Emirates SkyCargo's entire freighter fleet move to new cargo terminal
A Boeing 777 Freighter from London Heathrow carrying a full load of more than 100 tonnes of cargo, yesterday marked the official start of operations from a brand new cargo terminal in the UAE for Emirates SkyCargo.
Construction of phase one of the cargo terminal and supporting facilities began in July last year, and with its completion operations are now in full swing with 250 staff on site. The newly opened terminal is equipped with start-of-the-art technology and will be able to handle 700 000 tonnes of cargo annually and have 500 staff when phase two, scheduled to be completed by September this year, comes into operation. The terminal has the potential for further expansion to reach 1 million tonnes.
Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo, said: “The start of operations at DWC today is a major milestone for Emirates SkyCargo. Our various teams, along with many of our partners and stakeholders, have been working very hard over the past few months to complete phase one of the project.
“We have also held numerous trials to test the readiness of every aspect of the facility and the movement of cargo between the DWC and Dubai International to ensure a smooth transition and enable us to meet our customers’ expectations,
“We are very pleased that we have met our timelines and the move has gone according to plan. This new facility gives us the additional space and capacity required to manage the growth of our cargo business and have a dedicated, modern and efficient hub for our freighter operations, which contribute 35 percent of Emirates SkyCargo’s total revenue,” he added.
Emirates SkyCargo currently has a fleet of 12 freighters, 10 Boeing 777 Fs and two Boeing 747-400 ERFs, which operate to more than 50 destinations around the world. Cargo arriving on freighters will be transported by dedicated trucking services between DWC and Dubai International Airport along the Emirates Road (E-611) which will be the main corridor for connecting cargo between freighters and the passenger fleet. The current trucking fleet numbers 47, which will be increased relative to future growth requirements.
The newly opened terminal is equipped with state-of-the-art technology. It features a fully automated material handling system which is one of the world’s first to have an automated Quick Dolly Transfer System that enables quick transfer of 6 Unit Load Devices (ULDs) simultaneously.
In addition, an automated pallet handling system, advanced storage system, offices, workstation areas, modern communication and security systems and many amenities for employees, including canteens have been installed. The perishable area has been designed to handle about 140 000 tonnes of cargo per annum, featuring three large areas each with different temperature ranges.
The terminal infrastructure also includes 45 truck docks and 80 truck parking spaces, in addition to 12 aircraft stands directly in front of the terminal.
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany