By opening two European gateways at Hilden and Frankfurt (Main) this summer, the Rhenus Group responded to the positive global development in business and the increasing volumes of freight in its Air & Ocean business unit. By consolidating air and sea consignments at the new hubs, the logistics specialist aims to make its transport operations more efficient and dovetail them more closely with its overland network, explained Jörn Schmersahl, CEO of Air & Ocean Europe at Rhenus Air & Ocean Management, during the 34th International Supply Chain Conference in Berlin on 25 October.
The import and export tonnage for both air and sea freight at Rhenus has reached high growth rates during the past few years. The sea freight gateway at Hilden, which is situated in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, has been pooling consignments since July 2017 – and they are then imported and exported via the relatively close Western European ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp. The LCL services between Hilden and the ports operate in line with a set timetable. “As a result, our customers can make reliable plans,” said Jörn Schmersahl.
The air freight gateway is located at the CargoCity-Süd logistics hub at Frankfurt International Airport. Any types of consignments, including temperature-controlled items and hazardous goods, can be handled during the 24/7 operations. The goods can also be x-rayed for security purposes at the gateway. Freight is mainly shipped to Asia, North and South America, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates at the moment.
“There are currently capacity bottlenecks in the market place, particularly on the air freight routes from Europe to the USA, from Europa to China and from China to Europe. Using our gateway at Frankfurt Airport, we want to strengthen our market position by pooling goods and offering our customers attractive rates,” Jörn Schmersahl explained.
The catchment area for consignments is due to be expanded in the near future too. The major areas of focus are on countries like Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Hungary, but the gateway will, in principle, aim to handle every part of Europe.