Air cargo needs to adapt to changing customer demands

By Damian Brett

Source: IATA

Air cargo should leverage technology to help it to adapt to growing customer demand for complete logistics solutions.

Speaking at the IATA World Cargo Symposium (WCS), Ashok Rajan senior vice president, global head, cargo and logistics solutions at IBS Software, said that over the last couple of years shippers have changed their expectations when it comes to how pricing and performance are managed.

He said that companies are now looking for complete supply chain solutions. 

“People are expecting us to become more of a logistics player, rather than a logistics player that moves stuff from airport to airport,” he said.

“The last two years have required us to change our mindset.

“We as a company are trying to make that transformation from being an airport to airport software provider to being a logistics player.

“The shift in the mindset is the big shift that is expected of us if we are to ride the wave that we are on currently.

“This is not about technology, it is about changing ways of working into new ways of working.”

Rajan pointed to this week’s announcement from container shipping line MSC that it will launch its own cargo airline as they try to take control of more of the supply chain in response to customer demand.

This follows similar moves from two other leading shipping firms AP Moller Maersk and CMA CGM.

Later in his presentation, Rajan outlined how the air cargo industry could develop digitally in the future, splitting these developments into three areas: digital process, digital connectivity and digital intelligence.

Digital process includes redefining and transforming the core business to improve efficiency.

This includes omnichannel sales, warehouse automation, digital freight and electronic data.

Digital connectivity includes expanding business boundaries with integrated ecosystems that create partnerships.

This will enable connected ecosystems and develop further API connectivity.

Digital intelligence includes big data, analytics and machine learning to create an intelligent ecosystem with AI to build predictability value across the supply chain.

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