The CMA CGM Group, a global player in maritime, land, air, and logistics solutions, takes delivery of the CMA CGM MERMAID, the first ship in a series of 10 new 2,000 TEU container ships powered by Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which will be progressively deployed in the Mediterranean and Northern Europe.
These new container ships, with an original design aimed at improving their energy efficiency and environmental performance, will join the CMA CGM fleet of around 620 vessels, including more than 30 already powered by alternative energies. These ships will emit up to -20% CO2 compared to a similar-sized ship with a conventional maritime fuel design (very low sulfur oil).
This delivery is part of CMA CGM’s fleet renewal program, in which the Group has invested more than $15 billion. It brings the Group one step closer to meeting its objective of Net Zero Carbon by 2050. By 2028, nearly 120 ships will be powered by low-carbon energies.
A new generation of container ships, the result of cooperation between industry players. These ships, with a different line and architecture from conventional container ships, were designed in close collaboration with Chantiers de l’Atlantique, a French company located in Saint-Nazaire and globally recognized for its ship design and construction expertise.
The Danish engineering firm Odense Marine Technique (OMT) further converted the concept into an industrial prototype
CMA CGM entrusted the construction of the ships to Hyundai Mipo Dockyard (HMD), located in South Korea. Number one in the world for performance, the shipyard manages every stage of container ship assembly.
Finally, GTT, a French company and expert in technologies for the maritime transport and storage of liquefied natural gas, worked closely on the project for the design and conception of the gas chain and storage tank with total capacity of 1,053 m3.
This close collaboration between the shipowner, engineering firm, equipment supplier, and world-renowned manufacturer has has provided a concrete response to the need for innovation in naval architecture and has given rise to a new model of container ship, with profoundly renewed profile and technical characteristics.
Proportions and technologies adapted for better energy performance
Determined to optimize energy efficiency in all its activities, CMA CGM decided to resize this new series of ships. One of the original characteristics of the design is the ratio of 204.29 m long to 29.6 m wide to improve the ships’ hydrodynamic and aerodynamic performance.
They are also the first ships in the CMA CGM fleet with superstructures at the front. Thus, placed at the front, the bridge and accommodations ensure better aerodynamic performance and higher loading capacity compared to a conventional architecture.
A new, almost inverted straight bow with an integrated bow bulb also offers better hydrodynamic performance to reduce fuel consumption by 15% per trip.
An on-board energy mix to reduce the carbon footprint.
These ships are powered by LNG, a lower-carbon energy source than conventional fuel, which reduces sulfur oxide emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide emissions by 92%, and fine particles by 91%. When cooled to -161°C, LNG powers a 12-megawatt MAN engine. These dual-fuel ships can also carry biogas (-67% eq. CO2) produced from bio-waste and are convertible to e-methane (-85% eq. CO2) produced from decarbonized hydrogen.
The 10 new container ships will also be equipped with an alternator coupled to the main propulsion engine, which will provide the energy needed to power the onboard electrical installations once at sea.
The latest outstanding innovation in this new generation of container ships is one of the most powerful fuel cells aboard a ship. It is on track to be mounted on the last of the series which is scheduled for delivery in January 2025. As the fuel cell is powered by hydrogen with an energy capacity of 1MW, this ship will have zero emissions when berthed.
A model with abundant technologies designed to maximize energy efficiency and environmental performance, the ships are finally also more comfortable and pleasant for their crew with modern interiors and booths.
A new range of feeders to serve Northern Europe and the Intra-Mediterranean
Delivered progressively between February 2024 and January 2025, the ten new vessels will transport goods over short distances, mainly in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean.
Between April and July, six of the series will join the Intra-Northern-Europe line to serve the Baltic and Scandinavian ports from the hubs of Hamburg and Bremerhaven. Four other ships will join the Intra-Mediterranean line between the end of September and the end of November.
Capable of carrying 45’ containers which can be loaded on trailers, these ships offer a more energy-efficient alternative to road transport in Europe and the Mediterranean region.
The CMA CGM MERMAID will embark on its voyage to Northern Europe from Busan in South Korea.
