May 17, 2020

St. Louis Aerotropolis cargo hub on hold

Supply Chain Digital
air cargo
Cargo Hub
Air Cargo Hub
Freddie Pierce
2 min
Despite an optimistic financial analysis, Aerotropolis cargo hub faces political opposition
A large cargo hub could be built smack-dab in the middle of the United States, as St. Louis has plans to build an air cargo facility dubbed Aerotropoli...

A large cargo hub could be built smack-dab in the middle of the United States, as St. Louis has plans to build an air cargo facility dubbed Aerotropolis.

According to the Kansas City Star, those plans could very well be moving forward, after a new financial analysis suggested that the air cargo hub could come out ahead financially.

“The analysis clearly shows that with the right taxpayer protections in place, these incentives have real potential to create jobs, boost our exports and grow our economy,” Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said.

There is another side to the study, however. The financial analysis was put together by the state Department of Economic Development, which would seemingly have its agenda aligned with that of the Nixon. The proposed air cargo hub would also be built predominantly from taxpayer funding.

The proposed Aerotropolis cargo hub would transform the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport into an international air cargo hub. The plan also protects against Kansas luring away business from Missouri, providing retention dollars to companies that do business in Missouri.


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The biggest issue right now is the $300 million-plus cost of the facility, which could put a lot at risk should the air cargo hub fail to meet expectations.

“It just doesn’t feel like there’s a deal in the air right now,” Sen. Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat, told the Kansas City Star.

LuAnn Ridgeway, another senator, reportedly said she may slow down the bill because it includes a secondary objective of managing debt of the underutilized Lambert airport.

Savannah Sen. Brad Lager is likewise opposed to moving too quickly with Aerotropolis.

“We never spend our own money this way. Why is it OK to spend the taxpayers’ money this way? I fundamentally disagree with it,” Lager said.

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Jun 8, 2021

DHL Claim Multi-Sector Collaboration Key to Fighting COVID

3 min
Global logistics leader DHL’s new white paper highlights what supply chain professionals have learned one year into the pandemic

Since January, global logistics leader DHL has distributed more than 200 million doses of the COVID vaccine to 120+ countries around the globe. While the US and UK recently rolled out immunisation plans to most citizens, countries with less developed infrastructure still desperately need more doses. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which currently has one of the highest per-capita immunisation rates, the government set up storage facilities to cover domestic and international demand. But storage, as we’ve learned, is little help if you can’t transport the goods.


This is where logistics leaders such as DHL make their impact. The company built over 50 new partnerships, bilateral and multilateral, to collaborate with pharmaceutical and private sector firms. With more than 350 DHL centres pressed into service, the group operated 9,000+ flights to ship the vaccine where it needed to go. 


Public-Private Partnerships

With new pandemic knowledge, DHL just released its “Revisiting Pandemic Resilience” white paper, which examined the role of logistics and supply chain companies in handling COVID-19. As Thomas Ellman, Head of Clinical Trials Logistics at DHL, said: “The past one year has highlighted the importance of logistics and supply chain management to manage the pandemic, ensure business continuity and protect public health. It has also shown us that together we are stronger”. 


Multisector partnerships, DHL said, enabled rapid, effective vaccine distribution. While international scientists developed a vaccine in record time—five times faster than any other vaccine in history—manufacturers ramped up production and logistics teams rolled out distribution three times faster than expected. When commercial routes faced backups, logistics operators worked with military officers to transport vaccines via helicopters and boats. 


In the UAE, the public-private HOPE Consortium distributed billions of COVID-19 doses to its civilians as well as other countries in need by partnering with commercial organisations such as DHL. For the first time, apropo for an unprecedented pandemic, logistics companies made strong connections with public health and government.


“While the race against the virus continues, leveraging the power of such collaborations and data analytics will be key”, said Katja Busch, Chief Commercial Officer DHL and Head of DHL Customer Solutions & Innovation. “We need to remain prepared for high patient and vaccine volumes, maintain logistics infrastructure and capacity, while planning for seasonal fluctuations by providing a stable and well-equipped platform for the years to come”. 


How Do We Sustain Immunisation? 

By the end of 2021, experts estimate that we need approximately 10 billion doses of vaccines—many of which will be shipped to areas of the world, such as India, South Africa, and Brazil, that lack significant infrastructure. This is perhaps the greatest divide between countries that have rolled out successful immunisation programmes and those that have not. As Busch noted, “the UAE’s significant investments in creating robust air, sea, and land infrastructure facilitated logistics and vaccine distribution, helping us keep supply chains resilient”. 


Neither is the novel coronavirus a one-time affair. If predictions hold, COVID will be similar to seasonal colds or the flu: here to stay. When fall comes around each year, governments will need to vaccinate the world as quickly as possible to ensure long-term immunisation against the virus. This time, logistics companies must be better prepared. 

Yet global immunisation, year after year, is no small order. To keep reinfection rates low and slow the spread of COVID, governments will likely need 7-9 billion annual doses of the vaccine to meet that mark. And if DHL’s white paper is any judge of success, multi-sector supply chain partnerships will set the gold standard.

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