Lufthansa Cargo: A Sustainable Airfreight Future

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by KnowESG
KnowESG_Lufthansa Cargo: A Sustainable Airfreight Future
Image courtesy of Lufthansa Cargo

Anticipating the horizon of the airfreight sector, Lufthansa Cargo is once again raising the question on this year's Aviation Day, set for August 19.

This timing is fitting, given the industry's current confrontation with significant challenges.

"Within the airfreight landscape, we find ourselves amidst multiple transformative shifts. Sustainability, digitalisation, and the thriving online commerce domain have taken centre stage. To navigate these changes, resolute and agile actions are essential, uniting all industry stakeholders. This collaborative approach is the sole route to securing our readiness for the future and fulfilling our duty as a premier global airfreight entity that facilitates worldwide trade," affirms Ashwin Bhat, CEO of Lufthansa Cargo.

Bolstering the eCommerce Domain at Frankfurt Airport

Lufthansa Cargo has recently unveiled its ambitious visions for Frankfurt Airport, aiming to establish the airport as a paramount global hub for e-commerce.

Through a strategic partnership involving two subsidiaries, the logistics service provider heyworld and customs clearance agency CB Customs Broker GmbH, Lufthansa Cargo is proactively propelling the expansion of e-commerce operations at Frankfurt Airport.

"The vitality and swiftness of the supply chain are pivotal factors in online retail's success. Our objective is to transform Frankfurt into a premier hub in this arena, offering comprehensive solutions for shipping, customs procedures, and onward conveyance of e-commerce consignments," asserts Ashwin Bhat.

Additionally, CB Customs Broker, a full-service customs agency, has joined forces with handling expert GEORGI Handling, unveiling plans for a new e-commerce terminal in Cargo City South at Frankfurt to invigorate the e-commerce trade, with a particular focus on the Asian market.

Broadening the Intra-European Network of Routes

For over a year, Lufthansa Cargo has been servicing short- and medium-haul destinations utilising A321F freighters, adding a third aircraft to its fleet by the close of June. A fourth freighter is poised to join the ranks in September.

As the A321 fleet doubles in size to four this year, new avenues emerge for expanding capacity and the route network, both in scheduled and charter operations.

Presently, Lufthansa Cargo provides more than 50 weekly flights to 14 destinations, ensuring direct cargo connectivity to the Frankfurt hub. Recent additions to the network encompass Casablanca, Yerevan, and Tunis.

Further adaptations and extensions to the flight schedule on short- and medium-haul routes, aligned with fleet expansion, are presently under deliberation to interlink diverse economic centres.

Triumphant Digitisation Initiative Set in Motion with Kühne+Nagel on Asia Routes

In a recent accomplishment, Lufthansa Cargo, in collaboration with its digitally savvy customer Kühne+Nagel, achieved the momentous feat of transporting 100 per cent of general cargo using electronic air waybills and digital accompanying documents between Germany and Hong Kong. This inaugural "paperless route" serves as the inaugural signal for the initiation of "paperless corridors," aimed at facilitating resource-conscious and efficient transport between Europe and Asia.

Sustainable Investments by Lufthansa Cargo

Lufthansa Cargo's sustainability aspirations are equally ambitious: By 2030, the company strives to halve its carbon footprint compared to the 2019 levels, working towards operating in a carbon-neutral manner by 2050.

This fervour positions Lufthansa Cargo as a trailblazer in the industry, as evidenced by the implementation of the EU's ReFuelEU regulation. In the most recent Trilogue negotiations concerning the EU ReFuel Aviation Regulation, a binding quota for renewable aviation fuels was established.

For instance, a minimum of two per cent Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) usage is mandated by 2025, rising to at least six percent by 2030.

SAF can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 80 per cent compared to fossil fuels. Lufthansa Cargo has already reached the initial two per cent benchmark, with an SAF share of 2.1 per cent in the fuel consumption of its freighter aircraft in 2022.

Alongside renewable fuels, the company is prioritising continuous fleet modernisation, fuel efficiency, and digitalisation.

"The potential of AI-based applications is significant, and we have seamlessly integrated them into our services. From eBooking to eTracking, we present our customers with extensive options across the transportation chain. To meaningfully improve the industry's carbon footprint, we must capitalise on every avenue to further diminish our CO₂ emissions," emphasises Nicole Mies, Head of Communication and Corporate Responsibility at Lufthansa Cargo.

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Source: Lufthansa Cargo

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