Crane Logistics’ promote Mitchell as VP of global specialized solutions

Chris Mitchell, Vice President of Global Specialized Solutions has accepted a promotion to manage the Middle East region at Crane Worldwide Logistics. Mitchell joined Crane Worldwide in September 2011, as Director for Energy & EPC in Asia Pacific and since 2017 has led the Global Specialized Solutions division. Originating from the United Kingdom, Mitchell has been based in Asia since 1998.

Having established an overseas licensed DG transport and distribution business in China with a regional tank container operator, he then joined a supply chain solutions provider and relocated to Hong Kong in 2001.

Since then, he has been involved in the development and execution of projects primarily in energy, industrial, oil and gas and Infrastructure verticals with several global logistics players.

The Middle East region is a growth area for Crane Worldwide Logistics, with significant facility space and freight forwarding activity in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Saudi Arabia with plans for expansion later this year.

“Chris will add leadership and direction to our Middle East region in the growth years ahead, with his experience leading our global specialized solutions division, his capabilities will drive new opportunities in this important area of expansion for Crane Worldwide,” comments Chad Taylor, EVP Global Operations at Crane Worldwide.

“In line with our values, we continue to grow where our clients need us to be,” adds Keith Winters, Chief Executive Officer. “The Middle East holds tremendous potential for our clients and we will continue to support them as supply chain partners to assist with their strategic plans going forward”.

Mitchell will be based in Dubai, UAE.

China plans to build world’s first deep sea AI colony

BEIJING: China is planning to build the world’s first deep sea “artificial intelligence colony on earth” using robot submarines that can map out and survey seabed with depths of up to 11 kilometers, the state media disclosed.

So far, only 1 percent of the earth’s seas and oceans have been explored. The Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, which is leading the project, hopes their underwater exploration will lead to more data about marine life and analyzing mineral ores which could be used for industrial and scientific purposes.

The project named after the ancient Greek underworld of Hades involves having the robot submarines connected to floating docking platforms through cables to explore the deepest parts of the sea, the media reported.

Beijing has yet to specifically name the exact location with which it wants to build the AI colony but analysts surmise it could be in the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea where it has already began building structures.

China earlier said it wants to build 20 floating nuclear power plants in the contested chain of small islands by 2020, a potential violation of international laws, after a United Nations court ruled in 2016 China has no historical rights to the South China Sea.

The Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan and China are locked up in a dispute over ownership claim in the Spratly Islands which is believed to be rich with oil and marine resources.

Abu Dhabi launches USD142 million ‘Hub71’ to support tech startups

ABU DHABI: The capital of the United Arab Emirates launched in March a AED520 million (USD$142 million) new platform known as “Hub 71” to support high tech startup companies in the region.

H.H. Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Chairman of the Executive Committee, said an additional AED535 million fund has been set aside to invest in technology businesses established in Hub71, raising the total government investment in the Abu Dhabi tech sector to more than AED1 billion (about USD$272 million), reported the Emirates state news agency WAM.

Starting April 28, 2019, the fund will co-invest with VCs in Hub71 based tech start-ups through a government matching scheme, as well as invest in first-time fund managers to support their establishment and growth in the Emirate. Hub71 is also offering fully subsidised housing, office space and health insurance for seed- stage tech companies. For more established tech ventures, 50 percent subsidy packages will be available.
Hub71 was established by the government to further underpin the Emirate’s status as a vibrant destination of digital transformation, innovative initiatives and high-tech entrepreneurs in collaboration with key global technology companies.

The new platform is a key initiative of Ghadan 21, the Government’s economic accelerator program announced last September by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

“Abu Dhabi has proven itself as a place where innovation can succeed and inspire. Through the Abu Dhabi Government’s economic programs and plans, we’re doubling down on our efforts to make Abu Dhabi a global beacon for technology and innovation,” Jassim Mohammed Buatabh Al Zaabi, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, said during the project’s launch.

As part of the initiative, the AED535 million fund will be administered by the Abu Dhabi Investment Office, to invest in startups and venture capitalists, VCs, at Hub71.

Mubadala Investment Company, Microsoft and SoftBank Vision Fund are founding partners of this new initiative, working in close collaboration with Abu Dhabi Global Market, ADGM, to create a dynamic business environment for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Volvo FH with l-save rolls out in Europe

The global truck manufacturer founded in Sweden says its new truck model will cut fuel costs by up to 7 percent

Volvo FH with I-Save is our answer to this challenge. It is a complete solution that combines our latest technology to substantially bring down fuel consumption in long-haul operations. And this is without compromising drivability,” said Roger Alm, President of Volvo Trucks.

In the trucking industry, fuel accounts for the biggest single expense of any trucking company at nearly 40 percent, with about 20,500 gallons of fuel consumed per commercial truck on average in one year, according to studies. Add to that are costs related to maintenance, repair, insurance, among others.

If fuel prices are on the rise, that puts a dent on company revenues, which also often lead to increased costs for consumers, especially in the freight industry.

The emergence of electric and hybrid trucks offering lesser fuel costs, maintenance expenses and lower CO2 emissions are, thus, a welcome relief for the global trucking industry, especially in Europe where more stringent environmental regulations must be followed.

The Volvo FH with I-Save

In March, Volvo Trucks rolled out for orders for the first time in Europe the Volvo FH with I-Save which the global Sweden – based truck manufacturer pledges to scientifically cut fuel costs y up to 7 percent in long – haul operations without compromising drivability.

Volvo said this model was designed to answer the customers clamor for more fuel efficient trucks, especially during winter.

The company said the demand for transportation across Europe is growing and trucks are covering increasingly longer distances while transport operators are faced with rising diesel prices putting pressure on profitability.
“Volvo FH with I-Save is our answer to this challenge. It is a complete solution that combines our latest technology to substantially bring down fuel consumption in long-haul operations. And this is without compromising drivability,” said Roger

Alm, President of Volvo Trucks. At the core of Volvo FH with I-Save is the new, state-of-the-art D13TC – Volvo Trucks’ most fuel-efficient long haul engine to date. It features pistons with a patented wave-shaped interior that improves combustion and increases efficiency by guiding heat and energy to the centre of the cylinders.
Excess energy in the exhaust gases is then used to power the engine through an additional turbine in the exhaust flow, called the Turbo Compound unit.

The D13TC engine produces up to 300 Nm extra torque, which means less acceleration and fuel is needed to keep a steady speed in highway traffic. It is the ideal solution for long- haul customers.

Engineered for long haul driving

Other features of I-Save include new fuel-efficient rear axles, an updated map-based I-See system that analyses and adapts to gradients ahead and includes gear-shifting software optimised for long-haul applications.

The combined efficiency gains of all these products and services can result in fuel-cost savings by up to 7% compared to a D13 Euro 6 Step D engine.

“We have tailored every aspect of I-Save to suit long-haul operators, especially those that typically drive more than 120,000 km per year,” said Mats Franzén, Power train Strategy Director at Volvo Trucks. “The longer they drive, the more they can potentially save. It is a powerful engine which delivers a highly fuel efficient and smooth driving experience.”

EU to regulate CO2 emission from heavy duty vehicles

Responding to the E U ‘ s decision to regulate C O 2 e missions from heavy-duty vehicles, Volvo said it continues to invest heavily in more climate-friendly transport solutions. But, it cautioned, additional measures are needed to stimulate demand for vehicles with low CO2 emissions.

“Cutting climate emissions from heavy-duty vehicles is an incredibly important task, and it’s fundamental to our initiatives in sustainable transport. At Volvo Trucks, we’re well-positioned to take on this challenge. It’s natural for the EU to now introduce limits on CO2 emissions. In order to speed up the transition, we would however also like to see stronger financial incentives for the customers who take the lead and choose more climate-friendly vehicles,” said Alm.

Volvo Trucks said electric trucks can contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. It launched its first truck models with electric powertrains in 2018 and will start series production this year.

“We’re at the stage where the technology will soon be ready for wider applications in heavy-duty transport. If demand is stimulated and the new charging infrastructure network is expanded, the volume will also be able to increase at a faster rate than would otherwise be possible,” said Lars Mårtensson, Director of Environment and Innovation at Volvo Trucks.

Other climate solutions include natural gas and biogas. Running a Volvo FH LNG on natural gas cuts CO2 emissions by about 20 percent compared to diesel. With biogas, the tank-to-wheel emissions can be cut by 100 percent.
At the same time, Volvo Trucks is continuing to develop the diesel trucks that currently make up the absolute majority of its sales.

