Nanotechnology eyed to further extract rainwater through cloud seeding

A professor who won an award for discovering a
breakthrough in extracting rains through cloud seeding special
techniques is looking at further enhancing the system through the
application of engineered nanotechnology in the process.
This project, which involves coating a pure salt crystal with a thin coating
of titanium dioxide in order to enhance the condensation process, will
have a profound impact in the Middle East, Africa and other parts of the
world where water is scarce.

Dr. Linda Zou, Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at
the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and one of the three
awardees of the first cycle of the UAE Research Program for Rain
Enhancement Science, is investigating the possibility of increasing
rainfall through engineering unique nano-structured properties of cloud
seeding materials using state-of-the-art electron microscopy.
She has since filed a provisional patent with the US Patent and Trademark
Office, USPTO, for her scientific project.

Dr. Zou works closely with Dr. Mustapha Jouiad, Principal Research
Scientist and Microscopy Facility Manager, Masdar Institute and Dr.
Mladjen Curic, Professor at the Institute of Metrology at the University of

Together, they are investigating the possibility of increasing rainfall
through engineering unique nano-structured properties of cloud seeding
materials. The ground-breaking project has already led to innovative
sub-micron hygroscopic cloud seeding materials already being designed
and fabricated, according to the Emirates News Agency WAM.

“Nanotechnology opens up the possibility of engineering unique cloud
seeding particles to make the process of water condensation and rain
precipitation more efficient over arid regions and beyond. I am grateful
for the support given by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement
Science, which is helping to advance new research in the field and
facilitating new and highly productive international scientific networks,”
said Dr. Zou.

The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science offers a grant

of US$5 million over a three-year period,
to be shared by up to five winning
research proposals, selected by a twostage
merit review decision process.
Launched by the Ministry of Presidential
Affairs of the UAE and overseen by the
National Centre of Meteorology and
Seismology, the program is an ambitious
initiative of global scope designed to
stimulate rain enhancement research and
a c c e l e r a t e w a t e r s e c u r i t y v i a
international cooperation in scientific
research and development.

The program has entered its third cycle
this year, receiving 201 pre-proposals
from 68 countries on five continents,
d r a w i n g t h e p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f 7 1 0
researchers, affiliated to 316 institutions.

Modern WMS cuts costs where possible

Market for digital solutions enhancing
productivity without extra labor costs
projected to rise multi-fold
The WMS market size is projected to reach $3,112 million by 2022, growing at a
CAGR of 15.2% from 2016 to 2022. This can be attributed to the increase in
inventory and workload of WMS in warehouse operations.

With recent technological advancements and the
r i s e i n d e m a n d f o r
warehouse management systems
(WMS) in retail and third party
logistics (3PL) application, the WMS
market is expected to be stronger in
the coming decade.

The WMS market size is projected to
reach $3,112 million by 2022, growing
at a CAGR of 15.2% from 2016 to 2022.
This can be attributed to the increase
in inventory and workload of WMS in
warehouse operations.

Europe is expected to be the largest
market during the forecast period,
according to Global Warehouse
Management System Market by
Component Type, Industry Vertical,
and Geography—Global Opportunity
Analysis and Industry Forecasts,
2014–2022 published by Allied
Market Research (AMR).

Air Cargo Update sat down with
Naval Sabharwal, Global Head –
Supply Chain and Logistics, Ramco
Systems to discuss the benefits of
using WMS in the cargo industry.


The evolution of WMS is very similar
to many other software solutions. A
WMS manages the warehouse
operation. It performs in real time,
m a n a g i n g l a b o u r, m a x i m i z i n g
e q u i p m e n t a n d t r a c k i n g a n d
controlling inventory. In doing this, it
maximises labour productivity and
minimises errors.

WMS is available in wide range of
technologies. However, Java and
.NET are the basis for many of the
warehouse management systems
available in the market. There are
ma ny t y p e s of wa re h o u s e s a s
follows; Raw Material Warehouse,
WIP Inventory Warehouse, Finished
Goods Warehouse, Distribution
C e n t e r s , C l i m a t e C o n t r o l l e d
Warehouse and Special Warehouses
such as Bonded Warehouse and Free
Trade Zones.

