Aircargopedia Newsblast: January 2021!
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18th January 2021  
 


Dear Air Cargo Professional:

The coronavirus pandemic is making many industries rethink how they introduce their services. Read this article by Samrat Barari, CEO, Sunflower Technologies to understand the role of AI for an air transport industry in crisis.

Know more about the benefits of Artificial Intelligence powered CRM during Covid period by James P of Suntec.

In more World Air Cargo news, ATSG and Air Canada Agree to Sale, Conversion and Leaseback of Two Boeing 767 Aircraft. 2020 was a record year for Liege Airport, confirming its key role as a health airport

Highlighting 10 pivotal moments in 2020 when Emirates SkyCargo showcased its global leadership of the air cargo industry
  DJ Ghosh

D.J. Ghosh
President & Publisher
AIRCARGOPEDIA
WWW.AIRCARGOPEDIA.COM
”The Complete Encyclopedia for the Air Cargo Professional & Investor”


______________________________________________________________________________

Best wishes to all at Aircargopedia for a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021 !!

We enter 2021 more acutely aware than ever before in our lifetime that the future is uncertain. Amid this uncertainty, we continue to rely on your newsletters and your portal to provide the most important and current information in the industry.

As both a reader and a contributor, I so look forward to the monthly newsletter. Day 1 of my Cargo Management classes always includes an introduction to your portal: "This is where you start if you want to learn about Air Cargo Management"!!

Peter Canellis

Regards,
Peter Canellis
Professor of Management
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology



The role of AI for an air transport industry in crisis

The coronavirus pandemic is making many industries rethink how they introduce their services to the public. Aviation, in particular, will be impacted for a variety of reasons. As a means of transport, flying is the most incompatible with social distancing, which would be difficult, expensive and almost impossible to implement. While some airlines have announced that they will leave middle seats unoccupied, implementing this change will undoubtedly raise ticket prices.

Additionally, corporate travel will immediately change after the pandemic; the impact that will have on aviation as a whole is difficult to foresee in its entirety. There is also uncertainly surrounding the internet and its relation to the travel industry due to its increased usage. While less spending and vacationing will surely impact the industry, a beach experience cannot exactly be replaced; in contrast, meetings can easily be simulated with modern videoconference equipment, electronic document management systems, etc. In any case, as fewer travel, travel costs will decline as airlines eagerly reduce prices as a way of recouping losses – these prices are expected to increase over time in following years. Though many are already discussing a path to rapid recovery from this pandemic, the previous crisis impacted the industry for at least half a decade. Our team is developing a set of descriptive analytics tools to efficiently monitor air traffic and extract conclusions about the evolution of the air transport network.

Artificial Intelligence technologies were pivotal in roadmaps to help aviation across many fronts. Challenges that seemed too big to be covered by any other alternate technology, like runway capacity management now have seemed easily accommodated in recent years. Assisting and predicting things like runway occupancy times, equipment approach and tower controllers was one of the first applications of AI. Other applications in aviation, like platform management, will be more easily implementable with decreased operations, which will likely make potential delays and disruptions less of an issue.

In the past, efficient fuel uplift and usage was a very promising application of AI tools; now, however, it seems like this will shift to being low priority in a scenario of incredibly low oil prices. Efficient routing will also shift in priority, as slot constraints will not be an issue for airlines as they ramp up operations – industry sources are expecting only 40% of their operations to recover by the end of 2021.

The passenger experience will probably shift to safety and extensive use of biometrics; streaming the security process through new AI technologies and other methodologies would require investments by airports that will not be available.

New aircraft capabilities automating certain pilot functions, including automation of the cockpit, will be postponed, especially considering the precarious financial situation of Boeing and Airbus. This, together with the fiasco of the introduction of heavy-IT systems in the 737Max will, very likely, delay the introduction of AI in the cockpit.

Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs) will also face at least a few years of cost-control and petitions from the airline industry to reduce ATC fees. This, along with lower traffic, may pave the way to new AI systems that take automation of air traffic control services to the next level. Assisting controllers to manage low risk sectors or even re-sectoring with automation in mind will be doable now – the same scenario and development might not have been advisable (or necessarily from the cost perspective) with higher levels of traffic and complexity. AI could assist in defining better sector configuration and supporting ATCOs, if not outright automatically controlling air traffic thanks to CPDLC. ANSPs leading AI technology will become more cost-effective and will gain the necessary experience in automation to address more complex challenges and beat capacity limitations when pre-pandemic levels of traffic come back. While the aviation industry settles and starts rebuilding their economy, we can also rely on data science to provide analytics and predictions on traffic evolution.

Samrat Barari

Samrat Barari,
CEO, Sunflower Technologies, US & Canada 
sunflower-technologies.com


Airbridge banner

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence powered CRM during COVID period

Considering a wide variety of transportation and logistics companies in the market, customers must go through a long journey before choosing one. They usually send requests to several companies simultaneously to understand which one would be the most suitable and reliable for them. The most substantial part of the company’s revenue comes from regular customers. So, transportation businesses focus on improving customer relationship management to outrun competitors and turn prospective clients into loyal ones.

By providing tools that optimize interaction with clients, the CRM for logistics companies makes it easier to win over prospects, build long-term relationships with them, and make profitable deals. In tough times, it helps to keep customers informed and loyal to the service. However, it’s only a small part of what it can do for your company. If you want to know how CRM system development can give you more than expected, keep reading this article.

INDUSTRY REQUIREMENTS FOR CRM SOFTWARE
The logistics and transportation industry includes many complex business processes such as communication, agreements, budget approval, order preparation, packaging, warehousing, tracking, and more. Cost optimization and fast service are the two main goals of logistics. These factors depend on the interaction between various specialists from accounting and financial services employees to technical and customer care staff.

Enterprise resource planning, warehouse, and transportation management systems cover many of these processes and help specialists work on multiple orders simultaneously. The integration of logistics CRM software increases business efficiency and serves as a basis for improving the systems mentioned above. However, to do it in the best possible way, it must comply with these requirements:

• Contain unified customer base and tools for controlling managers’ work;
• Let the sales team quickly process leads and manage deals in the necessary order;
• Make it easy to draft, print, and send various documents as well as create their templates;
• Provide a convenient UI/UX to make the working process faster and more efficient;

Be available online and on the smartphone to ensure quick responses to clients and client-related activities. Mobile and cloud CRM systems must also help new employees learn to use them faster.

BENEFITS OF LOGISTICS CRM SYSTEMS
CRM systems have a variety of advantages that improve relationships with customers and establish productive cooperation within the team at the same time. They also provide you with all the resources to enhance further business development planning. Since their main goal is to automate and optimize interaction with customers, they significantly save your time and the time of your customers. In this part, we will discuss all of the benefits of CRM software in more detail.

1. Automated Request Processing
The aim of a CRM system is to remove employees’ routine tasks from the very beginning of the client's journey. These solutions automate the processes of receiving requests, assigning them to managers, and managing orders until the deal is closed. Customers always expect companies to reply fast. A CRM system collects messages coming from different channels (phones, websites, social media, and emails) in one place. Thus, a manager can react fast to requests from new leads and start a deal immediately.

2. Optimized Sales & Marketing
By adopting a CRM system for managing logistics customers, your sales and marketing teams can:
• Manage new requests more efficiently to lead potential clients to the first sale;
• Assess each stage of the sales pipeline and ‘correct’ the customer's journey at the right moment;
• Identify the best channels to attract customers;
• Use notifications to offer services to the existing customers;
• Connect with multiple customers via email to provide them with updates and new offers;
• Turn inactive customers into active ones by reminding about your services via different communication channels;

Make calls right from the CRM system via integrated telephony.

A CRM system is an efficient tool for complex analysis of client requests and sales data. This data lets a company’s chief executives understand the level of customer satisfaction with a particular deal. Considering the information on the previous customer experience, your marketing department can make communication with clients more personalized and work with them more productively.

