Manager Ethiopian Cargo-Gulf
Enquanhone Minyashal is a proud African and an even prouder Ethiopian. And there are good reasons to be one.
Ethiopia which is known the world over as the birth place of coffee is now one of the leading nations in the continent as far as economy and innovations in education and other industries are concerned—proof of its successful quest to uplift its status in the midst of poverty and uncertainties in Africa despite its many natural resources.
After earning his marketing degree at the Commercial College of Ethiopia, Minyashal was immediately hired as a marketing clerk for Ethiopian Airlines and quickly climbed up the ladder, joining an elite team of marketers promoting the nation’s flag carrier as the premier choice among travellers in and around the region.
While working, Minyashal took up his master’s degree in marketing and after spending seven years on the passenger side of the airline industry, he jumped to cargo.
“It’s more challenging. More detailed and you have to be in control at all times because the cargo cannot speak for themselves,” Minyashal described the cargo industry.
In all, Minyashal has been with Ethiopian Airlines for the past 16 years where his talent has been nurtured and rewarded.
Since last year, he has been managing the airline’s Dubai office for the Gulf region, a daunting task in a very competitive open market environment.
This 6’2” tall father of two young boys who loves football shares his success with his wife who works as program assistant for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
A firm believer of gender equality and women empowerment, Minyashal says he decided not to force his wife to quit her job and join him in Dubai so she too could flourish in her chosen career.
And for all their accomplishments, Minyashal says having a dream is very important.
“First of all you need to have a dream and you need to dream high. Work hard,” says the cargo executive. “I am a proud African and I am even more proud to be an Ethiopian.”
Read on the rest of Air Cargo Update’s interview with this focused-driven executive who endures distance to give his spouse the chance to grow professionally yet still keeping their family intact.
What do you do in your spare time?
There’s no free time (laughter). In this business, you always have to stay alert and on the go at all times.
What is your dream place to visit?
Anywhere that I can take my family.
Your favourite book?
I like subject materials. Those that can help me grow professionally. I also like John Grisham novels. I like the legal drama and the suspense factors in his books.
What sport do you play?
I like football. In football, all of your body parts are moving—your brain, your eyes, your legs and feet, your arms and there’s human interaction.
We have cats and dogs. They don’t always get along at all times. (Laughter)
Name some gadgets you can’t live without in this day and age?
My smartphone and my laptop. I need to have them anywhere at any time to check on urgent information that need to be addressed.
This truck has safety features designed for extreme weather conditions
and difficult situations like a near collision with another vehicle, an animal,
a human or any object on the road that could be avoided.
Germany’s Mercedes-Benz is known for many breakthroughs. It was the world’s first car invented in 1886 by Carl Benz, setting the pace for the global multibillion motoring industry.
It was the first to introduce the multivalve engine in 1910 and the crash-testing program in 1958. The first to use the airbag for passenger safety and the list goes on.
It is also credited for introducing the anti-lock braking system (ABS) in 1978 which helps the driver retain steering control under heavy braking by preventing wheel lockup, an automotive safety milestone that served as the fundamental element of countless future breakthroughs.
Setting the pace
This year, the Mercedes-Benz Trucks MENA launched the special edition Actros truck to mark its flagship heavy-duty truck model’s 20th anniversary.
The company has sold more than 100,000 trucks in the region over the past two decades and some have already traveled multimillion miles yet are still in good running condition.
The special edition Actros truck has state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) safety features designed for extreme weather conditions and difficult situations like a near collision with another vehicle, an animal, a human or any object on the road that could be avoided.
The Active Brake Assist system operates with three radar beams, which constantly scan an area of 1 to 200 meters ahead of the truck. Radar detection of a collision with a moving obstacle would result in the driver being given a visual and audio alert by the system.
Depending on the severity of the situation, the system will react with a partial braking maneuver & if necessary, even initiates an emergency braking to standstill.
Thus, the Active Brake Assist helps to avoid dangerous rear-end collisions, for instance at the end of a traffic jam, and minimizes the impact for occupants in case a collision is inevitable.
“The launch of the 20 Years Actros Edition is yet another milestone in the success story of our iconic flagship truck in the MENA region. The model’s state-of-the-art safety features and the highly fuel-efficient drive train underline the technological leadership of Mercedes-Benz Trucks. The Actros provides the ideal product solution for customers seeking the highest safety and efficiency standards,” said Roland Schneider, President & CEO of Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA.
Accident prevention is also assisted by the Bluetooth radio enabling hands free use of a mobile phone whilst driving.