A modern trend

In WMS, inventory management is an
asset and is defined as any property
intended to meet the requirements of
customers throughout the business
cycle. It adds to the cost of operations
irrespective of the form it is in – be it
r a w m a t e r i a l s ,
W I P g o o d s ,
finished products
and inventory in
transit and it is
important that the
i n v e n t o r y i s
managed at an
optimum level to
improve the cost
revenues of the
o r g a n i z a t i o n
w i t h o u t
compromising its
ability to meet the
ongoing demands
of its operations
and to meet its
c u s t o m e r s ‘
“The advent of
software technology in this space has
r e s u l t e d i n o r g a n i z a t i o n s
implementing modern inventory
management system to achieve this
c o v e t e d b a l a n c e . W i t h t h e
emergence of Mobile technology,
smartphones to are gaining the upper
hand in managing the inventory. A
large number of business owners
have been able to access real-time
information about their inventory onthe-

“Balancing customer and vendor
relationship is a critical aspect in the
supply chain and has often been
considered the essence of supply
chain management. However, closer
examinations reveal that the heart of
these relationships is inventory
movement and storage. Most of the
activities involved in managing the
vendor-customer relationship are
based on purchase, transfer, or
management of inventory. Hence,
i n v e n t o r y i s a f u n d a m e n t a l
component of the supply chain, and
its primary purpose is to feed the
customers’ requirements across the
supply chain”.

An auxiliary of trade

Warehouse helps to store the
inventory in all forms safely and
securely until the point of purchase or
consumption by the customer.
“In today’s world where demands are
volatile and replenishment times are
long due to globalization, achieving
100% JIT (Just in Time) or a Kanban
model is impossible, and this calls for
a build-up of certain types and
quantities of inventory at various
s t a g e s o f t h e s u p p l y c h a i n .
Warehouses provide the means to
store such inventory in a safe and
secure manner”.

Helping warehouse operations

Warehouse managers today have an
array of technologies to choose from,
to streamline operations, reduce
costs and improve performances. A
few key aspects where technology
come to the rescue are – optimizing
w a r e h o u s e p r o c e s s e s a n d
operations, enhancing productivity,
increased visibility of inventory,
improved utilization of resources and
enhanced customer satisfaction.
A superior WMS improves space
utilization in the warehouse by
informing the operator where to put
the item by selecting a storage
location that best fits the product. It
c a n a l s o i m p r o v e w a r e h o u s e
capacity, allowing goods to move
more quickly through the facility and
at the same time reducing handling
and storage requirements.

Like any other software, WMS is a
software which helps to streamline
and optimize processes and will
require manual interaction to some
degree for it to be able to perform the

“ U n s u s t a i n a b l e a n d p e o p l
dependent core activities of a
w a r e h o u s e s u c h a s p l a n n i n g ,
resource allocation and directing
execution are automated by WMS
with little support from operators”.

Mobility availability

T h e w a r e h o u s e i s a l l a b o u t
movement and tracking, and the
availability of mobility feature in
W a r e h o u s e w i l l e n h a n c e
p r o d u c t i v i t y a n d o p e r a t i o n a l
efficiency. Hence, mobile technology
has indeed become a necessity to
keep pace with the technological

Asked if WMS provides mobility,
accuracy and efficiency at Ramco,
Naval responded positively by
saying, “We certainly believe that
WMS streamlines, automates and
enhances warehouse operations
significantly. At its most basic, it
improves the efficiency and economy
of movement within a warehouse
with its logical planning thus reducing
the number of ‘touches’ a material
receives – the most important
objective of any warehouse. Through
automatic data capture and mobility,
it improves accuracy in operations –
say picking or put away – and
a s s o c i a t e d d o c u m e n t a t i o n b y
eliminating the manual entry which is
certainly error prone”.

High productivity levels

A well designed WMS increases
labour productivity by managing
wo r ke r ‘ s t a s k s . I n a d d i t i o n t o
directing labour, WMS also provides
l a b o u r p l a n n i n g f e e d b a c k t o
management. That feedback is then
used for estimating peaks and valleys
in product activity.

“Labor productivity is increased
through optimal work allocation to
resources based on their skill sets,
qualification, performance and
a v a i l a b i l i t y a n d t h e e r r o r s i n
operations are minimized through the
Automatic Data Capture mechanism
that is used in the operations
controlled by WMS.

