Megawatt charging and more: MAN and ABB E-mobility announce R&D cooperation

MAN Truck & Bus, one of Europe’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers and providers of transport solutions with an annual turnover of about EUR 11 billion annually, and ABB E-mobility, the global leader in electric vehicle charging solutions, signed an exclusive cooperation agreement in January. Their strategic partnership aims to work even more closely together, particularly in the area of development.

Thomas Nickels, Senior Vice President Engineering at MAN, sees the cooperation as a specialty in the market.
“Cooperation in the area of research and development is rather rare in our industry. Together with ABB E-mobility, we are striving for a trusting, binding and transparent partnership. We are already starting with the development of products and standards and are focussing on the special requirements of the commercial vehicle industry,” Nickels said.
The importance of cross-industry cooperation for the entire sector is particularly evident for megawatt charging system (MCS), Nickels continued: “At MCS, we are working with players from the entire sector to enable charging capacities in the megawatt range in the future and thus sustainable and economical long-distance heavy goods and passenger transport. By cooperating with ABB E-mobility, we can tackle the challenges of the new technology at an early stage and drive standardisation forward more quickly.”
These challenges include the ISO15118-20 communication standard and new ways of transmitting signals. The basis for megawatt charging is Ethernet communication, which is being used for the first time in electromobility. Early software and interoperability tests with vehicles and charging stations should help to establish reliable products as quickly as possible in an emerging market environment.
This is why the cooperation, which is initially scheduled to run for three years, is focussing on the customer experience right from the start, in addition to the internal development and further development of charging stations, vehicles and software.
“High charging performance, reliable technology and customer confidence – these are the prerequisites for the success of electromobility in heavy goods and long-distance passenger transport. By working together with MAN right from the early product phase, we can respond even better to the needs of our customers. By 2025, we want to bring a product to the market that meets the requirements of logistics,” said Floris van de Klashorst, Senior Vice President Products & Hardware Platforms at ABB E-mobility.
“The market needs an ecosystem that interlocks and works reliably. That’s why we want to jointly develop a concept for the interaction of MCS and CCS that addresses issues such as space, energy supply and grid expansion. MAN’s extensive expertise helps us to develop customer-oriented solutions – both for use in the depot and on the track,” says van de Klashorst, giving an outlook on future projects.
The cooperation is not just limited to logistics: “MCS will also be used in the future in the travel sector, for example for motorhomes and coaches. This will bring additional challenges and a change in user behaviour,” continued the Head of Development. SOURCE: www.mantruckandbus.com

MAN rolls out battery repair centers in Europe

In 2024 and 2025, MAN Truck & Bus will establish battery repair centres in Italy, Denmark/Norway, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, France, Poland and UK, with further countries in Europe being planned.
Millions will be invested in these centers over the next two years. Two battery repair centers are already in operation in Germany (Hanover-Laatzen site) and Spain (Barcelona). The roll-out of the battery repair hubs in Europe is necessary because the first units of the new MAN eTruck generation will be delivered to customers in 2024.
Over 1,000 battery-electric MAN city buses and more than 2,400 all-electric MAN vans are already on Europe’s roads. With the ramp-up of MAN eTruck production, the electric vehicle population will continue to increase significantly in the coming years. The Munich-based commercial vehicle manufacturer is preparing intensively for this within its service organisation.
“Battery repair is a necessity for MAN to ensure the economic efficiency and operational readiness of our customers’ electric vehicles at a high level. We also make a major contribution to the closed-loop approach of traction batteries, as this extends the battery life in the vehicle, which conserves important resources,” said Christopher Kunstmann, Senior Vice President of Customer Service Management at MAN Truck & Bus.
The first battery repair centre and the associated build-up of expertise in the repair of batteries dates back to 2020. The first pilot repairs and process documentation were carried out for the battery of the MAN eTGE electric van, which was launched on the market in 2018.
This was followed by the battery packs of the MAN eTGM distribution truck, which was launched in a small series in 2020, and the start of series production of the MAN Lion’s City E electric city bus—also in 2020. Repair steps were trialled for all of these different batteries, employees were trained, repair instructions were created and workplace requirements were defined.
This knowledge, which was built up in the first MAN battery repair centre in Hanover-Laatzen, is now being successively transferred to the other markets. The aim is to operate a battery repair hub in every market in which MAN is represented with battery-electric commercial vehicles. Short transport routes and highly trained technicians on site will ensure that the battery can be repaired quickly. This minimises vehicle downtime.
At MAN, a battery repair center has to meet certain criteria based on practical experience and legal standards in the respective countries. On the one hand, the appropriate high-voltage and special tools are required for handling the respective battery types of the vehicles. In addition, special protective equipment must be available for the electricians working there. The premises also fulfil certain requirements, e.g. access control, double doors, air conditioning, ventilation concept, 400 V socket and load crane.

Dubai poised to become world’s largest airport passenger hub

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates: Dubai is poised to become the hub of the world’s largest airport terminal capable of handling 260 million passengers annually with the government announcing a AED128 billion (about USD 35 billion) design plan for the emirate’s new aviation gateway at the Al Maktoum International Airport.

Dubai International Airport (DXB), currently the world’s busiest airport for international travel, will be moved to the sprawling Al Maktoum International Airport once the project is completed within the next 10 years.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, announced the ambitious aviation milestone for Dubai on 28 April 2024.
“Today, we approved the designs for the new passenger terminals at Al Maktoum International Airport, and commencing construction of the building at a cost of AED 128 billion as part of Dubai Aviation Corporation’s strategy. Al Maktoum International Airport will enjoy the world’s largest capacity, reaching up to 260 million passengers. It will be five times the size of the current Dubai International Airport, and all operations at Dubai International Airport will be transferred to it in the coming years. The airport will accommodate 400 aircraft gates and feature five parallel runways. New aviation technologies will be employed for the first time in the aviation sector,” the Dubai ruler said on X (formerly twitter).
Sheikh Mohammed discussed the plan when he visited the Dubai Aviation Engineering Projects, accompanied by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance.
H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Second Deputy Ruler of Dubai; H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Aviation City Corporation, Chairman of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group; and Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Office, were also present during the announcement.
“As we build an entire city around the airport in Dubai South, demand for housing for a million people will follow. It will host the world’s leading companies in the logistics and air transport sectors,” Sheikh Mohammed noted. “We are building a new project for future generations, ensuring continuous and stable development for our children and their children in turn. Dubai will be the world’s airport, its port, its urban hub, and its new global center.”
Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed said the new airport is designed to meet Dubai’s growing aviation needs for the next 40 years, saying, “It will respond to the Hub Airline ambitious plans in terms of fleet acquisition and passenger growth. The airport will provide cutting-edge technologies, passenger facilities with unmatched level of service, and state-of-the-art aviation support facilities.”
“Al Maktoum International (AMI) is planned in such a way as to represent a leap into the future. It will comprise of five parallel runways with a quadruple independent operation, west and east processing terminals, four satellite concourses with over 400 aircraft contact stands, uninterrupted automated people mover system for passengers, and an integrated landside transport hub for roads, Metro, and city air transport,” he added.
Paul Griffiths, CEO of Dubai Airports, said Dubai’s growth has always gone hand-in-hand with the growth of its aviation infrastructure, and today, one sees another bold step in that journey.
“The announcement of phase two of Dubai World Central – Al Maktoum International Airport’s (DWC) expansion, representing a substantial investment of AED128 billion, marks the start of a huge investment of resources by our many stakeholders in designing and building a state-of-the-art airport that will provide a quick, convenient, and high-quality 21st-century experience for our customers. This further solidifies Dubai’s position as a leading aviation hub on the world stage,” Griffiths commented.
He said DXB will continue to serve as the primary hub, in the meantime, while the new airport project is being constructed, meeting the needs of 100 million plus guests over the next few years as phase two of DWC takes shape.

