Chapman Freeborn has had another strong year, particularly for project based work, according to group cargo and OBC sales director, Reto Hunziker (pictured below).
He says the results over the past 12 months were good despite the lack of extraordinary events such as the West Coast port strikes of 2015.
Hunziker comments: “It’s always difficult to accurately predict charter demand – but we’re very pleased with how the year has started and plan to build on that momentum.”
He says overcapacity is an issue but adds: “At the same time it can sometimes provide opportunities to try new things.”
Hunziker tells Air Cargo Week the growing flexibility of operators means Chapman Freeborn can fill gaps not served by scheduled services.
He says: “A good example of this is the B747-400F we currently have running between Europe and US for Senator International – with Chapman Freeborn managing the spare ad hoc charter capacity between rotations.”
The charter business is always varied, with Chapman Freeborn’s animal transportation business, Intradco Global handling some interesting shipments.
Hunziker says: “One of the projects so far this year was the biggest single movement of Irish horses to China ever. On behalf of a client 76 thoroughbreds were flown on a chartered B747-400F from Shannon to Beijing.”
He explains: “The Asian market – and China in particular – is a rapidly growing business for equine shipments, so it’s great to be at the front end of that.”
Chapman Freeborn has also been targeting the Indian on board courier (OBC) market, and Hunziker says progress has been positive so far. “OBC is very much a global business and India is just one of the markets we see as having great potential.”
When the company announced it was targeting the Indian OBC market in June, it said surging economic growth of 7.6 per cent and the government’s Make in India initiative was increasing demand for hand-carry services for automotive cargo, electrical components and other time-critical shipments.
He adds: “It’s not yet taken off to the extent as some other emerging markets in terms of demand levels (for example, the high demand we see from China and Mexico for automotive related business) – but India is getting stronger all the time.”
Africa is also an area of interest over the next 12 months though Hunziker says: “We’re also keen to continue building our market share in other regions such as China and India.”