AirBridgeCargo looks west in China

AirBridgeCargo Airlines has substantially expanded its route network, connecting destinations in Europe and Asia through its new air cargo hub operations at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport last year, and the hub’s contributions are substantial, a senior executive says. By Wong Joon San.

Robert Song, Executive vice president at AirBridgeCargo (ABC) Airlines says the introduction of hub operations gave immediate impulse to the development of airport handling facilities, ground infrastructure, IT systems, road transportation and warehousing services.

“Best industry practices are being studied and introduced, new jobs created and new transit traffic flows attracted,” he told delegates attending the recent Transport Logistic China 2010 conference in Shanghai.

Song says that as investment in China was going West, logistics services providers had to follow suit. Pointing out that higher incomes in the coastal provinces was making it expensive for export-oriented manufacturers who were also being squeezed by global cost pressures.

Minimal wages were also being increased in order to attract the work force back to coastal areas, but he warned that these higher wages will boomerang back into cost of production.

Song says that congestion in and around airports will not ease but would rather worsen in the coming years as more passenger flights will be introducedto cater to the needs of the travelling public with higher disposable income.“Favourable policies of Central and localgovernments will encourage factories(therefore freighter operators) to exploreWestern China as the next base of exportproduction and logistics’ development,”he says.

Turning to Moscow, Song says that the Russian capital had an advantageous geographical location between Europe and Asia, as well as the largest and growing consumption market in that country. He points out that the airport there is free from congestion and is open for development and expansion.