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EFW MROElbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW), Centre of Excellence for Airbus Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversions, and MRO Japan (MJP), a leading player in Japan’s aerospace maintenance repair & overhaul market, today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate in passenger-to-freighter (P2F) conversions.

Under the MOU, MJP will act as a subcontractor for EFW in P2F conversions and provide third party conversion services for the latter’s Airbus A320P2F/A321P2F programmes. With this collaboration, MJP will become Japan's first conversion site for the new-generation Airbus narrowbody P2F aircraft.

Takashi Takahashi, CEO, MJP, said, “We are very excited about the P2F collaboration and are committed to achieving success together with EFW. We look forward to establishing a long-term strategic cooperation between the two companies for Airbus P2F conversions.”

Japan’s freighter and logistics market size is estimated by industry researchers to expand at a CAGR of 4.2% between 2024-2029, with air freight being the fastest growing market by mode of transport[1]. Compared to road freight, air freight using P2F aircraft provides a more efficient and environmental friendly way of transporting goods. The success of Airbus P2F aircraft which are now flying reliably and efficiently for operators including Yamato Holdings, one of Japan’s largest delivery service companies, reflects an increasing demand for freighters in Japan.

“We look forward to welcoming MJP into our global family of P2F conversion sites. The success of the A321P2F aircraft for our customer FUYO and end customer Yamato Holdings, shows how the narrowbody Airbus P2F platform is a perfect fit for the cargo transportation needs in Japan and the region,” said Jordi Boto, CEO of EFW. “Partnerships with experienced and well-backed solution providers such as MJP will provide the necessary strategic support as we expand our conversion capacity to capture opportunities in the growing Japanese air cargo market.”

EFW’s Airbus A320P2F/A321P2F programmes are developed in collaboration with ST Engineering and Airbus, with EFW holding the Supplemental Type Certificate and leading in the overall programme as well as marketing & sales efforts. To meet the demand for Airbus converted freighters, ST Engineering and EFW set up a network of facilities across Asia Pacific, Europe and the U.S. to carry out conversions for their Airbus P2F programmes, which comprise the A330P2F, A320P2F and A321P2F platforms.

Kuehne Nagel first quarter 2024 The start of the business year 2024 was characterised by a slightly improving demand trend for transportation services in Sea and Air Logistics.

Kuehne+Nagel Group’s net turnover in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to CHF 5.5 billion, with an EBIT of CHF 376 million and earnings before minorities of CHF 278 million. The results were lower overall and impacted by negative exchange rate effects of 3% relative to the prior year.

The conversion rate, which describes the ratio of EBIT to gross profit for the group, stood at 18% in the first quarter of 2024, significantly higher than the pre-Covid value of 12% in the first quarter of 2019. Overall, the figures are above the corresponding pre-pandemic levels.

Stefan Paul, CEO of Kuehne+Nagel International AG: “In a challenging environment, Kuehne+Nagel started the business year 2024 with solid but lower year-over-year results. Our focus on efficiency and streamlined structures allowed us to reduce costs per unit by 12% in Sea Logistics and 14% in Air Logistics. By discontinuing the regional structure, we have laid the foundations for further growth and enabled more direct access to our customers worldwide. Additionally, we have strengthened our offering for our South East Asia customers through our strategic acquisition of City Zone Express, a Penang, Malaysia-based Road Logistics service provider."

The net turnover of Sea Logistics in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to CHF 1.9 billion, with an EBIT of CHF 197 million. The conversion rate was 39%. The sea freight volume reached 1.0 million TEU by the end of March 2024. During the first three months of the year, the business segment delivered a volume growth of 1.5% year-on-year.

Additionally, the visibility platform Seaexplorer was expanded to include schedules for less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments. In the context of the Red Sea crisis, customers successfully optimised their transport planning using real-time information provided by Seaexplorer.

The net turnover of Air Logistics in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to CHF 1.6 billion, with an EBIT of CHF 94 million. The conversion rate was 24%. The air freight volume reached 491,000 tons by the end of March 2024, which was 3.4% higher than in the previous year.

A new temperature-controlled area was added to Kuehne+Nagel’s Air Logistics gateway at New York’s JFK Airport, covering a total storage space of 7,200 sqm. This location plays a crucial role in further developing healthcare logistics in the United States.

The net turnover of Road Logistics in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to CHF 860 million, with an EBIT of CHF 30 million. During this period, approximately 5.6 million orders were processed.

In March 2024, Kuehne+Nagel announced the acquisition of the South East Asian Road Logistics service provider City Zone Express. The company has more than 500 employees and will significantly expand Kuehne+Nagel’s offerings in cross-border transportation in Asia.

The net turnover of Contract Logistics in the first quarter of 2024 amounted to CHF 1.1 billion, with an EBIT of CHF 55 million. The conversion rate stood at 6%.

Kuehne+Nagel inaugurated a new US contract logistics facility in Piscataway, New Jersey. Covering an area of approximately 10,000 sqm, this distribution centre serves the fashion and luxury industry and is equipped with state-of-the-art automation and robotics.


Maersk India North America A.P. Moller - Maersk (Maersk) announces a significant upgrade to its ME2 ocean service today.

As of third week of April, the ME2 service will include port calls to key destinations in North Europe, namely Rotterdam, Felixstowe, and Bremerhaven.

The future port rotation of the ME2 service will be Port Tangier – Algeciras – Rotterdam – Felixstowe – Bremerhaven – Port Tangier – Salalah – Jebel Ali – Mundra – Nhava Sheva – Port Tangier.

This strategic extension of the ME2 service to key destinations in North Europe will benefit North India’s exporters, particularly those in the lifestyle and retail sectors. With upgraded service, manufacturers and exporters will get expedited access to important consumer markets in North Europe. The transit times for ocean transports between Mumbai ports and North Europe will be shortened by five to seven days. In the same way, on the backhaul from North Europe to India, the importers for the automotive sector will benefit from quicker transit times for automotive components coming into India.

"Maersk is committed to delivering faster and more reliable ocean services. With the enhancements made to the ME2 service, we are emphasising our commitment towards one of the most important trade routes. By adding port calls to key destinations in North Europe, we are empowering our customers with faster access to the vital market, thereby enabling them to capitalise on business opportunities and increase their competitiveness." Morten Juul, Head of Regional Ocean Management for Indian Subcontinent, Middle East & Africa at Maersk.

Despite the expansion, the nominal capacity of the weekly ME2 service will remain unchanged. Maersk will add two additional vessels to the rotation to accommodate the extended coverage in North Europe. This commitment underscores Maersk's unwavering dedication to providing efficient and reliable logistics solutions that consistently meet its customers' evolving needs.

DB AG denies Deutsche Bahn (DB) comments on a report in the "Handelsblatt" of 16 April 2024.

DB rejects speculation by the Handelsblatt regarding the sale of DB Cargo. Statements made by DB employees at a confidential Supervisory Board meeting have been taken completely out of context.

The report suggests that DB's rail freight business is for sale or otherwise up for disposal. This is false.

What is true is that with the transformation of DB Cargo AG, DB is currently setting the course to ensure the long-term competitiveness of the company.

Unsworth BTOM Unsworth, a leading UK-based freight forwarding and logistics company, has recently organised an exclusive tour of Defra’s Inland Border Clearance facility at Sevington for almost 100 clients and other stakeholders.

The event, which was held in association with Ashford Port Health, was designed specifically to provide first hand information about the next stage of the Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), which takes effect from 30th April, 2024.

The attendees were given an invaluable opportunity to gain an understanding of how UK importers and EU exporters will be affected by the introduction of documentary and risk-based identity and physical checks on medium-risk animal products, plants, plant products and high-risk food and feed of non-animal origin from the EU.

Unsworth Group commercial director Charles Hogg said: “With existing inspections of high-risk plants/plant products from the EU moving from destination to Border Control Posts (BCP) at the end of this month, participants were able to engage with customs experts from Unsworth, alongside officials from Ashford Port Health and Defra, in an immersive exploration of the Sevington Inland Border Facility.

“The interactive session facilitated a deep dive into the intricacies of sanitary inspections and regulatory procedures governing the importation of sensitive goods, which will leave participants better prepared to ensure that they are compliant with the evolving regulatory landscape.”

A highlight of the event was a dynamic Q&A session, where attendees had the chance to ask their most pressing questions aimed at clarifying ambiguities and addressing concerns.

