APRIL 2018 SEMESTER
School of Business & Accountancy
(Diploma in International Logistic & Supply Chain Management)
Benjamin Png (S10182076K)
Brian Tan (S10179151F)
Andre Teo (S10180150C)
Fabian Tan (S10177737B)
Table of Contents
No. Page No.
1. Executive Summary 3
2 Introduction 3
3 Problems in Baggage Handling System 3
4 Impact of mishandled baggage for stakeholders 4
5 Performance of a handling system at an airport or outstation 5
6 Methods to improve Baggage Handling Processes and Infrastructure 5
6.1 Robotic Baggage handling 5
6.2 Permanent Electronic Bag Tag 5
7 Planning requirements and airport infrastructure improvements 6
8 Conclusion 6
9 References and Citations 7
Word limit:1,800 and 2,000 words
The aim of this report discusses the baggage handling system, the processes, the related problems, the repercussions of mishandled baggage. Lastly, the solutions to enhance the current baggage systems.
Narita Airport is one such airport making use of efficient systems improving the efficiency of the handling and loading of baggage thus improving the travellers experience in the airport.
The problems identified would be the congestion due to slow processes, systems breakdown and control errors. Such problems cause both inconvenience to travellers and a bad reputation for the airport. Thus, a good baggage system is important to ensure the safety of the baggage.
Suggested solutions to improve the current solutions would be the use of robotics for baggage handling, the use of permanent electronic bag tag and to improve the current airport infrastructure and planning requirements.
Introduction to Baggage Handling System
Baggage handling system at the airport plays a vital role in keeping travellers happy through being trustworthy. A good and bad baggage handling system can make the difference in the airport’s ability to attract or retain an airline partner.
The main agenda for Baggage-Handling-System is split into 3 jobs. The movement of bags from the check-in area to the departure gate. The movement of bags from one gate to the designated gate during transfer of flights. The movements of bags from the arrival gate to the baggage-claim area.
What determines between a successful and unsuccessful baggage- handling system is simple. Can the baggage travel from point to point in the same time as the passenger? In the case where the baggage is slower than the passenger, there will then be frustrated travellers waiting for their bags, or in a worst-case scenario miss the connecting flights on time. On the flip side, if the bags are too fast there may be instances where bags may be taking the flight that the passenger missed.
Every airport has its own requirements. The time allocated for a bag to make it to the designated connecting plane or check-in area is determined by how fast the passenger can make the same trip. For example, some airports may require a short walk to the passenger terminal while other airports might require passengers to take a train.
Problems in Baggage Handling System
US$2.9 billion is lost yearly because of mishandled baggage. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to implement efficient systems to handle baggage correctly to not only reduce a company’s losses but also help to gain passenger trust so that they can travel with ease.
Some of the main problems faced by most large international and airline hubs airports when it comes to baggage handling is the risk of routing errors and control problems that is caused by the significant amount of baggage that are required to be transported to different locations and its overwhelming volume of baggage handled. Additionally, in majority of cases, the physical size of airports takes up most of the transportation time to and from the airplane., leaving lesser time for the actual sorting and handling of baggage items as the physical size is bigger.
Another problem would be the speed process of baggage screening, sorting and transportation. Most of the time taken belongs to the actual loading and unloading of the baggage at the aircraft stand. This applies to the speed process of both check-in baggage and the transfer of baggage to the connecting flight. If these processes are done in a messy and inconsistent manner, it could lead to overdue or misdirected baggage, which may cause delays in aircraft departure, affecting the aircraft turnover of the airports.
In certain occasions, a computer system breakdown that oversees controlling the baggage can be one of the problems of baggage handling which can cause delays, resulting to an increase in additional and unnecessary charges such as handling and delivery charges. Inaccurate and insufficient of real time information of review of passenger and baggage flow can be another factor affecting baggage handling. Therefore, it is essential to practise and calculate the correct timing with anticipation and to have the baggage system extended and upgraded frequently.
