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Speed with clarity.

Lufthansa Cargo transports about 16,000 express shipments per week via the Express Hub in Frankfurt. What counts most are reliable handling and absolute transparency. Good for the customers: the Express Service td.Flash has now become even faster and more convenient.

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12:10 p.m. The LH 439 from Dallas lands on schedule at Frankfurt Airport. Thomas Schwenk has been eagerly awaiting the Airbus 340. However, there is no close relative or friend on board. 

“But there are spare parts for an automotive manufacturer. They have to go straight on to South Africa, where they are required for just-in-sequence assembly line production. Every minute counts.”

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As Apron Coordinator at Lufthansa Cargo, Schwenk is responsible for the transport logistics outside of the Express Terminal. Directly on the apron area, he controls the ramp handling of the express cargo from the USA, of which a number of units are to be earmarked for onward flight to Johannesburg.

Whether it’s spare parts for machines, sample collections, medicines or any other urgent shipments – the name of the best solution is td.Flash. Lufthansa Cargo’s fastest worldwide Express Service operates to more than 340 stations in over 90 countries. “td” stands for “time definite” and means that the cargo arrives at the destination at a promised time. And this means that the logistics professionals in Frankfurt have to be on the move all the time, since two-and-a-half hours is the time that has been set for the transit handling of the express shipments.

In reality, the employees at the Express Terminal usually have to make do with a lot less time. 

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“Often, we only have ten minutes to get the express cargo ready for transit,” Matthias Schulz explains. The 29-year-old Lufthansa Cargo manager is responsible for the handling process of td.Flash and td.X at the location Frankfurt and has been in the airfreight business for over ten years.

At 12:40 p.m., the cargo weighing approximately 17 tons is unloaded from the aircraft from Dallas and driven in transport containers and belly trailers to the 16,400-square-meter Express Terminal. The cargo data have already been available in the EDP of the main hub in Frankfurt since the flight took off. The containers are now opened in what is know as the break-down area of the Express Terminal, a hand scanner checks the cargo data and receipt of each individual shipment via the barcode label.

Shipments with Frankfurt as their destination are taken to the import area for delivery. All transit cargo is transported to the build-up area and prepared for onward flight. The 130 express employees from Lufthansa Cargo thus shift thousands of shipments every day – over 80,000 tons per year. “The customer can keep an eye on his or her cargo items during the entire transportation process,” Schulz explains. 

“Tracking via the Internet, WAP, fax or by phone enables status information requests round the clock.” A clear illustration of how the processes in the Express Hub actually work was also recently made available on the Lufthansa Cargo website (www.lufthansa-cargo.com/expressHub).

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It’s now 12:45 p.m. The spare parts are transported to the build-up area on the “fast lane”. The handling employee is informed about the exact position by EDP. At pallet slot B23 in the transit hub, the colleagues are already busy loading the cargo container for flight LH 572 to Johannesburg. 

All barcode labels are scanned again. “This way, we have the cargo data and current position of the shipment available every second,” express specialist Schulz explains. Precise EDP is one aspect, ambitious and motivated personnel the other in order to guarantee smooth-running and secure processes. 

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“The head of the section on duty and the process controller in the break-down area must be able to assess exactly how many employees are needed at any one time. This is why transparent data is continuously made available for all the persons involved,” says Schulz. 

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These processes are standardized and have already for many years not only been certified according to ISO 9001 ff, but also fulfill the standards of the EFQM model “Business Excellence”.

It’s 12:48 p.m. The entire batch is weighed. “Even though the information on the weights of each individual item of cargo is already stored in our system, we want to be absolutely certain,” Schulz explains. After all, this information is decisive for the flight: it serves as a basis for the calculation of data such as the maximum floor load, the trim and the required amount of fuel.

At 12:50 p.m., the spare parts move securely packaged in a container out of the Express Terminal, destined for Johannesburg. The Boeing 747-400 is already waiting on the apron, the containers are stowed in the lower deck. The Lufthansa Cargo station in South Africa already knows now that is on board the aircraft and can locally confirm the time of availability (TOA) for the customer.

13:45 p.m. The Frankfurt tower gives the all-clear for LH 572: take-off for about 28 tons of cargo. The shipment is on time, the destination will be reached inside the calculated time frame. td.Flash makes it possible.

http://lufthansa-cargo.com/network/hubs-service-center

td.Flash – now with service upgrade

td.Flash is Lufthansa Cargo’s fastest worldwide Express Service. A number of enhancements now make it even faster and more convenient. The most important aspects for the customers: the new Capacity Guarantee enables the guaranteed acceptance of td.Flash shipments weighing up to 200 kilograms – previously 100. They simply have to be booked at least three – and no longer up to six – hours in advance of the latest acceptance time (LAT).

The Performance Guarantee, on the other hand, has been extended: the claims period is now 14 instead of 7 days.

Another new service: the Overnight Option. If a td.Flash shipment is received after 18:00, it is made available for pick-up at many destinations inside Europe by 12:00 on the next day. In addition, the handling times to more than 25 major stations has been reduced, in some cases substantially. Furthermore, the Lufthansa Cargo trucking network in the USA has been extended from previously 12 to now 54 stations.
    
The basics of td.Flash

  •     Time Definite: The shipment arrives at the destination at a promised time.
  •     Tracking: Customers can access status information on shipments at any time.
  •     Quality assurance/Proactive communication: Customers are immediately informed about further procedure if there is a foreseeable delay.
  •     Performance Guarantee: If the shipment is not available at the latest three hours after the promised time of availability at the destination, up to 100 percent of the paid freight charges (max. 10,000 US dollars per air waybill) are reimbursed.
  •     Capacity Guarantee: Guaranteed acceptance of shipments up to 200 kilograms if booked in time.
  •     eBooking: Bookings can be made via GF-X, EDI or via the Lufthansa Cargo website.

Photos:

Nico Krauss

planet 2/2004

td.Flash – now with service upgrade

td.Flash is Lufthansa Cargo’s fastest worldwide Express Service. A number of enhancements now make it even faster and more convenient. The most important aspects for the customers: the new Capacity Guarantee enables the guaranteed acceptance of td.Flash shipments weighing up to 200 kilograms – previously 100. They simply have to be booked at least three – and no longer up to six – hours in advance of the latest acceptance time (LAT).

The Performance Guarantee, on the other hand, has been extended: the claims period is now 14 instead of 7 days.

Another new service: the Overnight Option. If a td.Flash shipment is received after 18:00, it is made available for pick-up at many destinations inside Europe by 12:00 on the next day. In addition, the handling times to more than 25 major stations has been reduced, in some cases substantially. Furthermore, the Lufthansa Cargo trucking network in the USA has been extended from previously 12 to now 54 stations.

The basics of td.Flash

  • Time Definite: The shipment arrives at the destination at a promised time.

  • Tracking: Customers can access status information on shipments at any time.

  • Quality assurance/Proactive communication: Customers are immediately informed about further procedure if there is a foreseeable delay.

  • Performance Guarantee: If the shipment is not available at the latest three hours after the promised time of availability at the destination, up to 100 percent of the paid freight charges (max. 10,000 US dollars per air waybill) are reimbursed.

  • Capacity Guarantee: Guaranteed acceptance of shipments up to 200 kilograms if booked in time.

  • eBooking: Bookings can be made via GF-X, EDI or via the Lufthansa Cargo website.

 

Photos:

Nico Krauss

planet 2/2004