Conrady switches from air to rail

It has been known for around three weeks in local freight forwarder and airline association circles that Fraport’s current head of cargo, Max Philipp Conrady, is leaving airport operator Fraport AG this September. Although official confirmation from Fraport is still pending, it is no longer a secret that he will join the management team at Regionaltangente West Planning Company Ltd (RTW GmbH). The local rail company develops rail links to better connect the fast-growing Frankfurt Rhine-Main region. The search for Conrady’s successor should start immediately.

The imminent departure of Conrady is bitter news for the air freight players doing business at Germany’s leading cargo airport. The Fraport executive has been a reliable contact with an always open ear for the concerns of the companies, emphasizes Michael Hoppe, Secretary General of the Board of Airline Representatives in Germany (Barig), when approached by CargoForwarder Global. “We have been working together well and trustingly for years. He is solution-oriented and tackles issues head-on. With his departure, the industry is losing a great deal of expertise and a manager with a high level of credibility.”

From air to rail. Max Conrady switches modes of transportation  –  photo: CFG/hs

He improved the reputation of air freight
Hoppe also referred to another aspect: “Together with Roland Weil, Conrady is the cargo face of airport operator Fraport on the national and international stage.” His presence at congresses such as Air Cargo Europe and other trade shows clearly demonstrated this. In discussions with media people, he always conveyed the concerns and positions of Fraport Cargo in a credible manner and did not shy away from critical issues. With this clear stance, Conrady contributed a great deal to a better understanding of air cargo processes among a broader and often critical public, Mr. Hoppe notes. 

He managed the COVID-19 challenge extremely well
Stephan Haltmayer, CEO Quick Cargo Service, has a similarly positive assessment of Max Conrady’s work. “First Bernhard Lessmann retired, now his successor at Fraport Cargo, Max Conrady, is leaving the company. This is a loss of knowledge and experience that will not be beneficial for Frankfurt as an air freight location if the airport management does not quickly appoint a competent successor who not only has the necessary expertise, but also a heart for air freight.” 

When asked about Conrady’s achievements in his role as Head of Cargo at Fraport, Haltmayer says that he passed his baptism of fire during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this exceptional situation, complicated processes had to be managed quickly and efficiently. For example, providing the necessary personnel for the very labor-intensive and time-consuming unloading of the so-called preighters, i.e. aircraft whose passenger cabins were loaded with urgently needed hygiene materials to contain the spread of the virus. “The aircraft, which were mostly charter flights, sometimes arrived unannounced and still had to be unloaded quickly,” recalls Mr. Haltmayer. A huge challenge for every ground service provider, which Conrady and his team at Fraport Cargo organized excellently 24/7.

Barig expresses a wish
At the end of September, Conrady will leave Fraport AG after nineteen years with the company in various roles. He will be missed not only in Frankfurt, but also on the international cargo stage. Although he is still in office, Barig boss Hoppe already has one wish for Conrady in his future role: “Dear Max, as you will soon be working for a rail company, you should ensure that CargoCity South at Frankfurt Airport finally gets a modern rail link to speed up the flow of air freight in a sustainable manner.”

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