Air Transport World

Holistic cargo.(British Airway's New World Cargo Centre)(Statistical Data Included)

BA's New World Cargo Centre represents more than just a place to handle air freight

The first impress is size. It's HUGE. British Airways' New World Cargo Centre measures some 300 m long, 95 m wide and in high. It could hold 6,000 London double-decker buses, or four 747-400s nose to tail if you could get them in the door.

Perhaps more practically, it will double BA World Cargo's annual capacity at Heathrow to 800,000 tonnes, with expansion capability to more than 1 million tomes. During its creation it was Europe's largest construction project and its [pounds]250 million ($399 million) price tag is BA's single largest non-aircraft investment. Yet this monolithic giant is only the physical manifestation of BA's all-encompassing sea change for its worldwide cargo operations.

On Oct. 12, 1992, British Airways Cargo became British Airways World Cargo, a branding move designed to place greater emphasis on BA's worldwide cargo operation (ATW 1/93). At that time, then-World Cargo Managing Director Peter White recognized that there was "a degree of dissatisfaction with our service across a wide range of issues." The percentage of cargo "shipped as booked" was only in the mid-80 percentile, an accuracy level that "was just not acceptable." White began several programs to turn the situation around, including listening sessions with customers--bringing shippers and forwarders to London to discuss problems and solutions.

But by 1996, current Managing Director Kevin Hatton realized that BA World Cargo still had more problems than it had solutions, that its reputation remained less than sterling. …

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