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FedEx invests $350 mn to expand operations in MEISA

FedEx Express is expanding its footprint in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa (MEISA) by establishing a state-of-the-art hub at Dubai World Central (DWC) Airport in Dubai South. The facility was officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports and Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, along with Raj Subramaniam, FedEx Corporation President and CEO, Richard W. Smith, FedEx Express President and CEO, Airline and International, and Kami Viswanathan, FedEx Express MEISA President. This new FedEx regional hub marks a long-term investment of more than USD 350 million, focusing on infrastructure, and technological advancements. This investment reaffirms our commitment to revolutionize its operations with cutting-edge technology and innovative practices. “The establishment of our new regional hub significantly enhances our presence and capabilities in the MEISA region. This investment is not just about infrastructure expansion; it will contribute to improve the region’s connectivity and play a key role in facilitating global trade and commerce,” said Richard W. Smith, FedEx Express President and Chief Executive Officer, Airline and International. Given the role of the UAE and Dubai in global trade, our regional hub not only aims to serve the MEISA region, which accounts for approximately 45% of the world’s population and includes key markets like India and Saudi Arabia but is also a crucial part of our global air network that connects more than 220 countries and territories.” “This hub is a significant step forward towards our vision of building smarter and more sustainable supply chains for everyone. Integrating the latest physical infrastructure with digital capabilities powered by artificial intelligence, it enables us to improve efficiency and provide our customers with …

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SeaLead launches Gulf India Express service to enhance trade connectivity

SeaLead has launched its new container shipping service, the Gulf India Express (GIX), designed to streamline and enhance the trade routes between India and the Gulf region. This new service aligns with SeaLead’s strategic vision to expand its operational network and facilitate efficient trade between these key markets. In partnership with Blue Water Line (an Abrao Group Company), the GIX service will operate 2 ships with 1 vessel provided by each partner. The service will provide a reliable and efficient weekly rotation connecting the key ports of Mundra, Nhava Sheva, Sohar, Jebel Ali, Dammam, and returning to Mundra. The inaugural voyage of the MV Taichung is scheduled to depart Jebel Ali on 22nd February 2024 followed by MV Abrao Cochin on the 29th Feb 2024 from Jebel Ali. SC Chan, Acting Head of SeaLead, highlighted the strategic importance of the new service, stating, “The Gulf India Express is a critical addition to our services, designed to enhance the trade corridor between India and the Gulf region. As Saudi Arabia and UAE are key trading partners with India, this service aims to support the growing trade demands and foster stronger business relationships between these regions.” Shiva Mahadevan, Managing Director for South Asia and the Middle East at SeaLead, commented on the service’s impact, “The GIX service demonstrates our commitment to delivering reliable, efficient shipping solutions tailored to the needs of global trade. By connecting major ports in India with the Gulf, we are facilitating smoother trade operations, offering tangible benefits to businesses and contributing to economic growth across these regions.” The introduction of the Gulf India Express service is a strategic initiative, aligning with the ambitious goals of India and Saudi …

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Tata Motors launches new-gen trucks for efficient cargo movement

Tata Motors along with its authorised distributor, Tata Africa Holdings Limited, announced the commercial launch of its successful range of multipurpose heavy-duty trucks – Ultra T.9 and Ultra T.14, in South Africa. Designed to fulfil the rising need for safer, smarter and greener cargo mobility, the Ultra is perfectly suited for a wide variety of conventional and specialist logistics applications including bakery, FMCG, white goods, agriculture and construction. The Ultra range is engineered to deliver high productivity with best-in-class power & torque and fuel efficiency with lower total cost of ownership (TCO). The robustly built Ultra features a walk-through cabin, power steering, dashboard-mounted gear lever, booster assisted clutch and mechanically suspended seat for safe and fatigue-free driving. Powered by Tata Motors’ globally proven turbocharged diesel engines with best-in-class power and torque output, the Ultra T.9 (powered with a 3.3L engine) and Ultra T.14 (powered with a 5.0L engine) provide a reliable solution to comfortably carry heavy loads over long distances and rough terrains. The trucks come equipped parabolic suspension for rugged and uninterrupted operations. The trucks are offered with Tata Motors’ flagship connected vehicle system, the Fleet Edge, for efficient fleet management that helps further increase fleet productivity. Launching the new Ultra range, Mr. Anurag Mehrotra, Head – International Business, Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles, said, “Over the last three decades, Tata commercial vehicles have earned a rich reputation with their exceptional functionality, high productivity, unmatched comfort, advanced connectivity and unparalleled performance. We have consistently set new benchmarks by introducing smarter and future-ready products across various vehicle segments. The launch of the latest Ultra range in South Africa marks a new landmark in freight transportation in the country. Built on the …

