Good cards for Cartagena and Panalpina’s LCL Ocean Freight hub

Cartagena, Colombia’s premier port, is becoming increasingly important as a regional transportation hub. Last year, Panalpina set up the first ocean freight hub in Cartagena for Central and South American LCL (Less than Container Load) cargoes. The international freight forwarder also tops the Port of Cartagena’s import and export rankings.

Multinational companies are scrutinizing their global supply chains and shipping routes to max out on speed and efficiency. Sometimes, the solution lies in the road less traveled, the hidden gem of a logistics and distribution hub that wins with its strategic location and good connections.

Port of Cartagena: anything from cosmetics to cars

Increasingly, consumer goods ? anything from cosmetics, shampoo, chocolates and canned food to sportswear, cars, automotive parts and washing machines ? are finding their way in and out of Cartagena in Colombia. But what’s the lure of Cartagena?

“Cartagena’s Bay has been the commercial gateway to America for almost 500 years,” notes the Port of Cartagena on its website. “During the colonial era, the Spaniards considered this bay to be the perfect spot to establish their principal port, due to its strategic location and its exceptional natural conditions. During this period of time, a constant flow of merchandise would usually pass through the bay, all the way from South America to the Caribbean and Europe. Today, these same characteristics represent enormous comparative advantages for maritime operations, and enable the bay to continue to play a vital role in the global trade.”

Get an impression of the Port of Cartagena in this video.

The Port of Cartagena had the fourth highest throughput of all container gateways in Latin America and the Caribbean for 2018, according to figures released in April by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. The port handled 2.9 million TEU in 2018, 6.9% more than in 2017. Only Colon (Panama), Santos (Brazil) and Manzanillo (Mexico) handled more containers. Panama’s Pacific complex came in fifth, but its throughput fell by 15.6%.

Data from SICEX also shows that Panalpina was the Port of Cartagena’s biggest importer (12% market share, based on kilograms) and second biggest exporter (23% market share, based on kilograms in 2018). The company is currently in a pole position to lead the rankings for the first half of 2019, too (updated figures expected in August).

Panalpina LCL Ocean Freight hub: shorter transit times, better service, lower costs

Last year, Panalpina moved its Less than Container Load (LCL) operations in the region from Panama to Cartagena. In doing so, Panalpina became the first freight forwarder and NVOCC (Non-Vessel Operating Common Carrier) to use Cartagena for Central and South American LCL cargoes. “Having shifted operations from Panama to Cartagena, we are able to give our customers the benefits of shorter transit times, better service and lower costs,” says Cleber Oliveira, Panalpina’s regional Ocean Freight LCL manager, Latin America. “All operations are carried out inside the port in the free trade zone, which means that there is no need to transport the inbound cargo somewhere else to consolidate and deliver the containers back. Compared to a set-up where consolidation has to happen elsewhere in Central America or outside the port, we can offer better and more efficient services in Cartagena.”

At the Cartagena LCL hub, Panalpina consolidates multiple consignments from multiple customers or their suppliers in one Full Container Load (FCL). The customers, mostly from the consumer and retail as well as fashion industries, can ship low volumes without having the cost commitments of a full container. Hence, LCL gives customers with lower-volume shipments access to the economies of scale in ocean freight that are normally restricted to full container movements.

Multimodal and worldwide connections

Other benefits of Panalpina’s LCL offering, which can be combined with multimodal transport, including air and road freight, are more flexibility and reliability, resulting in improved supply chains. In Cartagena, Panalpina now provides the highest number of direct LCL services on the market, with direct sailings from Cartagena to the Central and Caribbean islands such as Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Curacao (some services of competitors go via Panama with a transit time of three to four times higher). These direct LCL services connect Latin America and the Caribbean to the world and back via other regional hubs and gateways such as Busan, New York, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Hamburg. Panalpina currently offers 20 outbound and 21 inbound weekly consolidated services via Cartagena. Southampton (UK) and Istanbul (Turkey) were the last services to be added on the inbound, Guayaquil (Ecuador), Callao (Peru) and Valparaiso (Chile) the last services on the outbound.

