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Korea’s door opener!

Woojung Air Consolidation from South Korea chiefly processes exports for a variety of carriers. The key service entails consolidating the freight of several forwarders and sending it on its way with Master Air Waybill.

With a skilful arm movement a ground handling employee spreads a cover made of transparent plastic over a pallet – conjuring up an image of a fisherman casting his net. The key difference is that in this case the “catch” has already been landed, namely in a warehouse in Incheon, South Korea’s largest airport. Goods are packed in cartons from various senders – earmarked for just as many recipients in Europe. Woojung Air Consolidation Inc. is responsible for grouping together the cartons on a pallet in a “Shipper Mixed Unit”. In a few hours’ time, a Lufthansa Cargo Boeing 777F carrying the group consignment will take off en route to Frankfurt.

Agents such as Woojung that focus on consolidating shipments, and subsequently draw up the Master Air Waybill (M-AWB) for the consolidated consignments, play a major role in South Korea – in contrast to almost all other national airfreight markets. One factor has facilitated the high level of specialization is South Korea’s economy. At number eleven according to the 2016 ranking of the International Monetary Fund, it is significantly reliant on foreign trade via airfreight. After all, the country locatedon a peninsula does not have an accessible land border.

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Some 400 forwarders in customer database.

However, specialists such as Woojung are in demand for other reasons too: their principals are forwarders, frequently small and medium-sized suppliers. And following the liberalisation of the corresponding licensing provisions in 1992, their number in South Korea has increased significantly. “Since then, the considerable influence of consolidators such as us has further increased,” says Andrew Yim, President and CEO of Woojung. His customer database now contains about 400 forwarders.

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Long-standing co-operation: Woojung President Andrew Yim (centre) and Yunjin Shin (right) from Lufthansa Cargo have been working together since 2003. Left: Klaus Hagenkord, Lufthansa Cargo Head of Sales and Handling Korea

Although Andrew Yim and his 65-strong team do not maintain direct relations with the shippers, they are familiar with the air freight they deal with. Woojung’s largest tonnage shares are attributable to mobile radio and other electrical appliances, car parts, plastics, clothing and products from South Korea’s traditionally strong semiconductor industry. Most of the consignments are exports. Whatever the flight destination, Woojung has partner service providers in more than 190 countries worldwide that deconsolidate the consignments and on request reforward them.
The advantage of this “typical Korean” model for the forwarders, and therefore the shippers too, is the fact that the service providers can guarantee the airlines comparatively large freight quantities and in return are granted more favourable conditions. “Lufthansa Cargo is our most important carrier,” says Andrew Yim. Established in 1999, his company started regularly booking capacities with Lufthansa Cargo soon after the turn of the millennium.
In that respect, one benefits from the extensive network in Woojung’s key target region Europe but also on other continents, explains Andrew Yim. 

In addition, the CEO emphasizes the now daily flights with the Boeing 777F from Incheon to Frankfurt – and the “Triple Seven” itself: “We benefit hugely from your abundant capacity.” This is all reflected in the increasing tonnage. “In the previous year we transported more than 1,600 tons for Woojung – almost 50 percent more than in 2015,” says Yunjin Shin, Senior Sales Representative at Lufthansa Cargo with responsibility held for the customer since 2003. In the first six months of 2017 it was more than1,000 tons, a further sharp increase.
“The well-designed products, in particular with regard to the crucial factor time, are an additional advantage,” says Yim. By way of td.Basic, td.Pro and td.Flash, Lufthansa Cargo had a suitable offer for each priority level. However, ultimately, there was also increasing demand for goods that need to be cooled or flown at a regulated temperature. “This is where the special products Cool/td and Fresh/td repeatedly help us to acquire orders.”

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Upward trend: in the first six months of 2017, Lufthansa Cargo transported 1,000 tons of freight for Woojung. It the previous year

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Strong carriers such as Lufthansa Cargo therefore enable the service provider to grow further – and take care of that part of the operations so that it can pursue new projects. Woojung therefore now consolidates the shipments at Incheon Airport in its own warehouse where all customs formalities are also dealt with. To that end the company has information about the status of the licensed commercial operator facilitating the shipments to the European Union.
On request, Woojung transports goods via its own trucks from all over South Korea to the airfreight hub Incheon – and therefore takes on the additional work from the forwarders. “With that in mind we established a dedicated transport division in May 2017,” says Andrew Yim. And the South Koreans are also increasingly dealing with imports. In that respect they make use of their worldwide partner network – and their preferred carrier Lufthansa Cargo.

Photos:
Ben Weller


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Mars tomatoes.

Lufthansa Cargo flies a satellite to California to cultivate tomatoes in the Earth’s orbit. The aims of the Eu:CROPIS project include at some stage feeding people on the Moon and on Mars.

It is the year 2045. In the barren, red landscape the evening meal is being served for members of the Mars station – under a sparkling canopy of stars where a trained eye can also see the scientists’ home planet. Earth. On the table is tomato salad – healthy food for space travelers. And tomatoes are a source of key vitamins and minerals. The vegetables – and that makes them so special – were not brought to Mars as you might think via a Lufthansa Cargo shuttle. They were grown there.

There is still a long way to go until a manned Mars mission can support itself with vegetables. However, basic research in that respect is now already under way. At the beginning of 2018, under the name Eu:CROPIS the German Aerospace Center (DLR) will send a satellite into space with a special load: tomato seeds, cell organisms, synthetic urine and a trickle filter.

Eu:CROPIS.

Eu:CROPIS.

Alexis von Hoensbroech, Board Member Product and Sales Lufthansa Cargo, who holds a doctoral degree in astrophysics, was in Bremen to gain first-hand knowledge of the satellite during the “planet” on-site visit.

High, hermetically sealed laboratory rooms that can only be viewed via galleries at a much higher level. The future is behind each glass pane: robot arms simulating landings on celestial bodies. Specially encased containers that test the performance of cryogenic fuel in tanks. Behind one of the square, security glass panes: the Eu:CROPIS project. Or to be more precise, Euglena and Combined Regenerative Organic-food Production in Space. The load is not yet on-site but the satellite, which is to house the tomato farm in space and which the space engineers are assembling here, is now almost compete.

 

 

In the satellite 16 cameras will monitor how the plants grow in two greenhouses from seeds to produce ripe tomatoes. Why tomatoes actually? “Very simple. Tomatoes can be easily recognized in the pictures,” explains Hartmut Müller. The experienced project manager at Eu:CROPIS was previously a member of the Columbus Project, Europe’s contribution to the International Space Station ISS, a multi-purpose laboratory for multi-disciplinary research in zero gravity. At Eu:CROPIS, crucial helpers are on board: microorganisms in a DLR trickle filter convert the synthetic urine into fertilizer and water.

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Manufacturing the satellite in Bremen: DLR aerospace engineer Sebastian Kottmeier explains the tasks of the various modules of the satellite, which is about one cubic meter in size, to Alexis von Hoensbroech in the clean room.

From space to the world: A cubic meter of future.

From space to the world: A cubic meter of future.

Cell organisms – so-called Euglena – from the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg protect the system against ammonia and simultaneously provide it with oxygen. LED lights simulate day and night. On Earth, the system is already up and running. Now the researchers want to find out how the tomatoes grow amid different gravitations. To that end, the Earth’s gravitational force needs to be neutralized. To bring that about the DLR experts will install the mini-greenhouses in a satellite that will orbit far above the Earth and its force of gravity at a height of 600 kilometers. For six months the satellite will rotate around its own axis at 18 revolutions per minute. This enables the scientists to replicate the Moon’s gravity (0.16 G). In the following six months, the revolutions will be increased to 30 per minute and create 0.33 G, the gravity of Mars. “We are the first to conduct such investigations,” says Müller.
In full safety clothing, Alexis von Hoensbroech asks Sebastian Kottmeier to explain the technology in the clean room. The young aerospace engineer is responsible for the coordinated production of the various systems in the project. “The satellite and its modules are extremely sensitive. 

 

 

We therefore want to reduce external influencing factors to a minimum. Only specially trained colleagues work directly on the satellite.” The system also needs to be sealed throughout the transport operation to the Vandenberg Spaceport in California. The satellite will be loaded in full while still in the clean room. Meeting the safety requirements is also a challenge: the DLR is not certified as a “Safe Sender”. Michael Aschmies, Sales Employee at Lufthansa Cargo in Bremen supports the transport operation in conjunction with forwarder ILS and has agreed on a special process with the German Federal Civil Aviation Authority (LBA) in light of the particular requirements. A certified colleague comes from Frankfurt with a mobile mass spectrometer, a so-called sniffer, and examines the consignment for hazardous goods before it is sealed. In an air suspension thermo truck the consignment is then taken from Bremen to Frankfurt. There the Eu:CROPIS satellite is carefully loaded into the freighter to Los Angeles and flown to California.

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The seals are only removed once the satellite is in the integration room in Vandenberg and has been unpacked. It is scheduled to be sent into space with a Falcon 9 rocket as early as the start of 2018. “We expect to receive the initial results while the mission is still in progress,” says Müller. The scientists are not only interested in survival in space. The results may also be of interest for mining and underwater stations, habitats in the Arctic, radiation-protected disaster areas or simply for farming and the preparation of drinking water. Alexis von Hoensbroech demonstrates his interest and asks “Why are you testing the system for both Mars and the Moon?” Müller: “The Moon is also extremely exciting. Many people believe that we know a great deal about that planet because we have been there.” Six manned American Apollo missions did indeed land on the Earth’s satellite planet in the 1960s and 1970s.

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“That is comparable with the statement that I landed on the Earth six times and am familiar with the entire planet.” If a mission were to be started on the Moon today, numerous scientists would be interested: geologists, space scientists, geophysicists and radio astronomers. “The Moon is a geological archive that goes back to the creation of the solar system. What remains out of our reach here on Earth is on the surface there,” says Müller. The Moon presents an opportunity for radio astronomers too: “There are plans to set up a telescope with a diameter of 15 kilometers to 20 kilometers on the rear side that can search to just before the Big Bang. The rear side of theMoon is the only place where that is possible because the telescope would be completely protected from the Earth’s radio waves.

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Thanks to the Helium 3 reserves on the Moon, the topic of energy production captures just as much interest as space travel tourism. In addition, the Moon could indeed serve as a base station for expeditions to Mars. Müller believes that expeditions could land on Mars in the 30s and 40s of this century. “However, we would previously set up a greenhouse and make sure nutrition is available.” Upon concluding his customer visit, Alexis von Hoensbroech posed the following question: “And where do you see airfreight in that period?” “Intercontinental provisions on an hourly basis,” says Müller, which makes the Lufthansa Cargo Board Member smile.

Photos:
Bernhard Huber
DLR


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Alps meet the Rockies.

The “Almresi” in Vail, Colorado, delights its guests with great attention to detail. Lufthansa Cargo supplies the traditional restaurant with specialities from the Black Forest in Germany.

The tranquil, small town of Vail in the US state of Colorado

The tranquil, small town of Vail in the US state of Colorado

is one of North America’s most well-known winter sports resorts. A very special attraction has adorned the location, where skiing ace Lindsey Vonn trains on the slopes, since Christmas 2016 – the “Almresi”. Rustic wood panelling, out of service cowbells hanging from the ceiling and lovingly decorated milk cans in almost every corner exude the charm of Alpine mountain huts in the interior of this rustic restaurant surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. “The customers appreciate our attention to detail,” says Alyssa Thoma, General Manager of the “Almresi”.

“We offer traditional, cosy Alpine flair with dishes from Austria, Switzerland and Germany. We imported the entire interior from Germany.” Some 20 employees in authentic costumes tend to the culinary needs of up to 120 guests. “Almresi” has been more than a year in the making from the initial idea to a crowd-puller in a prestigious location. “All ingredients for the dishes are imported from Germany to ensure we remain as authentic as possible,” explains Alyssa Thoma. “Furthermore, customers can purchase any of the furnishings, decorations or clothing at Almresi.”

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The “Almresi” relies on Lufthansa Cargo as a logistics partner.

Large-scale deliveries arrive in Vail every three months. “However, depending on the customers’ requirements, smaller orders are now also dispatched,” says Alyssa Thoma. “We appreciate the importance Lufthansa Cargo attaches to its customers. Their employees don’t dwell on problems, they provide solutions straight away. In addition, the company very quickly geared its operations towards our individual requirements.” Lufthansa Cargo at Stuttgart Airport (STR) is responsible for regular deliveries from the Black Forest. Orders are transported by truck to Frankfurt Airport. A Boeing 747-400 of the Lufthansa Passage takes off there daily en route to Colorado. 

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After more than a ten and a half hour flight, the Jumbo lands at Denver International Airport (DEN). Alyssa Thoma: “This means we receive the goods from Germany in just three to five days depending on the content and how long the goods are held in customs in Denver. From the airport, they are taken by truck to the Vail Pass. The process is only delayed if the route needs to be spontaneously blocked due to heavy snowfall – but that is rare."

Photos: 
Frank van den Bergh
Brent Bingham


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Panda celebrities.

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing were greeted like guests of state when they arrived in Berlin-Schönefeld in July. Lufthansa Cargo spared no effort in ensuring the safe transport and welfare of these rare bears.

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Jiao Qing.

The male panda, Jiao Qing (pronounced: Jiao Tsching), which translates as “little darling,” was born in Chengdu on July 15, 2010 and weighs in at an impressive 108 kilograms. He is not only rather inquisitive and mischievous but also relatively active, which is unusual for a panda. As one would expect from a true panda bear, he can be quite querulous and remonstrative if he has to wait too long for his bamboo shoots.

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Meng Meng.

A round face and a short snout? That can only be the female panda Meng Meng (“little dream”)! The animal keepers at Berlin’s Zoo have been hard at work practising the correct pronunciation: “Möng Möng.” This mild-mannered and docile bear was born in Chengdu on July 10, 2013 and weighs around 77 kilograms.

Protecting pandas is our highest priority.

Protecting pandas is our highest priority.

Dark button eyes, round faces and furry ears – it is almost impossible to resist the charms of these black-and-white creatures. But the future of these rare bears is threatened and they are still considered a vulnerable species: 1,864 giant pandas live in the wild and only 54 in zoos outside China. Accordingly, there was frenzied interest from onlookers as two of these treasured animals landed at Berlin-Schönefeld on June 24, touching down at 2.53 pm on flight LH 8415. The Lufthansa Cargo MD-11F was specially rerouted from Chengdu as the regular flight schedule from there is only expected to recommence in January 2018. Meng Meng and Jiao Qing were greeted like guests of state. The airport’s fire service saluted the freighter with a plume of water and the cockpit crew waved a German and a Chinese flag in front of some 30 journalists assembled on the apron. The two giant pandas seemed unimpressed by all the hoopla. They gazed around with interest, obviously having enjoyed their twelvehour flight. Hardly surprising, considering the couple received first-class treatment on board – including round-the-clock supervision from Dr. Andreas Ochs, chief veterinarian at the Berlin Zoo, and two handlers from China. There were also enough in-flight snacks to keep them happy: the MD-11F had loaded one tonne of bamboo. 

Upon arrival, the pandas were greeted by numerous prominent figures, among them China’s Ambassador to Berlin, Shi Mingde, Berlin’s Mayor, Michael Müller, and Berlin Zoo director Andreas Knieriem. The welcoming committee also included Alexis von Hoensbroech, Board Member Product and Sales at Lufthansa Cargo. 

Mayor Müller said: “I take great personal pride in welcoming our two new Berliners. We’re very pleased to see Berlin being graced by another great attraction.” Shi Mingde explained the phenomenon behind pandas, saying: “In China, pandas are regarded as a national treasure. China without pandas is simply inconceivable, which is why the preservation and protection of these animals is our highest priority.”

Meng Meng and Jiao Qing were later driven to their new home, an enclosure in Berlin’s Zoo that cost ten million euros and was approved by a Chinese delegation. The two bears, the only pandas in Germany, are on loan for 15 years. Berlin Zoo will pay 920,000 euros a year to host them, with 90 percent of the money being invested in panda protection and breeding research. Given the cost, the zoo hopes that the exotic couple will ultimately produce a cub.

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The man in charge of this precious freight on behalf of Lufthansa Cargo was Wolfgang Handke from the Sales Team Berlin, who joined the airline in 1982 and accompanied a panda-flight in the 1990s. The responsible parties on the Chinese side were Yuan Fang, Head of Handling Northern Asia, and Hasso Schmidt, Head of Sales & Handling Eastern China, who has also been with Lufthansa since 1982. “The whole operation was a great team effort by both countries. The same goes for the coordination outside of our hubs,” said Handke. Everything had to be run by him: from visas for the accompanying handlers to communications with customs and plant protection for the bamboo on board right up to coordinating the freighter’s parking position with Schönefeld airport. “It’s better when one person is involved in everything, it makes things a whole lot simpler,” the sales manager explained. When the pandas leave Berlin in 15 years, he will likely not be involved. “Organizing a second transport for giant pandas is a lovely end to a career. I’ll probably be retired by the time the next pandas arrive.”

Shi Mingde, the Chinese Ambassador to Berlin, called the two panda bears “national treasures.” Accordingly, the official unveiling of the new panda enclosure attracted highranking guests: seen here are Chancellor Angela Merkel and China’s President, Xi Jinping.

 

Photos:
Lufthansa Cargo, Zoo Berlin, Frederic Schweizer
Planet 2/2017


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Mister Fresh.

Able Freight ships California’s delicacies all over the world. For example, strawberries reach Singapore’s supermarkets 72 hours after harvesting in the USA.

Fast innovative pace.

Fast innovative pace.

"One thing I understood very early on: we all need to eat,” says Orlando Wong. Born in Hong Kong, the 55 year-old self-made man founded the perishables specialist Able Freight in Los Angeles more than 20 years ago. But Wong also learned quickly: the worldwide transport of fresh goods is a highly complex field for complete specialists. Every hour counts when shipping food: “Amid the global increase in the standard of living, above all in Asia, ever more people want food that is as fresh as possible. However, perishables such as berries do not survive transportation by sea,” says Wong. His reply to the increased demand for fresh products is a combination of numbers: 24/7/365.

Able Freight’s 300 employees spread over six locations mean it is accessible for its customers around the clock. In Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, Kona, Guadalajara and Mexico City, the Able Freight professionals maintain close ties with large fruit and vegetable producers, farmers and exporters for whom they organize the worldwide export of perishables.

In Santa Maria near Los Angeles, Wong is in close contact with David Medina from the berry producer Driscoll’s. After picking, the quality of the strawberries, raspberries and blueberries is immediately controlled. They are then packed, pre-cooled for the transport and loaded into airfreight containers by Able Freight employees in the refrigerated warehouse. At the latest 72 hours following the harvest in California, the fresh fruit will be on sale in a supermarket in Singapore. Wong has established a finely-tuned international network of perishable professionals, his local heroes, who at all additional stations ensure that the delivery chain, including to the trade, runs smoothly.

Able Freight supplies the entire world although Asia is one of the principal sales markets. Ninety eight percent of all deliveries are made by airfreight, e.g. with Fresh/td in Lufthansa Cargo’s cooled freight areas and temperature-controlled containers.

The challenges are as diverse as the goods in the refrigerated containers: during the cherry season from May to July in California and Washington, the task on hand consists of making available large volume capacities for the transport to Incheon in South Korea – “if necessary via fully chartered aircraft,” says Wong.

Honoring the strict requirements, the Performance Qualifications (PQs), is the top priority in that respect. While the US military requests a precise mixture ratio of salad mix ingredients for military bases in Japan, South Korea and Guam, the large supermarket chains specify stringent transport standards to extend the shelf life and therefore the sales period. 

The strict control regulations of the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA), on the basis of which 100 percent of the goods need to be checked according to defined security procedures, pose an additional challenge for all transport operations involvingfresh food. “That not only costs valuable time, it means perishable transporters need to make a huge effort in respect of putting in place suitable infrastructure and training and appointing qualified employees for the security checks,” says Orlando Wong.

Each transport hour needs to be deducted from the storage period in the supermarket and for the ultimate consumer – the shelf life. Therefore, Wong consistently relies on innovative technologies to further reduce delivery times.

