Whether it is fashion, design prototypes, or critical documents, there are times where air cargo is the only possible logistics mode in question to urgently transport an item from one part of the world to the other. The swift and steady rise of e-commerce, too, brings new challenges to the air cargo industry: shipments have become smaller, less standardised, and require faster delivery. Within its Next Generation approach, Qatar Airways Cargo has enhanced its Courier service to maximise efficiency, sustainability, speed, safety, and ease of operation, pre-empting and addressing these changing air cargo market needs.
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“Our industry is in an unprecedented state of flux. Traditional business boundaries are being disrupted, as market requirements dictate the need for a differentiated approach to logistics processes. New technologies are being developed that enable efficient change and open up greater opportunities,” Guillaume Halleux, Chief Officer Cargo at Qatar Airways, said. “The transport of small cargo shipments is a perfect example. Previously considered to be typical integrator business, these urgent medical transports, fashion samples, small prototypes, or the huge increase in e-commerce parcels, form a rapidly growing segment in Qatar Airways Cargo’s daily business operations.” Qatar Airways Cargo transported 40,000 tonnes of Courier shipments in 2022, with a prime focus on e-commerce. This figure is likely to increase again in 2023, with London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, and Doha being prominent Courier destinations for the airline.
“In the normal world of large air cargo pallets and containers, small, urgent shipments require particular attention and care. Following a detailed Next Generation analysis of the Qatar Airways Cargo’s small shipment journey, we are now relaunching our Courier product as a faster, more streamlined and future-fit service,” Miguel Rodríguez, Senior Manager Climate Control Products at Qatar Airways Cargo, explained. His Doha-based Product Management team is responsible for defining the Courier product strategy, managing the product offering and maintaining customer relationships. An example of the Courier modification based on customer feedback and the Next Generation approach, is the recent global phase-out of the Courier Baggage Voucher (CBV) mode of booking in favour of the more common air waybill format. This enables a far more streamlined process and greater adherence to regulatory requirements and cargo messaging standards, thus reducing any negative risks. Another development is the global review of acceptance cut-off times to offer the best possible drop-off deadlines to customers, based on local regulations, airport infrastructures and operational factors.
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“Our dedicated Qatar Airways Cargo Courier team ensures that each parcel is swiftly screened, handled, loaded and transferred so as to make its flight connections in the shortest possible time. Depending on the origin, destination and flight options chosen by the customer, Courier shipments can be delivered in as little as a few hours to up to 2 days.” Miguel Rodríguez concludes. Qatar Airways Cargo also provides a long list of approved data loggers that customers may use to track their shipments themselves if they prefer to. “We are convinced that our Courier product is one of the fastest, most reliable and far-reaching express solution on the market,” he said “and we aim to always maintain that Next Generation position.”