Lufthansa Cargo: Delivering Security and Punctuality.By Sofía Hanna | Tue, 12/14/2021 - 15:08
Q: How is Lufthansa Cargo’s recently-launched Releye RLP changing temperature control in cargo and what advantages does it offer?
A: We are one of the few certified companies with cooling systems in our warehouses. While we are not seeing significant demand yet, we are sure that as legislation protecting the supply chain strengthens in the coming years, clients will need this service. For now, we have only a few customers in Latin America that use cooling systems and temperature control because of the added cost.
Q: How has the logistics side of Lufthansa Cargo developed in this new world context?
A: We are happy with our relationship with Mexico, which is one of our largest clients and associates. During the pandemic, all our passenger airplanes were grounded so we decided to use some of them for cargo. The cargo business is strong because the supply chain will always need goods to be transported. This area never stops.
Supply chain demand pre-COVID was already high but it is now booming. The lack of containers and difficulties affecting maritime exports and imports have benefited the air cargo sector because clients will always need to transport merchandise. Unlike sea cargo, we do not lack containers; our containers are flying back and forth. The problem we are facing is the lack of space on many routes. We expect air cargo to continue booming for the next eight to 10 months.
Q: What other challenges are you facing as global economies stabilize?
A: Everything is extremely volatile. We have no idea what might happen next year. Air travel is always the last solution to keep supply chain production running. We transport to most of the world, mainly to the EU and Germany, but there is now an exponential rise in demand to South America, which is not even ecologically sensible. This illustrates the situation worldwide and it is not getting better.
Q: With the surge in travel and logistics demand, how is Lufthansa Cargo differentiating itself to be the customer’s first choice?
A: We have always been known for our quality. We have a wide range of solutions and in every case, our priority is to deliver. We have three pillars to ensure our service is always the best: security, punctuality and delivery. Our way of working may be changing but our mission has not.
Q: What is Lufthansa Cargo’s role in improving logistics operations following the e-commerce boom?
A: E-commerce is booming, accelerated by the pandemic. This has made customers even more anxious to get their products in days, if not hours, so we are anticipating that the sector will become even faster. We are implementing two additional freighters to fly smaller distances so everyone can get their products as soon as possible. There are also ecological concerns; flying takes less time but it does pollute more than moving cargo by land. Something, where we are speeding up and innovating, is in the reduction of CO2 emissions. In Lufthansa Cargo, we actually show our customers the amount of CO2 being consumed with each of their product transportation, this way they can make a choice. With all of this, we generate an even bigger awareness on the reduction of these sorts of gases that per se are not highly produced by the aerospace industry. In fact, the aerospace industry is responsible for 3 percent of CO2 emissions in the world, and it is believed to be more. However, the idea Lufthansa wants to keep pursuing is that even that 3 percent can be lowered and with this improve the sector and the way it affects the world.
Q: What specific challenges do you see in Mexico with the introduction of the new airport and the country’s hurdles in terms of airspace?
A: Lufthansa Group including Lufthansa Cargo AG needs to be at one airport because there needs to be coherence and order within our services. If we are in two airports, we need to have double the storage and much more transport to have everything in place. Whatever happens, we know that we must be in only one airport. Of course, there can be opportunities with this new airport but transit will be the main issue to monitor.
Lufthansa Cargo is one of the world's leading air freight companies and focuses on the airport-to-airport business. It employs about 4,400 people worldwide.