The spread of the coronavirus and the corresponding safety measures have led to a sharp decline in airfreight capacities in recent months, leading to an increased demand for flexible emergency solutions. Since the beginning of the global COVID-19 crisis, cargo-partner has introduced several weekly cargo charter services to provide a reliable alternative to cancelled passenger flights.
Throughout June 2020, cargo-partner offers weekly charter flights from China and Hong Kong to Frankfurt, Vienna, Amsterdam and Budapest. The service includes trucking from all of Mainland China, including the key gateways Shanghai, Beijing, Qingdao, Xiamen, Shenzhen and Guangzhou, as well as on-carriage to the final destination anywhere in Europe. In addition, the logistics provider handles all customs formalities at borders and airports.
Beside these regular charter services, cargo-partner has also received many ad-hoc requests for full and part-charter flights of urgently needed goods, the majority of which came from the pharmaceutical, healthcare and PPE (personal protective equipment) sectors. Thanks to extensive customs expertise and a strong presence in the Asia-Pacific region, cargo-partner can offer comprehensive consultation on export regulations for healthcare and PPE equipment.
Three highly sensitive charters from Sweden to the USA
In April, the cargo-partner team in Sweden organized three full charters for a renowned company. Three MD11 freighter aircraft departed from Stockholm Arlanda to Chicago O’Hare Airport, loaded with nearly 200 metric tons of temperature-sensitive and non-stackable cargo. Despite the short time frame for this shipment, which coincided with the Easter holidays, the transport was executed just in time to meet the customer’s needs.
Thousands of face masks and respirators from Shanghai to Prague
Another important air charter transport was made possible by a joint effort between the cargo-partner teams in Prague and Shanghai, during a time when face masks and respirator were urgently needed due to the rapid spread of COVID-19 throughout Europe. In March, the cargo-partner offices in China and the Czech Republic handled the urgent transport of around 700,000 face masks and 100,000 FFP2 respirators including customs clearance and all required documentation. The plane departed from Shanghai on March 23 at 08:15 PM and landed in Prague on March 24 at 02:03 AM. Immediately after its arrival, the cargo was brought to a nearby material reserve warehouse, from where the essential goods were distributed to hospitals all across the country.
Protective equipment from China to Slovenia on Easter Sunday
Slovenia was also among the countries who faced a lack of protective equipment amid the COVID-19 crisis. cargo-partner in Slovenia organized a number of charter flights to meet its customers’ urgent needs. One of these shipments arrived in Brnik on the morning of April 12, Easter Sunday, after an almost 12 hour long direct flight from Zhengzhou. The shipment contained five million protective face masks with a total weight of almost 25 metric tons. Despite the holiday as well as the restrictions regarding the export of safety equipment from China, cargo-partner was able to provide the customer with all necessary logistics support in a short time frame, including the preparation of the required export clearance documents.
Six successful air charters of 35 million masks to Serbia
Also in April, the cargo-partner airfreight team in Serbia organized six full charters with more than 35 million protective masks from different parts of China directly to Belgrade. To make this transport possible, cargo-partner cooperated with carriers who had converted several idle passenger aircraft to freighters by removing seats or even lashing cargo to passenger seats in order to meet the demand.
Keeping essential industries running in Southern Africa
In cooperation with a long-time system partner in Africa, cargo-partner delivered several airfreight charter solutions to customers in South and Southern Africa. In April, the logistics provider organized two charters using B-777F aircraft from Shanghai to Johannesburg. The cargo consisted of urgently required medical and PPE equipment. The goods were then distributed by truck from Johannesburg Airport to the final destinations in Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana and Namibia.
More recently, the logistics provider handled three more charters from China carrying 13 million K95 masks for the mining industry as well as public workers in Southern Africa. To meet the urgent demand for these goods, the cargo-partner team in Shanghai organized for overnight ULD loading within only six hours, the standard time at Pudong Airport being 16 hours.
Going the extra mile and planning proactively
Stefan Krauter, CEO of cargo-partner, emphasizes the importance of close collaboration with partners as well as within the global cargo-partner network: “Just as we did before the coronavirus crisis, we are keeping a close watch on the market and remain in constant contact with customers, agents, carriers and partners, so that we can react quickly to their needs and offer competent solutions. Thanks to our strong presence in China, we were able to learn from our colleagues’ experiences and assessments early on in the development of the COVID-19 situation and prepare our global network accordingly. We continue to plan proactively and go the extra mile to keep our customers’ supply chains moving!”