Where possible, Able Freight now uses the eAWB. “The exchange of information via electronic data interchange (EDI) is much quicker and more detailed than by e-mail or telephone. Our sector needs to become more modern,” says Wong. For the entrepreneur that means that the tracking of goods must be further improved by way of complete tracking technologies. “We are analyzing the extent to which a higher level of automation can save personnel and – more importantly – reduce human error.” Automated fault management was also crucial in this respect. In addition, Wong believes that in ten years’ time business intelligence, that is the evaluation of big data from Able Freight’s daily data flow, will play a much bigger role in the short and medium-term control of the company. In Lufthansa Cargo, Able Freight has a partner capable of matching its fast innovative pace. Orlando Wong: “Lufthansa Cargo has a good network and great employees who grasp the importance of correct temperatures. Above all it is the company’s readiness to embrace new technologies that we find convincing.”

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Solutions for fresh professionals.

When Orlando Wong talks to David Medina from Driscoll’s Inc., the berry producer located in Santa Maria, CA, it is often about how the fruit can reach the supermarket shelves even quicker and with greater sensitivity. At Lufthansa Cargo, the product selected for perishable commodities is Fresh/td. By way of a temperature-controlled environment during the flight and storage, as well as specially trained personnel, Lufthansa Cargo offers the best conditions for transporting sensitive goods fast. Whatever the cargo, the customer decides whether it should be sent as a standard or extra fast shipment, i.e. via td.Pro or td.Flash.

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Most of the Able Freight goods go to Asia, almost always as air freight. Buyers can look forward to fresh fruit: only three days pass between harvest and supermarket shelf.

Photos:
Edward Carreon
Planet 2/2017


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Masterpieces.

Montblanc’s writing instruments are icons and precious collectors’ items. Particularly valuable models are transported from Hamburg via Lufthansa Cargo.

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Secure flight for fine nibs.

Lufthansa Cargo offers the valuable cargo product Safe/td for precious freight items such as the Montblanc Ultimate Serpent Limited Edition 1 (left) – price: 1.2 million euros – and much more. A valuable freight box co-designed by Lufthansa Cargo as well as sealed containers guarantee the greatest possible security. Employees accompany the transport to the aircraft. Likewise upon unloading: Lufthansa Cargo employees take over the monitoring even before the loading doors are opened at the destination airport. Such precious items are stored before and after the flight in specially secure areas, for example in a separate, video-monitored and electronically secure room to which only authorised employees with a corresponding permit can gain access.

Rouge et Noir LE 1

Rouge et Noir LE 1

is written on the goldcoloured inlay. The black varnished wooden stand enhances the brilliance of the lavishly decorated nib. Alongside it is the engraving. “LE 1” – this abbreviation makes collectors throughout the world shiver with delight. It means just a single model of the Limited Edition of the fountain pen decorated with 99 grams of 740 rose gold exists worldwide. The “Ultimate Serpent Limited Edition 1” of the “Rouge et Noir” nib icon from Montblanc came at a price of 1.2 million euros when issued. The special production pays tribute to the original 1906 model that paved the way for an unrivalled company history. The wooden stand with the prototype of the gold nib decorated with a snake design as well as other highly exclusive models can be viewed in the nib production of the Montblanc headquarters in Hamburg.

Jade and mammoth rusk as an exclusive edition.

About 1,000 of the 3,000 plus Montblanc employees work at the Hamburg location. This is where the writing instruments are produced and is the core of the luxury brand, which has been part of the Richemont Group since 1993 and in the meantime is known for exclusive accessories such as bags and leather goods as well as high-quality watches.

At various stages the employees here process the blanks stamped from gold bands that can meet the high expectations of customers purchasing Montblanc products. Many of the men and women who work here are professional watchmakers, jewellers or have worked in dental technology. They have a steady hand and the absolute precision for example to weld the iridium tips and decorate the nibs in numerous stages by hand.

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During its development in 1906, the exclusive “Rouge et Noir” fountain pen was seen as an outstanding technical achievement because it could be used easily without having to dip the nib in an inkwell. Today, the writing instruments with the Montblanc star are no longer purely articles of everyday use but rather precious collectors’ items. And the worldwide clientele is increasing. “Above all the Asian market is growing fast,” says Oliver Gößler, Managing Director of Montblanc Germany. Many particularly luxurious models and individual special productions are sold in China and India for example.

To honour the design requested by solvent customers to their satisfaction, engineers work in the Artisan Studio at Montblanc in Hamburg at highly modern workplaces on the planning and design of the special models. It is often the case that magnificent decorations in gold, diamonds and jade or other rare materials such as mammoth tusk are crafted here.

From Hamburg many of the finished writing instruments – from the classic “Meisterstück” to a special production costing several hundred thousand euros – are transported by airfreight to customers worldwide.

Lufthansa Cargo Safe/td is used to bring the precious consignments securely to the destination. “The complete documentation of the transport chain based on the security principle is the Alpha and Omega of our valuable freight transport operations, for example for Montblanc,” explains Michael Medved, who in the capacity of Account Manager Sales in Hamburg is also responsible for the fine writing instruments from the Hanseatic City. “The goods are removed from the safe and initially placed in a sealed, special container co-designed by us and accompanied to the aircraft. An additional colleague takes possession of them there and in turn at the destination airport hands them over personally to the next Lufthansa Cargo employee.

Until they are handed over to the forwarding agent, the goods are once again stored in a safe in the safety zone,” says Medved about the transport process. Lufthansa Cargo is repeatedly used to transfer Montblanc special models for presentations or photo shoots: “On occasion, in particular in the case of strictly limited series, one of the few models will need to be forwarded swiftly and returned to its original location just as quickly. That can only be achieved by air,” says Oliver Gößler. After more than 110 years of Montblanc, collectors are still curious about the exciting creations and special editions that leave the Hamburg production facility. Most of all, of course, the next “LE 1”.

Photos: Christoph Börries

Planet 2/2017


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Everything except ­pepperoni pizza.

Everything except pepperoni pizza Whenever Bruce, the Weimaraner hunting dog, has to travel, his owner calls Air Animal Pet Movers. The pet shipping specialists team up with Lufthansa Cargo, using the new service Live/td Premium. The verdict: it provides even more comfort for pets and owners.

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Bruce faces a journey of more than 7,000 kilometers. The eleven-year old Weimaraner with the floppy ears and amber-colored eyes will be traveling from the Sunshine State of Florida to Belgium. Although he most probably suspects that he is about to embark on a journey, Bruce remains unperturbed. His owner works for NATO and is relocating from the US Gulf Coast to the North Sea for the second time within the last few years. Until Bruce’s family has found a house, Bruce will be staying with friends in the countryside. “The perfect opportunity to pursue his favorite pastime: chasing rabbits,” Ted confided. 

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Wagging his tail, Bruce looks curiously around Dr. Walter Woolf’s consulting room in Tampa and willingly allows the vet to examine him. 

Here, at Air Animal Pet Movers, the Weimaraner is in the best hands. Walter Woolf and his team are professionals. For more than 38 years now, they have provided a way to ensure that animals travel safely and in comfort from A to B. They have relocated more than 45,000 dogs, cats, birds, fish and other animals. Bruce travels first class today, thanks to Lufthansa Cargo’s new premium service of its special product Live/td.

Air Animal Pet Movers are among the first customers to be testing the comprehensive care-free package. Bruce is one of the first passengers. “Animals are family members,” says Marco Klapper, Product Manager of Live/td. “It’s important to reassure pet owners that their four-legged friends will be comfortable and well taken care of during the trip.”

 

 

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Transfer to the airport:

the four-legged and winged passengers enjoy all the creature comforts, even on the ground.

Photo greeting from Frankfurt.

This is where Live/td Premium comes in, which can be booked for flights and transit stopovers in Frankfurt. “Before embarking on a trip, pet owners are provided with useful transport information; any further queries can be sent to an exclusive e-mail address made available to them,” says Marco Klapper. The Lufthansa Cargo Animal Lounge in Frankfurt provides ample space for premium passengers. “Specific requirements, such as special food and medication, are also met,” says Klapper. Despite his first-class status, Bruce must forego his favorite food – pepperoni pizza – health comes first. Nevertheless, the Weimaraner enjoys his stay in the Animal Lounge. Relaxing in his box, he enjoys having his fur ruffled by the animal attendants, who took a photo of him on his arrival and e-mailed it to Ted, his owner. This may be perceived as trivial, but it certainly does constitute an important element of the new premium service. “When we go on a trip, we also send a short greeting to our loved ones at home, saying ‘I’ve arrived and am doing fine’,” explains Marco Klapper. The idea works; Ted is delighted with the sign of life. A short while later, Bruce continues his journey to Brussels and can finally celebrate his reunion with his family in the Belgian countryside. “Many pet owners are prejudiced against air freight transportation. All they can imagine are noisy, icy cold cargo holds,” explains the veterinarian. “This is why we continuously provide information, enabling us to introduce Live/td Premium as a fantastic product.” While xcustomers previously simply had to trust that everything would proceed as planned, they can now ask for feedback and receive a photo greeting as confirmation upon their pets’ arrival in Frankfurt. “Premium service reflects our philosophy,” says Woolf. “Simply dumping animals in a box and shipping them off – that’s not who we are and what we do. We invest our whole heart and soul in our work.” Woolf opened his business by pure chance. After completing his studies in Philadelphia, he opened a veterinary practice near Tampa International Airport in 1961. Many airline carriers that moved pets at that time sought his advice when documents were issued incorrectly or the owners arrived much later than their four-legged friends. “I was told at the time that my services would only be needed once or twice a year. This soon became once or twice a week and ultimately developed into a 24/7 service.” The idea to handle the transport himself with a kind of travel agency for animals germinated in his mind. “Forwarding agencies with experience in animal transport strongly advised me against it as it would only cause a great deal of trouble.” But Woolf was undeterred and created a success story. “Our success is also largely based on the service of the airline carriers that cooperate with us,” says Woolf. In particular, the cooperative venture with Lufthansa Cargo is superb. “Lufthansa Cargo has many committed employees who share our philosophy,” he says full of praise. “What I always feel is the great passion, namely the passion for pets!”

Photo greeting from Frankfurt.

This is where Live/td Premium comes in, which can be booked for flights and transit stopovers in Frankfurt. “Before embarking on a trip, pet owners are provided with useful transport information; any further queries can be sent to an exclusive e-mail address made available to them,” says Marco Klapper. The Lufthansa Cargo Animal Lounge in Frankfurt provides ample space for premium passengers. “Specific requirements, such as special food and medication, are also met,” says Klapper. Despite his first-class status, Bruce must forego his favorite food – pepperoni pizza – health comes first. Nevertheless, the Weimaraner enjoys his stay in the Animal Lounge. Relaxing in his box, he enjoys having his fur ruffled by the animal attendants, who took a photo of him on his arrival and e-mailed it to Ted, his owner. This may be perceived as trivial, but it certainly does constitute an important element of the new premium service. “When we go on a trip, we also send a short greeting to our loved ones at home, saying ‘I’ve arrived and am doing fine’,” explains Marco Klapper. The idea works; Ted is delighted with the sign of life. A short while later, Bruce continues his journey to Brussels and can finally celebrate his reunion with his family in the Belgian countryside. “Many pet owners are prejudiced against air freight transportation. All they can imagine are noisy, icy cold cargo holds,” explains the veterinarian. “This is why we continuously provide information, enabling us to introduce Live/td Premium as a fantastic product.”

While customers previously simply had to trust that everything would proceed as planned, they can now ask for feedback and receive a photo greeting as confirmation upon their pets’ arrival in Frankfurt. “Premium service reflects our philosophy,” says Woolf. “Simply dumping animals in a box and shipping them off – that’s not who we are and what we do. We invest our whole heart and soul in our work.” Woolf opened his business by pure chance. After completing his studies in Philadelphia, he opened a veterinary practice near Tampa International Airport in 1961. Many airline carriers that moved pets at that time sought his advice when documents were issued incorrectly or the owners arrived much later than their four-legged friends. “I was told at the time that my services would only be needed once or twice a year. This soon became once or twice a week and ultimately developed into a 24/7 service.” The idea to handle the transport himself with a kind of travel agency for animals germinated in his mind. “Forwarding agencies with experience in animal transport strongly advised me against it as it would only cause a great deal of trouble.” But Woolf was undeterred and created a success story. “Our success is also largely based on the service of the airline carriers that cooperate with us,” says Woolf. In particular, the cooperative venture with Lufthansa Cargo is superb. “Lufthansa Cargo has many committed employees who share our philosophy,” he says full of praise. “What I always feel is the great passion, namely the passion for pets!”

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Welcome to the Animal Lounge!

Marco Klapper, Product Manager at Live/td, at the portal of the animal station of Lufthansa Cargo in Frankfurt. Bruce will be flown from here to Brussels.

Photos:
Daniel Kummer
Edward Filler
Lufthansa Cargo 

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Connecting flexibility and quality.

Statements by Stephan Haltmayer, Managing Director of QCS-Quick Cargo Service.

Excellent teamwork: Stephan Haltmayer (l.), Managing Director of QCS-Quick Cargo Service, and his Lufthansa Cargo sales contact Christopher Biaesch always look for the direct line of communication to keep their customers satisfied.

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Airport Frankfurt am Main, apron, March 2, 11.30 a.m. Stephan Haltmayer is the epitome of composure. His flight to Bangkok is departing in a good three hours. The Managing Director of QCS-Quick Cargo Service will be meeting important Asian partners and customers there at a regional logistics conference. Three days later, the head of the mid-sized forwarding company from Mörfelden near Frankfurt will travel on to São Paulo – for sales talks. “I still have to pack my bags,” Haltmayer remarks with a smile, pretty relaxed despite the tight schedule.

Before setting off, he takes the time, together with Christopher Biaesch, his sales contact at Lufthansa Cargo, to answer the questions of the planet reporter team on the subject of quality and to accompany it to the freighter to Shanghai on the apron for photos showing a QCS shipment. “In our industry, quality is always connected with keeping your cool when the pace gets hectic,” says Haltmeyer.

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The forwarder is a good discussion partner when it comes to quality in the airfreight industry. His company won the Lufthansa Cargo Quality Award in 2011. “The airfreight business is rapid-moving and requires a lot of flexibility,” Haltmeyer points out. “But if you don’t have people who work precisely, all the speed is worth nothing.”

The achievement of the award by QCS was primarily attributable to its excellent supply quality. More specifically: QCS almost always complied with the exact delivery quantities notified and always made its shipments including the required documents available punctually. Lufthansa Cargo’s decision to launch the Quality Award was by no means selfless: “Our analyses revealed that our own quality depends to about 30 percent on the preliminary performance of the forwarders,” says Lufthansa Cargo Key Account Manager Christopher Biaesch.

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The quality of the airline is continuously monitored, with the “Notification for Delivery” indicator (NFD). To ensure that Lufthansa Cargo can be the quality leader here, the airline requires clear booking data from the forwarders at an early a stage as possible, no “no-shows” (these are shipments that are booked but then not delivered) and compliance with the IATA criterion “ready for carriage”. This is the case when cargo and documents have been properly delivered to the airline – a precondition for the ability to reliably carry out airport-to-airport transportation at all.

“Good processes are the prerequisite for good quality,” Stephan Haltmayer confirms. “This applies at Lufthansa Cargo and in our company too. But the human factor is also decisive for success. The Quality Award was primarily won by our employees with their know-how and their commitment.”

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QCS is one of the ten biggest owner-operated IATA forwarders in Germany. The company has made a name for itself as a reliable logistics service provider for mid-sized firms in the export industry. Mechanical engineering companies, automotive suppliers and steel, pharmaceutical and chemical firms are on the list of customers. “Mid-sized firms like working together with mid-sized firms,” says Haltmayer.

“The employees here also think entrepreneurially.” Under no circumstances does he intend becoming dependent on individual key account customers.QCS is one of the ten biggest owner-operated IATA forwarders in Germany. The company has made a name for itself as a reliable logistics service provider for mid-sized firms in the export industry. Mechanical engineering companies, automotive suppliers and steel, pharmaceutical and chemical firms are on the list of customers. “Mid-sized firms like working together with mid-sized firms,” says Haltmayer. “The employees here also think entrepreneurially.” Under no circumstances does he intend becoming dependent on individual key account customers.

QCS is represented with its own branch offices at all major German airport locations.

Globally, it cooperates with other locally based, mid-sized forwarders. One important recipe for success here: “We only work together with hand-picked, financially sound partners, whom we know personally and whom our customers can trust,” says Stephan Haltmayer. “This is an integral part of our quality philosophy.”

The processes of the network are discussed locally on a monthly basis.

For this reason alone, Haltmayer and his management team have to travel a lot. The meetings, however, also turn their attention to customer acquisition. After all, the consignees are often enough the ones who have to pay for the transport and logistics services and who are thus also allowed to choose the service provider.

This also extends to the choice of carrier. “In many cases, we recommend Lufthansa Cargo,” says Haltmayer. “With its strong network, there are reliable high-frequency connections out of Germany to all markets that are important for us.” These include in particular India, the U.S., and, more recently again, Brazil. “China, of course, is also important, although a slower growth has been recently confirmed here due to the increasingly strong currency and rising labor costs.”
    
Haltmayer also sees Lufthansa Cargo ahead of the competition with respect to eBooking and “troubleshooting”. “There you have it again, the combination of intelligent processes and personal commitment,” he says.

“Our employees have the carer gene.”

“We need partners on the airline side who adopt exactly the same approach.” Underlining the point, he pats Christopher Biaesch on the shoulder. “We don’t settle for half-measures,” he says self-confidently. “A little extra effort is sometimes also needed.”

For example, when QCS had to organize the transportation of the crown jewels of the last Russian tsar from St. Petersburg to an exhibition in Miami. Or when, on one Friday evening, an extremely heavy spare part for a manufacturing robot had to be shipped at the last minute to an automobile plant in Mexico. “It initially looked as if the aircraft was overbooked. 

But we then managed to find a solution. On Sunday, the job had been completed,” Biaesch recalls. “The most important thing was that we were constantly in close contact,” Haltmayer adds. “Practically every hour, the customer gave us a call, and we were able to tell him every time with a clear conscience that everything was going to work out fine.”

The pressure on this assignment was enormous, as there was a risk of an assembly line standstill. Haltmayer was nevertheless able to maintain his typical calmness. “I knew that Lufthansa Cargo would not get hectic, but that it would manage the job professionally right to the end.”

QCS is represented with its own branch offices at all major German airport locations.

Globally, it cooperates with other locally based, mid-sized forwarders. One important recipe for success here: “We only work together with hand-picked, financially sound partners, whom we know personally and whom our customers can trust,” says Stephan Haltmayer. “This is an integral part of our quality philosophy.”

The processes of the network are discussed locally on a monthly basis.

For this reason alone, Haltmayer and his management team have to travel a lot. The meetings, however, also turn their attention to customer acquisition. After all, the consignees are often enough the ones who have to pay for the transport and logistics services and who are thus also allowed to choose the service provider.

This also extends to the choice of carrier. “In many cases, we recommend Lufthansa Cargo,” says Haltmayer. “With its strong network, there are reliable high-frequency connections out of Germany to all markets that are important for us.” These include in particular India, the U.S., and, more recently again, Brazil. “China, of course, is also important, although a slower growth has been recently confirmed here due to the increasingly strong currency and rising labor costs.”

Haltmayer also sees Lufthansa Cargo ahead of the competition with respect to eBooking and “troubleshooting”. “There you have it again, the combination of intelligent processes and personal commitment,” he says.

“Our employees have the carer gene.

“We need partners on the airline side who adopt exactly the same approach.” Underlining the point, he pats Christopher Biaesch on the shoulder. “We don’t settle for half-measures,” he says self-confidently. “A little extra effort is sometimes also needed.”

For example, when QCS had to organize the transportation of the crown jewels of the last Russian tsar from St. Petersburg to an exhibition in Miami. Or when, on one Friday evening, an extremely heavy spare part for a manufacturing robot had to be shipped at the last minute to an automobile plant in Mexico. 

“It initially looked as if the aircraft was overbooked. But we then managed to find a solution. On Sunday, the job had been completed,” Biaesch recalls. “The most important thing was that we were constantly in close contact,” Haltmayer adds. “Practically every hour, the customer gave us a call, and we were able to tell him every time with a clear conscience that everything was going to work out fine.”

The pressure on this assignment was enormous, as there was a risk of an assembly line standstill. Haltmayer was nevertheless able to maintain his typical calmness. “I knew that Lufthansa Cargo would not get hectic, but that it would manage the job professionally right to the end.”

 

5 questions to Stephan Haltmayer.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Our employees are the basis of the success of QCS. They pursue the same goals as the company management. Apart from that, our motto is: quality instead of quantity!

