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Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Etihad Aviation Group, in partnership with Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports, are preparing to launch a new state-of-the-art pharmaceutical cool chain facility. Due to go into operation soon, the facility will significantly expand Abu Dhabi International Airport’s pharmaceutical handling and storage.
Etihad Cargo’s customers will benefit from the carrier’s expanded International Air Transport Association Center of Excellence for Independent Validators Pharma certification for pharmaceutical and life science logistics and provision of world-class, end-to-end temperature-controlled solutions for the transportation of pharmaceuticals across the carrier’s global network.
Prior to the opening of the new pharmaceutical facility at the carrier’s Abu Dhabi hub, Etihad Cargo transported over 50,000 tonnes of cool chain products, including pharmaceutical and healthcare products via its PharmaLife product and fresh produce via its IATA CEIV Fresh-certified FreshForward product, in the past twelve months. The launch of the expanded, dedicated pharmaceutical hub will double Abu Dhabi Airport’s cool chain storage capacity and enhance the airport’s capabilities for the storage, handling and transportation of cool chain products.
“Etihad Cargo is proud to have collaborated closely with Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports to launch the new pharmaceutical storage and handling facility. The expanded infrastructure will offer best-in-class pharmaceutical shipment solutions to Etihad Cargo’s customers and is the latest step in supporting Abu Dhabi’s vision to cement its position as a global pharmaceuticals and life sciences hub,” said Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Global Sales & Cargo at Etihad Aviation Group. “This joint venture located at Etihad Cargo’s hub at Abu Dhabi International Airport provides the perfect location to link the Middle East to not only Asia and Europe, but also the US and Africa, so life-saving medicines and the latest treatments can be transported seamlessly around the world to those that need them the most. Investment into the carrier’s infrastructure and Abu Dhabi hub will enable Etihad Cargo to meet the future challenges of the pharma supply chain and will play a significant role in co-creating a robust and future-proof healthcare ecosystem here in the UAE and around the world.”
The additional 3,000 square-metre facility comprises the latest technology and features, including bulk loading docks with levellers, high-speed roll-up shutters, insulation and a real-time temperature monitoring system, which will enable faster and more efficient loading with stricter temperature controls, increased storage space, additional build-up and breakdown zones for improved production workflows and upgraded cool chain facilities for Etihad Cargo’s PharmaLife handling and storage operations. The new facility will also feature new x-ray screening for customs inspections within a fully temperature-controlled environment and new dedicated thermal covers.
Steven Polmans, Vice President of Business Development & Regulatory Affairs at Abu Dhabi Airports Free Zone (ADAFZ) said, “The upcoming launch of this dedicated pharmaceuticals storage and handling facility will enhance AUH’s capabilities as a cargo hub and aligns with Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a global business, pharmaceutical and life science hub. The strong collaboration between Etihad Cargo, Etihad Airport Services and Abu Dhabi Airports will continue to increase pharmaceutical cargo volumes and further position Abu Dhabi as a major solutions provider in the logistics supply chain.”
The new cool chain facility will enable the safe storage and handling of a vast range of pharmaceutical products requiring different temperatures and conditions. To meet the requirements for transporting dangerous goods in frozen and deep-frozen conditions, PharmaLife provides premium tailored solutions to handle temperature-controlled conditions from -80 to 25 degrees Celsius via the carrier’s portfolio of leased active and hybrid containers. Etihad Cargo also utilises traditional containers that meet standard temperature requirements, from 2 to 8 and 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.
Jubran Al Breiki, General Manager at Etihad Airport Services – Ground & Cargo, said, “This state-of-the-art pharmaceutical facility has been made possible through the partnership between Etihad Airport Services, Etihad Cargo and Abu Dhabi Airports and the expertise each brings to a project of this scale. In addition to offering a fully equipped pharmaceuticals centre, temperature-controlled rooms and 24/7 end-to-end cargo support, the innovative systems within the facility enable pharmaceuticals to be effectively tracked and traced. This benefits Etihad Cargo’s customers and all other stakeholders with greater transparency, real-time status updates and makes the transportation of cargo quicker and more efficient.”
From the newly established pharmaceuticals hub, Etihad Cargo will continue to work closely with customers and partners to ensure the smooth, efficient, safe and on-time delivery of pharmaceuticals and life sciences products. To meet the requirements of personalised medication and treatment, including cell and gene therapies, Etihad Cargo is exploring the utilisation of artificial intelligence to improve forecasting and automation to enhance the carrier’s current capacity and capabilities.
