INDUSTRY FOCUS – ON THE MOVE: AIRLINES, LOGISTICS PROVIDERS & RELOCATION COMPANIES

By Jennifer Khoo


Allied Pickfords

SIRVA, parent company of global relocation company Allied Pickfords, announced last month the addition of its new service center in San Ramon, California. The location will offer enhanced service delivery options to global clients, especially those with interests in the western United States as well as Asia.

The new service center expands SIRVA’s ability to deliver services to clients and their employees and is a continuation of the commitment to effectively provide personalized support, mitigate mobility challenges for clients and ensure a better mobility experience for employees.

With a portfolio of brands including Allied Pickfords, Allied, northAmerican and SMARTBOX, SIRVA operates in more than 40 countries with approximately 6,000 employees and an extensive network of agents and service providers in over 160 countries.

With over 600 locations in more than 40 countries, Allied Pickfords has grown to become one of the largest and most respected providers of moving services, handling over 50,000 domestic and international moves every year.

American Airlines

American Airlines is continuing to elevate the customer experience by adding complimentary premium movies, TV shows, music and games in the main cabin on domestic flights through seatback entertainment systems or Wi-Fi streaming. Beginning in August this year, travelers have unrestricted access to the largest content library among carriers in the US via their own device or seatback entertainment systems.

Customers traveling on flights operated by American Airlines will be able to enjoy premium shows like HBO’s “Game of Thrones” and “Silicon Valley” as well as new movie releases such as “Captain America: Civil War,” “The Boss” and “The Lobster.” Available inflight entertainment will vary by aircraft and Wi-Fi type. Nearly 300 of American’s aircraft have seatback entertainment, with more being added every month.

With a fleet of aircraft that is the youngest of the US carriers, American Airlines and its subsidiary American Eagle fly an average of nearly 6,700 flights per day to nearly 350 destinations in more than 50 countries.

Asia Jet

Hong Kong Airlines Corporate Jet Limited (Hong Kong Jet) has completed its acquisition of Asia Jet Partners, following an announcement during the Asian Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition (ABACE) 2016 that they had signed a letter of intent for Hong Kong Jet to purchase Asia Jet and its subsidiary Asia Jet Partners (Shanghai), as well as its joint venture Asia Jet Partners (Malaysia).

The merger will enable both companies to enhance their service offerings to their respective clients and will bolster Hong Kong Jet’s aircraft management and maintenance capabilities, as well as its charter footprint in Hong Kong.

Founded in 2008, Hong Kong-based Asia Jet has expanded its fleet to nearly a dozen aircraft and has obtained Argus Platinum, Wyvern Wingman and IS-BAO III recognitions. A year younger, Hong Kong Jet manages 25 aircraft and employs 150. The acquisition follows a year when Hong Kong Jet’s managed fleet grew by more than 80 percent and an increase of maintenance hours by 110 percent.

Asian Tigers Mobility

Asian Tigers Mobility China was awarded the 2015 APAC Transportation Service Partner of the Year award during the fourth annual TheMIGroup Worldwide Partner Network Awards earlier this year. The Awards recognize the achievements and outstanding service delivery excellence of TheMIGroup’s network providers over the past year.

TheMIGroup Worldwide Partner Network Awards are based on a set of evaluation criteria designed to quantify their partners’ quality and service performance and have become a benchmark for excellence in the global relocation industry. Winners are found to have exceled in all areas evaluated and consistently demonstrated high-quality service and a desire to exceed expectation.

This year’s awards were presented in April at the European Relocation Association (EuRA) Conference in Malta. As a leading provider of international relocation solutions with offices in 14 countries, more than 1,400 dedicated professionals, and a global network comprised of other leading moving and relocation companies, Asian Tigers Mobility relocates more than 16,000 families each year.

