The Israeli carrier Cargo Air Lines (CAL) touched down at Liege Airport 20 years ago. LGG seized the opportunity to bring the community together in the Air Cargo Excellence Forum.
The key note address was given by Offer Gilboa, Chairman and CEO of CAL Cargo Airlines. He recalled the days when CAL first set foot on LGG, which was by no means the airport it is today. “Over
the years other airlines have come to join us here, so that the airport is globally connected.”
CAL and the other airlines have contributed to the ongoing growth of LGG, which clocked off at some 660,000 tonnes in 2016, making it the 7th largest cargo airport in the EU.
800,000 tonnes within reach
According to Offer, LGG will set a new record of 800,000 tonnes this year. Thus, Liege Airport has all the characteristics for being an air cargo hub, Offer said, with reference to its 24/7 no-curfew operation, including the public services, specialised products and equipment, dedicated customs services, safety and training.
What is lacking in this respect is cooperation, he thinks. We should be able to connect all these services into a virtual global network, which would enable us to offer all destinations. From Tel Aviv we cannot offer a global network, and neither can Ethiopian from Addis Ababa.”
Offer sees a lot of opportunities for cooperation in procurement, which would increase the buying power, equipment and training.
Listening to the customer
Originally a perishables carrier, CAL has been able to expand with a wide range of services, said Navot Hirschhorn, Temperature Controlled & Special Products Manager One of these is pharma, which has forced the company to develop a hi-standards quality process. CAL used this as a role model for its other verticals, which include live animals (horses), automotive, project cargo, perishables and more.
Listening to the customers is a key element in the quality process, said Navoth. “As a tool we make use of the so-called ‘Kano model’, named after its Japanese developer, which identifies sets of customer requirements. It allows a company to adapt its products so that they make you stand out against your competitors.”
Referring to LGG’s speciality of transporting live animals, Filip Vande Capelle of European Horse Services said that a state-of-the-art facility like the Horse Inn should be common standard in the global transport of live animals. “They should be treated as first class passengers throughout the entire trip.” Filip said that even meeting the international standards in this respect is very often not enough.
He advocated better equipment, better training and more efforts in combatting the illicit trade in endangered species, which remains as a great problem.
As for perishables, Adelantex’s Frank Van Gelder adds that just staying cool is no longer the standard for the transportation of perishables. A lot of waste is still caused during the logistics process and today’s consumers take a totally different attitude than their parents did.
Products in the supermarkets of the foreseeable future will bear labels that will inform the consumer about the entire growing, packing and logistics process from origin to destination and the industry must be ready for this. “The answer is in bringing together all the data” he said.
Rudy Hemeleers of 51 BIZ elaborated on the findings of the E-CMR project, which may be copy-pasted to the E-AWB. ”Data captured at source can be re-used along the supply chain”, he said, advocating a block chain concept which keeps on adding data that cannot be altered anymore.
For ASL Airlines The Université de Liège (Uliege) has developed a piece on operational research for load optimisation. for ASL Airlines. It is a flexible solution written in Java, which can be used on a desktop computer.
The software will compute an ideal solution. Uliege’s Michael Schyns gave the example of a B777 fully loaded between Europe and the U.S., with a return trip 3 times per week, totaling 312 trips per year. The model led to a saving in fuel consumption up to 800,000 USD per year.
The need for cargo airports
Glyn Hughes, IATA Head of Cargo insisted once again on listening to the voice of the customer and responding to it. “In a survey the shippers give us a 7/10 customer satisfaction rate which is pretty poor,” he said. Among the challenges the industry has to face are mis-declared/non-compliant lithium batteries, the lack of harmonisation and trade protection, improper training/use of ULDs, congestion, pilot shortage and failing ground infrastructure.
Also on the topic of data sharing Jean Verheyen, director of Nallian, the developer of BRUcloud, compared the traditional system of communication for B2C as a chain of 10 to 12 ‘information islands’ with playing football in the mist seeing neither the opposite team nor the goal.
“The existing technology is not suited for this agile world,” Jean remarked. “We have to bring back what’s common for the unstructured data to the world of structured data.”
The final comment was from Steven Verhasselt, VP Commercial Liege Airport. As for him not being an all-cargo airport would be something like a socio-economic offense. “There are 1,710 freighters flying, carrying more than 50% of the volume and airlines operating freighters generate 90% of the air cargo revenues. We help them to do their business.”
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels