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innoAviation helps air carriers track critical COVID-19–related PPE shipments with Descartes’ ULD tracking solution



innoAviation helps air carriers track critical COVID-19–related PPE shipments with Descartes’ ULD tracking solution. Image: Flickr/ Dean Morley
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Descartes Systems Group, the global leader in uniting logistics-intensive businesses in commerce, announced that innoAviation Limited, a leading unit load device (ULD) leasing and services provider, is using the Descartes CORE™ ULD Tracking solution as part of its service to help air carriers track critical COVID-19–related personal protective equipment (PPE) shipments.

A significant percentage of air cargo coming from Asia today is PPE to fight COVID-19. Combined with an imbalance of ULDs, air carriers are challenged to move critical freight.

innoAviation is leasing air carriers ULDs with Descartes Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) tags and using Descartes CORE ULD Tracking to track shipments and better manage the ULDs. The cloud-based tracking solution supports social distancing because it provides air carriers with shipment visibility while working from home.

“The combination of our ULDs and the Descartes CORE ULD Tracking solution allows air carriers to track shipments and assets more effectively,” said Kenneth Poon, General Manager at innoAviation. “With real-time information, carriers would be able to know where the leased ULDs are in an instant and allow them to plan ahead effectively, which is critical at the moment.”

Descartes Core ULD Tracking is a Bluetooth-enabled solution that helps air carriers and their partners automate freight tracking, increase operating efficiencies and improve asset management by providing real-time visibility of air shipments bundled into a single ULD container or pallet. Shipments can be tracked whether in the air or on the ground via the Descartes Core BLE network, part of the Descartes Global Logistics Network™.

“We’re pleased to help innoAviation help its air carrier customers better manage shipments during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Scott Sangster, Vice President, Global Logistics Service Providers at Descartes. “In such a fluid air cargo environment, real-time shipment and ULD visibility is more important than ever to help ensure efficient movement of critical PPE shipments and better management of shipping assets.”

Air Freight

GEODIS supports rising medical company Labmed to supply health protection goods to Europe and North America




GEODIS supports rising medical company Labmed to supply health protection goods to Europe and North America. Image: Geodis
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GEODIS is providing LabMed with customs brokerage, short-term storage solutions and transport management services from LabMed’s factory in China via a distribution hub in Singapore to a wide array of international destinations including India, Malaysia, Germany and the United States.

“In terms of fulfilling our multi-faceted needs, GEODIS has been well up to the task,” says Wilson Ang, LabMed’s Regional Managing Director in Singapore. “The close attention and efficiency of the GEODIS staff has been impressive, from the local service in China to the performance at our many destinations.”

The partnership between LabMed, a family owned subsidiary of Kin Seng Hong Pte, and GEODIS began in early May 2020, with the immediate need to swiftly react to fast-changing market demands and devising flexible end-to-end supply chain solutions. LabMed has been called upon to significantly increase its production of surgical masks, sanitising gel and other PPE at its own plant in Dong Guan, Southern China.

From initial small shipments of 10 tons of sanitizer to India to bulk supplies of millions of masks to Germany, LabMed’s pipeline of PPE has grown rapidly to include other parts of South-East Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States.

“In Asia-Pacific, GEODIS has a strong focus on enabling Asian based SME businesses to grow their markets”, comments Rene Bach-Larsen, GEODIS’ Sub-Regional Managing Director, ASEAN. “While GEODIS is a trusted partner to global multinationals, we also function as the lifeblood of regional economies through the services we provide.”

“During the current pandemic, we are even more intimately involved in the business of local customers who partner with us. As an essential service, we continue to fast-track their growth, using for instance, specially arranged weekly scheduled flights to many destinations and locating the necessary carrier capacity, whatever the mode. Our GEODIS colleagues at delivery locations around the world enable a truly door-to-door service for vital supplies to reach frontline workers and protect many more.”

The current crisis has required innovative responses from logistics professionals to achieve their customer’s delivery goals. Unprecedented demand peaks on certain trade routes, widely variable carrier capacity across transport modes, critical time constraints, staffing issues and communications challenges have blighted almost all international supply chains.  In providing such response, the application of ingenuity and tailored solutions benefit greatly from the ability of supply chain management to be controlled by one entity.

