Venipak Group, an international parcel delivery company, expands services to help sustain the surging Eastern Europe’s demand in freighter cargo shipments. The direct cargo flight Riga-Hong Kong-Riga will cut down on transit time and costs for international businesses dependent on irregularities of current passenger flights and ocean shipment disruptions.
The ongoing COVID-19 restrictions have severely altered the passenger flight frequency worldwide, directly affecting global cargo shipments. International passenger flight demand in March 2021 decreased by 87.8%, compared to 2019 numbers, putting strain on international businesses, which use these flights to transport goods.
International trade difficulties like cancelation of international passenger flights, backlogs at shipping ports, doubled with local lockdown measures, have also been forcing businesses to shift their shipments from ocean transport to international airfreight transport. This overload brings forward issues like limited cargo space on flights and fixed flight schedules that constrain efficient cargo deliveries worldwide.
To help sustain the growing demand for air cargo transportation and lend a helping hand to businesses affected by the charter flight strain, international parcel delivery company Venipak Group is launching a direct freighter flight Riga-Hong Kong-Riga, starting from September 18th.
“We’re seeing a surge in demand in the Baltic region as well as Eastern Europe for more efficient shipment solutions that would connect Asia, Europe, and North America. The existing options at the moment just do not work,” said Justas Sabliskas, CEO at Venipak Group. “Many businesses suffer from the irregular and disrupted delivery times, and direct long-distance shipping flights are a rarity for the region. All of this adds to the heightened strain.”
The freighter flight route is set up directly between Hong Kong and Riga with no transit stops in between, this way cutting down flight time to Baltics to two working days and significantly lowering the damage risk for cargo. The Boeing 737-800 BCF aircraft capacity allows shipping a wider variety of cargo, like dangerous (DGR), heavy, or with non-standard dimensions. Regular weekly flight schedules and fixed prices during the high season allow easier planning of budget, operations, production, and sales for the businesses. E-commerce customs clearance will add more extra capacity for the high season.
The company also noted that the interest and need for such direct freighter flights in the region have been massive — the flight has been completely sold out in two days. Goods from the Baltics and Poland like car parts and cosmetics are among the first cargo delivered from Riga to Hong Kong.
“We are pleased that Venipak has chosen Riga International Airport as its home for air cargo services, and we can also mark Hong Kong on our direct cargo flight destination map. This confirms that the ongoing work to develop and strengthen the Airport’s cargo segment is a step in the right direction and that our customers appreciate the potential of Riga Airport as a Baltic air hub, including in the air cargo sector. Riga Airport provides both the necessary solutions and growth opportunities for our customers’ business,” explained Artūrs Saveļjevs, Member of the Board of Riga International Airport.
With the first flights planned to operate once a week, Venipak aims to increase the frequency to two flights per week and expand the freighter flights to Mainland China and the United States, as well as adding a route connecting Hong Kong with the West Coast of the USA in the future.