Maersk is set to make a bigger presence in the air cargo industry after last week’s announcement of its intended acquisition, valued at US$644m, of Senator International, a family-owned German forwarder well known for its air freight offering.
The Danish carrier’s plans to expand its air network and will be adding cargo planes to its fleet, which will be operated Maersk’s air cargo subsidiary Star Air.
On the pipeline are three leased B767-300 cargo planes, scheduled to start service from 2022, and a firm commitment for two fresh B777 freighters, which will be deployed by 2024.
With the acquisition of Senator International, Maersk is set to control its own air capacity and operations across Europe, Asia, South Africa, and America.
Major shipping lines and logistics players have been boosting their air freight services, with the likes of CMA CGM developing its own air cargo division with A330-200Fs earlier this year.
Maersk said it plans to have approximately one third of its annual air tonnage carried within its own controlled freight network.
“This will be achieved through a combination of owned and leased aircraft, replicating the structure that the company has within its ocean fleet. The remaining capacity will be provided by strategic commercial carriers and charter flight operators,” the company noted.
In its Q3 results, Maersk posted 68 percent growth in revenue at US$12.2 billion, with Logistics & Services, including air freight transactions, increasing 38 percent to US$2.6 billion.