Industry 4.0 and cargo companies during COVID-19

Cargo companies during COVID-19

Cargo companies during COVID-19 have transformed operations to help people meet their most essential needs, particularly pandemic-related supplies. Cargo industry giants Emirates SkyCargo and DP World have been busy adapting to the changes caused by the pandemic and utilizing tech that would not have otherwise entered the scene at such an accelerated pace.

As covid-19 spread, the airline’s passenger arm became obsolete, as individual travel and tourism halted. Thinking on their feet, SkyCargo turned all the now vacant space where passengers used to sit into extra cargo capacity for fast supply transportation.

“Immediately we’ve embarked on this initiative of actually using our passenger aircraft as cargo only. I mean, we literally had to create this cargo network within three weeks”. says Nabil Sultan, the Regional VP for Cargo Emirates, in an interview with Business Line.

“We bring in the cargo to Dubai and then from Dubai, we use our passenger capacity, which ranges almost from 20 to 40 tons”. He went on to explain “And then we get a lot of these products literally across the world. Into Europe alone we operate today almost 60 flights per week to 10 destinations.”

Some cargo companies during COVID-19 have transformed their entire inner structure to adapt to the pandemic, reaching a level of automation still relatively rare today.

Dubai-based company, DP World, has also developed their digital ecosystem. By using systems and software designed to ease the supply chain process, DP World was able to keep 15,000 port employees safe and meet the ever-increasing demand for cargo transportation.

“Our warehouse and terminal, cargo terminal, had almost nobody. You know, it’s a 60,000 square meter area, fully automated when it comes to handling cargo. And that actually came [to the] rescue at times like this, where there’s a very minimal human intervention, interaction, that happens, says Nabil Sultan.

The company utilized advanced cargo management and that includes container tracking, logistics calculators, shipping document sorting, route planning and even a 3D visualizer of the ships’ capacity and contents.

“We had many, many systems we were planning to launch and with this pandemic, we have to launch them faster.” DP World Head Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem said, summing up the impact caused by COVID-19 on cargo companies.