Port of Rotterdam

Critical Cargo Bypassing Bottleneck at Ocean Ports Aboard Chartered Passenger Aircraft

Published On: 04/8/20 9:20 PM

Bottlenecks in the global supply chain are being bypassed by repurposing passenger aircraft for critical cargo.  With retailers worldwide closing shop, warehouses becoming backed up with undelivered goods, increasing trucking restrictions and driver shortages, importers are being forced to delay delivery of goods that can’t be sold or stored. This clogs ports with containers and slows critical food and medical supply chains. Ocean carriers are rerouting containers to transshipment ports and yards close to destination so they can reach markets more quickly when business resumes, while keeping major ports unclogged. To keep food and medical supply chains flowing, critical cargo is moving on passenger aircrafts that have been idle since the travel ban.

Read more about how the ocean and air transport industries are adapting to the crisis at:

https://www.joc.com/air-cargo/idle-passenger-planes-take-mini-freighter-roles_20200317.html

https://www.joc.com/maritime-news/carriers-warn-supply-chain-chaos-if-cargo-stacks-ports_20200407.html

(Photo credit: IAPH/International Association of Ports and Harbors)

Man Wearing Face Shield, with Aircraft in Background

Piper Aircraft Applies R&D Ingenuity To Build Superior Medical Masks For Hospitals Faced With A Shortage Of PPE

Published On: 04/1/20 6:23 PM

The engineers at Piper Aircraft came up with a unique solution to the current shortage of masks for healthcare workers. Using a plastic stamping machine and materials normally used in the production  of aircraft interiors, they found a way to utilize in-house equipment and materials for the production of face shields for hospitals on the front line.

Read more about Piper’s engineering turnaround at:

https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2020/march/30/piper-joins-fight-for-coronavirus-relief

(Photo credit: Piper Aircraft via AOPA/Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association)

White Water Boat with cargo with "Houston Express"

Manufacturers Who Cut Inventories And Profit Margins To The Bone Are The Most Vulnerable To The Current Crisis

Published On: 03/27/20 2:45 PM

In order for western manufacturers to remain competitive, many components are sourced from China. When China delays manufacturing, western manufacturers’ ability to finish their products and deliver them to market is impeded. To compound that problem, inventories are typically stockpiled for just 15-30 days due to cost-saving inventory management methods such as “just in time delivery”. That spells double trouble for manufacturers and consumers alike.

Read more about how the current crisis is impacting global supply chains at:
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/supply-chains-and-coronavirus/608329/

(Photo credit: Julius Silver)

 

Cargo trucks on a road with cars behind them

Trade Continues Despite US Border Closures with Canada and Mexico

Published On: 03/20/20 8:37 PM

Recent announcements of US border closures with Canada and Mexico state that the borders remain open for trade. Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau explained that truck drivers, train and airline crews are exempt from the restrictions.

Read more about the border closures at: https://www.ttnews.com/articles/us-canada-agree-close-border-remain-open-trade
&
https://www.ttnews.com/articles/us-mexico-border-close-amid-spread-coronavirus

 

(Photo credit:Trucks on the road. (John Sommers II for Transport Topics)

Back of aircraft being loaded. Aircraft marked "Polar"

Passenger Travel Ban From Europe Causes Severe Disruption Of Air Freight Industry

Published On: 03/13/20 1:34 PM

Some US importers are unaware that the travel ban for passenger flights from Europe will impact their air cargo shipments. The reality is that over 60% of air cargo is carried by passenger aircraft. As a result of the travel ban from Europe to the US, shippers are competing for space on a handful of freighter aircraft, pushing up rates, delaying cargo and diverting traffic through non-European airlines.

Read more at:
https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-travel-ban-is-expected-to-snarl-trans-atlantic-airfreight-11584040963

Flying Car concept - Aeromobil VTOL concept via breakingdefense.com

Air Force Comes Up With Ingenious RFQ To Expedite Development Of Flying Cars

Published On: 02/26/20 8:50 PM

To promote the development of EVTOL cars, the Air Force will issue an RFQ for a program named Agility Prime, soliciting proposals from commercial developers to design a flying car for troops and cargo. The benefit to commercial developers is that military airspace will be made available to the winning bidders to test their aircraft. Access to military ranges will reduce the time required for certification by the FAA by creating a faster track to proof of airworthiness. Developing the technology for both military and commercial applications at inception would prevent the loss of an entire supply chain to early commercial investors, as was the case with the drone market, now controlled by Chinese investors. Uber and Nasa are working on similar concept vehicles for commercial applications.

Read more at: https://breakingdefense.com/2020/02/air-force-pushes-ahead-on-flying-car-challenge/

Uber’s Flying car concept via breakingdefense.com

(Photo credits:
Above: Uber’s Flying car concept via breakingdefense.com
In header: Aeromobil VTOL concept via breakingdefense.com)

Panda Bei Bei

Transporting Large Animals Internationally

Published On: 02/10/20 9:26 PM

Bei Bei, a large panda, was flown from the US to China aboard a FedEx freighter aircraft. Bei Bei’s 16 hour flight from the US to China was made in a purpose built crate. Before transport, Bei Bei was encouraged to play in the crate so that the trip would be made in an environment he was comfortable  in. The crate included his favorite snacks –  bamboo, apples and pears,  biscuits,  sweet potatoes and as much  water as he could drink.

Read more about transporting large animals internationally at: https://www.ttnews.com/articles/moving-manatees-elephants-and-pandas-requires-careful-planning-preparation

(Photo Credit: Bei Bei by FedEx)

Rendering of High speed aircraft - the Boom Supersonic XB-1

Boom Supersonic Will Test the XB-1 Supersonic Aircraft in a Military Zone in the Mojave Desert

Published On: 02/5/20 9:00 PM

Boom’s XB-1 is an experimental aircraft used in the development of Overture, a supersonic commercial aircraft with speeds exceeding Mach 2. The aircraft will be tested in protected military airspace, creating a supersonic corridor. This new breed of supersonic aircraft is expected to revolutionize the commercial aviation and cargo industry.

Read more at:

https://www.flyingmag.com/story/aircraft/boom-supersonic-xb1-mojave-test/

Overture - from Boom Supersonic

(Photo credits: Flying Magazine & Boom Supersonic)

Railcar being lifted

Journey of a Typical Railcar from Factory Through Locomotion in Another Country

Published On: 01/21/20 9:31 PM

The international journey of new railcars from factory through installation on a track overseas, is not as simple as booking trailers, a ship and cranes.

It starts with engineering modifications to the railcars to create lifting beams and lashing rings. COG calculations are made to ensure the lifting plan keeps the railcar balanced through the lifting operation. At the same time, early shipments are dispatched with tracks, welding equipment and materials, communication and signal systems, depot structures and fixtures as well as track maintenance equipment.

A local crew starts installing the tracks and associated equipment at destination while the railcars are being built and custom fitted with lifting and lashing points for the journey.

This complex process is designed and managed by specialists like Overseas Brokers, with the help of marine engineers who assist in creating lifting diagrams noting center of gravity,  drafting of required crane spreader specifications, making angle and clearance calculations, as well as oversight by marine insurance surveyors who supervise every step of the loading/unloading, lashing, lifting, delivery and placement on the final track at destination.

Note: The lifting configuration of the railcar in the photo is designed to maintain a 90 degree angle and keep the railcar level when lifted, to prevent the lifting cables from causing damage to the side panels of the railcar.

Read more about such projects at:

https://www.stattimes.com/royal-cargo-moves-multiple-unit-trains-of-philippine-national-railways-logistics

(Photo Credit – above: Via The STAT Trade Times: “This shipment is the first delivery of PNR trains and seven more new trainsets are set to arrive in 2020.”)

https://www.topgear.com.ph/news/motoring-news/pnr-indonesia-train-coaches-a4354-20191211

Railcar (Philippine National Railways)

(Photo credit: DOTR – via TopGear)

Air Taxi with people standing by

Unmanned Air Taxi Demo Takes Flight

Published On: 01/14/20 2:13 PM

The first ever demonstration of an autonomous air tax  in the US took place January 7 in Raleigh, NC, just 200 miles from the site of the Wright Brothers first powered flight. Although the demo was unmanned, the taxi can carry 2 passengers or cargo.

Read more about the demo at: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2020/01/07/north-america-s-first-autonomous-air-taxi-demonstration-takes-flight-in-raleigh

(Photo credit: From Governor Roy Cooper on Twitter – via Spectrum News’ site)