Air France-KLM opened what it is calling “the world’s first” combination-carrier-operated sorting system capable of handling package-level freight. Air France-KLM has pursued a number of cargo strategies over the years with limited success, however this new strategy suggests that the carrier’s ambitions are still intact.
The new facility “allows us to keep pace with the rapid increase in post and express consignments,” said Marcel de Nooijer, executive vice president of KLM Cargo. “The system is faster and smarter, allowing us to offer better service to our customers,” adding that “e-commerce is a fast-growing branch in the cargo industry.”
The package facility also dovetails with 12Send, a new intra-Europe same-day delivery service launched in cooperation with Netherlands-based Parcel International. The service is part of an effort by Air France-KLM to utilize more of its bellyhold capacity, especially on its extensive European network.
An initial pilot program for same-day service was launched on KLM routes between Amsterdam (AMS) and Barcelona (BCN) in October.
Judging by the pictures, the new facility is quite similar (if on a smaller scale) to some of the integrator hubs. With combination carriers reaching for a larger share of growing e-commerce volumes, this latest development could put Air France-KLM ahead of the pack.
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