The recent decision by two Middle East carriers, Emirates SkyCargo and Qatar Airways Cargo, to return to a simplified “all-in” cargo rate structure which eliminates the various surcharges including fuel, security and others, has been welcomed by the International Federation of Freight Forwarders Associations - FIATA.
In a statement, FIATA said that: "The simplification of rate structures will be a significant benefit to forwarders and shippers alike. Forwarders have for a very long time desired these
surcharges be removed as they are opaque and complex and thereby making it difficult to quote a definite price for air cargo transportation, which the shippers are able to understand."
Especially the fuel surcharge has come under significant criticism in recent months as a result of the continuing slide in fuel prices.
FIATA’s Airfreight Institute chairman, Rodolfo Sagel, said he believes the change in policy by the two Middle East carriers "is a long-awaited move in the right direction that may be supportive of transparency. Transparency in the entire supply chain is generally applauded by FIATA, its members and by the international freight forwarders clients."
FIATA added that the recent moves may be the precursor to many other airlines following suit.
Prior to FIATA’s positioning both the European Freight Forwarders’ organization CLECAT and Britain’s International Freight Association (BIFA) had warmly welcomed the introduction of “all-in” tariff structures. In a comment given to CargoForwarder Global, BIFA’s Director General Robert Keen spoke of a “step in the right direction, provided it leads to the transparency required by forwarding agents.”
CLECAT’s Director General Nicolette van der Jagt stated that the new rate structure announced by the Middle East cargo carriers will provide shippers and forwarders with a better picture of the full cost of shipment without fuel surcharges and security charges as add-ons. They expressed their confidence that more airlines will follow this initiative.
QR Cargo adds Basel and introduces “Pharma Express”
In the meantime, Qatar Airways Cargo announced launching a twice-weekly freighter service to Basel, Switzerland this month, while at the same time commencing a “Pharma Express” service, which will offer air freight to the pharmaceutical industry worldwide.
The Pharma Express service will link two key pharma centres, Brussels and Basel, with the extensive Qatar Airways' network, via Doha, Qatar, the airline said in a statement.
Basel has a large pharmaceutical industry and is home to the headquarters of many major pharmaceutical companies, while the Swiss chemical industry also operates largely from Basel.
So does Brussels
Brussels and the region of Flanders in Belgium, house 146 life science companies with biotech activities, of which 50 are related to healthcare, 46 are active in the bio-based economy and 50 are life science providers.
Ulrich Ogiermann, Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, said: "The pharmaceutical industry is witnessing rapid growth each year, and by investing in sophisticated technology and highly qualified staff, Qatar Airways Cargo can now offer healthcare companies and their logistic partners a state-of-the-art service for shipping temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals all over the world.”
In January 2014, Qatar Airways Cargo launched QR Pharma – an air freight service for pharmaceutical and healthcare products, which provides temperature-controlled containers designed to maintain a constant temperature throughout the entire transportation chain.
Nol van Fenema