Last year, 309.361tons of cargo and airfreight were handled at Munich Airport – a leap of 7.5 percent on the previous year. It outgrew passenger traffic that went up 3 percent in 2014,
totaling almost 40 million, also a record figure in the 22-year history of the airport.
Air freight becomes an increasingly important business factor at the Bavarian gateway, enthuses Markus Heinelt: “The record tonnage we achieved clearly demonstrates our attractiveness to shippers
and their forwarding agents,” states the airport’s Director Traffic Development Cargo.
However, despite his positive sentiment he aims for more, because in most cases cargo shipments are only a by-product of the thriving passenger traffic at MUC, particularly long-haul flights. The manger states: “Currently, 85 percent of all volumes loaded and unloaded here are carried in the lower decks of passenger aircraft, with the remaining 15 percent accounting for main deck traffic.”
Integrators are expanding their MUC activities
This ratio has to be changed step by step in favor of all freighter flights, he says. And he’s sure, it will. The fact that makes him most optimistic is the increasing role integrators are playing at the airport. He refers to DHL Express that has recently added capacity, linking MUC with the integrator’s regional UK gateway East Midlands. Furthermore, UPS decided to stop over at the Bavarian airport on the way from their European hub in Cologne to southern European destinations, a ten times weekly Boeing 767F operated service. “In the express segment there is still further potential that will be leveraged by integrators,” Markus believes. Why? Because southern Germany is highly industrialized, being home of companies like BMW, Audi, Adidas or Siemens and hundreds of mid-sized firms, specialized in automotive, engineering, aerospace and other manly export driven businesses.
More outgoing than incoming freight
This industrial structure documents a breakdown of MUC’s 2014 cargo figures, showing 10 percent increase in exports, with imports growing only 4.5 percent.
Manager Heinelt leaves no doubt that there are still lots of hidden reserves that can be realized. How? - he also has a clearly defined strategy he plans to pursue. “We intend to better integrate shippers into the airfreight supply chain,” he announces. This, by directly speaking with managers to illustrate to them the many flights operated by airlines to and from MUC. “This because my feeling is that quite a few companies that rely on air freight to get their goods to their customers are not sufficiently informed about our many air services.” His first meeting with representatives of industrial and trade association will take place on 4 February.
More freighters expected
Touching the 2015 cargo perspective he leaves no doubt that a number of main deck capacity providers will be acquired to start serving MUC. “We are positive in getting some major fish on the hook,” Markus says, without revealing names of potential clients.
So far it’s the major integrators and two line-haul carriers serving Munich regularly – Cargolux and AirBridge Cargo. Both services have prevailed on the market, he assures.
Very helpful to further spur the pallet and container biz is the fact that the number of forwarding agents flocking there is increasing rapidly. More agents trigger more business, as experience shows.
However, until additional freighters land at MUC it will mainly be lower deck capacity stimulating further cargo growth at the Bavarian gateway. “Regarding this year’s growth plans in cargo we still depend very much on the development of belly-hold capacity,” he admits.
Supposedly, this will last for a while.