Frankfurt, Germany-headquartered ground handling agent LUG aircargo handling GmbH has reshaped its management structure, adapting a new model to further boost the efficiency of its network, this way defying the pressure of the big boys in ground handling. The move comes at a time of growing competition, enabling LUG to react faster to new market demand, the changing business environment and future challenges.
LUG’s step follows the take over last year of Hamburg-based agent LHU, this way enlarging their reach beyond Frankfurt and Munich, the company’s traditional sites, and creating operational
Best visible result of the reorganization is that Patrik Tschirch, Managing Director and CEO of LUG, has taken full responsibility of the ground handling agent’s grown network. Beginning immediately, he is responsible for the business performance of all three LUG stations but also for the further development of the network concept.
Streamlining IT is key
"I am convinced that there is great potential in an even closer cooperation between the three LUG locations. We have not yet exploited all the synergies and benefits of progressive digitization. At the same time, we want to offer more and more professional air freight logistics for all three locations from a single source,” explained Mr Tschirch. Handling processes in Hamburg, he illustrates, are still based on an IT platform that lacks connectivity to the system used in FRA and MUC. This information obstacle must be set aside soon, he states.
In total, the ground handler’s facilities at FRA, MUC and HAM comprise 46,000 square meter warehouse capacity.
One for all
A key issue standing high on Mr Tschirch’s agenda is the integration of carriers into his company’s network that are serving the above-mentioned three airports but handled only at one or two of them by LUG. This won’t be an easy task, he admits, but it’s worth a try. Although he doesn’t refer to any airline by name it can be assumed that the hottest candidate he specifically targets is Emirates SkyCargo that serves FRA, HAM and MUC but partners with LUG only in FRA and HAM.
Affected by the organizational change within LUG is also COO Nina Strippel, who took responsibility for the FRA station on September 1, 2018. She reports to Patrik Tschirch, as do MUC manager Christopher Frank and HAM’s Juergen Vogt.
Further to this, LUG announced that it will broaden its service portfolio and optimize the infrastructure. The latter includes the enlargement of the Health Care Center (HCC) in Frankfurt, adding
190 sqm to the facility and the completion of the TAPA B certification in Munich.
Tentative network growth?
LUG is a major player in the German ground handling landscape where the company expects to handle a total of 380,000 tons of air freight this year. If accomplished, this would be an increase of 15 percent to 2017. However, the double-digit growth is partially explained by the fact that Emirates SkyCargo is relying on LUG’s handling services rendered in Frankfurt only since September of last year, which upped the agent’s total tonnage considerably in recent months.
Asked about plans for a network expansion, Mr Tschirch didn’t exclude enlarging LUG’s footprint in case an interesting opportunity shows up. But “we are only monitoring the German speaking regions in Europe, without having any project on our radar.” Does this include Austria, Switzerland and possibly the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as well? he was asked by CargoForwarder Global. His answer: “Luxembourg, definitely not.”