Aircargopedia Newsblast: November 2017!
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13th November 2017  

Dear Air Cargo Professional:

This October and November, Miami was the host to two major air cargo events; Air Cargo Americas, the bi-annual International Congress and Exhibition organized by the World Trade Center, Miami, and the Annual General Meeting and Conference organized by TIACA

AIR CARGO AMERICAS: Miami continues to be the largest international gateway for air cargo in North America, while leading the nation in trade with Latin America. According to Joe Napoli, Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor, Miami-Dade Aviation Department(MIA), 10% of the airport's revenue comes from air cargo, and cargo revenues and volumes are up significantly.
  DJ Ghosh

Pharma continues to be a major focus of the airport and MIA has been one of the first movers in the country to gain IATA's CEIV certification and is also one of the founding members of a global multi-airport pharma initiative named PHARMA-AERO. Besides pharma, MIA is also targeting e-commerce and has a vision to become the e-commerce center of America. All of this, while it aims to grow cargo volumes up from the present 2 million tons to 4 million tons in the foreseeable future.

On the ocean side, while container volumes are mostly flat, Miami continues its 50 year run as the leading port for the cruise industry. Kevin Lynskey, Deputy Port Director, PortMiami predicted that his terminals would have another great year,spurred by 5% global growth and 25 million passengers going on a cruise, somewhere in the world. The biggest constraint to the cruise business was not demand from passengers, but the supply of cruise ships, and the tightening of capacity.

Air Cargo Americas

Air Cargo Americas continues to be a global forum for the discussions of topics related to the North-South trade of the Americas.

In the conference part of the event, Craig Myatt, CEO of Sea-Land, (a subsidiary of Danish based shipping conglomerate Maersk Line ) with scheduled sailings to South American seaports, lamented that the paperwork for conducting trade in the South American market was overwhelming. Romaine Seguin, President, Americas Region, UPS added that Latin America spends 4-8 times more on customs processing than anywhere else in the world. Michael Steen, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Atlas Air Worldwide pressed for more regulators and regulations to harmonize cargo flows on a global basis and include more stakeholders into the regulatory framework. Cargo should be regulated like passengers to promote harmonization. All of this synergy will be required as cargo volumes grow and e-commerce explodes to US$500 billion by 2020.

In the forum on perishables, we learnt that MIA continues to be the US gateway of choice for the perishables trade with South America, despite numerous unsuccessful attempt by other gateways to lure away part of that business to their airports. A full 91% of all flower imports into the USA come through MIA. Just as 80% of all perishables in Europe move through Amsterdam/Netherlands, MIA leads the trade in North America, as the infrastructure, forwarder network and air connectivity of MIA have stood the test of time for its perishables business.

According to Robert Fay, President, Florida Freezer LP, every perishable product, be it an apple, an orange, a rose or a fillet of salmon, has a separate component and each of these components requires specialized knowledge related to transportation, handling and storage. Meanwhile, the government is pushing for more regulations relating to sanitary transportation of food, training and maintenance of records, leading to a paradigm shift in how customers obtain their perishables. All of this, as consolidation(71 M&A transaction worth $43 billion in the recent past) is spurring the reduction in the number of specialized global transportation providers who can provide this bespoke service.

The USA and Europe are not alone in their appetite for perishables. As demand for seafood in North America reaches a plateau with a maturing market, the Chinese who cannot farm enough of their own seafood, especially lobsters, are now going to existing US and Canadian suppliers offering higher prices and increasing volumes. So the next time you dine on a 'surf and turf', be prepared for some sticker shock.

In her luncheon presentation on Day 2 of the show, Brenda Smith, Executive Assistant Commissioner, US Customs & Border Protection(CBP) outlined how her agency was tasked with insuring safety and security while allowing trade and the other drivers of the economy to continue seamlessly. The CBP is all about 'information' to deal with risks, and towards this end, they have invested large sums in upgrading their technology. The automation of the CBP started in the 1960's with visionary leadership and the introduction of ACE(Automated Commercial System), to track, control, and process all goods imported into the United States. CBP is currently working to transition cargo processing to the AUTOMATED COMMERCIAL ENVIRONMENT(ACE), through which it hopes to develop a modernized system that will allow it to track, control and process both imported and exported goods.