The launch of a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (LSSGB) program by Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of the SATS Group, in North America is identifying opportunities to increase operational efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance customer satisfaction, while helping employees from across the business achieve an internationally recognised management certification.
WFS currently has 10 team members in the region who have earned their coveted Green Belts, having successfully completed 40 hours of classroom training, an examination, and a six-month project to target a specific benefit for the company. 15 employees are actively going through the program, and a further 130 members are on the ‘wait list’ to join the upcoming quarterly programs.
LSSGB was introduced to WFS in North America by Jeffrey Bounds, Senior Vice President, Operational Excellence & Business Performance, Americas, and Phil Schreibman, Director, Continuous Improvement, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt. The first LSSGB cohort commenced in 2023, with two more since.
WFS is now offering an LSSGB program for up to 10 employees in North America four times a year. This is available not only to those with an operational focus, but the program is cross-functional and also encompasses team members from other key areas of the business, including IT, Finance, and HR.
“We chose Lean Six Sigma because it not only drives operational excellence, it also inspires transformational change. The Lean principles are very hands-on and focus on removing waste from processes, while Six Sigma traditionally comes more from a manufacturing and engineering environment. So, by combining the two and creating a Green Belt level, we are teaching leaders and future leaders how to look at our day-to-day operations, to not only remove waste from existing processes but to also create standardized processes that can work across the network. It is also giving everyone involved a skillset to look at data to make the best decisions possible,” Phil Schreibman said.
In terms of cost benefits, the achievements of employees in the first two LSSGB cohorts have already surpassed WFS’ target in North America for the first three programs, with more expected from the current active program. Initiatives have included:
“The way our team have embraced the Lean Six Sigma concept has reinforced the eagerness for the program. The reason why we limit each quarterly group to 10 people, and part of the uniqueness of what we’re doing, is because we couple it with mentorships, aligning the program participants with our Continuous Improvement (CI) directors, who are all Lean Six Sigma Black Belts and above,” Jeffrey Bounds commented. “Having that partnership with a CI team already very excited about driving change and improvement is contagious.
“As a global leader in air cargo handling, we are committed to providing our customers with the highest level of service and believe that implementing this initiative is a critical step in achieving this goal. This program is not only bringing positive change to our operations, it reinforces and builds a culture of continuous improvement that will benefit our customers, employees, and stakeholders for years to come. It is giving our LSSGB team members the opportunity to attain an internationally-recognized certification that they will carry with them for the remainder of their careers, and produces a return on that investment for the business as well,” he added.
China’s air import tonnages dropped sharply in the final few days leading up to Lunar New Year (LNY) on 10 February, along with intra-Asia Pacific traffic, contributing to a
-12% fall in overall global tonnages, week on week, according to the latest figures from WorldACD Market Data.
Analysis of week 6 (5 to 11 February) indicates that China’s inbound air cargo tonnages slumped by -15%, week on week (WoW), in the seven days to 11 February, while the country’s outbound tonnages held up better with a decline of just -2% as the LNY holiday week approached. That follows a surge in tonnages and rates ex-China in the previous two weeks, as shippers rushed to get goods shipped before the LNY holiday period. Both inbound and outbound tonnages are expected to fall further this week.
Average global rates held firm and rose slightly in week 6, as they did in the equivalent week last year (week 3) ahead of LNY, based on the more than 400,000 weekly transactions covered by WorldACD’s data.
Initial analysis suggests that the patterns this year are broadly similar to last year, although global tonnages so far are well above last year’s levels. But the relative timings of LNY are significantly different, with LNY falling on 22 January last year, and a clearer picture will emerge by the end of this month.
Expanding the comparison period to two weeks, total combined tonnages for weeks 5 and 6 this year were down by -3%, globally, compared with the preceding two weeks (2Wo2W), with average rates up by +3% and capacity stable. Indeed, average rates were up, on a 2Wo2W basis, from all the main regions except North America (-2%), including rises of +7% ex-Africa and +6% ex-Asia Pacific and ex-Middle East & South Asia.