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
An airline needs a modern infrastructure, a large route network and good customer service. Lufthansa Cargo has all that, they are the trendsetter in the cargo market.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
My Porsche, mid-sized firms and Germany.
    
What does quality of life mean for you?
To spend time meaningfully. This explicitly includes the ­occasional glass of good red wine by the fireside.

What are your own personal qualities? 
always seek to improve myself and to move in new directions. In my view, success has a long-term character. Endurance and optimism are just as much among my qualities as my willingness to take risks, without which you cannot move forward.

5 questions to Stephan Haltmayer.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Our employees are the basis of the success of QCS. They pursue the same goals as the company management. Apart from that, our motto is: quality instead of quantity!

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
An airline needs a modern infrastructure, a large route network and good customer service. Lufthansa Cargo has all that, they are the trendsetter in the cargo market.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
My Porsche, mid-sized firms and Germany.

What does quality of life mean for you?
To spend time meaningfully. This explicitly includes the ­occasional glass of good red wine by the fireside.

What are your own personal qualities? 
always seek to improve myself and to move in new directions. In my view, success has a long-term character. Endurance and optimism are just as much among my qualities as my willingness to take risks, without which you cannot move forward.

 

5 questions to Christopher Biaesch.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Whether for safety, performance, customer satisfaction, product diversification or investments in the workforce and in the infrastructure – we step up the pace in all fields.

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
The quality of an airline is measurable and perceptible. In general, what counts is not to settle for half-measures and to always strive for 100 percent.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
The driving style of Sebastian Vettel. He explores the limits, but rarely moves beyond them. He has my greatest respect!

What does quality of life mean for you?
A healthy work-life balance, a good twelve-kilometer run along the River Main, true friends, a strong coffee in the morning.

What are your own personal qualities? 
I am optimistic, like life and hope that others notice that!

Photos:

Volker Römer, Ralf Kreuels

planet 1/2012

5 questions to Christopher Biaesch.

What are your company’s most important quality characteristics?
Whether for safety, performance, customer satisfaction, product diversification or investments in the workforce and in the infrastructure – we step up the pace in all fields.

What do you regard as the signs of a good cargo airline?
The quality of an airline is measurable and perceptible. In general, what counts is not to settle for half-measures and to always strive for 100 percent.

Which product or which service outside of the cargo world is characterized by special quality?
The driving style of Sebastian Vettel. He explores the limits, but rarely moves beyond them. He has my greatest respect!

What does quality of life mean for you?
A healthy work-life balance, a good twelve-kilometer run along the River Main, true friends, a strong coffee in the morning.

What are your own personal qualities? 
I am optimistic, like life and hope that others notice that!

 

Photos:

Volker Römer, Ralf Kreuels

planet 1/2012


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Quality at low cost.

At Kuehne + Nagel, consignments are increasingly sent by td.Basic. Which comes as no surprise, given the many advantages the new low-price product offers customers.

Marko Gunzenhäuser’s response is immediate: “For us, td.Basic is the perfect fit for what used to be a gap in our product range.” The 44-yearold is the Regional Manager of Airfreight for the South-West region at Kuehne + Nagel in Stuttgart. The logistics giant’s customers in Stuttgart are mainly SMEs in the mechanical engineering, automotive and pharmaceuticals industries. Just under 70 employees look after airfreight exports at the Kuehne + Nagel Cargo Center in Leinfelden- Echterdingen. “We dispatch shipments of all kinds: time-critical and temperature-controlled cargo as well as complete vehicles and standard freight,” says Philip Müller, the export manager in charge. “This new td.Basic product increasingly led us to give preference to Lufthansa Cargo.”

Especially in cases where time may be important but not everything, consignments travel around the globe via td.Basic at an attractive price – and with the accustomed quality of service provided by Lufthansa Cargo. “The product can only be booked online,” says Elke Schäffer from the Lufthansa Cargo Center in Stuttgart. “Delivery is made no later than the time quoted by us, which in turn depends on the time the cargo is delivered to us. We plan and book the entire routing within the specified time window.” During an online enquiry, the availability of td.Basic is checked in real time. 

“Making a booking is as simple as can be, and all the details about the planned flight are always transparent,” as Philip Müller explains.

Whether it’s two tons of material for the pharmaceuticals industry to Almaty, 500 kilograms of machinery parts to Bombay or a ton of electronic equipment destined for Beijing which, due to its fragility, is to be sent airfreight after all – for the 31-year-old export manager the benefits of using td.Basic are obvious: “We often have cases where the goods do not need to be delivered to their destination immediately, but where it is important that the freight arrives safely and reliably instead, and that it does not need to be reloaded along the way, for example. The new td.Basic product combines cheap rates, high service quality and a highly efficient network.”

For Kuehne + Nagel’s Regional Manager Airfreight Marko Gunzenhäuser, some of Lufthansa Cargo’s other strengths come into play as well: “Lufthansa Cargo is a reliable partner and is of vital importance to us because it allows us to cover all facets of our business with them. The new td.Basic also uses the extensive network of routes that is in place for the premium products. With many airlines cutting back on freight capacity, Lufthansa Cargo will become even more important for us in the future.”

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Elke Schäffer (r.) from the Lufthansa Cargo Center in Stuttgart explains the booking procedure to Philip Müller.

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Benefits:

  • Transport product in the lower price segment.

  • At the customary Lufthansa Cargo quality.

  • Online availability check in real time.

  • Booking and flight details transparent.

  • Pricing information available immediately thanks to online booking.

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Checking availability and obtaining pricing information takes just seconds. All the booking details are transparent at all times.

Photos:
Alex Kraus


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When logistics saves lives.

Two factors are crucial for aid flights into crisis zones: speed and effective cooperation. For this reason, the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz – DRK) and Lufthansa Cargo signed a cooperation agreement in December. But how does the aid reach its destination from Berlin? Clemens Pott, Head of Logistics at the DRK, explains.

Clemens Pott, Head of Logistics at the German Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz – DRK), is responsible for preparing and implementing DRK aid flights from a logistical perspective. He has been working for the DRK for over 20 years. Until 2002, he was the DRK international delegate for disaster aid.

Clemens Pott, are you permanently in disaster mode? 

Not at all. In the case of longer-term disasters, such as the famine in Africa or the conflict in Syria, we can plan the supply of humanitarian aid further in advance than, say, after a major earthquake.

But in the event of a disaster you need to act quickly. How long is it before an aid flight can take off? 
From making the decision to send aid, we need to allow three to four days to put together a team and the supplies. Of course, we also assess in advance what the situation is like in the crisis zone – for example whether the airport there is still operating, what facilities there are for unloading the aid and how it will reach the disaster area. Then we charter cargo capacity, prepare the customs and transport documents and find a freight forwarder to handle everything locally. The life-saving emergency measures are taken by locals. They are mainly volunteers with our Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the countries in question. Several days after an earthquake, the humanitarian aid activities begin to focus on preventing infectious diseases and epidemics. At that point, our job is to replace the damaged infrastructure by making medical facilities available and providing supplies of drinking water.