One mega air show in INDIA may be forthcoming

The objective of Regional Connectivity Scheme is to
make flying affordable for the masses, to promote
tourism, increase employment and promote balanced
regional growth. It also intends to put life into unserved
and underserved airports.

Si n c e t h e N a r e n d r a M o d i
government came into power,
a lot of synergies were created
among ministries.

One of them is between the Ministry
of Defense and the Ministry of Civil
Aviation. They are taking this further
by coming on one platform – Aero
India. The recently concluded Aero
India 2017 was one example of their
joint project.

Prior to this, India had clearly
d ema rc a t e d d e fe n ce a n d c i v i l
aviation events – Aero India, held in
Bengaluru, was primarily defense and
India Aviation in Hyderabad was only
civil aviation.

Till this year, the two ministers used to
head to these locations to promote
their respective turfs. But at Aero India
2017, they were together and both
voiced in clear terms that, henceforth,
it would be one show.

The question on everyone’s mind is
whether there will be India Aviation
next year at Hyderabad or not? It is
not clear as yet. Similarly, the location
of the next international air show in
India is not known.

The political machinery has been
busy with elections in different states
and one would have to wait till that
dust settles down.

However, the Minister of Civil
Aviation, Ashok Gajapathi Raju, told
this correspondent that ‘See, in Paris
there is one air show for both civil and
military, similarly in Farnborough
(London) it is one air show and they
have marketed them so well. We
need to bring about this convergence
between civil and military due to
many commonalities.”

India to invest heavily in infrastructure
Speaking at the inaugural ceremony,
Minister Raju said Indian civil aviation
was the fastest growing one in the
world, registering a growth rate of
over 20 percent in the last two years.
In the wake of growing civil aviation
sector, our Airports need to grow to
cater to the growing demands.

The Airports Authority of India (AAI)
has decided to invest about US$2.6
billion in the next five years for
improving the existing airports and
that includes creating of airport
infrastructure, air cargo hubs, air
navigation etc.

“If we have to sustain and take
forward the current growth we need
more investments from all sides. If we
are able to sustain this growth we will
be the third largest civil aviation
market in the world by 2022.”
Addressing a joint press conference,
Mr. Raju said the government was
opening up the aviation sector like
never before.

The National Civil Aviation Policy and
s u b s e q u e n t l y t h e R e g i o n a l
Connectivity Scheme (RCS) were
going to be facilitators of phenomenal
g r o w t h . H e u n d e r s c o r e d t h e
i m p o r t a n c e o f b o t h M R O
(maintenance, repair and overhaul)
and the air cargo sector which have a
multiplier effect on the economy.
“ T h e o b j e c t i v e o f R e g i o n a l
Connectivity Scheme is to make flying
affordable for the masses, to promote
tourism, increase employment and
promote balanced regional growth.

It also intends to put life into unserved
and underserved airports,” he said.
It is worth mentioning here that
Hindustan Aeronautics Limited has
built a 19-seater civilian aircraft which
could very well be put to good use
under RCS. With e-commerce and
mobile payments growing in India
and regional connectivity improving,
the movement of e-commerce to
small towns would gain traction. The
Minister said while no-frills airports
would come up, the air cargo sector
would be part of the scheme of

Incentives for cargo sector
The government is providing various
incentives for cargo operations under
RCS for up to 10 years from the date of
notification of the scheme. Some of
the incentives are 2 per cent Excise
Duty on ATF (aviation turbine fuel)
drawn for air freighter operations at
RCS Airports for a period of three
years from the date of notification of
the RCS.

As and when the government moves
into GST regime (Goods and Services
Tax), rates will be applicable as
d e t e r m i n e d u n d e r G S T a n d
exemptions/concessions shall be
given as permissible so that such a
reduced level of taxation could ideally
be continued.

