The Hut Group to launch air cargo service

Online retail group and technology company The Hut Group (THG) has announced it will launch its own air cargo service later this year, to help distribute products globally.

Dubbed ‘THG Air’, the service is expected to go live before the end of October, and will comprise two THG-owned and branded cargo planes running out of Manchester airport, where the company is based.

THG Air will initially be focused on serving Asia, and the business said it will form a key pillar of THG Ingenuity – its tech and support offering for third-party brands – to enable them better access to the region.

The imminent launch of its own air cargo service comes as THG today announced a partnership with Singapore Airlines to charter over 100 flights.

The collaboration means THG – which owns brand such as Lookfantastic and Myprotein – will no longer have to rely on scheduled passenger services to distribute goods across the world. It said the move is a direct response to the recent disruption across the airline industry, caused by the escalation of the Covid-19 coronavirus crisis, as well as THG’s continued international sales growth.

THG noted that it has operated successful trials over the last four months, using dedicated cargo flights to service its global operations, especially across the Asia region. The trials have prompted the company to go a step further and launch its own mini fleet and agree a dedicated partnership with one of Asia’s largest airlines.

In recent months, THG has opened three new distribution centres – one in the US, one in Singapore, and one in India. A further six overseas distribution centres are planned before the end of 2020.

Matthew Moulding, founder and CEO of THG, commented: “The partnership with Singapore Airlines places us in the strong position of having secured routes from UK to Asia for the foreseeable future, enabling us to keep our supply chain moving and delivering goods – including essential items such as vitamins, personal care and hygiene products. 

“Navigating the current crisis by forming these partnerships is an integral part of our strategy for THG Air, which will cement our standing as a global leader in eCommerce and technology and brings us closer to millions of customers.” 

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