Emirates SkyCargo Strengthens Dubai’s Multi-Modal Logistics Hub
With the move of its freighters to DWC, Emirates SkyCargo, the freight division of Emirates, has strengthened the link between Dubai International and DWC, through its trucking operations, reinforcing the city’s multi-model logistics capability as a growing and popular global cargo hub.
Emirates SkyCargo launched its trucking operations on 1 May 2014 in tandem with the start of its freighter operates at DWC, and up until 1st September 2014 its fleet of 47 trucks has facilitated the transhipment of over 108,000 tonnes of various commodities from perishables to outsized cargo between Dubai International and DWC, recording over 17,000 round trips, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“Obviously ground transhipment requires the highest degree of care and special handling, from when the commodities are offloaded, right through to when it’s delivered and loaded. An operation like this can only go to plan with nothing less than total cooperation from everyone involved. Through a joint effort, we have created a strong link between the three main cargo points in Dubai with service quality remaining at high standard,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo.
Enjoying a strategic location between East and West, and within 8 hours flying time of two thirds of the world’s population, Dubai ranks sixth globally measured by air cargo traffic. The emirate is one of the fastest growing cargo hubs in the world. Its central position, coupled with the growth of Emirates airline, and increased popularity of air cargo transportation, saw cargo volumes reaching record levels in 2013 with 2,435,567 tonnes of air freight passing through Dubai International, up 6.8 per cent compared to 2,279,624 tonnes recorded during 2012. Over 125 airlines serve the two airports in Dubai, facilitating the movement of passengers and cargo to and from 260 destinations across six continents.
“Our decision to move freighter operations to DWC was a strategic move that enables us to better tap and support Dubai’s growth. We now have a dedicated facility for our freighters which allow us to grow our fleet size and meet our growth requirements,” added Mr Sultan. “The ground transhipment service has now became embedded into our operations with the Emirates SkyCargo trucks becoming part a common sight in Dubai. We have introduced road feeder services to facilitate the movement of cargo between the two airports away from Dubai airport hustle and bustle.”
Emirates SkyCargo signed a five-year trucking contract with a Dubai-based land transportation service provider for its fleet of trucks which consists of: 12 reefer trailers designed to handle all temperature sensitive commodities such as perishables, flowers, and pharmaceuticals; 33 dry boxes for all general cargo; and two low bed trucks for handling outsized cargo including aircraft engines, cowlings, and machinery. Each of the reefer trailers and dry boxes has the capacity to accommodate up to 28 tons.
These trucks move on an inclusive geo-fenced corridor to maintain the speed of connectivity and achieve on time performance goals. A central control room monitors all real time movements as trucks are equipped with a vehicle tracking system and a remote electronic locking system which allows for observation of the security of the vehicles and the sterility of the cargo therein by alarming and altering any en-route deviations.
Emirates SkyCargo DWC terminal is equipped to handle 700,000 tonnes per year, and features advanced technology, including a fully automated material handling system which is one of the world’s first to have an automated Unit Load Device (ULD) that enables quick transfer of six ULDs simultaneously. It also consists of an automated pallet handling system, advanced storage system, offices, workstation areas, modern communication and security systems, canteens, and other amenities. The terminal infrastructure also includes truck docks and truck parking spaces, in addition to aircraft stands directly in front of the terminal.
Emirates continues to expand its freighter operations alongside its belly hold capacity. Emirates SkyCargo provides belly hold cargo services to more than 140 destinations around the world using cargo hold capacity in Emirates’ fleet of over 225 aircraft, in addition to over 50 scheduled freighter services. Emirates operates a fleet of 13 freighters, 11 Boeing 777 Fs and two Boeing 747-400 ERFs, with a further of two B777s on order, one of which will arrive in November 2014, and the other in August 2015.