Since the beginning of 2020, economic uncertainties have been rampant. It all started with the US-China Trade War, followed by the Australian Wildfire and then the erstwhile COVID-19 outbreak. In order to contain COVID-19 within the hotspots, lockdown restrictions were imposed on select countries. Yet, the spread of the disease was more rapid, and it began spreading like a wildfire. Manufacturing is shunned, and that had ripple effects on the export-import operations too, which means there is no production and sales throughout the world. No wonder the air cargo and Maritime industries were among the worst affected. Even though the maritime operations were on and off, global air traffic came to a standstill. Billions of dollars were lost, and it resulted in job losses too.
Even though, movement of essentials and medical supplies are allowed, the Logistics industry has adopted newer methods that are resilient to stay relevant during tough times. This rapid technology up-gradation due to COVID-19 will definitely have a positive impact on the industry in the long run. Also, we can say the Logistics industry has played a pivotal role in ensuring that medical supplies and essentials have reached the places wherever it was necessary.
Talking about the newer methods adopted, we have seen widespread digitisation that has been happening in the industry since the outbreak. Some domain experts say that while digitisation was still part of a long-term plan, this pandemic outbreak did push them to the brink to think digital. With digitisation, manual documentation norms have largely come down and stakeholders such as Cargo Ground Handlers, Airlines, Shipping Lines, Freight Forwarders, Customs Brokers, Container freight stations, Consolidators, and Consignees to name a few are now thinking of a 360-degree digital transformation. The reason for the same being, the cost benefits they had realised.
Technologies offering predictive and cognitive capabilities as well as seamless data extraction, along with transparency leading to zero revenue leakage, are some of the key vouching factors for digitisation. While this exists, the next question everybody in the industry asking is, “How to survive in the New Normal and, most importantly, how to move cargo safely, securely as well as smartly?”
In this case, taking relevant precautionary measures will be key. The world has now seen one of the longest economic lockdowns and the ripple effects might be felt in the coming days and months. But in the future, technology will be more capable of letting the world swiftly pass through a distress situation similar to this. Therefore, now experts are seeing how to maintain a free flow of global supply chains despite a pandemic scenario. Also, powering the systems to ensure business continuity despite volatile market conditions.
Already, in places where verification and validation are required, Blockchain plays a major role. In applications such as air cargo management system, cargo community system etc., Blockchain is widely utilised to curb revenue leakage and achieve 100% data transparency. Similarly, to achieve transparency in functioning across the Logistics industry, Blockchain could be utilised widely in the coming years. This may not require human intervention at all levels, as authorities will control centrally everything.
The role of technology is expected to grow significantly in the coming days and the majority of innovations are expected to take place in the Logistics industry alone. Several trade facilitation bodies, such as the United Nations, have seen a major jump in tech investment among Logistics service providers. This trend is expected to surge in the coming days. Therefore, rising to the new normal would mean inculcating automated community-based solutions.
Kale Logistics Solutions’ Air Cargo Community System is a one-stop solution as seen by experts in the industry as it has the potential to enable faster transaction processing, reduce information duplication and streamline functional automation to enable trade facilitation seamlessly. Already, various Airports worldwide are eyeing implementing this community-wide application. In the future, the air cargo ecosystem will be more community-driven and effective. Therefore, the way forward for the industry will be the connected Air Cargo Community System.