Brookfield Global Relocation Services

Brookfield Global Relocation Services has been awarded a five-year contract for the administration and financial management of relocation services to be provided to the Canadian Federal Public Service and for management as a third-party service provider to members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

Brookfield has been providing relocation services to the Canadian Government since 1994. The recent contract was awarded by The Treasury Board Secretariat (TBS) and the RCMP, and was built on more than 20 years of dedicated service to the Government of Canada. The contract includes volumes of more than 2,500 annual relocations and responsibility for managing thousands of third-party suppliers.

Brookfield will provide advisory services, including information about relocation benefits and planning, deliver financial claims processing support, and deliver on-going maintenance of a directory of third-party service providers (including lawyers/notaries, home inspectors, appraisers and rental search agencies). All services will be delivered in both of Canada’s official languages, English and French.

Cathay Pacific Airways

Starting in mid-September, Cathay Pacific Airways and its subsidiary Dragonair will introduce an enhanced baggage policy in which ticketed passengers can benefit from increased check-in allowances and lower excess baggage charges.

All passengers, regardless of their class of travel, will enjoy an additional 10kg allowance for check-in baggage. Marco Polo Club Silver, Gold and Diamond members will benefit from an extra 10kg, 15kg and 20kg, respectively. In line with global industry standards, excess baggage charges will also be reduced by up to 40 percent.

Passengers in Business Class, Premium Economy Class and Economy Class will be entitled to two items of check-in baggage within designated weight limit. First Class passengers will be entitled to check in three baggage items free of charge.

In addition to the enhanced check-in baggage policy, Dragonair will increase its carry-on baggage allowance from 5kg to 7kg for passengers travelling in Economy and Premium Economy, while Business Class and First Class passengers will enjoy new allowances of 10kg and 15kg, respectively.

Crown Worldwide Group

Crown World Mobility (CWM) — a division of Crown Worldwide Group and a global provider of workforce mobility solutions and talent management strategies – has appointed Jennifer Harvey as the company’s Regional Managing Director of North America.

Harvey previously served as Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for Crown’s group of companies and spent time as Global Director of Group Marketing as well as Regional Corporate Services Manager in the US.  In her new role overseeing all business units in North America, Harvey focuses on driving collaboration and cross-training among internal teams to share the vast knowledge for which Crown Worldwide Group has become known. She has also focused extensively on continuing to improve the brand as a truly customer-centric organization.

Harvey has spoken on behalf of the company on numerous occasions in various media outlets including CNN International and Mobility magazine. She holds a degree from Columbia University in Economics and East Asian Studies.

Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines will launch a daily nonstop route between Los Angeles International Airport and Beijing Capital International Airport starting from December 16th, 2016. As the largest market for service to Asia, Los Angeles drives 21 percent of all US-Asia demand.

The start of Delta’s Beijing service marks its fifth daily nonstop flight to the Asia-Pacific region, in addition to Tokyo-Narita, Tokyo-Haneda, Shanghai and Sydney. Delta is currently the only carrier to offer a direct service to both Beijing and Shanghai from Los Angeles.

Delta’s Los Angeles- Beijing flight will offer customers convenient connections to more than 39 cities in China, including Chengdu, Shenyang, Qingdao, Xian and Hangzhou on SkyTeam partners China Eastern and China Southern, while the Los Angeles- bound Beijing flight will offer key connections to Denver, Las Vegas, Portland, San Diego and Phoenix as well as 35 other markets throughout the US, Canada and Latin America.

DHL

DHL Global Forwarding, a leading international provider of air, sea and road freight services, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in May with the Chengdu Gateway Logistics Office, which is the government agency responsible for developing Chengdu into a major trade hub under China’s “Belt and Road” initiative.

The MOU calls for a collaboration between DHL and Chengdu – where Asia’s largest railroad container transportation hub is located – to further improve the security, customs efficiency, and freight capacity of the city’s logistics infrastructure. The city has undergone rapid development of high-speed rail links such as the Chengdu-Europe Express Rail between the city and Lodz, Poland in 2013 and the Chengdu-Central Asia Express Rail in 2014.

Positioned strategically along several “Belt and Road” routes including the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar (BCIM) economic corridor and the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Chengdu is the largest trade center in western China and ranks first among cities in western China in terms of foreign investment in commerce and trade.

FedEx Express

FedEx Express (FedEx), the world’s largest express transportation company, has opened a new facility at Perth Airport in western Australia, measuring approximately 3,000 square meters in size and more than twice the size of the previous facility.

The new facility – which will include an automated cargo sorting system to meet the fast-growing demand for express cargo – has the capacity to sort up to 3,000 packages per hour, allowing inbound and outbound shipments to be processed faster. The new processing, combined with improved functions to load and unload shipping containers and state-of the- art parcel processing systems, will significantly boost efficiencies.

The growth of e-commerce has seen a rise in the purchase of international goods among Australian businesses and consumers, including in the Perth area. Australian retail e-commerce sales are tipped to reach A$14 billion by 2018, a 46 percent increase from 2015. At this point, e-commerce retail sales are estimated to account for 5.6 percent of all Australian retail sales.

Hong Kong Airlines

Hong Kong Airlines has taken delivery of five new Airbus aircraft so far this year, increasing its fleet size to 32. The 32nd aircraft is now in operation and is mainly deployed on routes to Okinawa, Osaka, Tokyo, Bangkok and Denpasar. The air carrier also operates one of the youngest fleets in the world with a current average age of around 3.9 years.

The company currently covers 35 flight destinations across the Asia Pacific region, with plans to introduce 10 new destinations within 2016. After launching the Gold Coast and Cairns routes earlier this year, it has further introduced six additional destinations across four countries: Tokyo, Osaka and Okayama in Japan, Phnom Penh in Cambodia, Kuching in Malaysia, and Saipan of the United States.

Towards the end of the year, it will launch two more new routes, including a direct service to Yonago, Japan commencing on September 14th, and a service to Auckland, New Zealand, will be inaugurated on November 10th.

Incheon Port Authority

The Incheon Port in South Korea has been running its nonstop service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week since July 1st this year. According to the Incheon Port Authority, a total of 37 companies including 4 loading companies, 13 transport companies, 15 warehouse owners and 5 service companies began 24/7 service at Incheon Port on 1 July.

Users of Incheon Port can now enjoy 24-hour service such as vessels docking, departure from the port, and dealing with freight at the main Terminal of Container without any interruption. Incheon Port Authority will continue to recruit companies interested in taking part of the new arrangement.

The 24/7 service will allow customers, including shippers, ship owners and transport companies, uninterrupted access to Incheon port without regard to time. Import and export companies can access services either at night or in the early morning and transport cargo to any desired location.

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has been appointed to transport vehicles manufactured at Toyota’s plant in Argentina to ports on the west coast of Central and South America.

Vehicles produced at Zarate plant are exported to the majority of Latin American countries and are part of an economically important project backed by the Argentine government.

With the acquisition of this new contract, MOL has restructured the existing US East Coast – West Coast South America route to connect Europe with East Coast South America, via the Strait of Magellan, West Coast South America, and West Coast Central America. The revised service allows MOL to respond swiftly to changes in demand for transport of completed vehicles in this region, with direct service from East Coast South America to West Coast South America and West Coast Central America.

MOL’s new services will play a key role in meeting robust demand for transport of completed vehicles in the region based on more than 50 years of car carrier operation.

Modern Terminals

With effect from July 1st, all container terminals under Modern Terminals Group, including those in Hong Kong as well as DaChan Bay and Taicang in Mainland China, are now fully equipped to provide container weighing services to customers who need assistance.

Modern Terminals has been working closely with shippers, carriers, and truckers to ensure that a process is in place, in accordance with the new Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Verified Gross Mass (VGM) requirements – which went live in July.