Via the expanded cool chain facility, Etihad Cargo will also be further investing in sustainable solutions to make the transportation of pharmaceuticals more environmentally friendly, in line with Etihad Aviation Group’s sustainability plans and pledge to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The carrier has already replaced 3,000 containers from its original aluminium unit load device fleet with a more environmentally friendly, lightweight version. More recently, Etihad Cargo entered into a memorandum of understanding with B Medical Systems to develop and launch the world’s first airline-specific passive temperature-controlled container. In the coming months, Etihad Cargo will be participating in Pharma. Aero’s green pharma lane project, expanding on the successful launch of Pharma Corridor 2.0.
MSC acquires the majority stake of AlisCargo Airlines
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MSC has acquired the majority stake of AlisCargo Airlines, a Milan-based air freight carrier; the parties confirmed that the transaction is a first step towards the acquisition of 100% of AlisCargo Airlines by MSC, expected to happen at the beginning of 2024, once AlisCargo Airlines will restart operations with the delivery of a Boeing 777F. This transaction is yet another step to further developing MSC Air Cargo operations and creates a European gateway and transit point for MSC’s air cargo solutions. Furthermore, the deal complements MSC Air Cargo’s aim to expand its existing trade lane network with better coverage and increased flexibility.
MSC Air Cargo Senior Vice President Jannie Davel stated: “The acquisition of a majority share in AlisCargo Airlines is a step towards expanding MSC’s Air Cargo solution capabilities, and ultimately providing our customers with a quality and consistent offering. I am equally proud that we have found a partner that shares a common vision with us and has built a strong foundation for which we hope to further develop.”
The majority selling party is represented by the Leali Group, led by Mr. Domenico Alcide Leali who, after the success with Air Dolomiti started AlisCargo Airlines in 2019.
Mr. Giacomo Manzon, General Manager of AlisCargo Airlines briefly commented: “I am proud to see a group like MSC entering as a major shareholder of AlisCargo Airlines and developing further the project that Leali Group has initiated. I am thankful for MSC’s trust in us, and we will work hard together to make it a success story.”
MSC Air Cargo has been building up its air cargo offering through numerous strategic partnerships with sales agents and software providers. MSC Air Cargo provides a complementary solution to MSC’s core shipping services and operates two aircraft managed by Atlas Air Worldwide between Europe, Central America and Asia and will add two more in the next 6 months. Following the completion of the operation, MSC Air Cargo will have a new operating license and a fleet of 5 wide-body aircraft within the next 12 months.
Banca Finint acted as financial advisor to Leali Group. Gianni & Origoni acted as legal advisor to MSC and Leali Group, with two separate teams of lawyers from its Milan and Padua offices, respectively.
cargo.one announced a landmark partnership with Eastern Air Logistics
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Eastern Air Logistics and cargo.one announced a landmark partnership to bring extensive capacity from both China Eastern Airlines and China Cargo Airlines to the real-time digital booking platform. The air logistics group will utilize cargo.one’s award-winning seamless digital booking experience, and gain access to its global footprint of many thousands of freight forwarders. cargo.one is already collaborating intensively to help guide and maximize the airline’s sales digitalization journey. On the heels of cargo.one’s recent launch of cargo.one pro, the deal reflects a strategic focus by Eastern Air Logistics to utilize the most modern and globally relevant partners for its digital transformation.
Eastern Air Logistics harnesses the scale of China Cargo Airlines’ dedicated Boeing 777 and 747 freighter fleet as well as belly capacity in nearly 800 China Eastern Airlines passenger aircraft. The carrier offers 184 countries and regions and benefits from state-of-the-art air cargo depot facilities at major Chinese hub airports such as Shanghai, Beijing, Kunming, Xi’an and Wuhan, as well as a nationwide transportation network.
The addition of Eastern Air Logistics capacities into the cargo.one platform means freight forwarders in close to 5000 forwarding offices worldwide will gain the most user-centric instant access to its valuable capacity into China and across Asia Pacific. The connectivity cargo.one delivers as a 24/7 booking platform will help Eastern Air Logistics to grow its international bookings and remain front of mind with freight forwarders in all relevant markets. cargo.one guarantees an unbeatable digital buying journey to every booking customer.
