The elusiveness of air cargo quality

01 / 11 / 2013

  • Air Cargo News editor Nigel Tomkins

    Air Cargo News editor Nigel Tomkins

THE biggest single problem with the airfreight industry is not so much low yields or overcapacity, but poor quality.

Poor quality is when customers (whoever they are) do not receive value for money.

Lost and damaged shipments, misdeclarations, missing documentation, tautly stretched deadlines, broken promises . . these are just a few of the infuriating by-products of poor air cargo quality.

So, what is the only true, sustainable solution? Forget the bickering and the posturing at industry meetings and forums, real quality will only come with transparency. 

When customers can see for themselves where their goods are at any given moment, when they discover that their consignments of urgent production line parts are in fact not on a truck at Houston but are, instead, still on a Boeing over Cincinatti, will come improved services.

There will be no hiding place any more.

All carriers, forwarders, handlers, agencies, airports, truckers, etc will have to get it right – first time, every time – or crash out of the game.

That’s the big reason why piece-level tracking is absolutely critical to the air cargo industry’s future.

It’s what the integrators do every day and is something the disjointed air cargo indus-try (via Cargo 2000) has been dreaming of for 20 years.

We’re almost there. Technology is arriving. Air Canada, for example, is about to launch an RFID solution (see next Air Cargo News); and there are those GPS gadgets sending electronic messages back to home base. Bring it on.