Blockchain for pharma’s blockbusters

How would you trace and authenticate unique and valuable products within the healthcare and pharmaceutical supply chain? Panalpina’s hacker team took a stab at creating real-world blockchain solutions to share data within and across enterprises.

Blockbuster drugs are drugs that generate more than $ 1 billion of revenue per year. That makes them sought-after not only by patients worldwide who rely on them to fight a disease or condition, but also a target for criminal organizations that try to make cash with counterfeit drugs. Of course, the problem of fake drugs stretches far beyond blockbusters, putting patients at risk and harming pharmaceutical companies financially.

Blockchain technology enables the tracing and authentication of unique and valuable products within the healthcare and pharmaceutical supply chain: right from standards-compliant manufacturing to tamper-proof packaging, down to temperature-controlled storage, transport and delivery. Each step can be monitored and recorded ? where a drug is, whether it is kept cool and secure. Because when it arrives at final destination, everyone involved wants to know and trust that it is original and in the best quality.

At last weekend’s Swiss Blockchain Hackathon, Panalpina’s hacker team, Kosmos, took a virtual pill on a remarkable journey. Their challenge was: to create a blockchain solution that ensures traceability and authentication of unique products like medications within the pharma supply chain, and to devise standards to enable disparate applications to create and share visible event data, both within and across enterprises. Here’s what they did:

The virtual pill was shipped between two locations. Each shipment covered four major milestones:

Pick-up from shipper/supplier (PUP)
Goods confirmed on board first flight (DEP)
Goods arrived at last airport (ARR)
Delivery to door (POD)
The drug was tracked while being shipped by using GS1 barcodes typically used for scanning.

For all stages of the shipment, Panalpina’s hackers used GS1 standards and codes to create pieces of data about:

Prefixes of companies involved in the transaction
Locations where the pill passed
Boxes/pallets (trade units) and pills (consumable units) moved in the transaction
Shipments (logistic units) made
Using these, they created a chain of tamper-proof events by encoding them inside a blockchain. With each new shipment milestone, they lumped all the events as content for a new block and attached it to the blockchain.

What happened was 42 hours of designing, hacking, developing and refining. The Kosmos team had the skills, drive, passion and innovation to devise a solution that met the demands of the challenge. They burned the midnight oil and gained valuable insights into new technologies such as Angular, Reactive patterns and Javascript back-end with NOSQL database.

Panalpina’s five-member Kosmos team, comprising Gianluca Lupo (captain), Piotr Dziubecki, Marlon Leuthardt, Marcin Procyk and Takeo Yoshida, took second place in the supply chain vertical. They were one of 40 teams competing in the Swiss Blockchain Hackathon, which spanned six verticals: mobility, intelligent parcels, supply chain, finance, agriculture and food, and e-government.

Watch the video:

What does blockchain mean for blockbuster drugs and pharmaceutical products in general? It’s pointing to real and practical solutions for traceability and authentication. Following the event, the hackers have made all the source code public. The code from Panalpina’s Kosmos team, which is still evolving, is available here:

Panalpina powers digital data centers through procuring and owning inventory for tech companies

Racked-based servers for a high-tech customer: Panalpina sources components, assembles and configures, tests and delivers the finished products to global destinations.

Big social media companies used to moving digital bits and bytes now have Panalpina as an ally in Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS). A pioneer of LMS, Panalpina has made further inroads into the high-tech space by managing inventory for its customers and holding up the backbone of their supply chains to serve data centers. With this latest offering, Panalpina takes another important step towards managing entire product life cycles in an increasingly circular economy.

Being digital on a global scale is only possible if you have an armada of physical servers and switches to channel all the data. The pioneer of Logistics Manufacturing Services (LMS), Panalpina has scored another industry first by offering inventory procurement and ownership, a model of value-added reselling, to high-tech companies as part of its growing LMS offering.

