Ethiopian Cargo: Vi­sion 7, 25,000 tonnes by 2025

With the av­er­age of 18,000 tonnes on freighters and 6,500 tonnes in belly space, Ethiopian Cargo serves 30 in­ter­na­tional des­ti­na­tions. Ber­hanu Kassa, Di­rec­tor Global Cargo Sales & Ser­vices, Ethiopian dis­cusses ex­pan­sion plans and more.

Cargo Talk - - Front Page - KAL­PANA LOHUMI

Q How many freighters does Ethiopian have and how is the fleet shap­ing up?

We have five B777s and two B575s. One more B777 freighter is to join the fleet in De­cem­ber 2015. The B777 freighters are used for long haul ser­vices for Europe, the Far East, and In­dian Sub-Con­ti­nent while the B757s are used to cover the Gulf re­gion and African des­ti­na­tions.

Q What is your ma­jor ex­port com­mod­ity from In­dia? Which other ver­ti­cals are you fo­cus­ing on?

Gar­ments, in­dus­trial goods and medicines or pharma prod­ucts are the ma­jor ex­port com­modi­ties from In­dia. And, cur­rently we are fo­cus­ing on tar­get­ting tem­per­a­ture sen­si­tive pharma prod­ucts.

Q Are you plan­ning to add more sta­tions to ex­port cargo from In­dia?

We are tar­get­ing Ben­galuru to be the next freighter des­ti­na­tion. A flight is al­ready planned and the ser­vice will start in the first week of Novem­ber 2015.

Q Please tell us about the lo­ca­tion of the new cargo ter­mi­nal and fa­cil­i­ties you will be offering the cargo agents.

The ex­ist­ing cargo ter­mi­nal has be­come two small to ac­com­mo­date the grow­ing cargo traf­fic. Hence the ex­pan­sion will pro­vide a to­tal of 1.2 mil­lion ton­nage ca­pac­ity per year. The new cargo ter­mi­nal is four times larger than the ex­ist­ing fa­cil­ity.

The first phase of the ex­pan­sion will be com­pleted in 12 months from now. The ter­mi­nal will of­fer ad­di­tional cold room fa­cil­ity for ef­fi­cient ser­vices of lo­cal per­ish­able ex­ports such as flow­ers, fruits and veg­eta­bles and meat, and for tran­sit­ing tem­per­a­ture sen­si­tive prod­ucts. Cargo agents will have ad­e­quate of­fice and work­ing space to ex­pand their busi­ness and fa­cil­i­tate ser­vices.

Q How are you do­ing in the trans­porta­tion of time and tem­per­a­ture-sen­si­tive goods? Cur­rently, the ex­ist­ing cargo ter­mi­nal has two cold room fa­cil­i­ties, out of which one is ex­clu­sively used for the han­dling of flow­ers, fruits and veg­eta­bles ex­ported to

var­i­ous coun­tries. In Europe and Mid­dle East, this can ac­com­mo­date two B777 freighters load at a time.

The sec­ond cold room is used mainly to han­dle meat ex­ports and for the stor­age of other tem­per­a­ture-sen­si­tive prod­ucts, in­clud­ing pharma. This cold room has pal­let ETVs suit­able to store pro­duces on air­line pal­lets which are ideal to keep such prod­ucts tem­po­rally dur­ing tran­sit.

Q What do you fore­see as In­dia’s con­tri­bu­tion in com­par­i­son to your global pres­ence?

In­dian prod­ucts such as gar­ments, fab­rics, in­dus­trial prod­ucts and medicines are well con­sumed across African coun­tries. Ethiopian air­lines has been in In­dia for over 40 years, con­nect­ing the sub-con­ti­nent to all African na­tions in its wide net­work. There­fore, In­dia has a spe­cial place for Ethiopian Air­lines cargo busi­ness growth and its global pres­ence.

Q Now there is a marked in­crease in the ac­cep­tance of Ethiopian in North In­dia. What has been the strat­egy for In­dia?

Ethiopian is serv­ing Delhi with twice weekly B777 freighter sched­ules; the flight op­er­ates be­tween Shang­hai-Delhi-Ad­dis Ababa. The flight shares 40 per cent of its ca­pac­ity for Delhi to up­lift cargo for African des­ti­na­tions. Fre­quency can grow fur­ther based on in­creas­ing de­mand.

Q What is your opin­ion of the fact that the In­dian air cargo in­dus­try is fac­ing huge op­er­at­ing costs?

For us, the op­er­at­ing cost is still man­age­able but the de­clin­ing rates are a ma­jor con­cern.

Q What is the USP in terms of cre­at­ing value to cus­tomers?

Our wide net­work in Africa, both on freighter and pas­sen­ger flight still re­mains a our USP. Strate­gic lo­ca­tion, a mod­ern fleet and a cargo fa­cil­ity are our added ad­van­tages.

Q What are the ton­nages on flights out of In­dia? How are flights into In­dia do­ing as far as im­port ton­nages are con­cerned?

Ethiopian up­lifts an av­er­age of 300 tonnes from Mum­bai and 50 tonnes from both Delhi and Chennai per week. Traf­fic has sea­sonal vari­ance, but it has been a steady growth over the years. Im­port vol­ume is in­signif­i­cant.

Q In Novem­ber 2010, Ethiopian set out a bold vi­sion of 7, 25,000 tonnes of cargo by 2025. What is the cur­rent sta­tus?

Our up­lift for the year end­ing June 2015 has a record of 2,90,000 tonnes. With in­creas­ing ca­pac­ity in terms of fleet and cargo fa­cil­ity, we are con­fi­dent that we are on track to meet our tar­get of 725,000 tonnes yearly up­lift by 2025.

Ber­hanu Kassa Di­rec­tor Global Cargo Sales & Ser­vices Ethiopian

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