Air Freight Security Costs Up 10x

A German airline says they spend ten times more on security than ten years ago

“Our security costs have increased tenfold since 2001,” Lufthansa Cargo spokesman Michael Göntgens told Deutsche Welle. “If the German government is considering a surcharge to cover costs for additional security measures, we all need to sit at the table to discuss the issue. Freight companies with their major hub in Germany, like us, need to be competitive.”

They don’t tell us what they spent ten years ago, so the multiplier is a bit misleading. They should say what percentage of their budget is spent on security. Rough estimates usually say spending 10-12% is the optimum range. Lufthansa might have been spending 1% and only after a 10x increase are now able to actually start to address the risks.

Unlike passenger airlines, freight companies are still not required to screen 100 percent of their airborne cargo. Significant changes in the way air freight is screened could have a major impact on the wider economy, as about one third of the world’s trade by value is now transported by aircraft.

It is always more expensive to build security into a process late, but the cost of not adding security (impact on the wider economy) could be even higher.

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