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Air Freight

SpiceJet carries a record 20 lakh kg of shrimp & farm produce during lockdown period



SpiceJet carries a record 20 lakh kg of shrimp & farm produce during lockdown period. Image: Flickr/ Arup Malakar
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SpiceJet, the country’s biggest air cargo operator, is contributing in a big way to support Indian farmers by transporting record quantities of fresh farm and shrimp produce and supporting the government’s ‘Krishi Udan’ and ‘Marine Krishi Udaan’ initiatives.

Lending a helping hand to farmers and ensuring that the supply chain remains intact and farmers get to transport and export their produce in a timely and efficient manner during the nation-wide lockdown, SpiceJet has transported over 20 lakh kilograms of fresh farm and shrimp produce using its dedicated fleet of freighters and passenger aircraft and operating special cargo flights to various domestic and international destinations.

As part of its efforts to provide a boost to agro exports, the airline has ferried 1070 tons of farm produce during the lockdown period till May 8, 2020 both within and outside the country. Some of the major markets include — Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Muscat, Singapore, Kolkata, Kochi, Mumbai among others.

Pioneer of India’s ‘Marine Krishi Udaan’, SpiceJet had launched dedicated freighter flights on February 25 this year to ferry shrimp. The airline has transported 950 tons of shrimp during the lockdown phase till May 8, 2020 to help India’s Shrimp farmers. Between February 25 and May 8, SpiceJet has transported close to 1550 tons of shrimp.

The major markets served by the airline under the program include — Kolkata, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Surat and Vishakhapatnam. Shrimp farmers used face a lot of problems in undertaking timely transportation of seeds in the absence of dedicated freighter flights thereby leading to heavy losses.

Ajay Singh, Chairman & Managing Director, SpiceJet, said, “These are the most difficult times for our farmer community who have been amongst the worst hit during this pandemic. In the absence of timely transportation farmers would have faced huge losses and we are happy that our cargo services have been of help to them. SpiceJet remains firmly committed to the Government’s all-out efforts in mitigating the adverse impact of the pandemic.”

Overall, during the lockdown period, the airline has transported 6650 tons of cargo transporting COVID-19 related medical and surgical supplies, sanitizers, face masks, coronavirus rapid test kits, IR thermometers etc. and providing doorstep deliveries of essential supplies, medicines, medical equipment, cold chain medical supplies to various medical and pharma companies, international retailers in this global war against the pandemic.

The airline has operated special cargo flights to and from Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Bangkok, Colombo, Dubai, Kabul, Myanmar, Sharjah, Male, Kuala Lumpur, Guangzhou, Bahrain, Cambodia, Ukraine and a host of other places.

Kolkata has been a major hub for both perishables and shrimp produce for SpiceJet and accounted for close to 470 MT of cargo during the lockdown. The airline has transported close to 425 MT of shrimp while servicing the ‘city of joy’ on key routes such as Chennai-Kolkata (320 MT), Vishakhapatnam-Kolkata (90 MT), Kolkata-Imphal (12 MT) among others. Additionally, the airline has transported approximately 45 MT of perishables from Kolkata to domestic destinations such as Imphal, Bengaluru, Agartala, Chennai, Mumbai and Guwahati and 13 MT to international destinations such as Colombo and Hong Kong.

Chennai has been yet another major market for SpiceJet for shrimp produce. The airline has transported close to 685 MT of shrimp while servicing the capital city of Tamil Nadu on key routes such as Chennai-Kolkata (320) and Chennai-Surat (365MT) during the lockdown period.

The airline has transported over 505 MT of shrimp while servicing Surat on key routes such as – Chennai-Surat (365 MT) and Vishakhapatnam-Surat (140 MT).

SpiceJet has transported 724 tons of fresh farm produce from Kerala during the lockdown period.

Besides Chennai, Vishakhapatnam has been another key market in South India accounting for close to 225 MT of shrimp cargo. From Vishakhapatnam, the airline has transported cargo to key domestic destinations such as Surat (140 MT) and Kolkata (85 MT).

SpiceJet has been continuously expanding its cargo network on both domestic and international routes carrying not just COVID-19 related medical supplies but also ensuring that vital export lines from India to other countries remain intact. The airline operated the country’s first cargo-on-seat flight on April 7 carrying vital supplies in passenger cabin & belly space. Since then, the airline has been regularly deploying its B737 and Q400 passenger aircraft to carry cargo in the passenger cabin.

On March 29, SpiceJet operated a special flight between Delhi and Jodhpur to facilitate transportation of 136 Indian passengers evacuated from COVID-19 hit Iran to a Government quarantine facility in the city.

SpiceJet operated a special charter flight on March 27 from Delhi to Coimbatore on Government’s request and transported a Hazmat suit that is helping local authorities replicate and start local manufacturing.

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Air Freight

Leading Danish companies join forces on an ambitious sustainable fuel project



Leading Danish companies join forces on an ambitious sustainable fuel project. Image: Orsted
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Copenhagen Airports, A.P. Moller – Maersk, DSV Panalpina, DFDS, SAS and Ørsted have brought together the demand and supply side of sustainable fuels in a unique partnership with the concrete vision to develop a new ground-breaking hydrogen and e-fuel production facility as soon as 2023.

When fully scaled-up by 2030, the project could deliver more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuel for buses, trucks, maritime vessels, and airplanes every year. Production would potentially be based on a total electrolyser capacity of 1.3 gigawatts, which would likely make it one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. The production from the fully scaled facility can reduce annual carbon emissions by 850,000 tonnes.

COWI and BCG act as knowledge partners for the project, and the project is supported by the Municipality of Copenhagen in line with Copenhagen’s ambitious policies for decarbonisation. However, the partnership hopes that the project can, over time, act as a catalyst for similar projects in other parts of Denmark and internationally.

If realised as envisaged, the project will be located in the Greater Copenhagen Area and could supply renewable hydrogen for zero-emission buses tendered by Movia and heavy-duty trucks managed by DSV Panalpina, renewable methanol for A.P. Moller – Maersk vessels and renewable jet fuel (e-kerosene) for SAS airplanes and air transport out of Copenhagen Airports. The project will require a large-scale supply of renewable electricity, which could potentially come from offshore wind power produced at Rønne Banke off the island of Bornholm.

Today, such sustainable fuels come at a higher cost than fossil-based fuels. To become competitive with fossil fuels, the production of sustainable fuels will need to be matured, built at industrial scale, and go through a cost-out journey similar to what has been seen over the past decade in other renewable energy technologies, such as offshore wind, onshore wind and solar PV.

As an example, the cost of offshore wind has declined by approx 70% in Northwest Europe since 2012. For this to happen, governments and industry must come together to create a framework that incentivises private investments in large-scale sustainable fuel production.

Although several partners are challenged by the deep impact of COVID-19, the partnership’s long-term commitments to fighting climate change remain intact. The industrial partners see this project as a way to combine the dual objectives of accelerating the green transformation and providing economic stimulus to the Danish economy post the COVID-19 crisis.

Denmark is in a unique position to become a hub for the production of sustainable fuels, creating jobs and securing a leading position in establishing an entirely new industry, which will be key in driving decarbonisation towards net zero in 2050, not just in Denmark, but also globally.

The electrolyser facility will not only be a potential cornerstone in decarbonising the partners’ businesses but will also deliver a critical contribution to reaching Denmark’s ambitious goal of reducing carbon emissions by 70% by 2030 compared to 1990 by replacing fossil fuels in heavy transport with sustainable fuels. The vision of the partnership is to develop the project in three stages:

The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, comprises a 10MW electrolyser which can produce renewable hydrogen used directly to fuel buses and trucks.

Stage two comprises a 250MW electrolyser facility which could be operational by 2027 when the first offshore wind power from Bornholm could be delivered. This facility would combine the production of renewable hydrogen with sustainable carbon capture from point-sources in the Greater Copenhagen area to produce renewable methanol for maritime transport and renewable jet-fuel (e-kerosene) for the aviation sector.

Stage three, which could be operational by 2030 when the offshore wind potential at Bornholm has been fully developed, would upgrade the project’s electrolyser capacity to 1.3GW and capture more sustainable CO2, enough to supply more than 250,000 tonnes of sustainable fuels to be used in buses, trucks, maritime vessels and airplanes. The project has the potential to displace 5% of fossil fuels at Copenhagen Airport by 2027 and 30% by 2030.

