ARE CARGO departments of airlines resistant to new technology, or is it just that the decision-making within carriers is often a bit complex? You might deduce either from the story of EDIFly, a simple way for airlines to save messaging costs that is nevertheless still in the pending drawer at many airlines.
It should be said straight off that EDIfly is no untested left-of-field idea. It was adopted by Cargolux 18 months ago – about as prestigious an endorsement as you can hope to find in air cargo – and they claim to have saved 61 per cent, or around US$200,000, on messaging costs as a result.
Ingo Roessler, chief commercial officer for EDIfly, reckons that some other carriers he is talking to could save seven-digit sums.
The product is very straightforward. Its basic version sits on a carrier’s or forwarder’s messaging server and checks any message that is about to be sent via traditional EDI networks, such as SITA or ARINC.
If the recipient is another EDIfly customer, the message is instead routed over the internet for free. If not, it is sent on its way over the traditional EDI network, accruing messaging costs.
Put like that, there seems to be plenty of upside, so why the apparent caution from prospective air cargo customers? Roessler says the speed and reliability of the internet is certainly no longer an issue.
“Let’s face it. Internet infrastructure these days is built for streaming video, while the messages we send are so small that they are insignificant in file size,” he says.
Read Peter Conway's full interview in the next edition of Air Cargo News 1 July 2013 - Issue No.755