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How innovation is unlocking capacity in air cargo

How innovation is unlocking capacity in air cargo

How innovation is unlocking capacity in air cargo

The 2019 COVID 19 pandemic definitely exposed the limits of air cargo capacity. Grounded passenger flights and a surge in e-commerce made it clear how tight things could get.

Fast forward to 2024 and air cargo is experiencing growth in capacity. IATA’s Air Cargo Market Analysis February 2024 stated that ‘industry-wide air cargo capacity, measured by available cargo tonne-kilometers (ACTK), increased by 13.4% YoY, largely due to the continued expansion of international passenger belly-hold capacity.’

Part of this growth comes from carriers transitioning to more fuel-efficient planes like the 787 or A350. Sustainability is a major force now in the industry, but how does this trend impact capacity, especially for airlines without dedicated freighters?

Overall, capacity growth is encouraging but e-commerce isn't slowing down, so the challenge today is leveraging innovation and efficiency to make the most out of the space available.


Optimizing for the new reality

Precise weight and balance calculations for optimal cargo placement is one key area providing efficiency in this new landscape.

Integrating data from various sources, including electronic freight data (e-AWBs) and automated warehouse systems, with flight planning software, maximizes capacity utilization while maintaining optimal weight distribution for safe flights.

While weight and balance are just one piece of the puzzle, faster loading and unloading processes are just as critical for maximizing flight frequency and overall capacity. 


Faster turnarounds: streamlining the logistics chain

Speed is king in air cargo.

Streamlining the entire logistics chain and enabling faster loading and unloading processes translates to increased flight frequency and overall capacity, keeping pace with customer demand.

The industry's push towards smarter logistics is evident in initiatives like Airbus' OpenCargoLab, in which CHAMP actively participates. This collaborative effort tackles challenges like communication gaps and limited cargo visibility.

Swissport, a major air cargo handler within the industry, has also recently partnered with CHAMP to improve efficiency through Cargospot-neo, our next-generation cargo management solution.

This collaboration utilizes automation, mobile apps, and a unified platform to streamline processes, boost warehouse efficiency, and provide real-time data for better decision-making across the logistics chain.


Efficiency and precision with ONE Record

IATA's ONE Record initiative is another game-changer for air cargo, aiming at enabling standardized data exchange and real-time visibility for smoother end-to-end operations.

CHAMP Cargosystems, Cathay Cargo, and Worldwide Flight Services are currently pioneering a live use case demonstrating the power of ONE Record.

The partnership will see a seamless collaboration for shipments from Paris to Hong Kong, leveraging accurate data and real-time updates for greater efficiency and adaptability to changing scenarios.

The future of air cargo is bright, and collaborative efforts are paving the way for a more efficient and connected global network where capacity is always optimized!


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