Exclusive - LAN Cargo Adds Basel to its Network

Latin America’s leading cargo carrier intends operating a Boeing 777F to Basel once a week beginning next Monday. It will be the first freighter service linking any European city directly with Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport.

Soon to be seen in Basel – LAN Cargo’s Boeing 777F  /  source: LAN Cargo
Soon to be seen in Basel – LAN Cargo’s Boeing 777F / source: LAN Cargo

Currently, LAN Cargo operates six weekly freighter flights between Europe and Latin America, three out of Amsterdam and also three out of Rhine-Main Airport. They all serve Viracopos Santos Dumont Airport near Campinas, about three driving hours west of Sao Paulo.  As of next week, one AMS freighter will be routed via Basel offering the regional market main deck capacity for shipments destined to Brazil or beyond.

Why Sao Paulo’s city centered Guarulhos Airport has been chosen instead of Viracopos explains LAN Cargo’s Director Europe, Guido Henke: “Several aspects led to this decision: the service provided by both the local customs authorities and the ground handling agents is of high quality, enabling the faster clearance of shipments and reduced time-to-market since most of the consignees are based in Sao Paulo and not in the vicinity of Viracopos or Campinas.” Guido goes on to say: “We expect that this new freighter flight will be of major interest particularly for the strong Swiss pharma industry.”

Pharma cluster
Basel is home of multinationals like Hoffmann-La Roche or Novartis but also a number of mid-sized producers such as Multipharma, Nutrimed or Salmon Pharma are based in or near the northern Swiss city. LAN Cargo is eager to capture part of their business, which mainly explains the new Basel service.
Coming from AMS the Triple Seven freighters will arrive at BSL each Monday at 4 p.m. and depart to Guarulhos two hours later, where they are slated to land next day at 6 a.m.
“The upcoming Basel service demonstrates our strategy to serve more markets online by integrating them into our network,” says Herr Henke.
In addition to transporting pharma shipments he expects to catch products coming from other parts of Switzerland, the eastern French provinces, the highly industrialized southern part of Germany and even from agents based in northern Italy. 

Who comes first …
“Apart from the fixed allocations we guarantee capacity to those who book first and pay the highest price,” announces Guido. An interesting point, though. It implies an indirect competition between Amsterdam and Basel concerning the booking of the Triple Seven’s uplift capacity. In other words: The 100 tons the 777F can load are not split 50/50 between both stations but subject to the individual booking situation.

Director Europe Guido Henke
Director Europe Guido Henke

Challenging year
Asked about LAN Cargo’s current business, manager Henke admits that 2014 has so far been a difficult year. Brazil’s economy is only growing very moderately, Chile remains rather stable with Argentina always being unpredictable. “Evidently, our traditional home markets are not really running hot.”
Finally, Guido confirms that LAN Cargo contributes 14 percent to the total turnover of LATAM. This figure is stable and will remain unchanged also in fiscal 2014, the Director Europe states.

Heiner Siegmund

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