Air cargo faces paperless challenge

James Wyatt. Photo: aeroconcept

The airfreight industry still has a long way to go before it can be considered truly paperless, according to the founder of an aviation consulting business.

James Wyatt, general manager of Leipzig, Germany-based aeroconcept, said that while there had been much discussion in the sector, compared to other industries, cargo is behind in adopting paperless digital technology and new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI).

Speaking at an event in Leipzig to mark aeroconcept’s five-year anniversary, Wyatt said that at the same time as speeding up technology implementation, it is important to recognise the human element in the industry.

While AI offers great potential value, he stressed “let’s not forget about the people, and I think this is what sets us apart from other aviation companies”.

Wyatt recalled that scarcely one year after setting up aeroconcept had to grapple with the effects of the Covid crisis. A mission to Japan to collect parts of an asteroid and transport them back to Germany involved waiting at the airport for 12 hours before being allowed into Japan, he said.

However, work from Lufthansa Cargo and Swissport, along with numerous other clients, helped aeroconcept get fully off the ground, he said.

Today, aeroconcept’s services include operational transformation and change management; IATA consulting, certifications and training; cargo management, system procurement and implementation; and consulting and company-specific training in all areas of air cargo.

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