The US Department of Homeland Security Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) decision not to proceed with a December 31, 2011 deadline for 100% screening of cargo on international passenger aircraft bound for the US is the “right decision” says The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA).
Michael Steen, Chairman of TIACA, says: “We wish to commend TSA on this decision. We fully recognise its intention to enhance existing air cargo security programs but it is showing the foresight to listen to, and work with, the industry towards this objective. This is the result of TSA requesting comment from the air cargo industry on the feasibility of a December 31, 2011 deadline and its careful consideration of the advice it received.
“We expect to engage in further consultation with TSA along with other industry partners to ensure we continue to maintain the highest possible levels of air cargo and aviation security. This has always been our priority, and we are pleased that TSA has taken into account industry’s views. We need to maintain this truly collaborative approach to continue improving and evolving security.”
Emirates SkyCargo at its heaviest
Emirates SkyCargo came to the rescue of a ship undergoing repairs when it transported a 36-tonne rudder part – the heaviest single item ever carried by the freight division of Emirates Airline.
The rudder stock – 9.16m long and 1.05m wide – was required for urgent repairs to a vessel at Dubai Dry Docks. The part – tailor-made by Korean steel manufacturer Taewoong – would normally be transported by sea, but a quick solution was required to reduce the cost of the ship being out of service. In conjunction with Dubai-based charter broker Air Charter International, it was transported on an Emirates freighter – a 747-400F – from Seoul to Dubai and tested ground handling operations at both airports to the fullest.
“Transporting a piece of cargo this heavy requires the highest degree of care and special handling,” says Hiran Perera, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Cargo Planning & Freighters. “Two cranes – capable of lifting 50 tonnes each – along with two high loaders were required, while more than 30 workers in both Seoul and Dubai made sure the intricate loading operation went smoothly.
“Precision planning and the combined expertise of everyone involved at Emirates SkyCargo, dnata, Air Charter International and Atlas Air was crucial to this success of this project,” adds Perera. “This is testament to our commitment to meeting even the most challenging customer requirements. We are also committed to facilitating international trade, so it is particularly satisfying that we will have contributed to the vessel’s quick return to service.”
Swissport rolls out SHIELD Intelefile
Swissport has rolled out e-document management solution SHIELD Intelefile. SHIELD Intelefile was designed specifically for the air freight industry where large volumes of paper-based documentation continue to dominate. It has already been used by Swissport at Heathrow for more than eight years.
Swissport’s John Batten, Executive Vice President Global Cargo, says: “We are very pleased to award Transputec a global contract. SHIELD Intelefile has been used very successfully at Heathrow helping to streamline logistics, improve customer service and reduce total administration costs. It also represents the single most practical solution to manage the ever challenging issue of air freight documentation compliance.”
Transputec CEO Rickie Sehgal says: “This is tremendous news for Transputec. The contract with Swissport builds on the success of our existing partnership and cements our ongoing collaboration to innovate further in developing e-freight solutions.”
WFS acquires assets of Excel Cargo
Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has become the largest cargo handler in Montreal, Canada, by purchasing the assets of Excel Cargo at both Montreal’s Dorval and Mirabel airports. The combined operation of both airports, including the existing WFS operation at Dorval, will have close to 150 employees and will function under the WFS name and brand.
The acquisition supports WFS’ long-term commitment to the Canadian market. WFS also provides handling in Halifax, Ottawa, Vancouver and Toronto. Growth in Canada forms part of the strategic plan for developing WFS’ presence in North America. Since January 2011, WFS has been awarded 24 new cargo contracts in North America worth US$11 million and retained a further 10 contracts that were part of competitive bid processes.
Olivier Bijaoui, President & CEO of WFS, says: “This is a large and important acquisition for WFS as it establishes itself as the major cargo handling partner in Canada. The existing Excel operation complements WFS’ activities. It also provides the opportunity to develop not only our customer base to include numerous freight forwarders, but also to expand our service offerings with the addition of cargo running at Dorval and ramp and warehouse handling at Mirabel.”
He adds: “WFS recently appointed Michel Defays as Senior Vice President Canada. Michel has significant aviation experience from the airline, ground handler and airport operations fields. His expertise will be valuable to both us and our customers as we focus on further development in Canada.”
Çelebi opens Frankfurt warehouse
In keeping with its strategy to provide ground handling and cargo handling services on a larger international scale, Çelebi has opened the most modern and state-of-the-art facility in Cargo City South at Frankfurt Airport by offering full range cargo warehousing and documentary services. This complements Çelebi’s cargo handling operations in Hungary, India and Turkey, and is Çelebi’s 4th large scale cargo handling operation.
Can Çelebioglu, Chairman of Çelebi Holding, says: “Our presence at Frankfurt Airport is an integral part of our approach towards Western and Central Europe. We see this as a further step in setting up hub distribution and a full handling network in Europe. It is our intent to bring in a new model of handling into the market, which is based on best-in-class quality coupled with superior technological development.”
The operation in Frankfurt is already underway. The focus is on real-time information systems and high quality care of the complex product needs of the customer, including: stringent security standards and optimised in-check and out-check timings. The mission is to provide the most advanced technology for full automisation coupled with the ability to handle air cargo in the most flexible and customer-focussed ways.
