Aircargopedia Newsblast: April 2017!
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14th APRIL 2017  

Dear Air Cargo Professional:

The more I attend air cargo conferences like IATA’s WCS, the more I am convinced that not only is the air cargo business extremely specialized, it is also perhaps not specialized enough. Even though IATA’s Cargo division provides both leadership and product knowledge with a team of product experts and a slew of highly researched technical publications, their products still cover only a small portion of the global air cargo industry. Much work needs to be done to ensure that air cargo players all over the world adopt and embrace constantly evolving standards and regulations.   DJ Ghosh

It is with that in mind, that I spent my first day at the IATA World Cargo Symposium in Abu Dhabi learning about IATA’s growing menu of air cargo products and publications. When I attended the Air Cargo Conference in Johannesburg in February, we heard from Gareth Joyce of Delta Cargo, and Turhan Ozen of Turkish Cargo about the need to create more specialized, well researched, premium products to combat yield decline, through Information Technology tools such as data mining and data analytics. I am convinced that more companies need to invest in research to develop bespoke products to cater to an increasingly demanding air cargo marketplace. Specialized knowledge, however, comes with time and effort.


IATA’s Dangerous Goods(DG) manual, is the ‘go to” publication of the DG business, and ships out over 100,000 copies a year; but it took 58 years of concerted R&D to reach its present status. This annual publication is overseen by a board of Dangerous Goods specialists, with 12 IATA Airline members, and the number one priority is adoption of DG standards on a global basis. Marketing of publications such as these on a 24/7 basis through a global information and distribution platform is often a bigger challenge than creating the content. While IATA creates the manuals, airlines such as Etihad build their DG acceptance procedures around them, insuring that only Category 6 trained staff can accept DG shipments, from GCAA approved freight forwarders. Etihad, which categorizes 7% of its cargo as Dangerous Goods has a 54-question checklist to ensure that all DG shipments are correctly accepted. This stringent acceptance procedure has resulted in 14% of all DG shipments being rejected mostly for mis-location of labels. Etihad’s experience with rejected shipments is that certain shippers who were recurring offenders were not properly trained. KLM accepts 130,000 DG shipments a year not including lithium batteries and sees its rejection rate of DG shipments growing.

DG Autocheck which helps compare shipper’s declaration against the Dangerous Goods Regulations is one tool that automates dangerous good acceptance. Being tablet based, it can upload shipper’s declarations in electronic format or scan it from paper, guaranteeing acceptance check quality. DG personnel are directed to focus on exceptions such as state or operation variations Addendums to the Dangerous Goods Regulations are immediately applied to the checks and the Category 6 certification of trained staff is verified, and if expired, access is blocked. DG Autocheck aims to reduce checking process of DG checks and the process by 50%, while being able to send check results to internal and external stakeholders and improving regulatory compliance while reducing regulatory fines.


TACT another pioneering IATA product is intended to create a fully automated and secure air cargo rates distribution environment. In the TACT Net Rates Repository, airlines can submit their rates to the system, with distribution through secure airline and forwarder modules. With this product, net rates are available via a platform, ensuring process efficiency and speed to market, while creating an audit trail of who retrieved it last.

CargoIS is a market intelligence tool created by IATA and used by air cargo stakeholders including airlines, GSA’s, freight forwarders, ground handlers, airports and many others. Sourcing its data from more than 19 million air way bills(AWBs) settled every year through IATA’s Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS), CargoIS provides insight into the market dynamics across more than 140,000+ airport-to-airport unique trade lanes, reflecting the business of 30,000 freight-forwarders, 200 airlines and GSAs. This unique tool can help you compare your performance over time vs the market, know your current and future markets and make strategic, tactical and operational decisions.

DIGITAL DISRUPTION is now almost a buzz word in the established air cargo market around the world, and I was glad to listen to the presentation of Emma Loxton, Associate Partner at McKinsey & Company, to hear firsthand from a leading industry consultant. The 24/7 economy allows customers to buy what they want, when they want, the way they want, creating new industries and destroying old ones. More than 17% of global markets have already been ‘digitally disrupted’ and there is more to come. Digitization creates less friction, more competition and price transparency. In logistics, it has resulted in operational efficiencies, advanced eco-systems and increased door to door deliveries. Digitization can seriously undermine the value of the forwarders, creating a new breed of digital laggards; they need to innovate by leveraging advanced data analytics to define the new playing field.