Transforming Logistics: Unveiling Trends and Innovations Shaping the Future of Supply Chains

In an exclusive interview with Poonam Chawla, Associate Publisher of Air Cargo Update, Amadou Diallo, CEO of DHL Global Forwarding Middle East & Africa, shares insights into the dynamic landscape of logistics. From the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on supply chains to sustainable practices in packaging and transportation, Diallo delves into key trends and DHL’s pioneering role in driving innovation across the industry.

Artificial Intelligence is at the forefront of technological developments. Could you give specific examples of how AI impacts logistics and supply chains?
Research indicates that 51% of businesses harness AI primarily to bolster innovation and 47% use it to enhance customer experiences. However, only a quarter of these organizations recognize AI’s potential to unlock new revenue streams. This suggests a substantial underestimation of AI’s role as a driver for both top-line growth and market differentiation.
In the logistics sector, AI is revolutionizing logistics and supply chain management by enabling efficiency in critical business operations, leading to faster delivery times and reduced fuel costs.
In regions like the Middle East, the integration of AI into supply chain practices is setting the stage for a major overhaul of the logistics sector. By adopting AI-driven tools like predictive analytics and automated inventory management, companies are not only boosting operational efficiency but are also positioning themselves as competitive players on the global stage. This strategic adoption of AI marks a critical shift from traditional methods to a more agile and data-driven approach in logistics.

The imminent future will be driven by digitalization and sustainability. What trends do you see in both that benefit the logistics industry?
The logistics industry is rapidly evolving under the dual influences of digitalization and sustainability. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a major trend, already implemented by 36% of businesses to enhance supply chain operations, with projections suggesting a productivity increase of over 20% by 2035. In the Middle East, AI’s impact is pronounced in e-commerce markets like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, driving advances in predictive analytics and automated warehousing. Alongside AI, supply chain diversification is gaining traction as companies strive to mitigate risks from global disruptions by developing more flexible and strategically located logistics networks. Sustainability is also a key focus, reflected in services like DHL’s GoGreen Plus, which promotes the use of sustainable fuels and electric vehicles to reduce GHG-emissions in supply chains. The Internet of Things (IoT) is set to further revolutionize the industry with smart labels that enhance visibility and improve inventory management through real-time data transfer using technologies like QR codes and RFID.
Concurrently, as digital vulnerabilities increase, cybersecurity is becoming a priority, with the sector enhancing its defenses against threats such as phishing and ransomware to protect sensitive data and maintain operational integrity. These trends collectively herald a transformative period for logistics, emphasizing efficiency, security, and environmental responsibility.
As these technologies and strategies become more embedded in the logistics infrastructure, they promise to significantly reshape the industry landscape, especially in regions actively embracing digital and sustainable practices.

As e-commerce grows globally, the need for sustainable packaging and transportation becomes central; tell us about trends in this direction and how DHL is leading in this realm.
As global e-commerce expands, the importance of sustainable packaging and transportation is increasingly becoming more evident. The logistics industry, grappling with the challenges of excessive packaging waste from materials like plastic shrink wrap, is pushed further by high return rates and specific demands from products such as meal kits that require extensive protective packaging.
In response to these challenges, the industry is shifting towards more sustainable solutions. Innovations in biodegradable materials are emerging, with companies adopting starch-based foams, tree pulp, and plastics derived from sugarcane. These are complemented by simpler, cost-effective strategies such as reusable packaging and incentives for consolidated deliveries, which significantly reduce waste.

DHL is leading this transformative shift by implementing advanced technologies to optimize packaging efficiency. We use algorithm-driven tools for precise box-sizing to maximize space utilization and minimize waste, as our research showed that 24% of package volume is empty space. It also accounts for up to 50% of otherwise unnecessary shipment space. Furthermore, DHL is transitioning from traditional paper labels to smart technologies like OLED and e-ink, enhancing package tracking and reducing the incidence of damaged goods returns.
In line with our company’s purpose to connect people and improve lives, DHL has also launched the GoTrade initiative, fostering sustainable and inclusive trade. This initiative targets expanding globalization’s reach and benefits. It is designed to increase the number and volume of SMEs trading across borders, including teaching them about the benefits of cross-border trade and assisting them with navigating the complexities of customs clearance.
In addition to these sustainability advances, our collaboration with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) exemplifies our commitment to leveraging our network for broader social and economic impact. This partnership launched the “Innovation for Food Systems Transformation” global innovation challenge, aimed at supporting Agro-Tech and empowering small farmers and SMEs. This initiative serves as a beacon, seeking out trailblazing technology providers who have designed sustainable solutions within agribusiness supply chains and logistics, enabling participants to meet the demands of emerging markets, contribute to job creation, particularly in Africa, and reduce food waste in African markets.
DHL is also making substantial investments in sustainability beyond packaging. Over the next few years, DHL plans to invest 7 billion euros in measures to reduce its CO2e emissions. This includes expanding our electric vehicle fleet to cover 60% of last-mile deliveries and increasing the use of sustainable fuels across all transport modes to cover more than a third by 2030.
These efforts not only meet consumer demands for sustainability but also enhance operational efficiencies, significantly contributing to the development of a circular economy within the logistics sector.

Tell us about the DHL Innovation Center Network, giving examples of innovations that have emerged from these Centers and how they have helped DHL in particular and the logistics sector in general.
The DHL Innovation Center Network was initially established as a platform to showcase DHL’s logistics capabilities but has since evolved into a crucial hub for collaboration and idea exchange among industry experts, customers, and partners. These centers are instrumental in driving innovation within DHL and the broader logistics sector.
Our DHL Middle East and Africa (MEA) Innovation Center in Dubai, introduced in 2021, serves as a collaborative space where business leaders, logistics experts, academics, and startups develop innovative logistics solutions. The center showcases interactive exhibits on big data analytics and the Internet of Things (IoT), inspiring innovative approaches to logistics practices.
The DHL Innovation Center Network has been instrumental in fostering a culture of innovation across the logistics industry. A prime example of this is the DHL Fast Forward Challenge MEA. This flagship initiative serves as a testament to our dedication to finding and promoting groundbreaking solutions that tackle global sustainability issues. In its third edition this year, this event, historically held at the premises of the Innovation Center, will take place at the Museum of the Future in collaboration with the Dubai Future Foundation. The challenge provides a dynamic platform for thought leaders and innovators to collaborate and contribute to sustainable development efforts in the region. With each year, the challenge evolves, reflecting our enduring pursuit of excellence and sustainability in logistics.
Such initiatives from the DHL Innovation Centers have significantly contributed to advancing technological and operational efficiencies, not only for DHL but for the logistics industry at large, enhancing the way goods and information are managed and transported globally.

Global logistics industry must embrace digitalization to keep up with changing times

Still recovering from the onslaught of the COVID-19 pandemic while confronting other challenges, the world now heavily relies on the logistics industry to facilitate global business activities.

The industry has become the lifeblood of global trade in recent years it has massively grown in value to €8.4 trillion in 2021 and is projected to further grow to over €13.7 billion by 2027, according to experts.

With the emergence of smart technologies and the so-called fourth industrial revolution, the industry is up for the challenge of embracing digitalization.
But while many countries have begun their digital transformation more than a decade ago, many are also still struggling to keep up with the changing times due to scarce resources and skilled workforce.

Vineet Malhotra, co-founder and director of Kale Logistics Solutions, one of the world’s most trusted global cloud-based tech providers for some Fortune 500 companies worldwide, offering a comprehensive suite of tech solutions for the logistics industry, says there’s no way to move forward but to embrace digitalization.

“There are two buzzwords in the overall global supply chain these days. One is sustainability. The second buzzword is digitalization. It means bringing in some solutions to empower the industry to digitize itself to seamlessly connect with others and streamline their operations,” Malhotra told Air Cargo Update.