Airport operators (whether under the
o w n e r s h i p o f t h e A A I , S t a t e
Governments, private entities or the
Ministry of Defence) are not to levy
Landing Charges and Parking Charges
or any other charge subsuming a
charge for such aspects in future.
Similarly the Terminal Navigation
Landing Charges (TNLC); Route
Navigation and Facilitation Charges
(RNFC) will be levied by AAI on a
discounted basis @ 42.50 per cent of
normal rates. Normal rates refer to
applicable rates specified by the AAI
on its website from time to time
w i t h o u t a n y d i s c o u n t s o r
c o n c e s s i o n s . H o w e v e r , t h e
government has excluded cargo
operations from getting any support
under the viability gap funding (VGF).
While the RCS is to get off the block,
the Civil Aviation Minister’s presence
was significant at Aero India as he was
laying emphasis on cargo and MRO to
build a strong aviation base. The show
did not attract any player either from
the civil cargo and MRO segments.
The Minister said that once marketing
as a single event would commence
t h e n i t w o u l d b e a d i f f e r e n t

Coolport at Bengaluru airport
Nevertheless, there was some cargo
related news at the show. First, Air
India SATS Airport Services (AISATS),
a n a i r p o r t s e r v i c e s c o m p a n y,
l a u n c h e d ‘A I S AT S C o o l p o r t ‘ –
country’s first integrated on-airport
perishable cargo handling centre, at
Kempegowda International Airport,
Bengaluru (KIAB).

The 11,000-square metre facility built
at a total project cost of ?48 crore, was
inaugurated by R V Deshpande,
Karnataka Minister for Large &
Medium Industries & Infrastructure
Development. The AISATS Coolport
has 17 dedicated cold rooms with
temperatures ranging from -25
degree C to 250 degree C, and a
capacity to handle 40,000 tonnes
annually. In the past few years, Indian
a i r c a r g o i n d u s t r y h a s s e e n
tremendous demand for handling of
perishable cargo products.

HAL bags cargo doors order
At the show, state-run Hindustan
Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) received a
fresh order from the Israeli Aerospace
Industries (IAI) to supply eight sets of
cargo doors for the main deck of
Boeing 737.

HAL has already supplied 30 similar
doors to IAI, a Tel Aviv-based leading
s u p p l i e r o f s u b s y s t e m s a n d
components to Boeing. HAL as such
has been making doors for the single
aisle A320 aircraft of the global
aerospace major Airbus Industries
since 2009.

“The IAI’s new order reflects the
confidence reposed by our valued
Israeli customer,” asserted HAL
Chairman T. Suvarna Raju. The
company, however, did
not disclose the value of
the new or the previous
o r d e r s a n d d e l i v e r y
schedule of the fresh one.
Boeing has sold about
6,500 jets in the 737-
200C series worldwide.
“The Boeing 737 aircraft
has the capacity to carry
21,500 pounds of cargo
and 112 passengers,” said
the US-based aerospace major.
‘Make in India’ theme reverberates
Aero India 2017 continued to lay
emphasis on the ‘Make in India’ theme
a n d t h e o r i g i n a l e q u i p m e n t
manufacturers (OEMs) have started
t o e i n g t h a t l i n e . A n A i r b u s
spokesperson said strengthening
‘Make in India’ partnerships would be
the group’s main focus. “The future of
Indian aerospace and defence
industry rests on the realization of the
Make in India vision,” said Pierre de
Bausset, who heads Airbus India.
Airbus has partnered with the Tata
Advanced Systems Limited to set up a
final assembly line for C295W military
transport planes in the country. The
C295Ws will replace the Indian Air
Force’s ageing Avro fleet as part of a
$2-billion program for 56 new planes.
While 16 of these will come in a
flyaway condition, the remaining will
be built in India.

The C-295 can carry as many as 71
passengers or 50 paratroops. It can
fulfill humanitarian aid and disaster
response (HADR) functions since it is
able to carry 24 stretchers with
attendants, or about 20,000 lbs. of
cargo. Another important trait of the
C-295 is its capability to do short field
landing and takeoff.

Reliance is getting into aerospace
and defence sector majorly and it
said that the Dhirubhai Ambani
Aerospace Park, located at the
Multi-modal International Cargo
Hub and Airport at Nagpur
(MIHAN), would most likely be
considered by Reliance Defence
Limited for a new facility to
support its aerospace plans.
Wherever and whenever the single
air show would be held, it would
certainly bigger comprising both
m i l i t a r y a n d c i v i l s e g m e n t s .
Obviously, this would call for greater
and more efficient way of organizing
an air show of such mammoth

GSS Takes Off

In less than a decade, the company has firmly established a foothold in the highly competitive air cargo industry, increasing its freighter fleet from 4 to 7

The global air cargo industry grew by 3.8 percent in 2016 but it remains exceptionally challenged with issues on over capacity, security, political instability and a slowdown on world trade.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says strong growth was reported on cross bordere- commerce and pharmaceuticals, which could continue to offer opportunities for the air freight industry in 2017 and beyond.

