The family-owned forwarding agent, Quick Cargo Service (QCS), has plans on its table to expand its reach eastwards. The step follows its organic growth in western and central Europe, including the Nordics. The first station due to be launched is Bucharest in Rumania. This will already happen during the course of April.
Currently, Frankfurt-based QCS’s network consists of 21 offices, of which 12 are spread all across Germany, complemented by another 9 stations in neighboring countries such as the Netherlands,
Denmark, Switzerland, Poland, and the UK. In these markets, the agent feels pretty well settled, as demonstrated by the fact that QCS is the tenth largest contributor of airfreight volumes to
Lufthansa Cargo according to the IATA list of agents, and figures documented by the carrier.
Quick’s sun rises in the east
Now it is time to take the next step, says CEO, Stephan Haltmayer. “We targeted 3 countries where we intend to establish offices. Bucharest and Cluj in Romania stand on top of our list, followed by Bratislava in Slovakia, and Budapest in Hungary.” He sees great opportunities for growth in all of these countries, provided that Putin's war against Ukraine does not destabilize the entire southeastern European region. As a side effect of the war, he mentions that Russian contractors still owe his company 45,000 euros. QCS will probably have to write them off, because money transfers in foreign currencies are not possible for Russian companies any longer, due to Western sanctions.
There are two main reasons for the forwarder’s interest in Eastern Europe. First, there is the market development. The management of QCS considers this to be very positive in the coming years due to catch-up effects. “We expect a strong expansion of the industry towards Eastern Europe, from which we want to benefit as a service provider,” says Mr. Haltmayer. As a practical example, he points to Hungary, which has become an industrial hot spot in recent years, with suppliers to the automotive industry springing up like mushrooms all over the country. As a result, the cargo volumes handled at Budapest Airport recently exceeded the tonnage that passed through Vienna Airport for the very first time. “We intend to develop Budapest into our hub for air freight flown on lanes between East Asia and Eastern Europe,” the manager announces. The large number of full freighters operating there, and the state-of-the-art warehouse inaugurated in November 2019, makes BUD highly attractive as a gateway. “We will feed cargo shipments from neighboring countries to Budapest, to consolidate them with locally generated volumes to airfreight them. I can even imagine operating road feeder services from parts of Germany to Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport.”
Offering alliance partners new business opportunities
Another important reason for the forwarder's move towards Eastern Europe, is the worldwide network of agencies of which QCS is part of, such as the Aerospace Logistics Group or the Global Pharmaceutical Logistics Alliance, to name just two associations. “Our upcoming presence in Eastern Europe will also widen the reach of our partners and expand their business opportunities,” Mr. Haltmayer explains.
In addition to this, he announces plans to establish a station in Warsaw, Poland. It will be the second office in the country following a branch set up in Szczecin.
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