SkyChain goes live with Sri Lankan

SRI Lankan Airlines says it has successfully gone live with a version of Mercator’s SkyChain end-to-end cargo solution.

 SkyChain was selected after an evaluation process to provide Sri Lankan Airlines with an integrated airline and ground handling solution.

Duncan Alexander, vice-president, Mercator said: “This is another significant milestone in the road map of SkyChain. Sri Lankan is our first external customer to go live with SkyChain’s ground handling module; the carrier joins other customers including Swiss WorldCargo, which have already cut over with our airline solution.

 “My congratulations to the entire team involved in this smooth and successful transition which has allowed Sri Lankan to break free from the constraints of previous legacy systems.”
Meanwhile, Mercator continues its ongoing efforts to try and push SkyChain as the industry-leading solution by holding its first ever cargo event to showcase their latest cargo iterations of the system.

Some 90 delegates attended in Dubai, representing more than 30 airlines as the interest in replacing older-generation systems continues to rise, despite the ongoing cutbacks at many airlines.

At the heart of the conference were discussions on the benefits of implementing IATA’s e-freight initiative. Dubai is currently the only e-freight compliant cargo hub in the Middle East.

Alexander said: “We were all pleased and surprised to welcome delegates from so many airlines to Dubai for this first conference. The response clearly shows there is a great deal of interest in Mercator and our cargo offering and that the industry is eager to know more about IATA’s e-freight initiative. We were able to demonstrate how replacing paper processes within outdated systems in the cargo supply chain with SkyChain’s integrated software, make cargo processes more efficient and therefore help reduce cost – a critical factor in these challenging economic times.”

Steve Smith, IATA’s director, e-freight, joined Stan Wright from Dubai Customs in a panel debate, which highlighted that e-freight is not just about being efficient but gaining a competitive edge in the international marketplace.

However, the real battle for e-freight remains convincing sceptical forwarders. Many believe that e-freight is good for airlines with little benefit, only hassle and extra costs, for forwarders.
IATA now needs to concentrate on convincing agents that e-freight is really for the whole supply chain.

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