Crane Logistics promotes Nielitz as country manager for Germany

Crane Worldwide Logistics has promoted Christian Nielitz to the role of country manager for Germany after nearly four years with the company.

Nielitz joined in June 2014 as gateway development manager and was appointed to the role of branch manager for Dusseldorf in 2017.

Crane regional vice president for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, Gerard Ryan says the company’s strategy is to promote from within, the Nielitz’s new role is a perfect example of this.

He says: “As we continue our expansion into the German market, we know it is of great importance to have an experienced skillset of both operations and sales management processes combined with local knowledge and people management skills.

“Christian, over the course of his career, has developed talent in multiple disciplines that proved him to be the ideal candidate for the Country Manager’s leadership role.”

Earlier this month Crane opened its doors in Saudi Arabia with an operational office in Damman, covering air and ocean freight, and logistics services.

King Fahd International Airport and King Abdul Aziz Port serve operations in Al-Khobar.

When the news was announced, Ryan said Saudi Arabia is seen as an upcoming logistics hub, saying: “It is an exciting time for us to be opening our doors in Saudi Arabia with our experienced team, we openly invite new clients to try our technology, products and services and discover why Crane Worldwide is highly recommended by others in the Middle East region.”

Crane Worldwide Logistics president and chief executive officer, John Magee added, “As the major crossroad between Asia, Africa and Europe, having our own offices in strategic locations across the Middle East region will provide us with the opportunity to expand the services and benefits we are currently offering our clients in other regions.”

Wilson Kwong to take over as Hactl chief executive

Mark Whitehead is to retire as chief executive of Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl), handing over the reins to Wilson Kwong.

Kwong, the chief executive of Jardine Engineering Corporation (JEC), joined the Jardine Matheson Group in 1998 and has worked in Jardine Aviation Services, the Jardine Matheson Head Office, and Hong Kong Land.

Prior to joining JEC, he was chief executive officer of Raffles Quay Asset Management, a Hong Kong Land joint venture company overseeing One Raffles Quay and Marina Bay Financial Centre in Singapore.

Whitehead comments, “I welcome Wilson to Hactl, and I am confident that Hactl will flourish under his proven leadership. He will be supported by our unique team, and I wish them all the best.”

Whitehead joined Jardine Matheson in 1987 as an in-house legal counsel, and subsequently worked for Jardine Transport Services Group and was Jardine Matheson Group’s senior representative for Indo-China from 1996 to 1999.

He was then appointed managing director of Schindler Lifts Hong Kong, before working at Hong Kong Land as an executive director.

Whitehead joined Hactl in 2010 with the task of steering the company through the challenge of losing majority shareholder and major customer, Cathay Pacific, which became a competitor.

Under his leadership, Hactl continued its investment and modernisation programmes, achieving many firsts in the industry and handling over 100 airlines and more than 1.8 million tonnes of cargo in 2017.

Hactl has become the largest freighter ramp handler in Hong Kong, and its subsidiary, Hacis, has undergone significant investment and expansion, and will continue cross-border trucking services.

Whitehead says: “I look back with great satisfaction on what we achieved at Hactl and am clear that our extraordinary progress has only been possible through the drive, support and hard work of our workforce. I am proud to have led the team, and to have been part of such a strong ‘can do’ culture.”

He adds: “I look forward to hearing about Hactl’s continuing growth and successes. For my own part, I have grown to love the air cargo industry, and the people in it. I still feel I have a lot to offer, and I look forward to opening a new chapter of opportunities and challenges – whatever and wherever they may be.”

Jochen Muller replaces Thomas Reuter as Dachser Air & Sea Logistics COO

Jochen Muller has taken up the role of chief operations officer (COO) for Dachser Air & Sea Logistics, replacing Thomas Reuter, who is retiring.

Muller, who was born in 1964 in the German city of Worms, took up the role on 1 January 2018, will continue to work with Reuter, having joined Dachser on 1 October 2016 to prepare for his duties as COO.

His duties include the further expansion of the intercontinental air and sea freight network and the connection of this network with the European road network in order to add value for customers through intermodal logistics.

Muller joined the board of Schenker Deutschland in 2011 where he was responsible for the Central Europe airfreight region as well as sales for air and sea, and logistics for global relocations, trade fairs and sports events.

