Aircargopedia Newsblast: January 2020!
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22nd January 2020  

Dear Air Cargo Professional:

A Happy New Year to you!

Here's a round up of Air Cargo events and news beginning 2020. Singapore Airlines announces new flight to Brussels and
Emirates SkyCargo is poised to support global trade in 2020.

Liege Airport looks back at 2019 and celebrates its achievements of a new record set with over 900,000 tonnes of goods transported.

Learn more about Logistics Management from the information perspective by Peter Canellis.
  DJ Ghosh

Register to attend the Global Investment In Aviation Summit 2020 as they highlight top Aviation trends.

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



Singapore Airlines Announces New Flight to Brussels

Brussels, 9 Jan 2020 

Singapore Airlines’ (SIA) announced that Brussels will become the latest European destination in the airline’s route later this year, when non-stop flights with cargo capacity are introduced from Singapore to the Belgian capital. The first flight of the new route is expected to take off on October 25, 2020.

Subject to regulatory approval, flight SQ304 will depart Singapore on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 2355hrs (local time). The return flight, operated as flight SQ303, will depart Brussels on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 1120hrs (local time). SIA will operate the Airbus A350-900 on these flights.

As the capital of Belgium, Brussels is home to the European Union (EU).. It is the most densely populated region in Belgium with the highest GDP per capita. Its unique geographical location makes Brussels an ideal hub for rail, road and air traffic, earning the city the moniker "The Crossroads of Europe." The introduction of the new route allows SIA to enhance the Benelux region’s connections to Singapore with non-stop flights from Amsterdam, Dusseldorf and soon-to-be Brussels.

SIA’s Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Mr Tan Kai Ping stated, “we are excited to launch services to Brussels – a city that is both an important economic and political hub in Europe. This also represents SIA’s commitment to constantly expand our network reach and provide our customers with a more seamless travel experience.”

Peter Canellis
Kevin Pflug

Air Cargo India

High Tech or Low Tech? Why not ‘Right Tech’?: Logistics Management from the Information Perspective

Peter Canellis, PhD, PE, Professor of Management

So, tell me: have you developed your ERP, MRP, CRM, SCM, and SFA information into a seamlessly integrated system (using OLTP and OLAP, of course) that provides total pipeline visibility to your cargo and enables collaboration with your business partners in the extended enterprise?

WAIT! – Don’t get disgusted and throw the newsletter out. I just wanted to get your attention and make a point: I’m fed up with the TLA’s (Three-Letter Acronyms) and clichés that fill the trade literature on the subject of information systems, and I suspect that I’m not alone.

I used to be intimidated by this stuff. All I really wanted to do was understand enough about information systems so that I, as a user of information, could choose wisely among the countless alternatives and combinations of logistics solutions available in the marketplace. The situation had to get worse before it got better. I asked so many tech-types to explain the concepts and issues to me, but they always left me more confused. I decided that the only way to solve this problem was to do my own research and explain it to myself. If I could do a reasonably good job, maybe I could help some others as well. So I’ll give it a try here and now, and we’ll see how it goes.

In the previous installment of this series, we discussed logistics processes. Processes don’t just happen: people (more about them later) must perform them, and those people can only execute properly if they have good information on which to base their actions.

OK, but what is “good” information, and how do we go about getting it? The best approach to answering these two important questions is to clear our minds of all that high-tech psychobabble that we read in the trade journals and apply a little common sense.

In addition to being accurate, “good” information has two other basic characteristics: it is relevant, and it is timely.

In order to get relevant information, requirements must be spelled out in detail. All too often, users of information systems will blame analysts and developers for not delivering necessary functionality. The sad truth is that when this happens, the users probably failed to communicate their requirements properly. Relevant information systems can only be created through a joint effort among users, analysts, and developers. This is really the same process as designing a house. If you leave too many issues open and questions unanswered, the burden will shift to the architects, engineers, and contractors who will provide what they think you need.

Joint Application Development (or JAD – sorry!) is a methodology (and not a technology) that emphasizes users’ involvement in the design and / or procurement of applications. While JAD is one of several methods for developing applications, it is the most comprehensive.

It helps to think of information as useful in four time frames:
• The transactional time frame for immediate information needs. An example of this would be creation of a booking or a retail point-of-sale.
• The operational time frame in which information is required anywhere from within the next few hours to the next few weeks.
• The tactical time frame, extending beyond the operational time frame to the next few months
• The strategic time frame, looking into the future for as many as three years While the length of time in each category will vary among companies, the general fit will still apply. This is illustrated in the figure below.