Freighters World Conference


I have to admit that I am very impressed with TIACA . For the first time ever, TIACA under the Chairmanship of Sanjiv Edward, Head of Cargo Business at Delhi International Airport, has taken the initiative to discuss cargo quality, and has created a tool with the help of a technology vendor(India based, PROSPECTA TECHNOLOGIES), to measure and publish the cargo service quality delivered by airports and cargo terminals which form a vital link in the supply chain. This will certainly help TIACA and the industry move towards their stated goal of boosting efficiency in the air freight supply chain and empowering the shipper by providing visibility on the quality of service being delivered. As we all know, what cannot be measured, cannot be improved, so measurement against standards is key to optimal performance.

One of the keys to the success of this initiative is 'bench-marking' and the visibility of quality programs, since shippers want to know how all stakeholders in the supply chain are performing. To map the true customer/service provider relationship you need specialized measuring tools and uniform global standards to insure that all participants are held accountable to the same set of rules.

Rvind Kavura, the spokesperson from the technology provider, Prospecta Technologies outlined how users who wish to asses vendors can use special dashboards that they are creating for this purpose. These users are also presented with airport scores for the airports and cargo terminals being measured under this program. With bench-marking parameters established, 'gap analysis' measurement tools can separate the top performers from the mediocre ones, creating the peer pressure for the laggards to up their game. As a further incentive to improve their performance, industry recognition programs for participating airports and cargo terminals could be introduced. Eventually, the whole industry could be covered by this initiative. Amar More, CEO of Kale Logistics Solutions, the other technology provider on the panel, emphasized that the technology for this service quality initiative should be both simple and intuitive to facilitate a roll-out on a global scale.

PLACI(Pre-Loading Advance Cargo Information) was discussed in the panel on updating security. As we now know, the incident about the 'bomb in the box' which originated in Yemen a few years ago was the trigger that launched the PLACI program, requiring the the submission of information(only 7+1 data elements) up-to four hours prior to arrival at the destination airport. As part of this process the ICAO(International Civil Aviation Organization) and the WCO(World Customs Organization), the latter with 182 members, banded together to align security regulations on a global basis.

However, while standards are being set globally, the reality is that individual state organizations could interpret these rules differently. Compounding this problem, are the different IT infrastructures in participating countries. In Europe alone, according to Annegret Rohloff , Policy Officer, Supply Chain Security of the European Commission, where EU PLACI has been in force since May 2016, there are 28 different countries participating.

In Canada, we learnt from Justin Jedlinski, Chief, Air Cargo Security Regulations, Transport Canada, that a Canadian version of PLACI called PACT(Pre-Load Air Cargo Targeting) has been operating since October 2012. Under PACT, participating air carriers voluntarily submit air way bill information to Transport Canada and can include screening information.

Elizabeth Merritt, Director, Cargo Services, Airlines for America described how ACAS, the US version of PLACI, under which 80% of shipments are already covered, is successful because it has been repeatedly tested for performance, time and again. However, as Asha Menon of the WCO points out, PLACI is only one of the many security measures used by customs organizations all over the world, and is primarily targeted at 'the bomb in the box'.

In the other innovation track at TIACA, we learnt how airports are taking a leading role in creating Airport Communities that integrate stakeholders, bringing them together with initiatives such as local events and working groups, as well as providing an interface with regulators. Jonas Van Stekelenburg, Head of Cargo at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport with an active and growing airport community emphasized that a cargo community is all about communication. At Schiphol, 5,000 parties contribute data to this community. At Delhi International Airport, where government officials and regulators are invited to listen in, seats on air cargo community meetings are provided for airlines, integrators and forwarders, who regularly contribute to the discussions. At Fraport AG in Germany, this new level of communication has helped synchronize and harmonize processes and standards all over the airport.

'Lane Validation" and the move towards packaging pharma in smaller shipments (as a tool for risk mitigation) were discussed as possible innovative trends for the pharma business during the session on pharma, which was chaired by Leandro Moreira, Director of Life Sciences, Brink's Global Services. This could definitely be a challenge for the ULD/Container manufacturers to develop smaller size containers to respond to this trend.

