Handlers of airlifted cargo in the country will soon be subjected to stringent supply chain standards following plans by the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) to adopt Cargo Service Quality tool, which is backed by the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA).
The authority is expected to procure the quality assessment services of TIACA within the first quarter of next year, a move which is set to bolster Kenya's standing as a regional hub for transport and logistics.
"We have what we call Airport Service Quality which is focused on the passenger. Recently, we attended a conference of the International Air Cargo Association whereby we wanted to gauge how cargo is handled and how do you measure the services given. We found that they use the Cargo Service Quality tool," said Evans Michoma, acting commercial manager KAA.
KAA, which manages the development and maintenance of airport infrastructure, safety and security services, says it has been on the receiving end of the adverse perception associated with poor quality service at transit sheds. The authority added that it is banking on the new approach to streamline operations at the sheds.
There are five transit sheds under KAA's management namely Kenya Airfreight Handling, Africa Cargo Handling, Swissport, Siginon Freight and Trans Global Cargo Centre.
"KAA will take the initiative to pay for the service for us to subject the transit sheds and to be able to see the measurement of the kind of service they provide. Once we do that, we will be able to score based on the quality of service provided," Michoma said.
KAA is expected to incur a cost of $5,000 (about Sh500,000) for each transit shed annually in paying for the service from TIACA.
KAA says the main aim of adopting the CSQ will be to define a uniform benchmark for assessing cargo service quality and improve relationship between customers and service providers.
With Kenya set to embark on non-stop cargo flights from Nairobi to New York on December 1, adoption of the CSQ is expected to further anchor Kenya's position as a logistics hub in Sub-Saharan Africa.