The challenges of sharing data within the air cargo sector is felt more than ever since the pandemic outbreak. In different modes, whether Maritime, road, rail, inland waterways or indeed air, there is a strong reliance on legacy processes and paper. Many bespoke platforms are operated across the modes and a lot of effort has been made by organisations such as UN/CEFACT, WCO, IATA, and TIACA to provide global standards, but frictionless multimodality remains elusive.
Cargo Community Systems (CCS) have been on the raise to bridge this gap. Airlines, Ground Handlers, Freight Forwarders and Customs Brokers have widely chosen CCS to enable 360-degree digitisation. With such efforts, thousands of paper copies were eliminated in major Airports globally. Also, truck congestion and lack of visibility were sorted seamlessly. Operational efficiency too has increased compared to the pre-digitisation period. With all this, the utility of cargo community systems is soaring in all Airports worldwide.
But a cargo community system comes with some limitations as it has geographical boundaries and to overcome the same and achieve larger synergies globally one has to think beyond cargo community systems. This brings us to the future of cargo community systems i.e., Digital Air Freight Corridor.[/vc_column_text]
Thinking beyond Cargo Community Systems
Atlanta International Airport is the best example to quote here. Recently, Atlanta incorporated North America’s first cargo community system and they did achieve positive business synergies with this development. Soon Amsterdam and Atlanta will be laying the foundations of a trade and Logistics corridor between both Airports. The final aim is to establish data exchange between both Airports and to extend the benefits of the Amsterdam Cargo Community System Cargonaut to ATL
What are digital Air Freight Corridors and why they are essential?
The need for continuity in the flow of data from the shipper to the consignee across these modes is naturally required. Digital air freight corridor aims at creating a completely transparent supply chain through the exchange of real-time status of shipments between two Airports and the exchange of shipment data to eliminate duplicate processes. For example, shipment arrival information can be shared in advance with the rightful stakeholders in the destination Airport so that the Customs, Handlers and other stakeholders are well-informed and prepared to handle the incoming freight on time.
Role of Blockchain & iShare
Various Logistics IT solutions and multi-modal service providers offer Digital Air Freight Corridor that is based on the framework of Blockchain and iShare. This framework enables all players in the community to connect with each other on the basis of mutual trust, irrespective of type, size, modality, and jurisdiction. iShare is not a technology platform through which data flows can be managed It is a framework of agreements on the identification, authentication, and authorisation of actors. The framework delivers a transformational level of maturity in the way stakeholders share data with other partners and partners of partners that they may not know.
Digital Air Freight Corridor is the future?
Digital Air Freight Corridors are the talking point now in the air freight arena. Yet, apart from the Corridor between Mumbai and Schiphol, there are hardly any active freight corridors in the world. But there is a higher potential of having an air freight corridor as the need to facilitate rapid cross-border is soaring. Hence, in the near future, there will be a rise in the need for Air Freight Corridors.
Some benefits of digital Air Freight Corridor
Optimal Data flows
With the quantity of shipments increasing, they add up to the complexities and thereby bringing down the quality of cargo movement. In the midst of this shipment handling, managing data flows and analysing the incoming data takes a backseat. The added connectivity between the digital corridors of different Airports increases the quantity and quality of information exchange, digitalising Logistics services, and regulatory border controls and easing trade. Therefore, analysing the data and sharing it among the stakeholders is well facilitated.
Trade visibility & transparency
Real-time visibility is a well-known benefit of the digital Freight Corridor. Stakeholders in the import, as well as the export country, can have and request information before the cargo’s arrival and departure. The movement of cargo within the Airport ecosystem can be tracked at every milestone at a micro and macro level. While visibility is the most revered benefit, transparency is something that requires more focus. As the digitisation drive is pretty well penetrating within all industries, it is seen that transparency is the main factor why several of them tend to go digital. Hence digital document exchange is the prime factor in ensuring transparency in trade.
Climate change and Global warming are reportedly becoming a reality and several global bodies are pushing organisations to adopt sustainable practices. The Digital Freight Corridor is a one-stop solution to enable paperless trade and reduce documentation norms.
As the processes are end-to-end digital in nature, the scope for physical documentation is very less. Meeting sustainable development goals