Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUMcDCpqw9s

Cargo flows out of the Gulf have been upended after two years’ worth of rain fell inside a 24-hour window, leading to flooding at Dubai International Airport (DXB).

Some 300 flights were cancelled yesterday, with the airport temporarily closed, and while it has reopened, flag-carrier Emirates and its cargo division, Emirates SkyCargo, say they are facing “operational challenges, including flight cancellations and delays in cargo”.

“We advise customers to utilise our tracking module on skycargo.com to stay updated on revised booking details,” it said.

Word from DXB has not been forthcoming on the state of its cargo operations, requests for comment having so far gone unanswered, but a spokesperson for ground handler dnata said all relevant parties were cooperating to resolve the issue.

“Our teams are working diligently to process every cargo shipment as quickly as possible, keeping our valued customers updated,” it told The Loadstar.

“We’re collaborating closely with our partners and authorities to mitigate any impact of the inclement weather and subsequent flight disruptions and adverse road conditions on our cargo operations in Dubai.”

A source at WeFreight told The Loadstar “many airlines cancelled flights both to and from Dubai and we expect a backlog that will take probably up to a week to resolve”, adding that roads had also been impacted, but “authorities are working quickly to ensure they are cleared”.

Nick Coverdale, director and founder of sea-air operator Aeromar, told The Loadstar the situation was “not good”, but he warned against overplaying the level of disruption.

He said: “One shipment was discharged Monday at 11.15pm and normally would be delivered to Emirates by 6am Tuesday, so it is not good. But people like to create panic. By Monday, cargo deliveries will be back to normal, like the storm never happened.”

Listen to this clip from the latest episode of The Loadstar Podcast to hear how ecommerce is driving the airfreight industry:

But he added that one container which had left Jebel Ali port had not made it to DXB, explaining: ”Our vehicle has been stuck on the road since last night due to the flooding. The road leading to the airport has been blocked by authorities trying to pump out water and alleviate the traffic congestion due to numerous stranded cars. But it should be able to reach DXB tomorrow.”

Sources claimed that some DXB-bound volumes had found their way to Abu Dhabi’s Zayed International Airport (AUH), although Mr Coverdale said switching was “just not that simple” and, like its neighbour, AUH had yet to comment.

A spokesperson for Abu Dhabi-headquartered Etihad Cargo told The Loadstar flights were operating as usual, adding that “the safety and comfort of the staff and the guests is our number-one priority”.

Airfreight may have borne the brunt of the fallout from the floods, but a spokesperson for SeaLead said there had been “some delays to berthing… but overall impact was minimal”.

You can see images here.

Comment on this article

You must be logged in to post a comment.