As tumultuous Brexit negotiations continue in British Parliament this week, some cargo carriers in the United Kingdom, like CargoLogicAir (CLA), are increasing available capacity from the U.K. to mitigate possible disruptions to supply chains in the event of a “hard,” or “no-deal,” Brexit. Today, Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK) announced it will be welcoming U.K.-based CargoLogicAir’s launch of twice-weekly freighter services at the airport.
CLA’s new service at PIK will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays, and will serve as an intermediary stop for the carrier’s existing service between Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Frankfurt Airport (FRA), scheduled weekly on Sundays and Thursdays. Each flight will be operated using 747F aircraft (CLA’s fleet includes three 747-400Fs and one 747-8F). The start date of these services is yet to be determined.
Situated in southern Scotland, PIK offers two runways, one export warehouse, two import warehouses and on-site security screening 24 hours a day. The airport said that it specializes in dedicated freight services and the handling of large and outsized cargo. For carriers, PIK also serves as an alternative option to London Heathrow Airport (LHR), which has limited flight capacity and experienced declines in cargo throughput over the past three months.
Operating service out of PIK will offer CLA access to Scotland’s oil and gas, aerospace and other manufacturing and production industries, as well as to the general U.K. market. This will be valuable to the carrier in the event of a hard Brexit, as the carrier attributed much of its 36 percent y-o-y growth in 2018 to its U.K, European and American clients in oil and gas, aerospace, heavy machinery and humanitarian cargo. The carrier will be keen to protect its access to these markets as it seeks to enter a fifth freighter into operation by 2020, as reported by our sister site, Air Cargo World.
Logistics providers operating in the U.K. are well aware of the potential impact a “hard” Brexit could have on the logistics industry, such as increased logistics costs, reduced capacity and more complex customs procedures. Both the U.K and European countries rely heavily on the import of natural resources, and the existing imbalance will be accentuated by Brexit-related strains.
Like CLA, other logistics industry providers are working to mitigate any potential disruption to supply chains – U.S.-based logistics service provider 3PL C.H. Robinson has booked standby aircraft for clients in preparation for reduced capacity and U.S.-based Crane Worldwide Logistics is preparing increased temporary storage, customs-bonded warehousing and transit services for the movement of goods into its premises at effected borders.
Hopefully, cargo logistics providers operating in the U.K. will soon receive clarity regarding Brexit plans, as the British Parliament is currently undergoing a voting process that will likely last several days to determine whether the government will adopt a Brexit deal, according to BBC. The earliest Brexit is likely to happen now is April 12, though this may be – again – extended depending on the outcomes of votes this week.