Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Air Cargo Arm of Emirates Aims High as Dubai Terminal Aims at a Million Tonnes of Freight Annually

Move to New Base Means Amplifying Road Haulage Links
Shipping News Feature

DUBAI – Emirates SkyCargo is gearing up for the move of its freighter fleet to Al Maktoum Airport (DWC) by signing a five year trucking contract with Dubai-based road haulage firm Allied Transport that will see the haulier provide road feeder services between its current base at Dubai International (DXB) and DWC for SkyCargo, including the operation of a fleet of up to 45 trucks in the first year.

Starting May 1, Emirates SkyCargo freighters will call Al Maktoum International Airport their new home and whilst the cargo planes will be handled exclusively from DWC, the passenger fleet belly cargo operations will continue to operate from Dubai International Airport. Therefore, the trucking of cargo between the two airports will form a critical part of the new Emirates SkyCargo operation. Dedicated road feeder services between DXB and DWC for connecting cargo will be introduced to maintain the minimum possible transhipment times between freighters and the passenger fleet.

For this year Emirates SkyCargo expects to have approximately ten trucks per hour running between DWC and DXB during peak times, with frequency to increase over the coming years. The cargo will be moved via purpose-built truck docks at both airports to achieve quick turn-around. Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, said:

“Emirates SkyCargo’s terminal at DWC, the new home of our entire freighter fleet, is a global cargo terminal with world-class facilities. The development progress is well on track and we are ready to start operations soon.

“Our freighter fleet today already accounts for 35% of Emirates SkyCargo’s revenue and the new terminal is at the core of our growth plans. Looking at the bigger picture, the new infrastructure also has a positive multiplier impact on Dubai as it will create a cargo corridor that connects the Jebel Ali port, DWC and Dubai International Airport.”

Upon full completion, the terminal will be equipped to handle 700,000 tonnes per year, with the potential for further expansion to reach 1 million tonnes. The new Emirates SkyCargo terminal will feature state-of-the-art 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 6 ULDs simultaneously. In addition, an automated pallet handling system, advanced storage system, offices, workstation areas, modern communication and security systems, canteens, and other amenities will be installed. The terminal infrastructure also includes 46 truck docks and 80 truck parking spaces, in addition to 12 aircraft stands directly in front of the terminal.

Emirates SkyCargo currently operates a freighter fleet of 12 aircraft - 10 Boeing 777Fs and two Boeing 747-400ERFs – all of which will move to Al Maktoum Airport. Operations at the new cargo terminal will commence with 250 staff, which will be increased to 500 staff gradually.