Charter firms benefit from Calais chaos

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Cargo is loaded on to a freighter

Airfreight charter businesses are reaping the benefits of the ongoing situation at Calais (France) and around the Channel Tunnel.

With thousands of heavy goods vehicles stranded and industrial action at French ports expected to continue, an increasing number of manufacturers and freight forwarders are turning their attention to airfreight, according to industry sources.

Air charter specialist Chapman Freeborn has seen, “a sharp spike in demand”.“The Calais strike last week had the potential to cripple production for many of our UK-based clients because crucial manufacturing parts were caught up in the shut down. This has resulted in an unseasonable surge in demand for both charter and on board courier services,” says Chapman’s cargo business development director, Pierre van der Stichele. “The knock-on effect of the strikes has also been felt by our offices across Europe, particularly our team in Germany which is at the centre of the automotive logistics business.”

Chapman has used freighter aircraft including Antonov AN-12, Antonov AN-26, ATR 72, Boeing 727 Freighter, Dornier Do 228 and Boeing MD-11 Freighters to airlift consignments of time critical cargo to the UK.

Bespoke Distribution Aviation (BDA) has also benefited from the French port chaos. The time critical logistics specialist has more than tripled the number of dedicated charter flights it has provided across Europe over the past month alone.

The majority of these were on behalf of automotive original equipment manufacturers needing to urgently move freight across Europe. “Lots of automotive businesses affected by the disruption are being forced to make last minute changes to their delivery schedules and on demand air services like ours are enabling them to continue to deliver sustained levels of service,” explains BDA group managing director, Kevin Turner.

In addition to the automotive sector, BDA has deployed time critical flights for a range of sectors over the past two months, among them medical and agricultural clients.