Malhotra’s company which was formed in 2010 was among India’s pioneers in the tech industry that specializes in logistics and the global transport industry. Of its more than 5,500 clients worldwide, over 50 are airports, and 50 are seaports around the world.

Kale is helping the global logistics industry transform its operations with digital technologies.
“15 years back, when we were looking at it, we saw the need for digitalization,” says Malhotra, an electronics communications engineering graduate with post-studies in management. “We (collaborated) with the Air Cargo Agents Association of India (ACAAI). The association became the executive sponsor of the project to build a cargo community system. They didn’t put any money. But they supported our idea. We had our break at Mumbai Airport when it was automated.”

Today, Kale’s solutions are used in more than 50 airports across the world and to more than 50 seaports worldwide in addition to thousands of other companies in logistics, and air freight, among many others in the transport sector.

“Digitalization is essential for businesses to remain competitive,” said Malhotra. Digitalization is indeed no longer an option for businesses in the global logistics industry: It’s a necessity to streamline the process and save time and money.

Apart from software solutions, many companies in the industry have introduced smart technologies in their system which include automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS), automated sorting systems, de-palletizing/palletizing systems, conveyor systems, automatic identification and data collection (AIDC), order picking), software, and services), end-user industry (food and beverage, post and parcel, groceries, general merchandise, apparel, manufacturing), among other things.

Opening doors for innovations with collaboration
Digitalization opens doors for innovation in the logistics industry. Emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and the Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential to revolutionize logistics operations.

By leveraging these technologies, companies can develop predictive maintenance strategies, optimize transportation networks, and create data-driven solutions for complex logistics challenges. This focus on innovation fosters continuous improvement and paves the way for future growth.

At the two-day field meeting and conference hosted by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) RAME (Region Africa Middle East) and the UAE National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL) held at the Atlantis Dubai in March, Kale signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NAFL agreeing to help developing digital solutions to streamline processes and data analytics to facilitate global trade.

The agreement aims to further drive digitalization in the UAE logistics sector by enabling NAFL stakeholders, members, and the private sector in general to improve efficiency and transparency and benefit from a digital platform that supports operational processes and data sharing between stakeholders and facilitates the paperless exchange of trade-related information. The platform, which will initially focus on the UAE market, aims to improve trade flows within the region and capitalize on the strategic location and connectivity of the country and the entire RAME region.

“The FIATA-RAME conference was a valuable platform to foster collaboration and explore innovative solutions. The meeting identified several key areas for improvement in the regional logistics sector. One of our focus areas is harnessing the opportunities offered by digitalization, particularly in the private sector, which includes many of our members,” said Nadia Abdul Aziz, President of NAFL.

“To this end, our partnership with Kale Logistics will help private sector players to streamline processes through digitalization, measure sustainability data and simplify business processes.
In the meantime, we are also talking to entities, which include the National Information Centre, global audit experts and collaboration between the government players and the private sector to improve business and improve the sustainability of the sector. We aim to turn the challenges in the industry into opportunities, improve the flow of trade in the region and utilize the connectivity of the UAE and the region to overcome the current challenges,” she explained.

The two-day event brought together key players from the African and Middle Eastern logistics and global experts from the industry, serving as a crucial platform for knowledge sharing, forging partnerships, and charting a path toward a more resilient and collaborative logistics landscape in Africa and the Middle East.

Qantas Freight’s resilience and growth in the face of global challenges

According to Mordor Intelligence, the Logistics Automation Market size is estimated at USD 75.24 billion in 2024. It is expected to reach USD 120.63 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 9.90% during the forecast period—2024-2029.

Australia’s freight and logistics market size this year is valued at USD 94.10 billion. Growing at a CAGR of 3.9% during the forecast period (2024-2029), it is estimated to reach USD 113.94 billion by 2029. (Mordor Intelligence)

It has been a turbulent year for airfreight transporters in Australia yet there is optimism the country’s freight and logistics market will steadily grow in the coming years.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, just like the rest of the world, Australia’s aviation industry suffered from the global travel ban, reducing tremendously belly-hold capacity for cargo. Yet, it’s air freight industry carried through the tough times, delivering vital healthcare supplies and other basic needs throughout the country.

Faced with weaker tonnage volumes, global supply chain disruptions pushed airfreight prices to record levels. But from 2023, airfreight prices have begun to normalize as global supply chain disruptions eased, while volumes remain below pre-pandemic levels.

In the past 35 years, Australia’s road transport activity has grown significantly due to expanding road networks and increased economic activity, resulting in a seven-fold increase in road freight between 1970 and 2007 and an eight-fold increase between 1970 and 2020.

Australia’s economy relies heavily on freight transport to move raw materials, semi-processed goods, and finished products. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the freight industry managed to maintain key supply chains, demonstrating its importance and resilience.

Australia’s freight and logistics market size is currently estimated at USD 94.10 billion this year. It is expected to reach USD 113.94 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 3.9% during the forecast period (2024-2029) (Mordor Intelligence).

A representative from Qantas Freight who asked to be anonymous but agreed to provide a comprehensive outline of how Qantas Freight managed to establish itself as the leader in the Australian air cargo industry talks to Air Cargo Update.

Strong focus on efficiency and reliability
With a strategic approach and a strong focus on efficiency, reliability, and customer satisfaction, Qantas Freight has secured its position as a leader in the Australian market.

By continuously investing in cutting-edge technologies, expanding its global network, and providing top-notch services, Qantas Freight has set the standard for excellence in air cargo transportation.

One of the oldest airlines in the world, Qantas Airways Limited was founded in Winton, Queensland, on November 16, 1920.

Originally named Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services Limited, the airline operated its first flight in 1922 with the first scheduled services connecting regional towns in Queensland.

The airline quickly expanded its operations to include airmail and eventually pioneered long-distance flights across the globe.

What hasn’t changed over the years is their commitment to safety and customer service. According to the Qantas Freight interviewed in this article, any discussion about the company’s domination in the air cargo industry cannot ignore its strategic expansion and acquisition initiatives.

Over the years, Qantas Freight has strategically expanded its network to cover key international trade routes, connecting major cities worldwide. Through a series of strategic acquisitions and partnerships, Qantas Freight has strengthened its market presence and service offerings, solidifying its position as a global leader in air cargo transportation.

Qantas Freight spokesperson said, “Qantas Freight is Australia’s largest independent air freight carrier and has been handling a diverse range of goods from mail and e-commerce to pets and fresh produce and bulkier specialist items like cars, helicopters and farm machinery for more than a century. Our services provide a critical link in domestic and international supply chains, moving 4000 daily shipments to more than 500 destinations worldwide.”

Advanced Logistics and Technology Infrastructure
Qantas Freight’s advanced logistics and technology infrastructure play a pivotal role in its dominance in the air cargo industry.

Through cutting-edge technology and streamlined logistics processes, Qantas Freight ensures seamless operations and real-time tracking of shipments.

This enhances efficiency and enables the airline to meet the evolving needs of customers in a highly competitive market. Technology Infrastructure; Advanced tracking systems, and; Real-time data analytics.

Infrastructure:Modern warehouses and handling facilitiesState-of-the-art security systemsSpecialized cargo handling equipmentIntegrated IT systems for seamless operations

“Advanced logistics and technology infrastructure are integral pillars of our strategy, enabling Qantas Freight to deliver unparalleled efficiency and reliability in the air cargo industry.”

With the largest footprint of terminal infrastructure in the region, Qantas Freight is creating world-leading digital solutions to evolve the traditional ground handling experience.

Express check iPad kiosks.
Integrated online booking, lodgement, and collection processes via mobile apps to remove paper processing wherever possible. Real-time tracking and notifications to provide shipment visibility at every stage of the terminal process.

