Jochen Thewes

Maintaining the status quo is not an option! The CEO on the importance of innovation in airfreight

Photo: Max Lautenschläger

Dear readers, if one perceives logistics as a challenging field of activity, the way we do at DB Schenker, then this applies to airfreight in even greater measure. This is true in terms of the commercial environment on the one hand. For example, airfreight managers have to cope with intra-year volatility exhibiting enormous peaks as well as with strong fluctuations in demand, year after year. While 2017 and 2018 turned out to be positive years for the sector on the

whole, 2019 proved to be much more challenging. As far as 2020 is concerned, IATA expects modest growth.


On the other hand, the everyday operating side of airfreight is complex, too. Whether they are car parts, medical active ingredients or perishable foods: shipments that are sent by air – at a cost that is considerably higher than transportation by sea or land – are always urgently awaited. For this reason, both the sender and the recipient have every right to expect that the transport and handling of their freight will proceed smoothly and be completed within the specified time frame. And we, the forwarder, must ensure that this is the case, by working hand-in-hand with our trusted carriers.


This is why merely maintaining the status quo is not an option for us when it comes to airfreight. My fellow Board member Markus Sontheimer recently talked about how we deal with the above-mentioned fluctuations using Big Data, in this recent interview. In this issue, we want to introduce you to an innovation that recently started to make the operational work of the team at our European airfreight hub in Frankfurt easier – resulting in even better service for many customers at the same time.


Kind regards,

Jochen Thewes 

Chairman of the Board of Management at Schenker AG