Maersk expanding air offerings

by Inside Logistics Online Staff

A.P. Moller – Maersk is buying Senator International, and adding to its own freighter fleet.

Senator International operates an air freight forwarding network across Europe, Asia, South Africa, and America.

In addition, Maersk is purchasing two new Boeing 777F aircraft and leasing three Boeing 767-300 cargo planes. Star Air – the internal air cargo operation of Maersk established in 1987 – will manage the new aviation assets and services.

The world’s largest shipping company says the moves are part of a strategy to expand its global air network. Maersk aims  to have approximately one third of its annual air tonnage carried within its own controlled freight network. This will be achieved through a combination of owned and leased aircraft, replicating the structure that the company has within its ocean fleet. The remaining capacity will be provided by strategic commercial carriers and charter flight operators.

Senator network

Senator’s operation centres around its controlled capacity, with 19 weekly flights across its network. This focus on own controlled capacity is highly aligned with Maersk´s air freight strategy.

“Founded by my father Uwe Kirschbaum in 1984, Senator has grown to a sizable global freight forwarder,” said Tim-Oliver Kirschbaum, CEO and shareholder at Senator.

“Our employees have always delivered first-class services to our valued customers. Senator’s own controlled air product started in 2016 and has proven to be a success story. By joining Maersk, we strongly believe that we will be able to deliver an even broader portfolio with own controlled air capacity as well as also in other modes of transportation.”

Star Air

As an in-house aircraft operator, Star Air will operate and maintain owned and leased aircraft for Maersk while continuing to operate air cargo for its current customers.

As an integral part of building the own controlled air capacity, Star Air has purchased two new B777 freighters to be delivered by Boeing in 2024 and leased three B767-300 freighters which will be operational next year through Cargo Aircraft Management, the leasing arm of ATSG.

Maersk will have similar CO2 reduction aims as it does for its Ocean division. In the forwarding business the company now engages carriers that offer SAF-based (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) solutions. For its own fleet, Maersk is committed to explore carbon neutral fuels for the Star Air operated fleet of aircraft in line with IATA guidance.