Logistics Management

Different groups of people need information at different levels of detail to do their respective jobs. Those who are involved in the current physical movement of cargo and their supervisors need a high level of detail that reflects the demands of the transactional and operational time frames in which they work. Decision- making is very structured in this environment. Middle managers need somewhat less detail (or alternatively, a higher level of data aggregation) because they work with a greater focus on the short-term future where decision making is correspondingly less structured. Senior managers require the highest level of data aggregation because they focus on the long-term future with a correspondingly lower requirement for structured information.

These combinations of the time frame in which one works and the degree of structure in decision-making are illustrated in the following figure. Information systems that deliver the required information in the right time frame are classified as Executive Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, and Execution Systems for Senior, Middle, and First Line Managers, respectively.

Logistics Management

Information Systems are made up of a number of components including:
• User productivity applications
• Data capture and collection
• Data storage
• Information presentation and reporting 2 of 7
• Telecommunications
• Management of the entire system delivery process

As users of information, however, we concern ourselves with applications. Applications are that part of the information system that help us to do our jobs by directly supporting the processes we perform. As discussed above, these applications fall into the three major groups of Executive Information, Decision Support, and Execution Systems.

Logistics Management

Let’s discuss these applications in more detail. The basic ‘enterprise wide’ applications common to most companies include order processing, procurement, manufacturing, finance and accounting, and administration. When linked together via a common database, this group of applications is generally known as Enterprise Resource Planning (or ‘ERP’).

While these ERP applications do the job of supporting those who work in the respective functional areas mentioned above, they don’t help anyone else. For example:
• The sales force needs information systems support to prioritize and track leads, share sales information, and research sales activity (commonly known as Sales Force Automation or SFA)
• Customer Service needs support for monitoring and analyzing customer activity and history (commonly known as Customer Relationship Management or CRM)
• Logistics personnel need a wide range of applications to help in the planning, scheduling, and execution of logistics processes

What, specifically, are these logistics applications? It is useful to think of dividing them into three categories: Pre-shipment, In-Transit, and Post-shipment.

Pre-shipment applications include:
• Estimated Landed Cost
• Order Entry
• “Upstream” Tracking of product (i.e. in that period starting at order entry and ending with shipment pickup)
• Compliance applications including
    - Denied Party Screening
    - Product Classification
    - Import Duty and Taxes
    - Documentation and Licensing Requirements
• Bookings
• Document Management 3 of 7
• Load Optimization
• Packaging Optimization
• Carrier Selection
• Route Optimization and Scheduling

In-transit applications consist of basic tracking and tracing and exception (event) management.
Post-shipment applications include:
• Actual Landed Cost
• Landed Cost Variance
• Electronic Invoice Processing (Settlements)
• Vendor Evaluations
• Distribution applications such as Inventory Management and Vendor Managed Inventory

This is illustrated in the figure below.

Logistics Management

What’s wrong with this picture? How could a function like logistics, with such a voracious appetite for critical information, not be invited to the information systems banquet? To answer this question, we have to take a brief historical side trip.

We’ve always had information systems. It’s only in the last forty years or so that these systems have been automated for commercial use. When that happened, information systems (IS) were seen as a tool to improve efficiencies in finance and accounting. Accordingly, IS reported to Finance.

As demand for applications grew in other corporate departments; most notably manufacturing, the financial types were reluctant to give up their captive resource to help anyone else out. The result: info-revolution! Each major department went out and ‘did its own thing’ which, in turn, resulted in the infamous ‘information silos’ that we keep reading about. When it was discovered that information systems that didn’t cooperate internally handicapped the people who used them from working effectively as a team, the idea was born to link these separate departmental systems. Enterprise Resource Planning, or ‘ERP’ was the (poorly named) solution to integrating the separate systems within the company.

This was fine for the traditional, established functions like Finance and Accounting, Manufacturing, Human Resources, Marketing and Sales, and Administration. But what about Logistics? Logistics was ‘neither fish nor fowl’:

It wasn’t an established corporate ‘Department’
 Its processes cut across most of the existing departments
 It was concerned more with activities that occurred outside the confines of its own enterprise

In other words: it was one big afterthought!

Then, something interesting happened. Companies began to squeeze cost and inefficiency out of their internal operations in response to global competition. When these efforts reached their limit but still more had to be done, Logistics emerged as ‘the last frontier for cost reduction’. Great! But with years of neglect from IS support, what was to be done?

