Air Cargo as an industry has huge growth potential and the same has been proven with the advent of the pandemic. Worldwide, commercial airlines are estimated to carry over 65 million metric tons of freight in 2019, as per estimates by statista.com.
This sheer quantum of cargo traffic necessitates the deployment of a robust cargo handling software that streamlines operations and optimises operational efficiencies. Disparate legacy systems and siloed infrastructure have been traditionally the air cargo industry’s transformational challenges. The need of the hour is investment in technology to ensure smooth operations and a future-ready air cargo industry.
Despite widespread hopes for a vibrant industry, for decades the air freight sector did not grow as expected and remained a very small part of total air traffic. For much of the first five post-war decades most carriers saw it as a secondary activity, although there had always been specialized cargo airlines. Some passenger airlines have found the practice of carrying “belly cargo” a highly lucrative enterprise, to the point where it has lessened the demand for dedicated large cargo aircraft.
Airports play a key role in the movement of cargo by air. Air Cargo represents over 35 percent of global trade by value and is expected to be worth US$130.12 billion by 2025. Security, adhering to compliance, building a digital infrastructure, and becoming future-ready are some of the key focus areas of airport authorities across the world.
The Air Cargo industry has gained more prominence in the recent past due to the growing demand for rapid requirement for cargo at the destination in a record short time. But the pressure of physical documentation at each level and this calls for a 360 degree process and functional transformation. With Air Freight Software and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning are widely being utilized to make the airport functioning smarter and efficient. With this increased technology adoption, the future looks more tech driven.
An air freight software integrates and automates day to day operations seamlessly. The truck drivers exchange advance information on arrival with the Terminals/Cargo Handlers. A slot management system enabling vehicle token generation using a QR Code facility is facilitated. Also, an option of online document submission with an e-payment to enable rapid payment is facilitated. Moreover, IATA compliant EDI messaging for import/export operations too are part of the framework.
An air freight software consists of modules to streamline export as well as import operations thereby enabling seamless trade facilitation. Added to this, an air freight software comes with zero investment platform with speedy implementation for airports and is cloud enabled. Port authorities, Cargo Ground Handlers, Terminal Operators, Freight Forwarders, Customs Brokers, Airlines, and various other entities can avail the benefits of air freight software.
IATA estimates that smart, balanced and data-driven regulation to increase in the industry. As more goods are forecast to be transported by air freight and drone delivery in the future, safety has been placed at the centre of all new regulations. As the 2018 IATA Cargo Strategy confirms, regulation will continue to be developed and maintained to ensure the safety of aircraft, passengers, and crew. According to Supply Chain Beyond, just 60% of air freight forwarders offer their clients online registration, while few provide online quotes or can manage shipments online. It predicts that as traditional freight forwarders struggle to change their thinking and implement new business models, they may lose out to newer, digital-savvy startups. Therefore, the industry has so much to look at in the coming days.