Budapest Airport (BUD) is looking to grow e-commerce shipments from China and as part of the drive, it has run workshops in Shanghai and Hong Kong for Chinese air cargo and e-commerce companies.
The events were held in collaboration with AirBridgeCargo Airlines, and attendees included Yunda Express, STO Express and SF Express, Qingdao and Xi’an airports, and the Consul General of Hungary in Shanghai.
“Budapest Airport is right on track to becoming the main cargo hub for China in the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region,” said Rene Droese, chief property and cargo Officer, BUD, speaking at the conference.
“In the last few years the e-commerce market in CEE has increased to 80 billion EUR per annum, and from its central location, BUD can supply the entire region.”
Discussions at the workshop covered topics from e-commerce to the Belt and Road Initiative, as well as competition from direct Chinese train services, and new routes opening between BUD and Chinese airports.
The workshops gave attendees the opportunity to find out more about BUD’s capabilities and development plans including BUD Cargo City, which will open in the fourth quarter. It is part of the airport’s €160 million BUD:2020 Development Programme, of which freight is a key part.
“The newly launched Shanghai Airlines-operated direct flight between Shanghai and Budapest and its cargo capacity is a serious advantage for Hungary, which comes at the best possible time to gravitate the ever growing e-commerce business into the CEE region,” said Szilárd Bolla, consul general, Consulate General of Hungary in Shanghai.
“We have all the good reasons to believe that further flights and related logistics investment will follow from China and from the Asia Pacific region.”
BUD’s connections to China have increased this year and Cargolux started a new two weekly route to Zhengzhou Xinzheng International Airport, while a new belly cargo connection between BUD and PVG was opened this June.
“Budapest Airport is set to become the ideal e-commerce environment for Chinese trade, and with BUD Cargo City opening this November, we will not only be supporting growth in the air cargo industry at large, but helping to meet regional demand for Chinese imports and exports,” said Droese.
“We have a very active presence in China, and thanks to AirBridgeCargo Airlines and the Hungarian Consulate in Shanghai, these workshops have provided further opportunities to promote our services to the largest e-commerce companies in China.”
BUD Cargo City will become Budapest Airport’s dedicated freight terminal which will include warehousing space and a forwarder building measuring 32,800 square metres.
A 32,000 square metre concrete apron will expand the airport’s capacity for processing cargo with two additional parking positions for the simultaneous handling of two Boeing B-747-8F aircraft.
Budapest Airport is home to 45 airlines and in 2018, it handled 146,113 tonnes of cargo, a 14.9 per cent increase on 2017.