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Economy suffers from dispatch disaster at Frankfurt airport
Air cargo location in Germany is at risk
The reasons for excessive delays are that the cargo handling agents commissioned by the airlines are understaffed, as well as poor traffic control. The DSLV and SLV report that it is not uncommon for transport companies, after waiting for periods of up to ten hours, to return their air freight consignments back to the forwarding warehouses, after the departure slot of the cargo plane has been missed. The situation has also been exacerbated by the significant increase in freight volumes in recent months. Also, more and more import shipments remain at the airport and can only be delivered to customers with massive delays.
Despite considerable efforts by airfreight forwarding companies to cushion the shortcomings attributable to the airlines and their agents, waiting times have dramatically increased over recent weeks. In the meantime, air freight forwarding agents have problems even finding hauliers that are willing to go to Frankfurt airport under these circumstances.
In several talks with the cargo handling agents and airport operator Fraport, DSLV and SLV have called for an immediate improvement of these unacceptable conditions. The former have now committed to hiring additional staff and to optimize traffic control at the loading and unloading ramps.
However, the freight forwarding associations point out that despite all promises, conditions will hardly change in the next few weeks. According to their assessment, the situation will even become more acute, as the ver.di trade union is currently forcing larger cargo handling agents at the airport to support ongoing collective bargaining. The German economy will therefore have to face further delays in air freight transports by the end of the year, both in terms of imports and exports.
The resulting damage to airfreight shippers and their customers is already immense and must be borne by those responsible: the airlines and the cargo handling agents they use. Unfortunately, the airlines have so far not dealt adequately with this situation, say DSLV and SLV. If they do not want to jeopardise Europe's most important air cargo location and their own business model, they must ignore the situation no longer, say the freight forwarding associations.
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