Maersk to introduce a virtual assistant named Captain Peter

Maersk is set to enhance its Remote Container Management (RCM) platform by a virtual assistant, named “Captain Peter”. The avatar will assist customers along the journey of their cargo.
Currently being tested by a group of select customers, technical improvements are being put in place to simplify the processes integrated into the Remote Container Management (RCM) platform.
In the first half of 2019, Maersk will release the new platform with a revamped design and new product features which will be enhanced by a virtual assistant named Captain Peter.
“Our goal is for the RCM product to look and feel like your favourite smartphone app. There is still a lot of paper work and difficult processes in global trade. Captain Peter will help take care of some of this complexity, by seamlessly engaging with the customer from end to end in the supply chain,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen, Head of Global Reefer Management at Maersk said.
In the beginning, Captain Peter will follow some simple rules, sending up-to-date information via customers’ preferred channel, for example, SMS or e-mail, on container temperature and atmosphere conditions, as well as a timeline on its end-to-end journey. Should any deviations be observed, or the shipment be delayed, Captain Peter will notify the customer.
Once the container has arrived at its destination, Captain Peter will also check on its state and send an update to the customer. In time, customers will receive information configured to their specific needs.
The RCM technology makes a reefer’s location, temperature, humidity and power status easily available to the customer. Should any issues be detected, the customer can alert his supplier or have the shipment checked by local surveyors, potentially saving the customer millions of dollars in lost cargo.
“With the number of active users of the RCM platform constantly growing, the aspiration is for Captain Peter to gather enough information to be able to predict potential cargo damage and provide configuration suggestions before containers are shipped,” Anne-Sophie Zerlang Karlsen said.
Maersk launched RCM for customers in September 2017. It provides transparency on in-formation from 270,000 Maersk refrigerated containers equipped with machine to machine technology. Today, over 2,300 customers have signed up for the RCM solution, translating to more than 70% of Maersk’s reefer volume.

Air freight achieves modest growth in October

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data for global air freight markets showing that demand, measured in freight tonne kilometres (FTK), rose 3.1% in October 2018, compared to the same period the year before. This pace of growth was up from a 29-month low of 2.5% in September.
Freight capacity, measured in available freight tonne kilometres (AFTK), rose by 5.4% year-on-year in October 2018. This was the eighth month in a row that capacity growth outstripped demand.
Growing international e-commerce and an upturn in the global investment cycle are supporting the growth. However, demand continues to be negatively impacted by:

  • A contraction in export order books in all major exporting nations in October.
  • Longer supplier delivery times in Asia and Europe.
  • Weakened consumer confidence compared to very high levels at the beginning of 2018.

“Cargo is a tough business, but we can be cautiously optimistic as we approach the end of 2018. Slow but steady growth continues despite trade tensions. The growth of e-commerce is more than making up for sluggishness in more traditional markets. And yields are strengthening in the traditionally busy fourth quarter. We must be conscious of the economic headwinds, but the industry looks set to bring the year to a close on a positive note,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

Regional performance
All regions reported year-on-year demand growth in October 2018, except Africa, which contracted.

  • Asia-Pacific airlines saw demand for air freight grow by 1.9% in October 2018, compared to the same period last year. This pace of growth was relatively unchanged from the previous month. Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters, and longer supplier delivery times particularly in China and Korea impacted the demand. As the largest freight-flying region, carrying more than one-third of the total, the risks from rising trade tensions are disproportionately high. Capacity increased by 4.2%.
  • North American airlines posted the fastest growth of any region in October 2018, with an increase in demand of 6.6% compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 8.2% over the same period. The strength of the US economy and consumer spending have helped support the demand for air cargo over the past year, benefiting US carriers.
  • European airlines experienced a 1.4% increase in freight demand in October 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 1.9% year-on-year. Weaker manufacturing conditions for exporters, and longer supplier delivery times particularly in Germany, Europe’s largest freight flying country, impacted demand. Seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand remained deflated in October, which could indicate the start of a broader weakening in demand.
  • Middle Eastern airlines’ freight volumes expanded 5.0% in October 2018 compared to the same period a year earlier. Capacity increased by 8.8% over the same period. There are signs of a pick-up in seasonally-adjusted international air cargo demand helped by more trade to/from Europe and Asia.
  • Latin American airlines’ freight demand rose 0.3% in October 2018 compared to the same period last year and capacity increased by 3.3%. International demand slipped by 0.9%, marking the first contraction in 11months. International freight volumes have fallen month-on-month in four of the past five months, reflecting broad weakness in the region’s key markets.
  • African carriers saw freight demand decrease by 4.2% in October 2018, compared to the same month last year. This was the seventh time in eight months that demand shrank. Capacity increased by 5.4% year-on-year. Demand conditions on all key markets to and from Africa remain weak. Nonetheless, seasonally-adjusted international freight volumes have stopped declining and recovered sharply in recent months.

 

The RENAULT-NEOLINE-cargo sailing-ship sustainable supply chains transport

Renault to bring back cargo sailing ships

Groupe Renault has announced the signing of a 3-year partnership with Nantes start-up NEOLINE to develop a more sustainable maritime transport service powered by wind, and to contribute to the environmental management of its logistics chain while nearly 60% of the group’s parts and vehicles are transported by sea.
Vice President Strategic Environmental Planning at Groupe Renault Jean-Philippe Hermine said: “Groupe Renault’s objective is to reduce the environmental impact of each vehicle throughout its entire life cycle, from parts transportation up to delivery and end-of-life processing. In the context of our strategy to explore new sustainable mobility solutions and to continue along the road to reducing our carbon footprint, the ship designed by NEOLINE, which combines energy efficiency and operational relevance, has truly captured our attention”.
Alliance global director production control Jean-François Salles added: “The partnership with NEOLINE is the latest example of our supply chain’s commitment to reduce the carbon footprint by 6% between 2016 and 2022. For nearly 10 years, we have been working to identify the most environmentally sustainable solutions: for example, optimising the fill rates of the containers and trucks, producing eco-friendly packaging, and implementing a multimodal system. We are also developing more initiatives, such as the use of natural gas transportation between parts suppliers and production sites, the evaluation of transporters’ environmental performance, the modernisation of truck fleets, and of course the optimisation of our flows to reduce the number of kilometres travelled and to eliminate empty trips.”
CEO of NEOLINE Jean Zanuttini said: “We are especially pleased that Groupe Renault, a key player in accessible and sustainable mobility for all, is the first partner to join us on board our journey by trusting in NEOLINE’s maritime transport research. Considering that the traditional sea freight accounts for nearly 3% of CO2 emissions in Europe, NEOLINE aims to build an innovative French way to address a global environmental challenge while remaining within an industrial and competitive framework, with the support from its partners.”
To create a maritime transport capable of meeting the environmental challenges of our time, NEOLINE is developing its industrial-scale wind-powered freight services that are cleaner, customised and competitive, in response to the logistical needs of shippers. Led by a team of maritime professionals, this shipowner project has culminated in the design of a commercial demo with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90% through the use of wind power primarily, combined with a cost-cutting speed and optimised energy mix, compared to a traditional cargo ship on an equivalent route. The demo, a 136-meter RO-RO ship and 4,200 square metres of sail area, features an innovative blend of technical innovations borrowed from the maritime transport industry, as well as from competitive sailing, in order to make transport more logistically and economically proficient, while also setting the bar for energy efficiency.
The objective is to build two ships based on this model and to commission the vessels by 2020-2021 on a pilot route joining Saint-Nazaire, the U.S. Eastern seaboard and Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.

Western Sydney Airport selects architect to develop business park

Western Sydney Airport has appointed Architectus to plan a business park on a dedicated 191-hectare parcel of airport real estate.
The business park will offer the opportunity to integrate office, retail, industrial, hotels and conference facilities within 1.5 kilometres of the airport terminal.
“There will be opportunities for businesses to be at the terminal’s doorstep at what will become Australia’s largest international gateway. When the Airport opens in 2026, it will be built for 10 million passengers a year, but we’ve got a blueprint for staged growth to become one of the world’s biggest airports in the decades to follow and our business park will be a key feature,” Graham Millett, CEO, Western Sydney Airport said.
Graham said he expects interest in the Airport’s business park to come from a range of different industries.
“Consultants, tech companies, defence and aerospace, airlines and pharmaceutical are just some of the industries that would enjoy considerable advantage being located at the Airport’s front door,” he said.
Master planning work on the Airport business park is expected to be complete in mid-2019. Work to build Western Sydney Airport began in September, with the business park set to open before Airport operations begin in 2026.

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