Integrated scales and labelling systems are in place at all our terminals, improving accuracy for safer operations.

“Our fleet of dedicated freighter aircraft, including B737F, B767F, A321P2F, and A332P2F, serves as the backbone of our cargo operations, seamlessly complementing our belly space capacity for both domestic and international flights.

“With strategically positioned cargo terminals equipped with state-of-the-art tracking technologies, we ensure swift tail-to-tail connections and real-time visibility of freight at every stage of its journey.

“Our specially trained teams, stationed at major airports across Australia, bring expertise in complex load build-ups and handle a diverse range of freighter aircraft types with precision and efficiency.”

Meeting Online Shopping Demand
To meet e-commerce demand from its customers across Australia, Qantas Freight is in the works to add six Airbus A321 aircraft to its domestic fleet.

A structural shift towards online shopping has driven a step change in cargo volumes for the national carrier’s freight division since COVID-19 began.

Five Boeing 737 freighters approaching the end of their economic lives will be replaced by six A321s between the beginning of the 2024 calendar year and the middle of 2026.

In comparison with the older 737 freighters, the A321 freighters can carry 23 tons of cargo, nine tons more, and consume 30% less fuel per ton.

“Demand for Qantas Freight services has been stronger than ever in recent years thanks to online shopping trends, and our fleet investments will ensure we’re able to continue to meet this rising demand well into the future,” the spokesperson said.

According to the then CEO of Qantas Group Alan Joyce, who stepped down from his CEO role in September 2023, “Qantas Freight has been one of the standout performers for the Group during the pandemic as Australians rapidly shifted to online shopping. While some of that shift is temporary, demand remains well above pre-pandemic levels even with the lifting of almost all COVID-related restrictions.

“This is one of the largest ever investments in our domestic freight fleet, which will enable Qantas Freight to capture more of that demand and will provide the opportunity to help Freight further grow revenue and earnings.

“The first three A321P2F have been a fantastic addition to our fleet and operating a single type of narrow-body aircraft in the future will enable us to generate further operational efficiencies and significantly reduce emissions per tonne of freight flown.”

Looking Ahead
Looking ahead – initiatives being rolled out across Qantas Freight include: A new capacity management system to ensure they maximize uplift on capacity-constrained routes.

Investments in a new fleet of fire-retardant unit load devices – game-changers in the industry which further add to onboard safety.

Working with airport authorities across the nation to develop plans for terminal infrastructures from 2025 including Western Sydney.

Australia’s new cargo hub
Western Sydney International Airport (WSI) will fulfill the growing demand for aviation capacity in the Sydney basin and enhance accessibility to flights for people in Western Sydney as well as provide economic opportunities for businesses.

The airport will serve domestic and international flights from 2026, making it one of Australia’s most significant infrastructure projects in decades.

In addition to the greenfield airport, there is a 3.7-kilometer runway, terminal, and airport facilities that will initially serve up to 10 million passengers a year and a capacity of 220,000 tons of cargo annually.

WSI is Australia’s first co-designed cargo precinct.
There is no doubt that WSI will become one of Australia’s most important cargo hubs. Aside from motorway access to Western Sydney’s logistics centers and 24/7 operations, the Cargo Precinct planned has a crucial element that Sydney’s been lacking: growth room.

Air cargo, logistics, support, and commercial uses will be accommodated at WSI Cargo Precinct, both immediately and over time.

A flexible, future-proofed layout will be provided by the WSI Cargo Precinct to meet the demands and trends of the future. It is planned to be one of the best cargo precincts in the world that will be thriving, safe, sustainable, and a great place to work and operate.

Safe Pet Handling
When it comes to the safe and comfortable travel of pets and other animals, Qantas Freight prioritizes their welfare above all else.

From dogs and cats to rabbits, and domestic birds, Qantas Freight ensures their journey is smooth and stress-free.

“Every year, we transport thousands of beloved pets and animals to destinations spanning Australia and beyond, ensuring their safe and comfortable journey every step of the way. Our expertise extends beyond household pets to encompass the specialized movement of diverse animals, from reptiles to racehorses, zoo residents, and marine life destined for research or aquariums, all of which demand meticulous handling and care.

“From fresh perishables like food and flowers to critical pharmaceuticals such as medicines and blood samples, as well as highly secure items like delicate artworks and custom goods like racing cars, we handle a wide range of cargo with precision and reliability.”

With Qantas Freight, pet owners can rest assured knowing that their beloved companions are in good hands throughout the entire travel process.

Flying Fresh: Handling the World’s Perishable Goods Trade

The delivery of perishable commodities is one of the industries that perform a delicate pirouette in the relentless rhythm of global trade. Imagine crates of glistening cherries, hand-picked at the peak of freshness in Chile, arriving crisp and juicy in China days later. Or think of a prized Arabian stallion, carefully crafted and flown across continents to participate in a prestigious competition. The intricate web of logistics and infrastructure that underpins the movement of these time-sensitive treasures is nothing short of awe-inspiring. It’s a symphony of meticulous planning, specialized handling, and rapid transit, all working in concert to ensure these perishables reach their destinations with their integrity and value intact.

Amidst this complex ecosystem, two key players stand out for their expertise and innovation: Challenge Group and Changi Airport. By delving into their insights and capabilities, we can gain a deeper understanding of the nuances and challenges that define the fascinating world of global perishable trade. We’ll explore the strategies employed by these leaders to navigate temperature-controlled environments, streamlined customs clearances, and the ever-evolving demands of this dynamic sector. Through their lens, we’ll gain a richer appreciation for the invisible ballet that keeps the world’s most delicate and delicious cargo moving seamlessly across the globe.

How Challenge Group Masters Perishable Logistics
David Canavan, Chief Operating Officer at Challenge Group, paints a vivid picture of their operations, which are finely tuned to transporting perishable goods. “At Challenge Group, we’ve built our network and our infrastructure around the transportation of perishables,” Canavan asserts confidently. “This specialization has endowed us with a maturity in this area, allowing us to navigate it with relative ease,” he says.

He underscores the company’s robust capabilities, citing its capital capacity, operational prowess, and specialized expertise in the pharma segment. “We are well-equipped to handle the challenges inherent in transporting perishable goods,” Canavan remarks.

Canavan paints a vivid picture of Challenge Group’s diverse operations, highlighting their ability to maintain a delicate balance in transporting perishable goods worldwide. “Whether it’s inbound or outbound, our operations are remarkably balanced,” he explains. “From flowers in Liège to lobster from Canada, we ensure that perishable goods reach their destinations swiftly and efficiently.” From transporting delicate flowers from Liège to Amsterdam to facilitating the movement of seafood from Norway to Asia, Challenge Group’s portfolio is as diverse as it is extensive.

Adapting to Changing Consumer Trends
Canavan acknowledges the shifting landscape brought about by the rise of e-commerce, which has altered consumer behavior and increased demand for perishable products. Reflecting on the impact of e-commerce on perishable markets, Canavan acknowledges the notable shift in consumer behavior, particularly during the pandemic. “We’ve witnessed a significant change in consumer demand for perishable products,” he observes. “From seafood to fruit, there’s been a surge in demand, driven in part by the rise of e-commerce.”

Canavan addresses the challenges and opportunities presented by the exponential growth of e-commerce. “The growth of e-commerce has been staggering, making it difficult to gauge the exact percentage growth of perishable markets,” he notes. “However, it’s evident that perishable trade is moving in the right direction, albeit with its own set of challenges.”

However, he emphasizes that while e-commerce plays a significant role, the final mile delivery is often handled by traditional retail or wholesale organizations. Challenge Group’s focus remains on providing speed, reliability, and security throughout the supply chain, ensuring that perishable goods reach their destination in pristine condition.

Predicted Growth
In terms of growth, Canavan acknowledges the exponential rise of e-commerce but highlights the steady nature of perishable markets. Canavan shares insights into the company’s predicted growth. “While our growth has been steady, we are exploring avenues for further expansion,” he explains. “Whether it’s through introducing new destinations or increasing frequencies to existing ones, we are committed to sustaining growth in the coming years.”

Canavan also discusses the company’s outlook for the future, noting potential expansion into South American markets to capitalize on emerging opportunities. By tapping into new markets and continuously improving their capabilities, Challenge Group aims to remain at the forefront of the perishable trade industry.

Investing in Innovation and Technology
While there’s a constant need to explore new destinations and increase frequencies to meet growing demand, Challenge Group remains committed to leveraging technology to enhance safety and efficiency. “We are investing in technology to enhance the safety and efficiency of our transportation processes,” he reveals. “From end-to-end solutions to track-and-trace systems, technology remains integral to our operations.”

He continues, “For instance, our trucking network out of Liège is growing at exceptionally good rates, with full track-and-trace capabilities. This allows us to have visibility throughout the transportation process, ensuring smooth operations.”

A Look at Changi Airport’s Vision
Jaisey Yip, Vice President of Cargo Business Division at Changi Airport Group, offers acompelling glimpse into the future of perishable trade, particularly in the vibrant landscape of Asia. With a projected population of 5.3 billion consumers by 2050 and a growing middle class, Asia’s appetite for fresh and high-quality perishables is on the rise. From fruits and vegetables to chilled meat and seafood, the demand for these products is fueled by a shift towards healthy eating and lifestyle choices.

Jaisey highlights the significant role air cargo plays in meeting this demand, citing the annual growth rate of temperature-sensitive food produce imports in Asia. Changi Airport, as a pivotal hub in the region, has witnessed a surge in perishable imports, driven by countries like China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam. “We’ve witnessed an exponential growth in the import of temperature-sensitive food produce,” remarks Jaisey. “This growth, primarily driven by countries like China, South Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam, underscores the pivotal role of air cargo in catering to the region’s perishable needs.” The airport’s strategic investments in cold chain infrastructure and partnerships with industry players have bolstered its position as a preferred hub for perishable trade.

The Cold Chain Challenge
“Despite the numerous advantages of transporting perishables by air, such as speed of delivery and extended shelf life, effective cold chain management remains a paramount challenge,” asserts Jaisey. “According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, approximately 14% of total food produced globally is lost, and an additional 17% is wasted, largely due to inadequate cold chain management practices.”

Recognizing the critical importance of maintaining an unbroken cold chain, Changi Airport has made substantial investments in cold chain infrastructure and equipment. With a combined cargo handlers’ temperature-controlled warehouse annual capacity exceeding 375,000 tons, Changi Airport ensures that perishable goods remain at optimal temperatures throughout their journey within the airport premises.

Changi Airport’s Strategic Investments
“In a significant milestone for the region,” continues Jaisey, “Changi Airport spearheaded the creation of the first IATA CEIV Fresh certified community in Southeast Asia in 2021. Collaborating with industry partners such as dnata Singapore, SATS, and Singapore Airlines, this certification sets baseline standards and compliance measures aimed at preventing food waste throughout the air transportation process.”

Further cementing its commitment to quality in perishable trade, Singapore Airlines launched THRUFRESH, a specialized service designed for the secure transportation of perishables. “Through strategic partnerships with cargo terminal operators and ground handlers across key global hubs,” Jaisey explains, “including Amsterdam, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Frankfurt, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Shanghai, Singapore, and Zurich, THRUFRESH ensures the integrity of perishable shipments at every stage of their journey.”

Changi ACCS
“In 2020,” Jaisey emphasizes, “Changi Airport introduced the Changi Air Cargo Community System (ACCS), a community data-sharing platform designed to promote innovation and collaboration within the cargo handling process. This open ecosystem aggregates data from all parties involved in cargo handling, facilitating increased shipment visibility and operational excellence through the utilization of advanced technologies.”

In conclusion, she underscores Changi Airport’s commitment to end-to-end cold chain management and quality assurance initiatives. “Through strategic investments, industry partnerships, and innovative solutions,” she states, “Changi Airport continues to set the standard for excellence in the transportation of perishable goods, ensuring that they reach their destination with freshness and quality intact.”

Market Analysis and Future Trends
Beyond the insights provided by Challenge Group and Changi Airport, it’s essential to examine broader market trends and future projections in the global perishable trade industry. According to industry reports, the demand for perishable products is expected to continue growing steadily, driven by factors such as population growth, changing consumer preferences, and the rise of e-commerce.

The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the shift towards online shopping, leading to increased demand for perishable goods delivered directly to consumers’ doorsteps. This trend has presented both opportunities and challenges for industry players, as they strive to meet the evolving needs of consumers while ensuring the safety and quality of perishable products during transportation.

In response to these challenges, companies across the perishable trade supply chain are investing heavily in technology and innovation. From blockchain-based tracking systems to AI-driven predictive analytics, these advancements aim to improve visibility, efficiency, and traceability throughout the supply chain, ultimately enhancing the integrity of perishable shipments.

Looking ahead, experts predict continued growth in perishable trade volumes, particularly in regions with rapidly expanding populations and rising disposable incomes. Asia, in particular, is expected to remain a key driver of growth, with its burgeoning middle class fueling demand for fresh and high-quality perishable products.

Perishable commodities transportation is still an essential part of the supply chain as long as global trade keeps changing. With insights from industry leaders like Challenge Group and Changi Airport, along with a comprehensive analysis of market trends and future projections, it’s evident that success in this domain hinges on a combination of expertise, infrastructure, and innovation.

From leveraging technology to ensuring the integrity of cold chain management, these players are at the forefront of shaping the future of perishable trade, ensuring that fresh produce and delicate goods reach consumers around the world, flying fresh every step of the way.

Logistics experts from the Middle East and Africa gather in Dubai to discuss strategies to build a resilient global supply chain ecosystem

World trade and logistics flourish when there is peace, predictability and sustainability. Currently valued at US$ 163.57 billion, the Middle East and Africa logistics industry is forecast to reach US$ 222.63 billion by 2029 at an annual growth rate of 6.36%.

Logistics experts in the Middle East and Africa gathered for the two-day International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association (FIATA) RAME (Region Africa Middle East) Field Meeting and Conference hosted by the UAE National Association of Freight and Logistics (NAFL) against the backdrop of continued geopolitical tensions in the region that affects the flow of global trade.

Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Saeed Al Maktoum, Honorary patron of NAFL, in the presence of H.E. Humaid bin Salem, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce UAE, the FIATA-RAME field meeting and conference held at the iconic Atlantis Dubai on March 5-6, 2024, primarily discussed pressing issues confronting the global logistics industry and supply chains.

The Red Sea, an important trade route in this part of the world, has been turned into a danger zone in recent months when Yemen-based Houthis started launching drone and missile attacks against ships transiting the area to protest Israel’s attacks on Gaza in Palestine that have so far resulted to the death of more than 30,000 innocent civilians. The militant group Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, 2023.

The two-day conference organized by NAFL, under the theme ‘Connectivity, Resilience, and Sustainability in Global Supply Chains and Trade’, delves into the trade disruption due to geo-political issues and strategies for a burgeoning MEA logistics market, currently valued at US$ 163.57 billion and forecasted to reach US$ 222.63 billion in 2029. The event also hosted the FIATA-RAME Official Meeting featuring FIATA RAME Chair Dr. Juanita Maree; Dr. Stéphane Graber, FIATA Director General and FIATA global President Mr. Turgut Erkeskin.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Humaid Bin Salem, Chairman of the UAE International Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the UAE’s commitment to facilitating and promoting global trade through seamless multimodal connectivity.

