The air cargo business has been slow to adopt digital documentation in the past, resulting in a dependence on manual; and sometimes error-prone processes. This, however, is rapidly changing.
Industry leaders are more focused than ever on implementing new digital supply chains to drive operational excellence and differentiate themselves from the competition. Logistic companies and freight forwarders are preparing for a digitalized future; in which they will be able to carry out all communication in a single system.
Digitalized air cargo, a commitment to an efficient supply chain
Although the air freight business still relies heavily on manual processes, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is spearheading the drive toward a digitalized future.
The IATA is pushing for the digitalization of air freight for a variety of reasons. The ability of important industry stakeholders to stay connected and up to date on a shipment’s development; regardless of their location or function in the supply chain, is a primary driver.
A digitally connected and integrated air cargo supply chain can give all stakeholders end-to-end insight of shipments; generating less second-guessing and a more streamlined and transparent operation.
Digital operations provide numerous advantages to forwarders and their consumers.
With a shortage of shipping containers and congestion at various international seaports, the speed provided by air freight, combined with advances in overall air cargo capacity, is proving beneficial to many businesses.
Airlines are increasingly finding it vital to digitalize their sales channels. Sharing real-time operational data with logistic companies and forwarders not only simplifies the booking process; but also allows airlines to perform more precise capacity control. Having direct connections for operational data transmission can also cut processing times, errors, and overall costs.
Despite industry adoption, there are still several complications.
In fact, as forwarders digitalize more of their documents, they will need to gather a variety of data pieces from shippers, including security, biosecurity, quarantine, customs, and the general operating aspect of the package.
Fortunately, the forwarder-airline process is developed, with air waybill data necessary and pre-reported. Nonetheless, there will be natural difficulties as more data entry and documentation transitions from paper to electronic.
As a result, having technologies in place that can assist this transformation, such as Grydd, is critical. Furthermore, having a consolidated system eliminates the need for multiple logins to other portals, increasing productivity and allowing forwarders to better secure sensitive data such as contracts and rates.
Creating a digitalized supply chain
Despite the massive amount of paper documentation required to ship goods, transitioning to a digital environment may be easier and faster than you expect. Users can also obtain insight of booking status and real-time status updates as a booking goes from scheduled or queued to confirmed. Even when the booking is changed by the airline after booking confirmation.
Furthermore, real-time updates inform users whether all legs have been confirmed or whether there is a waiting request for specific or multiple transshipment legs. This saves time on manual bookings, but it also enables visibility of booking status and real-time booking status updates.
Optimize your booking process to make it faster and easier; with direct communication with the airline for space allocation, quick pricing alternatives, and automated status updates