Prior to that, he was chief executive officer (CEO) of Schenker’s UK subsidiary with responsibility for land, sea and airfreight as well as the trade fair business.

Dachser CEO, Bernhard Simon says: “Jochen Müller has immersed himself in our corporate structures, and now has a comprehensive understanding of our business processes and the challenges we face on an international level.”

Reuter joined Dachser in 1978, becoming a member of the executive board at the start of 2006, where he was a driving force in helping to develop international business, building up a global network of air and sea freight locations.

He plans to continue serving the company in an advisory capacity, but will turn his attentions to other matters including his seat on the board of The WACO System, and will represent Dachser’s interests in the joint ventures Jet-Speed and NNR + Dachser.

Aston joins CEVA Logistics as managing director UKIN

CEVA Logistics has picked Eddie Aston for the role of managing director, UK, Ireland and Nordics (UKIN), taking over from Michael O’Donoghue.

Aston joins from commercial van hire and leasing organization, Northgate, where he was UK managing director.

He brings extensive, international executive level experience in supply chain management, logistics and business-to-business service companies where he earned a reputation for delivering durable top and bottom line improvements across a number of vertical markets.

Commenting on his new role, Aston says, “Driving growth further is my key priority, and having been away from logistics for a few years I have watched the progress that CEVA has already made and it was top of the list of places I wanted to work.

“We now need to build on this tremendous success and press on with next phase of the UKIN cluster’s growth.”

CEVA Logistics chief executive officer, Xavier Urbain says, “We warmly welcome such an experienced professional as Eddie to our management team. His commercial business acumen and proven track record make him the ideal individual to lead the UKIN into the next phase of their growth plans. I also want to thank Michael for the excellent results he has delivered in UKIN.”

Aston will be based in the UKIN cluster’s head office in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire and he succeeds O’Donoghue who has been promoted to head of CEVA’s North America cluster.

CNS appoints Michael White as president

Cargo Network Services (CNS) has appointed Michael White as president, taking responsibility for all operations including financial settlements, commercial operations and advocacy for its member airlines and forwarding customers.

White has most recently served as CNS vice president of government and industry relations, where he supported US industry efforts for the development of standards for the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) programme, the adoption of the electronic consignment security declaration (eCSD) by the US Transportation Security Administration, and other initiatives.

CNS chairman, Doug Lavin says, “Mike has taken a leadership role in working with industry and government stakeholders to make air cargo more secure and more efficient. I am confident that CNS will be in good hands as we continue to modernize the business while ensuring the highest standards of safety and security.”

White, an industry veteran with nearly four decades of experience in the air transport industry who joined CNS in 2008, will succeed Lionel van der Walt, who left to become executive vice president and chief executive officer of RCI.

Prior to joining CNS, White held operational management positions with Frontier Airlines, United Airlines and Cargo Service Center and the Air Transport Association of America (now Airlines for America).

He was chief operating officer of SkyLink USA, which managed the commercial operations at Baghdad International Airport for USAID, peacekeeping operations in Darfur for the United Nations and support operations for NATO in Afghanistan.

Singapore Airlines explore blockchain technology

Singapore Airlines recently announced the changes to the KrisFlyer frequent flyer programme, which will bring blockchain technologies to the digital wallet, already established on mobile devices.

The new scheme, due be rolled out within the next six months, will include the development of a mobile app which connects users to their point hoards, gained through purchasing flights and services from SIA.

According to the firm, the blockchain-based app will allow KrisFlyer members to “use digital KrisFlyer miles for point-of-sale transactions at participating retail merchants.”

By underpinning frequent flyer points and spending with distributed ledger technologies, SIA will be able to expand retail partnerships and offer users more ways to spend their points. This, in turn, may encourage customers to participate in the scheme and increase customer loyalty.

The blockchain-based solution was originally tested as a proof-of-concept exercise with KPMG Digital Village and Microsoft.

“We are very excited about this world-first initiative, which will bring even more benefits to members of our KrisFlyer programme,” said Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong. “This groundbreaking development in which we will be using blockchain technology to ‘digitalize’ KrisFlyer miles is a demonstration of the investment we are making to significantly enhance the digital side of our business for the benefit of our customers.”

Retail partners will initially be sought in the Singapore market but should the program prove to be a success, this may expand to other areas in SIA’s reach. The blockchain will be private and only include merchants and partners in the chain.

