Even though Lufthansa Cargo's youngest subsidiary, heyworld, is only six months old, its business is growing at a phenomenal rate right from the start, Managing Director, Timo Schamber, confirms. The volume of parcels and e-commerce packages managed in 2019 will reach seven-digit dimensions, he states. Newcomer heyworld fills a niche in e-commerce services rendered by well-established cargo carriers and integrators.
Amazon Prime Air, the e-tailer’s fast growing air cargo arm set up 2016 to tighten control over its own logistics network, has meanwhile become a household name in e-commerce.
Compared to this giant, Lufthansa Cargo’s latest subsidiary, heyworld GmbH, is still widely unknown. Measured against the U.S. Goliath, the company is more of a start-up.
Asset free policy
The biggest difference to huge Prime Air, however, is its asset free policy. heyworld does not purchase or lease a single aircraft to get the job done. There is no need because it can utilize the main deck and lower deck capacity offered by the Lufthansa fleet to do its job, covering a tightly knit global and regional European network. In addition, there is ample belly space the newcomer can access provided by the LH Group members, Brussels, Austrian and prospectively Swiss from 2020 on.
Once the volumes increase further and reach a certain level which, according to data, will happen in the course of 2020, manager Schamber wants to knock on the doors of other airlines to ask to use their transport capacity. “This is our intention, but we are not there yet,” he says.
Smart data management is key
There are other similarities between the end-to-end supply chains set up by Amazon or their Chinese rival Alibaba and heyworld: They all rely on an independent and tailored Transport Management System, steering door-door deliveries and tracking shipments from pick up to hand-over at destination. “The moment we receive a package from a customer, the data is instantly integrated into our system,” MD Schamber illustrates. “Therefore, we know on a piece level the constant status of each individual consignment we were handed,” he states, describing the full transparency and electronic tracking from beginning to end.
Asked about his company’s business focus, he says that the e-commerce sector and digitalization have set some new standards in transportation, going beyond the traditional core business of airlines. These require tailored solutions from a single source.
This has been recognized by LH Cargo, leading to the inception of heyworld to capture future growth in the specific e-commerce segment. Timo Schamber became its manager of choice to get the e-commerce ball rolling in the right direction. Although quite young (31 years old), he had already gained a lot of experience in this industry, having worked for different companies engaged in the e-business.
“We focus entirely on B2B activities, such as e-traders, digital marketplaces or web shop providers, including the specific needs of final consignees, offering them tailored solutions,” the manager explains. He adds to this that the modular service provided covers the entire supply chain, including handling and customs clearance of shipments.
E-commerce hub is in the making
An online ordered package handed over to a local partner agent of heyworld by an e-tailer based in the Far East, needs five to six days to be delivered to the final consignee in Europe, he exemplifies a daily routine. In addition to putting his company’s focus on trade lanes covering the key e-commerce markets Far East, Europe, USA, he also turns his attention to Africa. “There, the e-business is picking up extremely fast, for instance in Nigeria, giving of lots of future opportunities,” he maintains.
Currently, the newcomer is busy establishing a hub for e-commerce shipments at Frankfurt Airport. All consignments moved by heyworld will arrive there to be handled and redistributed. The transshipment facility will start working before the current year ends.
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