dnata’s newest cargo terminal, FreightGate-8, located at Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) has managed an increase in air cargo volumes of 700% for the 2011-2012 financial year.
The phenomenal volume growth in the last financial year has presented many challenges and yet also many opportunities for the dnata team to rise to the occasion in the spirit of our new dnata mission to deliver the promises our customers make.
The dnata-operated air cargo terminal which opened in June 2010, currently handles local and sea-air export and import cargo as well as transit cargo at DWC. In 2011-2012 the dnata team handled a total of 127,665 tons of air cargo, representing an increase of 700% over the previous period. The total number of active cargo flights handled by the dnata team on the ramp and in the cargo terminal was 2,832 for the financial year, having grown by 600% from the previous period.
In addition to large volumes of ‘standard’ air cargo shipments, dnata is increasingly handling unique exports that require careful planning and specialised handling equipment. One of the most recent highlights included a purpose-built gas turbine being flown to Nigeria. With a total weight of 95 tons, it was the heaviest single piece of cargo ever handled by any of the dnata FreightGate cargo terminals and ramp teams.
Other examples of over-sized cargo recently handled by the dnata team include a 25 ton turbine generator, heavy vehicles weighing up to 30 tons per piece and pieces of cargo that exceed 50 feet in length. The movement of these consignments has required specialised coordination with customers and a strong collaborative effort from both the dnata team and local authorities to ensure that the handling was managed efficiently and to the customers’ satisfaction.
In response to the growing volume, dnata has steadily been increasing and improving its fleet of equipment to service the DWC operation. In addition to the standard cargo-handling equipment, dnata has also invested in specialised equipment to help handle the out-sized loads. This includes a specially fabricated ‘40 foot dolly’ that was engineered by dnata’s ground support equipment (GSE) team which allows for the safe and easy transportation of loads that are up to 40 feet in length.
The GSE team has also modified a standard aircraft loader to enable it to interface seamlessly with bulk-loaded aircraft. The team has also added a crane to the available equipment which is positioned at FreightGate-8 and is available for use 24 hours a day 7 days a week to handle loads above 14 tons.
“It has been a year of records being set and then just as quickly being exceeded”, said Stuart Hayman, Vice President of cargo operations for dnata. “We measure our volumes for each shift (which covers a 12 hour period) and we often handle volumes in excess of 1,000 tons (or one million kilograms) in these 12 hour shifts”.
“With these volume records constantly being set and all of the unusual loads that we have been handling recently, our motto has now become ‘If it fits in to an aeroplane, then dnata’s FreightGate-8 and ramp operations teams can handle it safely and securely!’ We are well and truly open for business and look forward to the volume growth continuing in the months and years to come,” he continued.
dnata currently handles a wide variety of freighter aircraft types at DWC, including: Ilyushin IL76s, Antonov AN124s, Hercules C130s, Airbus A300Fs, Boeing 747Fs, Boeing 777Fs and the newest freighter in the skies, the Boeing 747-8F which can carry a payload of up to 134 tons. These varied aircraft are operated by 36 different airline customers at present.
In addition to the aircraft flights, dnata’s FreightGate-8 also handles another 35 airlines which operate truck flights. Over 30,000 tons of cargo have been transported from this mode of handling during the past 12 months.