Since the early 1990s, the fuel usage and CO2 emissions of a typical long-distance Volvo truck have decreased by about 20 percent, and there is room for additional improvements with more efficient power trains, lower rolling resistance, and better aerodynamics. Each truck needs to be optimized for its specific transportation task.

While the emission limits imposed by the EU set a clear timetable for vehicle manufacturers, the goal – improving fuel efficiency and reducing the climate impact – has been a top priority for the industry for some time now, in part because fuel usage makes up about one-third of the costs for a transport company.

“Our ambition has always been to be able to offer our customers the optimal, energy efficient comprehensive solution for the transport task at hand,” said Mårtensson.

“New technologies that contribute to cutting CO2 emissions need to be able to enter the market rapidly. Fasttracking the reviewing and certification process by the authorities would speed up the introduction of new innovations within the transport sector,” he added.

Every feature of I-Save has been designed to cut fuel costs. Included in the Volvo FH with I-Save:

Pakistan shifts to digitalization: A prelude to the nuclear-powered nation’s ambitious plan to open up for global business

After being stuck to antiquated systems of operations for 18 years, Pakistan International Airlines had recently successfully digitalized its passenger systems and is now focusing on MRO and cargo systems to reinvigorate the country’s ailing economy.

Pakistan continues to undergo political and economic reforms with the election of former international cricketer Imran Khan as the nation’s new Prime Minister in 2018. The Oxford-educated politician vowed to bring prosperity and opportunities for all by opening up the once feared nation for global business and more foreign investments. In close ties with China, the nuclear  powered countr y of 207 million people is undergoing economic liberalization marked with the privatization of all government corporations, modest government spending and more foreign direct investment.

Poverty in Pakistan fell by more than 50 percent to 29.5% in 2014 from 64.3% in 2002 and experts believe the country is heading to major economic transformations that will change its standard of living for the better.
The multifaceted US$60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and the multi-billion Silk Road Project are fueling much growth to the country with about 60 percent of global imports and exports linked to China.

In the Gulf, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pledged investments and loans of US$20 billion each to Pakistan over the next five years  money designed to reinvigorate its economy.

Saudi committed at least US$10 billion of the money to be invested in a refinery and oil complex to be built in the strategic Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, the site of the multi- billion – dollar China – Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Digitalizing PIA

Pakistan International Airlines, the country’s national carrier, is among the first public entities to benefit from the new government’s policy to implement major economic reforms.

After 18 years of using the old Passenger Services System (PSS) and Global Distribution System (GDS), the airline successfully digitalized its systems within just four months, according to M. Osama Sheikh, PIA Project Manager & Business Analyst.

“Recently, we delivered PSS & GDS migration projects successfully in record four months’ period – it was the biggest transformation project in PIA in the last 18 years,” said Sheikh, a telecom engineering graduate with MBA from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), the oldest business school outside of North America established with support from Wharton School and the University of Southern California.

Established in 1946, PIA was among the first airlines to serve in the Middle East and South Asia but due to politics and mismanagement, it was left behind by other new carriers. Its fleet is only 32 aircraft, serving just 43 destinations. In contrast, Emirates which made its historic flight to Pakistan in 1985, has 258 planes and serves hundreds of destinations.

“When we talk about PIA, it has a great legacy to carry along, PIA helped major industry leading airlines to stand on their feet including Emirates, Singapore Airlines and many others. Unfortunately, PIA lost its path due to externalities and politicization. But the current leadership under President & CEO of PIA Air Marshal Arshad Malik has great focus in transforming airline. We h a v e controlled our processes to a great extent and have reduced various financial over heads ,” Sheikh explained.

“Now, focus is on a long-term strategic framework and business model for the sustainable PIA. We have developed new apps and various digital platforms t o streamline our customer’s journey. Our emphasis is on enhancing our customer experiences. So far, my experience in PIA is a roller coaster ride every day I face new challenges, new dilemma’s and new learnings,” he added.

