DHL obtains CEIV certification at six US stations

DHL Global Forwarding has achieved CEIV certification at six of its airfreight stations. Following independent audits by third parties and training courses for employees on site, stations in Chicago (the first to be certified), Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico, received the quality label. DHL began the certification process of its global stations according to the IATA CEIV Pharma Standard in the third quarter of 2016, and the company announced plans to achieve the certification in the US earlier this year. "DHL Global Forwarding is one of the first freight forwarders in the US Midwest region to be IATA CEIV Pharma certified," said David Goldberg, chief executive, DHL Global Forwarding. "We at DHL place great emphasis on improving our service quality and demonstrate through IATA CEIV Pharma Certification, that we are the right partner for transporting vital and temperature sensitive products." Opened in 2015, the Chicago station is comprised of 491,000 sq ft of office and warehouse space and is the largest free standing DHL Global Forwarding building in its worldwide network. The building contains two temperature controlled chambers (+15 degrees to +25 degrees Celsius and +2 degrees to +8 degrees Celsius) that together measure close to 10,000 sq ft and a 999 sq ft ambient receiving area, built with variable temperature capabilities to process any pharmaceutical, biotech or medical devices that require a temperature-controlled environment and two dedicated truck docks, according to London's Air Cargo News.

SF Express moves ahead with plan to set up air cargo hub in China in a joint venture

SF Express, dubbed China's version of FedEx, has inked an agreement with Hubei's provincial government and an investment company to set up a joint venture that will develop an airport in Ezhou city in central China for a total investment of CNY5 billion (US$755.55 million), according to media reports. SF Holdings will invest CNY2.3 billion, the investment company CNY2.45 billion and provincial government CNY250 million in the joint venture. The reports say that the airport is estimated to reach a cargo throughput of 2.4 million tonnes and receive one million passengers by 2025. By 2045, the airport is expected to handle 7.6 million tonnes of airfreight, reported London's Air Cargo News. The plan also calls for the development of a logistics park close to the airport, which will act as the airline's hub for domestic and international traffic. SF Express has been adding to its aircraft widebody fleet of late, purchasing two Boeing 747-400 freighters in a bid to expand its network. In August, its airline arm added its 40th freighter to its fleet, which includes five B767s, 18 B757s and 17 B737s.

US ports need improvements to boost efficiency, competitiveness

NORTH American ports need to more efficiently use terminal space, improve cargo flows during peak periods, and get ships to and out of berth quicker in order to match the efficiency levels of the world's leading ports overseas, according to APM Terminals. As vessel size grows and shipping lines focus more on cost reduction, terminal operators will come under greater pressure to make better use of their existing resources, APM Terminals' head of global operations Jack Michael Craig told JOC's Port Performance North America Conference in Newark, New Jersey. "What this means for terminal operators is there will be bigger winners and losers as it comes to volume," Mr Craig said, of the new era of increasing large ships making fewer stops. "The impact of winning and losing that business is now greater than it was in the past." Mr Craig cited a study by analyst Drewry that found North American ports stored a far smaller volume of TEU on a hectare than any other continent in the world, and handled fewer TEU per gantry crane. North America did worse than all but Europe on the number of TEU handled per metre of berth each year, reported IHS Media. "Nowhere else in the world are we chewing up acres, or have we traditionally chewed up acres of land, storing chassis," Mr Craig said. "Nowhere else in the world do we queue for customs and trouble tickets inside our (terminal) gates." Ports also make inefficient use of their equipment, he said. Of the 170 cranes at the port of Long Beach, for example, only half are used even during peak periods - a use intensity that "doesn't make a lot of sense from a shareholder's perspective," he said. Likewise, North American ports fail to efficiently get ships on and off the terminal in a timely fashion, he said. "As an operator, how many times do we see a ship come alongside and it sits idle for an hour and a half," he said. "How many times does a ship finish and it's waiting for 45 minutes or 50 minutes for either the pilots to get on board, or tugs to come alongside. "Around the rest of the world we just don't see it that often," Mr Craig said. "There are places around the world where routinely, every single day, every single ship from last line to first lift is less than 30 minutes, like clockwork. We just don't do that here, yet." He said terminal operators could consider retooling existing equipment to cut costs, such as retrofitting cranes to add height and depth so that they can accommodate bigger ships. They also need to make greater use of technology that will provide visibility of containers along the supply chain, and provide constant information to the terminal and customers about their progress.

Cathay group volumes soar 12pc reflecting strength of world air cargo markets

CATHAY Pacific and Cathay Dragon carried a combined 187,545 tonnes of cargo and mail in November, an increase of 4.8 per cent year on year. The cargo and mail load factor in November rose by 3.5 percentage points to 71.6 per cent. Capacity measured in available cargo/mail tonne kilometres was up 5.9 per cent while cargo and mail revenue tonne kilometres (RTKs) increased by 11.2 per cent year on year. In the first 11 months of the year tonnage increased by 11.0 per cent against a 3.4 per cent increase in capacity and an 8.9 per cent increase in RTKs, a statement from Cathay said. Cathay Pacific director commercial and cargo Ronald Lam said: "In terms of cargo, our high year-on-year tonnage growth reflects the overall strength in the world's air cargo markets. E-commerce related movements were boosted by events such as Chinese Singles' Day, which helped to even out the traditional dip in demand following the Thanksgiving holiday, and we saw high load factors and improving yields. "We broke our weekly tonnage uplift record in the week starting 26 November, while a number of key markets across our network also established new revenue records during the month. The outlook remains positive and is expected to carry through until Christmas." The group's airlines carried a total of 2.84 passengers in November ?an increase of 7.9 per cent compared to the same month last year. The passenger load factor increased 0.1 percentage points to 83.6 per cent, while capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASKs), increased by 6.4 per cent. In the first eleven months of 2017, the number of passenger carried increased by 1.3 per cent to 31.77 million while capacity rose by 2.7 per cent. "Passenger revenue in November continued its recent upward trend. Helped by increased capacity compared to the same period in 2016, when there were authority-imposed flight reductions in Hong Kong, we saw improvements in frontend volumes, which spurred yield growth," Mr Lam added.

UK port of Felixstowe handles milestone one millionth TEU by rail

THE Port of Felixstowe has become the first port in the UK to handle one million TEU by rail in a single year, according to terminal operator Hutchinson Ports. The one-millionth unit was loaded onto a Freightliner service to Birmingham. "This new milestone for the port reflects the dedication of our workforce and the excellent relationships we have developed with all the rail freight operators at the port," said executive director of Hutchison Ports and CEO of the port of Felixstowe, Clemence Cheng. "Rail is an increasingly important differentiator for shipping lines as well as importers and exporters and we are able to offer them a greater number of rail services to more destinations, more often, than any other port," he said in a statement. "Rail is also a key factor in reducing the environmental impact of transport and helps reduce road congestion. We are continuing to invest heavily in rail infrastructure at Felixstowe and are currently working with Network Rail on capacity enhancements to the Felixstowe Branch Line," added Mr Cheng. There are a total of 66 freight train movements at the port of Felixstowe making it the UK's busiest intermodal rail freight terminal, according to the port. In addition to Freightliner, services are offered by GB Railfreight and DB Cargo to a range of destinations including Glasgow, Manchester, Trafford Park, Liverpool, Leeds, Teesport, Birmingham, Doncaster, Rotherham, Hams Hall, Daventry, Wakefield, Ditton (Widnes), Birch Coppice and Bristol.