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Category Archives: SMA Worldwide Ltd

Introducing Palletways ID

Palletways ID

Palletways has launched a world-first for the global logistics industry – a technological innovation that takes operational efficiency and health and safety within pallet-focused environments to new levels.

The innovation, called Palletways ID, the world’s most sophisticated forklift truck-mounted sensor technology, is set to make existing stand-alone pallet assessment and measuring technology obsolete, as it combines four key data measurements in one go.

This technology identifies a pallet through imaging and barcode scanning, while delivering pinpoint accurate weight measurements as the pallet is being moved, and for the first time, cubes its dimensions in seconds again while the FLT is in motion.

Initially born from the operational need to capture and harness accurate data on individual pallets instantly and on the go, Palletways ID – the result of two years of research & development – also delivers greater than ever real-time information for health and safety.

Announcing the new technology at the Palletways UK Conference held at Silverstone, attended by the company’s growing membership, Rob Gittins, Managing Director of Palletways UK, said:

“This is not simply a first for pallet networks, but a first for the whole logistics industry. This doesn’t just build on current technology, which involves stationary measurement tools such as cubing boxes and finger scanners. It effectively makes them obsolete.”

In essence, the Palletways ID technology delivers four key operational components in one and uniquely does so while the forklift truck operator is going about his/her regular warehouse duties:

  • Takes images of the pallet, which are used later to confirm condition and to provide traceability
  • Barcode scanning from anywhere on the front face of the pallet. No more getting off the FLT to manually scan the barcode, providing greater than ever efficiency, accuracy and safety
  • Accurate recording of the pallet’s weight as the FLT moves it from one location to another – doing away with the need to set the pallet on static scales.
  • Cubing/dimensioning – again, this takes place as the pallet is being moved without interrupting the flow of the process, something that would be impossible to do to every pallet using standard cubing technology.

Rob continues:

“Our technology’s ability to effectively combine these four processes into one and capture instantly while on the move is a world first and a giant leap forward for logistics safety and efficiency.

Health and safety is our number one priority. The accurate weight and size data gathered by Palletways ID on every single pallet sent through the network means that any potential safety issues can be flagged at source before they arise and acted upon to prevent an incident before it happens.”

Richard Miller, UK Head of IT at Palletways UK, adds:

“Crucially, the tech places into the hands of drivers all the information they need to safely deliver on a tail lift. With Palletways ID gathering the data on every single pallet, flags can be raised to ensure oversized, heavy or dangerous pallets are removed from the operation and rectified before reaching the lorry.

We are tackling the age-old problem of how to improve efficiency and data quality but without hindering overall performance. You cannot buy time, you have to try and make it, and Palletways ID is the first technology in our sector to do this by taking four key data measurements in real time and in one swift FLT movement.”

Palletways ID will be rolled out in the UK and across all Palletways European hubs over the next eight months.

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Air Freight Update

(Updated June 29, 2020)



  • Canada has closed its borders to non-essential travel. Only four Canadian airports are accepting international flights.
  • Latin America: Argentina and Colombia have banned international flights until Sept 2020, Chile has closed border to all foreigners starting on March 18, Peru has declared a state of emergency and closed borders starting on March 16. Brazil has sealed its borders to nine neighbouring countries.
  • North America : US passenger travel restrictions from Europe including the UK and Ireland are still in place. The US closed its border to non-essential travel with Mexico starting on March 21. The US implemented a travel ban between Brazil and the US on May 28.

Cargo Impact – North Americas

  • North Americas-Europe: Significant passenger flight cargo capacity reductions remain, compensated partially by “passenger freighters” and some newly added passenger flights.  Freighter operations remain stable and space on the trade lane is available with some constraints and reductions in frequencies.
  • North America-Asia: Capacity to main Asian hubs is mostly available as freighter schedules from the US are stable.  Passenger operations are still limited, however. We see continued constraints from Asian transit hubs to secondary destinations due to reduction in intra-Asian passenger flight operations.
  • North America- Middle East and Indian subcontinent: There are significant passenger flight cargo capacity reductions that are partially compensated for by “passenger freighters and some newly added passenger flights.

