Despite a relatively small population of some twenty five million inhabitants, Scandinavia and Finland represent some of the strongest buying power in the world. This is due not only to their high standard of living, but also because each of these nations are strong exporters in their own right.
“Scandinavia is an interesting market as well as an excellent gateway to the rapidly growing markets of the Baltics and northeastern parts of Europe,” Per Varns๘ explains.
Per Vrans๘ is SAS Cargo’s manager in Asia, a tall Dane who previously managed SAS Cargo operations in Japan and who now answers for all of SAS Cargo’s Asian operations.
“The Scandinavian countries offer many direct intercontinental connections, high efficiency and fast turnaround at hub airports such as Copenhagen, Gothenburg and Stockholm, connecting to a well-developed regional transport infrastructure.”
For companies doing business with Scandinavia, SAS Cargo’s many direct connections to and onward connections within the Nordic region makes the airline the natural first-choice airfreight carrier. This is especially true for businesses in Asia and China, which have always been priority markets for SAS. In 1957, for example, SAS became the first airline to fly the shortcut to and from Asia over the North Pole.
Today, SAS Cargo’s Asian connections are stronger than ever: daily passenger flights serve Beijing and Tokyo. Bangkok, Singapore and Shanghai are served six days per week, each flight offering 16-20 tons of cargo space. Direct passenger flights are complemented by all-cargo links to Hong Kong and Osaka several times a week, enabling shipment of even larger quantities as well as larger, more voluminous goods.
“As European transport hubs, Copenhagen and Gothenburg represent a strong challenge to their larger cousins to the south,” Per Vrans๘ says.
“Fast, efficient handling and excellent onward transport connections at the regional, European and intercontinental level can often put shipments in the consignee’s hands a full 24 hours faster than the large central European transport hubs such as Frankfurt and Amsterdam.”
Logistical expansion bears fruit The recent capacity increase to and from Shanghai is a strong indicator of the region’s growing importance to Scandinavian importers and exporters.
But it does not foretell an eclipse of southern China’s role in the country’s continued economic expansion. Freighter connections with Hong Kong were enhanced in November 2004, when the MD 11F freighter was replaced by a Boeing 747-F, which can accept more voluminous cargo with a height of up to 3 meters.
From the end of March 2005, frequency will increase from 2 to 3 flights per week. The Chinese juggernaut is now setting the pace for business, and SAS Cargo is determined to ensure that its customers’ needs are satisfied.
“Many shippers now see the logistical benefits of airfreight as a critical competitive tool, and have expanded their use of it correspondingly”, says Per Vrans๘.
“To provide even better solutions, we have branded and fine-tuned a range of airfreight products that match the exact transportation needs of different types of shipments. These include SAS Cargo XL Express, a time-definite service with guaranteed capacity for large and heavy shipments, as well as SAS Cargo Cool, time-definite airfreight for temperature-sensitive merchandise.”
“Most important is to always have your ears open to the customer’s needs. Creating a successful logistical solution means identifying and fulfilling what makes your product the most suitable for the customer. Our aim is for our product portfolio to anticipate and fully satisfy our customers’ needs”.
The Scandinavian link
With a trading heritage dating back to before the Vikings, the Nordic region is one of the most international areas in the world. Sweden, for example, generates close to 50% of its GNP through export-bound production.
Many well-known multinationals also originate in this region – ABB, Ericsson, Kvaerner, M๘ller-Maersk, Nokia, Volvo and Tetra Pak to name but a few. Innovation, far-sighted planning and entrepreneurial diplomacy have helped place their representatives in trading centers throughout Asia and around the world. SAS Cargo has long-standing relationships with many of them, providing a natural transport partner and link from many parts of the world to the original ‘home’ market.
Getting down to business
Airfreight shortens the distance between Asia and the Nordic- and Baltic countries to as little as 1-2 days of transport, instead of many weeks at sea.
“In practical terms, if you airfreight your goods to a Scandinavian customer, they can often be ‘ready for sale’ within 48 hours of dispatch,” Per Vrans๘ concludes.
“The same is true for shipments in the other direction. We specialize in working closely with forwarders and customers, in both Asia and Scandinavia, to build smooth flows that effectively ‘remove’ the geographical factor from the logistical equation. After all, distance should not be a barrier to a good business opportunity!”
SAS Cargo offers the safest, fastest connections between Asia and Scandinavia. Direct flights ensure speed and reliability, since goods need never spend days at a transit terminal waiting for an appropriate connection. Customers worldwide can track their shipments through SAS Cargo’s homepage [www.sascar go.com].
This also describes SAS and SAS Cargo: to constantly improve your business, and to offer unbeatable service and quality. Simply put, SAS Cargo is Airfreight the Scandinavian Way.