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Connecting the dots of e-commerce logistics at SATS Air Hub

Connecting the dots of e-commerce logistics at SATS Air Hub

Have you ever paused to think about the journey your online shopping purchase or international mail takes before it arrives at your doorstep?

Well, Ashlyn Chan Xian Ming, Assistant Manager for Operations at SATS E-Commerce Air Hub (Mail), is here to take us on a tour of how air cargo, specifically mail in Singapore, is processed.


Ashlyn Chan Xian Ming, Assistant Manager for Operations at SATS E-Commerce Air Hub (SATS Cargo)

From ships to skies

Around a year ago, Ashlyn made a bold career move, transitioning from the world of sea freight to aviation. “After spending a considerable time in sea freight shipping, I felt the urge to explore new horizons and gain fresh perspectives. This led me to the aviation industry, where I now oversee air cargo (mail) operations,” she enthusiastically shares.

Her background in shipping gives Ashlyn a unique lens through which she views her current role. “Even though the modes of transportation differ, the fundamental principles of logistics and operations remain consistent. It is all about efficiently managing the movement of goods and ensuring their timely delivery,” she elaborates.

Ashlyn orchestrates the e-commerce operations that power the Air Hub. “Our mission is to securely and efficiently handle the mailbags, often laden with e-commerce products,” she explains.

Guiding e-commerce operations


Mailbags are sorted and processed in the SATS E-Commerce Air Hub

Ashlyn manages a dedicated team that works behind the scenes to bring mail and parcels from every corner of the world to converge at the Air Hub before making the final stretch of their journey to your doorstep. “My role revolves around overseeing the operational aspects of the warehouse,” Ashlyn clarifies. “This involves managing our staff, ensuring we have enough hands on deck, and upholding stringent safety standards."

Yet, the journey from receiving mailbags to sending them on their way is far from straightforward. As we step inside the Air Hub, Ashlyn explains the intricate process of preparing these parcels for their onward voyage. "We meticulously scan each mailbag, not only to ensure security but also to uphold accountability," she emphasises.

However, the scanning phase is merely the tip of the iceberg. Ashlyn takes us deeper into the labyrinth of warehouse operations, where mailbags are loaded onto roller cages before being organised for loading into Unit Load Devices and PMC containers.

Tasks and expectations

Challenges come hand-in-hand with e-commerce operations, Ashlyn admits. “One major challenge we grapple with is the availability of manpower, especially during times when there are unexpected volume surges.”

To tackle this, Ashlyn and her team have pioneered innovative solutions. “We work closely with duty managers and collaborate with other terminals to ensure a steady supply of manpower,” she details. “We’ve also established partnerships with third-party providers to bridge any gaps and maintain the seamless flow of operations.”

Ashlyn’s role, however, extends beyond logistics. It also involves fostering human connections and creative problem-solving. With her team’s diverse backgrounds, she works diligently to bridge the linguistic and cultural divides to ensure efficient collaboration.

Safety is another priority, knowing that SATS upholds this value in all its operations. Beyond just sending out parcels on time, she is also committed to creating a work environment where every staff member can return safely to their families.

Looking to the future

Despite the hurdles, Ashlyn's dedication to her role is unwavering. She recognises the ever-growing influence of e-commerce and is confident that it will continue shaping the aviation industry. "Our Air Hub serves as a vital gateway for Singapore's e-commerce trade," she affirms confidently. "We play an essential role in facilitating the seamless flow of goods, making sure that online purchases find their way to consumers."

And speaking of the future, Ashlyn touches upon the exciting prospect of a digitalisation project they are working on, aimed at streamlining the Air Hub’s operations. "Our goal is to enhance efficiency, offer real-time insights, and optimise the allocation of manpower,” she reveals.

The most rewarding part

While SATS E-Commerce Air Hub is a centre of technology and efficiency, Ashlyn underscores the importance of human interaction in the way the warehouse operates.

"Engaging with clients and customers is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job," she asserts. "We hold regular meetings with our clients to ensure that our service quality consistently meets expectations. This involves discussing key performance indicators and addressing any concerns."

Ashlyn also delves into her role as a crucial bridge between management and frontline staff. "We act as a conduit for information, ensuring that our team members are always in the loop about evolving requirements and expectations," she elaborates.

As we wrap up our visit to the Air Hub, it is evident that Ashlyn’s role goes beyond just managing mail—it is about being an integral part of an industry that shapes global commerce. In the months ahead, we’re excited to see Ashlyn remain committed to keeping the wheels turning, air cargo moving, and customers beaming with satisfaction.


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