The truck’s Fleet Board telematics system provides not only vehicle tracking, trip recording and professi-onal fleet management, but also continuous analysis and rating of driver and vehicle performance, enhancing the operational excellence of the truck.
Further specifications include the powerful engine & transmission cooling system, air intake on the upper side of the cab & a tandem air cleaner that provide outstanding robustness and reliability even under the MENA region’s extreme climate conditions.
The Actros 20 Years Edition also features a performance optimized hydraulic retarder, an additional braking system ensuring highest levels of braking performance with no wear of brakes and brake linings.
It also features further safety systems, such as a Driver Airbag, a Telligent Proximity Control and Telligent Lane Assistant. Telligent Proximity Control automatically adjusts the speed of the truck according to the traffic situation, constantly analyzing the distance of vehicles driving in front of it.
Additionally, if a sudden obstacle appears, such as a vehicle changing lanes, the driver is warned both visually and audibly.
With Emirates Motor Company (EMC), the company’s authorized distributor in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the special edition truck was unveiled at Endurance City on January 18, 2017 with a live demonstration of the Actros 3844 S 6×4 tractor-head model and of its state-of-the-art equipment and innovative safety systems by professional Mercedes-Benz driver trainers from Germany and the Training and Product Management team of Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA.
Powered by a highly fuel-efficient 6-cylinder engine (Euro 3) boosting 435 horsepower and 2,100 NM of torque, the heavy-duty truck delivers great performance thanks to the power transfer to the two driven rear axles via a twin-plate clutch and the reliable and efficient 16-speed Mercedes PowerShift automated gearbox.
Mercedes Power Shift provides specific driving modes that support the driver in mastering all traffic situations with ease and convenience, thus, facilitating the driver’s level of concentration.
The company’s innovations continue, leading its trucks on top of their game.
Messe München holds about 40 trade fairs annually for industrial goods, consumer goods and new technologies. Separately, it holds 14 international trade fairs in various countries and cities.
Germany’s Messe München, one of the world’s leading trade fair organizers, capped 2016 on a high note with Bauma, the biggest construction show in the world included, bringing its estimated earnings to at least €400 million.
Gerhard Gerritzen, Messe München Deputy Managing Director, told Air Cargo Update Bauma (International Trade Fair for Construction Machinery, Building Material Machines, Mining Machines, Construction Vehicles and Construction Equipment) and the company’s separate transportation and logistics events held in China, India and Istanbul, have done well despite the many economic challenges in 2016.
“In general, 2016 was a very successful year for our company. We had Bauma. We expect a turnover of about €400 million. Our China transport event was successful. We were able to increase our number of visitors,” said Gerritzen.
And while many events in Turkey were canceled due to security concerns, Messe München International (MMI), organizer of the worldwide leading exhibition transport logistics in Munich, and EKO Fair from Turkey, the strongest organizer of shows for the logistics sector in the region, successfully jointly held logistrans, the international trade fair for logistics and transport last November 16-18, 2016.
The event held in Istanbul, Turkey, which aimed to bridge between European, Asian and Russian markets in the logistics and transport sector, drew a good crowd turnout despite the odds.
“A lot of shows in Turkey were canceled but logitrans was in a good condition. We, as well as the exhibitors, were satisfied with the number of visitors and the quality of visitors. We had a good feedback,” said Gerritzen.
The company, which humbly traces its roots in a small trade fair in 1964, had transformed itself into a major international fair trade organizer with the Free State of Bavaria and the City of Munich as partners.
In 1998, it moved its hub in Munich where it currently maintains the Messe München trade-fair center, the ICM Internationales Congress Center München and the MOC Veranstal-tungscenter München. It will soon have two more exhibition halls and a new conference center at the complex.
Messe München holds about 40 trade fairs annually for industrial goods, consumer goods and new technologies. Separately, it holds 14 international trade fairs in various countries and cities.
Gerritzen said this 2017, the company wants to step up its activities outside of Munich with expansion plans targeted in the United States and India, an emerging economic powerhouse.
In December of 2016, Messe München held the Bauma ConExpo India, which took place in Delhi, bringing in some 647 exhibitors from 30 countries and drawing in an audience of over 31,000.
“For the next two years, we are focusing on the Indian and the US markets,” said Gerritzen who has been in the industry for nearly three decades.
“The Indian market is fast developing. If you traveled there 10 years ago, you will now note that there have been major changes. For us, Mumbai is our first step in India. Maybe in the future we could open up more shows in other places around the country,” he added.
Two major IT and transport events have been lined up in Atlanta, Georgia and India in 2018.
