Maersk to open new W&D facility in UAE

Maersk Kanoo UAE has signed an agreement with Dubai South, the largest single urban master development focusing on aviation, logistics and real estate, for its new warehousing and distribution (W&D) facility in Dubai.

The 15,000 sq m “Maersk Integrated Logistics Centre DWC” facility in the Dubai South Logistics District will have a capacity to cater to 15,000 pallet positions and 10,000 bin locations; it will also serve as a fulfilment center.

The Maersk Integrated Logistics Centre DWC at Dubai South will become operational later this month.

The new facility will allow Maersk to operate a hybrid model of a bonded and non-bonded warehouse and serve different customer needs, including that of a fulfilment center for end-to-end e-commerce solutions.

This new facility will also play an important role in supporting Maersk’s existing services, including ocean shipping, landside transportation and customs clearance.

Maersk said customers will benefit from reduced handovers of their cargo through its journey, leading to potentially faster turnaround times, higher visibility, better control and more predictability of their supply chains.

Following the inauguration of the first (108,000 sq ft) W&D facility in Dubai in March, Maersk will more than double its total footprint in the UAE with the new fulfilment center.

Christopher Cook, managing director, Maersk UAE, said: “Upon carefully studying different possibilities, we zeroed in on Dubai South for our new fulfilment center considering its strategic location connected to Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) and the mainline port and hub of Jabal Ali.

“This will allow us to further build on our air-sea hub operation, which has become increasingly important while also satisfying the right balance between speed and cost with tremendous flexibility.”

Mohsen Ahmad, chief executive of the Logistics District, Dubai South, commented: “We are pleased to sign this agreement with Maersk, which will help expand its footprint across the UAE.

“Our mandate at Dubai South is to attract top international players to the Logistics District with the aim of boosting the logistics sector and diversifying the Emirate’s economy in line with the various government initiatives and strategies.

“In reinforcing Dubai’s status as global trade and airfreight logistics hub, we will spare no effort to offer Maersk optimal solutions to further advance its air cargo operations as well as support them in their growth journey.”

The agreement was signed by Cook and Ahmad at the regional headquarters of Maersk West & Central Asia in Dubai.

Last month, Maersk announced the planned purchase of project logistics firm Martin Bencher as part of efforts to expand its supply chain offering.

DHL acquires Mexico-based pharmaceutical and healthcare logistics specialist NTA

DHL Supply Chain has acquired Mexico-based pharmaceutical and healthcare logistics specialist New Transport Applications (NTA).

Currently, NTA serves more than 80 customers with services that include the storage and transportation of products that require refrigeration and temperature control.

The company makes more than 165,000 specialized deliveries annually, distributing more than 43,000 tons per year and has a team of nearly 600 people.

It maintains commercial agreements with major airlines in Mexico to serve nationally the different stakeholders in the pharmaceutical product supply chain.

The acquisition is in line with Deutsche Post DHL Group’s strategic focus to strengthen its core logistics business and deliver long-term growth.

Agustin Croche, president of DHL Supply Chain Mexico, said: “This acquisition will further support DHL Supply Chain’s objectives of delivering superior value to our customers in the Mexican market.

“It will significantly bolster our footprint in a strategically important industry vertical for DHL globally, bringing together NTA’s proven operational capabilities, know-how and a team of healthcare experts. We expect to unlock significant growth opportunities for our customers and people.”

Rafael Figueroa, general director of NTA, added: “Becoming part of DHL Supply Chain is a significant and positive milestone in NTA’s history and recognition of the great team of people who drive this company since our foundation 20 years ago, We hope to merge our knowledge of the local market and experience in managing the cold chain with the resources and skills of the world leader in logistics for the benefit of our people and our customers.”

Mexico is the second largest pharmaceutical market in Latin America and shares a border and free trade agreement with the United States, the largest healthcare market globally.

SCALA turnover up by 33% compared to previous year

Company turnover at international supply chain and logistics consultancy SCALA has increased by 33% compared to the previous year, almost doubling 2019 and 2020 levels, following a string of global projects.

The business credits its global expansion for the impressive growth, having delivered work in countries such as Australia, France, Poland, Germany, Netherlands, Mexico and Turkey. Looking to the future, SCALA has several upcoming supply chain and logistics projects across China, South America, Benelux, Ireland, and the US, spanning a variety of industries.

To better support its international client portfolio, the business has also announced plans to expand beyond its existing international partnerships. SCALA is already partnered with Ocean Group to run the SCALA China joint venture, providing supply chain best practice in the region. But is now focusing more on work in the US, having just confirmed a new American partner

In the last year, SCALA has been involved with a variety of projects, advising its client portfolio on topics such as the rise of automation, mergers and acquisitions, and continued environmental pressures.

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) now account for 30% of SCALA’s business activity. Over the last year, SCALA has supported 11 M&A projects with seven different businesses, which has resulted in a two-fold increase in revenue from M&A related work, when compared to the previous year.

“Our continued growth over the past year can be attributed to numerous factors. Most notably, the national and global challenges of the past two years have incentivized companies to review their supply chain strategies and optimize their logistics networks to build increased resilience and flexibility throughout their supply chains,” John Perry, managing director at SCALA, said.

“Another major contributing factor is the acceleration in companies looking into AI, robotics, and automation. Businesses are increasingly exploring the opportunities these technologies offer to assist with the changing logistics landscape of continued resource shortages.”

“SCALA is establishing itself as an internationally renowned consultancy that brings innovation, data modelling expertise and the latest in technological developments, all with a pragmatic and critical approach from our highly experienced team. We have an excellent reputation across our industry for our honesty and, above all, for our consultants’ capability to work seamlessly with our clients’ teams.”

Duisport and Port of Antwerp-Bruges sign long term cooperation agreement

High-ranking representatives of duisport and Port of Antwerp-Bruges have signed a long-term cooperation agreement. duisport CEO Markus Bangen and Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, sealed the far-reaching partnership in the presence of Flemish Prime Minister Jan Jambon.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Transport, Oliver Krischer, as well as the Deputy Mayor of the City of Antwerp and President of the Board of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Annick De Ridder, attended the event, as did Josef Hovenjürgen, Parliamentary State Secretary in the Ministry for Home Affairs, Municipal Affairs, Building and Digitization of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia.

At the heart of the agreement is the expansion of cooperation in the areas of energy transition, rail and hinterland connections, and port infrastructure. All three areas are of outstanding importance for the reliable supply of industry and the stabilization of supply chains between Germany and Belgium and within Europe. 

The European energy system will increasingly focus on sustainable energy sources, with green hydrogen carriers playing a crucial role. The development of solutions for the import, storage and distribution of green hydrogen in various forms is therefore one of the main strategic pillars of the cooperation between the two ports. The goal is to build an international supply chain for hydrogen in which both partners become central hydrogen hubs for Europe.

To achieve this goal, duisport and Port of Antwerp-Bruges want to establish a high-frequency rail shuttle in addition to planned pipeline connections and establish rail as a “rolling pipeline”. The expansion of the hinterland network, the promotion of sustainable multimodal transport connections, and the steady shift to environmentally friendly modes of transport are substantial for the realization of the energy transition. 

As both ports aim for climate neutrality by 2050, the development of environmentally friendly port handling equipment is also part of the joint agreement.

For duisport, the cooperation with Port of Antwerp-Bruges is another important step in the expansion of its future network. Similar agreements were already concluded with the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam in May and June of this year.

“Our ports have a key role in their regions as leading logistics and industrial centers and are already linked by various multimodal connections. Against the background of the current global challenges, it is only logical that we sustainably strengthen our European partner network and cooperate even more closely,” duisport CEO Markus Bangen said.

“To realize the ambitious plan to become a climate neutral continent, we have to guarantee the European industry reliable and secure access to renewable energy sources. The import, transmission and distribution of green molecules needs short, mid and long term solutions. Developing a robust multimodal supply system will be fundamental to make the change happen. And we are pleased that duisport and Port of Antwerp-Bruges are combining forces to that end,” Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO of Port of Antwerp-Bruges, said.

HPW Cargo becomes 1st Southeast Asian company to join online air cargo capacity trading platform Airblox

Vietnamese freight forwarder HPW Cargo has become the first Southeast Asian company to join online air cargo capacity trading platform Airblox.

Airblox is an online marketplace that enables brokers, freight forwarders, and airlines to trade air cargo capacity in the form of standardized electronic block space agreements (eBSA).

Hanoi-headquartered HPW Cargo, which has offices in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as Hai Phong and Noi Bai airports, will start the partnership by listing its recurring Block Space Agreement (BSA) positions on the Hanoi, Vietnam, to Frankfurt, Germany lane this summer.

Buyers of capacity can bid for, buy outright, or block space from the holder of a BSA electronically using Airblox’s eBSAs.

“Our partnership with HPW Cargo marks our first expansion into the South-East Asian market as we continue to build our network, meet growth targets, and provide our platform to a larger user base,” said Edip Pektas, founder, Airblox.