Feedback from attendees unanimously praised the level of knowledge and expertise shared during the tour, underscoring the event's significance in preparing stakeholders for the imminent changes in BTOM regulations and procedures.

Hogg concludes: “Over the eight years since the Brexit referendum, the freight forwarding industry has experienced a number of policy changes and has learnt to use many new systems including GVMS, IPAFFS or S&S GB.

“Add to that the complexity of CDS, the system that arrived to replace CHIEF, and the picture one can see is that of continuous change together with increased challenges being placed on the sector.

“The publication of the BTOM in August 2023 added further impetus to the process but provided much needed clarity to the rollout of new UK policies for trade between the UK and EU. Consequently, 2024 seems set to be the year when the process will be completed, or at least be near completion.

“With the landscape of border regulations undergoing significant shifts, some have voiced concerns that the potential for disruption at the border at the end of this month is significant. “Events such as these are one of the ways that Unsworth, aims to play a pivotal role in equipping our clients with the knowledge and resources necessary to navigate the evolving regulatory terrain effectively.

“It’s another way of showing how we try to set the standards for excellence in the freight forwarding industry, leveraging our expertise and innovation to meet the evolving needs of our clients and partners worldwide.”

LUKADT project March marked the end of the two-year LUKA.DT project, in which six consortium partners – Luka Koper, Actual IT, Emigma, Špica International, Igea and Solvesall developed advanced digital solutions and support systems to upgrade and improve some of the key processes within the port.

Special attention was also paid to training and strengthening the digital competences of our employees, as well as to cybersecurity. The EUR 4.8 million project was co-funded with EUR 2.1 million of European funding from the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF).

“Digitisation, as we understand it at the Port of Koper, does not only mean the implementation of advanced technologies, but also the transformation of business models in a way that makes our operations more efficient and faster, more transparent, more reliable and, above all, more secure. This is the only way we will be able to withstand the demands of modern times and the logistics market, and maintain our competitive edge over other ports in the area,” said Nevenka Kržan, President of the Management Board of the Port of Koper, at the presentation of the project in the St. Francis of Assisi Hall in Koper.

“The advanced technologies we have implemented in the project include big data, artificial intelligence (AI) and real-time load/equipment locating systems (RTLS), which will improve the traceability, accuracy and efficiency of our operations in the future,” explained Edvard Matković, Head of Business Process Management and Development. In practice, this means easier and better work planning, faster handling times and increased productivity.

The digitisation of processes also has many other positive effects. By reducing the number of unproductive freight movements, fuel consumption and emissions to the environment are also reduced, thus meeting the energy efficiency objective. The introduction of paperless operations in certain activities has also reduced the consumption of raw materials, and we will continue to see operational savings through process optimisation and better use of space and time.

The project was divided into three phases. The first was the development of a digital strategy which analysed the actual situation, identified gaps, trends and best practices, and based on this identified key processes and activities. The second phase involved developing solutions for individual business functions, while testing and possible upgrades were carried out in parallel. In the third phase, which ran concurrently with the development phase, we planned the process of implementing the solutions into processes and started a series of training sessions to strengthen general digital competences and learn about the new tools and how they work.

The solutions were divided into five thematic clusters. The first cluster consisted of the introduction of artificial intelligence into decision-making and planning processes. This included the development of an intelligent workforce planning system that allows for greater flexibility, accuracy and optimisation in workforce planning and deployment, and a predictive modelling algorithm for determining the type of transport for import cargo at the Container Terminal, which will significantly reduce unnecessary cargo movements and improve process efficiency by half.

In the second cluster, we created a data warehouse based on big data, which is the basis for the use, processing and analysis of the information obtained, and further developed a simulation model of the unloading of vehicles at the Car Terminal, which will improve the flow and productivity of each step in the process based on the recording of movements, storage locations and time records of activities.

In the third cluster, we created a 3D model of the port to upgrade the video surveillance system and improve security protocols, and developed a virtual reality simulator to train people to work on cranes and other port machinery in a safe environment.

In the fourth cluster, we designed a web platform and mobile application for advanced WMS warehouse management and developed a solution for automatic identification of forklift truck positions, while the fifth cluster envisaged the digitisation of the service value chain, in which we developed a mobile application for the VBS trucks arrival announcement system and an integration platform for the control and optimisation of train transport – Luka Rail.