The executive said there are reasons to be optimistic in 2017 despite the challenges as the world economy is showing signs of rebound largely fueled by e-Commerce.
“All sectors face big competitions. We believe that we will also see some changes in the future related to new opportunities that will be driven by the demand on the internet,” said Gerritzen.
By 2025, India will rank third in the world, displacing the UK, in terms of air passenger movement, transporting nearly 1.1 billion passengers—a humongous figure.
However, when it comes to cargo, India is still way down the ranking. The Airports Council International (ACI) ranked the Indira Gandhi International Airport Limited 29th in air cargo movement, while smaller cities like Alaska are doing much better.
But realizing the cargo industry’s huge potential to drive the country’s economy, efforts are well underway from both the public and private sectors for massive investments in infrastructure, technologies, etc. The government, on its part, is working on policies to create an eco-system for overall development of the aviation sector.
Of the nearly 80 odd airports which receive commercial flights, six airports – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata – handle over 70 percent of the cargo in India, indicating how skewed the air cargo development has been. Mumbai airport handles the maximum.
The Chatrapathi Shivaji International Airport (CSIA), run by the GVK Group’s Mumbai International Airport Limited, is India’s top ranking airport for cargo movement. The airport is chock-a-block for aircraft and already plans are afoot to get the second airport in Navi Mumbai operational by 2020. However, the progress on that project is extremely slow.
Mumbai is not taking things in stride. It will soon launch in MIAL the first-of-a-kind cargo terminal in India for bonded and heavy export cargo.
The new export facility will enhance Mumbai International Airport Limited’s (MIAL) export handling capacity by adding 3 million tons of cargo per annum.
Spread over 7,500 square meters, the state-of-the-art facility provides exclusive handling for heavy, odd-size and bonded cargo. The facility provides a one-stop solution for bonded cargo handling with dedicated channel for cargo admittance, X-ray screening and palletization.
The new process management deployed, along with incremental export capacity, will reduce the dwell time to a considerable extent. While the export of light consignments will continue to be handled at the existing export terminal, commissioning this facility will enhance the terminal’s infrastructure, stimulating further growth in export volumes at MIAL.
The new facility will complement the existing Export Unitization Zone by increasing efficiency through faster admittance of cargo, swift turnaround of vehicles and overall reduction in handling dwell time with new process management. With this additional facility, CSIA will now have 50 truck docks to serve export cargo.
Dwell time reduced
The dwell time at the new terminal at the country’s busiest airport will be reduced by up to 50 per cent. Being a preferred destination for air cargo exports in the western region, MIAL, with this new investment—an essential part of the airport’s Cargo Master Plan, will not only help shippers to transport cargo more efficiently from the airport but also extend the necessary infrastructural support required.
Recently, MIAL handled record breaking air freight with 47,761 tons of international freight and 20,336 tons of domestic freight in the month of October 2016. The overall cargo throughput registered a strong growth of six per cent with 68,097 tons of cargo handled in the month October 2016.
Nearly 20 airlines operate
The airlines which operate out of CSIA are Air France, Martin Air, Air Mauritius, Air Arabia, Air China, Aerologic, British Airways, Blue Dart, Bangkok Airways, Cargolux, Cathay Pacific, El-Al Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Federal Express (FedEx), Go Air, GulfAir, IndiGo, Iraqi Airways, Iran Air, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Oman Air, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, Saudi Arabian Airlines, SpiceJet, Singapore Airlines, Swiss International Airlines, Srilankan Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, United Parcel Service (UPS) and United Airlines.
GVK-MIAL on modernisation path
GVK – MIAL is one of the custodians of the Air Cargo Terminal. Since 2006, as part of modernization of the Air Cargo Terminal, MIAL has brought significant developments in infrastructure, improvements in process and efficiency with an endeavour of benchmarking facilities and services with global standards.
The company’s efforts to offer a world-class experience to its customers continue with the proposed Cargo Master Plan which includes state-of-the-art projects and high level automation. GVK’s approach towards modernization has always complemented its endeavour to maintain a market leading position in the Indian air cargo industry.
The figure re-establishes the airport’s strength and success in the air cargo domain.
GVK CSIA has received the Cargo Recognition Award from Swiss World Cargo for its Swiss Air Mumbai Airport station which has been rated as the best in quality and performance in the entire global network.
It also bagged the “Best Cargo Airport of the Year 2013 (Region-India)” award presented by Stat Trade Times in the Air Cargo India – 2014 convention.
