Air cargo is undergoing a digital transformation but what will the future look like in this critical sector?
Hitit developed its Cargo Management Systems from scratch. Although there was some work that could be transferred from passenger solutions, they didn’t have to take into account any older systems beyond the need for interfaces where applicable.
In other words, it is a best of breed product unhindered by the organic evolution of air cargo processes from paper to digital forms of paper.
“We have grown enormously in this field very quickly,” says Atilla Lise, Chief Transportation Solutions Officer at Hitit. “The pandemic helped us as airlines started looking for better cargo solutions. We are establishing excellent relationships and developing trust. And, of course, we are able to rely on our work on the passenger side to prove we are a reliable partner.”
Although Hitit’s progress has been remarkable, Lise remains realistic about cargo’s digital transformation. The complex nature of the sector means the ambition of being fully data-driven within the next decade will be hard to realize.
“Cargo has become more important than ever to airlines but that doesn’t mean that investment in this sector is easier to find,” he suggests. “Financially, these are tough times.”
But Lise believes the sensible financial decision would be to invest in new air cargo systems. For a start, air cargo is becoming more important to airline profit and loss and, as such, early movers could gain a competitive advantage. Second, there is a lot of inefficiency in current cargo processes and eradicating delays and errors could enable a swift return on investment. And third, there is huge growth potential in areas that will definitely require digital capabilities. Consider, for example, the transparency and data needs of e-commerce. This massive area—representing nearly 6% of the entire global economy and measured in the trillions of dollars range—is built on the idea of digital air cargo.
“The truth is that airlines have to find the money to invest in digital air cargo,” says Lise. “Within 10 years, any cargo company that is not capable of accessing the digital information flow will be out of business. They must migrate to new systems. I know that isn’t easy, but companies have to be brave.”
The digital transformation of cargo is fast becoming one of the most active fields in aviation. Hitit’s CMS work because the modular approach can help airlines at all levels of development and so they ease the transition to full digitization.
“Smart IT solutions are the key nowadays to ensuring the efficiency of logistic chains and data quality,” Lise concludes. “Our Cargo Management Systems are built to address the challenges of the modern cargo industry. They are turnkey, web-based solutions with a distinctly unique, fully integrated modular platform that gives complete end-to-end control over commercial, operational, and revenue ac-counting capabilities.”
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