3. Convenient Data Management
Logistics companies get all features for flexible adjustment of various processes, besides typical sales and deal management tasks. In the 21st century, Excel spreadsheets are no longer convenient for searching and using customer information. Besides a broad customer base, CRM systems provide detailed information on each customer via their profiles. They allow you to learn the following data:
Current and completed transactions;
• Cargo status;
• Order estimation;
• Accepted commercial offers;
• Vehicle, shipping/trucking, and costumes documentation;
• Payment information; • Limited commercial offers, and more.

4. Increased Cost Efficiency
Customer service automation can help you unload or even reduce your staff to cut costs of human resources. Sometimes, companies have to pay a high price for their employees' mistakes. For example, if your managers failed to enter the correct data into the system, it would be a severe threat to the entire company’s workflow. The system allows you to eliminate such mistakes via automation. It is also reasonable to invest in CRM testing to save money on handling severe technical issues with software.

5. Advanced Reporting
The company’s heads can get detailed reports on the work of departments dealing with clients and assess the effectiveness of every manager based on these reports. For instance, you can see data about the deadlines, listen to the recordings of incoming and outgoing calls, and learn information in the clients’ cards. Based on this data, you can analyze all previous interactions with their customers to improve the quality of services and even drive initiatives in consumer supply chains and other industry-specific aspects.

6. Improved Customer Service
There are two ways to show care about your customers. One of them is reacting fast to any client’s request and providing them with all information they need within the shortest terms. With automated request processing and tracking every aspect of customer interaction, CRM systems allow informing customers within minutes.

Another aspect of customer care is handling unpredictable issues. Transportation and delivery are complex processes, in which many people get involved. One of the most important aspects here is keeping customers well-informed on any problems that the supply chain participants face. They can be shipping agents, specialists responsible for vehicles, ports, storage, and terminal workers.

CRM systems allow managers to inform about these issues on time, which is especially important in the fast-changing global business environment. Transportation companies must keep customers informed on any issues with their supplies due to a force majeure situation. It is an effective measure to prevent your customers from further material loss and protect companies from accusations and proceedings under the law.

7. Organized Team Collaboration
A CRM system makes the data about leads, prospects, and loyal customers available across various departments and the company’s chief executives. Every process is transparent and understandable to any team member. It makes the team more organized and eliminates confusion during task setting and execution. Anyone can continuously monitor the workflow and the quality of communication with customers. If some employees leave the team, CRM software allows new employees to learn the current processes faster.

SPECIALIZED VS. GENERAL-PURPOSE CRM
One can use a CRM system regardless of the company’s specifics – be it first-party or third-party cargo transportation, import or export operations, express delivery, trucking, shipping, or omnichannel transport logistics. Still, you can choose from one-size-fits-all CRM systems or solutions based exclusively on logistics needs.

Field-specific customer management software has a full range of functions and advanced features to meet the required business needs. They work best for large transportation businesses dealing with elaborate warehousing and several means of transport. Specialized software is expensive, and learning its operation principles may take a lot of time and effort of your staff. Small and mid-sized companies focus primarily on preventing as many financial losses and risks as possible. Usually, they don’t require too complicated features and choose general-purpose CRM software.

Another option is to get a custom CRM solution from a reliable development team. In this case, software engineers build the system from scratch based on the company’s real needs. Such solutions are the most cost-efficient because they don’t contain any excessive elements, and business owners pay only for the functions they will use for sure.

CONCLUSION
Logistics companies are responsible for everything beginning from the preparation, packaging, shipping, drafting all necessary paperwork, transporting cargo safely, and more. Considering a great variety of processes, the logistics companies require coordinated work of all divisions and continuous productive interaction with clients. Maintaining relationships with existing customers is less expensive than attracting new ones. So, the goal of a CRM system is to ensure higher cost-effectiveness by turning prospective customers into loyal ones.

Automation and optimization of customer interactions also boost the company’s efficiency. However, you should pay attention to whom you trust the development of your CRM software. Whether you want to get a complex industry-specific solution for omnichannel transportation or a custom-made system to meet your fundamental requirements, contact our team to get started. Our experience is proven by CRM cases that help our clients maintain productive long-term relationships with customers and partners.

Prepared by:
James Praveen
SUNTEC LLC (www.suntecrm.com)
Suntec logo

Southwestcargo

ATSG and Air Canada Agree to Sale, Conversion and Leaseback of Two Boeing 767 Aircraft

Jan 14 2021

Air Transport Services Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATSG) today announced that its Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc. subsidiary has agreed to purchase two Boeing 767-300ER aircraft from Air Canada of Montreal, convert them from passenger to freighter configuration, and lease them back to Air Canada. This is the first sale-leaseback agreement between ATSG and Air Canada.

The first aircraft will be inducted for conversion in March 2021. Both are expected to be redelivered to Air Canada by the end of 2021.

In November 2020, Air Canada announced the next steps in its strategic plan to use converted freighters to grow its cargo business across the global supply chain in response to evolving opportunities in the air freight market.

“Getting these two 767 freighters into our operation in 2021 is aligned with our announcement in November,” said Jason Berry, vice-president of cargo at Air Canada. “We are excited to be in a position to capture the market opportunities that currently present themselves. Delivering on our commitments is critically important to all of us at Air Canada.”

ATSG has substantial experience in managing the passenger-to-freighter conversion process, which requires extensive engineering modifications such as reinforcing the floor beams to support heavy cargo, installing a main-deck cargo door, and installing a rigid metal barrier behind the cockpit to protect against sliding loads. The aircraft will be converted by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) of Tel Aviv, Israel.

“It is always a great feeling to gain a new lease customer, and we are proud to be able to again support a great airline like Air Canada,” said Mike Berger, chief commercial officer of ATSG. “We are looking forward to delivering these airplanes and extending our special partnership with Air Canada. We continue to see growth outside of the United States, and ATSG continues to enable great companies to take advantage of growing global e-commerce and mobile-commerce trends.”

Air Canada Cargo

10 pivotal moments in 2020 when Emirates SkyCargo showcased its global leadership of the air cargo industry

Dubai, UAE, 11 January 2021 - 2020 was a year unlike any other for the aviation and the air cargo industry.

Faced with the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global industries and on people’s wellbeing, Emirates SkyCargo redoubled its commitment to being a reliable, global partner to businesses and communities across international markets.

Throughout the year, Emirates SkyCargo continued to deliver essential commodities and connect vital trade lanes across continents by being agile and responding innovatively to unprecedented and rapidly changing market conditions.

Here are 10 pivotal moments when Emirates SkyCargo demonstrated its commitment and leadership to keeping global supply chains operational for essential commodities.

1. 100 destinations in 100 days:
When Emirates’ worldwide passenger operations were suspended in late March 2020 in the face of the pandemic, Emirates SkyCargo lost a significant proportion of its global cargo capacity and for a brief period had access only to the network and operations of its fleet of 11 Boeing 777 freighters. However, the cargo carrier acted quickly to rebuild its global operations and within 100 days from 25 March 2020, had managed to reconnect 100 global destinations across six continents with scheduled cargo flights on a weekly basis.

2. Passenger Freighters: In an unprecedented move to face an extraordinary situation, in late March 2020, Emirates SkyCargo started using Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft for cargo-only flights with around 40-50 tonnes of cargo loaded in the bellyhold of the aircraft. The flights were used to deliver PPE, test kits and other essential cargo.

3. Seat and overhead bin loading: In yet another historic moment in April 2020, Emirates SkyCargo started loading PPE and other select commodities on the seats in Economy Class and in the overhead bins inside the aircraft cabin to make more room for essential cargo.

4. Modification of Economy Class for floor loading of cargo: Faced with a surge in demand for the movement of PPE, medical supplies, food and other essential commodities, Emirates modified 10 Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft at the Emirates Engineering Centre in Dubai to remove passenger seats from Economy Class entirely to facilitate additional cargo volume of up to 132 cubic metres in the aircraft. These aircraft have played a key role in providing connectivity between production and consumer markets.Since June 2020, Emirates has worked on converting additional Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to meet the global demand for air cargo capacity.

