When the pandemic began, the entire world remained shut for weeks, leading to several businesses’ discontinuity. Apparently, in 2020, airlines lost US$137.7 billion and only during the first quarter of 2023 did they begin realising profits. However, the operations were still on, so emergency supplies and vaccine distribution took place seamlessly.
The reason for operations continuing even during the lockdowns is to be attributed to technology adoption. Airlines, Handlers, Forwarders and even Airports began choosing community and enterprise platforms to ensure business as usual. The benefits reaped out of it are huge and industry experts comment that profit announcements during the first quarter of 2023 in itself are a sign of faster recovery. Yet, stakeholders resist technology adoption due to various reasons. In this article, we are listing out the possible misconceptions and present facts to prove the same.
In a complex industry like logistics, there are several processes and each process is time consuming and unique in nature. The common misconception among stakeholders is that these specific processes cannot be digitized. In a nutshell, not let them achieve their overall operational goal.
Process level integrations are always the first step in implementing a cargo community system or a point solution. Therefore, there is no question of the digitisation not being able to achieve process level compliance.
With the rising concern of cyber security, entities are keen on protecting their organisation’s data. On that note, a general rumour in the industry is that data shared in a common dashboard or a single window system is equal to opening up your organisational or airport/port level data to a hacker.
Certain regions in the world are vary towards implementing a common platform due to the same reason. If someone hacks a single window system or a cargo community system, then they can misuse data of multiple stakeholders and it is a serious security risk.
A cargo community system or a single window system is built with Blockchain and other cutting-edge technologies. The level of transparency is higher than expected as every login attempt is monitored and in case of a hacking attempt, the data will still be protected on all levels and will be continuously monitored by someone. Hence, there is no question of data vulnerability using a cargo community system.
Certain set of stakeholders believe that utilisation of a cargo community system/single window system is complex to understand. They also believe that training their employees to get used to the working in that system is a major challenge. Due to this, most of them resist implementing one even though it is mandated by governments and regulatory bodies.
Contrary to these thoughts, a digitally enabled platform like cargo community system/port community system are easy to use and self-explanatory. In a span of few days, users will get used to it and can efficiently perform their operations. In several cases, with the intervention of technology the processes have improved and directly reflected on the bottomline.
It is noted that a general misconception in developed markets is that implementing a community platform for the entire airport/port ecosystem is expensive. This is because these software systems are not customised, and they come with a lock-in period too.
However, various multi-modal cloud-based service providers are offering point solutions, customised solutions as well as complete implementations on request. Some do offer it in an on-demand basis i.e., in a pay per user model. Therefore, choosing the right service provider is key who does not come with these pre-requisites.
As the implementation in several airports/ports are taking place rapidly, some resist it due to these misconceptions. Notably, the FAL mandate to digitize documentation in 2019 was implemented by 30 per cent of ports. As seen above these misconceptions are the primary reasons. To overcome them, raising awareness and nurturing a proper understanding among them is essential.