Crowley ShellShell, a leading global energy supplier, recently honored Crowley for creating high loyalty and brand performance among its customers in Alaska and the U.S. West Coast.

Shell recognized the commitment by Crowley Fuels, the company’s Alaska business unit, for delivering excellent service in 2023 in the retail segments that Crowley supplies as a wholesaler.

Crowley Fuels works closely with retail businesses to provide reliable supplies and services, such as with Three Bears Alaska, a family-owned and -operated grocery and sporting goods store that partners with Crowley to engage consumers on Shell products through its rewards and savings program. As a result, Crowley Fuels achieved the second most growth among Shell partners on the U.S. West Coast for 2023.

“We are honored to receive this recognition from Shell, highlighting our dedication to providing unparalleled service and support to our residential customers, businesses and our communities across Alaska,” said Dave Regan, vice president of sales and supply for Crowley Fuels.

“We appreciate Shell’s trust in our people and service to deliver success for our organizations. This award is a testament to our people, who remain committed to providing safe, reliable fuel products and services in Alaska.”

Crowley Fuels is one of Alaska’s largest petroleum wholesale providers. Crowley provides transportation, distribution and sales of various products, including gasoline, diesel, aviation fuels, home heating oil and propane, through a network of terminals and vessel fleets serving coastal waters and rivers.

Vienna Airport Lufthansa CargoLufthansa Cargo has extended its contract with Vienna Airport for cargo handling services until the end of 2028.

The cargo airline is one of the most important customers of the airport's own cargo handling services and the Vienna Airport Pharma Handling Center. Vienna Airport is the most punctual hub in the Lufthansa network and impresses with its efficient and high-quality services.

Lufthansa Cargo has been relying on the cargo handling services of the Austrian capital's airport since 2010. In addition to general cargo and mail, temperature-sensitive pharmaceutical shipments and hazardous goods in particular are routed via Vienna. The cargo airline currently connects Vienna Airport with over 1,000 flights per week to 127 destinations in Asia, Africa, Europe, and North America. Lufthansa Cargo therefore utilizes the cargo space of Austrian Airlines. The location is also used as a hub for a comprehensive network of road feeder services, primarily to the CEE region.

"Vienna Airport offers a high level of quality not only in passenger and baggage services, but also in cargo handling. We are therefore pleased that we can gain the trust of Lufthansa Cargo and continue our good cooperation for the next five years. With efficient handling processes, fast turnaround times and a broad range of services, we are well positioned in the cargo sector and see high growth potential, especially with our Pharma Handling Center," explains Julian Jäger, Joint CEO and COO of Vienna Airport.

"Vienna Airport is an efficient east-west hub with fast turnaround times. This makes it one of our most important hubs in Europe. The handling service includes 24/7 customer service, monitoring, and weekly quality checks. Thanks to this reliable and close cooperation, we can offer our customers fast and easy access to the freight markets, primarily in Southeast Asia. The airport’s Pharma Handling Center also provides ideal conditions for our growing tonnages in the pharmaceutical sector," says Theresa Schlederer, Director Austria at Lufthansa Cargo AG.

At Vienna Airport, Lufthansa Cargo benefits from a modern infrastructure, very short distances, and fast customs clearance times, which significantly shortens handling times. Within the Lufthansa network, Vienna Airport is therefore both the most punctual hub and the hub with the fastest handling and transit times. Warehouses and truck ramps provide fast and direct access to Vienna Airport's dense road feeder network, which enables 23 countries to be reached in just 36 hours.

"With a tonnage share of almost 40 percent in 2023, Lufthansa Cargo is Vienna Airport's largest customer. The contract extension is therefore of great importance and, together with the top results for handling speed and efficiency, is a confirmation of our quality and a clear signal to the market. We are very grateful for the trust placed in us and will continue to do our utmost to further develop our services with a focus on our customers," says Michael Zach, Head of Handling Services at Flughafen Wien AG.

ceva flagCEVA Logistics has secured a three-year contract to provide logistics services to Biesse, an international company that manufactures integrated lines and machines for processing wood, glass, stone, plastic, and composite materials.

