Costs incurred in the warehousing of aviation and aerospace materials and parts include handling and storage charges, and operational and general administrative expenses. Handling costs are related to moving the materials either in or out of the warehouse. Storage expenses comprise all the costs associated with occupying a facility and are incurred whether the products such as engines or radars are moved. Operational expenses are overheads sustained to facilitate operations at the distribution center. General administrative costs include all the expenses not accrued for a particular distribution center, such as remunerations for nonoperating staff and general office expenses.
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Each of the expenses associated with warehousing materials and parts linked to aviation or aerospace impacts overall operational productivity. The nature of material stored determines the rates charged for storage, for instance, items such as engines are enormous and require an ample space to safely store. Therefore, when looking for a facility to keep engines, airlines may have to look for big warehouses or pay more for the space occupied by the item. Additionally, some aviation items are sensitive and delicate and require special handling and storage hence attracting higher handling fees during warehousing. Further, aviation-specific storage can be expensive due to the bulkiness and high cost of the items to be kept, which translates to higher operations administration expenses as well as general administration costs.
The costs associated with warehousing aviation-specific items may cause trade-offs in decision-making among managers. Trade-offs involved may include the choice of warehousing location and the type of products to be stored. For efficiency, a warehouse should be located relatively close to the center of the airline’s operations even if it may be costly compared to another potential location. Additionally, administrators must critically examine the type of aviation materials to store since the nature of items significantly impact the costs involved in storage and handling. Further, the business executive must make the most rational decision on the warehouse management system (WMS) to implement at the desired warehouse since it dramatically influences the operations’ efficiency.
In the aviation industry, most companies use rigid rather than non-rigid containers since they offer the most secure storage for products. Airlines primarily use rigid containers for this form of containerization since it offers excellent protection for both passenger and freight cargo. Further, the structure of the containers allows stacking hence making it possible to handle several small consignments of air cargo (Drljaca et al., 2020). Rigid containers can quickly and comfortably be loaded, offloaded and moved in and out of a storage facility without pilferage or causing any damage to the contents. In the aviation industry, rigid containers are skillfully made to match the cargo area within aircraft thus promoting maximum utilization of the available space. In some instances, non-rigid containers are used in the aviation industry, particularly where the objects to be moved have irregular shapes.
The cargo industry is changing and innovations are influencing the materials and packaging of items, including aircraft maintenance parts. In the future, there will be more airlines opting for new-age composite materials for storage. The products are strong, lightweight and low-cost and are more efficient compared to the conventional rigid containers (Rajak et al., 2019). The materials are produced sustainably and are set to transform the future of the packaging and handling industry. Innovative substances are undergoing research and their favorable characteristics will make them suitable for applications beyond the aviation industry.
Drljaca, M, Stimac, I, Vidovic, A, & Petar S. (2020). Sustainability of the air cargo handling process in the context of safety and environmental aspects. Journal of Advanced Transportation Volume, 1-13.
Rajak, K. D, Pagar, D. D, Kumar, R & Pruncu, I, C. (2019). Recent progress of reinforcement materials: a comprehensive overview of composite materials, Journal of Materials Research and Technology, 8(6), 6354-6374.
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