Intra-Asia Pacific slowdown
The -3% worldwide tonnage decline was largely driven by a -7% drop in tonnages from Asia Pacific origins – which, in turn, was mainly generated by a -17% fall in intra-Asia Pacific traffic, with the intra-Asia Pacific market apparently responding more quickly than the main long-haul markets to the arrival of the Lunar New Year holiday period. Indeed, ex-Asia Pacific tonnages to Europe and North America were down by just -4% and -2%, respectively, while tonnages to Middle East & South Asia rose by +3%. And on the much smaller lane from Asia Pacific to Central & South America, tonnages were up +15%, on a 2Wo2W basis.
Outbound tonnages from Europe also fell (-2%), on a 2Wo2W basis, mainly due to a -13% drop to Asia Pacific. But the other main origin regions recorded increases, including +4% ex-Africa, +3% ex-Middle East & South Asia, and +2% ex-North America. Tonnages from Central & South America also rose slightly (+1%), driven by a spike (+12%) in volumes to Europe, boosted by a late surge in flower exports ahead of Valentine’s Day on 14 February.
Other significant 2Wo2W changes on the main intercontinental lanes included a -11% drop from North America to Asia Pacific, balanced by a +12% rise from North America to Central & South America. Ex-Middle East & South Asia tonnages to Asia Pacific fell by -11%, but rose by +6% to Europe, accompanied by a +10% rise in average rates on that lane. That surge to Europe from Middle East & South Asia most likely reflects conversion of some Asia-Europe ocean freight to sea-air tonnages, due to the ongoing disruptions to container shipping in the Red Sea.
Year-on-year (YoY) comparisons show a +10% increase in worldwide tonnages for weeks 5 and 6 combined compared with last year, driven by a +29% rise in chargeable weight ex-Asia Pacific and a +17% increase ex-Middle East & South Asia. Those increases, especially ex-Asia Pacific, can be at least partly explained by the difference in the timing of LNY this year, although there are some continuing signs of an underlying improvement in tonnages compared with a year ago.
On the pricing side, average worldwide rates of US$2.39 per kilo in week 6 are -14% below their levels this time last year, one of the narrowest YoY gaps seen in the last 12 months. On a regional basis, average prices, respectively, from Africa, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Middle East & South Asia origins are all within single-digit percentages of their levels this time last year, although prices ex-Europe (-32%) and ex-North America (-22%) are well down on last year’s levels. Nevertheless, average global rates remain significantly above pre-Covid levels (+34% compared to February 2019).
Overall worldwide air cargo capacity remains significantly up on last year’s levels (+16%), boosted by a +40% rise ex-Asia Pacific, a +16% increase ex-Middle East & South Asia, and a +13% rise ex-Central & South America, although capacity from all the main regions is up, YoY.
SPARX logistics, a premier provider of logistics and transportation solutions, proudly announces its strategic collaboration with Hoopo, a global leader in asset intelligence and tracking solutions. This partnership aims to revolutionize online visibility services in the Drayage and Over the Road (OTR) industry by integrating Hoopo’s cutting-edge asset tracking capabilities into SPARX’s logistics visibility platform. This enhancement promises customers unparalleled insight into the status of their shipments.
Through the integration of Hoopo’s advanced features, SPARX customers will enjoy a suite of robust visualization tools, encompassing:
Efficient Drayage and Over the Road (OTR): SPARXpress boasts a fleet of well-maintained, state-of-the-art trailers equipped with cutting-edge technology for real-time tracking and status monitoring guaranteeing the safe and secure delivery of cargo.
Live GPS Map Visualizations: Experience end-to-end visibility of shipments on a detailed map, presenting real-time location information and route optimization.
Optimized Asset Utilization: Track actual usage with dynamic geofences and built-in mount detection.
Reports and Analytics: Harness the power of comprehensive reports and analytics to extract valuable insights from shipment data, enabling you to identify trends and make well-informed decisions.
Summary Tables: Swiftly access key shipment information with customizable summary tables, providing a concise overview at a glance.
Customized Alerts: Stay informed with real-time alerts for critical events, such as shipment delays or exceptions, ensuring a prompt and effective response.
Multiple Views: Seamlessly toggle between various visualization modes, including map view, list view, and table view, to tailor the display according to users’ specific needs.
