NAX 24/7 a division of NAP, held an innovative time critical logistics  conference in Amsterdam, attended by over 100 delegates from across the international air cargo logistics supply chain. The theme was responding to shippers’ needs for emergency airfreight transport and on Just-in-time delivery. The sectors discussed included automotive and aviation industries, life science and pharma, ships spares and humanitarian aid, special events , live animals and VAL  , in fact anything that is needed quickly whether to save huge costs in delayed production or saving human life in the event of a natural disaster.

Christos Spyrou, CEO of NAP, introduced the NAX 24-7 time critical logistics group and presented its objectives and the benefits for the members. He outlined that time critical airfreight is not a rocket science, but it is a specialized area of logistics that not every forwarder broker or carrier can handle, and he explained  that this initiative was an integral part of the group’s strategy of injecting a greater degree of advanced air cargo expertise into the industry, and to providing members with useful and state-of-the-art services , and a platform of like-minded airfreight professionals . In the case of time critical deliveries, in today’s e-commerce society, virtually every shipment is time critical, as the various speakers pointed out.

Francisco Rizzuto from IATA stressed that standard setting was the key and not regulation and that IATA exists to oil the wheels of airfreight commerce. The pharmaceutical trade is clearly one of the most sensitive with the CEIV program extending to other sectors such as live animals. The handling of batteries safely is an ongoing educational challenge with safety as a major factor. Forcing rapid dispatch of incorrectly packaged batteries in order to meet timetable is a potential cause of life-threatening accidents.

“Turkish cargo is very focused on time critical shipments and 30%of total cargo carried by TK consists of special cargoes.” stated Turhan Ozen.”

Our time critical products and services form the key strategy for the future development of Turkish cargo. There are different types of chains in special cargo logistics and each chain has unique requirements. Therefore we designed unique products to meet the needs of the industry. Our airline operates 24/7 control towers and has dedicated specialized care teams for each industry. We have embraced all the IATA certification including CEIV Pharma and gaining CEIV live animals in the near future “ in reality” he continued,” nearly all products other than SPL can be time critical Either it can be autoparts urgently needed on a production line, or aircraft parts belonging to a grounded A/C in another continent, or textile which has to be on the store before the season gets started.  We also consider that cargo such as high value and dangerous goods, which can include highly sensitive medical products, are all treated with great care by our team.”

Sander Van Woesik of Wings on Board made the case for on-board carriers. Due to the modern trend in global manufacturing and supply chains, vital parts needed for assembly plants, where shutdown can cost millions of dollars, often rely on the on-board carrier (OBC). Only the most critical of shipments are handled this way, by anything from an automotive plant breakdown to vital medical items or even high-fashion collections, when to arrive late means total loss of value.

The charter sector, which has traditionally supported special outsize and emergency occasions, is very much part of the time critical market. Reto Hunziker from the Chapman Freeborn group explained how the company can handle any kind of shipment including time sensitive items such as humanitarian relief flights, live animal shipments, musical groups and orchestras and sports events equipment, all of which demand on time delivery.

A new company Chartersync, launched only this year by two experienced pilots, Ed Gillet and Simon Watson, harnesses the extensive data available online to locate suitable aircraft to carry out worldwide charters. The thrust of this company is to avoid time wasting phone calls and other communications in the search for available aircraft and to be able to respond rapidly to a customer’s needs.

New thinking is helping to speed up shipments. Jonas van Stekelenburg, and airfreight veteran of great experience has evolved a method of using empty baggage hold capacity on passenger aircraft which allows cargo to jump the queue when time is really critical. His company 12 send is working well after a few teething problems and for the moment is for European use only.

The automotive industry is one of the most demanding in the time critical sector, in which Santiago Tejedo of Priority Freight specializes. “we recognize that a failure to deliver vital parts in automotive assembly can cost vast amounts of money.

“Our company is one of the top automotive logistics specialists in the world. The future of the global industry is clearly moving towards electric and driverless vehicles which we estimate won’t be in everyday service until 2030”.

Peter Orange from GAC marine logistics confirmed that most urgent ship parts are being transported by airfreight due to the urgency involved.  He did comment that people still want to deal with people that the whole essence of the ships spares business was to keep ships moving and Door -to-Deck emergency delivery is vital.

The pharmaceutical industry is clearly one of the most sensitive and time critical sectors and its supply chains the most susceptible to interruption. Mourad Aoun from Net Critical talked about the challenge of handling clinical trial projects where mistakes cannot be tolerated, this being not only human trials but also animal material. This business can be very technical and exactly correct packaging is vital to the success of each operation.

We should never forget that complex festivals exhibitions and sports events demand precisely on time planning and delivery, according to Lisa Ryan of EFM Global. The company handles time critical shipments covering live events, art exhibitions as well as music groups and orchestras with their complex and highly delicate equipment and instruments. The human element in working all hours and making extraordinary efforts is a normal feature of this kind of work, where to arrive late could be a disastrous result.

Turgut Erkeskin from Genel Transport emphasized the importance of the specialized and trained freight forwarder in the aviation and aerospace segment .Their care and management are vital to the error free transport and delivery of all critical time shipments where delay can result in substantial costs. Turgut shared his knowledge and presented some case studies on how to handle aircraft engines correctly, the most complicated commodity in the aerospace sector.

One of the most emotional sectors at the conference was the delivery of humanitarian aid to disaster struck areas following Hurricanes floods and earthquakes, where the rapid delivery of vital goods is a matter of life and death. Charlotte Willoughby of Volga Dnepr Group, presented the range of specialized aircraft available for any type of charter, including those aircraft suited to rough landing conditions and self-handling such as the IL 76 TD-90VD and Antonov 124.

The general feeling of the meeting was that virtually every shipment in today’s fiercely competitive market, is time critical and that all players need to be up to date with every technological aid to make these deliveries are practical reality.

The first annual general meeting and conference of NAX 24-7-time critical logistics group will be held in Istanbul on SEP 28-30 2020


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Muriel Zographos
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