“Looking ahead it remains unclear as to whether the recent momentum for air cargo is a start of a sustained, stronger growth trend or a potential false dawn. There are a number of competing drivers. On the one hand, the industry is reporting strong growth in areas such as cross border commerce and pharmaceuticals, which are expected to continue to offer opportunities for air freight in 2017 and beyond,” IATA says in its December 2016 market analysis.

“On the other hand, though, wider weakness in world trade conditions remains an ongoing concern. Moreover, the recent pick-up in populist and protectionist political rhetoric means that we may now have passed ‘peak trade openness’, which is likely to reduce tailwinds for global trade and air cargo in the years ahead,” it added.

Industry experts say the first quarter of 2017 brought in promising figures for a sustained upward trend. And the nonprofit group IATA is also optimistic the air freight sector will post at least a 5.5 percent growth this year with the e-commerce boom.

Rising above the challenges

But for some companies like Global Services Solution FZCO (GSS Aero), tough times are no barrier to rake in profits and propel growth where oppor-tunities are likely to be made. The company, which specializes in ACMI and charter flights out of its hub in the UAE, consistently posted 20-25 percent growth for three consecutive years now ending in 2016.

“We had been growing consistently in the last three years at an average 20-25% and in 2016, we performed exceptionally well with sales
turnover of AED142 million,” Shekar Gunasekaran, founder and CEO of GSS Aero, told Air Cargo Update. The company also expanded its
services this year with the launch of the VIP passenger charter department.

“This year, we started our VIP passenger charter department to cater to our regular customers. Despite stiff competition from wellestablished players in the market, it’s showing good results less than a year since being introduced,”
Gunasekaran shared and expressed optimism that with the core strength of the company’s staff coupled with his partners’ support, the venture will also be successful.

Building capacities and reputation

Though relatively new in the market, GSS is run by well-experienced industry proffessional whose collective ideas and strategies make
a difference.

Add to that is the company’s huge investments on assets that speed up the freight process and ensure unmatched reliance on delivering
goods on time, practically anywhere in the world.

Gunasekharan said with acquisition of three more planes, their fleet would be beefed to seven freighters.

“We are an asset-based company. We currently own four freighters in our fleet and will add another three planes this year to our growing fleet to cater to the growing charter market in the region. In addition, we also have long-term contracts with various customers that allow us to operate our freighters extensively in the region to cater to South Asia/Iraq/ Somalia and African market on a regular basis depending on customer’s flexibility,” he said.

For the most part, GSS is known for ACMI and charter brokering, a highly-competitive specialization in the air cargo industry with only the
most stable companies managing to survive.

Gunasekaran agreed saying he has seen a number of companies charter brokers declined, preferring those on with known reliance
professionalism as clients.

Apart from GSS’s growing assets, it also has well-trained and highly professional staff who can deal with clients any time of the day to solve problems.

“ We also specialize in crews management, in-house 24 x 7 flight operation team, direct contract with fuel suppliers, engineering support
and own AOC,” said Gunasekaran.

GSS clients include some of the biggest and well-reputed in global trade such as Rus Aviation, Chapman Freeborn, WFP, KTZ Express, SFS,
Fast Logistics, Flying Carpet, UPS, Kuehne Nagel, among others.

“These customers are with us for several years and contribute to our growing success” said Gunasekaran.

To date, GSS has 23 staff in the UAE; two in Houston, and; 11 in Moldova. All of whom are extended appropriate trainings to keep up with
the needs of the industry.

Gunasekaran said their staff work as a team are continuously encouraged to learn new things for their professional benefits.

“We believe in our staff strength and consistently encourage them to elevate to next level within the organization and provide support /
encourage-ment to them in professional and personal level,” he said.

Vision 2017 and beyond With solid financial footing and an astute management, GSS is now embarking on overseas expansion plans, to further widen its international presence among potential clients. It is also buying three more B747 freighter planes. On top of that, the company has just opened its new office in Houston, Texas and is now on the final stage of setting up similar offices in Hong Kong and Europe.

