ANA Cargo Plays the Dual Strategy Card

This biz model is somehow unique: the cargo arm of Japan’s leading airline acts both as integrator and ordinary carrier of air freight. This dual approach is a reaction to market demands and the airline’s expansion within Asia and globally.

Boeing 767F of ANA Cargo at Tokyo Narita Airport  /  source pictures: hs
Boeing 767F of ANA Cargo at Tokyo Narita Airport / source pictures: hs

Attractive beaches, increasing number of visitors, neat resorts surrounded by beautiful nature: that’s Okinawa Island three flight hours south of Tokyo. Each night, however, the tranquil place gets quite busy when Boeing 767 freighters operated by ANA Cargo are arriving or departing at Okinawa Naha Airport. “We are increasingly utilizing OKA as hub for consolidating and distributing Asian express shipments. The island’s geographical position near to the Asian markets is ideal for this task,” explains Toshiaki Toyama, ANA Cargo’s Executive Vice President Global Marketing.
Currently, his airline routes 121 cargo flights via Okinawa each week, with growing tendency.

Aircraft carrier OKA
Why? Because the island is a natural aircraft carrier, located close to the surrounding Chinese, Taiwanese, Singaporean or even Thai markets. One major client is Japanese producer of digital cameras, printers or electronic devices Ricoh that runs offices in more than 200 countries, among them production plants in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Seoul or Hong Kong. “What we do is we fly the supplies from there to Okinawa, with the freighter arriving at around midnight. At our OKA warehouse the items are sorted, consolidated and flown out on board our 767 freighter fleet to Singapore, Bangkok, Tokyo or Osaka where they are further processed by the local Ricoh plants,” illustrates manager Toyama a daily example.

Toshiaki Toyama
Toshiaki Toyama

Fully-fledged, integrated services
Interestingly, in addition to just flying the goods ANA Cargo offers clients like Ricoh and others door-door courier services, thus acting as an integrator, including pickup, handling, customs clearance, documentation and delivery of shipments.
And the perspective is promising. This, because the diversification of Japanese and other multinationals is accelerating, enabling ANA Cargo to capture an even greater chunk of the intra-Asian express segment. That is driven by e-Commerce which is forecast an unprecedented yearly growth between 31.2 percent last year to 37.4 percent in 2018. Parallel to this, cargo volumes in the region stretching from Japan to Thailand are predicted to generally increase 6.5 percent in average per annum in the coming years which offers ANA Cargo additional business opportunities. 

More freighters to come
Tailored to the integrator strategy is also the carrier’s fleet policy. At present, the airline operates 10 Boeing 767Fs which can accommodate 50 tons on their upper and lower decks each flight. Two more 767Fs are scheduled to join the fleet in June of this year and in January 2016 respectively. Further, a feasibility study for a 13th and 14th 767F are under way, announces ANA Cargo’s Toshiaki Toyama.
On long-haul routes ANA Cargo relies on the holds of their 54 units comprising Boeing 777 passenger aircraft (with additional 26 ordered at Boeing) and the growing fleet of 787 Dreamliners of which they have committed to purchase a total of 80.
“Our aim is to be among the top 10 cargo carrier’s in terms of tonnage flown,” announces manager Toyama. Currently, ANA Cargo is ranked twelfth with 1.06 million tons transported last year. Their joint venture partner Lufthansa Cargo ended up in 2014 with a total of 1.7 million tons flown by their freighters or in the holds of the airline’s passenger aircraft.

Heiner Siegmund

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