06 September 2018, Monrovia, Liberia – The Global Logistics Services Inc. (GLS) and National Aviation Services (NAS) joint venture company, GLS – NAS, has successfully completed its first financial year in Liberia reporting a progressive increase in cargo capacity at Roberts International Airport warehouse in Monrovia, Liberia. This is part of a 25-year air cargo operations concession awarded by the Government of Liberia that includes the design, finance, build, maintenance, operation and transfer (DFBMOT) of a new, modern cargo facility at RIA. The new facility, covering 2,700 sqm, is scheduled for completion in 2019 with a view of improving RIA’s air cargo operations to meet international standards and support export supply chain capacity in the country. Axel Coulibaly, General Manager of GLS – NAS said “At the end of our first financial year in the country, GLS-NAS is pleased to report a marked increase in cargo capacity at the Roberts International Airport. This was achieved through enhanced operations, improved facilities, space optimization, investments into new equipment and employee training. As we continue to serve the concession, our ultimate goal is to boost cargo volumes and contribute positively to economic development in Liberia.”
Some of the major investments made by GLS – NAS at RIA include:
- Upgraded cargo offices: A complete refurbishment of the cargo offices which included installation of latest equipment and Internet connectivity.
- Optimized cargo management: Installation of a new racking system and acquisition of new shipping containers, a fully functional cold storage room, increased power supply and overall optimization of storage in the warehouse. This has grown cargo handling capacity by almost 60 percent to reach 5,000 tons a year.
A new 15 ton Unit Load Device (ULD) weighing scale installed at the facility matches international security standards to facilitate international airline exports. The NAS iCargo software that supports all key air cargo business functions, ensures that the cargo management system meets international aviation industry standards.
- New ground handling equipment: Newly purchased ground handling equipment supports operations and helps boost the airport’s operational capacity. This equipment comprises of tractors, a high loader, a conveyer belt, a GPU, baggage carts, a passenger step and pallet dollies.
- Employee training: All GLS – NAS employees have received the mandatory IATA training to ensure that the cargo management function is supported by skilled individuals with the required knowledge and expertise.
- Quality, Safety and Security: A new dual view cargo screening machine, security agency, CCTV cameras and fingerprint system ensure increased safety and security of cargo. GLS – NAS has also secured OHSAS 18001:2007, the globally recognized Health & Safety Management System as well as ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management Systems certification. Victor Onoja, Country/Station Manager, Air France – KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, explained the benefits of working with a private entity such as GLS – NAS. This includes having someone who listens and takes action. They have also seen an improvement in cargo handling, accountability as well as professional and well trained staff. Interaction with the cargo agent has also improved positively since GLS – NAS took over. When asked what makes working with GLS – NAS successful, Xavier Bruzzese, Aviation Manager – West Africa, DHL highlights consistency and standards in operations, while Rajesh Angepat, Managing Director, Bollore Africa Logistics noted that it is the ability to track shipments.
Coulibaly said “As we continue operations in the country, we also have other plans underway to help further strengthen trade in Liberia.” The construction of the new cargo terminal at RIA is progressing as planned and should be fully functional by 2020. Present in more than 30 airports across the Middle East, Asia and Africa, NAS provides ground handling services to seven of the world’s top ten airlines and has an average on time performance (OTP) of 98 percent across its operations.
NAS also manages 31 airport lounges in 16 countries and has demonstrated expertise in supporting local hub carriers in these countries. The company offers an expanded portfolio of aviation services, such as technology solutions and is certified by the IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO).