Newsletter – April 1, 2021
AIR FREIGHT UPDATES
Dronamics launches drone-based cargo airline
Dronamics has launched a cargo drone airline that will manage same-day delivery services with the Black Swan, its flagship unmanned drone.
The Black Swan can carry 350 kg of cargo up to 2,500 km at an 80% lower cost than any aircraft, said Dronamics.
The developer and operator of large cargo drones said that its Dronamics Airlines service will have subsidiaries in Ireland, Australia and Canada, which are countries seen as leaders in drone regulations. Read more here.
Possible Bomb Threat Causes Flight Chaos At Fort Lauderdale Airport
Fort Lauderdale Airport was shut down and evacuated early on Thursday morning as authorities investigated ‘suspicious wires’ found in a vehicle. The airport was closed for over five hours, with all flights scheduled to depart before 8 AM delayed or canceled. Read more here.
OCEAN FREIGHT UPDATES
Lengthy wait for cargo as Ever Given owner declares General Average
As the investigation into the grounding of the Ever Given in the Suez Canal begins, the vessel’s Japanese owner, Shoe Kisen, this morning declared General Average.
And a customer circular from Evergreen, seen by The Loadstar, confirms that Shoe Kisen this morning appointed Richard Hogg Lindley as adjustor.
For the vessel, now at anchor at the Bitter Lakes area undergoing technical inspections, a possible date of departure to ports of discharge has yet to be set. Read more here (login required).
Anger as Maersk suspends contract bookings, sparking scramble for capacity
Maersk’s decision to “temporarily suspend” spot and short-term contract bookings from Asia following the Suez Canal blockage has left forwarders and NVOCCs scrambling for alternatives.
The carrier said on Tuesday it estimated a loss of capacity across its network of up to 30% “over multiple weeks”, in addition to equipment shortages in Asia.
One UK forwarder The Loadstar spoke to today said although he appreciated the difficulties for Maersk, he was “shocked” it had decided not to honour its short-term contracts. Read more here.
Suez bypass: Good luck finding an air cargo alternative
When supply chains break down, one of the first options for time-critical shipments is airfreight. But businesses hunting for air transport to avoid the giant ocean bottleneck in the Suez Canal are in for a rude awakening: There are no spare aircraft.
Take a number and get in line, logistics experts say.
Or pay a premium for expedited service — on top of rates that typically are eight times greater than those for ocean shipping. Read more here.
Suez planners ponder changes in wake of Ever Given grounding
Top executives at the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) refuse to be drawn on whether changes might need to be made to the southern portion of the waterway in the wake of last week’s headline grabbing grounding of the giant Ever Given boxship.
Canal executives are waiting to see what the accident investigation report states before making any big decisions on dredging – or even adding an extra waterway like what was added in the north of the waterway six years ago. However, a number of experts contacted by Splash suggest action will need to be taken swiftly to avoid further snarl-ups on the key trade artery linking Europe with Asia. Read more here.
GROUND AND RAIL FREIGHT UPDATES
B.C. introduces mandatory training for Class 1 drivers
B.C. is introducing mandatory entry-level training (MELT) for new Class 1 commercial driver’s license applicants.
B.C.’s program will exceed the minimum requirements set by the National Safety Code Standard for entry-level training of Class 1 drivers. Read more here.
LTL is ‘stuck in the past’ and ripe for disruption, says sector veteran
Trapped in outdated practices, the less-than-truckload (LTL) sector in the US is ripe for disruption.
Satish Jindel, president of SJ Consulting, argues that this is a good time for an entrant to revolutionize the business with a new model that is ‘more’ rather than ‘less’.
He said: “I never understood why anybody would want to be known as something less.” Read more here (login required).
CANADA BUSINESS – GOVERNMENT UPDATES
Airbus Invests In Its Canadian A220 Manufacturing Plant
Airbus is working to repurpose an area of the former Bombardier Mirabel factory that was left fallow after the Canadian planemaker ended CRJ production. The 100,000 square feet will become a pre-assembly plant for the A220 line of aircraft, feeding partially completed fuselages to both Mirabel and Mobile, Alabama. The facility is due to come into operation in 2022. Read more here.