Lufthansa Cargo’s collection service Mobile Acceptance has been in the test phase at CargoCity South for almost six months now. It’s time to take stock.
“We’re heading to Kuehne + Nagel now to collect some goods. They’ll then go directly to Beijing,” explains Creste Bassetti. He works for Cargoworker 24 GmbH, the service provider performing Mobile Acceptance for Lufthansa Cargo. Everything has to be done quickly, as the measuring, weighing and checking are carried out right at the customer warehouse. “We have a fantastic relationship with colleagues at the customer warehouse – everything is closely coordinated,” says Bassetti, describing the cooperation with the test customers. If the load has been packaged in compliance with security requirements, it is conveyed by roller bed from the warehouse to the truck – the Speed Gate awaits. Bassetti has already informed Fraport Security Services colleagues of the containers bound for Asia, so it’s full steam ahead. The Speed Gate, a gate on the southern edge of the runway, also channels the panels via roller bed towards the apron. The gate closes and the goods can then be loaded onto dollies, which bring the cargo to the aircraft.
Doesn’t that all sound simple and fast? It sure does – and it is. After a trip lasting approximately five minutes, the goods arrive on the apron having travelled from the warehouse via the Cargoworker truck and through the Speed Gate. Thanks to Mobile Acceptance, the cargo can be brought directly from CargoCity South out to the aircraft, due to take off 40 minutes later, and no longer has to detour via the Lufthansa Cargo Center in the north. This saves the customer up to six hours of valuable time. Palletising issues can be ironed out right in the customer warehouse. A 99.9 per cent non-offload rate since the start of the test phase is evidence of the efficiency of the new system. By the editorial deadline in early March, more than 3,800 shipments prepared on pallets by the customer for flight with a total weight of more than 8,400 tonnes had been accepted in this way.
How did this idea come about? “There’s a veritable who’s who of forwarders here in CargoCity South – so we wanted to be very present as well and offer customers a special service,” explains Sabine Hehner from Project Gateway Frankfurt. The idea of Mobile Acceptance was born in workshops with various customers and in close cooperation with them. “The test phase has exceeded our expectations and word about the product is getting around the industry,” says a pleased Hehner. Customers are also happy: “No project with Lufthansa Cargo has ever worked as well as this one,” emphasises Christian R. Rickers, Managing Director of Kuehne + Nagel. The Global Partner is one of the test customers, along with DB Schenker, Nippon Express and UPS. The forwarder knows that his goods will now be at the Speed Gate approximately five minutes after collection.
Small teething problems
As one test ends, so another begins: The product should be offered as standard from June onwards. Various processes will have to be adjusted before then, especially in IT. Mobile Acceptance is still completely paper-based at the moment. The papers are completed at the customer warehouse and only fed into the computer in the office. “This is cumbersome and time-consuming,” confirms Joachim Emmoghlian who has trained Cargoworker employees on Lufthansa systems along with his colleagues in the Lufthansa Cargo Service Center, “everyone is waiting for iCAP.” The Internet-based application promises to ease the burden on Cargoworker employees. The goal is to register all relevant documents and declarations digitally at the customer warehouse. Creste Bassetti feels confident: “Once the system allows me to drive with a laptop to the customer and accept the shipment completely digitally, then we’ll be even quicker!”