“We look forward to working with HPW Cargo and finding new opportunities to develop together.”

Harris Hieu, sales manager, HPW Cargo, said: “Joining Airblox will be a great benefit for HPW Cargo as it allows us to automate our services and expand globally.

“We strongly believe that the Airblox business model is the future of air cargo space sale, and that taking the very first step with them will help us gain a foothold into the Industry 4.0 of interconnectivity and smart automation.”

Airblox is the first online platform to enable air cargo capacity to be traded in a blockchain infrastructure ensuring secure transactions.

The platform has over 2000 lanes listed, with predictive analytics and pricing forecast on major cargo lanes.

Buyers can bid for these spaces and get a response to their bids within minutes.

In June, French air charter broker Avico started listing freighter capacity on the Airblox platform.

DHL Group witnesses drop in airfreight volumes in Q22022

Deutsche Post DHL Group saw a drop in airfreight volumes in the second quarter of 2022, but managed to achieve positive financial results thanks to high market rates and charter demand.

Group airfreight revenue for the second quarter of 2022 was €2.8bn, up 40% on the second quarter of 2021, airfreight tonnages were down 7.7% over the same quarter in 2021 to 477,000 tons and airfreight gross profits were up 67.4% year on year to €544m.

Revenues and gross profits were up on higher freighter rates while volumes were hit by pandemic-related restrictions and a shift back to ocean.

DHL said: “We registered a 2.5% decline in airfreight volumes in the first half of 2022, primarily on trade routes to and from China due to the lockdown in Shanghai during the second quarter. At the same time, freight rates remained at a very high level, resulting in revenue from airfreight exceeding the prior-year figure by 47.3%.

“[First half] gross profit improved by 68.6% due to the increasing demand for charter flights amongst other factors.”

Earnings before interest and tax (ebit) for the global forwarding, freight (GFF) division in the second quarter of 2022 more than doubled year on year to €746m compared to €312m in the second quarter of 2021.

The division saw revenue increase 55.8% to €8.2bn over the second quarter of 2021 due to “sustained price and margin dynamics”, said DHL.

“Global Forwarding, Freight achieved an exceptionally large jump in revenue and ebit based on a dynamic price and margin development in the air and ocean freight business,” said DHL.

However, the company pointed out that: “Airfreight volumes decreased moderately, in part due to modal shifts back towards ocean freight products, as customers recognized the again improved schedule reliability in ocean freight.”

Ebit for the express division dropped slightly year on year at €1.1bn, compared to €1.2bn for the corresponding quarter in the previous year. The result was impacted by the temporary lockdowns in China, said DHL.

For the e-commerce solutions division there was a decline in shipment volumes but price adjustments meant that ebit was €109m, down slightly on the €116m achieved in the second quarter of 2021.

Deutsche Post DHL Group said it achieved overall record ebit of €2.3bn in the second quarter of 2022, compared to €2.1bn in the second quarter of 2021. The Group increased revenue by 23.4% year on year to €24bn.

Frank Appel, chief executive of Deutsche Post DHL Group said: “Based on our strong international footprint coupled with the most modern infrastructure, we are able to offer reliable solutions in an increasingly complex environment across all sectors. We remain solid as a rock in uncertain times.”

DSV and Kuehne and Nagal both reported positive results for the second quarter of 2022, despite challenging market conditions.

Rhenus Logistics 1st step to sustainability

Rhenus Logistics is introducing a carbon-neutral airfreight service between Germany and Brazil as the first step in its sustainability efforts for air cargo.

The program will offer customers a carbon-neutral consolidation service from Frankfurt (FRA) to São Paulo (SAO).

Rhenus will offset the total emissions from the trade lane through the third party to achieve carbon neutrality via projects which are verified and audited according to internationally accepted standards such as Gold Standards (GS) or verified carbon standard (VCS).

The emission data of the shipment’s main haul is calculated with a methodology that complies with IATA, International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) frameworks.

Afterwards, a third-party company will verify and ensure the reliability of the calculation process and data.

Customers will then be able to download the certification of carbon-neutral activity and receive a verified emission report for main haul FRA-SAO shipments from Rhenus.

Chris Bode, global product strategy manager – Air at Rhenus Air & Ocean, said: “Providing a carbon-neutral airfreight solution from our European Gateway in Frankfurt, Germany to São Paulo, Brazil is the first step to develop and transform our current and future services into more sustainable options for customers.

