In her presentation at the CHINET Aviation and Cargo conference titled: The Role of a Handling Company in Air Cargo Business, Mr. Fagbemi described Ground handling companies are major, but underrated players in the industry, as it carries the burden of the cargo business.
According to Fagbemi, despite the critical role of ground handling in the air cargo ecosystem, they are not being accorded their dues as they underpaid by airlines and get blamed for any challenge within our warehouses whether it is due to airline or Government agencies etc.
She also called for support in terms of waivers, “We look to government for support with our persistent calls for duty waivers, just as it applies to airlines. This is yet to be acceded to.
According to her the huge investment in keeping the ground handlers afloat is not in consonance with the kind of support needed to provide the platform for the interface with the Shippers/Consignee, Cargo agents, Government agencies and the airlines.
Fagbemi who reeled out some of the investment put in place by NAHCO in a few years said:
“At NAHCO, we take this very seriously and we have built warehouses, invested in facilities and equipment capable of processing all sizes and types of cargo. We have special storage facilities and trained personnel to handle general as well as special cargo such as perishables, life animals, dangerous goods or radio-active cargo and valuables.
“We provide security services for cargo by ensuring all exports are duly scanned using Explosive Trade Detection (ETD) Technology and the integrity of all imports is ascertained and maintained. We also ensure proper management of airline assets, such as Unit Load Device (ULDs).
She went on,”At NAHCO, we are mindful of the role of air cargo in driving e-commerce and our ever-increasing role in this business, I use this opportunity to point out that the increasing e-commerce comes with more needs for airport infrastructure expansion. A case in point is the expansion of the cargo ramp at MurtalaMuhammed International Airport.
“This will in no doubt be of immense benefit and value to shippers, consignees, the agents, the airlines, the airport, the aviation industry, and the nation. A visit to any cargo terminal outside this clime will show-case the reasons why the demand for an expansion.
“Our 21, 176.5 square metres import and export warehouses at the cargo section of the MurtalaMuhammed International Airport, Lagos, also houses a 108 square metre cold room of + 2 to + 8 degrees with volume capacity of 432 cubic metres.
“We also have an additional + 15 to + 25 degrees cold room facilities, in addition to the valuable room area, human remain and radioactive areas. The warehouses have the capacity to handle 230,000 and 60,000 tonnes of import and export cargo respectively per annual. Our Export warehouse has additional cold rooms, animal room area and dangerous goods room, while all the warehouses in Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano all have cold rooms also.
“To further enhance the speed and efficiency of the cargo handling processes, we have provided round – the – clock CCTV coverage at the warehouses, large strong room, vault, dangerous goods room as well as facilities for storage of human remains.