June – July 2019

issue 26

One story that caught my eye recently described how customer dissatisfaction with container shipping is continuing to grow, which a readership used to criticism of air freight may be interested to hear. According to the survey by Drewry and the European Shippers’ Council, the 250 shippers and freight forwarders that took part on average rated the service of container shipping lines with a score of 3.1 out of 5, slightly lower than last year’s average rating of 3.2. That’s also below many shipper ratings of air freight, although the studies may not be directly comparable.

Nevertheless, this should not encourage complacency, especially at the time when the continuing process of digitalisation is increasing the incentives for air freight to digitalise, and the opportunities to do so – thanks in part to new data-sharing and data-exchange initiatives (pages 50-52), and supported by the rollout of digital ULDs (pages 54-55).

Technology and e-commerce are two big themes again in this issue, including within the excellent ‘Europe Report’ starting on page 4. Although that focuses largely on the progress made recently by mid-sized cargo-specialist airports, the success and continuing potential of airports such as Liege and Leipzig owe a lot to the growth of e-commerce, and the potential further development of e-commerce hubs there, building around their cargo airline and integrator networks.

And the ‘Integrator Focus’ starting on page 22 illustrates how new technology can be applied to improve and potentially automate the handling of larger, previously non-conveyable shipments, with obvious implications for e-commerce traffic.

The interview with ABC’s Sergey Lazarev (page 32), marking that airline’s 15th anniversary, touches on areas including the partnership between parent company Volga-Dnepr Group and Chinese e-commerce logistics specialist Cainiao – an important feature of ABC’s partnership and 10-year commitment at Liege airport, but also in the growth of the group’s B737 freighter-operating express subsidiary Atran.

Amazon has been expanding its capacity partnerships in the US with Atlas and ATSG – and its potential future ownership stakes in those operators. And it is reportedly now also operating a limited European air express network from Leipzig airport – supported by DHL – a place where CargoLogic Germany is attempting to set up a European base, also operating B737 freighters. There may be some questions about that company’s application for a German AOC, but the direction of travel is becoming clear.

The influence of cross-border e-commerce on air freight is continuing to build, no doubt to some extent in ways as yet unclear. But those early movers that adapt to this reality will most likely be at an advantage. There are some risks involved, as the ‘E-commerce Focus’ on page 18 discusses. But there are also ways of mitigating that.

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Take A Peek,

Featured in this issue

  • Secondary hubs on the rise

    Stuart Todd reports on whether Europe’s cargo-specialist mid-sized airports can maintain their recent strong performance as market growth weakens A glance at last year’s annual traffic figures ...

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  • VIE bids to be a pharma hub

    Vienna Airport believes its new Pharma Handling Centre will allow it to capture traffic previously shipped via other specialist facilities and cut shipment times to southeast Europe by at least a day,...

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  • Juggling act

    Cargo handlers face a number of challenges in order to efficiently manage the growing volumes of e-commerce shipments, reports Will Waters Air freight is already handling substantial volumes of e-c...

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  • The lessons of integration

    DHL is introducing new handling technology to harness e-commerce growth across its logistics platforms, with air freight connectedness front and centre, reports Mike King The recent and rapid expan...

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  • Cainiao’s mission

    The fast-growing Alibaba logistics subsidiary is a unique company – a hybrid logistics data platform and physical warehouse operator with impressive global ambitions, reports Donald Urquhart Cain...

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  • Re-shaping European freight

    AirBridgeCargo’s Sergey Lazarev talks to Will Waters about on the airline’s evolution in its first 15 years, its growth expectations and ambitions, the potential of e-commerce, and its big plans a...

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  • Creating the space

    With new technology set to enter air cargo handling in the coming years, building flexibility within cargo terminals is more important than ever, SEGRO’s Gareth Baker tells Will Waters Heathrow A...

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  • Next-level data exchange

    Forget about outdated EDI, APIs are the game changers, says Lufthansa Cargo’s digital transformation head Boris Hueske Despite their widespread use across many sectors of the economy, the air ca...

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  • Simplifying data-sharing

    IATA’s ONE Record, a common standard for sharing data across the air cargo supply chain, is now mature enough to be ‘deployable’, reports Donald Urquhart An ambitious project to create a comm...

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  • Unilode’s digital ULD solution now available for Nordisk pallets

    The two companies have developed an integrated pallet edge rail solution for digital tags Outsourced unit load device (ULD) management firm Unilode and ULD manufacturer Nordisk have developed an in...

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  • Saudia and Saudia Cargo start digitalisation journey with Unilode

    As part of the next phase of the collaboration between Saudia, Saudia Cargo, and Unilode, the ULD management specialist will roll out its ULD digitalisation programme to the airline group, to enable S...

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  • SAS Cargo and Unilode deepen collaboration to enable digital tracking

    SAS Cargo and Unilode Aviation Solutions are further deepening their collaboration, with Unilode “digitalising” SAS Cargo’s container fleet, starting in the second quarter of 2019. This agree...

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  • WFS and Swiss open JFK’s first GDP-compliant pharma facility

    WFS and Swiss open JFK’s first GDP-compliant pharma facility Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) and Swiss WorldCargo have opened New York’s first GDP-compliant pharma facility after achieving cert...

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  • Cool-chain data-sharing pilot ‘demonstrates benefits of transparency’

    CCA members plan the next stage of project after successful ‘industry-first’ trial Cool Chain Association (CCA) members have piloted a new scheme aimed at improving the supply chain and tacklin...

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  • Rhenus offers ‘greener’ air freight options

    ‘Rhegreen’ service offers the opportunity to choose a carrier or routing with a lower carbon footprint, enabling reductions of 10-40% in CO2 emissions Rhenus Logistics has introduced what it c...

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