Capacity doubles on China-Bournemouth all-cargo route

Service operated by Bournemouth-based European Cargo using its fleet of A-340 wide-bodied freighters

Capacity doubles on China-Bournemouth all-cargo route
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Bournemouth Airport’s Cargo First air freight business announced doubling of capacity between Bournemouth and China and the signing of a new cargo development agreement following the successful launch of an e-commerce route earlier this year.

Shenzhen Sharing Express Logistic-Tech started the first all-cargo route between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in China and Bournemouth Airport in April with three flights per week, says an official release.

The success of the route has already doubled flights to six per week (w.e.f September 18), equating to a capacity of more than 20,000 tonnes per year. The service is operated by Bournemouth-based European Cargo using its fleet of all-cargo A-340 wide-bodied freighters, each with a capacity of 76 tonnes.

"The growing importance of the route as an e-commerce gateway was underlined by a reciprocal trade mission between Sichuan Province and Bournemouth in August. This included the signing of a cargo development agreement between Sichuan Province Airport Group Company and Regional & City Airports Group (owner of Bournemouth Airport)."

Trade delegation from Sichuan Province in China to Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First, hosted by airport owners Regional & City Airports and European Cargo in August this year.

The aim is to build Chengdu-Bournemouth as a dual hub co-operation platform between Chengdu and Europe, providing a stable logistics channel for the import and export of e-commerce goods, the release added.

Cargo First is also seeing a growing proportion – around 30 percent – of consignments from Chengdu clearing customs locally in Bournemouth and bypassing Heathrow warehouses altogether for onward travel in the U.K. "With over one million square feet of warehousing development potential on the Cargo First Logistics Park at Bournemouth Airport, there is ample scope for growth."

Steve Gill, Managing Director, Bournemouth Airport says: “Doubling capacity on the Chengdu route is a huge vote of confidence in Bournemouth as an e-commerce gateway to the U.K. Our combination of location, no slot constraints, flexibility and speed, plus European Cargo’s growing fleet capacity, is a winning combination.

“We were delighted to welcome a delegation from Sichuan Province to Bournemouth recently and to see the operation in Chengdu, where we signed our cooperation agreement. With more than 20,000 tonnes of capacity on the route we also see growing opportunities for U.K. producers shipping goods to China.”

David Kerr, Chief Executive, European Cargo adds: “We are delighted that the ability for ECL to deploy scale capacity over extended global markets with reliability and value has allowed our customers to place their trust in our new and unique freighter proposition. The journey is also about the partnerships on the ground in Bournemouth and Chengdu that deliver a comprehensive and differentiated solution. As we expand our converted fleet beyond the current four aircraft to 10 over the next 18 months, we aim to grow with our partners and their respective shipper and consignee customers."

Bournemouth Airport and Cargo First are part of U.K.’s privately-owned Regional and City Airports (RCA) Group, which also owns Coventry Airport, Exeter Airport and Norwich Airport, the release added.

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