Buy, assemble, configure, test and ship

With inventory procurement and ownership, Panalpina in effect takes inventory off customers. It buys materials, components and products from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), plans and manages assembly and configuration, uploads and tests software, then sells the finished products and ships out to final destinations.

Reduced lead times and total cost of ownership

Customers benefit from Panalpina’s extended purchasing power and sourcing from a vast network of suppliers. They do not have to carry excess cost due to overstock, because a reliable partner is buying and managing inventory for them.

“We use our worldwide network and our manufacturing expertise to source, assemble, configure, test and deliver on demand globally. This significantly reduces lead times for our customers, as well as the total cost of ownership in the supply chain,” explains Mike Wilson, Panalpina’s global head of Logistics and Manufacturing.

Rack-based servers ready for installation

This model of procurement and ownership works particularly well in the high-tech sector with its short product life cycles. Corporate data centers are usually built from products that are highly optimized for certain functions such as data storage or routing. In the constant race to reduce lead times, the most efficient way to roll out data services is to provide rack-based servers that are ready for installation.

Panalpina has turned inventory procurement and ownership into reality by managing the entire supply chain of a high-tech customer’s enterprise servers. Started in 2018, volumes are now ramping up, with Panalpina handling thousands of servers through its new facility in Prague. On behalf of a known social media company, Panalpina buys diverse materials directly from suppliers ? servers, USB devices, cables from Hong Kong, switches from the Netherlands. The inbound materials are processed, assembled, configured and tested, then shipped outbound across Europe and to worldwide destinations.

Managing not just supply chains but product life cycles

“Our Logistics and Manufacturing Services have never just been about storing and moving products; our customers want a partner to help them go to market in the most efficient way possible,” says Wilson. “With inventory procurement and ownership, Panalpina takes care of all the manufacturing and supply chain activities for its customers, shortening lead times and significantly reducing inventory and therefore cost in the process.”

Panalpina’s Logistics and Manufacturing experts also look closely behind a supply chain at a product’s lifecycle ? from sourcing to disposal.

“Buying components used for manufacturing and managing inventory are one end of a product’s lifespan,” explains Wilson. “At the other end are remanufacturing, repairs and returns. Panalpina aims to become an indispensable partner for its customers by managing not just supply chains, but product life cycles in an increasingly circular economy. That’s where we can truly unlock value.”

Find out more about inventory procurement and ownership and remanufacturing in supply chains.

Be sulfur-smart: an update on the rocky path to compliance

Ship owners, operators and carriers must comply with new rules on emissions from 2020. Scrubbers currently dominate discussions. In this latest “sulfur-smart” blog post, we give an update on the scrubber debate, but also shed light on the topic of fuel quality. The lack of standardization on the composition and quality of low-sulfur fuels could lead to downtime of ships ? and increased cost.

New rules on ship emissions are coming into force next year. From 2020, the sulfur content of bunker fuels will be reduced to 0.5 percent, compared to 3.5 percent now in most parts of the world. As the January 1, 2020 deadline for adherence to the low sulfur limit looms, ship owners, operators and carriers have three options to comply with #IMO2020:

use low-sulfur fuel
use scrubbers (exhaust cleaners)
use alternative fuels, mainly LNG
What’s with scrubbers

Scrubbers have come under scrutiny as an abatement technology. The main concern is the impact of open-loop scrubbers on the marine environment. Vessels using open-loop scrubbers discharge scrubber wastewater into the sea, whereas closed-loop or hybrid scrubbers allow for temporary storage and later disposal of scrubber wastewater.

In May, the Clean Shipping Alliance 2020 (CSA 2020), the industry association for scrubber manufacturers and users, started a campaign to convince port authorities not to ban the use of open-loop scrubbers within their waters. CSA 2020 has secured written no-objection letters from 20 seaports in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia.