On 3rd May, 2006, MIAL was appointed as an independent custodian of Mumbai. As a custodian, MIAL looks after all the air cargo terminal handling including exports and imports.
Export activities include acceptance of cargo, weight & volume check, facilitation for customs examination, unitization, documentation and handover of built-up ULD’s to the Ground Handling Agent.
Import activities include receipt of cargo ULD’s from the Ground Handling Agent, breakdown of ULD’s, segregation of cargo, irregularity reporting, binning, facilitation for customs examination and physical delivery. Export and Import warehouse include storage facilities for all kinds of cargo including special cargo like perishables, dangerous goods, cargo requiring temperature control, valuables, live animals, & heavy/odd-sized cargo.
To electronically interact with its trade partners, MIAL has acquired a tailor-made Custodian management system (GALAXY). MIAL has further enhanced the capability of the IT application through introduction of Ground Handling Application (GHA) and GMAX (GVK MIAL AIR Xchange).
With the introduction of the GHA application, MIAL is now capable of exchanging all the IATA C2K messages with the airlines. GMAX is a unified electronic platform that will strengthen digital interface between the cargo terminal operator and all air cargo stakeholders including customs, customs brokers, airlines, consolidators, break-bulk agents, shippers/consignees and other statutory bodies.
With the new bonded terminal, the airport is really catering to the growing demand of the cargo community. As the demand increases for cargo movement, the airport will have to further reinvent itself, till such time the Western region thinks of airport alternatives.
DUBAI: Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will lead the growth in the Middle East market for security, safety and fire protection over the next four years as regional governments and the private sector push for improved technologies to better protect assets, people, businesses and borders.
The research and analyst firm Frost & Sullivan said the Middle East commercial security, homeland security, and fire safety market was worth a combined US$12.9 billion in 2016, and is estimated to grow 15 percent annually, reaching US$26.3 billion by 2021.
The firm also stressed at the opening of Intersec 2017 on January 22 which was flagged off by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who was accompanied by senior government officials, organisers, and high-ranking representatives from the regional security industry, that regional countries are making rapid strides to upgrade infrastructure and secure their countries.
According to F&S, the Middle East commercial security market, which includes intruder alarms, CCTV surveillance, electronic locks, perimeter protection, door alarms, access control and identification systems, is expected to be worth US$10.2 billion by 2020, growing annually by 24 percent from its US$3.8 billion value in 2015.
Similarly, the region’s homeland security market is forecast to grow annually by 21 per cent up to 2020, with market revenues increasing to US$34.2 billion, driven predo-minantly by investments in critical infrastructure, major events, and the need to counter perceived threats.
F&S also pointed out the Middle East Building Automation market is anticipated to grow 7.32 percent annually with a revenue projection of US$ 560.5 million by 2020. Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with their large projects on housing and commercial construction, will drive demand for smarter and control-enabled buildings.
Fire protection also has huge growth potential, with the Middle East’s fire safety market estimated to grow annually by 12.5 percent from 2012 to 2020. During this period, the market will grow from US$1.6 billion to US$4.2 billion, making it one of the world’s largest fire safety markets.
Consultancy firm 6Wresearch separately said the GCC’s fire safety systems market was worth US$1.36 billion in 2015, with Saudi Arabia (US$598.4 million), and the UAE (US$394.4 million) comprising 73 percent of the regional market.
The other Gulf States of Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait accounted for US$367.2 million (27 percent).
6Wresearch said Saudi’s fire safety systems and equipment market is projected to grow six percent annually from 2016 – 2020. By 2022, the market is estimated to be worth US$632.2 million, attributed to a recovery in the construction and real estate verticals.
Stringent regulations in place
The analyst firms pointed out stringent government regulations will largely fuel demand for fire equipment upgrades.
Other factors driving regional demand for new fire safety systems include government and transportation sectors, residential, retail, and hospitality verticals, while Saudi’s Vision 2030 and the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 in the UAE is also likely to boost further growth.
At Intersec, the world’s leading exhibition for security, safety, and fire protection, authorities unveiled the new UAE Fire and Life Safety Code.
“Ongoing investments in the commercial, retail, industrial, hospitality, and the healthcare sectors, combined with upcoming high profile international events, means growth is the buzz word across all sectors in the GCC, and this also applies to the fire safety market,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Intersec, and Intersec Saudi Arabia.
“Improvements in the enforcement of fire codes in the construction sector and the constant need for fire protection and life safety means the GCC’s fire safety market is estimated to grow annually by 14-16 percent to reach US$3.15 billion by 2020.
