Improving cargo productivity performance for Swissport

The challenge

When o&i consulting began working with Swissport Cargo Services’ North America division, the organisation had managed to maintain productivity and control in its US operations following the credit crunch of late 2008. However, they saw the potential to further improve the performance of areas of its cargo operations by applying industrial engineering skills. Swissport Cargo Services asked our team to assist.


Our role

o&i consulting focused on two of Swissport’s main US stations. By applying our operations improvement methodologies and techniques, and roster planning skills we were able to uncover opportunities to improve productivity and reduce costs for warehouse and office activities.

Following a study and analysis of workload and production performance, our team illustrated where there was opportunity to improve the efficiency of task routines and overall productivity. Based on the results of this study, we mapped production activities across the day against the flight schedule to highlight where there was opportunity to realign capacity or improve productivity and planning. We also advised SCS on further actions that could be taken, such as strategies for client communications and managing demand to help smooth workload where possible.

To deliver the improvements we guided Swissport Cargo Services on how resource planning could be addressed. The main factor was to introduce revised staffing levels and patterns driven by a combination of expected productivity factors and planned demand. To further refine capacity, we explored additional resourcing strategies with Swissport management.

Applying these strategies, we calculated labour requirements based on expected workload and acceptable productivity factors per task. We also determined appropriate shift lengths to best match demand while managing operating costs.

Bringing together all of the opportunities identified, our team introduced a planning methodology and tool.  This bespoke tool enabled Swissport to forecast workload and manpower requirements in warehouse and clerical environments. It applied an algorithm that took into account factors such as historic trends and productivity levels for each production area as well as permitting the user to apply variables to reflect local business knowledge.

Productivity improvements and demand-driven resource planning presented Swissport Cargo Services with the opportunity to make operating cost savings in the US. o&i consulting transferred the skills to continue this work to Swissport team members.


o&i expertise on this project

  • Cargo operations analysis
  • Process engineering
  • Capacity planning
  • Resource planning
  • Resourcing strategy
  • Planning tool development
  • Cargo operations expertise and experience


Project Key Facts

Title: Improving cargo productivity performance for Swissport

Client: Swissport Cargo Services

Theme: Cargo Operations