Pharma logistics firm Medexi to open new service center at Brucargo’s logistics area

Pharma logistics firm Medexi will open a new service center at Brussels Airport’s Brucargo logistics area.

The new building was recently completed and will become the home base of Medexi. The center offers 4,000 sq m of warehousing and office space, 2,400 sq m of which is temperature-controlled.

In the new warehouses, Medexi has several temperature zones with constant monitoring (15-25°C, 2-8°C, -20°C and -70°C) as well as dry shippers and refrigerated containers.

Medexi is a new joint venture made up of Hazgo, a logistics services provider specialized in dangerous goods, including dry ice packaging; Ivemar, which is active in the transportation and storage of goods that require special care or treatment and Medista a medical supply company that manages the local distribution of Covid-19 vaccines.

Tom Heymans, co-founder of Medexi, said: “Within Medexi, we bring together our long-standing niche market expertise thus strengthening the pharmaceuticals logistics chain and the position of Brussels Airport as the pharma gateway by excellence of Europe. As independent Pharma Service Center we can support all partners, from international forwarders to small research labs and big pharmaceutical corporations.”

Arnaud Feist, chief executive of Brussels Airport Company, added, “In our logistics zone we already had over 30,000 sq m of temperature-controlled warehouses aimed at these shipments and today, with the new Pharma Service Center, we’re adding an extra 2,400 m².”

CEVA Logistics extends its air cargo charter operation from South Korea & China to US

CEVA Logistics will extend its air cargo charter operation with a new service from South Korea and China to the US.

The service will operate on a route of Incheon-Wuxi Sunan Shuofang-Chicago ORD utilizing an Atlas Air Boeing 747 freighter.

The logistics firm said the new route is an expansion of its SkyCapacity airfreight program, launched in April.

The program covers North and South America, Europe and Asia Pacific with destinations served including Liege, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Hanoi, Bangkok, Singapore, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Chicago ORD and Atlanta.

The CEVA-owned and controlled network spans multiple carriers and includes freighter, pax freighter and passenger capacity. The network is also available as a spot cargo solution for customers.

The move comes as the industry prepares for another busy peak season and forwarders are increasingly utilizing charter flights to secure capacity.

Joanna Zhu, managing director, North Asia at CEVA Logistics, said: “The new lane marks the very first time for us that an airfreight route connects two countries in North Asia, expanding our airfreight service capabilities.”

“We are also impressed with the dedication and professionalism of the Sunan Airport, as well as the local government’s efficiency,” Zhu added. “Wuxi [Sunan Shuofang Airport] is definitely considered an important airfreight hub for CEVA and we expect to connect more routes here in the near future.”

NE France receives GDP certification for its air & truck operations at CDG Airport

Freight forwarder Nippon Express France (NE France) has received Good Distribution Practice (GDP) certification for its air and truck operations at Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport.

NE France’s temperature-controlled facilities (total area: 100m2) equipped to maintain 2º-8ºC (refrigerated) and 15º-25ºC (fixed) temperature ranges within its company-owned warehouse will allow it to meet the logistics needs of customers in the pharmaceutical industry by combining temporary storage services using these facilities with Nippon Express’s temperature-controlled international transport services.

“Nippon Express will be further enhancing its services to meet increasingly sophisticated and diverse pharmaceutical logistics needs and bolstering its efforts on behalf of the pharmaceuticals industry, positioned as a priority industry in its current business plan,” the company said in a statement.

It added: “France is home to both world-famous pharmaceutical giants and numerous prominent pharmaceutical research organizations, so it has naturally become a base for the development and manufacture of pharmaceutical products.”

Earlier this year Nippon Express Belgium launched new charter services to meet rising demand and a “chronic shortage of air cargo capacity”.

The company started a weekly charter service between Belgium and the US and another between Belgium and Japan.

The round-trip service between Ostend-Bruges Airport and New York John F. Kennedy Airport was launched earlier this month and is operated by Qatar Cargo utilizing its B777-300 ER preighters with the seats removed.

(DP) DHL reports record operating profits in its 2nd quarter results

Deutsche Post (DP) DHL has reported record operating profits in its preliminary second-quarter results and upped its outlook for the year.

The logistics and postal giant said its preliminary operating profit (ebit) for the second quarter has reached a record level of €2.1bn compared with €912m on last year.

The company said that all divisions ‘significantly exceeded’ the previous year’s results.

“Network capacity utilization was constantly high in the second quarter,” it said. “Business-to-consumer shipment volumes ahead of last year in all networks, while the recovery in the business-to-business business continued to gain momentum. At the same time the tight capacity situation both in ocean and airfreight markets remained unchanged.”

On the back of the performance, the company the raised its ebit outlook for 2021 to more than $7bn compared with its previous forecast of €6.7bn.

The mid-term ebit outlook for 2023 is now expected to be more than €7.4bn against a previous expectation of €7bn.

DP DHL also announced a coronavirus-related bonus of €300 for employees, excluding executives.

Lessor BBAM looks to capitalize in ecommerce markets with more freighter conversions

Lessor BBAM has signed up for more B737-800 freighter conversions from Boeing as it looks to capitalize on the strong express and e-commerce markets.

The company recently  announced the order of a further 12 B737-800 Boeing Converted Freighters, bringing its total orders and commitments for the aircraft to 31.

The deal also represents the first time that Costa Rica-based MRO COOPESA will convert the model on behalf of Boeing.

“The Boeing Converted Freighter program is extending the life and enhancing the value of the 737-800s in our fleet,” said Steve Zissis, president and chief executive of BBAM.

“We are growing our Boeing order book to meet the strong demand we see worldwide for narrowbody freighters, and we are proud to be the launch customer for the conversion lines at COOPESA.”

In a separate deal announced in January, BBAM placed six firm orders and six options for the 737-800BCF. It was also one of the first companies to sign up for the A321 conversion program.

Jens Steinhagen, director of Boeing freighter conversions, added: “This most recent order underscores the continued strong demand for our market-leading freighter, and we are honored by BBAM’s continued confidence in Boeing.”

The order highlights the growing demand for e-commerce and comes as airlines find themselves with excess aircraft as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak’s impact on passenger travel.

Ethiopian Airlines Cargo to serve as freighter gateway between Africa & Europe until 2026

The deal means that Liege Airport will continue to be Ethiopian Airlines cargo hub serving as a freighter gateway between Africa and Europe until 2026.

Ethiopian Airlines Cargo and Logistics Services acting managing director said: “In collaboration with Liege Airport, Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services has been providing fast and secure cargo transportation service across Europe and beyond for the last 15 years of successful cooperation.

“In the next five years, we will work to transform our freighter operation to serve Europe better with our renewed commitment with Liege Airport. As the largest pan African carrier, Ethiopian Airlines will continue to strengthen its partnership with Liege Airport to boost its freighter operations between Africa and Europe.”

Steven Verhasselt, vice president of commercial at Liege Airport said the deal would help with the development of a new cargo area.

“In the future a dedicated cargo hub can be established in Liege North, for which Ethiopian was the launch customer to start with,” he said. “We are very much looking forward to this next step that will help Ethiopian to serve its customers even better.”

Verhasselt added that since Ethiopian began flying to the airport 15 years ago, the airline has operated 15,000 freighter flights into LGG and is approaching 1m tons of cargo carried.

5 East Asian-based companies join AFKLMP Cargo’s SAF program

Five more companies — all based in East Asia — have joined Air France KLM Martinair Cargo’s (AFKLMP Cargo) Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) Program.

By joining the program, new members AWOT, CTS, Jobmate, Sinotrans and SuperTrans can use AFKLMP’s SAF-powered services on routes connecting China with Europe and South America.

The Cargo SAF Program enables shippers and forwarders to power a share of their flights with sustainable aviation fuel, a cleaner substitute for conventional jet fuel, reducing CO2 emissions by up to 85%.

Rahul Pathak, AFKLMP Cargo’s director for China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, commented: “We deeply appreciate and thank our partners in China and Hong Kong for their investment in our SAF Program.

“It is only through a joint commitment and combined effort that, as an industry, we can lower our carbon footprint. We value Guanxi [strong relationships] and are grateful to the relationship and trust accorded to us.

“We believe that, on the one hand, our strong business commitment to one another has made this engagement towards a sustainable future possible. On the other, it confirms the environmental awareness of our partners and their sense of social responsibility.”

Freight forwarder AWOT Global Express, which operates between Hong Kong, Lima and Peru, said the SAF Program “not only supports its drive to provide better service for its customers, but also aligns with its corporate ambition to be more socially responsible and environmentally conscious”.

Kenny Li, managing director of AWOT Global Express, commented: “Air France KLM’s SAF Program came at the right time and we had no hesitation in saying yes to investing in it. It gives us a jumpstart in our endeavor to be socially responsible and environmentally conscious.”

Jiang Bo, vice president of China state-owned enterprise CTS International Logistics Corporation, which operates between Shanghai and Amsterdam, said: “We want to be the first mover and set a marker for other Chinese companies to follow our sustainability driven approach.

“We believe that common goals and joint actions deliver the maximum results, not just in business, but also in the betterment of our industry and society at large. The money we invest in this program is just a small step, an initial investment, towards a larger cause”.

Forwarder Jobmate International Logistics operates between Shanghai and Paris.

Paul Gu, president of Job-Mate International, stated: “Thanks again Air France-KLM for giving us the opportunity to participate in a project of such great and practical significance. We are in step with AFKLMP Cargo as a business partner, but also as a valued sponsor of a healthy, global ecosystem. We will call on more people and aspiring companies to participate extensively in creating a better and sustainable future together.”

Sinotrans Global E-commerce Logistics offers a range of logistics services, including an international and Chinese domestic network.

Headquartered at Beijing Airport’s Economic Zone, the company will offer a “green route” between Hangzhou and Amsterdam through AFKLMP’s SAF Program.

Zhang Liang, vice general manager of Sinotrans e-commerce Logistics, commented: “The SAF Program offers us a platform to promote the development of green logistics. Our Hangzhou branch is very proud that with this partnership they contribute towards reducing CO2 emissions on KLM’s Hangzhou-Amsterdam flight by over 15% for the year.”

Xiamen SuperTrans, which operates between Xiamen and Amsterdam, has grown over the past decade from “a small forwarding business into a full logistics services provider”.

Raymond Huang, general manager at Xiamen Supertrans, said: “In a nutshell, we would like to expand our business in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.”

Antonov Airlines carries medical supplies to Namibia under SALIS program

Antonov Airlines has safely transported medical supplies at short notice from Germany to Namibia on the world’s largest aircraft, the AN-225 ‘Mriya’.

The mission was executed under the Strategic Airlift International Solution (SALIS) program.

The AN-225, which has recently returned to commercial operation took off from its home base at Kyiv-Antonov, Ukraine and flew to Liepzig-Halle airport, Germany to load the cargo destined for Windhoek, Namibia with one refueling and rest stop in Accra, Ghana.

AN-225 has the biggest aircraft cargo cabin and is the best option to accommodate the greatest volume of humanitarian cargoes.

The AN-225 Mriya, which can transport up to 250 tons, complements Antonov Airlines’ fleet of seven AN-124-100s, two with a capacity of up to 150 tons.

The medical and humanitarian cargo, provided by German Military Medical Command, was a mixture of masks, anti-viral gowns, medicines, and other personal protective equipment (PPE), transported on behalf of Germany’s Federal Ministry of Defense at the request of the Namibian Government.

Antonov Airlines frequently transports humanitarian aid on its AN-225 and fleet of seven AN-124-100s to rapidly support emergency services and governments by carrying volumes of cargo that cannot be matched by other aircraft.

Air Cargo’s ‘long and winding road’ to recovery get back on track in June

After May’s subdued performance, global air cargo resumed its ‘long and winding road’ to Covid recovery in June with a 1% growth in demand versus the same month of 2019, as airlines continued to micromanage cargo capacity, according to the latest industry volume, load factor and rates data from analysts CLIVE Data Services and TAC Index.

As in earlier months of 2021, CLIVE Data Services is continuing to focus on comparing the current state of the market to pre-Covid 2019 levels – as well as providing the 2020 year-over-year comparison – to offer a meaningful perspective of the air cargo industry’s performance.