“This robust demand for the latest equipment, fire protection and firefighting systems is reflected in the strong growth in the Fire & Rescue section at Intersec, while Intersec Saudi Arabia too will host the biggest names in the fire protection market,” added Pauwels.
Oil & Gas is another key sector for the fire protection industry, and will be a key target area for some companies.
In its 19th edition, Intersec 2017 featured more than 1,300 exhibitors from 58 countries spanning over 55,000 sqm of exhibition space, registering a 10 percent growth over the previous year.
With more than 580 exhibitors, Commercial Security is the largest section at Intersec 2017. It featured two-thirds of the world’s top 50 security solutions players on board, including Hikvision, Bosch, Dahua, Assa Abloy, Tyco, FLIR, Hanwha Techwin, Axis Communications, Avigilon Panasonic, Infinova, IDIS, and Milestone Systems.
The UAE ranks high on the list of promising emerging markets and its domestic logistics market shows no less potential. The logistics industry is poised to grow at a rate of 8-9% annually through 2020 to $16 billion.
In 2010, it was a $7 billion industry. The obvious advantage for the UAE is its geographic vantage position which gives trade access to a population of 2 billion in the region, and is on its way to being one of the busiest trade hubs by 2030. The government believes in the longevity of the logistics industry and has expended billions of dollars in infrastructure in the last 5 years.
The contract logistics industry in the UAE is huge, particularly as Dubai is a hub for goods distributed to the rest of the GCC region, as well as increasingly into Africa. Many companies have their main facilities in the free zones, and use the UAE as a launch point to distribute goods into other markets because of the infrastructure that is in place here.
Air Cargo Update spoke with logistics experts RSA Logistics and Agility Logistics about contract logistics and the trends shaping the logistics industry.
Trends shaping the market
According to Transport Intelligence’s (Ti) report, another trend that has changed the shape of the market is globalization. As supply chain complexity increases, so do the services which logistics providers are asked to perform. No longer is logistics seen as a tactical activity, where the gains made are purely measured regarding transport or warehousing cost savings. Instead, customers become more engaged in the transformational impact on supply chain competitiveness which a logistics provider can achieve.
Kevin Hill, Agility’s Regional Director, Sales and Marketing Middle East & Africa, notes, “The growth of e-commerce and globalization has led to two main changes for our industry; a decrease in the size of orders, and an increase in frequency. This has to do with the quick turnaround expected by consumers, who are ordering products online and expect delivery within a few days. With quicker turnaround times, we’re experiencing a need for improved efficiency throughout the supply chain in order to be able to live up to customers’ expectations.”
Also, logistics providers have had to react and adapt to their own service offerings to accommodate the burgeoning growth of e-commerce. Unlike store-based shopping, e-retail is far more commoditised and the greater the volume sold, the more efficient the fulfilment operation.
To succeed in such an evolving market, logistics providers are exploiting innovations and technologies to streamline their operations.
Abhishek Ajay Shah, Co-Founder & Managing Director, RSA Logistics & Director of the Board at RSA TALKE, said, “Globalisation has shortened cultural distances across the world. This in turn has prompted geographic distances to be bridged to meet consumer demands that cross borders, and the burden of this lies heavily on efficient logistics services. E-commerce has shown consumers that they have access to the best products from around the globe and they want them delivered yesterday. Inevitably this will create greater competition in the contract logistics industry over who can provide the fastest and most reliable delivery guarantees. Logistic providers need to be savvier about trends, risks and threats in a wider pool of markets and use technology to turn the challenges into opportunities.”
What dominates contract logistics?
The verticals that are driving the biggest growth for the contract logistics sector are automotive and pharmaceuticals. These industries are more inclined to sign long-term contracts, as they require stability and reliability in the delivery of their products on a large scale. Both of these industries are sizable in the GCC region, but with the GCC healthcare sector projected to grow at a 12.1% CAGR from an estimated US$ 40.3 billion in 2015 to $71.3 billion in 2020 according to Alpen Capital’s most recent industry report, the pharmaceutical sector is bound to remain strong.
“It has been a tough year across the board due to declines in some sectors, including retail items and FMCG. The UAE has remained balanced, but it has been challenging in the rest of the GCC region. Because contract logistics customers tend to sign on for three to five years at a time, this business has remained stable, but the freight industry has struggled a little more. We are hopeful for a strong fourth quarter,” notes Mr Hill.
