On December 4, local sources relayed information that following a renewed strike action on November 30 by ground handling agent Frankfurt Cargo Services (FCS), one of the cargo handlers at Frankfurt Airport, a tentative negotiation agreement for about 14,000 employees in the private transport and logistics industry in the state of Hessen, Germany has been reached. The agreement is still subject to approval of union members and provided that the agreement is approved, no further strike actions were to be expected.
In addition to tight air freight capacity during this time of the year and weather-related flight cancellations in early December, the five strike actions which occurred between November 11 and 30 have caused a large backlog of import freight at the FCS warehouse. This has led to extremely long waiting times for export and import handling, causing severe delays to shipments for the next few weeks. Last weekend, the backlog heavily affected import breakdown and exports. Space for interim storage of import BUPs and aircraft units for breakdown was reportedly blocked by import cargo ready for delivery. As a countermeasure, FCS was said to have hired new employees and contracted add-on services such as truck loading of import cargo. Import delivery has been strengthened as well as pick-up coordinated with forwarding agents and trucking companies; urgent shipments were prioritized. An additional air-side facility for intermediate storage was also rented. Export acceptance processes were reportedly streamlined to avoid export shipments being delivered days before the booked flight.
FCS is handling airlines such as RU, CZ, SQ, CI, AA, RG, among others. Customers are advised to consider re-routing cargo destined for Frankfurt Airport via alternative airports including Munich (MUC), Hamburg (HAM), Dusseldorf (DUS) and Frankfurt-Hahn (HHN).