In the session on Unmanned Aircraft, Dr. Hans Heerkens, Chairman of the Platform Unmanned Cargo Aircraft(PUCA), mentioned that while smaller drones have proliferated in large numbers, larger UNMANNED CARGO AIRCRAFT(UCA's) are still relatively unknown and undiscovered. Future UCA's could have slower cruising speeds, non-pressurized cabins, and blended wings and could be configured to carry dangerous goods like lithium batteries in cabins filled with inert gases.. According to George Kerchner, of the Rechargeable Battery Association(PRBA), 0.14% of all commodities carried in air cargo are lithium batteries, while Katherine Rooney of ICAO's Cargo Safety Section points out that lithium batteries have had the greatest impact on the transportation of dangerous goods. We can only speculate if dangerous goods like lithium batteries can eventually be transported on Unmanned Cargo Aircraft.

The other TIACA initiative which greatly impressed me was the recognition of consultancy as the fourth pillar of TIACA. As the introduction to this panel suggested, the increasing complexity of the air cargo business is expected to grow with the advent of product specialization, e-commerce and e-products, encompassing new technologies and processes. We at AIRCARGOPEDIA, with our specialized 24/7 online encyclopedia, with developing pages on dedicated air cargo subjects, are great believers in this shift to specialization and the need for a cadre of industry professionals, and we heartily support this initiative. The global air cargo community should have access to what Neel Shah of Flexport refers to as a Rolodex of consultants, who are available to provide specialized knowledge and expertise on increasingly complex issues, developments and problems facing the air cargo industry. Let the process of identifying the specialists and experts in the air cargo industry begin. And remember, every time an experienced air cargo professional leaves or retires from the industry, it is like a 'library burning down'. We need to stop this exodus of talent.


From November 15-17, 2017 , logistics executives from three continents will meet in Istanbul, Turkey at Logitrans, the leading exhibition along the complete value-added chain in the field of logistics, telematics and transport in the Eurasian region. The first day's highlight will be a discussion between Eurasian logistics professionals who will exchange first-hand experiences related to the New Silk Road, the impetus for which came from China's 'One Belt-One Road Strategy' linking Asia with Europe.. They represent companies from China, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey and Europe that are operating on rail tracks as well as on waterways.

In an article in the November 13th issue of TIME magazine, Charlie Campbell writes that China's Belt and Road Initiative, is the re-starting of a grand plan to build a modern 'Silk Road' with a network of highways, railways, ports and pipelines linking Asia via the Middle East to Europe and south to Africa. Estimated to cost $900 billion, it will restore the lost grandeur of the silk road, while pouring millions and billions of dollars into some of the world's poorest, and least stable countries. Just so you know, trains now chug on a 7,000 mile journey through a hub in Khorgos in North Western China from 27 Chinese manufacturing hubs to 11 cities in Europe.

Technology enabled transparency across the whole supply chain of the New Silk Road has become a major issue. Thus, the multi-continent panel will also include Arviem, an IT specialist. Many Turkish companies with operations along the Silk Road are investing in technology enabled smart solutions to promote and enhance this transparency.

Digitization and standardization are the key words.

At Logitrans, you will also get a chance to ask questions of Dr. Sevket Akiniar, research fellow at Fraunhofer Material Flow and Logistics on how far digitization and standardization along the Silk Road is proceeding and what role the local associations and institutions will play.

Another advantage of attending this free event for visitors and exhibitors is the discussions on the transportation of perishables by air, (PeriLog), the growth in perishables consumption in the Eurasian region and the position of Turkey as a perishables market and distribution center.

We strongly recommend this event and hope you will attend.

All the best

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


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U.S. CBP Awards Astrophysics, Inc. X-ray Pallet Systems Contract

Scanners Will Support Inspection Sites Nationwide

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (November 9, 2017)

United States (U.S.) Customs and Border Protection (CBP) awarded Astrophysics, Inc. a contract for Cargo / Large Pallet (CLP) X-ray systems, valued at up to $6 million. The two-year contract will include the Astrophysics XIS-1818 scanner along with service and maintenance in support of CBP's Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) Program.

Astrophysics' systems will facilitate CBP cargo screening for high-risk threats, contraband and trade law violations at airports, seaports and land ports of entry. This contract follows a previous five-year contract with CBP that included delivery of sixty-five (65) Astrophysics units.