At this point, the tidal wave of logistics information systems (or Supply Chain Management applications) began to develop. These systems, unlike their ERP predecessors, provide logisticians with support that goes beyond the confines of the enterprise to include suppliers and customers. If you put ERP and SCM (Supply Chain Management) together, what do you get? Another acronym: this time, it’s ERP II (Son of ERP). For those who insist on a completely new three- letter acronym, ERP II is known, alternatively, as ECM (Enterprise Commerce Management).

Unfortunately, old habits die-hard. While a myriad of logistics applications have been and continue to be developed, funds for new or upgraded information systems are typically spent on basic ERP as the first priority. Logisticians are often left with few resources to access the applications that would help them to do their jobs.

Access to applications may be acquired by a combination of three basic methods: internal development, purchase (generally with some modification) of packaged software, or ‘renting’ through the services of an Application Services Provider (you guessed it: commonly known as an ‘ASP’).

The ‘ASP Model’ has proven helpful for logistics professionals because they can get the required functionality on either a subscription or transaction basis without having to lobby their senior management for large capital outlays. They can simply ‘plug in’ via the Internet as shown in the preceding figure.

Owing to its inherent flexibility, the option to rent applications is extremely compelling. It is a more forgiving alternative to internal development or purchase, because the financial exposure to the user is minimal. If the application does not perform as expected, you stop using it and do something else. ASP’s that provide “Software as a Service” (commonly denoted as “SaaS” – apologies again!) may provide additional benefits in that they may enable integration with a company’s suppliers and customers if those suppliers and customers use the same application software.

While this is good down-side protection, it is still better to select correctly the first time. How, then, can we ensure our best chances of picking ‘good applications’ that will provide us the ‘good information’ that we need?

“Good applications” have two basic characteristics: they must be functionally adequate and technically adequate. Functionally adequate applications provide required information that satisfies business needs. Technically adequate applications are user friendly, created from standard commercially available components, well supported, and deliver information within acceptable response time limits. They must also be scalable to accommodate future growth, and they must be reliable.

If applications and their supporting system components do not exhibit these characteristics, they must be upgraded or replaced on a prioritized basis as illustrated in the figure below

Logistics Management

When functional and technical adequacy is achieved internally, we can then focus on connection and collaboration with our supply chain partners to get the most out of our logistics applications. While many larger companies have moved toward connections with their suppliers and customers through enablers such as electronic data interchange (I refuse to use the acronym), few have yet to achieve collaboration. Collaboration, achieved through sharing of forecasts, planning, and scheduling data with the extended enterprise, will be the next major improvement in taking time and cost out of the supply chain.

Logistics Management

Now that we have a broad overview of information systems, how can we apply it to help us select what we need? The biggest challenge is filtering out all the noise that is an irritating but understandable consequence of studying a body of knowledge that continues growing at an explosive rate. We certainly want to be as aware as possible of current and emerging technologies, but we need to filter out what we can’t use. It’s not about moving from a ‘low tech’ to a ‘high tech’ environment, or getting even ‘higher tech’: we need to get what we can use. Once we’ve identified what we can use, we need to go one step further and determine what we can actually do. What we can do must be cost effective and proven through a successful pilot program.

Logistics Management

By following these basic steps, we can move from general awareness of information systems to selection and implementation of those that will work 6 of 7 cost-effectively. The last step is critical because we must know whether or not our people are capable of using the systems that can be provided to them. Their ability to develop professionally and adapt to new technology will be the subject of the next article in this series.

Peter Canellis

Peter Canellis, PhD, PE
Professor of Management
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology

IATA World Cargo Symposium

Emirates SkyCargo poised to support global trade in 2020

Dubai, UAE, 13 Jan 2020

At the start of a new decade, Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, is geared up to facilitate global trade and cargo movement in 2020 and beyond through a combination of innovative product development and investment in ‘fit for purpose’ infrastructure.

"The global air cargo industry witnessed what was a very challenging year in 2019. Economic uncertainty, tensions in global trade and unrest in key markets negatively impacted cargo volumes. However, the tough market conditions were an opportunity for us to review our core offering to our customers and ensure that we remained market leaders with our specialised product offering, superior capabilities and infrastructure as well as our agility in responding to customer demand," said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.

