Monday, 23 February 2015


Keith O'Brien, SEKO Logistics

SEKO Logistics is building on a record year of sales in the UK market in 2014 with the opening of a further branch in Felixstowe to support its thriving global freight forwarding and FBS (fulfilment by SEKO) logistics operations.

The new office is under the leadership of directors, David Hill and Jamie Harrold, who have both joined SEKO Logistics from CEVA. SEKO’s network of operations in the UK now extends across eight locations, which also include a new London Heathrow base opened in 2014 and a 152,000 square feet logistics centre to support its omni-channel services for global fulfilment, delivery management, returns solutions and ecommerce development and design.

Keith O’Brien, Managing Director of SEKO Logistics, said: “Felixstowe is a strategically important location in the UK and we are confident that David and Jamie will quickly establish a strong presence for SEKO Logistics in the region. Our UK business grew by 28% in 2014 thanks to the growth in our business services and branch network and we will continue to open new business units when we find talented, entrepreneurial and ambitious teams of people who want to be part of our exciting future.”

David Hill added: “SEKO Logistics has an impressive portfolio of products and services and is standing out in the UK market because of its proven track record of offering integrated solutions. We aim to maximise the potential of the offering and continue the SEKO trend of exponential growth through client acquisition and integration.”

SEKO Logistics’ year-on-year growth has been accelerated by its investments in a suite of new solutions that support its customers’ growth, helps them to open in new markets and provides measureable cost saving opportunities. Last year, SEKO Logistics acquired an equity stake in full service ecommerce agency, Red Hot Penny, in its latest move to provide a complete solution for growing retailers. It combines extensive experience in creative design, ecommerce technology and digital marketing with SEKO’s global warehousing and fulfilment operations to deliver a truly end-to-end solution for retailers, particularly luxury goods, arts and fashion brands.

Other services developed in the last 18 months include SEKO Store Development Services, which delivers project and process management solutions to help expanding retail businesses open stores faster, with greater control and cost efficiency, and increase their sales weeks per store in new markets. This complements SEKO Omni-Channel Logistics and its integrated eCommerce and logistics services to fast track traditional ‘bricks and mortar’ retailers into the $1.5 trillion global eCommerce market, one of the fastest-growing parts of SEKO’s business since its launch in September 2013.


About SEKO Logistics

We provide a suite of logistics services which enable you to use your supply chain as a competitive differentiator. As a customer centric organization, we are powered by the expertise of our people and our in-house-developed, best in class, customizable technology. It is this combination which gives SEKO its strength. With over 120 offices in 40 countries worldwide, SEKO’s unique shareholder management model enables you to benefit from our specific industry sector expertise, coupled with vital in-country knowledge and unparalleled service at the local level. This unique model provides you with:
• Hands-on service and support
• Personal relationships
• Creative, customized solutions
• Responsiveness and reliability
• Flexibility and consistence
We have a flat management structure, with just three layers between you and the CEO, making us ‘fast on our feet’ in delivering solutions that can meet your exact requirements. This lean and nimble structure increases our decision-making speed and gives us an ability to implement customized solutions which far exceed those of our competitors. For more information visit our website

Friday, 13 February 2015


A team of Volga-Dnepr Airlines’ experts in Ulyanovsk, Russia and London Stansted combined their expertise to expedite an urgent shipment of oil production equipment from Scotland to Turkey.
Moving the 35-ton cargo onboard one of its IL-76TD- in Istanbul. 90VD freighters took just three days from the initial customer enquiry to delivery of the shipment
“After receiving an urgent customer request, our engineers in Ulyanovsk developed a load plan and multi-purpose shipping cradle to load the cargo of 19-metre pipes and the manufacturing of the cradle was organised by our Stansted team. Whilst this was in progress, Volga-Dnepr’s Engineering and Logistics Center made all the arrangements to rent cranes for the loading as well as a trailer to deliver the pipes to Prestwick Airport. Extra loading equipment was also delivered from Leipzig, Germany, especially for this flight. Despite a strong 20mph wind in Prestwick on the day of the loading, the technical crew of the aircraft completed the hardest part of the project by promptly building up the loading complex on the trailer and in the aircraft, fixing the pipes in the cradle and then lifting them into the cargo hold,” said Huseyn Mammadli, Logistics Executive, ELC, Volga-Dnepr Group.     
The oil production equipment was delivered on behalf of the DHL Global Forwarding company to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen International Airport. It will be used in exploration and drilling projects looking for new oil and gas fields on the Black Sea shelf in Turkey.



