Multimodal shipping group adds dedicated airfreight forwarding division

By Damian Brett

Multimodal container shipping firm Samskip has launched an airfreight forwarding division.

The European shipping company, which offers rail, road, shortsea and inland waterway shipping as well as freight forwarding services, has opened a dedicated Samskip Air office at Schiphol Airport.

The company, which does already book airfreight traffic through its forwarding business, said the new division would be tasked with growing its airfreight volumes, establishing new routes and developing opportunities for co-operation with Samskip’s pan-European multimodal network.

“Schiphol is a global gateway for airfreight business with China, the US, South America, Russia, the Middle East and Africa, and provides a European gateway to Samskip’s multimodal network of trucks, trains, barges and short sea vessels,” said Martijn Tasma, director global forwarding, Samskip Logistics.

“In the weeks ahead, we will be presenting Samskip Air and explaining how, as a major transport group, Samskip has the negotiating power that works to the advantage of its airfreight customers and the support network to de-risk the airfreight supply chain.”

Samskip has 47 offices in 35 countries and said it will offer “airfreight services for high value cargoes, pier-to-pier and door-to-door”.

Samskip Air will be managed by Hans Blauw, who has previously held positions at KLM, Hellman Worldwide, FedEx, TNT and Aircraft Load Management.

He joins from logistics company Fairways Group and will report to Mon Verstegen, general manager freight forwarding, Samskip Logistics.

“As a career logistics professional, the opportunity to help Samskip Air become a force in airfreight logistics was too good to miss, in a market that is currently under-served on quality,” said Blauw.

“The group has exceptional skills in temperature-controlled goods, pharmaceuticals, electrical goods and automotive parts, and there is always room for services that offer reliability, cargo handling expertise, security and robust documentation.”

Tasma added: “Hans’s track record speaks for itself and we are delighted to welcome him aboard as the entrepreneurial engine driving Samskip Air. We look forward to consolidating our leading logistics role in Scandinavian fisheries exports and working with our global offices to develop other volumes and links at other airports.”

Samskip said that while Covid-19 brought a dip in 2020 traffic, recent years have seen annual freight volumes handled by Dutch airports stabilise at between 1.6m and 1.8m tonnes.

“Around 93% of this freight is handled at Schiphol, Europe’s no.2 airport for freight,” it said.

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