European air freight carrier IAG Cargo is launching a ‘Critical’ product designed for emergency shipments and unveiled plans for a new premium freight facility at its London Heathrow hub.
The new emergency shipment service ‘Critical’ launches on 3 October and will provide the air freight market with “an emergency product that ensures critical shipments are both intensely monitored and guaranteed to fly”, the European airline group said.
Critical will become IAG Cargo’s “first major non-off-loadable product, providing shipments with an absolute guarantee to fly on the service booked”, the carrier claimed. It said the product was “bespoke to the emergency shipment market, exclusively designed for time urgent shipments, which often have significant cost implications if they don’t arrive on time”.
It said several businesses had already signed up to the carrier’s new product, ranging from aerospace to high-tech sectors. “These, as well as many other industries, have complex global footprints that cannot afford to incur delays or standstill,” the carrier said.
“On the rare occasion that a key drill bit fails offshore in Nigeria, or a Boeing 777-200 engine requires an emergency spare part in Brazil, Critical will be available to guarantee that a new drill from Stavanger in Norway or a new fan blade from the UK is dispatched and delivered on-time, allowing global industries to minimise downtime costs and continue operations.”
David Shepherd, commercial director at IAG Cargo, commented:
“We understand the pressure our freight forwarders and supply chain partners come under when a customer demands that a shipment must move that day. Until now, we have not had a product that fully satisfies this unique need, with short cut-off times and non-off-loadable status. We can now meet the exact demands for shipments that simply must fly”.
It said Critical would be available across IAG Cargo’s entire network of over 350 destinations, “offering guaranteed capacity up to the maximum aircraft operating limit and a dedicated monitoring service through hubs at London Heathrow, Madrid and Dublin”. Customers shipping through the carrier’s Heathrow and Madrid hubs will also benefit from a dedicated Critical check-in desk, significantly speeding up drop off and collection times, it added.
In parallel, IAG Cargo this week also announced a major investment in its premium freight infrastructure, unveiling plans to build a new premium freight facility at its London Heathrow hub. It said the new building would be twice the size of IAG Cargo’s existing ‘Premia’ facility and had been “designed around the modern demands of premium air freight”.
This would include a larger dedicated ‘Constant Climate Quality Centre’ for pharmaceuticals; new delivery and collection doors; and an advanced warehouse management system that will prioritise freight, the company said. The facility is designed to support the future demands of international premium trade.
Set to become operational in 2018, the building will operate alongside IAG Cargo’s existing Premia facility. The new building will manage the flow-through of all express Prioritise shipments and passive Constant Climate shipments.
Drew Crawley, CEO of IAG Cargo said:
“IAG Cargo’s four airlines now carry more premium freight than at any point in their combined history. With the continued growth of high speed e-commerce and cool-chain logistics in particular, as well as the ongoing expansion of the IAG family and network, we need facilities that are ready for the next generation of premium freight.
“We believe that the blend of our next-generation aircraft, new freight facilities such as this one, and our expanding network mean that IAG Cargo is extremely well positioned in the market to meet the current and future premium freight demands of all our customers. Our new premium warehouse will be built away from existing Premia, leaving our current operation and customer service unaffected.”
Sarah Coulson, head of strategy and business development at IAG Cargo, said:
“Over the past few years we have continued to see year-on-year growth in premium freight. We want to continue our growth and performance in this sector and our new facility will help deliver this.”
IAG said it was in the midst of a major fleet renewal programme that was opening up new route opportunities and providing greater capacity on key trade lanes. It said the new facility would be designed to accommodate this growth, “offering optimised handling capabilities and an enhanced premium proposition”.
Source: Lloyd's Loading List