Quick Cargo CEO Stephan Haltmayer on the case, “FCS at Frankfurt Airport”.
“The dispute which has erupted here involves multi-faceted aspects. The heart of the matter is: who is responsible for unloading? The legal basis is for us, from the forwarder’s perspective, quite simple: we have a contract with a respective airline, who in turn has a contractual relationship with a respective ground handling partner. The legal basis here (the Forwarding and Logistics Association for Hessen and Rhineland-Pfalz SLV has already pointed this out) gives a clear message: the delivering company is not in fact responsible for the unloading. It is the responsibility of the air carrier or of the cargo handler appointed as the carrier’s agent (Judgment from 27.10.1978, Case file number: I ZR 114/76). In the past there was no contractual relationship between the forwarder and the ground handling partner. We therefore take the view that an agreement must be reached regarding the unloading fees. We stand behind the SLV and its request that a solution acceptable to all parties be found. The current situation and the resulting uncertainty weakens Frankfurt as a location. This surely cannot be in anyone’s interest! This is particularly true given that the handling situation at Frankfurt has been problematic these last few years, due to the deficiencies of the I.T. infrastructure. We as a company have prepared ourselves, should there once again be bottlenecks, to switch to other European airfreight hubs.
Medium-sized companies are the most affected by the fees currently being proposed, because these fees are to be charged only on unloaded, loose freight. We must vehemently oppose such a disadvantage, above all in the interests of our customers. So we as a company are following the recommendation of the DSLV and disputing the unloading fees. Any and all possible payments in this connection are made only on the understanding that we reserve the right to reclaim payment, and in order to avoid disturbing ongoing business”.