UK e-commerce retailer The Hut Group (THG) is to launch THG Air with the purchase and operation of two of its own dedicated cargo planes.
THG – which includes brands such as Glossybox, Zavvi and MyProtein – is also to partner with Singapore Airlines to charter more than 100 flights to remove its reliance on scheduled passenger services.
The e-commerce giant said it was a move necessitated by recent unprecedented disruption across the airline industry and its international sales growth.
THG has been running trials since the start of 2020 using dedicated cargo flights to service its global operations, predominantly in Asia.
It is looking to have two of its own cargo planes live, branded with the “THG Air” livery, operating out of Manchester Airport by the end of October.
Matthew Moulding, founder and chief executive of THG, said: “The recent disruption across the airline industry has brought huge challenges in the movement of goods across the globe.
“This led us to accelerate our trials for dedicated cargo planes to link together our own global manufacturing and distribution centres.
“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 e-commerce and technology.”
THG, which has its headquarters in Manchester, has recently opened three new distribution centres in the U.S.A., one in Singapore and one in India. A further six overseas distribution centres are planned before the end of the year.
Sherine Teo, vice-president of digital and e-commerce logistics, Singapore Airlines, said: “We welcome this partnership with THG, which facilitates the movement of goods across Asia and supports global supply chains. This collaboration will leverage Singapore Airlines’ flight network to ensure timely and efficient supply and delivery of THG goods to its customers.”