Clearly not one of the CSA signatories is the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, which earlier banned the use of open-loop scrubbers in its waters, and recently classified residues from scrubber operations as “toxic industrial waste (TIW)”. Under Singapore’s Environmental Public Health Regulations, toxic waste must be handled by a licensed collector. This means that ships wishing to dispose their scrubber residues in Singapore will have to hire a licensed company to collect and dispose the waste material.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) Sub-Committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR) is already undertaking a review of the 2015 guidelines on scrubbers, also known as exhaust gas cleaning systems (EGCS). The guidelines cover the testing, survey, certification and verification of scrubbers, as well as wastewater discharge standards, and are to be revised by 2020.

A recent IMO guidance mentions that as of March 1, 2020, the carriage of non-compliant fuel oil used by ships, will be prohibited. Would this in effect stop the booming scrubber retrofit market and instead push the ship newbuild industry and refiners to support compliant fuels?

Apart from scrubbers, the ocean freight industry is weighing compliance options and looking into alternative sources of fuel. One alternative is liquefied natural gas (LNG) or clean gas, which leads to negligible sulfur emissions when ignited. Despite project delays and budget overruns, the wave of LNG investments continues, but the LNG bunkering network remains underdeveloped. The other alternative is, of course, low-sulfur fuel. Here, there are concerns over high fuel costs and fuel availability, in the right quality in time.

Fuel quality ? a burning challenge

Fuel quality is a burning challenge that has implications for global supply chains, both from a cost and disruptions perspective.

There is currently little standardization on a global basis regarding the composition and quality of low-sulfur fuels. The lack of fuel standardization could lead to compatibility and stability issues, because new fuel blends or fuel types can impact a ship’s machinery systems.

Back in March 2018, over 100 ships were affected by blended marine fuels that were bunkered in Houston, Panama and Singapore, and moving on to China. Vessels suffered mechanical issues ranging from clogged pipes and filters to engine breakdown and power loss, leading to operation disruptions and insurance claims worth millions of dollars. As Dr. David Atkinson, principal chemist at emissions monitoring specialists Parker Kittiwake puts it: “Without proper checks in place, the sharp rise in bunker-quality issues seen in recent months could be an indicator of what may lie ahead when the global sulfur cap comes into effect.”

The problem is that the main and auxiliary engines of today’s ships may originally have been designed to run on fuels that differ from newer fuels that comply with the sulfur cap. As fuel supply system provider Auramarine notes, ships with different engines and bunkers have the option of switching to low-sulfur fuel in port. However, if different fuels are blended, the resulting bunker fuels may not be tested or evaluated properly. These factors point to an increase in demand (and related costs) for onboard fuel compatibility testing in the run-up to IMO2020.

IMO2020: What can Panalpina do for its Ocean Freight customers?

The regulators have laid out the rules, but the path for ship owners, operators and carriers to complying with the low sulfur limit remains rocky. As we pointed out before, they will pass on higher costs related to IMO2020 to cargo owners, third-party logistics providers and end-consumers. These costs will be implemented sooner rather than later. Panalpina expects implementation already at the end of Q3 or beginning of Q4. And there is a considerable potential for supply chain disruptions due to delays in fuel supply, denied port calls, retrofitting or downtime of ships. Expect choppy waves in the months leading up to and stretching beyond the IMO2020 sulfur cap.

As the shipping industry grapples with the impact of the new sulfur regulation, Panalpina keeps monitoring developments and is ready to support Ocean Freight customers in dealing with higher costs and potential supply chain disruptions. Panalpina’s Ocean Freight procurement experts will make sure to cut the best and fairest deals for our customers.

Earlier this year, we introduced a globally competitive bunker mechanism that increases visibility for customers and eases the transition towards new fuel types to comply with the low sulfur limit. We update our bunker tariffs for all major trade lanes at the latest two weeks before the beginning of each quarter. The new bunker tariffs, effective as of July 1, 2019, have just been published.

Blockchain: Moving from hype to tangible benefits for supply chains

The initial glitter of blockchain may have taken a beating, but concrete steps are underway to turn its promise into tangible business applications. A keen mover of digital technologies in freight forwarding and logistics, Panalpina has narrowed the use cases for this industry and started a pilot to play the benefits of blockchain to make supply chains more efficient.