"The outlook for 2020 is more positive with the air cargo industry set to post a modest recovery thanks to improved economic activity and trade growth. With our commitment to ‘deliver as promised’ backed by a global network covering over 155 destinations centred in Dubai, our modern fleet of all wide-body aircraft and our state of the art Emirates SkyCentral terminals, Emirates SkyCargo is well positioned to support trade and economic growth in line with the Dubai Silk Road Project. With Expo 2020 Dubai also set to kick off in October 2020, we will see a surge in movement of goods to and from Dubai and we are working with our partners to provide specialised air freight services for this once in a lifetime event," he added.


Specialised Products

In 2019, Emirates SkyCargo continued to roll out specialised products catered for specific industry verticals.

Emirates Delivers is a new e-commerce platform that enables consumers, both individuals and small businesses, to purchase products from any US based online retail store and have it delivered in the UAE. Emirates Delivers is part of Emirates SkyCargo’s broader strategy to promote Dubai as an e-commerce fulfilment hub for customers based in the Middle East, Asia and Europe. In 2020, the availability of Emirates Delivers will be expanded to more markets.

Other products from the Emirates SkyCargo portfolio showed a strong performance despite challenging market conditions.
• More than 400,000 tonnes of perishables were flown on Emirates’ flights under Emirates Fresh, Emirates SkyCargo’s specialised product for perishables. In November and December of 2019, the carrier operated nine charter flights from Santiago, Chile uniquely for carrying cherries.
• Close to 11,000 high-priority shipments were moved across six continents under the Emirates AOG product during 2019.
• Year-on-year Increase of 6% in the volume of high value goods that were flown under Emirates Safe VAL, Emirates SkyCargo’s product for transportation of precious goods.
• A 12% increase in demand for Emirates Pets, Emirates SkyCargo’s product for transportation of domestic cats and dogs.

Emirates Charter

In addition to its scheduled passenger and freighter flights, Emirates SkyCargo offers customisable and flexible charter solutions to its global customers. With a responsive and agile team that works to meet customer requirements and set up operations within a short time frame, the carrier has been able to operate close to 370 charters during 2019. Charter operations have helped transport a wide variety of cargo from relief materials for natural disasters and equipment for music concerts to flowers and other perishables.

Fit-for-purpose infrastructure and capabilities

In 2019, Emirates SkyCargo unveiled a new handling facility dedicated for pharmaceutical cargo at Chicago airport, one of the most important pharma stations for Emirates SkyCargo across the world. The facility features temperature controlled zones for acceptance and delivery, pharma cargo build up and break down, storage and direct ramp access and is also certified under EU GDP guidelines.

In November 2019, Emirates SkyCargo moved its pharma handling operations at Copenhagen airport to a dedicated GDP certified facility.

Both initiatives are part of the carrier’s objective to offer enhanced protection for pharmaceutical cargo, not just at the Dubai hub, but from origin to destination under the pharma corridors programme. During 2019, Emirates SkyCargo worked with ground handlers at key pharma origin and destination cities across the world to expand the number of pharma stations from 12 to 25. With its focus on improved capabilities and process benchmarks through collaboration, the implementation of Emirates SkyCargo’s pharma corridors programme has resulted in an increase in the volume of pharma cargo handled across the carrier’s pharma stations. For example, since the launch of the new facility, Chicago has seen a double digit growth in the volume of pharma cargo transported.


In 2019, Emirates SkyCargo’s SkyCentral terminals in Dubai handled an average four pieces of cargo every second of every hour on a 24*7 basis. Over 700 staff on duty at any time of the day helped process around 360,000 individual packages daily through these terminals enabling Emirates’ fleet of over 270 aircraft move approximately 7,000 tonnes of cargo every day, the equivalent of more than 60 full Boeing 777 freighters, between Dubai and the rest of the world.

A fleet of 49 trucks, including 12 refrigerated trucks, made an average 175 trips daily in 2019 to connect the two cargo terminals. Acting as a seamless conveyor belt between the two cargo terminals, the trucking system helped connect cargo from touchdown in one airport to take-off at another airport and vice versa in under five hours. Overall, more than 307,000 tonnes of cargo were transferred by the trucking system between the two airports in 2019 and more than 1.6 million tonnes of cargo over the five years since the start of trucking operations in 2014.

