Perishables have seen “satisfactory” growth, with steady volumes across important trade lanes, Cargolux Airlines International manager global product management, Stavros Evangelakakis tells Air Cargo Week (ACW).
He says: “Perishable shipments have traditionally formed a major part of our cool chain business and our long expertise in this field, combined with a superior, high-quality product offering, have benefitted Cargolux in this field.”
The trade lanes to South America, Africa to Europe, North America to the Middle East, and Europe to the Middle East have seen steady shipments and growth.
Customers have also benefitted from the recent move of Americas – Netherlands services from Maastricht Aachen Airport to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Evangelakakis says: “We have now moved our flower flights from Central America directly to Amsterdam and have thereby shortened the transit times for these shipments considerably, that was highly appreciated by our customers.”
Cargolux customers also benefit from the airline’s CV Fresh product, with temperature-controlled facilities and smooth handling processes at destination until customer pick up.
Evangelakakis tells ACW: “The complete process is supervised and handled by an expert team versed in the precise organisation of these shipments. CV Fresh also offers customised onforwarding solutions worldwide, automated shipment tracking and tracing, vacuum cooling facilities and thermal blankets to ensure constant freshness every step of the way.”
He says customers benefit from the use of Boeing 747 Freighters, with its long range and separate temperature zones. “With the four separate temperature zones on board, the 747 is ideally suited for these delicate commodities and we can transport different types of perishables with varying temperature requirements on the same flight.”
In addition to CV Fresh, Cargolux also has its ‘LuxFresh’ joint-venture company to bring fresh European food products to China through an e-commerce platform as well as local shops, and the airline’s Chinese project, ‘Cargolux China’ will benefit from this.
“Cargolux China will directly benefit from the Cargolux expertise and offer the same superior product in its own markets.”
Evangelakakis believes that Cargolux’s expertise in perishables puts it at an advantage as the industry struggles to cope with overcapacity. “As with the rest of the markets, overcapacity is a challenge and many players offer similar products but lack the expertise, Cargolux can guarantee to maintain the necessary temperature range as requested by the shippers.”
He also says freighter aircraft remain essential for the perishable market. “Freighters are definitely the drivers for certain perishables where passenger airlines don’t offer the necessary frequencies and capacity, that’s where Cargolux comes in with regular scheduled services and dedicated aircraft in markets, destinations and on routes that suit the shippers, not passengers.”