“In line with the UAE’s goals to diversify the economy, the ICC shares FIATA’s vision to facilitate global trade. In the face of global supply chain disruptions, whether due to natural disasters or geopolitical events, we must think globally and work as one cohesive team. The connectivity offered by the UAE, whether by air, land or sea, plays a crucial role,” he said.

“Beyond the UAE, the GCC region, particularly Qatar and Saudi Arabia, is very active, promoting trade and offering investment opportunities. We are keen to learn from our peers and work together to improve the private sector. I would therefore encourage everyone to actively participate in the discussions and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the Federal Chambers or the ICC. We are here to support the needs of the private sector,” he added.
Erkeskin, President of FIATA, delivered a comprehensive overview of the global challenges and evolving trends in the logistics sector.

Highlighting the RAME region’s strategic position as a hub connecting continents, he said: “In today’s dynamic global landscape, the FIATA-RAME meeting stands as a strategic platform, offering pragmatic insights as we gather against the backdrop of unprecedented disruptions in the Red Sea, geo-political tensions and environmental concerns. As globalization dynamics are shifting, global trade is impacted by geo-political developments anywhere. Yet, amidst these challenges lie opportunities for resilience and adaptation. Our mission transcends problem-solving; it advocates for an approach rooted in agility, creativity, and strategic planning.”

“Our priority at this year’s meeting is to explore collective solutions to regional challenges because nothing is local in today’s world, especially logistics. We are hopeful as the RAME region holds tremendous potential with some of the most sophisticated ports and airports and a dynamic young workforce ready to strengthen and enhance business processes. We had over 400 FIATA specialised diploma graduates in 2023 from the Middle East region; there is no challenge that we cannot overcome when such qualified workforce and expertise exist in the region,” he added.

Erkisken concluded by saying that world trade and logistics flourish when there is peace, predictability and sustainability. “We hope that current uncertainties, end soon as we move into the future, strengthening existing trade routes will function while building regional corridors offering seamless global connectivity. With a focus on practical solutions and actionable insights, we strive not only to address challenges but also to forge a path towards a more resilient, sustainable, and interconnected future for all stakeholders in the global logistics arena.”

Ms. Nadia Abdul Aziz, President of the UAE NAFL, welcomed the more than 600 delegates, representing 16 FIATA member associations, with 11 from the Africa & Middle East region from over 29 countries. Emphasizing the significance of UAE hosting the meeting, she said: “The UAE remains a global gateway for logistics and trade with investor-friendly policies and synchronization with international markets. In the UAE, initiatives like the 10-year visa, pro-investment policies, and a robust sustainability plan to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 foster an environment ripe for growth. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in our ranking as the top destination for foreign direct investment (FDI) and the 7th place ranking on the global logistics index.”

The event highlighted the latest initiatives, including advancements in digitalization and implementing the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) program undertaken by Dubai Customs. In the following presentations, Dubai Chamber highlighted its international services tailored for corporates and investors, with a particular focus on fostering business research and sustainability efforts. Dubai South showcased its offerings encompassing e-commerce, logistics growth, and the Sea-Air Free Zone.

The panel discussions on day one highlighted the evolving logistics sector across the region under the theme “GCC Market Overview, Opportunities, and Growth Areas.” Featured panelists at the session included Mr. Gopal R., Senior Vice President of the Supply Chain & Logistics Practice at Frost & Sullivan. H.E. Eng. Ali Bin Abdulatif Al Mesned, Qatar Chamber Board Member and President of the Qatar Association of Freight and Logistics (QAFL) elaborated on Qatar’s opportunities and economic growth prospects, providing an overview of the latest freight forwarding and trading ecosystem advancements.

Representing the Saudi Ministry of Investment Mr. Majed Alsaadi and Ms. Reem Abdul Aziz Hasanain, along with Ms. Amal Balghunaim from the Saudi Ministry of Transport and Logistics Services and Mr. Abdullah Daoud from the Ministry of Transport & Logistics, shed light on opportunities in logistics and trade sector within KSA.
The session highlighted the National Industrial Development & Logistics Program (NIDLP) and outlined the logistics strategy for KSA’s transportation and logistics services sector.
The event, a platform for bringing together key stakeholders – industry leaders, innovators, and thought leaders – concluded with the delegates vowing to cooperate to shape the future of logistics in the MEA region.

Ethiopian Airlines Takes Flight in E-commerce with Africa’s First State-of-the-Art Logistics Hub

Takes Flight in E-commerce with Africa’s First State-of-the-Art Logistics Hub

Ethiopian Airlines Group celebrated the opening of its state-of-the-art e-commerce logistics facility at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, a historic occasion that represents a major advancement in Africa’s logistics environment. This landmark occasion positions Addis Ababa as the epicenter of cross-border e-commerce logistics for Africa and beyond. The facility, a first of its kind on the continent, underscores Ethiopian Airlines’ commitment to revolutionizing the e-commerce industry and fostering economic growth across Africa.

The grand unveiling ceremony, held on February 29, 2024, witnessed the presence of esteemed dignitaries including Alemu Sime, Minister for Transport and Logistics, Ethiopia, and Belete Molla, Minister of Innovation and Technology, Ethiopia. Mesfin Tasew, CEO of Ethiopian Airlines Group, extended a warm welcome to the distinguished guests, emphasizing the monumental impact of the newly established facility on the African economy.

With an investment of $55 million, Ethiopian Airlines has manifested its vision of creating a state-of-the-art logistics hub dedicated exclusively to e-commerce, mail, and courier services. Spanning over 15,000 square meters, the facility is equipped with cutting-edge technology and meticulously designed systems, setting a new standard for logistics operations in Africa. Tasew highlighted the strategic significance of the facility, stating, “The inauguration of this cutting-edge e-commerce logistics facility is a significant breakthrough for Ethiopian Airlines Group and the entire African economy.”

The facility’s advanced infrastructure facilitates seamless operations, offering a comprehensive range of services including consolidation, deconsolidation, sortation, repacking, and labeling. Notably, customers can effortlessly track and trace their shipments, ensuring transparency and efficiency throughout the logistics process. Tasew underscored the transformative potential of the facility, stating, “We have implemented high-end technologies in the infrastructure that revolutionize the way goods are transported and delivered in the e-commerce industry in Africa.”

Ethiopian Airlines’ relentless pursuit of excellence in cargo and logistics services has garnered widespread recognition, with the airline receiving prestigious awards including Best Cargo Airline-Africa and Sustainable Cargo Airline of the Year-Africa. The newly inaugurated e-commerce logistics facility further solidifies Ethiopian Airlines’ position as a global leader in the aviation industry.

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, a strategic business unit of Ethiopian Airlines Group, has been at the forefront of innovation, operating Africa’s largest cargo terminal. The terminal, fully automated and equipped with state-of-the-art cargo IT systems, exemplifies Ethiopian Airlines’ commitment to delivering efficient freight services across the globe. Today, cargo and logistics services constitute approximately 35 percent of Ethiopian Airlines Group’s total revenues, underscoring the strategic importance of this sector.
With its wings spread wide, Ethiopia’s national carrier isn’t just expanding its reach, it’s taking off as a key player in global logistics. The launch of their e-commerce logistics facility marks a turning point for Africa’s rise as a major logistics hub. Ethiopian Airlines’ visionary leadership, fueled by a relentless pursuit of innovation and excellence, positions them as a catalyst for the continent’s economic boom.

The inauguration of the e-commerce logistics facility heralds a new era of possibilities for African commerce, driving forward the continent’s integration into the global economy. With Ethiopian Airlines leading the charge, Africa is poised to unlock its full potential in the e-commerce landscape, driving sustainable development and prosperity for future generations.

