Air cargo industry on the verge of a revolutionary transformation

Air cargo industry on the verge of a revolutionary transformation



As airport development became a priority globally, one sector that grew by leaps and bounds was ground handling. Buoyed by privatization and investments and now arming itself with rapid digital transformation, the sector is evolving to accommodate the high demand seen in verticals like perishables, pharma, and e-commerce. Where do you see this trend going?


We have seen a gradual evolution of the air cargo industry. If one reflects on the past, the availability of goods and services was a challenge; however, now, the local market reflects the global market. The demand for cargo has increased over the last few months. IATA has stated that Air Cargo demand last year, saw a remarkable growth of 9.1% compared to pre-COVID times. We’ve observed the emergence of multiple new airports, with India alone doubling its airport count from 74 in 2014 to 148 in 2023. e-Commerce has been a key driving factor behind this expansion, leading to limited air cargo capacity during peak hours. The demand for various goods, ranging from daily essentials to heavy machinery, from perishables to pharmaceuticals, continues to soar. Airlines are investing in new aircraft to boost cargo capacity and curtail transportation costs. However, this will lead to a surge in volume, with the express business stepping in to mitigate any revenue losses. Amazon and DHL are prime examples set to significantly impact the transportation industry by taking charge of their delivery services. The company is focused on enhancing its air network to achieve this objective.


The Logistics industry is now placing more importance on sustainability. How is the air cargo industry contributing to this cause?


Cooperation at various levels is required to attain sustainability in the aviation sector. This is not limited to the use of biofuel and reduction in the use of plastic, but also developing a set of skilled resources who will nurture and grow the business. Technology plays a major part in the ‘sustainability’ program, where carbon emissions can be tracked along the shipment life-cycle. While cost is one factor, and customers also look at carbon credits, they would get if a shipment moves on a specific route. Reducing paper also plays a vital role in the sustainability program. Less paper means fewer trees are cut down, thus increasing the oxygen levels and reducing the carbon in the air. Vertical take-offs reduce the fuel consumed, thus controlling carbon emissions. In order to broaden its scope, the transportation sector should prioritise establishing an open market that encompasses a larger array of locations rather than engaging in cutthroat competition by operating multiple flights to similar destinations. The capacity is fully utilised and adds to the carbon emissions. Seeing how tech companies and the aviation industry prioritise environmental solutions is uplifting. It’s exciting to witness this positive change happening.


‘The customer promise’ is the soul of the aviation business. How do you think technology is now the enabler to achieve this promise?


A greater demand for quality and delivery within defined timelines exists along with the growing demand. Options available to the end user are plenty, and the only differentiator is the ‘Service Standards and Quality’. Cargo software  has enabled the end customer to place an order from the comfort of his home and track it as it moves along its journey. Cargo Software has enabled Logistics companies to evaluate the shortest route at a competitive price and provide delivery timelines to the customer during the booking stage. The milestones are measured against the route plan, and adjustments, if any, are taken in real-time. In case of an unexpected delay, the customer is informed beforehand, thus ensuring ‘Customer Delight’ at all times.


The use of AI and blockchain Cargo Software together can be a powerful tool. By implementing blockchain, supply chains can become secure and transparent, while AI can analyse data and optimise the supply chain. This leads to more efficient and cost-effective operations and timely delivery of high-quality products. Additionally, these Cargo Software effectively solve problems such as inefficient practices, cyber-attacks, and food spoilage.


Kale’s Air Cargo Handling Management System–GALAXY, is making very strong inroads on the global scale. It is engaging in more than 88 stations globally. How are global handlers benefiting from it?


It’s easy! Get rid of paper and unnecessary steps. Any task that can be completed without going to the cargo terminal should be easily achievable. GALAXY- Cargo management system operates under the principle of using one set of data for multiple purposes. This data is sourced from several stakeholders, including airlines, freight forwarders, terminal operators, customs, shippers, etc. Data integrity is achieved and forms a single source of truth for business planning and growth. GALAXY- Cargo management System complies with the industry requirements for security and data requirements in digital formats while maintaining quality checks on the captured data. An intuitive workflow reduces errors in the operational flow. Extensive use of hand-held devices helps the data capture in real-time for subsequent downline processes. Integration with weight and volume calculators brings in further operational efficiency and accuracy. Finally, accurate billing that complies with statutory requirements can be confidently delivered to Agents and Airlines with minimal need for human involvement.