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Strikes hit Frankfurt cargo capacity, driving forwarders away

STRIKES by two handling agents at Frankfurt Airport have triggered severe congestion and restricted cargo capacity, prompting forwarders to seek alternative airports at a time when capacity is tight.

"Where are very few flights able to offer cargo uplift because of the issues with the cargo handling agents and the backlog this has created," one forwarder told London's Loadstar.



"We are expecting capacity to remain extremely tight this week, next week and the week after, and we are looking for capacity elsewhere: Bucharest, Krakow."



Frankfurt airport told Loadstar that Cargo City South was experiencing operational delays due to a shortage of handling personnel - believed to be from Frankfurt Cargo Services and LUG Handling.



According to airport officials, forwarders and trucking companies were hardest hit by the strike action with limited numbers of handling agents available to load and unload.



Talks have been undertaken to end slow downs in the wake of the Union of Ground Handling Agents decision to strike from November 23-24.



The forwarder said that while Lufthansa - which runs its own handling operations - had not been affected, the unusually tight market left capacity on the German flag carrier limited.



Dachser said the Asia and European markets were already disrupted by slot restrictions, full transatlantic flights, sea freight shortages and sales booms such as Black Friday.



"The high freight volume, together with seasonal peaks, makes the situation more challenging, therefore major delays in cargo handling is expected," it said.



"Our team is working continuously on alternative solutions to represent our customer's interests in the best way and avoid delays as far as possible."



The forwarder added: "Any ripple like this is going to have an oversized effect right now."
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