Providing air cargo services for perishable agriculture exports from India.
Emirates SkyCargo is the air freight division of Emirates Airline established in 1985, which offers cargo solutions service flying over 75destinations worldwide. The company transports dangerous goods comprising of a range of every day flammable, corrosive, toxic, spontaneously combustible and infectious materials, explosives, oxidizers, poisons, cryogenic liquids, magnetised and radio-active materials; perishables like fruit, vegetables, meat and other produce; valuables like bullion, securities, bank notes,travellers’ cheques, stocks, bonds, gemstones, precious metals, jewellery, etc; personal service; automobiles; and trucking.
Emirates SkyCargo transports perishables across its network that spans 78destinations in 54 countries in Europe, North America, Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Far East.” Emirates SkyCargo offers 43 non-stop weekly belly-hold services in the airline’s fleet of Airbus A330-200 from Dubai to India: 19 to Mumbai; seven to Delhi; four to Chennai; eight to Hyderabad and five to Kochi. It operates its Boeing 747-200F once a week to Bangalore, Chennai and Mumbai.
This represents approximately 1000 tonnes a week of capacity from and to India!” says Mr. Peter Sedgley, vice president, cargo commercial operations, Emirates SkyCargo. He further adds, “The cargo division of Emirates deals with a range of perishables -for example from Mumbai fruits,vegetables, meat, seafood, and flowers and from Delhi 10 tonnes of mutton arrive in Dubai daily for the local markets. Hyderabad exports seasonal fruits such as grapes and mangoes; Bangalore cut flowers; and Cochin local vegetables and dry fish.”
The primary destinations to which perishables are exported from India are to Europe – the United Kingdom, France, and to cities such as Zurich and Amsterdam. Indian perishables also have a major market in the Middle East – primarily UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia – and also countries in Africa. According to Mr. Sedgley, Emirates SkyCargo exports the highest volumes of agricultural cargo from Western and Southern India
The rates and charges for carriage are based on the units of measurement and subject to the rules and conditions published in Emirates SkyCargo’s regulations and rate tariffs. “Rates and charges are published by Emirates SkyCargo and in effect on the date the contract of carriage has been concluded,” avers Mr. Sedgley. The condition of maximum valuation amount of product that the can be carried is not applicable for perishable cargo.
Rules and Regulations
Emirates SkyCargo transports all shipments, subject to the availability of suitable equipment and space, unless otherwise excluded by its regulations and provided:• The transportation, or the exportation or importation thereof is not prohibited by the laws or regulations of any country to be flown from, to or over• They are packed in a manner ready for carriage required by Emirates SkyCargo and any subsequent carrier• They are accompanied by the requisite shipping documents• They are not likely to endanger aircraft or any other means of transportation, persons or property, or cause annoyance to passengers.• To the extent permitted by law, Emirates reserves the right without assuming any liability to refuse carriage of cargo when circumstances so require.
The shipper is responsible for ensuring that the cargo is packed in an appropriate way for carriage to ensure safety of goods and to avoid injury or damage to any persons, goods or property emphasizes Mr. Sedgley.” Each package should be legibly and durably marked so as to identify the shipper and consignee. Emirates SkyCargo reserves the right to refuse the transportation of cargo that is not suitably packed and/or marked,” he says, adding, “Regarding special cargo, including but not limited to valuables, dangerous goods, live animals, perishables, fragile goods, and human remains, is acceptable only under the conditions set forth in Emirates regulations pertaining to the same,” he adds .
Regarding the documents required, Mr.Sedgley says, “Shipments must be accompanied by an air waybill which must be presented in the form, manner and number of copies prescribed by Emirates SkyCargo. Along with this, the shipment record carrier, which in certain circumstances as per convention can replace the air way bill, is required to accompany the shipment.”
” The successful transportation of perishables takes a high degree of skill, careful handling, meticulous organisation and sophisticated systems, facilities and equipment,” maintains Mr. Sedgley. Emirates SkyCargo is extending the ‘cool chain’ of its shipments by ensuring that humidity levels are strictly controlled throughout the consignments journey. Emirates SkyCargo’s Boeing 747F has four independently controlled air-conditioned zones, each of which can be maintained at various temperatures depending on the type of perishables. On other aircraft, Emirates SkyCargo offers temperature- controlled containers such as the Envirotainer. The cargo carrier also has Cool Dollies at its hub in Dubai that maintains temperatures of the shipments on the tarmac, and during the process of trans-shipping.
Talking specifically about the Dubai hub Mr. Sedgley says, “Service in the air is matched on the ground. At the Dubai hub there are extensive facilities to meet a wide variety of storage – although, with some 90per cent of consignments delivered within two hours of arrival, few shipments stay there for long. Transfers are rapid too – with shipments boarding connecting flights within 60 minutes. Extending Emirates SkyCargo’s high standards of care and reliability is the range of road feeder services, providing seamless service between regional off-line points and airports.”
Comparing the service provided by Emirates Cargo compared to that of others Mr.Sedgley says, “Our dedicated Boeing 747freighters that provide service flexibility, use of cool-tainers worldwide, and deployment of cool-dollies at our hub in Dubai mean that we are ideally placed to support the perishables industry. We work towards and endeavour to provide total solutions to our customers. We customize solutions for the pharmaceutical market, which constitute a major part of our product portfolio out of Hyderabad.
Emirates SkyCargo offers its customers a wide range of products and solutions, large wide-body capacity, superior distribution capabilities and vast network that now spans 78 destinations in 54 countries, as well as reliability and schedule integrity. Our services have always spelled value-for-money. The new generation cargo system that we are developing will add further efficiencies and profitability to our customers’ bottom line.” Adding, “Its commitment to quality has enabled Emirates SkyCargo to win innumerable awards.”
Proportion of Perishables
Perishables form nearly 30 per cent of Emirates SkyCargo’s total product portfolio from India. “At Emirates SkyCargo we have seen consistent growth in agricultural related cargo from India,” avers Mr. Sedgley. The main types of agriculture related air cargo carried by Emirates SkyCargo from India are fruits, vegetables and flowers. The Indian sub-continent is responsible for 16.5 per cent of Emirates SkyCargo’s total business says Mr.Sedgley .
According to Mr. Sedgley, Emirates SkyCargo’s future strategy with respect to India is to increase its capacity to match market growth. “Last year, we increased our flights in response to the five-month open skies declared by the Indian government, offering our customers increased capacity and schedule flexibility to all fived estinations – Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai and Cochin. We have strengthened our road feeder services and bonded trucking on several routes including Ahmedabad to Mumbai and other offline destinations in South India such as from Coimbatore and Tirupur to Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Cochin,” he says.He goes on to add, “With the first of our three Airbus A310 freighters scheduled to enter the fleet in July, we are exploring the possibility of deploying them to destinations in India with high demand.
We are also watching with great interest the developments in places such as Nagpur, which is likely to emerge as a major logistics centre in India.”He further says, “Across its network, IT will be at the core of Emirates SkyCargo’s forthcoming strategies. Its multi-million dollar new generation cargo system will make extensive use of radio frequency technology,helping Emirates SkyCargo eventually go completely paperless. In the short term it will also be involved in rationalising its products and solutions portfolio to better service customer demands; revamping its website, and working towards e-trading solutions.”