for all cargo sales and administrative services connected to Azul’s entire U.S. business and will assist Azul with flight operations. Azul operates an A330 passenger and passenger-to-freighter fleet out of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) and Orlando International Airport (MCO), to Viracopos-Campina International Airport (VCP), Brazil, nine times a week, and is licenced to carry all commodity types. In addition to steering and growing Azul’s cargo business out of its online gateways, the GSSA has clear plans to also develop the airline’s business from offline U.S. destinations with dedicated Azul sales representatives.

“We are thrilled to represent Azul which is a fast growing and very dynamic Brazilian carrier with a lot of ambition. We have established a dedicated team here at Globe Air Cargo, to support and develop Azul Cargo’s U.S business to Brazil and look forward to creating synergies with our ECS Group colleagues representing Azul in Argentina and Europe,” Danny OLYNICK, Regional VP North America for Globe Air Cargo, comments. “We aim to maximise Azul’s revenues and support it in accessing new destinations across the United States, both online and offline. What is particularly attractive about Azul, is its focus on e-commerce cargo deliveries all the way through to the last mile across Brazil: a fascinating expanded network challenge that we are more than happy to participate in.”

“As the leading cargo transportation company in Brazil, Azul Cargo is careful to select partners capable not only of providing the high service quality our customers know and expect, but also those with the vision and skill set to support our rapid expansion. In Globe Air Cargo, we are confident to have found an established, experienced partner for our U.S. business, and can expect a similar success to that we enjoy with other ECS Group partners,” says Juliano Martins, International Cargo Sales Manager at Azul Linhas Aéreas Brasileiras.

Kuehne and Nagel Atlas Air Kuehne+Nagel enters in a long-term dedicated charter agreement with Atlas Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAWW) to operate two Boeing 747-8F, the most capable freighter aircraft in the world.

These two aircraft are the very last two Boeing 747s ever to be produced.

In response to capacity market developments, Kuehne+Nagel will charter the entire and exclusive capacity of the two new B747-8F aircraft to operate the flights globally from the third and fourth quarters of 2022. The aircraft will support Kuehne+Nagel customers on volatile trade lanes, such as the transpacific routes. The 747-8F provides 20% higher payload and 16% lower fuel consumption than the very capable 747-400F.

Yngve Ruud, Member of the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel, responsible for Air Logistics, comments: "As a market leader in air freight, Kuehne+Nagel further expands its dedicated charter network to support customers with solutions for long-term planning and high quality service. We are proud to partner with Atlas Air and include these two new Boeing 747-8F in our already extensive global capacity offering."

Operating the world’s largest fleet of 747, Atlas Air ordered the last 747 production aircraft to capitalise on strong demand and deliver value for its customers, while also bolstering its commitment to environmental stewardship through the reduction of noise, aircraft emissions and resource consumption.

“We are delighted to expand our partnership with Kuehne+Nagel by providing dedicated capacity for their growing global airfreight network,” said Atlas Air Worldwide President and Chief Executive Officer John W. Dietrich. “The Boeing 747-8F serves an incredibly important role in global airfreight, with advanced technology that allows for lower fuel consumption, higher capacity and unique nose-loading capability. We look forward to taking delivery of these two 747s and operating them for Kuehne+Nagel to support their network for years to come.”

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