Role of ‘outsourcing’
With the advent of new technologies particularly from start-ups, contract logistics is being increasingly modularised with innovations that can add tremendous value to customers in terms of transparency, and anticipatory planning.The supply chains for contract logistics are long, and for multinational companies it is a security and convenience to outsource the contract logistics function to a 3PL provider such as Agility and RSA Logistics.
“We at Agility have the expertise and the manpower to handle large volumes of goods efficiently and on an international scale,” says MrHill.
Mr Abhishek said, “Outsourcing these segments can greatly improve service deliverables, however communication and alignment between the different parties will determine the success of this. Furthermore, the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) made organisations really think about what is a core activity and what can be outsourced. The question being ‘what do we want to be the best at?’”
Technological innovation is central to success. The contract logistics industry need to innovate to be able to compete on price, or lose its customers once the contract is up.
“With smaller, more frequent orders needing to leave the warehouses, we’ve seen an increasing demand for manpower, as our teams need to be on hand to pack and check more shipments. Technology is playing an important role in helping us achieve this, and we have digital warehouse management systems in place to both help our crew find the correct items quickly in these huge warehouses, and also to help ensure that our customers’ orders are complete, and contain the right items.
“We are also innovating the way we pack things, constantly looking for ways to make the supply chain more efficient. One of these solutions is ‘softbox’ packaging, which is a micro-transport system for the pharmaceuticals sector that we developed for the American military to guarantee a steady temperature on difficult shipments.
“We have had a system in place for our customers to be able to track their goods at all times during both inbound and outbound freight for the past four or five years. This has been a huge help in providing better visibility on the projected shelf life expiry of sensitive products, and has improved our ability to tailor services to suit these customers, says Mr Hill.
“Contract logistics requires coordination between several parties to move goods efficiently from point A to B. For it to work at an optimal level, communication, transparency, order visibility and process efficiency is vital. Technology is the key driver in all these factors and as such plays a pivotal role in the success of contract logistics,” says Mr Abhishek.
RSA’s Mr Abhishek views that manufacturers around the world need to get their products to consumers wherever they are. Consumers in the developed parts of the world continue to stagnate in population growth thus, the attention turns to the emerging markets.
“For us, all of these markets have significant challenges that need to be solved through innovative logistics solutions.”
Risks faced by contract logistics
As the industry evolves, with customers requiring smaller more frequent shipments, the industry needs to respond and become more flexible, with warehousing processes becoming more efficient in order to meet expectations from customers and compete with other companies as the contract logistics industry is driven by cargo owners that would like to create a hub/base closer to their customer base to shorten the lead times and be more flexible on order sizes.
The vulnerability of supply chains to disruption such as by natural disasters have been exacerbated over the past 30 years by strategies aimed at lower inventory and labour costs. Lean inventory plans, centralized distribution, just in time, remote off-shore production, sourcing from developing countries and multiple tiers of suppliers have all improved companies bottom line, but not with cost. Although a high level of stock requires a high standard of risk, they also act as a buffer against supply chain disruption, according to Ti’s report.
“Given the volatility in global supply chains we see our customers struggling to understand the number of demand days of inventory they should hold. The risks with this is that our customers may be over leveraged in terms of stock holding or they may be understocked and miss out on opportunities. This challenge is only solved by a great understanding of information up and down the supply chain,” says RSA Logistics’ Mr Abhishek.
“Within an increasingly competitive and fragmented market, it is important that we continuously find ways to provide added value and offer a strong service provision. At Agility, we are dedicated to leveraging the opportunities presented by technology to make this happen, and we are exploring new ways to innovate and ensure that we are offering our customers the best possible value for money,” affirms Mr Hill.
Future of contract logistics
RSA logistics predicts a shortage in skilled workers as the baby boomer population goes into retirement. Automation and digitalisation will compensate for this in a struggle to meet increasingly complex customer demands.
However Agility foresees 3D printing having the potential to fundamentally change the industry, as warehouses for shipping will no longer be necessary on the same scale.
For example, imagine if automotive parts were 3D printed in each market instead of produced centrally and shipped out.
Large volumes of goods would just require overland transportation as opposed to the current international air freight and shipping.
“But with technology evolving at breakneck speed, who knows what else will happen in the next few years. It’s an exciting time for the industry,” concludes Mr Hill.
Holding the distinction as the only African nation to defeat the European colonial power in the 19th century, Ethiopia, the continent’s oldest independent nation where coffee beans were first grown, continues to break new grounds, defying stereotype notions about the region and its people.
