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Menzies ‘working hard’ to resolve LHR cargo delays

Airport handler hopes reorganisation of its Heathrow freight activities will be completed by next Tuesday, to ‘alleviate congestion within the terminal and allow us to clear any remaining import cargo and improve access to the facility for collections and deliveries’.

Menzies Aviation says it is “working hard” to fix cargo handling delays and problems at its Heathrow Airport (LHR) facilities that have reportedly led to freight taking up to a week to be processed.

The UK airport cargo handler said it hoped a reorganisation of its Heathrow freight activities will be completed by next Tuesday, to “alleviate congestion within the terminal and allow us to clear any remaining import cargo and improve access to the facility for collections and deliveries”.

The congestion issues came as Qatar Airways Cargo this month moved into its new cargo handling base within Menzies Aviation’s on-airport facilities at London Heathrow Airport, a move that involved 60 “new joiners” to Menzies Aviation’s cargo handling team that transferred from their previous handling company, Dnata.

Robert Fordree, Menzies Aviation’s executive vice president for cargo, told Lloyd’s Loading List: “Our cargo business at Heathrow has had quite a start to September which has resulted in some service delays for our customers. We’re sorry this has happened and we’ve made some changes to put it right.

“The combined cargo of new and existing customers has recently been exceeding the total terminal throughput. This is due to unprecedented and unexpected cargo volumes after a return to flight operations by most of our carriers – who are now operating cargo-only flights or limited passenger numbers into LHR due to the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on flight volumes.

“In agreement with our airline customers, we have relocated the full operation of two carriers and the import cargo for a further two carriers to alternative handling locations. This will alleviate congestion within the terminal and allow us to clear any remaining import cargo and improve access to the facility for collections and deliveries.”

He said these relocations commenced last week and were expected to be concluded by Tuesday 22 September.

“Our team is working hard to address all customer issues,” Fordree added. “We’re also looking at ways to keep customers up to date and will advise in due course.”

Largest dedicated warehouse capacity solution

Menzies explained that the move by Qatar Airways Cargo was the result of a new long-term agreement struck in July between the two companies for Menzies to provide cargo handling, freighter aircraft handling, and cargo transport to and from aircraft. It noted that the warehouse capacity for the handling of the passenger and freighter cargo exceeds 7,000 square meters and is the largest dedicated warehouse capacity solution ever provided by Menzies at Heathrow.

Commenting earlier this month on Menzies welcoming Qatar Airways Fordree explained that initially, the new employees would be supported by eight “Menzies ambassadors, who’ll help them to get their bearings in our warehouse and learn about the equipment and systems”. He added that the warehouse and reception area have just been refurbished to provide a dedicated reception area and operations office, and the new staff would be given “a full induction programme designed to introduce them to our business and support them too”.

One fellow Heathrow-based air cargo executive expressed his support, noting that there were “many variables and uncontrollables in the handling business that all too often necessitate reactive rather than proactive actions. Customers, I expect, will appreciate the open comms and tactical initiatives.”

Source: Lloyds Loading List



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