Air Cargo Quarterly - IT cargo platforms rolled out by Emirate

By: | at 07:00 PM | Channel(s): Air Cargo News  

By Karen E. Thuermer
Two airlines hailing from the United Arab Emirates are setting the stage as to the way the air cargo industry does business by using new IT systems for cargo handling.
Emirates SkyCargo, which hails from Dubai, along with handling agent Dnata Cargo, the largest cargo handling company in the Middle East, have implemented an IT system called Chameleon. Etihad Airways, a new carrier based out of Abu Dhabi, launched its new cargo product call Crystal at this year’s International Air Cargo Forum in Bilbao, Spain.
Chameleon Blends with Cargo Environment
Chameleon is a new generation cargo system created and introduced by Mercator, the IT division of the Emirates Group. The Emirates Group fully owns, designed, developed and implemented the multi-million dollar system.
Chameleon offers airline solutions by harnessing the latest technology to give airlines and group handlers around the world the freedom to manage their cargo terminal operations efficiently and profitably without being tied to out-dated systems and processes. It takes care of the entire management and monitoring of cargo consignments, from the moment a shipment is delivered to the airline or its ground handler, through to the end of the supply chain.
“This innovative system is revolutionizing cargo management at Dnata, and is changing the way we work—for good,” comments Jean Pierre De Paul, senior vice president Dnata Cargo. “It uses the very technology to streamline our operations, using the most accurate and powerful management information systems. We can offer customers an unrivalled service and are enhancing Dubai’s role as a major global cargo hub.”
The system was named well given the fact Chameleon blends into any environment, from the smallest local operation to the biggest global cargo hub. The goal of the system is to be flexible and adaptable so that it can fit in seamlessly with current business conditions and trends. Service standards are immediately improved since the system is proactive—not reactive. It actively seeks out potential problems and takes the necessary measures to improve them. It streamlines communications, sharpens decision-making, and lifts productivity and profitability to new heights.
“Chameleon represents a remarkable achievement for Mercator and the Emirates Group, even more so when you consider that it was entirely designed and built in-house by our own IT professionals,” says Joshua Koshy, Senior Vice President IT at Mercator. “The system really sums up what we’re about. It sets new standards for the industry, and is not afraid of doing things in a different way. It leads rather than follows, and it will become a force to be reckoned with inside the air cargo industry. This is a real winner.”
Besides Emirates, other carriers now using the system include Air New Zealand Air Niugini, Air Pacific, British Airways, Jet Airways, Kenya Airways, Qantas, Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan, TACA, Varig and Yemenia.
Mercator has been active in recent years developing innovative systems. In 2002, it introduced Nomad, an internet system used to manage the complex task of tracking aircraft freight and baggage containers as they travel the world’s airways.
Crystal Clear Intent
Etihad Crystal Cargo aims to provide “total transparency to the shipping community.” In introducing its new cargo product, Etihad Airways Robert Strodel, head of cargo and mail, explained that the carrier would start off with purely airport-to-airport services concentrating on general cargo.
“We want to provide a service that is tailored 100 percent around the customer—and we can do that because we are new. We can do it from the customers’ point of view. Our sound financial base allows us to invest in highest quality standards and unprecedented expansion.”
By using Crystal, customers will be automatically information as to where his or her cargo is right from the very moment the air waybill is filled out and enters Etihad’s computer system.
Etihad Airways has been

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