Optimizing operations and enabling innovation at IAG Cargo's New Premia handling facility for premium freight


The journey to opening IAG Cargo's New Premia facility at Heathrow on 31 May 2023 was built on relentless technological, business, and operational innovation. Our objective was to completely transform how we handle freight and interact with our customers to unlock new opportunities in premium cargo.

While air cargo experienced unprecedented growth in recent years, slowing demand once again puts pressure on pricing, costs, and customer service. So, we need to find creative ways to work around that. And where cargo handling plays into that equation, New Premia has helped us strengthen our premium cargo proposition. The operational innovation embodied at the facility generates unmatched efficiencies, delivers instant visibility across the handling lifecycle, and enables us to offer new, value-added services to our customers.

But unlocking new value while filling a 10,470m² warehouse, optimizing processes across 20 workstations and 162 ULD storage positions, and managing temperature-sensitive goods in our Constant Climate Quality Centre with 29 dedicated ULD storage "cold cells" can be challenging. And that´s where technology has been instrumental in supporting our people at our cutting-edge facility.

Through automation, we´ve accelerated how cargo is received at our eleven landslide doors, transferred and stored through our seven ETVs and EVs, and transported to and from our direct "on-airport" access ramps. By replacing what used to be manual, paper-based, and error-prone activities across the handling cycle with digital workflows accessible through handheld devices, we´ve seen significant efficiency gains and superior data accuracy. The operational visibility we now have, down to the minutest detail, means we know exactly where cargo is at any given time, what condition it´s in, and where, when, and how it needs to be collected, handled, stored, and delivered.

With so many different people, systems, and activities involved, you need a robust underlying platform to centralise planning, management, coordination, and reporting. But it also needs to be flexible enough to accommodate ongoing innovation and new systems integrations. What we´ve achieved at New Premia represents the single most significant transformation to handling operations at IAG Cargo, serving as a blueprint for further rollouts across our worldwide hubs.

iCargo is the glue that brings it all together, from steering our materials handling system to optimizing end-to-end handling processes. All our teams coordinate through the iCargo platform, ensuring every pallet, crate, and package is exactly at the right place at the right time. It makes our employees´ lives and managing the facility so much easier. Our partnership with IBS Software has been seamless since our dedicated teams kicked off the New Premia project in 2017. We´ve developed a solid relationship where our mutual understanding helps us get the best out of each other to continue innovating together to transform the air cargo landscape into the future. 

Author Info

Glenn has worked at IAG Cargo for 25 years, starting as an Operations Manager at London Gatwick and then moving to London Heathrow in 2003. Since then, he has worked in various Operational, Revenue Management, and Project roles. In 2018, Glenn was appointed as the Implementation Manager for iCargo in the IAG Cargo Premia facility and was subsequently made iCargo Product Lead where he works collaboratively with the IBS Sotware teams to ensure that maximum benefits are realised from both sides.


Related Posts

Comment for this post has been locked by admin.