Salmon lifts cargo carrier to new heights

William Stoichevski

The expanding air-freight routes of Chilean, Latam Cargo, suggest a wealth of destinations to which salmon might be shipped in the hold of a plane.

Likewise, salmon has lifted the company’s result.

On Wednesday, Latam Cargo posted rising revenues for the first-quarter of 2018, the 16.6 percent increase to USD 295.8 being partly attributed to a “boost” from “demand for salmon, electronics and capital goods”. Air-freighted volumes of all sorts were up 5.6 percent to 225,000 tonnes.

“Export markets are showing a recovery year-over-year driven mainly by salmon exports from Chile,” Latam’s media arm reported, adding that the company fleet is expected to reach 10 Boeing 767’s by year’s end.

Read Marine Harvest signs lease on new Miami airport hub

For context, green groups this week ridiculed a planned “salmon terminal” at Oslo’s Gardermoen Airport, and AIG, owner of British Airways, this week said its cargo business had been bolstered by shipping seafood. SalmonBusiness has also reported on attempts to move seafood by air direct from north-Norway to Asia, and on Air Canada Cargo’s reputed growth in seafood traffic.

Seafood routing
In April, Latam Cargo expanded its freight services in Europe to include direct cargo moves from Brussels and Madrid to South America (and back): “The company expanded its freighter service from two to four cities, thus becoming the only airline to offer direct freighter operation on the new routes,” a statement from Latam said, adding that it was not cargo in a plane’s “belly” but dedicated air-freight Boeings that were doing the routes.

Norwegian Fisheries Minister, Per Sandberg

That, the company said, means less congestion at international airports for those moving (salmon). Latam Cargo already offers six daily departures onboard passenger planes from various European cities and freight-only service to South America from Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Brussels and Madrid.

As of March 16, Rome, Lisbon and Boston —  all seafood capitals — are being served from Latam’s São Paulo-Guarulhos hub in Brazil.

Good timing
Norway, which exports 95 percent of its million-plus tonnes of salmon production, expects to grow seafood production five-fold by 2050.

“Does one carry it out,” Fisheries Minister Per Sandberg was quoted by Norwegian NRK as saying, as he ridiculed those suggesting emissions concerns ought to preclude investments in freight.

“We’re going in for more exports by air and sea,” he said.

The government is reportedly keen to have several seafood terminals for dedicated freight at Norwegian airports.

Read China ups stake of air-freighted Norwegian salmon


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