Previously, this blog has discussed the air cargo transportation industry's desire to adopt "e-freight." This initiative, developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), seeks to replace the current paper-based system with electronic record keeping, allowing the industry to operate more efficiently and with fewer mistakes.
A recent article in Air Cargo World demonstrates just how vital this change could be to the industry, which in recent years has struggled in the face of an economic downturn and rising fuel costs, combined with increased competition from oceanic shipping.
"All of it adds up to a heck of a lot of uncertainty," said Michael L. Ducker, COO and president, International for FedEx Express. "Weak investment generally means weak trade levels. As a result, air cargo has certainly taken its lumps."
Ducker added that new technology is making it easier for shippers to expand their options. If the air cargo industry does not offer what they expect, they will choose another method of moving their products.
In order to avoid falling behind, airline executives argue that the industry needs to make itself more reliable. Edward Bastian, president of Delta Airlines, told Air Cargo World that e-freight would increase information accuracy and decrease the chance of errors, all while speeding up the shipping process.
The adoption of e-freight goes hand-in-hand with other solutions that promise to reduce shipment processing times. Proof of condition solutions allow for the rapid photography of each piece of cargo in the event of damage. A product like CargoSnapshot can be used to quickly and seamlessly track shipments, which is vital to building customer trust.