Virgin Atlantic Cargo has announced two new senior management appointments to focus on its increasing transatlantic services and the development of its international network covering Asia, Australasia, the Middle East and Africa.

Steve Hughes, Virgin Atlantic Cargo
Steve Hughes will transition from his role of Regional Vice President Sales for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) to the newly-created post of Vice President Sales Transatlantic. In his new role he will be responsible for the airline’s sales in the UK, U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as developing Virgin Atlantic’s transatlantic joint venture with Delta Air Lines to offer more choice and benefits for its customers.
Neil Vernon, Virgin Atlantic Cargo
In Hong Kong, Neil Vernon becomes Vice President Sales International, a role that includes his current Asia and Australasia focus and is now extended to incorporate additional responsibility for sales in Dubai, Nigeria and South Africa.

Nick Jones, Head of Sales at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “Our business across the Atlantic will increase in 2015, supported by new routes such as Atlanta and Detroit, and extra frequencies to and from several of our existing U.S. gateways. We also expect to see further benefits and opportunities for the airline and our customers from our joint venture with Delta Air Lines. Given that we work with many of the same customers on both sides of the Atlantic, Steve’s new role will ensure a single point of contact for those customers and enable us to react to new opportunities faster. We also expect to see continued revenue gains from the other important markets in our international network, driven by Neil and his regional team. As part of these changes to our sales structure, Marie Epstein, Regional Vice President Sales Americas, will be leaving the airline. We wish her every success for the future and thank Marie for her hard work and dedication during her time as Regional Vice President Sales Americas.”


Monday, 9 February 2015


Logistics provider G&O Solutions chose to partner with Volga-Dnepr Airlines when it needed to transport 50 tons of gas equipment for a compressor station from Kazan in Russia to Karshi, Uzbekistan.
The cargo was moved onboard two IL-76TD-90VD freighter flights and included rotor and wheelspace, piping and tanks, pumps, coolers and other supporting equipment. These are being used to increase gas production at the Shurtan compressor station in the biggest gas-condensate field in Uzbekistan.
Mr Ismailov, Manager, G&O Solutions, said: “This is the first time G&O Solutions has worked directly with Volga-Dnepr Airlines. Our shipment of outsize cargo was carried securely and in the shortest timescale and we are very pleased with our joint work. Our two companies have already agreed on future cooperation in projects in Central Asia.” 
In 2014, more than 40 companies became new customers of Volga-Dnepr Airlines and contributed 13% of the airline’s air charter sales volume.

Tuesday, 3 February 2015


Taking a leading role in the launch of two high profile high street brands into the South African market has helped to earn Jenifer Taylor of Santova Logistics the coveted prize of ‘Young Freight Forwarder of the Year’, sponsored by Virgin Atlantic Cargo, in the British International Freight Association’s Freight Service Awards.

Jenifer, who has worked with Santova for four and-a-half years, received her prize at the annual BIFA awards ceremony in London, attended by over 500 executives from the British freight industry. She said: “This is the proudest moment of my career so far! It was an honour to stand in front of some of the biggest businesses and most influential people in the industry and be recognised as being the best in my field. I am constantly learning something new, the industry is vibrant and ever changing, and every day brings another exciting challenge. I enjoy the constant need for problem solving and providing effective solutions, and Santova Logistics provides an ideal environment for innovation.”

Jenifer was encouraged to enter for the award by Grant Crews, Managing Director of Santova Logistics after rising through the ranks of the company, gaining valuable experience, and, in the past year, using her operational skills to support the launch of two of Santova’s customers in South Africa.

“The Freight Industry is a relatively unknown field for school-leavers and recently qualified graduates. It is the lifeblood for global trade and helps shape the economies of the world and the barriers of entry for young people are lower than in many other sectors. This combination creates a fantastic opportunity for young people to build a career in this innovative industry. The BIFA awards puts the high achievers on a pedestal and builds awareness which will ultimately inspire young people to enter the industry,” Grant stated.