While chargeable weight in June 2021 returned to growth after the -4% fall in May versus 2019, market analysis shows the buoyant airfreight rates and load factors of recent months, whilst still at a high level, do appear to be declining marginally. Versus 2020, last month’s demand was +36%. The available global capacity compared to the pre-Covid market conditions of 2019 was -22%, but up 31% over June 2021.

Based on analyses of both the volume and weight perspectives of cargo flown and capacity available, CLIVE’s ‘dynamic load factor’ for June was +9% pts versus 2019, and -1% pts versus June 2020.

“June’s performance data was relatively strong and seems to confirm that May’s decline was a one-off, as we anticipated, impacted by the public holidays during that month. The global air cargo market now seems to be back on track, reflecting what The Economist has described as the ‘long goodbye’ to Covid’s impact on our everyday lives. However, this modest growth is much more related to the lack of capacity supply than strong demand, given the uncertainly that still exists internationally. In June, we once again saw no signs of recovery in capacity. It is abundantly clear that airlines are micromanaging their flights because the pressure is everywhere and, in the case of cargo-only services by passenger airlines, the capacity out there is expensive to operate. If rates continue to decline, they are expected to take capacity out of the market – but, overall, we expect load factors and rates to stay elevated, with no short-term trend to change this,” commented Niall van de Wouw, Managing Director of CLIVE Data Services.

CLIVE’s weekly and monthly global air cargo market analysis for June revealed a continuing year-over-year drop in dynamic load factor. Whilst up 9% pts compared to the level seen in 2019, compared to 2020 data, load factors have decreased from 72% in March, 71% in April, 70% in May, and now to 69% in June 2021.

TAC Index also pointed to the current level of ‘constrained capacity’ and its impact on strong load factors and demand.

“There are growing concerns that capacity will continue to be constrained for some time as passenger operations start to pick up, reducing available bellyhold capacity and opportunities for cargo-only services,” said Gareth Sinclair of TAC. “The BAI (Baltic Air Freight Indices) decreased by 10% in June over the year-to-date high seen in May, with week-on-week reductions until the final week in June, which saw a modest improvement. 15 of the 17 trade lane indexes saw a reduction over May with only SIN to SEA showing good growth at 4% and LHR to SEA up a modest 0.3%.

“Although the index was down on May, it was still positive versus last year at +18% and, versus 2019, by 88%, reflecting both the level of demand and continuing constraints in capacity. Overall, demand was relatively flat in June over May, but this continues to differ by trade lane. Dynamic load factors from Europe to New York and Chicago continue to be over 80%, for example, driving stronger pricing levels compared to trade in the opposite direction, where demand is not so strong.”

Both the China and Hong Kong markets saw declines in June over May of 9% and 15% respectively, TAC Index stated, while the European market continues to be volatile.

American Airlines transports 1.5m covid-19 vaccines to Guatemala City as part of White House initiative

As part of the White House initiative to share at least 80 million US vaccine doses globally this summer, American Airlines moved 1.5 million coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine doses from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) to La Aurora International Airport (GUA) in Guatemala City on a Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

In close consultation with the White House COVID-19 task force, American’s Cargo team worked with pharmaceutical partners and trucking logistics specialists to move the shipment of vaccinations from a distribution site in Kentucky to American’s cargo terminal at ORD. The shipments were loaded onto the 777-200 and flew on a special donated cargo-only nonstop flight to GUA.

“We commend President Biden and the White House for their commitment to distribute life-saving vaccines to people around the world to bring an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, and our team is proud to have a hand in the effort and deliver vaccines to Guatemala,” said American Airlines President Robert Isom. “We are grateful to our team for the work they’ve done throughout the pandemic to keep the country moving and deliver critical supplies.”

American moved its first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines in December 2020. Since the beginning of the pandemic, American has leveraged its internationally recognized climate-controlled shipping solutions to fly more than 9,400 cargo only flights moving everything from vaccines and pharmaceuticals to perishable and agricultural goods.

With specialized facilities and its team of certified life-sciences experts, American handles temperature-critical shipments in more than 150 cities in 46 countries, and also operates the largest temperature-controlled pharmaceutical shipping facility for airlines in the United States. This level of expert care has earned American the International Air Transport Association’s prestigious Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) certification — the premier distinction for airlines that have established the tools, procedures and staffing to ensure life sciences products are properly handled and arrive at their destination fully effective.