Takeoff Cargo: freight forwarder charter operations should continue
Image: Steve Polmans, President, TIACA. Live at TakeOff Cargo
Freight forwarding charter operations are expected to continue to major airport hubs as part of efforts to ensure the stability of the service.
Speaking at the Takeoff Cargo event, which takes place this week, industry leaders discussed developments in the air cargo market.
In a discussion moderated by Steven Polmans, Chairman of TIACA, Joachim von Winning, Executive Director of Air Cargo Community Frankfurt at Frankfurt Airport, said freight forwarders have launched freight charter services to major hubs in response to the loss of passenger operations.
While he expects long-haul cargo hold services to return and therefore volumes to increase at all airports, rather than large freight hubs, he said freight forwarders may well wish to continue operating. charter operations to the main hubs.
Von Winning said: “We have noticed that freight forwarders have started chartering full cargo ships and they will consolidate them at major freight airports.”
He added: “What I personally believe is that some freight forwarders will continue to have major routes on which they operate full freight charter services to give their customers stability in terms of schedules and available capacity.
“I think we will see these full cargo charters at major hubs as long-haul passenger capacity returns at mid-sized airports, such as Brussels and Zurich.”
Wilfred D’Souza, head of freight scheduling and planning at Emirates SkyCargo, said the airline has consolidated its freight operations at major hubs as preighter operations move to regional airports.
“We had our Boeing 777-300, which has a huge cargo capacity,” he said. “We have deployed these planes as airliners to regional airports. “
He added: “We have also consolidated our routes for our cargo planes, so that they serve the main airports. “
Yet he observed that “full cargo ships cannot compete” with the loss of cargo hold capacity since the pandemic, because “firstly, there aren’t enough full cargo ships, and we can’t fit them either. quickly in the fleet. In such cases, it is the passenger planes that could really help the current situation. “
Joao Pita, head of airline operations at Brazilian airport GRU, said large airports such as Sao Paulo and Miami are consolidating demand, but smaller markets need to be served by smaller capacity aircraft due to their handling resources and hub storage space for aircraft and cargo.
Closing the panel, moderator Polmans said “if there’s one thing the pandemic has taught us, it’s that the air cargo industry is very nimble and creative when looking for solutions”.