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Keeping cool.

The logistics center of Roche Diagnostics in Mannheim supplies the world with diagnostic solutions designed to detect diseases. The products are temperature-sensitive and subject to strict regulations. The shipper therefore only trusts selected airlines.

The shelf storage and retrieval vehicle zooms up from down below. The nimble robot grabs a pallet from the seventh floor and disappears with its load as quickly as it has arrived. Hundreds of different diagnostic products are stored here. The tireless helper in charge of this warehouse always knows exactly which product is waiting where, and what goes where.

The two fully automated high-bay warehouses of Roche Diagnostics in Mannheim, the third-largest location of the Swiss Roche Group in the world, provides space for 65,000 pallets and 48,000 small containers. The warehouses are divided into 21 aisles, each separated from the next by a solid concrete wall. This allows for accurate temperature control in each individual section. The walls also have a fire protection function.

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Unconditional ability to deliver.

“No matter what the circumstances, we must always be able to deliver,” explains Nourddin Odris. “To minimize risk, each product is distributed across several aisles, so that if there was a fire in one aisle, we would still have every product in stock and would be able to deliver.” Nourddin Odris is Head of Transport Management Global Supply Chain at Roche Diagnostics. He is responsible for ensuring that the global distribution runs smoothly.
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Today more and more people in the world have access to medical care. Roche Diagnostics supplies customers in 170 countries. The most important markets are the USA and China, but the major emerging and developing countries also need diagnostic products. The extent of the business is therefore enormous – and it is more than a business, Nourddin Odris points out: “We sell reagents and other diagnostic products that are indispensable in an effort to detect and treat diseases.”

As well as the improvements in medical care worldwide, it is also population growth and the fact that people, especially in the western world, are living longer lives that have resulted in steady growth for the business of Roche Diagnostics. The company delivers thousands of tons of diagnostic products across the globe. About a third of this is sent by airfreight. On average this amounts to about one fully loaded Boeing 777 freighter per day. “Airfreight is indispensable in our business,” says Odris. “This is due to its speed of delivery and the option of keeping the temperature constant over the entire transport route, but also because certain markets can only be supplied by air.” Shipments from Mannheim are carried by Lufthansa Cargo from the Frankfurt hub.

Roche Diagnostics banks on quality: “We do rely on professional expertise on the part of the forwarders and airlines,” says Odris. “Lufthansa Cargo has this expertise, and that is why we have been working closely with them for 20 years now. Because only if the competent handling of our products can be guaranteed throughout the entire transportation process will our temperature-sensitive products reach their destination in optimum quality.”

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Over 95 percent “Cool-Passive”.

More than 95 percent of the shipments dispatched by Roche Diagnostics that are distributed by Lufthansa Cargo through its worldwide network use the “Cool-Passive” product. Only for raw materials and precursors does the Mannheim-based company occasionally also use the “Cool-Active” product. “On the one hand, this comes down to the cost issue,” Odris explains. “On the other, ‘Cool-Active’ is not available at all stations, for both infrastructural and regulatory reasons.” This is why teams of experts with experience in effective packaging and the precise dosing of dry ice have been formed at Roche Diagnostics. “These days a shipment can be kept at a constant temperature for more than five days with dry ice,” according to Odris.
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The regulatory requirements for healthcare companies such as Roche are extremely strict: data loggers accompany every shipment, and the logs are checked after every trip. If a temperature fluctuation beyond the acceptable range (which sometimes may only be a few degrees Celsius) is detected, the goods must be destroyed. This ensures that only products of impeccable quality are used for patients.

The complete and seamless documentation process starts at Roche Diagnostics in-house: every step of every single parcel or box – from the high-bay warehouse to order picking to goods dispatch – is scanned using barcodes. Yet there comes a point when Roche’s logistics specialists have to hand over their shipment to forwarders and airlines.

“It’s important to us that we work with partners who are able to carefully transport our consignments around the world in the required quality, on time and in full,” says Odris. He therefore welcomes the fact that the airline association IATA and its Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (CEIV Pharma) has defined a global standard for the transportation and storage of pharmaceutical products. Lufthansa Cargo has been one of the first carriers to meet the strict CEIV regulations since as far back as 2016. Independent experts have audited the airline’s processes used in the products “Cool-Active” and “Cool-Passive”.

In a separate move, the 8,000-square meter Lufthansa Cargo Cool Center in Frankfurt successfully passed the certification procedure. “We’re interested in a long-term partnership, and the CEIV certificate tells me that we can rely on Lufthansa Cargo,” Odris explains. “We welcome the fact that a growing number of stations in Lufthansa Cargo’s network now meet the strict requirements of the pharmaceuticals industry.”

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For Roche Diagnostics, airfreight is important not only for the transportation of reagents and test strips for detecting diseases: to use them, hospitals, doctor’s surgeries and laboratories additionally need the analytic equipment that is also distributed by the company. These can be small, compact hand-held units or units the size of several washing machines that can fill entire halls. Only once the equipment has been installed on site can the actual work of carrying out the diagnostic testings begin, with chemically coated test strips and sensitive reagents from Roche Diagnostics being used to detect diseases in human blood, urine or tissue.
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A sugar cube in Lake Zurich.

Among other goods, products in the company’s Elecsys system are shipped from Mannheim all over the world. These analytical systems are an immense success story for Roche. Well over a 100 different test parameters available within the Elecsys family are used to detect HIV, hepatitis or the Zika virus, for example.

Elecsys can also be used to diagnose thyroid disorders. The technology is extremely sensitive: it can easily detect a sugar cube dissolved in more than three cubic kilometers of water, roughly the volume of water contained in Lake Zurich. Statistics show that one in four people will do this kind of test once a year – and the trend is rising. There is no danger of Odris and his team running out of work anytime soon.

Partner for temperature-sensitive freight.

Partner for temperature-sensitive freight.

The pharmaceutical industry’s requirements for airfreight are growing – in terms of volume, new regulatory requirements and longer and more complex transport chains. “The Cool Master Plan is our response to these requirements,” says Christian Fleischhauer, project manager for the Cool Master Plan at Lufthansa Cargo. “The plan covers the expansion of our network of CEIV Pharma-certified stations, improved temperature control across the entire transport chain, and transparency for the customer thanks to digitalization,” adds his colleague Chris Dehio, Senior Product and Quality Manager Cool.

 

Certification:

with the “CEIV Pharma” certificate, the airline association IATA has set a worldwide industry standard for transportation of pharmaceuticals by air. As long ago as October 2016, Lufthansa Cargo was awarded this seal both for their Cool Center in Frankfurt and for their worldwide processes. In order to acquire additional certification, Lufthansa Cargo is investing in upgrades to their temperature control infrastructure. “Under the Cool Master Plan, this investment will grow into the double-digit millions,” says Christian Fleischhauer. The plan also covers the Cool Center at the Munich hub, planning for which takes account of the requirements for CEIV pharmaceutical certification. Cooling infrastructure is also being upgraded at stations in Chicago, Atlanta, Washington and Mexico.

Temperature control:

to avoid temperature fluctuations, Lufthansa Cargo puts great store into smooth interaction between handling, warehousing and transportation. These processes are continually upgraded in accordance with CEIV Pharma directives. As temperatures out on the apron can reach extremes, the processes at Lufthansa Cargo are designed to minimize the time spent there. Additional protection is provided by a reflective foil used for all “CoolPassive” consignments, and also with high-performance packaging solutions such as the va-Q-tainers, which can be booked via Lufthansa Cargo. Temperature-sensitive hazardous goods can also be transported in strict compliance with the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations. Even more efficient is the “Cool-Active” product, which employs heating and cooling containers to keep the internal temperature constant regardless of the outside temperature – from the point of origin through all stages of air transportation to the destination.