“We are thrilled to partner with Hoopo and SPARXpress to provide our customers with the most advanced online visibility services in the industry,” stated Jason Manganaro, Vice President Commercial Technology (Americas) of SPARX Logistics. “With this collaboration, our customers will have unprecedented visibility into their shipments, empowering them to make informed decisions that optimize their supply chains and save them money.”
Tal Leemor, Vice President Marketing and Partnerships at Hoopo added: “Together with SPARX, Hoopo is pushing the boundaries of asset tracking. By integrating our solutions, we empower logistics providers with real-time shipment insights, optimizing every step of the delivery process for both SPARX and their clients.”
This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the industry, where SPARX Logistics and Hoopo unite to set a new standard for online asset visibility services, ultimately providing customers with enhanced control and efficiency in managing their shipments.
Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Airways, has launched SecureTech. This new product is the ninth addition to the carrier’s suite of premium products and is dedicated to the safe and secure transportation of consumer electronics, including mobile phones, laptops, tablets and other lithium battery-powered devices. Etihad Cargo has developed and launched SecureTech in response to growing global demand from the carrier’s customers and partners for a product that addresses the challenges of transporting high-value electronic devices cost-effectively while minimizing risks.
To ensure the secure transportation of electronic devices, Etihad Cargo provides several security features. Products transported via SecureTech are monitored during the build-up and break-down of palettes in secure and controlled storage areas at the origin, during transit and at the destination. Constant surveillance is provided by security personnel or CCTV systems, ensuring only authorised personnel have access to shipments during transportation.
SecureTech also ensures the safe movement of consumer electronics. Lithium batteries are the preferred energy source for a wide range of consumer electronics. Although they are widely used, lithium batteries can pose a safety risk if not handled in accordance with transport regulations due to their potential to ignite, explode or go into thermal runaway. Etihad Cargo’s number one priority is safety, and the carrier recently became the third Middle Eastern airline to achieve International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Centre of Excellence for Independent Validators Lithium Batteries (CEIV Li-batt) certification. Achieving this globally recognised standard demonstrates Etihad Cargo’s commitment to transporting lithium battery shipments safely using sophisticated safety management systems and specialised equipment.
In addition to Etihad Cargo’s facilities and operations, CEIV Li-batt certification also extends to the carrier’s personnel. Etihad Cargo delivers rigorous training programmes to ensure teams are handling lithium batteries safely and securely and meticulously reviews all documentation, packaging, and labelling during acceptance checks with the aid of a specifically designed acceptance checklist.
Leonard Rodrigues, Acting Managing Director at Etihad Cargo, said: “Etihad Cargo has launched SecureTech based on feedback from the carrier’s partners and customers and the growing demand for a dedicated product to make the transportation of consumer electronics safer and more secure. Over the years, Etihad Cargo has developed expertise in handling specialized products, and moving lithium battery-powered devices comes with unique challenges. Etihad Cargo is well-equipped to overcome these challenges thanks to its experience in transporting high-value, fragile, time- and temperature-sensitive, and dangerous goods.”
Etihad Cargo has witnessed a surge in demand for air cargo capacity for the transportation of consumer electronics, recording a significant increase in the number of mobile phone shipments from India.
Rodrigues said: “The latest market data suggests India’s electronic exports exceeded $20 billion in 2023, with mobile phones making up 52 per cent of all electronic exports. Other top exporters of electronic devices included China and Vietnam. The launch of SecureTech, in combination with the introduction of new routes and increased frequencies for these key markets, will enable Etihad Cargo to fully meet the growing capacity demand for electronic shipments while giving customers and partners confidence that their products will arrive safely at their final destination on time and as promised.”
Etihad Cargo’s customers will be able to book SecureTech shipments from March 1, 2024.
MatchBack Systems, Inc., a leading provider of software solutions to optimize inland container shipping, announced the launch of Pivot™, a comprehensive solution to optimize the inland lifecycle of international containers for efficiency, cost savings, and sustainability.
