Europe to Asia proving very strong for Finnair Cargo

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Finnair Airbus A350XWB in Oneworld livery

Cargo revenue at Finnair was up 16.1 per cent between April and June helped in particular by movements between Europe and Asia, David Craik writes.

“Market capacity continues to increase but supply and demand are more balanced than previously, leading to higher cargo load factors and yields,” the report said.

Finnair Cargo managing director, Janne Tarvainen says: “We have added more widebody belly capacity with the Airbus A350 and we have our dedicated freighter service focused on pharmaceuticals to Brussels. The market is much, much better than it was last year when it was really difficult for everybody.”

Finnair Cargo managing director, Janne Tarvainen

Tarvainen says Helsinki’s geographical position gives it an advantage for Europe to Asia freight movements.

“Everything is growing on these routes particularly special loads such as perishables and sea food,” he states.

“The salmon from North Norway is particularly popular for the sushi plates of Asia and our CEIV status is a boost to us when moving pharmaceuticals.”

Tarvainen is confident of further growth boosted by the opening of its COOL Cargo Nordic Hub later this year.

The site will have cool storage areas for fish and perishables and a separate temperature area for pharmaceuticals.

The site will be completely digitalised, with Finnair promising the end of pen and paper through a warehouse app and tablet computers. “It will be the most modern cargo terminal in Europe,” says Tarvainen.

“Our cargo management system will be fully integrated with our warehouse system and our COOL Cargo Control Centre will also allow us to monitor all our activities air side, at the terminals and in the warehouses. The unit will also be positioned very close to the airport gates which will quicken up transportation times. That is particularly essential for special cargo.“

Another crucial factor in its success is the close collaboration between the passenger airline and cargo divisions.

“We have leveraged some of the experience in the passenger airline operations at our new hub. We used to be a bit of a silo in cargo but we now have our say on new destinations and types of aircraft for certain regions. We are now definitely in the mainstream,” he says. He also praises Finnair Cargo’s work in data analysis to improve services.

“Air cargo has a very old-fashioned way of working. The delivery chain is so fragmented and digitalisation needs to disrupt it to lower costs and speed up movements. A big part of that is data quality, flow and analysis,” he says.

“We are getting more disciplined about the data we are processing and its quality. We are also looking at the possibilities of blockchain in air cargo. We are getting world class tools to work with.”