Emirates Sky Cargo

5. A380 aircraft for cargo operations: In October, Emirates SkyCargo started operating its Airbus A380 aircraft for select cargo charter flights to meet customer demand for additional cargo capacity. The first A380 cargo charter transported medical supplies from Seoul to Amsterdam via Dubai.

6. COVID-19 vaccines dedicated hub: Recognising the scale of the logistics effort required to distribute COVID-19 vaccines to people around the world, Emirates SkyCargo began planning in August 2020 to make ready the infrastructure, the capabilities and the expertise to optimally transport vaccines around the world. In October 2020, Emirates SkyCargo announced that it was setting up the world’s largest dedicated airside hub for COVID-19 vaccines at its cargo terminal at Dubai South and that it was establishing a rapid response team to handle and expedite any requests for transportation of vaccines. Together with Emirates’ dedicated pharma facility at Dubai International Airport, Emirates SkyCargo has over 15,000 sq metres of storage and handling space dedicated for pharmaceuticals and vaccines in Dubai.

7. Arrival of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines for COVID-19: Emirates SkyCargo crossed a historical milestone when it flew in the first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines destined to the UAE for the Dubai Health Authority on 22 December from Zurich on flight EK 182.

8. Commitment to humanitarian causes: Emirates SkyCargo continued to showcase its commitment to the wellbeing of communities impacted by humanitarian crises. In August 2020, Emirates SkyCargo participated in the initiative to create an airbridge between Dubai and Lebanon by dedicating air cargo capacity for relief material to be transported to Beirut. Emirates SkyCargo followed this up by also signing an MoU with the International Humanitarian City, the world’s largest hub for humanitarian aid based in Dubai, to work together to develop innovative logistics solutions for crisis relief efforts.

9. Hola Guadalajara: In September 2020, Emirates SkyCargo launched twice weekly freighter flights to Guadalajara, Mexico, adding a new destination that had previously not been serviced by the carrier and creating more opportunities for trade and commerce.

10. First Anniversary of Emirates Delivers: Emirates Delivers, the e-commerce delivery platform developed by Emirates SkyCargo and available for UAE residents to shop from US websites has successfully completed its first year of operations delivering many a smile and cheer to its customers shopping online in the UAE.


South African Airways
2020 was a record year for Liege Airport, confirming its key role as a health airport

Liege Airport, 8 January, 2021

While the aviation sector worldwide was experiencing a nightmarish 2020, Liege Airport was one of the few airports in Europe and throughout the world to perform well. Our specialisation in the transport of goods (full cargo) made us a leading player, an essential link in the fight against the pandemic. We saw a 24% increase in the tonnage passing through the airport compared to 2019, going from 902,480 to 1,120,643 tonnes.

“2020 was the worst year for the global airline industry”, Luc Partoune, CEO of Liege Airport said, “Covid 19 had a significant impact on passenger transport. Alternatives to the transport of goods in the holds of passenger planes had to be found. There was a lot of pressure on full cargo planes, which are our speciality. We also transported large quantities of medical equipment to fight against the pandemic (masks, respirators, protection kits etc.), so much so that we became the hub for the World Food Programme. The lockdown also had a direct effect on consumption patterns, which is reflected by a boom in the e-commerce sector, a sector which has become much more important to us as we have handled over 500 million packages this year, compared to just over 320 million in 2019.”

Passenger traffic, as in all airports, decreased sharply, with 44,487 travellers in 2020 compared to 170,737 in 2020, a 74% drop.

The total number of aircraft movements remained stable with 40,300 flights (landings and take-offs) in 2020, compared to 39,886 flights in 2019. The growth of our cargo activities was in fact offset by the decrease in passenger flights, training flights and business aviation.

The total number of cargo flights increased by 10.7% (34,264 flights in 2020 compared to 30,934 in 2019). This growth is reflected in an increase in daytime flights. Finally, the increase in tonnage entailed an increase in the number of jumbo jets.


Turkish Cargo

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