The “forwarder’s airline” returns to its roots

Cargolux 747-8F side view from stairs 01There has been much talk recently about the disintermediation of forwarders. Talk about cargo carriers bypassing their traditional forwarder customers and dealing directly with shippers. Even talk about e-commerce eliminating the need for forwarders altogether. But Cargolux, once known in the industry as “the forwarder’s airline,” has taken a stand in solidarity with its forwarder partners, and this week unveiled a 747-8F with a new livery featuring the words “Cargolux, powered by Expeditors.”

Cargo Facts was fortunate to be at Seattle-Tacoma International with executives from Cargolux and Expeditors when the freshly painted jumbo landed at the beginning of this week, and we’d like to share some photos and videos we brought back.

But first, a bit of background. The “Powered by Expeditors” livery does not mark a new agreement between the carrier and the forwarder, nor does it indicate that this particular 747-8F will be dedicated to just Expeditors. Rather, as Expeditors told us, it is “simply a form of recognition for us as one of Cargolux’s top customers. Cargolux is a Preferred airline in our Service Provider Management program, with whom we have a long and positive history of doing business. Cargolux has clearly increased its commercial engagement at the local, regional, and corporate levels with Expeditors, and, as a result, we are seeing positive results in our business development together. We are very proud of this recognition of our relationship with Cargolux.”

Looking ahead, Cargolux told us that this is just the first in a series of  freighters that will be rebranded with the “Powered by…” livery, featuring the carrier’s top forwarder partners.

And now, a pair of videos, followed by several photos from Cargolux’s “Powered by Expeditors” event at Sea-Tac Airport

Here’s the 747-8F landing at SEA and taxiing to the cargo apron.

The flight originated in Luxembourg, and visited three North American destinations (Los Angeles, Seattle, and Calgary) before returning to Europe. Here is a short video showing some of the cargo being unloaded, and then fresh cargo coming on board during the Seattle stop.

And now a few photos:

Cargolux, Powered by Expeditors
Inside the beast.
Executives from Expeditors and Cargolux welcome the freighter to Seattle.
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