Fueling the Future: Investing in a Greener Air Cargo Industry

In this exclusive interview, Air Cargo Update gets first-hand insights from three key figures in the industry on how the sector’s greener landscape is progressing. Michiel Potjer, Chief of Staff to EVP Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Strategic Sustainability Lead Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, Richard Broekman, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Sustainability at Atlas Air Worldwide, and a representative from Air Canada Cargo, talk at length on this crucial issue.

Climate change has cast a long shadow on the aviation industry, and air cargo, with its soaring emissions and critical role in global trade, finds itself squarely in the spotlight. Yet, amidst the challenge lies a beacon of hope: major players are actively embracing sustainability, embarking on a transformational journey to lessen their environmental impact.

From pioneering sustainable fuels to leveraging cutting-edge technology, major industry players are redefining the future of air cargo, charting a course toward a more sustainable sky.

But how are industry leaders putting these plans into action? Air Cargo Update had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with three key figures shaping the greener industry landscape, Michiel Potjer, Chief of Staff to EVP Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Strategic Sustainability Lead Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, Richard Broekman, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Sustainability at Atlas Air Worldwide, and a representative from Air Canada Cargo.

Read on as we examine this journey and the cutting-edge tactics opening the door for a more accountable sector in the global economy’s quest for a greener future.

Atlas Air Worldwide: Leading the Charge in Decarbonization
Atlas Air Worldwide, a global leader in outsourced aviation services, is at the forefront of the sustainability movement in air cargo. Richard Broekman, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Sustainability at Atlas Air, underscores the company’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions through a multifaceted approach.

“Atlas works with industry partners, customers, and stakeholders to reduce our carbon emissions in a sector that many view as hard to decarbonize,” says Broekman. “Our decarbonization strategy focuses on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) use, investment in new aircraft, improved fleet efficiencies, and fuel-saving best practices.”

One of Atlas Air’s key initiatives is its partnership with Airlines for America (A4A) to achieve net-zero carbon emissions in aviation by 2050. By setting a target to reduce absolute Scope 1 emissions by 20% by 2035, Atlas Air is charting a path towards sustainability while actively engaging with partners to drive emission reduction efforts.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) are pivotal in Atlas Air Worldwide’s journey towards net-zero emissions. Broekman emphasizes, “SAF is an important element in our decarbonization strategy given its potential to be the greatest near- and long-term contributor to achieving our ambitious climate goals. That is why we have placed a heavy emphasis on advancing efforts to increase SAF production and distribution. Our fuel procurement team is engaged in ongoing discussions to develop contracts with fuel providers and other fuel partners to support our customers’ growing interest in the use of SAF.”

Broekman also discusses Atlas Air Worldwide’s initiatives in implementing sustainable aviation practices, such as incorporating SAF for flights departing from Zaragoza Airport in Spain, “Most recently, we announced a partnership with our customer Inditex to incorporate 5% SAF (produced by Repsol) for all flights departing from the Zaragoza Airport in Spain. We are the first cargo airline to use SAF regularly on cargo flights [in Spain].”

From a regulatory standpoint, Atlas Air Worldwide navigates the evolving landscape with a proactive approach. Broekman stresses, “The implementation of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) ‘NextGen’ Air Traffic Control (ATC) system presents a significant opportunity for all airlines to execute more efficient arrival and departure procedures by eliminating altitude stepping, thus dramatically reducing fuel burn and emissions.”

Atlas Air Worldwide’s dedication to sustainability and net-zero emissions exemplifies its leadership in the air cargo industry. Through collaboration, innovation, and advocacy, the company strives to create a greener future for aviation while fulfilling its role in global trade and transportation.

Air Canada Cargo: Charting a Course Towards Net-Zero Emissions
As one of Canada’s largest air cargo carriers, Air Canada Cargo is embracing sustainability as a core tenet of its business strategy. A representative from Air Canada Cargo, speaking on the company’s behalf, highlights the company’s strategies and initiatives aimed at achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.

“Environmental sustainability will continue to be a key focus for both customers and our business in 2024. Air Canada’s customers have an increased interest in our environmental sustainability projects, and we’ve been proud of our Environmental Affairs group who are always looking for ways to mitigate our environmental footprint,” says the representative. “We’ve made significant strides in converting operational vehicles to electric, adopting sustainable packaging materials, and creating more efficient processes.” Additionally, the company is committed to achieving ambitious greenhouse gas (GHG) net-reduction targets for 2030, including a 20% reduction in GHG emissions from air operations and a 30% reduction from ground operations.

Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAFs) play a central role in Air Canada’s climate objectives. The representative further stresses, “SAF is one of the four carbon reduction pillars of our Climate Action Plan, which aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.” To further support this goal, Air Canada has committed to investing $50 million in SAF by 2030, along with other low-carbon aviation fuel (LCAF) development efforts.

Operational efficiency measures are integral to Air Canada’s efforts to minimize fuel consumption and environmental impact. The representative underscores, “The Fuel Efficiency Initiative, led by Air Canada’s Operational Excellence department, is mandated to unify all of Air Canada’s aircraft-related fuel and energy reduction initiatives.” In 2022, fuel efficiency initiatives resulted in significant jet fuel savings and CO2e emissions avoidance. Air Canada has also resumed procurement of SAF and started purchasing renewable natural gas (RNG) for its facilities to further reduce emissions.

From a regulatory perspective, Air Canada recognizes the importance of collaboration and investment to meet carbon reduction targets. The representative expresses, “SAF is a critical component of our global industry’s sustainability but is not currently available in Canada. Air Canada is working with stakeholders and governments to establish a competitive investment climate and develop a concrete action plan for the production and supply of SAF in Canada.”

Air Canada’s dedication to environmental sustainability and net-zero emissions underscores its leadership in the aviation industry. Through innovative initiatives, strategic partnerships, and regulatory advocacy, Air Canada is paving the way toward a greener future for air travel

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo: Setting the Standard for Sustainable Airfreight
With a legacy of sustainability spanning decades, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo is setting the standard for sustainable airfreight transportation. Michiel Potjer, Chief of Staff to EVP Air France KLM Martinair Cargo and Strategic Sustainability Lead, provides insights into the company’s comprehensive sustainability strategy.

“At Air France KLM Martinair Cargo, we’ve embedded sustainability into the core of our strategy,” says Potjer. “Our vision is to become a leader in sustainable airfreight, passionately delivering best-in-class customer experiences while reducing our environmental footprint. We translated our new AFKL Group purpose into a 2030 vision for our Cargo domain. In early 2023, we renewed our cargo vision 2030, which is now: To become a leader in sustainable airfreight, while passionately delivering best-in-class customer experiences.”

Acknowledging the complexity of the aviation industry’s environmental challenges, Potjer underscores the importance of collaboration and shared responsibility. “We recognize that reducing our environmental footprint is not a standalone endeavor; we must confront environmental challenges in close collaboration with our ecosystem partners.”

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s sustainability initiatives are aligned with its Destination Sustainability Roadmap and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Potjer further says, “Our ambitions were validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), primarily centered around reducing our direct and indirect CO₂ emissions, giving us a clear path towards 2030.”

The company’s Destination Sustainability Roadmap outlines ambitious targets, including a 30% emission reduction per RTK/km by 2030. To achieve these targets, Air France KLM Martinair Cargo focuses on fleet renewal, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), and operational measures.

  1. Fleet Renewal: The company has announced a firm order for A350F aircraft, which emit over 40% less CO₂ than their predecessors, contributing to a reduction in overall emissions.
  2. Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF): Air France KLM Martinair Cargo has implemented the Cargo SAF Programme, enabling customers to fuel their flights with SAF. The company also introduced the goSAF ancillary in its booking platform, allowing customers to contribute to SAF usage.
  3. Operational Measures: Operational initiatives include reducing non-recycled waste, achieving zero emissions ground operations, and optimizing cargo load planning.

While Air France KLM Martinair Cargo primarily focuses on long-haul flights, Potjer highlights the company’s involvement in exploring alternative fuels and technologies for short-haul routes, particularly through collaborations with Air France and KLM.

