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Descartes and dnata expand network for real-time air cargo tracking

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Descartes and dnata expand network for real-time air cargo tracking. Image: Dnata
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Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, announced that dnata, one of the world’s largest air services providers, is deploying Descartes Core Bluetooth Low Energy readers across its global cargo operations to support the tracking of international mail, parcel and cargo shipments.

“We rely on best-in-class facilities and state-of-the-art cargo handling technologies to provide over 150 airlines with premium services for approximately 3 million tonnes of cargo annually,” said Guillaume Crozier, Divisional Vice President Operations and Product Development at dnata. “The innovative Descartes solution is expected to help us further improve service efficiency as we move customers’ cargo smoothly from one destination to another, tracking its progress in real-time the entire way.”

Descartes Core BLE™ readers capture the movement of ULDs that have either Descartes or third-party BLE tags attached. The readers are part of the Descartes Core BLE Network™ and a Descartes Global Logistics Network™ service. Shipments can be tracked whether in the air or on the ground via the Descartes Core™ ULD Tracking solution to help air carriers and their partners automate freight tracking and improve asset management by providing real-time visibility of air shipments bundled into a single ULD container or pallet. In addition to location, other sensor-based information such as precise temperature, movement and humidity can be monitored. This data, combined with forecasting of asset location requirements, helps carriers reduce ULD fleet losses, better match capacity with ULD inventory, and reduce the costs associated with misplaced equipment or the requirement to lease additional ULDs.

“We’re pleased to help dnata provide customers with complete visibility into their ULD assets by introducing global ULD tracking across its cargo warehouses,” said Scott Sangster, Vice President, Global Logistics Service Providers at Descartes. “Our solution allows air cargo handling agents to increase the value of their network and the overall reach of BLE-enabled tracking locations worldwide, which contributes to more efficient air cargo logistics.”

Air Freight

TIACA and Pharma.Aero join forces to prepare air cargo industry for COVID-19 vaccine

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TIACA and Pharma.Aero join forces to prepare air cargo industry for COVID-19 vaccine. Image: Pixabay
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The International Air Cargo Association and Pharma.Aero have joined forces to develop global guidance for the air cargo industry to enable optimal transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The guidance will be developed gradually in four work packages through a joint working group to ensure feedback from all stakeholders in the supply chain of air cargo and pharmaceuticals.

In the past few months, air freight has demonstrated once again its vital role in the global economy and distribution of essential medical supplies. In the months to come, air freight will again make an important contribution to the global public good and in fighting this pandemic by playing a vital role in the COVID-19 vaccine global supply chain.

As pharmaceutical companies race to develop the COVID-19 vaccine, it is still unclear what impact this vaccine will have on the global supply chain, specifically, logistics requirements and the air cargo industry. To address these concerns, the joint working group will bring to the table all the key industry stakeholders, including pharmaceutical manufacturers and logistics businesses.

The aim of this program is to provide the air cargo industry with more clarity of the demands, expectations and quality supply chain requirements, including but not restricted to critical trade lanes, air cargo capacity, handling and storage, track and trace requirements, for the transportation of the vaccines. At the same time, shippers will gain more understanding about the capabilities of the various logistics players. This will ensure that once the vaccine is available in the market, the air cargo industry will be ready to respond to the needs of the shippers and transport vaccines in optimal conditions to all corners of the globe.

“COVID-19 vaccine delivery will be one of the biggest logistical challenges in modern history. No one company can own the end-to-end vaccine supply chain,” said Neel Jones Shah, TIACA board member and Global Head of Airfreight at Flexport. “I’m proud to be a member of the TIACA and Pharma.Aero working group, which is doing the critical work of connecting all vaccine supply chain stakeholders to foster effective communication and collaboration. We need to start working together now to ensure the industry is prepared when the time comes.”

“Setting up reliable end-to-end air transportation for pharma shippers is part of the vision and mission of Pharma.Aero. Amongst our members i.e. life sciences and pharmaceutical shippers, certified airport communities and air cargo operators, we have a track record of project-based collaboration,” says Nathan De Valck, chairman of Pharma.Aero. “As a result, Pharma.Aero is well-positioned to make a valuable contribution in preparing the air cargo industry for this immense challenge.”

The working group will consist of members of both organisations and will also reach out to various international organizations. The results will be shared with the industry through white papers and webinars in later stages of the program which aims to complete by end of 2020.

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Air Freight

LATAM Cargo opens Miami – Florianopolis freight route and becomes the only airline to offer direct and permanent service from North America and Southern Brazil

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LATAM Cargo opens Miami – Florianopolis freight route and becomes the only airline to offer direct and permanent service from North America and Southern Brazil. Image: LATAM Cargo
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LATAM Cargo today made the inaugural flight of the direct route that will connect North America for the first time with the southern region of Brazil. Specifically, it is the Miami – Florianopolis route, which will initially have a weekly frequency and will be served on a B767F with capacity to carry 53 tons per flight.

The state of Santa Catarina is a market that focuses its economy on the import of products for industry and commerce, and from here it is supplied to the southern region of Brazil. In this context, the new LATAM Cargo route is a milestone in being the only one to implement a direct and fast route. From the United States, cargo from North America, Europe and Asia will be consolidated. In particular, Santa Catarina demands products from the automotive, metallurgical, food, pharmaceutical, electronics, and other industries.

“This new route will allow us to provide a direct, stable and permanent service between the United States and Santa Catarina, and is a concrete example of our effort to meet the needs of our customers. As strategic partners we are constantly evaluating routes that promote international trade, bringing buyers and producers closer together with the speed, attention and logistics excellence that are characteristic of our global network of services,” said Gabriel Oliva, Commercial Director of North America, Europe and Asia.

Before the Miami-Florianopolis route, the international cargo used to enter Brazil through Guarulhos and Viracopos. Therefore, it depended on complementary ground transport to reach the final destination.

“In addition to the benefits delivered to Santa Catarina, with this opening we also extend our coverage in the country by adding a tenth airport with exclusive operation in cargo planes. As we did with this route, we will continue to focus on offering more origins-destinations in the international and domestic markets to be present in the relevant markets of our customers”, says Kamal Hadad, Director of Alliances and Network of LATAM Cargo.

For the importance of this route to the southern region of Brazil, the inaugural flight was greeted with a ceremony at the local airport of Floripa and was attended by representatives of the state government, LATAM Cargo, and the airport.

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Air Freight

Skyports Partners with Robotic Skies to develop a UAS maintenance programme for drone delivery and beyond

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Skyports Partners with Robotic Skies to develop a UAS maintenance programme for drone delivery and beyond. Image: Skyports
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Drone delivery service provider Skyports announced its partnership with Robotic Skies, the global maintenance, repair, and overhaul network for commercial unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Skyports specialises in operating end-to-end drone deliveries within the medical, e-commerce, and logistics sectors. The company is conducting medical drone deliveries to assist the NHS in Scotland in the battle against COVID-19.  In addition, as a participant in the UK Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) Regulatory Sandbox, Skyports is working to advance regulatory approvals that foster more beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations and the safe integration of these flights into non-segregated airspace – key to realising a permanent drone delivery service.

Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said: “Certified maintenance is vital to enable full-scale, permanent commercial drone delivery operations. With Robotic Skies, our fleet of UAV systems will be maintained to the same safety standards as traditional certified aircraft. This partnership allows us to further demonstrate our commitment to the safe operation and integration of delivery drones alongside other users of the airspace and supports our plans to grow our service network internationally.”

Robotic Skies, through partnerships with companies like Skyports, provides enterprise UAS and drone delivery fleet operators with local field maintenance services. The company’s proprietary system combines expertise in unmanned aircraft systems and traditional aviation maintenance methodology to deliver high-quality, scalable services. The Robotic Skies Service Center network is comprised of over 200 independently owned and operated certified repair stations, spanning more than 40 countries.

Robotic Skies Founder and CEO, Brad Hayden, said: “We are excited to partner with Skyports as they pursue the expansion of drone delivery and other BVLOS flight operations in the UK and beyond. Our global Service Center Network puts high-quality support services where Skyports customers need it. Because we are leveraging the existing manned aviation infrastructure, we offer the highest quality, safety, and consistency in our programs to satisfy operators, regulators, and manufacturers.”

Maintenance standards provide an essential framework for the safety and ongoing airworthiness of certified UAS as they evolve to transport heavier payloads, fly longer distances, and carry people within and between urban environments.

Skyports will also work with Robotic Skies to develop maintenance programmes and facilities for the emerging Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry. Skyports designs, builds, and operates networks of vertiports to enable safe and efficient passenger air taxi and cargo drone operations in the world’s major cities.

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