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Air cargo volume to contract 17-20% in FY21, airports in metro cities contributed around 90% of the overall cargo traffic: ICRA

According to ICRA Ratings, air cargo volumes are expected to decline by 17-20 per cent in FY21 with meaningful recovery in cargo volumes expected only in FY22. Anupama Arora, Vice President and Sector Head, ICRA Ratings, says, “Despite faster ramp-up, the total cargo volumes declined by 45 per cent YoY in H1 FY2021, with slow recovery in passenger aircraft traffic leading to loss of the earlier available cargo belly space constraining cargo growth.” “In October 2020, the cargo volumes are likely to show significant improvement sequentially owing to the expected higher domestic air traffic movement due to the festival season.” As per the report, the cargo volumes in September 2020 reached to 89 per cent of pre-COVID levels when compared to passenger traffic at 29 per cent. Besides, the ratings agency cited that on the supply side, airlines adopted cargo on seats and dedicated freighters to meet demand while there was inherent fear to travel during Covid-19 pandemic amongst business and leisure travellers – the major contributors to passenger traffic historically, which kept travel demand subdued. “The domestic cargo volumes witnessed significant improvement to 94,598 tonnes in September 2020 from 7,280 tonnes in April 2020. The ramp up in domestic cargo transportation in aircraft bellies of commercial passenger flights aided volume growth. With the restrictions on the passenger capacity, domestic airlines followed ‘cargo-on-seats’ model thereby utilising some aircrafts of their grounded fleet for cargo operations.” Besides, the report pointed out that airports in metro cities have contributed to around 90 per cent of the overall cargo traffic over the last few years. “While the recovery has been faster in metros with Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad reaching closer to pre-Covid …

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DSV gears autonomous drone system to minimise disruption & improve quality of warehouse operations

In collaboration with tech innovator Verity, DSV is implementing an autonomous drone system in several of its warehouses to help manage inventory. The drone system can scan barcodes without human interaction and detect if pallet positions are empty or occupied. Operating mainly at night, the drones don’t interrupt warehouse operations. Inventory management traditionally involves manual barcode scans to count the warehouse inventory and keep track of stock. Besides being an unsafe and arduous task, manual counts often result in inventory data not being up to date due to discrepancies. The DSV Innovation Hub continually works to innovate DSV’s customer offerings and its operations, and after connecting with Verity, the two companies tested the system at the Moerdijk warehouse in the Netherlands, completing thousands of autonomous flights and tens of thousands of scans. “The drones know down to each centimetre where goods are located, and the information they provide with their scans can be compared with information in our system. This helps us to increase the predictability and visibility of inventory,” says Luca Graf, Senior Director, Innovation, DSV. The pilot showed that manual counts can be avoided to a large extent and that inventory data becomes virtually error-free, thereby helping to reduce stock. The successful pilot now leads to roll-out of the drone system into more DSV warehouses. “We want to offer our customers high-tech supply chain solutions, which is why we work with innovative companies like Verity. We have had a good, hands-on collaboration with them on this drone system, which we expect can benefit many of our warehouse operations where the business case makes sense,” says Peter van der Maas, Executive Vice President, Benelux, DSV Solutions.

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B&H Worldwide and OnLogistics create alliance, serving the aerospace sector with a seamless supply chain solution

In a bid to provide an integrated supply chain management solution enabling aerospace businesses to prioritise and focus on their core activity, B&H Worldwide and OnLogistics have joined forces. “By creating this alliance with OnLogistics we are cementing our position in the aerospace industry as specialists committed to customers who operate within this challenging and time-sensitive vertical market.” says Gary Wilson, Group Managing Director, B&H Worldwide, in adding, “In this collaboration of expertise we aim to serve the aerospace sector with a seamless supply chain solution embracing inventory management, warehousing and international distribution”. Nick Bennett, Managing Director, OnLogistics, adds, “Establishing this new venture with B&H Worldwide is a strategic alliance that will combine the strengths of OnLogistics’ warehousing and ‘on site’ service solutions plus B&H Worldwide’s global forwarding strength. The landscape of aerospace logistics has changed, we must therefore rely on our mutual strengths to deliver an agile and cost-effective service. Our aim is to provide global solutions from a network of local expertise.” OnLogistics is a UK-headquartered aerospace, defence & engineering logistics specialist providing a range of aerospace integration services including contract packing, packaging design & supply, distribution and storage incorporating kitting and direct line feed. Its capabilities have tremendous synergies with B&H Worldwide whose own services bridge the operational and visibility gap between the aircraft and its global freight network. B&H’s unrivalled expertise in delivering freight solutions across the aerospace industry combined with the supply chain transparency means it can provide customers through the use of its innovative, in-house designed IT solutions are highly tailored to suit customer operating models. Its custom-designed FirstTrac software sets the benchmark for the aerospace logistics industry.

