Etihad Cargo adds FreshForward, a new specialised cool chain product for the Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s global network with a focus on last-mile delivery.
The new product ensures items such as fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, fish, meat and flowers – that made up more than 90,000 tonnes of cargo in the last 12 months – move seamlessly across Etihad Cargo’s global network until they reach their final destination, the carrier said.
At the Abu Dhabi hub, FreshForward prioritises the transfer of perishable cargo from the aircraft into a dedicated centre and subsequently onto reefer trucks to be delivered directly to the customer’s doorstep anywhere in the UAE.
This marks a milestone in the expansion of Etihad’s value chain offering to include last-mile delivery in its home market for select products, itself a key pillar of Etihad’s refreshed strategy to expand services beyond its conventional airport-to-airport model.
Abdulla Mohamed Shadid, Etihad Airways managing director Cargo and Logistics, said: “Etihad Cargo plays a vital role in stimulating the UAE’s imports and exports via our Abu Dhabi hub, and today we are delighted to introduce yet another product that will act as a further catalyst to this. Safe, efficient and timely transport is critical for the UAE’s major importers of fresh produce including supermarket chains, F&B wholesalers, restaurants and florists.”
Etihad Cargo transported over 90,000 tonnes of perishables over the last 12 months with fruits and vegetables making up more than 37 per cent of the total, while meat (15,000 tonnes), flowers (19,000 tonnes) and fish (8,000 tonnes) were the other major categories carried by Etihad.
The Etihad Cargo network connects the UAE with key export markets globally, and also provides seamless transfer in Abu Dhabi for a global cold chain industry that boasts South American flowers, Indian mangoes and Australian lamb as some of its key products, the carrier says.
“Customers will continue to benefit from Etihad Cargo’s established track and trace capabilities, adaptive temperature control on freighter and passenger aircraft, cold chain storage at the hub, dry-ice packing, thermal blankets and cool dollies, all but a few of the elements available under this newly branded product,” Etihad adds.