Built on MatchBack Systems’ award-winning technology, Pivot optimizes the entire inland lifecycle to maximize asset utilization, improve workflow productivity, and lower costs. The solution leverages AI and machine learning to optimize inland routing and tours with automated processes that integrate with a customer’s existing system. Container optimization reduces cost, distance, fuel consumption, and emissions. MatchBack Systems delivers carbon accounting along with opportunities for customers to earn carbon credits through emissions savings to offset Scope 3 emissions.
“Pivot is laser focused on solving industry inefficiencies which cost millions in avoidable expense and environmental damage,” said Todd Ericksrud, COO of MatchBack Systems. “The solution transforms inland container shipping with AI-powered technology to drive efficient, cost effective, and sustainable operations. Pivot enables customers to achieve network and cost efficiencies at scale while accelerating their sustainability efforts.”
Pivot delivers financial, operational, and environmental benefits to landside container operations.
Dispatch and Tender Optimization: Optimize inland tours, tenders, and truck assignment to improve equipment utilization and capacity management, cutting transportation costs by up to 20% and increasing tours by almost 50%.
Container Reuse Optimization: Scale container reuse to save $150-$400 in direct transportation costs and eliminate 400 pounds of CO2 emissions with each tour.
Process Automation: Streamline the inland workflow with automated processes to support planners, reduce rework, and increase productivity.
Carbon Accounting: Track, measure, and report carbon impact following international standards with auditable data to meet GHG disclosure requirements.
Sustainability is a key pillar of MatchBack Systems’ services to help customers achieve their decarbonization goals. Applying its optimization engines, MatchBack Systems identifies actionable opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions and verifies emissions savings with a carbon impact calculator.
“Optimization is the key to unlock sustainability and our operational approach is key to scale the opportunity. Not only will our customers measure their carbon impact and reduce emissions, they also have the opportunity to earn carbon credits for their efficiency,” said Ericksrud. “With the launch of Pivot, MatchBack Systems continues to deliver efficiencies to benefit both the environment and the bottom line.”
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS), a member of the SATS Group, has been awarded the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) accreditation for its cargo handling operations at London Heathrow Airport following an independent audit of its operational management and control systems in accordance with the best standards and practices for ground safety.
Heathrow is one of WFS’ biggest international cargo stations, with seven facilities handling more than 350,000 tonnes a year for 14 global airlines, managing over 17,500 flights annually.
The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) ISAGO programme is an internationally recognised system for assessing the operational management and control systems of organisations that provide ground handling services for airlines. The audit assessed documented and operational conformance to over 800 standards across six different areas of discipline, including operational procedures manuals, management system processes, and training programmes. WFS LHR the audit involved station management system, aircraft handling & loading, aircraft ground movement and cargo & mail handling. WFS’ accreditation at Heathrow is now valid for two years.
“ISAGO accreditation verifies that our processes, procedures, and safety and security culture align with the core values created by IATA for the airline industry. As our cargo business continues to grow in the UK, our customers have the added assurance that we meet the recognized industry standards required to provide high quality cargo handling as well as freighter aircraft handing,” said Paul Carmody, Managing Director UK, WFS.
WFS increased its cargo handling capacity at Heathrow in 2023 to manage additional airline contracts and an increase in volume. This included the opening of its latest Building 578 warehouse facility, reinforcing the company’s position as the largest on-airport cargo handler at Heathrow.
Early 2023, WFS underwent ISAGO audit for its initial ISAGO registration for its headquarters in London and initial station accreditation in LHR, validating WFS’ Management System in the Europe region.
CHAMP Cargosystems and Groupe Europe Handling have solidified a long-term strategic partnership that will see the ground handler benefit from modernization, digitalization, and innovation.
Groupe Europe Handling’s cargo division at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle Airport will migrate to Cargospot Handling, CHAMP’s sophisticated and comprehensive cargo operations and terminal management system that drives the complete cargo handling process.
The software is simple and efficient for ground handlers and terminal operators to use, with full messaging capabilities, complete import and export handling, advanced management reporting tools that is powering some of the largest ground handling operations around the globe today.
