Germany’s Board of Airline representatives - BARIG, underlined the im-portance of the air cargo industry in the country having a proper and ideal infrastructure if it is to remain
competitive and attractive to clients in the fu-ture.
This applies specifically to Frankfurt Airport, Germany’s largest and one which “still” moves most tonnage.
Fourth industry meeting in Munich
The plea came from the BARIG representatives at the fourth industry meeting on air cargo which was recently held in Munich.
The panel discussion which included BARIG’s Secretary General, Michael Hoppe and Dr. Michael Kerkloh, Chairman of the German Airports Association (ADV), centred on the need to supply the industry with what they termed as a suitable logistics infrastructure.
They stated that if Germany is to hold its position as the world’s leading export nation, then things have to change drastically in order for the country to have air cargo locations which can develop alongside the growing export trend.
This, they claim, is not the case at present.
The BARIG members fear that because of the restrictions in place in Germany, that if things don’t change, then there will be a distinct shift by shippers to airports in other European countries who do not have such problems and can offer what BARIG terms as ‘far better framework conditions.’
There are more than thirty of BARIG’s airline members who run their own freight divisions in Germany, along with a further fifty cargo delegates who are also members of BARIG’s Cargo Committee.
All are in agreement that there are too many obstacles being placed in the path of the carriers serving Germany and these are eroding revenues and yields, whereby cargo is in their view being siphoned off across the borders.
Operational restrictions, night bans, additional noise abatement or noise ceilings introduced - all of this - and more they state does not make Germany, particularly Frankfurt, an ideal location to expand air cargo operations.
The BARIG members have seen a shift in the way many freight forwarders in the country are viewing German airports.
Much of the thinking goes along the lines of better cost advantages in other countries, far less bureaucracy and so on.
Additional regional initiatives are needed
Frankfurt’s Air Cargo Community (ACCF) has for example started what they see as a coalition of companies, institutions and associations which together have set the goal of fostering Frankfurt as an air cargo location of first choice.
The group lists 40 members from throughout the air cargo supply chain.
It is hoped that other airports will follow suit.
However, all well and good that the industry is trying to do something to alleviate the problem!
But what about the politicians who should surely have an interest in promoting trade and ensuring that more jobs are created in the cargo sector?
On the face of it does not look like the State of Hessen, which is part owner of FRA, has any real interest in changing their attitude towards restrictions presently in place at Germany’s largest airport.
On the contrary, the minister in charge categorically stated that there will be no relaxing of the rules.
It is interesting to note in the data issued by BARIG that airports such as Paris, Amsterdam, Luxembourg and Brussels all showed tonnage increase in 2015 compared to 2014.
The same applies to Germany’s Cologne-Bonn Airport and Leipzig Airport, which both do not have the FRA restrictions and have developed themselves into large hubs for DHL, UPS and FedEx.
Frankfurt tonnages in the same period dropped.
So, will shippers be forced to circumvent FRA and other airports in Germany in the near future?
John Mc Donagh