May 17, 2020

FedEx transport giant pandas to France

Giant Pandas
Panda Express
FedEx Express
FedEx Supply Cha
Freddie Pierce
3 min
The successful shipment of 3-year-old giant pandas Huan Huan and Yuan Zi from China by FedEx marks the first time in a decade that the species have visited France
The FedEx Panda Supply Chain is at it again. This time, the popular mammals are visiting a European country their kind hasnt seen in a decade. FedEx Ex...

The FedEx Panda Supply Chain is at it again. This time, the popular mammals are visiting a European country their kind hasn’t seen in a decade.

FedEx Express, one of the world's largest express transportation companies, announced the safe arrival of two three-year-old giant pandas Huan Huan and Yuan Zi from the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China to Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport in France.

Working in conjunction with ZooParc de Beauval, the specially-chartered Boeing 777F flight known as the “FedEx Panda Express” landed in Paris on Sunday at 12 p.m. local time. The arrival of these Chinese ambassadors marks the first time in 10 years that giant pandas will reside in France.


The non-stop flight was chartered especially for the VIPs—Very Important Pandas—and the pair travelled in custom-built enclosures provided by FedEx Express. While in flight, Huan Huan and Yuan Zi spent the journey snoozing and eating bamboo. They were accompanied by a Chinese veterinarian and animal handler as well as the managing director from ZooParc de Beauval to look after their needs throughout the journey.

FedEx Express provided logistical services for the transportation, providing an expert team to ensure the rare animals’ safety. During the flight, the pandas were in the safe hands of seasoned pilots Captain Paul Cassel, Captain Tom Jenkins and Captain John Hunt, who all have extensive experience in transporting some of the world’s most precious cargo, ranging from white rhinos to penguins.   

The pandas continued their journey in FedEx Express vehicles to their new home at ZooParc de Beauval. French authorities were also on hand to ensure a smooth ride. Upon arrival, the pandas will reside together in the zoo’s new magnificent Chinese area in a specially-built giant panda enclosure.


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Classed amongst the 15 most beautiful zoos in the world and home to the largest collection of animals in France (4,600 animals), the ZooParc de Beauval is heavily involved in the protection of endangered species, hosting rare and unique animals in France. The zoo is well known for the quality of its facilities and also for its high number of births (approximately 350 each year), which is a sign of hope for species threatened with extinction in the wild.

The successful journey marks the second time in as many months that the FedEx supply chain has been called upon to transport pandas from China to Europe. Early in December, 8-year-old female Tian Tian and 8-year-old male Yang Guang arrived in Scotland from Chengdu’s Panda Base.

When both of those pandas touched down at Edinburgh International Airport, it marked the first time in 17 years that the mammals had set foot in the UK.


Classed as “endangered” by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) red list of threatened species, the giant panda is a universal symbol for the conservation of endangered species. The giant pandas will represent a very important flagship for Beauval, as it will not only attract many visitors, but it will be a living message and proof of wildlife protection.

FedEx Express Transports Many Unusual Shipments

This isn’t the first time that FedEx Express has transported rare or unusual cargo. In February of 2010, FedEx Express made the trip back to China, transporting Tai Shan, a male panda born at the National Zoo in Washington D.C., and Mei Lan, a female panda born in Atlanta, back to China. 

Back in 2000, the FedEx Panda Express had transported Tai Shan’s parents from China to Washington D.C.’s National Zoo.

Other unusual international cargo transported by FedEx includes a windmill from Denmark, the Ryder Cup and a vintage Jaguar Le Mans car worth more than £1 million.

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Jun 21, 2021

Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight

2 min
Elon Musk’s tunnelling firm plans underground freight tunnels with shipping containers moved on “battery-powered freight carriers”, according to reports

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. 

Elon Musk Tweet

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

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