Critical Analysis Of Improving The Delivery Accuracy In Cargo Handing

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Critical Analysis Of Improving The Delivery Accuracy In Cargo Handing


This is study on critical analysis of improving the delivery accuracy in cargo handling with Arik Airline cargo services as a case study. The study x-rays cargo handling in Nigeria and various ways of improving delivery accuracy in cargo handling using Arik Airline cargo handling services as a case study. Various factors make cargo handling delivery unachievable .The Researcher aim is to critically analyzeways of improving cargo handling delivery accuracy in Arik Airline. The Researcher objective is to examine the causes of delays and cargo damage in cargo handling services at the airports and explore ways of improving cargo handling services at airports. In this course of carrying this research work various techniques or methods of data collection were used. They include questionnaires, interviews and observations.

A sample size of 100 workers in Arik Airline was used and chosen among the number of department/sections of worker using Linkert scale. The researcher makes use of two hypotheses in this study to analyze the research project. The researcher made use of Chi-Square in testing the formulated hypothesis. The researcher used the descriptive statistical tools (tables, figures and percentages) in the presenting and analyzing the data generated from this study. From the analysis, the researcher finds out that there are modern ways of improving cargo handling services at Arik Airlines. The researcher therefore recommendsthat technology need of cargo carriers be reviewed from time to time and that carriers take multi-modal transportation cognizance in their delivery strategy.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Air cargo handling operations can be described as the provision of logistics in facilitating the carriage of cargo by air. In essence, it entails making available the right and necessary expertise with equipment to perform the right task in a timely, safe, secure and cost effective manner. According to ICAO Doc.9569c.

Air cargo handling by air form an integral part of the cargo system. It is the process of acceptance, packaging, documentation and shipment by air after due process of compliance with international statutory requirements.

There are two major handling companies in Nigeria today in the business of aviation handling which includes both passenger and cargo handling namely: Nigeria Aviation Handling Co Plc. (NAHCO) and Skypower Handling Co Ltd.(SAHCOL).Apart from the two handling companies involved in the cargo processing, there are quite a number of government agencies who have various statutory role to play before a piece of cargo is finally accepted for shipment. Some Airline carryout their own cargo handing among them is Arik air. Arik Airline are also involved in cargo handling services.

Air cargo flows seem to be characterized by constraints in Nigeria which depicts a symptom of poor co-ordination of cargo for efficient distribution and supply chain that is not cost-effective. Efficient distribution requires safe and timely means of transporting specialized cargo with high value to volume/weight ratio. These constraints according to Afolabi (2005a) revealed that the warehouses and facilities in Nigeria airports were not adequate enough to handle the volume of air cargo for efficient flow. The author further identified tough clearing procedure as a constraint to the air cargo industry in Nigeria. Moreover, Afolabi (2005b) highlighted the issue of protection and security of air cargo, improper declaration and documentation of goods in terms of types and volumes as constraints to air cargo flow in Nigeria.

These therefore results in an airport handling cargo type whose origin or final destination is not close to the airport at the expense of other airports with relative closeness. This serves as productive set back to Nigeria in the sense that firms/industries that require high –value fast moving materials would not thrive while the air cargo industry will not grow to be able to compete in global supply chain and distribution. This is because most of these cargoes are important in production processes since they serve as raw materials and /or equipment required for service delivery.

The current modalities for cargo handling in Nigeria aviation industry fall short of international conventions and standards. Our Cargo Handling Protocol allows for seven days grace to clear cargoes, after which they will be charged for demurrage .In the event that the goods are not cleared within 28 days, the consignments risk being declared overtime cargo by the Nigerian Customs Service. There have been several cases of complain of pilfering, damaged or missing luggage of air passengers at the nation’s airports. All of these problems are traceable to poor modalities for cargo handling in Nigeria aviation industry. Therefore, this study is aimed at critically analyzing ways of improving cargo handling services at Nigeria airports using Arik Airline as a case study

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The issue of pilfering and missing luggage at the nation’s airports has been on for decades. On a daily basis, no fewer than 30 passengers complain of pilfering, damaged or missing luggage. The key threats of air cargo handling in Nigeria aviation industry are inadequate security at the cargo terminal of the airport, loss of revenue generation by Nigeria Customs Service, congestion in the terminal and insufficient personnel in the warehouses of ground handlers.

