Typically, air conditioners are shipped to Europe via sea freight, due to the higher volumes they are moving and an overall lower shipping costs. However, with a drastic shift in demand, distributors are being pushed to deliver more with less lead time.
In response to their customers looking to beat the heat, Emirates SkyCargo recently organized freighter flights in cooperation with Agility a leading freight forwarder. With an extreme emphasis on shipping speed and efficiency, these AC units were a hot commodity and needed to be delivered to a variety of destinations.
For more, we spoke with Mr. Tosaworachart Roekbangplad, Thai and Myanmar Cargo Manager, Emirates SkyCargo; Mr. Jesda Kurjirattikan, Managing Director, Agility; and Mr. Jakkapan Limpthanarak, Director of Sales and Marketing, Agility. The group shared their insight into managing a large amount of AC units under a time crunch; including how to communicate effectively to find the fastest and the most suitable solution for their customer’s need.
Demands of the Market
June to September are the typical summer months for the Northern Hemisphere. However, with an increasingly fluctuating climate and stronger heat waves, this year’s summer was amongst the hottest in recorded history for many European towns. With a longer and stronger summer season, this year the demand for air conditioners was unusually high. Due to this, manufactures in Thailand responded by producing extra AC units that then had to be sent to Europe quickly. To send them by sea would mean nearly a month of waiting and an opportunity lost. This is where the flexibility and speed that air freight provides became a life saver, as Emirates SkyCargo assisted 18 air freight shipments from Suvarnabhumi International Airport to destinations across Europe to fulfill customer demand.
“Agility contacted us regarding May’s summer air freight shipment. Their client was looking to urgently air charter an enormous load of air conditioners into Europe via Italy’s Milan–Malpensa Airport. Liaised with the headquarter in Dubai, we requested the quotation and necessary details. We then connected with the warehouse in Suvarnabhumi Airport, checking the loading schedule. Communication and cooperation between Emirates and Agility was key, especially for the details and availability of the cargo. The information is necessary for load planning, to fit in as much cargo as possible in one shipment and to ship at max speed. The tricky part is that air conditioners come in different sizes and the cargo hold in freighters have different shapes and curves.” Mr. Roekbangplad explained.