Impact of mishandled baggage for stakeholders
Mishandled baggage can cost an airline’s reputation to get ruined. One such example happened to Dave a singer songwriter who was flying to Nebraska for a week-long tour on United Airlines. Dave and his band members, they witnessed United baggage handlers throwing their instruments. The rough handling of the instrument has caused Dave’s $3,500 guitar to be badly damaged. He tried getting compensation from United Airlines, but it was all to no avail. In response to United bad service management, Dave then composed a song, “United Breaks Guitars” about his experience with United Airline’s terrible service. The song spread like wildfire and gathered 3 million views in 10 days and there were many criticisms towards the airline by netizens worldwide. This has caused a 10% drop in the airline’s stock price which cost the shareholders $180 million and United Airline’s reputation to be damaged. (Mark Tran. 23 July 2009)
An incident where baggage allocation failure can cause inconvenience or more expenses for the passengers. Two sisters flew to Peru to attempt the “Inca Trail” and their baggage did not arrive with them in Lima. Even after 3 days later when the trek is due to start, their baggage has still not been delivered to the hotel they were staying. As they did not want to waste the trip, the sisters had to shop and get new clothes and equipment required for the hike and they had to borrow what they could not buy from others. It was only after their four days into trek that they baggage arrived in the hotel they were staying in. This is a week after the sister have arrived in Peru. After intervention, the airline eventually compensated the sisters’ expenses around £500. This shows how bad baggage allocation can negatively impact passengers. This costs passengers to suffer from unexpected financial expenses and frustration from having their holiday destroyed as they must have spent days worried about their bags. (MISHANDLED BAGGAGE. N.D.)
Performance of a handling system at an airport or outstation
The key for a successful airport or any form of business is the trust from the customers. With a good system in place, customers will be more inclined to use the airport and its services. In Japan, JAL ABC provides airplane baggage transportation and storage services for better passenger convenience and ensure a worry-free travelling experience. For example, people that travel to Narita Airport once arrived on the airport, travellers can leave their baggage at a JALABC counter and go run their errands or sightseeing while knowing that their baggage are in good hands. Upon leaving their baggage, travellers fill up a form with the designated date and address of where they want their baggage would be delivered to. The delivery rates are set at affordable prices as low as 1,740yen. For storage rates, it starts at 310 yen and increases according to size.
Japan Narita have purchased 13 CTX 9800 DSi explosive detection systems for baggage screening to ensure the safety of their customers baggage. This device is U.S Transportation Security Administration (TSA) certified and is capable of screening more than a 1000 bags per hour, hence increasing productivity and decreasing customers waiting time.
Methods to improve Baggage Handling Processes and Infrastructure
Robotic Baggage handling
Robotic baggage handling is a system already implemented by the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. How it works is starting using conveyor that brings the baggage thought the airport where there will be cranes that will allocate different bag positions and destination-coded vehicles. Artificially intelligent programmed robots will then retrieve the baggage and load them into containers and carts which is loaded to the designated location. This is like the Automated Storage and Retrieval System(ASRS). This system decreases the overall workload of the forwarders and help to improve efficiency as it increases the amount of baggage through better usage of space and improved accuracy. (Andrew Nusca. 21 March 2011).
Permanent Electronic Bag Tag
The Permanent electronic bag tags are like as it name suggest permanent. It stays on the bag throughout the trip from point of collection to point of destination. It enables passenger to access information on the location of their bags at any time. It consists of a Near Field Communication (NFC) or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which helps to improve tracking and tracing of baggage for both travellers and the airport itself. Passengers can use their smartphone devices to track their baggage and change flight information. This technology has been used by Qantas and British Airway and has shown a reduction in cases of loss baggage. (E-tags will fly within a year and digital smart-cards could be next. August 2015)
Permanent electronic bag tags are reusable tags that enable passengers to access information on the location of their bags at any time when the airline provides this service and passengers subscribe to it. It comprises of a Near Field Communication (NFC) or Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) which helps to improve tracking and tracing of baggage for passengers and also airports which is similar to FedEx’s system. Customers can use their smartphone to track their baggage and change their flight information. This technology is used by British and Qantas Airway and it has shown that it has helped to reduce cases of loss baggage. (E-tags will fly within a year and digital smart cards could be next. August 2015)
Planning requirements and airport infrastructure improvements
Narita Airport performs the following actions for every baggage that goes through them: immediate baggage checking, enabling passengers to proceed directly to their departure gate for boarding. Baggage are weighted and checked in the check in counter. After which the baggage are tagged at the check-in-area and then put on a conveyor belt where it is directed to its designated location. The baggage are given tracking IDs during check -in for easier bag tracking and efficient handling and loading of the baggage. (Planning Guidelines and Design Standards for Checked Baggage Inspection Systems. 30 January 2009.)