Crowd and access control into the cargo area, which is handled by security personnel attached to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN),is a major challenge in air cargo handling in Nigeria. Safety, poor quality service and infrastructure are identified as the challenges facing the operation of the NAHCO in airports across the country

1.3 Aims and Objective of the Study

The aim of this study is to critically analyze ways of improving cargo handling delivery accuracy in ARIK AIRLINE

Other Objectives are:

  1. To discover whether the Airline adhere to best management practices in cargo handling.
  2. To examine the causes of delays and cargo damage in cargo handling services at the airports
  3. To explore ways of improving cargo handling services at airports
  4. To discover whether safety of goods is identified as one of the issues affecting modalities of cargo handling in Arik Airline.
  5. To examine cargo handling services at Arik Airline vis a viz best international practices

1.4 Research Questions

  1. What are the challenges affecting modalities of cargo handling in Arik Airline?
  2. What is the effect of insufficient personnel in the warehouses of ground handlers on modalities of cargo handling in Arik Airline?
  3. What is the effect of inadequate security at the cargo terminal of airport on modalities of cargo handling in Arik Airline?
  4. What is the effect of modern technology on Cargo handling in Arik Airline?
  5. What is the impact of sound management on timely delivery and security of cargoes?

1.5 Research Hypothesis

  1. H0; There are no modern ways of improving cargo handling services at Arik Airline.
    H1; There are modern ways of improving cargo handling services at Arik Airline.
  2. H0; Safety of goods is not a challenge affecting cargo handling in Arik Airline.
    H1; Safety of goods is a challenge affecting cargo handling in Arik Airline.
  3. H0; Insufficient personnel in the warehouse of ground handlers does not affect go handling in Arik Airline.
    H1; Insufficient personnel in the warehouse of ground handlers affects cargo handling in Arik Airline.

1.6 Scope of the Study

This study is a critical analysis of ways of improving cargo handling in Arik Airline. The study would be limited to information obtained from Arik Airline, Lagos.

Brief History of Arik Airline

Arik Air is a Nigerian airline operating a domestic, regional and international flight network. It operates mainly from two hubs at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Arik Air’s head office is the Arik Air Aviation Center on the grounds of Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Ikeja, Lagos State.

On 3 April 2006, Arik Air took over the former Nigeria Airways facilities in Lagos, some three years after its liquidation, and began reconstruction work. On 14 June 2006, Arik took delivery of 2 new Bombardier CRJ-900 aircraft to fly domestic routes throughout Nigeria and, within the African continent from Summer 2006, 2 ex-United Airline Boeing 737–300s and 3 50 seat Bombardier CRJ-200 aircraft.

The Nigerian government set a deadline of 30 April 2007 for all Airline operating in the country to re-capitalize or be grounded in an effort to ensure better services and safety. The airline satisfied the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s criteria in terms of re-capitalization and was re-registered for operation.

Subsidiary airline Arik Niger (IATA code: Q9) commenced operations in April 2009, but was shut down in February 2010.

Arik Air transported its 5 millionth passenger on 6 August 2010 and it transported its 10 millionth passenger on 18 September 2012, both on flights between Johannesburg and Lagos.

On 20 September 2012, the airline cancelled all its domestic operations after aviation officials raided the airline’s office in Lagos, Nigeria. Flights resumed on 23 September.

Arik Air had placed an order for five Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which was cancelled in 2011. Rumors have spread that Arik Air converted an order for two Boeing 747-8I aircraft back into an order for two 777-300ERs in 2013, however, no such cancellation has materialized, nor was the order of two 777-300ER aircraft confirmed by Boeing. The order for 2 747-8I aircraft still stands and is still listed by the Boeing company.

