Etihad Cargo, the cargo and logistics arm of Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Aviation Group, has achieved 87 per cent on-time-performance (OTP) during 2020 – ahead of its 85 per cent target and despite a significant increase in flight utilisation.
The award-winning UAE carrier also maintained a ‘Delivered As Promised’ (DAP) record throughout the year, passing its initial target of 85 per cent, underlining its on-time delivery capability.
“Securing these excellent annual results in Etihad Cargo’s key performance metrics of OTP and DAP – which measure the punctuality of the freighter fleet against the schedule and ability to deliver cargo at an agreed time – demonstrate the reliability of the freighter service,” explained Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Sales and Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group. “This measure is especially important for time-sensitive cargo such as pharmaceuticals and perishables to maintain quality and freshness before being made available to the public.”
DAP is based on the IATA industry standard CargoiQ, of which Etihad Cargo is a certified member, and facilitates a standardised measurement of service promise. It measures milestones along the shipment journey and marks the point where the customer is notified of shipments being ready for collection.
“In recent months, it has become even more relevant to ensure that Etihad Cargo adheres to these commitments to continue supporting the global demand in the transportation of the COVID 19 vaccines and other pharmaceutical items. In fact, since December Etihad Cargo has handled numerous shipments of the vaccine on behalf of the Hope Consortium into Abu Dhabi and continues to do so,” Drew added.
“The efforts and dedication of Etihad Cargo’s well-trained front-line staff and supporting teams has been a key facilitator of the success achieved last year and they continue to play a vital role through their knowledge and expertise.”
Etihad Cargo’s strong 2020 performance was supported with its extensive global road feeder service network, which covers 150 stations across the UAE, GCC, Europe, North America, Japan, India, and Australia.
“Etihad Cargo’s extensive global road feeder service network empowers Etihad Cargo customers with access to markets not yet on the airlink network. The road feeder service performed particularly well within Europe and North Africa in 2020 with 15,119 total truck journeys – an average of 350-plus per week – within the first 10 months of this year,” explained Andre Blech, Director Cargo Operations and Delivery, Etihad Aviation Group.
The road feeder service network also supported Etihad Cargo’s commitment to guarantee full compliance of industry standards and regulations across its network and enhanced product offering.
“Etihad Cargo’s safety and reporting culture spans the entire organisation and is expanded across our supplier network, which has enabled us to become one of the first global carriers to implement an export control framework to ensure compliance with sanction laws,” added Blech. “Screening of shipments against international sanctions, restricted commodities and dual-use of goods is a key enabler in protecting Etihad Cargo’s award-winning reputation.”
The carrier is also using digital solutions to support automated reporting and real-time information, with partnerships with several ‘smart’ industry initiatives including One Record, CargoiQ and most recently the IATA e-AWB bearing fruit. In Q3 of 2020, Etihad became the UAE’s first airline to implement electronic technical logs (eTech logs). The switch accelerated Etihad Cargo’s journey to paperless airline operations and helped the carrier achieve an IATA ranking of eighth in the world for e-AWB penetration.
Etihad Cargo’s digital transformation has also seen it automate solutions at its state-of-the-art Cargo Control Centre, which monitors and steers its global cargo flows round-the-clock. Smart solutions adopted include the automation of customers messaging, pre-alert messages to inform stakeholders at its hub and outstations, service level monitoring of handling providers, identification of service failures or irregularities to allow for immediate response actions, and live tracking of trucking services.
“Throughout 2021 Etihad Cargo will continue to review its offerings and consumable items to deliver a best-in-class service with customised products driven by a flexibility to respond to ever more demanding customer requirements,” asserted Blech. “These enhancements will include more airport to door road feeder service solutions and short-lead time charter operations, increased automation and the implementation of live milestone monitoring of shipments throughout the network. Etihad Cargo’s tracking solutions will be expanded to give customers more shipment visibility in location and product integrity.
“Based on data-driven insights to ensure more informed and swifter decision-making, Etihad Cargo’s business enhancements will bring improvements to market faster and ensure optimum cost-efficiency for the business and loyal customers.”