Chapman Freeborn and Swiss WorldCargo Announce On Board Courier Pact

Today (1 July) both companies reached an accord for jointly managed on board courier (OBC) services. “This is the first deal of this kind for both partners,” comments Carsten Volk, Managing Director of Chapman Freeborn OBC.

Carsten Volk / source: CF
Carsten Volk / source: CF

“It has taken time to agree terms and conditions and we are very happy to have now concluded all details,” said Carsten after he and Swiss WorldCargo’s helm Oliver Evans had signed the contract.

Commencing immediately, the specialized OBC unit of the charter broker is cooperating closely with the Swiss airline when it comes to transporting urgently demanded hand-carried items. Their numbers are growing, be it documents, spare parts or many other items. For example, to avoid a disruption of an assembly line. “Major car producers calculate with costs of $500,000 or more per hour in case the productions stops,” Carsten states. Sometimes it needs only a small number of special components to start the line again. However, in case they are not in stock right at the site of the production plant, the best and fastest solution to get them from the supplier to where they are needed is an “on board courier.”


From Hand to Hand – The On Board courier picks up the shipment and hand delivers himself worldwide, fulfilling the necessary Visa requirement’s depending on the countries involved.

Both partners greatly benefit from the deal. “Through us, SWISS get additional passengers and excess baggage revenue on their flights, thru our OBCs.  SWISS forwards their clients requests for extremely urgent shipments that need special and personal care to our OBC unit,” notes Herr Volk.

An OBC may seem to be an expensive solution,  but they often can save shippers a lot of money. As an example Carsten mentions  a major US Airport where the U.S. Customs responsible for cargo processing close their doors at 4 p.m. Should an air freight shipment arrive shortly after, nothing happens until the customs officials return next morning at 8 a.m. “And then you are lucky if you are served first,” he notes. Knowing these customs peculiarities makes it often worthwhile to hand the shipment over to a courier who accompanies the package until handing it over to the consignee at the final destination. “A passenger can pass by immigration at an airport at any time,” says Carsten. So does his hand or checked luggage, containing urgently needed goods that he picks up at the conveyor belt before meeting the local client.

Oliver Evans / source: HS
Oliver Evans / source: HS

Large shipment, split up into different units of less than 32 kilograms accompanying a courier, lead to excess baggage charges for the airline. In this case “we generate extra cash for our partner Swiss WorldCargo,” states Carsten. He goes on to say that the service will offer the carrier’s clients a premium solution for urgent shipments and the ability to monitor the progress of their cargo at any time by using an online tracking system provided by Chapman Freeborn. “Leading suppliers involved in industries like automotive, energy and pharmaceutical rely on us on a daily basis, so working with an airline with such a strong reputation for customer service and operational excellence is an ideal fit.”

“Our courier network has the ability to deliver worldwide with the exception of countries on the UN banned list,” he states.

“It is our strategic goal to strengthen and deepen customer relationships in our chosen markets and to offer a more complete solution set, and we’re convinced that in Chapman Freeborn we have found the perfect partner for charter and on board courier services,” comments Oliver Evans, Chief Cargo Officer of Swiss International Air Lines.                     
“Our two companies can forge a true partnership as we have distinct areas of expertise and experience while sharing a common dedication to and passion for quality, customer service and just getting the job done according to our promises.”

Heiner Siegmund

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Martin Schulze (Wednesday, 02 July 2014 10:32)

    I don't undertand the point of this story. Surely a handcourier seeks out the best flight connection irrespective of airline ? Seems like just a weak excuse for a PR story.

  • #2

    Heiner Siegmund (Wednesday, 02 July 2014 12:53)

    Martin, thx for commenting.
    You are right - the courier will always look for the best solution to go from A to B - The agreement takes this into account, however where possible the couriers will use SWISS scheduled flights.