Digitalization:

Lufthansa Cargo banks on transparency through digitalization. The IDB database provides detailed information about all Lufthansa Cargo stations even before a booking is made. The IT tool SPoT (Special Product operation Tool) is used to monitor processes, especially those for “Cool” products. DGD.online also contributes toward greater transparency in connection with temperature-sensitive hazardous goods.

 

www.roche.de

Photos: Alex Kraus, Roche

planet 01/2019


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Support from the cloud.

Greater flexibility, less effort: DGD.online enables documents for all hazardous goods shipments to be processed online at any time and from anywhere. A new tool from Lufthansa Cargo that is likely to be good news not just for Siemens Healthineers.
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Everybody is talking about digitalization, but how is it to be tackled when it comes to hazardous goods? Processes in this segment have not really changed in something like 40 years. Many logisticians still prepare so-called Dangerous Goods Declarations (DGDs) manually, using word-processing software. The result ends up being a considerable stack of paper accompanying each shipment – yet it does not necessarily follow that the required information will be available at every link in the transport chain. “Moreover, DGDs cannot be altered once a shipment is under way, because only the shipper is permitted to do that,” says Arastoo Badri, who works in product development at Lufthansa Cargo. “We have found that in 70 to 75 percent of cases where a shipment is held up, the reason turns out to be a deficiency with a DGD.”
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With the advent of DGD.online, it has become possible to process or edit a document wherever and whenever one chooses. Together with Markus Dess, a logistics process planner with Siemens Healthineers, Badri has introduced this new, user-friendly cloud application that is set to reduce the workload in a number of segments of the industry. The impetus for the development came from a discussion about digitalization that was held as part of the Airfreight Innovation Forum. DGD.online also lets dangerous goods shippers create the appropriate transport documents and shipping labels for air, road and sea transport. “And that is every shipper’s dream come true,” says Markus Dess.
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As a cooperation partner of Lufthansa Cargo, Siemens Healthineers has now completed the two-year test phase for the tool. The Siemens Healthineers customer service manages the distribution of spare parts for medical equipment. Example: if the electrically powered bed on an MRI scanner in Stockholm needs a new battery, the logisticians ensure that the part arrives the next day.

Health care providers all over the world depend on an efficient logistics network, something which the Erlangen-based company can provide. Says Dess: “In about 98 percent of all cases, we will deliver spare parts that are held in stock within 24 hours, either to our national subsidiaries or directly to the clinics.” Several thousand consignments leave the three warehouses in Frankfurt, Memphis and Singapore every day. Dess offers three examples that are happening right now around the world: a lamp has to go from Frankfurt to the drop-off point in Düsseldorf, a computer from the warehouse in Memphis is destined for the CT department of a hospital in New England, a compressor is to travel from Singapore to Taipei.

Its openness to innovation and the efficient logistics infrastructure it maintains made the company the ideal partner for the test phase. Siemens Healthineers recorded 1,744 hazardous goods shipments during the 2017/2018 financial year. It is the type of freight that is subject to strict safety regulations. For this reason alone the company invests in smooth and efficient transport processes. “We are always open to innovations – especially when we can see that they have potential. Which we did in the case of hazardous goods. And should any problems occur, we can react immediately,” says Markus Dess.

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From the airline, for the shipper.

Not only shippers, but also their logistics partners can keep an eye on the workflow using this tool, and only qualified users are permitted to make changes to it – for example, to assign the AWB number. In addition, DGD.online also provides support through various validation functions. At the same time, using the tool is easy and quick. DGD.online turned out to be helpful even during the test phase. “We noted significant gains in productivity,” says Dess. He adds that in the past, the preparation of dangerous goods documentation had always cost logisticians a lot of time and personnel. “It’s a labor-intensive process,” according to Dess. Shippers’ dangerous goods declarations and corresponding shipping labels had to be prepared manually, on the basis of master data and safety data sheets. “The fact that this also allowed the occasional mistake to creep in was almost unavoidable.” The result was that shipments sometimes had to be returned. “Things like that don’t only take up time; they also cost money,” says Dess.
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DGD.online allows print-ready, electronically signed declarations to be generated in PDF format and to be sent automatically by e-mail along with other attachments, such as safety data sheets.

This makes Lufthansa Cargo the first airline to market a “software-as-a-service” solution. Arastoo Badri: “Our objective here is to provide support to the shippers. The service is primarily aimed directly at companies in industries that usually have to prepare these declarations.” The product developer is convinced of the merits of this cloud application. Not least because forwarders will also benefit from this tool. “Mistakes can be avoided, and the processes along the entire transport chain will be more transparent and more stable,” says Badri.


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Check-in for freight.

Checking in yourself to save precious time: what has long since become routine for passengers is now also available for airfreight, with Lufthansa Cargo. Here is how test customers DB Schenker and Kuehne + Nagel are using the new self-service terminals at the Lufthansa Cargo Center (LCC).

Cargo City South, Building 529. The monitor facing Winfried Neu has some good news. Via Lufthansa Cargo’s ePortal, he is told that the shipment from Hong Kong is ready to be picked up. The import broker from DB Schenker points at the screen: green ticks indicate that the freight has been checked in at the Lufthansa Cargo Center (LCC), and customs clearance has been given.

“Our driver on site now does not have to wait for anything anymore,” says Neu. With just a few mouse clicks, he prepares the pick-up order for the driver, Pawel Nowicki. While he is at it, Neu quickly combines several consignments that are ready for pick-up into a “Quick pick-up group.” He selects the “Quick pick-up” service, along with the relevant airfreight consignment notes.

He then enters the details for the driver and the vehicle into the input mask. Instead of a whole wad of paper, the DB Schenker drivers are now only given a code for their con-signment list to send them on their way. As is the case with Pawel Nowicki.

The DB Schenker branch at Cargo City South is participating in the test phase for a new digital freight acceptance and delivery system at Lufthansa Cargo. This includes the use of the applications in the airline’s ePortal, and especially the self-service terminals where the drivers are assigned straight to the ramp where they receive their shipments.

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No more waiting at the ramp – a milestone for forwarders.

The trip from Cargo City South to the LCC usually takes Pawel Nowicki and his truck just a few minutes. A DB Schenker truck constantly shuttles between the two warehouses located north and south of Frankfurt Airport. “In terms of imports, Lufthansa Cargo is our biggest carrier. We receive 80 to 90 consignments a day from them,” says Nouri Boulahrouz, the manager of the import hub at the DB Schenker office. He is impressed with the system that he and his team have been testing since last year: “For us forwarders, it represents a milestone. Now we can be certain that there won’t be any obstacles to the acceptance of a shipment when we send the driver to go pick it up,” says the 43-year-old. He points towards the monitor that is still displaying the details of the shipment. “The drivers no longer have to wait around for anything, and when they get there they are just told where exactly within the LCC they can pick up the goods.” He adds: “It is clearly a plus for us: it means we can be on our way again sooner, and the more trips our trucks can manage, the more efficient we operate.”
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The driver Pawel Nowicki has meanwhile arrived at the LCC. He uses a barcode to check in at one of the self-service terminals in the import section. He selects the option “Pick-up” and confirms the data displayed in response. Within a very short time, the terminal indicates the ramp he should drive to.

Once he takes on the consignment, Pawel Nowicki signs on the scanner presented by the warehouse employee. At the DB Schenker branch south of Frankfurt Airport, Winfried Neu is kept informed in real time: he can see the timestamps for the truck’s arrival and departure in the ePortal. Nouri Boulahrouz: “This saves us having to spend lengthy periods on site. The drivers do no longer have to report to offices in order get information about shipments.”

