Ground handler LACHS increases productivity by 33% with Nallian's Slot Booking for Air Cargo
A coordinated approach of freight pick ups and deliveries enables faster handling, smoothened peaks and idle times and stellar service quality while dealing with rapid growth.
Our main ambition was to improve the quality of our service, not to work faster. Using the Slot Booking application, we managed to do both.
Hossaine El Bouayadi, IT Manager & Business Process Development
LACHS, Liege Airport Cargo Handling Services, is the first ground handler at Liege Airport to use Nallian’s Slot Booking for Air Cargo application. It is one of the apps on the LGG Cargo Cloud, the airport’s data sharing platform geared towards improving operational efficiency, reliability and transparency at the cargo hub.
Ensuring the highest level of customer service while dealing with rapid growth was indeed one of LACHS' drivers to start using the Slot Booking app. The company, handling almost 200.000 tons a year and 150 trucks a day, saw its operations grow by 50% over the past two years. “Our main ambition was to improve the quality of our service, not to work faster, but using the Slot Booking application we managed to do both”, says Hossaine El Bouayadi, IT Manager & Business Process Development at LACHS.
33% productivity increase
Truck management time (paperwork + warehouse operations) reduced from 3 hours to only 2 hours per truck, thus saving 1 hour per truck.
Smoothened peaks & idle times, better use of manpower
Better channeling of activity flattens peaks. Visibility on planned pick-ups and deliveries enables planning of staff and material in view of actual needs.
Maximising capacity according to cargo specifics
The ability to make capacity available according to a complete set of parameters, such as specific locations or cargo types, allows making better use of available infrastructure.
Less waiting time, better service
Priority treatment together with pro-actively prepared goods and documentation eliminate driver's waiting times and improve quality of service.
LACHS reasons to start using Slot Booking
- Exponential growth: volumes growing +50% over the past 2 years, up to almost 200.000 tons, puts a strain on operations
- Peaks and idle times: having no visiblity on what’s coming made it impossible to corrrectly plan staff and ressources in view of actual demand
- Long waiting times: drivers waiting before and at the gates, due to a lack of visibility on who would come and when and to time-consuming paper-based acceptance and warehouse processes
- Planning and forecast based on historical data instead of actual / real-time data
- Continuous drive to improve customer service
How it works
LACHS makes slots available in the application in view of their capacity, using a wide range of parameters, such as
- cargo type (general/special cargo, such as pharma, live animals, perishables, ...)
- type of location (cooled warehouse, oversized cargo, ...)
- day type (weekend, week day, bank holiday, ...)
Says Hossaine El Bouayadi: “We are handling a lot of special cargo and this helps us to better channel pick-ups and deliveries in view of the available (specialized) infrastructure. We can also ensure we have the right staff and equipment available when the drivers arrive.”
When a booker requests a slot the system will automatically match availability and demand or propose alternatives when needed. Drivers with a booked slot enjoy priority treatment, both when accessing the cargo zone and at the registration desk.
Drivers with a booked slot enjoy priority treatment, both when accessing the cargo zone and at the registration desk.
“As the booker uploads information regarding the pick-up or delivery when booking the slot, we can plan staff accordingly and prepare goods pro-actively. Having the information digitally available allows us to speed up both our administrative and warehouse operations. Prior to using the Slot Booking app, the handling of a truck (paperwork + warehouse operations) would take on average 3 hours. Today this is done in only 2 hours.” At the moment we can handle around 8 gates simultaneously, but as we are ramping up usage of the system we trust will be able to increase this.
"Prior to using the Slot Booking app, the handling of a truck (paperwork + warehouse operations) would take on average 3 hours. Today this is done in only 2 hours."
As the booker uploads information regarding the pick up or delivery when booking a slot, goods can be prepared pro-actively.
Faster execution with an integrated approach flow from acceptance to warehouse operations
A newly created function, the Truck Manager, is the liaison between the acceptance and warehouse operations. He checks the driver’s registration and documentation and then channels him to the correct warehouse location. Says Thomas Debay, Truck & Pharma Manager: “We spend a lot less time on administration as we have the information in the system. This coordinated approach makes it easier for both our staff and the drivers, and speeds up operations. Logging all info such as ATA, ATD, etc. provides valuable insights in terms of the number of slots booked, respect of timings etc. Sharing this with users helps us to further improve usage of the system.”
What to take into account when starting Slot Booking
Asked what they would recommend handlers who wish to get started with the Slot Booking app, El Bouayadi and Debay comment:
- Involve all relevant people from the start: “Our teams responsible for warehouse operations, truck management, quality management, admin, IT and general management have all been working closely together.”
- Communicate, internally and externally: “Provide information (and repeat!) so all is crystal clear. We organised trainings for bookers, distributed flyers, were on the floor explaining the app, etc. - which we believe enabled fast understanding and adoption of the solution.”
- Insist bookers complete all info - “The more booking details they inject in the system, the smoother operations will run and the faster they will be served.”
It is important to involve all relevant people from the start and to communicate clearly to both internal and external stakeholders
Involving all relevant people from the start is crucial for the success of the project, say Hossaine El Bouayadi and Thomas Debay.
“Initially using them in parallel, we’re now integrating the Slot Booking app and our ERP system as this will allow us to save even more time during acceptance”, says El Bouayadi. “We’re also increasing the system’s usage: our main customer CAL is already using Slot Booking for about 40% its shipments, which we wish to increase to 100%. Before the end of the year we’ll also make Slot Booking available for all our customers, so they all can enjoy the benefits of highly coordinated picks ups and deliveries.”