"This win reflects CBP's satisfaction with our current performance and their confidence in Astrophysics to provide superior cargo screening solutions," commented Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Francois Zayek. "As a U.S.-based business and manufacturer, we are honored to continue our partnership with CBP and advance their critical security mission."

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Dry-Leasing Drives ATSG Operating Gains

Boeing 767 Operating Freighter Fleet Increases By Eight; 81% of 767 Fleet Under Multi-Year Dry Lease

WILMINGTON, OH – November 6, 2017

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATSG), the leading provider of medium wide-body aircraft leasing, air cargo transportation and related services, today reported consolidated financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2017.

Compared with amounts for the third quarter of 2016 (except as noted):

• Revenues increased $60.8 million, or 31 percent, to $254.1 million. Excluding revenues from reimbursable airline expenses, revenues increased $49 million, or 29 percent. ATSG's dry leasing, and maintenance and logistics businesses recorded double-digit revenue increases before eliminations.
• GAAP Earnings from Continuing Operations were a loss of $28.2 million, or $0.48 per share diluted, compared with a positive $2.1 million, or $0.04 per share, in the year-earlier quarter. This quarter's earnings included non-cash after-tax charges totaling $43.1 million for revaluation of the warrants granted to Amazon Fulfillment Services, Inc. in connection with operating and lease agreements which began in April 2016, the amortization of lease incentives related to those Amazon warrants, a non-cash pension settlement charge, and other items. The value of the warrant liability increased versus the same period a year ago due to additional warrants vesting, and from calculating the value based on a 12 percent gain in ATSG's stock price during the third quarter.
• Adjusted Earnings from Continuing Operations, which exclude non-cash warrant, pension, and other items, were $14.9 million, up 72 percent. Adjusted Earnings Per Share from Continuing Operations were $0.22 for the quarter, up eight cents versus a year ago. The EPS calculation also reflects 9.9 million shares related to the warrants for the third quarter, versus 3.3 million a year ago. These Adjusted Earnings and other adjusted amounts referenced below are non-GAAP financial measures, and are reconciled to GAAP results in tables in this release.
• GAAP Pre-tax Earnings from Continuing Operations were a negative $20.8 million, versus a positive $3.1 million a year ago. Adjusted Pre-tax Earnings, which exclude warrant effects along with the pension settlement charges and other non-cash items, increased 58 percent to $24.0 million.
• GAAP Operating Income increased 31 percent to $18.9 million. • Adjusted EBITDA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization, as defined and adjusted in a table later in this release) increased 27 percent to $65.9 million versus a year ago, and increased $1.8 million from the second quarter of 2017.
• Capital expenditures through the first nine months of 2017 were $218.8 million versus $182.1 million in the same period of 2016. ATSG’s operating 767 freighter fleet has increased by six, to 58, during the first nine months of 2017.

Joe Hete, President and Chief Executive Officer of ATSG, said, “As we indicated in August, our adjusted results for the third quarter were very similar to those in the second quarter, and were up significantly from the third quarter a year ago. They reflect growth in our operating fleet and strong double-digit growth in associated lease revenues. We expect to deploy five more freighters to lease customers by year-end, and increase operating utilization for our CMI and ACMI fleets during a good peak season.”

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Astrophysics, Inc. X-ray Scanners Will Help Secure 2018 Winter Olympics

Company Providing Units for Checkpoint Security in Pyeongchang, South Korea
CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (October 31, 2017)

Astrophysics, Inc. (Astrophysics) announced it has been selected to supply X-ray scanners for next year's 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. In partnership with its local dealer, Astrophysics will deliver scanners needed to secure the venues, screen spectators and inspect shipments at the Olympic Games.

The contract calls for machines ranging from XIS-6040 checkpoint units up to XIS-1517 cargo scanners. All equipment will be outfitted to handle freezing winter weather and configured to withstand temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). This award comes two (2) months after the 29th Worldwide Universiade Games in Taipei, Taiwan, in which Astrophysics delivered nearly one hundred (100) X-ray scanners for checkpoint security at the Games.

Astrophysics, Inc. CEO Francois Zayek commented: "Astrophysics is proud to provide security systems for the upcoming Winter Olympics. Astrophysics' scanners are ideally suited to protect the participants, spectators and facilities, and we are excited to see the amazing athletes compete on the world stage."


