Cargolux is Spreading its Wings in Germany – and Globally

Luxembourg’s flag carrier has cemented its role as one of the leading carriers in the German cargo market. Last year their market share went up again, reaching more than 8 percent from formerly roughly 7 percent in both exports and imports. Encouraging figures, cementing their rank as number two in the market.

CEO Dirk Reich of Cargolux  -  photo: hs
CEO Dirk Reich of Cargolux - photo: hs

According to Cargolux, these are only preliminary results that will be further improved year by year. An upward trend that is confirmed by CEO Dirk Reich in an exclusive one-one with CargoForwarder Global: “Until 2020 we aim at reaching a market share in Germany totaling 15 percent.” If so, CV would almost double sales within the next four years. Quite an ambitious mission!

Trucking instead of flying
Both, their traffic figures and their future goals must surprise any neutral observer because Cargolux doesn’t land at any German airport with the exception of Munich. This means that almost the entire tonnage is trucked in and out of Germany on behalf of the carrier.
In total, the German market contributed 108,000 tons to Cargolux’s exports, a remarkable increase of 15.6 percent y-o-y.  Imports accounted for 56,000 tons, upping the airline’s market share from formerly 7 percent to 8.8 percent.
Strongest single station was Frankfurt, accounting for the lion’s share of 92,000 tons in combined exports and imports, followed by Munich (17,000 tons) and Stuttgart (13,500 tons).

Remaining loyal to LUX
Main trade lanes for goods coming from or going into Germany are Asia, North America and Latin America. When looking at their European route map the diversification is stunning, with Budapest, Vienna, Barcelona, Milan, Maastricht, Amsterdam, Munich, Stansted, Prestwick and Zaragoza and of course Luxembourg standing on CV’s flight plan. “The times are over that we use our home base Findel exclusively,” exclaimed the manager. “But any further expansion will focus on Luxembourg, followed by Zhengzhou and Milan,” he emphasized.

More frequencies and flights to/from China
Reich went on to say that Cargolux strives to achieve market leadership on tonnage moved between Germany and China via Luxembourg. In China, the carrier has already a very strong position, operating three daily flights between Luxembourg and Zhengzhou, two to Hong Kong and one daily service to Shanghai. Both frequencies and the global network will be upped within the next four year, he announced.

Ambitious expansion plans
Dirk’s 2020 program in a nutshell:
The fleet will be increased to 35 freighters from 26 today, including Cargolux Italia and the upcoming Cargolux China,
Cargolux intends capturing 5 percent market share in air freight both exports and imports to/from China,
On a global scale CV aims at upping their market share from currently 3.8 percent to 5 percent.

Ambitious targets, chapeau!
Asked about intentions to deal directly with shippers to get them on board as customers, thus bypassing forwarding agents, the former Kuehne + Nagel executive denied having any such plans in his drawer. “We are the forwarder’s airline and that remains fixed.”

Heiner Siegmund

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