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Cargo Shippers Invest in Air Transport to Avoid Supply Chain Disruptions




GordZam, iStock

During the height of the pandemic, two of the world’s largest ocean cargo shippers — Denmark’s Maersk and France’s CMA CGM — began investing heavily to make air transport a larger part of their infrastructure.

Earlier this year, shipping giant Maersk purchased Hamburg, Germany-based freight forwarder Senator International. The $644 million acquisition assimilated Senator’s logistical assets and established airfreight network into Maersk’s plan to make air delivery an integral part of its service. Maersk relaunched its formerly limited delivery option as Maersk Air Cargo.

Maersk has, so far, assembled a fleet of 15 transport planes and plans to add more Boeing 767s to its fleet later this year. The company both purchases and rents its planes and employs Denmark’s Billund Airport as a hub of operations. Maersk plans to transport a third of the cargo it flies each year using its wholly-owned air freight division, according to

CMA CGM, the world’s third-largest container shipper, introduced its own service, CMA CGM Air Cargo, in 2021. It was the company’s first investment in an in-house fleet. The Marseilles-based company kicked off the operation with the purchase and rental of four Airbus A330 freighters. CMA CGM plans to have 12 planes in the air by 2026, operating out of Gaulle International Airport in Paris.

To compliment its fledgling fleet, CMA CGM also purchased a 9 percent stake Air France-KLM, as part of an agreement for the use of cargo space aboard the airlines, reports CNBC.



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