The Dutch and German duo have announced a close partnership focusing on strategic air cargo consulting and process optimization. Their common credo: air freight urgently needs process optimization, and this applies to almost all areas of activities, they hold. It spans from ground handling to trucking and includes the smartening of slot schemes as well as tailored solutions for the better utilization of cargo facilities at airports.
Energy in Process Chief, Franz van Hessen, is full of ideas and initiatives for whose realization he sees enormous potential and urgent need! As former Head of Cargo at Cologne Airport and
Consultant at Liege Airport, he knows practically all facets of the freight business from A to Z.
Shortcomings should be overcome – fast!
He and his partner agency To70 believe: Air freight is becoming more and more important on a global level in keeping supply chains running, as currently seen in Covid-19 times. Its role as provider of value for airlines is steadily growing. Air freight saves lives by supplying vaccines, pharmaceuticals, hygienic articles, medicines, or protectives faster than any other mode of transportation. “If the current (Covid-19) crisis teaches us anything, it is that air cargo is an important integral activity within the aviation portfolio. Through our partnership (with Energy in Process), we have immediate access to broad-based knowledge and experience in this field,” states Managing Director, Ruud Ummels, of The Hague-based aviation consultancy To70 which provides research and advisory services to the global aviation community.
Both claim the cargo industry’s weak point is that workflows are often no longer up to date and performed in warehouses lacking modern standards. Occasionally, this goes hand in hand with an insufficient data transmission infrastructure.
“It’s time for cargo to live up to its resources,” Franz urges.
Segmenting complex processes as a basis for improvements
His and To70’s solution to improve things: Complex processes should be segmented, with each of the individual pieces being put under a microscope to scrutinize strong and weak points. The consultants identify three key area of services that require thorough evaluation: These are (standard) chargeable services, the role of value-added services in ground handling, and indispensable services that generate little or zero value, but need to be paid attention to, such as claims, legal disputes, responding to conflicting interests, or dealing with external pressures.
“If you measure the three categories and their individual segments precisely, you can quickly find out where there is idle time or where processes are efficiently organized,” Mr. van Hessen says.
That is the basic idea behind the joint business plan Consultant To70 and Energy in Process have tabled.
“Once we have obtained sufficient data through detailed analysis, we are able to present tailored solutions in no time,” he claims.
Amsterdam’s slot regime needs to be turned upside down
This said, he and his Dutch partner are also willing to take on huge challenges. For instance, reforming the awkward slot regime for freighter movements at Schiphol Airport imposed by the Dutch authorities. Their bureaucratic and much disputed 80/20 rule has scared away more than one carrier, leading to traffic losses and a decline in revenue, thus harming the country’s economy, Dutch national, van Hessen criticizes. Ironically, last December, “some freight airlines returned a number of unused slots to the regulator.”
To him, this evidences that the entire slot management system put up and mandated by The Hague government has failed. In order to avoid such flops, the scheme requires fundamental reforms, he concludes. Concepts for fine-tuning processes are ready for on-call delivery in his office drawer.
Mr. van Hessen’s confident final assertion: “The cooperation with To70 provides us with knowledge, resources and a network that would otherwise have taken years to acquire. This is a major steppingstone in achieving our goal of becoming one of the leading specialized air cargo consultants.”
Franz goes on to say: “We are convinced, that significant optimization can be achieved by better use of resources and existing infrastructure and, as such, does not require major investments or - policy adjustments.”
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