May 17, 2020

Second Freighter Service to India started by Qatar Airways

air cargo
Air freight
Middle East logistics
India supply
Admin
2 min
The Middle Eastern airway adds another service to its impressive portfolio
Qatar Airways Cargo has started operating its second freighter service to Delhi, India. This second frequency builds rapidly on the back of the first fr...

Qatar Airways Cargo has started operating its second freighter service to Delhi, India. This second frequency builds rapidly on the back of the first freighter service from Doha which arrived at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport on 4 May, this year. 

Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, Mr. Ulrich Ogiermann said: “India is a highly important market for Qatar Airways Cargo. We are delighted to start our second freighter service to Delhi, just two months after launching the first freighter on 4 May.

“Delhi has one of India's largest and fastest growing retail industries, and on top of that, it is an important commercial capital for Asia.”

Qatar Airways Cargo now operates the twice-weekly service between Doha and Delhi, using the Airbus A330 freighter, with freighters departing on Tuesdays and Sundays from Doha. Qatar Airways already operates two daily passenger flights to Delhi.

Qatar Airways Cargo recently strengthened its product portfolio with the launch in January 2014 of two new premium services that optimise the transportation of time and temperature-sensitive goods, including high-value pharmaceutical products and perishables.

The new services, QR Pharma and QR Fresh, add to the company’s substantial range of cargo services and further enhance its capacity and flexibility to effectively move sensitive commodities in line with the highest world-class standards.

Qatar Airways Cargo completed the transition from a manually handled cargo environment to a fully automated cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport when it moved to the new state-of-the-art facility.

The brand new cargo terminal at Hamad International Airport offers the very latest technology and five-star service to customers across the globe. The step-change from the original manual system has been significant, with all importers and clearing agents in Doha benefiting from an enhanced delivery system for all their cargo.

Qatar Airways Cargo serves more than 40 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight to 144 key business and leisure destinations globally on 134 aircraft. For more information, please visit: http://www.qatarairways.com/global/en/press-release.page?pr_id=pressrelease_delhi-cargo-increase-030814

Share article

Jun 19, 2021

Driver shortages: Why the industry needs to be worried

Logistics
SCALA
supplychain
Brexit
Rob Wright, Executive Director...
4 min
Logistics professionals need urgent solutions to a shortage in drivers caused by a perfect storm of Brexit, COVID-19 and compounding economic factors

While driver shortages are a global problem, with a recent survey from the International Road Transport Union suggesting that driver shortages are expected to increase by 25% year-on-year across its 23 member countries, the issue has very much made itself felt for UK businesses in recent weeks. 

A perfect storm of factors, which many within the industry have been wary of, and warning about, for months, have led to a situation wherein businesses are suddenly facing significant difficulties around transporting goods to shelves on time, as well as inflated operating costs for doing so. 

What’s more, the public may also see price rises as a result due to demand outmatching supply for certain product lines, which in turn brings with it the risk of customer dissatisfaction and a hit to brand and stakeholder reputation. Given that this price inflation has been speculated to hit in October, when the extended grace period on Brexit customs checks comes to an end, the worst may be yet to come.

"Steps must be taken to make a career in the industry a more attractive proposition for younger drivers, which will require a joint effort from government, industry bodies, and the sector as a whole"


That said, we have already been hearing reports of service interruption due to lack of driver availability, meaning that volumes aren’t being transported, or delivered, to required schedules and lead times. A real-world example of this occurred on the weekend of 4-6 June with convenience retailer Nisa, with deliveries to Nisa outlets across the UK affected by driver shortages to its logistics provider DHL.

But where has this skills shortage stemmed from? 

Supply is the primary issue. Specifically, the number of available EU drivers has decreased by up to 15,000 drivers due to Brexit alone, and this has been further exacerbated by drivers returning to their home country during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as changes to foreign exchange rates making UK a less desirable place to live and work. This, alongside the recent need to manage IR35 tax changes, has also led to significant inflation in driver and transport costs.

COVID-19 complications have also meant that there have been no HGV driver tests over the past year, meaning the expected 6,000-7,000 new drivers over the past year have not appeared. With the return of the hospitality sector we understand that this is a significant challenge with, for instance, order delivery lead times being extended.

It is little surprise, therefore, that the Road Haulage Association (RHA) earlier this month became the latest in a long line of industry spokespeople to write to the government about the driver shortage for trucks. The letter echoed the view held by much of the industry, that the cause of this issue is both multi-faceted and, at least in some aspects, long-standing. 

So, many in the industry are in agreement as to the driving factors behind this crisis. But what can be done? 

Simply enough, outside of businesses completely reorganising their supply chain network, external support is needed. In the short-term, the government should consider providing the industry with financial aid, and this can also be supported more widely with legislative change. 

Specifically, immigration policy could be updated to place drivers on the shortage occupations list, which would go some way towards easing the burden created by foreign drivers returning to their home countries. Looking elsewhere, government should also look for ways to increase the availability of HGV driver tests after the blockage created by the coronavirus lockdowns.

Looking more long-term, steps must be taken to make a career in the industry a more attractive proposition for younger drivers, which will require a joint effort from government, industry bodies, and the sector as a whole. As it stands, multiple sources suggest that the average age of truck drivers in the UK is 48, with only one in every hundred drivers under the age of 25. We must therefore do more to increase the talent pipeline coming into the industry if we are to offset more significant skills shortages further down the line. 

On the back of a turbulent year for the supply chain industry, it has become increasingly clear that the long-foretold shortage of drivers is now having a tangible and, in places, crippling effect on supply chains. 

Drivers, and the wider supply chain industry, have rightly been recognised for the seismic role they played in keeping the nation moving and fed over the past year under unprecedented strain. If this level of service is to continue, we must now see Government answer calls to provide the support the sector needs, and work hand-in-hand with the industry to find a solution. If we do not see concrete action to this effect soon, we are likely to be in for a turbulent few months. 
 

Rob Wright is executive director at SCALA, a leading provider of management services for the supply chain and logistics sector

Share article