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WestJet Cargo set for digital investment and network expansion

WestJet will this year target digital investments in cargo as well as network and product expansion following the launch of freighter operations last year. The Canada-based combination carrier’s cargo business said that in 2024 it would launch a new website “in anticipation of a shift towards more self-service options”. WestJet Cargo added that it would also look to launch new digital partnerships with the possible addition of its capacity to a digital marketplace. “Our priority focus is on delivering reliable solutions to our customers. To achieve this, we’re applying our unique corporate mindset to three main areas this year. 2024 will see WestJet Cargo continue building and expanding its strategic partnerships, further diversifying its product mix, and implementing our digital roadmap with respect to online marketplaces and a new website.” said Kirsten de Bruijn, executive vice president, cargo at WestJet. “Digital innovation will also focus on solutions for enhanced efficiency and service delivery, including the possible implementation of advanced technologies within its cargo operations,” the carrier said. On network, the airline is adding a bellyhold flight to Seoul in May and will upgrade its Narita service to year-round. WestJet Cargo will also continue to invest in its people, focusing on career development, diversity, and inclusion, the company added.

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Aerosail, ACL AIRSHOP partner to expand network in Indian market

Leading Indian GSSA, Aerosail in a strategic partnership with ACL AIRSHOP enters into Indian market to expand its network and stations. “AIRSHOP has entered Indian market at a time when India is witnessing substantial growth in aircraft orders and increases in both passenger and cargo flights. It is the right time for ACL Airshop to enter the Indian market. ACL AIRSHOP continues the strategic growth of its worldwide network of hub stations. COVID delayed our entry to the Indian market, and now we are delighted to have this strategic alliance with our AEROSAIL colleagues. Mr. van Terheijden said in a LinkedIn post “We have tripled our network across the world, now we have excellent coverage in Mumbai, and more growth is planned.”

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Air India, BLR Airport sign MoU to enhance MRO & cargo ops

Indian carrier, Air India has chosen BLR Airport as its hub in South India, marking a significant expansion of its international flight operations. Also, Air India signed an MOU for the development of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Facilities with both Narrow-Body and Wide-Body capabilities at BLR Airport. This not only enhances Bengaluru’s global connectivity but also strengthens the partnership between BLR Airport and Air India. “As the first of many initiatives, Air India signed an MOU for the development of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Facilities with both Narrow-Body and Wide-Body capabilities at BLR Airport. TATA Advanced Systems Limited will set up Aircraft Modifications and Defence MRO, Indigenous Gun Manufacturing and R&D Projects in Karnataka. This partnership not only underscores BIAL’s unwavering commitment to providing world-class infrastructure but also aligns seamlessly with the Government of India and Ministry of Civil Aviation’s vision to foster multiple aviation hubs across the nation. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Karnataka for their steadfast support and commend Air India and Tata Advanced Systems Limited for choosing BIAL as their partner in this endeavour,” says Hari Marar, MD and CEO – Bangalore International Airport Limited, in an official LinkedIn Post.

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Scandron gets India’s 1st Logistics Drone Type-Certification from DGCA

Scandron Pvt. Ltd. becomes the first company in India to receive a DGCA Type Certification for Logistics Drone, the CargoMax 500HE. This historic milestone achievement demonstrates Scandron’s commitment to technological innovation with drones and its commitment to ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements to ensure safe drone operations. With this certification, Scandron is uniquely positioned to revolutionize logistics and supply chain management, enabling efficient and timely delivery for companies that are adopting drones in their supply chain. The launch of a DGCA Type Approved Logistics Drone facilitates critical medical deliveries to remote regions, streamlines e-commerce logistics, and enhances mid and last-mile delivery. Scandron recently entered into a strategic partnership with CriticaLog India to offercomprehensive B2B and hub-to-hub drone delivery solutions across 160 Indian cities. Receiving DGCA Type Certification for the CargoMax 500HE Logistics drone enables Scandron and Criticalog to operationalize their partnership and introduce innovative drone-based logistics solutions to the market. This partnership leverages Scandron’s CargoMax series of logistics drones manufactured in its Bengaluru facility and CriticaLog’s expertise in logistics to enhance delivery services in various sectors, including healthcare, e-commerce, and NFO.

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Kenya Airways launches twice weekly Mumbai-Nairobi B737F service

Kenya Airways announced the launch of a twice-a-week freighter service from Mumbai to Nairobi, with its newly inducted Boeing 737-800 freighter. The African airline operated its first flight from Mumbai International Airport on Thursday, February 15, 2024. The freighter will be operated out of Mumbai every Monday and Thursday. With the routing Nairobi-Sharjah-Mumbai-Nairobi, KQ has plans also to operate the freighter directly to Mumbai and back, informed Daniel Salaton, Senior Manager E-commerce and Express Cargo, Kenya Airways Cargo. Talking about the reason behind plans to operate the Nairobi to Mumbai flights, he said, “We are not just a Kenyan airline but an African airline and plans to cater to demand for African perishables and other valuable products in India with a direct connection to India.” He also informed that the first KQ freighter operated out of Mumbai was full and carried 20 tonnes of cargo. Meanwhile, Manoj Singh, Chief Cargo Officer, Adani Airports, said, “Kenya Airways freighter flying to Mumbai adds more capacity and adds more choice to the customers in Mumbai. The revenue balance can be achieved only if there is cargo moving in both directions. Looking forward to more frequency and flights from Kenya Airways.” Kenya Airways inducted the new aircraft in November 2023 and is planning to add the second B737-800 freighter in February 2024. This will take KQ’s freighter fleet to 4 aircraft as it already operates two Boeing 737-300 freighters, primarily for the Africa region.

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Air cargo market shows signs of cooling after busy start to 2024

The latest figures show that the air cargo market is beginning to cool after a brisk start to the year caused by the Red Sea crisis and pre-Lunar New Year (LNY) rush. Figures from analyst WorldACD show that in week six, tonnages out of China declined by 2% compared with the previous week while imports were down 15%. This slowdown follows a “recent surge” in cargo volumes out of China as shippers “rushed to get goods shipped before the LNY holiday”. And WorldACD expects both inbound and outbound tonnages to fall further this week. Looking at the last two weeks, volumes also showed signs of a slowdown with global demand dropping by 3% compared with the preceding two weeks. “The 3% worldwide tonnage decline was largely driven by a 7% drop in tonnages from Asia Pacific origins – which, in turn, was mainly generated by a 17% fall in intra-Asia Pacific traffic, with the intra-Asia Pacific market apparently responding more quickly than the main long-haul markets to the arrival of the LNY holiday period,” WorldACD said. The analyst has also consistently pointed out over recent weeks that it is hard to gauge the underlying strength of the air cargo market during the first two months of the year due to the movement of the LNY holiday. Last year, the two-week break took place on January 22 while this year it started on February 10.

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‘Data analytics, effective communication enhanced supply chains during COVID’

Industry faced various logistical hurdles during pandemic but improved communication networks, adaptable supply chain approaches, and use of data analytics facilitated supply chain, said, Dr. Surendra Ahirwar, Joint Secretary, DPIIT in a recently concluded PHDCCI summit on Medical Devices, Pharma and Healthcare with the theme – ‘Empowering Atmanirbhar Bharat: A Logistics Odyssey.’ The summit aimed to bring together industry experts, researchers, policymakers, and stakeholders to discuss advancements, challenges, and opportunities in the medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare sectors, fostering collaboration and innovation for the betterment of healthcare delivery and patient outcomes. N Sivasailam, Former Secretary, DPIIT highlighted that amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, logistical hurdles included supply chain disruptions, transportation limitations, and heightened demand for specific medical supplies. Nonetheless, there were notable successes, including swift adoption of new technologies, collective problem-solving, and the rise of inventive solutions to ensure the prompt delivery of critical goods and services. The summit offered a diverse range of thematic sessions, attracting an *impressive participation of over 30+ speakers, 10+ exhibitors, and 150+ delegates.* The summit in the *Technical Sessions* covered subjects such as : •Bringing the Pharma Supply Chain into the New Era alignment with Atma-Nirbhar Bharat •Combating Counterfeiting in the Pharma and Medical Devices Supply Chain •Innovative Cold Chain Solutions for Medical Devices Pharmaceuticals and Healthcare •Last-mile delivery and Patient-Centric Supply Chains •Data-Driven Procurement and Sourcing: Leveraging Analytics for Informed Decision-Making The summit in the *Fireside Chat Sessions* covered subjects such as : •Quality Assurance in Pharma and Medical Devices – Then – Now – Way Forward •Insights into the logistical challenges and triumphs experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic The summit *concluded* with a resounding call for continued collaboration, innovation, and commitment towards advancing …

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