M. Osama Sheikh,
PIA Project Manager & Business Analyst

The new PSS (Passenger Services System) has not only improved the airlines’ efficiency but drastically improved the customer experience as well. We have put in a situation where we have to build our direct sales platform in a shortest one-month time and we delivered it to more than 1800 agents in over a week. Our direct sales increased to 60% from 5% in record one month. Along with that, PIA has launched its new website and mobile app. We are now focusing on MRO project and cargo systems along with many other projects in the pipeline.

System Change

Just like other government-owned airlines in South Asia, PIA has incurred losses in the billions and the bleeding continues with no adequate roadmap on how to rehabilitate them.

But Sheikh said digitalization will make PIA’s systems more efficient and cut bureaucracy that stalls its growth.
PIA IT Chief Kashif Rana who to his credit successfully instituted digital transformations at companies he worked for like GE, Coca Cola, Etihad Group, among others, along with the airline’s General Manager and Head of Projects Asad Bukhari and Sheikh were tasked to carry out the digitalization project as swiftly as they can.

“Over the couple of years, PIA has incurred numerous losses and had to revamp its overall strategy and systems. We believe we can control financial overheads, operational efficiencies and new venues for revenue additions. To achieve these targets and to get out of challenging situation digitalization across the organization is inevitable,” shared

“PIA current Chief of IT Kashif Rana who joined PIA a year back….devised the strategic roadmap of PIA digital journey to bring state of the art technological tools to automate the operations and bring efficiency throughout the organization through collaboration with world leading companies. Our core strategy is to bring technology which is sustainable, efficient in processes, reduces financial overheads and above all that improves customer experience,” he added.

The IT and business analyst said PIA managed to migrate its PSS and DGS in record time despite financial constraints and limited resources without canceling a single flight.

“It was a challenging task for us with lots of financial constraints, time and resource limitations but we were able to deliver on time without canceling a single flight. The new system taken from Turkish based company called HITIT CS, which will give savings of more than 70% of our existing PSS cost in next five years,” said Sheikh who credited Bukhari and Rana for making the project possible.

Good Results

With digitalized PSS, new website and mobile app, PIA’s efficiency drastically improved, satisf ying customers and generating new sales as well.

Sheikh said the digitalization project’s results are encouraging as it increased the company’s direct sales to 60 percent from only 5 percent in just one month. PIA is now focusing its sights on the airline’s MRO and cargo systems, among other related projects, to generate more revenues and effectively serve customers.

“We are now focusing on MRO project and Cargo systems along with many others in the pipeline,” he said.
Over the past 15 years, PIA was investing about 1 percent of its annual budget but there was no long-term IT strategy and roadmap.

That had since been changed with the airline successfully devising a comprehensive digital trans- formation plan and increasing its budget for such to 4 percent annually.

“I think it’s a major step forward towards the airline long-term strategy of digitalization and bringing innovation in customer experience. Also, as you know the margins are very thin in airlines, so we are focusing to reduce our operational over heads so the company overall bottom line will increase,” said Sheikh.

Additionally, PIA also took the initiative of embracing the paperless cockpit concept and having the mandatory requirements for the cockpit crew digitalized.

“It will not only improve the operational efficiency but will also give big savings,” Sheikh described the measure.
The airline is also collaborating with the International Air Transpor t Association (IATA) to introduce a comprehensive national database related to immigration and traveling.

“Similarly, we have been working on IATA initiatives of ONE ID along with our national regulator NADRA to implement first of its type system to integrate traveler’s data with the National Database of country to enhance the customer experience and ensure the security of travelers as well. It will open new venture for revenue as well as to provide customized services to our valued customers,” said Sheikh.

Engineering operations at PIA is also gradually being transformed to digital, the MRO in particular to increase productivity, cut costs, among other savings.

“We are also transforming our engineering operations b y collaborating with MRO partner (contract signing is in finalization phase), here we are also moving towards paperless environment. It’s not only environment friendly but will increase operational expertise and efficiency; we will be able to analyze operational challenges in-depth and can come up with better solutions as well,” Sheikh explained.

Hopes For Prosperity

While digitalization is just one important component of the massive economic reforms planned for Pakistan under Khan’s administration, Sheikh said there are high hopes for its dynamic positive impact in the country’s overall economic growth.

“Well, the people of the country including me have very high hopes with new government. Change doesn’t come radically in a single day but its evolving; we are getting an increase in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). Government encouraging foreign investments in the country to improve overall GDP, this FDI will also result in the increase of foreign travelers to come to Pakistan, on the other hand tourism sector is also booming,” said Sheikh.

“As per global trends Northern areas of Pakistan are on top list for travel destinations. PIA being largest player in aviation sector in Pakistan has no other option but to improve the services by providing best customer experience and digitalization will lead to refurbishing the entire customer journey,” he added.

PIA’s digitalization is not only expected to boost passenger traffic but cargo volumes as well with high- value goods preferred to be flown via air freight.

“Pakistan has varied portfolio of import and export both, though its bit stagnant from couple of years but with new government policies for foreign investment has improved and global large manufacturers are considering Pakistan for the new facilities,” said Sheikh.

“We are expecting increase in overall trade traffic to and from the country, considering all these aspects, we have already kicked off the project for new cargo system rollout to increase and improve our cargo services to cope up with upcoming traffic,” he added.

French aerospace industry strengthens foothold in the Middle East

France is the third largest aerospace supplier to the UAE. Bilateral trade between the countries stood at nearly US$5 billion in 2016, the second largest in the Gulf after Saudi Arabia.

The French Pavilion stood out as the only official national delegation at the Middle East’s leading trade fair for aircraft maintenance and interiors, the Aircraft Interiors & MRO Middle East, held in February in Dubai.

It’s the 8th year in a row that the French firms collectively participated in the show with support from BUSINESS FRANCE, the national agency promoting international development and exports for the French economy.

“France has a strong reputation when it comes to aircraft interiors and aerospace maintenance. French specialists are able to supply products and services perfectly suited to the needs of airlines and MRO centers,” Samantha Douarin, Aerospace Project Manager at BUSINESS FRANCE, pointed out.

Globally, the French economy is ranked 6th and its aerospace industry is significantly contributing to its growth with €64 billion in sales in 2017, €43.3 billion of which are consolidated export revenues.

According to the French Embassy in the UAE, France is the second investor in Abu Dhabi, and the 3rd investor in Dubai. Similarly, the UAE is France’s second biggest investor from the Gulf, representing 35 % of the investment stock from the region.

The UAE is home to more than 600 subsidiaries of French companies, and more than 75% of the CAC 40’s firms are located in the Federation.

Growing Industry

In 2017, France was ranked as having the second biggest aerospace industry with total sales of about €64 billion after the United States which had revenues of over US$131 billion.

Overall, the value of aerospace exports rose by an average 3.4% for all exporting countries since 2013. Total aerospace exports by country in 2017 totaled US$326.4 billion.

The Groupement des industries françaises aéronautiques et spatiales ( GIFAS), the French Aerospace Industries Association created in 1908, said France is living in historic times with so many commercial planes manufactured in the country. The French aerospace industry is the most important industrial sector, followed by automotive and pharmaceuticals.

French firms at the AIME & MRO Middle East highlighted the following:
In aerospace maintenance: in- flight monitoring / predictive maintenance, swift and efficient par ts replacement, process improvement through new technologies, digitization of documentation and monitoring, use of big data, virtual training, etc.

In aircraft interiors: material weight reduction, differentiation through the customization of interiors, optimal space utilization, in-flight entertainment and communication systems, etc.

AEROBAY, the first totally free BtoB selling gateway for the trading of used & new parts which is sort of like an eBay for aerospace parts and spares, said business is good and the trend is likely to continue with more people opting to travel by plane or have goods carried over air freight.

BUSINESS FRANCE said the French aerospace market’s highly varied offerings are very well placed to meet the requirements of Middle-Eastern airlines which are constantly upgrading fleet to keep up with the rapid increase in air travel demand regionally and internationally.

At the event, French firms showed keen interest in establishing or strengthening ties with the region’s decision makers while presenting their product s , technologies and innovations.

Dr. George Kanterakis, Research & Innovation Director of GMI-Aero, a leading innovator and a key provider of solutions and p roducts f o r advanced process control used in the composite material manufacturing and repair, which works with the world’s largest aircraft manufacturers, MROs and airlines, said technology and innovations will dictate the future of the aerospace industry.

Other French firms that participated at the event include:

AAA : Offers a wide range of services in aircraft maintenance, cabin services and customer assistance via work packages designed in accordance to the needs.

