The forwarding pillar of Deutsche Post-DHL launches a second intercontinental cargo flight linking Europe with East Asia and the U.S. Operator Atlas is capacity provider from whom DHL Global Forwarding has wet leased a Boeing 747-400F. The new bi-weekly service is scheduled to commence on 15 May.
In contrast to the company’s official announcement, the flights will not be operated across the North Atlantic. Though, giving the project a well-sounding ‘around-the-world’ label, as done by
DHL-GF, is not really correct. Seen by the freighter’s routing that reads:
Shanghai – Cincinnati – Incheon – Wuxi - Frankfurt-Hahn and back to Shanghai, where the all-cargo aircraft’s intercontinental journey starts anew.
The upcoming service complements the forwarding agent’s first flight, a real Earth rounder, introduced last September and flown bi-weekly as well, taking off from Brussels to Oslo - Seoul – Wuxi. From there the Atlas B747-400F returns eastbound to Hahn, to continue its trip to Shanghai – Cincinnati, ending its journey in Brussels.
Demand exceeds capacity supply
As main reason for wet leasing a Jumbo freighter DHL-GF mentions the increased demand for air freight capacities on Asian routes, fueled by all major industries. “Specifically, China’s electronics, electric motors, electrical and mechanical appliances as well as medical equipment companies are bolstering demand,” reads their statement. Hence, on major trade lanes volumes are high, but capacity is restricted – a trend that will continue, argues Tim Scharwath, CEO DHL-GF. “To increase our operational efficiency and to offer our customers the best-possible solution, we thus decided to create further capacities that we have direct control over.”
Market proximity is Hahn’s trump card
Asked about the newly introduced leg Wuxi – Hahn, DHL-GF speaker David Stoeppler explains his company’s routing decision with Hahn’s geographical proximity to the Dutch and German markets that can be best served from Hahn, he states. A second argument for picking the airport as European destination for goods flown in from eastern China is the broad range of predominantly electronic products built in and around Wuxi, a city located close to Shanghai, which meet local consumer needs in the neighboring Benelux countries and Germany, he says.
HHN reports 80 percent volume growth since January
At Frankfurt-Hahn, no big surprise, the DHL-GF announcement has been much welcomed. “These flights further evidence our excellent position for cargo operations in the greater Rhine-Main region, adding to our extraordinary volume increase we’ve seen in the last couple of months,” states Christoph Goetzmann, Chief Operations Officer at Hahn. With a growth rate in tonnage averaging 80 percent from 1 January to 30 April, Hahn seems to be back on its feet after a period of volume decline.
Mr Goetzmann adds to this: “We view the DHL-GF flights as confidence in our team and our majority owner HNA and they encourage us to develop further products that build an important module to up the quality of our airport continuously.” VG Cargo has been chosen as the handling agent in Hahn for this service.