FIRST is the fastest option for air freight


Finnair Cargo’s FIRST service, which offers rush deliveries and a delivery guarantee, is becoming available to cargo travelling via Helsinki between Asia, Europe and the US

FIRST was originally introduced two years ago at Finnair Cargo. At first the service could only be purchased for cargo departing from Helsinki, but it was subsequently expanded to arriving cargo as well.

The service, which offers fast transportation of urgent cargo, is also gradually becoming available for freight travelling via Helsinki. In early August, FIRST could be purchased for cargo flying from Shanghai to European destinations, and over the next few weeks it will also be implemented on the Hong Kong, Beijing and Chongqing routes. Next up are other long-haul routes: New York, Delhi, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, Bangkok and Singapore.

”Our goal is to make FIRST available on all long-haul routes flown by wide-bodied aircraft by mid-October, and on our entire route network by early next year,” says Mikko Matikka, product manager at Finnair Cargo.

Smooth cargo transit via Helsinki

Customers using FIRST already benefit from Helsinki’s geographic location that ensures the shortest and fastest connections between Asia and Europe. Delivery times are further cut down by Helsinki Airport’s lack of congestion and streamlined operations.

”In addition, smooth operations are ensured by the fact that FIRST cargo at Helsinki Airport is handled by a separately assigned and trained team. The FIRST team works to make sure that these priority shipments are, if necessary, placed separately on connecting flights. The visibility of FIRST cargo in the transport chain is ensured with special labels, both on the shipments themselves and in our operative system,” says Matikka.

In addition to benefiting from fast deliveries, customers using FIRST can be sure that cargo is transported on specific flights.

”FIRST cargo is considered priority, so if necessary, other cargo is moved to other flights to make room,” Matikka says.

Finnair Cargo also offers a delivery guarantee for FIRST cargo. In case a shipment isn’t transported on the confirmed flights, its price is brought down.

Customers value speed

According to Matikka, it is still too early to assess the overall customer response to FIRST. Expectations are high, however, as customers have been inquiring about a service like this for a long time. Clients who need fast cargo connections between Asia, North America and the Scandinavian and Baltic countries will especially benefit from FIRST.

”When it comes to these connections, we are certainly one of the fastest airlines,” says Matikka.

Matikka adds that FIRST is particularly well suited for the transportation of various components for the auto industry. He also hopes that the service will prove useful for electronics manufacturers and other industries.

”Speed is key in the transportation of industrial spare parts, so FIRST provides a good solution for these types of shipments,” he adds. “Special types of cargo can also be accepted as FIRST upon request.”

A majority of freight transported by Finnair Cargo is BUSINESS – standard – cargo. Cargo from private clients is always labelled as business, as FIRST is intended exclusively for forwarding companies.

Text by Matti Remes

Published August 14, 2012

Category: Finnair Cargo