SriLankan Cargo set a new record for freight handled in a single month at Bandaranaike International Airport, totalling 16,070 tonnes in December 2009. The cargo arm of SriLankan Airlines is the sole handler for freight carried by all airlines into BIA, which was visited by 1,213 flights by aircraft of 23 airlines and freighter airlines during December.
The new record surpassed the mark of 16,033 tonnes set in March 2006.
Manager Cargo Operations at SriLankan, Janaka Munasinghe said: We are pleased to witness the recent growth in cargo handling, and are hopeful that the trend will continue throughout 2010, as the world begins moving out of recession. SriLankan Cargo relishes the challenge of handling more and more freight.
The total consists of 11,651 tonnes of exports and 4,419 tonnes of imports, in 12,737 different shipments. Cargo volumes had been stagnating between 8,800 tonnes and 11,800 tonnes over a 14-month period starting in August 2008. It picked up last November with 12,191 tonnes, before rocketing to Decembers figure.
The total freight volume handled at the BIA Cargo Centre during the 2009 was 133,693 tonnes. SriLankan Cargo is perfectly placed to handle future opportunities in air cargo, expected from the global economic revival and the growth of Sri Lankas economy following the dawn of peace in the island.
It will double its handling capacity at BIA to 300,000 tonnes per year, with the commissioning of a new Exports Terminal in the first quarter of 2010.
The shifting of the exports operation into the new Cargo Exports Terminal in the near future will further enhance our facilities for handling higher volumes, with the present building to be focused on Imports, Munasinghe said.
SriLankan Cargo has strategically positioned Colombo as the Hub in the Ocean for transhipment cargo in the South Asian region, aiming to make full use of opportunities from the growth of India s economy.
SriLankan Airlines carried the largest share with 8,163 tonnes. Emirates was a distant second at 2,338 tonnes, and Cathay Pacific third with 986 tonnes.
Other significant tonnage
was carried by
Singapore Airlines (713 tonnes)
Saudi Arabian (536 tonnes)
Etihad (458 tonnes)
Thai Airways (373 tonnes)
Malaysia Airlines (357 tonnes)
Oman Air (335 tonnes)
The new Exports Terminal will consist of 13,300 square metres on two floors, and will include facilities for perishables, courier cargo, pure mail, a customer facilitation centre, cold rooms and chiller rooms, eight acceptance bays, a customs safe vault for valuables, an animal holding room, and areas for animal and plant quarantine offices.
SriLankan Cargo, which has won several awards for its operation of the Japanese 5S Standard at the Cargo Centre, will further enhance all-round efficiency and handling speed as the new Exports Terminal will include pallette build-up stations and barcode scanners, plus CCTV to increase security throughout the premises.
Last July SriLankan Cargo commissioned the SkyChain cargo handling system, which further enhanced customer convenience and operational efficiency.