The ground handling agent DUS Airport Cargo announces a throughput of 110,000 tons in 2013, up 9.1 percent over the previous year. It’s been the best result since 2001.
Gerton Hulsman, the energetic helmsman of DUS Airport Cargo, is more than satisfied with the way his business has developed in 2013. “We were able to gain additional clients such as American Airlines that operates daily 767-300 passenger flights on the Chicago-Dusseldorf route,” he says. This enables transporting an average of ten tons of cargo in the lower deck compartments of the aircraft on each flight.
On the positive side of his biz stand further items like the extension of an agreement for handling all shipments for British Airways and the IAG Group, Etihad’s and Air Berlin’s joint services to Abu Dhabi with A330 equipment, the double daily flights Emirates offers the market with their Triple Seven aircraft, and finally Iraqi Airways’ new services to a number of airports within the carrier’s home country. “From a cargo perspective and despite all odds we can see a rapid development in Iraq.” Gerton goes on to say: “given this, we are very excited about the future potential and the growing business opportunities the war-stricken country offers.”
On looking ahead, the future seems to be quite bright. “The prospects for this year are very appealing for our handling activities,” Gerton states. This because capacity to and from Asia/Pacific
will be increased. Air China is upping frequencies to five times per week on the Dusseldorf–Beijing route operating A330-200 aircraft and from the end of March Japanese carrier ANA will start a
daily passenger service to and from Tokyo with their Boeing 787.
Gerton states further: “in order to further enhance our service offer particularly for our increasing volumes of perishables, we will open a new border inspection post during the first quarter. In addition we have a number of other projects on the table which we intend putting into service during the coming months. Hence, we have high expectations of an even more successful 2014.“
Looking at the product range exported via DUS airport, one sees it’s mainly machinery and machine parts, automotive supplies, and electronic equipment. Currently, cargo exports account for 55 percent of the total throughput, with imports and transits making up the difference.
According to manager Hulsman, the upswing in cargo is based on a number of factors. Firstly it’s the wide-spread network offered by carriers that fly to and from DUS. These include 180 international routes, a growing number of them being serviced with cargo-friendly wide-body aircraft. Secondly, being a hub of the Star Alliance members has also given the throughput of air freight a push. An independent trucking network, point number three, assures fast and reliable road feeder services, linking DUS with the Benelux countries and the domestic German market. Last but not least it’s the airport’s geographical position within the highly industrialized state of North Rhine Westphalia, where around 20 percent of German exports and 22 percent of the country’s GDP is generated.
In view of these overall favorable conditions it wouldn’t be surprising if DUS Airport Cargo would announce record figures at the end of this year.