End-to-end solution for managing air cargo operations

Published: Monday, February 15, 2016

The air cargo industry, when compared to the passenger side, is
still in its infancy stage when it comes to mode of bookings. While
E-tickets rule and bookings are increasingly made on websites on
the passenger side, cargo side is yet to witness modernization as
paper air waybills still dominate, and bookings are still made via
phone and fax

According to Milind Tavshikar, CEO, SmartKargo, “Industry experts
from the IT sector see a significant gap between passenger and
cargo systems, as the latter lag behind especially when it comes
to mode of bookings. Many reasons could be attributed to the
same. But one cannot deny the fact that it is high time air cargo
solutions undergo modernization.

According to the Air Transport Industry Insights Airport IT
Trend Survey 2013, 22% of the new airline framework activities
will be assembled around Cloud computing, while 49% will
use Cloud computing on trial and assessment basis. Having
said that, one cannot deny the fact that the airline industry is
continually battling with massive amount of information in
complex situations. Besides, with the added worries related to
security and information rupture and to let the air cargo industry
evolve rapidly, the older systems used in the industry has to be
changed to keep up with the pace of advancement. This is where
SmartKargo comes into the picture.

Headquartered in the US, SmartKargo gives a completely
integrated and incorporative cargo management solution
that is built specifically to run on Cloud, providing accessibility
from any browser. This implies that there is no compelling
reason to invest in dedicated hardware, thus reducing capital
expenditure. This system is exceptionally adaptable and
configurable, which means that SmartKargo can adjust to an
air cargo provider’s business processes when compared to the
other way around. It is anything but difficult to learn and simple
to utilize – screens are painstakingly outlined, and much work is
essentially point and click, without any orders to remember and
numerous screens to do necessary errands. It is 100% Cloudbased,
so there is no spending for costly, devoted equipment
and programming. It is IATA compliant. The implementation of
this system is quick and easy. Everyone involved in the cargo
chain process can access the same information at the same

An integrated solution

Noted Milind Tavshikar that ‘end-to-end’ solution means the
system handles every task in the cargo chain, from shipper to
recipient. It is integrated into every part of the system working
together, ‘talks’ with each other and enables every partner in the
chain to know what is happening at the same time. No other
vintage air cargo system does that.

Brad Mathery, Hawaiian Airlines’ Cargo Operations Director,
added, “SmartKargo’s 100% Cloud platform gives us state-of-theart
technology and the ability to update quickly to stay ahead of
shippers’ needs as well as regulatory changes.”

Cost-effective solution

Compared to legacy systems, SmartKargo is highly profitable,
because there’s no up-front cost for dedicated hardware or
software; SmartKargo is what’s called SaaS, software as a service,
meaning that after a one-time implementation fee users pay by
the AWB, with a pricing structure that aligns our interest with
the user – the better an airline or other user does, the better we
do.On aregular budget, because data in SmartKargo is always
fresh and synchronous, cargo managers and leaders instantly
know where they stand about daily, monthly, and annual revenue
targets; and a range of data will help them manage their ongoing

Born in the Cloud is the only air cargo solution that was ‘born
in the Cloud’, meaning it is specifically designed to leverage the
enormous advances in Cloud computing. This brings about many
benefits, such as:

  • Accessible from any Internet-enabled devices – it works in a
  • Once primary data is entered, it is instantly available to everyone
    who needs any information,
  • It is robust and flexible ratemaking and pricing availability,
  • No more piles of air waybills to sort and file as it is 100%
  • A full suite of operational functions enables efficient handling at
    warehouses and airports,
  • A fully-featured smartphone app for booking, tracking and
    managing shipments with a few taps on the screen (iOS, Android,
    Windows and Blackberry), AND
  • It has a sophisticated yet flexible reporting and BI (business
    intelligence) capability.
  • Brad Mathery, Hawaiian Airlines’ Cargo Operations Director,
    notes, “One of the best things about SmartKargo is that it runs
    on any browser, which means you need no dedicated hardware
    nor software. Any Internet-enabled device – desktop, laptop,
    tablet, smartphone – is instantly a SmartKargo workstation. This
    flexibility is proving valuable – shippers can book on their iPhone,
    warehouse agents can use ruggedized handhelds and more.
    “We chose SmartKargo because we knew it would help us
    accelerate the growth of our cargo business – increasing revenues
    and improving customer experience, all at anaffordable price.”

