LATAM Cargo launches new Santiago-Chicago freighter route

LATAM Cargo will start a new freighter route between Santiago de Chile and Chicago from 19 February – the Latin American carrier’s sixth destination in the US.

Thanks to Chicago’s strategic connectivity to Asia, with this new route it expects to offer a better product to its customers in this destination by expediting service, reducing transit times to less than 35 hours, improving temperature control and decreasing cargo exposure.

Chile is the largest salmon exporter in the region, with a steadily increasing demand from the Asian market in recent years. While in 2014 an average of 37 tonnes were transported between both markets each week, in 2018 this figure rose to approximately 700 tons per week, on average.

“We know the Asian market will be a strategic focus in the development of Chilean aquaculture. At LATAM Cargo, we are committed to our customers and we are well aware of the importance of the Asian market for them.

“This new route will allow us to offer a better service with a much shorter time until the final destination” said LATAM Cargo’s commercial director for South America, Claudio Torres.

In Chicago, LATAM Cargo’s facilities will include 465 square meters of cold storage, which may be expanded if necessary, to minimise cargo exposure while in transit.

The return route will be Chicago-Miami, thus improving service to customers in the Midwestern United States by reducing transit time to Latin America by up to three days. This will result in shorter connection time and more expeditious shipping.

As part of its international product portfolio, LATAM Cargo offers Perishable-Salmon, which has been especially designed to transport this product under strict exposure control. It is available across the LATAM Cargo network on both freighters and passenger aircraft.

With this new route, the product will have six points of entry into the US and three connection points on its way to Asia. LATAM Cargo also plans to increase its weekly capacity to carry salmon to Asia by 100 additional tonnes, thus matching the transportation time of the main Asian carriers.

“The ongoing expansion of our network is proof of our permanent commitment to our customers. We are optimistic about this new route to Chicago and will continue considering new alternatives to improve their experience,” added LATAM Cargo chief executive officer, Andrés Bianchi.

In 2018, LATAM Cargo opened 32 routes, five of which provide cargo-only service. The trend will continue in 2019, with Santiago-Chicago being the first new route of the year served by cargo aircraft.