ADHETEC : Designs, manufactures and distributes products and services in the field of adhesive film technologies & solutions.

AD’OCC : The Regional Development Agency of the Occitanie Region, located in Toulouse, Southern France.

AMC AVIATION : Delivers high standard tailor made services related to Aviation activities and to provide various consulting services.

BOLLORE LOGISTICS : A global leader in international transport & logistics.

CREATION & IMAGE PARIS : Manufactures and distributes high-standing uniforms.

DEDIENNE AEROSPACE : Worldwide leading company specialized in GSE and precision maintenance tooling for civil and defense markets.

EQUIP’AERO : EQUIP’AERO INDUSTRIE’s Group has two principal activities: EQUIP’AERO SERVICES which specializes in MRO and EQUIP’AERO TECHNIQUE, an OEM.

ESTERLINE SENSORS SERVICES : The aftermarket arm of Esterline Advanced Sensors, provides global MRO support and services.

LATECOERE : Offers dedicated tailored solution for any Airborne Video System addressing external, cargo and cabin surveillance, passenger entertainment and assistance to operations.

MANITOU: Develops dedicated access solutions for aircraft maintenance purposes currently in use in the civil and military aviation sectors.

 MAPAERO: Develops, manufactures and markets aircraft coatings according to customer specifications, with a specialty on water-based and other advanced environmentally friendly coatings.

REEL : An industrial group specializing in complex lifting and handling systems as well as integrated systems solutions.

REVIMA GROUP : A Leading independent provider, specialized in APU and Landing Gear MRO, as well as a sheet metal activity for the repair of main engine components.

SIMAIR – IMAGINAIR : Provides commercial and CJ galleys, privacy compartments, monuments, stowages, dividers, partitions as well as security cockpit doors.

TESTIA : An AIRBUS company in the field of Non-Destructive Testing, Quality Inspections and Training in Aerospace.

UUDS AERO: Offers a full range of quality services including: cabin interior equipment; sanitary and various chemical treatments; a wet cleaning process for exterior aircraft.

WEARE GROUP : Offers all types of detail parts and cabin interiors and Aero structure assemblies manufacturing.

WIN-MS : Offers high technology diagnosis tools for cables and harnesses allowing an immediate fault location.

Lufthansa Cargo Building A Pragmatic Future

“We will continue to systematically drive digitization along the entire transport chain. We are the first cargo airline in the world to offer our customers completely paperless booking and handling for standard cargo. With our new, fully digital PreCheck process, we will now significantly accelerate and simplify handling processes for our customers. And we will also continue to roll out the eDGD electronic dangerous goods declaration so that even more customers and shippers will be able to benefit from this digital solution.”
Peter Gerber, CEO & Chairman Executive Board Lufthansa Cargo

Frankfurt-based air freight carrier Lufthansa Cargo handled about 8.9 freight-ton- kilometers in 2018 valued at EUR2.7 billion, up by 7 percent compared to 2017, making it still one of the world’s best and biggest in the industry.
And despite political and economic uncertainties in many parts of the world that inevitably affects the movements of goods and the overall throughput of the air cargo industry, Lufthansa Cargo remains optimistic for growth in the horizon with improving economic demographics in emerging markets that require air freight services.

That optimism translates to investments of about EUR400 million to expand the Lufthansa Cargo Center (LCC) with the backing of the Supervisory Board of  Deutsche Lufthansa AG, according to Peter Gerber,  CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board.

While there is still enough land around Frankfurt Airport for LCC expansion, German engineering and technology would come into play with vertical and modular developments planned for existing facilities.

Construction in Frankfurt is scheduled to begin next year. Once completed in 2024, Lufthansa Cargo is convinced its investments would pay off with the facilities able to offer better capacity yields and quality. In Munich, Lufthansa Cargo is also investing on a new Cool Center

Revenue Growth

At its annual press event held at the Lufthansa Aviation Center, Gerber pointed out the company’s 2018 profit grew to EUR268 million (adjusted EBIT), the company’s second best result in its history since it was founded on November 30, 1994.

“Our employees have shown full commitment and done an amazing job for our customers. The result gives us additional momentum for new investments in the future,” Gerber pointed out.