    Cargo operations and handling

    Milind Tavshikar, CEO of SmartKargo sites some useful warehouse
    capabilities’ of SmartKargo:

    • Easily splits shipment or reassigns it to a new flight,

    • Supervisors can efficiently track all manifest changes and print
      the final in the airline’s or airport’s chosen format,
    • Functions to help multiple forwarders or airlines that share space,
    • Cargo acceptance and screening,
    • ULD built and breakdown,
    • Facility-level location tracing,
    • Handover to ramp operation,
    • Easily adds extra charges such as testing, storage,etc.,
    • A piece-level system ensures total control of every item in the system,
    • ULD build and breakdown with either barcode or RFID tracking,
    • Offload management module (on a mobile device) captures
    • relevant information and transmits alerts to all partners,

    • Manages trans-shipment for multi-stop and interline movements,
    • with transit manifests and alerts to another carrier,

    • Arrival processing with handheld device or web screen, AND
    • Delivery is verified with proof and signature capture.
    • Future improvements

      Mr. Milind noted, “We are continually refining the solution to stay
      ‘future ready.’ We are mainly focused on building out the suite
      of mobility functions, for example, we just launched an Apple
      iWatch app, and are refining a range of operational features that run on ruggedized handheld devices excellent on the ramp and in

      Air cargo benefits

      • Improved revenues and better customer service,
      • Greater efficiency and more flexibility, AND
      • Instant information for better decisions.
      • Airlines on SmartKargo

        Last year, Hawaiian Airlines became the first airline in the US to
        deploy SmartKargo management solutions as it looks to continue
        recent improvements in the cargo volume.The deployment of this
        framework comes as the carrier keeps on developing to grow and
        the hope is that the new system will help to enhance figures further.
        Mr. Milind observed, “Hawaiian Airlines has increased its cargo
        business more than 40% in the last three years, and SmartKargo
        will facilitate further growth.”

        Hawaiian’s Vice President Cargo Tim Strauss, added, “My Hawaiian
        colleagues and SmartKargo have worked hard to make this launch
        a success, and we could not be happier. SmartKargo is already
        proving its promise to improve the experience for customers and

        Cebu Pacific Air, launched SmartKargo as its cargo management
        platform last year in August. The airline generates about 9% of
        total revenues from cargo, one of the largest percentages in
        the world for a carrier without dedicated freighter aircraft. Not
        surprising, of course, because the Philippines is an island nation,
        with more than 2,000 inhabited islands. When people need
        something quickly, they call on Cebu Pacific to fly it. This means
        many shipments, of course, and they typically generate about
        90,000 waybills a month.

        Furthermore, India’s low-cost airline SpiceJet became the first
        airline in India to deploy SmartKargo solutions for it’s in-house
        and international cargo operations. The deployment of the system
        comes as the airline looks to capitalize on the fastest growing
        Indian economy.

        SpiceJet, VP, Business Development, Amit Srivastava, said, “India
        will be Asia’s second fastest-growing market with a compound
        annual growth rate of 6.8%, and SpiceJet, India’s second-largest
        low fare airline, is poised to play a leading role in the freightdelivery
        chapter of the India growth story.

        “With advanced booking and handling tools like SmartKargo,
        SpiceJet will not only replace a legacy system but will also deliver a
        much higher standard of customer satisfaction.”

        Mr. Milind Tavshikar concluded, “SmartKargo’s robust capabilities
        will help SpiceJet further build its cargo business, and enable it to
        deliver even better customer service to shippers across its growing