Blockchain could well be the next blockbuster technology to truly optimize supply chains. A system where transactions are recorded and maintained across linked computer networks, blockchain is built on trust. It lends itself to sectors where transactions and data transfers are involved, such as finance, insurance, healthcare or supply chains, promising the decentralized, transparent and secure exchange of data.

Beyond the hype

However, blockchain has thus far fallen short of its potential. About 90 percent of all supply chain related blockchain projects will remain proof-of-concept pilots through to 2020, according to Gartner Research.

Alongside several start-up efforts, there have been at least five blockchain initiatives aimed at the ocean freight industry. Two of the more prominent are:

The TradeLens global trade platform jointly developed by IBM and Maersk, which started in January 2018, has over 100 participating organizations, only recently started to sign on carriers such as CMA CGM and MSC, and will now be launched at the port of St. Petersburg under an agreement with the Russian government, and
The Global Shipping Business Network (GSBN), which started in November 2018 to rival the Maersk consortium and is backed by several terminal operators and ocean carriers including COSCO, Evergreen Marine and OOCL.
While almost all platforms sing the tune of ‘open source collaboration’, blockchain often stumbles on the lack of trust and community onboarding that it is supposed to be built on. It did seem unlikely, for example, that CMA CGM would join TradeLens, back in October 2018. Concerns over data ownership and control have led players to go separate ways with blockchain.

Another hurdle to broader acceptance and implementation appears to be missing standards, either within a distributed ledger solution or between different distributed ledger architectures. A keen mover of digital technologies in freight forwarding and logistics, Panalpina joined the Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) in May 2018 to engage with standard setting and collaboration in the industry.

“Panalpina is not a blockchain evangelist, but we have a rational and realistic approach towards the technology,” says Luca Graf, head of Digital Innovation at Panalpina. “Blockchain is only one part of a larger vision that requires the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart contracts to exploit the full potential for end-to-end supply chains, with beneficial effects on costs and time.”

Practical use cases

Panalpina takes a practical approach to blockchain, seeing its promise in optimizing supply chains and making them more efficient. In its ongoing journey to realize the tangible benefits of blockchain, Panalpina has defined eight supply chain use cases for blockchain grouped into four fields of work:

(I) Workflow efficiency

1. Ocean freight core processes: Fully digitize ocean freight order and execution processes. Share documents in blockchain and apply smart contracts.

2. Ocean freight electronic bill of lading (eB/L): Digitize parts of ocean freight order and execution processes. Start with eB/L. Similar to the above but smaller in scope.

3. Captives: Standardize (re)insurance processes between the entities of a company and apply smart contracts in blockchain.

(II) Provenance and authenticity

4. Perishables: Digitize data flow in perishables chain and store product (provenance) and transport information (cold chain) in blockchain. Apply smart contracts.

5. Pharmaceuticals: Store product (authenticity) and transport information (cold chain) in blockchain. Offer full audit trail showing compliance with Good Distribution Practice (GDP).

6. Spare parts: Store spare part serial numbers in blockchain and provide transparency for spare part users (aviation, military, automotive).

(III) Cargo insurance

7. Insurance: Have trusted information on where cargo containers are located. Allow insurance companies to better calculate the risks (e.g. theft or hazard) and offer tailored insurance coverage to shippers.

(IV) Visibility

8. Tracking: Store tracking data of shipments in blockchain and enhance visibility for shippers.

Panalpina blockchain pilots in Air and Ocean Freight: digitize, store, share and optimize

Of these eight use cases, Panalpina has, after considering business value and implementation complexity, zoomed in on one: the ocean freight electronic bill of lading (eB/L). It has started two blockchain projects with selected customers: one dealing with high-tech industrial goods and the other dealing with office supplies. The aims are similar: to digitize trade documents such as the packing list and the bill of lading, store these documents in a cloud, and use blockchain to realize process improvements and cost savings in the long run.

