In Europe, the demand for SARS-CoV-2 antigen rapid test kits is increasing – and a. hartrodt provides fast and reliable supplies from China. For an importer in the Netherlands, the international freight forwarder is managing the airfreight transport of at least 10 million test kits from Shanghai and Xiamen to Amsterdam until mid-May. "Since mid-April, we have already delivered almost half of all shipments on time to date," says Fan Luo, Managing Director at a. hartrodt Xiamen. The service includes monitoring with a daily status report for the customer, customs clearance and delivery to the importer's warehouse.
Passenger aircraft offer large cargo capacity
The sensitive goods are transported in loose cartons with the utmost care, mostly in passenger planes. "Chartering freighters would be too expensive. Besides, it takes too long because of the two-week lead time," Luo explains. Wide-bodied aircraft have belly-loading capacities of up to 25 tons. "If the cabin is also used, easily another 10 ton capacity becomes available," says Bouke Laan, General Manager Airfreight at a. hartrodt in Amsterdam.
Competitive advantage for the customer
Since April, KLM Cargo has doubled Boeing 777 cargo carrying capacity by using custom-made cargo seat bags that prevent plastic waste. Laan is pleased "that our shipment was loaded on the first official flight from Shanghai to Amsterdam with this new system." As an independent air freight forwarder, a. hartrodt cooperates with different carriers, which all make the best use of cabin space. "For example, the test set boxes are also stowed under the seats or in nets," says Luo. For the customer, it means a competitive advantage that a. hartrodt acts flexibly: "On request and in special cases we also produce at the weekend," emphasizes Laan.
For the test kits by air freight, a. hartrodt has three experts each in Amsterdam and Shanghai as well as two specialists in Xiamen working closely together. "Even during the Chinese Labor Day vacation from May 1 to 5, we deliver punctually via our network," emphasizes Luo.