These days it’s not enough to just handle general cargo efficiently and be recognized for customer service and performance. One must be able to specialize as well, for goods such as perishables, dangerous goods, pharma, animals and oversized goods.
For the second consecutive year, Air Cargo World asked ACE survey respondents about the top performers in these niche categories, and once again, they chose Lufthansa, which garnered an identical 111-point score (see chart below). Respondents cited the German carrier’s use of 777 freighters to carry oversized goods, as well as its td.Basic next-day service for price-sensitive goods.
More specialization may come soon. Earlier this year, Lufthansa Cargo led a US$10 million Series A financing round for a startup called Fleet, an online freight service that links rates, automates bookings and consolidates digitalized shipping data on a single platform. Lufthansa also had participation from several other investors, such as Hunt Technology Ventures and UPS.
On the airport side, Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International (UIO) was the clear winner, with 123 points for specialty cargo. “From 2014 until December 2017, flower exports cargo has increased by 23.3 percent,” said Andrew O’Brian, president and director general of UIO operator Quiport. “During the 2018 Valentine’s Day season, more than 16,000 tonnes of flowers were exported to the world from the renewed cargo platform,” he said, which can accommodate parking of up to six widebody aircraft at a time.
Other notable specialty-cargo airports included the up-and-coming Oakland (OAK) with an impressive 117 points; Singapore (SIN) with 110 points; Dubai (DXB) with 108 points; and Istanbul (IST) with 105 points.