This is the fourth consecutive year that Virgin Atlantic Cargo has sponsored BIFA’s Young Freight Forwarder of the Year award as part of its support of the UK freight forwarding industry and to promote career paths in the industry to young people. The award category is open to individuals working for a BIFA Member company who are under the age of 32, with, preferably, a minimum of two years’ employment in the freight industry.

Maria Sanchez- Grant, Regional Sales Manager, UK & Ireland, at Virgin Atlantic Cargo, said: “We are proud to continue our support of this award and to help encourage more young people to look at the fantastic career opportunities the freight industry has to offer. Jenifer is a great example of the progress a young person can make so early in their career if they are dedicated, motivated and hard working and we wish her every success for the future.”   


Photo caption:
BIFA awards host Naga Munchetty, financial journalist & television presenter (left) with winner Jenifer Taylor, Santova Logistics (centre) and Maria Sanchez-Grant of Virgin Atlantic Cargo

Wednesday, 28 January 2015


Volga-Dnepr Airlines has started its 25th anniversary year by moving a 70-ton electrodynamic vibration tester from Shanghai to Russia, reinforcing its position as the world’s largest carrier of unique, outsize and heavyweight air cargo.
The shipment was transported from China to the Russian city of Chelyabinsk onboard one of Volga-Dnepr’s An-124-100 freighters. To help load the cargo, the airline’s engineers developed special handling equipment. 
“The electrodynamic vibration tester, or test stand, is applied in various test operations, such as strength tests or instrument standardisation. The cargo consisted of two big pieces; a 24-ton slip table and a 28-ton shaker, as well as supporting equipment. For loading and offloading we used mobile cranes and seven tons of our own unique loading equipment, which included a ramp extension and a rail and roller system. As the customer had required the largest pieces of cargo to be delivered packed in wooden crates, our engineers had to secure the shipments inside the aircraft through holes in the crates,” said Azat Yakupov, Senior Engineer at Volga-Dnepr Airlines.
The delivery was organised on behalf of the Russian logistics company Everest. In China the official agent of AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC), part of Volga-Dnepr Group, was on hand to support the customer by organising delivery of the vibration tester to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport, and arranging handling at the cargo terminal, the hire of a 60-ton capacity crane and the processing of documentation.
Andrey Rassadkin, Director, Charter Sales, Volga-Dnepr Airlines, said: “It is fitting that we should have started our 25th anniversary year with such an interesting flight because it demonstrates the scope of our expertise. Our quarter of a century of unique experience in moving heavy and outsize cargoes, diverse fleet of freighters, and extensive network of offices and agents around the world help us to satisfy the most challenging demands of our customers. This includes designing and implementing custom-made logistics solutions for our clients to meet their deadlines and ensure the most cost efficient transportation service.”


Tuesday, 27 January 2015


AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) marked its 10th anniversary year in 2014 by carrying a record tonnage of 401,000 tonnes, a 17.6% increase year-on-year, with an average load of 72.6%, well above the industry average.
To meet increased demand for its capacity and services from international customers, ABC supported its growth with further investment to upgrade its freighter fleet. In 2014 another new generation Boeing 747-8 freighter joined ABC’s fleet, which now has 13 modern B747 freighters, including six of the new generation -8Fs.
To provide clients with an enhanced service offering and more point-to-point deliveries within its network, the airline expanded its footprint on all of its existing markets. During the course of 2014, ABC launched new routes to Dallas/Fort Worth, Leipzig, Munich, Basel and Malmo and added more services to its already well-established stations such as Chicago, Milan, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Seoul. This expansion allowed the airline to offer customers in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific an even wider choice of routes and frequencies. ABC currently offers 218 scheduled freighter flights a week to 11 countries and more than 400 connections with a delivery time within 48 hours on almost all of its origin-destination pairs via its hub in Moscow-Sheremetyevo.
Denis Ilin, AirBridgeCargo
Denis Ilin, Executive President of AirBridgeCargo Airlines, said: "2014 was a milestone for AirBridgeCargo and we used our tenth anniversary as the perfect opportunity to thank our customers all over the world for their support with celebration events in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy, China, Korea and Japan. Thanks to this growing support, ABC has been able to grow consistently with a compound growth rate of 11% over the last 5 years. We have earned our customers' trust by providing them with a reliable service, delivered by one of the youngest and most modern freighter fleets in the industry. Our growth has meant we have been able to provide the levels of capacity our customers need from us and launch services in new markets that they want us to serve.”
The carrier’s main strategy in 2014 was to be able to respond quickly to market changes, while maintaining operational excellence for its customers, in particular through investing in improved processes at its main Moscow (SVO) hub.
“Customer loyalty and support, together with close monitoring of market changes and our ability to react quickly to both challenges and new opportunities, allowed us to remain highly competitive throughout 2014 and grow our business in what is still a highly turbulent air cargo environment. In 2015, ABC will continue to serve the main gateways in all the regions where we are present and ensure we offer sufficient cargo capacity to respond to the long-term volume requirements of our customers. At the same time we aim to further increase our network footprint by adding destinations to support smaller, niche or even short-term project business opportunities as we ensure our customers have the best access to the logistics solutions that suit them most. The geographic location of our hub in Moscow positions us perfectly to introduce services to literally any point in Europe and beyond. The global market will remain challenging in 2015 but I look forward with confidence that we will keep pace with the demand and opportunities that exist for us,” Denis Ilin added.


Helsinki, Finland, is the latest addition to AirBridgeCargo Airlines’ (ABC) fast-growing international network, with twice-weekly Boeing 747 freighter services commenced on 26 January 2015.
The flights every Monday and Friday will operate from Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport to Helsinki, returning to Moscow via Frankfurt.
The new service will offer even more connection opportunities for ABC’s customers, providing smooth, reliable and fast services from Asia to Helsinki and back again well within 48 hours, including handling.
"In 2014, thanks to our customers' support and the exemplary effort and attitude of our full cargo team worldwide, we have been able to grow our business while maintaining a strong performance for our customers. Over the course of the year, we successfully increased our tonnage from North America and Asia to Europe by providing our customers with the capacity and routes their businesses needed. This new service from and to Helsinki will allow us to support the those import and export flows which require direct Helsinki service. Furthermore we will also offer trucking services to the Baltic region and Scandinavia” said Robert van de Weg, ABC’s Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing.
During the last five years ABC has been one of the world’s fastest growing international cargo airlines with a compound growth rate of 11%. In the European market, the airline has been growing at an average 9% over this period. 

Monday, 26 January 2015


Volga-Dnepr Airlines has transported a 15-ton part of a rock breaking machine for a mining customer between the Russian cities of Anapa and Murmansk.
The delivery onboard one of the airline’s IL-76TD-90VD freighters was organised for the Russian mining and smelting company Norilsk Nickel, one of the largest producers of colored and precious metals in the world. The machinery was destined for its affiliated mining company in the Murmansk region of northern Russia.
To load the three metre wide cargo, which resembled a giant teacup in shape, Volga-Dnepr’s engineering and logistics experts transported special equipment from Ulyanovsk to Anapa, and organised cranes at the departure and arrival points to assist in loading and unloading. As part of the logistics solution provided by Volga-Dnepr, road transportation of the mining equipment was also arranged from Murmansk Airport to its final destination in the town of Zapolyarnyi, where the equipment was being put into operation.

Tuesday, 20 January 2015


Virgin Atlantic Cargo has awarded a new and extended general sales and service agency contract to InterGlobe Air Transport (IGAT) in India as indicators project a 6-7% growth in the country’s airfreight market in 2015, boosted by the upturn in the U.S. economy, one of India’s biggest trading partners.

The new contract follows an extensive tender process and in addition to extending its 12-year working partnership with Delhi-based IGAT for cargo sales, Virgin Atlantic has also awarded IGAT with the GSSA contract for the airline’s VEX courier express product to streamline the sales process with customers in India.
Neil Vernon, Virgin Atlantic’s VP Sales APAC, said: “India is a very important air cargo market and one we have been proud to serve for nearly 15 years. As well as carrying a wide range of shipments from India to major regions of the UK and Ireland, our fast connections over London mean customers in India also use Virgin as their preferred carrier to New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Miami, Washington and Atlanta and we expect to see these volumes increase as a result of the improvements in the U.S. economy. We wish to acknowledge the great support we have received from Patel On-Board Couriers in India in selling our courier service since 2009 and wish them every success in the future.”

