SriLankan Cargo is transforming its Cargo Centre at Bandaranaike International Airport (BIA) with state-of-the-art technology to further enhance its operational efficiency, and strengthening Colombo’s position as the air cargo hub in the region.
Among the recent enhancements have been Hand Held Bar Code Scanners to instantly upload information on any cargo item, and the empowering of freight forwarders to complete bookings on the Internet. Other elements to come very shortly include a CCTV system to enhance security at the Cargo Centre.
SriLankan’s Head of Worldwide Sales Mohamed Fazeel said: “We at SriLankan Cargo are determined that the BIA Cargo Centre shall be second to none in the region, and we are constantly seeking to add more value to the service we provide our customers, especially through the use of the latest technology.”
SriLankan Cargo, the cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines which is the handling agent for all airlines that operate to BIA, last year doubled its handling capacity with the commissioning of a new building to house a dedicated Exports Terminal. This included specialised areas for perishables, courier cargo, pure mail, cold rooms, chiller rooms, a vault for valuables and an animal holding room.
The 156,142 tonnes of all types of cargo in 2010 was the third highest ever total handled at BIA in a single year. It also set a new record for transshipment cargo at 26,445 metric tonnes.
Janaka Munasinghe, Manager Cargo Operations, said: “SriLankan Cargo holds regular discussions with the Freight Forwarders Association and Customer Airlines to discuss the latest technological innovations which can enhance efficiency and convenience for all parties and ensure that the BIA Cargo Centre can better perform its role for our country’s import-export sectors and for the region. We also provided the staff of freight forwarders with training in the new technology.”
The Hand Held Bar Code Scanners and Electronic Airway Bills were commissioned by the airline in the presence of several members of the Sri Lanka Freight Forwarders Association.
The Hand Held Bar Code Scanners capture information from the bar coded labels attached to any piece of cargo and instantly upload directly into the SkyChain system which is accessible throughout SriLankan Cargo’s global network. This considerably speeds up the process which had earlier been done manually.
The Electronic Airway Bills provide freight forwarders with the ability to fill out airway bills for consignments in their own offices, which include bar coded labels provided by SriLankan Cargo. These are then forwarded to the BIA Cargo Centre and go directly into the system. This is in contrast to the earlier method of manually preparing airway bills.
The information includes all necessary data on each piece of cargo including the package’s origin, boarding point, destination, offloading point, documentation, number of pieces, weight, volume, type of container, booking status, manifest description, agent’s name, product and much more.