Saturday, November 22, 2014

Air Freight Agreement Reflects Ocean Container Shipping Lines Cargo Cooperative Deals

Antitrust Authorities Will Look Closely at Proposals to Offer Single Rate Policy
Shipping News Feature

JAPAN – US – EUROPE – All Nippon Airways (ANA) have filed an application with the Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) for antitrust immunity in order to launch another strategic air freight joint venture, this time with American carrier, United Airlines, on routes between the US and Asia. The move reflects the attitude of the big ocean container shipping lines, many of whom have been rushing to pair up with cargo carrying competitors in the name of efficiency.

In September, ANA entered into a similar deal with German carrier Lufthansa Cargo on routes between Japan and Europe, and ANA hopes that the agreement with United will create a more efficient and comprehensive trans-Pacific air cargo business network. According to both parties, this trans-Pacific cargo joint venture is the first of its kind between the US and Asia and could generate substantial service benefits for freight consumers. It could also enable United and ANA to compete more effectively with other airlines that maintain a significant presence in both markets.

Upon completion of the Japanese and United States regulatory processes, United and ANA will be able to jointly manage trans-Pacific air cargo business activities including scheduling, pricing and sales. This will allow the carriers to offer customers a greater selection of routings and cargo space along with a wider range of service options but goes far further than the sea freight carriers have been allowed to go by the authorities.

The joint venture between Lufthansa and ANA, first mooted over a year ago, will start on December 1, when sales and bookings will officially be available on routes from Japan to Europe. The companies aim to introduce the joint approach on shipments originating from Europe to Japan within 2015.