“Year 2017 is very important in the history of GSS since we have already opened office in Houston, USA and in addition, we will be taking delivery of our first B747-400F freighter followed by 2nd and 3rd aircraft in the month of Sept and Oct 2017. We are also in the final stage to open office in Hong Kong and have European AOC,” said Gunasekaran.

A well-reputed executive in the industry, Gunasekaran says his vision is to make GSS a global brand known for its one stop cargo

“We have strong presence in the
UAE market and would like to brand our company as one stop destination for all charter requirements since our company is unique because of the wealth of experience our directors have in all fields of sales, operations, engineering, aircraft management, ground handling and flight support service. In the coming years, we would like our company’s presence felt in Far East, Europe,the Middle East and to a great
extent in North & South America,” the GSS founder & CEO said.

And like others, Gunasekaran is also upbeat about Dubai hosting the World Expo 2020. The event is largely seen to fuel economic activities in many fronts, including aviation and logistics.

“It’s very important not only to our industry but in totality since this automatically increases the volume of logistical business in coming years and have positive impact in our charter department to import some urgent project cargo to UAE from various part of the world,” he said. “We expect the cargo industry to see substantial growth in light of Expo 2020.”

About Shekar Gunasekaran

Steering the wheel for GSS Aero is the pragmatic and enterprising Shekar Gunasekaran, the company’s founder and chief executive officer.
Born and raised in eastern India’s Chennai, the physics graduate Gunasekaran began his career in the aviation industry in 1990 with the
Pakistan International Airlines. He later joined Russia’s Aeroflot, where for the most part, he dealt with charter flights for large pharmaceutical companies transporting goods to Russia and CIS.

In 2003, Shekar relocated to Dubai to join Hellmann Worldwide Logistics where he made a name for himself by “winning big contracts.” This dramatically changed his reputation in the industry such that by 2009, he managed to set up GSS.

By 2012, GSS acquired its first aircraft. Today, its fleet will soon be made up of seven freighters with the acquisition
of three more B747 this year.

The Lounge – Shashi Kiran Shetty

With more than a billion people, India’s domestic market
is more than enough for any entrepreneur wishing to make
it big to get even just a small slice of it and flourish with the
right formula, attitude and maybe some luck.

And it all starts with a dream and a vision.

Shashi Kiran Shetty, the Mangalore-born multi-billionaire
Indian entrepreneur founded All Cargo Logistics Ltd.,
under a different name with just Rs25,000 (about
USD387) and a single forklift back in 1983 at the age of 25.
Today, All Cargo is India’s largest logistics company in the
private sector listed both in the BSE & NSE with
consolidated revenues of about USD1 billion.

It has 200 offices in 90 countries with a team of more than
8,000 and is one of the top 5 logistics companies in India,
beating other major international firms in the same sector.
Born in a small village in Bantwal, Shetty came to Mumbai
in 1978 to look for a job. After several tries, he was hired as
a trainee at the Intermodal Transport and Trading Systems
Private Limited.

After learning the ropes of the trade, Shetty moved to
Forbes Gokak, a Tata Group company, where his dream of
setting up his own company in the industry was further

A commerce graduate from the Shri Venkatramana
Swamy College in Mangalore, Karnataka, Shetty saw the
bright future that the logistics industry hold in India for an
entrepreneur like him.

The company he founded at age 25, Trans India Freight
Services Pvt. Ltd., later evolved into All Cargo Logistics
Ltd., which became known as an integrated logistics
service provider.

Headquartered in Mumbai, the company offers varied
services such as Coastal shipping, Contract Logistics,
Supply Chain management, NVOCC, Container Freight
Stations, Project engineering Solutions, and Inland
Container Depot facilities. Among its top clients are major
companies in the oil and gas sector worldwide.
With his company firmly established, Shetty now has
plenty of time for himself and his family.

One of his passions is to collect art pieces wherever he
goes. These collections are then carefully displayed in his
many homes and offices across the globe.

From Dubai, he got a camel made of metal with flat glasses
on its back strewn with purple ornaments.
Shetty says he picked up the piece from an antique store in
the Emirate because it reminds him of heavy lifting, a
significant part of logistics.