Narita airport is recommended to implement in their system the IATA Resolution 753 to promote good inventory of baggage by using intelligent tracking capabilities. To efficiently use IATA Resolution 753 to its fullest potential, the airport must have a good plan to analyse the tracking paths and determine the gaps where the trace is lost or not shared. This allows different airlines to know when the custody of the baggage changes, providing a real time inventory departure and arrival bags and being able to exchange baggage information with other airlines when needed. (Andrew Price. 10 October 2016)
In conclusion, an efficient baggage handling system will not only allow airport to save from compensating mishandled or lost baggage, it will also attract customers to come since most of passengers will love a smooth and fast baggage handling system to avoid unnecessary loss of time. In the case of Narita airport, many measures are put in place to reduce congestion and mishandling of luggage. However, problems that are bound to occur which will affect the reputation and business of the airport. Airport around the world will have to embrace consistent change, finding innovative ways to improve its customer service system, introducing more convenient system to the baggage handling system. Airport management will have to improve overall infrastructure to keep up with competition with other airports.
References and Citations
– Baggage Handling Services and Systems (Classroom, 3 days). N.D) Retrieved from http://www.iata.org/training/courses/Pages/baggage-handling-services-tapg09.aspx
– Airport Baggage Handling Systems. (N.D). Retrieved from https://www.beumergroup.com/en/products/airport-baggage-handling-systems
– Narita International Airport, Japan. (N.D). Retrieved from http://www.airport-technology.com/projects/narita-international/
– Rien Scholing. 26 February 2014. Baggage handling: Achieving operational excellence. Retrieved from https://www.internationalairportreview.com/news/16104/baggage-handling-achieving-operational-excellence/
– Service Facilities, Baggage Delivery. (N.D.). Retrieved from https://www.narita-airport.jp/en/service/svc_05
– Planning Guidelines and Design Standards for Checked Baggage Inspection Systems. 30 January 2009. Retrieved from https://www.google.com.sg/url?sa=t;rct=j;q=;esrc=s;source=web;cd=1;cad=rja;uact=8;ved=0ahUKEwjq3o6b0ezUAhXIQY8KHXAECkMQFggiMAA;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.hsdl.org%2F%3Fview%26did%3D30973;usg=AFQjCNFbUkcyo2PuZKxURcKGiVPckodPfw
– Newark, Calif. 5 March 2013. Japan’s Narita International Airport Selects Morpho’s CTX 9800 EDS for Hold Baggage Screening. Retrieved from https://www.morpho.com/en/media/japans-narita-international-airport-selects-morphos-ctx-9800-eds-hold-baggage-screening-20130305
– Airport Baggage Delivery ; Storage Service. N.D. Retrieved from https://www.jalabc.com/english/index2.html
– Andrew Nusca. 21 March 2011. In Amsterdam, a better airport baggage system (with robots). Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/article/in-amsterdam-a-better-airport-baggage-system-with-robots/
– Baggage problem (damaged or lost baggage). N.D. Retrieved from https://www.jal.co.jp/en/inter/baggage/accident/
– Andrew Price. 10 October 2016. Airlines and industry partners should apply improved baggage handling models now. Retrieved from http://www.amadeus.com/blog/10/10/airlines-baggage-handling-models/
– ‘E-tags will fly within a year and digital smartcards could be next’. August 2015. Retrieved from
– MISHANDLED BAGGAGE. N.D. Retrieved from mishandled baggage – (One Bag)!