Air Cargo Management

Lufthansa Cargo sets out plans to remain ‘fit for the future’

Lufthansa Cargo
photo_camera Credit: Adobe Stock

Lufthansa Cargo has emphasised a number of its ongoing projects aimed at addressing critical developments that are influencing the future of air cargo.

Ashwin Bhat, chief executive of Lufthansa Cargo, said: “We are currently experiencing various upheavals within the airfreight industry. Sustainability, digitalisation and booming online trade are playing a central role.

“In order to be able to master this, we are relying on decisive and dynamic action along with all stakeholders in the industry. This is the only way we can remain fit for the future and live up to our responsibility as one of the world’s leading airfreight companies and enabling global business.”

E-commerce development

Earlier this year, the cargo carrier, together with two subsidiaries – the logistics service provider heyworld and the customs clearance agency CB Customs Broker GmbH – outlined plans to expand the e-commerce business at Frankfurt Airport.

Bhat said: “A decisive success factor for online retailing is the resilience and speed of the supply chain. We want to make Frankfurt a leading location in this segment by offering holistic solutions for shipping, customs clearance, and onward transport of e-commerce shipments.”

In addition, full-service customs agency CB Customs Broker announced a partnership with handling expert GEORGI Handling. To promote e-commerce business in Frankfurt, both companies are creating a new e-commerce terminal in Cargo City South, which will be another important base for the Asian market.

Digital initiatives

In July, Lufthansa Cargo and its customer Kühne+Nagel announced they had succeeded in transporting 100 per cent general cargo by electronic Air Way Bill (eAWB) as well as the digital accompanying documents between Germany and Hong Kong.

This first purely ‘paperless route’ is the starting signal for the introduction of ‘paperless corridors’ for efficient and resource-conscious transports between Europe and Asia.

A sustainable focus

By 2030 at the latest, Lufthansa Cargo says that it wants to halve its carbon footprint compared with 2019 in order to operate CO2-neutral by 2050.

To achieve this, the company is implementing the EU regulation ReFuelEU, a binding quota of renewable fuels for aviation with 2 per cent SAF to be used by 2025, and at least 6 per cent by 2030.

In 2022, the SAF share in the fuel consumption of Lufthansa Cargo freighter aircraft was already 2.1 per cent. In addition to renewable fuels, the company says it is also focusing on continuous fleet modernisation, fuel efficiency, and digitalisation.

Nicole Mies, head of communication and corporate responsibility at Lufthansa Cargo, said: “We see great potential in AI-based applications and have already integrated them into our services. From eBooking to eTracking, we now offer our customers extensive options along the transport chain.

“If we want to sustainably improve the industry’s carbon footprint, we must use every opportunity to further reduce our CO2 emissions.”

Network expansion

Lufthansa Cargo has been serving destinations in the short- and medium-haul segment with A321F freighters for more than a year and placed its third aircraft into service at the end of June.

The carrier says that a fourth freighter will join the fleet in September, and with the A321 fleet doubling in size to four this year, there are new opportunities for capacity and route network expansion, whether in the scheduled or charter business.

Currently, Lufthansa Cargo offers more than 50 weekly flights to 14 destinations. The latest additions to its route network are Casablanca, Yerevan, and Tunis. Further adjustments and extensions to the flight schedule on short- and medium-haul routes associated with the fleet expansion are currently still being planned to connect various economy centres.

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