And when he’s not scouting for art pieces, Shetty spends
much of his time playing golf in India or Scotland or
holidaying with his family anywhere in the world.
“I golf every Sunday and also participate in many
corporate tournaments. Outside India, Scotland is my
favorite place to golf,” the Economic Times of India quoted
Shetty as saying.

Shetty also plays cricket and tennis and has even bought
some shares at Singapore Slammers.

A philanthropist, Shetty also finds time helping the needy
through the nonprofit group Avashya Foundation which he

Still firmly grounded despite his success, Shetty says it’s
important to have a social responsibility and empower
those who need help the most.

FedEx extends air transportation contract with USPS

FedEx Corp. recently announced that its FedEx Express subsidiary has entered into an extension to the express air transportation contract with the United States Postal Service originally executed on April 23, 2013. The contract modification extends the agreement through September 29, 2024.

The modified contract is expected to generate revenue of approximately $1.5 billion per year for FedEx Express. FedEx Express will provide airport-to-airport transportation of USPS Priority Mail Express and Priority Mail within the United States.

“We are pleased to be able to extend this agreement and to continue the outstanding service that FedEx Express has provided to the USPS for more than 16 years,” said David J. Bronczek, president and chief operating officer of FedEx Corporation. “This contract provides USPS with the operational reliability and flexibility they have come to expect from FedEx.”

Aramex witnesses double-digit growth

Aramex’s 2016 Full Year Revenues reached AED 4,343 million, up by 16% compared to AED 3,755 million in 2015. Q4 Revenues saw double-digit growth of 18% to Dh1,158 million, compared to Dh982 million in the corresponding period of 2015.

The Company’s 2016 Full Year Net Profits increased by 37% to Dh426.6 million, compared to Dh311.3 million in 2015. Q4 Net Profits reached Dh131.8 million, which represents an increase of 129%, compared to Dh57.6 million in Q4 2015.

In Q4 2016, Aramex’s International Express business performed strongly, with revenues growing by 30% to Dh498 million. Strong growth in cross-border e-commerce continued to be a primary driver of these revenues, especially in Asian, European and the US markets.

The Domestic Express business saw revenues of Dh247 million in Q4, an increase of 30% from Q4 2015. This was primarily driven by the Fastway Limited acquisition.

Aramex’s Logistics and Supply Chain Management increased by 29% in Q4 to Dh67.3 million. This increase is mainly attributed to Aramex’s investment in AMC Logistics’ Joint Venture in Egypt, which became part of Aramex’s financial consolidation starting January 2016.

Freight revenues decreased, by 9% to Dh272 million in Q4. Freight continued to be affected by lower selling rates, which was driven by lower oil prices and global currency fluctuations.

2016 was a milestone year for new partnerships and innovations across the Aramex global network. The company fully acquired Fastway Limited to further strengthen its presence in Australia and New Zealand. Aramex also formed a joint venture with Australia Post to launch the ‘Aramex Global Solutions’, a hybrid product accessible through postal offices worldwide.

As part of the company’s strategy to scale up through a variable business model, Aramex invested in a number of delivery startup businesses worldwide in order to optimize its last-mile delivery solutions. Additionally, the company invested in a new global addressing system which allows Aramex to reach more customers in off-the-grid locations. Aramex also launched its innovative mobile app to improve the delivery experience for customers. In 2016, Aramex continued automating its sortation centers globally, in order to stay on top of the increasing demand in its cross-border e-commerce business. Aramex also rolled out its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) platform, which will enable it to adopt industry best practices and further strengthen collaboration across key business units.

DHL unveils e-commerce logistics services in South China

DHL eCommerce is increasing its presence in South China through the introduction of e-commerce logistics services in the Fujian province.

The company also announced the expansion of its Shenzhen Distribution Center and Hong Kong Distribution Center to manage a capacity of 81m shipments a year.

According to research, China’s booming cross-border e-commerce market, estimated to be worth $839bn by 2021, is expected to dominate 40% of the global market share.

The growth momentum in southern China is particularly strong: cross-border e-commerce transactions in Fujian grew 42% to a total value of $28.1bn, which accounted for 18.5% of the provincial outbound trade in 2015.

For easier integration from order management to the shipment process, merchants across South China will be able to tap on DHL eCommerce’s Customer Web Portal for IT integration with marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, AliExpress and, or their preferred portal platform with API integration with the help of DHL eCommerce.