In both projects, blockchains document the flow of imported goods from Asia to Europe, running in parallel to real shipments, but not interfering with current processes. Running the blockchain projects in parallel to live shipments allows Panalpina and its partners to make in-depth comparisons of current standards and processes, versus what they could be in the near future.

Panalpina has also started a third blockchain project with an IT multinational company, aimed at optimizing air freight shipments from North to South America.

“These early-stage projects are 85 percent about digitization and 15 percent about blockchain ? we are starting to see clear benefits in cost savings through simplified and speedier processes, and lower document courier costs,” explains Cedric Rutishauser, senior venture development manager at the Panalpina Digital Hub. “But the real advantage of blockchain lies in the ‘single source of truth’. Improved data sharing between trade partners creates more transparency, with clear ownership and responsibility for each documented step in the supply chain.”

In the next phase, Panalpina expects to pick up on three other use cases ? pharmaceuticals, spare parts and ocean freight core processes ? to exploit the potential there in the long run.

Cautious pragmatism

Blockchain’s time is still to come. A recent study published in the International Journal of Production Economics shows that senior supply chain managers have mixed perceptions about blockchain, with some skeptical about its benefits and others convinced that it will improve security and transparency in supply chains, and ultimately bring efficiencies and customer benefits.

This study focused on three core areas:

The perceived benefits of blockchain to supply chains,
where disruptions are most likely to occur, and
the challenges to further blockchain diffusion.
The researchers from Cardiff University, together with Panalpina’s global logistics optimization and analytics manager Mihaela Rit, conducted interviews with 14 supply chain experts and used the so-called sense-making approach to gain a deeper understanding of their assumptions, expectations and knowledge about blockchain and its impact on supply chains.

As the blockchain hype wears off, a more sober, cautiously optimistic pragmatism is taking hold. Blockchain will win over its skeptics not with spectacular leaps and bounds, but small, concrete steps that deliver tangible benefits in terms of lower costs and higher efficiency.

One step in this direction is next week’s Swiss Blockchain Hackathon, where Panalpina’s IT developer team will join other hackers in advancing real-world blockchain solutions.

New Panalpina customer portal: bringing the future of digital supply chain management to transport logistic in Munich

This week, Panalpina will present its new customer portal at transport logistic 2019, the world’s leading trade fair for logistics and supply chain management. Collaborative shipment management, fully automated instant quotation as well as lane risk assessment make the portal unique in the industry. Interested customers have the opportunity to test the customer portal in Munich before it will be made available later this year.

Built on an entirely new architecture and technology, the new customer portal marks a big step forward towards a seamless digital supply chain experience at Panalpina.

The following combined features make Panalpina’s customer portal unique in the industry:

Collaborative shipment management
Fully automated instant quotation
Lane risk assessment

Industry-first collaborative shipment management

“The customer portal enables collaborative shipment management that can be adapted to a company’s structure for ultimate customer centricity. This collaborative feature is an industry first. Customers and their external partners can work in remote teams on the platform and bring in their individual expertise at the same time,” explains Karl Weyeneth, CCO at Panalpina. “Our developers have created an intuitive platform in order to make shipping as easy as ordering a pair of shoes online.”

Instant quotes thanks to smart algorithms

With the portal, Panalpina can provide market-proven instant quotes that are based on historical selling prices. The customer portal’s smart algorithms calculate prices in seconds, no matter how complex a shipment is. This translates into unmatched planning reliability for Panalpina’s customers, especially in combination with the additional feature of lane risk assessment, which we are also bringing into the customer portal.

Lane risk assessment for healthcare customers

Panalpina offers lane risk assessments based on a wealth of data covering carrier capabilities, agent certifications, transport modes and warehouse facilities. This enables customers from the pharmaceutical industry to more effectively qualify suppliers and assess risks during shipment planning and then choose between qualified suppliers for their temperature-sensitive and often high-value products.

Real-time shipment visibility and analytics

Panalpina’s customer portal allows customers to explore shipment options, as well as control risks and costs even months before a shipment. Transparency is maintained when the shipment takes place, as customers can see all their shipments and relevant data at a glance and in real time on the platform.

Since the analysis of a shipment is just as important as the planning, Panalpina has also integrated a new analytics function that allows customers to pull tailored reports directly from the portal.

A unique platform with even more to come

“The quoting and shipment-visibility capabilities of the new portal are hitting the core of today’s demands. Add collaboration and lane risk assessment capabilities to that, and you have a unique platform. Furthermore, we are already working on additional features such as machine learning for quotation, a sophisticated chatbot and big data analysis,”comments Weyeneth. Ultimately, the customer portal will help Panalpina’s customers to better manage and optimize their supply chains in the digital era.

So far, Panalpina has given selected customers access to the new customer portal. In Munich, Germany, interested shippers and other parties now have the opportunity to experience the customer portal in a demo environment at Panalpina’s booth (hall B4, stand 301/402) before it will be made available later this year.

A sneak peek of the new customer portal can be found at

About Panalpina

The Panalpina Group is one of the world's leading providers of supply chain solutions. The company combines its core products ? Air Freight, Ocean Freight, and Logistics and Manufacturing ? to deliver globally integrated, tailor-made end-to-end solutions for 12 core industries. Drawing on in-depth industry know-how and customized IT systems, Panalpina manages the needs of its customers' supply chains, no matter how demanding they might be. Project Solutions is a specialized service for the energy and capital projects sector. The Panalpina Group operates a global network with some 500 offices in around 70 countries, and it works with partner companies in another 100 countries. Panalpina employs approximately 14,500 people worldwide who deliver a comprehensive service to the highest quality standards ? wherever and whenever.

Kuehne + Nagel successfully issues two inaugural bonds for a total of CHF 400 million

CHF 200 million with a fixed coupon of 0.02% and a tenorof 3 years 5 months
CHF 200 million with a fixed coupon of 0.20% and a tenorof 6 years

In the ordinary course of financing Kuehne + Nagel International AG today issued two inaugural bonds.The proceeds of both bonds will be used for general corporate purposes.

The first bond has a fixed coupon of 0.02% and a tenor of 3 years 5 months, maturing on November 18, 2022. The second bond has a fixed coupon of 0.20% and a tenor of 6 years, maturing on June 18, 2025.

"These bond issues allow Kuehne + Nagel to benefit from the current attractive interest rates and to optimise the financing structure while enhancing our strategic flexibility. We see it as an additional opportunity to engage with the Swiss Capital Market to support our strategy", says Markus Blanka-Graff, CFO Kuehne + Nagel International AG.

Panalpina developers tackle traceability in pharma product supply chains at blockchain hackathon

A team of Panalpina IT developers from Basel and Lisbon will take a crack at creating solutions for better traceability and authentication within pharma product supply chains. They will take up the challenge to advance real-world blockchain solutions and join other competing teams at the Swiss Blockchain Hackathon being held from June 21 to 23, 2019 at the Trust Square blockchain hub in Zurich.

The largest blockchain hackathon in Switzerland aims to turn the promise of blockchain into tangible business applications across seven industry verticals: agriculture and food, e-government and public services, finance, intelligent parcels, mobility, sports and supply chain.

The organizers have worked to get major corporations, academic institutions and partners such as Amazon Web Services and PwC on board. Some 200 developers, creators and inventors are expected to attend this three-day event dedicated to turning blockchain into real-world solutions in diverse business fields.

As one of the supporting partners (together with Accenture, Cargolux, GS1 and Smart Containers) in the supply chain vertical, Panalpina has jointly defined the central challenge towards more efficient supply chains as one of traceability, interoperability and authentication ? focusing on how to combine blockchain solutions and different standards to unlock value in collaborative ecosystems.

