Simon Watson, co-founder and director of CharterSync, recently attended the inaugural Air Cargo Tech Summit hosted by Air Cargo World in Miami, Florida. The event covered the latest developments in digital transformation and the technology and innovative processes affecting the airfreight sector, including topics such as geo-location technology, the future of digital booking systems, sustainability and drones to name a few.
Here are the top 5 key learnings from the summit:
1. Geo-location technology
Geo-location is the process of determining a user’s or device’s geographic location via a number of data collection technologies. Because the infrastructure for active devices is far more complex, many airlines are beginning to migrate away from active to non-active devices, which was highlighted in the session ‘Taking advantage of geo-location technologies’, on day two of the summit.
A sector paralysed by fear of change, the first session of the summit, ‘The Future of Digital Booking,’ found that the industry as a whole, and more specifically airlines, are steadily becoming more receptive to change, but that we are only at the beginning of a long path to make this industry digital.
3. Drones: The positives
Dnata mentioned that they use drones in their internal warehouses to optimise operations in a variety of ways, including checking temperatures (for perishable or temperature-sensitive goods) and dimensionalizing boxes and pallets (so humans don’t have to go around the warehouse and measure cargo), during the session ‘No Man’s Land: Drones and autonomous flight in air cargo logistics.’ By using them to check the dimensions of the cargo in the warehouses, airlines are able to sell more space in their aircraft as they are able to better optimise space onboard.
4. Drones: The negatives
Drones are well-known for causing serious GDPR difficulties for users. When they fly, they can see people through the built-in camera, which means people are being observed and filmed without their agreement, especially in densely populated places, presenting legislative concerns.
5. Emissions: We’re just getting started
It was previously assumed, around 5 or 6 years ago, that the issue of aircraft emissions would be resolved, or at the least, that we would be on our way to a meaningful solution, but, in fact, it has only recently begun to become a common agenda point 10 years later, and the topic of emissions is only now starting to come to peoples’ attention.
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