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At 16:20 hours, a Boeing 777F is scheduled to take off from Frankfurt en route to Atlanta. At Kuehne + Nagel in Cargo City South, three airfreight pallets are ready for shipping. The forwarding company is testing the digital freight acceptance system for the export segment. “The e-freight quota between Lufthansa Cargo and Kuehne + Nagel is high. We are able to make a profit on all our shipments,” says project manager Markus Staab. A major benefit from the point of view of Kuehne + Nagel is the socalled PreCheck, where consignment data is checked for completeness in advance. The objective: having arrived at the LCC, all the driver needs to be told is the correct unloading station. This is intended to eliminate delays due to waiting times. The dispatcher at Kuehne + Nagel compiles the shipments via the ePortal and sends the digital AWB to Lufthansa Cargo. A fully automated AutoContentCheck reviews the information.
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If the data is incomplete, the dispatcher is informed immediately.

Once the data has been transmitted, a trained employee of Lufthansa Cargo also checks the available information. If missing data about a consignment still needs to be submitted, this employee alerts the dispatcher at Kuehne + Nagel. Staab: “Thanks to the upstream PreCheck, errors in the data set are spotted in advance, allowing the data to be corrected without causing delays in deliveries.”

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In the eService section of the Lufthansa Cargo website, the dispatcher already enters the driver and vehicle details. He is then issued a code which he forwards to the smartphone of driver Heiko Anthes-Hoffmann by SMS or email. The 49-year-old actually works as a dispatcher for Kuehne + Nagel. Today he wants to get a taste of the PreCheck and “Quick drop-off” at the self-service terminal from the drivers’ point of view. “Time is of the essence for us. If we have to wait a long time before we can proceed to the ramp, that creates a problem for us.” He is now on his way to the LCC with the consignments destined for the United States. “It can happen that a driver’s permitted daily driving time runs out. When that happens, I am not allowed to continue on my trip. These are the types of situations we need to avoid at all costs.”

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The truck has reached its destination north of the airport. Next to the ramps are the self-service terminals for the Quick drop-off. It only takes Anthes-Hoffmann a few moments to complete the check-in. Critical data is checked again at the terminal, and then the machine spits out a slip of paper showing which ramp to go to. Reporting at the counter is thus a thing of the past. “This is of great benefit to us,” says Heiko Anthes-Hoffmann.

At the acceptance, the parcels are registered using a scanner. Via SmartGate, their weights and volumes are now compared with the consignment data transmitted earlier. On the other side of the airport, the dispatcher sits at a computer. He is tracking the shipment online, he can see what time the goods went into intermediate storage, and what time it departed. On board the B777F, the three pallets take off right on time. The dispatcher also keeps an eye on the permitted driving time for the driver Anthes-Hoffmann: at the Kuehne + Nagel warehouse at the Cargo City South, there is still a consignment ready for transportation to the LCC. A big advantage: as the waiting times are shorter now, Anthes-Hoffmann has enough time left to complete another trip.

Photos: Alex Kraus

Planet 1/2019


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Contrasts.

After Paris, the next stop for the photo exhibition “Tokyo Curiosity” by the Tokyo-GA group is Berlin. With their images, the members of the group aim to set a counterweight against those from the Fukushima disaster in 2011. The Tokyo-GA photographer Günter Zorn reports for “planet”, showing how Lufthansa Cargo provides assistance during the exhibition’s European tour.

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Spring 2011: a sad flood of images from Japan reaches the outside world. They are records of a triple disaster: on March 11, an earthquake rocked the country, and not long after, a tsunami absolutely flattened towns and villages. The damage sustained causes the cooling systems at the Fukushima nuclear power station to fail, which leads to a core meltdown.

In the summer of 2011, more images from Japan go out into the world. They are pictures taken of small street-side restaurants where women dressed in kimonos laugh and joke with the bartender. Photos of colorful neon signs in busy town squares, and of children walking hand in hand under a yellow umbrella. These are snapshots of everyday life in Japan – life as it continues even after the disaster. The images were taken by photographers belonging to the group of artists called Tokyo-GA (東京画 – or Tokyo Images). The international curator Naoko Ohta initiated the project soon after the disaster occurred – as a means of offsetting the sorrowful images that went around the world in 2011. Tokyo-GA still continues collecting new daily images to date. 

Selected works by the collective are currently on an exhibition tour. “Tokyo Curiosity” also includes photographs taken by Günter Zorn. The former country manager for DHL today works in Tokyo as a professional photographer. He is the only German living in Japan to be granted membership of Tokyo-GA. Last fall, he accompanied the transport of the exhibits by Lufthansa Cargo. This is the story, in his own words.

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FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF A PHOTOGRAPHER – AND THE PERSPECTIVE OF HIS CAMERA.

It is October 2018, and I am standing in the cargo section of Tokyo Narita Airport. Dangling from my neck are my Leica, and various special ID tags that give me direct access to the tarmac. In front of me, a stack of cardboard boxes on a pallet, twice the height of a man. It is thickly wrapped in foil, and then secured with a cargo net. On the outside, in big letters: “Tokyo Curiosity.” I take a few pictures. And I stop for a moment. Until now, I have never given much thought to international air freight. It is, and always was, a matter of routine for me. Happens every day, and everywhere. And generally it works without a hitch. But this time, everything is a little different.

I know that inside these boxes are 200 works of art from our group Tokyo-GA that are about to be flown to Paris. What makes it even more precious to me: some of the works are my own.

Lufthansa Cargo is sponsoring our exhibition. When I was asked to accompany the artworks on their trip and take photographs, I was immediately hooked on the idea. Unfortunately I was also very busy at that time. My Tokyo-GA colleague Hiroki Ikesue was kind enough to take care of the Paris leg for me. But I was not going to miss out on the loading of the artworks at the airport in Tokyo.

My photos were to be published in the magazine “planet”, I already knew that. The editor in charge had asked me to provide photographs in black-and-white. His intention was for the feature to have a unique look, one that makes it visually distinct from the other articles in the magazine. His wish was my command. Black-and-white is my favorite color. It brings out what is essential. And so, on the big day, I am standing – with my Leica Monochrome 246, the queen among digital cameras for black-and-white photography – at Tokyo Narita Airport. I am in the company of Naoko Ohta. We had already spent several hours at a framing company in Tokyo, where our artworks were placed in airworthy packaging.

Now – in the cargo section at the airport – we get talking to several of the cargo workers. They appear friendly and cooperative. What puts our minds at rest is that we get the impression that these people really love their work, and that they take great care in handling the freight – especially when that cargo consists of works of art. Naoko told me later: “I absolutely adore working with the team from Lufthansa Cargo. They have a feel for omotenashi, and I really appreciate that.” Omotenashi – the word stands for a complex and many-layered concept of hospitality and customer service in Japan.

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But back out on the tarmac, where daylight has already faded. The Boeing 777F looms like a gigantic monster. Its cargo door like a greedy mouth, ready to swallow containers and pallets with all sorts of goods for the world. Including our ­photographs. I have always enjoyed watching airplanes in the sky. But to see these giants up close, to walk under their belly and along their endless wings, that is something else entirely. I feel overwhelmed.

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And I am even allowed to enter the still empty cargo hold. The space opens up in front of me like a huge high-tech cathedral. I am totally focused on taking pictures. Everything seems surreal. Suddenly a huge machine – much like that one of the monsters in a Transformer movie – raises our pallet and pushes it into the cavernous cargo hold. Now everything must get done very quickly. We wave our good-byes and take a group photo of the cargo team. And then it’s all over. The plane takes off right on time and is on its way to France. And Naoko and I drive back to the inner city of Tokyo. In the car, we talk about our impressions of the day. And we feel relaxed as we look ahead to the coming weeks. Lufthansa Cargo will also take care of the remaining legs of the journey of our artworks. We feel certain that they will be in good hands the entire time.
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Günter Zorn – A GERMAN PHOTOGRAPHER IN TOKYO.

Günter Zorn, born in Bonn in 1953, used to work for the Japanese branch of Heidelberger Druckmaschinen and as country manager for DHL. When he moved to Tokyo to take up his job as manager in 1991, his first impression was predominantly one of giant concrete stilts, skyscrapers and an endless sea of houses. Yet this image soon changed. Zorn discovered Tokyo in his very own way: for him the city reveals itself as a metropolis of a thousand villages. The trained media and photography engineer settles in one of these villages: Kagurazaka. Zorn describes the quarter with its mix of Japanese culture, quiet alleys, a patina and its almost European flair as a place that reminds him a little of his homeland. To this day he still lives with his wife in Tokyo and documents life on the streets with his camera. He regularly exhibits his pictures in Japan, France and Germany. He is a member of the board of the Tokyo-GA group.

http://guenterzorn.com

Photos: Günter Zorn, Hiroki Ikesue

Planet 1/2019


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Panda celebrities.

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing were greeted like guests of state when they arrived in Berlin-Schönefeld in July. Lufthansa Cargo spared no effort in ensuring the safe transport and welfare of these rare bears.

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Jiao Qing.

The male panda, Jiao Qing (pronounced: Jiao Tsching), which translates as “little darling,” was born in Chengdu on July 15, 2010 and weighs in at an impressive 108 kilograms. He is not only rather inquisitive and mischievous but also relatively active, which is unusual for a panda. As one would expect from a true panda bear, he can be quite querulous and remonstrative if he has to wait too long for his bamboo shoots.

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Meng Meng.

A round face and a short snout? That can only be the female panda Meng Meng (“little dream”)! The animal keepers at Berlin’s Zoo have been hard at work practising the correct pronunciation: “Möng Möng.” This mild-mannered and docile bear was born in Chengdu on July 10, 2013 and weighs around 77 kilograms.

Protecting pandas is our highest priority.

Protecting pandas is our highest priority.

Dark button eyes, round faces and furry ears – it is almost impossible to resist the charms of these black-and-white creatures. But the future of these rare bears is threatened and they are still considered a vulnerable species: 1,864 giant pandas live in the wild and only 54 in zoos outside China. Accordingly, there was frenzied interest from onlookers as two of these treasured animals landed at Berlin-Schönefeld on June 24, touching down at 2.53 pm on flight LH 8415. The Lufthansa Cargo MD-11F was specially rerouted from Chengdu as the regular flight schedule from there is only expected to recommence in January 2018. Meng Meng and Jiao Qing were greeted like guests of state. The airport’s fire service saluted the freighter with a plume of water and the cockpit crew waved a German and a Chinese flag in front of some 30 journalists assembled on the apron. The two giant pandas seemed unimpressed by all the hoopla. They gazed around with interest, obviously having enjoyed their twelvehour flight. Hardly surprising, considering the couple received first-class treatment on board – including round-the-clock supervision from Dr. Andreas Ochs, chief veterinarian at the Berlin Zoo, and two handlers from China. There were also enough in-flight snacks to keep them happy: the MD-11F had loaded one tonne of bamboo. 

Upon arrival, the pandas were greeted by numerous prominent figures, among them China’s Ambassador to Berlin, Shi Mingde, Berlin’s Mayor, Michael Müller, and Berlin Zoo director Andreas Knieriem. The welcoming committee also included Alexis von Hoensbroech, Board Member Product and Sales at Lufthansa Cargo. 

Mayor Müller said: “I take great personal pride in welcoming our two new Berliners. We’re very pleased to see Berlin being graced by another great attraction.” Shi Mingde explained the phenomenon behind pandas, saying: “In China, pandas are regarded as a national treasure. China without pandas is simply inconceivable, which is why the preservation and protection of these animals is our highest priority.”

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing were later driven to their new home, an enclosure in Berlin’s Zoo that cost ten million euros and was approved by a Chinese delegation. The two bears, the only pandas in Germany, are on loan for 15 years. Berlin Zoo will pay 920,000 euros a year to host them, with 90 percent of the money being invested in panda protection and breeding research. Given the cost, the zoo hopes that the exotic couple will ultimately produce a cub.

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The man in charge of this precious freight on behalf of Lufthansa Cargo was Wolfgang Handke from the Sales Team Berlin, who joined the airline in 1982 and accompanied a panda-flight in the 1990s. The responsible parties on the Chinese side were Yuan Fang, Head of Handling Northern Asia, and Hasso Schmidt, Head of Sales & Handling Eastern China, who has also been with Lufthansa since 1982. “The whole operation was a great team effort by both countries. The same goes for the coordination outside of our hubs,” said Handke. Everything had to be run by him: from visas for the accompanying handlers to communications with customs and plant protection for the bamboo on board right up to coordinating the freighter’s parking position with Schönefeld airport. “It’s better when one person is involved in everything, it makes things a whole lot simpler,” the sales manager explained. When the pandas leave Berlin in 15 years, he will likely not be involved. “Organizing a second transport for giant pandas is a lovely end to a career. I’ll probably be retired by the time the next pandas arrive.”

Shi Mingde, the Chinese Ambassador to Berlin, called the two panda bears “national treasures.” Accordingly, the official unveiling of the new panda enclosure attracted highranking guests: seen here are Chancellor Angela Merkel and China’s President, Xi Jinping.

 

Photos:
Lufthansa Cargo, Zoo Berlin, Frederic Schweizer
Planet 2/2017


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Hyper agility.

MR. DIREKTOR: WILL WARR HYPERLOOP SOON BE BUILDING A TUBE ACROSS THE ATLANTIC OCEAN AND TAKE THE TRANSATLANTIC BUSINESS AWAY FROM THE FREIGHT AIRLINES?
Paul Direktor: Perhaps next year. However, on a more serious note Hyperloop is not competing with airfreight. Moreover, in the future it could supplement it, for example as an express or supply solution to render airfreight hubs even more efficient.

Dorothea von Boxberg: Hyperloop could, in particular, replace transport operations on the road in particularly heavily congested transport areas. Short and medium-range routes are the field in which Hyperloop solutions could prove successful. One shouldn’t forget that Elon Musk’s longest tube is currently only a little more than one kilometer.

Paul Direktor: In Switzerland, a university team at ETH Zurich is already working on implementing a package transport system using vacuum pipe technology. It is called Swissloop and the Swiss are, of course, renowned for tunnel building.

Dorothea von Boxberg: Hyperloop is not a technology set to be commercialized on the market in the near future. However, the number of ideas that have been developed in that respect in the past few years is impressive. Hyperloop taking on the “last leg” from an airport to a major city could, for example, considerably speed up e-commerce consignments.

WHAT DO YOU FIND FASCINATING ABOUT THE “SPACEX HYPERLOOP POD COMPETITION”?
Paul Direktor: It gives us the opportunity to build something completely new. We are, so to speak, spearheading technical innovation. Following the initial successes, industry started to take an interest in and support us. Practical experience like that is not taught at university. Simply fantastic.

Dorothea von Boxberg: It is fascinating to see how these selforganized student teams have developed their ideas with such success, above all if I compare that with the typical project periods in major groups.

WHAT WAS THE CRUCIAL EXPERIENCE FOR YOU WHEN YOUR STUDENT INITIATIVE SUDDENLY HAD TO COLLABORATE WITH SUPPORTERS FROM INDUSTRY?

Paul Direktor: The times. Internal processing times of more than four weeks for example are completely normal for invoices at many companies. In such a four-week period just about anything can happen to us.

WHAT IS NEW ABOUT THE CURRENT HYPERLOOP CONCEPTS COMPARED TO THOSE 15 YEARS AGO SUCH AS THE CARGO CAP, WHICH WE HAVE REPORTED ON IN “PLANET” IN THE PAST?
Paul Direktor: Above all the vacuum technology, which facilitates far higher speeds, is new. In addition, the commitment of a renowned entrepreneur, i.e. in our case Elon Musk, who with lasting effect supports the implementation and attracts global attention.

