EUROPEAN AIR CARGO~ Rostock joins list of wanna-be cargo hubs

First there was Leipzig, then Parchim - and now Rostock has become the third airport in the former East Germany to pitch for international cargo business.

A port city on the country’s northern Baltic Coast, Rostock comes to the market with a certain pedigree, having been a night mail hub for the Germany post office from 1994 to 2003. But perhaps more importantly, its new managing director is Maria Muller, who put Hahn airport near Frankfurt on the map as itsmarketing manager.

The German state in which Rostock is situated – Mecklenburg-West Pommerania – is also not unknown to Asian shippers, as it contains Parchim airport. Th is was recently bought by Chinese company LinkGlobal Logistics, which has already used it for B747F cargo flights from the PRC, and plans a three times a week service.

Far from regarding this rival 80 kilometres to the south as competition, Muller insists that it shows the potential of the region for cargo. She also insists that with LinkGlobal trying to off er a complete door to door service, Rostock is already attracting interest from freight forwarders as a neutral alternative. "We are just an airport, and will follow the orders of the forwarder, shipper or broker," she says.

In October, Muller had hopes of landing a weekly freighter flight from the UAE from an undisclosed carrier, but Cologne airport in western Germany won that instead. So her main focus now is on making Rostock’s name known, and in getting charter business.