Logistics service provider Nippon Express Belgium has launched a weekly 100% dedicated charter service taking from Ostend to New York. The flight is operated by Qatar Airways. Last month, the forwarding agent also started a similar service between Liège Airport (LGG) and Narita Japan (NRT) in collaboration with Japan Airlines Cargo.
“Following the current market conditions and capacity constraints, Nippon Express has launched these new services to serve its loyal customers better,” says Michael Kamm, General Manager
Business Development Division Belgium.
For the Ostend charter, a P2F converted Boeing B777-300 will be utilized, with its seats removed. The Qatar Airways provided jetliner is able to carry 65 tons per flight or uplift a volume of 280 cubic meters.
The ground handling has been subcontracted to agent B-Cube that runs a warehouse at Ostend Airport.
Mr. Kamm is quite satisfied of the service, even if there are a bit too many textiles. “We could do with more less-dense cargo,” he says. According to him, Ostend was chosen because Qatar Cargo is confronted with handling constraints at LGG, caused by the airport’s success. On the other hand, Nippon Express says that operating from Ostend may also attract additional cargo from France, Luxembourg, or the Netherlands.
The Liège to Narita service is operated on a part-charter basis, with JAL Cargo selling the rest of the capacity on the open market. For this operation, the Japanese carrier has entered into a wet-lease contract for an Airbus freighter with ASL.
To support the Liège operation, Nippon Express opened an office there, making it the first Japanese freight forwarder to set up an operation in the Liège area.
"Handling is performed by WFS. "Warehousing by our partner in LGG," explains Mr Kamm.
The choice for LGG was made due to the multimodal opportunities in the airport area, which is also close to train services. In Genk, some 50 km away from LGG, Nippon Express has another multimodal set-up which also offers barge operations.
Until now, Nippon Express did not focus strongly on dedicated charters in the EMEA region, Mr Kamm admits. “But with new Nippon regional key staff in place and a corporate plan for strategic dynamic expansion, it was easy to listen to our customers’ needs. Next to the service Milan-Malpensa to New York and China into Luxembourg, these will be two new weekly rotations we are very proud of," the manager says.
Marcel Schoeters in Ostend
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