As winter approaches, fresh fruit and vegetable shipping via air freight is on the rise. Although this mode of transportation is considered to be expensive, the demand is ever-increasing. “It is popular to send Egyptian strawberries, in particular, via plane. Here, you must not think of a few pallets but rather of entire plane-fulls. Just like pineapples from Ghana”, says Nicolas Janssen of Belgian air cargo company, Zeus Aero. “Air transport is the best option for extremely fragile products. The product can reach the end user within a few hours.”
As the population grows, the demand for products increase. These products must be available year-round. They are sent to Europe from around the world. “Air freight is only used when there is a shortage of products in Europe. Or if using sea fright is not an option due to the product’s limited shelf life. It must be economically feasible to bring in products via air freight. Goods transported on planes cannot compete with all products. They can, for example, compete with those that are grown in greenhouses. In some cases, it is less expensive to import products by plane”, according to Nicolas.
Zeus Aero offers time-critical air transport solutions. This company is based in The Aviation Factory, the largest lessor of aircraft in the Benelux region. “We are based at the Oostende airport. Our main sales markets are companies in the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Luxembourg”, says Nicolas. Zeus offers various services such as urgent transport, for among other things, perishable goods. The company also provides aid is transporting goods and emergency services when disaster strikes. Zeus also has couriers that deliver smaller packages to their destinations using scheduled flights.
“We can guarantee the products’ quality thanks to its fast delivery. We also only use airports that have cold stores and similar facilities. Besides the emerging fresh fruit and vegetable sector, the air transport of flowers is also big business. In Amsterdam, about five or six 747’s full of flowers land every day. These come from Africa and South America. The flower segment has grown into an enormous market in recent years”, concludes Nicolas.