Trends that prove Sustainability in Air Cargo is happening realtime

Trends that prove Sustainability in Air Cargo is happening realtime


The outcry on sustainability and sustainable practices are soaring these days. At least in Air Cargo has seen a major transformation in terms of adopting sustainable practices. According to IATA, 2.5 million lives are saved each year with vaccine shipments sent worldwide (excluding COVID-19). Each shipment might consume 124 copies of paper. This would eventually cause millions of paper copies consumed in one airport. With millions of paper copies, air cargo is causing significant environmental degradations.


However, with the pandemic, these processes are gradually transforming to a digital ecosystem. Air freight software for ground handlers, cargo community system for large and small stakeholders have gained traction. On the other hand, functional modules such as electronic air waybill, electronic delivery order and online slot bookings too has received more takers. Eventually, they are making way for a smart work environment with responsible natural resource consumption. How is technology adoption happening in these tumult times? Let us take a look.


Paperless trade

Digitisation has been playing a vital role in both of these goals. While the adoption of technology has been helping logistics enterprises in reducing duplication of efforts, excessive paperwork and enabling staff to work from their homes; an even more important contribution of the digitization has been reduction of paper handling, reduction in human/vehicular congestion and reducing social contacts thereby preventing the spread of COVID 19 and in effect saving lives.

WHO has pointed out that the virus stays on surfaces including paper for up to 72 hours. The air freight industry as we all know still has around 100 copies of paper per shipment moving around across several stakeholders. Each time this paper is touched there are chances of virus getting transmitted. Hence technology which can eliminate these papers by moving digital twins of the paper (data) wherever possible, can be a life saver.


Safety and security

Freight facility, warehouse, trucks, in-transit area, unsecured parking locations are some of the common places where Cargo Theft are currently taking place. A strong cyber security law is in the making to handle this situation with a risk mitigation framework designed by the regulatory bodies and governments. Here are some digital solutions which can assist the stakeholders to avoid Cargo Theft.

By digitally connecting with the community, a cargo community system connects all stakeholders such as cargo ground handlers, freight forwarders and others. This will enable them to have end-to-end status update sharing through IATA and United Nations recommended EDI messaging formats. Most importantly, regular status updates are shared through mobile and portals. Therefore, stakeholders can detect the status of cargo movement at all levels and in case of threats they could enable improved freight security. Also, a cargo community system offers various functional benefits to make the air freight operations seamless.


Rise of e-Freight

For long, e-freight has been advocated widely in the logistics industry. Various air freight software providers right from the COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire world advocated the need to reduce paper touchpoints. These touchpoints are toxic to the few logistics frontliners who have dedicated themselves to keep the emergency global value chains active. Since then, e-freight has seen a major jump and now, a significant number of stakeholders in the air cargo industry have taken up air freight software systems and adhered to e-freight norms.


Predictive analytics to check transporter’s fuel consumption

Reducing fuel consumption is one of the major outcries of people who advocated ecological protection. This is because fuel consumption does not account for the fuel consumed by aircrafts, but also the fuel consumed by truckers. Advanced air freight software and cargo community system solution providers have inculcated Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning applications. These applications enable them to identify shorter routes to burn less fuel. cargo community system offers truck slot management as a key component of the software. Such applications allow truckers to offer advanced information on truck arrival to airport terminal operator and book a slot when there is less/no congestion.


Digital communication and on-time assistance

The most important aspect of technology adoption is enabling digital communication among stakeholders. By enabling all the stakeholders to digitally communicate, a cargo community system would ensure 100 percent cargo visibility to all stakeholders (both in airside and in landside). This communication is of prime importance as a landside stakeholder like a freight forwarder will be able to share the same status with his client on time. Also, he can be assured of the cargo arriving at the destination at the right time. Digitisation is not the future anymore. We are already seeing it happening through cargo community system and other air freight software solutions. Going forward, upgradations on these technologies will take place rapidly and the entire air freight arena will be digital savvy in the next few years. Therefore, without doubt we can say digitization is the new normal.


Read More on reducing millions of paper copies in an air freight environment