Lufthansa Cargo to boost e-commerce handling capability at Frankfurt hub

Source: Lufthansa Cargo

Lufthansa Cargo, the freight wing of the German flag-carrier, has presented its ambitions for Frankfurt Airport to become one of the world’s most important e-commerce hubs.

It outlined these ambitions at the air cargo Europe exhibition in Munich that started today (May 9).

Working closely with two subsidiaries – logistics service provider heyworld and CB Customs Broker – Lufthansa Cargo is itself actively driving forward the expansion of the e-commerce business at Frankfurt Airport, its home hub.

“We clearly experience and see e-commerce as a growth market,” informed Ashwin Bhat, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo.

“A decisive success factor for online trade is the resilience and speed of the supply chain.

“We want to make Frankfurt a leader in this segment by offering integrated, holistic solutions for shipping, customs clearance and the further transport of e-commerce shipments.”

With this in mind, Lufthansa Cargo is, together with its subsidiaries and partners, expanding the capacity of its e-commerce hub in Cargo City Nord and investing in software developments.

With regard to the former, heyworld’s e-commerce hub at Frankfurt Airport’s Cargo City Nord can automatically separate e-commerce shipments from regular freight and ensure that it is quickly transported along the supply chain.

“Our e-commerce hub at Frankfurt Airport enables us to meet growing customer needs for fast deliveries,” observed Boris Hueske, heyworld’s managing director.

“As a logistics partner, we complement Lufthansa Cargo’s offering with innovative software and forwarding solutions that significantly accelerate the clearance and onward transport of e-commerce shipments,” he explained.

With regard to the latter – digital solutions – the freight carrier’s subsidiary, customs clearance agent CB Customs Broker, provides an important role in facilitating the customs clearance of large e-commerce shipment volumes.

The company recently developed its own software that meets both the data protection and regulatory requirements of modern online trading.

It makes it possible to clear large volumes of individual shipments through automation in a timely and cost-effective manner, Lufthansa Cargo pointed out.

The software has a modular structure, with pre-defined IT interfaces and modern encryption technology.

The software solution is currently being adapted to meet the requirements of the EU’s ICS2 (Import Control System 2) customs requirements.

According to Lufthansa Cargo, CB Customs Broker is “one of the first customs clearance agencies in Germany to have digitised 90% of the necessary customs clearance processes through the use of its own automation software, enabling it to handle the ever-increasing order volumes of a growing e-commerce market in a very short time.”

Uwe Glunz, managing director of CB Customs Broker, emphasised: “Our new software solution is a real driver for online trade at the Frankfurt location.

“With this solution, e-commerce shipments can be cleared much more easily and thus processed faster overall.

“Via API interfaces, the solution can be individually adapted and docked onto customers’ existing logistics management systems.

“This simplifies the exchange of data and documents required for customs clearance and speeds up the entire process,” Glunz said.

Joint venture

Glunz also announced at transport logistic 2023, of which air cargo Europe forms a part, a new joint venture with the ground service provider GEORGI Handling, a collaboration intended to further expand e-commerce business at Frankfurt Airport.

To this end, both companies are working to develop a new e-commerce terminal in Cargo City South at the German gateway.

With the capabilities that will be offered by the facility, the two companies want to expand business further into the international market.

In the future, airlines from Asia, which frequently land in the southern part of Frankfurt Airport, will also be able to use have e-commerce shipments handled automatically and quickly.

Glunz commented: “We want to become the leading expert for e-commerce customs clearance in Germany.

“To achieve this, we have developed our own software that digitises all the necessary customs clearance processes and, thanks to the high degree of automation, is able to process large order volumes in a very short time.

“The new partnership is another milestone towards this vision.

“With GEORGI Handling, we have found a partner that reliably and quickly takes care of the physical handling directly on site.

“We are thus creating a first-class, innovative offering specifically for the Asian region.”

In the initial phase, the new e-commerce terminal will operate over approximately 5,000 sq m of GEORGI Handling’s existing cargo hall in Building 568 at Cargo City South.

However, there are also medium-term plans for a new separate hall dedicated to the handling of e-commerce shipments and, in the long term, a fully automated sorting facility is expected to offer state-of-the-art handling capability.

“With the new solution and partnership of our subsidiary CB Customs Broker and partner GEORGI, as well as the offer of heyworld, we can accompany our customers from the first to the last mile of their freight transport – all from one source,” Bhat remarked.

“We want to actively expand the e-commerce market at Frankfurt Airport. Together with our subsidiaries, we have developed a number of innovative solutions for this purpose, which enables us to implement holistic solutions for our customers.

“The new partnership of our customs expert CB Customs Broker with GEORGI is an important and good further step in this direction.”

Lufthansa Cargo is committed to expanding its European medium-haul network and adding two more A321 freighters to its capacity.

Those additions too will add further e-commerce handling capability to the Lufthansa Group.

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