According to the recent agreement, CEVA Logistics will be responsible for Biesse's warehousing and handling activities, particularly focusing on merchandise movement, unloading and picking activities, and stock management. CEVA Logistics was chosen by the client as it met Biesse's two most important needs: firstly, the established expertise in handling heavy machinery. Biesse required a logistics warehouse equipped with overhead cranes, as its machinery – used for wood and glass cutting – ranges from 8 to 20 tons.

Biesse's second requirement related to the location of the storage warehouse: the company, a leader in the production of integrated lines and machines for processing wood, glass, stone, plastic, and composite materials, needed a warehouse located halfway between the port of Genoa (a crucial point for the arrival and departure of their machinery) and Pesaro (the company's production site). The Sant'Ilario warehouse (in Reggio Emilia), where CEVA will manage the storage and movement of machinery, has an ideal location, halfway between Genoa (port) and Biesse's production site in Pesaro, in addition to the presence of overhead cranes and eight loading and unloading docks.

In particular, CEVA Logistics will ensure the storage of 120 machines per year (each occupying a space of 14 square meters) and approximately 1400 machines both incoming and outgoing.

"The trust placed by Biesse in CEVA through this contract attests to our ability in the Contract Logistics sector, as well as our expertise in handling heavy goods," stated Claudio Boschetti, Contract Logistics Product Head Italy. "We are excited to support Biesse over the next 3 years, during which we will continue to strive for continuous improvement and to offer our customers ever higher standards."

EUROGATE CTW EUROGATE are thrilled to announce a dynamic partnership between EUROGATE Group and Prodevelop, marking a pivotal moment in their journey towards revolutionising container terminal operations.

Prodevelop's expertise in IoT and Big Data projects has proven invaluable, earning them a prominent role as our services partner for the implementation of the Digital TwinSim solution at EUROGATE Container Terminal Hamburg.

During Stage I of the Digital TwinSim project, Prodevelop collaborated closely with all partners, demonstrating remarkable flexibility and delivering exceptional results. Their pivotal role in this initial phase solidified their position as a key contributor to the project's success.

Together with our esteemed partners, akquinet port consulting and the University of Hamburg, we are embarking on an ambitious endeavour to develop a digital twin of processes and equipment, reshaping the landscape of operations and maintenance in Hamburg. Adopting TIC 4.0 standards throughout, we aim to seamlessly integrate terminal equipment into a unified view, optimising operations for enhanced efficiency and productivity.

Patrick Jandt, Head of IT at EUROGATE, expressed excitement about the partnership, stating, "As we approach the key stage of the TwinSim project, leveraging big data to visualise current operations in real-time and predict future scenarios, our collaboration with Prodevelop stands as a cornerstone in our digital transformation journey."

Miguel Montesinos, CEO of Prodevelop, echoed this sentiment stating, "This collaboration with EUROGATE on the Digital TwinSim project marks a milestone in our mission to drive the digitalisation of port operations and the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies in the container handling sector. We are committed to contributing to the continued success of this project."

Prodevelop's pivotal role in the success of this project cannot be overstated. Their establishment of a Data Lake and innovative processes to integrate IoT data from the physical layer with Terminal Operating System (TOS) systems has been instrumental in our pursuit of innovation and excellence in the Industry 4.0 era.

Join us as we embark on this transformative journey, shaping the future of container terminal operations and advancing towards a more efficient, sustainable, and technology-driven industry.

Kuehne Nagel streamlines The Board of Directors of Kuehne+Nagel International AG has approved a new direct reporting of the country organisations.

This change sets the course for further efficiency gains and profitable growth.

By simplifying responsibilities, the new structure will enable Kuehne+Nagel's business and functional units to sharpen their strategy in line with rapidly changing market developments and implement business decisions even faster. It will also ensure greater global consistency as well as customer proximity.

The historically-evolved regional structure will be discontinued and responsibilities integrated into Kuehne+Nagel's Group functions, as appropriate. The Cluster and National Managers will report directly into the Management Board of Kuehne+Nagel International AG.

Dr. Joerg Wolle, Chairman of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, commented: “With the discontinuation of the regional management levels, the Kuehne+Nagel Group is streamlining its organisational structure and creating the conditions for further efficiency gains, to be able to act even faster and more flexibly in an increasingly dynamic global trade environment.”

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