DHL unveils air freight charter linking Asia, Europe and US
In a bid to meet demand from customers in the technology, manufacturing, and life sciences and healthcare sectors, the twice-weekly charter will begin in Chongqing, China, before flying to Amsterdam, Netherlands; Chicago, United States; Incheon, South Korea, before returning to China.
Thomas Mack, Global Head of Air Freight DHL Global Forwarding, commented: “While some passenger airlines have resumed operations, the situation in the air freight market remains volatile - especially as belly capacity is still tight As the leader in the air freight market, DHL Global Forwarding's top priority is to provide our customers with sufficient and reliable air freight capacity. Not only are the resilient, agile and reliable supply chains of highest importance for an economic recovery, but also in preparation for the availability of vaccines and other essential medical supplies during the pandemic.”
South Korea has overseen the export of healthcare products significantly increase year-on-year by 26.7% during the first half of 2020, with pharmaceutical goods in particular rising by 52.5%. China exported 28.5% more medical devices during the first five months of the year in comparison to 12 months ago. In 2019, China, the Netherlands and the United States were among the leading 10 importers and exporters of medical goods.
The news follows whitepaper that focused on delivering stable logistics for vaccines and medical supplies during COVID-19. As a result of the collaboration, the aim is to provide global coverage of COVID-19, up to 200,000 pallet shipments and 15 million deliveries in cooling boxes, as well as 15,000 flights across a number of supply chain set-ups.
“Over the years, DHL has built up its expertise from globally certified facilities and staff to technologies that track shipments in real-time in addition to ensuring the integrity of such products throughout their journey. Getting the much-needed air capacity is the last piece in the value chain puzzle, so to speak, that ensures temperature sensitive products such as life-saving vaccines reach the communities-in-need,” added Mack.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany