Dnata unveils plans for extended facilities at Heathrow
In addition to the extensive space covered by its existing warehouses, Dnata hopes to provide three additional facilities, providing 206,000 sq ft of new cargo space. New, state-of-the-art buildings will consist of a 78,000 sq ft cargo warehouse and a 54,000 sq ft facility and a 40,000 sq ft building, with a combined additional office space of 34,000 sq ft across the three facilities.
The Dnata City complex, which offers world leading air services, currently handlse 21 wide-body flights daily for Virgin Atlantic, with a 60,000 square foot facility nearby at Bedfont Road dedicated to Cathay Pacific's passenger and freighter cargo operations. The complex also encompasses the handler's existing 60,000 square foot self-contained transport yard, where it has a fleet of 85 modern trucks equipped with GPS tracking equipment providing 24/7 coverage with 4,000 truck movements currently servicing 656 flights every week.
The new facilities will also feature fully automated cargo handling systems as well as chiller rooms, valuable handling facilities and are specially designed to handle peak freighter cargo alongside general cargo flows. Dnata has launched a new website, detailing the investment plans, which features an array of information about the new enhanced freight facilities at the UK's Heathrow Airport.
"As a global player in the air cargo business, Dnata is committed to making a strong contribution to improving Heathrow Airport's air cargo infrastructure," said Gary Morgan, CEO of Dnata's UK operations.
"We were concerned about the lack of new air cargo facilities and felt the need to step forward to create and deliver industry-leading air cargo services which will shape the future of our industry at Heathrow," he continued.
"Dnata City can offer customers a range of versatile options to suit their specific needs," said Mohammed Akhlaq, Business Development Director, Cargo, for Dnata's business in the UK. "At this stage we are able to have meaningful input from carriers into both design aspects and to ensure we have the required handling systems in place," he added.
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