Case Study 1: Freighter Operation

Customer ‘NS’ needed to airlift a 1 Km long carbon and titanium carbon fiber rig to AMS which was placed in 40’ HC container. The piece of cargo weighed 25 MTs with over size dimensions and therefore required a special freighter aircraft to take directly to AMS. The project was time sensitive and a factory delay had caused the shipper to pay USD 40,000 a day by the time the freight was assigned to us. This was an extraordinary request, not just for Aitken Spence Cargo but also for the industry, especially as it was the peak period for Customer ‘NS’ and that coincided with the peak period for air cargo in Sri Lanka.

Due to the nature of the cargo, many logistical obstacles had to be overcome prior to flight operation. Aitken Spence Cargo was selected to oversee this project due to our expertise in cargo charter flight handling and our extensive knowledge of handling over size cargo.

After researching potential flight operators for this project, it was determined that an IL 76 freighter was able to carry this particular cargo on a direct flight from CMB to AMS.

Next, we began coordinating with the shipper and charter operator to organize flight dates, load plan details, and obtain the shipper’s instructions for loading at Katunayake. After the planned flight dates were confirmed, we arranged pick-up the cargo at the shipper’s facility. Again, due to the nature of the items being transported, a special inland road license was required from the shipper’s facility to the airport, along with a security escort to the airport.

Aitken Spence Cargo was able to assist the client with a freighter solution suitable for the transportation of the cargo to minimize the late delivery charges due to a delay in the production. The client was satisfied and complimented our airfreight team for the precise planning and coordinating the related logistics with many different parties. The consignee in AMS remains a valued partner of our client in Sri Lanka to this day.


Case Study 2: Air Freight

Our client is an international garments and apparels retailer with its main location based in the UK with a further presence of its retail base in over 700 locations elsewhere in 35
countries. Consequent to its operations expanding it had to increase its supplies which meant that it had to depend on overseas suppliers to fill their retail stores. Although it was a good strategy to have supplies from a range of locations, it also had its inherent challenges inter alia managing the associated transport logistics.

Managing the supply chain activities up to having the garments in the UK stores had to be addressed when the manufactures supplies from Sri Lanka reached substantial volumes. Initially the sourcing had been through a buying office in the UK where local manufacturers shipped their finished goods. Subsequently, in 2008 the buyer started its own sourcing office in Colombo through which approx 15 garments manufacturers started shipping their produce to UK.

This sourcing mechanism prompted our client's UK office to employ an efficient freight and logistic arrangement with due consideration to cost and transport timing. Bids were called from reputed international freight forwarders in the UK for an appropriate solution, among the prospective bidders our principal in the UK along with us in Sri Lanka managed to secure the account for a total supply chain solution covering Sri Lanka and the UK.

The Solution
Logistics relating to client operation in Sri Lanka consists of a series of related activities. These supply chain activities up to shipping out of Colombo ensure that the orders arrive at the UK stores on time to complete consignee’s sales plans.

Aitken Spence Cargo team receives cargo from shippers at a centralized logistic facility where the buyer’s quality assurance inspections take place to make the PO’s ready for shipping out. Once the QA is done, we arrange to load the cargo with client’s instructions and hand-over the freight to the carriers to uplift from CMB to UK. We arrange to have the cargo space allotments ready for the freight with prior bookings with carriers. We also attend to all documentation procedures and update information in the buyers system so that they could clear and deliver the cargo in the UK as planned.

Value Addition
Since 2008 Aitken Spence Cargo has been managing the local and freight logistics for the client on behalf of our principal in the UK. Working with all airlines/service partners in Colombo it enables us to provide our client guaranteed space allotments and competitive rates to the destination points in the UK. Due to regular volumes approximating 1.5 Mn Kgs a year, our bookings are always prioritized and often ensure uplifting of cargo on schedule. The fully automated front and back office processes provides real-time information and complete transparency to the customer for their time sensitive shipments. Aitken Spence Cargo understands the investment that their client make on air freight and has offered the integrated services and systems required to deliver their cargo on a timely manner and at the lowest possible cost.

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