May 17, 2020

Qatar Airways showcasing Pharma Express service at Air Cargo Africa

Middle East logistics
air cargo
2 min
Qatar Airways will be showcasing at Air Cargo Africa
Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.Qatar Airways Cargo will be participating in the third Air Cargo Africa exhibition, where the cargo carrie...

Follow @SamJermy and @SupplyChainD on Twitter.


Qatar Airways Cargo will be participating in the third Air Cargo Africa exhibition, where the cargo carrier will have an opportunity to showcase its expanding services and its latest developments such as Pharma Express. The prestigious three-day event takes place from 25 to 27 February 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa, at the Emperors Palace and Casino Resort.

Air Cargo Africa is an international biennial event showcasing Africa’s air cargo potential on a global scale, and is attended by key players from the African cargo community, including manufacturers, shippers, airlines, airports, freight forwarders, charter providers and others.

Ulrich Ogiermann, Qatar Airways Chief Officer of Cargo said: “Air freight in Africa has grown strongly in recent years, and the Middle East is positioned perfectly as an ideal distribution hub for the African continent. We have ambitious plans for our growth in this region and are looking forward to our attendance at Air Cargo Africa 2015 where we can present our products and services such as QR Pharma and QR Fresh to one of the fastest growing air cargo markets in the world.”

Qatar Airways Cargo operates freighters to six African destinations and carries cargo on passenger aircraft to 19 destinations in the continent. In December 2014, freighter services commenced to the West African destinations of Lagos and Accra.

Qatar Airways Cargo freighter has been steadily adding destinations in recent months. The airline also commenced its Pharma Express service in January 2015 the first of its kind in the industry that links key pharma origins, Brussels and Basel, with the extensive Qatar Airways' network, via Doha, Qatar.

QR Pharma, launched in January 2014, provides airfreight service for pharmaceutical and healthcare products, offering both active and passive solutions. The active solution provides temperature-controlled containers which are designed to maintain a constant temperature throughout the entire transportation chain, while the passive solution keeps the product within a defined temperature band at all stages of the journey.

In 2014, Qatar Airways Cargo moved 658 million kilos of cargo, representing a growth of 16.1 percent over 2013. Customers wishing to meet with Qatar Airways Cargo representatives at Air Cargo Africa can do so at booth number 20 at the exhibition.

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Jun 15, 2021

FedEx is Reshaping Last Mile with Autonomous Vehicles

3 min
FedEx is expanding a trial of autonomous vehicles in its last-mile logistics process with partner Nuro, including multi-stop and appointment deliveries

FedEx is embarking on an expanded test of autonomous, driver-less delivery vehicles to develop its last-mile logistics. 

The US logistics firm piloted autonomous vehicles from Nuro in April this year, and the pair will now explore that further in a multi-year partnership. Cosimo Leipold, Nuro’s head of partnerships, said the collaboration "will enable innovative, industry-first product offerings that will better everyday life and help make communities safer and greener". 

FedEx will explore a variety of on-road use cases for the autonomous fleet, including multi-stop and appointment-based deliveries, beyond the boundaries mass movement of goods from A-B. The logistics company says the exponential growth in ecommerce is spurring its experimentation in new autonomy solutions, both in-warehouse and on-road. 

“FedEx was built on innovation, and it continues to be an integral part of our culture and business strategy,” said Rebecca Yeung, vice president, advanced technology and innovation, FedEx Corporation. “We are excited to collaborate with an industry leader like Nuro as we continue to explore the use of autonomous technologies within our operations.”


The changing role of couriers 

Unlike structured delivery networks, operating under long-term partnerships and contracts, agility is where couriers deliver true value - and their ability to deftly solve last-mile fulfilment has most acutely been felt during the pandemic. For the billions of people around the world forced to stay at home to protect themselves and their communities from the spreading COVID-19 virus, couriers have been a constant. They may have been the only knock at the door some people experienced for weeks or months at a time. 

But the last-mile has been uprooted by a boom in ecommerce, a shift that has been most apparent in the UK, US, China and Japan, according to the Global Parcel Delivery Market Insight Report 2021 by Apex Insight. These are markets with dominant economies and populations used to running their lives with a tap of a screen or double-click of a mouse. 

“Getting last mile delivery right has long been a challenge for retailers,” says Kees Jacobs, Vice President, Consumer Goods and Retail at Capgemini. “In 2019, 97% of retail organisations felt their last-mile delivery models were not sustainable for full-scale implementation across all locations. Despite increasing demand from customers, companies were struggling to make the last mile profitable and efficient.”

Jacobs says that the pandemic alleviated some of these stresses in the short term. With no other option, consumers were understanding and tolerant, if not entirely happy, with longer delivery times and less transparent tracking. “But, as extremely high delivery demand continues to be normal, customers will expect brands to contract their delivery times,” he adds. 

Last mile's role in ESG

Demand and volume weren’t the only things that have changed during the pandemic - businesses looked closer to home and as a result became more sustainable. Bricks and mortar stores were transformed from mini-showrooms to quasi-fulfilment centres. Online retailers and other businesses sought local solutions to ship more faster. In densely populated London, UK alone, Accenture found that delivery van emissions dropped by 17%, while Chicago, USA and Sydney, Australia saw similar emissions savings. 

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