Digitisation is a crucial element that has kept the air cargo industry to stay afloat even during the Covid-19 disruption. If the slow pace of adoption and reluctance among stakeholders to jump in was the talk before, the pandemic is changing this. Digital service providers are reporting an unprecedented jump in traffic and demand while sales are happening in the record time frame.
The world is in a virtual war against the Covid-19 pandemic. While the virus is posing new challenges every day, the human race is engaged in finding solutions and innovating to fight it. The air cargo industry is no exception. Airlines, freight forwarders, airports and ground handlers are playing their part in innovating and finding solutions. But the most unintended help came from the digital technology that enabled the industry to not only to keep social distancing but also to move the air freight more efficiently.
The air cargo community is facing several challenges including the reduced capacity, a sudden demand surge particularly for medical supplies, absence of onsite manpower and climbing freight rates. Meanwhile, the digital solution providers came out with new software, redesigned current platforms and on-ground collaboration. They have reported increasing demand and traffic in their platforms while sales are getting completed in record time. Air cargo stakeholders are more than ever excited to embrace digital solutions.
Henk Mulder, head, digital cargo, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said “The most important tool that has allowed the air cargo community going is without question, the full digitalization of the workplace. The ability to telework from one day to the next with access to all data resources and the effective use of team collaboration tools has demonstrated the high degree of digitalization that has already taken place.”
Air cargo’s dependency on paper Air cargo industry is largely a paper-based industry. 30 types of documents and 124 copies of paper have to move along with an air cargo shipment that starts from its shipper to the consignee.
“Electronic documents like the e-AWB have turned out to have an unintended benefit: the absence of the need to physically touch paper documents that have been touched by others recently. In some cases, the air cargo paper documentation is shipped separately from the cargo via express couriers. Electronic documents don’t have this issue, said Mulder.
“Most if not all airlines still handle a lot of paper documents and they have dedicated teams that process these documents. Typically they will manually verify the correctness of the data and key in the most important aspects into their systems. This requires the physical presence of these teams, which can be up to 100 employees in some cases. Electronic documents would have allowed this work to be done remotely while teleworking,” he added.
Dgm Luxembourg is official reseller for DGOffice, the online software solution that contains everything to manage all your dangerous goods related activities.
More about the topic on the website of STATTIMES.