Jonathan Xu, General Manager of Logistics Solutions Business Dept. at Eastern Air Logistics, comments, “Our close collaboration with the cargo.one team over the past months stands out and forcefully boosts our trajectory to become the most innovative integrated logistics service provider. A clear benefit of partnering with cargo.one is the strength of its insights, proactive partnership support and the valuable best practices for digital that we are gaining for our first steps into digital distribution.”
“It is vital that every freight forwarder globally has rapid and seamless access to the best capacity options for China. cargo.one and Eastern Air Logistics compliment each other perfectly in offering end to end agility and a great experience that forwarders can depend upon”, says Moritz Claussen, Founder & Co-CEO of cargo.one. “It is a real pleasure to work alongside Eastern Air Logistics as they leverage our substantial market force, and benefit from the only next generation multilateral marketplace, and one loved by forwarders”.
Both companies enjoy a proven track record of innovation-leading to drive growth in global freight forwarding markets. For example, cargo.one pro now empowers agents to conduct seamless digital agent-to-agent bookings globally in seconds. cargo.one will position Eastern Air Logistics to profit from the surge in digital forwarding in all markets.
Over the past year, cargo.one has rapidly expanded its participation in the Asia Pacific market. Partnering with national carriers and top three airlines in countries including China, Japan and Singapore, cargo.one is the clear partner of choice for airlines in the region to go digital. cargo.one comprises an essential component of an airline’s efficient multichannel sales setup, as well as supporting revenue and capacity management endeavors.
From Summer 2023, freight forwarders can soon book Eastern Air Logistics capacity using the cargo.one marketplace. Customers will enjoy access to important trade lanes between China and hubs including within Europe – Frankfurt, London, Budapest, Amsterdam, in North America – New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, and in Asia Pacific – Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh.
Silk Way West Airlines joins forces with cargo.one
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Silk Way West Airlines and cargo.one announced a global partnership to bring the airline’s freighter capacity to the air cargo booking marketplace. By joining customer experience advocate cargo.one, favored by forwarders in all important markets globally, Silk Way West Airlines will expand its digital footprint and align with the highest standards for digital air cargo booking. The airline also gains the market experience and actionable support of cargo.one teams to accelerate digital sales adoption for its capacities.
Headquartered in Baku, at the heart of the Silk Road, Silk Way West Airlines is the largest cargo airline in the Caspian Sea region. The airline carries over 420,000 tonnes of freighter capacity annually, utilizing a fleet of 12 Boeing 747F aircraft with front-loading capabilities. Silk Way West Airlines is progressing an impressive strategy of expansion, in which maximizing its digital distribution to every relevant market plays a vital role.
The strategic location of Baku as a hub helps Silk Way West Airlines to span over 40 key destinations across Europe, the CIS, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Asia, and the Americas. Silk Way West Airlines is unique in building an attractive digital offering for larger shipments, where the market is currently under-served. Freight forwarders have long been attracted to the airline’s connectivity, which cargo.one will now deliver to agents with digital speeds and greater convenience than ever before.
President of Silk Way West Airlines, Wolfgang Meier, comments, “Our partnership with cargo.one is an important milestone in our ambitious digitalization journey. By bringing our capacity to cargo.one’s expansive customer base, we will both broaden our reach and enable many more forwarders to benefit from our services. cargo.one and Silk Way teams are collaborating very closely, and we are relying on their proven expertise to enhance our buying journeys and drive up our share of digital air cargo sales.”
Moritz Claussen, Founder & Co-CEO of cargo.one, adds, “For the many thousands of agents who are thriving with digital bookings on cargo.one, the addition of Silk Way West Airlines’ capacity is fantastic news. Due to its keen awareness of the changing market, Silk Way West Airlines is now putting cargo.one, as the best-in-class digital enabler, at the center of its digital sales growth trajectory.”
cargo.one’s more than 40 airline partners profit from its targeted innovations that enable forwarders in dozens of countries to book more easily and often. Silk Way West partners with cargo.one shortly after the launch of its revolutionary cargo.one pro and cargo.one protect solutions for instant and seamless agent-to-agent bookings. A transformed digital booking experience for all import and export shipments now makes cargo.one the air cargo one-stop-shop for many agents worldwide.
From Autumn 2023, freight forwarders can book Silk Way West Airlines capacity using cargo.one.