MSC takes delivery of first Cargo Aircraft

MSC has taken the next step in developing its Air Cargo solution with the delivery of the first MSC-branded aircraft, built by Boeing and operated by Atlas Air. The B777-200 Freighter will fly on routes between China, the US, Mexico and Europe.

Jannie Davel, Senior Vice President Air Cargo at MSC, said: “Our customers need the option of air solutions, which is why we’re integrating this transportation mode to complement our extensive maritime and land cargo operations. The delivery of this first aircraft marks the start of our long-term investment in air cargo.”

Jannie Davel brings extensive air cargo experience, having worked in the sector for many years, most recently heading Delta’s commercial cargo operations, before joining MSC in 2022.

He said: “Since I started at MSC, I have spoken to numerous partners and customers right across the market and it is very clear that air cargo can enable a range of companies to meet their logistics needs. Flying adds options, speed, flexibility and reliability to supply chain management, and there are particular benefits for moving perishables, such as fruit and vegetables, pharmaceutical and other healthcare products and high-value goods. 

We are delighted to see the first of our MSC-branded aircraft take to the skies and we believe that MSC Air Cargo is developing from a solid foundation thanks to the reliable, ongoing support from our operating partner Atlas Air.”

Atlas Air, Inc., a subsidiary of Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: AAWW), is supporting MSC on an aircraft, crew, maintenance and insurance (ACMI) basis. This aircraft is the first of four B777-200Fs in the pipeline, which are being placed on a long-term basis with MSC, providing dedicated capacity to support the ongoing development of the business.

The B777-200F twin-engine aircraft has been commended for its advanced fuel efficiency measures. It also has low maintenance and operating costs, and, with a range of 4,880 nautical miles (9,038 kilometres), it can fly further than any other aircraft in its class. It also meets quota count standards for maximum accessibility to noise sensitive airports around the globe.

Rapiscan introduces advanced dual-view X-ray system

rapiscan_638dv-320_version2__largeThe new Rapiscan 638DV 320kV is an advanced dual-view X-ray system with a 1837 mm wide by 1800 mm high tunnel opening for screening ULD type, ISO standard, and large cargo pallet type freight.

The new 638DV 320kV features high penetration, dual-view technology and explosives and narcotics detection alert supporting secure inspection and higher throughput for air cargo screening and customs applications.

Detection of Explosives and Narcotics Alert
Target™ and NARCScan™ are designed to assist operators in the detection of a wide range of explosives and narcotics respectively in real time during the scanning process by marking a potential threat on the X-ray image. Rapiscan detection algorithms are based on regulatory material analysis techniques.

Dual View Advanced Technology
As mandated by US and EU regulators, the 638DV 320kV utilizes a dual-view technology which produces two simultaneous images (vertical and horizontal views) of the scanned object. It provides a more complete image, thereby reducing the need for repositioning and rescanning and enabling rapid, accurate and comprehensive threat detection.

Ease of Use Providing Highest Throughput
With over 14 image processing tools and detection alert algorithms, the feature-rich software allows the operator to more easily and accurately search for contraband. Source: Rapiscan

Air-to-sea cost differential narrows

Multimodal Freight

Just to keep them on their toes – the following will undoubtedly play a factor in many customs administration’s risk management and intel systems.

Air freight rates slipped in December as the trade returned to business-as-usual following the volume boost of earlier hi-tech product launches, according to Drewry’s new monthly report, Sea & Air Shipper Insight. Drewry’s recently launched East-West Air Freight Price Index, a weighted average of air freight rates across 21 east-west trades, fell by 1.4 points from November to reach 110.8 in December, bringing to an end four consecutive months of gains in the index. “The waning effect of new hi-tech product launches on traffic demand was the primary contributor to declining rates from Asia into North America and Europe,” said Simon Heaney, research manager at Drewry. “Drewry expects pricing on routes out of Asia to decline further, though the impact will be softened by an uptick in demand levels in advance of Chinese New Year.”

Evidence of a tentative recovery in air freight demand comes in the form of a 2% year-on-year rise (the first such increase in 16 months) in November of worldwide semiconductor sales, a traditional bellwether for air cargo. Air cargo demand could also see a temporary boost at the expense of the ocean market. With ocean currently facing capacity issues such as the looming threat of strike action at US ports and carriers cancelling voyages, some shippers, particularly those wanting to move higher-value goods, might well be tempted to shift some cargo to the air. Demand growth for air cargo has lagged behind ocean, which Drewry believes is due to a combination of shippers having access to better IT systems, leaner inventory strategies and greater faith in liner service reliability, which has been improving steadily in the last year or so.

Recent issues in the ocean sector are testing that faith, although of course shippers that do switch to air freight will have to pay a considerable premium. East-west air freight rates and comparable ocean rates have almost mirrored their ups and downs since May 2012, with air prices showing a steeper upswing since October. However, the fall in air freight pricing and a corresponding rise in container shipping rates in December sent Drewry’s east-west air freight price multiplier down 1.3 points to 11.8. The multiplier measures the relationship between the cost of shipping by air relative to sea. “Air cargo is not a viable Plan B for all shippers,” said Heaney, “but for those moving expensive goods it remains a justifiable alternative, particularly at a time when the reliability of the ocean supply chain is threatened.”  Source: Lloyds List