Shipping line CMA CGM’s first air cargo destination: Chicago

Ocean container line CMA CGM’s new in-house cargo airline will operate its first flight March 8 from its home base at Liege Airport to Chicago, the company said Tuesday. It also confirmed earlier reports that Air Belgium will operate the fleet of four previously owned Airbus A330-200 freighters that it recently acquired.

In addition to diversifying its freight business, the move into air cargo gives the French ocean carrier’s huge logistics arm, CEVA Logistics, a leg up securing hard-to-find transport space for cargo shipments. CMA CGM said in the announcement that it is developing a block space agreement with CEVA, giving the subsidiary preferential access to its capacity at a time of supply shortage in the industry.

Block-space agreements are continuous reservations that give forwarding agents guaranteed access to a set amount of space on each flight that is paid for regardless of whether it is all occupied or not.

CMA CGM also said it has selected Groupe ECS as its general sales agent to help market its capacity, handle bookings and manage shipment processing for non-CEVA customers.

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Source: American Shipper

Data Is Driving Decision Making in the Supply Chain

Currently, supply chains require unprecedented efficiency and agility in order to react to quickly changing network conditions, as exemplified by the reaction to the pandemic. There is a shift among shipping organizations to embrace a shift to digitalize their largely physical world.

In a report by Deloitte, “Holistic Decision-Making: Creating tomorrow’s more intelligent movement of goods network,” the consulting firm provides insights into how shipping organizations are undertaking a journey to digitalize the physical world and power more intelligent movement of goods networks through cognitive technologies.

Key findings from Deloitte’s report on holistic decision making include:

Data is king. Connected analytics are helping manage the flow of goods, from improving medical supply chains to aiding in intelligent fleet management. In fact, most executives (80%) reported seeing the value of data-driven holistic decision-making capabilities, and say they are investing or planning to invest.

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Source: Material Handling & Logistics

US import spike set to run into summer as west coast ports struggle

Container freight and charter markets are continuing to boom post-Chinese New Year, and analysts expect favourable conditions for carriers and shipowners to last at least into the second half.

“Unseasonal strength in container volumes and port congestion have buoyed freight markets, while in the time-charter markets, demand for vessels has outstripped wider growth in container trade, conditions that are expected to endure at least into H2 21,” says the latest sector report from Maritime Strategies International (MSI).

While container spot rates stubbornly remain at record highs, containership time-charter indices have reached their highest levels for over a decade.

Notwithstanding the strong demand on the Asia-Europe tradelane, it is the transpacific that is leading the charge. MSI’s containership analyst, Daniel Richards, expects the surge on the route to continue into Q2, “due to back orders accumulated over the lunar new year, as well as a fresh round of stimulus payments”.

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Source: The Load Star

Top 5 Robot Trends in 2021

It’s no surprise that more robots are being used in industrials settings. However the rate of the increase if high as annual installations of industrial robots more than tripled within ten years (2010-2019) reaching 381 thousand units in factories around the world, according to The International Federation of Robotics.

“The mission to combine traditional production with ´go digital strategies´ puts robots in a pole position,” says Susanne Bieller, general secretary of the IFR, in a statement.

The group offers some predictions on trends happening in 2021:

Robots help to secure supply chains: The pandemic situation has made the weakness of globalized supply chains visible. Manufacturers have the opportunity to rethink supply with a completely different outlook. When productivity is leveled through automation, manufacturers have increased flexibility that may not have been available in high-wage countries like most of the European Union, North America, Japan, or the Republic of Korea. Robotic automation offers productivity, flexibility and security.

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Source: Material Handling & Logistics

Freighters escape B777 suspensions after United Airlines engine failure

Boeing 777 freighters will remain in the skies despite the recommendation to ground some B777 aircraft following a United Airlines engine failure on Saturday over Denver.

Yesterday, Boeing said it “recommended suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines, until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol”.

Only 777-200s and 777-300s are affected, and not all of those have the P&W engine type under scrutiny. 777 freighters are powered by GE90 engines.

Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau issued a directive to temporarily suspend the operations of any 777 powered by PW4000 engines, which affected both Japan Airlines (JAL) and All Nippon Airways.

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Source: The Load Star