CRITICS SAY MUSK IS MAKING TOO MUCH OF A SONG AND DANCE ABOUT IT
Paul Direktor: That’s something people need to decide for themselves. At any rate I am fascinated by his successes – how he manages to revolutionize the market with his electric cars, that’s great. As soon as the mass production problems are ironed out we’ll see how good he really is. SpaceX has already generated profits for a number of years too.

Dorothea von Boxberg: He is an impressive visionary. Many of his ideas are not incremental improvements, but moreover moonshot ideas. The path to a sustainable business in that respect is significantly more difficult than in the case of smaller innovations. His company Tesla has definitely seriously shaken up the automotive industry.

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A part of the team with their current pod, which in July this year won the 3rd Hyperloop Pod Competition achieving a speed of 467 km/h. In addition to the speed team, WARR Hyperloop has a levitation team, which was similarly successful and intends to make use of the Transrapid technology.

WHAT INTERESTS DO LUFTHANSA CARGO AND WARR HYPERLOOP SHARE? DO YOU INTEND TO INVEST MS. VON BOXBERG?
Dorothea von Boxberg: WARR Hyperloop is a student initiative, not a start-up. Accordingly at present we couldn’t make an investment. We are supporting the students because we are interested in exchanging ideas about technology and people who demonstrate commitment and such great skills.

Paul Direktor: Lufthansa Cargo is a global company with a good network. We are interested in exchanging know-how and developing first business cases for Germany.

SO IT’S NOT ONLY ABOUT PR?
Paul Direktor: PR plays a part but isn’t everything. It must be interesting for Lufthansa Cargo and for the entire logistics sector to know what is happening in the Hyperloop industry to react accordingly in good time.

Dorothea von Boxberg: We had already established contact with the WARR Hyperloop team before the sponsored events. But if someone wants to interpret that simply as PR I won’t disabuse them of that notion.

WHAT INNOVATIVE IDEAS IN THE LOGISTICS SECTOR BEYOND HYPERLOOP DO YOU CURRENTLY FIND EXCITING?
Paul Direktor: There are lots of ideas. I believe Blockchain has great potential for validating delivery chains. That is exciting for the airfreight sector, which is strongly characterized by the division of labour and has many players who are widely spread. Amazon’s Beehive could revolutionize warehouse logistics. This also includes the swarm intelligence of drones.

 

HOWEVER, THE LOGISTICS SECTOR IS NOT EXACTLY REGARDED AS A MODEL OF INNOVATIVE PASSION 
Dorothea von Boxberg: True. Some topics really take forever. For example the roll-out of the eAir Waybill. Paul Direktor: All sectors are currently undergoing significant changes as a result of digitization. Logistics are no exception and will need to adjust accordingly.

Dorothea von Boxberg: We are doing that. I believe artificial intelligence is the technology that we will use first at Lufthansa Cargo. In that respect among other things this means self-learning algorithms can determine prices and automatically allocate freight to free capacities. Some of our services are already being rendered via API interfaces and these are used by several platforms to present an overview so that ranges can be compared. In other industries that’s nothing special. However, in airfreight it is quite innovative. My general aim consists of making our range available to our customers effectively and simply. We have quite a lot of work ahead of us. 

WHAT DID YOUR VISIT TO WARR HYPERLOOP MEAN FOR YOU IN RESPECT OF ADDRESSING THE CURRENT LUFTHANSA CARGO AGENDA? 
Dorothea von Boxberg: The spirit is great and it supplements that of the legendary cargo very well. At present we are working on making our range more digital and more easily available. The airfreight industry has, to date, been characterised by a large number of manual processes: booking, quoting prices and the information flow, which accompanies a physical consignment. As a result our customers do not receive real time information. Often transparency is lacking and mistakes are made. We hope to improve that significantly in the next few years.

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The first WARR Hyperloop pod was a success thanks to its design. At the front it has a compressor that minimizes the air resistance in a partial vacuum tube.

MS. VON BOXBERG, YOU ARE THE NEW EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBER AND CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER. WHAT CAN ONE LEARN FOR THE PRODUCT FROM INITIATIVES SUCH AS WARR HYPERLOOP OR STARTUPS?
Dorothea von Boxberg: Successful products are geared towards customers’ requirements and are supplied in the promised quality. Start-ups show us that a product doesn’t need to be absolutely perfect when it is launched on the market for the first time. Valuable experience can, in fact, be gained with a quick “minimum viable product” while the product can then be further improved. In that respect customers only need to know what they are letting themselves in for.

IS AN EXCHANGE WITH A START-UP IMPORTANT TO BE OF INTEREST TO TALENTED YOUNG PROFESSIONALS?
Dorothea von Boxberg: “Employer branding” is not the principal aspect of our exchange. We attach prime importance to the actual ideas, technologies, approach, the fact that fast growth is possible and the working method. On occasion in our sector we have grown too accustomed to the fact that things require a certain time. It is very refreshing to realize that students or start-ups prove the opposite is the case. Being in the company of “digital natives” is also good training for me personally.

AT PRESENT THE NEWS IS INCREASINGLY CHARACTERIZED BY NEGATIVE ECONOMIC REPORTS SUCH AS PUNITIVE TARIFFS AND EU SCEPTICISM ETC. IS THERE ANY ROOM LEFT FOR INNOVATORS LIKE YOU MR. DIREKTOR? 
Paul Direktor: A functioning market economy should always have room for innovation and an atmosphere for change. Otherwise that would be a very bad sign. 

ARE YOU INVOLVED IN WARR HYPERLOOP TO GET RICH AT SOME POINT? 
Paul Direktor: No. I am enthusiastic about the project. At present, in addition to our university courses we work on the project in our leisure time, many of us for more than 60 hours each week – even though we are not paid for it. 

IS A CULTURAL CHANGE POSSIBLE IN A TRADITIONAL COMPANY SUCH AS LUFTHANSA CARGO? 
Dorothea von Boxberg: We have changed a great deal in the last few years: the organization, our processes, we collaborate with start-ups in a more targeted manner and in the case of projects we are increasingly moving from a waterfall approach to agile development. And the change will continue – we are in the middle of it. 

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!

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That also impressed Elon Musk: WARR Hyperloop’s third pod was faster than the pusher pod of SpaceX and Tesla.

Photos: WARR Hyperloop, Matthias Aletsee

Planet 2/2018


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Konnichiwa „Bojo“!

It is a drop like no other, because it is the first of every vintage to be served up: the French Beaujolais Nouveau. Also known as Beaujolais Primeur, or “Bojo” for short, this red wine has traditionally come on the market on the third Thursday in November ever since 1985. “Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé” is the message that then spreads through wine shops around the world. The idea originated with the winegrowers in Beaujolais, which under French “wine law” is part of Burgundy. In the 1950s, they successfully fought for an exemption from the strict French wine law. They became the first to be permitted to sell their wine already in the year it was made. There was a time when British high society folk flew their private planes to Burgundy to get the very first new wine from France for themselves and their friends. Today the “Bojo” goes to more than 110 countries around the world by airfreight. About 13 million bottles are filled each year.

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More than half goes to Japan. This year Lufthansa Cargo will again ship about 600 tons of this sought-after drop to the Land of the Rising Sun. The “Bojo” from Beaujolais arrives at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) on the Road Feeder Service. The challenge: to have this entire volume of freight shipped to Osaka (KIX) and Tokyo (NRT) within a period of three weeks, so that it will be on the shelves of Japanese wine merchants and ready for sale in mid-November. Lufthansa Cargo therefore sends about 50 tons of “Bojo” each day, both on board its own aircraft and in the cargo holds of Lufthansa passenger aircraft heading for Asia. In the belly of a LH740, for example, a Boeing 747-400 that is bound for Osaka. After a journey of just under twelve hours, the young wine lands in Japan. Cooperation partner All Nippon Airways supplements the services offered by Lufthansa Cargo with a further 1,200 tons of freight capacity.

Photos: iStock

Planet 2/2018


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Rapid. Guaranteed.

“Time is money” always holds true in logistics, but the motto applies in particular when, for example, vital spare parts for the shipping, oil and gas industries are involved.

Emergency.Solutions is the name of the new Lufthansa Cargo product for urgent cases. ­Anyone who chooses this option is even provided, if necessary, with an entire freighter.

With Emergency.Solutions, Lufthansa Cargo guarantees that the express shipment is taken to its destination with the next possible flight.

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A helicopter whirrs over the Kuehne + Nagel site in the bay of Tananger on its way to one of the oil rigs out in the North Sea. Moored special-purpose ships sway in the icy fall wind. Anyone driving from here by car through the Nordic landscape to nearby Stavanger, passing wooden huts and crossing a fjord bridge, does not get the impression of being in the center of the Norwegian oil industry. There is very little indication that specialist firms and warehouses in the region produce and stock extremely important parts for the oil, gas and shipping industries all over the world. Desktop Kuehne + Nagel is a long-standing partner of many of the firms that are based here. The logistics service provider has 80 employees stationed near Stavanger, 16 of whom work in airfreight.

Alongside the office building, the warehouse is located in which numerous individual parts are stored: pump accessories, compressors, drill heads, steel cables, electronics parts, and a whole lot more. If one of these parts breaks down in field operations anywhere in the world, there is red alert.

Replacement material from Stavanger, for example, has to be made available within the shortest possible time. If an oil rig has to shut down or if a ship is held up somewhere, every hour of delay means additional costs of many thousands of euros.

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“Particularly in the oil & gas and ships spares segment, we have a lot of urgent shipments,” says Synnøve Thormodsæter from Bergen. She is responsible for airfreight at Kuehne + Nagel in Norway. “Logistically, our job is particularly ­complicated when it comes to large and outsized parts,” she explains more specifically. In such cases, the phones don’t stop ringing. A lot of organizing and improvizing is required. Under pressure, various options have to be checked and immediate decisions taken.

Fast and absolutely reliable.

Lufthansa Cargo has repeatedly been confronted with emergency situations and correspodingly urgent assignments from a variety of industries during recent years – alongside shipbuilding and the oil and gas industry, also from the the automotive, aviation and mechanical engineering segments.

The company therefore decided to offer a product that specifically caters to such cases. Its desired qualities: highest priority, short-term availability and absolutely reliable.

The result: Emergency.Solutions.

“In addition, our product management developed intelligent ground processes under the keyword ‘planned emergency situation’ in order to reduce improvisation to a minimum in an emergency case,” explains Christoph Harneid, Country Manager Norway at Lufthansa Cargo.

Although it is impossible to predict all imponderabilities of emergency situations, defined procedures ­accelerate the process and reduce the need for decisions.

In Emergency.Solutions, Lufthansa Cargo guarantees that the express shipment is taken at short notice to its destination on the next possible flight.

“We ensure that short-term access is guaranteed for an Emergency.Solutions shipment. In an absolute emergency, we would even make an entire freighter available,” says Harneid. The cargo airline brings along the best credentials for such an exquisite premium ­product. Lufthansa Cargo has employees with the necessary experience to resolve related tasks and offer comparable processes and also has a route network with short-term connections to destinations worldwide. As most flights are established scheduled flights, landing permissions or aircraft do not, as a rule, have to be additionally organized.

The transfer times at the airport are kept extremely short thanks to well-coordinated processes. The direct transshipment from one aircraft to another is ensured without having to take the detour via the transit warehouse.

If required, the Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency is also involved in the process. The shipment thus stays “under one roof” and can be shipped with just one air waybill and one invoicing channel. This reduces complexity and simplifies the processes. And a team in Frankfurt keeps an eye on the shipment during its entire transportation.

Since the end of 2011, Emergency.Solutions has been offered on a test basis by a number of German, European and North American stations – also on the Norwegian market. “Last year, we had about 120 assignments. In the medium term, we expect 300 to 400 cases per year,” says Harneid.

The reactions so far on the customer side have been extremely positive. For this reason, the product has been officially offered worldwide since October 1, 2012. From Stavanger, urgent shipments are transported to the airport by truck, to reach the best connections.

“From there, they are flown by the next aircraft towards the destination, where the formalities are clarified in advance,” explains Harneid. “ Up to now, the only possibility we often had in the case of heavy and large shipments was to organize a direct charter flight,” says ­Thormodsæter.

Lufthansa Cargo also – if necessary – falls back on charter flights in the framework of Emergency.Solutions. The charter segment is combined here with scheduled flights. That saves time and costs.

Fast and absolutely reliable.

Lufthansa Cargo has repeatedly been confronted with emergency situations and correspodingly urgent assignments from a variety of industries during recent years – alongside shipbuilding and the oil and gas industry, also from the the automotive, aviation and mechanical engineering segments.

The company therefore decided to offer a product that specifically caters to such cases. Its desired qualities: highest priority, short-term availability and absolutely reliable.

The result: Emergency.Solutions.

“In addition, our product management developed intelligent ground processes under the keyword ‘planned emergency situation’ in order to reduce improvisation to a minimum in an emergency case,” explains Christoph Harneid, Country Manager Norway at Lufthansa Cargo.

Although it is impossible to predict all imponderabilities of emergency situations, defined procedures ­accelerate the process and reduce the need for decisions. In Emergency.Solutions, Lufthansa Cargo guarantees that the express shipment is taken at short notice to its destination on the next possible flight.

“We ensure that short-term access is guaranteed for an Emergency.Solutions shipment. In an absolute emergency, we would even make an entire freighter available,” says Harneid. The cargo airline brings along the best credentials for such an exquisite premium ­product. Lufthansa Cargo has employees with the necessary experience to resolve related tasks and offer comparable processes and also has a route network with short-term connections to destinations worldwide. As most flights are established scheduled flights, landing permissions or aircraft do not, as a rule, have to be additionally organized.

The transfer times at the airport are kept extremely short thanks to well-coordinated processes. The direct transshipment from one aircraft to another is ensured without having to take the detour via the transit warehouse.

If required, the Lufthansa Cargo Charter Agency is also involved in the process. The shipment thus stays “under one roof” and can be shipped with just one air waybill and one invoicing channel. This reduces complexity and simplifies the processes. And a team in Frankfurt keeps an eye on the shipment during its entire transportation.

Since the end of 2011, Emergency.Solutions has been offered on a test basis by a number of German, European and North American stations – also on the Norwegian market. “Last year, we had about 120 assignments. In the medium term, we expect 300 to 400 cases per year,” says Harneid.

The reactions so far on the customer side have been extremely positive.

For this reason, the product has been officially offered worldwide since October 1, 2012. From Stavanger, urgent shipments are transported to the airport by truck, to reach the best connections.

“From there, they are flown by the next aircraft towards the destination, where the formalities are clarified in advance,” explains Harneid.
Up to now, the only possibility we often had in the case of heavy and large shipments was to organize a direct charter flight,” says ­Thormodsæter.

Lufthansa Cargo also – if necessary – falls back on charter flights in the framework of Emergency.Solutions. The charter segment is combined here with scheduled flights. That saves time and costs.

Norway-Singapore in three days.

In December, Kuehne + Nagel was commissioned to supply large parts to Singapore within three days for the repair of a special-purpose vessel heliport. With a length of over five meters and weighing 1,280 kilograms, short-term transportation from Stavanger would have no longer been possible. The shipowner would have had to pay high contractual penalties. By choosing Emergency.Solutions and thus the highest prioritization it was possible to organize a punctual delivery via Frankfurt.

“With Emergency.Solutions, the exception becomes the rule, but Lufthansa Cargo has defined clear procedures for this exception in advance. In this business, partners who have such flexible planning is exactly what we need,” says Thormodsæter. 

A special-purpose ship heads from the bay of Tananger towards the open North Sea, with a few seagulls flying overhead. At the same time, a drill head comes loose 8,000 kilometers away off the coast of West Africa: urgent case, spare part: Emergency.Solutions!

 

Emergency.Solutions at a glance.

  • Transport solution for the smallest spare part up to the biggest machine  Short-term availability, within a few hours if necessary
  • No weight limit – up to the maximum cargo capacity of the aircraft  
  • The highest priority, attention and reliability with personal service
  • Fastest airport-to-airport connections in Lufthansa Cargo’s global network – and beyond if necessary

Photos:

Moritz Schmid

planet 2/2014

Norway-Singapore in three days.

In December, Kuehne + Nagel was commissioned to supply large parts to Singapore within three days for the repair of a special-purpose vessel heliport. With a length of over five meters and weighing 1,280 kilograms, short-term transportation from Stavanger would have no longer been possible. The shipowner would have had to pay high contractual penalties. By choosing Emergency.Solutions and thus the highest prioritization it was possible to organize a punctual delivery via Frankfurt. 

“With Emergency.Solutions, the exception becomes the rule, but Lufthansa Cargo has defined clear procedures for this exception in advance. In this business, partners who have such flexible planning is exactly what we need,” says Thormodsæter. 

A special-purpose ship heads from the bay of Tananger towards the open North Sea, with a few seagulls flying overhead. At the same time, a drill head comes loose 8,000 kilometers away off the coast of West Africa: urgent case, spare part: Emergency.Solutions!

Emergency.Solutions at a glance.

  • Transport solution for the smallest spare part up to the biggest machine  Short-term availability, within a few hours if necessary
  • No weight limit – up to the maximum cargo capacity of the aircraft  
  • The highest priority, attention and reliability with personal service
  • Fastest airport-to-airport connections in Lufthansa Cargo’s global network – and beyond if necessary

 

Photos:

Moritz Schmid

planet 2/2014


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Oil is a mentality.

CEVA Logistics in Houston puts a special focus on the energy sector. Lufthansa Cargo helps it to reliably supply equipment to oil and gas companies worldwide.

If you’re trying to get a good share in the Houston market, you’d better talk service first and price second,” says Bruce Hulings, Vice President Energy Services from CEVA Logistics. That’s how the oil and gas industry had always worked here. Houston is the energy capital of the U.S. as well as one of the most important centers of the American economy: 28 of the country’s 500 biggest companies have their headquarters here – only New York has more.

And with a turnover of 6.8 billion euros, CEVA is also on the famous Fortune list. “Our customers include four of the six biggest oil and gas companies,” says Hulings. “On top of that, we supply to 400 of the world’s 700 oil platforms. The energy sector accounts for a total of six percent of our turnover.”

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The industry is still a strong growth driver for the U.S. economy. Lufthansa Cargo has also recognized the potential of the Texas capital and started services with AeroLogic to Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport in April this year.

An MD-11 connection was added in June. This market entry has had a very positive impact on the business of CEVA. “Now that Lufthansa Cargo also operates directly from Houston, we save time,” explains Bonnie Martin, Senior Logistics Manager. “Trucking to Dallas, for example, is no longer absolutely necessary.” And the time factor plays a tremendously important role. 

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“When you look at the size and the value of the cargo that is needed by the industry, it’s obvious that this cannot be kept in stock at the required destinations,” says Greg Weigel, Executive Vice President Global Airfreight at CEVA.

“If a customer says he has to have something within 24 hours at a certain location, it just has to be there at that point in time. Otherwise, his company could lose several hundreds of thousands of dollars a day.”

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Somewhat out-of-the-ordinary destinations are the special challenge here. As a rule, equipment for the oil and gas industry is not destined for the big hubs, but much more often for South America or West Africa.

“We need the reliability of Lufthansa Cargo that our freight is not only arriving punctually in Frankfurt, but that it also makes the connection on time to, for example, Ghana or Equatorial Guinea,” Weigel emphasizes.

Bruce Hulings adds: “We need a partner who lives the service idea, who listens and always tries to make everything possible. The oil business is a mentality. It’s not as if I’m going into a store to buy some jeans, and, if they don’t happen to be in stock, I simply come back next week. Lufthansa Cargo and CEVA share the same principles of service and excellence – all over the world.”   

CEVA Logistics in figures.

Turnover: 6.8 billion euros (2010)

Employees: over 46,000

Logistics service provider ranking: Number 4 (worldwide)

Ranking IATA: Number 6 (worldwide)

Business locations: 1,200 in over 170 countries

Warehousing capacity: 10 million square meters

 

Photos:

Bruce Benett

planet 2/2011

CEVA Logistics in figures.

Turnover: 6.8 billion euros (2010)
Employees: over 46,000
Logistics service provider ranking: Number 4 (worldwide)
Ranking IATA:  Number 6 (worldwide)
Business locations:  1,200 in over 170 countries
Warehousing capacity:  10 million square meters

 

Photos:

Bruce Benett

planet 2/2011


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Connecting flexibility and quality.

Statements by Stephan Haltmayer, Managing Director of QCS-Quick Cargo Service.

Excellent teamwork: Stephan Haltmayer (l.), Managing Director of QCS-Quick Cargo Service, and his Lufthansa Cargo sales contact Christopher Biaesch always look for the direct line of communication to keep their customers satisfied.

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Airport Frankfurt am Main, apron, March 2, 11.30 a.m. Stephan Haltmayer is the epitome of composure. His flight to Bangkok is departing in a good three hours. The Managing Director of QCS-Quick Cargo Service will be meeting important Asian partners and customers there at a regional logistics conference. Three days later, the head of the mid-sized forwarding company from Mörfelden near Frankfurt will travel on to São Paulo – for sales talks. “I still have to pack my bags,” Haltmayer remarks with a smile, pretty relaxed despite the tight schedule.

Before setting off, he takes the time, together with Christopher Biaesch, his sales contact at Lufthansa Cargo, to answer the questions of the planet reporter team on the subject of quality and to accompany it to the freighter to Shanghai on the apron for photos showing a QCS shipment. “In our industry, quality is always connected with keeping your cool when the pace gets hectic,” says Haltmeyer.

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The forwarder is a good discussion partner when it comes to quality in the airfreight industry. His company won the Lufthansa Cargo Quality Award in 2011. “The airfreight business is rapid-moving and requires a lot of flexibility,” Haltmeyer points out. “But if you don’t have people who work precisely, all the speed is worth nothing.”

The achievement of the award by QCS was primarily attributable to its excellent supply quality. More specifically: QCS almost always complied with the exact delivery quantities notified and always made its shipments including the required documents available punctually. Lufthansa Cargo’s decision to launch the Quality Award was by no means selfless: “Our analyses revealed that our own quality depends to about 30 percent on the preliminary performance of the forwarders,” says Lufthansa Cargo Key Account Manager Christopher Biaesch.

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The quality of the airline is continuously monitored, with the “Notification for Delivery” indicator (NFD). To ensure that Lufthansa Cargo can be the quality leader here, the airline requires clear booking data from the forwarders at an early a stage as possible, no “no-shows” (these are shipments that are booked but then not delivered) and compliance with the IATA criterion “ready for carriage”. This is the case when cargo and documents have been properly delivered to the airline – a precondition for the ability to reliably carry out airport-to-airport transportation at all.

“Good processes are the prerequisite for good quality,” Stephan Haltmayer confirms. “This applies at Lufthansa Cargo and in our company too. But the human factor is also decisive for success. The Quality Award was primarily won by our employees with their know-how and their commitment.”

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QCS is one of the ten biggest owner-operated IATA forwarders in Germany. The company has made a name for itself as a reliable logistics service provider for mid-sized firms in the export industry. Mechanical engineering companies, automotive suppliers and steel, pharmaceutical and chemical firms are on the list of customers. “Mid-sized firms like working together with mid-sized firms,” says Haltmayer.

“The employees here also think entrepreneurially.” Under no circumstances does he intend becoming dependent on individual key account customers.QCS is one of the ten biggest owner-operated IATA forwarders in Germany. The company has made a name for itself as a reliable logistics service provider for mid-sized firms in the export industry. Mechanical engineering companies, automotive suppliers and steel, pharmaceutical and chemical firms are on the list of customers. “Mid-sized firms like working together with mid-sized firms,” says Haltmayer. “The employees here also think entrepreneurially.” Under no circumstances does he intend becoming dependent on individual key account customers.

QCS is represented with its own branch offices at all major German airport locations.

Globally, it cooperates with other locally based, mid-sized forwarders. One important recipe for success here: “We only work together with hand-picked, financially sound partners, whom we know personally and whom our customers can trust,” says Stephan Haltmayer. “This is an integral part of our quality philosophy.”

The processes of the network are discussed locally on a monthly basis.

For this reason alone, Haltmayer and his management team have to travel a lot. The meetings, however, also turn their attention to customer acquisition. After all, the consignees are often enough the ones who have to pay for the transport and logistics services and who are thus also allowed to choose the service provider.

This also extends to the choice of carrier. “In many cases, we recommend Lufthansa Cargo,” says Haltmayer. “With its strong network, there are reliable high-frequency connections out of Germany to all markets that are important for us.” These include in particular India, the U.S., and, more recently again, Brazil. “China, of course, is also important, although a slower growth has been recently confirmed here due to the increasingly strong currency and rising labor costs.”
    
Haltmayer also sees Lufthansa Cargo ahead of the competition with respect to eBooking and “troubleshooting”. “There you have it again, the combination of intelligent processes and personal commitment,” he says.

“Our employees have the carer gene.”

“We need partners on the airline side who adopt exactly the same approach.” Underlining the point, he pats Christopher Biaesch on the shoulder. “We don’t settle for half-measures,” he says self-confidently. “A little extra effort is sometimes also needed.”

For example, when QCS had to organize the transportation of the crown jewels of the last Russian tsar from St. Petersburg to an exhibition in Miami. Or when, on one Friday evening, an extremely heavy spare part for a manufacturing robot had to be shipped at the last minute to an automobile plant in Mexico. “It initially looked as if the aircraft was overbooked. 

But we then managed to find a solution. On Sunday, the job had been completed,” Biaesch recalls. “The most important thing was that we were constantly in close contact,” Haltmayer adds. “Practically every hour, the customer gave us a call, and we were able to tell him every time with a clear conscience that everything was going to work out fine.”

The pressure on this assignment was enormous, as there was a risk of an assembly line standstill. Haltmayer was nevertheless able to maintain his typical calmness. “I knew that Lufthansa Cargo would not get hectic, but that it would manage the job professionally right to the end.”

QCS is represented with its own branch offices at all major German airport locations.

Globally, it cooperates with other locally based, mid-sized forwarders. One important recipe for success here: “We only work together with hand-picked, financially sound partners, whom we know personally and whom our customers can trust,” says Stephan Haltmayer. “This is an integral part of our quality philosophy.”

The processes of the network are discussed locally on a monthly basis.

For this reason alone, Haltmayer and his management team have to travel a lot. The meetings, however, also turn their attention to customer acquisition. After all, the consignees are often enough the ones who have to pay for the transport and logistics services and who are thus also allowed to choose the service provider.

This also extends to the choice of carrier. “In many cases, we recommend Lufthansa Cargo,” says Haltmayer. “With its strong network, there are reliable high-frequency connections out of Germany to all markets that are important for us.” These include in particular India, the U.S., and, more recently again, Brazil. “China, of course, is also important, although a slower growth has been recently confirmed here due to the increasingly strong currency and rising labor costs.”

Haltmayer also sees Lufthansa Cargo ahead of the competition with respect to eBooking and “troubleshooting”. “There you have it again, the combination of intelligent processes and personal commitment,” he says.

“Our employees have the carer gene.

“We need partners on the airline side who adopt exactly the same approach.” Underlining the point, he pats Christopher Biaesch on the shoulder. “We don’t settle for half-measures,” he says self-confidently. “A little extra effort is sometimes also needed.”

For example, when QCS had to organize the transportation of the crown jewels of the last Russian tsar from St. Petersburg to an exhibition in Miami. Or when, on one Friday evening, an extremely heavy spare part for a manufacturing robot had to be shipped at the last minute to an automobile plant in Mexico. 

“It initially looked as if the aircraft was overbooked. But we then managed to find a solution. On Sunday, the job had been completed,” Biaesch recalls. “The most important thing was that we were constantly in close contact,” Haltmayer adds. “Practically every hour, the customer gave us a call, and we were able to tell him every time with a clear conscience that everything was going to work out fine.”

The pressure on this assignment was enormous, as there was a risk of an assembly line standstill. Haltmayer was nevertheless able to maintain his typical calmness. “I knew that Lufthansa Cargo would not get hectic, but that it would manage the job professionally right to the end.”

 

5 questions to Stephan Haltmayer.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Our employees are the basis of the success of QCS. They pursue the same goals as the company management. Apart from that, our motto is: quality instead of quantity!

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
An airline needs a modern infrastructure, a large route network and good customer service. Lufthansa Cargo has all that, they are the trendsetter in the cargo market.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
My Porsche, mid-sized firms and Germany.
    
What does quality of life mean for you?
To spend time meaningfully. This explicitly includes the ­occasional glass of good red wine by the fireside.

What are your own personal qualities? 
always seek to improve myself and to move in new directions. In my view, success has a long-term character. Endurance and optimism are just as much among my qualities as my willingness to take risks, without which you cannot move forward.

5 questions to Stephan Haltmayer.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Our employees are the basis of the success of QCS. They pursue the same goals as the company management. Apart from that, our motto is: quality instead of quantity!

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
An airline needs a modern infrastructure, a large route network and good customer service. Lufthansa Cargo has all that, they are the trendsetter in the cargo market.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
My Porsche, mid-sized firms and Germany.

What does quality of life mean for you?
To spend time meaningfully. This explicitly includes the ­occasional glass of good red wine by the fireside.

What are your own personal qualities? 
always seek to improve myself and to move in new directions. In my view, success has a long-term character. Endurance and optimism are just as much among my qualities as my willingness to take risks, without which you cannot move forward.

 

5 questions to Christopher Biaesch.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Whether for safety, performance, customer satisfaction, product diversification or investments in the workforce and in the infrastructure – we step up the pace in all fields.

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
The quality of an airline is measurable and perceptible. In general, what counts is not to settle for half-measures and to always strive for 100 percent.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
The driving style of Sebastian Vettel. He explores the limits, but rarely moves beyond them. He has my greatest respect!

What does quality of life mean for you?
A healthy work-life balance, a good twelve-kilometer run along the River Main, true friends, a strong coffee in the morning.

What are your own personal qualities? 
I am optimistic, like life and hope that others notice that!

Photos:

Volker Römer, Ralf Kreuels

planet 1/2012

5 questions to Christopher Biaesch.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Whether for safety, performance, customer satisfaction, product diversification or investments in the workforce and in the infrastructure – we step up the pace in all fields.

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
The quality of an airline is measurable and perceptible. In general, what counts is not to settle for half-measures and to always strive for 100 percent.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
The driving style of Sebastian Vettel. He explores the limits, but rarely moves beyond them. He has my greatest respect!

What does quality of life mean for you?
A healthy work-life balance, a good twelve-kilometer run along the River Main, true friends, a strong coffee in the morning.

What are your own personal qualities? 
I am optimistic, like life and hope that others notice that!

 

Photos:

Volker Römer, Ralf Kreuels

planet 1/2012