Abu Dhabi's trade platform launches digital airfreight solutions

To reduce waiting times by 80%, improve delivery time via customs integration and will enhance warehouse utilisation.

Yousef Al Riyami, Chief Technology Officer – Maqta Gateway (right) and Jubran Al Breiki, Director Etihad Airport Services signing the agreement on digital airfreight solutions.

Yousef Al Riyami, Chief Technology Officer – Maqta Gateway (right) and Jubran Al Breiki, Director Etihad Airport Services signing the agreement on digital airfreight solutions.

As part of ongoing efforts to accelerate the digitalisation of Abu Dhabi's trade and logistics landscape and enhance the capabilities of the Advanced Trade and Logistics Platform (ATLP), Maqta Gateway, AD Ports Group's digital arm, has introduced digital airfreight solutions.

Developed in close collaboration with key partners including Abu Dhabi Airports, Etihad Airport Services and Etihad Cargo, the digital airfreight solutions will streamline the movement of air cargo shipments to and from all five airports in Abu Dhabi, according to an official statement.

Beyond digitalising and simplifying the processing of air cargo, ATLP's latest solutions will reduce waiting times by 80 percent, improve delivery time via customs integration, enhance track and trace visibility, introduce digital payment channels as well as enhance warehouse utilisation through an automated appointment system.

"With the introduction of digital airfreight solutions into ATLP, we have passed a key milestone on our journey to accelerate the digitalisation of trade and logistics in the region," says Dr. Noura Al Dhaheri, Head of Digital Cluster, AD Ports Group and CEO, Maqta Gateway. "ATLP is taking the next steps towards enhancing transparency across the entire value chain and enabling stakeholders and customers to realise new efficiencies associated with the movement of air cargo to and from Abu Dhabi. The continued evolution of ATLP is a testament to the leadership's vision for a fully-integrated logistics ecosystem that positions Abu Dhabi as a leading trade, logistics, and economic hub powered by a formidable and future-ready digital foundation."

Dr. Ali Husain Makki, Executive Director of Logistics & Trade Facilitation Sector, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, added: "This latest step in the continued development of the ATLP marks an important step in Abu Dhabi's rapid progress towards becoming a global hub for trade and logistics. The ATLP digital airfreight solutions introduce an invaluable tool to ATLP to further consolidate Abu Dhabi's trade ecosystem and accelerate the facilitation of trade across the UAE and beyond. We look forward to working closely with regional logistics leaders such as AD Ports Group and Etihad Airways to devise novel solutions that can be applied across the entire value chain."

Francois Bourienne, Chief Commercial Officer, Abu Dhabi Airports, said: "Abu Dhabi Airports welcomes the introduction of the ATLP digital airfreight solutions developed and operated by Maqta Gateway. It is a testament to how collaboration and innovation can help streamline processes to further reinforce Abu Dhabi's competitive position as a hub for the movement of goods and international trade. We are confident that the additional capabilities of the ATLP will have a positive impact on airport and airline operations by accelerating the movement of air cargo shipments."

In addition to reducing the amount of paperwork needed for air cargo shipments by 90 percent, the new services can also cut down on unnecessary trips to the airport for air freight agents by 80 percent. This, in turn, will reduce the time required for the entire process down from 1 hour to a mere six minutes, and the digitisation of documents will improve staff efficiency by 50 percent.

In the case of exports, the new service will reduce processing time by 25 percent (80 to 60 minutes) while for imports, the time needed will be down by 20 percent (67 to 54 minutes). ATLP's latest additions will also reduce waiting times for trucks by 50 percent.

To ensure successful implementation of these new solutions, Maqta Gateway recently signed an agreement with Etihad Aviation Group to deploy these digital solutions among all customers, partners, and stakeholders active within the air freight sector.

Martin Drew, SVP Sales and Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group, said: "This is a major stride forward in the industry's bid to digitally transform the sector to produce wide-ranging benefits for operators and all stakeholders and builds an enhanced client offering and the momentum behind Abu Dhabi's positioning as a global trade, cargo and logistics hub.

"And with the industry estimating that world air cargo traffic will more than double in revenue worth over the coming two decades $578 billion tonne-kilometre (RTK), the Emirate is becoming digitally ready to secure a sizable and justifiable market share."

Jubran Al Breiki, Director, Etihad Airport Services, added: "The capabilities of the ATLP enables stakeholders across land, sea, air, and future rail, to not only conduct trade in a highly efficient and integrated digital approach but also allows users to access the services they need and to pay for them, all through a single-window interface.

"The movement of air cargo to and from Abu Dhabi will be greatly enhanced with new levels of operational efficiency, bringing our customers, forwarders and stakeholders on a common community platform, enabling faster-processing of goods, resulting in significant benefits to the air freight community."

Inaugurated in May 2020 by His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, ATLP is the first-of-its-kind in the region. It is developed and operated by Maqta Gateway under the supervision of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and aims to integrate and facilitate the operations of trade and logistics sectors, and link the sea, land, air, industrial and free zones with all authorities regulating these activities.

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