Shipping company Maersk sets up its own airfreight company

After CMA CGM, the Danish shipping company Maersk also established its own cargo company, called Maersk Air Cargo. The new cargo company will be based at Billund Airport in Denmark and will begin operating its first flights in the second half of this year, according to the container shipping company.

Maersk already has its own airline, Star, but the airline, which primarily operates express flights within Europe for U.S. package carrier UPS, will be merged into the new Maersk Air Cargo. Maersk also said that the new cargo company will provide “so-called end-to-end logistics services to existing and new customers.”

Its own cargo flights are part of Denmark’s strategy to provide not only container transport for large shippers, but also additional logistics services such as air freight. To play a broader role in global logistics, the German Senator was acquired earlier this year. This freight forwarder specializes in air freight charters under the name Senator Air Bridge.

Maersk has already attracted attention by ordering two B777Fs. The new airline’s freight fleet will soon include five cargo planes. These are two B777Fs (capacity of 100 tons per aircraft) and three other B767Fs (capacity of 60 tons) leased from leasing companies that will currently be used between the US and China. The cargo planes will take up their services starting in the second half of this year, with the arrival of the two B777s scheduled for 2024. Maersk also said that it hopes to transport about one-third of its annual air cargo stock (175,000 tons by 2021) through its own freight business.

he plans are unclear on how Maersk will integrate the operations of Star Air, which has 15 small freight planes for intra-European routes, into Maersk Air Cargo. The cargo company, based at Cologne/Bonn Airport in Germany, the European export hub for UPS, cannot simply transfer the planes to Billund Airport.