Speed logistics specialist time:matters and express service provider CB Logistik have signed a co-loading and distribution agreement for the transport, handling and delivery of urgent goods traveling from Germany to the Iberian Peninsula. This cooperation was triggered by the corona crisis and the resulting loss of transport capacity due to the near standstill of commercial air traffic.
The deal is a typical example of an unconventional win-win accord benefitting both sides equally: time:matters and partner CB jointly operate a freighter network linking Baden-Baden Airport in
southwest Germany and Madrid each workday night. “This way we circumvent a bottleneck situation caused by the shortfall of commercial uplift,” Stephan Vogel, Managing Director of
time:matters Spare Parts Logistics GmbH, reasons.
Financial and operational benefits
Sharing capacity reduces unit costs and makes operations of the Madrid flights more efficient. “It was of key importance for our customers that the goods could be delivered late and would be available in Spain and Portugal early morning the day after, guaranteed by the dense road network established by our partner CB,” spokesperson Katja Sondey of time:matters, emphasizes. However, on the way back, volumes are relatively small, as Spain exports little aside from fruit, vegetables, fish, and beverages, which are not exactly express products.
Dense road feeder network
The Madrid flights are operated by a wet-leased SAAB 340SF departing every weekday at 8 p.m. local time at Baden-Baden Airport, arriving in Barajas shortly before midnight. Depending on volumes, an Embraer 120F or ATR freighter can also be deployed on short notice. “Once in Barajas, we deconsolidate the shipments and feed them into our regional hubs operated by our Spanish truck and sprinter fleet consisting of roughly 50 vehicles,” Marc Jobelius, Member of the Management Board of CB Logistik, illustrates. Thanks to the In-Night Express freight charter solution, the majority of the consignments arrive at the respective delivery points on the Iberian Peninsula before 8 a.m.
“Our road feeder network stretches all across Spain and covers Portugal as well. In addition, we offer fast onforwarding solutions from Madrid or Lisbon to the Balearic and Canary Islands, including even the Azores,” he states.
His time:matters partner, Stephan Vogel, emphasizes another important advantage of the freighter flights: the reliability of transports. Since, in contrast to commercial aviation, offloads of goods never occur. This is otherwise sometimes the case in summer, when the lower decks of aircraft are crammed full of passenger luggage, leaving no room for additional cargo consignments, not even time-critical shipments or emergency goods. “Customers from the mechanical engineering, agricultural, industrial trucks, and medical technology sectors in particular, appreciate this new transport connection, as failures of relevant components quickly cause high downtime costs or contractual penalties. These can be avoided by this new flight offer,” is stated in a joint press release.
Partners, not rival
Will the co-loading and supply chain agreement continue after the pandemic fades out? “It depends on market reaction and future demand,” Mr. Vogel remains a bit vague. The manager personally, however, seems to advocate a lasting solution by indicating the key advantages of the jointly operated In-Night Express Service versus traditional commercial uplift: no offloads, reliable flight schedule, late acceptance, and early arrival, coupled with fast deliveries of the goods across the Iberian Peninsula. And there is another important aspect he touches: “C&B isn’t involved in the Nordics, the UK, France, or Italy, where we traditionally operate our own night flight network. Hence, they don’t act as a rival in these important markets.”
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