How cargo-partner managed several COVID-19 related air charters

Striving to meet the tightest of deadlines

Since the escalation of the COVID-19 crisis, cargo-partner colleagues around the world have been working tirelessly to keep supply chains up and running. Challenging conditions and permanently changing terms lead to tense situations in these troubled times. Despite the demanding circumstances, the international transport and info-logistics provider managed to handle every charter successfully thanks to experienced teams and a dense global network. We have put together a selection of a few recent charter success stories in the healthcare sector.

33 tons of protective equipment from Istanbul to Munich

Our Air Cargo teams in Turkey and Germany recently organized the transport of 33 tons of urgently needed personal protective equipment (PPE) from Istanbul to Munich by charter flight. The cargo-partner team in Turkey worked out several air charter alternatives to find exactly the right aircraft type, capacity, pricing and timing for the client’s requirements. Finally, it was decided to transport the shipment in one lot in an A310F aircraft. Our colleagues picked up the goods from Adana on June 22 and organized trucking to Istanbul as well as off-loading at Istanbul Ataturk Airport on June 23. The aircraft departed on June 24 at 5:00 AM and arrived in Munich at 6:15 AM. Customs clearance was done by cargo-partner in Munich on the same day. 

Three highly sensitive charters from Sweden to the USA

As part of its efforts to keep international supply chains running, cargo-partner in Sweden organized three full charters for a renowned company in April. Three MD11 freighter aircraft departed from Stockholm Arlanda to Chicago O’Hare Airport, loaded with nearly 200 metric tons of essential cargo. This request was particularly challenging due to the short time frame: The cargo-partner team in Sweden had to organize and prepare the airfreight transport during the Easter holidays, when most commercial airlines were closed. The cargo was of a highly sensitive nature, as it was both temperature-sensitive and non-stackable. These difficulties did not stop our colleagues from finding the most competitive and reliable solution to meet the customer’s requirements. The seamless, real-time shipment updates provided through the SPOT platform enabled us to keep the customer updated regarding every movement of these charters, without the need for time-consuming email correspondence. 

Face masks and respirators from Shanghai to Prague

Another important air charter transport was made possible by a joint effort of 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, our colleagues 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 delivery of the shipment was managed in the shortest possible time as the plane departed from Shanghai on March 23 at 08:15 PM and arrived in Prague on March 24 at 02:03 AM. The plane was unloaded immediately after its arrival and the important goods were brought to a nearby material reserve warehouse, from where the distribution to hospitals all across the country began.

Protective equipment to Slovenia on Easter Sunday

Like most European countries, Slovenia also faced a lack of protective equipment amid COVID-19. In the past several months, cargo-partner in Slovenia has been actively involved in numerous important shipments of emergency equipment from China. Due to the lack of capacities in air transport, our team in Slovenia organized a number of charter flights to the utmost satisfaction of their customers. 

One of the shipments arrived with a Boeing B757F cargo aircraft at Brnik Airport on April 12, after an almost 12 hour long direct flight from Zhengzhou. Although it was the morning of Easter Sunday, the entire transport was managed without any issues or delays. The shipment contained five million face masks with a total weight of almost 25 metric tons. Despite the restrictions regarding the export of safety equipment from China, cargo-partner was able to provide the customer with all necessary logistics support and consultation in a very short time – from preparing the export clearance documents to providing the optimal aircraft for the client's needs. cargo-partner’s flexible solutions were highly appreciated by the customer and they decided to order an additional charter shortly after the first delivery. The second aircraft arrived in Brnik only five days later.

Always meeting the tightest of deadlines

Six successful air charters of 35 million masks to Serbia

Our cargo-partner colleagues even organized six full charters with more than 35 million of masks from different parts of China directly to Belgrade, Serbia. Our colleagues in Serbia 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. The airlines responded impressively fast in making passenger aircraft available for cargo-only flights and thus made it possible to move urgently needed medical supplies.


Keeping essential industries running in Southern Africa

Together with a South African system partner, cargo-partner developed and delivered several airfreight charter solutions to customers in South and Southern Africa. Two charters departed on a B-777F in April from Shanghai to Johannesburg. In both cases, the cargo consisted of urgently needed medical and PPE equipment to be used to contain the spread of COVID-19. The further distribution from Johannesburg Airport to the final destinations was organized by feeder trucks to Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Botswana and Namibia.

Most recently, we organized three more charters from China carrying 13 million K95 masks to customers from essential industries such as the mining industry and public workers in Southern Africa. Given the urgent need for these goods, our cargo-partner team in Shanghai worked tirelessly to ensure the fastest possible transport. Some colleagues stayed in the office until 2 AM, while others managed to load ULDs overnight within 6 hours (the standard time at Pudong Airport is 16 hours). Once again, our team demonstrated the meaning of our motto “we take it personally!”


Going the extra mile and planning proactively

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 to keep our customers’ supply chains moving!