Dr. Martin Schmitt, Board Member for Finance and Human Resources who is also Lufthansa Cargo’s CFO, said the profit that the company generated would be used to modernize its means of production and that includes modernizing its fleet and embracing more digitalization.

“We managed to increase our revenue per unit and lower our unit costs last year. We will use the profit to modernize our means of production, which will further enhance our cost efficiency,” said Schmitt.


Gerber said Lufthansa Cargo’s e-AWB penetration has reached 73.9 percent, based on December figures. The company has also introduced the fully automated “Rapid Rate Response” specifically targeting clients seeking immediate bookings or online transactions such as through which offers spot pricing tools.

Lufthansa Cargo is also working to fully digitalize its Global Revenue Management, including the “checkin
process” for air freight to speed up the process. Staff’s work places as well as training courses are also planned to be more digitalized to make them more accessible and flexible to people.

“We will continue to systematically drive digitization along the entire transport chain. We are the first cargo airline in the world to offer our customers completely paperless booking and handling for standard cargo. With our
new, fully digital PreCheck process, we will now significantly accelerate and simplify handling processes for our customers. And we will also continue to roll out the eDGD electronic dangerous goods declaration so that even more customers and shippers will be able to benefit from this digital solution,” said Gerber.

Modernizing its fleet

Lufthansa Cargo, which currently has 12 McDonnell-Douglas MD- 11F and 6 Boeing 777F, is moving ahead with its fleet modernization plan.

Last month, it received the first of two brand-new B777 that it ordered from Boeing as replacement for 2 MD-11F which it intends to retire. The company’s entire MD-11F fleet will gradually be phased out through 2025.

The new plane had since been flown to transport cargo between Frankfurt, Beijing and Shanghai. The new Boeing freighters are intended to be generally used for Mexico City, Sao Paulo as well as to Osaka, Chennai, Hyderabad, New
Delhi, Atlanta and Chicago.

The Boeing 777F aircraft are said to be more fuel efficient, tailored for long-haul flights and have more space to haul more cargoes.

“The Boeing 777F is not only the world’s most powerful, efficient and environmentally friendly freighter, it is also a visible sign of our modern-ization strategy,” Gerber said when he announced the acquisition of the planes. “With the
growth of our Boeing 777 freighter fleet, an important milestone has been reached on our way to forming
a company for the next generation.” The Boeing 777F has a full payload capacity of 103 tons and can stay in the air for 10.5 hours covering a distance of over 9,000 km non-stop.

Optimism prevails

The on going trade dispute between the US and China is taking its toll on the global air freight industry, Gerber pointed out. Add to that are the uncertainties that Brexit has created with Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union that creates ambiguities on the movement of goods to and from the country to the European bloc
made of 27 countries.

“So far, we have no clear view on how 2019 will develop,” Gerber told the press emphasizing that it’s hard to predict what lies ahead in the near term due to volatile global situations.

But he noted there are reasons for optimism on the horizon based on presumptive facts such as the growing middle class in many emerging markets that raises people’s income and generating more economic activities in many
parts of the world.

“If you ask me, what happens in the next three months, I honestly don’t know. But in the next five years there will be considerable growth,” he said.

According to the nonprofit organization World Data Lab, half of the world’s population is now considered middle class with the rapid growth taking place in Asia. By 2030, their number is projected to grow to 5.3 billion and will have significant and political impact to global trade and economics.

Among the emerging markets that Gerber has high hopes is Africa where its partner, Brussels Airlines Cargo, is fully integrated. “Brussels Airlines Cargo was fully integrated in our company, making us much stronger in Africa,” he said.

The Lufthansa Cargo CEO also pointed out the company has also widened its business alliance with other major carriers in Asia and elsewhere such as with ANA Cargo, United Cargo and Cathay Pacific Cargo.

Peter Gerber was born in Gießen on 1 March 1964. After passing his university entrance exams in 1983, he studied law and business management in Gießen and Hagen. In 2008, he additionally completed the Senior Executive Program of Columbia University, New York. Gerber joined Lufthansa in 1992, starting his career in human resources and the law department. His main responsibilities were to develop a new pension scheme and the Miles &
More program. This was followed by various assignments within the Group, including “Programm 15”, Lufthansa’s strategic cost-saving project.

