CHEP Aerospace Solutions has signed a contact to manage unit load devices (ULD) with new UK cargo carrier CargoLogicAir.
The firm’s president, Ludwig Bertsch tells Air Cargo Week it is just the start: “As I speak, we are negotiating a new ULD management contract, which will introduce our second largest partner after Cathay Pacific. We cannot reveal the name yet, but are very excited and hope to be able to conclude the contract negotiations successfully within the next couple of weeks.
“We are also in advanced discussions for a ULD management agreement with another prospective partner and hope to be able to announce this shortly too.”
CHEP has also renewed several key ULD management agreements with European airlines, and believes customer retention is just as important as winning new customers.
Bertsch says: “Our global presence allows us to serve all airlines regardless of their location, but as most widebody operators are in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Americas, we’re focusing our efforts on these areas.”
CHEP expects 2016 to be a success and is aiming to expand its ULD repair and management network and add more airlines to the 31 it now has ULD partnerships with.
Bertsch explains it is focusing on larger network carriers and cargo airlines – as they have widebody aircraft with a significant container and pallet demand, but it also has several leisure carriers in our portfolio.
“For low-cost airlines operating narrowbody aircraft, we can add value via our galley cart global maintenance and repair network. This enables us to provide savings on the repositioning costs of damaged units and reduces repair turnaround times,” Bertsch says.
This year marks an important milestone in CHEP’s sustainability commitment as it has now converted all its LD3 passenger airline containers to lightweight models weighing 65 kilograms or less. A carrier operating with 1,000 containers can expect an annual fuel saving of around $2 million, even with the record low fuel prices, alongside 13,000 tonnes of CO2 savings.
A key highlight in 2015 for CHEP was starting with Cathay Pacific, and Bertsch says the carrier is reaping the rewards: “This new partnership has significantly increased our ULD pool, which will soon be in excess of 90,000 units. We are managing Cathay’s ULDs as a dedicated fleet whilst using our pooled pallets to fulfill their cargo requirements.
“Additionally, to ensure we provide the best possible service, we have set up a dedicated account management team in Hong Kong, based at the Cathay Pacific Terminal.”
In 2015, it opened ULD management operation centres at London and Chicago O’Hare and moved to a larger repair facility in Singapore to meet the demand of Singapore Airlines. CHEP also boosted its facility at Brussels and this year will move to a new station in Frankfurt within the next few months.
Bertsch says contracts wins and renewals will be unveiled at the International Air Transport Association’s World Cargo Symposium in Berlin from 15-17 March.