Geodis the latest forwarder to expand air cargo network
26 / 01 / 2022
By Damian Brett
Geodis will expand its AirDirect cargo network in Asia Pacific as it looks to meet “surging demand” in the region.
AirAsia X (AAX) has formed a new air logistics partnership with Geodis to provide the additional cargo capacity.
As part of the partnership, the airline will provide Geodis with “dedicated scheduled cargo flights” on a new weekly rotation from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Shanghai (PVG) and Sydney (SYD) and will also add a second weekly rotation to its existing KUL – Hong Kong (HKG) – Chennai (MAA) – KUL service.
This agreement is set to run for an initial period of six months commencing from January 20 with further extensions to be considered.
All the flight schedules are serviced by aircraft chartered on a long-term basis and will add an extra 320 tonnes of capacity to its charter network each week, Geodis said.
“This will significantly ease the strain on the supply chains, which saw load factors and yields reach historic highs in 2021 when cargo capacity struggled to meet the surge in e-commerce transactions,” Geodis said.
“With demand for airfreight forecast to increase, particularly amidst ongoing delays and flight cancellations across Southeast Asia following the impact of the Omicron variant, Geodis believes its extended AirDirect schedules will become a pivotal component in ensuring seamless, reliable, and efficient air transport services in the region.”
As well as the new airfreight services, Geodis will establish a multimodal hub in Kuala Lumpur that will integrate with its road network linking Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
“By enabling seamless connections with our expanded road network, connecting Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam, the multimodal hub at Kuala Lumpur offers highly integrated transport solutions that not only circumvent disruptions affecting both air and sea cargo flows, but also ensure that customers’ shipments can reach anywhere in mainland Southeast Asia,” said Onno Boots, president and chief executive, Asia Pacific, Geodis.
“Given the increasingly complex supply chain landscape that has affected the logistical priorities and needs of industries across the board, it is more crucial now than ever to supplement integrated transport networks on strategic routes.
“Geodis’ new intra-Asia Pacific flight routes represent our sustained commitment to provide highly reliable and innovative solutions to help customers optimise their response to the e-commerce boom and chart their long-term business growth.”
The start of the year has seen other forwarders also ramp up their air cargo charter network as they expect a busy 12 months ahead.
In mid-January, DB Schenker added charter capacity out of India as it looks to meet capacity constraints. The forwarder will offer charter capacity on a weekly flight operating on the route: Bengaluru-Doha-Munich-Chicago.
Meanwhile, DSV responded to Covid restrictions and lockdowns in Asia by adding extra freighter capacity from Hong Kong and Singapore.
The freight forwarder is adding two extra weekly flights – offering 100 tonnes of capacity each – to its Hong Kong-Liege-Hong Kong loop, bringing its weekly flights on the route to three.
Last year, Geodis expanded its airfreight operation to combat capacity shortages by leasing an aircraft for the first time.
In 2021, AAX was successfully restructured and is now relaunching service as a combination carrier with equal emphasis on both cargo and passengers, working in partnership with global freight forwarders.
Chief executive of AAX Malaysia, Benyamin Ismail, said: “Cargo revenues were four per cent of our total revenues pre-Covid. It has been our lifeline over the past two years. We expect that our cargo operations moving forward will contribute at least 40 to 50 per cent of our total revenue.”