War in Ukraine: Core Carrier Strategy offers solutions

Despite airspace closures, a. hartrodt can continue to serve destinations in Asia.

In view of the war in Ukraine, a. hartrodt has stopped all transport bookings for Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Airfreight has been hit even harder since Russian airlines such as AirBridgeCargo Airlines (ABC) have been banned from European airspace, and Western airlines are no longer allowed to fly over Russian airspace. According to Stefan Goestl, Airfreight Manager Germany at a. hartrodt in Munich, European airlines can only reach destinations in Asia via a detour of two hours: "More kerosene has to be fueled for the southern routing, which reduces the payload."

Flexibly positioned with multiple airlines

In addition, there will be "adjustments to the flight schedule" – for example Lufthansa Cargo will cancel some of its China flights from Frankfurt to Chengdu, Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai until the end of March. Goestl explains how a. hartrodt's Core Carrier Strategy offers solutions for customers: "We have multiple airlines on all routes, allowing us to respond to the loss of ABC capacity." In addition to LH Cargo, there are "excellent partnerships" with Air France-KLM, Cargolux, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways or China Southern Airlines.

Fixed capacities for cargo from/to Far East

"Etihad, with its hub in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, is not affected by the sanctions and can serve North and Southeast Asia as well as India", Goestl highlights. Customers with cargo from or to China can also be served by a. hartrodt thanks to so-called Block Space Agreements (BSA). With these bookings, the freight forwarder has reserved cargo space with airlines for the longer term. "Three times a week, we have fixed capacities with China Southern Airlines on direct flights ex Amsterdam/Frankfurt-Shanghai", Goestl gives an example. However, customers must be prepared for rising freight rates and significantly longer transport times. Cargolux, for example, is increasing its fuel surcharge from March 7 and implements a "war surcharge".

"We inform customers as soon as there are further adjustments by the airlines", says Goestl. The Germany-wide, 113-member air freight team at a. hartrodt finds the "best possible solutions" according to the manager – and all the better "the sooner the customer contacts us".