The Mumbai team drives ahead with a record car shipment

Five cars from three manufacturers head for Japan and South Korea for testing and inspection

It’s not unusual for Cathay Pacific Cargo to carry cars on their aircraft. However, Mumbai is not the first port you might think of for auto shipments – yet India hosts the world’s fourth-largest automotive industry. And for the first time, in July the Cargo team in Mumbai uplifted five cars on a single freighter flight to Hong Kong, and onward connections beyond.

The five cars were all securely loaded, in either open or boxed format, all contributing to a total gross weight on the flight of 70 tonnes – 93 tonnes of chargeable weight, as each pallet occupies two positions – on five 20-foot pallets.

“All the cars were being shipped for testing for three different manufacturers,” says Arpan Heryani, Area Cargo Manager Western India.

Two were made by Kia Motors in India, heading in open-load format to company headquarters in Seoul for examination, after passing safety performance testing in Pune. Also heading to Incheon was a Mahindra XUV300 W6 electric car, which moved inside a sealed box on its pallet as per shipper instructions, for testing.

A car in dazzle camouflage about to be loaded on board a Cathay Pacific Cargo freighter plane

The remaining two cars were unboxed vehicles, bound for Nagoya for testing, via Hong Kong and Tokyo Narita. Some of the cars were wrapped in eye-catching dazzle camouflage stickers, used to protect the details of prototype models from being leaked before they hit the road.

‘Although this was an unusual request for us, we managed it thanks to close coordination from the sales team in giving complete end-to-end updates, who made all arrangements at origin and destination,’  said Heryani. ‘It was also thanks to our operations team, who ensured all the cars were loaded safely.’

A successful planeload of cars, delivered by air cargo and ready to hit the road running.