FCS Lands China Southern as First Catch of the New Year

Frankfurt Cargo Services (FCS), the cargo handling arm of Fraport AG announced today that they have won another lucrative handling contract at Frankfurt.

Fraport Cargo Service’s building 532  /  source: FCS
Fraport Cargo Service’s building 532 / source: FCS

China Southern Airlines is the new customer
The Chinese carrier who has its main base in Guangzhou along with secondary hubs in Beijing, Chongqing and Urumqi, has decided to shift over their cargo handling activities from FCS competitor, LUG, as from 25. February.
The contract includes the complete cargo handling service for China Southern (CZ).
Their cargo flights from FRA to China include five weekly services to Guangzhou, six times per week to Shanghai as well as three weekly passenger services to Guangzhou.

CargoForwarder Global’s information shows that the contract is geared towards the handling of well over 70,000 tons per annum at the FRA facility.
Much of this space is offered on CZ’s nine Boeing 777 freighters of which the carrier has a total of twelve on order.

Indeed a lucrative customer for any handler at FRA.
Why CZ has decided to leave their present handler LUG, remains a closely guarded secret.
Rumors have it that the handler was in the end not willing to extend the contract further and withdrew from the bidding process.
Whether true or not, a surprising move for many observers as it is not that long ago that the airline had moved from its original FRA handling agent, WFS over to LUG.
LUG certainly had enough space with their recently added warehouse to accommodate China Southern and their expanding number of flights during the past years.

FCS stocking up on staff
The management at FCS is more than happy with having won CZ as a new client. They state that “we are proud of the fact that we could show and prove our professionalism to this large and important client and are very thankful for the trust that China Southern places in us.”
The managers inform us that they are now in the final process of acquiring new staff in order to have sufficient manpower on hand once China Southern comes on board.
It is foreseen that Fraport Cargo Services will handle CZ in a dedicated area within one of their warehouses.

FCS will need these new staff pretty quickly as it is expected that another of their Far Eastern clients will announce a substantial increase in passenger flights from FRA within the coming weeks. This will add further outbound and inbound belly capacity and more cargo for FCS to handle.

Diana Schoeneich, Managing Director FCS
Diana Schoeneich, Managing Director FCS

AirBridge Cargo also extends its contract with FCS
The year has certainly got off to a good start for Frankfurt’s largest cargo handler.
The above announcement follows shortly on the recent news that AirBridge Cargo Airlines (ABC) has prematurely decided to extend its existing cargo handling contract with FCS. The length of the extension was not revealed, but it is expected to run at least until the end of this decade, if not longer.
ABC which is the largest client of FCS and which operates a fleet of 13 Boeing 747 freighters, has announced that it will increase its frequencies into and out of FRA from the present 14 to 17 rotations per week.
FCS managing Director, Diana Schoeneich says: “We consider this decision as a clear proof of confidence in our company, since AirBridge Cargo is an airline with high standards of security, quality and service.”

Both CZ and ABC, as do many other carriers, are insisting on enhanced security, quality and service from their handlers.
Both seem convinced that FCS can and will deliver this in the future.

However, it‘s interesting to note that Air China Cargo, an arch rival of China Southern, recently awarded Fraport Cargo Services the title of Best Cargo Handling Agent 2014 within the Air China network. The award is accompanied by a special medal which will be handed to FCS at a later date.
We are sure that Air China will be keeping a close eye on FCS‘s handling performance at FRA and would not like to be seen as  „playing second fiddle“ to China Southern. This especially when it is rumoured that they are planning to operate the recently cancelled Hahn round-the-world flights also through Frankfurt.
Interesting times ahead for the FCS operations team.

John Mc Donagh

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