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The Driving Force Behind Emirates SkyCargo

Interview with Henrik Ambak, Senior Vice President of Cargo Operations Worldwide

Emirates SkyCargo is now the second largest air cargo operator in the world, operating a fleet of freighters to over 40 destinations across six continents, next to its 260 passenger aircraft moving passengers and cargo between 158 airports. In total the company carried 2.6 million tonnes of cargo in 2017/18.

Picture: Henrik Ambak, Senior Vice President of Cargo Operations Worldwide

Operating its freighter aircraft out of Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) and its passenger aircraft out of Dubai International Airport (DXB), Emirates SkyCargo has by 1 August 2018 connected 1 million containers in just 4 years between the passenger and freighters fleet, making Dubai the most successful two airport hub.

In order for operations to run smoothly, Emirates SkyCargo is equipped with the best facilities available to them, including a fleet of 49 trucks, which make around 375 trips per day between the hubs.

From the handling of agricultural goods, pharmaceuticals, to sensitive cargo, odd-sized equipment, textiles and supercars, Emirates SkyCargo maintained high standards of service for our customers by investing in innovation and utilising advanced technologies such as SkyChain which enables customers to request services and trace their shipments in real-time.

In order for operations to run smoothly, Emirates SkyCargo is equipped with the best facilities available to them. In addition to that, there are two key players assisting Emirates SkyCargo in their daily cargo operations, Allied Transport and MAN Trucks.

Emirates SkyCargo operates between Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) and Dubai International Airport (DXB). This is where Allied Transport plays a key role in ensuring that Emirates SkyCargo can connect between the two airports in ease.

“What Allied Transport does for us is to connect our 2-airport hub. We have our freighters at DWC airport and our passenger fleet operating out of DXB thus Allied transport helps us to make that connection, along with local deliveries connecting DXB/DWC with other UAE airports, explained by Mr. Henrik Ambak, Senior Vice President of Emirates SkyCargo worldwide.

Allied Transport Company (ATC) is one of the leading transport companies with the largest trucking fleet in the UAE market and the region. The company was founded in 1972 and ever since has been providing a caliber of service that is unrivaled within the industry. The company specializes in land freight transportation and haulage of all types of cargo.”

‘It is essential for us to have the transport provider that offers reliability, on-time performance and flexibility. This is especially important when you have unexpected flights and shipments that require flexible logistics and additional trucks to operate.

“The two airports are around 65 kilometers apart, meaning that to date we have covered an estimated 19 million kilometers – the equivalent of travelling to the moon and back twenty-five times. To cover this distance requires a mode of transport that is both durable and reliable, and we depend on our key partners, Allied Transport and MAN Truck & Bus to ensure our cargo keeps moving.

We trust Allied Transport and MAN Truck & Bus to provide dependable, long-lasting vehicles and have never had a single breakdown with a MAN truck, enabling us to maintain our tight schedules, especially when cargo needs to go onto passenger planes from DXB. For example, we have about four freighter flights that come in from Hong Kong. That cargo needs to be transported between DWC and DXB on-time because we can’t keep the other planes waiting. We don’t want the freighter fleet to sit on the ground as it wastes a lot of money.”

While there is a need to transport the cargo from one airport to another quickly and on time, Mr. Ambak also emphasizes the need of safety. “Our logo is painted on these trucks so we need to ensure that these trucks are safe and operating in a safe manner as our brand is associated with the highest degree of safety.

Looking to the future, Mr. Ambak is keen to see how developments including electric trucks and autonomous driving to further increase efficiency and improve sustainability across the logistics chain.

“As an airline we are always looking for ways to innovate and become more sustainable so it would be interesting to see how trucks become more sustainable from going from digital to electrical. There is also a discussion about autonomous trucks as well. The technology exists in Europe, especially platooning, which is making logistics more and more efficient, so it will be interesting to see the expected regulations from ESMA to understand how this will work in practice in the UAE,” remarked Mr. Ambak.


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