Its economy had consistently posted growth of between 8 to 11 percent for a decade in this century, making it the 5th fastest growing economy among the 188 member nations of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
As the only African country that was never colonized, except for five years (1936-1941) under Italy’s Mussolini regime, Ethiopia was primarily ruled by Monarchs until their defeat by the Soviet-backed Marxist-Leninist military junta, the Derg, in 1991.
The country’s history is ripe with stories of bloody battles between ethnic groups, poverty, great depravation and a record famine that led to the death of approximately more than 400,000 Ethiopians.
But in each tragedy, Ethiopia rises stronger and better.
Today, Ethiopia is one of few countries in Africa where business is nurtured with great prospects for the future despite many challenges.
“Conflict, corruption, and lack of proper system to utilize Africa’s abundant resources make development elusive,” said Fitsum Abadi, Managing Director Ethiopian Cargo Services, told Air Cargo Update in an email interview.
“However, as you know, emerging markets have moved from BRICs to PINEs and I believe we will see more emerging markets in Africa apart from Nigeria and Ethiopia in the forthcoming years, beating the challenges circling the region. Don’t forget that for the rest of the world, the untapped Africa is becoming the only playground for their sustainability in natural resources,” he added.
The country’s flag carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, which has been around for over 70 years is leading the quest for the elusive economic prosperity.
The airline is undeniably a vital link to a more globalized business-friendly Ethiopia with its passenger commercial and cargo flights leading the country’s export earnings from coffee, gold, leather goods and processed agricultural products.
In the fall of 2015, Ethiopia’s government drafted the 2016-2020 five-year plan known as the Growth Transformation Plan (GTP II), which prioritizes the manufacturing sector and new infrastructure projects.
The IMF was happy with Ethiopia’s economic plans describing it as “on course to deliver remarkable socio-economic gains, and the authorities are committed to mobilizing the required financing for sustainable development.”
“Consistently strong economic growth over the past decade and a broadly stable macro-economic environment has placed Ethiopia among the top performing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa. With broad-based expansion and increased diversification of the economy, growth has been rendered increasingly inclusive and employment-generating. Poverty has reduced significantly and the income gap narrowed substantially,” the IMF said.
In April this year, Ethiopian Cargo will unveil its state-of-the-art new hub in the nation’s capital Addis Ababa costing $150 million. Many experts view this project as the gateway to more business opportunities for Ethiopia and other countries in the region.
“Air cargo is extremely vital for African economic growth as one-third of the countries in Africa are landlocked. Fresh and organic produces for export, which are time-sensitive, could only be moved with air. Electronics, textile and trader cargo movements could support the growth in every country’s GDP which are mainly transported via air,” Abadi pointed out.
The new Ethiopian Cargo Terminal, scheduled to be in operation by April 2017 can carry up to 1.2 million tons of cargo, and is even equipped with facilities for perishable goods.
It can also handle up to eight B747-400 freighters at any given time.
“Upon completion, our uplifting capability will be equivalent to the cargo terminals at Amsterdam Schiphol, Singapore Changi or Hong Kong,” said Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde Gebremariam in a statement.
The new cargo terminal is part of Ethiopian Cargo’s Vision 2025, aimed at supporting the country’s quest for modernity in an export-driven economy.
Ethiopia’s main exports include coffee, flowers, fruits, vegetables, meat and gold. Ethiopian plans to expand its freighter network to 18 aircraft serving 37 international cargo destinations by 2025.
Gebremariam said “2016 has been an exceptionally challenging year for the African Aviation industry. Commodity exporting countries in general and oil exporting African countries in particular have been hit hard by the global decline of commodity prices. As a result, demand for air travel has been suppressed and the shortage of foreign exchange has severely affected the financial performance of airlines in the continent.”
“Yet, at Ethiopian, we are very proud of the new heights Ethiopian has flown in the year: we celebrated our 70th anniversary, inaugurated the largest and the finest Aviation Academy in Africa and a state-of-the-art In-flight Catering facility which is the largest in the continent of Africa, introduced Africa’s first Ethiopian Airbus A350, and spread our wings to more countries on 5 continents,” he added.
The Dubai Link
For many nations in the Middle East and Africa, Dubai plays a major role in doing business with the rest of the world.
This is especially true for Ethiopian Cargo as it levels up with competitors in an open market.
“The ADD-DXB route for Ethiopian Cargo is very important as Dubai is the gateway for African entrepreneurs to international markets, including those across the Middle East, Europe and Asia,” explained Enquanhone Minyashal, Manager Ethiopian Cargo Gulf.
Through Dubai, African businesses ship out perishables, flowers, and other raw materials.
Likewise, the emirate is the jumping point where they import electronics, oil and petroleum products, machineries and other personal necessities.