Singapore Airline may be the first airline to explore blockchain technologies in relation to frequent flyer programs, but it is not the first carrier or travel company looking to harness the technology in the industry.

Temasek and Kuehne + Nagel to create joint venture for investments in logistics technology start-ups

Temasek, a Singapore headquartered investment company, and Kuehne + Nagel, a leading global logistics group, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint venture to invest globally in early stage companies developing cutting-edge technology for logistics and supply chains.

Dr. Joerg Wolle, Chairman Kuehne + Nagel International AG notes, “This joint venture will be able to accelerate the transformation of the logistics industry. The cooperation combines Temasek’s focused and long-term oriented investment strategy and expertise, with Kuehne + Nagel’s global logistics network and know-how, creating a win-win situation for all parties. For Kuehne + Nagel it is both another important step in the deployment of our digitalisation approach and to shape the future of our industry”.

The joint venture is targeting investments into early stage companies which are developing technologies and services with the potential to transform traditional business models in logistics, improve efficiency and provide an enhanced value proposition for the consumers. The cooperation will focus particularly on the areas of big data and predictive analytics, artificial intelligence, block chain and robotics.

Tan Chong Lee, President & Head, Europe and South East Asia, Temasek added, “The opportunities presented by the growth of technology and its application across sectors have been an increasing focus for Temasek. We are pleased to partner Kuehne + Nagel in this joint venture, and believe the collaboration will allow us to further identify and support growing companies at the forefront of technological development in the logistics industry.”

Flexport opens new European office

Flexport, the leading technology-enabled freight forwarder and customs broker, is to open a second European office. The forwarder expects to hire over 100 employees for its location in Hamburg in Germany in the next two to three years. The Hamburg office will be led by Flexport director of accounts in the DACH region Janis Bargsten (Pictured).

Following the company’s $110 million Series C funding round in October 2017, Flexport has worked to identify the right location to continue its global expansion and support the company’s ultimate goal of simplifying the complexities of global trade. With offices in Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Atlanta and Shenzhen, the company’s eighth global office in Hamburg will put sales and operations teams closer to its German, Austrian and Swiss clients and supply chain partners.

Flexport’s decision to expand into Hamburg reflects the city’s eminence as a logistics centre.

“Hamburg is a natural choice for our next European office,” says Flexport CEO and founder Ryan Petersen. “Having a presence in this city brings us closer to our freight operations and our clients. We already move considerable volumes of freight through Hamburg’s major logistics gateways every year, so establishing a local presence will make doing business cheaper. Hamburg gives us additional access to air, land and sea, plus some of the country’s best and brightest talent.”

Flexport is invested in continued growth of company functions in Hamburg, and is excited to begin immediate recruiting for the German office. The company will be looking to hire around 15 staff in the first three months.

Bromma extends partnership with KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Equipment manufacturer Bromma has extended its collaboration with a leading Swedish technology university following the partnerships’ inception in 2017.

The collaboration with KTH Royal Institute of Technology was extended in December 2017 and Bromma’s structural calculation specialist, Dr Mansoor Khurshid, has been appointed affiliated faculty in lightweight structures at the institute’s department of aeronautical and vehicle engineering.

KTH associate professor Zuheir Barsoum said: “Bromma will benefit from this by involvement in several research projects and access and collaboration to highly qualified researchers and graduate students.

“This will enable Bromma to design lightweight and structurally optimized spreaders with state-of the art scientific engineering methods.”

Kurshid’s appointment will last until April 2020 and will be held on a part time basis.

Lars Meurling, vice president of marketing at Bromma, said: “This cooperation will play an instrumental role when we develop the future generations of spreaders.”

DP World embarks on digital transformation program

DP World has embarked on a digital transformation program that will be led by the development an integrated software for the company’s key core processes.

The port operator will work with Oracle Business Applications to create the platform, which will be used to standardise DP World’s finance, operations, procurement and human resource work.

The Oracle Cloud Application platform will employ cloud applications and will also incorporate technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and block chain.

DP World group chairman and CEO Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said, “Innovative tech solutions are the way forward in the 21st century and we’re equipping ourselves with an effective platform to grow into new sectors where technology can maximise efficiencies and enable us to deliver transformational products and services.”