Modern Terminals Limited (MTL) opened Hong Kong’s first purpose-built container terminal facility in 1972. Today, it owns and operates container terminals at Kwai Tsing Container Port in Hong Kong.

MTL also operates and holds a majority of shares in DaChan Bay Terminals in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) and cooperates with Ningbo Port Co Ltd in its investment in Taicang International Gateway in the Yangtze River Delta (YRD). In the PRD, MTL holds equity stakes in both Shekou Container Terminals and Chiwan Container Terminal.

Orient Overseas Container Line

Orient Overseas Container Line (OOCL) has taken a further step forward in its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting by extending the scope to container terminals, namely Long Beach Container Terminal in the US and Kaohsiung Container Terminal (KAOCT) in Taiwan.

The initiative this year not only ensures that OOCL’s data disclosure in 2015 is transparent, accurate, complete, consistent and relevant for the carbon dioxide, sulfur oxides and GHG Scope 1 emission data of OOCL vessels and GHG Scope 2 records associated to the electricity consumption of OOCL’s head office in Hong Kong, but also verifies that GHG Scope 1 and Scope 2 data from terminals are meeting standards.

Each year, OOCL ensures that such standards are consistent and upheld by certifying its environmental data through independent business assurance service providers.

Accredited by Lloyd’s Register (LR), this is the third consecutive year that OOCL has achieved dual reporting standards through the use of Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG) and ISO 14064-1:2006 verification tools.

Polar Air Cargo

Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, the parent company of Polar Air Cargo, will start providing air cargo services to support Amazon’s package deliveries to its customers. Operations under the agreements are expected to begin in the second half of 2016 and ramp up to full service through 2018.

The long-term commercial agreements will include the operation of 20 B767-300 converted freighters for Amazon on a CMI (crew, maintenance and insurance) basis by Atlas Air Worldwide’s airline subsidiary, Atlas Air Inc, as well as dry leasing by its Titan Aviation leasing unit. The dry leases will have a term of 10 years, while the CMI operations will be for seven years (with extension provisions for a total term of 10 years).

As part of the deal, Atlas Air Worldwide granted Amazon warrants to acquire up to 20 percent (after the issuance) of its common shares at a price of US$37.50 per share over a period of five years.

Port of Long Beach

The 2015 annual inventory of port-related air emissions, conducted by an independent consultant, found aggressive actions by Port of Long Beach to curtail pollution have decreased diesel particulate matter by 84 percent since 2005, a slight decrease from the 85 percent reduction reported in 2014.

Sulfur oxides were 97 percent lower, the same level reported in 2014. Smog-forming nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases were down 48 percent and 14 percent, respectively, compared to the 50 percent and 21 percent numbers, respectively, in the prior year.

Port officials attributed the rise in emissions to the unusual number of vessels at anchor due to terminal congestion through the first quarter of 2015. Efforts to improve air quality since 2005 have included the Clean Trucks Program, low-sulfur fuel regulations for ships, increased use of shore power for cargo ships and the Port’s Green Flag Vessel Speed Reduction Program.

Santa Fe Relocation Services

Santa Fe Group, a global leader in mobility and relocation services, has announced the appointment of David Byers as CEO for the fast-growing Americas region. Byers will be responsible for the USA, Canada and Latin America, and for driving the continued growth of the company’s business and service offerings in the region.

Prior to joining Santa Fe, Byers held the position of CEO at CARSTAR, the world’s largest auto body repair network with 500 franchise stores and US$800 million in sales. He is highly experienced in the relocation industry, having spent three years as Chief Commercial Officer at global moving and relocation services provider SIRVA between 2008 and 2011 and expanded the company’s market share.

Santa Fe’s operations in the Americas currently include 30 employees in its US offices (Texas and Connecticut) and a service set-up in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro). Revenue from the emerging business in the region is growing fast.

United Airlines

United Airlines has launched a nonstop flight from San Francisco to Hangzhou, China, marking the airline’s fifth destination city in Mainland China and its 14th destination in the Asia Pacific region from United’s premier gateway located on the US west coast.

