Brunei International Air Cargo Centre (BIACC) remains committed to delivering quality ground handling services to its clients, achieving great milestones as it steadily grows from strength to strength.
The internationally accredited company has seen a growing market demand and received many cargo activities into the country since its inception more than 10 years ago.
Based at the Brunei International Airport in Berakas, the company takes care of the management of Royal Brunei Airlines cargo operations, its biggest client, as well as several other airlines such as Singapore Airlines, AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines and Cebu Pacific.
In an interview with The Bruneian, General Manager of BIACC Hj Ariffin Hj Emran defined that cargo may consist of general items such as garments and perishable goods such as vegetables and medicines, among others.
“For perishables, they are normally being shipped by freighters because they need to be shipped fast and are considered as high value cargo. Meanwhile, the non-perishable goods are normally flown inside the belly hole of passenger aircraft,” he said.
He also shared that BIACC only caters Business to Business (B2B) customers namely; airlines and cargo agents or embassies, who are not end customers.
Exporters who need to get their products shipped, he added, need to use cargo agents that are already registered with the Royal Customs and Excise Department.
“These (registered) agents are the ones authorised to liaise with us and for imports, once we have received the cargo, we will then notify the consignee who are also registered agents (for pick up) before distributing to end customers,” said the general manager.
One must not worry with halal logistics as it is well-taken care by BIACC. The company makes sure that halal and non-halal cargoes, especially food in their warehouse, are separated.
“We have a dedicated storage for halal goods going in and out. If there are non-halal products using our facility, we would normally cleanse the area after use according to set procedures,” said Hj Ariffin, adding that the company has dedicated staff who are certified to perform the cleansing.
Furthermore, BIACC already has a robust system and procedures in place to handle any cargo that comes in and out, leaving clients a peace of mind.
Talking about maintaining quality and adhering to standard operating procedures at BIACC, Hj Ariffin said that the company adopts Total Quality Management (TQM) system and the use of technology.
“What I meant by TQM is that this system leads us to focus on the standards. We are being audited every year and that we must keep up with our level otherwise there will be findings,” he said, adding that they need to be vigilant as they serve airlines where safety is top priority.
Apart from the system, technology also plays a vital role in its ground handling management, assisting BIACC tremendously in its day to day operations.
“We invested a lot in technology. We have a computerised management system that looks after the maintenance and assets of the company, an auditing application and human resource management system, among others,” he added.
Talking about success stories and challenges faced by BIACC, the general manager said that the company once handled both cargo and passengers of an international charter flight from Korea.
“We initially thought that we would not be able to do it but eventually, with a dedicated and motivated team, we managed to deliver our service. We handled the passenger and ramp handling, their luggages, accepting them at the counters, checking in and receiving them,” he reminisced.
He continued: “Although it was outside of our business, we were given the opportunity by them (Air Busan) and Brunei’s Department of Civil Aviation. We would like to do more (of such handling) but COVID-19 happened.”
When measuring success, for BIACC’s perspective, it is more about the process; either efficient or not.
After introducing the TQM, things have been better for the company and visible improvements are shown especially in its operations.
“We have adopted and practiced (the procedures) and we have improved. Today, we consider ourselves at the same level as other overseas ground handlers. We have international accreditations such as ISO and ISAGO, giving airlines the confidence to deal with us,” he said.
The general manager is also hopeful that the sultanate could one day be a logistics hub in the region which will allow more trade opportunities and economic diversification in the country.
“Brunei is strategically located at the centre of the region. If you were to compare Brunei and other countries, some (ports) are congested. We have the capacity to do what other countries are doing as well,” he concluded.
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN