Air freight operations are quite complicated, it takes experienced business savvy with a deep understanding of the nature of air freight to do the job correctly. One of the most experienced operators in Thailand is Bangkok Flight Services (BFS), who are on the forefront of ground handling operations with unparalleled expertise.
BFS is an alliance between Wordwide Flight Services Co., Ltd. and Bangkok Airways Public Co., Ltd. Currently, BFS are offering ground handling services at Suvarnabhumi Airport to over seventy airlines globally. They have a variety of offerings including passenger services, ground handling services, airside services, and import and export warehousing services. For exports especially, BFS are experts at storing cargo from airlines and freight forwarders before its transported to the aircraft.
We had an opportunity to speak with Mr. Niwat Saengsane, Export Manager and Mr. Suwannawut Jamnongsart, Cargo Export Manager in regards of BFS’s new and more convenient services, new developments in the Company’s export department, as well as their practices in aiming to improve for a better and more convenient offerings to customers.
Export Delivery Slot Time
In the past, BFS operated a first come, first serve process system, but came to realize the congestion that could occur with this system. To remedy the situation, they developed a cargo delivery booking system called ‘Export Delivery Slot Time’, targeted to bring more convenient and better time management to export cargo deliveries.
“We have developed a new system to offer more convenience to the delivery trucks by giving them the ability to book delivery times in advance. In the past, we set the queue respectively, when trucks arrived at the warehouse. The problem from this queuing system is, during the afternoon to evening, delivery trucks usually arrived at the gate at the same time. This can create congestion at the warehouse gate, which causes a delay,” Mr. Saengsane explained.
“By utilizing the Export Delivery Slot Time, freight forwarders are able to book a delivery time in advance by informing cargo details and contacting us by email on our website. BFS staff can then hold proper delivery times for freight forwarders and notify officers ahead of time to prepare to receive cargo, as well as sending a confirmation email to the customer. Once the delivery truck arrives with required documents, it can deliver the cargo without getting in line for a queue.”
“We are encouraging freight forwarders to apply for the Export Delivery Slot Time both in Thailand and in nearby countries. Should we be informed of the time and cargo quantity of certain deliveries ahead of time, we can better manage our human resources for the customer. Not only that, it helps to create better flow to our operations, that is also beneficial to our customers as well,” added Mr. Jamnongsart.
Latest Scanning Technology
BFS’ export process would usually start with receiving cargo and temperature-controlled cargo, examining the AWB document, weighing and measuring the cargo, then storing the cargo inside the warehouse. Once the cargo is ready to be transported, the export department would load the cargo in accordance to the Load Plan and finally transport the cargo onto the aircraft.
In addition to the convenient Export Delivery Slot Time, BFS have installed four automatic volume scanners at their export cargo delivery area, as a solution for a faster and more accurate process.
“In the past, when export cargo was delivered to us, we would measure and weight the cargo manually, which takes a lot of time especially when there are high volume cargo or large pieces of cargo. It also causes a human error during the process as well,” said Mr. Jamnongsart.
“Now, our new laser scanning system are able to measure and weigh the cargo automatically. The volume scanners are also able to display three-dimensional information, including the length, the width and the weight as well. It offers better speed and accuracy to the cargo receiving process. Moreover, the scanners are capable of displaying actual cargo volume on e-weight slips and weight slips, too,” he continued on BFS’ latest innovation which accelerates the process to be two times faster than the old system.
Moving Towards the Future
BFS responded to the continuously expanding cargo volumes by developing infrastructure systems such as, adding more storage racks in the warehouse and expanding the ETV Location from three stories to four stories. Furthermore, BFS’ IT department has developed a warehousing management system called ‘Export Inventory Control System’ (E-ICS) and ETV- Inventory Control System (ETV-ICS) which are delivering more convenience, with faster and more accurate loading processes.
Another currently in-development solution system that BFS are proud to present is an autonomous ULD transporting system. “Usually, once we’ve finished the cargo loading in accordance to the Load Plan, we would transport the ULD to storage with the ULD transporting system that requires a human touch throughout the whole process. To take unneeded steps out and to automate the process, we’ve developed the autonomous ULD transporting system to help make the process smoother. The newly developed system will automatically move the ULD to an ETV Location, which is safe and fast. The computer system is monitoring and making sure of no impact between the ULD on the belt, whereas the human-controlled system is unable to monitor and prevent the impact completely,” Mr. Jamnongsart spoke about BFS’ latest innovation of their export warehouse.
In an era where the growth of the freight forwarding industry is driven by E-Commerce business, it is not easy to come out as one of the leading businesses in the industry. However, with their continuing efficient infrastructure development, BFS are proud to lead as Thailand’s leading ground handling operator.