In addition, Panalpina has, together with Cargolux, defined one of three supply chain challenges to be solved during the hackathon: to create a solution that ensures traceability and authentication of unique products within the pharma supply chain. As part of this challenge, Panalpina’s five-member IT developer team will code and hack to enable disparate applications to create and share visible event data, both within and across enterprises.

The other two challenges in the supply chain vertical center on:

Creating a common application programming interface (API) to connect different blockchain technologies to enable standardized data exchange, and
Creating solutions to guarantee traceability and authentication within a public blockchain while maintaining confidential product information.
“Panalpina and its hacker team are looking forward to the hands-on challenge and learning experience, leading to innovative solutions that use blockchain in real-world supply chain applications,” says Luca Graf, head of Digital Innovation at Panalpina. “Good luck to all participating teams at the Swiss Blockchain Hackathon.”

Consolidated shipments now faster from China to Europe with Panalpina’s direct rail service

How would a fashion store in Europe ensure that it gets diverse goods from everyday apparel made in Shanghai to sports shoes made in Beijing in a fast and cost-efficient way? Panalpina’s brand new high-speed rail cargo service from China to Europe is proving to be a fast, economical and reliable version of a modern Shanghai express.

Panalpina has launched a high-speed rail Less than Container Load (LCL) service direct from Shanghai, China to Duesseldorf, Germany, with weekly guaranteed departure. This is the third line in Panalpina’s rail cargo portfolio, alongside Shanghai-Warsaw, which started in 2016, and Shenzhen-Warsaw, which followed in 2017.

The first two 40-foot high containers were consolidated in Shanghai in mid-March and chugged their way to Duisburg. The journey took 18 days and covered 9,000 km, moving through Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and Poland. Upon reaching Duisburg, the goods were transferred to the deconsolidation point in Duesseldorf and then distributed straight to the customers’ doorsteps.

The bulk of rail shipments from Asia to Europe are for industries such as automotive, consumer and retail, fashion, hi-tech, manufacturing and telecom. Most of the products are destined for Germany, the largest market, but deliveries also go to the surrounding countries: Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland and sometimes stretch even further to the UK, Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

Panalpina’s Shanghai-Duesseldorf line runs as a weekly cargo service filling two 40-foot high containers. The Shanghai-Warsaw line currently handles six to seven 40-foot high containers a week, while the Shenzhen-Warsaw line handles one to two a week.

“The high-speed service direct from Shanghai to Duesseldorf is an unbeatable way to enable quick, end-to-end, door-to-door deliveries for customers,” says Slawomir Krzyskow, Panalpina’s regional overland manager, rail services Europe. “As Panalpina manages and controls all operations on both ends, their cargo is always safe in good hands, starting with the pick-up from almost any place in China and consolidation in Shanghai, and right through via rail to Duesseldorf for deconsolidation and last-mile delivery across Europe. Panalpina built its rail services with trusted partners who are able to guarantee reliable service and high punctuality.”

Newport Cargo now legally merged with Panalpina

Newport Cargo has legally merged with Panalpina. The acquisition was completed in August 2018 and it has added tremendous value to Panalpina’s Perishables Network in expertise, customer base and business development.

“I’m very proud of the integration plan and project team,” says Laurent Riesen, Panalpina’s country managing director for Argentina and Uruguay. “They set ambitious deadlines and met them even for critical topics such as legal requirements, system and connectivity continuity. The most telling outcome of this transition and how effectively it was handled is that we retained all of our business during the transition.”

Some other key achievements of the transition include:

New office set up to ensure integration and potential synergies both in the Buenos Aires downtown office and airport office
Miami Perishables LATAM Gateway set up in Panalpina’s network
Strengthened business development in Chile and improved cross-selling for dry cargo throughout the network
“I am honored to have been part of this outstanding integration and merger process. It would not have been possible without all the local and regional teams who supported the effort,” says Riesen.

Frank Hercksen, Panalpina’s regional CEO for the Americas, comments, “As we embark on another perishables acquisition and merger in LATAM, I hope the achievements of the teams in Argentina can serve as inspiration for our teams in Colombia and Ecuador.”