Etihad Cargo’s performance metrics in 2020 demonstrated its reliability in transporting time-sensitive cargo such as pharmaceuticals and perishables, as it looks to play a crucial role in distributing Covid-19 vaccines worldwide.
The UAE carrier scored 87 percent for on-time performance (OTP) and maintained a ‘delivered as promised’ (DAP) record in 2020–surpassing its 85 percent target.
“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, SVP for sales and cargo at Etihad Aviation Group.
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, the airline noted.
“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,” Drew noted.
“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,” he added.
On the road
Etihad Cargo’s strong 2020 performance was supported by its extensive global road feeder service network 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 of 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 offerings.
“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,” he noted.
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 last year, 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 led to automated solutions at its state-of-the-art Cargo Control Centre, which monitors and steers the flow of cargo 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.
“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,” Blech added.