E-COMMERCE: I recently read an article in which a senior executive from Atlas Air was interviewed. When asked to comment on the future of the air cargo industry, he very correctly divided it into three segments; the general cargo industry where growth is less than 3% a year, the express industry with annual growth averaging 6% and e-commerce where volume growth is in the double digits. The afternoon session at IATA’s WCS on Tuesday featured two detailed presentations by Alan Barrie and Jorgen van Mook of the International Post Corporation on how e-commerce had help drive postal revenues just as the internet and online bill payment had eroded the share of first class mail. In China, USA, Germany and the U.K., 50% of online shoppers buy online every two weeks, 14% use a smart phone, 50% of the purchases are for clothing, footwear and apparel, and 81% of shipments are below 2 kilograms. For 86% of shoppers, delivery is the most important tracking event with 82% wanting to know about delivery within a certain time range. Books and music are being rapidly digitized and delivered over the internet.

E-COMMERCE PRODUCTS: Airports are waking up to the new opportunities presented by e-commerce. Saskia Von Pelt and her team at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport are fully aware of these opportunities. While e-commerce arrives as general cargo, her team is grappling with the challenge of dealing with the large volume of shipments and correspondingly massive number of air way bills through advanced customs declarations. Chemeen Wong of SATS, a cargo handler in Singapore spoke about his airport’s response to the e-commerce challenge with mega customers like Ali Baba and Singapore Post. SAT’s e-commerce Air Hub has the world’s first automated single scan mailbag sortation system, providing full track and trace ability to Singapore Post. With the completion of Phase 2 of this project, the capability of this hub should grow by 300%.

SMART CARGO WAREHOUSES OF THE FUTURE: At this session, I learnt from Venkatesh(Venky) Pazhyanur, Industry Director-Freight Solutions, UNISYS that starting six years ago there began a tsunami of disruption in the business of cargo warehousing, prodded on by advanced analytics, sensory devices, automated guided vehicles and facilities of the future where warehouses must be adaptable to supply and demand, and resources must be configurable. Other speakers stated that cargo facilities needed to be more interactive with the introduction of more data. Uwe Beck, the moderator, called for the introduction of new terminology since we need to process air cargo as quickly as possible, while advocating the cause of a new level of data accuracy. Furthermore, to see jumps in productivity, warehouses need standard equipment to provide unified solutions., and technology providers should provide shop floor personnel with more instruments with interfaces to others. Smart cargo warehouses should also make increasing use of cargo management systems currently available through global IT providers.

CORMAC WHELAN & DAVID BANG: During the show, I got to meet Cormac Whelan who heads up technology provider Mercator, one of the leading sponsors of IATA WCS, and thank him for helping underwrite such a great event. Technology leaders like MERCATOR will be the game changers in our new digitized air cargo environment. I also managed to squeeze in a brief lunchtime chat with David Bang, CEO of LifeConex, a global leader in transportation solutions for the pharma industry. I have invited David to share his knowledge and experience with contributions to the Aircargopedia e-platform and I hope he accepts.

Equipment Finance

EQUIPMENT FINANCING, FINTECH & GREEN INVESTING: On March 22nd, I joined 300 finance professionals to attend the annual 16th Annual Investor’s Conference on Equipment Finance in New York city. Equipment financing, including aircraft financing, is a $1.5 trillion business in the United States and covers both equipment and software financing.; with 8 in 10 businesses financing their purchases. Business confidence in this sector is up, as fundamentals are solid, credit markets stable, and credit losses at historical lows. The industry handled itself extremely well during the down-market cycles. President Trump’s promise to raise infrastructure spending coupled with the rise in oil prices bodes well for this sector. The only wild card is the gradual rise in interest rates, which will drive yield competition, and increase margin compression.

A new trend to watch in this sector is the emergence of data driven FINTECH companies (ON DECK & LENDING CLUB) with a host of new products which are quietly chipping away at the lead of the established players, especially among their smaller customers. Marketplace lenders as this group is often referred to as, fill a void not fulfilled by major banks. Upto 75% of business opportunity not served by banks can be served by marketplace lenders, who provide a technology aided digital platform for investors to lend for a wide array of investment opportunities. Rajesh Rao, CFO of Rapid Advance, a US Based FINTECH company stated that his prime customer space is for an unsecured loan for US$250,000. Building specialization is one of their strongest selling points. Their loan sizes now range from $80,000 to $1 million., and since they are not regulated they find it much easier to lend. This column has been an ardent advocate of digital disruption in aircraft financing, particularly in freighter aircraft financing, where aircraft financiers have done little or nothing at all to create bespoke financing structures for a business that is very different from the passenger business.

Also, discussed at this forum was the concept of the ‘green bond’ which exclusively finances green assets. Green bonds which finance assets such as renewables and energy efficient vehicles, and assets which reduce carbon footprint or energy storage, can be more attractive to certain breed of new investors, with a premium of up to 20 basis points. To date, $60 billion of green assets have been issued.

We at Aircargopedia applaud and encourage the creation of innovative new air cargo products, services and solutions. If you continue to create ‘game changing’ products and services, we will be happy to host them on our 24/7 e-platform at .

CARGO AIRLINE OF THE YEAR RACCA, CNS & AIR CARGO EUROPE: Aircargopedia will be in London this month to witness the prestigious award ceremony for Cargo Airline of the Year along with other industry awards. My guess is as good as yours as to who will win. We will also be attending the RACCA Conference; an annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona, of entrepreneurial regional air cargo carriers who provide the on time lift that helps keep integrators like FedEx and UPS way ahead of the curve. We will then head to Florida for the annual CNS conference, one of the most anticipated cargo events in North America, after which we fly to Munich for Air Cargo Europe, the world’s largest stage for suppliers and customers of transport and logistics equipment. Hope to see you there.

All the best

Best wishes

D.J. Ghosh
President & Publisher
”The Complete Encyclopedia for the Air Cargo Professional & Investor”


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ATSG Subsidiaries to Convert Two B737-400 Aircraft For China-Based Airline

WILMINGTON, OH – April 11, 2017

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) announced today that its subsidiaries have acquired two Boeing 737-400 aircraft and will convert them to freighter configuration for lease to China-based Okay Airways.

ATSG West Leasing Limited, an aircraft leasing company based in Ireland and a wholly owned ATSG subsidiary, has acquired and will lease the aircraft to Okay in late 2017 for terms of seven years. PEMCO World Air Services, another wholly owned ATSG subsidiary, will convert the 737-400s to freighters this summer at PEMCO’s facilities at the Tampa International Airport.

Brad Heath, Managing Director of ATSG West Leasing, said, “We are very pleased to acquire, convert and lease these aircraft into the air express market in China. This initiative leverages the core capabilities of PEMCO, ATSG West Leasing and of our strategic partners in China.”

Okay Airways will operate the aircraft in support of its express services for e-commerce and other companies in the domestic China market. ATSG, Okay Airways, and Tianjin Dongjiang Investment holdings, a Tianjin government affiliate, are establishing a joint venture company to support the growing e-commerce market there.

Mike Andrews, PEMCO’s director of conversion programs, said, “We’re excited to be working with our affiliate ATSG West Leasing Limited and to be redelivering more PEMCO-converted aircraft into the Chinese market.”

PEMCO and its affiliates continue to lead the narrow-body freighter conversion market in China through conversions of 70 percent of China-based 737-300 and -400 freighters in service. Through its subsidiaries, including PEMCO and ATSG West Leasing Limited, ATSG provides aircraft leasing, air cargo lift, aircraft maintenance services, cargo conversion and airport ground services.

The 737-400 PEMCO-converted cargo aircraft features 11 pallet positions, up to 48,000 pounds of payload, and 4,600 cubic feet of total volume under PEMCO’s supplemental type certificate. The optimized center of gravity of PEMCO’s B737-400 freighter yields the highest possible usable payload and retains maximum best-in-class fuel efficiency for unbeatable range and operating economics. PEMCO’s 60-plus customers select the company’s passenger-to-freighter conversion services for its superior cargo door and system, superior operating functions, on-time turnaround, and a track record of 2 million hours of safe, reliable operation.

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NAC Neutral Air Consolidators Group is launched

April 4, 2017

Neutral Air Partner , the premier global platform of leading air cargo architects and aviation specialists has launched NAC airfreight wholesale specialty group. NAC (Neutral Air Consolidators) is a leading group of neutral airfreight wholesalers & consolidators, master co-loaders and brokers , aiming to drive buying power and delver global neutral airfreight solutions and brokegarage across the cargo supply chain.

“NAC provides it’s members a platform to engage with like-minded professionals who share the same passion for the neutral airfreight consolidation business and the tools needed to empower performance and to optimize results .Our partners are selected subject to neutrality , blocked space agreements with carriers , airfreight tonnage , as well as trade lane consolidation expertise ,and import-export sales focus“ says Christos Spyrou CEO of Neutral Air Partner who has over 25 years’ experience and extensive knowledge in the global airfreight wholesale sector.

Read More >

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Emirates SkyCargo keeps perishables fresh with Emirates SkyFresh

DUBAI, U.A.E., 3 April 2017

Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has launched Emirates SkyFresh - a suite of solutions that help maintain the freshness of perishables and fresh consumables during transportation.

Emirates SkyFresh brings together Emirates SkyCargo’s state of the art infrastructure at its hub in Dubai, a modern fleet of wide-bodied aircraft including freighters, a range of innovative cool chain solutions including the brand new Ventilated Cool Dolly and experienced staff to ensure that perishables such as fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and seafood, meat and flowers maintain their freshness during the entire air transportation process.

Emirates SkyFresh will feature three levels - Emirates SkyFresh, Emirates SkyFresh Breathe and Emirates SkyFresh Active - offering varied levels of cool chain protection for different kinds of perishables. The basic solution, Emirates SkyFresh, is geared towards temperature tolerant fruits and vegetables and will offer quick ramp transportation and thermal protection through Emirates SkyCargo’s White Cover blanket. Emirates SkyFresh Breathe provides protection for temperature sensitive perishables such as fresh cut flowers, ready to sell cut fruits and vegetables and fresh fish. Unique features will include prioritised ground handling as well as the use of the Emirates SkyFresh Ventilated Cool Dolly. Emirates SkyFresh Active will offer the highest protection for perishables that cannot withstand any temperature deviation using specialised temperature controlled containers during transportation.

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Introducing the Emirates SkyFresh Ventilated Cool Dolly

The Emirates SkyFresh Ventilated Cool Dolly is Emirates SkyCargo’s latest innovative cool chain protection product which helps preserve the freshness of perishables that require constant circulation of fresh cool air. The Ventilated Cool Dolly not only maintains a constant temperature while transporting cargo, but also has a ventilation system that allows it to bring in fresh air from outside. The fresh air is then cleaned using custom built filters, cooled and then circulated inside the refrigerated interior where the temperature sensitive perishable cargo is stored. The Ventilated Cool Dolly features aluminium and PU insulated panels and can carry a weight of up to 16 tonnes. The Ventilated Cool Dolly can fit a variety of belly hold/ lower deck Unit Loading Devices (ULDs), including pallets, in its interior.

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Globalisation of food and economic contribution

Transporting perishables is an important part of business for Emirates SkyCargo. People all over the world are increasingly aware and interested in culinary flavours and produce from different countries and regions. In line with this trend, the catering and hospitality industry globally has also been offering more international dining choices to customers. More and more perishables from different parts of the world are shipped by air to ensure that the products arrive fresh and within a short span of time at the destination.

In 2016, Emirates SkyCargo transported close to 400,000 tonnes of perishables across its global network of over 150 destinations. This included products as diverse as salmon from Norway, strawberries from California, flowers from Ecuador, meat from Australia, mangoes from the Indian subcontinent, wine and cheese from France. Emirates SkyCargo is an important facilitator of global trade in perishables and helps make an important contribution to local exports.

Since 2015 Emirates SkyCargo has brought over 20,000 tonnes of perishables exports from the US to the rest of the world. Some of the most important exports from the United States include cherries from Seattle, lobsters from Boston, fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and avocadoes and asparagus from California, meat from Texas and fruits such as oranges from Florida. These exports travel on Emirates SkyCargo’s network and reach their final destinations across six continents.

Similarly, the carrier helps Australian food exporters bring a range of Australian products from meat to cheese to the Middle East and other parts of the world. Over 4000 tonnes of fruits and vegetables are uplifted from India every month and brought to the Middle East and beyond on Emirates SkyCargo. Freighters bring fresh cut flowers from Nairobi in Kenya and Quito in Ecuador to Amsterdam.

Emirates SkyCargo operates a modern fleet of 259 wide-bodied aircraft including 15 freighters- 13 Boeing 777-Fs and two B747-400ERFs. The carrier boasts state of the art cool chain facilities at its Emirates SkyCentral cargo hubs at Dubai International Airport and Dubai World Central including over 25,000 square metres of dedicated temperature controlled storage space and dedicated reefer trucks operating 24/7 between Dubai World Central and Dubai International airport.

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ATSG’s Bank Credit Facility Expands to Support Fleet Growth

WILMINGTON, OH – April 3, 2017

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) announced today that it has obtained lender commitments for a one-year extension through May 2022 of its secured credit facility, and an expansion of its revolver portion.

The amendment to ATSG’s agreements with a consortium of banks, led by SunTrust, increases the revolving credit portion of the facility by $120 million, to $545 million. Additionally, the amendment preserves ATSG’s access to a $100 million accordion feature, subject to lender consent.

Quint Turner, Chief Financial Officer of ATSG, said, "We appreciate the continued support of our bank consortium as we invest to meet strong domestic and international demand for our expanding fleet of midsize freighter aircraft. The additional credit, along with growing cash flows generated by ATSG’s businesses, provides us with ample resources to meet capital commitments we anticipate in the near term."