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Pipavav cuts terminal handling charges for empty containers by 25%, effective till December 31. 2020

APM Terminals Pipavav has announced that the port has reduced terminal handling charges for empty containers by a quarter to help the exporters, facing container shortage for overseas shipments. The charges have been revised downward from November 16 and will remain in effect till December 31, 2020. The move is aimed at supporting exporters in getting easy access to empty containers and reducing the waiting period. APM Terminals Pipavav is taking efforts to facilitate trade and help in reviving the economy amid a considerable imbalance in trade due to severe shortage of containers for exporters. “The Port has reduced the terminal handling charges for empty containers by 25 per cent to enable the exporters who are adversely impacted by the shortage of empty containers due to significant fall in imports,” APM Pipavav Terminals said. The reduction for handling charges on the tariff is effective for vessels sailing from November 16 to December 31. “Looking at the trade cycle adversely affected by the shortage of containers, we decided to assist the trade through a reduction in handling charges of empty containers. I hope this will support exporters in getting easy access to empty containers and reduce the waiting period, thereby addressing the critical issue of container shortage,” said Jakob Friis Sorensen, Managing Director, APM Terminals Pipavav. India’s exports during April-October period of the current financial year fell 19 per cent to US$ 150.14 billion, while imports declined 36.3 per cent to US$ 182.29 billion, citing data from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The country is facing a shortage of containers for exports as the containers that come in as imports are shipped out for exports, APM Pipavav Terminals said, adding …

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Boxco Logistics successfully handles 9 heavy lift packages of IOCL MEG project at Paradip Port

Boxco Logistics along with Allcargo Logistics has successfully executed the first shipment of the IOCL MEG Project at Paradip for L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE) who were the EPC contractors for IOCL. The shipment had nine heavy lift packages which were received safely on Boxco’s self-propelled modular trailers. The dimensions of the packages meant that certain modifications were required to be made to PICT which was carried out by Boxco. In addition, other civil modifications were also carried out enroute to the IOCL Site. The major challenge in transporting these packages was the route which passed through a live refinery road, which, was not strong enough for handling packages of this size. Boxco conducted a number of surveys and meetings with IOCL and LTHE personnel with the intention of finding a solution wherein the modification en route had to be minimised and the refinery also continued functioning without any shutdowns. There was another challenge for modification in the port itself for taking out these packages, we convinced the customs and took the permission for breaking the port wall and also made the slope to match the level difference between the port road inside the terminal and outside the road. Boxco made almost 27 major modifications en route to deliver this cargo. Boxco Logistics added this to a long list of complicated movements done in Paradip over the past 20 years. This contract also further strengthened the position of PICT as the terminal in Paradip for heavy lifts and over dimensional cargo the terminal has a strategic advantage because of its location. The state-of-the-art infrastructure makes it a terminal of choice for this type of cargo. The second shipment of this project …

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Shankar Shinde elected as the MD of IFCBA, underlining the importance of FFFAI and India in international logistics business

Shankar Shinde, Chairman Elect, Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations in India (FFFAI) has been elected unanimously as Managing Director of the International Federation of Customs Brokers Association (IFCBA). IFCBA enjoys the status of Private Sector Consultative Group (PSCG) representation on World Customs Organisation (WCO).The election of Shinde in IFCBA’s crucial position once again underscores the growing importance of FFFAI and India at large in the international Logistics & Customs Brokers business. Having more than 30 years of experience in Logistics and Customs Broking industry Shinde is very well-known for his huge contribution to the entire industry. Apart from FFFAI and IFCBA, he has also been associated with various industry associations including Nashik Customs House Agents Association as President, International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations (FIATA) as FFFAI nominated representative, Brihanmumbai Customs Brokers Association, Maharashtra Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture, etc. In addition, from FFFAI Shinde is spearheading the International North South Transport Corridor (INSTC) project collaborating with the Government of India. “The international trade community depends on the work done by Customs Brokers and IFCBA serves Customs Brokers by keeping them at the centre of the international trading system. It is IFCBA’s mission to promote the value and use of Customs Brokers worldwide,” emphasized Shinde while commenting on the importance of IFCBA. IFCBA works to bring about improvements in Customs policies and best practices on a global basis. These improvements benefit both Customs and Customs Brokers for achieving transparency in trade facilitation measures, brainstorming towards innovation for recommendation of seamless cross border customs processes and standardization with use of technology in achieving paperless transaction.

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JSW Infrastructure acquires Chettinad Group’s Port Business for over Rs 1,000 crore, combining capacity of 17 MTPA

JSW Infrastructure has completed the acquisition of Chettinad Group’s Port Business which allows JSW Infrastructure ownership and operational control of a deep draft international coal terminal and a Bulk Terminal at Kamarajar Port Limited (KPL) as well as coal and bulk commodity terminal at New Mangalore Port Trust (NMPT). The company is investing more than Rs 1,000 crore to acquire as well as modernise these Port assets which has a combined cargo handling capacity of 17 million tonnes per annum. Commenting on the development Arun Maheshwari, Joint MD & CEO, JSW Infrastructure said, “The successful acquisition of these Port assets consolidates our strategic presence across South East & West coast of India. It allows us greater access to the hinterland trading hubs with promising growth potential. These assets also fit our strategic direction to achieve 200 million tonnes per annum cargo handling capacity over next couple of years offering us an opportunity to service varied requirements of a wide customer base. The newly acquired Terminals will have business synergies with our upcoming 30 MTPA coal export terminal at Paradip Port Trust which is scheduled to commence operations during first half of calendar year 2021.” According to Devki Nandan, Senior Vice President & Head of M&A of JSW Infrastructure, “The newly acquired terminals are strategic assets for JSW Infrastructure. Their addition enables us to service higher volume of third-party customer cargo. We intend to modernise these terminals to further enhance their operational efficiency. This acquisition will immensely benefit all our stakeholders through better efficiency, reduced cost and a world-class customer service experience”.

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Cool Chain Association launches COVID-19 airport matrix, helping airports prepare the vaccine logsitcs

Aimed at supporting airports to prepare their logistics for vaccines, the Cool Chain Association (CCA) has launched the Covid-19 Distribution Change Management Matrix. The Matrix looks at adherence to temperature requirements, packaging, forecast and quantity, and timeframe across different stages in a vaccine’s journey through an airport. The Cool Chain Association will share the Matrix with members for them to complete and then bring together the information to help the supply chain focus on potential pinch points, training needs, safety and security, as well as supplier and risk management, and quality. “CCA members can share vital information, which, once consolidated, will provide a useful resource as the industry prepares in the best way we can for the distribution of the vaccines,” said Nicola Caristo, Secretary General, the Cool Chain Association and Airline Partner Manager, SkyCell. “We are not aiming to suddenly find an end-to-end solution, but focussing on airports, where we know there are potential bottlenecks and where we can use the vast knowledge in our network to help establish workable guidelines.” The scheme was unveiled during association’s recent Covid-19 Taskforce Workshop, where the focus was on the need for both shippers and legislators to play their part. Guest speaker Ruud van der Geer, Global Deliver Strategy team MSD, said, “The pharma industry was working to be as prepared as possible in volatile times. The biggest challenge is that we have to develop a network, but there are still so many unknowns, from the required shipping temperature to where it will be manufactured and delivered, and the overall manufacturing capacity.”

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CMA CGM launches ACT with CMA CGM+, enabling its customers to make their cargo carbon neutral

h an aim to help its customers to lighten their environmental footprint and make their cargo carbon neutral, the CMA CGM Group has announced that the group is launching ACT with CMA CGM+, an array of solutions. Available throughout all the Group’s shipping subsidiaries, this new offering consists of four services, enabling its customers to analyse their environmental footprint, use cleaner alternative energy sources and to offset the emissions generated during the transport of their goods. Cleaner Energy LNG and Cleaner Energy Biofuel: Two solutions delivering reductions in environmental footprint CMA CGM made the groundbreaking decision to power 26 of its containerships using liquefied natural gas by 2022, and seven of these are already in service. Thanks to the CLEANER ENERGY LNG offering, customers will be able to choose to transport their goods using LNG, a novel technology that helps to preserve air quality by eliminating almost all atmospheric pollutants. Through its greater energy efficiency and the use of renewable biomethane sources, this offering also delivers a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. CMA CGM was also the first shipping group to successfully use biofuel on its containerships. Thanks to the CLEANER ENERGY BIOFUEL offering, the Group’s customers will be able to opt for a transport solution for their goods using biofuel generated from used cooking oil. These alternative fuel-based solutions can unlock reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of between 15% and 85%, providing CMA CGM’s customers with a wide range of solutions to decarbonize their cargo. Eco Monitor and Positive Offset: Two solutions for analysing and offsetting environmental footprints With Eco Monitor, the CMA CGM Group’s customers will be able to keep track of their environmental footprint in real …

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Revised policy for CFS/ICD/AFS will address overcapacity concerns in the industry and is credit positive: ICRA

The Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC) has notified revised policy and guidelines for setting up of Container Freight Stations (CFS), Inland Container Deport (ICD) and Airfreight Stations (AFS). The revised policy aims to boost investment in CFS/ICD sector in underdeveloped regions in India, while the approvals in regions where already high concentration is there will be discouraged except in exceptional cases. Commenting on the policy, K Ravichandran, Senior Vice President and Group Head, Corporate Ratings, ICRA, says, “The new policy considers the issues faced by the sector; including regional disparities in concentration of facilities, with high concentration of CFS in Western and Southern regions and the adverse impact of new initiatives like Direct Port Delivery (DPD)/ Direct Port Delivery (DPE) on the CFS sector. While, the impact on volumes due to DPD implementation has stabilised to some extent, the margins have witnessed pressure and with growing investments in warehousing space, only CFS players with larger logistics offerings allowing them to re position their services will be able to continue in the long term. Hence, the zoning and distance rules in the revised policy will aid in more balanced development in the sector and prevent concentration of facilities which will improve the viability of existing/upcoming facilities by reducing competitive pressure.” ICRA notes that the revised policy has factored the developments in the sector in the last two decades, including the growth in volumes during this period; geographical concentration of CFS/ICD; implementation of schemes like DPD/DPE and other automation and efficiency improvement measures; and also, the infrastructure developments like Direct Freight Corridor and inland waterways.

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