Since the opening of the Dubai World Central (DWC) airport in 2014, the United Arab Emirates’ aviation authority decided to shift all freighter flights from the older Dubai International Airport (DXB) to the new, larger DWC. To ensure that the substantial amount of belly freight from passenger planes still landing at DXB could be transferred to freighters when necessary, a trucking corridor between the two airports was created to speed the trans-shipments.
Despite the seeming awkwardness of the arrangement, Emirates SkyCargo celebrated an impressive milestone today by transporting its 1 millionth unit loading device (ULD) through the bonded corridor trucking service connecting DXB and DWC.
“Emirates SkyCargo is the only air cargo carrier to operate a two-airport cargo hub capable of handling close to 3 million tonnes of cargo in a year,” said Henrik Ambak, Emirates’ senior vice president of worldwide cargo operations, likening the service to a “continuously rolling conveyor belt” between the airports.
Average transit time for trans-shipments on the corridor is 4.5 hours between the arrival of goods on freighter aircraft to their departure from passenger aircraft and vice versa, Emirates said. Over the last four years, the trucking service has made more than 272,000 trips between DXB and DWC, carrying over 1.2 million tonnes of cargo. The fleet of trucks on behalf of Emirates SkyCargo.
Emirates SkyCargo’s round-the-clock service began more than four years ago with a fleet of 49 trucks – including 12 refrigerated trucks for temperature-sensitive goods – maintained and operated by Allied Transport Co., based out of Dubai South.
“In order to ensure the safety of cargo in transit, all the trucks in the fleet are equipped with satellite tracking and operate in a pre-determined geo-fenced route between the airports,” said Percis Paghdiwalla, road-feeder network manager for Emirates. Today, Emirates connects cargo through 160 international destinations via its Dubai hub, where it has two modern cargo terminals, equipped with 40 loading docks.
For a glimpse of how pharma shipments transit from freighters to a passenger aircraft, check out this video from Emirates:
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