Nippon Express (Belgium) NV/SA, a local subsidiary of Nippon Express Co., Ltd. , has teamed up with Nippon Express Europe GmbH to launch a new service using Liege Airport and Ostend-Bruges International Airport to bolster import/export gateway functions in Europe.
The coronavirus pandemic has led to a chronic scarcity of air cargo space. Liege Airport in eastern Belgium serves as one of Europe's dedicated cargo airports and currently offers regular and charter flights to and from China, North America, the Middle East and Africa. With no airline slot restrictions on departures and arrivals and with its geographically advantageous location near the German, Dutch and French borders, the airport has seen its handling volume expand in recent years to put it nearly on par with Europe's major gateway airports (Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, and London). Helping enhance the airport's gateway functions for multiple transport modes are a freight railway station situated near the airport with connections to China-Europe railways as well as an intermodal (barge, road and rail) container terminal yard.
NE Belgium is the first Japanese forwarder to set up operations in the Liege area, and it has opened an office in the airport cargo zone to provide CFS functions. The company is now engaged in air cargo import/export operations using the round-trip charter transport service between Liege and Narita airports launched on April 16.
In response to rising demand for trans-Atlantic air cargo transport, a round-trip charter service between Ostend-Bruges International Airport in western Belgium and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport was introduced on May 8. NE Belgium has signed a weekly charter agreement with Qatar Airways Cargo to utilise their B777-300 ER mini freighter for round trip cargo services.
All incidental services from departure to arrival are carried out by Nippon Express, which also provides collection/delivery in surrounding areas.
Taking advantage of Belgium's strategic location at the heart of European logistics, cargo from not only Belgium but from neighboring countries such as the Netherlands and France as well can be loaded at this gateway. Nippon Express is able to reliably provide cargo space to customers despite the chronic shortages of cargo space brought about by the pandemic.
Nippon Express will continue developing new transport services to meet the diversifying logistics needs of customers and "creating new ideas and value that expand the field of logistics" as advocated in the Nippon Express Group Corporate Philosophy.