Abadi said Dubai and the rest of the Middle East will remain important partners of Ethiopian Airlines and Cargo in the global aviation industry.
“Ethiopia’s trade relations with the Middle East are still growing, especially in terms of agricultural products. Investors in the region prefer Ethiopia as their investment destination which will also boost the current level of trade between them,” he said.
In fiscal year 2015/2016, Ethiopian Cargo flown some 346,120 tons, up by more than 17,000 tons compared to the previous year—a sign of more flourishing years to come with the right formula and attitude.
Apart from expanding the cargo terminal, Ethiopia is gearing up for the modernization of its airport in the capital, also due for completion this year.
The project will allow the airport to accommodate as many as 25 million passengers. By 2025, Ethiopia envisions to open up a new airport, equipped with the latest technology and modern facilities.
Domestic airport network is also being expanded to have at least 19 airports to reach the remote desert and mountainous areas of the country.
Plans are also afoot for an electric railway network connecting Ethiopia to its neighbors, with a link to the Port of Djibouti.
Ethiopian has also built the largest and the latest Aviation Academy in Africa, with an investment of $100 million.
The Academy has the best aviation training technology that an airline academy can offer; full range of fleet cabin emergency, evacuation and door trainers fitted with a high standard swimming pool for cabin crew ditching exercises and more than 20 pilot training aircraft, Class Rooms, Student Cafeteria, Auditorium Hall, Student dormitory, Green compound with space for outdoor sports.
Gebremariam said connecting their brothers and sisters in Africa is the only way to move forward.
“Africa’s share of the Global Aviation is the smallest which is only around 3%. As the largest airline group in the continent, we are highly concerned on the low base of air connectivity in the continent and we are setting record expansion to enable Africans enjoy safe, reliable and economical air connectivity both within the continent and between the continent and the rest of the world,” he said.
“Looking beyond the current economic slowdown especially in the oil export dependent economies of Africa, we firmly believe that the continent will become the magnet for foreign direct investment, trade and tourism, which are the engines of air travel growth and in turn efficient air connectivity also drives socio economic development and we are happy to contribute our share in the 21st Century African Transformation,” he concluded.
David, who will report directly to WFS’ CEO Craig Smyth, will take up his new post on 27th February 2017, based in Paris. He joins WFS after spending more than 17 years with British Airways where he has held various senior management roles in Engineering and Ground Operations. Most recently, David ran the Ground Operations safety, quality and training functions globally, working with the airline’s in-house ground handling teams, ground service providers, partner airlines and IATA to drive improvements in safety and security.
Commenting on the appointment, Craig Smyth said, “Safety and security is our number one priority. As such, David’s appointment brings not only a deep understanding of aviation safety and security risk and regulatory frameworks, but also a current perspective from a major international airline and WFS customer.”
David Clarke added: “I am delighted to be joining one of the world’s leading airport service organisations, especially at such an exciting time in the company’s history. I’m looking forward to joining the team and making WFS best in class in this industry.”
Deutsche Bahn (DB) chief executive Rüdiger Grube has resigned after almost eight years at the helm.
His request was unanimously accepted by DB’s supervisory board, and work is underway to terminate his contract, with terms to be arranged by Mr Grube and DB’s personnel committee.
German media reports suggested his resignation came after the board failed to extend his contract three years until 2020, offering him a two-year extension instead.
Mr Grube began his career in 1989 at aerospace manufacturer Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm, before moving on to DaimlerBenz and Daimler Chrysler.
In 2007 he was appointed chairman of Airbus, then known as the European Aeronautic and Defence Space Company, before signing a five-year contract to become DB chief executive in 2009.
Alongside his DB role, Mr Grube is the vice president of Hyundai Motor Company and holds directorships with Mitsubishi, McClaren and Hyundai and maintains a non-executive directorship with Airbus.
DB chief financial officer Richard Lutz will serve as an interim chief executive until a successor is appointed.
Pedro Garcia has joined Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) as Chief Information Officer, based in Paris.
Prior to joining WFS, Pedro spent 10 years with Swissport, including the last five years in the role of Vice President, Cargo Information Systems.
At WFS, he is responsible for the development of robust, sustainable and standardized IT solutions that will support WFS and its customers as WFS continues to efficiently grow its global airport services portfolio.
Prior to joining Swissport, Pedro worked in both the industrial and service sectors with his responsibilities ranging from Finance to Processes and IT. This included designing and deploying costs systems for industry on behalf of SAP in Spain and Portugal.