DB Schenker steps into the OBC business

Logistics service provider DB Schenker has launched onboard courier services, this way enhancing its product portfolio offered to the market. Schenker reacts to the rapidly increasing global demand for fast and personalized transport of extremely urgent goods. Demand comes primarily from companies in the automotive, electronics, high-end fashion and healthcare industries.

For medium-sized freight forwarders such as Quick Cargo Service, OBC services have long been part of their repertoire. Not to mention specialists such as time:matters, Air Partner or brokers like Chapman Freeborn, to name just a few who are active in this segment. Now Schenker has jumped on the bandwagon to secure a slice of the business. The conditions are ideal. Schenker is actively represented in 130 countries with 1,850 stations, so it has its own dense global network enabling the company to integrate its local personnel into the new OBC product offering.

Thorsten Meincke expects a rapid rise in demand for the new OBC product – photos: credit DB Schenker.

Three central bases of operations
The launch of OBC services was preceded by a trial phase in which Schenker set up an OBC service team that operates on a stand-by basis from three different continents to guarantee customers 24/7 availability for urgent OBC requests. The couriers are based in Hong Kong, Frankfurt and Vancouver, this way enabling coverage of key trade lanes.
On the occasion of the product launch, Thorsten Meincke, Global Board Member for Air & Ocean Freight, DB Schenker stated: “With our new OBC service, we are taking air freight to new heights. Whether urgent automotive parts need to be shipped from Germany to China to prevent a line stoppage, or a medical device from Canada is instantly needed in a hospital in South Africa – we are now able to take care of any unforeseeable and very short-term requirements of our customers. Through the new white glove service, we address new market opportunities for us as a global logistics solution provider.

A classic OBC case
The press release cites this case, which occurred during the trial phase, as an example of the urgent need for OBC services:
A healthcare customer was asking for the urgent delivery of a few artificial hip joints from the United States to the UK and the Netherlands to conduct some important surgeries before the weekend. Within minutes, three different options were presented, including pick-up times, flight schedule and expected time of arrival at the final destinations. Two couriers were arranged to fly the precious cargo to Europe. While the couriers were still inflight, DB Schenker arranged stand-by vehicles for the fastest way from the arrival airports to the respective hospitals.

Full shipment visibility is provided by real time tracking, says Stefan Pargfrieder.

Each OBC deployment is unique
DB Schenker’s new OBC service is characterized by a rapid response time, and includes insurance coverage and customs clearance, if required. It is available for all types of shipments except dangerous goods (DG).
Final word from Stefan Pargfrieder, Vice President Global Air Freight Strategy & Development, DB Schenker: “We understand that every shipment is unique. As a fully integrated logistics service provider, we want to be problem solvers for our customers. Sometimes the high value of an item is not related to its purchase price but rather to the costs adding up for every minute the item is not available. While we have already taken care of individual OBC customer requests in the past, we are now rolling out a standardized product offering across all continents.
Transparency is provided via real-time tracking, resembling shipment visibility known from e-commerce deliveries, states DB Schenker in its release.

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