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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.




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 Hypotheses

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.

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.

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.


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