Battle cry from the “Venice of the North”

How Lufthansa Cargo aims to become market leader in Sweden by 2015

Sweden is the land of ideas. The success stories of many global corporations started there, including IKEA, Volvo, H&M and Ericsson. Certainly, the home country of ABBA and Astrid Lindgren is some distance away from commercial centres in Central Europe. But the Swedes have always put their faith in bridge-building to allow them to get their ideas out into the world. The capital Stockholm, with its 14 islands and a multitude of bridges, is even known as the “Venice of the North”.

Lufthansa Cargo’s station in Stockholm forms a very special bridge for the Swedish capital. Lufthansa aircraft commute four times a day between Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Frankfurt Airport. But the belly cargo only accounts for around 20 per cent of our freight volume in Stockholm. The remaining 80 per cent is transported via the road feeder service to Frankfurt and then flown from there to Lufthansa Cargo destinations all over the world. “This arrangement is normal in markets such as Stockholm that are quite far away from the hub”, said Frank Nozinsky, who has been responsible for Sweden at Lufthansa Cargo since February 2013. “We have to allow 24 hours for the trucks to reach Frankfurt. Of course, this is a particular challenge”, explained the station manager.

The export market from Sweden is especially strong. The most important destinations include the US, China and Mexico. The economic dynamism of the greater Stockholm area is the reason why freight volumes are high. With 2.1 million inhabitants, here beats the economic heart of Sweden. For example, the research and development department of international pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is located in Sweden’s Södertälje, south of Stockholm. Sweden is a trailblazer in this segment in particular – medicines are one of the country’s most important exports. “Pharmaceutical products account for around 35 per cent of the goods we export”, summarised Nozinsky. Apart from this, machine parts and spare parts for the automotive industry are all an integral part of daily business.

In spite of its distance from the home hub, Lufthansa Cargo in Sweden is well positioned. The Lufthansa airline currently has a market share of some twelve per cent, putting it hot on the heels of the top dog in the Scandinavian market – SAS. Although the air freight market in Sweden initially declined in 2013, Lufthansa Cargo is continuously increasing its market share. In the meantime, the export business appears to have stabilised. “Our goal is to take over the top spot in the market by 2015”, said an ambitious Nozinsky.

“As a newcomer, I am leaving no stone unturned, querying processes and reviewing opportunities”, he explained. He also has a strong team of skilled, motivated employees to assist him. For example, the team in Sweden has succeeded in increasing the eBooking rate to up to 60 per cent. “We don’t even take bookings under 100 kilograms by phone anymore”, revealed the station manager.

This native of Düsseldorf lived in Spain for almost 25 years and was previously responsible for the market there. In spite of this, he hasn’t found it difficult getting used to life in the far north: “Living standards are very high in Sweden. It’s a very safe country and that adds a pleasant sense of ease to everyday life. The Swedes work very efficiently and conscientiously. I have really felt at home here from the beginning”, explained Nozinsky. He and his team want to focus even more on meeting the needs of Swedish customers in order to overcome the challenges of the future. After all, competitors aren’t resting either. In spite of this, the country manager is optimistic and hopeful of a successful 2014.