This is a rather rare situation: a freight carrier who ranks second by tonnage and revenue in a given market without performing any flights from there. Quite strange indeed, but this
applies to Cargolux Airlines (CV) that relies entirely on the road feeder system to service the German export and import market.
There is a constant stream of trucks coming from various points in Germany, arriving at the Luxair Cargo Center at Luxembourg Findel Airport to deliver their goods at one of the many truck docks. They arrive from HAM, DUS, FRA, MUC or STR, the five Cargolux stations in Germany where shipments are consolidated before they are trucked to Findel and flown from there on board CV’s freighter fleet to intercontinental destinations.
According to data provided by IATA’s billing tool Cargo Accounts Settlement System (CASS), Cargolux is ranked second in Germany, slightly ahead of third placed AirBridgeCargo. Lufthansa Cargo remains as number one In Germany, accounting for 21.4 percent of the market share.
When presenting the CASS figures to CV’s Vice President Sales, Chris Nielen, the manager commented: “It might sound surprising but even without any flight activities we have a very strong position in the German market.” Chris went on to say: “Their economy is booming, we see a high consumer spending and both imports and exports run strong.” The current export-import ratio is 55% / 45%.
Besides the tailored services offered to customers by his airline, Mr Nielen partly accredits his carrier’s success in not only the German but also other markets to the “quick and efficient handling of shipments at Findel Airport” by the local Luxair Cargo staff. “Their performance is excellent and obviously recognized by our shippers and forwarding partners time and again.”
‘CV Select’ enjoys growing awareness
Particularly inspiring in Chris’ eyes is the fact that CV’s revenues are outgrowing volumes with both increasing in the double-digit range. He points out that growth comes from different commodities and products, with main drivers being pharmaceuticals and goods booked under the ‘CV Select’ label, a product introduced in 2016, offering customers guaranteed access to capacity and fly as booked confirmation. That new product is “enjoying increasing popularity.”
Wrapping up the first 8 months of 2017, Chris speaks of “a year that has been very strong up to now.” The Germany/Luxembourg to China trade lane is running extremely strong. This accounts particularly to Zhengzhou, CV’s gateway in China but also to other destinations served there which are Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai.
Brazil is back in the ballgame again
In addition to tonnage flown between Europe and destinations in the Far East other markets are experiencing a revival, as currently seen in Brazil. “There, we notice a change for the better since months documented by increasing transport demand,” Chris states. Flights across the Pacific are running well, too, as do services of his airline to and from Africa and Southeast Asia.
As of this week, a further Jumbo freighter enters into service – Cargolux’s number 27. The Boeing 747-400F was previously operated by Cathay Pacific and will add to the flexible capacity the Luxembourg flag carrier is offering the markets.
New HQ set to open its doors in early 2020
Meanwhile, the groundbreaking ceremony for CV’s new headquarters took place last Friday, carried out by Simone Massard-Stitz, Mayor of the municipality of Sandweiler on whose territory the future building will be located, Richard Forson, CEO Cargolux and Johan Vannestre, CEO Luxembourg Airport. The project became necessary because CV’s administrative staff is currently spread over several locations. With the new building, the company brings everyone under one roof and facilitates closer and faster interaction between all departments. Cargolux employs close to 1,400 staff in Luxembourg, including crews and maintenance staff. The new facility will also accommodate the airline’s Flight Training Academy and offer training facilities for Cargolux’s administrative and ground personnel. ,
Richard Forson, Cargolux President & CEO commented. “With the new building, we can finally bring together the Cargolux family in one central location at our home base at Luxembourg Airport.”
Johan Vanneste, CEO of lux-Airport ads: “We’re looking forward to build for Cargolux a new state-of-the-art home at Luxembourg Airport, a centralized and efficient location as base for future growth of our home based cargo carrier.”
Cargolux expects to move into the building in early 2020.