Air Transport World

Getting together.

The long-dreamed-of revolution in air cargo may be coming to fruition with Lufthansa's new Business Partnership Program

Lufthansa Cargo instituted a full package of new programs in 1998, including one that just might be the biggest change in air cargo since introduction of the express integrators. The carrier's new Business Partnership Program is a major step in taking the air cargo industry into an era of greater cooperation between airlines and freight forwarders, allowing the groups to work together to improve the air freight product. Primary goal of the program is to create an integrated, cooperative effort between Lufthansa Cargo and specific freight forwarder companies to identify potential customers, develop packages to meet the individual needs of those customers, and improve overall service levels.

Peripherally, the partnering program also is designed to end the distrust and competition between airlines and forwarders that have plagued the air cargo industry since its inception.

Lufthansa Cargo started the program in January, 1998, with a six-month pilot phase, entering into agreements with four international forwarders: Gebr. Hellmann Gmbh & Co, Jet Speed Air Cargo Forwarders (HK) Ltd., Expediters International of Washington Inc. and Air Express International Corp. Working with these companies, it identified areas for cooperative efforts to develop integrated logistics solutions for shippers. The areas included quality management, capacity and potential planning, joint product development, information technology and communications, export/import processes, and marketing and training. …

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