The Corona crisis has impacted the international airfreight business to quite an extent. This is particularly true for the belly freight sector, where cargo is transported in the belly of passenger aircrafts. Be it fewer flights or no flights at all - capacities and possibilities of pre-planning are significantly limited due to the global pandemic.
How do the air freight specialists at Karl Gross deal with these challenges? Dominik Ruckdeschel reports on this in a short interview.
Dominik Ruckdeschel, what do you currently see as the biggest challenge in the air freight sector?
The current situation is far from being a piece of cake. Air freight business is fast, goods are usually very urgent. We are used to that. We dealt with every inquiry and order individually in order to organize beneficial transport solutions for our customers before the crisis already. That requires flexibility in thinking. In the current situation being flexible is more important than ever.
Do you have an example?
One of our main business areas is handling air freight exports of spare parts deliveries for machinery. This type of freight is what I would call ‘typical belly freight cargo’. In the current situation we increasingly use freighter services, of course. However, this only works if freighters are actually used on the routes and if the connections available are really suitable.
What do you mean by that?
In the end it is a matter of checking exactly which transport options are currently available in the market and if there are options which actually make sense for our customers.
For example, we had a case in which we were asked to handle an air freight shipment and advised the customer to have their freight transported by ocean freight although we could have presented an air freight solution. But that solution would have involved multiple transshipments and the transport would have taken about 3 weeks. That just doesn't make much sense - especially in view of costs.
Of course, we are not talking about a transport that was to take place on a main route, but was rather destined to an 'exotic destination'. But the example illustrates our approach. We advise our customers in an honest manner. And if the conditions, that is, what we can currently do for a customer in air freight, do not seem to us to be beneficial for the customer, then we say so and propose alternatives. That can mean transport solutions by ocean freight, but also by rail.
We check if what we can currently work out is beneficial for the customer. If are not convinced, we say so and propose alternatives.