SAS Cargo Group has had a good start to 2017, though cost reductions will continue to be the main area of focus, president and chief executive officer, Leif Rasmussen (pictured) says.
He says the first half of 2017 has been good, followed by improved demand during the summer and early autumn. Tonnage is expected to increase reflecting the seasonal peak. Capacity is expected to increase in 2018 with only limited rises in demand.
Rasmussen says: “While we believe cost reductions will continue to be a main focus area there is also a need to improve efficiency, productivity and quality which will require that the industry puts increased focus on digitalisation.”
There is high demand for pharmaceutical products across Scandinavia, and SAS has undergone International Air Transport Association Center of Excellence for Independent Validators in Pharmaceutical Logistics (IATA CEIV) certification, as well as upgrading facilities and training staff.
Rasmussen says: “Going through the CEIV certification process means we now meet the highest standards demanded by the pharmaceutical industry. The pharma volumes have increased marginally until now, however the investments and efforts have been very well received by the customers.”
Undergoing IATA CEIV is not the end of the process, SAS is launching a new pharma product called SAS Pharma Cargo, which was developed to offer customers an ideal environment for handling temperature sensitive cargo across SAS’s entire supply chain in a safe and secure manner. It offers full transparency through active GPS monitors, and
Rasmussen explains: “This active tracking device monitors the shipment; assuring accurate temperature control in order to safeguard correct handling through the entire transport chain. SAS Cargo has also partnered with providers of active temperature containers that offer efficient protection for temperature-sensitive shipments.”
He believes the air cargo industry needs to develop to meet customer expectations, saying: “Today’s customer is used to dealing with many other industries where digitalisation is fully implemented. This puts further demand on our industry to join this process.”
He adds: “In my opinion lack of coordinated innovation and focusing on automation and cost efficiencies is the biggest challenge within the industry. Joining the digitalisation process is at the same time our biggest opportunity.”