Stones are generally not considered particularly sexy, anywhere in the world... Except for Leipzig in the East German state of Saxony. There, a PR campaign of a stone supplier has attracted enormous media attention, by presenting a well-known model and TV star to actively promote its latest project. The expansion of the cargo area at Leipzig Airport has suddenly become a great deal more attractive.
She lolls about in the sand or poses in lascivious clothing in front of construction vehicles. Sophia Thomalla, a pro at self-marketing, is aware of the effect that pictures like these have on others. With this campaign, she firstly promotes herself, but also bangs the advertising drum for company Schuettflix that supplies huge quantities of stones, sand, and gravel to the airport – after receiving a mega order.
Growing customer base
The Thomalla-promoted stone and gravel campaign is associated with Leipzig/Halle Airport plans to build a brand-new Cargo City. It will be erected adjacent to the northern runway, thus opposite to the existing Cargo City which is utilized primarily by DHL Express and the integrator’s partners. "The upcoming project has been conceived to accommodate a new airline," the operator says somewhat cryptically.
However, it would be more appropriate to speak of two new customers, because newcomer CargoLogic Germany is already operating at LEJ since OCT19, and Amazon Air with its Prime Air freighters is the second candidate standing in line. These two acquisitions put pressure on the airport management to expand the ground infrastructure fast, as this is required by the newcomers. Therefore, gravel, stones, and concrete are urgently needed to build additional parking spaces for freighters, as well as for the construction of warehouses.
LEJ’s cargo throughput is increasing steadily
The airport operator speaks of investments in the region of EUR 500 million, financed out of its own pocket by a favorable loan received from banks and accorded by the Saxon State that holds 77% in the MFAG airport holding which includes Dresden Airport. The LEJ chiefs intend to gradually recoup this expenditure through fees paid by users.
Thanks primarily to DHL Express, whose number one global gateway LEJ has become, the airport reports strong cargo figures year after year. In the first 3 quarters of 2020, freight volumes rose by 8.1% totaling 986,389 tons.
LEJ benefits strongly from the booming e-commerce traffic
In terms of cargo throughput, this puts the east German airport in 2nd place behind Frankfurt-Main and ranks it fifth in Europe. The constant upswing, even in COVID-19 times – is driven by scheduled and charter cargo traffic.
In addition to the plans for a new Cargo City in the northern part of the airport, the apron is also to be expanded in the opposite, southwestern area of LEJ. This primarily benefits DHL Express and its partner airlines, since the plans provide for 36 new aircraft parking positions adding to the existing number of 60 spaces. According to stats, DHL currently handles over 350,000 shipments each workday at LEJ. Forecasts say this number will rise to 800,000 units by 2032.
So, there is much to do for gravel supplier Schuettflix and its PR figurehead, influencer Sophia Thomalla, who has meanwhile become an associate of the stone vendor. Together with Schuettflix, she has concluded a "million-euro deal" with the airport, she announced. "Among other things, we are to supply up to 180,000 tons of gravel.” The first 50,000 tons will be delivered this year. Market value: more than 1.2 million euros. It can be expected that some 2021 annual calendars displaying eye-catching photos of her will be presented to the airport management as Christmas gift.
We always welcome your comments to our articles. However, we can only publish them when the sender name is authentic.