As Groupe Europe Handling entry from its traditional Ramp Handing services to Cargo Handling operations at Charles De Gaulle with its subsidiary Europe Handling Cargo, one of Europe’s most important airport’s, CHAMP’s technology was chosen as the preferred solution as it seeks to streamline everyday workflow, improved efficiency gains and increased productivity.
By migrating to Cargospot Handling in 2024, Groupe Europe Handling will also be supported by CHAMP’s impressive library of APIs, integrations, and partnerships within the air cargo industry. By making use of CHAMP’s open and interconnected systems, Groupe Europe Handling will enjoy the competitive advantage that comes with digitalization and collaboration.
Bruno Lanfumey, Cargo Operations Director from Europe Handling Cargo said “We are looking forward to working with CHAMP Cargosystems over the coming years and hope to enjoy a fruitful and productive partnership. We selected CHAMP based upon my experience knowing that Cargospot Handling is the most robust, functionally rich system on the market today. Our migration to Cargospot Handling is an exciting development for our cargo division and will simplify our processes while supporting us through our ambitious growth plans.”
David Linford, VP Sales & Account Management, reported “It’s our pleasure to work with Groupe Europe Handling and assist them with an enhanced cargo handling software experience. Cargospot Handling is the system of choice for Europe Handling Cargo, providing them with the simplicity and ease of use, whilst able to handle the most complex handling needs of their business. I am excited for the future with Groupe Europe Handling and wish to take the opportunity to thank Bruno for his unwavering trust in CHAMP, we look forward to the partnership and journey ahead.”
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Schiphol) has launched the upgraded version of its Port Community System (PCS) after four years’ of collaborative development with its fully owned cargo information platform, Cargonaut.
The PCS is a single tech platform for information and data exchange between all internal cargo stakeholders at Schiphol and external authorities such as Customs.
The improvements deliver faster data processing, greater transparency and full compliance with the latest IATA standards and guidelines.
“By upgrading specific parts of the PCS, the system is more robust and future-proof. This means we can continue to safely ensure the smooth import and export of a large amount of cargo,” said Joost van Doesburg, Head of Cargo, Schiphol.
Careful development has meant that the PCS is fully future proofed being able to integrate upcoming tech as it evolves.
Later this year, for example, the Secure Import System is scheduled for implementation. The system informs forwarders when an import shipment is ready for collection by an air cargo handler, at the same time cross referencing data to improve security.
Work is also underway on the Truck Visited Management System to significantly improve and streamline waiting times for cargo deliveries and collections.
“The upgraded system facilitates the use of new technologies, including API Connections (software), XML (data migration) and the OneRecord data model. This model allows air cargo partners within this digital ecosystem to exchange data easily and transparently,” said Marco van Katwijk, Head of Cargonaut.
“We are currently carrying out a migration of the first clients to the updated PCS.”
Schiphol has been the sole owner of Cargonaut since 1st November 2020, and was a co-founder at its inception in 1986.
Turkish freighter operator MNG Airlines has grown its fleet with an Airbus A330-200F.
The airline said in a LinkedIn post on Thursday February 8: “We’re thrilled to announce the newest addition to the MNG Airlines family, the A330-200F, registered as TC-MCU. This aircraft strengthens our presence in the aviation industry with its modern design, high performance, and environmentally friendly features.
“We are grateful to everyone who has joined us on this journey and look forward to the opportunity to provide a broader and more efficient service to our valued customers and business partners. We are proud and excited to welcome the TC-MCU to our fleet and look forward to many successful flights together.”
The airline did not state where the aircraft was acquired from. Air Cargo News has requested more information.
German conversion firm EFW has previously carried out conversions for the airline.
EFW converted two A330-300 aircraft for MNG, and delivered the second of these in 2022.
MNG Airlines offers international cargo services to and from Europe, the Middle East and Africa through its own flights and through partnerships with other airlines.
According to the Planespotters website, MNG Airlines currently operates with a fleet of five Airbus A300-600s, two Airbus A321-200s, two Airbus A330-200s and two A330-300P2Fs.
In August last year, MNG Airlines terminated its proposed business combination agreement with the specialised private equity company Golden Falcon Acquisition as part of plans to become a publicly-listed US company on the New York stock exchange.