Delivering as Promised

Emirates SkyCargo’s unwavering commitment to "Delivery as Promised" has since 2018, been reinforced by applying the Cargo iQ framework. Emirates SkyCargo has established a 24/7 operational Cargo Operations Control Centre (COCC) which monitors the progress of shipments across predetermined milestones from acceptance to delivery. In 2019, the carrier monitored over 1.5 million shipments using Cargo iQ guidelines ensuring that cargo having a direct impact on the lives of people around the world, was transported and delivered on time.


Despite a global economic slowdown, Liege Airport has achieved a new record with over 900,000 tonnes of goods transported in 2019.

Liege Airport, 8th January, 2020

Liege Airport continues to develop, with a new record of 902.480 tonnes (+3.6%) of transported goods compared with 870.644 tonnes in 2018.

The activity of the air cargo sector slowed globally in 2019. Brexit and the trade war between China and the United States considerably influenced world trade and, as a result, the transport of goods.

Liege Airport

“Our performance is significant in the context of a year that experienced many upheavals, with a double figure growth for the first three months, slowing down between April and July and then declined in August and September. We bounced back at the end of the year”, explains Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport, who adds:

“This year, 2020, will be a year of major works and projects including, in particular, the impact study for lengthening the contingency runway. We are also working on the implementation of Alibaba, the bypass road, the construction of a hydrogen station and on training personnel to meet the very high demand. It will be a busy year during which we shall have to provide quality services to our customers, as well as investing in infrastructure and innovative solutions.”

Passenger activity remained stable with 170,737 passengers passing through the airport.

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Global Investment In Aviation Summit 2020 To Highlight Top Aviation Trends

6 January 2020. UAE, Dubai.

The second edition of the Global Investment in Aviation Summit (GIAS 2020), which is stated to take place on January 27-29, will highlight top aviation trends in 2020 and beyond, with a focus on the need to develop strategies that help pump more investments into the aviation sector and support the growth and sustainability of global economy.

Themed “Enabling global aviation growth through fundraising and key partnerships”, GIAS 2020 will bring together over 1400 participants, including industry experts, aviation representatives and investors from all over the world, to network and share valuable insights and expertise.

Organised by the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), the three-days event aims to offer a platform for industry leaders, experts and investors to examine the latest aviation industry trends and develop the necessary mechanisms to encourage propelling more investments into this rapidly growing sector.

His Excellency Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Director-General of the GCAA, said “Investment in aviation is not only limited to developing airports and purchasing a new fleet of aircraft. New investment trends in the airline industry rely heavily on the use of modern technology to upgrade air transport services, ensure the comfort of passengers and expand airline operations by reaching new destinations and achieving greater connectivity with the world."

Al Suwaidi underlined the importance of organising GIAS in providing an environment conducive to key decision makers around the world to hold discussions and conduct deals. GIAS will examine the latest aviation data, both facts and figures, and explore opportunities available in emerging markets. The summit will also discuss new business models and trends that will reshape the global aviation industry.

Peter Canellis
Saif Mohammed Al Suwaidi

Reflecting on global trends focusing on customer’s experience, passengers will have more options than ever before to personalise their flight experience on board and at the airport, where customer satisfaction is the focus of attention by airlines.

In keeping with efforts being exerted to improve customer experience, some airports and airlines have begun working on plans to implement Virtual Reality (VR) or Augmented Reality (AR) both in the terminal and on-flight. To ensure customer satisfaction, several airlines are now placing VR headsets in airport lounges while many others offer them for their passengers to watch films on- flight.

Moreover, virtual reality is being used to help those who are afraid of flying by creating a tranquil visual flight environment, in addition to training cabin crew and new pilots with VR and AR software. Airlines today offer Aircraft maintenance training for their new technicians and engineers with software tools that provide an artificial detailed view inside a jet engine that enables them to examine individual aircraft parts.

As digital technologies continue to transform the industry and reshape consumer experience, many commercial airlines are making the move into the digital market beyond websites. As apps have been a key component of modern business for several years, airline apps are the next logical step for smart brands, especially that 98% of airline passengers carry at least one device. With reward schemes, online check-in and e-tickets, airline apps aim to simplify and streamline the flight process.

The global airline industry is stepping up its efforts and investments into sustainability as it is also recognized among the top aviation trends. The aviation sector is currently testing biofuels, striving to design lighter airframe components and considering industry carbon footprint taxes. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are also investing in methods to reduce aircraft fuel consumption.

In the pursuit of green aviation, industry leaders and governments now prioritize reduction of waste and environmental impact, though green aircraft may have a negative impact on travelling costs.

South African Airways
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