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Emirates partners DHL in e-freight initiative

Links three Indian airports.

— P.V. Sivakumar

Mr Ram C. Menen , Divisional Senior Vice -President , Cargo of Emirates Airline, during an interaction in Hyderabad on Thursday .

Amit Mitra

Hyderabad, Jan. 20

Emirates SkyCargo, the cargo division of Emirates airline, is partnering with DHL Global to propel its e-freight initiative across their networks, as part of which the airline's Indian cargo operations are also being linked to the e-freight lane.

Emirates SkyCargo, which airlifts between 11,500 and 12,400 tonnes of outbound cargoes from India every month, derives almost 10 per cent of its global cargo business revenues from India.

The airline expects to grow its cargo business from India significantly as the domestic air cargo market is projected to grow at about 18 per cent annually as against the projected 6 per cent globally.

Currently, India's international air cargo throughput (both inbound and outbound) is between 1.6 and 1.8 million tonnes. Emirates has a market share of about 15 per cent in the outbound segment and 12 per cent in the in-bound.

High priority

“We have just linked three Indian airports — Delhi Mumbai and Bangalore — to our e-freight network. The remaining seven airports that we presently operated at will be completed in the next few months,” Mr Ram C. Menen, Divisional Senior Vice-President of Emirates SkyCargo, said.

E-freight initiative has been taken up as a high priority by airlines globally, with even the International Air Transport Association (IATA) fixing 2014 as the deadline to totally erase paper from air cargo supply chain, bring about greater transparency and shorten transportation time. IATA has estimated that about $4.9 billion of industry savings could be generated and about 7,800 tonnes of paper documents eliminated annually using the e-freight corridor.

Emirates currently deploys 153 airplanes, including seven freighters, to transport cargoes such as garments, perishables and pharma products out of India to Dubai, after which these can be delivered to 150 destinations. “We will be adding 16 new freighters, out of which six are on firm orders — two of these will be delivered in the next 12 months. These include Boeing 777s with carrying capacity of 106 tonnes and 747-400s (135 tonnes). The new freighters will be linked to our Indian operations depending on market requirements,” he said.

Cold-chain operations

The airline is also focussing on cold-chain operations, offering special boxes, ‘envirotainers', that can carry cargoes, especially pharma products, at temperatures of 2-8 degree Celsius. “Also we have developed an innovative White Cover to provide the cargoes protection against solar heat,” Mr Menen said.

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