Sep 18, 2023
Saudia Cargo has established itself as a key link in the world of international trade. With a robust and expansive global network, the carrier is proud of its reputation for connecting companies and countries.
From its primary hubs in the Saudi cities of Jeddah and Riyadh, strategically located in the heart of the Middle East, the carrier’s reach extends to around 100 airport destinations and 250 customer destinations across four continents.
“Our extensive network ensures that we have a significant footprint in all major economic regions, serving as the Middle East hub for global connectivity to Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and beyond” Teddy Zebitz, CEO of Saudia Cargo and Chairman of the Cargo Executive Board of SkyTeam, said.
“Our unique positioning leverages the strategic location of Saudi Arabia, seamlessly connecting the East and the West, making us an efficient air bridge between continents. Our strategic positioning, coupled with the Kingdom’s substantial purchasing power, underscores our integral role in delivering national economic strength on a global scale.”
“Recognising the potential of robust markets, we have established strong operational bases in China and Southeast Asia, ensuring that we are well-positioned to cater to their growing demands.”
“As e-commerce continues to play a vital part of modern life, our industry serves as a cornerstone, ensuring the seamless and timely delivery of goods to a global audience. Particularly because Saudi Arabia is a prime target market for major e-commerce players, we have strategically allocated our fleet resources to Hong Kongand China with higher frequencies supporting the growing demand for swift and reliable deliveries.”
Amplified through alliances
Saudia Cargo’s membership in the global alliance of SkyTeam Cargo has significantly expanded its reach. Being part of this group boosts the carrier’s connectivity and allows it to tap into the extensive cargo networks of fellow SkyTeam members.
“This collaboration enables our customers to benefit from a broader range of destinations, increased frequencies, and a seamless cargo experience,” Zebitz explained.
The company continuously adds new destinations that it serves, having most recently added Birmingham and Gatwick in the UK and boosted frequencies to other crucial markets, including South Korea, China, and Thailand.
“These strategic enhancements ensure better connectivity and increased access to our ever-growing customer base,” Zebitz said.
“We continuously explore opportunities to fortify our presence by forging new partnerships and alliances, especially in the Asian markets. We are also focused on establishing a robust and adaptable digital infrastructure as part of our customised service offerings to customers.”
Key to success
Efficiency and reliability are paramount in airfreight, and Saudia Cargo looks to ensure both through partnerships, technology, expertise, and safety measures.
Collaborating with top tier partners, not least ground handling agents, ensures high standards in every aspect of operations.
Leveraging technologies and real-time tracking has helped Saudia Cargo to streamline its processes, boosted by the dedicated team of industry professionals, to make sure operations run smoothly.
Alongside these elements, safety is a priority for Saudia, ensuring all facilities and equipment adhere to the highest global security standards.
“As part of our efforts to ensure utmost efficiency, we focus on utilising our assets as much as possible,” Zebitz said. “Saudia Air Cargo is now close to being among the top 10 in the world for block-hour utilisation of freighters.”
“Saudia Cargo takes pride in its dedicated fleet of aircraft which enables us to provide flexible cargo solutions that address our customers’ diverse needs and requirements,” Zebitz laid out. “Our fleet composition is designed to offer versatility in capacity, combining wide-body and narrow-body aircraft to cater to various demands.”
“Our growing fleet of aircraft consists of seven dedicated freighters, including four Boeing 777s and three Boeing 747s. In addition, our belly fleet encompasses 83 widebody and 81 narrowbody aircraft.
Saudia Cargo is committed to focusing on its impact on the world. Its team is dedicated to incorporating sustainability into their operations. This is part of the carrier’s national commitment towards the Saudi Green Initiative and the Saudi Vision 2030 objectives, paving the way to the aviation industry goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Saudia Cargo’s sustainability policy is highlighted through key strategic initiatives such as: Diverting paper airway bills to digital airway bills; optimising fuel usage; investing in digital sales channels; reducing trucking emissions; delivering relief and aid to marginalised communities through their partnership with King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center.
“We understand the importance of education and better planning in limiting our carbon emissions, and we strive to reduce fuel intake and usage by optimising fuel calculations and carefully planning routes and flights. On the ground, our use of Ground Power Units (GPUs) at airports minimises the need for aircraft engines to run, further conserving fuel,” Zebitz said.
Push into pharma
By uplifting its service levels, Saudi Cargo is proactively elevating its capabilities to cater to the demands of various cargo types. Enhancing pharmaceutical transportation capabilities is a prime example of this.
“Our efforts to safeguard temperature-sensitive cargo, such as perishables and pharmaceuticals, as well as advanced hazardous goods shipping capabilities, have been bolstered by terminal expansions and robust digital systems,” Zebitz explained.
“As part of these efforts, we’ve formed strategic alliances and collaborations with renowned names like Envirotainer, DoKaSch, CSafe, va-Q-tec, SkyCell, and Tower Cold Chain, in addition to our recent membership of the Pharma Aero Network.”
These partnerships raised Saudi Cargo’s standards and enable it to provide comprehensive solutions tailored to the diverse requirements of global clients. Its proactive approach aligns with efforts to attain IATA’s certifications for the CEIV Pharma programme, a vital step in meeting pharmaceutical manufacturers’ stringent transportation demands, particularly for time-sensitive products such as vaccines.
Saudia Cargo strives to be at the forefront of embracing technological advancements to enhance operations and service offerings. In today’s digital age, leveraging technologies like AI and automation is increasingly becoming a necessity to remain competitive, also in the air cargo industry.
“One of our strides in this direction is our collaboration with RTS Global,” Zebitz pointed to. “The partnership entails the implementation of digital solutions for revenue planning and management as well as pricing. As a cargo solution of choice, RTS support us in integrating advanced forecasting and optimisation algorithms.”
“Our partnership with Microsoft is another testament to our commitment to technological innovation. By signing an MoU, we’re in the process of implementing a cloud-based solution tailored for cargo operations. This solution is expected to further streamline our processes, improve efficiency, and result in cost savings while ensuring data integrity and security.”
Saudia Cargo utilises tech-powered ULDs from Unilode, employ online sales channels and APIs, and offer electronic bookings, real-time tracking, custom charter flights, and comprehensive information services to accommodate different types of cargo.
By integrating advanced tracking systems, the carrier has been able to offer features like instant notifications on cargo movement, detailed route history, and predictive analytics on delivery times. This boosts transparency and allows for proactive handling of potential disruption.
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Author: Edward Hardy