“In today’s multifaceted fast changing world, business automation is not just a differentiator, but an essential component of the modern enterprise.”~Dr. Ambrish Kumar, Managing Director, LogYcode
Having the privilege of living in this digital age, customers opting for air cargo services want a quick and fully-digitalized sales experience with extensive, agile self-service options along with an air cargo track and trace option. This is where automation plays a major role. Majority of the air cargo service companies including those of India still use paper-driven legacy systems and procedures which are time-consuming and resulting in more freight cost at the same time. “The orthodox working modus operandi of the air freight forwarding industry involving paper-works, queues, waiting, scattered gateways and so on, further hinders any scope for outright growth,” said Dr. Ambrish Kumar.
Scope of Air Cargo Services
There is a need to expedite divergent thinking to propel efficiency, service levels, sales upshots and profit margins along with technological advancement in automation process for streamlining redundant processes and regulations of the air cargo industry.
“There is a need to facilitate air cargo services infrastructure with the country’s overall logistics infrastructure, with the likes of multi-modal logistics hubs specifically catering to airports – and create hubs for transhipment of air cargo by simplifying processes,” said the report titled ‘Indian aviation: Bracing to ride out headwinds.’
Introduction of automation in logistics industries has enabled companies to achieve the agility and scalability required to compete with time, hence increasing productivity, driving revenue growth and breaking through the confinements of stereotypes.
From machine learning and artificial intelligence to automation system, technological tools are having the potential to make the air cargo forwarding cheaper, safer and simpler and it is quite evident in recent years. Even though automation process requires a significant amount of investment to be implemented, the advantages it offers are more significant than the costs.
Managing Director of LogYcode quoting from his personal experience states that the cost efficiency is directly proportional to the digital integration of processes, which leads to lesser head costs, visibility of the most competitive pricing options, disentangled paperless documentation, archiving of data in e-clouds, reduction in turnaround time, and so on.
Transparency in air shipment tracking
Don’t you expect your goods to be received in time and in good condition without any face discrepancies or damages on transit? We all do. Yet, we have at some point faced the issues of delayed shipments or damaged products. To provide better air cargo services, air cargo transportation requires virtual visibility of freights at every stage i.e., real-time air shipment tracking and automated source of information. Real-time air shipment tracking helps logistics companies enhance their transparency to their end customers.
“We believe it is an easy incorporation for the air cargo services to provide specific and real-time air cargo track and trace, with the technology already in place. The RFID solution for tracking shipments at the piece level renders the information to the logistics service providers to improve their operational efficiency in addition to offering customers incredible visibility with exemplary accuracy,” added Dr. Ambrish.
National Air Cargo Policy
In national air cargo policy, unveiled by Central government in the Global Aviation Summit 2019, it aims to make India among the top five air freight markets by 2025, besides creating air transport shipment hubs at all major airports over the next six years. The policy aims in aligning with Global Electronic Messaging standards as well as the adoption of data sharing platforms which both aid the circulation of information along and across the supply chain and remove the need of printing the paper. This will help save on costs as well as provide flexibility and convenience to the air cargo fraternity.
Effect of Automation on Jobs
Having numerous advantages, nevertheless, the automation process is expected to reduce the human involved jobs in air cargo services in the upcoming years. But automation will not completely take over humans, as we cannot solely rely on computer programs and bots. According to some experts, there may not be enough employable people to even meet the required demands for the air cargo jobs they’re going to have.
According to many people working in the air cargo industry, automation in the air cargo services is yet to move fast enough to keep up with the growth of e-commerce and it is yet to be adopted by country’s top cargo companies. We will see in future how much impact the national air cargo policy will have on Indian air cargo industries.