“Along with improving our airfreight services, we take further measures to make our gateway operations more environment-friendly as well as partner up with carriers to elaborate opportunities on more sustainable airfreight.

“Carbon offset program is an initial act while awaiting carrier side’s development to shift to a more sustainable operation, which will have a direct influence over the emission.”

Halifax Stanfield increases capacity and improve efficiency with new Air Cargo Logistics Park

Halifax Stanfield International Airport has opened its new Air Cargo Logistics Park (ACLP) to increase capacity and improve efficiency for global cargo carriers operating at the airport.

The Nova Scotia, Canada-based airport said the ACLP includes a new building with cold storage space, cargo processing facilities and offices, which has been fully leased to two tenants: Cargojet and First Catch Fisheries.

Five new cargo aircraft aprons, or parking spaces, were also constructed alongside the building.

This infrastructure expansion complements existing cargo processing capabilities offered at Halifax Stanfield by Gateway Facilities and other service providers, enabling more commercial and logistics businesses in Atlantic Canada to connect to global air cargo opportunities, said the airport.

Funding for the construction of the ACLP was first announced in 2018 by the Government of Canada, which contributed C$18m of the total project cost of C$36m through the National Trade Corridors Fund. Funding for the project was also provided by the Government of Nova Scotia (C$5m) and HIAA (C$13m).

In 2021, 34,769 metric tons of cargo, valued at C$496m, were processed at Halifax Stanfield. According to the latest Halifax Stanfield economic impact report, in 2020 cargo exports contributed C$664m to the provincial economy.

Joyce Carter, president and chief executive, Halifax International Airport Authority, said the ACLP “would not have been possible without the ongoing support of our government and business partners who helped make our vision for the Halifax Stanfield Air Cargo Logistics Park become a reality, even while navigating a global pandemic. We look forward to continuing to accelerate the growth of our communities by connecting Atlantic businesses and goods to the world”.


Rhenus & Ocean UK opens new life sciences and healthcare hub in Ashford

Rhenus Air & Ocean UK has opened a life sciences and healthcare hub in Ashford, Middlesex near Heathrow Airport.

The freight forwarder – the UK arm of the German-owned Rhenus Group – said the warehouse is the first facility of its kind in Europe for Rhenus Group and will offer import and export logistics and a “white glove” service for temperature-controlled storage and distribution.

The new department will be led by head of life sciences and healthcare for North-West Europe, Marie-Louise Watkins, and UK life sciences and healthcare manager, Jayne Fox.

Watkins said: “This is a brand-new venture for Rhenus in the UK. With the patient at the forefront of our minds, our focus is on quality and compliance, providing our customers with industry expertise and solutions to ensure the safe and secure handling of pharmaceutical and medical products.”

She added: “As we are a global company with more than 920 offices worldwide, including our wholly owned charter service company, we can assist our customers to de-risk their supply chains and unlock the potential of new markets globally.”

North-West Europe chief executive, Frank Roderkerk, added: “Rhenus has a well-established track record in the pharmaceutical industry in Europe, and the opening of this new department marks the next stage. Led by a stellar team, with the appointments of Marie-Louise and Jayne, we can say with confidence we have fast-tracked a world-leading offer for our customers in this complex, rapidly evolving sector.”

Geodis expands in Asia with new ecommerce acquisition

Geodis has completed the acquisition of e-commerce specialist Keppel Logistics as the forwarder expands its presence in Asia.

The deal was first announced at the start of the year but Geodis has now obtained all regulatory approvals allowing completion.

Geodis said the acquisition would bolster the two firms’ respective e-commerce offerings by combining Keppel Logistics’ delivery service with its own controlled airfreight network as well as its seafreight and road transport connections across the region.

Based in Singapore, Keppel Logistics is a contract logistics specialist with close to 500 employees and is active throughout Asia Pacific, operating around 200,000 sq m of warehouse space across Singapore, Malaysia and Australia.

“We are pleased to welcome Keppel Logistics’ customers, employees and management to the Geodis Group,” said Marie-Christine Lombard, chief executive of Geodis.

“The acquisition of Keppel Logistics marks a key milestone in Geodis’ Asia Pacific ambition, increasing our Contract Logistics footprint and e-commerce fulfillment services in Singapore and Asia-Pacific.”

“This is truly a significant step in our continued expansion in Asia-Pacific and will certainly take our digital omnichannel capabilities to the next level, ensuring that we can go above and beyond to support our customers in responding to the growing e-Commerce opportunity, even in today’s complex supply chain ecosystem,” said Onno Boots, president and chief executive of Geodis in Asia- Pacific.