Zhi Zheng, managing director, Greater China, DHL eCommerce, said: “With exports expected to make up 75% of China’s e-commerce turnover three years from now, a strong and reliable logistics framework has to be set in place to meet growing needs.

“Manufacturing and export hubs like Fujian will be the center stage of all future growth of e-commerce exports in China. DHL’s expertise in international shipping and fulfillment, along with our global network and strong e-commerce expertise will play a fundamental role in connecting China’s e-tailers with online markets across the world.”

Volga-Dnepr with Bolloré Logistics and Thales Alenia Space transport space satellites to Spaceport

Volga-Dnepr Airlines has transported three more space satellites to the Guiana Space Center, Europe’s Spaceport in French Guiana, in support of its long-standing partnership with Bolloré Logistics and Thales Alenia Space.

These latest An-124-100 flights demonstrated the international nature of the space industry with Volga-Dnepr working with leading French and French/Italian partners to deliver communications satellites for customers in Brazil, South Korea and Indonesia.

It was the first time Volga-Dnepr used new lightweight and easier-to-stow aluminium extension ramps to load and unload satellites. The new ramps weigh less and take up less space when stowed in the aircraft, which allows increased volume and payload for cargo when required.

Volga-Dnepr’s first flight for Bolloré and Thales Alenia Space in 2017 delivered the Telkom 3S satellite, built for the Indonesian operator Telkom Indonesia and launched on February 14.

This was followed by a 13-hour An-124-100 freighter flight from Nice to Cayenne carrying Brazil’s SGDC satellite and South Korea’s Koreasat 7 telecommunications satellite, also built by Thales Alenia Space. Volga-Dnepr’s expertise in moving space cargoes and its close working partnership with Bolloré Logistics and Thales Alenia Space guaranteed both satellites arrived safely at the Guiana Space Center to ensure preparations continued as planned for the dual launch on March 21 onboard the Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

The transport containers used to deliver the satellites have been specially designed to utilise the unique capabilities of Volga-Dnepr’s An-124-100 and have been used many times before for similar transportations for Bolloré and Thales Alenia Space.

Matthew Thear, Customer Service Manager at Volga-Dnepr, said: “Our long partnership with Bolloré Logistics and Thales Alenia Space means we have great experience and finely-tuned processes in place to move highly sensitive satellite technology. This includes minute-by-minute monitoring of temperature, pressure and vibration in flight. However, we are always looking for ways to advance the services we provide, and the latest development of the new loading equipment is further proof of that.”

Kerry Logistics posts 4% growth in net profit, turnover rises by 14%

Kerry Logistics Network Limited recently announced the Group’s annual results for 2016.

William MA, Group Managing Director of Kerry Logistics, said, “Kerry Logistics has managed to weather market headwinds in 2016 and minimised the adverse macro-economic impact on its business with quick response to market changes. Despite the tough operating environment, the Group managed to achieve a 14% growth in turnover, while core net profit grew by 4% in 2016. The sustainable increase in earnings was attributable to strong growth of our IFF business, solid growth in South and Southeast Asia, as well as synergies generated from recent acquisitions.”

The bearish market view in January 2016 resulted in a decline in cargo volume. Nonetheless, the IL division managed to record stable performance and contributed 79% of the Group’s total segment profit.

The IFF division achieved a 24% increase in segment profit during the year, mainly propelled by contributions from APEX in the US and robust growth in Asia. Overall, the growth of the IFF division outpaced that of the IL division in 2016.

E-commerce continues to be a key growth driver for the Group. Demand momentum driven by cross-border e-commerce is particularly strong between Greater China and ASEAN. Leveraging its strong regional network and capabilities, Kerry Logistics is well positioned to capture the growth opportunities arising from the increasing e-commerce trade and volumes.

On 17 March 2017, the Group entered into a definitive agreement to divest its entire 15% interest in Asia Airfreight Terminal Company Limited. The transaction shall be completed upon satisfaction of certain conditions precedent under the definitive agreement. The disposal represents a continuation of the Group’s strategy to streamline its businesses and increase its overall performance and prospects. The enhanced cash and working capital position after the deal shall enable the Group to restructure its strategic business position and focus on pursuing development opportunities on its core businesses and/or other potential acquisitions in the future.