For air cargo carriers in Russia,
the problem of the profitability of moving goods by air is becoming more acute. There are several reasons for this problem. Increased competition with road, sea, and rail transport. Continuous rise in airport maintenance costs.
Against the backdrop of the ever-increasing cost of jet fuel, it is increasingly difficult to maintain the return on investment for air transportation. There are a few more specific reasons. The fleet of cargo airlines has generally outdated.
It is updated
It is updated less often. Worn-out planes, which rarely sit idle, consume far more fuel than their younger and more modern counterparts. Most of the cargo planes had produced in those years when little thought was given about the cost of fuel and the environment.
The efficiency of engines has also received little attention. In Russia, with the exception of two or three brands of well-known transport companies, there are practically no specialized cargo aircraft. All the burden of transportation fell on the Il-76, and it is far from new.
In these conditions, cargo airlines have to look for new opportunities to optimize transportation. And in the first place is the dilemma: cheaper or faster. The compromise found between these two factors has become a lifeline.
Now the so-called intermodal transportation method has become widespread. Essentially nothing new. The cargo has delivered to the airport of delivery, and then, as a rule, is delivered by road or rail. It’s just that now, in the intermodal scheme, all chain links involved in transportation are optimized to the maximum.
For example, transportation on the Hong Kong-Europe section. It is the most popular freight route from China to the Old World. A simple air flight from Hong Kong to Frankfurt, taking into account the transshipment works, takes from 4 to 7 days. The sea route is cheaper, but also more time-consuming.
Optimal in this case would be the combination of two types of transportation. The cargo is delivered to Dubai by sea, it would take about 10 days. A couple of days for cargo handling at the terminals.
And 1-2 days for delivery of goods by air to Frankfurt. From there, the goods have transported by freight tracks throughout Europe. As a result, this intermodal scheme is twice as slow as a pure air one, but it is almost twice as cheap.
And this scheme is also twice as fast as fully sea transportation. To the American continent cargo from China arrives in the same way. By sea to Vancouver, and from there by air, or by truck trucks throughout America and Canada.
Intermodal transportation has also developed in Russia. The pioneer in this direction was Aeroflot’s subsidiary Aeroflot-Cargo (on April 5, 2010 it had declared bankrupt)
So from “Sheremetyevo” has organized car delivery to the regions. In the former republics of Central Asia, the Almaty airport has become the key airport. And in Western Siberia, Novosibirsk airport.
Sorting of goods at key airports, by region and city, an information service that loads vehicles to avoid empty flights, customs clearance at the final delivery points, all these measures have significantly reduced the cost of air cargo transportation