May 17, 2020

Middle East air freight on the rise in spite of global downturn

Middle East
International Air Transport Association
Air freight
Nye Longman
2 min
Middle East air freight on the rise in spite of global downturn
Middle Eastern airlines have experienced increased air freight volumes at the same time when global air freight levels are decreasing

Middle East airli...

Middle Eastern airlines have experienced increased air freight volumes at the same time when global air freight levels are decreasing

Middle East airlines’ cargo volumes have continued to grow steadily, and have risen at a rate of 3.7 per cent year-on-year, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Globally, air freight volumes have been falling by 5.6 per cent, year-on-year in February.

RELATED: Qatar Airways named best Middle Eastern/African airline for 6th consecutive year

Tony Tyler, IATA's Chief Executive Officer said: “The air freight business remains a difficult one. February’s performance continues a weak trend. And there are few factors on the horizon that would see this change substantially.

“Over the past six months the major carriers in the region have cut their rate of route expansion, which may account for the relative slowdown in freight volume growth." 

Middle East carriers have also experienced a halving in cost of cargo volume growth - at 6.8 per cent in the year to February compared to 13.8 per cent for the same two months of last year. While the year to February was still 1.6 per cent down from last year, the period showed 6.3 per cent growth over 2014. 

RELATED: Kuwait Airways: reclaiming national pride 

Middle East carriers account for 14 per cent of the global market share.

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SOURCE: [The National]

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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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