Added value for shippers
Lufthansa has also taken steps, under Gerber’s watch, to make its services more attractive to forwarders and shippers – especially when it comes to high-value pharmaceuticals and other cold-chain commodities.
One of the most significant changes is the expansion of the Lufthansa Cargo Cool Center in Frankfurt, which now has 8,000 square meters of space – up from 4,500 – for storage of cool-chain cargo across various temperature ranges. Many of the upgrades to the facility, first built in 2011, came from collaboration with shippers in the pharma and chemical industries, as well as from IATA via the CEIV-Pharma certification process that was completed last year.
“We’ve gained a great deal of experience in the worldwide transport of sensitive medications,” said Sören Stark, board member for operations at Lufthansa Cargo.
Since the spring of 2017, LH Cargo has also offered a first-of-its-kind “Road Feeder Service Cool” booking option, or “RFS-Cool,” which ensures that temperature-sensitive cargo is actively or passively cooled not just aboard aircraft or in the Cool Center, but also on road service between facilities. Without any extra fees, shipments booked with RFS-Cool are now covered by a reflective film produced exclusively for Lufthansa Cargo, which provides optimum protection against sunlight and high ambient temperature.
In another partnership announced in the fall of 2017, thermal containers from va-Q-tec have been made available worldwide for LH Cargo customers. Dr. Joachim Kuhn, CEO of va-Q-tec, said the passively cooled containers provide five days of temperature stability, under even the most challenging conditions. “This will have a very positive effect on Germany as the fourth-largest pharmaceutical market in the world,” he said, as well as in other Lufthansa Cargo markets in Asia, India, South America and the United States.
To help shippers keep tabs on their goods in transit, Lufthansa Cargo also began offering an optional tracking service in May, called liveSensor. With real-time connectivity, liveSensor can determine where a shipment is and the environmental conditions under which it’s being send, including temperature, humidity and pressure.
LiveSensor also records data, such as alignment, vibration and variations in light, to help determine whether a shipment has been opened, which also serves as protection against theft. LiveSensor is available in 13 European countries, as well as the U.S., and will gradually be rolled out worldwide.
Another innovation that benefits individuals who want to ship large, bulky objects via the carrier is myAirCargo. com. This online booking portal, launched in August 2016, provides instant information on prices and expected crossborder customs fees, if needed.
“We are occupying an innovative niche in the market between postal services and forwarders,” Gerber said of myAirCargo. “Book air cargo quickly and easily online, at first hand – only we can do that.”