Rhenus targets air cargo in France

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German freight forwarder Rhenus has moved to grow its European air cargo operations in recent times and earlier this year its French division was awarded cargo agent accreditation by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

According to the forwarder, it recently enjoyed a boost in demand for its air cargo handling services, and the certification will help it to grow this aspect of its business further.

“We are very pleased we have been granted the IATA accreditation, which will allow us to have direct contracts with airlines and handle airfreight shipments via France, instead of having to use our airfreight hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol,” says chief executive officer for air & ocean in Europe, Jörn Schmersah.

“France has now joined our European network, which will allow us to grow even further with comprehensive European coverage,” Schmersahl notes, adding: “We will be opening new offices in France and have hired additional dedicated staff in preparation for the rapid growth expectations.“

Certainly, Rhenus is exploiting the general surge in airfreight demand that the industry has welcomed in recent months. “There has been a significant pick-up in the last few months, specifically for exports out of Europe,” Schmersahl explains.

“In the last quarter of 2016, we saw a huge peak in shipments from Asia which is in line with global market and economic developments. In Europe, we do see a capacity problem as a result of the rate of exchange of the Euro which results in more export shipments.

“This is especially visible in Germany. Therefore, some lines are under pressure. However, another positive are the low kerosene prices.”

He is also predicting better times again this year. “We expect that the positive trend will continue and further growth is expected. Geographically, central China and India are becoming more and more important.

“Moreover, growth will be visible in temperature-controlled and pharma shipments. Furthermore, we expect a rising demand for high quality and luxury products from Europe, especially in China, as well as more seasonal flights. Concerning the Arab states, we expect an ongoing demand for heavy-sized parts for the oil and gas industry,” Schmersahl says.