The new service is the newest addition to United’s growing portfolio of Mainland China destinations, including three interior cities that no other airline serves from the United States. Hangzhou – a center for technology, economic development, education and cultural heritage – is also the fifth new international route United has launched from San Francisco since May (Auckland, New Zealand; Singapore; Tel Aviv, Israel; and Xi’an, China).

This new route will provide US travelers with access to one of China’s most dynamic cities, while giving Chinese travelers direct access to United’s major hub in San Francisco with options for onward connections to an extensive network of service throughout the US, Canada and Latin America.

UPS

UPS has announced the latest expansion of its popular UPS Worldwide Express Freight Service to nine new countries: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Malta, Morocco, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, and Tunisia. Together with the eight additional countries added within the past year, the service is now offered in 66 origin and 64 destination countries and territories.

In addition, UPS Worldwide Express Freight service has been expanded to over 2,110 zip codes in Mexico. The service provides supply chain benefits including reduced transit times, improved visibility, reduced inventory safety stock, enhanced customer service levels, and shorter order fulfilment cycles/times.

This specialized guaranteed service is designed for urgent, time-sensitive, and high-value international heavyweight shipments over 150 pounds (70 kg), making it ideal for customers’ product launches, inventory shortages, and equipment failure replacement parts. Since its launch in 2013, the number of businesses using UPS Worldwide Express Freight service has increased more than 250 percent.

Weichert Workforce Mobility

Weichert Workforce Mobility was named Relocation Management Company of the Year at the 2016 EMMA Awards ceremony in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Presented by the Forum for Expatriate Management, EMMA Awards are the industry’s premier awards recognizing excellence in workforce mobility.

With the accolade, Weichert has set a new precedent and become the first and only company to be named RMC of the Year at the Americas EMMAs for three consecutive years as it also won the honor in 2014 and 2015.

Weichert was selected by a judging panel of HR and mobility professionals from a wide range of multinational corporations from a shortlist of 11 finalists, based on such criteria as service quality, value for price paid, industry innovation and proven results for clients.

Other factors – including Weichert’s commitment to building Trusted Partnerships and delivering Legendary Service and its Scorecard approach to performance tracking – helped further distinguish the company from the other nominees in this category.

Worldwide Flight Services

Worldwide Flight Services (WFS) has topped off a year of substantial growth by winning the “International Cargo Ground Handler of the Year” award presented at the Air Cargo India industry conference in Mumbai.

The award – which is based on votes cast by readers of the international trade magazine STAT Times to recognize excellence in the air cargo industry – was presented at a gala dinner in the city. The honor also came at a time of unprecedented growth for WFS. The company handles over four million tons of air cargo per annum for some 300 airline customers and is present at over 145 major airports in more than 22 countries on five continents.

In October 2015, WFS extended its global presence by acquiring a 51 percent majority shareholding in Fraport Cargo Services at Frankfurt Airport; and in January 2016, it also announced its intention to purchase Consolidated Aviation Services, one of the leading cargo handlers in North America.

Yusen Logistics

Yusen Logistics (China) Co Ltd has opened new sales offices in Changzhou and Changshu in China’s southern Jiangsu Province. The new offices, which opened for business on September 7th, are part of the company’s overall strategy to strengthen sales in the region.

Changzhou and Changshu, located in the center of the Yangtze River delta, are both cities undergoing significant industrial development. Growing logistics demand is expected in the area since hi-tech and automotive companies, including a large number of Japanese companies, have been recently set up operations there.

Until recently, sales activities in the region were conducted at the company’s Suzhou and Wuxi branch offices. The additional offices are positioned to provide a more scrupulous logistics service through more regionally-based sales.

Yusen Logistics will increase its sales through offering a variety of services including ocean and air freight forwarding and contract logistics, as well as expanding the workforce to meet growing demand.

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