Chapter Five

Summary of Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.1. Summary

The main aim of this research study was to find out what the key determinants of perceived service delivery in cargo handling and their impact on customer satisfaction at Arik Airline Cargo using the SERVQUAL theoretical framework. The literature review extensively covered areas that have been researched on and some of the findings. Out of the literature review a study frame work comprising of five main areas was developed. The main areas covered under this study were tangibles, reliability, responsiveness assurance and empathy. The target population comprised cargo shipping agents and walk-in customers at the Arik Airline Cargo offices at JKIA Cargo centre. The research instrument used in data collection was a questionnaire from the respondents. The researcher was able to collect views from 68 respondents who had used Arik cargo in the past one year and therefore capable of giving credible responses.

Majority of the respondents who participated in the survey were agents from Known Shipping companies while the walk-in customers were very few. This revealed that airline cargo handling in Kenya are largely dominated by few freight forwarding organizations that have registered agents. The findings indicated that most customers had used Arik cargo based on urgency or due to the perishable nature of their cargo. The findings further revealed that most customers base their decision to use Arik cargo on the operating schedule of the airline and the connections offered to various destinations, however the customers found KQ expensive and were not sure whether they would recommend it since it was not based on their personal preference.

The study findings on customer expectations of service delivery in cargo handling highlighted the importance of tangibility and assurance dimensions which had the highest weights. They showed that customers havevery high expectation of employee appearance, appearance of the facilities and employee knowledge and the customers depicted generally high service delivery expectations.

Perceptions of service delivery in airline cargo handling define the extent to which cargo customers find various attributes within the airline’s operations important in enhancing their overall satisfaction with the airline. In the present study, it was revealed that the main dimensions of perceived quality in cargo handling were tangibility and assurance. Tangibility emerged as the most important predictor of perceived service delivery. In the airline operations, this dimension refers to having modern equipment and facilities that are consistent with industry standards in cargo handling. The lowest perception item was on notification and proper handling when there has been damage to the consignment. This revealed that the notification and claims process when damage occurs was deemed not sufficient. The findings also revealed that the staff were perceived to be highly reliable staff and unlikely to engage in corrupt dealings. Furthermore, the respondents also highly rated the tracking system and adequacy of security at the premises as key items that contribute towards perceived quality.

In identifying the quality gaps in the overall measure of customer satisfaction, the findings showed that the customers are satisfied with the modern equipment used at KQ facilities and the courtesy and promptness of employees in overall service delivery. The findings however revealed that the widest quality gap was in the reliability dimension. Whereas the respondents considered services being delivered at the promised time very important, their perception was that the airline does not deliver as promised with regard to maintaining their schedule integrity.

5.2. Conclusions

On the basis of the above findings the following conclusions were made on service delivery and customer satisfaction on airline cargo handling. The study found that the airline had ensured that their facilities at the cargo terminal are equipped with modern equipment and conform to industry requirements in cargooperations. The study established that most of the employees at Arik Airline cargo are reliable and courteous in how they handle the cargo customers and they offer prompt service.

The study revealed that customers are not satisfied with reliability in provision of services at promised times, and also found the airline is not dependable when it comes to handling customer service problems. To remain competitive, the airline therefore needs to focus its operational strategies on ensuring schedule integrity and reliability and enhancement of service recovery initiatives when problems arise to increase service delivery.

5.3. Recommendations

On the basis of the above conclusions, the following recommendations were made for enhancing service delivery and customer satisfaction for Arik cargo handling.

From findings the study recommends that the airline explores the possibility of increasing capacity on the various routes for a reduction in reliability challenges that have been previously experienced. The study also recommends extension of the customer satisfaction initiatives that tend to solely focus on revenue passengers rather than cargo to include the shippers and all cargo customers.

From the findings the study recommends that the airline continues to also provide the employees with adequate support to ensure that the reliable and courteous interactions go on. Similarly the airline should continue maintaining industry standard and complying with all regulated industry requirements.

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