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Key principles to accelerate digitalization in air cargo

Over the past tumultuous years, air cargo has emerged as a beacon of resilience, driving economic growth and delivering essential supplies worldwide. As we gather insights from the recent IATA World Cargo Symposium in Hong Kong, that underscored the industry’s focus on sustainability and safety, it’s evident that digitalization stands at the forefront of shaping our industry’s trajectory. Let’s delve into key takeaways and actionable strategies to navigate this transformative journey effectively.

  • Elevating Customer Experience: Excellence in customer service is our north star! From our own air cargo examples as well as other industries, digitalization has proven to enhance customer interactions, creating seamless and efficient experiences. Digitally mature organizations are increasingly offering channel of choice and modern user interface to their customers. We are seeing this with many of our customers, including Virgin Atlantic Cargo and flydubai.
  • Modernization for Accelerated Digitalization: Accelya’s proprietary study, based on 108 cargo airlines, shows low number of ‘performers’ and ‘leaders’ in cargo digital maturity across commercial, operations and settlement processes (More to come out on this soon!). This might change from airline to airline, but what’s obvious is that digitalization has started and it’s time to fast-track.Accelya’s client airlines and others have embraced digital solutions across various cargo operations, including mobile functions, live animal handling, and marketplaces. Each small step toward digitalization has yielded significant benefits, as seen in examples across the industry. From airports implementing digital cargo lanes to ground handlers adopting paperless processes and robotic inventory management, the impact is clear. Let’s assess our current processes, pinpoint areas ready for transformation, and prioritize them strategically.With today’s technology, we can modernize processes and foster innovation. By identifying practical use cases for immediate and long-term benefits, we can streamline the transformation process. While modernization is often seen as a lengthy endeavor, incremental changes can deliver results more quickly, leading us toward our ultimate objectives. Success hinges on how we adapt and utilize these assets to drive innovation and growth.
  • Embracing Data for Insights and Predictability: Shift from document-driven to data-centric operations, leveraging exponential data volumes to unlock the potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions and Generative AI. One McKinsey study says that Travel, & Transportation industry will benefit the most from AI/ML, so let’s make the most of it. Explore avenues such as route optimization, document automation, load planning and predictive maintenance cycles to revolutionize the industry.
  • Leveraging ONE Record Momentum: Embrace the momentum of the ONE Record initiative, seeking synergies across stakeholders, as it surges ahead with more pilots and production use cases. Leverage foundational advancements to streamline operations and enhance efficiency.

In the end, we must understand that technology isn’t the only answer. We should support our teams in learning and embracing digitalization. Without a good change management plan, our efforts might not succeed. We also need to work together as an industry to make change happen faster. Greater cooperation is possible when air cargo carriers have the flexibility to choose how they interact with third parties – through interfaces, or modern API connections – fostering collaboration among all stakeholders. Let us carry forward the insights and momentum garnered from such industry forums. Embrace digitalization inclusively, collaboratively, and with purpose.

Ready to supercharge your cargo digitalization journey? Dive into our on-demand webinar featuring Accelya’s Prakash Sonpatki and Kanchan Sharma. Gain valuable insights into the current state of air cargo digitalization and proven strategies to accelerate your progress.


Don’t wait! Contact our cargo experts today for a consultation.

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