The global coronavirus outbreak has rapidly changed the airfreight business. Import volumes at Frankfurt Airport have risen sharply, while exports have stagnated. Transfer cargo has almost been eliminated.
There has also been a noticeable shift in the shape and type of shipments towards small, loose packages. In tandem with its partners on-site, Frankfurt Airport has responded quickly to these changes, ensuring continued delivery of vital goods to Germany and Europe during the coronavirus pandemic.
Max Philipp Conrady, head of central cargo infrastructure at Fraport AG, the operator of Frankfurt Airport, commented: “Passenger planes being used as all-freighters require labor-intensive manual loading and unloading of cargo. Smooth handling is maintained thanks to very close cooperation among all partners involved – both in the airside apron area and on the landside of Frankfurt Airport.”
Landside cargo handlers have also noticed the sudden changes in the airfreight business. Claus Wagner, managing director at FCS Frankfurt Cargo Services, stated: “During the past few weeks we have been handling more than 200 metric tons of medical supplies daily. In April, we handled some 730,000 packages labelled ‘protective masks’. Our warehouse facilities are operating at full capacity, and our staff are working nonstop.”