Potjer concludes by emphasizing the company’s commitment to navigating regulatory and policy dynamics in alignment with global sustainability initiatives. He stresses, “Our approach in Cargo aligns closely with the expertise of Air France, KLM, and the broader Group in navigating evolving landscapes for carbon reduction targets.”

Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s sustainability initiatives encompass fleet renewal, sustainable aviation fuels, and operational measures aimed at reducing emissions across its supply chain. By aligning with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and embracing the Science Based Targets initiative, the company is charting a course towards a more sustainable future.

Driving Innovation: Advancing Sustainable Aviation Technologies
Beyond their initiatives, these companies are collectively driving innovation in sustainable aviation technologies. From the adoption of electric flight and hydrogen-powered aircraft to the development of biofuels and synthetic kerosene, the air cargo industry is exploring a wide range of solutions to decarbonize air transportation.

“Electric flying and hydrogen-powered aircraft represent promising avenues for reducing emissions in the aviation sector,” says Potjer. “By actively supporting various technologies, including electricity, hydrogen, and hybrid solutions, we’re accelerating the transition to zero-emission flights.”

Similarly, Atlas Air Worldwide and Air Canada Cargo are investing in sustainable aviation fuels and fleet modernization to achieve their carbon reduction goals. By leveraging partnerships and collaboration, these companies are driving the adoption of innovative technologies that promise to reshape the future of air cargo transportation.

Navigating Regulatory Landscapes: Overcoming Challenges and Seizing Opportunities
Despite the progress made in advancing sustainability, the air cargo industry faces regulatory and policy challenges that require concerted efforts and collaboration. Broekman emphasizes the importance of strong partnerships with stakeholders and regulatory organizations to navigate evolving landscapes for carbon reduction targets.

“At Atlas Air, we recognize the importance of collaborating with industry peers, customers, and regulatory bodies to drive meaningful progress towards decarbonization,” says Broekman. “By advocating for policies that support sustainable aviation fuels and investing in technology solutions, we’re positioning ourselves to meet the challenges of tomorrow.”

Similarly, Air Canada Cargo and Air France KLM Martinair Cargo are actively engaged in initiatives such as the Smart Freight Centre, which aims to unite stakeholders in the air transport sector and drive decarbonization measures. By leveraging increased transparency of greenhouse gas emissions from air freight services, these companies are contributing to the development of industry-wide standards and best practices for sustainability.

Renault Trucks switching to renewable energy with 17 hectares of solar canopies

The solar canopy project between Renault Trucks and TotalEnergies is set to be one of the largest in France. At its peak, the solar farm can produce over 22 megawatts which can cover the equivalent consumption of 17,500 people, or 43% of the population of Bourg-en-Bresse.

By Gemma Q. Casas

The company is aiming to equip the Bourg-en-Bresse industrial site with solar canopies covering an area of 17 hectares. This project, which is emblematic of Renault Trucks’ shift to low-carbon operations, marks a significant step in the transition to renewable energy production since its electricity output will cover the equivalent consumption of 17,500 inhabitants.

With renewable energy gaining more importance as the world grapples to fight global warming and climate change, one of Europe’s biggest truck manufacturers is pursuing its ambitious project to transition to solar power.

Renault Trucks, in partnership with TotalEnergies, is pursuing its energy transition with far-reaching impact on its production and the site where it’s building its own solar farm.

The company is aiming to equip the Bourg-en-Bresse industrial site with solar canopies covering an area of 17 hectares. This project, which is emblematic of Renault Trucks’ shift to low-carbon operations, marks a significant step in the transition to renewable energy production since its electricity output will cover the equivalent consumption of 17,500 inhabitants.

With a total output of over 22 peak megawatts spread over 17 hectares, this solar canopy project is set to be one of the largest in France. Its electricity production will cover the equivalent consumption of 17,500 people, or 43% of the population of Bourg-en-Bresse.

Part of the energy produced by the solar power station will be used by the plant. As a result, 30% of the site’s electricity consumption will be supplied by the canopies, which will also have the added benefit of protecting both employees’ vehicles and the trucks produced at the plant.

Biggest solar project in France

Renault’s solar canopy project is one of the most extensive in France, and reflects its joint commitment with TotalEnergies to decarbonize their activities.

Marin de Montbel, Managing Director of TotalEnergies Renouvelables France, said, “We’re extremely proud to be supporting Renault Trucks in its energy transition. Through this project, we’re demonstrating our ability to develop technically complex projects that create value.”

Karine Forien, Vice President Strategy & Sustainability at Renault Trucks, sternly said, “At Renault Trucks, we’re strongly committed to decarbonizing our industry and preserving our resources. We’re backing up our commitments with tangible actions, including the electrification of our vehicle ranges, which immediately eliminates CO2 emissions in use, and the decarbonisation of our own operations. The energy transition is at the core of our strategy and this solar canopy project is a prime example.”

The solar canopies are due to be commissioned in 2026.

The DOLPHIN Project

Continuing its investment in research to offer increasingly efficient, low-carbon vehicles that can adapt to changes in the transport industry, Renault Trucks unveiled in December the DOLPHIN Project.

Through the collaborative DOLPHIN project, Renault is set to develop an electric laboratory vehicle to pave the way for the future generation of electric long-haulage trucks. The aim is to assess the potential for technological innovation in terms of energy and environmental optimization, safety, ergonomics, and on-board comfort.

The DOLPHIN project which stands for Development Original truck Lab for PHysical INtegration is being led by Renault Trucks with a consortium of industrial and academic research partners based in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region.

The consortium comprises Lamberet, a manufacturer of refrigerated semi-trailers; SafetyTech- a Gauzy Compagny, a specialist in driving comfort and safety solutions for coaches, buses, motorhomes and trucks; the Laboratoire de Mécanique des Fluides et d’Acoustique, the Laboratoire Ampère, the Laboratoire de Mécanique des Contacts et des Structures, supervised by the INSA (National Institute of Applied Sciences), among others; and the Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale et Cognitive, supervised by Clermont Auvergne University.

 

This collaborative project aims to build a demonstration vehicle, based on an all-electric truck, to test and evaluate technological innovations in three areas of research:

  1. Energy and environmental optimization, with research focusing on the aerodynamics of the all-electric vehicle and, more generally, on the energy efficiency of the entire assembly.
  2. Safety for road users, with the integration of specific equipment to enhance the detection of vulnerable road users.
  3. Ergonomics and on-board comfort, with a completely redesigned dashboard and new interior fittings, provide an innovative on-board experience centered on the driver’s well-being.
  4. New mobile applications enabling optimized management of bodywork equipment will also be tested.

For Renault Trucks, the DOLPHIN project is a way of preparing its future generations of electric trucks by exploring and advancing the maturity of new technologies. Production of the laboratory truck will start in the spring of 2024.

The DOLPHIN project is the winner of the “CORAM 2022” call for projects (Comité d’Orientation pour la Recherche Automobile et Mobilité), which supports innovation projects that will accelerate the transition to the vehicle of the future. It has been funded by the French government as part of France 2030 and by the European Union – Next Generation EU as part of the France Relance plan.

Renault’s legacy

Building on the legacy of more than a century of innovative French truck know-how, Renault Trucks has kept its headquarters in Lyon, France, since 1894, where all its medium and high tonnage trucks are designed and manufactured.

Renault Trucks also offers a range of services that includes solutions for financing and insurance, predictive maintenance, and optimizing fuel use, as well as the supply of spare parts.

With 60,000 vehicles sold in 2022, Renault Trucks is one of the world leaders in heavy goods vehicles. About 9,700 employees are involved in the design, production, and sales of Renault trucks and services worldwide. It is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks and transport solutions.

(Source: www.renault-trucks.com)