Top 10 Air Freight Hubs: Part Deux
5.) CargoCity, Frankfurt Airport, Germany
Handling over 2.1 million tons of freight a year, and with the potential to grow to nearly double that by 2020, Frankfurt Airport is undeniably Europe's busiest cargo hub. The largest factor in the airport’s volume is the steady growth of its CargoCity over recent years. CargoCity provides an impressive array of special facilities, including a perishable center which offers 20 different climate zones as well as the world’s most advanced animal-handling stations that features 42 large animals stalls and 12 individually climate-controllable chambers.
4.) Cargo terminal complex, Incheon International Airport, South Korea
With a volume of 2.42 million tons of cargo and status as a major hub for cargo traffic in East Asia, it’s no surprise that Incheon International Airport is one of the top five busiest cargo-trafficking airports in the world. The complex, which was initially designed to process 1.7 million tons of cargo a year, is now able to handle 2.7 million tons a year. Located just south of Seoul, it is one of the main hubs for US-based carrier Polar Air Cargo and also serves Air China Cargo, British Airways World Cargo, Cargolux and China Airlines Cargo.
3.) Shanghai Pudong International Airport cargo terminal, Shanghai, China
An airport cargo terminal this impressive required more than your average founders. Shanghai Pudong International Airport Cargo Terminal Company was founded in 1999 by a joint venture headed by Shanghai Airport Group, Lufthansa Cargo and JHJ Logistics Management, and with a freight volume of nearly 2.6 million tons per year, their venture is truly a success. They invested a total of 479.02 m yuan (nearly $78 million USD) in a bid to establish Pudong International Airport as one of the major cargo hubs in China. The cargo terminal takes up over 135,000m², including cargo terminal buildings, parking areas, delivery and pick-up zones as well as a dangerous goods warehouse.
2.) Cargo Central / FedEx Express Super Hub, Memphis International Airport, US
Memphis International Airport has what is generally considered the largest cargo operation by volume of any airport worldwide—nearly 3.7 million tons per annum. This FedEx Express Super Hub handles approximately 3.3 million packages a day. Spread over an impressive five miles, the facility has parking slots for 175 aircraft and 300 miles of conveyor belts, and supports the largest air cargo fleet in the world.
Nothing, however, “lasts forever”, as confirmed by Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority President Larry Cox in a recent interview, confirming that Memphis’ 18-year reign as the world's top cargo airport has ended. The global recession has caused a global shift allowing the Hong Kong Airport to take its place at the top of the list.
1.) Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong
And our winner for the busiest and best cargo spots is the air cargo terminal at Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) since 1996, with a freight volume of nearly 3.7 million tons. So large is the volume that in 2008, the total cargo throughput at HKIA accounted for over 1/3 of the total value of the territory's external trade, amounting to HK $2,075 billion ($273 million USD). HKIA has two air cargo terminals, including a 328,000m² SuperTerminal that is the world's second-largest stand-alone air-handling facility. While these numbers are impressive, they pale when compared to current estimates which place the volume HKIA to eventually reach a total capacity of nine million tons per annum.
Cainiao Network Launches Customer-Centric Logistics
As the logistics division of the Alibaba Group, Cainiao Smart Logistics Network has decided to provide its Southeast Asian customers with unsurpassed service during its annual shopping festival. Based on customer feedback surveys, the company will expand its real-time customer service support and speed up delivery times. ‘By expanding and deepening our services, we aim to provide a stronger logistics infrastructure that can bolster the booming eCommerce sector, support merchants’ expansion into new markets and diversify retail options for consumers’, said Chris Fan, Head of Cross-Border, Singapore, Cainiao Network.
Who Is Cainiao?
According to TIME Magazine, Cainiao ‘is far from a typical logistics firm’. The company controls an open platform that allows it to collaborate with 3,000 logistics partners and 3 million couriers. This means that merchants can choose the least expensive and most efficient shipping options, based on Cainiao’s real-time logistics analytics. The company’s goal is to ship packages anywhere in the world in under 72 hours—and for less than US$3.00.
For countless small business owners around the world, from coffee-growers to textile-weavers, this could change everything. Usually, it costs about US$100 to ship a DHL envelope from Shanghai to London in five days. Cainiao aims to change that. Said its CEO Wan Lin: ‘The biggest barrier to globalisation is logistics’.
What’s Part of the Upgrade?
Throughout the Tmall festival, Cainiao’s logistics upgrade will be divided into four critical segments:
- Real-time customer service support. Cainiao has launched a direct WhatsApp channel for customers to receive logistics updates and ask questions.
- Expansion of air freight parcel size and weight limits. Packages can now be up to 30 kilograms or 1-metre x 1.6 meters to help ship large items such as furniture.
- Daily air and sea freight connections. Shipping frequency will almost double to seven times weekly to maintain resilience and efficiency.
- Compensation for lost or damaged packages. Customers will be reimbursed up to RMB 2,000 (US$311).
Where is the Company Headed?
From June 1st to June 20th, the finale of Tmall, Cainiao will ensure that its customers feel confident in the company’s ability to deliver their packages. Despite global shipping delays due to COVID, the show will go on. Said Fan: ‘This series of customer-centric logistics upgrades reaffirms our goal of pursuing value-added services to enhance customers’ shopping experience while mitigating challenges posed by external factors’.
Furthermore, Cainiao has recently expanded its Southeast Asian operations, achieving revenue growth of 68% year-over-year. In Malaysia, the logistics operation has partnered with BEST Inc. and Yunda; in Singapore, the company has partnered with Roadbull, Park & Parcel, and the Singapore Post. And if its recent measures help retain and grow its customer base, the company will be well-poised to lead the industry in resilient and customer-centric global logistics. ‘COVID-19 made everyone realise how important the logistics infrastructure backbone is’, said Wan. ‘And it gave us a peek at what Cainiao should look like in three years’.