The Zurich-based cargo carrier remained in the black. Although divisional results are not published Chief Cargo Officer Oliver Evans emphazises that 2013 wasn't too bad a year for his air freight business.
Swiss WorldCargo reached revenue and bottom line (contribution) targets for 2013 despite a moderately negative total market development, and severe negative developments on the currency front, whereby the majority of revenues are in currencies other than the Swiss franc, and the majority of costs are in francs.
"Although Swiss WorldCargo does not publish divisional results externally, the fact is that the Division delivers a multiple of hundreds of million Swiss francs in contribution to the bottom line of Swiss International Air Lines, and as it is overwhelmingly generated on long-haul services, the cargo contribution is critical to the profitability of many flights and of the airline as a whole."
Oliver went on to say: "2013 was an extremely difficult year for the industry as a whole, and especially for all-cargo operators. Nevertheless, the focus markets on which Swiss WorldCargo concentrates grow faster than other airfreight markets, enabling us to stay ahead of the competition and achieve targets."
He emphazises that cargo had been a strong internal advocate of direct flights to Singapore, which started in May 2013. Zurich outbound flights almost immediately reached expected levels, while increasing loads from Singapore (compared to the previous feeding of Bangkok flights) took longer than expected because of fierce price competition in Singapore itself and in its catchment area.
The type of commodities targeted by Swiss WorldCargo, especially pharmaceuticals are transported in dedicated, custom-designed supply chains, so that shippers and their forwarders do not switch partners so readily.
"Our excellent reputation in these markets has led to a steady increase in loads, and we are now enjoying full flights to Zurich."
The manager points out that "the number of direct intercontinental destinations offered by the competition (especially but not only Middle Eastern carriers) both in Zurich and Geneva, keeps on growing and is certainly a challenge, especially in Geneva where the only long-haul flight of SWISS is to New York, all other destinations being served via the hub in Zurich."
"Nevertheless here too our high degree of specialization as well as long-standing relationships with the customers enables us to retain market share."