Menzies handles ABC at Schiphol
AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), Russia’s largest scheduled all-cargo carrier, has announced that Menzies Aviation is acting as its handling agent at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS). The new handling contract is set up for five years and covers ramp and cargo handling services.
AirBridgeCargo has established one of its major hubs at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport operating 12 scheduled 747 full freighter flights per week – processing some 70,000 tons per annum. Established in May 2004, AirBridgeCargo is a subsidiary of Volga-Dnepr Group serving 18 hubs in the world. Ludwig Hamburger, Vice President and Regional Director EMEA, says: “We are continuously developing ABC’s service quality in order to assure reliability and operational efficiency and therefore to always meet our customers’ needs. At Schiphol Airport we recently decided to collaborate with Menzies Aviation that will provide us with a bigger facility. We think that cooperating with this experienced and globally acting handling agent will help us to further develop our handling procedures. Above all, this will support us in optimising and extending our route network which is part of our growth strategy.”
Aviapartner meets TACSS
After months of preparation, Aviapartner Brussels station is ready to adopt the TAPA Air Cargo Security Standards (TACSS). This new security standard promises to become the determining factor in air cargo security processes. The certificate was developed by the Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) that unites 600 members, global manufacturers, logistics providers, freight carriers and law enforcement agencies.
Aviapartner’s Brussels station complies with all requirements of this new certification. Aviapartner will apply this standard to all of its cargo stations before the end of 2012. TACSS is the first security standard that has been developed specifically for air cargo. The programme is based on a risk assessment model which ensures the implementation of appropriate levels of security. It sets out a set of stringent requirements that integrates specific security equipment with equally strict procedural rules.
Cargo 2000 in China
China Southern Airlines has become the first airline from the mainland of China to join Cargo 2000 and to commit to its program to improve the quality of air cargo. Overall, it is the 30th international airline to join Cargo 2000. The group also includes 15 of the world’s leading freight forwarding organisations as well as ground handlers, road feeder services operators, technology providers and airports.
A SkyTeam Cargo member, China Southern operates a fleet of five 777-200F and two 747-400F and plans to introduce a further 777-200F by the end of 2011. The airline currently offers six intercontinental freighter routes from Shanghai to Los Angeles, Vancouver, Chicago, Amsterdam, Vienna and Frankfurt and from Guangzhou to Amsterdam, with a total of 26 flights a week.
Mattijs ten Brink, Chairman of Cargo 2000, says: “We are extremely pleased to welcome China Southern Airlines as our newest member of the Cargo 2000 initiative. As one of mainland China’s leading cargo players, the airline’s decision to join our membership provides a clear indication that the quest for quality is indeed a global pursuit. We look forward to their participation and input within the group over the coming years.”
Luo Laijun, SVP China Southern Cargo, says that by joining Cargo 2000, China Southern will implement an efficient process and quality management system to have a better control of its cargo handling process and to enhance customer satisfaction with improved service.
China Cargo Airlines: ATS and WFS
Airport Terminal Services (ATS) in partnership with Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has won the aircraft ground handling and cargo warehouse handling contract for China Cargo Airlines’ historic launch of direct cargo services between Lambert – St Louis International Airport in the US and Shanghai, People’s Republic of China.
The new contract commenced with the launch of air services on September 23, 2011. Operated by 777 and/or 747 freighter aircraft, the service represents the first phase in an economic development programme planned by the Midwest-China Hub Commission, a group of prominent Missouri-based associations dedicated to regional growth through international trade opportunities. China Cargo Airlines is based in Shanghai and was established in 1998 as China’s first all-cargo airline.
Commenting on the award, ATS President and Chief Operating Officer, Sally Leible, says: “We are immensely excited to be a part of this pioneering opportunity with the City of St Louis to stimulate a new global trade lane with China. We have created a dynamic partnership by combining our 35+ year history of operating at the STL Airport with Worldwide Flight Services’ specific knowledge of China Cargo Airlines to produce a winning result.”
Barry Nassberg, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of WFS, adds: “It gives us great pleasure to have teamed up with ATS and to jointly play a part in serving China Cargo’s landmark new service to St Louis. Our long experience in serving China Cargo at stations around the world is an ideal complement to ATS’ leading presence at Lambert – St Louis International Airport. We’re excited to be working with ATS and to serving China Cargo at its newest destination.”
Hactl announces August tonnage
Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Limited (Hactl) has announced its air cargo tonnage throughput for August 2011. A total of 221,375 tonnes were handled in the month, registering a year-on-year drop of 9.3%. Cumulative tonnage from January to August was 1,785,140 tonnes, a decrease of 5.6% year-on-year.
Export volume in August experienced a 13.3% drop against last year to 117,771 tonnes. Aggregate export volume for the first eight months was 940,067 tonnes, down 8.6% compared with the same period last year. The import volume for August was 55,345 tonnes, representing a decline of 8.9% against August last year. Aggregate import volume for the first eight months was 458,746 tonnes, representing a decline of 7.3% year-on-year.
The transshipment volume was 48,259 tonnes in August, indicating a year-on-year growth of 1.7%. Cumulative transshipment tonnage for the first eight months was 386,327 tonnes, up 5.0% against the same period last year.