MSC said Monday it is developing an air cargo service, joining other ocean carriers in expanding into air freight.
The shipping giant will launch the service in early 2023 following the delivery of four Boeing 777-200F planes. Atlas Air, which ordered the planes in January 2022, will operate the freighters.
MSC said in a statement that the new service has been in development for "several months,” and that it will serve as a "complementary service to our ocean container shipping solutions." The carrier plans to serve "key trade lanes and various industries" that traditionally require significant air cargo transportation needs.
"This is our first step into this market and we plan to continue exploring various avenues to develop air cargo in a way that complements our core business of container shipping," MSC CEO Soren Toft said in a statement.
Jannie Davel, former managing director of commercial at Delta Cargo, will lead MSC’s air cargo business and build out the team, the company said. Davel has nearly 30 years of air cargo experience with leadership positions at Emirates SkyCargo and DHL.
MSC is the latest ocean carrier to build out air cargo services after pandemic congestion pushed many shippers to rely on air freight to speed up deliveries. Maersk announced the creation of Maersk Air Cargo in April, while CMA CGM signed a 10-year air cargo partnership with Air France-KLM in May.