Siddhanta Sharma, CEO & President, and Mahesh Malik, Vice President Cargo at InterGlobe Air Transport expressed their delight at the extension of the GSSA contract by Virgin Atlantic Cargo and believe that this opportunity will further cement the longstanding partnership between Virgin Atlantic Cargo and InterGlobe. “The IGAT team are very excited with the additional responsibility to sell the VEX courier product of Virgin Atlantic Cargo in India,” Mahesh Malik said. Aminder Singh Bal, the company’s National Manager Cargo for India, said the extended contract delivered greater synergy for growing the airline’s business in India.  

Virgin Atlantic’s daily Airbus A330 flight from Delhi to London Heathrow offers some 14 tonnes of cargo capacity a day. Regular shipments on the route include garments and handicrafts, carpets, perishables, medical goods, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and electrical equipment, as well as personal effects. Freight for the Delhi flights mainly originates from India’s manufacturing hubs such as the National Capital Region (NCR) and areas such as Kanpur-Badohi, Agra, Moradabad, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Jaipur, Panipat and industrial belts in states such as Uttarakhand & Himachal Pradesh.  

The new GSSA contract comes as Virgin prepares to withdraw operations on its Mumbai route at the end of January. “We are extremely grateful to the customers that have supported us in Mumbai for the last two years and we look forward to continuing to work with some of these companies who also fly their cargo with Virgin Atlantic out of Delhi,” added Neil Vernon.

Thursday, 15 January 2015


Volga-Dnepr Airlines has completed its latest flight in support of the global relief effort to counter the outbreak of the Ebola disease by transporting medical equipment from Oslo to Freetown, Sierra Leone, on behalf of the Norwegian Red Cross.

The flight needed to be operated at short notice to deliver urgently needed equipment for a new Ebola Treatment Centre being set up in a remote region 350km from Freetown. Within 72 hours of the flight leaving Norway, the Norwegian Red Cross confirmed that the cargo had reached its final destination and was ready to provide much-needed assistance to combat the disease, which has already claimed some 8,000 lives in West Africa.   

Volga-Dnepr’s load planning team was able to maximise the payload of the IL-76-TD-90VD flight within the constraints set by the airline’s flight safety department for operations to the region. 

Over the past 25 years, Volga-Dnepr has played an important role in humanitarian projects all over the world, working on behalf of government departments and international relief agencies and charities. It completed its first flight to help with the international response to the Ebola outbreak in October when one of its An-124-100 freighters carried three multi-purpose Mi-8 helicopters from Moscow to Sierra Leone for the United Nations (UN) emergency health mission.
More recently, another An-124-100 freighter has operated to five cities in Congo, Ghana, Mali, Guinea-Bissau and Ivory Coast to deliver more urgent equipment. The flights to Kinshasa, Accra, Bamako, Bissau and Abidjan carried five 20-ton containers, part of the Chinese government’s programme to help countries in West Africa affected by the virus. The An-124 operated from Tianjin, China. The cargo included single-use protective suits, respirators, glasses, boot covers and other equipment used as part of the anti-epidemic measures being taken by healthcare workers operating in the worst affected areas.
Volga-Dnepr Airlines is operating in accordance with the recommendations of the UN Security Council that called on airlines and maritime companies to ensure transport connections with African countries suffering from the Ebola virus comply with special medical procedures.

Monday, 12 January 2015


Volga-Dnepr Group’s ‘cargo supermarket’ solution, which matches the best aircraft from its unique fleet to every customer request, came up with the perfect solution for a shipment of valuable cargo from Vienna to Moscow.

The charterer, Proair, urgently needed Volga-Dnepr’s help to move the high value, time sensitive shipment at short notice, knowing that although many aviation authorities were closed over the Christmas and New Year period, the airline would be able to gain the necessary permits and meet the strict delivery deadline.  

The size and weight of the cargo meant Volga-Dnepr Group’s An-124-100, IL-76TD-90VD and Boeing 747 freighters were all far too big for this specific flight. Instead, the perfect aircraft solution was to charter one of the Boeing 737-400 freighters operated by Atran Airlines, the Group’s express cargo carrier.

Clair Gunn, Sales Executive at Volga-Dnepr UK, said: “The range and capability of the Group’s aircraft fleet means we can offer a unique in-house solution for cargo shipments of all sizes. In this case, using one of our Boeing 737Fs meant we not only met the tight delivery deadline set by the customer but also ensured we provided the most cost efficient solution too.”