Exclusive - MUC Enjoys Cargo Bonanza

According to latest traffic data presented by the operator, Munich Airport is heading towards a record year in cargo throughput. This is a result of capacity increases by both passenger and cargo carriers. And the peak season is still to come!

Yangtze flights are boosting MUC’s cargo volumes considerably  -  photos: courtesy airport
Yangtze flights are boosting MUC’s cargo volumes considerably - photos: courtesy airport

During the first 9 months of this year, cargo throughput at MUC totaled 236,000 tons – an increase of almost 10 percent on the previous year’s figures. There are two main reasons that pushed the tonnage up: Firstly, the growing number of passenger flights, mainly on long-haul routes, offering the air freight industry additional sectors and transport capacity for shipments in the holds of the aircraft. Secondly the increase of all-freighter services by traditional cargo carriers and also integrators. “Meanwhile, we surpassed the crucial point of critical mass which makes us increasingly attractive for the entire cargo industry, whether forwarders, shippers or carriers,” states Markus Heinelt, the airport’s Director Traffic Development Cargo.

Delta announces new MUC-DTW service
According to Markus, until December 31, cargo throughput at MUC will clearly surpass the target volume of 300,000 tons set for 2015. “Based on the Q 1 to 3 results and in view of the forthcoming peak season I don’t dare to make this prognosis,” he says.
In this respect Delta’s new passenger flight to Detroit announced for the upcoming summer schedule will be helpful in driving tonnage further upwards.
Coming back to the current year he reminds us that an astonishing 43 percent of all exports flown out of Germany stem from shippers located in the southern parts of Germany.

Fast rising freight figures put Markus Heinelt in a positive mood.
Fast rising freight figures put Markus Heinelt in a positive mood.

Changed trucking habits
This has been well noticed by a growing number of forwarding agents that tend to consolidate their shipments increasingly at MUC, instead of trucking the goods to Frankfurt as mostly done in the past. This they do, reasons Herr Heinelt, because “the intercontinental network offered by airlines serving Munich is constantly growing, which enhances the airport’s attractiveness for cargo players.” He goes on to say that this trend is also supported by the handling efficiency and very short turnaround times at MUC, “since all ground handling agents doing business here are located in row one, with direct access to the apron.” So in addition to the efficiency “it’s mainly the speed of processes that appeals to the clients and adds to our reputation as fast emerging hub for air freight,” he notes.  
What pleases him and his cargo team most is the picking-up of all-cargo flights, which contributed 41,000 tons to the total turnover of air freight during this year’s first nine months. “Particularly MUC newcomer Yangtze Express added much to the available capacity, offering 5 weekly Boeing 747-400 freighter flights to Tianjin and Shanghai.” Also the business of AirBridgeCargo, their subsidiary Atran and finally Cargolux has developed in the right direction, summarizes Markus.

Express companies are key actors at MUC
By rounding things up he emphasizes the prominent role integrators are playing at the Bavarian airport. This is illustrated by four weekly flights to Memphis operated by FedEx with Boeing 777F and the package delivery company’s five 757F flights per week via Frankfurt to Paris, their central European hub.
Likewise, FedEx rival UPS offers ten weekly services to Athens, deploying a 767 freighter aircraft and DHL links MUC with Leipzig/Halle also five times per week with Boeing 757Fs. According to Manager Heinelt, cargo flights to East Midlands in the UK will soon be added to the network of the express company. Officially, this decision hasn’t been confirmed by the Deutsche Post logistics arm yet but is an open secret swirling around Munich Airport. 

Heiner Siegmund

Write a comment

Comments: 0