The outstanding balance under the revolver was $415 million as of March 31, 2017. The facility also includes an amortizing term loan with an outstanding balance of $82.5 million.

The variable interest rate structure on the revolver remains unchanged. Rates are affected by LIBOR, plus a credit spread that adjusts quarterly based on the actual leverage ratio up to 3.5 times EBITDA. The revolver interest rate is currently 2.99 percent.

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Kale Logistics features in the top 25 fastest growing companies serving the Logistics Industry

Mumbai, April 03, 2017:

The CEO magazine list of top 25 fastest growing companies serving the Supply Chain & Logistics Industry in India which have grown exponentially.

Kale Logistics Solutions - a leading global IT solutions provider focused on providing cutting edge software and allied technology solutions to the Logistics Industry has been named in the top 25 list of fastest growing companies serving the Logistics ecosystem in India by the CEO magazine. The magazine follows a stringent process of evaluating companies based on several parameters like product innovations, market positioning and approach, customer centricity and global reach.

As India becomes a sought after destination for Logistics business with its proximity to world’s major markets, the industry is witnessing development and expansion with significant government led infrastructure spending, foreign investment and an influx of cutting edge technology in this sun rise sector. India’s transportation sector alone is expected to be a $300 billion industry by 2020.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Amar More, CEO, Kale Logistics Solutions, “It is great to be acknowledged as the top 25 fastest growing company serving the Logistics Sector in India. Our solutions are best-of-breed which are easily scalable and are based on robust technology. Our motto is to be the provider of choice for software & allied technology for the Logistics Industry and to deliver state of the art solutions coupled with an unparalleled support to our customers. We are humbled by these global recognitions received from various industry and academic forums. It puts greater responsibility on us to serve the industry with modern solutions to the complex problems through continuous innovation. We promise that we will continue our unstinted focus on the industry with greater passion and motivation."

Astrophysics, Inc. X-ray Scanners Chosen to Protect Universiade Games

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (March 30, 2017)

Astrophysics, Inc. (Astrophysics) today announced that it has been selected to provide X-ray scanners for the 29th Worldwide Universiade Games which will be held in Taipei, Taiwan this August. The company will provide ninety-four (94) XIS-6040 and five (5) XIS-1080D X-ray systems to help secure entrance checkpoints at the Games.

The Universiade Games are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU) and provide international athletic competitions for college athletes. Held every two (2) years, the 2017 Games will feature over a dozen sporting events including basketball, diving, soccer, gymnastics, tennis, volleyball and water polo.

"Astrophysics is proud to provide security systems for the upcoming Universiade Games," said Francois Zayek, Chief Executive Officer at Astrophysics. "Astrophysics' scanners are ideally suited to protect the participants and spectators, and we are excited to see the amazing athletes competing on the world stage."

Astrophysics initially provided XIS-6040 scanners for the Games' trials and demonstrated how effectively the units could secure entrance checkpoints. The Games' organizers were so pleased with the trial demonstration that they then awarded the remaining contract to Astrophysics. The 29th Worldwide Universiade Games will take place from August 19 through August 30, 2017.

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Jettainer releases App for Smart Phones

Frankfurt, 28 March 2017

Jettainer, the international service partner for outsourced ULD management, is now offering its “JettApp” for smart phones. For Android devices, the application can now be downloaded from the Google Play Store. An iOS version is also already being planned. The mobile IT solution supports employees at the international stations and repair shops in managing the pallets and containers of airline customers in an even more efficient and transparent manner.

All relevant ULD movements can be individually summarized and clearly represented with the app. Various functions also facilitate the handling of complete pallet stacks and allow for the exchange of messages when the units transfer from one airline to another, as well as the search for ULDs or airway bills.

Jettainer App

The app, which was until now only available on tablets – the so-called JettTabs – has been recording a steady increase of user figures since its introduction in 2012. All of the current 5,000 users will now be able to utilise the app with their existing JettWare logins. In 2016, the user surface was extensively redesigned to make it easier to use. The app is an important part of the company’s innovation culture. Currently, Jettainer is nominated for the German Innovation Award 2017 for its “Decision Support System”. The system uses huge amounts of data to support the controllers in their worldwide management of ULDs.

“With the JettApp for smart phones, we’re expanding the service for our customers. The intuitive usability helps make our employees’ work easier at their individual locations. At the same time, we’re also increasing the process effectiveness and taking another step towards digitalisation and paperless work,” said Thorsten Riekert, Director Sales, at Jettainer.

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