Creating North America’s First Air Cargo Community System

Domain expertise that defies challenges

General Overview

Kale Logistics Solutions partnered with Atlanta International Airport to develop North America’s first Airport Cargo Community System. The platform ensures transparency and reduction in dwell time, logistics cost and efforts. It aims at eliminating duplicate data entry work, excessive documentation, address the congestion issues and enable better supply chain planning. Apart from the other functionalities, Advance and Recurrence slot booking, Dock Management, Vehicle Token generation and Vehicle Tracking are the key features of the solution.

About the Client

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest and most efficient airport in the world and, by some accounts, the best in North America. ATL is the economic jewel of Georgia, generating a $34.8 billion economic impact for metro Atlanta and providing more than 63,000 jobs on-site, making it the state’s largest employer. With its capital improvement plan ATLNext, a 20-year blueprint for growth, the Airport is poised to modernize its Domestic Terminal, expand its cargo operations and concourses.

Business Challenge

Congestion flare-ups at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (ATL) that are delaying air cargo shipments underscores the broader US challenge serving up higher transportations costs to shippers, in addition to pressures from steeper fuel prices and higher trucking rates. The delays all add up to wait time surcharges and in some cases storage expenses tacked on to already steep transportation bills that can disrupt logistics budgets.

  • Trucks directly arrive to terminal without any prior information to Ground Handler.
  • Average truck waiting time around 4 hours and sometimes up to 8 hours.
  • Detention/waiting charges to exceed the value of the goods being hauled.
  • No Advance Shipment Information to Ground Handler which also leads to inefficient warehouse planning
  • Long lines of trucks waiting for cargo warehouse doors at ATL caused such a firestorm of complaints at the city.
  • Delayed caused export shipments to miss cut-off times and flights and time-sensitive import cargoes arrive at consignee receiving docks a day late.
  • Due to lack of shipment information visibility, 25% of trucks return empty without picking up the cargo.
  • Airlines not able to plan flight booking which results into flights operating without optimum use of space.
  • Inefficient handling of manpower
  • Lack of clarity on shipment status resulting in disputes between stakeholders

ACS Solution

Kale Logistics Solutions partnered with Atlanta International Airport to develop North America’s first Airport Cargo Community System. The ACS aims at establishing not just a data sharing platform but a full functional digital system that provides several features and benefits to each stakeholder in cargo like the shipper, consignee, forwarder, customs broker, ground handling agents, trucking companies, GSAs, security agencies, regulatory agencies, airlines, bonded truckers etc. It went live in Nov 2019, which was preluded by a parallel run for 2 weeks days.

Slot Management: ACS’s slot management system works on configurable algorithms which allow the trucker to check the available slots in real-time and book accordingly through the ACS mobile application. This has significantly reduce the waiting time and congestion. When the trucker reaches the airport, the ACS scans the token and the truck is sent to the marshalling yard until the dock is allotted. Using advanced technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI), the system allocates the dock to the vehicle based on parameters like nature of goods, vehicle type and equipment required.

Dock Management: The dock will be allocated depending on the shipment volume, priority and material of goods. As soon as a dock is available, the trucker will be allocated a dock and informed. In case of special commodities, ACS has facility to allot docks on priority. and ACS’s dock sensors play a crucial role in identifying and categorizing the goods.

Vehicle Movement Tracking: Beginning from the entry of the truck, until it exits the airport, the entire journey of the truck will be monitored through scanning of unique QR coded Vehicle Token in real-time with ACS, which helps to manage the traffic and new truck arrivals. The enhanced supply chain visibility leads to better flow and error-free process.

Dashboard to view truck dwell time: ACS’s mobile application has many simplified solutions such as a truck’s average dwell time at the airport that can be viewed on the dashboard.

Geofencing: Truck drivers gain more autonomy with mobile self-check in at various milestones and checkpoints. This is validated by a combination of GPS, radar and video cameras. Geofencing is a location-based service in which mobile application uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location

Stakeholder Wise Benefits

CAPELLA was the right fit for the client because it included all the functionalities that they were looking for such as cross-stuffing, MDT – gate in / gate out done directly by gate operator (thereby minimizing manual work), RS module which were necessary for their ever-increasing scale of operations.

Atlanta Airport: The system enables the airport authority to get enhanced visibility of their operations as well as streamline incoming/outgoing cargo. It also provides for digital payment mechanism. The seamless connectivity to internal operations enables transparency and efficiency in handling of shipments.

Freight Forwarders (FF): The system provides the FF to create AWB on portal or via interface with freight forwarder system. It enables the FF to submit Advanced shipment information to the ground handler and send carting order request to airline to get pre-approval for shipment handover to ground handler.

Ground Handlers: They are able to get advance information on cargo coming to the airport as well as get all documentation online. The portal enables them to view and manage the slots and docks for their terminals. Perform Dock-In, warehouse Acceptance/POD and Dock-out events in the GHA mobile app.
Transporters: Transporters have benefited by getting online vehicle tokens and slot booking for dropping/pick up of cargo. Truckers also have a provision for recurrence and advanced slot booking.

Airlines: Airlines are able to approve carted cargo, accept EDI on booking and MAWB/HAWB – this helps them conform to EU/ENS and AMS norms. They are able to effectively participate in IATA e AWB and e Freight program.