The Impressive Rise Of Turkish Airlines Cargo Operations

Turkish Cargo is an integral part of the Turkish Airlines operations. Since the slump in cargo capacity earlier this year, Turkish cargo has risen to become a significant cargo mover worldwide. Now, with 5% of the market handled by Turkish Cargo and the introduction of new and exciting technology to its operations, Turkish is solidifying its position as a major shipping business.

Turkish Cargo
Turkish Cargo now moves one in every 20 shipments. Photo: Turkish Cargo

Now 5% of the world market

The rapid rise of Turkish Airlines’ cargo business has seen it take a prime position in the world’s air shipping market. Today, one in every 20 air shipments is moved by Turkish Airlines, representing a 5% share of the global market. That’s pretty impressive when you take into account all of the world’s biggest cargo-only airlines who are also competing for share.

When the COVID pandemic hit, the worldwide air cargo market slumped. With fewer passenger planes flying cargo in their bellies, the market shrank by 18% between January and May. However, Turkish Cargo did not see any loss of tonnage on a year-on-year basis, and acted as a global bridge, preventing the interruption of the international supply chain.

Service was maintained to 90 direct cargo destinations using freighters with high tonnage capacity. In addition to this, Turkish Cargo utilized 32 widebody passenger aircraft from Turkish Airlines to boost its network and capacity. More than 60 destinations were incorporated in the network, including London, Moscow, Oslo, Shanghai, Bangkok, Doha, New York and Casablanca.

Turkish Cargo
More than 21 tons of medicine has been moved by Turkish to help in the fight against COVID. Photo: Turkish Cargo

Turkish Cargo also carried 21,547 tons of medicine and some 7,000 tons of medical equipment between February and June. Its air cargo operations span more than 300 destinations, 90 of which are cargo destinations, in 127 countries around the world. Turkish Cargo operates with its fleet of 361 aircraft, 25 of which are freighters, from its hub in Istanbul.

It has recently become the first airline to receive all three CEIV certifications from IATA, which includes CEIV Pharma, CEIV Fresh, and CEIV Live Animals.

Harnessing AI for better customer service

Turkish Cargo has unveiled a new artificial intelligence chatbot it affectionately calls “Cargy”. This tool provides customers the opportunity to inquire about the status of their cargo 24/7.

Cargy is able to provide customers with information on shipment status, details of shipments, as well as the available dates and flights for movement of goods. Working through WhatsApp via a dedicated number: 0850 333 0777 Cargy is available in both Turkish-and English-language options.

Turkish Cargo
The new AI Chatbot ‘Cargy’ lets customers keep abreast of their shipments, no matter where they are. Photo: Turkish Cargo

With further refinements to the chatbot set to be released, by September Cargy will also be able to provide information on shipment rates. Further functionality is set to be released by December, adding more features and capabilities to this innovative product.

Turkish steps up to rescue Pakistan’s produce exporters

Since Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) received a ban on flying to Europe, Pakistani fruit and vegetable exporters have lost their primary mode of transportation. However, this week Turkish Airlines has stepped up with offers of reduced freight rates for the export of produce into Europe, offering these businesses a much-needed lifeline.

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The cargo division is coming to the rescue of Pakistan’s producers. Photo: Turkish Cargo

Talking to The Express Tribune, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed explained how important this service is for the industry. He said,

“The airline has also promised provision of excellent facilities to promote export of fruits and vegetables to Europe. Fruit and vegetable exporters were perturbed after Europe slapped a six-month ban on PIA flights owing to news of fake licences of Pakistani pilots.”

The ban on PIA pilots, exporters of fruit and vegetables from Pakistan had feared soaring costs for freight services. Foreign air carriers could not typically compete with PIA, particularly given their recently introduced reduced freight charges to support businesses during COVID.

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The future looks good for Turkish Cargo. Photo: Turkish Cargo

However, with Turkish Airlines stepping in to fill the gap, with competitive rates and full support for Pakistan’s businesses, the industry can breathe a collective sigh of relief. The economy of Pakistan, like many others, is experiencing a challenging time, but with this support from Turkish Airlines, growers can hope to maintain their share of the European export market.

What do you think about Turkish Airline’s flourishing cargo business? Let us know in the comments.