Nevertheless, it’s during the first few days that the clock is really ticking. How do you get hold of an aircraft in such a short period of time? 
We work with several brokers who can find suitable transport within half a day. This could be a full charter or a partial load.

Does the framework agreement with Lufthansa Cargo involve a special process?
We are subject to the provisions of procurement law. This means that we have to get several quotations and award the contract to the most cost-effective supplier. But when we get as far as working together, the partnership offers major advantages. The framework agreement and the fact that our processes are coordinated ensure that Lufthansa Cargo can respond quickly and transport aid cheaply and efficiently to its destination. In particular, in the first few days after a disaster, it is important that no unnecessary problems occur. Everything goes more smoothly when the organizations know one another and function as equal partners.

How do you know what will be needed in the disaster zone?
With 190 national societies, the Red Cross has an organization in almost every country that can quickly give us a reliable assessment of the actual situation. In the case of large-scale disasters, our umbrella organization, the IFRC in Geneva, coordinates our activities and sends an international investigation team to the disaster area that can quickly identify what is needed.

Why do you not simply keep everything in stock?
We have rules within the Red Cross and Red Crescent organization about keeping aid supplies and emergency equipment in stock. Not every country has everything. We are one of the largest national societies and our logistics center in Berlin is one of the biggest within the organization. Our building at Schönefeld airport has a floor area of 4500 square meters and stores several water treatment systems, two health clinics and a complete hospital. It also has a basic camp that is capable of housing up to 150 staff, and aid supplies such as tents and cooking and sanitary equipment for 2500 people. The total value of all this is approximately €4.5 million, so you can see that keeping aid supplies in stock is very costly. This is why we only keep items that are not readily available on the open market. This also applies to products that have a short shelf life, such as medicines.

It’s clear that an aid flight is a very complex undertaking. Where do the difficulties lie?
Of course, it’s important to take local requirements into account – and these include religious dietary rules. For example, beef is taboo in Nepal. We also have to be careful to ensure that we supply the same quality and quantity of aid to all the parties – particularly in civil wars such as that in Syria – so that we are seen to be a neutral organization. We cannot afford to make mistakes in this respect.

Thank you for talking to us!

Interview Anne Schafmeister

Clemens Pott, are you permanently in disaster mode? 

Not at all. In the case of longer-term disasters, such as the famine in Africa or the conflict in Syria, we can plan the supply of humanitarian aid further in advance than, say, after a major earthquake.

But in the event of a disaster you need to act quickly. How long is it before an aid flight can take off?
From making the decision to send aid, we need to allow three to four days to put together a team and the supplies. Of course, we also assess in advance what the situation is like in the crisis zone – for example whether the airport there is still operating, what facilities there are for unloading the aid and how it will reach the disaster area. Then we charter cargo capacity, prepare the customs and transport documents and find a freight forwarder to handle everything locally. The life-saving emergency measures are taken by locals. They are mainly volunteers with our Red Cross and Red Crescent societies in the countries in question. Several days after an earthquake, the humanitarian aid activities begin to focus on preventing infectious diseases and epidemics. At that point, our job is to replace the damaged infrastructure by making medical facilities available and providing supplies of drinking water.

Nevertheless, it’s during the first few days that the clock is really ticking. How do you get hold of an aircraft in such a short period of time?
We work with several brokers who can find suitable transport within half a day. This could be a full charter or a partial load.

Does the framework agreement with Lufthansa Cargo involve a special process?
We are subject to the provisions of procurement law. This means that we have to get several quotations and award the contract to the most cost-effective supplier. But when we get as far as working together, the partnership offers major advantages. The framework agreement and the fact that our processes are coordinated ensure that Lufthansa Cargo can respond quickly and transport aid cheaply and efficiently to its destination. In particular, in the first few days

after a disaster, it is important that no unnecessary problems occur. Everything goes more smoothly when the organizations know one another and function as equal partners.

How do you know what will be needed in the disaster zone?
With 190 national societies, the Red Cross has an organization in almost every country that can quickly give us a reliable assessment of the actual situation. In the case of large-scale disasters, our umbrella organization, the IFRC in Geneva, coordinates our activities and sends an international investigation team to the disaster area that can quickly identify what is needed.

Why do you not simply keep everything in stock?
We have rules within the Red Cross and Red Crescent organization about keeping aid supplies and emergency equipment in stock. Not every country has everything. We are one of the largest national societies and our logistics center in Berlin is one of the biggest within the organization. Our building at Schönefeld airport has a floor area of 4500 square meters and stores several water treatment systems, two health clinics and a complete hospital. It also has a basic camp that is capable of housing up to 150 staff, and aid supplies such as tents and cooking and sanitary equipment for 2500 people. The total value of all this is approximately €4.5 million, so you can see that keeping aid supplies in stock is very costly. This is why we only keep items that are not readily available on the open market. This also applies to products that have a short shelf life, such as medicines.

It’s clear that an aid flight is a very complex undertaking. Where do the difficulties lie?
Of course, it’s important to take local requirements into account – and these include religious dietary rules. For example, beef is taboo in Nepal. We also have to be careful to ensure that we supply the same quality and quantity of aid to all the parties – particularly in civil wars such as that in Syria – so that we are seen to be a neutral organization. We cannot afford to make mistakes in this respect.

Thank you for talking to us!

Interview Anne Schafmeister

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In December 2016, Lufthansa Cargo and the DRK signed a framework agreement that will allow the two organizations to provide aid more quickly.

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Lufthansa Cargo has been cooperating with Germany’s Relief Coalition Aktion Deutschland Hilft since February 2013 and recently entered into an agreement with the online air freight aid platform Airlink to provide support.

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Aid for Uganda

Since 2013, around 800,000 people have fled the civil war in South Sudan and made their way to Uganda. Every day around 3000 people seek refuge there, and more than 80 percent of them are women and children. In February, Lufthansa Cargo and the DRK transported components for a water treatment plant to Uganda because there is also an ongoing drought in the region and millions of people have no access to clean water. The DRK is building wells and training volunteers to maintain standpipes. 

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The international Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, with 190 national societies and more than 100 million members and volunteers, is the world’s largest humanitarian organization. As part of this movement, the Deutsches Rotes Kreuz has been providing aid for people in conflict situations, disasters and emergencies for more than 150 years, solely on the basis of the extent of their need. The Red Cross has a network of eleven global logistics centers in the northern hemisphere. It also has three regional warehouses in Panama, Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. Its major campaigns are financed by public contributions and, most importantly, by donations.

Donations

Donations

Please visit drk.de/hilfe-fuer-uganda to make a donation or transfer it to the following bank account quoting the reference “Hungersnot”:
Deutsches Rotes Kreuz, Bank fuer Sozialwirtschaft
IBAN: DE 9837 0205 0000 0502 3453 BIC: BFSWDE33XXX

Photos:
Lufthansa Cargo (4), DRK (2)