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OVERVIEW | AIRFREIGHT


600RF, an IL-76TD and a Lockheed Hercules L382G, which were in operation across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia. In subsequent years, Maximus established itself as one of the leading carriers in the outsized and specialist air cargo segment. Today, with a fleet of one AN-124 and two Ilyushin IL-76s, it is a smaller player in the market.


Critical role Te volume of heavy and oversize cargo moved by air is dwarfed in comparison to that moved by road, sea or rail. Tat, however, does not undermine the critical role that airfreight plays in the project logistics supply chain. For example, the cost of lost production at an oil rig, or the


penalty for a deadline missed, means that expedited delivery of cargoes by air can save a customer millions of dollars. However, air cargo brokers now need to be more creative in finding ways to reduce costs for customers, said Dan Morgan-Evans, group cargo director at Air Charter Service (ACS). “We need to think outside the box more than we did ten years ago. It used to be that customers simply asked us to find an aircraft for their cargo and they would pay whatever it cost. Now it is more and more consultancy work where we look at a range of options – maybe a combination of scheduled and charter, or a different airport and longer trucking, to find the most efficient option.” He said another change has been more direct


approaches by shippers. Tis sentiment was shared by Pierre van Stichele, group cargo operations director, Chapman Freeborn Airchartering: “We did not and do not approach the shippers ourselves, but they came to us. Now we have a mix of forwarders and shippers as customers. Sometimes it can be a delicate balance between the two, but we definitely did not work to cut the forwarder out,” he said. Te Baltic Air Charter Association (BACA), an air charter


brokers’ association based at the Baltic Exchange in London, believes that the procurement process undertaken at large


“We need to think outside the box more than we did ten years ago.”


Dan Morgan-Evans, Air Charter Service


shippers has become smarter in recent years. “For instance, you will find that the procurement and logistics teams are working closer together. Sometimes this is driven by cutbacks in staff so one person is given more tasks. Or it can be a conscious effort at streamlining and looking at the total cost of sourcing so that it includes both purchase price and delivery to site,” said Dave Edwards, chief executive. Te direct approach by shippers has been driven primarily


by financial concerns as a result of the global economic downturn and falling oil prices. Volga-Dnepr Airlines launched its Cargo Supermarket to increase the range of services it offers to customers. Alexander Kraynov, commercial director, charter (pictured left), said: “Tis can be anything from the design and manufacture of a special frame to make it possible to load and transport a complex or highly sensitive piece of cargo, right the way through to a full choice of end-to-end logistics services, including ocean freight, trucking, packing and repacking, insurance, crane hire and help with


documentation, permits and Customs clearance.” He said that consultancy forms a significant part of the


work, citing the example of a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing plant in the southern highlands of Papua New Guinea. “From the time of the customer’s initial enquiry, it was five years before we operated our first flight. In the meantime, we were part of the consultancy team that constructed a new airport in the Papua New Guinea highlands so that our AN-124-100s could provide an ‘airbridge’ that was so critical to the success of the project.”


HLPFI10 | 43


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