Up close with cargo ops

For some it’s like Tetris, for others its the fastest get-fit programme in the world.

 Last year, Lufthansa Cargo put out a call for submissions for a photo competition via Facebook and Instagram with the tag #NetworkingTheWorld and chose five lucky winners from more than 5,000 entries. The photo contest particularly boosted the Instagram channel of Lufthansa’s cargo arm, which attracted more new followers. Three of the winners show and explain how they experienced the world of Lufthansa Cargo in Buenos Aires, Johannesburg and Los Angeles.

Philipp Kurz

Philipp Kurz from Austria felt like a little child in L.A.: “The next time I eat almonds from California or buy roses from Kenya in Vienna, I will recall my experiences in the world of air cargo at the Lufthansa Cargo station at Los Angeles International Airport. Flight LH8230, arriving at ‘LAX’ from Frankfurt via Chicago at 13:15, was my personal highlight of the day. Frankly, for a so-called aviation geek like me, I felt like a little child when I was able to explore the new flagship of Lufthansa Cargo’s air fleet. Equipped with two of the biggest and most powerful engines in the world, the Boeing 777F is a truly stunning aircraft. But the ‘Olá Brazil’ was quickly prepared to make its way back to Frankfurt, ensuring that all of us can stay networked with the rest of the world. ‘Dankeschön’ and ‘Thank you very much’ for the great experience!”

Kristian Cruz

How freight can make you faster, experienced by New Yorker Kristian Cruz in Johannesburg: “‘Try to catch up.’ Those were the words kindly uttered by Pete, the Export Supervisor and Operations Agent assigned to the freight loading last night. I frankly underestimated how literal it was. I was shocked how fast people moved inside. Imagine, gigantic pieces of cargo, with equally massive amounts of weight, need to be loaded into the plane in less than two hours. To make it more dramatic, their load time was reduced by 15 minutes. And to make it even more dramatic, this plane was predicted to be fully loaded. Let’s add to the mix that they have to unload the plane first and then load the new cargo in once the plane is empty. In case you forgot... let me mention again... less than two hours. When I go back to New York, I intend to cancel my gym membership and use the time instead to work, loading freight in my spare time...”

Tasha Miller

What do Tetris and air freight have in common? US-American Tasha Miller found out in Buenos Aires: “Being inside the freighter gave me an enormous appreciation for the logistical planning and the careful attention to detail that is required for every flight. Operations have to play a giant game of Tetris, finding the proper place for each item to fit securely under consideration of the special handling instructions for each product on board. Not only does each container and pallet need to be loaded in a way that accounts for weight and balance of the aircraft and efficient use of space, handlers must also take into consideration each item’s relation to the next. For example, cats should never be loaded next to dogs ;) It takes a lot of careful planning to make sure that the cargo on board is loaded safely, correctly, and in a timely manner. Whew! My brain hurts just thinking about it!”