ATSG to Host Third Quarter 2017 Conference Call

WILMINGTON, OH – October 30, 2017

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) today announced that it will host an investor conference call on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time to review its financial results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2017.

The company will issue its third quarter 2017 earnings release on Monday, November 6, 2017, after the stock market closes.

On the day of the conference call, participants should dial 800-708-4540 and international participants should dial 847-619-6397 ten minutes before the scheduled start of the call and ask for conference passcode 45911211. Please note that the call will be held a half hour earlier than usual, at 9:30 am Eastern Time. The call will be webcast live on the company’s website in listen-only mode.

A replay of the conference call will be available by phone on Tuesday, November 7, 2017, beginning at 2 p.m. and continuing through Tuesday, November 14, 2017, at 888-843-7419 (international callers 630-652-3042), use passcode 45911211#. The webcast replay will remain available via for 30 days.

Liege Airport goes into turbo for freight

Liege Airport, 30 October 2017

In order to accompany the strong growth of its freight clients, Liege Airport is going into turbo with its investments, devoting over 20 million euros for new warehouses and handling facilities.

For more than 12 months, cargo activity at Liege Airport has been undergoing major structural growth. The companies on the site have opened new routes, integrated new aircraft and intensified their activities.

Since June, Air China Cargo, the largest Chinese cargo company, has been running a weekly flight between Shanghai and Liege and it will increase its rotations in 2018. Moreover, in early October, Air Bridge Cargo decided to establish its main hub at Liege Airport.

As Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport, explains: “First, the global cargo business is undergoing general growth driven by good economic performance in Europe, but also by the emergence of new niches driven by e-commerce. And the saturation of Amsterdam airport has changed the situation”.

All these developments imply an acceleration of investments by the airport: “In 2018 Liege Airport will increase its storage space as a priority. Nearly 20,000 sq. m. of additional warehouses and equipment are planned, representing an increase of 30% of our cargo handling capacity. The first hall of 6,000 sq. m. will be available in January 2018 and the other warehouses will be operational by the end of 2018. Our strong points, labelled Flexpress - free areas, no slots and quality service - appeal to operators”, specifies Luc Partoune.

The strategy clearly defined by Liege Airport - #freightersfirst - is supported by this historic investment to meet current needs and future opportunities. More than 300 direct jobs will be created.

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Kale Logistics appoints Krishnamurthy Gopalakrishnan as Head of Business Development for India and Asia Pacific region

Krishnamurthy comes with a wealth of experience in the IT, Telecom, Power & Technology dealing across Government organizations, Defence and private enterprises. He joins Kale Logistics to develop their growing position in India and Asia Pacific.

Mumbai, Oct 18, 2017:

Kale Logistics Solutions, a trusted IT Logistics partner for Fortune 500 companies, announced the joining of Krishnamurthy Gopalakrishnan (Krish Gopal) as Head of Business Development for India and Asia Pacific region. In his new role, Krishnamurthy will be responsible for sales team leadership and driving revenue across the Indian and Asia Pacific markets.

Speaking on the occasion Vineet Malhotra, Director, Kale Logistics Solutions, says, “Krish is a great addition to the team. He brings with him extensive experience in Operations, Business Management, Account Mapping, Customer & Relationship Management, Pre-sales and Project Management. With Krish joining the team, we are looking at strengthening not just our sales but also our customer centric approach.” He further added, “The India and Asia Pacific markets are great prospects to develop customer base as these markets are undertaking several initiatives to strengthen their supply chain and logistics networks. Our IT solutions are gaining popularity in these regions and it is the right time for us to have someone like Krish looking at these markets.”

Krish is experienced in managing end-to-end sales cycle from Sales – Projects – Delivery – Procurement & Finance. He was formerly associated with Nashua Dynamatics, Modi Xerox, General Electric and GTL and has over 20 years of professional experience.

Speaking about his association with Kale Logistics Solutions, Krish, said, “Kale Logistics knowing its strength & industry position in the Logistics IT segment is well known. It feels privileged to be associated with such a front-runner in this domain who strives for continuous innovations & setting new benchmarks. I look forward to contribute towards further growth in India & APAC.”

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