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Forwarders add new freighter services as capacity tightens

2020-03-30 Source: Jctrans

Major logistics providers are boosting their air cargo charter services as growing demand for air freight capacity clashes with massive cuts in bellyhold cargo capacity


International freight forwarders are boosting their air cargo charter services as growing demand for air freight capacity clashes with massive cuts in bellyhold cargo capacity, with transatlantic capacity and capacity ex-China in particularly high demand. 

DSV Panalpina is modifying and extending its ‘Dixie’ air charter service between Luxembourg and Huntsville, Tennessee in response to the cancellation of passenger flights in the wake of the coronavirus. From 1 April, it will serve Atlanta, Mexico City, New York and Chicago from Luxembourg, Liège and Brussels, with Huntsville being discontinued temporarily.

The European group said the new schedules are subject to change and vary from daily, three-times weekly and weekly depending on the route. Flights will resume to Huntsville on 1 May with the schedule to be announced in April.

DB Schenker said the recent cuts in passenger services meant that customers were now relying on “pure passenger cargo flights from airlines”, as well as conventional freighter capacity, to transport the most critical goods between countries.

Meanwhile, it said demand for capacity on freighter aircraft had “reached the highest demand levels, especially out of China with increasing demand”. 

The company said it had has put a flight operation schedule in place for a consolidated charter on the Europe-India-Europe route with connections from and to the US via Europe. It is already operating a programme of scheduled freighter charter flights that includes Europe-China-Europe, three-times weekly flights with B747-400F aircraft;  Hong Kong-Europe, twice-weekly flights with B747-400F; China-US three-times weekly flights with B747-400F; and Europe-US-Europe three-times weekly flights with MD-11F and B747-400F aircraft.

Further flights are being evaluated to increase the coverage of alternative capacity solutions, it added.

Dachser adds transatlantic capacity

Also responding to the supply chain disruption brought on by Covid-19, Dachser Air & Sea Logistics has introduced the latest addition to its charter flight rotation with a direct Chicago-Frankfurt-Chicago route, which started on 20 March. 

It noted: “Covid-19 continues to have a serious impact on supply chain fluidity and air freight capacity. Dachser is proactively addressing the needs of the marketplace by chartering 747s and adding them into its premium charter flight service rotation with this Chicago-Frankfurt-Chicago route. 

Prior to introducing this new service, “in anticipation of ongoing air freight capacity challenges”, Dachser, said it had recently expanded its premium charter flight service by introducing several new charter flights, primarily focusing on direct routes to and from Frankfurt and Asia. 

Dachser said its European customers, “during these volatile and unpredictable times, have been requesting a direct charter flight to the United States for their time-sensitive cargo. This Chicago-Frankfurt-Chicago route addresses that need and allows swift movement of cargo between the US and Europe.” 

Timo Stroh, head of global air freight, commented: “Today, the marketplace demands reliability and agility. Dachser aims to anticipate the needs of its customers and be one step ahead by offering timely, intelligent and flexible solutions. We plan to continue to expand our premium air service as the needs within the air freight market continue to grow. 

“With this new Chicago-Frankfurt-Chicago service, our Americas-based customers interested in efficiently connecting with Asia can leverage our expanded charter flight rotation that features additional routes in and out of China, Hong Kong and South Korea. For those customers looking to do business in Europe, we offer an unmatched European road network that essentially creates a connection to the entire continent when dispatching out of Frankfurt.” 

Meanwhile, DHL Aviation has launched of a weekday round-trip B767 freighter service between Brussels and Miami, effective 24 March, to compensate for the cancellation of commercial flights from the EU serving the destination. DHL Aviation is also studying the introduction of more African destinations in addition to its Brussels-Lagos service.

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