The partnership will now move forward and engage in dialogue with the regulatory authorities on the framework and policies needed to support the development of using sustainable fuels at scale in the transport sector in Denmark, and to seek public co-funding to conduct a full feasibility study of the project. If the feasibility study confirms the viability of the project vision, a final investment decision for the first stage of the project could likely be taken as soon as 2021.

Thomas Woldbye, CEO, CPH Airport, says:

“Whether we operate in road transport, shipping or aviation, we all have a major task to contribute to the sustainable transition in Denmark. The challenge of creating a future-proof and sustainable fuel is common to everyone in the transport sector, and the fact that we are now working together in a partnership is crucial for us to be able to produce sustainable fuel in the necessary quantities. It also supports the ambition to transition Danish aviation to become completely free of carbon emissions in 2050 and make Denmark a pioneer in the development of future climate-friendly fuels.”

Jens Bjørn Andersen, CEO, DSV Panalpina, says:

“This ambitious partnership fits well with our long-term targets to reduce emissions and find sustainable solutions for our industry. We are proud to play a part. The transport sector is very important for Denmark but leaves a significant CO2 footprint and we are committed to finding ways to pave the road for a greener future. While this initiative is local, our long-term ambitions remain global.”

Søren Skou, CEO, A.P. Moller – Maersk, says:

“Decarbonising the transport sector is a significant and complex task that requires collaborative contributions from every company, organisation, and country. This project provides a first step in the massive transformation to produce and distribute sustainable energy.In Denmark, we have an opportunity now to accelerate the green transformation and take lead in powering the future with sustainable energy and I am pleased that we can contribute with concrete actions. We need many such projects both in Denmark and around the globe to achieve our ambition in Maersk of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.”

Torben Carlsen, CEO, DFDS, says:

“The ability to establish a vision of an industrial-scale sustainable fuel production facility is due to the power of partnerships. The cooperation of fuel users and producers along with scientists and society is the fastest way to make sustainable fuels available as realistic alternatives to the fossil fuels we combust in our vehicles and vessels today. I hope that this partnership and our project will help us reach our goal of operating zero-emission ferries and trucks much faster than we had originally anticipated.”

Simon Pauck Hansen, Executive Vice President and COO of Airline Operations, SAS, says:

“The infrastructure aviation enables has a significant contribution to the global society. SAS has very ambitious targets to reduce its climate affecting emissions and one of the key drivers is to use Sustainable Aviation Fuels. We support multiple initiatives and projects in our home market and hope that this project can commercialize and become an accelerator for the transition to decarbonized aviation.”

Henrik Poulsen, CEO, Ørsted, says:

“Decarbonising the road, maritime, and aviation sectors is key to bringing our economies around the world to net-zero emissions by 2050. Our vision to produce sustainable fuels in the Greater Copenhagen area will deliver the necessary industrial scaling to drive the needed cost-out towards making renewable fuels competitive with fossil fuels. With the right policy framework in place, this project could be a defining leap forward for the production of sustainable fuels in Denmark, which will further reinforce Denmark’s role as a global leader in technologies and business models for a sustainable future.”

Frank Jensen, Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, says:

“In Copenhagen, we’ve set the ambitious goal to become the world’s first carbon neutral capital by 2025. We’re already well underway – with district heating, wind turbines, great biking infrastructure, zero emission buses, a green metro, etc. But we need new, sustainable technologies to go all the way. Sustainable fuels are an important means in the fight against climate change and air pollution. It brings us one step closer a greener future.”

Lars-Peter Søbye, CEO, COWI, says:

“This project gives Denmark a unique opportunity to spearhead the green transition in the transportation sector: We get to utilise Danish strongholds in, e.g., wind energy, and join forces in the electricity, district heating and transportation sectors. Cooperating across sectors and fostering partnerships among cities, companies and universities is exactly how we create real value and new sustainable solutions. At COWI, we are excited to take part in the project, contributing our knowledge about high-complexity, large-scale projects and green technologies.”


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