Just Imagine

With robust markets and booming e-commerce, air cargo should be poised for spectacular growth in 2018. Right? Well, not so fast.

Ironically, right at a time when markets are more ready than ever for air cargo service, there is a serious disconnect with the future. To be fair, Air Cargo is already a global driver of world trade; 35% of total trade by value, representing close to $7 Trillion worth of goods being transported around the world by air. That’s a very big pie, much of which is owned by the integrators, as we know. So why the snag? In a word, technology.

While so many segments of the Logistics industry are moving at warp speed into technology advances, the air cargo carriers have been surprisingly slow in keeping pace with those sectors. At a time when the airline’s major logistics customers are faced with interfacing with forwarding technologies prescribed by Industry 4.0 protocol, air cargo shows up as the weak link in consummating 21 Century supply chain initiatives.

For example, while our forwarder friends and 3PLs are adopting tech like IoT, drones and more, air cargo is still grappling with delivering the low-hanging fruit of real-time information at every shipment milestone for tracking or real-time capacity decisions that impact the business. And take basic mobility which has become a customer expectation across the board, and especially for our passenger-side counterparts, to drive customer experience and loyalty.

The technology exists, again low-hanging fruit, to deliver mobility from booking to the destination and beyond, from a smartphone. And then there’s using apps on iPads in the warehouse to streamline operations and forward e-AWB paperless initiatives and more. The disconcerting thing is that all of this technology is available and as close as integration via APIs—yet not widely adopted— in spite of concerted efforts by IATA to move the needle toward paperless, e-freight, and more.

So, let’s talk solutions. If embracing the latest and best technology is the answer, this calls for the immediate adoption of transformative technologies like Cloud Computing, Big Data/BI and Mobility that are bringing about positive changes for others in the Cargo Value Chain.

The good news is that with recent innovations, these things can be implemented right now—and in months not years. Since the latest technologies are inherently cloud-based, there is no risk of investing in a lot of proprietary technology that becomes obsolete before it’s even installed. Digital transformation can be achieved at a fraction of cost, resources and critical time to market.

Whether it’s customer empowering moves such as self-service, customer experience and loyalty—or the many stripes of cost savings or other efficiencies that are desired—the fundamental technology is here, now, and easy to implement.

And with these easy, affordable solutions in plain view, perhaps air cargo carriers can think differently—to move more imaginatively—and thus be ready to intersect with the technology advances of our partners in the value-chain when the critical moment arrives. Just imagine.

Want to know more? I invite you to contact us to discuss innovative solutions for achieving Digital Transformation. Our solutions are designed specifically for Airlines competing in Air Cargo arena. We’re on a mission to help you:

  • Achieve seamless Horizontal integration with partners and stakeholders across the entire value chain.
  • Reach out to shippers and booming E-Commerce markets by providing an “end-to-end” value chain with first and last mile service.
  • Continuous innovation and optimization at the core of the traditional Value Chain.

Feel free to contact me directly at olivier@smartkargo.com with any questions you may have.


Mr. Olivier Houri is the newest member of the QuantumID Technologies| SmartKargo team, serving as Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy since May 2017. Prior to joining SmartKargo, he has spent more than 20 years serving the Air Transportation industry, most recently as the President & Global Leader of Unisys Global Travel & Transportation Industry business. Prior to this, he led the Global Air Transport Consulting Practice at Cap Gemini Group and Cap Gemini Ernst & Young.

The Power of Partnership

It has been said that there are often two ways to do things–the easy way and the hard way. And while this principle doesn’t always hold across the board, it does when applied to complex tasks or projects such as migrating from an old legacy system to a new one with leading-edge functionality!. In this case, complexity and resource drain can be managed by choosing the right partner(s). When each partner contributes core expertise in a collaborative spirit, the insight and knowledge base of each combine in synergy–to make the result greater than the sum of its parts. Yes, choosing the right partner can make all the difference between a streamlined process leading to success or one wrought with inefficiencies and delays, or worse.

When SmartKargo was faced with choosing a partner and platform on which to build the SmartKargo solution, we chose Microsoft and its world-class Azure platform. Businesses that select solutions powered by Azure benefit in a number of ways. In addition to cost, the Azure platform has a global network of data centers with high up time and extraordinary performance. And leading-edge global infrastructure is something they are continually investing in, so their customers don’t have to. Mobility, for example, is facilitated through the cloud solution and can be quickly deployed to any device or platform. And the best part is that our customers deploy systems that never become obsolete.

Take the example of infrastructure. Industry leaders like Microsoft have made huge investments—to the tune of $15 billion—to build the world’s leading global cloud infrastructure. Microsoft Azure delivers the exceptionally robust computing power needed by airlines that are not keen to invest capital in hardware and software.

Working together, Microsoft and SmartKargo continue to build a state-of-the-art, industry-leading platform that airlines can deploy in an out-of-the-box or a customized mode. And Microsoft is the only major cloud provider with a full hybrid model.

Using solutions powered by Azure, airlines and businesses in the cargo chain can extend their capabilities from on-premises to the cloud, seamlessly, to meet their particular business needs now and into the future. And perhaps, the greatest benefit is that after the investment in time and resources to get that system up and running–it is never yesterday’s news. Future ready and always integratable using a number of API’s that keep it agile and adaptable.

Our partners at Microsoft are simply the best. Our platform and our business model is inextricably linked with them, and so, they are your partners as well, by extension. Greg Jones is our Seattle-based Account manager and a Microsoft Managing Director of Worldwide Hospitality & Transport. He has summed up their commitment well: “Microsoft’s commitment to security, privacy and control, compliance and transparency, and our investments in this space, are unmatched. Airlines and their partners in the cargo chain choose the Microsoft Cloud because it is open, flexible and has a full spectrum of services that span IaaS, PaaS and SaaS,” he said. In terms of security, Microsoft invests more than $1billion in security research and development each year to provide the most secure cloud platform to customers.” The investment in global infrastructure is an additional $15 Billion!

Whatever you want from your cloud solution is likely obtainable. You can freely integrate the tools you need with the system you already have. And then, you can run virtually any application using your data source, with your operating system, on just about any device. Now that’s a partnership that keeps on giving.