In 1997, he was put in-charge of intercompany transfer pricing, fees and charges with focus on airport and
air traffic control costs, as well as relations with the federal state authorities. From 2001 to 2004, Gerber was responsible for and directed the Group-wide “D-Check” program, which aimed to consolidate corporate earnings.

From June 2003 to August 2011, Gerber was the Lufthansa spokesman for the “Air Transport Initiative for
Germany”. In addition, he had responsibility for strategic corporate development in 2004.

From December 2004 to May 2009, Gerber was in charge of corporate industrial relations and social security
within the Lufthansa Group. In June 2009, he was appointed to the Executive Board of Lufthansa Cargo AG with responsibility for Finance and Human Resources.

In June 2012, Gerber switched to the Executive Board of Lufthansa Passage Airlines, where he was responsible for the Human Resources, IT & Services division. He has been the Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of Lufthansa Cargo AG since May 2014.

Gerber is also Chairman of the Super visor y Board of Albatros Versicherungsdienste GmbH and holds a seat on the Supervisory Board of Fraport AG. He is married with two children.

Raya Airways chooses Hactl as ground handler in Hong Kong

Malaysian freighter airline, Raya Airways has appointed Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals (Hactl) as its ground handler in Hong Kong.

The airline operates five flights a week between Hong Kong and its home base of Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang using a Boeing 767 Freighter.

The capacity is provided for integrator traffic, supplemented with general cargo outbound and perishables inbound.

Hactl will provide Raya Airways with a one-stop service including ramp handling, terminal handling and documentation.

Francis Antony, commercial director of Raya Airways, “We are delighted to entrust our entire Hong Kong cargo handling operation to Hactl. Their renowned efficiency and comprehensive capabilities will provide strong support in our drive to offer the very best possible customer experience.”

Vivien Lau, executive director of Hactl says, “We warmly welcome Raya Airways to the Hactl family. Their direct services to Subang are a valuable addition to our portfolio, providing interesting new interline opportunities, and enabling Hong Kong’s forwarder community to reach yet another global destination direct via Hactl.”

DB Schenker launches Direct Express – Australia

DB Schenker has launched Direct Express – Australia, offering scheduled air cargo services from Chicago, USA to Sydney, Australia using a Boeing 777 Freighter.

The weekly Boeing 777-300 Freighter service from Chicago’s O’Hare airport will offer shippers in the Midwest with faster, more reliable air cargo services to Australia.

The 777F, which has a payload of 102 tons, departs Chicago on Monday at 22.45 allowing for a late cut-off for shipment drop-offs, and arrive in Sydney at 12.05 on Wednesday.

Shipments are customs cleared with same-day connections for next-day delivery to most major in Australia.

Temperature controlled storage operations are available in Chicago and Sydney, and a wide range of solutions are available for heavy and outsized shipments, as well as hazardous goods.

Shippers can guarantee capacity during peak periods through block space agreements, and shipments remain under DB Schenker’s single-source control.

DB Schenker’s eSchenker web portal offers shippers 100% shipment visibility from pickup to delivery.

Chad Heller, chief commercial officer for DB Schenker says: “The US is Australia’s third largest trading partner and represents a significant portion of imports to the country. A large portion of these imports includes the automotive, pharmaceutical and industrial manufacturing industries, many of which are located in the Midwest. With speed-to-market becoming more and more critical, our new Direct Express – Australia service is well positioned to meet this need.”

B&H Worldwide opens central European office in Czech Republic

Aerospace logistics provider B&H Worldwide has opened its first central European office in Prague, the Czech Republic, with business development manager Jakub Ptacnik heading up the office.

Central and Eastern Europe is a particular area of growth for the company, and B&H says Ptacnik’s experience in the distribution of aerospace and aviation consumables will be essential to drive expansion across the region.

The Prague office is part of a wider expansion program to extend B&H’s footprint across Europe in order to mitigate any potential Brexit disruption for its customers.

Seth Profit, group sales director says: “Over the last year B&H has seen significant growth across Europe and we have reorganized the region to ensure we can stay on this upwards trajectory.

“This business expansion will also support our newly initiated Customer First program which will give us more customer facing resources within the business in order that we can meet our growth targets and maintain the Best-in-Class quality of our services and solutions.”