Major 3PL and freight forwarder Geodis has signed a five-year lease on an air freighter to deliver extra capacity for its shipper clients heading into the peak season as space continues to tighten up on air freight due to the ongoing delays in ocean freight out of Asia.
“With the continued strain on airfreight capacity, we wish to ensure a more sustainable supply of air cargo space for our clients and are therefore investing in this, our own, first dedicated freighter,” said Marie-Christine Lombard, CEO of Geodis, in a statement. “Our aim is to constantly find dependable solutions to secure our clients’ supply chains, which are critical to their business growth.”
The leased A330-300, operated by Titan Airways, will run flights between Amsterdam, London, Chicago and Hong Kong, and also serve the China-Europe route during peak season. The first flight will take off later this month.
Geodis will run three flights per week between Amsterdam and London and Chicago, in addition to weekly flights between Amsterdam and Hong Kong. It can also be used for dedicated full capacity flights on behalf of shipper clients.
Eric Martin-Neuville, Executive Vice President of Freight Forwarding for Geodis, said the company’s AirDirect service has operated more than 650 air charter flights across Asia, Europe, North and Latin America.
“The experience gained from these operations has led to the decision to charter our own Geodis freighter,” Martin-Neuville said in a statement. “This will provide our clients with a reliable schedule of flights, under our operational control, helping them overcome the significant logistical constraints that the market is currently enduring.”
According to an Aug. 31 market update from freight forwarder and customs brokerage firm Flexport, air freight out of Hong Kong is “tight with limited capacity supply while demand remains strong. Both booking and transit times are expected to increase this week.”
The use of Chicago O’Hare as a hub for the Geodis air freight network was questioned by some, according to The Loadstar, due to congestion problems including a lack of forklift operators causing backlogs of up to 10 days.
In July, Geodis acquired Plano, TX-based freight brokerage company Velocity Transport from Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary McLane Company, to add to its transportation capabilities across a range of modalities.