Cargo Impact – Latin America

  • Latin America-Asia: Significant capacity reductions. In-transit though the US also subject to the same constraints as Asia-Americas trades.
  • Latin-America-USA: Capacity has stabilized but is decreased compared to last year. There has been significant passenger capacity reduction, but added cargo capacity via freighters and “ghost flights.”
  • Intra-Latin America: Significant capacity restrictions, because of passenger flight reductions. Broad travel restrictions are reducing capacity to freighters only, mostly served through Miami.
  • Avianca and LATAM filed for bankruptcy protection. These moves are not expected to affect the carriers’ flight operations in the near-term.

Asia Pacific


  • Australasia: Australia and New Zealand have announced that borders are closed to all visitors from March 20.
  • China: New restrictions in China restrict Chinese airline carriers to only flying 1 route per week to/from China to all other countries. Foreign carriers may only fly to China once a week, irrespective of the origin point.
  • East Asia: Hong Kong imposed self-isolation requirements for all visitors for 14 days starting on March 19, and is considering mandatory quarantine for all new arrivals. Taiwan has banned entry for most foreigners, and is requiring two weeks of self-isolation for all arrivals.
  • India: The lock down in India has been extended until June 30th, with a continued ban on all international commercial (passenger flights) into India. Airlines have been operating passenger to charter or “ghost flights” for cargo. There are capacity constraints into the US, EU, and FE.
  • Pakistan: International passenger flights were suspended on March 24 as all provinces went into government-mandated lockdown.
  • Southeast Asia: Significant capacity constraints on already squeezed intra-Asian trade lanes, due to a number of new restrictions in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Singapore announced that as of March 22, short-term visitors and transits through Singapore would be halted. Malaysia has extended its lockdown and air border closure to visitors through April 14. Vietnam announced on March 21 that it would halt inbound international flights, and Thailand closed all sea, air and land borders on March 25.

Cargo Impact:

  • Declines on all Asia routes: Wide-body capacity decreases have taken place across all routes to and from Asia-Pacific, according to Seabury.
  • Declines at all key cargo airports: All major Asian airports are showing declines in cargo capacity. Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing show the largest declines in cargo capacity.
  • Continued pressure on China outbound and inbound, but with some signs of recovery: Outbound air freight capacity is under tremendous pressure among all mainland China export markets as production resumes and passenger flight cancellations are sustained. A trend of ocean-to-air conversions exacerbates pressure on capacity outbound China. However, more freighters are entering the market.
  • Customers may want to explore alternative transport models (Sea/Air option or Cross-border truck).
  • Inbound capacity constraints from Europe, the Americas and the Middle East continue as all regions have reduced passenger operations to China.
  • Unprecedented rate surge on intra-Asian lanes: Massive capacity reduction resulting from passenger flight and freighter cancellations. Air freight rates on Intra-Asia lanes are extremely high, volatile and have been increasing rapidly, which are in turn constraining the long-haul export capacity to both Europe and US.
  • Hong Kong: Intra-Asia lanes are experiencing heavy congestion from South China, but the export market from Hong Kong to Europe and US is picking up gradually. We have seen a sharp increase in rates to both Europe and US triggered by new entry restrictions; charter rates have surged.



  • From March 17 for at least 30 days, the EU has closed off 26 countries – with a combined population of more than 400 million people – to nearly all visitors from the rest of the world.
  • Turkey: Turkey has halted international passenger flights as of March 27, with exceptions for only five routes.  
  • Russia: Russia closed all borders as of March 30.

Cargo Impact:

  • Cargo-only “passenger” flights compensate for a small portion of lost belly capacity. As per Seabury’s latest report, more than 20 carriers have announced cargo-only flights with passenger aircraft; but even if all passenger flights only carried cargo, their current belly capacity would still be 75% lower than it was in January
  • Europe – US: Capacity shortages and considerable increases to spot price rates. Space available with constraints.
  • Europe – China: Significant capacity constraints and surge in rates.
  • Europe – South East Asia: Significant capacity constraints in Europe- South East Asia trades due to the reduction in passenger flights. Rates are soaring.
  • Europe-Middle East: Significant capacity constraints and high rates. 

Middle East & Africa


  • Arabian Gulf and the Levant: Scheduled Passenger flights with minimum capacity will resume operation in some of the GCC and Levant countries.  UAE, Qatar and Turkey have already started mid-June, while Lebanon and Oman are expected to resume commercial international flights on1  July. Saudi Arabia have resumed domestic flights but have yet to make any official announcement on the resumption of international flights.
  • Iraq: Basra airport operations, for both cargo and passengers, will be on hold until March 25. Baghdad airport operations, for both cargo and passengers, will be on hold until March 25. Najaf airport is closed. Iraq has also partially stopped truck movements at certain border crossings with Turkey.
  • North Africa: Egypt will resume Passenger flights on 1 July, whilst  Morocco has already opened its borders with neighboring countries and started a few scheduled flights to France, Switzerland and Canada. 
  • Southern Africa: Domestic flights resumed in South Africa while there is no news yet on when the airport will open for International passenger flights.  Angola and Mozambique are still restricting passenger flights.  “Essential items” of food, cleaning and hygiene products, and medical supplies are being moved by air freight are given priority over other products.
  • West Africa: Ghana has closed all borders starting March 23, Nigeria closed all borders starting March 23.
  • East Africa: Kenya announced that they will resume international passenger flights on 15 July.  Uganda closed its border as of March 23. Rwanda has also closed its borders to all passenger flights. For both countries, cargo services will continue as normal.

Cargo Impact:

  • Carriers are operating scheduled freighters, but cargo is also moving on an adhoc / unscheduled freighter or charter basis.  
  • Some passenger aircraft from the region’s largest carriers are now being converted into temporary freighters; flying with no passengers on board but with cargo in the hold.
  • Committed capacity can no longer be guaranteed; suspension of all contractual rates and tariffs
  • Rates for charters have doubled
  • Air freight rates have reached unprecedented levels.



  • Airline Cargo Operations Status: IATA has added an Airlines Cargo Operations Status page that offers status updates for nearly all of the world’s cargo carriers. On the page, which is searchable by carrier, operations are classified as Normal, Pending Information, Status Suspended, Some Service Impact, and Unknown.
  • IATA Issues New Guidelines for Safe Transport of Cargo in Passenger Cabins: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has issued new guidelines for the safe transport of cargo in the cabins of passenger aircraft. Airlines around the world have been using their widebody aircraft for cargo-only flights that use belly space to move air shipments. Now some wish to use passenger cabins to carry additional air freight. IATA’s guidelines include recommendations and a detailed safety risk assessment for carriers. A letter about the new guidelines from IATA’s CargoIS team is here.
  • Air Cargo Impact Report: IATA release a second COVID-19 Air Cargo Impact report, focusing on market dynamics in mainland China and offering analysis of Hong Kong, Germany, the US and other key cargo markets. (April 24)
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COVID-19 Customer Update for SMA Worldwide and SMA Pallets

Dear Customer,

Like everyone else we have been keeping up to date on the developments.

In partnership with all of our members we have made numerous developments that will help minimise disruption to our services while at the same time placing utmost importance on protecting staff, suppliers, customers and the greater public. These actions are based on medical and government advice and are designed with your safety in mind.

Some of the measures we have taken include:

Reducing contact at the delivery point.

o Change of procedure regarding on-screen signature capture

                § This will now be signed on a piece of paper owned by the recipient and photographed by the driver to be included in consignment notes

o Limiting contact between drivers and hub/warehouse staff

Ensuring continuity at SMA hubs and protecting our staff

o Those staff who are able to will now work from home to reduce the number of people at our sites

o For operational functions where this is not possible, contingencies such as splitting shifts within departments are being implemented to ensure key roles can continue to be carried out

o Rigid hygiene procedures have also been implemented throughout the network

o This allows us to minimise disruption while also ensuring we focus on the health and safety of our employees

Currently Covid19 has not impacted our service offering. Operations continue as normal domestically but with additional measures implemented to help continue this service, protect staff and customers and ensure that essential supply chains across the country remain operational.

International services will be affected due to many countries closing their borders but we will keep you updated with these developments

We thank all of our customers for their support during these unprecedented times and we will send you regular updates to ensure you are kept informed of any developments.

Should you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact your local depot. You can also find more information and government advice on Covid19 here

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Investment gains pace at SMA Worldwide

SMA Worldwide has invested in expanding its fleet to meet the growing demand for freight services across the country and worldwide.

SMA is a member of Palletways, Europe’s largest and fastest growing express palletised freight network. The company has taken delivery of new trucks, in the new company livery, to support its work across the Palletways network. It has also added two double deck trailers, an urban trailer and new vans to the fleet as part of the £100,000+ investment programme.

Dr Attia, chairman at SMA Worldwide, said: “Continually investing in the best equipment and latest technology to maintain and improve our service is paramount to the business, to deliver the best possible service to our customers at home and abroad.  These additions mean we can extend our collection and delivery window for our customers.”

Palletways UK Managing Director, adds: “The Palletways network is growing all the time. It continues to go from strength to strength because of companies like SMA Worldwide who invest in their fleet and deliver customer service excellence.”

Founded in 1982, SMA Worldwide offers a range of logistics, courier and warehousing services. It specialises in worldwide air and sea freight, to all countries and major cities around the globe, as well as secure storage, warehousing, single and multi-pallet distribution, offering a complete logistics and pallet delivery solution across Europe and the UK.  Customers include leading retailers Selfridges and Harrods and the newly awarded University College London account.

SMA is a Platinum Club member of the Palletways network – which recognises those members who attain the very highest service standards. They also now offer their customers the latest new Palletways feature service – ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival). ETA notifies customers of two-hour delivery time slots and consignment contents, which significantly enhances customer service.

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National Business Awards Finalist


SMA Worldwide has been shortlisted for the QBE Insurance New Exporter of the Year category for the 2016 Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

SMA Worldwide are able to offer clients a highly attractive and alternative solution to their logistic requirements. In doing so, we built a company that is truly “Client-centric” with a personal approach and bespoke service long since lost by the Integrators. We have also invested in the development of cutting edge software that simply cannot be matched for the service that it provides and its ease of use. The combination of traditional personal service and state of the art IT has proven a huge success and will continue to improve as we move into our 17th year of dedicated service.

Dr Sam Attia, Chairman, said:
“When I heard our company was a finalist in these prestigious awards, I immediately congratulated my team for their great work that has led to SMA Worldwide to be shortlisted.
It is a testament to my team’s dedication and passion. This nomination is a true honour and will strengthen our brand, along with boosting our international and UK clients trust in our products and services. This will help to inspire and drive our team to expand and develop even further over the coming years, and increase our work with the UKTI and the ‘Exporting is Great’ campaign.”

The finalists were chosen from the hundreds of businesses that entered or were nominated across 18 award categories. They will now prepare for live presentations to an expert judging panel who will decide the overall winners.

Described as “the Oscars of great British business” by David Cameron, former Prime Minister, this year’s prestigious award ceremony will take place on Tuesday 15th November, at the Grosvenor House, Park Lane, where the winners will be revealed.

For the first time, Conor McGinn MP recently hosted a reception for the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards at the House of Commons. This enabled finalists to meet fellow entrants, the National Business Awards Advisory Board members, judges (who they presented to in September) and sponsors of each category.

Tom Broughton, Group Brand Director of the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards said: “Due to the high number of entries for this years’ awards, narrowing the entries down to 140 finalists was a difficult task. But through a thorough and comprehensive judging process, the selected finalists demonstrate exceptional quality and diversity across a range of business sectors within the UK. We are now looking forward to the next step of the process and meeting some of the finalists face-to-face.”

Thank you to all our customers and their years of loyalty for getting us to the position we are in now.

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Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme


The Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS) is a voluntary scheme for fleet operators. Its purpose is to raise the level of quality within fleet operations, and to demonstrate which operators are accomplishing its high standards.


FORS encourages operators to take a closer look at themselves and identify areas of strength to be exploited and areas for improvement to be addressed. A successful bronze assessment provides an operator with reassurance that their operation is being run safely, efficiently and in an environmentally sound manner. The FORS logo allows potential customers to readily distinguish FORS operators from other operators. Users of fleet operator services may ask that their suppliers are FORS recognised.


There are four key areas to this standard:

  • Management
  • Vehicles
  • Drivers
  • Operations


Within each section below there are several pieces of information:

  • Requirement
  • Purpose
  • Demonstration
  • Support and Guidance


Requirements are primarily based around:

  • Legal compliance
  • Safety
  • Efficiency
  • Environmental protection.



“SMA Worldwide Ltd are proud to be FORS Accredited. It gives us the perfect platform to monitor, manage and improve our efficiency and service excellence. It is part of the best practice culture we want to put in place across our Organisation.” said Alex Stewart, Operations Supervisor at SMA.

003763 FORS bronze logo (1)

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