Etihad adds FreshForward cool chain product
12 / 09 / 2018
Middle East carrier Etihad Cargo has launched its FreshForward cool chain product for importing perishable goods to the UAE, adding last-mile delivery in its home market for selected products.
The new service ensures items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat and flowers move across across the Abu Dhabi based airline's global cargo network until they reach their final destination.
At Etihad Cargo's Abu Dhabi hub, FreshForward prioritises the transfer of perishable cargo from the aircraft into a dedicated centre, and then onto reefer trucks to be delivered directly to the customer’s doorstep, anywhere in the UAE.
The passenger and freighter operator said in a statement: "This marks a milestone in the expansion of Etihad’s value chain offering to include last-mile delivery in its home market for select products, itself a key pillar of Etihad’s refreshed strategy to expand services beyond its conventional airport-to-airport model."
The carrier, which has now sold to DHL Express its fleet of five A330-200 freighters which were parked in January this year, currently operates five Boeing 777 freighters and has the option to add a sixth.
Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Etihad Airways managing director cargo and logistics, said: “Etihad Cargo plays a vital role in stimulating the UAE’s imports and exports via our Abu Dhabi hub, and today we are delighted to introduce yet another product that will act as a further catalyst to this.
"Safe, efficient and timely transport is critical for the UAE’s major importers of fresh produce including supermarket chains, F&B wholesalers, restaurants and florists.”
A spokesperson said that Etihad Cargo has transported over 90,000 tons of perishables over the last 12 months. Fruits and vegetables made up more than 37% of the total, whilst meat (15,000 tons), flowers (19,000 tons) and fish (8,000 tons) were the other major categories carried by Etihad.
Etihad’s fleet of 109 narrow-body, wide-body and freighter aircraft fly to over 90 destinations globally, and are readily configured for perishable cargo compatibility, applying the highest levels of quality controls.
The Etihad Cargo network connects the UAE with key export markets globally, and also provides seamless transfer in Abu Dhabi for a global cold chain industry that boasts South American flowers, Indian mangoes and Australian lamb as some of its key products.
FreshForward is the latest release in Etihad Cargo’s revised commercial offering to increasingly address premium product segments.
Recent launches of new products such as FlightValet (automotive), FlyCulture (arts and music) and now FreshForward (cold chain), have been designed to specifically meet the unique attributes of those industries.