Home Travel Goldstar Air fighting all odds to establish Tamale cargo unit

Goldstar Air fighting all odds to establish Tamale cargo unit

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Tamale International Airport
Tamale International Airport

Indigenous wholly owned Ghanaian airline Goldstar Air is working on a framework to build Tamale Cargo Village (Phase 4 Project) at the Tamale International Airport (TML).

According to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the airline Eric Bannerman, the building of the cargo village will allow direct exports from the region to international markets.

The cargo project aims to breach the north-south gap and to transform and reposition Ghana as an Aviation Hub to facilitate trade and regional integration. The project is also to galvanize investment and growth across the north of Ghana and manufacturing companies can move in because they can get their products easily to any destination in the world.

The development of air cargo villages at major airports in Ghana is expected to help the country in its aim to become a transshipment hub for air cargo. Major and non-major airports in most countries have cargo terminals.

It is very critical for airport infrastructure organizations in Ghana to plan for the next 30 years, where cargo should be because most of the airports in the country will want it. The challenge will be that, in the existing airports there will be limited land area to accommodate it. Terminals will be looking for capacity expansion, MRO (maintenance, repair, and overhaul), engineering, catering services space, and many more, but there will be not much space to go.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) estimated airline cargo revenue in 2023 to be $134.7 billion. Economic growth and globalization drive air cargo demand. Today air cargo retains its vital role in economic expansion, with an emphasis on developing markets. As a trade facilitator, air cargo increases the global reach of businesses, enabling them to get products to distant markets in a more cost-effective and quicker way.

The terms cargo or freight refer to the transportation of goods from one place to another, but air cargo meaning typically refers only to goods transported by plane. The freight definition has a much broader meaning and can also be applied to the transportation of goods via road, ocean, rail, and air.

Countries such as Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, and Singapore over the years have emerged as major transshipment hubs for air cargo aided by the efficiency in cargo handling with simplified custom processes, value-added services, and connectivity.

The Northern Region, renowned for its agricultural and economic activities, stands to benefit from the cargo village’s strategic location within the Sahelian belt. The region also known as the food basket of Ghana is expected to facilitate access for local agricultural produce to international markets and the airline catering department.

Northern Ghana contributes up to 80% of the Ghana food basket for the local and international markets, comprising major crops like yam, groundnuts, millet, cassava, maize, sorghum, rice, beans, and others, while livestock species produced cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and pigs, as the Goldstar Air is looking forward to contributing to raise it to over 90%.

Mr. Bannerman emphasized that fresh fruits and vegetables are becoming more and more popular year-round, and transportation of perishable goods is in high demand. Tamale International Airport will have a shorter travel time to most international destinations and with controlled temperature, will make it the preferred airport for transporting perishable goods by air, the means of shipping. The airport is a major hub for air cargo for the exportation of agricultural produce.

In the next 5-10 years, the air cargo industry will be shaped by key trends and innovations, including automation, sustainability, digital transformation, autonomous cargo drones, and e-commerce growth. One of the key trends in the future of air cargo is a shift towards sustainability, a commitment to greener skies, and a more environmentally conscious approach to logistics.

An air cargo village comprises an entire ecosystem which is an economic free zone with a definite bonding area across a certain space where all activities related to cargo are embedded inside.

Customs and other government agencies recognize the cargo village as an entity rather than just a cargo terminal where you can’t do anything much, you can only receive and send cargo. Air cargo village encompasses everything inside it.

The advantages of an air cargo village are value-added services that can be undertaken within the cargo village and the customs processes are undertaken and streamlined to ensure a high level of efficiency.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), air cargo is a key driver towards the achievement of the United Nations Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Air cargo plays a role as a trade facilitator for small island developing states (SIDS), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs), and least developed countries (LDCs), offering the opportunity to link remote markets and to connect them across continents as well as to the global supply chain.

Each type of cargo has its own set of rules and regulations. International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations are based on the recommendations put in place by entities such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and standards built through industry working groups populated by member airlines.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently forecast that airfreight volume will grow 4.5% in 2024, building on this year’s second-half momentum. January 2024 global air cargo markets are indicating a strong start, total demand increased by 18.4%, compared to January 2023 levels. The profitability of the air cargo industry has been impressive.
When shipping perishable goods by air, specific steps and regulations apply to the process of shipping by air. Whether the cargo is acceptable, marked, labeled or does it meet the prescribed conditions. There are also shipper and carrier responsibilities that must be met.

In Honour Of The Chief Imam
In Honour Of The Chief Imam

There is a wide array of perishable goods, and they are each subject to deterioration, some faster than others. Appropriate packaging and handling are crucial to the perishable goods being delivered in good condition. The packaging must facilitate both the integrity of the goods as well as the handling and storage of the goods. The packaging must meet food safety regulations and meet food-grade standards while still being durable enough to withstand temperature changes and stacking.

There are numerous documents needed for shipping perishable goods. The process begins with ensuring that the Air Waybill is filled out completely and accurately and without unreasonable requests for handling the perishables. The cargo manifest should be labeled with the proper IATA handling codes. These codes are for internal use but ensure your perishable goods are handled properly. Other documentation may be required, such as some countries may need the permit numbers included on the cargo manifest.

Shippers should always mark what is contained in the packaging and whether dry ice is used because it is classified as a dangerous good. Then the packaging should be correctly labeled with the standard IATA label as such;’ ‘this way up’ or ‘wet cargo.’

Goldstar Air will be working closely with the local farmers 24/7 in and around the Northern Region to grow their businesses and will be supporting greater export of their agricultural products such as shea butter, cashew nuts, and mangoes with credit facility and by advertising their products on our aircraft screens during take-off and landing.

The tangible benefits of international trade in poverty reduction, as well as in the informal economy, are widely acknowledged. According to both the World Trade Organization and the World Bank, trade contributes directly to poverty reduction by opening up new employment opportunities. Northern Ghana contributes up to 80% of the Ghana food basket and to the local market, comprising major crops like yam, groundnuts, millet, cassava, maize, sorghum, rice, beans, and others, while livestock species produced cattle, sheep, goats, poultry, and pigs, as the airline is looking forward to contributing to rising it to over 90%.

International trade also benefits agricultural producers by expanding export sectors and by bringing about structural changes in the economy that increase employment of low-skilled, poor workers in the informal sector and provide better access to external markets for the goods that the poor produce. Here is where air cargo plays a significant role in battling poverty.

Ghana must shift towards local participation in aviation for sustainable job creation in the sector and ensure equitable distribution of profits within the country to bolster economic growth. Northern Ghana can rake in more revenue annually by instituting a 24-hour economy for growth and advancement, and that will help reduce unemployment in Ghana. These initiatives will create over one hundred thousand jobs for Ghanaians and boost the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Goldstar Air will initially operate flights from Kumasi International Airport to Rome, Madrid, Hamburg, London, Dusseldorf, and Milan, and flights from Accra Kotoka International Airport will include destinations such as Washington, Dubai, Lagos, Toronto, Monrovia, Conakry, Abidjan, Guangzhou, Dakar, Banjul, Rhode Island, London, and Freetown.

Tamale International Airport will serve as a pivotal hub for our airline’s cargo and plans are underway to operate international passenger flights to and from the Sahel region and Hajj flights to and from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

In conclusion, after this, the Tamale Cargo Village publication will be closely followed by another article regarding the Tamale Aviation Training Organization (Phase 5) of the Tamale City Project.

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