The driving force behind Emirates SkyCargo
Henrik Ambak, senior vice president, cargo operations worldwide, elaborates on the role of transport providers Allied Transport Company and MAN Truck & Bus in assisting Emirates SkyCargo's daily cargo operations
Emirates SkyCargo is now the second largest air cargo operator in the world, operating a fleet of freighters to over 40 destinations across six continents, next to its 260 passenger aircraft moving passengers and cargo between 158 airports. In total the company carried 2.6 million tonnes of cargo in 2017/18.
Operating its freighter aircraft out of Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) and its passenger aircraft out of Dubai International Airport (DXB), Emirates SkyCargo has by 1 August 2018 connected 1 million containers in just 4 years between the passenger and freighters fleet, making Dubai the most successful two-airport hub.
From the handling of agricultural goods, pharmaceuticals, to sensitive cargo, odd-sized equipment, textiles and supercars, Emirates SkyCargo maintains high standards of service for our customers by investing in innovation and utilising advanced technologies such as SkyChain which enables customers to request services and trace their shipments in real-time.
In order for operations to run smoothly, Emirates SkyCargo is equipped with the best facilities available to them, including a fleet of 49 trucks, which make around 375 trips per day between the hubs. The two airports are around 65 kilometers apart, meaning that to date we have covered an estimated 19 million kilometers – the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back twenty-five times. To cover this distance, it is essential for us to have transport providers that offer reliability, on-time performance and flexibility. This is especially important when we have unexpected flights and shipments that require flexible logistics and additional trucks to operate.
There are two key players assisting Emirates SkyCargo in their daily cargo operations, Allied Transport Company (ATC) and MAN Trucks.
Allied Transport Company is one of the leading transport companies with the largest trucking fleet in the UAE market and the region. The company specializes in land freight transportation and haulage of all types of cargo.
We have our freighters at DWC airport and our passenger fleet operating out of DXB. Allied Transport helps us to make that connection between the hubs, along with local deliveries connecting DXB/DWC with other UAE airports.
We trust Allied Transport Company and MAN Truck & Bus to provide dependable, long-lasting vehicles. We have never had a single breakdown with a MAN truck, enabling us to maintain our tight schedules, especially when cargo needs to go onto passenger planes from DXB. For example, we have about four freighter flights that come in from Hong Kong. That cargo needs to be transported between DWC and DXB on-time because we can’t keep the other planes waiting. We don’t want the freighter fleet to sit on the ground as it wastes a lot of money.
While there is a need to transport the cargo from one airport to another quickly and on time, safety cannot be compromised. Our logo is painted on these trucks; so, we need to ensure that these trucks are safe and operating in a safe manner as our brand is associated with the highest degree of safety.
We are keen to see how developments including electric trucks and autonomous driving to further increase efficiency and improve sustainability across the logistics chain. As an airline we are always looking for ways to innovate and become more sustainable so it would be interesting to see how trucks become more sustainable from going from digital to electrical. There is also a discussion about autonomous trucks as well. The technology exists in Europe, especially platooning, which is making logistics more and more efficient, so it will be interesting to see the expected regulations from ESMA to understand how this will work in practice in the UAE.